Volume 5, Chapter 4

Regrettably, no one knows where Hiratsuka Shizuka’s red thread leads to.

What was the greatest food of them all?

Curry, shabu shabu, sushi, soba, sukiyaki, tempura, yakiniku, or sweets?

The answer: none of them.

Why? Because ramen was the greatest of them all.


It’s one of the many delicacies that any high school boy would find to be their greatest companion.

First thing that came to mind when you worried about what to eat? Ramen.

Looking to stop by a ramen shop after school? Acceptable.

Looking to find a new store after a little shopping? Acceptable.

Looking to make some ramen and slurp the soup late at night out of hunger? Acceptable.

But going to a ramen shop for a date as a couple?


Quit running your mouths at the counter. You guys do realize there are going to be people using those afterwards, right? Go do mushy stuff like that at your favorite Starbucks. Stop blabbering about your love stories at the counter of a ramen shop. Please, please think of the people who have to stand behind you and listen to that.

You know what ramen was originally? It was something meant to be eaten alone.

The soup would get cold and the noodles would get soggy if all you did was chat.

That explained why Ichiran’s “Taste Focus System”—a system where every seat is partitioned into its own section and your front was covered with a banner that obscured your view of the inner kitchen—was a huge invention in the ramen world. Long ago, they had “Currently applying for a patent” written down, but I wonder if they managed get that patent.

I digress.

Basically, ramen was befitting for someone of my stature.

One supreme bowl that cured my noble soul that abides by isolation.

They called it, ramen.

× × ×

I missed my lunch time because I woke up later than I should have, a situation I often found myself in during this summer vacation.

Since I was aiming to become a full-time house husband, this was where I should be making my own food.

People who thought that were naive.

Real housewives would hand their husbands five hundred yen for their lunch and spend the rest of their husband’s money for a luxurious meal of their own. This may be prejudice on my part. But that’s the kind of house husband I wanted to become. I also wanted to take the settlement money after a divorce.

With aspirations to become a full-time house husband, I emulated the aforementioned housewives and decided to go out for a luxurious lunch. Recently, I was wealthy due to my alchemy which utilized my prep school scholarship money. I was the Small Money Alchemist.

Let’s get ramen for lunch today. Now that I had decided on my choice of food, my stomach wasn’t in the mood for anything but said choice.

Chiba was home to a competitive marketplace for ramen.

The contested marketplace existed at the stations of Matsudo, Chiba, Tsudanuma, and Motoyawata. Recently, B-grade gourmet ramen shops such as Takeoka-styled Ramen and Katsuura Tantan Men had joined the fray, making it a nationally known hot spot.

Such “stores that people knew” were exceptionally stable, but once you became used to them, you had to go out and search for a store of your own.

Whenever you ate out with someone, you had to match your preferences with theirs, making you say pretentious stuff like, “Hey man, I know this good place, awesome eh? Fuhihi.” This made you unable to embark on adventures like an adventurer.

But alone, you could enter a store without having to be mindful of those courtesies. That adventurous spirit was what led you to new discoveries and the development of your own culinary finesse.

In other words, a loner was always surging with the frontier spirit and was a modern-day adventurer with the vigor and spirit of a challenger.

As such, for today, I had settled for a ramen shop in the neighborhood which I had barely embarked to. Just like what they say about how the hardest thing to see was right under your nose, striking at your reachable blind spots was a marvelous strategy. It’s reverse psychology against the logic of people from Tokyo who didn’t go to Tokyo Tower.

For some moments, the bus shook back and forth.

After arriving at my destination, Kaihin Makuhari, I walked. Nothing but walking.

Since this area was somewhere I’d wander around aimlessly on my way home from school, there was a store I had set my eyes on for a while now, a new store that I had wanted to explore.
I trudgingly walked to the store while being baked by the rays of the summer sun.

The damp humidity was irritating, but as if blowing it away, a refreshing timbre filled the area.

Originating from the bell of a church were high-pitched rings.

This area was populated with lines of expensive hotels with many wedding halls. At one of those halls, a wedding ceremony was being held.

A florid atmosphere dominated the surroundings and coming from past the fences were voices screaming their blessings.

This was actually my first time seeing a wedding, so I decided to take a peek.

In doing so, I saw happiness as though it was physically visualized onto a picture. But, hmm, I could see some kind of black smudge at the corner of my vision…

I rubbed my eyelids and strained my eyes for a better look. Pay no heed to a single point, view everything without looking, and that is what it means “to see”… I obeyed the teachings of Takuwan Oshou1 and gazed closer at the black smudge.

That silhouette was coated in black and was the only one exuding the aura of a loser. And right now, those black colors were absorbing the light from its surroundings, warping even the rays of the sun. Within that sphere of happiness, just a single area was enwrapped with a conviction that resembled a grudge. Not to mention, it was murmuring in a low voice, “Go to hell, aaaamen…”2

Yeah, that’s definitely someone I knew…

“Now if only you could hurry up and get married already.”

“I’m sure it’ll be Shizuka-chan’s turn next!”

“Hey Shizuka-chan, I managed to find another good person. I’m sure it’ll go well this time, so do you want to try meeting him?”

“Shizuka. You see, dad’s already putting money aside for our grandchildren…”

For every comment she was given, that blot of blackness would shake. Her spiritual pressure3… disappeared…?

I think I might’ve witnessed something I wasn’t supposed to. I promptly removed my gaze and started walking off as though I hadn’t seen anything.

But one mustn’t forget.

—–When you gaze long into the abyss, the abyss also gazes into you…


Suddenly, the black blot screamed out my name.

The older married couple near its voice gave me inspecting looks. I instinctively bowed back. And then they returned it with their own. What the heck, does this count as meeting the parents, too? Is my only choice here to take responsibility and get married…?

The black blot turned around to the married couple and rapidly said,, “O-Oh, that’s a problem child over there! I-I have my job to get to, s-so I’ll be leaving now!”

The blot ran towards me with her kneels hitting the ground.

“Hikigaya! You came at a good time! You’re a life saver!” said the black blot. On closer inspection, the blot was a beautiful older lady clad in a black dress. She grabbed my hand and we left the area.

“Huh? wait a second, excuse me…”

When a beautiful older lady grabbed your hand, what other choice could you take except to obediently go along with her?

For a short period, we continued to walk. As soon as we made the turn at a corner into a park, we finally stopped.

“Phew… Looks like we got away for now…”

The lady massaged her chest as she breathed out a sigh of relief.

Her black party dressed formed an elegant arc with the lines of her body and a fur neck wrap was wrapped around her pale nape. Her tied up hair was glossy black as if it was arranged with her dress. The hand that grabbed me wore a black glove that matched her dress was surprisingly soft.


“Hm? Ahh, my apologies. Caught you off guard, didn’t I?”

The stylish looking beauty smiled and brought me to the bench. She then took out a cigarette from her bag and began tapping it to tighten it.

It was the gesture of an old man contrary to her appearance.

She ignited her hundred yen lighter and slowly lit up her cigarette.

I was completely flabbergasted from how completely different she looked moments earlier, but there’s no way I could mistake her now.

Hiratsuka Shizuka, the advisor of the Service Club.

Ohh, she’s actually really beautiful if she took the time to dress up…

“Um, is it okay for you to leave like that? Wasn’t it a wedding ceremony?”

“I’m sure they won’t mind. I left my congratulations gift with them.”

“Won’t there be an after-party or something?”

“What’s with you? Being awfully considerate, aren’t we?”

“No, it’s an important occasion, isn’t it?”

“…Phew. It’s my cousin’s ceremony, so they won’t need me.” Hiratsuka-sensei sadly averted her gaze and with the cigarette in her mouth, she mumbled further. “It’s not like I wanted to go in the first place. I have to deal with my younger cousins acting considerate, my aunts always talking about marriage, and my noisy parents… It just isn’t worth giving a congratulations gift if I have to hear my relatives complaining…”

She spat out her cigarette with a long, long sigh and crushed it in her hand.

There’s not much I can say now…

When it got strangely quiet, Hiratsuka-sensei turned the mood around and asked, “So, what were you doing around there?”

“I was on my way to get some ramen.”

“Ramen, huh? Why didn’t I think of that?” said Hiratsuka-sensei with a sudden burst in energy. The eyes which were dead earlier were now brimming with life.

“Speak of the devil, with all that reception I had to deal with, I ended up missing my lunch… Great timing, I’ll go with you.”

“Right, I guess I don’t mind.”

Mmkay, here I’d do the leading, so I started walking. Hiratsuka-sensei followed behind me, her heels noisily tapping the floor. Then again, this person’s appearance is really flashy! Just look at how much attention she’s getting!

When we got out into the street that was moderately congested, gazes from the people there were directed at us. With how gaudy she looked, well, also being beautiful and all, you just couldn’t help but look.

The person in question , however, didn’t seem to mind as she spoke to me like normal. “I heard you gave some advice to a future underclassmen. I didn’t think you’d actually continue your regular Service Club duties over the break, I’m impressed.”

“You’ve got it wrong. How’d you know that anyway…?”

Now that’s just frightening how you found out…

“I was informed by your younger sister.”

“Just when did you two get so close…?”

Komachi’s encirclement that involved my acquaintances wasn’t anything to laugh at.

Wasn’t this the ABCD encirclement now? Should I be worried? A for “a dumb girl” Yuigahama, B for the “berserker Hiratsuka-sensei”, C for the “cute Komachi!”, and D for “don’t know, who was that again?” Kawa-something-san… If we’re getting economically sanctioned, we’d better resist back with a sanctioned mentality.

“She’s a nice sister. Sometimes, I think it’d be nice to have a sister like that. Oh, I didn’t mean anything deeper by that.”

“Considering your age difference, if things go wrong, you’d end up more like a mom and daughter, blah, blah…”


Crap, she’s going to smack me… I reflexively closed my eyes and readied my body.

But a fist didn’t come at me. I opened my eyes in curiosity and Hiratsuka-sensei was depressed.

“That kind of joke hurts right now…”

“I-I’m sorry!”

Someone hurry! Someone hurry and take her! If no one takes her, I’ll end up taking her! Someone please do something about her.

× × ×

It’s nearing the end of August, but it’s still a bit hot to be walking outside, what with my frying skin under the sun.

But with the wind blowing through this area that faced the street along the coast, I felt somewhat cool.

That made standing outside the store more comfortable than it could’ve been.

It’s going to take a little longer until we could enter the store, but since I was good at killing time, It wasn’t a problem. I was also good at shaming others as well as popping bubble wrap. Based on the aforementioned, I anticipate that once I entered society, I’d be a skillful newbie crusher, but since they’d be too pitiful, I will definitely not work.

I did some human observation and I could see a guy at the front desperately speaking in a loud voice, two apparently male college students giving off the mood of a male and female couple dating, and so forth. After giving up on that, this time, I tried imagining a situation like so: “If I managed to start up a ramen business and TV stations come to me for interviews, how should I answer them?”

…For now, I planned on introducing my technique as a secret skill passed down, through a line of ancestry, dubbing it the “Tsubame Gaeshi” where I’d fiercely shake the noodles dry, horizontally and vertically. And after my store became popular, I’d open a ramen cram school, wring money out of the people aiming to get away from the salarymen life to start up a business.

As I thought about those worthless things, I could hear a soft sigh that resembled a laugh.

“…What is it?”

I gave the owner of the sigh, Hiratsuka-sensei, a reproachful look and she opened her mouth with a wry smile. “It’s nothing, I was just a little surprised. I was under the impression you hated crowds and lines.”

“I do. Chaotic crowds, that is. As for lines, well, I’m lining up properly, see? I’m not some line-cutting idiot.”

In reality, I wasn’t all that bad with lines. I think the reason why most people disliked lines was because it either felt like a waste of time, they weren’t getting much done by standing around, or that they couldn’t hold a proper conversation when they were with someone. If we considered the urban legend of how couples would break up when going to Destinyland, weren’t these kinds of lines the cause of their different sense of values and irritation coming to light?

So in regards to that, I was blessed with stupid amounts of time and would never get bored because of my excessive ability to think; I basically moved independently. My heart of steel wouldn’t waver from something insignificant as a line.

As for chaotic crowds, they were full of lawless and uncivilized beasts and I just couldn’t stand watching them nearby or even have them come near me.

“You’re a surprisingly clean individual, aren’t you?” said Hiratsuka-sensei, surprised after my remark.

“That’s not true. I’m not very good when it comes to cleaning.”

My room was in fact dirty. If you titled my room with “Urbanization” or “The Future of Earth”, it’d be grounds for a posthumous evaluation.

“I’m not talking about your cleanliness or your hygiene, but your ethics. Of course, those ethics are simply just what you have internally.”

“Isn’t that technically calling me a selfish and egocentric chump?”

“I’m actually praising you. It’s good that you’ve developed the proper sense to evaluate things.”

She put me on the spot when she gave me a charming look. I mean, I never really had that intention in the first place. I looked away and mumbled, “I really just don’t like noisy people…”

“Let’s have fun, this is the moment we’re shining the most!” Exactly who were they saying that to and who were they trying to promote themselves to?

Those who knew the joys of peace like quietly reading a book alone or playing games at home could somehow see the futility of their self-promotion for fun was.

I hated the people who mistakenly believed they could measure enjoyment based on the loudness of their voice and the number of people they were grouped with despite how wrong that was. And as if huge crowds and events were the best times to show off, they’d become even more active. It’s unbearable watching people deceive and lie to themselves.

Why couldn’t they validate their own enjoyment and correctness by themselves?

The reason why you couldn’t stand proud was because you weren’t confident. Somewhere inside of you, your collected self would pose you the question, “Is this really enjoyable? To push that question away, you’d put these things into words like, “They’re fun”, “Things are getting exciting”, “Right now’s the best”, and so forth. You’d say it aloud. And then, you’d raise your voice and scream it out.

People like them weren’t people I wanted to get involved with. I didn’t want to turn into a self-deceiving hypocrite.

“It sounds like you won’t be attending the fireworks festival then.”

Hiratsuka-sensei’s words cut my train of thought.

“Fireworks festival?”

“Yeah. You know about it, right? It’s the one being held at the port tower. Aren’t you going?”

When she brought it up, it made me realize. If it’s the fireworks festival by the port tower, then it’s Chiba’s summer tradition. I’ve gone to it before when I was younger. But at the time, my attention was more focused on the night stands than the fireworks themselves.

But living in this area meant you could already see fireworks shot from the stadium, heck, Destinyland was shooting fireworks all year round, so it wasn’t all that much of a blessing.

“I don’t have any particular plans on going, but what about you, sensei?” I asked.

She let out a long sigh. “I suppose you can call it my job over summer vacation. But it’s more accurate to say I’m going to watch people instead of the fireworks…”

I gave her a look requesting an explanation as to what in the world she was talking about.

“I’ve been put in charge of watching over students. That includes during festivals and the sort. But actual jobs like these tend to be left to the young folk. Gosh, there wasn’t much I can do about that, hahaha. After all, see, I’m young.”

“Why do you look so happy…?”

Hiratsuka-sensei was in a good mood and continued as if she didn’t hear my mumble. “If any of our students happen to get out of hand, that would be a problem. Since the festival is a municipal event, there’ll be quite a few VIPs present as well.”

“VIPs, huh?”

“That’s right, families like the Yukinoshita should be attending.”

Indeed, the Yukinoshitas were essentially local celebrities and were a family of a high pedigree. They had a seat in the prefectural assembly as well as owned a local business. So it’s possible they had provided assistance with the event. In that case, it wouldn’t be out of the question if they were invited.

“Speaking of them, was Haruno-san a former student?”

“Hm? Ahh. That’s correct. I believe she was on her way out when you enrolled. She’s a graduate of our Sobu High. I remember her quite well.”

If she graduated when I entered the school, that meant we were three years apart. So Haruno-san was either nineteen or twenty years old. She graduated two years ago, huh…?

“Generally speaking, her grades were at the top and she was able to finish anything that was thrown at her. And considering her appearance, she was more or less treated as a goddess by the boys.”

It sounded like the story of an entirely different person. If anything, she’s more of a witch than a goddess. A goddess and a witch. Perhaps they were once equal entities, but by way of religion, they were divided between right and wrong. It was the epitome of those two’s image.

“But,” said Hiratsuka-sensei, pausing. With an unpleasant face, she continued. “She wasn’t an exceptional student.”

“It sounds like she was though?”

“She’s exceptional. But that’s only in regards to her grades. She was noisy in class, her uniform was a mess, and you’d always find her at festivals like the upcoming one. You could say she was gallivanting around. But that’s also why she had many friends.”

—Ahh, I could easily imagine seeing her like that. As someone colorful and selfish as her, her free nature was what caused people to be attracted to her.

“Of course, that’s also…” She stopped abruptly.

I continued her sentence. “That’s also just a front, right?”

“Hoh, so you noticed?” Hiratsuka-sensei looked impressed, or rather, she had a smile that she’d make when she shared a negative feeling about something.

“I can tell just by looking.”

“Impressive observation skills.”

Pretty much. It’s my gifted education for scumbags I received from my pops.

“However, that front of hers is one of Haruno’s charming points. Those who notice that front start to think fondly of her conniving and determined nature.”

“Is that what you call being charismatic?” I said.

Hiratsuka-sensei nodded. “When she served as the Planning Commmittee Chairperson for the Cultural Festival, we had the biggest student turnout. Not just students, but even the faculty got involved… She also got me to play the bass for her.”

Sensei grimaced, remembering something unpleasant. Upon mentioning it, her hair style did resemble a certain bassist’s hair. I thought we were talking about Some-On Club4 or something…

“But the sisters sure seem awfully different from each other though.”

If Yukinoshita resembled a graduate student that was devoted to her research, Haruno-san was like a university student that was overly aware (lol) about a lot of things.

By the way, I loathed phrases like “overly aware”, “get excited”, “involve everyone”, and the like the most. The normalfags (lol) totally loved to spout stuff like that. They really need to stop using those packed phrases so much because it made them look weak.

Hiratsuka-sensei nodded, crossing her arms to think. “That’s true… But I won’t say she should become like Haruno. She should just be herself and work on her good points.”

“Good points…”

“I told you before, how she’s kind and correct.”

In the past, Hiratsuka-sensei certainly did evaluate Yukinoshita Yukino as such. On top of that, she stated that it was difficult for her to live like that because the world wasn’t kind or correct.

Yukinoshita was by and large correct. As for whether she was kind or not, I still had my doubts, but you couldn’t say she wasn’t kind just because she wasn’t soft.

It’s fine not to be nice to me since I’d rather you just spoil me. The idea that being strict was a form of kindness? No thank you…

Oh right, this person thinks like this too… I thought, and when I glanced at Hiratsuka-sensei, she was looking at me with a warm gaze. “You’re the same as well.”

She smiled at me, but I asked her for the meaning of that.

“What’s the same?”

“You’re also kind and correct except that your kindness and correctness is incompatible with Yukinoshita’s.”

It’s my first time being told something like that. But I wasn’t happy at all. After all, I had always believed in my own kindness and correctness. Th-That’s why, i-it’s not like I was happy or anything!

“Isn’t incompatible correctness just a contradiction? You know what Conan-kun says all the time, that there’s always only one truth.”

“Unfortunately for you, I ‘m more of the Future Boy one, not the famous detective,” said Hiratsuka-sensei, making a grin while warding off my attempt to hide my embarrassment.

Just how old is this person really?

× × ×

Once we were finally able to enter the store, we purchased meal tickets from the ticket machine.

I demonstrated my mentality of ladies first and allowed Hiratsuka-sensei to go ahead. When going somewhere dangerous or somewhere you didn’t know for the first time, you had to ensure it’s safe by letting the women go first!

Hiratsuka-sensei pressed a button without a second thought. She was so manly that I thought I was going to fall in love. After buying the ticket, she turned around to me with her wallet still gripped in her hand. Um, could you move already?

“What would you like?”

Don’t tell me she wants to treat me? Now I wanted to call her big bro. As much as I was grateful for her gesture, it didn’t seem proper to accept it.

“N-No, I can pay for myself.”

“Don’t be modest.”

“No, I mean, there isn’t a reason for you treat me ,” I said.

Hiratsuka-sensei tilted her head curiously. “Hm? I was under the impression you were the kind of trash rotten enough to think it’s natural for women to pay for you…”

What a horrible thing to say.

“That’s just being a leech… What I want to be is a full-time house husband!”

“I-I don’t get the difference…”

Hiratsuka-sensei looked confused, but I didn’t know the difference very well either. But hey, being a full-time house husband sounded a lot better than being a leech, right? Anyway, a teacher paying for a specific student’s meal didn’t sound like a good thing to me. Refusing her offer here would be good luck.

Similarly to Hiratsuka-sensei, I selected tonkatsu, went to the counter and sat. Hiratsuka-sensei handed out her meal ticket and stated the firmness of her noodles.

“Kona-otoshi please.”

“Ah, I’ll take hari-gane then,” I said, following her. But you know… Do women really order so smoothly like this at a ramen shop?

But there’s just something charming about seeing a stylish beauty at a ramen shop.

We were getting an unusual amount of attention, but Hiratsuka-sensei didn’t look particularly concerned about it as she prepared the provided paper apron with an excited look and confirmed the positions of the pepper, sesame seeds, leaf mustard, and red ginger. Hey, seriously? This woman’s getting way too into this…

They quickly got our orders of ramen to us since it seemed like it didn’t take long to boil our noodles.

Hiratsuka-sensei took the wooden chopsticks and placed her hands together. “Thank you for the food.”

“Thank you for the food.”

First, the soup. A film of oil covered the ramen’s surface and appeared as smooth as white porcelain, showing you how creamy it was. The pot herbs canceled out the smell and the tonkatsu soup was thick and rich.

Next, the noodles. For how thick the soup was, the noodles were thin and straight. The balance between the texture of the firm noodles and their chewiness was good.

“Yep, delicious.”

We both expressed our simplistic impressions and then slurped our noodles in silence, savoring the soup. The crisp texture of the wood ear mushrooms and the green onions made the taste all the more wonderful.

When Hiratsuka-sensei asked for another serving of noodles with only a fourth of it left, she spoke to me. “About our talk earlier…”

“The talk about your cleanliness.”

When the noodle serving came, she added the leaf mustard. Feeling excited as she customized the taste to her liking, Hiratsuka-sensei had a smile. “I believe there’ll be a day when it can be accepted.”

“Right…” I responded reluctantly as I tossed the raw garlic.

“It’s like this ramen.” Hiratsuka-sensei proudly showed her completed Shizuka special ramen and continued. “When you’re young, you think tonkatsu ramen is the best and the fat is delicious. You can’t accept anything except for kotteri soup, but once you grow up, you start to slowly allow for salt ramen and soy sauce ramen.”

“I-Isn’t that just becoming old…”

“What was that?”


She gave me a nasty glare…

Hiratsuka-sensei looked upset for a moment, but suddenly relaxed. “Well, that’s fine… It’s fine if you’re not accepted now. If some day you are, then that’s good enough.”

Perhaps, she had understood my problems and my misgivings. But even so, she wasn’t spelling out the answer for me. Although for my current self, there wasn’t anything I could answer.

“Of course, it’s not like everything will be accepted. I hate tomatoes, so I still can’t accept tomato noodles today.”

“So you hate tomatoes…”

“Indeed, I just can’t get used to that mushy sensation and that unique smell.”

Is she a child? But I could understand what she’s trying to say. That stickiness in those kinds of fruits were probably equal to torture for people who hated it. It’s kind of grotesque and all.

“I also hate cucumbers for a similar reason.”

“I don’t like cucumbers either…”

I liked Bannanchiten Kiryu5, though. I also liked Pepsi Cucumber.

“But the thing with cucumbers is that when you sprinkle them all over potato salads or sandwiches, it gives them that cucumber taste…”

It’s okay to add cucumber to miso soup. But raw cucumber should be avoided. It’s the moment when they were cut into round slices that they bared their fangs… They’d dye all the flavors with the taste of cucumbers. On top of that, the nutritional values weren’t all that much, so they were like predators of the vegetable world.

“I like pickled vegetables, however…” Hiratsuka-sensei expressed a drunk-like opinion. I was also of the same opinion.

“I like them like you, too.”

Yep, that’s true. Pickled vegetables were good. They were very refreshing delicacies. And the fact you could just gobble them up with pure white rice was bliss.


The conversation halted for some reason and there was silence. I looked at Hiratsuka-sensei out of curiosity and she was spacing out. When our eyes met, she gulped her water in a fluster.

“Ah, y-you mean the pickled vegetables. R-Right. I-I also like them.”

“…Um, it’s kind of embarrassing when you say it so awkwardly like that, please stop.”

“J-Just what are you talking about !? Then again… what the heck did I even want to talk about…?”

Is this person okay? Maybe you should exercise your brain by filling out a ten by ten multiplication table. Let’s anti-age! I couldn’t remember what we were talking about except for cucumbers myself though.

Hiratsuka-sensei’s mood turned better and she casually lifted her chopsticks. “Here, have a pork fillet.”

“Thank you. I’ll give you my bamboo shoots then.”

“Fufu, thank you.”

“Considering your age and all, you should take your dietary fibers.”

“Don’t say more than you need to.”

“Ouch.” I rubbed my head after she hit me as I ate my ramen.

Looking satisfied from the taste of this store, Hiratsuka-sensei smiled. “Since you showed me a delicious store like this, I feel like I need to take you along somewhere myself.”

“Do you have a recommendation?”

“I certainly do. Back when I was a student, I was out on a conquest for all the ramen shops in the Chiba neighborhood. But it may be a bit strange for a student and teacher to be going out together so often. So once you graduate, I’ll take you somewhere.”

“Oh no, that’s okay, I don’t really need you sensei, so if you could just tell me the place—“


Although the store was so noisy, I could hear that sound distinctly.

“Oops, the chopsticks broke.”

“By all means, please take me along…”

I’m pretty sure chopsticks don’t break when you hold it, normally…

“Indeed. Look forward to it.”

Hiratsuka-sensei looked like she was the one enjoying herself.

It’s not too bad eating ramen with someone. Whether you’re alone or with someone, ramen was still delicious.

Without a shadow of doubt, the greatest food of them all was ramen. No objections are allowed.


  1. A character from Vagabond based on Takuan Sougou. 
  2. Lyrics from a single by Sugar, “Wedding Bell”. 
  3. Bleach 
  4. K-On’s Akiyama Mio 
  5. Mamotte Shugogetten 

33 thoughts on “Volume 5, Chapter 4

  1. This is one of the not-in-Anime chapters which I really enjoyed. I believe that the heart-to-heart talks between Hikki and Hiratsuka-sensei are really the gist of the novel. There is always a sense of bittersweetness in Hiratsuka-sensei’s words which foreshadow the next major plot development. Of course, we’ve been reading it from the later Volumes to the earlier ones, so we knew what happened next and the words are even more poignant because of that.

    I wonder if they’d keep the scene in Volume 9 Chap 5 in the anime for Season 2.

    • That heart to heart talk with Hiratsuka-sensei in that chapter is more crucial than this chapter, so they can’t skip it. It’d be dumb if they do.

    • if time could be warp then classmate hiratsuka and hikigaya would be the best loner couples…
      though lets finish first the Yukinon-route! ^_^

  2. Hikki x Hiratsuka-sensei pairing isn’t so bad. Hiratsuka gets a husband, Hikki gets to be a house-husband. And they lived happily ever after. The end.

    • Or Seraphim’s in Kore Wa Zombie Desu Ka?
      It’s a pretty popular naming in anime/manga/LN, that returnin swallow…

  3. The contested marketplace existed at the stations of Matsudo, Chiba, Tsudanuma, and Motoyawata. Recently, B-grade gourmet ramen shops such as Takeoka-styled Ramen and Katsuura Tantan

    This line seems incomplete?

    Someone hurry! Someone hurry and take her! If no one doesn’t take her, I’ll end up taking her! Someone please do something about her.

    Is this correct? Logically, the double-negative doesn’t make sense.

    I always thought that her inviting Hikigaya (and Yukinoshita) to ramen during the class trip was kind of random, but it makes more sense with this chapter. Hiratsuka-sensei takes her ramen way too seriously though, lol.

  4. Seriously out of all the combos i ship Hikki X Sensei the most, just feels more natural with them and though i’m not into BL Saika is the ‘mistress’.

  5. Geez, my eye’s were hurting after sensei’s overzealous messages, text too small. I hope that watari would give some more back story to shizuka in later novels.

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  6. Somehow I could imagine Saki to turn out into Sensei-like in the future (loner, manly, etc). So if Sensei route doesn’t work, maybe…

  7. Hiratsuka-sensei’s closeness to Hachiman could be misinterpreted in many ways. And I find it very intriguing. Her relationship with him goes way over that of a parent and also that of a lover, to Hachiman’s chagrin grin emoticon . Although one of the best supporting characters in the story and the exact anti-thesis of Haruno.

  8. “Someone hurry! Someone hurry and take her! If no one takes her, I’ll end up taking her! Someone please do something about her.”

    I totally ship hachiman x shizuka… but no more than i ship hachiman x yukino

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