Cultural Festival (Part 2).
It was a curtain, a simple piece of cloth. It had no power, no strength, a single tug, and the entire thing would come crashing down. However, It did a good job of hiding the contents behind and making the reveal rather exciting, but it did a horrible job of making sure the intruder was prepared for what was to come.
My mother, my brother, and myself. All of us were completely unprepared for the shock we were about to experience. My family was more in shock than me, I had my hopes higher than them considering Takumi was the man behind the job, but even so, the scenery presented to me wasn’t something that even I could have predicted. It defied the norm and went above and beyond what some random sixteen-year-olds could accomplish.
First of all, there was no partition for the kitchen, class 1-E was utilizing the entirety of the huge space that Haru Academy provided each of its classes. There were only eight tables inside though. Also, there was some kind of attack on titan wall thing going on in the middle of the classroom. And enclosed inside that wall was my prince… and two other girls. However, even with the lack of furniture, the class didn’t seem empty, rather, it seemed wholesome and satisfactory.
An enticing smell running through the air which could make a person drool uncontrollably. The multiple women clad in suits, all of them walking around with a dignified and attractive smile on their faces. The lighting gave a cheerful yet pressuring vibe. If I am being honest, this ‘Redundant Restaurant’, seemed quite essential and emphasized to me.
Turning my neck a little sideways, both of my family member’s eyes were sparkling, and both of them were looking at the same person in interest, I can comprehend my mom’s interest, but why is my brother so worked up about this?
“Ladies. Sir. Please allow me to welcome you to our humble establishment.”
A certain extremely beautiful girl stood in front of us while offering one of her glove-clad hands.
“Ara! Minami-chan, you look so cute!”
My mom was extremely happy after witnessing Minami’s extraordinary appearance. Her pretty and silky blonde hair was tied in a ponytail, her suit was hugging her curves and emphasizing her even more. I was entranced. Looking around, all of the staff inside here are women… Oh, there’s Aoki-kun over there. He looks quite handsome indeed, now I understand why all the girls in my class were trying to couple us up.
“I thank you for the sincere compliment, My lady.”
Minami said so and bowed to my mother, however, while bowing, she raised her head a little and showed us a very charming smile, her expression was one full of happiness and joy. She seemed like she was enjoying the best time of her life.
I knew the reason for her happiness, and I was jealous.
“Ara, the Kobayashi family, is it? Minami, you shouldn’t make them wait at the entrance for so long… Table number five is vacant and cleared, please escort them to their table.”
Hey, dear, you were scolded, why did your face brighten up? The happy aura is oozing out of your body.
“Then please, this way.”
With a refreshed face, Minami gently leads us to a table standing by itself among the others. Takumi is in the center, and the eight tables are scattered around the remaining in space in seemingly random positions. We sit on the four-person table, and as soon as I sit on my assigned chair, I realized something.
The tables aren’t scattered randomly… Each table has a certain amount of distance from the other, allowing private conversations without eavesdropping. Also, each table has an unobstructed view of Takumi’s cooking station, although we can’t exactly watch him cook our food, it gives a certain sense of reassurance. On the other hand, if I am being honest…
“…If Takumi is the one feeding me, I’ll gladly consume even poison.”
“Is that so? So… A poison drink for Miya. Anything else?”
I was brought to my senses by the annoying voice of Minami-sama. She’s looking at me with those stone cold blue eyes. Wait… If I said that aloud then… I look around me… My mother is looking at me with amused eyes while my brother is still staring at Takumi.
“Don’t worry. Nobody heard you.”
Minami said so and scratched the ‘poison drink’ off of her notebook.
“Then please, here is the menu, do order whatever tickles your fancy. Our chef Kawashima Takumi will be cooking your food live. If you wish to observe while your meal is being prepared, you are free to do so. All your drinks will be prepared by our homeroom teacher Nakano-sensei and the capable Shishidou-san. Our staff will always lend an ear to all your requests, if you come up with any requests or inquiries, please do not hold back and call for someone immediately. My name is Fujiwara Minami, please take care of me.”
Such… Such professionalism…
“Hehe, Takumi taught me this.”
She said so while smiling and stood patiently for our order.
“This menu. It sure doesn’t seem to be of a high-school restaurant. I see some very complex and hard to make dishes in here.”
“Ah! Kobayashi-san, please don’t hold back. Each person who has decided to dine here has left completely satisfied and practically out of cash.”
“Is that so, Minami-chan? Well… If you say so… I will keep my hopes high.”
“We’ll take one of everything on the menu!”
My mother and I stared at my brother who declared so in a motivated and loud voice. Before anyone could speak, a challenging voice came from somewhere in the room.
“Are you sure about that Kobayashi-san? There are twenty-five dishes on the menu, each costing one-thousand yen at a minimum. Are you okay spending that much money in a high-school restaurant. Forget money, will you be able to eat that much food? Because in my humble opinion as the chef of this establishment, I don’t like people who waste their food.”
Not only my family, but all the other people present in the restaurant also felt a chill attacking their spine. Takumi just continued with an indifferent expression.
“But if you do manage to finish all the food. Our restaurant will comply to any one request of yours. Be it more food, a picture with a specific staff member, recipes for our dishes… Your wish is our command.”
My brother’s eyes glittered after listening to this.
“Fine. Bring it on.”
About forty-five minutes later, we overdosed on food that tasted so good that it should be illegal.
“Nine, huh. You did better than I imagined.”
Minami said so while walking up to our table.
“I don’t know if I should be asking this… But can I get the recipes of these dishes?”
My mother asked Minami who came to provide my brother with tissues and a backrub.
“I am sorry Kobayashi-san… But almost every woman who entered has asked for the recipes… They’re pretty standard but have some alterations done by Takumi. I don’t know them myself, but you are free to ask Takumi.”
“Has he told anyone?”
“No. They’re more like his personally-customized-creations, so he is reluctant in sharing the information.”
“Is that so… Please bring the bill.”
Minami collects the plates and leaves after bowing.
I was busy looking at the figure of Takumi cook. He was constantly using a towel to wipe off the sweat that accumulated on his forehead, and in my opinion, that figure of him was astoundingly sexy.
“You still like him? Or did your feelings die?”
“I’ve been constantly looking at him since we entered… You tell me.”
“Make him yours. Then we can have these kind of meals daily. His cooking is on par with that super-high-class restaurant we went to, and he’s not even using any expensive ingredients.”
“D-Don’t give me that look… I am sorry, okay. I was just kidding… Of course, I care about my daughter’s love life! Hehehe~”
Not even a hint of regret. Unapologetic.
“So… What should we do after this?”
My mother asked me while exploring the restaurant’s interior once again.
“Let’s just roam around, I don’t think the first-year has anything more to offer, want to visit the other buildings? The seniors must’ve done some amazing things.”
My mother said in delight. Minami shortly arrived while holding the bill booklet in her hands. It wasn’t just a normal hand-written receipt. It was properly printed and had the prices of the dishes serve printed on it.
“Here… The bill. And here’s a little something from our chef.”
Minami said so while winking toward my mother.
“Don’t reveal the fact that Takumi gave you this to anyone. It could cause some major chaos.”
After my brother slipped a ten-thousand yen note in the booklet, Minami received it with a smile and went towards the bill counter.
“Miya, make that boy my son-in-law. You have your mother’s permission.”
“If I can, I will mother.”
I sigh as Minami comes over with the change and we reluctantly leave our seats. We approach the chef’s circle and my mother says to Takumi.
“Kawashima-kun, the food was incredible. The atmosphere and the service were amazing as well. I couldn’t even imagine encountering something like this in a high-school cultural festival. You are doing good, please do keep it up!”
It was a motherly tone, my mother’s smile was very affectionate.. Her expression was similar to when she deals with brother’s achievements. She was looking at Takumi with the eyes of a mother.
“Thank you so much for dining with us, Kobayashi-san. I appreciate all the money spent and the bellies filled. Now then… Please follow the instructions of our head waiter, Fumiya.”
Takumi smiled at us while having his hands mix up eggs and some spices.
“Before that, can I have a picture?”
Following my brother’s abrupt request, Takumi wiped his hands with a towel and posed for a selfie with my brother. After this, my brother’s mood seemed to have brightened.
My brother said while storing away his phone. At last, I approached the wall and said in a low voice.
“Sorry for all the inconvenience my family has caused. And thank you for providing us with such a lavish meal.”
“It’s fine. Your mother is a very nice and kind person, she reminds me of my late mother.”
Takumi says so and looks at my mother who is conversing with Minami while having an exciting expression. I bow my head in front of him.
“Again, thank you for all that you have done. Not only for today, but for everything you’ve done for me. I am truly grateful. If you have time, please do visit my class, I will make sure to serve you myself, Master.”
I say so and wink at Takumi who’s hand started to cut and mix ingredients again. The last part was embarrassing, I can feel my cheeks getting hot. I shouldn’t have done that.
“Fufu, allow me to accept your sincere gratitude. I’ll be free in a couple of hours, I’ll go around visiting classes soon after.”
Because of my previous embarrassment, words didn’t leave my mouth, so I just nodded and headed towards my family and urged them to move.
“Now then… I know you must’ve seen this happen many times over, but rules are rules…”
Aoki-kun smiles at us and held out a plate covered in red cloth.
“… As soon as you leave this establishment, all that happened inside would forever live in your heart… or at least until the festival ends. You have to swear in the name of our chef and the food that he made, you will not speak a word about ‘Redundant Restaurant’ after you pass through that curtain… Of course, you are free to compliment or praise our project, but please don’t speak about the explicit details.”
It wasn’t anything serious, we watched guests laugh while swearing. However, I could tell that no guest would speak about ‘Redundant Restaurant’ because the reason that this particular oath was held was very interesting.
If a person who’s already dined and is asked about this restaurant says that it is awesome or is incredibly good, but refuses to speak about the details, implying that it is a secret, it would certainly spark interest in the fellow who is asking, prompting them to come for a visit. Just who is Takumi to come up with all these crazy ideas.
All three of us say so while placing our hands on the cloth-covered plate.
My mother giggled as if amused by this unique concept. After waving toward Aoki-kun, we left the Redundant Restaurant. We were more than satisfied, and our happiness was displayed on our faces.
“Now then… Let’s move on!”
The very same day, at about 2:30 P.M.
The business was running smoothly as people kept coming in and left satisfied. Our unique ‘oath’ seemed to have worked well as the information concerning the ‘Redundant Restaurant’ was nowhere to be seen on the student forum. Even so, the compliments wouldn’t stop. Both on the school forum and student forum, the people who had a taste of our restaurant couldn’t stop singing praises about the quality of food, service, atmosphere, and uniqueness.
We were currently fourth in popularity among all the projects that the classes, clubs, and others were working on. The popularity went something like this.
- Student Council. Relaxation Centre.
- Class ‘3-B’. Arcade.
- Class ‘2-C’. Planetarium for Couples.
- Class ‘1-E’. Restaurant.
- Swimming Club. Diving Show.
Everybody was extremely surprised as a first-year project had made it into the top five in popularity, Haru Academy was one of the most popular high-school in Tokyo, so many people looked forward to the cultural festival that Haru Academy’s talented children conducted every year. First-years were mostly ignored as they were inexperienced and new, however, after our class’ project did so well that we had a lead over all the other classes in the first year, the curiosity of the people was at the peak and the business exploded in the last two hours. We even increased the table count to 12 with the same three people cooking.
A little while ago, the Kobayashi family left the premises. They had some interesting moments, and Kozu-chan seemed to have fun spending the bonus money I gave him. The time was about 3:00 P.M, the lunch hour had ended and so did our ingredients. After sending the boys to fetch the ingredients for the next day, the staff was dismissed and was allowed to go around the school.
“Takumi, where will you be going?”
After I was done storing the apron and gloves, Minami approached me while wiping the beads of sweat that had accumulated on her forehead. Her blue eyes glittered under the shiny lights. Her black blazer over the damp white shirt that clung to her skin seemed to be an enemy of the males. I replied to her while scratching off some of the food I had gotten over my hands and footwear.
“I am really tired. I was thinking about taking a nap before going to explore.”
In all honesty, my eyelids were heavy and my body seemed sore. I could go a lot longer than your average man, but I hadn’t gotten ample sleep since the week began. I was running on about three hours of sleep, and all that cooking and smiling took a lot out of me. I had to visit the company after this and work until late at night or even tomorrow morning, so I decided to get a bit of rest while I had the chance.
“Well… We are already done for the day, however, don’t you wanna check the ingredients they are bringing for tomorrow?”
“No need, I have already given them detailed instructions, and Fumiya is with them, it should be fine.”
Minami looked me in the eyes, her eyes were full of determination and strength, she took a step back before bowing deeply in front of me. Her waist bent down and her ponytail was hanging down.
“Takumi, we all thank you from the bottom of our hearts. There are still three hours before the festival ends for today, but we’ve already earned four-times more than our initial goal. We are in the top five of all the stalls in the entire school! And I… I thank you as well. You’ve been impressive.”
Minami raised her head and smiled in my direction. Her blue eyes glittered while her blonde hair tied into a ponytail swayed. Her waist was still bent so her ample assets were quite emphasized even under the suit, and this made the environment of the class rather hot and steamy.
“It’s fine. It was fun for me as well…”
I averted my gaze and looked at the happily chatting figures of my classmates. Their smiles were on full display, some were eating the leftovers that I prepared for them, some were chatting with their friends while cleaning up, some were staring at Minami’s irresistible figure, and some people surrounded Nakani-sensei and appreciated her for participating in the class’ project. Each student was doing something different, each person had a different personality and wasn’t bound by any responsibilities and pressure, everybody was… happy.
“… When people end up being happy after eating my cooking, it makes me think that… even if only a little… my sins are forgiven and my mistakes are pardoned.”
My voice subconsciously lowered as my words came to a nostalgic stop.
“Yeah! People were really happy! The tips that you received alone makes for a fortune for a high-schooler.”
It seems like she didn’t hear the rest… That’s good.
“Yeah, you’re right. So… what are you planning to do, Minami?”
Immediately after I asked the question, her cheeks reddened slightly as her shoulders trembled. I crossed my arms as I patiently waited for her to regain her composure. After a few seconds, she stopped fidgeting and pumped herself up. She looked at me with a resolute expression and said.
“Takumi. We have about three hours. Why don’t you spend them with me? Miya and Chiaki are working in their cafe, so I am free for the remaining time.”
I smiled at her courageous and determined expression as I said.
“Didn’t I tell you? I am going to take a nap before I go exploring. It’ll probably take me an hour. You should go ahead and take a look with your friends.”
“No! I mean… You were planning on heading to the roof, right? Why don’t I tag along? It’s been suffocating in here. I wanna get some fresh air too.”
I looked at the suit-clad and desperate appearance of Minami and decided to give in. We took care of all the things and decided to head out together. All of the remaining guys’ eyes were at me, but they weren’t as resentful as when Minami and I normally conversed, I think they’re holding back since I have helped them make a huge profit today.
We ascended through the third floor and reached the rooftop. It was as it had always been, a bit dusty but peaceful. The summer air touched my skin making it seem warmer than it was.
“Minami, sorry to ask this of you…”
Minami who was by my side blinked a few times in confusion before finally realizing what I meant. She had a bright and cheerful smile on her face. She reached out and grabbed a handkerchief out of her pocket before gently opening it and placing it on the ground. She then proceeded to sit in seiza posture. She then lightly patted her plump thighs as if inviting me to rest my head on them.
I couldn’t resist the urge as my body couldn’t hold for the entire night with this much stamina. I had to get a minimum of one hour of sleep or I’d be in a lot of trouble. I moved over to her side slowly and lowered my body slowly, giving her a chance to pull back if she so desired, but she happily looked at me and urged me to hurry up. Once I placed my head on her lap and let my body relax, her hand started to gently ruffle my hair.
“Takumi… You are extremely tired, aren’t you? You were already exhausted when you came in this morning, but even so, you worked for more than six hours without even a single break…”
I turned my head a little so that I could look at her face from below. Her eyes were full of worry and her expression gave away her extreme sadness.
“… It seems that I was the only one who noticed your fatigue. I am sorry that I could do nothing but look at your work so hard for the class’ sake.”
Her bitter expression seemed to be quite genuine.
“It’s fine. Didn’t I tell you before? For now, let me sleep for a bit so that we can look around the festival later.”
She continued to ruffle my hair as I closed my eyes and stabilized my breathing. I went into a state of half-sleep, but it seemed like Minami believed that I believe as she began… Well, doing stuff.
My picture was clicked.
“Hehehe, while Miya is working tirelessly, I get to keep Takumi all to myself.”
Lady, this is wrong.
She continued to caress my hair, then her hand slid down to my face and caresses my cheeks.
It took all I had to make sure my cheeks didn’t twitch and my face remained expressionless. Suddenly, I felt something extremely soft touching my cheeks. And from experience, I knew that it was a kiss. Minami kissed me on my cheek while I was asleep. Interesting.
“I wish you could just stay like this… by my side… forever…”
She sighed in resignation.
“Hehe, I never thought I could say something like this. My previous boyfriend was jerk… But if Takumi were to become mine… Hehe, I don’t think anything in the world could ever stop me this.”
After saying this, she bent her body forwards, approaching my sleeping face with her own. And then… a soft and tingling sensation assaulted my lips. I could feel the warmth radiating from her cheeks as she kissed my lips lightly. Her lips were extremely soft and tender, and so were her ample assets that were resting on my left ear.
She gently raised her body. One of her hands left my hair.
“My first kiss… Dammit. I gave into temptation. Well… It’s not like anyone saw… I will have another first kiss with Takumi… and at that time… It will be mutual.”
After that, she managed to hold back her urges as she caressed my hair with her hands. However, I didn’t manage to get in even a second of sleep after that surprise attack. Looking back, my first kiss was something as well, wasn’t it?