Volume 4 Chapter 5
(Kururi > redhead comrade > carrot (pie) Mikal naming)
The situation resolved without Iris getting angry.
I was calm because she seemed to get along with her family, and even the Prince had breathed a sigh of relief in finding her.
The latter, subsequently called by Rail, disappeared somewhere, leaving unsuccessful the work he had to do for the sports festival.
To me, however, no assignment was given in particular, so I was just waiting my turn to arrive. Also for that reason I was entertaining Mikal, Iris’ brother.
Three girls left him to me and – all happy – they went at the festival, telling me that Iris would be much more relaxed knowing that her brother would have been entrusted to me.
“This campus is so great, isn’t it, Carrot Pie?!”
“It is! Tell me, Mikal, what is your favorite food?”
We were heading to rows of stalls selling food.
Even though, we were not walking by hand – Mikal was already too big for that – I felt that his presence at my side drew the girls’ gaze.
Probably growing he would have been as popular as Iris was.
“The mochi which my sister grills in winter!” (“mochi” = in English is translated with “rice cake”)
Too bad we weren’t seeing it around.
Maybe he wasn’t understanding that I actually wanted to buy him some food at the stalls.
“And what about yours?”
“Hm… mutton’s meat!”
Mikal looked at me disgusted: I was obviously kidding, but I said it just because I imagined that he would have reacted in such a way.
“Come on, let’s eat. There are so many stalls that it would be a shame not to take anything!”
We headed for one which was run by some upper class students: instead of acting with their usual noble behaviour, they were looking to have a lot of fun. It was a cheerful atmosphere.
“These sweets look so good! Could we have two of them, please?”
“Sure! Two more are offered, since you are both very nice!” said one of the students, winking and giving us the sweets – which were called Poince.
How lucky we were been to have gifted with “a cute face”!
“Did you see? They gave us two for free for your merit, Mikal!”
“No, Carrot! You are the most beautiful pale among all the guys I’ve seen so far!”
How dear! After such a compliment I would have bought him anything.
That Poince was very fashionable among the good girls in the capital, it was very refined and so small that I did not even seem to have eaten it: it had the size of a biscuit, and you did not even feel it get into your stomach after having chewed and ingested it .
“How is it? Good?”
“These aristocrats eat strange things. It’s already over, but I did not realize it…”
Exactly the same impression I had, though, in my opinion, even the aristocracy, in spite of the areas being given, wasn’t able to appreciate such a refinement.
Since Mikal seemed to like mochi, we headed for a stall which were selling them too: maybe we would have had a discount here also, as we were cute!
Sure that he would have liked it, I bought him one, but his face after the first bite did not seem very convinced:
“What? Don’t you like it?”
“There’s too much cream in there and it does not look like eating mochi … it’s a little gummy!”
Clear! He wanted a mochi which tastes like… mochi, he did not care about cream.
Unfortunately there were no stalls selling something even vaguely resembling.
After having passed the most “refined” stalls, began to appear more modest ones, which had nothing “aristocratic”: in fact, they were selling such strange things which discouraged me from giving it a try.
I bumped into a boy I knew:
“Oh! And what are you doing here, Toto?”
“Is it not clear? I’m selling my masterpieces”
Toto looked at his products, sitting in a chair with a scowl face: students usually sell their things for fun, but he was taking the job seriously.
On the other hand, he was selling food supplements made with dried herbs, something which, in his intent, should have attracted high society lords!
“Excuse me but, if you do not buy anything.. could you at least move around, please?”
A customer arrived
“How effective are they?”
“Try them and be surprised, I assure you!”
A good-looking gentleman approached him, and, satisfied, left with a bunch of dried herbs.
“Those strange things get sold quite well…”
“They are not strange. My customers consider them of excellent quality. You will also have understood it by looking at them!”
Since it wasn’t really my bag, I did not have a precise opinion.
“And who is he?” said Toto, turning to Mikal with a threatening air. The usual misanthropic. He didn’t even like dogs!
“Iris’ brother, Mikal”
“Really? Hi Mikal!”
With my big surprise, Toto reached for the boy first and the two shook hands.
“Don’t you have troubles with him?”
“If he is Iris’ brother, he must definitely be a good guy”
It was the first time I saw him smiling in such a way.
“By the way, which competition are you going to take, Toto?”
“200 meters relay. The shortest. I can do it with my strength.”
“Me too! Whoever wins passes to the semifinals and eventually to the final,”
Toto did not know anything, but I think he wasn’t seriously interested in the race.
He was more interested in trying to sell me one of his supplements.
After having greeted him, Mikal said, “I like that guy!”
“Oh do you? Don’t you find him a little strange?”
“Whoever speaks well of my sister is definitely a good person!”
What a good kid, I thought, caressing his head.
“Even my sister does it so often, but I’m no longer a child!”
“What? Caressing your head? Even if you are no longer a child there is nothing wrong with it, you know?”
There were so many people in the world who, although they would have wanted a caress, could not get it. People who are too tall, for example!
“But you, Carrot, are you my sister’s boyfriend?”
Totally surprised, I did not respond immediately.
“I’ve always wondered about that, but I’ve never found the right time to ask for it. However, I would agree to let you be it, so in that case…”
“I’m not, don’t worry.”
I pretended not to see that Mikal was happy with that statement, and we kept walking.
We reached a place away from the chaos, from which a good smell was coming, it was a campus area where almost nobody were using to pass and where there were no stalls; Mikal, however, let himself be driven from his own sneer.
We came in front of a large tree under which someone was making a bonfire. This one had long hair – hence I knew it was a girl – but her face was covered with a mask and a pair of colored glasses. However, I had the impression that we had already met before.
“Doesn’t she look a little weird to you too?”
“There’s nothing weird about it,” she said, “how did you get here? Following the clues?”
“Following the smell…”
It seemed we had interrupted her.
Her voice, even if stifled by the mask, sounded familiar to me.
Who among my acquaintances could be so strange to lit a fire in that place?
“What are you doing here? There’s a scent!,” I asked hesitantly.
She smiled at me:
“I’m roasting sweet potatoes, they are very nutritious, you know? These in particular are difficult to cultivate, they require many attentions. I took care of them all the year. I had hidden throughout the campus some clues addressed to those who love potatoes but, apparently, no one has noticed them.”
It’s hard to notice them in such an immense campus.
She had only 10 and, as we were the first customers, she gave us one each.
She took the potatoes out of the fire and handed them out to Mikal. Mikal happily opened the bag with his potato and bit it.
“Very good!”, he said eating greedily. From his mouth was coming out the boiling potato steam.
After that compliment, the girl burst in pleasure.
On the other hand, I waited for my potato to get a little colder; after having discarded it, I was going to remove the peel, but the girl stopped me:
“Wait! Eat with, please.”
Even Mikal had eaten it without peeling it; maybe that was how the label wanted to be done!
I tried to eat it as they were suggesting: in fact, it was very sweet and melted in the mouth, it was great.
“Very good, I have never eaten such a good sweet potato in my life!”
“I’m glad to hear that!”
Embraced by happiness, the girl gave us a third: not because we were cute, but because her potatoes were.
Mikal was all happy, but I, on the way back, could not give me peace.
It was not a sincere answer, but I found it a bad idea talking to him about what it was making me upset.
“I like that girl! Even though she is an aristocrat, she treats her potatoes with much respect. She will surely be a good wife!”
He was such a smart boy!
Thinking back, I knew that mysterious girl was supposed to be Eliza.
Of course she was not doing anything wrong, but I should have kept silence and pretended not to know anything. If I would have revealed it to someone, maybe it would have been unfair to her potatoes!
Proofread by Ranthe