Classroom of the Elite Volume 12 Chapter 4 Part 4
By the time school was done for the day, I still hadn’t heard back from Nanase.
Even if she were to say that everything was ready to go today, it’s not like Horikita and I would be able to take action anyway.
There was still a more pressing issue that needed to be dealt with first.
And that was my arrangement with Amasawa to make her a home-cooked meal. As long as my cooking was up to snuff, it was an exceptional opportunity to get her to partner up with Sudō. That being said, it was by no means an easy task.
When I arrived at the entrance of Keyaki Mall ten minutes before the appointed time, it didn’t seem that Amasawa had arrived yet. Instead of fiddling around with my cell phone or something, I just casually observed the students entering the mall from where I stood. The students, ranging from first-years to third-years, were happily chatting about this and that as they steadily flowed into the shopping center. The temperature had felt warmer than usual this morning, but as evening approached, it was beginning to cool down. The temperature would probably drop even further by the time night came around.
Finally, just before the appointed time, Amasawa showed up.
“Perfectly done~ Ayanokōji-senpai~”
As soon as we met up, she smiled broadly and nodded her head several times, as if she was satisfied with something.
“What are you talking about?”
“You waited at the meeting place before the girl showed up. Without doing anything like, excessive either~”
She was surprisingly perceptive. Or, perhaps I should say that she had a solid understanding of my actions, no matter how trivial they might have seemed.
By ‘excessive’, she was probably referring to the fact that I wasn’t messing with my phone or making a call.
Soon, I had to face Amasawa’s test. In other words, I had to buckle down and cook something for her by hand. That being the case, the time I spent standing here could’ve been a good last-minute opportunity to look up recipes and take various other countermeasures. A good analogy is that it would’ve been no different from staring at the textbook right up until the chime of the bell on the day of a test. Of course, doing so in and of itself wouldn’t have violated any of the rules Amasawa had put forth.
However, being on my phone like that might make me seem like somebody who wasn’t confident in his cooking.
The same thing went for making a phone call, as it could’ve given off the impression that I had been discussing the matter with somebody else. Therefore, in order to highlight my composure, I deliberately didn’t do anything that would seem excessive. I had planned on instilling this image of me within Amasawa without her realizing it, but it appeared as though she had seen through me from the very beginning.
“Well then Ayanokōji-senpai, shall we go?”
Amasawa spoke as soon as she joined up with me and the two of us entered the mall together.
“To buy ingredients, right?”
“Oh yeah. That too~ You’ve gotta buy the stuff you’ll make for me. Do you have the points~?”
In truth, I really didn’t have all that many left, but I wouldn’t say anything unnecessary like that in front of one of my underclassmen.
“Good! I don’t need to hold back then~ Lemme see… I think I heard my classmates say that they sell all the essentials here, but… I wonder where the shopping baskets are~?”
Instead of heading for the supermarket, Amasawa walked straight into ‘Hamming’, a shop specialized in selling home goods and other daily necessities, and picked up a blue shopping basket that she had found near the entrance.
The words ‘That too~’ that she had said earlier weighed on my mind.
Although I knew I was supposed to cook her a meal, did this mean that there was something else I had to do other than buying ingredients?
Amasawa stopped by the section where the kitchenware was on display.
This brought back memories of how, when I first enrolled here, I had made several trips to this very store to buy all of the things I needed.
It wasn’t just the school’s students who made use of these supplies, but also the faculty members and the employees who worked in the cafeteria or the cafes around campus, so the store had a particularly large section set aside for kitchenware. I could remember the first time I came here and how it was difficult to find what I was looking for right away.
From the look of it, they had come out with an assortment of new products since my last visit a long time ago.
Perhaps the fact that Amasawa had stopped by here meant that she was looking to buy some specific specialized equipment or something? After all, the store had peelers, graters, mortars, and countless other cooking utensils. Given all of the variety, there were naturally several that I didn’t own as well. Either way, it was just weird that she hadn’t bothered to run any of this by me. It made sense to me that she’d at least check to see which utensils I did or didn’t have first. Considering our current time constraints, it would’ve been easy for her to ask me about it as we walked together, but…
I held back my desire to ask her about it, allowing Amasawa to remain in control for the time being.
I opted to try and bring up a subject that had nothing to do with cooking utensils.
“Have you done any cooking of your own before, Amasawa?”
“Me? Not at all. I’m not the type to just whip up a meal on my own. I’m the kinda girl who’d rather let others cook for me than make things for myself.”
She explained such before stopping in her tracks, having apparently arrived at her destination.
The journey so far had gone without a hitch. She looked away from me, fixing her eyes upon the shelf of goods in front of us.
For a couple dozen seconds or so, she stood there, lost in thought with her arms crossed, almost as if she was troubled by something.
Then, as if having made up her mind, she nodded confidently, muttering an ‘Alright~’ to herself as she did so.
“To start out we’ll need a cutting board, right? Then a kitchen knife? Then there’s bowls and a whisk, and after that we’ll need a pot and a ladle as well, huh~?”
She tossed each item into the basket one after the next as she listed them out loud.
The last item she put in was a big round spoon, which, apparently, was known as a ladle.
“Hold on a second. I have almost all of these things you’re getting back in my room already.”
I was struck with a bad premonition about this, so I hurriedly began to speak up, but…
“It’s fine, it’s fine. I’m just having you buy these exclusively for when you cook for me.”
She’s just having me buy these for what now…? The cutting board she had put in the basket was of an even higher quality than the one I was using in my own room right now. It seemed like it was made out of hinoki cypress and cost just over 4000 points. All of the other items were high-class as well.
At this point, it didn’t seem like she was finished yet as she went off once again, setting her sights on the next set of shelves. Her troubled demeanour from earlier was nowhere to be seen, as she proceeded to take hold of a small fruit knife without hesitating in the slightest.
“For someone to claim to be a skilled cook, owning a Petty knife is an absolute must, wouldn’t you say~?”
She spoke in a casual, relaxed tone as she tossed the knife into her basket. For a stupid amateur like me who didn’t even know that fruit knives were also known as Petty knives, that knife was very expensive, priced at nearly 3000 points. Even though there were numerous cheaper options on display next to the knife she had chosen, she didn’t even feign an attempt at acting like she was interested in them. As far as I could tell, the difference in price ultimately boiled down to whether or not it was being sold with a sheath and whether or not it had been manufactured within Japan. But even then, the knife she had chosen was still an excessively luxurious one.
Apparently, a skilled chef was expected to have mastered the use of this kind of tiny cooking knife.
“This is just a question, but the one who’s paying…”
“Well, that would be you of course, right Ayanokōji-senpai?”
I already knew I was supposed to be paying here, but the total was easily over 15,000 points by now. Since it has come to this, I might as well throw away the cheap one I had been using up until now. If I thought of the food I’d make for myself using these high-class tools when I cook on my own in the future, then maybe I could come to terms with the purchases somehow…?
“Ah, like I mentioned earlier, you’re buying these to cook for me exclusively, so don’t go wearing them out with everyday use, got it?”
“Are you some sort of demon?”
I got ahead of myself and vocalized my stingy thoughts, but Amasawa had unnervingly anticipated that.
“You can call it quits now if you want to, you know~?”
She spoke provocatively, her hands still clutching onto the handle of the blue shopping basket.
She had grabbed onto my weakness, fully aware that there was no way I could refuse, dancing in the palm of her hand.
15,000 points was an unbelievably cheap price to pay for getting Sudō partnered up with an A-rated student. I had no choice but to cut my losses and make a decision.
“No, I understand. I’ll accept all of your conditions, so feel free to buy whatever you want.”
“Do you think I’m a bad girl?”
“I wouldn’t say that.”
Amasawa fixed her eyes on mine and then, having seemingly come to realize something, smiled broadly.
“Then everything should be A-okay, Senpai.”
In the end, it was decided that I would purchase everything, from the pot to the ladle and all sorts of things in between.
Each item, bought under the horrifying condition that I would only use it when cooking for her.
This part was kinda fun. I liked it a fair bit. I really liked that Kiyotaka didn’t know what a ladle was. I thought it was hilarious. Heads up that the name of the store ‘Hamming’ appears to be a reference to a branch of stores by a similar name in Japan. The name is weird, but the reference is lost upon the English community so fuck it.
I forgot to enable comments on Part 3 somehow, and also forgot to enable them on Part 2 previously so Idk what’s wrong with me. The WordPress changes suck hardcore and I’m too lazy to go find that one plugin someone linked me previously so I guess I’ll just suffer.
I don’t have much else to say here. Expect Part 5 in 1-2 days as well.
Thanks for reading.