I head over to Seiichi’s table after lunch, along with Shun, with whom I’d set up a conversation beforehand.

I’d like to say that we’ve gotten along great …… since we hung out on our days off, but he hasn’t been very active in getting involved lately.

“Seiichi, what’s up with you lately?”
“That’s right. Did you have a stomach ache? You seem to be going to club activities though”

I was indeed curious, so I decided to ask Seiichi directly about it on Friday.

“N-No, it’s nothing.”

It’s not that I usually deal with him when I get involved with him and he doesn’t respond back.
However, as far as Seiichi is concerned, it has always been more common for him to get involved with me from that side.
After all, even now, I still think he is not very articulate in any way. ……

“It can’t be nothing, can it? Well, if you have something you want to keep secret, I won’t pursue it too deeply.”
“If you have a problem, don’t hesitate to talk to us. If there’s anything we can do to help, we will.”
“……Oh, I’ll be counting on you then.”

Seiichi responded and frowned for a moment at the sound of the chime.
The difference was so slight that I wondered if it was my imagination, but it was a look I don’t see often, so it bothered me.
He’s the kind of guy who would laugh at a big game loss, this guy.

But …… if it’s a private matter, it’s probably hard to talk about, and it’s bad manners to stick your neck out.
Besides, if this is related to Seiichi’s own love life or a secret surprise, I have no intention of actively trying to analyze it, of course.

It’s hard to judge whether cooperation is necessary or unnecessary …… for something like this.

“Well, you can trust me to keep my mouth shut.”
“Of course I trust you. I trust Sora.”

That was the end of the conversation.

After school, Saara heads to Seiichi’s seat. Today is Saara’s first of many rounds, a day for the soccer team.
It looks like fans of the juniors are going to gather to watch Saara again.

The teachers have indeed stopped asking to fix the club activities regarding Saara, but it remains to be seen what will happen when it comes time for the …… tournament.
In order to be a player, indeed, you have to belong to somewhere.
Once she was asked ‘how about doubling up all the club activities as an affiliation’, but she refused saying it was impossible. That’s right.
Even Saara needs a day off. Even if she uses today’s Friday after-school time for the soccer team, she doesn’t have to stay with them from Saturday’s practice to Sunday’s game.

But still,……, that’s where the senior is.
I think it’s great that she’s going there without refusing.
That’s exactly the kind of thing that I think would disqualify the soccer team in a heartbeat if given the opportunity to turn down the soccer team because of the failure of the department head in question.

However, Saara would not do anything to degrade the other party because of such ‘burdens to himself’.
Saara is that type of person who has a strong sense of justice, or rather, she hates crookedness.
Besides, now she has Seiichi, whom she befriended during the holidays, and there are other female soccer club members in her class.
I don’t think she’s completely away from home.

Well, he’s having a hard time too.
I’ll do my best today, too.

“This is …… this is bad. Too delicious after a workout. ……”

Since I was so excited today, I made pork cubes.
The meat, made of red and white layers, is stewed in soy sauce and other seasonings.
I also freshly cooked 16-grain rice.

“I’m glad you enjoyed it, even though it was a departure from our usual light Japanese cuisine, I was relieved that the soy sauce for seasoning went well.”
“Sora-kun is a god, and soy sauce is his weapon. destroying all giants with a single blow.”
“Shodoshima has become the land of Norse mythology. ……”

As usual, I proceed with my chopsticks, listening to the unique expressions.
Three cups of 16-grain rice, that’s going to be a lot of rice that I’ll have to re-cook tomorrow. ……

“Soy sauce goes with everything. Not only for this kind of thing, but also for butter.”
“It’s delicious.”
“Fish-san loves the combination of Japanese and Western taste of butter and soy sauce wrapped in foil. But the Saikyo Misoyaki made by the strongest and most invincible man is the best, so I like that one too.”
“This time, a miso warehouse in Kyoto is going to defeat the Demon King. ……”

It is said that when foreigners see Japanese food, they sometimes think it is all flavored with soy sauce.
It is true that most dishes are made of soy sauce. Sashimi and grilled fish are made with soy sauce, as are simmered dishes. Teriyaki and sauce are also made with soy sauce.
When one bottle of soy sauce is all you need, you don’t have to wonder about it.

Another indispensable seasoning for Japanese food is miso.
Miso is also an indispensable seasoning in Japanese cooking.

“Everything is soy, so Japanese food is all kinds of soy.”
“Yes. I once said that gratin croquette burgers are full of flour, but Japan is full of soy. You know how they put fried bean curd in miso with tofu, and soy sauce in bean stew? And next to rice, natto. It’s all soy.”
“Amazing. Without soybeans, there would be no cuisine in this country.”

With these words, today’s meal came to an end with a wry smile from Saara, who offered a prayer of thanks for the soybeans.

“I’m sure you’ve heard about the soccer team today.”
“Ah,……, I was approached by the senior again, but thanks to Suzuka-chan, the girls covered for me in a group and we almost didn’t see each other.”
“I’m so glad to hear that, as expected of Sato san”
“I’m not very good at this kind of thing, so I can count on her.”

At any rate, I am relieved about the soccer club and Saara, which I was concerned about.
Thanks Sato-san, I’m not as good at understanding the situation around here as Saara is.

Saturday is my day off. Saara, who is not in any particular club, relaxes in my room and takes charge of the cooking.
On Sunday, we will do some shopping together while studying, and then we will be in the kitchen together.
It’s a peaceful Saturday and Sunday, as only Saara, who doesn’t have a fixed club activity, can do.

And so nothing.
We don’t know anything, and the week dawns.

“Today, Odawara-kun has informed me that he is taking the day off.”

On the first Monday of the week, Seiichi took the day off.
I thought it was just a cold,……, but from that day on, for a week, Seiichi continued to rest.

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