ODL – Chapter  48 – The Supermarket Battle


“Mafuyu-chan, do you have any requests for dinner today?” (Souma)

“Requests? Hmm…” (Mafuyu)

After finishing my lecture, I met with Mafuyu-chan and we headed back home. Perhaps because there were still many students around, but it seemed that Mafuyu-chan was in her university mode. From my experience, I knew that she would switch to her apartment mode around the area where we got off at the local station.

Mafuyu-chan rested her chin on her hand, lost in thought.

Recently, I found out that I spent the most time with Mafuyu-chan. Going to the same university really made a difference, huh? We commuted together in the morning and also on the way back. Since we came back together, it also meant that we did our shopping together. Lately, the lady at the checkout counter would often tease us, thinking we were a couple because Mafuyu-chan never denied it. In the end, the lady completely misunderstood us as a couple cohabitating together.

“…I want something which we can make together. Just the two of us.” (Mafuyu)

“Something we can make together, huh…” (Souma)

To be honest, there are a lot of dishes we can make together… But what exactly was she planning? Until now, she either just invaded my home while I was cooking, bothered me while I was busy, or lounged on my bed and behaved as if she owned the place.

“There are a lot of options… but what’s with the sudden interest?” (Souma)

“I just thought I’d like to learn how to cook.” (Mafuyu)

“I see, that makes sense.” (Souma)

Come to think of it, unlike Shizuka, Mafuyu-chan did mention that she wanted to learn how to cook. The quickest way to teach someone to cook was by cooking together so Mafuyu-chan’s suggestion seemed reasonable.

…If Mafuyu learned how to cook, it would mean that I wouldn’t be the only one responsible for cooking in Souma-kai, which in turn meant that my workload would decrease. Isn’t this a win-win situation?

“Well then, how about curry? It’s hot today, and on days like this, curry is the way to go.” (Souma)

“Curry? In that case, can I buy some natto?” (Mafuyu)

“Oh, Mafuyu-chan, do you like putting natto on curry?” (Souma)

“Yeah. My mom used to do it all the time and it was pretty good.” (Mafuyu)

“I understand. The soy sauce flavor of natto goes surprisingly well with curry. I‘m starting to crave for some natto curry too.” (Souma)

Fufu, then it’s decided.” (Mafuyu)

Mafuyu-chan turned to the side and gave a slight smile. While she was often described as a cold doll-like person at university, in reality, that wasn’t the case. Although she occasionally made a deliberate poker face for fun, if you look closely, her emotions were quite clear.

When we arrived at the station, we hopped onto the train that had just arrived.

As Mafuyu-chan boarded, I noticed some passengers sneaking glances at her. It was the usual scene. 

I didn’t pay much attention to this before since we were together quite often, but Mafuyu-chan sure had a very elegant appearance. It is inevitable for her to draw the attention of nearby men.

I shifted my position as much as I could to shield Mafuyu-chan from the glances of the passengers. This was something I did regularly. While Mafuyu-chan had never shown any signs of being uncomfortable with those looks, there is no way she feels good about it. Knowing this, my body moved on its own.

“…Thank you, onii-chan.” (Mafuyu)

I felt like Mafuyu-chan muttered something, but the noise of the train drowned it out. I had a feeling that she wouldn’t respond even if I asked again, so I just kept my gaze outside the window.

Since we had some time, I started giving Mafuyu-chan some tips on how to make curry. And after a while, the train carrying the two of us arrived at the nearest station.

“Onii-chan, let’s go.” (Mafuyu)

Mafuyu-chan took my hand and began to walk, causing the other passengers to look at us in surprise. Now that she is fully in apartment mode, Mafuyu-chan stopped holding back. The reason we were often mistaken for a couple by the supermarket lady might just be because of the constant hand-holding. Well, I don’t really see this as a reason for me to let go though.

“Onii-chan, where did you buy your apron? The one with the floral pattern.” (Mafuyu)

“Oh, that one? I think I got it at the 100-yen store. It’s inside the supermarket.” (Souma)

“I see… I think I’ll buy one too if I’m going to cook. I’ll need an apron.” (Mafuyu)

“In that case, wouldn’t it be better to buy one from a slightly more reputable place? I remember the 100-yen store didn’t have much variety.” (Souma)

I thought having more patterns to choose from would be better for a girl. But Mafuyu-chan shook her head.

“The 100 yen shop is fine. I like floral patterns.” (Mafuyu)

“Huh? Is that so?” (Souma)

I had the impression that she preferred plain designs. For example, her room had a very minimalist feel to it.

When we entered the supermarket, Mafuyu-chan walked straight to the 100 yen shop section. Since my hand was firmly locked with hers, I had no choice but to follow.

“…Found it.” (Mafuyu)

Mafuyu-chan decisively selected one of the few aprons available. It looked familiar to me, but at the same time, it didn’t. I remembered that my apron had a floral pattern, but wasn’t the pattern on mine something similar to this?

“Is this really okay?” (Souma)

“Yeah, this one is good.” (Shizuka)

Mafuyu-chan proceeded to take the apron to the cashier.

Mafuyu-chan could have at least let go of my hand during checkout, but she absolutely refused to do so.

A high school boy at the counter picked up an apron and then glanced at Mafuyu-chan’s face for a few moments. Finally, he looked at our connected hands and had a strange expression on his face.

“Heh, so there are mismatched couples in the world like them”… Is probably what he was thinking. If he had said it out loud, I would have corrected him, but the high school boy only directed a lukewarm gaze towards me without saying anything.

“Thank you very much~” (Cashier)

Afterwards, we headed to a separate section of the supermarket to search for the ingredients for tonight’s natto curry.

…And it was at that moment.

“W-Why are Mafuyu and Souma-kun holding hands?!” (?)

“Hmm?” (Souma)

“…Tch.” (Mafuyu)

That loud voice was quite out of place in the supermarket. I would have preferred to pretend that I wasn’t involved, but unfortunately, I recognized that voice. Reluctantly, I turned my head around to find Shizuka standing a few feet away from us. She seemed oblivious to the fact that she was being watched by the other customers as she marched towards us.

“What’s going on here? Care to explain!?” (Shizuka)

Shizuka, who didn’t make any effort to hide her displeasure, stood defiantly between the natto and cabbages. Come on, stop blocking the aisle from others. I pulled Shizuka’s hand and moved her to the side.

“Can’t you tell just by looking? Sorry, but our relationship has already been officially approved by Sato-san at the (cash) register.” (Mafuyu)

Mafuyu-chan lifted our joined hands up at high, and Shizuka’s expression turned even more intense, resembling that of a Hannya.

“Wait, who’s this Sato-san?” (Souma)

I don’t remember a name like that, let alone remember being approved by them for anything.


TL notes:

Thanks for reading!

Lmao so you’re telling me that MC has been holding hands with Mafuyu for a while now? And he doesn’t even try to refuse it? Mafuyu wasn’t lying when she said that she was leagues ahead of the other two.

I think Sato-san is that female cashier that MC was talking about earlier.


Footnote:

  1. None
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AzukaD

Thanks for the chapter!

Tsk, tsk, Shizuka. You should have known Mafuyu better. At this point it is rather surprising that you didn’t think about it all this time

Whom will be with Souma in the next chapter? I can’t want to see Hiyorin!