Chapter 49:

Wrong From All Angles

Unconsciously Interested


“Why are you looking at me like that?” Sanji-onii stared back at me as I pinned my glazed eyes on him. “Are the foods taste funny to you?”

“Onii-chan, why won’t you tell me what that game is all about? You’ve been ignoring my questions for a while now.” Despite my countless questions about the game, I never got an answer. Also, Minori stayed away from sharing any details about it with me, raising my suspicions even more.

“Would it make a difference if you find out right away or later?”

“Would it make a difference if you tell me about it now instead of later?” My mocking retort went.

A funny laugh erupts from Sanji-onii. “I give you that, Yuyo-chan. Still, I’m not going to open my mouth.” He shrugged his shoulders. “Take it easy and indulge in your meal for the time being, okay?”

“. . . . .”

“It’s a sure bet it’ll be difficult to pass up the prize, Yu-chin! Even my willpower failed me when I heard about it!” Tomoka’s eyes blazed in excitement. “At this point, I’m all set to battle anyone and reap the rewards for myself! Yeaah!”


Well, whatever... No matter what I do, I can’t seem to get any details from them.

“Right… Whoopee-do.” I breathed a sigh of resignation as I sank my teeth into the chicken karaage.

“By the way... Onii-san, your cooking skills are superb. I can’t get enough of how tasty this salmon teriyaki is!” My brother scored a thumbs-up from Tomoka. “Thank you for taking the time to cook us such delicious meals! You are a culinary prodigy, Onii-san! A legend!” She put her hands together and briefly bowed toward my brother.


It looks like Tomoka is being a little too generous with her praises. She probably can’t adequately express how pleased she is to eat these foods, considering how much she enjoys eating.

“Thank you, Mizuno-chan...” Sanji-onii’s humble smile hints at a certain amount of embarrassment. “It’s only fair to have prepared everything for you, girls, since I asked you to show up ahead of your schedule in the first place. Nevertheless, I’m glad to hear you’re enjoying the food.”

“Absolutely, Onii-san! But...” Tomoka then gazed back at me with a fleering look. “It’s unimaginable that the brother knows how to cook, but the little sister can’t.”

“What... Do you have a death wish or something, Tomoka?” I deadpanned.

“Oho! Yu-chin, I’m just worried!” She smiled with her teeth. “How will you get by if your brother gets married one day and you’re all on your own?”

That question had my chopsticks poised over my mouth. “I don’t see a problem with that. I can grab bento and other foods from convenience stores and supermarkets with ease. Although I like my brother’s cooking, it isn’t exactly my lifeline.”

“Wouldn’t you be better off picking up some cooking skills than that, Yuyo?” Minori offered her take.

“I told you, guys, cooking is something I can do, at least to some extent; it’s not like I’m hopeless at doing anything in the kitchen.” I loured. “I just lack the passion and motivation to make any headway with it. I don’t enjoy making food, and I have zero interest in trying to get better at it.”

“Yuyo doesn’t realize cooking is key to being a good housewife; thus, she doesn’t understand the significance of learning it.” My brother laughed.

“What housewife... I don’t see the point in mentioning that now, Onii-chan.” I gave him a killing stare. “And that’s not what I meant. It’s not in the cards for me to learn that by heart. Besides, I wish to avoid preparing all the ingredients before cooking. There isn’t enough patience in me to do that.”

“Ooh! Please excuse me... But Shibasaki-san has no reason to ace cooking.” Nazumi-san held up her palm as if to say we were discussing a matter that was already set in stone. “Once Kyashii enters university, she will learn more about cooking; that’s why, Shibasaki-san won’t waste away.” Her smile was intense and beaming.


I lift a bewildered brow at Nazumi-san. “What??”

“Oww! That’s true! I totally agree with Hana-chan. If Mikami-san is with her, then Yu-chin should be perfectly in good hands. Right, Mikami-san?” Tomoka flickered an eyelid at Kyashii, who was silently chewing on the stir-fried vegetables next to me. I noticed she has only eaten those. I wonder if she doesn’t want to try the karaage.

“Yep~… That’s right, Mizuno-san.” Kyashii nodded with the air of someone who didn’t grasp what was wrong with that idea.

“Wait… Putting Kyashii into this context confuses me. It’s not like she’ll always cook for me when I start living on my own.” I made my point.

“Basically, Kyashii holds the closest relationship with you, Shibasaki-san. That means you can have her cook for you anytime you want. I’m confident Kyashii won’t mind.” Nazumi-san said with certainty.

“Sure... Yeah... That’s exceptionally convenient.” My tone had gone flat. “It’s not fair for Kyashii to sacrifice her time for a slacker like me. Besides, I suppose we can agree that something such as that is too much to ask from a friend, Nazumi-san.” I soughed as I picked a karaage and put it on Kyashii’s plate. “Here… Give this a try, Kyashii. You haven’t eaten anything here yet besides the fried vegetables.”

“Thank you, Yuyo~...” The curve of Kyashii’s lips formed a charming smile. “Umm… I’m willing, though….”

“Hmm?” Wondering, I stared at her as I took another nibble of the fried chicken.

“I mean, I’m willing to cook for you until you find it necessary to hone your cooking skills.” Her endearing smile melted into a gentle one as she bit into the karaage.

“. . . . . .”

I held back on munching without realizing it. In a matter of seconds, my eyes lingered on Kyashii’s lovely face and incessant smile as my chest swelled with familiar warmth the moment I heard those words.


“Onii-san, I notice the teriyaki sauce tastes sweeter and sweeter now!” Tomoka shattered the fleeting silence that had descended on us all.

“I’ve been thinking the same thing, Mizuno-chan.” Sanji-onii grinned as he tapped his temple with a finger. “Well... Having listened to your conversation, I must advise the rest of you to go for a lover who enjoys cooking if you don’t want to do it yourself, yes? Please make sure you’re not like Yuyo here.” He teased.


“I’ll do that without a doubt, Onii-san! My resolve is to no longer follow my heart, especially when my dainty breadbasket forewarns me they’re a lousy cook!” Tomoka raised a tightly closed fist. “Not to mention my wench heart is worse at giving directions!” Her countenance twisted into dismay.

“Ara~! I commend you for acknowledging that, Mizuno-san. Regrettably, I seriously doubt your emotional strength to pull that off.” Minori sounded in a monotone voice.

“Oho-ho, don’t belittle my ability to keep my heart in check, class rep!” Tomoka looks huffish. “Do you not realize that I am Mizuno Tomoka??”

“That’s the very reason why you can’t... For one thing, you’re Mizuno Tomoka.” Minori’s voice echoed in a biting tone. “Your heart isn’t something you can control. In case you didn’t know, hearts have minds of their own.”

“The heart has no mind, so it can’t think for itself, Minori.” I instinctively gainsaid before Tomoka could even react. “Our emotional thoughts arise directly on the right side of our brain, whereas rational ones originate on the left. Hence, there’s no dichotomy between the heart and brain; they are not two but—”

“Erm... Yuyo, would you mind passing me that extra miso soup, please~?” A puppy-eyed Kyashii stared at me as she gestured for the bowl beside mine.

“O-oh…” Why is she flashing me that look all of a sudden? “S-Sure… Here it is...”

“By the way, Kyashii, after Yuyo relentlessly harped the other day about how much you love the matcha, I decided to whip up a batch of matcha ice cream as a special treat.” Sanji-onii’s smile stretches from ear to ear. “You may want to give it a try later. But please don’t blame me for the embellishments; Yuyo did them herself.”

Wait... What happened to the honorifics this time??

“Y-Yes…” A soft blush diffused on Kyashii’s cheeks. “T-Thank you so much, Onii-san.”

“Think nothing of it. You should try it as well, girls.” My brother turned to smile at the rest.

“Thank you very much, Onii-san!” They had an innocent enthusiasm for ice cream in their voices.

And within just a few seconds, my eyes caught Kyashii gazing at me, her rose-tinted cheeks are accentuating the sugary smile on her lips and in her eyes. “Hmm? What is it?”

“Nothing~...” She replied in a soft voice; her smile hadn’t faded at all.

“Alright. Let’s have fun with that exciting game later. You are all up for it, right, girls?” Sanji-onii gestured with his thumb.

“Yeesss, Onii-san!”


“No! Not in a million years!”

“Why not, Yuyo?” My brother’s muffled laughter is grating on my nerves.

“In no way am I going to play this absurd game, Onii-chan!” I kicked up a rumpus when I learned the rules of his not-so-friendly game.

I knew it!

Oh my goodness! Just whose twisted mind inspired my brother to devise that abysmal game?!

“Please don’t be like that, Yuyo. It looks fun, and I don’t see anything wrong with it. There’s nothing more to it than a game. All of you are girls, so there shouldn’t be any problems.” Sanji-onii said it in a laidback tone, but his meaning was serious. “I consulted Kamiwaki-chan if it is acceptable for you girls to play this particular game, and she believed it should not be an issue as long as it’s a friendly competition. Isn’t that right, Kamiwaki-chan?”

“Yes, Onii-san…” Minori nodded.

“What?!” A wave of disbelief washed over me as I cast a glance at Minori. I expected she would be the first to say no to this, but...

“Yuyo, this is an interesting and entertaining match, if you ask me.” Minori pressed her index finger against her cheek. “For good measure, it occurred to me that this game could allow us to test our theoretical physics knowledge in a real-world setting. Don’t you think so, too~?” Almost as if she’s putting things in a manner that will get me to see the idea in a different light.

“No, not at all!” What’s up with her??

“Ara~… But I can say with absolute certainty that’s how it is.” She then clutched her cheek. “The chance to test my physics skills excites me, though~.”

“I’m not you, Minori.” I retorted with firmness in my voice.

“Oh my~! Yes, of course....” There was a hearty giggle from her. “But if one of us wins hands down, wouldn’t you say it’s a thrilling feeling, Yuyo? There’s also the excitement of competing for the awesome reward~.”

“What’s so exciting about that...” I maintained a straight face. “And why wasn’t the pairing determined by a random draw of lots or anything??” I regarded my brother with suspicion.

“Whatever you mean... You and Kyashii are best friends, which means this should work to your advantage, right?” My brother struggles to hold back his deviously cunning smile, making him even more irritating in my eyes. “Kamiwaki-chan and Mizuno-chan have to pair up after Nazumi-chan suggested and wished to video record this game.”

“What?!” V-Video?? Did I hear that right?? “Why is it even necessary to record all of this?!”

Are they all out of their minds?! This is so wrong from all angles! It’s utterly unimaginable to think of one positive thing about this.

“Well, since there is a prize at stake, we should keep a careful record should either team object to the match. Not only that, but it’s also a lovely keepsake to cherish for years to come. What do you think? Your brother is highly professional, yes?” Sanji-onii’s brows shot up and down repeatedly.

“No, you’re weird.” I unleashed a scathing glance at him.


“Hey, hey... Yu-chin, give it a whirl, yeah? I’m looking for a real challenge here! I’m sure you’ll be a formidable opponent in this sort of game, hm-hm!” Tomoka chirped.


“You see, Yu-chin, we don’t usually get the chance to walk away with five thousand yen from a game as easy as this! I say we do this, yeah??”

Huh?! What?!

“F-Five thousand yen?!” Shock engulfed me as I looked at my brother. “Wha— ...Spending that amount of money for a game like this… Onii-chan, you’re a bad adult!” I winced. Is he not right in the head or what?! Why would he fritter away his money on something so absurd??

“It’s my hard-earned money. The idea is to make good use of it.” He replied with a shrug.

“Is this what you mean by putting to good use??”

“That’s right. Your friends having such fun will be worth it, Yuyo-chan.” Sanji-onii crossed his arms. “Have you reconsidered now that you realize how much you stand to gain?”

“No… I don’t care.”

“Hey, come on, Yuyo. Think about it... If you and Kyashii win, you can buy a bunch of books with that money.”

“I’m not doing it! I can count on my allowance to buy my books.”

“Yuyo-chan...” My brother’s face turned stony as he looked at me. “In case you haven’t picked up on it yet, you’re the only one here with misgivings about this game.”

“Well, so what?” I mirrored his expression. “I can decide not to join if I don’t want to.”

“I see you’re being a brat again,” Sanji-onii said with mockery.

“Haaah?? Who?? Me?!”

“Tsk... Why are you so against it?”

“It feels horribly wrong; that’s why!”

“No one here has thought of it that way but you...” The corners of his mouth arched in a crooked smile. “The game only asks you and your partner to grab the money bill I’m about to drop before it hits the floor. It’s that simple, isn’t it?”

“Simple?!” I scoffed. “You won’t burn your money if it is really as easy as pie, Onii-chan.”

“Yet, it is. I already made the game task as convenient as that.”

“It’s not convenient if we have to use our lips to hold the money slipping between our faces!!” I almost burst a blood vessel. “What if our timing is off?! If… If that happens, t-then I might end up k-kissing Kyashii!” 

¥5,000 = $38 / €35 (as of today's exchange rate)

Kid Komet