Published at 19th of March 2019 08:44:40 AM

Chapter 85

Translator: Cryus

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After hanging up, I’ve started brooding about a lot of things . Since I can’t do anything about them, I’m heading to the kitchen .

I’ve decided to make some pastries for Mizuhara as thanks for today .
I’ve been mulling over what Nonomiya-san said, and I’ve also been worried about Mizuhara, who seems more stressed about going home than I thought .

I’ve decided to go to his place tomorrow morning, but I haven’t decided on what to make .

He hasn’t been eating any world class Valentine pastries or Nonomiya-san’s high quality pastries, so I’m running out of ideas .
As I pile up a bunch of recipe books, I accidentally bump into the pile of culinary books that have evaded my sight .

While I’m picking up the books, one of the titles catches my attention .

「……Bringing Joy to Young Children with Bento Recipes…」

A flash of inspiration . How about a sweets bento?
Even with a bad appetite, it’ll probably look good . On top of that, Mizuhara likes these types of things .

I quickly check my ingredients, scrutinizing the place for snacks that could pass off as side dishes .
I’m writing all the ideas I can think of on my recipe notebook .

I’ve decided in an instant . The main course will be sushi rolls .
On the day of setsubun1, I made a roll cake resembling Mom’s ehomaki2, so I still remember the recipe .

I can use black crepe, roll cake, and fruits in place of seaweed, rice, and fillings respectively, making a roll cake that looks just like a sushi roll .

「Cowhide with white bean paste, and maybe pistachios with dumplings . 」

I think adding some soy sauce and brown sugar will help fry the dumplings .

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After the meat is the salad .

I’m wondering if I can make some salad using white chocolate to coat some dried fruits with specks of whipped chocolate cream .

It resembles salad when I put it in an aluminium cup .
It’s all white, so I scatter some lightly baked matcha cookies to match the color .

Just as I’m getting stuck on what to make next, Mom takes a peek into the kitchen .
I tell her I’m making a sweets bento . She seems excited .

「Oh, there’s the fried candy-coated sweet potatoes you made last time! Make it again!」

I’m asking her for help .
The candy-coated sweet potatoes Mom made tasted sweet and salty even though it was cold . I’m sure Mizuhara will like it .

That’s the sushi rolls as the main course, with three side dishes .
We’re getting really excited while making the sweets . It’s a lot of fun .

It just happens that Mom is on holiday tomorrow, and I’m not taking any classes either . Knowing that, Dad gives us a wry smile, telling us to take it easy .

We’re all done making the food, and now we’re putting it all into a box .
Yup, it really looks like a bento . Satisfied with our work, I stretch out my hand to give my mom a high-five, but she stops .

「Wait a minute . There’s no desserts . 」

We’ve decided to make some deserts even though it’s 3 a . m .

I wonder if it’s because we’ve made it this far, or if we’re too excited .
We made some strawberry mousse and put it in the box . Now it’s finally done .

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I give her a high-five and go to bed feeling excited . I’m suddenly overcome with sleepiness . It’s already past 5 a . m . so it’s only natural .

I forgot to set the alarm, and fell asleep .
I slept in .

I check the clock drowsily, and jump out of bed .

Mizuhara’s flight is at 1 p . m . . My original plan was to give it to him at his house, but I won’t be able to make it .
I have to head straight to Haneda Airport .

I don’t know if I’m able to meet him, but I grab the bento and dash out of the house anyway .
I hurry onto the train and send him a message .

I thought he would be wondering if I’m going to the airport, but his reply is short and simple as always, indicating our meeting spot .

It’s been half an hour after I left the house . Haneda Airport, Terminal 2, Second Floor Departure Gates .
I’m here at our meeting place . I spot Mizuhara reading a book among the crowd .

He doesn’t seem to notice me, so I approach him while waving my hand and calling to him . He hears me and looks up .

「What’s up, coming all the way to Haneda?」

He’s usually calm, but now he’s looking at me with a surprised expression .
I singal for him to wait, then wipe off the sweat on my head and catch my breath .

Haneda is a lot bigger than I thought . I used up my energy walking briskly around the place .

「Sorry to keep you before you leave . Are you going to make it?」

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I don’t really know how to check the flight details at the airport .

「Yeah . I left the house early in case anything happened . I was just about to go to the cafe . 」

I don’t want to keep him from going to the cafe, so I’m going straight to the point .

「I wanted to give you this . It’s a bento . It’s thanks for yesterday, and…… well, also to cheer you up . 」

「A bento?」

He raises his eyebrows .
I know what he wants to say . I stick out my hand to tell him that he doesn’t have to say anything .

From his guarded expression, I can tell he’s wondering if the bento box I brought will explode .

How rude! I’m well aware that I have zero skill in making anything that’s not a pastry . I remain silent and unwrap the box .

「By the way, your eyes look like giant pan…da……」

He stops himself at a weird timing . He’s staring right at the bento box I’m holding .
He seems to have realized that it’s not an ordinary bento .

I know my eyebags are really bad, so I let his comments slide .

「I made this with Mom yesterday . It’s not a real bento, but you can probably tell right away that it’s all snacks . I heard you lost your appetite, so you can probably ea…… Hey!」

He cuts me off and grabs my hands as I’m holding the bento .
He’s probably staring at the bento, but he doesn’t have to drag me into it either .

He scrutinized the contents for a while . I’m glad he seems pleased with it, but he doesn’t seem to like the arrangement . He’s shifting the contents with a thoughtful look .

Since I’m free, I’m scanning the terminal’s listing magazine, which Mizuhara is holding .
I hurried my way here so I didn’t have time to look around, but the sweets at the airport look delicious .

「Mizuhara . This Apple Baumkuchen…」

「The store is nearby . The Baumkuchen is really smooth and tender, and inside it is a fully boiled down apple that tastes slightly sour . It’s only sold in this airport, so there’s no harm in buying one . 」

「It’s crazy how you know so much about it, even though I just mentioned the name . 」

He’s finally satisfied with the arrangement of the bento a few seconds later . We’re going on a walk for sweets in the airport .
The sweets stores at Haneda are targeted towards foreigners, so they have many unique designs .

Since it’s a rare opportunity, we end up buying a few sweets here and enjoying ourselves at a fancy cafe . It’s almost time for takeoff .

Mizuhara is taking baby steps toward the departure fate .

「Hey, why are you walking so slowly? You’re running out of time, hurry up!」

「It’s your fault for leaving so many openings . Just a little push and a bento comes my way . 」

「You idiot! It’s going to be a huge problem if you miss your flight!」

I see him off, urging him to hurry on his way to Hokkaido .



TL Note: Setsubun, literally seasonal division, marks the last day of winter . Traditionally, the Japanese celebrate by scattering beans around the house to ward off demons and beckon good fortune .   TL Note: Ehomaki is a special type of sushi roll eaten during setsubun .