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Not long after I met Yukino-kun, the word was spreading that Enjou’s younger brother had entered the Zui’ran primary school section.
According to the rumours the boy was as good-looking as his older brother. Hordes of girls went to the primary school section to see him, and when they came back they said he was adorable, which just fed back into the problem.
But Enjou responded to it. With an unusually stern expression, he said,
“My brother has a weak body, so could you please not cause such a fuss?”
Thanks to that, the building rampage dissipated into nothing.
Yukino-kun even came up as a topic in the salon, but I guess even Enjou couldn’t treat the Pivoine members that way.
“We had no idea that you had a younger brother, Enjou-sama. You should bring him here to visit,” said the President.
“Sure. Should we get the chance.”
“Apparently many girls have already gone their way into the primary school section to see him. They say he looks just like his older brother and is terribly cute.”
“He is cute, but my little brother has always been ill with asthma, so I’m worried that he’ll have an attack if people cause too much of an uproar. I want him to have a nice, peaceful time here.”
“Goodness! Why that is terrible. Then we will ask the Petite Pivoine to cooperate in helping Yukino-kun enjoy a peaceful school life. It wouldn’t do to have fools loitering around him.”
Enjou smiled, causing the girls gathered around Kaburagi and him to turn red.
And so, with the President of the Pivoine as an ally, Enjou solidified his protection.
So Yukino-kun had a weak constitution… I suppose he was a bit pale.
But huh. That schemer cared so much about his younger brother. Didn’t expect this side to him.
I was drinking milk tea when I met eyes with the devil in question. Urgh.
“Kisshouin-san, I heard you met my brother?”
I could feel a cold sweat forming. Could it be that the one who started all this was me?! Oh dear…
“Ah, yes, I happened to meet him when I visited the Petite Pivoine. I was there to hand something to a girl there. The one who opened the door happened to be your younger brother. Truly, what a coincidence,” I said, making doubly sure to emphasise that it was a coincidence.
Stop it! I’m not your enemy!
“Mm, my brother told me. Thank you for keeping him company.”
Was he really thanking me? Unlike Yukino-kun, there was no trusting this guy.
“Kisshouin, you met Yukino?” interrupted Kaburagi.
So he knew him too. Well, it made sense considering he was best friends with Enjou.
“…Um, he is a very sweet and kind boy, is he not.”
For some reason Kaburagi frowned.
Enjou was still wearing that unreadable smile as he thanked me.
I was getting a bad feeling so I hastily retreated from the salon.
Right now I had a bigger problem than the incident with Yukino-kun. The 1st years were deciding which clubs to join. Honestly speaking, the Handicrafts Club was kind of a plain one. All the members were the quiet types, and there weren’t many of them either. That’s why I had to pull my weight to get new members!
Ever since becoming an official member, I had pretty much come every day they were open. It made sense. I was an official member, after all.
Today was no exception, as I hurried to the clubroom. My bag was filled with snacks that I had just stolen from the Pivoine salon, which I was going to use to entertain prospective members. How’s that for being a hostess!
Generally it was forbidden to bring snacks to Zui’ran so this would probably give us quite the advantage. Hu hu hu…
While I was making the club great again, some new students came to look. I shot up. Fresh meat!
For a split second they seemed startled.
Oh? How come? Were they nervous? Ohh! I know! That’s what the snacks were for!
With a smile, I beckoned the younglings over to a seat.
“Come in, sit down. We have sweets, you know?”
“How about some tea? We have some good blends.”
Blends that I also stole from the salon.
Despite the tea and sweets in front of them, the newcomers seemed to shrink in on themselves. What was stopping them from just relaxing and having a chat about club activities? Being the gentle senpai that I was, I gave them a heartfelt smile to help them relax. Smile smile. Hmm? Why did they keep shooting glances at the door? They had only just come.
“Feel free to take your time. Now come, eat up.”
“Umm… But, eating outside the dining hall is… And bringing sweets is against the rules as well…”
“My! There is no problem, I guarantee. After all, these were taken from the Pivoine salon.”
The colour drained from their faces. Was that one girl over there trembling?
Before I could say another word, the newcomers shot up and made a break for the door as they repeated apology after apology.
…Could it be that …I was the reason? But how come? I was so friendly and everything. Far from eating the snacks I prepared, they didn’t even take them with them…
Some more girls appeared after that, but they all had the same reaction. Even though they were supposed to be having a look, they all left the moment they arrived. And not only did they not eat the snacks, they didn’t even touch the tea. The worst one was when the girl shut the door the moment she opened it and ran. What the heck!
I got a little annoyed after a while and wouldn’t let the next one leave without eating the snacks, but the girl turned blue and muttered,
“If I eat this I’ll…”
You’ll what? This isn’t food from Hades, you know. Now come. Eat. Eaaaat.
With teary eyes, the girl nibbled on a madeleine.
…She just swallowed, didn’t she? She would never escape now.
One new member, confirmed. It was time to take her signature.
After a while, the Club President moved me as far as possible into the clubroom.
Ehh~? But I want to contribute as an official member of the club. I’ll serve tea or whatever you need.
Then, the Club President ordered a line of club members to sit in front of me like a wall, blocking me from view.
But would we even get members now? I was worried. Maybe I really should… Ah, I can’t see. C-, Could you move?
Today I was going to eat with Ichinokura-san.
He asked me how I felt about Japanese food, so I OK’d it. Where was he going to take me though? One of those fancy, traditional kaiseki places? Instead he took me to a kamameshi place.
When you came down to it, kamameshi wasn’t something you would associate with the image of haute cuisine, so I was genuinely surprised. I loved eating this in my last life though. Actually I just love rice in general. Viva el arroz!
“Maybe this is a little plain for you. If you’re not okay with this place, I was going to take you to a great Italian restaurant instead.”
“No, this place is perfect.”
Kamameshi~ Kamameshi~ Apparently by choosing this kamameshi place instead of some fancy French restaurant Ichinokura-san’s opinion of me shot up.
Actually, this place was at least fancy enough to have private rooms, so it wasn’t like we were slumming it up.
“This place does amazing kamameshi. I really wanted you to try it, Reika-san. My sister told me that you seemed to enjoy her paella, so I thought you might like this too.”
There were so many different kamameshi dishes on the menu that I just couldn’t choose.
The red salmon and ikura one look sooo good~
And the chicken one was such a close competitor.
The prawns were tempting too.
But you couldn’t go wrong with the classics like five-item gomoku…
“I think I’ll be ordering the red salmon and ikura set. What about you, Reika-san?”
“Then I shall go with the gomoku set.”
It was a difficult decision. I didn’t regret it though. I loved quail eggs. But still, that red salmon…
When they brought us our food, besides the kamameshi, the set meal came with chawanmushi, deep-fried tofu, pickles, and a clear soup broth too. I loved chawanmushi! And it had gingko inside!
And the broth in the kamameshi was amazing! Choosing this place was the right choice! Hm, I think I’d leave the quail egg for last.
“Reika-san. If you’d like, shall we come here again?”
Holy hell! What a wonderful idea, Ichinokura-san!
I carefully moved my quail egg to my chawanmushi, and then exchanged kamameshi. Red salmon was great!
When I realised it, I had been speaking passionately with Ichinokura-san about the kamameshi and chawanmushi, and he was telling me about his favourite foods too. Apparently he preferred taste over form. I totally get you, Ichinokura-san. I could really get onboard with his preferences.
We spent our time chatting happily about food, and began ordering one thing after another on the menu. The two of us finished it all. The matcha green tea ice cream for dessert was delicious too. Apparently they made it in this restaurant. How splendid.
When it was time to go, we made a firm promise to do this again sometime.
It seems like I had met someone I could show all of the real me to.