A Neat and Pretty Girl at My New School Was a Childhood Friend Whom I Used to Think That She Was a Boy and Played With Her (WN) - Chapter 49
- Ah, By the Way
The night is still young, a twilight before the sunset.
At the dining table in the household of Kirishima, the two girls were complaining.
“Well, this is kinda… Uhm…”
“I know… I’m not so sure myself.”
Spread out on the dining room table were the edamame (green soybeans), sprinkled with salt, sliced chilled tomatoes, a cut of cucumbers with spicy miso sauce, and a ponzu chicken skin with onions and scallions for the main course. If you serve them with some chilled tofu instead of white rice, and you have a drinking menu that would be perfect with beer.
“I remember that I can only make snacks that are good for drinking.”
“Ahahaha! Hayato too, uhm… Ahahahahaha”
“W-Well, it might look like that, but I think it’s diet-friendly… right?”
That’s what happened earlier.
By the looks of it, both Haruki and Himeko had finished their meals, despite what they said about how it looked or what it was.
In the meantime, Hayato had been researching what seemed to be a good diet.
The result of choosing a menu from the repertoire that followed the basics of protein, calories and carbohydrates, and plenty of fiber, was the dinner menu that can be described as a terrible picture.
“Hmm, it’s a diet menu…”
Hayato thinks as he lounges on his bed.
After all, as long as he’s the one making the food, he’s more than happy to have people eat it with pleasure.
However, he has been thinking about it, but can’t seem to come up with a good idea.
(Maybe I should consult her…)
Thinking this, Hayato calls up Mitake’s phone number and sends a message with a picture he took at dinner attached, saying, “It was not well received”.
After a little more than 10 minutes of waiting, Hayato received a reply with a smiling emoticon pasted on it. He could sense her confusion.
『Sorry, I sent you something that is hard to describe. I was under the impression that diets were supposed to be mainly vegetables, so I was wondering if there was anything else needed. I don’t want my sister to complain.』
『Hmmm, well, I think… summer vegetables from the flower beds would be delicious boiled and served.』
『Is that once fried in oil and then marinated in broth? Ummm…』
『A bit on the calorie side, I guess. I’m sorry if I couldn’t help you.』
『No, this looks great. I’d like to know the recipe if you don’t mind.』
『Yes! I’ll send it to you next time.』
『Thank you very much.』
After such an exchange, Hayato stretched his body and scratched his head.
He looked at the other contacts and found only a few names of boys in the class besides Mori. Not very promising, but he doesn’t think they would have any input on the diet menu.
(I don’t know any girls to begin with….. Oh, that reminds me…)
Suddenly, he thought of going into Himeko’s room. It was just right across the hall.
“Himeko, may I have a minute?”
“What is it suddenly? And don’t you just open the door casually!”
Without waiting for a reply, Hayato opened the door and was barked at by Himeko, who was sitting there on her haunches, her hands clasped together and straining. A magazine was spread out in front of her, and she appeared to be in the middle of some kind of stretching exercise.
She seemed to not want to be seen, so she growled at him and threatened to tell him what he wanted quickly.
“I was wondering if you could tell me Murao-san’s ID.”
Himeko looked doubtful, as if Hayato’s words had come as a surprise. She then looked around for a moment, furrowing her brow in an attempt to find out her brother’s true intentions, and let out one big sigh.
“Onii, I don’t think it’s right for you to try to touch your sister’s friend just because you’re not popular.”
“Wha- No! I didn’t mean it! I’m just trying to get in touch with someone, you know…!”
“I don’t know. Besides, she was really concerned about you, but she wasn’t good at dealing with you when you’re in front of her.”
“Uh, that’s right…”
Hayato and Saki Murao, Himeko’s best friend, had a strained relationship. She often hid behind Himeko’s back when they saw each other, and when they encountered each other alone at school or on the street, they would often slink away. More than once, Hayato asked Himeko if he had played a prank on her or if he did something wrong.
Remembering this, Himeko looked at Hayato, who sagged dejectedly, and let out another loud sigh.
“Okay, I’ll give you her address… but It’s up to you whether or not you’ll get a reply, and also it’s up to Saki if she’ll respond or not.”
Then he leaves the room as if Himeko is shoo-ing him away with her hand.
Feeling that he had failed to contact Saki Murao, Hayato left his phone in his room, impatiently did the dishes and other household chores, and went straight to the bath. Quite some time had passed.
When Hayato returned to his room, his phone was carrying a notification, and when he looked at the sender, it was from an address that he did not know.
However, the subject line reads, “This is Saki Murao,” and when Hayato opened the message, it said, “What can I do for you?” The message was written without any explanation.
If you check the time the message arrived, it was about an hour ago, just after I left Himeko’s room, and it seems that she contacted me immediately after hearing my story.
He typed his reply, thinking he had kept her waiting too long.
『It’s been a while, Murao-san. May I ask something? Himeko has been on a diet lately, and I was wondering if you knew of any good meals for her.』
He was so impressed by her quick reply that I was surprised that she was so accustomed to flick typing.
『I’ve never been on a diet before, so I don’t know.』
『Can’t you find anything by searching for ‘diet,’ ‘food,’ and ‘recommendation?’』
None of the replies were very modest. But Hayato chuckled to himself that it was a proposition from his best friend, so he guessed that she was responding to his righteousness.
『I see. Thank you』
『Is that all?』
『If there’s anything I’d like to add to their diet menu, I’ll ask you again.』
That’s how the conversation ended.
Hayato felt the same as ever, but he thought it was a good thing that he wasn’t ignored, so he stretched his body out of stiffness.
“Well, since I’m here, maybe I’ll check it out before I go to bed.”
Hayato followed Murao’s advice and did some research, but all he found were recommendations at convenience stores and nutritional explanations about calories and ingredients at chain restaurants.
In the end, a night of eye-rolling went by, and before he knew it, he had let go of his consciousness.
“…Hmm, did I fall asleep?”
He noticed that the morning sun was already shining in the room and the clock showed that it was the usual time.
Unlike a PC, a smartphone, which can be viewed while lying down, apparently caused him to fall asleep before he knew it.
“Ouch! My neck is… hmm?”
Then he noticed that he had received some messages.
“A pasta made from *shirataki, some arranged chicken meat, and an omelette rice with lots of mushrooms…. This is amazing, but this…”
[ED/N: Shirataki are translucent, gelatinous traditional Japanese noodles made from the konjac yam (Devil’s tongue yam or Elephant yam. It’s quite healthy.)
It was all from Murao. The recipes were written in a righteous, polite, and easy-to-understand manner, and this would be pleasing to Haruki and Himeko in terms of their appearance.
But all of them were sent late, after the call had passed.
(I said it was for Himeko, so I wonder if she did her best to find out… Hmm, is this…?)
Among the images that were sent to him, one was mixed in with something different from the food.
『Here are the costumes for this year’s festival. What do you think?』
Attached with such a message was Murao Saki’s special miko costume, which she only wears during festivals.
It consisted of a white robe and scarlet hakama, which he sometimes sees at shrines, and a cool gold-embroidered chihaya, with hair ornaments and makeup.
Even with her pale pigmentation and ethereal beauty, these unusual costumes made her look even more fantastic.
Moreover, the expression on her face is a natural smile that Hayato has never seen before, and it is so attractive that he gulped, even though he knew that she was his sister’s friend.
(This is… no, wait, yep.)
Hayato didn’t know why she sent him this image.
But Hayato immediately remembered that his sister Himeko often asked for his opinion on new clothes and such.
In other words, that’s what this was all about. He mustn’t misunderstand her.
After clearing his throat, Hayato typed out a message, saying that he had to send a reply to thank her for now.
『Thank you. I’m sure Himeko will be pleased. And you look good in that Miko outfit. It’s cute.』
And unlike last night, the reply comes with a delay of a few minutes.
The content of the message was as plain as ever.
Perhaps he had woken her up by sending a reply early in the morning.
(Maybe I shouldn’t think about contacting her randomly or something so as not to bother Murao-san.)
Hayato let out a wry smile.
Editor’s Afterword: Oh nyo… a new contender is approaching!
Proofreader’s Afterword: I swear, she isn’t a new character…