In My Six and a Half Tatami Mat House, Lives a Silver-haired, Blue-eyed Junior - Chapter 76
Going to School as Four
A week had passed since the end of summer vacation, and Kazuma, Momose, Minato and Airi decided to go home together.
Since they had not picked each other up from their classrooms, they followed their tradition and met at the shoe box just as they had in the past.
Since the four of them were returning home, naturally there were a lot of stares. Most of it was more unusual than malicious, though.
If this were just Minato and Airi, there would be more negative feelings, so Minato could only be thankful to Kazuma and Momose for acting together.
Moreover, Minato was worried about how Taniguchi would spread the story about him, but as far as Takumi could tell, he spread the word that “Kujo-kun is a friend-oriented person.”
Not that I ever had a friendly conversation with him…
Since he had only had rather cryptic conversations with Taniguchi, he felt uncomfortable about being evaluated that way.
However, it was possible that Taniguchi spread the story that way because he didn’t want to ruin his reputation among those around him. When it came to the more quirky speculations, Minato had no idea.
He was also concerned about backstabbing, but since Kazuma and Momose were always present when he was in contact with Airi, no particular information came to him.
I don’t know if I should care about this.
What the future would hold was still unknown, but for now he would like to enjoy the four of them going home from school together.
He switched his mind and dared not to be conscious of the gazes of the people around him.
Airi, however, seemed apologetic for the amount of stares he was getting and lowered her eyebrows.
“I’m sorry, it’s my fault they’re staring at us like this.”
“Don’t worry, I knew this would happen since I was going home with Ninomiya.”
“Minato-kun is right, you don’t have to worry about this stuff!”
“I’m the same as these two.”
“…Thank you very much.”
Airi smiled wryly when Minato and the other two told her not to worry about it.
By the way, Minato had never gone home with her before, so it was very new for him.
Momose seemed to think the same thing and beamed at Airi.
“I never thought I’d go home with Airi.”
“Yeah, me too. I didn’t think I’d be going home with anyone.”
Momose seemed happy, but Airi’s was not much different from expressionless, just sounding deeply moved.
Minato got the feeling that she wasn’t very happy, and he wondered if she had pushed herself too hard.
Perhaps reading Minato’s inner thoughts, or perhaps it was on his face, Airi smiled at him, a smile similar to the one she would usually have at home.
“I don’t mean that I don’t like it. I just feel that things have changed a lot, so please don’t worry about it.”
“Well, I guess so. Ninomiya even used to say she didn’t need any friends.”
“…Mou, that’s enough about what happened before already.”
When he jokingly brought up the story of when he met Airi, her cheeks turned slightly red, as if she was embarrassed.
As Minato thought to himself, “She really has changed a lot since then,” Momose asked Airi sadly,
“Ehh~, Airi, did you hate being with me?”
“That’s not true. …Rather, you already know that, don’t you?”
“Hehehe, sorry! I’m happy that Airi and I can have this kind of conversation now.”
Airi was completely at ease with Momose, and she light-heartedly tsukkomi-d into Momose’s boke.
It was nice to see that she could now behave that way towards people other than Minato.
That said, it would take an extraordinary effort to be placed in the category of Airi’s friends, so this was simply the result of Momose’s hard work.
Momose’s smile was lively and bright as Minato thought how lucky he was to have such good childhood friends.
“Ah! Since the four of us are going home, why don’t we make a detour?”
“Yeah, good idea. If anything, I was going to ask that myself.”
Airi didn’t like to receive many stares or to be accosted, and she prioritized her housework.
Therefore, after school, she would have gone home without stopping somewhere or playing.
When Minato expressed his agreement with Momose’s words, thinking that this situation would be the perfect situation for a detour, Airi shook her head shakily.
“Don’t worry about it, I’m grateful enough that you are already receiving stares like this.”
“Don’t worry. Everyone knows already. It’s just a question of whether Ninomiya wants to go or not. Just be honest.”
“That’s right. If Airi really doesn’t want to, I’d like her to say no without reservation, so what do you say?”
“…I want to take a detour.”
Airi was simply concerned about Minato and the others, and nodded her head in approval.
“Alright. We got your word! Then let’s go to a classic stop for high school kids!”
Momose took Airi’s hand and led the way, with Kazuma following behind.
The restaurant the four of them entered was a famous hamburger joint. The prices were low and it was a great place to chat.
For the time being, Kazuma and Momose were ordering food, and Airi was looking around the restaurant with a curious look on her face.
It seemed that she had never been in a restaurant like this before, and judging from her demeanor, this must be her first time.
“It’s just a small restaurant chain, so don’t get all worked up about it.”
“That’s true, but I’ve never been here…”
“I figured that would be the case. Now that Kazuma and Momose are done with their orders, we’re next. Will you be okay?”
“Ye-Yes! I’ll do my best.”
While Minato and Airi were talking, Kazuma and Momose finished ordering, so he finished talking with Airi and went to order.
Although he almost never went into fast food restaurants since he started living with Airi, this kind of food could be good sometimes.
Since Airi had seen how Kazuma and Momose ordered, Minato didn’t think there would be a problem, but he should probably order first and show her an example.
While Minato was placing his order with this in mind, his hem of clothes was nervously tugged up by her, and she kept looking at him from behind.
“Now, next is Ninomiya. Go ahead.”
He knew Airi was anxious, so he didn’t say anything about the hem, but he did distance himself a bit, as he knew she wouldn’t be able to do this all the time.
Minato watched from behind to see what she would order, but she didn’t order and turned back to him.
He thought that maybe she didn’t have anything she wanted to eat, but her face seemed at a loss, and her voice came out with a raised eyebrow.
“I don’t know what to order, please help me…”
Silence reigned around the counter.
It wasn’t that Airi’s words drew them out, it was just that her weak dependence on Minato was so cute that people around her stopped to contemplate.
Naturally, Minato was also frozen in place, but he lined up next to her to fulfill Airi’s request.
“I guess you can’t go wrong if you ask for something normal. So I guess this is it.”
“If you want more, we can order more, but what will be for dinner tonight?”
“I’m going to make an omurice.”
“Airi’s omelette rice is authentic and delicious, so let’s not order too much. That’s why, ask the waiter for this.”
“I understand. Um–“
While Airi was ordering, he was standing next to her just in case, and the man working at the restaurant gave him a look that was as warm as it was envious.
He was strangely tired from just placing the order, and when he joined Kazuma and Momose who had stayed away until the order was ready–
“You guys are flirting too much.”
“Minato-kun, you’re back to calling her Airi. And Airi is too spoiled.”
They were both warned by Kazuma and Momose.
Needless to say, he could not argue with any of them and could only apologize.
“Minato is lenient, Ninomiya-san relies on him in a manner she doesn’t usually show at all. What are you going to do if that moment is seen and talked about?”
“Seriously, I’m sorry.”
He must have been very dismayed. Kazuma was babbling on and on about the right thing to do. Momose, who was standing next to Kazuma, gave him a stern look.
Airi was shrinking next to Minato, her cheeks bright red and on the verge of a short circuit. She had not even touched her food at all.
“I don’t know how to stop them if they suddenly start flirting. I’m already full of it.”
“No, well, sorry about that.”
“I’m glad it didn’t turn out to be a big deal. Just be really careful, okay?”
“Yeah, I’ll be careful.”
When Minato and Airi reflected on the situation and received the warning in a mature way, they seemed to be satisfied with the situation for the time being.
However, the complaining hadn’t stopped.
“Hey, Shiori. Even if we don’t cooperate until the festival, won’t these guys get excited on their own and shut everyone up?”
“Don’t say that. I know that already, but we’ve decided to cooperate.”
“I said I’m sorry, come on, we need your help.”
Without the two’s cooperation, the festival matter would fall apart.
Of course, Minato knew Kazuma was joking. When he put his hands together to ask for help, Kazuma shook his head and changed the subject.
“I know. So, Minato, from now on the four of us will go home together like this, but after a little while you two will have lunch together, and after school you two will go home together too, right?”
“Yeah, because you can’t keep taking care of us like that.”
No matter how it might not be every day, it wasn’t good to bother them like this every time. This was something Minato and Airi had to work on.
She knew this too, and she nodded at Minato’s statement, raising her face as the redness in her cheeks receded somewhat.
However, Momose’s face clouded over when she saw this.
“Be really careful, okay? Not only can you get into the kind of mood you were in earlier, but if you get that close, the jealous stares and stuff like that will get even harsher.”
“So, Airi, why don’t you eat now?”
“Yes, I would like to, but…”
Minato and the others were talking while eating, but Airi wasn’t eating at all.
Since she was watching the three of them eat, it wasn’t as if she didn’t know how to.
When Minato looked at Airi in wonder, she muttered with an ever-increasing blush on her cheeks.
“There’s nothing embarrassing about eating a hamburger, is there?”
“Minato-san will be able to see me open my mouth wide, right? If possible, I don’t want him to look at me…”
They ate together at home, so he had seen her open her mouth so many times.
Despite this, he honestly didn’t understand why she was embarrassed to be seen now.
“No, there were times at home when you would open your mouth.”
“But I never opened it this wide before…”
“Well, that’s true. Then why don’t you just eat a little bit at a time?”
“Indeed, I should have done that.”
She beamed happily at Minato’s statement as if she had heard a good news, and began to eat her hamburger with chibi-chibi bites.
However, when Minato and the other two saw this, the atmosphere became rather awkward.
“I don’t know, I feel like I’m looking at a little animal. Honestly, it’s so cute.”
“Momose, don’t put it into words.”
“No, but I get what you’re saying.”
Momose was right, watching Airi eat was very cute. It was as if watching a small animal.
Minato didn’t think anyone could make people feel relaxed around them just by eating a hamburger.
He quietly stifled his ugly feelings, saying that he didn’t want to spread this kind of appearance too much, although he was thankful that he had a surprisingly high tolerance for mundane things.
Next chapter will take a while. I’m taking some time off from translating this. Right now, I’m too exhausted from translating too many novels, and also work and uni. I’ll get back to this when I’m ready. Much love… <3
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