"Don't you think that was a bit much?" Soma asked his brother in a whispered tone as they both began making their dish.
Soran didn't respond, lost in thought at the moment.
•••••••••[A Few Hours Ago]••••••••
"Soran, take care of Soma while you're at Totsuki will you?" Joichiro asked with a lazy smile on his face.
"You say that like I was going to abandon him." Soran responded, a bit offended.
The air around the patriarch of the Yukihira family turned serious at that moment. Soma had gone to his room to get his things, still sulking about the whole situation.
"Soran, can you do me a favor?" Joichiro asked, his tone unusually serious, confusing Soran.
'Was that performance good enough for you, Dad?' He thought back to the conversation he had with Joichiro before they parted ways.
Looking at the fuming girl from the corner of his eyes, he let out a small sigh as began preparing his dish.
'I don't have 'that' here so I can't prepare anything fancy.' He thought.
He moved to the oven, shocking Erina and Hisako a bit at the different approach he was taking.
'What is he making that would require an oven?' Erina asked herself.
Heating up the oven, he got out a pan, greasing it up with cooking spray. Cracking a few eggs, he poured them into a bowl and began mixing.
'Sour cream, milk, cheese, salt, pepper…' He thought as he added each ingredient to the bowl and mixed carefully but quickly.
Getting a skillet, he put it on medium heat, putting a sausage on the skillet. He immediately grabbed some red and green bell peppers, quickly dicing them up. He also chopped some green onions to add to it.
He finished that quickly, turning back to the skillet that held the sausage. While the sausage was cooking, he broke it into small pieces with a spoon.
Immediately the sausage was browned, he took it off the heat, draining the grease from it as he added it to the egg mixture in the bowl.
He then added the bell peppers and the onions to the skillet that the sausage was cooked it, sautéing it for a few minutes before adding it to the bowl and stirring.
Taking the pan that he had greased earlier, he poured the mixture into it and set it in the oven. Setting the timer, he released a sigh as he turned back to see how Soma was doing so far.
'It looks like some things won't change.' He thought with a small smile, seeing that Soma was still going forward with his Transforming Furikake Gohan.
"What's so amusing to you?" Erina asked angrily upon seeing his smile.
"Oh? Nothing important." He said, letting out a small laugh as he waited for his dish to finish baking.
"You…pass…" Erina ground out reluctantly after tasting Soma's dish.
Another side effect of Soran's presence was that Soma's cooking had gotten better. With a sibling and a father that he had to catch up to Soma had no choice but to get better.
Soran's smile never faded as he saw the change that occurred. Of course Erina could try failing them but with the threat of her change to the exam not even being officially allowed caused her to judge properly even if angrily.
Add that to the fact that a look from Soran prevented Soma from provoking the girl to anger, his success was guaranteed.
With only Soran's dish being the one the she had yet to evaluate, she turned to him with a haughty look.
"You're wasting my time. Are you so arrogant that you think you can laze around?" She spoke but her words were ignored by Soran opening the oven, taking out the now hot pan with gloved hands.
Her face turned red in anger at being ignored but she could do nothing. Soma on the other hand was barely holding in his laughter, causing her to get even more irritated.
He easily plated the dish before setting it on the table with a fork beside it.
"Breakfast Casserole, eat up!" He said with a confident smirk on his face as he presented the dish. Both girls widened their eyes at the cube looking egg dish. It looked so simple yet so delicious.
"Casserole?" Hisako muttered as they stared at it.
'This…!' Erina had a very reluctant look on her face as she took the fork in her hand and cut a piece of the dish, her eyes widening as the fork cut into it easily.
She didn't want to admit it but she wanted to taste it so badly. Slowly raising the fork to her mouth, she took a bite of the casserole.
Soran's smirk widened as Erina's eyes widened in shock at the taste. Her state of shock lasted for quite a while as she appeared to be daydreaming with a look of pleasure on her face.
Hisako was in shock and confusion seeing the state that Erina was currently in, moving to shake her out of it quickly.
"Erina-sama!" She called out as she shook the girl's shoulder. She seemed to snap out of it, finally registering what happened as her face tinted red, a look of embarrassment on her face.
"You…" She trailed off, going silent as her hair shadowed her face.
"I didn't quite hear that. Can you speak a bit louder?" Soran spoke with confidence, angering Hisako.
"How dare yo-!" Her words were stopped as Erina held out a hand to silence her.
"You pass." Erina said, gritting her teeth as she spoke. Hisako merely stared in shock and confusion.
Despite the opportunity to provoke her further, Soran simply nodded before turning to Soma.
"Let's go." He called out, Soma joining him as they exited the kitchen, leaving an angry Erina and a confuse Hisako inside.
"What was that in there? You don't normally act like that unless you're pissed off." Soma asked Soran who simply shook his head.
"Nothing like that. I was simply…" He trailed off before speaking again.
"Don't worry about. You'll understand some day." He said with a faraway look on his face. Soma seeing that didn't ask anymore questions about Soran's odd behavior.
They entered a taxi to make their way home, staying silent as they rode. Soran's phone vibrated briefly, calling the boy's attention to it.
Opening the phone, he saw a simple message from an unknown number.
"Good Job." That was all it read. Along with the message, there were initials of the sender under it.
'N.S.? Why am I not surprised that you're in on this?' Soran thought to himself, stuffing the phone back in his pocket and closing his eyes for the rest of the journey.