There are a lot of notes at the end of this chapter. It is almost entirely made up of Honoka’s puns and broken grammar. I did my best to carry over as many of these puns into English as possible, but there were still a lot left over.
Episode 65: Cooking Class
And then it was third period home economics. Time for cooking practice.
A classroom filled with the whirring of a ventilation fan. You can find a range of essential ingredients for any household such as carrots, onions, and potatoes sitting on top of a large table with a sink. The five of us stood around said table.
“Now let’s begin by washing the rice and peeling the vegetables. We will be cooking next, so if everything goes well, we will all be having a wonderful plate of rice curry.”
The home economics teacher finished writing the step by step procedure on the blackboard before turning around and addressing the class.
Each group began earnestly working while communicating with each other.
“Okay, shall we get started? Yuzu and Honoka will be in charge of the rice and pot while the rest of us can take care of the vegetables.”
Our group confirmed how we would divide the roles and got started to make sure we wouldn’t lag behind. Just because we’re using a peeler instead of a knife doesn’t mean you can’t cut yourself, so I assigned our two worrisome members to the easier job.
However a seemingly dissatisfied Honoka caught the corners of her mouth and gave a suspicious laugh.
“Hehe— Are you looking down on me because I’ve never used a knife before? I’ll make you salty for that—”
“You’re going to make me sweat…….? Do you mean you are going to make the rice salty?”
“It’s probably~ Ok! Yosh. I’ll rub it on my arm—!”
She continues on with no mind for anything I’m saying. Honoka continues saying silly things while holding up some garlic and consommé in both her hands. That’s for the curry right?
“By the way, what is the ‘more’? Isn’t it salt?”¹
“What, are you thinking about onigiri……?”
“That’s it! Onigiri!”
“Although we’re making curry rice.”
Sure there are a ton of different ways to eat, but curry onigiri…..impossible right?
Meanwhile Yuzuriha was acting like she was holding an invisible sword and made a gesture as if she were about to strike.
“…….! Cut through the hundred yokai night parade, onigiri!”²
“Ohhhh! Do it Yuzurin! Tsujigiri!”³
“What…..why do tsujigiri……then I shall defend with a spinning slash!”
“What’s that—! Then I’m going to forcefully close up shop!”⁴
“The meaning keeps changing……that’s fine, so let’s hurry up and get to work……”
“All right! Then let’s grab some table salt and get started on those Japanese onigiri!”
“But we’re not making onigiri.”
A girl who really enjoys living life like it’s a comedy sketch. But you can also feel her kindness in picking up and running with Yuzuriha’s joke. Yuzuriha acts freely, and with Honoka’s energy, the two make for a good combination. I’m interested in seeing how each of them acts when they’re on their own.
“It would be hard to eat an onigiri stuffed with curry.”
“If you were to use naan bread instead perhaps~…….yeah~, it would still be difficult to eat. Perhaps it would be best to simply have onigiri and curry together.”
My hands never stopped moving even as I continued to entertain Honoka’s horseplay. Saki had been diligently working this whole time, throwing in a word every now and then without looking at us. She’s the image of a housewife right now isn’t she? Pink apron housewife Saki-chan looks like she would fit right in at a supermarket. I would certainly want her as a bride. No, a mom.
“Anyway, there’s no need for you to be so upbeat Honoka. We’re already working full steam here.”
“Hoh—? Are you sure—? You’re not fired up from my burning passion? Well then it can’t be helped—”
Honoka picked up a garlic tube and pointed it like it was the muzzle of a gun.
“I’m worried that the seasoning will burn….. Try not to add too much garlic…..”
“Hmm—!? But garlic gives me energy—!”
“Which is why you really don’t need to add too much.”
“Plus our breaths would smell~”
I’m anxious because ramen has a known criminal record for excess oil. I was trying to persuade Honoka–it was impossible to tell if she was joking or not–when Saki cut in a bit forcefully.
“Depending on how much you put in we could get heart burn. Can’t we hold back?”
“Our heart…..is burning? So we’ll have boobs fuego ardiente?”⁵
“Why Spanish….. I know we’re not that old, but have you really never heard of heartburn before? The sick feeling you get when you eat a lot of greasy food like ramen or eat too much in general.”
“Careful. You’ll end up with heartburn…..if you fall in love with me.”
Honoka pulled a cool look while once again blowing on the garlic tube and snapping her fingers with her free hand. Her heartburn…..is she some kind of loud, heavy woman? It’s cute how she keeps making these mistakes while looking so confident about what she’s saying.
“Wouldn’t the correct thing to say here be, ‘you’ll get burned’?”
“Honoka-chan, who wields the soul of Ifrit, the spirit of fire, is right now, unleashing her power…..!?”
“Don’t you join in too Yuzu~!”
Yuzurin let out a cute moan when I lightly tapped her in return for her joke. I wonder if my tone came out a bit too strong…..but the noise she made was so cute I really want to tap her again….. *Tap* “Ueeh”. *Tap* “Ueeh”….. It’s like I’m playing with a stuffed animal……
“To summarize— You’re saying if I eat too much, my chest⁶ will burn….. So that’s why my chest isn’t getting any bigger. My chest has been burned away because of how much I eat….. Ugh. To think ramen connoisseurs had to live with this kind of curse……
“You never had a chest to begin with Honoka……”
“Huh!? Whose chest is a burnt field!?”
“I didn’t say that much!”
“Hono-chan~, pass over the cutting board~”
“Huh!? Whose chest is flat as a cutting board!?”
“No, for cooking! Saki isn’t involved in this.”
Saki was looking embarrassed when Ranko handed over one of the cutting boards. I wonder if she counts as a cutting board too. I haven’t gotten a good look to know yet.
“Uuu…..I know I have tiny breasts, but it’s still frustrating.”
“I don’t understand what you mean…..”
Saki just finished washing all the vegetables when she wrapped around behind Honoka and put both her hands on Honoka’s cheeks.
“Uhehe— It’s cold—”
And like that a welcoming yuri space was built.
“So what does it feel like to have heartburn?”
“Hmm, how to put it….. I guess, it’s like there’s this sickly pressure in your chest…..?”
“Hmmm? Of course. Yuu-chan does have an amazing chest. Are you overeating because of how angry you are all the time—”
“It’s not all the time. And it’s linked to poor health.”
“I guess I have no other choice but to massage them to help you relieve stress—”
“Uwaa! Don’t come up with strange reasons to sexually harass me!”
“And Saki, don’t jump on the bandwagon and touch them too!”
Two beautiful girls came at me from the front and stuffed their hands underneath my apron to rub my breasts. I absolutely detest sexual harassment, yet my chest was full.
We finally got around to cooking in earnest. Of course I can’t concentrate fully though, and I keep stealing glances to the side.
“Yuzurin. You know you can’t use detergent to wash rice right? You only need water.”
“I would…..never behave so foolishly. Do not think to underestimate me….. Besides this rice is! Wash! Rice…..!”
Suddenly Yuzuriha began moving around both her arms and body to mimic flowing water before striking an impromptu pose like a conductor bringing a song to an end. But the rice I bought was pre-washed? I’m stunned…..but this girl is cute, isn’t she?
“I’m just concerned, not looking down on you. And we’re only using pre-washed rice right?”
I put up my hands and responded. I’m just feeling a little overprotective since Yuzuriha licked the vanilla extract someone brought in for fun because of how good it smelled.
“I told a lie….I wanted to be cool…..”
“……really, I see”
A bitter smile. But that’s charming in its own way. It sounds like Yuzurin is also excited to be doing this with us. She’s been in high spirits ever since she bought that yuri manga during our preparations for the birthday party.
“Here it is! Yes! Wash! Rice!”
Honoka jumped at the chance to join in on Yuzuriha’s game, repeating exactly what she had said before only in English this time.
“Isn’t the meaning off there?”
“Hmm—? Well, it’s fine!”
An energetic girl as always.
“Since the rice we are using would be called ‘pre-washed rice’ or ‘wash free rice’ in English, I believe the proper English translation for ordinarily prepared rice would be simply, ‘washed rice’.”⁷
Ranko thought for a second with her hand on her chin and gave a model answer…..I’m impressed she she can understand English conjugations so well.
But when Honoka heard her thoughts, her eyes began to shine as she threw her palm towards the ceiling.
“Hah! Rinsed rice!”
“Cool…..! Then me too……. Magic counter! Wash-free rice…..!”
They were using English words and pretending they were magic spells. Yuzuriha put up both her hands to throw up a barrier. What are these children doing….. At least they’re healthy.
While I watched over them amazed, Saki stopped peeling her vegetables and clapped her hands.
“Come now. If we don’t move quickly, we won’t have anything to eat~”
“Kay kay Saki-okaasan”
“W-Who are you calling a middle aged woman!?”
I’m fine to leave Saki and Ranko alone, so I decided to keep my spare eye focused on the girls trying to cook rice. We have five cups of dry rice ready in the rice cooker pot. The teacher taught each group how to appropriately measure out their rice, so we filled up the cooker throughout the lecture. Yuzuriha looked incredibly proud as she scooped in each cup of rice one by one, but it’s good that she got the concept so quickly.
But, despite my worries, it feels like they might have this. Yuzuriha was picking up the pot as I thought back over my earlier actions and….. Huh……?
“Hold on Yuzu. Why are you putting the rice cooker pot on the stove already?”
“…..each second passes by in a flash, so I must hurry…..”
“Nonono~! There’s no water in that pot!”
“——!? I did not notice…..!”
Yuzuriha recoiled when my voice came out stronger than I meant it to. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to surprise you….. But you were about to completely ignore the laws of physics and cook rice without any water….. I’m as shocked as you are here…..
“What would happen if we cook it without any water?”
“Well if you heated it up while it’s dry, it would probably pop.”
“Seriously!? Like fireworks! Let’s do it!”
That was almost extremely dangerous. I’ve gotten barely any of my own work done…… I wonder if I gave everyone the wrong roles…..
1. I think the joke here is that Honoka is using the word ‘yori’ which can mean more, but she is thinking about the word ‘nori’ which is the seaweed you use for onigiri.
2. Fans of One Piece might already know this, but aside from being Japanese for rice balls, onigiri also translates to ‘Ogre Cutter’. It is one of Zolo’s signature attacks.
3. Tsujigiri is the practice of testing a new katana’s sharpness by cutting down a human target, usually some random guy walking down the street minding his own business.
4. Girigiri can mean forcefully in this context. It’s a long line of ‘giri’ puns meant to keep me on my toes.
5. She originally said these words in English.
6. The kanji for heart is also the kanji for chest.
7. All of this is a conversation about the English translation for ‘senmai’ which is rice that rice that has already been washed and ready to cook and ‘musenmai’ which is rice you buy that doesn’t have to be washed at all. I admit it all sounds ridiculous when translated.