“You’re so persistent; in that case, let’s just go sleep together…?! The bed’s a semi-double so though it’ll be a narrow fit, just bear with it…?!”
I always tend to stop resisting and go with the flow whenever something gets too troublesome but right now, all I wanted to do was punch myself for falling into that kind of bad habit.
Why? How did this happen? From behind, two sturdy arms embraced me. From above, I heard gentle, sleepy breathing. In front of me, the wall loomed. I wonder, just why did I end up in this dakimakura-like position… 1
Let’s go back in time to a few hours ago. After Ilias and I came back from shopping, we each started to unpack our loot. While I removed tags from the clothes, Ilias washed the newly-purchased dishes. Once that was done, I taught Ilias how to use the rice cooker and the stove, and then started on making dinner. We leisurely watched TV while eating dinner. Later I hopped into the bath.
“Well, now’s the time to go to sleep…” Just when I said those words, I realized that I had forgotten to buy the most crucial thing.
Another argument about our sleeping arrangements followed. I had already gotten fed up with repeating this every night, and that’s exactly why I had gone to the furniture store in the first place: to buy a futon… Despite that, I’d gotten sidetracked by that classy general goods store and ended up buying a set of dishes instead. Upon seeing that guy’s happy face I had felt filled with a sense of accomplishment and had gone home without a care in the world, not remembering the whole reason I’d gone furniture shopping in the first place.
And so, the second round of our battle began. “You’re still not in prime condition…” I attempted to say, but Ilias wasn’t having it. Without listening to me, he said that tonight he’d be sleeping on the couch. I somehow felt that I would be obligated to apologize for making a man who looks like a prince sleep on a sofa, but this guy had been even more stubborn than I’d thought. He was the type that wouldn’t be swayed once he’d decided on something, so after feeling that arguing was too annoying I let him have his way and just carelessly replied, “Fine, it’s settled then.”
For the first time in a while I headed back to my bedroom, but for some reason I looked back. There, what greeted my eyes was the sight of two big legs sticking out of the sofa. The sofa was just big enough to fit someone of my height, so it would take some severe determination for a giant like Ilias to sleep there. After peering over the back of the couch, I saw Ilias desperately trying to squeeze into the small space while wrapping himself in the blanket. I couldn’t bear to watch that sight any longer.
Collecting myself, I called out to him and said, “Go back to sleep in the bed,” but as expected, Ilias stubbornly refused to give up. When I asked why he was being this headstrong about it, he replied that as a freeloader, he couldn’t accept receiving better treatment than me, his host.
“Though I’m thankful that you have lent me the use of your sofa, in truth, I would be fine with even sleeping on the floor,” he said.
With that, I’d finally had enough of this circular and meandering bickering. Raising my voice, I said the very thing that started this whole mess: “You’re so persistent. In that case, let’s just go sleep together. The bed’s a semi-double — it’ll be a narrow fit, so you’ll just have to bear with it.”
I really thought Ilias would say something along the lines of ‘There’s no way I can do something like that’. Instead, his face turned surprised, then slightly angry, then shy. A sad look came over him, and he kept quiet, a hundred expressions passing over his lowered face. Ilias then sat up, and upon making eye contact with me, firmly raised his head.
You’re freaking me out here! Can you stop being silent like that? I thought, glaring irately at him. Ilias regarded me somberly, and stood up on the spot. The difference in our heights changed immediately with me being the one to look up at him now.
“Do you say that kind of thing to just anyone?”
“Huh? Don’t try and act like you’re comfortable like this. That sofa looked really pitiful with your big body covering it.”
Jeez, what the hell. I really wanted to sleep on the bed, if I’m honest. But after seeing this guy agonizingly folding up his body like he was trying to fit into kids-size furniture, compromising was just a matter of being an adult. Even I had a painfully difficult time falling asleep on that sofa, but since tomorrow I would probably be buying another futon, it was possible to bear with it until then…
However, since tomorrow was the end of my vacation and I had to go back to work, this guy might as well just put up with sharing a bed for a night.
“No, that’s not what I meant… Azusa, would you just invite anyone to sleep in a bed with you?”
“That’s why, for someone as big as you, you should… uh… eh?”
No, wait… what?
What the hell is this guy saying?! I don’t get what he means? What is he trying to get at?!
If I weren’t a man, I’d understand. When I thought about what it’d be like for a woman to just bring some unknown guy into her room… well, under the circumstances it couldn’t have been helped. But say she invites him to stay and live together for a while. Being in the same position, her actions would still be acceptable. Since there was only one bed, the guy would take the couch because normally anyone would say, “Hey, this is your place after all”. But if the woman says, “The sofa’s too small for you. My bed is a semi-double, so though it might be a bit of a tight fit, why don’t we sleep together?”, that would totally be an invitation, wouldn’t it?! Damn, what a thirsty lady.
After coming to that conclusion, I gathered myself and refocused on Ilias, whose face said he had thought about the exact thing that had just gone through my mind.
“I’m not a thirsty lady, okay?!”
The words burst from my mouth. Ilias didn’t understand what I meant and tilted his head, and a sad expression came over him. Stop it, stop looking at me with that face like you want to say I’m easy!
“Telling another guy that we can sleep together isn’t some sort of pass, alright?! And in the first place, I’m straight!!”
“… I see. So you wouldn’t just invite anyone?”
“If you’re asking about inviting people, then you’re my first one, you dumbass!”
I’d never met someone that made me argue this much about damn sleeping arrangements! Back home, my older sister slept on the bed while I just took a futon, and even on my school field trips I usually ended up in the corner of the corridor since anywhere was fine, you know! That’s why, how come I’m feeling so embarrassed over something like this. Ah, I got all sweaty again because Ilias went and said something so weird. And I’d just taken a bath, too. Damn it. It was stupid of me to worry over him. Fine, I don’t care anymore; this guy could just go sleep on the couch even if it was a tight squeeze.
I began bringing my tired body back over to the bedroom when a clear voice desperately called out my name.
“Azusa… I’m sorry for misunderstanding. Certainly we should sleep together.”
Uh… Could I please ask that you stop your cheeks from turning red, and your face from lighting up with such a happy smile?
I was powerlessly ushered over to the bed. The sheets had been arranged and tucked prettily, and the light bulb that I didn’t remember turning on lit up the surroundings. Since I wouldn’t get into the bed, Ilias pushed me onto the side next to the wall and climbed in after me. Even though this is my bed, why does it seem like you’re the one who’s more comfortable in it…
Right now, I regret that I had gotten a long pillow for my room. “Good night,” Ilias said, smiling at my moonlit back… Just what the hell was up with this scenic picture of two guys sleeping together. If possible, could you put a pretty girl in there instead. Seriously, that’s it… I won’t think about it anymore. Time to sleep.
Turning my gaze away from reality and over toward the wall, I simply responded “Yeah” before closing my eyes. A few second later I heard the soft, steady sounds of breathing behind me.
I abruptly sat up and saw that this guy had really already fallen asleep. Amazed at his speed, I looked at his contented, slumbering face. Somehow my own face loosened at the sight of it, and closing my eyes, I laid back down.
I restlessly changed my sleeping position who-knows-how-many times, grumbling. I found my most comfortable pose when I turned to the side and kept my arms together: this was how I usually woke up in the mornings, I realized. Finally, I can sleep… Or so I thought when an impact coursed through my body.
Annoyed, I opened my eyes a sliver. Something warm was at my back. Sleepy breaths brushed against my ear. Ilias had tightly grabbed and held onto me from behind. Was I a dakimakura now… I gathered strength in my arms and tried to push back, but even though I’d tried to escape five times, after a while we were still entangled.
No helping it, might as well give up. Heaving a huge sigh, I closed my eyes. It’s true that you’ll be able to sleep better when it’s warm, so though I was irritated at first, this time it was easier to fall asleep than my previous attempt earlier.
It was morning. Even without the alarm going off, just by habit I woke up at the usual time. As always, I woke up facing the wall with my arms held together. Changing my posture, I rolled onto my back and stretched my arms out. One of them hit something soft. I looked over and saw Ilias, his big body curled up in his sleep. Ahh, that’s right… I’d slept with this guy through the entire night… Even though all we’d done was sleep beside each other on the same bed, my blood pressure rose with the same “Oh god, I really did it now” reaction you got when you woke up in bed next to an unknown woman. It was that kind of horrible feeling. As if my gaze had woken him up, this guy’s eyes slowly opened and he looked at me with a drowsy face. When his eyes fully widened, he called out my name, “Azusa,” and giggled.
I had done something that I definitely shouldn’t have done, or so I realized on that Saturday morning. 2
Oh boy oh boy oh boy oh boy!!!
(Well, heartstopping at the time, but now it has become a peaceful happy event).
A few days ago, I noticed that there was an unusually high number of views coming from Japan (44, when normally there should be 0) . Wondering if something had happened, I went to
stalk check the author’s twitter again, and lo and behold she had realized that someone was translating her story.
Actually, it’s not a very polite thing to translate someone’s work without permission… I was very afraid to see what her reaction would be, but what she said was this:
“I was really surprised, but it seems like there’s someone who’s translating my work ‘Picked up a Strange Knight’ to English… amazing~..!
Is this their hobby? They wouldn’t do it if it weren’t their hobby, right? lol, I feel sorry about how my slapped-together sentences must be giving them a really hard time… (pray)(pray)(pray)”
She’s so sweet!! Super super super sweet!! Taro-sensei is the best!!!!
Also, one of the really funny responses to her tweet said:
Ee?? It’s getting turned into English?! ((゜∀゜)Incredible~~!! As expected of Azusa-san, he’s going worldwide!!
In any case, I decided to contact Taro-sensei, and with Cael’s help we managed to whip together a reply. (The reply sounds a little weird because I, with my gaijin weeb anime Japanese, attempted to write it, and then Cael took pity on me and corrected all of the wrong grammar and impolite forms while keeping the words that I had used. Cael is a master…!)
Hello, Taro-sensei! Uh, I am that person who had been translating the story “Picked up~”. To be honest I don’t really speak Japanese, but I really love Taro-sensei’s story. So that people who can only read in English can enjoy Taro-sensei’s story, I’m working hard to translate! When I read about Azusa and Ilias’s love, I become very happy. However, when the story ended, I felt moved and cried. Um, just now I made a drawing of Azusa and Ilias. It’s a portrait of newlyweds hahaha. Thank you so much for making this beautiful story!
I attached a piece of fanart that I quickly made that night. Actually, in my spare time at work I had been trying to make a better set of drawings so that I could show Taro-sensei in the future, but it seems that fate wanted to speed up the plot progression…
Taro-sensei had a really amazing reaction to my tweet! Cael translated her direct reply:
ars-san, nice to meet you! Thank you for your message! To translate my “Picked up a Strange Knight” into English, I’m so happy..!! (heart eyes) It must have been difficult with my many unique expressions. Sorry about that. I’ll cheer you on! And to even make a wonderful illustration, thank you so much<3<3 Allow me to have some pride! (more hearts)
Cael: I think the last part is very humble, so like “thank you for allowing me to take pride in my work reaching you”? or something….
Cute…! So cute, right….?!!?
Furthermore, she retweeted the fanart with some more adorable comments and also tweeted out the translation site. Actually I felt a little ashamed for the quality of my work… I’m certain that I get many details wrong in my translation, but all I can do is try my best to make Taro-sensei’s story as enjoyable in English as it is in Japanese.
I got especially nervous upon seeing that, on her tweet about my site, one of her friends and a fellow BL writer named Onigiri-sensei commented that they went to read chapter 1… (sweating) Good thing Taro-sensei is as unfamiliar with English as I am with Japanese, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to raise my head when she saw just how much I messed up her writing… :(´ཀ`」 ∠):
Anyway, sorry that this is such a long note this time. I really wanted to share with you guys the amazingness that is Taro-sensei!! She’s as kind and lovable as her characters… 。°（°´д｀°）°。
Taro-sensei might end up reading you guys’s comments through google chrome translate, so let’s wave at her~ (waves at screen) Thank you, Taro-sensei!
And back to our regularly-scheduled programming, once again we must thank our Lord, our Queen, our Secret Agent Psyx for her stellar completion of the mission of editing this chapter. At first Psyx said she would only proofread, but I feel that she’s really getting into it now to the point where she deserves a promotion. (Let’s not mention it to her so she can keep working hard! I thought in my heart).
And of course, thanks to our resident Japanese translators at Blob-T for always explaining and translating the tougher lines for me! They’re not into BL at all and this isn’t even a Blob-T project, but out of the kindness of their hearts they still answer my questions anyway… I feel like these two must be angels…
(If you guys want to show some support for them, go read the stories they’re translating, Herscherik (Reincarnated Prince Series) and Demon Lord, Retry!)
In the next chapter, Ilias fully embraces the househusband life. Please look forward to it.