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By Mao-chan’s request, we were going to eat pancakes.
I’d wondered this before, but weren’t pancakes more of a snack?
The menu was filled with pictures of whipped cream towers.
I couldn’t understand how Hawaiians could eat pancakes as a staple. Wouldn’t you get heartburn eating this for breakfast? Was it just a matter of getting used to it?
Still, I was pretty excited for it. I went with a chocolate, banana and whipped cream.
Mao-chan went with strawberry, while Ichinokura-san went with fruit pancakes with no cream.
“Wahh! It looks so yummy!”
Her eyes seemed to sparkle as our orders were carried to us. They were bigger than expected.
“Yours looks yummy too, Reika-oneesama!”
“Want to try some?”
“Can I!? Then please eat some of mine!”
And that’s how we happily split our orders. The chocolate banana pancakes were delicious! I liked chocolate and bananas with my crepes too, incidentally. Still wasn’t entirely sure how I felt about eating these sweet foods for dinner, but as a snack they were the best.
I wondered how on earth they cooked these so neatly though. In my old life the batter was always really thick, and I’d use a lot of it because I wanted my pancakes to turn out thick like in the pictures. The thickness worked of course, but they were always shaped more like weird pillows instead. And they were huge. And undercooked. On the inside at least, because the outside was always burned…
I doubted that anybody could really make such nice pancakes at home. It was probably impossible. Most likely those photos were faked.
Wah! Mao-chan’s strawberry and powdered sugar pancakes were delicious too!
“Would you like some chocolate banana pancakes, Ichinokura-sama? They are delicious, you know?”
“Try some of my strawberry too, Haruto-niisama!”
“Mmmm~ I think I’m good.”
Oh? He didn’t seem as enthused about our pancakes as he was about my kamameshi.
“Are you perhaps not so fond of sweet foods, Ichinokura-sama?”
“No, no, I am. It’s just that the cream looks a little overwhelming,” he said with a difficult smile.
I could kind of understand.
“Haruto-niisama, did you not want pancakes?”
Mao-chan looked a little sad. Ichinokura-san flew into a bit of a panic to reassure her.
“No, I did, Mao. Maybe I will try some of yours.”
He cut off a bit of her pancakes.
“Mn, delicious. Thank you, Mao.”
“You’re welcome. You can have more, you know?”
“But then there’d be less for you. I’ve got my own. Actually, you should try some of mine. Want a little?”
Mao-chan stuffed her cheeks with the fruit-laden pancake.
“Yummy! Ah, but I took too much of your fruit. I’m sorry. You can have some of my cream instead!” she said, before piling a mountain of cream onto his food.
“I really love you and Reika-neesama so I’m really happy that we came here.”
Mao-chan, what adorable things you say!
Ichinokura-san was smiling too.
“It looks like Mao adores you, Reika-san.”
“Mn. Reika-neesama is pretty and nice and smart, you know. She’s amazing.”
Mao-chan, I think you’re overestimating me a little…
“I am glad that you think so highly of me, but I am nowhere near so special. For one thing I am not very smart…”
“That’s not true! Sensei says that you had really good grades! And that you took the initiative to lead the class too.”
Apparently her current home room teacher was the one who pushed me into being a member of the executive committee for the athletics meet as well as being class rep. When exactly did I take the initiative.
“Sensei said that you were reliable and smart when you were younger too. As expected of you, Reika-oneesama!”
“Ohh? You’re actually quite amazing, Reika-san.”
“She is! I want to be like Reika-oneesama too!”
“I see. Then you’ll have to study, Mao.”
My primary school self was being incredibly glorified in Mao-chan’s mind. I’d better study like hell for the mid-terms…
“Speaking of which, Yukino-kun said you were nice too, Reika-oneesama.”
“Eh, Yukino-kun did!?”
That little Angel-chan said I was nice!?
“Yukino-kun is really popular, you know? He’s like a little prince, so even people from middle or high school come to see him. But his body isn’t strong so the Pivoine told us to look after him.”
I did recall Enjou doing something like that.
“Is this Yukino-kun that cool?”
Ichinokura-san sounded interested now. Your cream isn’t decreasing at all, you know…
“He’s more cute than cool. Right, Reika-oneesama?”
“We all say he’s like an angel.”
Aha. I knew everybody thought that too. He really was an angel.
I nodded along in assent.
“An angel. I think I’d like to meet him once too.”
“And Yukino-kun’s oniisama is dreamy too. One time he came to the salon to pick up Yukino-kun and he smiled at us and asked us to take care of Yukino-kun! All of the oneesamas in the high grades were in love. He was like a prince.”
“That sounds kinda amazing.”
Prince? Enjou a prince!? Noooo! My cute little Mao-chan is being deceived!
“And the Prince had a really cool friend too. Reika-oneesama, you’re in their year aren’t you?”
“How nice. You must be close, right? Yukino-kun was happy since it seemed like you and his brother got along.”
Yukino-kun, I’m sorry but that’s a huge misunderstanding! Actually was this my fault~?
Oh no! What if Enjou started thinking like, ‘Wow. What is this woman doing claiming that we’re close to my little brother’!?
Besides Mao-chan who was smiling innocently, I could feel my stomach dropping.
I learned at that dinner that Mao-chan had somehow misunderstood me to be some kind of superwoman with brains as well as beauty. Since I didn’t want to disappoint her, I studied extra hard. I even started seeing my notes in my dreams.
After drinking two energy drinks at once night after night, I made it into the ranking board for the first time. 29th place.
After all of that study, and I was only 29th… That was barely on it. No, but I really did try!
Still, everybody was focused on what was written on 1st place.
1. Takamichi Wakaba
2. Kaburagi Masaya
3. Enjou Shuusuke
4. Mizusaki Arima
So Wakaba-chan had finally overtaken both Kaburagi and Enjou to take first place──
The last time she had taken first it was because the Emperor was heartbroken. This time was different though. She beat him out with pure ability.
These were the first test results since entering 2nd year. The people around me seemed disquieted.
Kaburagi and Enjou came along. After looking at the board, Kaburagi raised an eyebrow.
“…Shuusuke, this Takamichi Wakaba was in your class, right?”
“Yep. She’s a girl with a lot of energy.”
“Ah, speak of the devil. Takamichi-san, congratulations on 1st place.”
With bad timing, Wakaba-chan had come along right that moment.
“Eh-, 1st!? Th-… Thank you very much…”
Wakaba-chan was a lot more hesitant this time. Somebody must have given her quite the verbal lashing last time.
“So you’re Takamichi?”
Wakaba-chan shrank further under his gaze.
After staring at her silently for a while, he simply went back.
“Bye then,” waved Enjou, before following after.
Wakaba-chan was left sitting on a bed of nails…
Ummmm~ By the way, I made it onto the ranking boards for the first time since getting into high school. Did anybody notice?
It’s right there you know? Kisshouin Reika, right next to the ’29’~