How To Melt the Ice Lady - Chapter 41
Chapter 41: New Year’s Eve with the Ice Lady
After Christmas, the new year would arrive in less than a week.
The Christmas tree and such decorations in the city disappeared and instead were replaced with paper lanterns.
However, it seemed that the illumination had taken the role of continuing to brighten people’s daily lives.
At night, a new mix of both Japanese and Western style was born, with the latest LED lights giving light to the solemn paper lanterns.
The New Year’s atmosphere was also evident at supermarkets, where Kagami mochi and Osechi were prominently displayed.
Unsold Christmas cakes and other items that had been drastically reduced in price may be a major factor in making people feel the New Year’s atmosphere.
(It’s that time of the year.) Such thoughts would come to mind.
At this time of the year, people were flying kites, spinning tops, playing oibane, and there were many things that would come to mind that someone would like to do before the year ended.
For example, a revenge that somebody vowed a month ago.
―Please let me cook for today.
Right, it had been a little over thirty minutes since Fuyuka asked with a strong look in her eyes.
On the table, there was a curry that had an appetizing aroma.
“…What do you think?”
Across the dining room table, Fuyuka peeked with a quite anxious and nervous look on her face.
It seemed that she was hoping for a good outcome with her hands clasped tightly on her chest.
Her appearance, combined with her black clothing that was not too revealing, made her look like a sister.
Asahi munched and chewed, busily moving the spoon from one bite to the next.
The speed at which he ate was an answer.
The flavor that oozed out from the ingredients.
The thickness of roux.
The fragrance of the spices.
No matter which side one looked at, there was nothing to complain about.
“…Are you telling the truth?”
“Yeah, it’s really delicious.”
After getting praised, Fuyuka’s expression brightened.
Everyone would want to hear the word “delicious” when they served a meal to someone.
And that was also the same for Fuyuka.
“Revenge is a success.”
Her childish laugh was so lovely that Asahi naturally smiled.
“I didn’t know you improved so much. Did you secretly train or something?”
“I did… a little bit of training.”
“Oh, so that’s why.”
“But most of all, it was because Asahi-kun taught me.”
“…Even if you praise me, you’re not getting anything from me.”
“T-that’s not my intention. That’s just what I really think.”
“Well, if that’s the case, I’ll gladly take it.”
Indeed, Fuyuka’s growth recently was remarkable.
In particular, her use of knives had visibly improved, and now she was fine on her own.
That was probably because they had changed the way they addressed each other.
To be precise, from the moment Asahi first touched Fuyuka’s hand.
“With this level of completion, you should have no problem cooking your own food, so you don’t need me to teach you anymore―”
“T-that’s not true, I still want to be taught by… Asahi-kun. If possible, every day.”
“You’re awfully enthusiastic… Well, yeah. I’m mostly free so that’s fine with me.”
Having declared that he would teach her as much as she wanted, Asahi had no intention of backing down now.
Asahi nodded to Fuyuka, who was speaking unusually strongly, and an expression of relief appeared on her face.
Then the corners of her mouth slowly turned up into a happy smile.
If this was enough to make them happy, it made him happy to teach them.
Asahi didn’t know if she would really come every day, but unless she had plans, he would comply.
After thinking about it, Asahi remembered his most recent schedule and frowned a little.
“Right, what are you going to do for New Year’s, Fuyuka?”
“…I’m normally at home.”
“I don’t have any plans.” The smile on Fuyuka’s face faded as she continued.
It didn’t seem to be simply because her parents live far away, and there was no doubt that Fuyuka had some problems with her family.
It was not that she couldn’t go home, but that she didn’t want to. Such feelings were hidden.
However, Asahi didn’t want Fuyuka to look gloomy.
“Then you’re just like me.”
“…Are you not going home, Asahi-kun?”
“That was the plan but my parents are coming over this year, you see.”
What was more, they wanted to show up at Asahi’s new house for the first time in a year.
The thought of his parents coming to visit him early in the New Year was more depressing than going home, but maybe it was a good thing for once.
“Do you want anything to eat for New Year’s Eve?”
The question, which skipped various words, was apparently not understood by Fuyuka.
Perhaps she understood, but she looked puzzled and dumbfounded.
“You’re the one who said you wanted to be taught every day.”
“…That is true.”
When Asahi added the words bluntly, Fuyuka finally nodded her head.
“I’d like to try Toshikoshi Soba.”
“It will be the first time that I try to cook soba noodles… So, it’s given even after New Year’s Eve?”
“Is it no good…?”
“No, it’s all good…”
When you would not only be sharing a New Year’s Eve dinner together, but also welcoming the new year together, you would have to change your mind in many ways.
Fuyuka, who had no way of knowing what was going through Asahi’s mind, smiled happily.
The dark expression on her face from earlier had already disappeared before her smile.
“Handmade soba sounds fun, and I bet I can make it too, right?”
“Well, if you have the patience, probably.”
“After all, you never know what might happen when you make it.”
“Hnn… Making fun of me.”
“It’s been a while since you’ve teased me.” Fuyuka pouted and Asahi clasped his hands to avoid her complaint.
“Thank you for the food. It was delicious.”
When Asahi expressed his gratitude in front of the plate without leaving a single grain of rice, he heard the same sound of clasping hands.
For some reason, Fuyuka smiled with her cheeks tinted with embarrassment.