The next morning arrived, and I woke up early as usual.
I had just finished tidying myself up when Mom woke up.
“Oh, my, you’re up early, Yuki-chan.”
“Yeah, I’ve been working a lot of early morning shifts lately.”
“You have a job? What do you do?”
“I work part-time at a café. The food there is delicious!”
“Really? You’ll have to show me sometime. If you say it’s good, then it must be.”
“You really have a one-track mind when it comes to food, don’t you, Mom?”
“Well, I am a culinary researcher, despite looks.”
“But I’ve never seen your name anywhere?”
“I use a pseudonym, so it can’t be helped.”
“I do make a decent amount doing it, you know.”
“Why is everyone in our family so incredibly talented…?”
Meanwhile, I don’t have any special skills. I’m average at everything and decent at studying, but I doubt it’ll be of much use in the real world. Seeing my dad and mom makes me realize this.
“But Yuki-chan, you have a talent for attracting people. That’s wonderful in itself, you know?” says Mom with a serious tone.
“Yes, your case might be a little special, but it’s certainly not a bad thing, especially since you’re cute. You should polish that cuteness. Then again, the men in our family are naturally attractive, so it’s not a problem.”
“But I’m a guy…”
“Cuteness is justice. It’s a wonderful phrase. If you’re cute, it doesn’t matter if you’re a boy.”
“I don’t think that’s normal…”
“Hahaha, don’t worry about it. Oh, breakfast is ready. Want to eat now?”
“Alright, I’ll bring it over, so wait a moment.”
Mom brought over clam chowder, butter rolls, salad, scrambled eggs, and bacon.
When did she prepare all this? There are so many mysteries to Mom’s cooking.
After devouring everything and feeling full, Dad finally woke up.
“Oh, you’re up early, Yuki…yawn…”
“Dad, you still look sleepy.”
“After last night, my manager kept hassling me about streaming. I have a favor to ask, though. Is that okay?”
“If it’s something I can do, sure.”
“Would you do a collab with me…? Personally, doing a parent-child collaboration feels kind of weird, but my manager told me to do one if you’re okay with it…”
“I’m fine with it. But what about you?”
“Well, actually, I was thinking about playing a reverse prank on my manager.”
“Wh-What are you planning?”
“Don’t worry about it; it’s nothing big. I think it’s a joke that only the manager would understand.”
“Oh, so it’s a light-hearted thing.”
“Yup. So don’t worry about it.”
“By the way, the collab will most likely be a month from now, probably on a weekend. I’ll let you know once the details are settled.”
“Then let’s head over to Grandpa’s place after breakfast.”
“Yeah! I haven’t seen them in a while, so I’m excited!”
And with that, Dad finished getting ready, and we set off towards the mountain where my grandparents live.
“Hey, Dad, why do Grandpa and Grandma live in such a secluded mountain area?”
“I think you’ll understand, Yuki. Our grandparents are… unusual, right? Their appearances, I mean.”
“Yeah, honestly, they could easily pass for people in their late 20s.”
“Grandpa once said that their aging process is slow. What would people think if such individuals lived in a rural area?”
“They’d be jealous, or… they might do something about it?”
“Whether it’s jealousy or not, it would definitely make people feel uncomfortable.”
“So, that’s why they live in a secluded mountain?”
“Yeah, but they’ve made sure to have internet and electricity, so their lifestyle is not really affected.”
“Why don’t we ask them if they have any idea about our appearances while we’re there?”
“Yeah, I’m a bit curious.”
“So am I. Ever since I started dating your father, my aging has also stopped. I’m honestly puzzled.”
“Well, um, that’s… good for me, though.”
“Oh, honey. You’re so silly…”
Would you two please stop flirting right before me, Mom and Dad?!
“I wonder if I’ll be able to have a family like Mom and Dad someday.”
“With your situation, I’m sure you can. You can even choose freely.”
“I looked up your streams and photos. That Yuru-chan was quite the cutie.”
“Um… I’m not ready for that yet…”
“Yet? There’s someone else already? And no, we’re not counting Fuwari.”
“Why bring up Fuwa-chan?!”
“She’s scary. She figured out that I was your father just from my last name and appearance! Don’t you find that creepy?!”
“Well, that’s Fuwa-chan for you…”
“What is with that mysterious sense of trust?!”
“Because… it’s Fuwa-chan…”
“N-Never mind… is there anyone else?”
“Well, there’s my first love, Haruka-senpai… I think she might have feelings for me.”
“But nothing’s confirmed yet! I think there’s no doubt that Yuru-sensei has feelings for me… but I’m scared if it turns out to be wrong. I mean, I like both of them, so… It’s hard to decide…”
“I’m not sure about Fuwa-chan yet, but at least I can tell from her normal behavior that she likes me. I mean, I’m not dense like some light novel protagonist.”
“Maybe it’s still too early for you, Yuki.”
“Hehe, Yuki-chan, you’re still a child.”
“Mmh! But I wish I could date someone like those two.”
Blushing, I said that as I looked down.
“(The rest is up to Yuki.)”
“(At least he’s enjoying his youth.)”
Mom and Dad exchange glances and smile.
After about an hour of driving, we arrived at the mountain where my grandparents live.
It was well maintained for a mountain, with visible signs of human intervention.
And a little further down the road, a woman came into view.
“Hm? Hello, Yuto, Nozomi, and Yuki, too. Is it that time of year already?”
“You look well, Mom. Although, with you, I’m not sure if I should be calling you Grandma.”
“It’s good to see you in good health, mother-in-law!”
“Hi, Grandma, long time no see!”
“I know how I look, but I’m 65 years old already, in case you’ve forgotten. I’ve just started receiving my pension, too That’s old enough, isn’t it?”
“Well, if you say so, Mom.”
“I’m going to park the car in front of the house.”
“Sure. I doubt you’ll crash, but be careful!”
“Hahaha, I know.”
Once we parked the car in front of my grandparents’ house, Grandma came out with Grandpa.
“I knew you were coming today, but you’re earlier than I thought, Yuto.”
“Long time no see, Dad. I planned on coming later, but Yuki came home sooner than expected.”
“I see. And Yuki, it’s been a while, hasn’t it?”
“Yeah, long time no see, Grandpa!”
“Yuki’s cuter than Yuto was back in the day.”
“Yuto-san has a pretty-boy face, while Yuki’s is as pretty as a girl’s.”
“Um, but I’m a guy…”
“Nope, you lose your argument the moment you start your Yuka Shirahime act.”
“Now, now. Standing around chatting is not the best idea with how hot it is, so let’s go inside.”
“Oh, perfect timing. There’s something I wanted to ask you, Dad.”
“What is it?”
“Well, I’ve been wondering why we still look so young. I’m already 40. This appearance isn’t normal, is it?”
“Ah, you’re right about that.”
“Right? But do you have any idea why?”
“Ah, well, um… No, not really.”
“That makes me even more curious!!!”
“It’s the truth, I promise.”
“Something smells fishy here…”
“Anyway, it’s hot. Let’s talk inside.”
“Yeah, let’s do that.”
“Do you know anything about it, mother-in-law?”
“If I knew, we wouldn’t be struggling… “
“Ah, of course…”
“Well, it’s nice to always be beautiful from a woman’s perspective, right?”
“Are you saying that as a fellow woman, mother-in-law…?”
“I say woman, but my heart is already an old lady’s. Let’s continue this conversation inside, shall we?”
Thus, we decided to continue our conversation inside my grandparents’ house.