Chapter 17:

The Otaku Cooking Show

Love, Manga & Blackmail: A Secret Otaku's Countdown To Romance!

“1/4 cup of brown sugar… 1/2 cup of regular sugar… 1 stick of unsalted butter…” Ichika read over the recipe on my phone, as I went on about preheating the oven at exactly 180 degrees.

“…What is this… alchemy?”

“Wait…” I looked up, having finished my task, “What do you mean? How have you been cooking up until now if you’ve never seen a recipe before?”

“Instinct.” Ichika shrugged, passing me the phone.

“What the hell?!” I exclaimed.

I decided to drop the cooking show charade and actually teach this little devil how to cook, but it seemed I had quite the task ahead of me.

“Look here, you uncultured swine. Cooking isn’t done by instinct. Cooking is a path, a way of life. Cooking is—“

Right as I was going about my culinary knowledge, Ichika thought it wise to burst open a pack of sugar with the grip power of a gorilla.

And of course, the sugar was white and sparkly. All across the counter.

“Oops.” She flashed me an apologetic smile.

With the flattest tone, and deadest expression I could muster, I voiced.


“What? But—“



After Ichika cleaned the counter, the most sacred of places for a chef, I went about giving her directions.

Ichika needed to learn the hard way, so I wasn’t to touch anything. At least not until the kitchen was about to be engulfed in flames.

That was also part of why I had chosen a pan-free recipe. Brilliant, aren’t I?

“What are we even cooking?” She grumbled, placing the measurings of the different types of sugar on a bowl, as well as the fresh stick of butter.

“Chocolate chip cookies.” I smirked, while the chef in training arched a brow.

“What? But my mom just showed me how to make cookies.”

“That she did. And yet the only thing you learned was how to make the dough scream in pure agony.”

“Hey, nobody was screaming…” Embarrassed by my slightly offensive comment, Ichika pouted and rolled her sleeves.

“Yeah, but not for lack of trying, trust me…” I shook my head, and followed suit.

“Now, grab this.” Finally, I handed her a tool of utmost importance for a culinary master. The so-called whisk.

“Oh, my mom was using this earlier!” Her eyes sparkled with wonder as she gripped the whisk and pointed it at the bowl in a weird angle.

I know, genius. I just washed it.

I had to say though, navigating Ichika’s kitchen was quite tricky, yet I had found everything I was looking for in a matter of minutes. Not that the owner was any help, of course.

“Now, with this, you need to mix all those ingredients together, until they look creamy.”



Ichika nodded, as she went about spinning the whisk around ever so tenderly.

Well, at least she wasn’t making a mess?

Gazing at her absentmindedly, I found myself captivated by the way her face looked when engrossed into such a mundane activity as mixing together butter and sugar. Her eyes were quite large, but her nose was small like a button.

Ichika really was cute. Provided she kept her mouth shut.


Soon though, as she found her rhythm her arm started moving faster, and faster.

I’m sure, that if she ditched the usual nerd-wear, and dressed up half the school wouldn’t be able to recognize her.



As I was completely lost in a world of my own, the blur of Ichika’s arm moving faster than the wind snapped me back to reality.

The batter was splashing everywhere, and drops even landed on her face too.

“Hey, hey ease up you gorilla-girl, you!”

I reached out and grabbed the bowl and whisk from her hands before she made a greater mess of the counter than she already did.

“W-wha… W-what…?” Ichika huffed and puffed, exhausted.

“Why are you out of breath? My granny can at least do that much!”

“S-shut up…” Ichika’s shoulders heaved up and down, while I let the bowl on the table, and searched around the cupboards for something else.

“Here.” I handed over a small electric hand-mixer. If she kept that up, either the whisk would snap in two, or the dough would evaporate into nothingness. “Use this instead.”

“Oh…” Ichika’s eyes marveled at the sight of a tool that was practically made for people that shared the same amount of stamina as her.

After inspecting the amount of batter left on the bowl and not splattered across the counter or walls, as well as the texture of it, I deemed it sufficient enough to continue.

“Two eggs… and two teaspoons of vanilla…” Ichika mused, as she went about throwing the ingredients into the mixture.

Well at least, she couldn’t mess THAT up, too. Hopefully. Fingers crossed.

With a twirl of her finger, she turned the hand-mixer on and went about giving those new ingredients a run for their money.

“Am I doing it… right?” Ichika furrowed her brows, twisting her wrist around slightly.

“Yeah, just don’t do anything gorilla-like again…” I exhaled, leaning against the counter.

Ichika probably said something huffy in response, but I was too busy staring at her to process it.

Her previously spotless face was now riddled with drops of gooey batter, much to her unawareness.

Silently, and steadily, I walked over and reached out with my finger.


My thumb swept across her cheek, removing a single speck of left-over mixture.

With eyes so wide they were just about ready to jump out and run laps around us, Ichika stared at me in shock.

Wait, why did I do that?

Realization finally hit me.


And it seemed it had hit Ichika too, as she jolted up with a cry, bowl still in hand.

However, in the midst of her panic, she had raised the mixer straight out the batter and its rotating blades spun in the air coating everything in half-made dough.


“Turn it off! Turn it off, damnit!”

“How do I turn it off?!”

“How DID you turn it ON in the first place?!”

“I don’t knowwww!!”

As we shouted at each other, mixer raining batter on the kitchen floor and our clothes, I suddenly had a moment of clairvoyance.

With a firm hold, I grabbed Ichika’s mixer-wielding arm and dumped the tool back into the bowl.

“Haaah…” As the sirens of war stopped going off in my head, I finally released a breath I was still holding, unaware.

With a click, I flipped the switch on the handle, and the blades stopped turning for good.

“Phew…” Ichika too, exhaled in relief.

But, with the emergency halted, a very obvious fact I had omitted until now, became apparent right before my eyes.

Not only was I pressed up against Ichika, but my hand had seized hers in an attempt to turn off the mixer.

We exchanged a silent glance from up close, her breath tickling my nose.

Her face was devoid of colour, her mouth slightly ajar, but her glowing eyes betrayed something. Anticipation?

Wait… Earth to Haruhi!


Simultaneously, we jumped apart.

What the heck was all that?!

My mind spun inside my head for a brief second, as I clasped it, and turned to Ichika.


Her face was so red she looked like a road sign, and a weird teapot sound emanated from her similarly crimson ears.

“My apologies for that, I shouldn’t have… uh…” I scratched the back of my head, awkwardly. Was I always this awkward?

“For wiping your face without consent? For uh, seizing your hand…?”

“It was, but you, I made, and then, you did, but!”

Help, I think Ichika is broken!

“But you. You were. Like this. And this thing, Went. AH!”

Speaking like a malfunctioning robot, Ichika shook her head around like some sort of earthquake was happening inside her head.

The sight was so ridiculous that I…

“Ha… Hahahaha!”

Slid down against the kitchen counter, and started laughing hysterically.

“Don’t laaaaaaugh!” Ichika growled like a Chihuahua, her face reaching new levels of redness. “It’s your fault!”

She pointed at me.

“Ah, you even broke the rule!”

“What… rule?” I tried to contain another fit of laughter, as I wiped a tear off my face.

“Rule number 2! No kissing and ha-ha-hand ho-holding!” Ichika tripped over her words, stomping over towards me.

Ha-ha, ho-ho…

Something about those syllables seemed extremely funny to me.

“Can you… please… say that… without the stutter?” I tried to fight the laughter again, but it just wouldn’t obey my will. I eventually went on another fit, as Ichika gritted her teeth in anger.

“Don’t laugh at meeee!”

Still unable to stop, I got up and retreated from the kitchen, seeing as to how Ichika rushed into her parent’s bedroom.

Oh, crap! There’s actually a stun gun in there!

The stun-gun was coming!

“Put it down Ichikaaaa!!!”

Taylor J
Mario Nakano 64