I can’t let someone who’s sick sleep on the sofa. After splendidly arguing over it, I won the fight about who’s sleeping where by pointing out that Ilias still hadn’t fully healed. If this kept up, I might as well buy another futon. I laid down on the sofa while wrapped up in a blanket, and fell asleep with those thoughts preoccupying my mind.
Even without my alarm going off, I woke up the next morning at the usual time for going to work. I tried falling asleep twice more while curling up in the blanket, but because of this damn sofa I eventually gave up and decided to face the day. After washing my face, brushing my teeth, and turning on the TV, I stood in my rarely-used kitchen. On the weekdays I ate meals at my work desk and on weekends I slept until noon, so this was my first time attempting the challenge of morning cooking since I moved here. 1
If you ask for breakfast food that any person could definitely make, the answer would have to be fried eggs. After making those, I accordingly tore open a packet of instant miso noodle soup as well. The rice for today’s breakfast came from what I’d whipped up yesterday and left to keep warm; it didn’t matter if it wasn’t fresh or didn’t taste great, since I’m the type who just wants to fill up my stomach. I’d just about finished cooking when Ilias made his wonderfully-timed entry.
“Good morning. Did you already make breakfast?”
“Yep. You up for eating?”
“Yeah, I am. Sorry for troubling you… originally this was something that I should have done.”
“You can make breakfast starting tomorrow. Later I’ll tell you about how to use the kitchen and stuff.”
While serving the rice I told Ilias to go wash up, and he obediently went to the wash basin. Upon coming back he sat next to me on the sofa, which had been lined up with the table. It seemed like fried eggs were a thing in his world too, since he knew what the dish was called. The miso soup, on the other hand, mystified him. When it comes to the fried egg debate, I’m on the side of ‘definitely put soy sauce’, so I went and grabbed a bottle to pour on my eggs before starting to chow down without any troubles. Ilias, meanwhile, looked at me with the illusion of drooping dog ears over his head.
“Don’t just stare, d’you want something?”
“Er, that is… would you happen to have a fork, maybe?”
Ah, I see. The way that he’d always spoken fluent Japanese (because of my cheat) fooled me. This guy, he’s an otherworlder after all. There’s no way he could use chopsticks. I didn’t realize it since yesterday’s meals were all things you could eat with a spoon, but this time, he couldn’t exactly eat fried eggs with just that. Pausing my eating, I went to go grab a fork and got back to see Ilias looking at the soy sauce with a curious expression. “What do you usually use to eat with this kind of food?” I asked.
“… Usually, we season the fried eggs with salt and pepper, and eat them on top of bread. This is the first time I’ve ever eaten them like this…”
“If it’s just that, then it’s not that different. Why don’t we take this chance to find out what kinds of things you like?”
I then told him that in any case he should try out the soy sauce, and without letting him get a word in edgewise, poured it over his eggs. Ilias gingerly brought a spoonful to his mouth, and after swallowing, made an unreadable face. Looks like it really wasn’t to his taste.
It was a pain, but I went and put a bottle of mayonnaise on the table. Though the mild color of it puzzled him, after asking, “Is this also something you like?” he dropped some onto his food and started eating. Jeez. I’d tried salt and pepper seasoning, sauces, etc., but in the end it all came down to mayonnaise. Ah, he stopped holding back on how much mayo he’s smothering his food with. Mayonnaise lovers usually turn out like this… Let’s make sure his meal doesn’t have a swirl on top and get named “something-something special” like that thing I saw in a Jump manga. 2
After we finished eating, in the space of a breath we had gotten ready to go out. No matter which of my clothes Ilias wears, none of them are long enough. Though it’s spring and we’re already three-fourths through the month, it’s still only March. Even if the calendar says it’s spring, your body says it’s so cold it might as well be the dead of winter, so if I let Ilias go outside in just the clothes he arrived in, he’d freeze. There’s no other choice, so I guess I’ll just have to bear through the sight of this good-looking guy wearing clothes that can’t properly cover his limbs. Ilias himself just admired that he felt light but still warm, so I’d like to think that he didn’t carry any grudge against me for giving him such an ill-fitting outfit.
I hadn’t been paying attention to rush hour times for commuters going to work, so two trains passed before we could get on. This guy’s favorite things are mundane, regularly-used electronics, or so I concluded from seeing how happily Ilias gazed at the train pass that I had bought and handed over to him. It’s a mystery why his gaze went to the card and not to the trains.
My place was overwhelmingly lacking in daily necessities for two people. Same went for clothes, and the tableware was also meant for only one person. In any case, so that I didn’t have to keep apologizing for making this guy put up with such an embarrassing appearance, we went into a clothing store. Yo, this three-piece set of underwear’s only 980 yen, super cheap. I told Ilias to go pick out whatever stuff he likes and bring it over to me, and meanwhile I’d be ransacking the socks and underwear for whatever seemed suitable.
After a while passed Ilias still hadn’t come back, so I went out to look for him. Somehow he’d gotten captured by a shop attendant. Looks like you’re in trouble now, Ilias. Ahh, even if this store is cheap, it seems like their attendants are able to speak multiple languages. While staring at the high-spec seller Ilias noticed my presence, and he rushed over to me with his tail wagging back and forth. Guess he’d gotten pretty anxious, huh.
“Sorry, this guy’s with me.” 3
If you tell a shop attendant those words, they can only respond with a business smile. “If there’s anything you may need, please do not hesitate to ask,” the guy said, taking his leave while Ilias watched his retreating back.
“So, did you grab some clothes?”
“…Would this be fine?”
“Uh, what’s with this one shirt?”
“For pants I have the pair from my knight’s uniform. As for wearing the same shirt all the time, though, that’s… Is this not alright?” Ilias asked downheartedly, completely not getting my point.
I snatched the shirt he’d brought out of his hands and tossed it into the shopping basket. “Follow me,” I told him, and walked away. Looks like it’s really up to me to coordinate this guy’s entire outfit!
I dropped enough clothes to wear for an entire week without washing into the shopping basket. We went to the dressing room afterward, and I had Ilias try on some different clothes. This guy looks like a model straight out of a fashion magazine, disgusting. Even though you’re grabbing the attention of all the girls down the aisle, how come you’re completely ignoring them and coming over here to cling to me? They’re seriously going to misunderstand what kind of relationship we have, so can you stop? 4 Also, even though all I’m carrying are a few light things, this guy is lugging around just who-knows-how-many giant paper bags…
After grabbing some cheap fast food for lunch we started walking across the shopping mall toward the furniture store’s location. Unexpectedly, Ilias slowed his steps in front of a classy general goods store. I had been too late to stop myself from taking another step forward, but Ilias hadn’t noticed. His entire focus was on the mug in the store display, which had a tasteful design reminiscent of elegant Northern European decor. I peered over at it from where I stood at his side, and Ilias finally realized that he had gotten sidetracked. He ducked his head and said, “Sorry.”
“Whatever, it’s fine. That cup though— you like it?”
“I do, or rather, it looks similar to a few things from my world.”
Once again lowering his head, Ilias said another “Sorry” and made as if to walk off. I seized his arm in a flash, and he looked at me in surprise. Without saying a word I stepped over toward the classy general goods store.
“Sakurai Azusa? What are you doing?”
“I changed my mind.”
“We’ll get furniture over here.”
“But… is that alright? Just before, weren’t you carefully comparing prices…?”
While we’d been eating fast food earlier, Ilias had asked me what I was doing. I told him that I was looking up which stores sold the cheapest furniture. Looks like he firmly kept that in his memory.
“It’s fine. C’mon, just go pick stuff out.”
To get tossed into a land where you don’t know anything, and the language and customs are all foreign, must feel pretty damn hopeless. Even if it’s just a slight degree of comfort, I decided that I’d rather buy furniture that’s familiar to his homeland if that’s what would make him feel a little more reassured. Though I tried to hide my worries in front of him, he was able to see right through me. The admiring look that Ilias sent me was filled with- no, overflowing with gratitude, making me feel a bit shy.
“I love you, Sakurai Azusa!”
He spread his arms out wide and captured me in a hug, professing his thanks while cuddling me. “W-what the heck are you doing!” I shouted. I lifted my head, making Ilias’s droopy-eyed face get even closer. With that kind of overjoyed expression in front of me, I couldn’t stay angry. “…Okay, I get it already, so let go.” I pushed lightly at his chest, a conflicted smile on my face.
Although what we bought was pretty unusual compared to the different colors of cups, bowls, chopsticks, and other things that the store clerk eagerly recommended, in the end we gathered and purchased a set of tasteful tableware. Though the price stretched my budget a little, well, what I really got here was priceless; money can buy lots of things, but there are some things money can’t buy. A pretty miss grinned at us as we left the store, saying, “I wish you two much happiness!” Ilias sent her a refreshing smile in response while lightly tilting his head, perhaps not knowing that he was perpetuating an unnecessary misunderstanding. 5 “Hey, did you understand what she said just now?” I asked, just to check.
“I didn’t, but since she was laughing so happily I thought that she must not be saying anything bad,” he answered while smiling. Mm, I won’t tell him the truth then.
Sunset began to fall over the road we walked on the way home. As the two of us carried all these bags back, I decided to throw a question that I’d been wondering about over to Ilias.
“By the way, why are you always calling me by my full name?”
“Sakurai’s my surname, Azusa’s my given one. It’s kind of embarrassing to have my full name shouted every time we go outside.”
“Is, is that the case…?! Forgive me, I didn’t realize I’d been doing this wrong.”
“Nah, I understand so it’s fine, but…”
While we walked forward, Ilias kept muttering something under his breath and glancing over at me. Eventually we got held up by at the traffic light. At this rate, it’s gonna be another five minutes before we can get back to the house… It’s cold, I wanna hurry up and go home you know. And honestly, the bags are really heavy. Just as I opened my mouth up wide to yawn, Ilias suddenly thanked me. He looked at my idiotic half-yawning face with an expression of complete seriousness.
“For my sake, you’ve sacrificed and given so much. I can’t thank you enough. I’m truly grateful, Azusa.”
“Mm, it’s good that you appreciate how kind I am.”
I said that response with a cheeky grin on my face. Ilias looked astonished, and from behind me he began laughing loudly. Huh, so this guy knows how to laugh that way, too.
“Amazing. Just how much more are you going to make me adore you?”
“If you like me that much, then you can start doing the laundry from now on.”
“Got it. Leave it to me!”
“Will do. C’mon, let’s go home quick, Ilias.”
When the signal light turned blue, I started walking forward. Next to me, Ilias’s cheeks turned slightly red. After spending so much time together today, what I learned was that, for this guy, whenever something nice happens his face will turn red. Though I don’t know just what point in our conversation made him so happy, I won’t pour water all over his good mood. While bringing this big dog with me, I hurried back on the way home.
Big big thanks to Agent Psyx for once again working her magic on this chapter, and to Cael for translating that super tough punchline! It’s good to have people who know what they’re doing on your side.
I’m now starting to translate an extremely exciting chapter. My heart almost can’t take it. With my own eyes, I’m watching Ilias’s evolution from being a cinnamon bun to being the sinammon on Azusa’s buns.
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned next time for another exciting episode of Tsundere Salaryman and Puppy Knight.
- Azusa specifically says that from the time he’d moved, this was his first time trying the ‘level’ of being in the kitchen in the morning. ‘Level’ in this case refers to the video game term. ↩
- Azusa is directly referencing Hijikata from Gintama, who’s famous for his crazy love for mayo – specifically his “Hijikata Special” bowl, which is just rice with a huge swirl of mayo on top. Super thanks to AdCaelum for translating this line, it was impossible without Cael! ↩
- The way Azusa speaks is just so cute!! (Cough) Ahem. Azusa speaks either in Kansai dialect or with slang from it. [“すんません、こいつ俺の連れなんで” / Sunmasen, koitsu ore no tsurenande] is the original line. Compared to standard Japanese, the way this is worded kind of has a feeling of “Sorry, this guy’s something that I brought with me so (I’m taking him back)”. Though that could just be my BL-tinted glasses, haha. ↩
- They’re not misunderstanding anything. / Azusa specifically uses the word “引っ付く” [hiitsuku], which according to jisho means “to stick/cling to” and, coincidentally, is also slang for “to become intimate/get close/get married”. ↩
- It’s not a misunderstanding. / She says “お幸せに” [O-shiawase ni!], something said to congratulate a couple on their marriage. ↩