Chapter 31: Pseudo-family.

Common Honorifics:
-san: A polite suffix, but not excessively formal.
-kun: A common suffix among friends and younger people.
Can also mean Mr.
-chan: A common suffix among people you’re close with, mostly used for feminine nicknames and girls, since it’s cutesy and childlike.
-senpai: A common suffix and noun used to address or refer to one’s older or more senior colleagues in a school, workplace, dojo, or sports club.

“Hmm, that was interesting!” I said after finishing a volume.

“You think so? The way I see it this volume was a lull in the story.
I mean, volumes 15 and 16 were just so full of action I can’t see this one as anything other than a letdown.”

Ay, what’s up with this girl? Don’t come and ruin my impression of something three full seconds after I finish it! Well, I say that but exchanging opinions isn’t that bad a thing.

“Hmm, it’s true that there wasn’t much progress in the main storyline, but the banter between the characters was well written and I enjoyed it.
There were even some new people introduced, which I thought were a welcome addition.”

“I guess you have a point.”

From there, we kept talking about “Love Brain,” who our favorite characters were, and which volume was our favorite after reading the whole series.
We even theorized what would happen in the future volumes.

—Bang! Bang!

“Momiji~! Yuu-kun~! It’s time to eat!”


“I’ll be right down.”

Before I knew it the clock ticked to 6 PM, and her mother called us downstairs to have dinner.
I really looked forward to it since the smell of her godlike curry had been wafting up to the room for about two hours now.

“Time flies, huh? Shall we go?”


We both went downstairs and took our seats as a matter of course.
In fact, I wondered about them having three chairs.
Momiji’s family only has two members, yet they still kept the chair I’ve always used in the past there as if waiting.

“I haven’t had your curry in a long time, auntie.
I’m looking forward to it,” I noted.

“Fufu~ Shall we eat then? Thanks for the food!”

“Thanks for the food!” Momiji and I answered in tandem.

“Hm~! Delishious! This curry never changes, and it’s a compliment!”

No matter how much time has passed, one thing has never changed: the best curry in the world is auntie’s.
I want this curry every day in my life.

“I’m going to learn how to make this curry from mom!” Momiji announced.

“Fufu, you’re not ready for that just yet,” her mother giggled.

Is there such a thing as being too immature for making curry? Is it something you pass down when you send off your daughter for when she’s married or something? No idea.

“No need, I’ll keep asking auntie to keep making this curry for a long, long time to come.”

“Aw, Yuu-kun~ Hey, why don’t you stay over tonight?” Her mother asked me.

I mean, if it were only you and I, auntie, I’d be completely fine with it, but Momiji’s here too.
Also, I’d probably spend more time with her if I were to accept your offer.
Ugh, just thinking about it gives me the jitters.

“Thanks, but I’m going home.
I’m not comfortable staying at the house of a girl my age.”

“I trust you, so we don’t have anything to worry about, right, Momiji?”

“Yup! Well, if you can’t today, you’re welcome whenever!”

“Hmm, whenever’s fine then.”

I think Momiji’s pushiness comes from her mother, but I still can’t be mad at auntie for it.
I couldn’t say no to her.
Since my mother died when I was a kindergarten kid, auntie has been a real mother figure to me.
Still, I wasn’t a real part of her family, so that shyness paired with her motherliness made it like I was already in the palm of her hands.

“Well, come visit us anytime, even if you’re not staying overnight.
Oh, but don’t come just for Momiji, I’d also love to have a long talk with you one day.”

“Sure then.
If you don’t mind, I think I’ll probably come around here often from now on.”

“Then I’ll have to cook better next time you’re around! I’ve expanded my cooking repertoire in the last year and a half, mhm? Look forward to it!”

“I will.”

I said that Auntie’s curry is the best, but of course, her other dishes are delicious as well.
The cooks and food critics of the world should kneel down at auntie’s feet and get to know her otherworldly talents ASAP.

“Oh, want seconds?”

“Of course.”

Oh, I’ll have to ask Sayu to take care of the rice next time I come over to auntie’s house.
I hope she won’t lash out at me.

“Thank you for the food.”

Thus ended my first dinner at Momiji’s house in a long while.

Although I had not been here for over a year, seeing auntie’s face made me feel very nostalgic despite just enrolling in high school.
Well, I couldn’t be any happier to taste her cooking again, so I was fine with the price to pay which is spending some time with Momiji.

I wasn’t very keen on coming to her house at first, but in the end, I got something good out of it.

“Then I think it’s time for me to leave for the day.
See you at school, Momiji.”

“See you later.”

“You can come back tomorrow if you want,” her mother noted.

No need.
Actually, let’s not do it every day for my sake.

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