Until recently, we would often eat dinner on our own, either a bento from the convenience store or at a restaurant.
Since I was raised in a father-son household, I am not a very good cook, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t cook.

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What I bought today were ingredients for curry.
First of all, there is a low chance of failure, and if we save up any leftovers, we can eat it again tomorrow.
Also, if a part of the money for dinner is left unspent, we could use it as pocket money.

Come to think of it.
There was also something called “Agni-sama’s Magma Curry” in karaoke celery, wasn’t there?

While thinking about such a thing, I took out the vegetables and meat directly from my shopping bag and proceeded on with the cooking.
By the way, I like to blend between dry and medium-spicy types of curry.
The gravy would be better if it was viscously-smooth than being just watery.
When it comes to curry, the tastes vary from person to person like this.

What are Hiyori’s preferences, I wonder?

Considering that we’ve already lived under the same roof for nearly 5 years, I was appalled that I didn’t even know something that should have been obvious.

To shake off the sunken feeling, I started to cut the vegetables violently and proceeded with the cooking.
I’m not sure if it was due to surprise or something else but the vegetables became uneven and poor-looking.
What the h**l was I even doing?

After that, I just headed to stew it.
It was when I was trying to put the remaining vegetables in the refrigerator that I noticed.

“Hmm?”

In the refrigerator, there were plenty of Karaage placed on a plate and wrapped up.
I’m sure these are the leftovers from this morning… and the rest of the day.
I wonder if Hiyori was planning to have only this for dinner? I started to ponder about what Philia-san would do if she were to be cornered by such situations.
… and the answer was quite obvious.

…really, such a bothersome person.
While I thought so, I had already gone up the stairs to the second floor.

“Are you there, Hiyori?”

“?!?”

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*Thud!—Thump!—Crash! 

At the same time as the knock, there were several heavy noises that came almost immediately from the other side of the door.

I have no idea what’s happening on the other side, but when you hear such a loud sound, you’d feel like you’ve done something bad… I waited for sometime in the silence which followed, before calling out again…

[TL: Perhaps, since the reaction Hiyori made was due to our Protagonist… He was feeling bad for surprising her]

“Just that, I made curry for tonight’s dinner, but I was wondering if you’d like to eat together …”

The answer did not come immediately.

Was it about 10 or 20 seconds? It was after a long time I stood in front of the door of the room when…

“…But why?”

“Eh?!”

What returned was such a question.

Certainly, I had never invited her to dinner at a time like this before. 

Although the words that followed after that were so quick that it sounded like she was making excuses.

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“No, that’s not what I meant.
It’s just, even though it was like that at lunch, you still made me a lunch box, right? That’s why, it’s not about saying things like thank you, but rather a feeling of whether I should continue making such amounts of debt one-sidedly.”

“…”

“A~ah.
Well, if you don’t need it, that’s fine too.
So, there’s no need t–“

“…I will”

*Clack (door handle turning)

Hiyori partially opened the door and said so with only half of her face peeking out.

“—Is that so.” 

My face when I listened to that answer must have been terribly relieved.

The LDK of our Kurai-household family was just a common floor plan.
Therefore, the smell of curry easily drifted to the living room as well.

“I wonder if this much rice would be enough?”

“…”

Hiyori nodded slightly in response as I served her the rice.
The amount wasn’t even close to half of my own serving.
Even though I knew Hiyori was petite and slim like a thin line, I was somehow startled.

As I was wondering, I heard the sound of the microwave meeting the timer.
At the same time, Hiyori stumbled her petite legs toward the microwave.
She was still wearing her school uniform.
Was she planning to log in while still in her uniform?

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“Ka—Karaage … since there was still some left …”

Hiyori muttered those words quietly as she brought the warmed plate of Karaage to the table.
She also prepared some barley tea and spoons in addition.

Then she stopped in front of the refrigerator and cutely asked while giving me a side-glance.

“That—umm, eggs…or cheese…”

“Heh?… … A~ah, then perhaps I’ll have the egg~.”

Apparently, Hiyori was a fan of putting raw eggs and cheese on top of her curry.
I usually don’t go with any topping, but since I felt that her mood would become even better if I were to answer in confirmation, I went with it. 

After placing the curry for 2 people, I went to my seat.
To my front, Hiyori seemingly shrinks back looking a bit nervous

Come to think of it, this was the first time we had dinner with only the both of us.
Becoming conscious of this, I was almost caught up in this tension.

“Ittadakimasu.” 

“… masu.”

[TL: …Maso; by the way, that is a Japanese way for being grateful towards the food.
They are almost grateful towards everything… Like when in a buffet, they somehow seem to bend down every time they took food.
… not the “maso” tho.]

Along with my voice, even Hiyori followed suit by performing a small gesture with her little hand and coming together.

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Crush the raw egg with a spoon, stir lightly and carry it to the mouth.
The spiciness on the tongue becomes mellow because of the egg and brings out the sweetness.
I tried it for the first time, but this by itself is surely a hit… Is it perhaps the favourite taste of Hiyori?

After Hiyori crushed the egg, she was now slowly putting cheese on it.
Perhaps she was waiting for it to melt slightly, as she kept waiting with a spoon on her hand in a state of anticipation.

And then what followed was a small bite.
When I thought that she suddenly turned red, she reached out her hands to the glass of water.
Was it too spicy? Or was it too hot?

“… are you okay?”

“…!”

“Is that so…”

[TL: this is some high-level interpretation … communication ongoing… Let your minds free to the cuteness … since it’s even going above my head.
Although cute…]

There was no reply, only a nod that followed repeatedly.
She was clearly teary-eyed, but there was no word whatsoever.

After that, silence prevailed.
Only the sound of dishes colliding with spoons and forks echoed in the dining room.

It felt strangely awkward.
I searched desperately for something to talk about and asked her something that had been bothering me.

“So, you wear glasses, don’t you?”

“!?!?”

For the first time, in reaction to my words, Hiyori realized that she was still wearing glasses.
She blushed, keeping aside her spoon just to take them off the next instant.

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