Maria-sama ga Miteru:Volume31 Chapter5

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Marguerite Ribbon 3[edit]

"Ah, right. Eriko-sama was pressuring you to choose a petit soeur, wasn't she Yoshino-san?"

"Right. Even though she's graduated, she's still setting traps for me."

Autumn of last year, Eriko-sama had suddenly appeared at the school athletics festival and Yoshino-san had promised to introduce her petit soeur at the inter-school kendo tournament. Well, Yoshino-san had met the middle-schooler Arima Nana-chan as a result of that, so it couldn't really be called a complete nuisance.

"But Eriko-sama gave you those variety gifts, didn't she? The Maple Parlor – "

The 'best before' date on those had been one of the ways that Eriko-sama exerted pressure on Yoshino-san, but Shimako-san seemed to have filed that incident in her memory as an example of a benevolent senior indulging her junior with a gift of sweets.

"Variety gifts, huh."

Yumi dragged that memory out of its storage location. When they opened the tin, there was an assortment of chocolates, cookies and candies all gorgeously arranged in their own little compartments.

(… Hmm?)

The box had separate compartments so that the sweets didn't move all over the place. It reminded her of something.

Perhaps thinking the same thing, Shimako-san gently rose from her chair.

"First of all, shouldn't we fetch our sewing kits from the classroom?"

"Ah."

"Right."

Yumi clapped her hands.

It was like their sewing kits. The lower section didn't have any compartments and was used to store thread and scraps of cloth, but the upper section, with its separate compartments for pincushions, scissors and pinking shears, tape measures and sewing machine needles, looked just like the variety gifts tin.

"With some decent cloth, we should be able to finish it today, don't you think?"

At Shimako-san's urging, Yumi and Yoshino-san followed her out of the Rose Mansion.

As they walked through the corridors, their conversation naturally turned to confectionery.

Tales of the delicious sweets that Rei-sama had made.

Of Shimako-san's older brother baking cookies at a kindergarten.

And the rumor of a fifty per day limit on the number of rice cakes that a traditional confectionery store near Yumi's house would sell.

"Speaking of sweets."

Shimako-san smiled as she reminisced.

"There was Roman manju and Florentine senbei."

"That's it – those phantom sweets."

Yoshino-san held her index finger aloft.

No, that couldn't be it, because those sweets didn't actually exist.

"I'm so sorry. I was taken in by my onee-sama's joke, and then got both of you involved too."

Yumi quickly bowed, but Shimako-san waved her hand back and forth, saying, "It's fine, it's fine."

"Apparently the original source for that was my onee-sama, anyway."

"It was fun, so don't worry about it."

Yoshino-san smiled too. Then she put the memories into words:

"Italy, huh."

The trio stopped in front of the classroom.

"That takes me back."

"It's almost been a whole six months since that trip."

The sky they saw outside the corridor window undoubtedly stretched all the way to Italy.


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