Tl Note: Correction – The bag left with Nobuhiko belongs to Shinichi.
The girl was nervous in front of the grinning boy.
To her this boy was the one who got back her things and – although he was a little pushy for a moment – was someone who had taken care of her in various meanings.
Because of that she couldn’t help but become beet red when the boy found out what her errand really entailed.
“Aren’t you going to eat that?” the boy asked.
“Yes, no, umm… I’m sorry,” the girl replied.
The parfait was already half finished, but she didn’t feel like it anymore.
“Ha ha, you don’t have to mind it that much.
The third parfait of the weekly sweets of a famous pastry chef.
Moreover, only the first 50 customers can have the pleasure of eating it. It’s only natural you’d be concerned about the time.”
When the boy saw the menu facing up on the same table and read what was on it, his smile grew even deeper.
At the same time, the girl became smaller and smaller as her desire to vanish grew stronger.
“I-I’m really sorry.
Today is the only free time I have… I’m so sorry.”
She had shrunk so much that it seemed as if she really would vanish just like that.
Her shoulders drooped, her voice and expression became dark.
“…Y-You know. You don’t really have to mind it that much.
I mean anyone would much rather eat something delicious rather than go through some annoying procedures right?”
It was so bad that even the boy couldn’t help but try and encourage her.
“T-That’s exactly what I don’t want though.
To be thought of as someone who would much rather satiate her gluttony rather than fulfill her duty. Ahaha…”
Moreover by someone who has done what he could properly.
To this girl who respected someone who could react to a sudden turn of events, such a thing was a disgrace.
When Shinichi saw how the girl laughed in self-derision, it finally dawned on him that he might have gone too far.
“You’re a really serious person, aren’t you? …You’re someone worth teasing.”
“T-That’s all I’m good for, after all…”
Just a little, though.
Shinichi said the latter half of his sentence quietly, so she couldn’t actually hear it.
To be more precise, he ‘whispered it so she wouldn’t hear it’.
“Anyway, feel free to eat the rest. It would be a waste not to, wouldn’t it?
After all, from what you said earlier, it seems even you don’t know when you’ll be able to treat yourself like this again, right?
And either way, you’ll have missed today’s opportunity.”
“Y-Yes. Thank you.
I’m from a boarding school, so I can’t go on trips like this often…”
The girl started eating again just as Shinichi told her to.
She did look like she was of the same generation.
“I see… Fu fu. Does it taste good?”
“Yes! It’s amazing how they’re able to combine so many different types of sweetness in a single glass!
As expected of the Earthlings and their obsession with their food! I’m really impressed!”
One bite was all it took to blow away all the darkness on the girl’s face.
And when asked for her impressions, she was more than willing to provide.
“I guess all girls love sweets no matter what world they come from, huh.”
A group of maids flashed through Shinichi’s mind.
When he was able to gather the necessary ingredients by coincidence and was able to do an amateur’s imitation of ice cream, they were all too happy to dig in. It seems that was one part of women that wouldn’t change no matter the world.
But Shinichi’s words caused the girl in front of him to darken once again.
This girl has so many land mines, Shinichi thought to himself as he made a wicked face full of interest and conveniently forgot his own issues.
“…It would be great if that were the case.”
“I see. So that’s why you’re alone right now.”
When he thought about it, a lone girl went to an unknown town to eat parfait on her own.
Moreover, at the cost of her limited free time.
“B-Bochi? There’s too many Japanese words that’s not registered.
Umm, I don’t really understand the word, but there are a lot of girls around me that aren’t fond of food culture.”
“Well, food does tend to be connected to what you eat growing up. It’s probably hard to accept cuisine from a different place.”
Shinichi knew from his travels that the difference in food culture was one source of conflicts.
It’s not unusual for something that’s considered to be food in one region to be unthinkable in another.
In this case, the people involved were worlds apart, so it’s really not surprising.
Apparently, though, it was a bit different in the girl’s case.
“Ha ha, it would still be fine if that were the case, but those kids are just too proud of Garesto.
I’m kind of like their leader, so I can’t just do what I want, but it’s so restricting that I end up just acting however they want me to. In the end, you can’t tell anymore who’s the leader and who’s the servant…”
“I wonder what it is that I actually want to do,” she said as she laughed weakly. “That’s why sometimes I want to be alone and just eat what I want.”
Shinichi’s face became sullen when he heard about the harshness of the girl’s group.
A different brand of annoying from the maid platoon that was ‘once’ too thorough with their hierarchy.
She can’t even get what she wants even though she’s the leader.
She was a diligent girl who placed much importance on the balance of all things, but it was clear that she wasn’t having an easy time.
“You must’ve really had a hard time.
Alright. In that case, I’ll feed you.”
Shinichi took the spoon as if it were perfectly natural, scooped a spoonful from the parfait, and brought it toward her.
“Don’t worry. This isn’t anything embarrassing.
In Japan we feed foreigners and travelers like this to show appreciation for their efforts.”
Here was a man who grinned a charming smile while lying brazenly.
And sure enough this poor girl from Garesto could not see through it.
“T-That’s a thing!? I never knew. What should I do?”
Truly a diligent child.
The girl took Shinichi’s words seriously and responded in the same serious manner.
“I’ll say ‘say ahh’ as I bring the spoon toward you, and you’ll say ‘ahh’ as you open your mouth and accept. Simple, right?”
Seeing the girl nod energetically, Shinichi too nodded and brought the spoon toward her while saying ‘Say, ahh’.
The girl opened her mouth and received his spoon seriously.
She truly believed that this was a tradition of this country and was earnestly studying it.
Unfortunately, there was no one here to point out her error.
Even the kitsune who could’ve stopped Shinichi – although she too may have been fooled – wasn’t here either.
Point in case, there was no one here to stop them.
And when the truth is revealed this poor girl will be humiliated.
“…What are you doing, Shinichi?”
Fortunately, the waiter (childhood friend) stopped them.