There they are, the three of them, shoulders slumped with downcast expressions.
No one is there but the three of them.

“What in the world ….is this?”

As soon as he saw my face, Sosuke cried out.

“Ah, Arase! O-our dinner. Our dinner!!!”
“Calm down. What the hell happened?”

I ask Kurase and Asagiri as I pull Sosuke away.

“Uh, Umm…….”
“T-That’s …….”

But they both looked away awkwardly.
Both of them kept scurrying around and their eyes kept swimming.

What did these two do?
Apparently, it didn’t look like the other classmates from the future they had just seen had come.

“I-it’s terrible. Arase! It’s because of Asagiri!”

Apparently, the cause was Asagiri.

“H-Haaa! Don’t blame others! Sasaoka is just as guilty as me!”
“You too, ……, just tell me what happened.”
“I-I turned up the heat too high.”
“Asagiri said it was better to cook it on high heat!”
“What? Sasaoka was the one who was adding wood to the fire! He said, Leave it to him, he’ll show me how to build a campfire!”

That’s what this is all about. What a stupid conversation.
Don’t tell me it’s because I said I left it to you. ……?
And why did you insist on high heat?

“Kurase didn’t stop you from doing that?”
“Well,…… I was going to the bathroom,…… and it was crowded,…… so I was late,…….”
“Oh …….”

There is nothing we can do about that. Kurase is a victim, too.
Kurase is a kind person. She must have regretted not being able to stop him and felt awkward about it herself.

“So …… what’s with the flipped over …… pot?”
“I-I came back and Flipped ………… it.”

…… Kurase was also an accomplice.

“I’m sorry I panicked …… because I thought I was going to get burned.”

I’m not sure if it’s natural or if it’s just a screw up.
I can’t help but think …… that maybe if I had been here, I could have prevented this. ……
It’s future foresight. Why didn’t I trigger it? …… No, I triggered it, and this is the result?

“So…… this means you are all responsible….”
“”Yes, …….””

Three listless voices came together.
Who could have predicted that if I prevented the other boys in our class from asking us out, we would lose our evening meal?
That doesn’t mean we’re not going to get our dinner back here if we hold them accountable.
…… then we should switch.

“Haa…… what’s spilled can’t be helped. I guess I’ll just have to make it again now. I’ll ask if there are any extra ingredients. Worst case scenario, if we just have white rice, we can make it.”

Fortunately, there was still some time left. I arrived early in spite of all the happenings, so there might be some leftover ingredients.

“No, there isn’t. Our group has already used up all the food. ……”

But God gave us up.

“And so goes the white rice.”
“…… what’s this?”
“White rice.”

The contents of the rice shown to me, which should have been white rice, were not there.
The plan I had inside me collapsed with a clatter.
Tonight, I would not be eating dinner.

“I want to cry.”

Sosuke spills a little.

That’s my line. What’s the point of taking care of Fujibayashi, saving Kurase who got lost, and finally getting to eat dinner? Am I possessed by the god of death or something?

“…… No. Wait.”

Not yet. Then I remembered my conversation with Suika. I remembered that Suika’s place had an excess of foodstuffs.
Another group, but maybe we can work something out, right?
A faint hope descended on me.

“Hold on a minute.”

I hurriedly looked for Suika.
When I found her, she was in the middle of making a fire.
Fujibayashi was nowhere to be seen. Was she skipping work? Never mind.

“Hey, Arase-kun. It’s been a while! What’s up?”
“I have a favor to ask you.”
“A favor? It’s kind of fancy, isn’t it? …… But if it’s a favor from Arase-kun, I’ll do it, okay?”
“Thank you. The actual reason is that we’ve run out of food for dinner. You said you had some left over, so I was wondering if you’d be willing to share it with me.”
“Oh, so that’s what this is about! You look so grim, I thought something was wrong! I’m totally fine with it! It was more like a lot for the two of us!”
“I really appreciate your help.”

Suika looks like a goddess for agreeing to help us out. The smile heals me. I will worship her.

“Uh, what’s wrong?”
“No, it’s nothing.”
“I see …… that’s what I’m going to do. I’d say in return though ……”

But there seems to be some condition.
Give and take. That is the way of the world. If there are conditions, I have no choice but to accept them without saying a word. It was better than spending the night with this exhausted and hungry body.

“I don’t think Fujibayashi san can cook,……, and Suika doesn’t know where to start,……, so it would be great if you could help me.”

She looks awkward, so I wondered what was going on. Didn’t you say earlier that you just had to smash it anyway? Well, it doesn’t matter.

“If that’s the case, it’s no big deal. I’d rather make it. No, let me make it.”

Since it wasn’t a big deal, I accepted the offer with a simple yes. I accepted the offer, partly as a way of thanking her for sharing her food with me, but also for another reason.

I couldn’t let anything more happen!
In other words, I just have to eliminate the possibility of something happening by someone else’s hand. All I have to do is do it. I came to that conclusion.

“Eh? Arase-kun, you can cook!?”
“Yeah, I can cook curry, if that’s what you want.”
“Really?! I’m so grateful for your help! first, I did the peeling part. ……”

There were carrots, potatoes, onions, and meat cut up into cruel pieces. There was a light pool of blood around the meat.

“A body disposal site?”
“Ah, Rude!?”
“Sorry, I was joking.”
“E-even Suika is doing her best. ……?”
“O-oh …… sorry. I was a little too wordy.”

With her cheeks puffed out and slightly teary-eyed, Suika stared at me.
I was surprised, but I was nervous.

“Speaking of which, where’s Fujibayashi?”
“Fujibayashi san? Well, I don’t know. ……”

It seems that even Suika can’t control Fujibayashi.

“What’s wrong with me?”

I jumped back from the spot.

“Your face is red, what’s wrong?”

Fujibayashi was there with a mischievous smile on her face.
Fujibayashi was not in the same bad mood she had been in when they had climbed the mountain. After making up with Kurase and the others, she seemed to be in a good mood.

“Of course I was surprised when you suddenly whispered in my ear.”
“Fufu, that’s an interesting response. I’ll do it again next time!”
“No thanks. I mean, look here. Suika is frozen, right?”
“Suika? ….. Oh, you must be Takimoto-san.”
“U-uh, do you two get along?”
“Well, I can’t say …… enough about our relationship…right?.”

How dare you complicate the story!
Suika’s face is turning redder and redder. This is definitely a weird misunderstanding.

“Pull out your stupidity. Suika, it’s not like that. She’s just saying it on her own.”
“…… What? Eh, Are you his girlfriend, Takimoto-san? He’s calling you …….”
“E-Ehh!?? It’s not true! Suika just asked him to call me that too!”
“Hmmm,…… he didn’t do it with me.”

Fujibayashi looks at me with a jealous look. I’m not going to call you out for looking at me like that.
I feel defeated somehow.

“Well, I believe you are not Arase’s girlfriend. Then why is Arase here? Did you come to see me?”
“What if I told you I did?”

I decided to make fun of Fujibayashi again, because I didn’t want to be left out of the game.

“Eh ……? W-well, I’m glad to hear that. ……”
“O-oh …….”

However, what came back was a different reaction than I had imagined. Her cheeks were a little red, if not a little hearty. When I thought that, the usual response came back.

“Well, there’s no way a virgin Arase would say such a thing, right?”
“Don’t talk like that in front of Suika too.”
“What is ………… doutei?” (Virgin)

Oh, no. The pure Suika would remember something weird!

“N-No, it’s nothing. You shouldn’t say much more than that. Fujibayashi, too!”
“Yeah, I got it!”

Somehow, it seems to have turned out all right. But, unlike Kurase and the others, Suika’s presence was always friendly.

“So, what did you end up doing?”
“Yeah. I’ve got some things going on, and I wanted to ask you to share some of your ingredients with me. In exchange.”
“Yeah yeah! He said he would cook for Suika and the others in exchange.”
“Eh!? You’re going to cook for us? I’ll eat it!”

Fujibayashi’s eyes sparkled. I feel like I’m being looked at with a lot of anticipation.
Even if he looks at me like that, it’s still just curry.

“Ah, but if it’s ingredients, it seems like there was a surplus in the three groups, even if it wasn’t our group. I saw that before I came here.”
“Really? Then, should I get it from them?”
“N-no. ……! Then we’ll lose the exchange!”
“! Yes, indeed, that’s no good. Arase must be split from our group! Otherwise, the three groups will not share!”

Suika nodded in agreement with Fujibayashi.
This is probably because if you miss this one, you will end up making it yourself.

“I know……”

When they looked at me like an abandoned dog, I had no choice but to obey them.
So, our group managed to get dinner, thanks to the kindness of Suika’s group.

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