We have created this website especially for you, our English-speaking readers!
Einherjar Project is an organization of enthusiasts who translate recent light novels in a pseudo-editorial process.
After five years of working for the Spanish-speaking public, we decided to bring the same joy to English-speaking readers.With this goal in mind, we are inviting native English-speaking translators and proofreaders to form a team. Leave us a comment and we will contact you!EHJR Project
At 12 o’clock, the company chimed the alarm to signify our lunch break.
I tidied up my desk a bit and headed for the cafeteria with Isobe.
While Kanon did pack a lunch for herself at school, I didn’t request one from her.
If I brought one over here, I’m certain that Isobe and the rest would end up assuming I have a girlfriend and would ask tons of questions. I still want to avoid those kinds of scenarios even to this day. Himari and Kanon wouldn’t want their existence to be found out, either.
With those in mind, dining in the cafeteria is still my go-to routine.
The cafeteria on the basement floor was crowded with people with employee IDs hanging from their necks.
“Hmm? Ain’t there more people today than usual?”
While surveying the room, Isobe murmured in slight protest.
I do agree it’s a few more than the usual.
There were usually plenty of seats but the amount of people here has almost filled the vacancy.
“I’ll go ahead and get us a seat. Here’s the money for mine. Get the curry set for me, thanks.”
I bought our meal tickets from the dispenser and lined up at the counter. Today, I’ve decided on Lunch Set B which featured Chicken Katsu as the main dish.
It’s affordable and has good enough portions so I’ve been ordering this a lot recently. Getting large servings of rice is also a huge selling point for me.
Once I received our meals I looked for Isobe and ended up finding him at the edge of a seat with his hands raised.
“Yo, over here.”
I prudently headed there with both hands on the tray in order to not drop it. I kind of felt like I was a waiter at a restaurant.
“Thanks a bunch~ Ah! I forgot. I’ll go get us some water.”
Upon reaching the seat, I changed places with Isobe as he left. As one would expect, I didn’t have the ability to get the water myself with my hands full.
After getting back with the self-service water for two, we finally get to eat our respective meals.
The crispy battered skin of the chicken katsu is irresistible no matter how many times I order it, and the meat is tender as always.
“By the way, you don’t eat the curry set as much as you used to.”
To limit the heat and spiciness, Isobe scarfed down the food as he talked.
“That seems to be so now that you’ve mentioned it.”
“Yeah. Until just a little while ago, you were chugging curry down like it was a drink.”
Thinking back, there was a time I ordered food willy-nilly.
It’s usually delicious, and I can add a hamburger as an add-on as well. However, it is true that I’ve been actively avoiding ordering it lately.
It’s actually because that Kanon’s curry hits the right buttons for me so the one here just isn’t good enough.
Homemade curry isn’t like store-bought food. Curry made with roux from the market somehow has a rich flavor that pulls you in to take another bite.
Another reason I’ve been avoiding it is to keep my white shirt clean. I don’t want to burden Himari with such a menial thing when she washes it. It’s the same reason why curry udon wasn’t even in the option of things I want to pick.
“There’s also your shirt not being wrinkled anymore.”
“Ah, that… I’ve been slacking in that department so I thought I should at least do something about it.”
“Hmmmm~” His face says he wasn’t all convinced.
I tried to keep my composure but I might have been a bit obvious.
The one that was ironing my shirts was Himari.
By the time I lived alone, I’d put away the iron to the back of my closet.
When I was a fresh employee, I diligently ironed my shirts every day but it ended up becoming a hassle. The times I do so are too far between.
To think that living with the two of them had an impact on my appearance and behavior…
I should try to be more cautious so the existence of those two won’t be found out. This conversation with Isobe had me rethink things.
“Ah, it’s nice meeting you here, Komamura-san, Isobe-san.” A female acquaintance called out to us.
“Hello to you, too.”
We said our greetings to each other.
“Do you mind if I sit next to you? There’s no vacant seats left.”
“No need to be shy.” Isobe easily went along with her request and led her to his side. She was from the sales department, often bringing receipts to us at the accounting department.
Her short bob was refreshing to the eyes.
Her name is…. Eh? What was it again?
I instantly looked at the nametag on her chest. Oh yeah, she’s Sashihara-san. I have trouble remembering names recently. Was this also because of my aging?
I don’t know her age but it’s likely that she’s younger than me.
Sachihara-san laid out the bento she brought with her and took a glance at me.
Huh? Is there rice stuck to my mouth or something?
I reflexively touched my chin to check for rice and then and there, Sachihara-san began to speak.
“Hmm… Have you lost a bit of weight?”
It was a question I never would have guessed to be asked by her. Hence, I had no good answers to give.
Isobe scrutinized me from head to toe.
Stop that, really.
“Ah…? That’s right, that’s right. I was wondering about the same thing.”
“That’s a prime example of a barefaced lie.”
It was obvious Isobe was just trying to keep up the conversation. Sachihara-san watched our exchange and giggled before continuing.
“The area around the jaw area has gotten a bit thinner since we last met. Have you been exercising?”
“No, not really…”
I look at myself in the mirror daily but it’s completely escaped my notice.
Have I really slimmed down…?
Is this the impact of Kanon’s meals?
It’s certainly a balanced meal, if I were to compare it to store-bought food I kept having before. Come to think of it, I haven’t weighed myself on the scale lately. I guess I should try checking it again…
“Komamura… No way, did you…”
For some reason, Isobe had thrown me a scornful glare.
“W-what? Spit it out.”
“You got a girlfriend after all, right?”
“I told you I don’t have one.”
“Eh? Really, now. Something’s off, something smells suspicious, right, Sashihara-san?”
Don’t just rope in Sashihara-san all of a sudden.
I’m pretty sure she’s troubled by your question since she hardly even knows me. After that, Isobe didn’t stop but I focused on eating my lunch in order to shake off his suspicions.
“Ah. Welcome back, Kazu-nii.”
The two of them greeted me once I got home from work.
“Yeah, I’m home.”
After answering them, I went inside. Just a while ago, I was embarrassed of saying “I’m home” but it now naturally slips out of my mouth.
To put it simply, this has become the norm of my everyday life. I feel a small sense of unease gnawing at the back of my mind but is soon wiped away by the fragrant smell of fish boiling in the kitchen.