About Reckless Girl Volume 2 Chapter 3 part 2

“I hate youuu…!”
“Ah, wait! Anya!”
And so Anya ran off. She raced out of the house entrance, leaving her dumbfounded husband and daughter behind as she took off like the wind. Silence dominated the room, with only Zeke, Yuki, and the chessboard left behind.
There was no sign of Anya returning through the still wide open entrance.
“…Dad made Mom cry!”
“Hey, stop that!”
Yuki yelled loudly. Zeke panicked.
“What happened…?”
“Ah, Haru.”
Yuki’s little brother, Haru, came out of the siblings’ room, having been woken from his nap by the loud voice.
“Listen, listen Haru. You see, Dad did something terrible and made Mom cry!”
“Made her cry?”
“Ah, wait a minute Yuki. Don’t make statements that can be misunderstood!”
Zeke hurriedly tried to stop Yuki from simply stating conclusions. But children fundamentally take the side of whoever shed tears. They were harsh on bullies.
“Dad’s terrible.”
“That’s right, Dad hurt Mom’s feelings!”
“Dad made Mom cry.”
“Wai-, that’s not it! That’s not it! Wait a minute! Wait!”
Chaos descended on the living room. With his wife gone and the children making a fuss, Zeke lost control of the situation and panicked.
When she was a child, Anya had been like a guardian for Zeke. But taking care of three children on his own now was extremely tiring, even for him. He was used to dealing with children as an elementary school teacher, but realized his own children were quite different from students.
“It’s unbelievable! Mom ran away from home!”
“She ran away!”
“Please just come back! Anya!”
Zeke’s cries did not reach his childish wife, instead echoing emptily within the living room.
The days of conflict seemed ready to raise their curtain once more.

It was nighttime at Zeke’s house.
“Zeke! Let’s compete! Compete!”
“…Well, alright.”
As soon as Zeke came home from work, this was the first thing Anya said to him. Clutching a chessboard with a sullen look, lips pouted, she huffed through her nose. The delicious curry aroma reaching all the way to the entrance stimulated Zeke’s empty stomach, but it looked like he would be exchanging blows first before dinner. He let out a big sigh.
“…Isn’t it unusual for you to come home so early today? I was also able to leave work early today, though.”
He could tell dinner preparations were already finished based on the mouthwatering curry smell in the air.
“Battles over dinner! Let’s compete!”
“You’ll get scolded by the professor!”
Zeke grew worried over his wife’s attitude toward work.
“You’re always the late one.”
Anya laughed mockingly as she said this.
Anya was a promising young researcher. She steadily produced results and stayed busy, flying all over the world to participate in numerous academic conferences. Currently an associate professor at the university, people said if she kept this up, she’d securely obtain a full professorship.
Perhaps because she was free-spirited and original, Zeke had heard stories about how even her direct superior, the professor, struggled to reign her in, often troubled by Anya. But she continued to deliver outstanding results, nonetheless.
“Right now I’m researching chess!”
“Do your work, work.”
“Battles over research! Let’s compete!”
“Are you seriously not going to get punished?”
Anya forcibly dragged the exasperated Zeke’s arm. Flustered, he took off his shoes and, left with no choice, resigned himself to going along with the pushy woman.
“Alright, one match!”
Instead of dinner, Anya laid out the chessboard and pieces on the table. Tapping on the table impatiently like a child, she urged Zeke on with a sneaky grin as she sat down in the chair. Left with no options, Zeke sat across from her still feeling the emptiness in his stomach.
“Okay, here I go.”
Zeke moved one of the chess pawns to start the game.
After that first chess match where Anya had run off from home, she returned normally. But ever since, she challenged Zeke to chess over and over and over again.
She threw childish tantrums, demanding again! Again! They played match after match, but in the lengthy period where Zeke had been stealthily and steadily studying chess, the gap between him and Anya was still large. Once she got fired up, she would obstinately see things through to the bitter end – that had been her personality since childhood. She was a diehard sore loser even as a little girl.


Anya flipped over the chessboard. It was another loss for her today.
“Oh geez…honestly.”
Anya pursed her lips and turned her head away in a sulk.
“That’s a nasty attitude.”
As he picked up the scattered pieces, Zeke gave an exasperated, wry smile. Anya would act like a moody child when she lost, pursing her lips and sulking. It was behavior unbecoming for a mother of two. Zeke went to the kitchen and grabbed something.
“Here, today’s snack.”

” ………… “

Zeke opened the box of sweets he bought today in front of Anya. She was still puffing her cheeks and turning her face away from him, but as soon as the sweets were laid out, she started sneaking glances at them.
Giving her sweets was the best way to comfort the sulking girl. It was like placating an animal, but Zeke knew better than anyone that this was the optimal method to get the moody Anya in a good mood. He had been comforting her this way ever since they met when she was 7 years old. It was a habit that started from their days battling it out in cram school tests.
“Today I’ve got some popular roll cake from town!”
The only thing that changed from those days was that Zeke could now afford to buy her more expensive sweets. This mother and daughter pair loved sweet things and still often bought cheap candy, but when it came time to get his wife in a good mood, his worldly pride as a working adult meant he would buy her expensive desserts.
“Dad, we’re having roll cake today!?”
As if catching a whiff of the sweets, his kids came running noisily out of their room. Zeke cut up the roll cake and placed slices for his wife and kids while getting some curry rice for himself. The kids had already finished dinner.
“I took chess to my lab and it became a total fad with everyone there! I’m obviously the one who started it all~”
“Hey now, don’t interfere with your students’ research.”
“It’s fine, they need breaks too.”
The unusual combination of sweets alongside the curry’s aroma filled the air as the family sat around the table chatting. Happily stuffing her cheeks with melty roll cake, Anya’s bad mood had completely vanished.
In the quiet of the night, the brightly lit house echoed with the lively talk of the family.
“I beat up most of the kids in the lab! “
“Don’t do it. …… “
“Some of them had experience… and I lost to those kids, but someday, I’ll definitely knock them out.”
“Don’t be too persistent, okay? You’ll annoy the students, you know?”
“I’m only this persistent with you, so it’s fine.”
Saying that, Anya takes another bite of the Swiss roll.
Mother and daughter savor the Swiss roll, expressing admiration. Naturally, their eyes narrow, and their mouths are filled with the sweet taste, causing smiles to appear. Even their taste preferences were similar, a mother and daughter enjoying the Swiss roll together. There are still a few slices left in the box. If left alone, Anya and Yuki seem likely to devour everything, but Zeke was preventing that.
There was a reason for him to leave a few slices of sweets behind.
“I took chess to school too and some friends started playing it a bit.”
“Oh? Haru, you’re playing chess with your friends?”
“Yeah. It’s not super popular but some friends play a little.”
Haru, Yuki’s younger brother, was currently in 3rd grade elementary school. While he was often teased and toyed with by Yuki, he was a healthy, ordinary boy growing up normally.
“Isn’t soccer and more active games more popular?”
“Yeah. So just sometimes. I like soccer and basketball more but… chess with special moves is pretty fun too!”
“Special moves?”
“Yeah! The king splits into three, the queen mows down all the pieces in her path, stuff like that. You can use up to 3 special moves. Cool huh?”
“That’s …… That’s some creative chess. “
A child’s creativity is not to be underestimated, Zeke thought to himself as an active teacher. Children excelled at developing games and, buried in his fading distant memories, Zeke seemed to recall making up games with strange rules just like his son.
“Haru, you’re so weird.”
“Doing weird stuff again, Haru.”
” ………… “
Faced with those words from Anya and Yuki, Zeke thought to himself that they were the weird ones in this family, not the perfectly ordinary and healthy Haru.
After finishing dinner and dessert, it was time for the kids to sleep. Zeke had them get ready for school tomorrow, brush their teeth, and tuck themselves into bed. Yuki still seemed to want to play more but Anya gently, though somewhat forcefully, tucked her into her futon.
“Good night.”
“Good night.”
He bid the siblings good night and turned off the light in their room.

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