It was Sunday June 19 – again. You would recall that the last chapter was also set on June 19. We have seen Wataru struggling to celebrate Saki’s birthday in the last chapter, and we are going to see to see what happened at the Violet Mansion on the same day, and perhaps at the same time.
The thing is, although it was a Sunday, most of the residents did not stay home. Hina had club activities (on a Sunday?!), Hayate and Chiharu were doing part-time jobs, Kayura went to an event, and Maria went shopping. As such, there were only two people left in the Violet Mansion: Nagi and Alice, the youngest two.
It is debatable whether leaving these two in the house alone was a good idea. Alice – by her looks – was a small child, and Nagi was no more capable of looking after herself than a small child. Although, strictly speaking, it wouldn’t be an offence of child neglect leaving Nagi and Alice at home (Nagi was 13, after all…), but in fact it would almost be some negligence.
Come to think of it, according to the schedule of the Violet Mansion, there was a certain period of time – while everyone was at school and Maria was shopping – that Alice was left alone in the house. Now that would certainly be child neglect… Had none of the more senior members of the Mansion thought about it?
Okay, I have gone too far. Let’s come back to Ch. 346.
So, Maria left a snack for Nagi before going shopping. The snack is called nikuman (肉マン), or meat bun. You know, it is basically some pork (and perhaps vegetables as well) wrapped inside a bun, and is most delicious when hot.
As a fully grown adult male, I would say two nikuman (Should we say nikumen as in plural form?) would be enough for my breakfast, so three is certainly a bit too much for a teenage girl as snack. Just as Nagi mourned exactly that, Alice appeared by her, showing interests in the nikumen as well. Still, even if, by sharing one nikuman to Alice, Nagi could finish the other two, the one nikuman might in turn be too much for Alice. But then, the girls had a last resort: They could feed Tama with whatever they could not finish.
Maybe Maria had thought about all these, and prepared the nikumen for the two girls and the tiger. Well, maybe…
As mentioned above, nikuman tastes best when it is hot. Maria even left a note for Nagi, reminding her to microwave them before eating. However, she might have forgotten one thing: Nagi could not cook anything, even with a microwave oven. It is not surprising at all that Nagi did not know which button on the oven she should press, or that the nikumen had melted from the heat and become inconsumable. However, most surprisingly, Nagi did not cause any explosion in the kitchen, nor did she mess up anything else. Perhaps this is some proof that she had grown up… a bit?
Without a snack, both Nagi and Alice were very hungry. Maria was not likely to come back before evening (It takes her that long to do shopping?!), and neither Nagi nor Alice could wait that long for food.
As they were discussing what to do next, Father Ghost spoke of going to Cafe Donguri, where both food and Hayate would be available. Surely it was a nice suggestion, but Father Ghost himself did not believe either Nagi or Alice could hear him, since recently only Hayate and Isumi were able to communicate with him. So, it is likely that Father Ghost was only talking to himself. Well, he did have a habit of talking to himself, didn’t he?
As such, it came as a shock that, after suggesting to Nagi exactly what Father Ghost had suggested, Alice thanked him for the advice. We know that it takes a bit of supernatural power – or a bit of very poor luck – to see and talk with Father Ghost. Of course Tennonsu Athena did have supernatural power, and it would mean that Alice – her miniature form – had recovered quite some power in less than a month.
As a remarkably lazy person, it is quite an achievement for Nagi to be motivated to leave the house for things other than ACG. This is why she thought proudly that Hayate would praise her taking Alice out of the house. She was not bragging about it – she honestly thought that it was a great achievement.
The thing is that, Nagi’s track record of getting lost was not much better than Isumi’s. The only difference between them is that Nagi could reach the place she knew exactly where, while Isumi would get lost even on the way to somewhere she should have known exactly where. Nagi’s problem with getting lost is mostly that she did not know the locations of where she went everyday: home, or school, or Cafe Donguri.
This is yet another problem of an extremely spoiled child.
To make things even more complicated, Cafe Donguri was actually quite far away from the Violet Mansion. According to the map in Ch. 283, they had to cross a bridge, go through a park, and walk quite a long way, before they could reach Cafe Donguri. While Nagi usually went to the cafe on Hayate’s bike, this time she had to go on foot. This would, of course, make their journey even longer.
Halfway through their journey, they came by a vending machine. As they were both thirsty, they wanted to buy some drinks. Interestingly, while they carried no coins, each of them had one credit card. You know, only the very rich carry credit cards instead of cash and coins. Of course, Alice could be very rich, but the current Nagi…?
Well, at least it proves that Alice could afford paying rent for her/their room.
After another long, long walk, Nagi and Alice were almost there. There were two things ahead of them: A hill (?) and a convenient store. The “hill” was actually a not-that-steep slope, but it really was a hill for these two, anyway. But then, after they crossed this hill, they could reach Cafe Donguri. So, there was a choice to make: Buying nikumen and drinks from the convenient store and then go home, or to “climb” the “hill” and reach Hayate.
They chose the latter, and in every sense it was the correct choice. First, neither Nagi nor Alice could be sure that they would not destroy the nikumen this time, so it would be better leaving Hayate to make food for them. Second, whatever Hayate made would taste better than nikumen sold at convenient stores. Third, before they could consume the food and drinks they bought from the convenient store, they would have to go home first, so it would take a lot more time before they could finally be fed. Fourth, well, eating at Cafe Donguri would not cost a penny, right? I mean, those who were looking after the shop were friends…
So, the two girls overcame the “hill”, and reached Cafe Donguri. When Hayate asked what food they would like, both of them answered “nikuman” – the very thing they wanted to have in the first place.
In this chapter we could see that Nagi showed some improvement as a person. She stopped blowing up the house, she reached somewhere on her own, she made the tougher but wiser choice, etc etc. We could also see funny interaction between Nagi and Alice, but before we are amazed by how similar they were, let us not forget that Alice was (presumably) a six-year-old, so…
Oh, one more thing. In the last chapter we have seen Hayate at Wataru’s house, reminding him that June 17 was Saki’s birthday, and had a chat with Sakuya. In this chapter, though, we see him at Cafe Donguri. So, how could he been at two places on the same day? Well, as he did not spend too much time at Wataru’s house, he might have gone to Wataru’s house before going to work. But then, a question remains unsolved: Why was he at Wataru’s house in the first place?