About two hours after the study group started, Chitose muttered in annoyances, and laid backwards. She then rolled about on the floor.
Chitose was wearing shorts and tights, so there was no worry of seeing her panties. Amane however picked the sofa blanket and threw it onto her lap, and lifted his head to look at the time.
“Guess it’s about time to rest. It’s past noon.”
“Yeah. It’s almost time for lunch…”
Once she heard of Mahiru’s cooking, Chitose was revived as though she was given money.
She got up easily, and tapped at the table.
“What’s for lunch today?”
“Roast beef for mains.”
“That’s quite filling for lunch…”
“I remembered Amane-kun said he wanted some…”
“Thanks for that.”
Amane did say that he wanted to eat it, but he never expected Mahiru to cook for him, and was really grateful.
According to Mahiru, this dish was easier to prepare than Amane imagined, so the plan was for them to have some meat, and to continue studying after food.
However, Amane had a feeling that a certain person might not study after school. It would depend on her however, so Amane did not retort.
“I shall go prepare it. Please wait.”
“Ah, I’ll help serve too.”
Mahiru took some of her studying time to cook for them, and after all, Amane had been asking her to do so.
Like usual, Amane suggested to help, “”lease do.”Mahiru smiled and nodded.
The dishes were already done, and they simply needed to heat it and serve it on plates. Amane only helped with serving the dishes…but it was all he could do.
“You three clear the table. I’ll get a cloth…what’s with you.”
“Tell me that after you hide that annoying face of yours.”
Amane narrowed his eyes at a leering Chitose, and then followed Mahiru into the kitchen.
He took out the folded tablecloth from the basket, soaked and wrung it dry. At the same time, Mahiru took out a pot of potage from the fridge, and put it on the stove.
“Amane-kun, please cut the lettuce later. I am cutting other vegetables.”
This little task was easy, so once Amane handed the wet cloth to Itsuki, he returned to the kitchen, washed his hands, and began cutting the two lettuce rolls Mahiru prepared.
They had more than sufficient. They were preparing food for five, three of them being hungry high school boys.
It appeared Mahiru knew that a high school boy’s appetite was not one to be underestimated. The other vegetables were rather bountiful. One reason however was that it really was just like Mahiru to wish that everyone would have more nutrition.
“…It’s amazing how he instinctively acted.”
“I didn’t get to show up, in more ways than one.”
Amane heard such voices behind him as he cut the lettuce and stuffed them into the bowls.
Five people’s worth of dishes were served on the same table.
The salad, and even the roast beef was sufficiently plentiful for three high school boys. The corn potage was sufficient enough for them to ask for seconds.
On a side note, they voted on whether to have bread or rice, and rice won. They too could have seconds. Amane loved rice, and was pleased to help himself.
“Please help yourself.”
Mahiru showed a more angelic smile than usual as she coax them to each, and so the four of them clapped hands, said thanks, and began eating.
Itsuki quickly brought the roast beef to his mouth, commenting so. It appeared Mahiru was relieved as she smiled.
“It’s really good, Shiina-san.”
“Thank you very much. I did not add any flavorings though. It has nothing to do with skill.”
“You’re being humble again.”
Humble huh? Itsuki laughed, and started gobbling down as he was probably hungry. Amane showed a wry smile seeing him like this.
“It’s good~!” Chitose too giggled as she ate lots of meat, gorging as much as Itsuki, and the portions of roast beef quickly vanished.
Kadowaki in turn ate rather calmly. Amane hoped they could learn from Kadowaki.
Amane then started eating the meat a tad later.
Roast beef was unpalatable either when either overcooked or undercooked, but the meat was just right, tender and juicy. It did not feel dry. The freshness of the meat was contained, and he could feel the fragrance brimming with every bite.
Meat is good after all.
Amane was not really a meat lover compared to other boys, but he did find it delicious. The biggest reason was that he liked anything Mahiru cooked, that her cooking was delicious.
Amane sighed blissfully, and showed a smile on his face.
“You really can cook, Shiina-san. I’ve seen your bento, and it’s really great.”
“Thank you for the compliments.”
“I don’t know how to cook. The idea of staying alone during college is driving me angsty.”
“…There are some who can live alone without knowing how to cook, you know?”
“You’re talking about me right?”
Amane had a feeling Mahiru was discreetly telling him off, but she was right, and he had nothing to grumble.
After all, after Mahiru had taken care of him for so long, he should be kneeling down and thanking her. Thus, her words were to be expected.
“Actually, it’s true that I can’t cook at all. I really have to thank you every day.”
“I-I am not blaming you. Erm, I do not dislike cooking for you, Amane-kun.”
“Really? That’s great.”
Amane might never recover if Mahiru said she disliked it, even though he felt she would never say so.
“But well, you really are the type to work hard for others, Shiina-san. You’ll make a good bride.”
Chitose referred to Kadowaki with a cute nickname, and continued,
“I guess Mahirun doesn’t need training on how to be a bride.”
“You should be the one training with Mahiru.”
“That sounds really good, but I’ll be a third wheel.”
“No, nothing~ I’m happy with Mahirun teaching me how to cook. Please continue to take care of me, Mahirun.”
Chitose gave Mahiru a meaning smile, and the latter shoulders’ shriveled. Her cheeks turned red, and she seemed strangely uneasy.