Saotome-san won’t let me leave
‘God will never give you more than you can handle.’
A saying that I heard in parochial school. I wonder who said this.
Still, I don’t think it is all fine and dandy if you are able to overcome it.
With the taste of blood still lingering in my mouth, I complained to the Heaven’s Resident and helped Mio-san into a gingham checkered1 spring pajama. I was filled with nothing but praiseworthiness for having won over the devil in me.
「Mio-san, Are you feeling hungry?」
However, her condition still seems as bad as before. Her complexion hasn’t recovered and her poor physical condition is clearly reflected in her lack of appetite.
Even if she isn’t aware of her own condition, skipping supper is out of the question. I probably realised it then.
「Well then, I will go and cook something light.」
「I don’t really want to eat anything.」
「It’s good to eat at least a little. Speaking of that, what did you have for lunch?」
She is taking a while to think about it.
I can completely relate. After all, you don’t really take note of what you have for lunch. It’s similar to walking into a katsudon2 outlet for dinner and all of a sudden realize that you had katsudon for lunch as well.
「Ah, I remember. It was S*YJ*Y 3」
「Bananaaa flavoured —」
As I thought, she seems to have been hard-pressed at work.
It might be better than just skipping lunch altogether, but no matter how much nutritional content it has, it’s definitely not good to eat just that. If you eat only beans then… What were the lyrics?! ‘It builds up a robust body and gives a fierce sex appeal’.4 That might be so but right now Mio-san just needs a normal appetite and her usual liveliness.
「There is also the fact that it will be problematic if her sex appeal grew any further」
I mean, next time my tongue might turn into mincemeat.
「What is it –」
「I was saying how great it will be if Mio-san recovered quickly.」
「But I am not sick though?」
「Oops! I didn’t realise.」
In any case, she is feeling fine only because her consciousness is hazy. Having her eat something is the best course of action.
「Alright. Please wait for a bit, I will be back right after cooking some food.」
「Mix spring onion with the eggs, rice…… Nn, Come to think of it, I wonder if there is no other choice but to use cooking wine.」
Even amongst the types of food suitable for a person down with fever, this should be the best choice. Luckily, as it is a routinely made and customary dish, all the ingredients required are there in the fridge.
The dish I am going to make is egg porridge. Being highly nutritious and easily digestible, it is the ideal get-well meal.
「The focus this time must be on speed rather than taste. Before the situation gets any worse, have her eat and go to sleep. This way she should recover just fine.」
Ideally, the rice should be boiled using large amounts of water and soup stock, the egg whisked properly in a circular motion and poured into the rice while the rice is still hot and finally season it by sprinkling the sardines and the spring onion. It becomes much more delicious if it’s cooked using an earthen pot, so much so that you won’t hesitate to have it even if you are up and running.
However, that will easily take around 30 minutes.
To cook it now in the shortest time possible, the only way is to use that and not the rice cooker or the earthen pot. Yes, the microwave oven.
Mio-san has a model that can be used at 200, 500 and 700 watts. With this, it should only take 10 minutes.
「Hmm, this should do for a heat resistant vessel. Put in the rice, pour water and soup stock, close the lid and set it at 700 watts…. As the rice is still warm, about a minute is all it should take.」
Letting the vessel revolve around, I scramble the eggs, add the sardines in between and keep them aside. Whisking with the chopsticks using a vertical slicing motion makes it easier for the white to blend in with the yolk.
Take the boiled rice out and stir gently. Doing this enhances the taste. It still can’t compare to the real thing, but it is sufficient in this case.
Take the whisked egg mixture, stir it, cover it and then steam it once more.
「At last, sprinkle the spring onion. Yosh.」
Preparation complete. Time taken: approximately 5 minutes.
Now then, let’s quickly have her eat this and go to sleep.
「Mio-san, time to eat!」
There was no response to the continuous knocks on the door.
Still no reaction.
Opening the door, my eyes lay witness to the chaotic scene inside.
「This is…She managed to open every single drawer in this short time…」
「Ah, Matsutomo-san, Okaeri∼」
All the drawers and cupboards are open. Mio-san is flopped right in the middle of the room surrounded by clothes, underwear and even sanitary products. And some other things, possibly private and personal things.
「Mi..Mio-san, this, what were you doing?」
「It is not here.」
It is apparent that she is searching for something, but what is so important that she turned the entire room upside down for it.
「Can you please tell me what you were searching for? I will help you find it」
Aa-chan… what is that?
「A dear companion…」
「Ah, is it one of the plush toys that you recently bought?」
The duo with vastly different backgrounds, one being a premium product from a specialist store and the other a normal game center gift. Shouldn’t they be fighting for attention from their senpai Fuu-chan?
「No. That was Koro-chan and Yuu-chan」
Koro-chan should be the dog and Yuu-chan the cat. The atmosphere has somehow become odd.
If that is the case, then who is Aa-chan?
「Then, what kind of a child is Aa-chan?」
「A pure white fox.」
「Isn’t that Fuu-chan. He is in the living room right now, should I go and get him?」
「It’s not Fuu-chan but Aa-chan. Aa-chan…」
「Ah, look! Your fever has gotten high.」
I stopped her from rolling around listlessly and took her to the bed. Although she is not in pain, it is likely that she became delirious because of the fever. It would be for the best if she ate the porridge and went to sleep.
「Please have supper first, I will find Aa-chan for you.」
「I wonder where he went….」
「I will report his whereabouts as soon as I find him. Are you able to eat this by yourself?」
「I think I can」
「It’s fine even if it is just a little. Please have something」
A spoonful, two and that’s all. She clearly doesn’t have an appetite. I would really like to have her eat more, but forcing food is not good and might have other repercussions.
After she had a little, I put the plate down and handed over the cold medicine to her.
「Here you go, take the medicine.」
I put the medicine powder in her right hand after breaking open the golden sachet. Mio-san had preemptively bought this medicine for a just-in-case scenario.
「Are you alright!?」
She coughed violently as she choked on the medicine. I can help her out by stroking her back but that might lead to troublesome circumstances.
Wiping off the yellow powder that flew to my face, I just realised.
「Mio-san, can it be that you can’t swallow the medicine??」
「….I don’t know」
Ingesting the medicine powder is by no means a simple task. I remember reading that it requires more care and skill than what everyone thinks is necessary.
Medicine, in addition to the efficacy of the chemicals present in it, also has a bitter taste to it that promulgates the secretion of gastric acid, thus preparing the body. Nevertheless, to humans, bitterness directly relates to poison, therefore when a person tries to swallow the bitter and dry powder, he has to go against his instinctual response.
「Let’s try one more time」
I tried to have her take another packet but the result was the same.
「It’s a given that you will not be to swallow the bitter medicine when you can’t even eat normal food.」
「No worries, nowadays there are handy things available just for this」
I have seen advertisements for the jelly-type oblates used to take medicine. It should be available in any pharmacy or convenience store nearby.
「I will just go out shopping and then be back. Please tell me if you want something, I will buy it for you.」
Mio-san’s complexion is getting worse and worse. Making sure that I took my smartphone, I stood up to leave.
「Ee, What’s the matter」
Seems like it’s difficult for her to speak. But when I brought my ears close to hear her properly, she caught hold of my sleeve.
「Even if you tell me that」
It must be because of the fever. Depending on how it goes, it might be necessary for her to go to the hospital.
It has been quite some time since I tried to leave. I should probably be shaking her off and then leaving, but her slender hands are too firm.
What to do.
I understand that she is helpless. But I can’t do something like just watch while her condition gets worse.
Impasse. What to do.
「Are you feeling sick?」
「Just a little bit. However, I am alright.」
The regular symptoms have started to appear.
Her breath became more and more strenuous as she held on to me.
「What to do…..!!」
No matter how hard I try, it is unlikely that I will be able to leave.
I have even tried praying to God. In fact, I wouldn’t need any help if only my prayers would work.
My phone vibrated.
「Tch, what is it now? A complaint for when I went to the game centre without him?」
It’s most likely completely coincidental but I still prayed my gratitude to God.
「Incoming call: Tsuchiya Haruto」
The culprit who introduced me to the game centre from before and now stays just two stations away. My former colleague’s name kept blinking on the screen.