Baka to Tesuto to Syokanju:Volume5 The Final Question
The Final Question
Question: Please write down the chemical formula of vinegar, and please write down a simple way to cook a dish that will use vinegar—tuna salad.
Shimada Minami’s Answer:
Yoshii Akira’s comment:
That’s right. HCOOH (methanoic acid), CH3COOH (ethanoic acid) and C2H5COOH (propanoic acid) all have a certain formula. You can memorize more chemical formulas if you memorize the formulas and apply them accordingly instead of memorizing them all one by one.
Yoshii Akihisa’s answer:
“I remember the sauce used to make tuna salad is vinegar mixed with olive oil and salt. If you don’t use vinegar, you can use lemon juice to replace it, which can also create the sour flavor of the sauce; but I feel that this question doesn’t seem to have any relations to chemistry!”
Yoshii Akira’s answer:
“You don’t have to suspect anything. Just answer.”
Himeji Mizuki’s answer:
How to make tuna salad.
“Tuna salad is 1. Sour, 2. Salty, 3. Has a unique flavor. I feel that it’s alright if the 3 conditions can be met when making the sauce. So the chemical equation to make the sauce is CH3COOH(vinegar that brings about sourness) + NaCl (Salt that brings saltiness) + HCN (Hydrogen Cyanide that brings about a sweet and sour smell)
Yoshii Akira’s answer:
With the ingredients you mentioned and the difference in the making of the dish, HCl (Hydrochloric acid) and NaCN (Sodium Cyanide) will be created. I can’t say anything other than that I’m scared the moment I think of how one small dish of tuna salad can kill 50 mature boys.
“Really, Aki-kun…no, should I be calling you Alexander the Great?”
We had a huge argument yesterday, but once I got home, I had to endure my embarrassment and report the exam results today to nee-san. After nee-san heard that, she could only shake her head reluctantly.
“Uu…bu, but, I feel that I should be able to do well! I It’s because I didn’t write my name that I’ll still be deemed to have no points…”
Having said such big words yesterday, I ended up like this today, and I really feel embarrassed. I can’t say such big words like yesterday now and could only lower my neck and kneel in front of nee-san
“We’re talking about how you may get high marks if you wrote your name, right? If Alexander the Great made the same mistake as you in the exams, do you think you would be forgiven if you explain it to the invigilator?”
I couldn’t argue back as nee-san viciously pointed that out.
That’s right. A real test doesn’t allow for any excuses. Fumitzuki Gakuen’s vision is to nurture students who will be able to adapt to society, and no excuse will be accepted if they can’t go all out in a formal test no matter what. So Himeji-san didn’t get any benefit even when she fell sick and had to leave halfway.
“Uuu…I really worked hard…”
“No matter how hard you worked, you still can’t change the outcome, right?”
“You don’t have to apologize to nee-san. Nee-san never had any expectations for Aki-kun.”
“Oh well, I knew that no one was expecting anything from me, and nobody prepared dinner for me on the day before the exam…”
“But I can considering adding some points seeing how you worked hard.”
“Eh? Re, really?”
“But if your hard work doesn’t translate to results, it’ll be a waste no matter what I say. Hard work is a mean to achieve a result. No matter how much you work, if you can’t get the outcome you should be having, it’s pointless even if you’re proud of the process.”
Nee-san said such words that were hard to understand again. Basically, it’s a good thing that I’m working hard for the outcome, but it’ll be a huge mistake if I have the idea that ‘I worked hard, so it doesn’t matter whether I got the outcome’, right?”
“If I really have to say it, it’s because you didn’t study hard normally that you ended up like this, Aki-kun. Nee-san wants you to work every day and not start cramming at the last minute before the exams…”
Nee-san’s meaningful lecture time began again.
Ugh…as compared to that violent and crude mom of mine, nee-san’s nagging causes me even more trouble.
“Aki-kun, are you listening to me? Really, child, you’re always—”
At this moment, the electronic sound of the clock rang, interrupting nee-san’s words that she wasn’t able to complete.
“Oh my, it’s 7pm. I forgot the time after lecturing so much. Time to eat dinner then.”
I, I’m saved…in that case, I can finally be saved from hell…
“Aki-kun, you still have tests tomorrow, so I’ll continue the rest tomorrow.”
Eh? You want to continue tomorrow?
“I’ll prepare something simple to eat then…”
“No need. Let’s eat outside. It’s pretty late now anyway.”
I’m not exactly hungry, but nee-san, who likes home-cooked meals, actually suggested that I go out and eat. So it’s because…she will be troubled if I prepare dinner and got bad grades, right?
“Aki-kun, we’re going on.”
Nee-san took her bag with her purse inside and turned to walk out of the living room.
“Okay, then I’ll…”
I turned over and walked to the kitchen. Don’t be surprised here. I’m always in charge of the kitchen in my house. It’s alright that we’re going out to eat, but there’s something I have to settle before that.
“If we’re not cooking, I’ll freeze the meat I bought just now.”
I remember that there are some ingredients that are about to expire at home, but I suppose it should be alright if I put that meat a little longer…I thought about this as I stepped into the kitchen, and then noticed something else.
“That’s weird. Why is the cooker hood open…? Did I forget to close it?”
I turned off the cooker hood that was still running, and my mind started to recall. I didn’t cook last night, and before that, I went to stay overnight at Kirishima-san’s house. Was it already turned on before that?
“Probably not. No matter what, I would have noticed if the cooker hood’s turned on for 3 days straight…”
At this moment, the weird discrepancies I recently thought about recently started to surge in me. What’s going on? What’s strange about that?
I tilted my head as I faced the fridge, and took out the piece of meat I intend to put inside the freezer.
—At this moment, I finally realized where the strange discrepancies came about.
It was a pile of question marks that came from a lot of doubts.
Why? Why did nee-san buy so much ingredients that day even though she didn’t know Yuuji and the rest would be coming?
Why? Why was it that nee-san never had the intention of eating Japanese cuisine despite coming back to Japan after a long while?
Why? Why would that naggy nee-san of mine not allow me to cook dinner yesterday?
The many doubts gradually formed a fact that was clearly shown in front of me.
—There was a plate of burnt paella in the fridge.
“A, ahaha…what the heck, so that’s how it was…”
All my doubts were answered.
Why did nee-san buy so many ingredients?
—She deliberately bought a lot because she was scared that she cooked it wrongly.
Why paella, and not Japanese cuisine?
—Because nee-san remembered that paella’s my favorite dish.
Why did she buy ingredients I wasn’t familiar with?
—Didn’t nee-san say it before? She prepared the ‘ingredient list’. That must be because…she learnt how to really cook paella overseas.
Why didn’t she allow me to cook yesterday no matter what?
—Isn’t it obvious? Because nee-san…intended to cook what I liked to eat for my sake!
“Couldn’t she have just said so directly…”
Really, why is it that this nee-san of mine would be so strict to everyone, whether it’s to other people or herself. Saying that she didn’t have any expectations of me, and yet sparing a thought for me. She should be tired because of work and the long distance travelling, yet she still wanted to cook a dish she wasn’t even good with for her brother’s sake. Maybe it’s because it wasn’t delicious that nee-san wanted to hide it and not let me know.
Maybe nee-san already thought of cooking dinner herself on Monday, but I unexpectedly brought so many friends along that she could only get rid of the thought. It’s because of that that she looked somewhat unhappy then.
“I see. So that’s why nee-san said that no matter how hard I work, it’s pointless if I don’t show the results…those were the same words she wanted to say to herself too.”
It’s because she’s not good at it that she worked harder to overcome it. Nee-san’s really followed what she said through her actions.
“This is bad…I actually said such horrible words to nee-san…”
The more I think about it, the clearer things are. The reason why nee-san wore an apron and even started the newly-wed couple game out of a sudden is…
No matter whether it’s to others or herself, nee-san’s always a strict person.
That dish may be a failure, but I’m already happy to see the effort and dedication nee-san put in. I’m really touched.
“Aki-kun, what are you wasting time for? We’re leaving!”
Nee-san, who was waiting at the door, called me from the corridor.
“Sorry! I’ll be there now!”
I put the meat into the freezer, went back to the living room to stuff my wallet into my pocket, and walked out of the house.
I didn’t see nee-san around, probably because she heard my reply and left.
I didn’t want to keep her waiting, so I chose not to take the lift, but leap down the stairs two steps at a time.
The moment I stepped out of this building, I saw nee-san walking in front of me.
“Sorry to keep you waiting.”
I hurriedly rushed over and apologized to nee-san with her back facing me.
“People often say that ‘time is money’. It’s not good to keep people waiting.”
“Un, I’ll take note of that.”
As we continued with our conversation, I slowly walked behind nee-san, 2 steps behind her.
Nee-san didn’t deliberately look back at me, but casually looked in front.
I increased my stride and leaned over at nee-san.
“What is it?”
Nee-san answered, but didn’t look at me.
It’s because she’s always showing off such a proud look at people are mistaken.
But behind this attitude, she’s actually thinking about me.
It was the same with the argument yesterday. Now that I think about it, didn’t nee-san say that ‘there’s no need for Aki-kun to cook’ only? It’s not that nee-san didn’t notice my intentions, but that nee-san was trying to tell me ‘I’ll prepare dinner, just focus on studying and try and get good grades’. Her cold tone caused me to misunderstand, but nee-san’s doing this for my sake in her own way.
Thinking about this, I suddenly felt rather happy, and even couldn’t help but show a smile.
“Hm? Aki-kun, what’s wrong? Calling nee-san and laughing out of sudden is really rude. Is there something you want to say?”
Nee-san looked shocked as she stared at me.
What should I say? At that moment, I couldn’t help but feel confused.
Right now, no matter what, what I have to say isn’t an apology to nee-san. Even if I apologize for everything that happened till now, nee-san probably won’t feel happy about it.
So, instead of an apology, I should let my true feelings and thoughts be known to my sister.
I took a short breath and said to nee-san from the side of her face.
“Thank you very much. I—love nee-san the most.”
“What did you say?”
I took a deep breath.
“What nonsense are you spouting now?”
“Ahaha, I’m talking about love between family members.”
“…Even if you’re trying to get on my good side, you won’t be able to escape tomorrow’s telling off.”
It’s still an irritating tone, but I just feel ever-so relieved hearing that.
“Is that so? That’s a pity.”
Nee-san immediately went silent, and both of us walked together side-by-side under the sunset.
How many years has it been since both of us went out together?
“Hm? Did you say something, nee-san?”
“Next time, if nee-san have the urge, I’ll cook dinner for you.”
“Yeah. I’ll cook something nice that will shock Aki-kun.”
“Really? I’m looking forward to it then.”
“But you must wait till I have the mood.”
I suppose it’ll be a long time before she has the mood again. Nee-san’s one who focuses on the outcome, but is a really bad cook. She’ll definitely spend a lot of time practicing before her dishes can be served.
Really. She still doesn’t understand. Even if she doesn’t cook for me, there’s still a way to make food delicious and shock me.
“What is it?”
“Do you know what’s the best seasoning, nee-san?”
“The best seasoning…salt?”
“Um~ I’m not talking about that.”
“Not that kind? In that case…an empty stomach, right? There should be no better seasoning than using survival instincts to increase a person’s appetite.”
“I see. It’s really just like what nee-san would answer.”
“Now that you say it, it doesn’t seem that an empty stomach’s the correct answer…what is it then?”
“Fufu, what could it be then?”
“...Aki-kun, are you making fun of nee-san when nee-san doesn’t know anything about cooking?”
Nee-san started to throw a tantrum and narrowed her eyes, giving me a chiding look.
But that made me even more unable to control the smirk on my face as I faced such a stare.
As for the best seasoning, if it’s not an empty stomach, the only thing left would be the last answer.
“…Never mind. It’s fine. Just laugh all you want. You can only laugh now.”
Nee-san pouted as she saw me snickering.
“I’ll interrogate you thoroughly, Aki-kun, and make you beg for mercy.”
“Eh? Are you intending to change the lecture into corporal punishment?”
“If you don’t like it, nee-san can kiss you instead then.”
“PLEASE BEAT ME UP! JUST BEAT ME UP UNTIL I CRY AND BEG FOR MERCY!”
“You’re really a pervert, Aki-kun.”
“I DON’T WANT TO HEAR SUCH WORDS FROM MY OWN SISTER WHO INTENDED TO FORCEFULLY KISS ME!!”
In the end, we continued to bicker with each other like usual as we moved forward.
Maybe it’s because the heat of the day didn’t dissipate as the road feels warm while I walk side by side with my sister.
On the same day, at Fumitzuki Gakuen—
“…Principal. What’s going on?”
“Don’t give me such a chiding look, Nishimura-sensei. Isn’t this just a slight error that cropped up with the system adjustment?”
“…This shouldn’t just a ‘slight’ error, right?”
“Just that the appearance is a little bad.”
“Oh, is that so?”
“Un, that is the case.”
“Principal, I won’t be fooled by you even if you pretend to look far away.”
“Alright alright, I got it. Gather some teachers that are free here so that we can finish up the repairs earlier.”
“I’m fine with that, but what do you intend to do if the students find out?”
“What can I do? I just said that it’s just an error in the appearances. There’s no need to be bothered with those brats even if they start making a ruckus.”
“In that case…”
“Just go with the flow.”
“Really, you. It’s because of this that this school…”