The next morning, I could feel a dull pain lingering in my waist as my sluggish body walked towards the living room.
Thank god, today is a holiday. This weekend, I’ll use it to properly rest.
Rubbing my waist as I approach the living room, I called out a, “Good morning,” to my mother, who’s washing in the kitchen.
“Good morning. Do you want bread or rice?”
“Hmm, rice sounds good. With grilled salmon–”
As usual, there’s only natto and tamagoyaki, and usually it’d be annoying whenever I say grilled salmon, but today, with mom being in a good mood, I felt a sense of discomfort as she replied good-naturedly, “Alright, alright, grilled salmon, right, OK~”
“Mom, you’re in an extremely good mood. Did something happen?”
“Hm? You noticed?”
She turned off the water and wiped her hands, grinning as she turned towards me. Then, ‘Jya~n’ she showed me a small, pale emerald green bottle.
“This is, a hand cream with really good reputation. Because it’s a very luxurious thing. Overseas celebrity royal warrant.*”
“Huh, you bought it?”
“Nah. Ryo-kun gave it to me before he went back yesterday. He said, thanks for the hard work, doing chores until late at night. Really, he’s such a good kid, isn’t he~” (T/N: Gokurosama desu, something people say at the end of the day, like, good work today, or something.)
Really, that’s my son! She praised, slapping my shoulder while she was at it.
So Takatsuki-kun did something like that when I was fast asleep. Keeping both my body and my room clean, opening my notebook, all the points and questions that might come out in the midterms was written and summarized nicely, Takatsuki-kun really is a guy who could do anything, I’m impressed.
While I sat on the sofa and watching TV, and my mom making breakfast, ‘gacha’ the door to the living room opened and Aoi-kun greeted my mom, “Good morning.”
“Aoi-kun too, will rice be alright? With grilled salmon, though.”
“Mmhm, thank you Miyako-san.”
“Ok~. Aoi-kun, go watch the TV while you wait, okay~”
Aoi-kun went towards the sofa, and ‘bacchiri’ our eyes met, I involuntarily turned my eyes away.
Yesterday, I tried my best to suppress my voice, but I had no recollection regarding the last round. Perhaps he might have already heard me.
Aoi-kun approached me, and he kept his gaze on me, not looking. I had cold sweat as I watched the TV.
The sofa dipped, and I could see that Aoi-kun sat down right beside me. There’s another sofa besides this one, sitting over there would’ve been alright. Then, I felt a sharp stare from beside me.
It hurts… his stare hurts…
I couldn’t stand it, and turned to face Aoi-kun.
“As usual, an ugly face, huh.”
Aoi-kun looked at my face and snickered, as usual. Other than the usual, nothing’s changed, so I’m convinced that Aoi-kun didn’t find out about that thing yesterday, and my shoulders slumped in relief.
“Shut up. However my face is, it does not concern you.”
“We’re of the same lineage though I don’t want to think about it.”
“Uu… Th-then it’s enough that you don’t mind me at all!”
“The rice is ready~” At that perfect time, my mom’s voice called out. As if escaping Aoi-kun, I rushed towards the kitchen counter and ate breakfast.
“Fighting again? Please do get along with each other,” my mom admonished, making a ‘Hn’ sound of displeasure, making a show of her angry appeal. (T/N: Like those hmph tsunderes do X3)
I could actually get along well with Aoi-kun, actually. But since Aoi-kun acts like that, then what else can I do?
After that, because I couldn’t face Aoi-kun at home, I went out to walk Tamasaburo a little earlier than usual.
Finding butterflies fluttering above the blooming flowers on the embankment, he joyfully chased them around. Watching Tamasaburo jump and frolic around with the butterflies was somewhat healing, and I also smiled widely.
Turning to look at the person who called out to me unfamiliarly, I saw someone I somewhat recognize, standing before a black, luxurious car.
Ryu-san’s driver, and also Takatsuki-kun’s and Ryu-san’s caretaker, Hazama-san, walked towards me,
“Manaka-sama, long time no see.”
“Ah, yes, long time no see.”
I was surprised as the large and demure Hazama-san, with his eyes drooping, at once became younger.
“Is something the matter today? With Ryu-san or Takatsuki-kun?”
“No, today I have something to tell Manaka-sama, so I directly came.”
“Hazama-san, calling me without the ‘sama’ is alright, you know. I’m not that much of an important person.”
‘Pori pori’ I lightly scratched my forehead.
“No, it is my belief that I must pay my respects to the young master’s precious friend.”
I was surprised, and couldn’t say anything further at Hazama-san’s stubborn attitude.
“So then, what did you want to tell me about?”
“Yes. I have something important to tell you, but this place is a bit… If you would, could we please move to the main house first?”
“Aah, does Takatsuki-kun know that I’ll be going there?”
“Hmm, well then, I’ll try to contact Takatsuki-kun first, just I case, will that be okay?”
Takatsuki-kun had told me before that currently, there is discord at his house. I don’t really doubt Hazama-san, but just in case, I should get in contact first. If by any chance, anything happens, then it’d all be too late, and I don’t want to be a burden to Takatsuki-kun.
Taking out my smartphone from my pocket, I opened the contact list and searched for Takatsuki-kun’s name.
Suddenly, a cloth-like item covered my nose and mouth from behind, making me unable to breathe.
Breathing through the cloth, my vision started to blur. As I lose my strength, the culprit caught me and prevented me from falling, and in my fading vision, I turned towards said culprit. “Wh…y…Haza…ma, sa….n…” I asked as I lose my consciousness.
A/N: Having Manaka-kun ask once sounded good.
T/N: Yes it does. Also, monster chapters… qwq. And ouch, my back hurts. I’m getting old. :v
Also, random notes, natto tastes… plain. But, like wasabi, once you eat it, there’ll be some weird smell that travels up your throat and into your nose. As I remember it. It’s not too bad, but definitely not something I’d be willing to eat any time soon. XP But nothing compares to eating animal testicle uuughh. I accidentally ate one (like I wasn’t even aware it was there) and I knew that I ate one because I read once in a Mangaka note somewhere, describing how it tasted… I think it was Uso Lily but I don’t remember, honestly. On another note, I love love love salmon (and tuna, and clams, and tako…) but sadly, I can’t eat too much of it because I’m allergic to them (when eaten in large quantities… sad.)