Volume 10, Chapter 3-4: Preparing for the Meeting

I stretched after completing the video and turned off my laptop. I didn’t expect Ace to be so into her commentary. She really did make me want to watch all of them now. Half of the time I didn’t even care about the battles, more engrossed by Ace’s words. She was on pretty good terms with everyone too. It seemed strange she would just split and go off on her own. There had to be more to it.

“Yuki, I’m home,” Mom called out to me.

I headed to the back and saw Mom with a bouquet of flowers and other assorted items in a 
shopping bag. I helped her place the stuff on the table. What was all of this for?

“It’s for meeting Ichizen’s sister tomorrow. They told me she’ll arrive sometime in the evening. I thought it’d be nice for us to get her welcoming gifts,” Mom explained.

“Have you seen what she looks like yet?” I asked, taking items out of the shopping bag and organizing them on the table.

“No, I haven’t. Are you jealous she’ll be more beautiful than you?” Mom smirked.

“What? At least pick a better joke than that, Mom,” I remarked.

“I guess you’re right. Anyways, make sure you don’t have plans tomorrow evening,” Mom reminded me.

“Yeah, I know. There’s a lot of fruit in here. I don’t even think they’ll be able to eat it all,” I observed, taking out at least four bags of fruit.

“Some of that is for us. Yuki, don’t be silly, of course they can’t eat all of it,” Mom said.

“Right. So, are we just getting them fruit and flowers?” I searched around in the shopping bag.

“Did you want to give them money too?” Mom asked.

“No, I was just wondering if that was it. I thought there might be, uh, more practical gifts,” I replied.

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“Such as?” Mom asked for details.

“I don’t know. Something like a kitchen appliance. That might be too expensive,” I answered.

“Well, I didn’t get any of that. So unless you’re driving to a store tonight or tomorrow, we’ll just have to stick with this,” Mom responded.

“No, it’s fine. Is Yukie coming with us or is she staying home?” I inquired.

“That’s up to her,” Mom answered.

“Yeah, you’re right. Where is Yukie anyways? I thought she would have been making dinner by now,” I questioned.

“She’s sleeping in the garage. I don’t know what she’s been working on, but when I got out of my car, she had her head down on the table. I put a blanket over her. Yuki, let’s get going already,” Mom urged.

“What?” I asked, confused about what she meant.

“Cooking dinner of course. You’re taking over,” Mom replied, a serious look on her face.

“Wait, wait. Mom, I only know at most three dishes. There’s no way I can cook dinner,” I refused.

“You’ll just have to make those three dishes. I’ll be busy here wrapping up and making things look pretty for tomorrow,” Mom demanded.

“Wait, you’re okay with me cooking, but not Dad?” I asked, hoping to sway her.

“Your food is edible, Yuki. Much more than anything he can make. Don’t try weaseling out of this, I know all your tricks. Anyways, there are leftover dishes from yesterday. See what you can do. I leave it to you, my beautiful daughter,” Mom answered, walking over to the storage 

Yukie was sleeping and I would just be the lowest of scum if I woke her up now. Mom was busy preparing the welcoming gift. And Dad, well, I shuddered at the thought of what he would make without any assistance. I put on an apron and headed into the kitchen. Times like this I wished I paid more attention when Mom cooked.

I opened the fridge and located the leftovers from yesterday. Those weren’t enough though. I could heat the leftovers and serve them. That was one less thing to worry about. I closed the door and stared at the stove. Yeah, still nothing. Okay, Yuki, let’s go over everything you can make. Eggs, basic frying, and nothing else. Great start.

“Let’s just fry some eggs and hope that will do it,” I muttered.

I took out twelve, placing them on the counter. Alright, that should do it. I dug around in the cabinets before finally locating the frying pan. I heated the pan up and then poured oil into it. Nice, nothing disastrous yet. I cracked all of the eggs in, stirring the yolks. I grabbed the spatula and started flipping over the parts that were done. Okay, good job Yuki, you didn’t screw up dinner yet. I placed the finished eggs into a plate and carried it over to the kitchen table.

“Oh, eggs? I guess those are the only things you can really make. It’s okay, we still have stuff left over from yesterday. Soup’s in the fridge too so heat that up,” Mom directed, focused on her work.

Half an hour later, everything was finished. All the dishes were warm and Dad arrived home just as the rice finished cooking. He blinked, seeing me with an apron on.

“Everything okay?” he asked, glancing over at Mom.

“Of course, why wouldn’t it be? She’s not as bad as you, dear,” Mom replied, placing the final touches on the gift basket.

“That kinda hurt. I saw Yukie in the garage sleeping so I was pretty sure you were cooking but to see Yuki….I guess it isn’t a bad thing,” Dad agreed, placing his bag down on the floor.

“Ichizen’s sister is finally arriving tomorrow. You have no plan, right?” Mom informed Dad.

“No, nothing I can think of. It’s still shocking to hear the Michi family has a daughter. Such a strange tradition to have of leaving one child behind. What would happen if there was just one? They probably have special rules on that too,” Dad replied.

“Yes, I find it very hard to believe as well. But once we see her, there’s no denying she does exist. As for whether or not she’s their true blood daughter, I can’t say,” Mom concurred.

Yukie rushed in suddenly, a panicked expression on her face. She saw the dinner table already set and heaved a sigh of relief.

“Ah, I apologize for not cooking dinner. I slept past my planned wake up time. It seems Yuki and Auntie already finished,” Yukie apologized, bowing several times.

“Don’t worry about it, Yukie. It must be a strain cooking dinner every day. That’s why starting tomorrow, Yuki will be learning from you to lessen your workload,” Mom declared, an evil smile on her face.

“Yes, I do recall Auntie saying that. Very well, Yuki, I’m looking forward to seeing your abilities,” Yukie said, excitement on her face.

“One more thing, Yukie. We’re heading over to the Michi household tomorrow for dinner. Will you join us or stay here?” Mom asked.

“I would like to join but I am not well acquainted with the Michi family. I am afraid that I will be a burden if I were to accompany you,” Yukie answered.

“No, don’t worry. I’m sure Yuki will be glad to have someone else around besides us,” Mom assured her.

“If that’s the case, I will join you. It would feel lonely eating by myself,” Yukie decided.

“Perfect. Now everything has been settled, let’s eat dinner. Dear, you’re going to help me with something later,” Mom announced.

After dinner, I sat in my room thinking about tomorrow. Ichizen’s sister, huh? I still had doubts about her connection to the Michi family. It seemed too planned, almost implausible. That didn’t mean it wasn’t possible. After all, I didn’t have extensive knowledge on the Michi family and Ichizen brought it up. I wondered if Tess had anything. I knew Ichizen wasn’t a hero but she should have data on him.

“Zhuyu, sorry to bother you so late. Can you check your archives on information about Ichizen?” I called the zero vector user.

“Huh? You’re asking for stuff on your friend? You should know him better than anything we’ve gathered, right?” Zhuyu asked, surprised by my request.

“I thought I did, but it turns out Ichizen has a sister. I wanted to see if Tess has anything related to that,” I revealed.

“A sister, huh? I’ll see what I can find. I might have to ask Tess,” Zhuyu said.

“Okay, thanks. If you find anything, just call me back,” I thanked him for his assistance.

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I read one of the books Yuka lent me while waiting. My phone finally rang half an hour later.

“Tomo, I couldn’t find anything in the records on my end. But, I did call Tess. She discovered a birth certificate and it looks like Michi really does have a sister. At least according to the papers. I’ve sent it to you via email so you can take a look. Man, this really complicates things,” Zhuyu sighed.

“I really appreciate your help. You weren’t doing anything important anyways, right?” I asked.

“That really hurts, Tomo. But yeah, you’re right. I was just playing a video game. If you need anything else, contact Tess directly. She’s building a profile for Ichizen’s sister,” Zhuyu replied and hung up.

I opened my email, looking at the attached scan. I couldn’t tell if the birth certificate was a forgery or not. It looked official and there weren’t any strange markings or discrepancies. I looked up the address on it and the hospital was still operating. I checked her name but it was too blurry to read. I wondered if Tess did that on purpose. Whatever, I would find out tomorrow. Right now, I should sleep and see how everything turned out.

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