Episode 44: Chopping Board Gal
“Speaking of which—”
After our sleep-inducing class rolled to a close, Honoka slid over and injected herself into the matter.
“Didn’t they mention we’re going to be cooking in home economics today? That’s why I figured we should settle on groups now for later.”
“Certainly, if we don’t decide quickly, we won’t have much time when class starts.”
I thought back to what the teacher had said to us yesterday. “Form groups with four to five classmates.” In middle school, those words would’ve been the equivalent of a death sentence, but right now, I have four beautiful girls around me. It’s a classic turnabout. I am eternally thankful for the age-old rule that whenever a teacher says group up, you immediately pair up with your friends. Hmm~? No such rule exists? I don’t know what you are trying to imply.
“Then how about we group up together? That’d work out for the best right?”
Honoka raised her hands in the air for a joyous celebration when I brought it up.
“All right then—! We’ll group up!”
“I’d like to join in too~”
Saki and Yuzuriha jumped on the bandwagon a second later. When I took a look at Ranko though, her eyes were swimming, and she obviously didn’t know what to say.
“Ranko, are you going to join up with us too?”
A wave of relief crossed Ranko’s face when I asked her to join, but she quickly snapped back to her usual stern self.
“Naturally. Who knows what kind of tomfoolery Honoka would get herself in without proper adult supervision.”
Honoka’s anger flared up, but she didn’t seem as irritated as she did before. She moved over and began playfully poking her finger into Ranko’s shoulder. It looks like these two have become on good terms with each other which is a huge burden off my shoulders.
“Okay. Then with me, we’ll have five. Pleasure working with you, everyone.”
I double checked to make sure I was invited into the group and I got four nods back. Thank goodness. For now at least, it looks like I won’t be on my own. So happy…….. So, so happy……..
“We’ll be making curry rice though, so, Hono-chan, you’ll be okay won’t you?”
After thinking about something for a second, Saki made an uneasy face. It was clear to see that what she really wanted to ask was, “You can handle doing that much right?”……..oh, this is one of those events like in manga right? Chances are high that at least one of us here is comically bad at cooking. And when you think about which of us that would be, the most likely candidate is…….
“It’s just curry! Cook the rice, add the roux……and bon appetit!”
It’s worse than I thought.
“Maybe if you had the straight from the package, instant curry…….”
“So she’s talking about instant curry…….”
Saki and I shared a sigh. However Honoka wasn’t done, taking the misunderstanding into a whole new direction.
“Huh? Nuh uh! It’s the oldest and most sacred way of making curry!”
“That’s instant, not ancient……..”¹
Ranko with the comeback. It’s a terrible misunderstanding though. The rest of us are having a hard time holding back our laughter.
“But it’s so bothersome making it the other way! You can complete it by just throwing the ingredients together with the roux, that’s why it’s a beginner level dish! Anything else is crazy!”
While she ranted, Honoka moved her arms together to form a misshapen, oblong rectangle. She moved her arms about as if she were doing some image training.
“You start here! With the chopping board!”
“Chopping board gal? Are you talking about yourself Honoka?”²
“Yep yep! We just put these carrots on my flat chest and get to chop, chop, chopping……….Hey!”
“I think you’re starting to make me understand”
A perfectly executed exchange. This is the kind of relationship I’ve yearned for. Although, part of that dream has become a bit distorted because of Honoka’s influence.
In the meantime, Saki and Ranko are hopelessly shaking their heads. Well, not everyone can appreciate this kind of highbrow humor……..Yuzurin is doubled over, clutching her sides though.
Honoka went back to her image training. She gave a mighty roar as she furiously moved her arms around as if stirring a pot.
“Honoka? Cooking isn’t the kind of thing you’re supposed to put all your strength in. Although I suppose this macho style of cooking is amazing in its own right.”
“Guh, then how about this!?”
“What……the…… Honoka’s moving so fast, I can’t follow her movements!”
Honoka formed her hand into a knife and rapidly chopped it down through the air while pretending the top of my desk was a cutting board. However the only thing you’re going to cut up like that is the board itself rather than any carrots or beats. That’s assuming she doesn’t recklessly cut off one of her fingers too.
Meanwhile Yuzurin was acting like a girl with chuunbiyou as she pretended to be blown away from the wind pressure. I will admit that with the amount of noise Honoka was making and how quickly she was chopping her hand up and down, it didn’t look that out of place. Still, Ranko and I huffed a sigh as we watched the two of them go on.
“Geez, such hardheaded boneheads.”
“I am not a muscle brain! No wait, I am not a bonehead!”
“Even if you say that, I’m not so sure……you’re called Honoklod for a reason.”
I can already picture her being the type to not mind the small things while wholeheartedly throwing whatever she wants into the dish…….somehow churning out a spicy and crunchy meal no matter what she’s cooking.
“There’s no way we can let you cook something by yourself. Go, start your training over from the beginning and try again later.”
“Arms? How about I brush my nails instead”³
Honoka held out her long, well-decorated fingernails. I can only imagine how long it took to dress up one of those like that.
“It’s official, we aren’t going to be able to let you anywhere near a knife.”
“Your nails are beautifully well done~. But it will be difficult for you to cut any ingredients up with your nails like that.”
Honoka’s spirits dropped to their lowest point after Saki and I burst her bubble. Yeah, it looks like it’d be really dangerous, so let’s not leave any of the ingredients to her…….
1. The word for instant is pronounced retort, and the joke here is that Honoka is calling it retro. I used ancient since it sounded similar to instant.
2. Firstly, chopping board here is referring to flat chests in case you didn’t get that. Secondly, ‘ga aru’ means it is, so Honoka says “chopping board it is(ga aru)”. Put it together and ‘gaaru’ translates to gal. I’m so glad this series is using puns I can easily understand for once.
3. Some more wordplay. The word for skill and arm is the same, so the literal translation is, “Brush up your skills” followed by “Brush up my arms?”