Since I’d decided to house Ilias here for the time being, I once again pushed him into the bedroom. His physical condition still wasn’t at its peak, so even when he confusedly tried to resist, I told him that all he had to do right now was rest until he got better. If you really don’t want to cause me any more trouble, then first start with healing yourself up. Well, I didn’t actually say that last part out loud; what I actually said was “Sleep already” while shutting the door in his face.
And so, I finally had some time to consider what I was going to do with the rest of my sudden and unplanned vacation days. If I’m honest, there wasn’t anything special to do. I’d already finished washing all of my dirty laundry, and with Ilias sleeping in the other room I couldn’t turn on the vacuum and start cleaning the floors. The TV only played drama reruns in the daytime, and watching the same news channel reports over and over again would bore my brains out.
I guess I could play a video game. I couldn’t be bothered to play a hard one, though. That’s how I ended up lying down on the sofa while playing a mindless, time-wasting mobile game on my smartphone. Once I’d used up my game stamina points all I could do was wait for it to recover, so somewhere along the line I’d also ended up falling asleep.
I felt warm and pleasant. The pillow was really freaking hard, though. What’s up with this? Shouldn’t it be softer? Annoyed, I opened my eyes. The first thing to greet me was Ilias’s slovenly sleeping face.
…Wait, hold up, the heck is going on?!
Just by glancing around with my eyes, I understood what had happened in a moment. The reason I had felt warm was because the blanket from my bed had been draped over me, and the hard thing I had felt under my head was… Ilias’s lap.
“Good morning, Sakurai Azusa.”
He’d spoken so naturally that I had unexpectedly gotten swept away by the flow, and even nodded… I’d gone out with women before, you know, but since I have this kind of personality I’d never actually gotten to experience the famous lap pillow until this moment. Never in my life did I expect that the person I’d lose my lap pillow’s ‘first time’ experience to would be a man. Are… are you freaking kidding me? Are you really giving me your lap pillow right now, Ilias?! Oh god, this is way too embarrassing! All the heat in my body rushed to my face, and this dumb guy above me looked at me with his pretty face distorting with worry.
“Are you alright? Your face is red. Is it perhaps my fault that you’ve been pushing yourself too hard?”
Ilias touched my cheek with his long fingers. The gentle touch startled me, and I threw off his hand, rising immediately.
“Wha, what the heck do you think you’re doing!”
I howled so loudly that my voice cracked. Ilias stared at my reaction, stunned, before letting out an ‘Ahh!’ sound. His clueless face transformed into one of worry and realization, and he carefully opened his mouth to speak.
“I had wanted to get a drink of water, and after calling out and peeking through the door, I had seen you asleep on the sofa with naught to cover you. I should not allow you to catch a cold, is what I had thought.”
“Nah… uh… huh?”
“Since you’re a delicate person, I worried that you might quickly fall ill.”
Ilias gazed at me with concern, looking like he was wondering whether my body really was okay or not. I hastily diverted my eyes. What the heck is this guy saying… Seriously, he really is some chivalrous and honorable knight, huh…! The thing I’d been trying to say when I spoke earlier was, why the hell are you stroking my cheek while my head is on your lap, that’s really damn creepy, and if you were worried about me then wouldn’t it have been fine to just leave the blanket and that’s all…
For Ilias, this kind of thing is probably normal. You can tell just by looking at his expression. He even didn’t get mad when I slapped his hand away, and only asked if I was alright. Even now, he stroked my reddened hand as his eyebrows turned up in a pitiful expression. Hey, my hand’s only red because I used it to smack yours you know. I’m the one who hit him, so just why is this guy apologizing… Ah, jeez, I don’t get it at all!
“… My bad.”
I whispered that in an extremely small voice while pulling at Ilias’s hand with my own. Despite how quietly I’d said it, Ilias had heard. He smiled while shaking his head.
“Anyway, Ilias, what’s more important is whether your body is doing okay?”
“Yes, I’m feeling perfectly fine. The fever has gone down as well.”
He really did look better, his complexion a much healthier color than before. Buuut, you know, no matter how freaking resilient you are, getting cured overnight in your sleep would just be way too enviable. “I see,” I awkwardly replied, shifting my gaze to look out the window while a flush stained my cheeks. Ah, I sure had slept quite well, huh.
I stood up while pulling on the blanket. It was time to go bring in the laundry, though I should make sure Ilias takes a bath in the meantime.
“Then if you’re feeling fine, come here and get in the bath.”
“Obviously. It’s not like I want you to keep stinking of sweat. I’ll show you how it works, so get in here already.”
Ilias obeyed my orders and followed behind me with pattering footsteps, behaving just like a loyal dog. I’m more of a cat person than a dog person, though. Standing in front of the hot water heater, I pushed the button and adjusted until it reached a suitable temperature. I then opened the door and showed Ilias where the light was, and afterward showed him over to the toilet area.
“Now hurry up and get in. It’s too much of a bother to only wash your underwear, so we’ll leave it for another day.”
“…Sorry, which button should I press?”
“Huh? I told you already, it’s the button that has ‘Power’ on it.”
“The hell are you doing, haven’t you been speaking Japanese perfectly fine all this time? Dork.” 1
“Ah, this one!”
At the moment when the familiar bath chime sounded with a ‘pirorin’, Ilias let out a small scream and leaped behind me. Even I got startled by that reaction. After spending several seconds of silence in the back, Ilias laughed in embarrassment.
“That—I was surprised. It made a ringing sound.”
“Y-Yeah, it does that. Electronics usually make a sound when you push a button… My bad, I didn’t know that this was your first time…”
“No, it was my fault for lacking training. I’m sorry for startling you.”
Ilias lowered his head, and I reflexively also lowered my head while muttering a ‘Sorry’. I mean, if you think about it, then the one to blame is really me, who hadn’t explained anything well. Ilias hadn’t actually done anything wrong, so… Mm, I’ve really got to start being a little nicer. I walked out to the living room to regroup my thoughts, then went back inside the bathroom. Ilias had climbed into the tub, and he pointed at one of the bottles inside.
“What is this?” he asked curiously.
“That’s shampoo, and this one here is the body soap.”
“Ah, this thing is used to wash your hair, and this one is to wash your body.”
“Oh, I see. These two things are to be used separately, if I’m understanding correctly.”
“Right. Also, to let out hot water, just turn the handle over here this way.”
“Stupid, not now!”
I was too late to stop him, and hot water poured over the two of us from above. As we quickly got drenched in water, this idiot over here panicked and tried to stop the downpour by shoving his right hand against the showerhead, but that obviously wasn’t going to solve the problem. Realizing he needed help, Ilias pitifully looked back at me. I had been standing closest to the shower, and so I’d gotten a perfect view of this complete and utter disaster from start to finish. And so, from that position, in front of me I once again saw the hallucination of pitiful, drooping doggy ears on Ilias’s head.
“Thank you, Sakurai Azusa. It’s much more comfortable now.”
Raising his head to say that, the still-steamy Ilias walked into the living room while wiping his hair with a towel. After the incident, what had happened was that I’d shoved Ilias back into the bath as he kept apologizing, then went to go change out of my soaked clothes into new ones. Because I’d already bathed while setting the laundry to wash in the morning, I was able to just dry my hair and go bring the dried clothes in as planned.
I’d been watching the TV while folding a bath towel when Ilias came in, so all I said was “Uh-huh” before going back to what I was doing. Since Ilias’s clothes had been washed in this morning’s laundry, he was wearing his own dress shirt and pants again. Ilias sat down next to me and, while thinking that he ought to help, stretched out his hand – only to suddenly pause. Wondering what had happened, I glanced over at him and saw that his gaze had fallen on the TV screen. There, the miss who did the weather reports was talking about tomorrow’s forecast.
“There’s a person inside of the box…”
Oh oh, it’s here, it’s finally here, that ‘There are people inside this box!’ reaction. A person who’s never seen a TV has really gotta say those words, huh! I stifled a laugh. Fine, fine, guess I’ll explain the concept of ‘TV’ to him, too. I told Ilias that the person in the TV was just a projection, and that there wasn’t actually anybody inside of the box. He looked at me with a mystified ‘Is that so?’ expression. The TV caught his interest once again, and while Ilias was completely enraptured by the screen, I left him alone and just continued folding the laundry.
“Hmm, it really is quite mysterious, this language that the people of this world use.”
“Yeah, Japanese is a pretty tough language, isn’t it.”
“Ni-Hon-Go, is it. Mm, it seems I really can’t understand a word of it at all.”
“You say that like some beautifully fluent Japanese words didn’t come out of your mouth just now.”
“Hm? I don’t understand what you mean? I’ve only been speaking in my mother language this entire time.”
“On my end, I had been surprised at first to find that you, Sakurai Azusa, were able to speak my mother language with such beautiful pronunciation.”
“Uh, no– you’re joking, right? Are you saying you’re really not speaking Japanese right now?”
“? Is Ni-Hon-Go your mother language, Sakurai Azusa? I truly can’t speak it.”
“Uh… then… What’s being talked about on TV right now…”
“Yeah, I’m unable to understand a single word of it.”
Are you freaking kidding me… The person with the Language Cheat had actually been me all along.2
- Azusa calls Ilias 緑のやつ (green/naive guy), but I couldn’t think of a better way to translate that so I went with a different kind of mild insult. (x)
In Asian web lit, a ‘Cheat’ is a powerful/useful ability or item granted to the protagonist from a mysterious and often suspiciously convenient source (AKA, the author just wants to give the protagonist cool stuff). It’s a trope that’s so notorious that people began calling it a ‘cheat’, referring to how unfair it is and how the protagonist barely has to work for it at all. As such, Azusa is making a joke about how it’s unbelievable that the two of them are speaking different languages but can understand each other perfectly fine. “Are you kidding me, I’m the one with the protagonist powers and not this dude that supposedly fell from another world?” is how he’s feeling. (x)
This chapter has one of my favorite scenes so I decided to publish it early. If you guys were wondering when the BL would show up, here it is!
Big thanks and hugs to Psyx for proofreading! She makes sure to catch my weird phrases and cook them into something readable so that you guys can easily devour these chapters. (My metaphors might be running away from me here.)
The translation is steadily advancing. Right now I’m halfway through chapter 8. The actual release dates aren’t set, but I hope to put out at least one each week. Let me know if you prefer frequent single releases, or if you would rather wait longer and have multiple releases in one batch. Thanks!