There is More to my Childhood Friend - Chapter 65: The Promise
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We sit at the dining table for dinner, upon which sits a kare-raisu , especially prepared for me.
“How is it? I hope you like it” Mist asks me in a bashful, shy-like tone.
To think she prepared this just for me, I’m really quite happy. What guy wouldn’t be? She’s adorable, especially at times like this.
However… I’m fairly certain that this world doesn’t yet have any rice based cuisine.
I try probing the issue. “I thought this world didn’t have rice based dishes?”.
“Rice?”. Mist tilts her head slightly, looking puzzled.
It doesn’t make sense. Firstly, no matter how you look at it, this curry is the curry I know well; a typical Japanese curry that’s been perfected over time, made over with countless slight adjustments, and that is known to literally everyone in Japan.
Supposing for a moment that there was some other type of curry that I wasn’t aware of, it’s unlikely it would resemble this so closely.
Mist stumbles over her words, looking apologetic. “Did I not make it properly? I tried copying a recipe from your world, but maybe it was too difficult for me…”.
Take that fridge for example, she seems to possess some unfathomable power that allows her to replicate anything she thinks of, even if that thing isn’t something she’s ever seen before.
“No, it’s fine- It looks perfect, actually. Itadakimasu” .
I try a spoonful, and exclaim “It’s good!”.
There’s no mistake, this is definitely curry. I can’t differentiate between this and the curry my mum used to make for me. It’s not hyperbole, flattery for that matter, when I say that it’s simply delicious.
“I’m glad to hear that”, Mist says cheerfully, breaking into a smile.
I realize that I actually adore this side of Mist, she really is a cutie. However, the circumstances surrounding this otherwise cozy domestic scene doesn’t allow me any room for such sentiments.
According to the last message I left for myself, I tried to bulldoze my way out of this captivity by using the skills and abilities available to me. Seeing as that approach resulted in this meal we’re sharing right now, it seems that brute forcing my way out isn’t a viable option. After figuring out this much, I decided to proceed as suggested by the messages I have been leaving myself- to play along with Mist’s domestic little fantasy. While I figure out a way to escape, I have to tread carefully and take my time, lest I be reset again.
“Yes, Yuu-kun? ♪”.
While eating, I bring up the idea of going outside. “Tomorrow, do you want to go out somewhere together?”.
“Well, we need to go grocery shopping”.
“I’ll take care of all the necessities. You don’t have to bother yourself with such things”.
Well, I expected her to say as much.
Having expected our conversation to go along these lines, I move forward to the next stage of my plan- pulling at her heartstrings.
“It’s such a shame. I was looking forward to a date night with you”.
“I’m happy if I’m just able to live with you like this. The outside world is filled with so much… Noise. Noise that will always try to come between us. Oh, if the noise would only leave us alone…”.
Without a doubt, by ‘noise’ she must be referring to two people in particular.
Mist’s expression darkens, and she continues.
“The outside world is filled with so much annoying noise, noise that only scheme to interfere with us”.
Tensing up, she assumes an irritated look, as if remembering something, and starts fiddling with her spoon.
“You can’t go outside because the noise will try to deceive you. In the past, you lent an ear to the noise outside and listened, just because that’s the kind of person you are, kind. But they misunderstood, and began indulging in selfish fantasies of becoming the subject of your affection and love. Such idiocy, such lowliness. They’re nothing but trash aren’t they.”
“They did all that, even though you’re bound to me by fate. But I know you were troubled by them, Yuu-kun, I know. So that’s why I-”.
Suddenly the head of the spoon tears in half, so it now resembles two sprouted leaves on a small branch. How she did this I don’t know, but she did it without touching it.
Touching the spoon again with her fingers, she once more begins to fiddle with the spoon as she speaks. “In your place, I made it so that the noise was unable to spew any more lies”.
Hearing her words, the hairs on my body stand up as a shiver runs down my spine.
The broken head of the spoon, eerily, reminds me of a human head. Whether she’s aware of it or not I’m not sure, but she bends the tip of the spoon with one of her fingers, almost as if to suggest the breaking of a neck. Then, as if remembering a fond memory, she smiles softly.
“The storms of my heart settled, and I felt at once at peace the moment they became quiet. But you know, till the very end they didn’t reflect or think bad of their actions, they just kept calling your name, Yuu-kun. Maybe I should have made them understand properly, just a little more”. Mist giggles then frowns as if thinking of something problematic.
“It’s really a shame. I wanted to show you what I did. But then again, you’re too kind aren’t you, you’d probably just be shocked”.
Just what are you saying Mist? Arina and princess Rose… By no means, you don’t mean to say…?
“But Yuu-kun, because you’re so wonderful, and cool, it’s obvious that more noise will come to make trouble for you. But everything will be okay. As long as you’re here you won’t be able to hear that noise. I will guard you from that noise, so don’t worry, ok?”.
Mist smiles sweetly. “Let’s take our time and foster love between us”.
What happened to Arina and Princess Rose? I want to ask her this, but just as I’m about to, I remember my warning and stop myself. If I’m reset, I’ll forget even this feeling of unease.
I’ll think of a way to escape as quickly as possible.
“But Mist, I’ll get claustrophobic if I’m cooped up in here too long. Do I have to stay inside forever?”.
“No, not forever”, Mist says before standing up and walking over to my side.
“Hold out your arm”. I realize she’s talking about my E:ID phone that’s secured to my arm with a wristband.
She sets herself in a comfortable posture, almost as if she’s about to execute some kind of martial arts move, and then as if putting a lid on it, she covers up the E:ID phone with her hand, and leans in to my ear to whisper something to me.
“Yuu-kun, I-I like…you… L-love. You. Want to be by… Your side”.
I’m shocked. What she managed was little more than baby talk, and it was hard to understand, but what I just heard was certainly Japanese.
She uncovers the E:ID phone and proudly asks, “Are you surprised?”.
“Uhh… Yeah, I am a bit. When on earth did you get the time to-?”.
Mist giggles. “I’m doing my best to practice really hard, for you”.
“Yeah… Because then, you won’t need that thing any more, right?”, Mist says and points to my E:ID phone”.
“But this is really important to me”.
“Why? If it’s this world’s language you’re worried about, you have me to interpret for you. If you’re ever attacked by monsters, I’ll protect you. I’ll take care of all the necessities like shopping and such, and carry your luggage, so you won’t really need that any more”.
“W- Well… That may be true, but there’s no need to throw it away, surely…”.
“It’s the only way! For as long as you hold on to that thing, there’s a chance that more… Noise… Will come to cause more trouble for you all over again. Don’t you think so too? Yuu-kun, am I wrong?”.
I’m stumped. Unless I come up with a good excuse- and fast- I’m going to lose the E:ID phone. If nothing else, I absolutely must prevent that from happening, but Mist’s reasoning is too perfect, and I can’t get my words out properly.
Noticing my silence, Mist presses me further. “Why aren’t you saying anything? You know, that thing, it reeks of them. If you don’t throw it away soon, more noise will come sniffing around, corrupting and leading your heart astray”.
Her eyes narrow. “By any chance… Can you hear their voices through that thing?”
Mist launches into a fit of accusation.
“You can, can’t you? Hey, answer me, I said can you hear them through that… Thing!”. She spits out the word ‘thing’ with disgust.
Almost as if talking to herself now, she goes on. “Even though I made you clean… I thought I made you clean…”
Talking to me again, she continues. “Just like that, they’re trying to get between us again! They’re trying to drown you in their noise, and pollute your heart!”.
It’s as if a fire’s been lit inside her. Like boiling water, she’s losing control of herself and seeing threats and danger where there are none, and in the process sending a barrage of accusations at me, as though she herself is a victim.
To say this isn’t normal would be an understatement.
“That’s not true, Mist. You’ve got it all wrong!”.
“What’s not true?”.
“I’m not in contact with anyone, I swear!”.
“Well in that case, you don’t need that thing then, do you!?”.
“Ok, ok… If you manage to learn my language, then I’ll get rid of it”.
After a pause, Mist answers calmly. “Okay then! ♪ It’s a promise!”.
“Yes… A promise.”
For someone who was panicking just a moment ago, Mist’s sudden change catches me off guard. Nonchalantly, she says “Thank you! For making me this promise ♪”.
“Hold on one second! You tricked me into making this promise!”.
I blame her, but to this she only sticks out her tongue.
“Sorry. It’s just I knew how much you’re attached to that thing~”.
“That may be so, but there are other ways besides manipulating me like that! You shouldn’t joke about like that!”.
“Yeah, but… I wasn’t joking”.
There was a particular heaviness to the words she spoke. I can’t quite grasp the exact meaning explicit behind her response, but any desire I have to ask any questions is extinguished by the air of intimidation that now permeates the room. I feel my primal senses screaming danger, and the fine hair across my body stand on end.
I decide to change the subject. “C’mon, let’s eat up. The curry will get cold”.
At any rate, I have to escape before Mist learns a good amount of Japanese. If I lose the E:ID phone, I really won’t be capable of doing anything. It would be the perfect defeat. I don’t know the extent of her powers, or the nature of them, but it would be best to think of the timeline as a short one.
“What would you like to have for dinner tomorrow?”.
“Tonkotsu ramen” .
“Sure. I don’t know what it is, but I’ll try my hand at it ♪”.
With resignation, this is absurd, I think to myself.
Translator and Editor Notes:
 A popular curry and rice dish in Japan.
 ‘Itadakimasu’ is a ritualistic expression used in Japan. It is often said before one starts eating, and literally means “I will receive”, but is basically an expression of gratitude. One may genuinely be thankful as they say this phrase, but it’s used so much that it’s common for it to be uttered simply as a matter of habit.
 Tonkatsu ramen is a ramen dish that originated in Fukuoka. The soup broth is based on pork bones and other ingredients, which are typically boiled for several hours, and the dish is traditionally topped with sliced pork belly and served with ramen noodles that are hard in the centre.
ED: I still can’t read E:ID as anything except as IED
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