Chapter 62 – Mio Likes it HOT

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Author: Jammin’ Rabbit Original Source: Tamaya Kagiya Artist: Himexin

Hana, Yumi, Hatsumi, and I have Mio surrounded and sitting on a chair in my kitchen. A very important intervention is about to happen. One that will shake the very core of this family and possibly change Mio’s life for the better.

Or worse.

I’m the first to confront her. “Mio, I don’t know how to say this… but you have a problem with spicy food.”

Mio blinks, shaking her head in exasperation. “Is that what this is all about?”

“No, you don’t understand. This is a big problem for us, too. Just look at how stocked the fridge is with chili sauce!” I signal Yumi to open the refrigerator, revealing the whole side door filled from top to bottom with a variety of hot sauces.

“Hey, don’t touch my chili sauce. Some of those are hard to find, you know?” She grabs her favorite bottle of naga viper chili sauce.

Just looking at the bright red sauce gives me heartburn. The day Mio bought that, none of us knew how hot it would be when we added a drop to nikujaga. Hatsumi and I ended up dry heaving our brains out that night, and only later found out it was measured at over one million scoville— the sixth hottest chili in the world.

“Your penchant for spicy food is going to kill us one day! Korraaa!” Hana points an accusing finger at Mio.

“You won’t see me complaining about your sex toys obsession, so don’t go complaining about my love for chili.” She hugs it close to her chest. “Besides, Hatsumi is always willing to buy it for me.”

“Sis, you’re part of the problem. Your strange sources to find the most obscure things are going to get us killed.”

“Aw. But I love seeing Mio happy, even if it’s in danger of my own life!” Hatsumi says.

Mio crosses her arms in defiance. “There’s nothing wrong with enjoying spicy food.”

“In moderation it’s fine, but this is excessive. Exhibit number one—” I pull out the chili flavored ice cream from the freezer.

She snatches it from my hand and hugs it to her chest, too. “This was a rare find. You can’t make me get rid of it.”

“Exhibit number two—” I open the spice cabinet, revealing an array of powdered chili.

“I know where this is going. You’re going to make me choose between you and the chili, aren’t you?” Mio says, glaring at each of us.

Yumi hugs her from behind and strokes her hair. “There, there. We aren’t asking you to throw everything away. Surely you don’t need all of it? Most of the sauces will go bad by the time you get around to them.”

As expected of Yumi. Her matronly aura is working on Mio. At this rate, she might actually give up the hoarded stock of chili condiments.

“Fine,” Mio finally agrees.

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Everyone is relieved to hear it.

“On one condition— all of you have to finish a meal with a dab of hot sauce of my choosing,” she says.

Each of us reluctantly agrees. After all, we’ve tasted the worst of them already.

“In that case, how about we make some curry fried chicken to go with it?” Yumi asks, beaming.

“Ooh! Good idea!” Mio goes to help prepare our challenge.

Meanwhile, Hatsumi looks troubled.

“Something the matter, sis?” I ask her.

“O-Oh, nothing! I don’t think it should be a problem,” she says, shrugging off her worry.

After an hour and a half of cooking in the kitchen, we have a large batch of aromatic curry fried chicken. Everything was made from scratch. Yumi wanted to follow a recipe found online: it combined coconut milk to accentuate the garlic and ginger grated into the curry batter.

All in all, it smells and looks incredibly delicious. It’s almost a shame we have to add chili sauce to ruin it.

Yumi and Hatsumi bring two batches to the dinner table. Staring at the glistening, gold batter is enough to make my mouth water.

“Alright, Mio. Choose your chili sauce—”

The doorbell interrupts me. Hatsumi freezes up, sweat beading on her face. Mio rushes to answer the door.

“Uh… Hatsumi. Do you want to explain what it is you look so scared about?” I ask.

Hatsumi clears her throat and avoids eye contact. “I-I may have helped Mio order something hotter than the naga viper…”

“What did you order?!”

Fear begins to build within me.

Mio returns a second later, cackling her signature laugh. “Behold, the Carolina Reaper Sauce!”

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The bottle isn’t bright red like the other bottle. Instead, it’s a deep red like maroon. I’ve never heard of it until now, but if it’s coming from Mio then it can’t be good. I whip out my phone to do a quick search and find that it is—

“The hottest pepper in the world?!” I jump out of my seat, already sweating at the thought of eating fried chicken with it. I turn to Hatsumi who is just as terrified as I am. “You bought a nuclear bomb for her!”

Hatsumi performs a dogeza on the ground and apologizes. “I accept the consequences. Don’t worry, if you pass out, I’ll be right here to take care of you!”

“That’s bold coming from someone prostrating on the floor, sis!”

Mio pops open the cap and takes a deep sniff of it. “You humans come up with the craziest things, and hot sauce is right up there with sex toys.”

Now for the moment of truth. Everyone sits around the table, before us is a dish with a single piece of fried chicken dabbed with the carolina reaper sauce. My mouth is salivating not because I’m eager to eat it, but because my body is trying its best to provide a protective layer in my mouth. The naga viper was one thing, but Mio’s carolina reaper sauce measures at 1.8 million scoville.

Mio soaks her fried chicken into the sauce and eats it like candy. She’s on her fifth one and isn’t even breaking a sweat.

Yumi is the first to eat her’s. Watching her chew and swallow calmly brings me some semblance of relief.

“How is it?” I ask her, but I receive no reply.

She has become as pale as a ghost. A steady stream of drool drips from her open mouth, and she’s staring forward, devoid of any signs of life.

Cough— Haackk!” Hana scratches at her throat. She tries to reach for her glass of milk, misses, and knocks it over instead. She looks at me with tears in her eyes. “Saeko, if I die… bury me with my butt plugs.”

She falls back, landing hard and passing out on the kitchen floor.

Hatsumi suddenly breaks down into tears and clings to my arm. “Waahhh, Saeko! One day you’re going to go off to college and leave me alone… sniff… don’t forget about your big sister!”

“What happened?!” I try to shake her off, but she’s got me in a vise. “The spiciness got you drunk or something?”

“I just don’t want you to leave meee!” Hatsumi tries to kiss my cheek, but her mouth and lips are as hot as the sun right now so I push her away instead. Suddenly her cheeks puff out and she puts her hand to her mouth. “Urk…'”

Hatsumi rushes out of the kitchen, and a moment later I hear her barfing from the bathroom.

“You’re next,” Mio says, lifting the piece of fried chicken up to my nose. Her fingers are dripping with the sauce, and the smell makes my whole body shudder. “You aren’t getting out of this.”

“Mio, no— we can talk about this!”

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“Urk… blergh!”

It’s been two hours since I ate the fried chicken dipped in carolina reaper sauce. Hatsumi was occupying the downstairs bathroom, which left the upstairs one for me to use. I’ve been stuck here since, dry heaving while sweat pours out from every pore on my face. The tears have stopped but my nose is still running.

Mio is leaning on the door frame watching me suffer. “A deal’s a deal. I’ll get rid of the stock, but I’m keeping the naga viper and carolina reaper sauce.”

“How are you… so resilient to spicy stuff? Oh god… I can still feel it in my nose…” I spit out another glob of saliva.

The glass of milk that I’ve been nursing on is almost empty. Between Hatsumi, Yumi, Hana, and myself we’ve gone through an entire gallon of milk. We should have prepared more for this. Buy a few tubs of ice cream first, or maybe build some tolerance before doing this.

“Dunno. It just tastes good,” she says, coming over to rub my back.

“I’d rather eat a fireball,” I say, sighing.

Hatsumi stumbles in to take Mio’s place by the door. “Don’t forget, you two need to pack for the Okinawa trip.”

“We promised to sleep over at Hitomi’s place so we can goto the station together in the morning,” I remind Mio while my head is still part way in the toilet bowl.

“Whaaaat? You’re leaving a day early?” My sister is on the verge of tears, and it’s not because of the lingering spiciness.

“We’ve gone over this last week. You reacted the same exact way!”

“I know… but it doesn’t make me any less sad,” she mopes.

Mio and I start packing a week’s worth of clothes. I slip in a few volumes of manga that I haven’t read yet for some down time at night. Hatsumi weeps behind us all the while we’re packing our things.

“Make sure to take lots of pictures!” Hatsumi says as we’re putting our shoes on.

“Don’t worry, Hatsumi. I’ll make sure to catch every angle,” Mio assures.

“I’ll need at least 200 pictures of Saeko in her swimsuit.”

Hatsumi and Mio shake on it. “Leave it to me!”

“Isn’t that a little excessive?!” I know Hatsumi has enough pictures of me as it is. Who knows how many more albums of me exist in her closet.

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“Maybe I should come as a chaperone.” Hatsumi considers seriously.

“Don’t you dare,” I say, holding a hand up.

She opens her arms in our direction. “Then I’ll settle for a hug.”

Mio and I drop into Hatsumi’s arms.

Come to think of it, this will be one of the longest times I’ll be away from Hatsumi. She even declined going to her third year trip so she could stay home with me. I’ll have to have fun for both our sakes.

Suddenly, 200 pictures doesn’t sound as bad to make it up to her…

As soon as we head outside, Hitomi pulls up in a red convertible sports car. Rika waves to us from the passenger seat.

“Get in losers!” Hitomi shouts over the booming rock music, then leans over to Rika, grinning. “I’ve always wanted to say that.”

“Holy s̲h̲i̲t̲. What a ride!” Mio races up and hops into the backseat. “See ya in a week, Hatsumi!”

“One more before you go!” My sister leans down and puckers her lips.

“Nn… chu— mmmph!” I kiss Hatsumi on the lips, but she wraps her arms around me and I feel her tongue slip into my mouth. It lasts an uncomfortably long time, and the other three are undoubtedly staring. Her tongue sets off fireworks in my mouth as the spiciness assaults me in full force.

Hatsumi finally but reluctantly pulls away, her face red and a trail of drool drips from the corner of her mouth. She taps my nose and winks. “I left you a present in your backpack. Make sure to share it with your friends.”

“What is it?” I ask.

“Your beloved big sister’s cookies, so you won’t forget about me when you’re in Okinawa.” She pushes me off to the car and waves goodbye.

“Take care of Hana and Yumi while we’re gone!” I call back, hopping into the seat next to Mio.

We’re cruising into Tsukiji City in Hitomi’s sports car, and there’s no shortage of eyes on us. Her ride is nothing short of extravagant. I’m overwhelmed just sitting in it.

“Damn, Prez. Is this really your car? I thought flying was nice, but I can get used to this.” Mio shouts as she lets her hair flutter against the wind.

“Yeah. I got it from my parents.” Hitomi hesitates to say anymore.

Rika glances over her shoulder and puts a hand over her mouth. “She settled things with her dad about being yakuza, and they got into a big fight. The car was his way of apologizing.”

“Don’t go telling everyone that,” Hitomi says, bonking Rika over the head.

I do remember Hitomi vowing to tie up loose ends with her family after turning her back into a human. I’m glad to hear things worked out for her. At least, I hope.

Hitomi pulls up to a modest apartment complex, a stark contrast to her expensive-looking car, especially since it’s parked next to shoddy compact vehicles. The place is smacked in the center of a residential ward of the city. Buildings are uncomfortably close together, there’s no shortage of honking cars from the street, and stray animals scurrying beneath our feet are all fair game unlike my quiet neighborhood.

“With all the money your family has, wouldn’t you rather live in a nicer place?” I ask.

“My old man wanted to live in Mabuchi Heights, but living on his yen would make me eat my own words.” she responds.

Mabuchi Heights would be Yumi’s place. Expensive car, expensive apartment, Hitomi could be living the life but she just wants to be a normal citizen. In a way, our parents are similar in that they want to pick and prod every decision in our lives. Hitomi, however, had the strength to stand up to them.

Hitomi opens the door to her place. It’s a single-room tatami mat studio. Her kitchen is separated by a half-wall partition. Another door presumably leads into her bathroom. There’s a curtain-drawn closet where I imagine she puts all her clothes and futons.

“It’s not much but please, make yourselves at home.” Hitomi heads into the kitchen to pull out some glasses.

We leave our luggages by the door so as to not take up too much space inside. Rika helps Hitomi pull out a table and provide us some sweet tea to drink. All things considered, this apartment is incredibly cozy.

“I don’t think I have to remind you two, Mio, Saeko.” Hitomi puts the tray of drinks on the table we’re sitting around. “Absolutely no late night contacts with boys while we’re at Okinawa.”

“What?!” Mio nearly flips the table.

“Wait, but I used to be a boy. I’m friends with like a third of the class. there’s no way they aren’t going to invite me to hang out.” I say, protesting.

Hitomi has her hands on her waist. “I used to be a succubus, too. Don’t think I’m clueless to your antics.”

“Kahaha! Your first mistake is thinking boys are my only target.” Mio reaches for her tea, but Hitomi puts a hand over to stop it from moving any further.

She glares at the both of us, face hardened as though she’s resolved something in her head. “Which is why… Rika and I are offering our bodies to you for the week—”

Water goes down the wrong pipe and sputters out of my mouth. I throw a look to Rika whose entire face is flushed red.

“Y-You mean to tell me, you planned for us to be in the same group for that reason?” I ask.

Hitomi lets go of Mio’s glass and sits back, sighing. “Since we’re one of the few that knows, it makes sense. Plus, I haven’t made up for betraying you guys on the whole Beatrice thing yet. This is my way of taking responsibility.”

“And Rika is down with this, too?” Mio asks, licking her lips.

Rika fiddles with her fingers, avoiding eye contact with us. “Hitomi and I want to do this for you. We’re friends after all!”

Judging by her blushing face and swallow breathing, I’m skeptical that Rika is doing this just for us. Hitomi was targeting me before she got into a relationship with Rika, so is this my chance to get it on with Tsukiji High’s idol?

Mio throws an arm around my shoulder. “Oh, I love that look. You’re just as excited as I am. You know what this means, we’re definitely having a foursome!”


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