Once they received the discount tickets from Kido and Kayano, Amane and Mahiru left, hurriedly bought their yakisoba, and went to the backyard to eat.
There was no space available at the designated rest area, and they could not stay for long in the waiting room. By elimination, the backyard was the only available location, so they arrived.
There were a few students there, but as outsiders were not allowed in, there was space for them to eat.
Amane laid out a towel for Mahiru to sit, and sat on a bench under the shade, straightening his back as much as he could.
“Seriously, there’s too many people around, and I can’t calm down.”
“Fufu, you do prefer quieter places after all, Amane-kun.”
“And I hate it when people just keep ogling you. It feels like I lost twice.”
“It is not that bad…”
“It is, for my sanity.”
Amane endured so as it was unavoidable, but he was quietly peeved. Mahiru was in her school uniform, and there were fewer surrounding stares compared to when she was in her maid outfit, but pretty girls still would stand out.
Mahiru had given up and got used to it, so Amane really had nothing more to say, except to grumble a few words.
Mahiru might have understood this, for she gave a perturbed, wry smile, patting Amane’s head to coax him. Amane took it, and sighed.
“There’ll be more people tomorrow. People have rave reviews about our shop, and we’ll be in the afternoon shift.”
“We shall have to hang on until then…speaking of which, what about Shihoko-san and Shuuto-san?”
They did mention in their excitement that they wanted to see Amane and the others in such clothing, but they were nowhere to be seen, so it seemed Mahiru was confused. Amane scratched his cheek, shrugged, and said,
“They said they took leave, and will be here tomorrow. Two days.”
“Why are you so happy?”
“Shuuto-san promised that he will teach me how to cook with that motherly taste. I did not expect the opportunity to arrive so soon.”
“Guys have a motherly taste…well, I guess I’m more used to dad’s cooking.”
Shihoko and Shuuto would take turns deciding on who to cook, and they split duties. Amane was very familiar with their styles, but Shihoko’s dishes were more masculine in taste, servings and ingredients, so while it was home cooking, it did not feel like it.
Shuuto’s culinary skills were better, delicate, and more comforting. One would say his cooking were more suited to be called home cooking.
However, Mahiru’s culinary skills were supreme to begin with, and there was no need for her to learn…it seemed she was very motivated, for she was concerned about learning the Fujimiyas’ style of home cooking.
“I’m happy with your cooking, you know?”
“These are two separate matters. I wish to cook for you when you wish to eat.”
“I see…well, I feel that your cooking is kind of like ours. You don’t have to force yourself to learn.”
“……And you carelessly blurted out these words.”
One day, or rather, at this point, Amane’s stomach was taken captive by her cooking. He knew he could get good dishes from her every day, and her cooking was undoubtedly his family’s. It was one beloning only to them, distinct from the Fujimiyas.
It was not the season of bloom, but her face bloomed like the cherry blossoms. She took the used wet wet tissue, and used it on Amane, wanting him to have the same color.
Amane saw that the yakisoba on the lap was about to fall, so he moved them aside, and patted her head.
Her hair formed a gentle gradient as she had tied it the entire morning. The hair was loosened, and so her face ballooned.
“…Do you assume that you can fool me through headpats?”
“No, but I think you’ll be happy.”
“This is no good either.”
She pretended to be aloof, but her face was wrecked by redness. Amane quietly chuckled as he gently patted her head, combing her hair.