Tonari no Kuuderera o Amayakashitara, Uchi no Aikagi o Watasu Koto ni Natta - v1 Chapter 6
- Tonari no Kuuderera o Amayakashitara, Uchi no Aikagi o Watasu Koto ni Natta
- v1 Chapter 6 - Trust, determination, and support.
Trust, determination, and support.
The next day at dinner.
The intercom rang and I opened the front door to find Yui visiting my room as promised.
“Pardon the intrusi…ah, I’ll Intrude? No, I’ll allow you to Intrude? What?” [ TLN: This part in here is basically yui trying to do a greeting when entering someone’s home but unable to do so. The second sentence is still yui trying to ask for permission but she unable to turn it into te-form so instead of asking for permission it became giving permission]
Just come in.
Muttering Yui’s unique way of greeting me, I invited Yui, who was tilting her head at the door, into the room.
She was dressed in a light sweater and skirt, which I found quite refreshing since I normally only saw her in her school uniform.
As I had thought when we went out to buy a cell phone, Yui has a cool, beautiful face, so neat, girlish clothes suit her well.
“I’m sorry, I came a little late because I had to run the washing machine.”
“That’s fine. If you want, you can always send me a message on my cell phone.”
“No, I was looking forward to Natsuomi-san’s pork with ginger.”
I nodded my head, squeezing her small hand tightly.
When I stopped by the supermarket on my way home from school, I typed a message to Yui.
“About dinner, pork is cheap, can I have pork with ginger?”
After that, I waited for a little while just to make sure, but since it was only a short exchange, I wasn’t sure of his reaction, but I was relieved to hear that she was rather looking forward to it.
Since it was the first day that we had promised to have dinner together, I thought about making something fancy, but that would have been costly and time-consuming, so after some hesitation, I decided to make what I usually made.
Yui stood a little next to me and looked into Natsuomi’s hand.
“Is there anything I can do to help?”
“Could you shred the cabbage for me?”
“Using a knife…? It suddenly became a big adventure…”
When I saw Yui gasp nervously, I realized that that was a bad idea and stopped her.
“I’ll have you help me with the dishes later, so just relax for now.”
“I’m sorry that I’m so useless. …I’ll do my best to clean up.”
“You’ll learn eventually.”
I said to Yui, who was rolling and squeezing her shoulders apologetically.
It’s very funny that this princess, who is called Kuuderera, shows such an honest reaction in front of me.
I think that Yui is actually very sensitive and expresses her emotions honestly, even though she appears to be a cool person when she is out in public due to the fact that her emotions do not fluctuate and she never reacts to anything.
Perhaps it’s the fact that Yui has grown close enough to call me a friend that she’s showing me this side of her, but I’m honestly glad that she’s feeling special.
“It’s almost ready. The rice will be cooked soon, so shall I start making pork shogayaki?”
TLN: For more information about pork shogayaki here’s wikipedia link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pork_shogayaki
The timer on the rice cooker had just finished when I pulled my apron over my neck and tied it behind my back.
Yui was staring at me with interest.
“…Uh, what’s up? Can’t wait?”
“Oh, I’m sorry… no, that’s not what I meant…”
When Yui came back to herself, she waved her small hands in front of her face.
Then she blushed a little shyly and fumbled with her fingertips on either side.
“Well, I thought the apron looked good on you…”
When she said that, I looked down at my apron.
The apron, worn out from a year of use, was covered with stains and dirt that I couldn’t get out from the days of struggling with the unfamiliarity of cooking, and no matter how I looked at it, I could only see myself looking shabby.
“Does it look that good on me?”
“I personally think it looks great on you…”
“Oh… Well, thank you… I guess.”
I tilted her head, feeling somewhat embarrassed as Yui looked strangely bashful.
Everyone has their own criteria for what they think is good, and if just giving praise, then this amount should be fine, I thought, and decided to ignore her reaction without thinking about it too much.
“Can… I watch you cook, Natsuomi-san?”
“That’s fine, but it’s not very interesting though.”
“That’s not true, I’m learning for my own sake.”
I thought it was a bit of an exaggeration to call it “learning”, but when I put the round chair in the kitchen, Yui sat down and started to give me a serious look.
Feeling a little uncomfortable being stared at, I took the pork, shoyu, mirin, sugar, fresh ginger and garlic from the refrigerator. I took out the flour and cooking oil and laid them out.
“I didn’t realize how much seasoning is needed to make pork shogayaki.”
“If you don’t know how it’s normally made, you might think so. It’s not so bad once you get used to it though. Once you buy all the seasonings, you can use them for a long time afterwards, and above all, it tastes better if you take the time to make it.”
“I see, I’m learning so much.”
Yui nodded her head slightly in agreement.
Of course, there are times when instant seasonings are cheaper and easier to use, and there are times when I buy something and am unable to use it properly, or never use it at all, but that’s part of familiarity and experience.
Since I’m used to making pork shogayaki, I mixed the seasonings by eye and completed the sauce. Grating fresh garlic and fresh ginger makes a big difference in the flavor and taste, which is what I am so particular about.
Peel and thinly slice the onion, cut the pork into strands, lightly sprinkle with flour, and you are ready to go. Then put some oil in a frying pan, turn on the stove, and quickly shred the cabbage and drain it.
“I’m really impressed with Natsuomi’s cooking skills. It already looks delicious.”
“You can’t even smell anything yet.”
“No, my eyes can already tell it’s good just by looking at it.”
“If you get full just looking at it, I’m in trouble.”
“Don’t worry, my real stomach will only get stronger.”
When I jokingly replied to her, Yui surprisingly joined in with a small laugh, and I was happy to see that our light exchange of words seemed to have shortened the distance between us.
I changed the position of my arms to make it easier for Yui to see the cooking process, and it was adorable to see how happy she was seeing me cooking.
“All right, I’m done. It’ll be ready as soon as we start frying.”
“Ok! I’m very, very excited.”
With a smile in her eyes and a slight bounce in her voice, Yui’s mouth relaxes.
With a sideways glance at Yui, who looked like an adorable little animal, I put the pork into the hot pan and started to finish it off with a sizzling sound that was music to the ears.
“Here you go.”
I placed a platter of freshly made pork in the middle of the table.
Surrounding it was miso soup with extra vegetables and freshly cooked white rice. I also poured a cup of barley tea that had been chilled in the refrigerator into each cup.
“Okay, wait for me. Then let’s eat…”
Yui put her hand on her chin and stared at me with a serious face.
I furrowed my brow at the seriousness in the air.
“No, I was thinking if this is what it feels like to have a devoted wife”
I let out a smile when she’s doing meaningless thinking about something serious.
“You’re getting a husband.”
“That’s true. Then to have a devoted husband.”
“Just eat it before it gets cold.”
“Yes, Thank you for the food.”
Imitating me like before, Yui also bowed while clasping her hands together.
Then, after a few seconds of looking around the table, she reached for the pork shogayaki and elegantly brought it to her small mouth.
She moved her mouth a few times, squirming, and her pale blue eyes rolled back.
“…It’s really, really good.”
She rolled her eyes again, moved her small mouth as hard as she could, reached for another piece of the pork shogayaki and took a second bite, this time lowering her eyebrows and nodding her head with happy eyes.
The slightly charred sauce was fragrant, and the carefully sliced pork was tender and juicy, making it a perfect match for the cabbage and rice. Even me, who had made it many times, was satisfied with the results.
“The miso soup and the rice were cooked very well… Haha, it’s delicious…”
With the elegant movement of her chopsticks, she brought side dishes and rice one after the other to her mouth, and smiled at me with a satisfied “mmm” in her voice.
I was relieved to see her eating more happily than before, perhaps because we were now friends.
Yui was trying her best to move her mouth like a small animal and let out a happy sigh, her cheeks then turned red when she noticed my gaze.
“…Sorry, it was so good that I got carried away.”
“I told you I’m glad you’re so happy with the food. Don’t apologize.”
“Natsuomi-san’s food is tasty, so it just became that way on its own”
She looked down in embarrassment, but her face broke out in happiness again as she took a mouthful of cabbage with ginger sauce.
Seeing her happy smile makes me want to make her smile even more often. I honestly feel that if Yui wants to change, I should be able to help her do so.
“Well, don’t be in a hurry, just take it little by little.”
I smiled naturally as I said this, and Yui tilted her head as she sipped.
“I’m going to make your stomach full of more delicious food.”
“Even more tasty food, that will make me full…?”
Yui pondered for a bit, then looked at me seriously as if she had noticed something.
“Are you saying you want to make me fat?”
“It’s hard to tell when Yui’s joking.”
“I didn’t mean it as a joke…”
Yui looked disappointed as she mumbled to herself.
The gap in her expressions was also adorable and made me smile.
“Just eat it. Eat it while it’s warm.”
“Yes, of course. I’ll have some more.”
At my urging, she extended her chopsticks and took another mouthful of pork shogayaki and narrowed her eyes in bliss.
(I guess I’ll keep trying to get her to smile like this more often.)
Yui and I ate up the rest of the food, which tasted even better than usual.
“Thank you for the meal. It was very good.”
“Thank you very much, too.”
We finished cleaning up after the meal and sipped hot green tea together at the table.
With two people, the cleanup was more efficient than expected, and it took less than half the time it would have taken alone.
I tilted his tea in satisfaction at the greater-than-expected help.
“Then, let’s summarize the rules we talked about while cleaning up.”
I started up my cell phone’s notepad and placed it on the table, and Yui leaned forward to look at the screen.
We eat breakfast and lunch separately, but basically eat together every night, even on holidays. We split the cost of food, we help with preparation and cleanup as needed,and we talk about leftovers,and unexpected things as they happen.
Yui wanted to have some clear rules between us, so we created some, but since we didn’t know what would happen in the future, we left the details as loose as possible so that we could discuss them when we needed to.
I’ll put that on the message app and forward it to Yui’s phone as well.
“If there’s anything else I can do for you, please don’t hesitate to let me know. I can’t do much at the moment, but I’ll do my best.”
“Then you can sit next to me while I’m cooking and cheer me on in a cute way.”
“I’ll think about it, if you’re serious.”
A chilling voice and a cold stare pierced Natsuomi.
“I’m really sorry. I’m just kidding, don’t look at me like that, really.”
“It’s okay. I know exactly what I’m doing, so don’t worry.”
Yui gave a small laugh, and Natsuomi was surprised when he realized that she was joking with him.
“I think I know that someone doesn’t look at me as a woman.”
“That guy must be pretty trustworthy then.”
“I wouldn’t want you to be my friend if you weren’t.”
She smiled at me in a cute, joking way while giggling.
When Yui smiled at me, I felt embarrassed and scratched the top of my nose to cover my loose lips.
“I can be very comfortable in front of you, Natsuomi-san. I think it’s because you’ve already seen me in a lot of uncool situations.”
“I’m glad you’re taking it easy. We’ll be seeing each other every day from now on.”
“Duh. That’s right, I’ll be seeing you every day from now on.”
Tomorrow, the next day, the day after that, and the day after that day. From now on, I’m going to have dinner with Yui every night.
”I know I’ve even surprised myself, but if I can spend this kind of time with you, it’s not so bad, and I’m really looking forward to it.”
When I looked up at the voice that called me, I saw Yui blushing and looking up at me with her hands clasped in front of her chest.
Natsuomi straightened her posture and faced Yui, who seemed to be in a mood to say something.
“No, it’s right? I understand it’s a joke, but…”
She nodded her head and looked at me, her lips tightly pressed together as if she had made up her mind.
“If you really want me to, I’ll support you at least a little… However, I don’t know if I can be cute or not…”
Yui said this to me with a serious look in her eyes as both of her ears could be seen dyed red from the gap in her long hair.
For a moment, I couldn’t understand what she was saying, and my eyebrows furrowed. I froze for a few seconds.
Yui straightened her back and stared at me with a serious gaze, as if to hold back her heart that was about to break in embarrassment, while her blue eyes shook without turning her bright red face away.
In the silence of the room, I blinked my eyes and tilted my head, finally realizing that it was a response to my earlier joke.
“What are you talking about?”
“So, I’m talking about that…! I’m talking about my determination and my feelings…! I wanted to tell you that I trust you at least that much…!”
Yui fumbled with her words and desperately appealed in a voice that sounded as if it was being squeezed out.
Her determination was so misguided that I, who had been momentarily taken aback, couldn’t hold back my laughter.
“I wasn’t joking when I said that…”
“I’m sorry. I know. I’m sorry but it’s fine.”
I let out a still muffled laugh and repeated her words of thanks to soothe the desperate Yui. She then lowered her eyebrows and let out a big, loud sigh.
“Huh… I shouldn’t have said… that… at all.”
With her cheeks still red, Yui pouted in a teasing manner.
Both the Yui, who says such things seriously, and the Yui, who is pouting, are adorable, and I made a “hmm” sound in my throat to control myself from laughing yet again.
“I wouldn’t ask you to be so rude, but I appreciate the sentiment. Thank you, Yui.”
“Yes, it’s okay as long as the message was conveyed properly.”
When I told her how grateful I was, the princess smiled and nodded, her cheeks still a little red.
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