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The day after seeing off Enjou and who I thought was Yuiko-san, Enjou himself came and thanked me again.
“Yukino was overjoyed. He even started talking about how he was going to write you a reply. I’ll bring it to you tomorrow.”
“My! I would be overjoyed too if I managed to help his mood even a little! I apologise for not being able to write anything meaningful.”
“Don’t say that. He had a lot of fun reading about your recent endeavours with dessert making.”
“I truly wrote nothing but trifling nonsense…”
“Speaking of the dessert making, could it be that you’re preparing for Valentine’s?”
It was kind of embarrassing to be asked that…
It made you seem like you were really excited about it…
“I see. Have you already got a list of who you’ll be giving them to?”
Why was he asking me this?
“Mmmn, well, I think that brat Yukino is hoping for some from you.”
“He won’t out and say it though, but yeah~ Ever since reading your letter he’s been asking us what we think you’re making. Normally if you hear that a girl is making desserts you’d think of Valentine’s, right?”
“I do believe that there are people who make desserts even beyond Valentine’s Day. I have thought about giving Yukino-kun some chocolate before, so I am glad to hear that he wants some. The issue is that my handmade desserts are not good enough to share beyond my family. I would rather buy some cute white chocolate that suits his name better.”
“Thanks. I guess his hopes aren’t unfounded now. It’s pretty rough being a guy, you know? You wait, and you wait, and the more sure you are about getting chocolates, the bigger the shock is when you don’t.”
“Huhuhu. Considering the stacks of chocolates that you receive each year, I am sure that such a feeling is foreign to you two.”
“Well, who knows.”
Look at the smug smile of a popular guy on his mug.
But still, he had a point.
Whenever Valentine’s day came around I was particularly glad I wasn’t born a guy.
Considering my current record with love I probably wouldn’t get a single chocolate…
My, my, I need to expand the Forever Alone village.
Reviving this village is going to be a tough job.
A few days later Yukino-kun’s reply letter came, along with desserts from their okaasama as thanks.
I had to quickly write a reply!
The closer to Valentine’s it got, the more Wakaba-chan was harrassed by Kaburagi and Fellow Stalking Horse’s fans.
She was their biggest rival after all.
I was worried about her so I gathered my courage and called her.
She told me that she had put a lock on her locker, and she had been keeping her shoebox locked since the last incident.
She never left anything at her desk before going home either.
Since she wasn’t getting anything vandalised anymore, she assured me that there wasn’t any real harm.
“Still,” she added, “when I dropped my rubber and went to pick it up, I was really surprised to find an ofuda stuck underneath my chair.”
Ehhhh!? Was that a curse or something!? Scary!
Wakaba-chan needed to go get exorcised!
“What did you do?”
“Huh? I peeled it off and threw it in the garbage of course.”
You’re too strong, Wakaba-chan…
It was pandemonium at Suiran on Valentine’s day.
Queues of girls had lined up outside of Kaburagi, Enjou, and Fellow Stalking Horse’s classes.
Hordes of chocolate-holding girls from the middle school section had come too.
Since it had nothing to do with me, though, I was actually having a lot of fun watching them.
At the moment I was wondering how much chocolate it would be by the end of the day.
The particularly bold girls were handing them to Enjou and Kaburagi directly.
Serika-chan and the others had obviously given chocolates to them.
It was nice that they seemed to be enjoying themselves.
What I brought to school was mostly chocolates to exchange with girls, and the chocolates for Yukino-kun.
I was heading to the Petit Salon after school.
Or so I had planned, but after the classes ended, Enjou stopped me.
“Sorry, Kisshouin-san. Yukino went to hospital today, so he left earlier.”
What the heck!?
I should have given them earlier then!
“Then, what should I do with these…?”
I held out the chocolates for Yukino-kun.
“You could give them tomorrow, or I could hand them over for you today…”
“It would be better for him to receive these today, I think. In that case, could I trouble you to deliver these?”
“Yeah. Sure. Sorry about making you do this.”
“Not at all.”
Just as I handed these to him, I had a suddenly realisation.
Didn’t this look like I was handing chocolates to Enjou on Valentine’s day!?
“Enjou-sama! You must absolutely deliver these chocolate to your esteemed brother! These chocolates are for your esteemed brother!” I said loudly, putting stress on who they were for.
Enjou seemed to understand my worries because he was smiling in enjoyment.
I turned around to hurry home only to spot Kaburagi loitering like he was looking for someone.
Just like Wakaba-chan and Kanta-kun had taught me, I followed the recipe to the letter.
When I tried one of the resulting fondant au chocolats, it tasted exactly the same as the one at Wakaba-chan’s!
So, so delicious!
So I was wrong about home made food being unique experiences after all!
I hurried to Otousama to hand him his.
Taste it, Otousama! Taste the fruits of my labour!
“Thank you, Reika. I’m really happy,” he said.
For whatever reason he was being really slow about it.
Then he broke off a dainty piece with his fork.
Huh? Are you a girl? Go for a big chunk.
When he finally put it into his mouth, Otousama’s eyes shot wide open.
“What happened, Reika!? These are delicious!”
…Your mouth slipped, Tanuki.
“Otousama, what is that supposed to mean?”
“Ahh… I mean, you’ve gotten really skilled at making desserts. Did you learn this from the Narutomi family’s Akimi-san as well?”
In a completely different picture to before, Otousama was happily gobbling it down.
“…No. I learnt this from another friend.”
“Oh? A friend from Suiran?”
“Was it one of the girls that came to our house a few times?” asked Okaasama as she sat down beside him. “The ones from primary. I think their names were Serika-san and…”
Okaasama didn’t eat sweet things often in consideration for her looks, so she never touched any of the chocolates I made.
In any case, I was a little surprised that Okaasama still remembered the names of my friends.
They had only come over a few times in total…
“It was not them, Okaasama. This is somebody I interacted with during club activities.”
I decided it would be better not to mention her.
Plus, I never said it was somebody in my club.
As a club, we definitely interacted with the Student Council.
“I see. A girl from a nice family, then? Don’t hang out with anybody strange.”
“After all, in the high school section it’s a mixed bag. Be careful in who you associate with, Reika-san.”
“It is not a problem. By the way, Otousama, would you like one more? There are still many left.”
“Really? Since you made them for me, maybe I’ll have one more.”
“Dear. Eating before bed like this will make your cholesterol rise again.”
Oh gosh, Otousama.
You have high cholesterol?
I’d better get that healthy food program started right away.
I decided to learn from Akimi-san as soon as the exams were over.
I gave Oniisama’s portion a proper cling wrap before putting them in the fridge.
Apparently microwaving them would make the insides nice and soft again, so he could have some when he came back from work!
In the end I never gave any proper chocolates to a boy I liked.
I did pop into the library after school, but Naru-kun wasn’t there.
Even if I didn’t have the guts to give them over properly, I thought it would be nice to sneak some into his bag while he wasn’t looking.
Thinking about it later, though, it would have been scary to find food you didn’t know about in there…
Thank goodness I didn’t do it…
I got sleepy while waiting for Oniisama in my room, so in decided to take a nap in my bed and ended up sleeping soundly until morning.
Geez, Oniisama. What time did you come home anyway?
Since I didn’t know when I’d see Imari-sama next, I had somebody send over the fondant au chocolat, as well as some coffee from a chocolate shop.
After all, there was no way the Chief of the Casanova village wouldn’t have plans on Valentine’s day, right?
I was sure he had a lot of chocolates already, but I hoped he’d try mine.
Well, it was Imari-sama though, so I was sure he’d have a bite at least.
It would be days later when Imari-sama sent me a sachet and herb tea set from the oldest pharmacy in the world in Florence.
Imari-sama, don’t tell me that you send something to everyone that gives you a chocolate!?
As expected of Imari-sama…
The day after Valentine’s, Kaburagi was looking lifeless…
Was this the phenomenon that Enjou was talking about?