With all the basic necessities of life taken care of, four days after Ilias had crossed over, he said that he wanted to learn Japanese. Because of my language cheat, I was the only person he could seamlessly speak to, and it really was tough to live without knowing how to read letters. Also, having to hear him say ‘I can’t read it” every time was tough on me, too. Though I’d been intending to take it slow at home today, Ilias’s request was more important, so we headed over to the bookstore. It was kind of embarrassing to bring up to the register a whole bunch of children’s books and worksheets for learning how to write. I must have looked like a doting dad or something…
From there we went to eat lunch at a small family restaurant. The staff’s attention to care impressed Ilias, who exclaimed, “Wonderful!” He seemed to think that this was a high-class restaurant, so I let him keep thinking that. He got excited over the drink bar, and I felt both pride and embarrassment when he started crying tears of happiness over eating a parfait.
This guy seemed to like sweet stuff. As he cried and said, “I’ve never eaten anything this delicious before!”, all I thought was, what the hell should I do? A good-looking guy poked at a strawberry parfait while sitting opposite of him was me, who was sipping coffee. I felt pained by the stares from the surrounding tables, and though with each additional one I felt that I really couldn’t do this anymore, I looked back with a cool and unruffled expression on my face… It, it really was difficult. I have a glass heart, so I almost didn’t survive.
My vacation days quickly ended. On a horrible Monday morning, my alarm went off. As usual I angrily shut it off and got up. Next to me, Ilias looked over with a sleepy expression.
Ever since that day we shared a bed, for some reason this guy asked to continue sleeping together, and kept sliding in next to me in bed. Was I the only one who felt like it was weird for two guys to sleep next to each other like this…? Or rather, was it not weird for two male comrades to keep sleeping together while sharing the same painfully narrow bed?
Though I pondered that question, the guy in front of me would certainly say ‘This is normal, of course’, so I wondered if, maybe, I’m the one who’s weird? That question haunted me every day since.
And so, this morning, rather than looking at me in anguish because of how I’d woken him up, Ilias greeted me good morning while smiling with his sleepily narrowed eyes. When I saw that, the venom left my body. Things were pretty good now, so I guess there was no need to worry about what I’d been agonizing over before. I threw my previous doubts out of my head and returned the greeting to Ilias. Making sure not to step on him, I carefully got out of bed. While I went toward the living room, behind me Ilias leaked out a yawn and followed me out of bed.
“My bad, I didn’t mean to wake you. Today I’m going to work, so you can just go back to sleep.”
“I see, so you’re working…”
He made a surprised face. I apologetically left him alone and headed towards the bathroom. I washed my face and brushed my teeth, and when I went out back to the living room to grab a change of clothes, a nice smell drifted through the room. I spotted Ilias in the kitchen, his back turned towards me. Seeing my student preparing breakfast for the first time, I felt somehow moved.
Usually I let the alarm ring three times before I start to get up, just barely making it to work. This morning, though, I had felt guilty over disturbing this guy, and that’s why I had risen on the first ring. Because of that, I had some minutes left to spare so there was plenty of time to eat the breakfast that this guy made.
While thinking that I’m glad to have woken up quickly, I didn’t say anything aloud and simply passed Ilias by on my way to the bedroom. I roamed around in just my underwear, but since the only other person here was a guy and this was my own room, I didn’t give it a second thought. I put on a business shirt and pants, then returned to the living room. I turned on the TV to see the time. Ilias, upon realizing that I had come back, handed some water and a salad over to me.
“I’ll start cooking up the rest soon, so please wait a bit.”
He’d even poured the water from the 500ml plastic bottle into a cup, huh… This kind of growth was probably good. Doing that was too much of a pain for me, so I usually drank straight from the bottle… Staring at Ilias’s back as he hummed, I sipped the water and poked at the salad.
While I idly watched TV, breakfast was delivered along with a delicious smell. Toast with scrambled eggs and bacon on top… whoa, this is amazing. When we were going back from buying the writing practice materials the other day, Ilias had said that he wanted to buy some groceries. He had picked out all of the ingredients himself since I had just handed over some money to him without really worrying about what he planned to make.
Ilias sat down next to me, and the two of us gave our thanks for the food before reaching for the bread. Huh, did I even have butter in my house? Did this guy buy it? It was really delicious, this toast. It had an even coating of butter, and had been exquisitely baked. It should’ve just been some cheap plain bread, but it sure changed a lot after getting toasted.
Though this guy only said that he was confident in his ability to do chores, it turns out that his cooking is good, too. After only a third of the breakfast was left he handed me some coffee, and we passed the rest of the time with unusual leisure until I finally had to leave the house.
Behind me, Ilias had been putting plates in the sink, but when he saw me about to leave he also started getting dressed to go out. “Are you leaving?” I asked, puzzled. I beat him to the punch and said, “…Don’t tell me you’re thinking of escorting me. That’s not going to happen.” Ilias’s doggy ears drooped in disappointment.
You really were planning on following after me, weren’t you… Just how many times do I have to explain to you that this is a peaceful world where even women and children can walk outside on their own… Whoever becomes this guy’s wife will end up not being able to do anything by herself because of how overprotective her husband is.
I tightened my necktie, put on my suit jacket, put my arms through my coat, and picked up my briefcase. I then headed toward the entryway of my apartment. “Take care,” Ilias said, following behind me.
“Yeah. I’ll be counting on you to watch over the house.”
After putting on my shoes, the moment I turned around Ilias called out my name. “What?” I asked, raising my head. Ilias stretched out his hand and touched my necktie, straightening it.
“It was crooked.”
“Is it really okay for you to go alone? I think I should come with you after all—”
“You, do you even know the way back to the house from the station?”
“I-I might not, but…”
“Just make something for dinner and wait for me. For lunch, it’s fine if you eat whatever you like.”
Once I saw that he nodded, however reluctantly, I opened the door. When I began heading towards the elevator, his voice called out to me again. I stopped to look back.
“Have a safe trip, and take care.”
“…Yeah, I will. I’m heading off.”
With a refreshing smile, Ilias sent me off. It was embarrassing how much this exchange made me feel like some kind of newlywed, so my reply was said in an extremely small voice. Even so, Ilias heard me, and he laughed happily while waving his hand.
When you knew that there was someone who had cooked dinner and was waiting for you, it was natural to want to quickly return home. I, who up until today had always done my work lazily, was now fervently working even while eating at my desk. It was a given to have over two hours worth of overtime, but I aimed to wrap it up and shoot for only one hour. Must work efficiently. I’m the type of lazy worker who won’t do anything if it doesn’t benefit me, but now I have a reason to do it. This me is truly excellent.
If you kept repeating this process, soon enough even a week would pass by quickly. I became happy at the thought that tomorrow was finally my day off, and I decided to treat myself today by buying some bread to go along with my lunch box. When I returned to my desk, the senseless new hire who occupied the desk next to mine, Mita, had taken out some cup noodles. This guy was always heading out to eat at the cafeteria, so while thinking about how weird it was to see him here, I sat at my desk and opened up my lunch box. I didn’t really care so long as nobody ate yakisoba or curry in the office, since the smell would linger even after lunch ended. The same rule applies to those curry-flavored cup noodles, Mita.
“Huuh? Sakurai-san, didn’t expect to see ya eating lunch at your desk.”
Mita called out to me while breaking his disposable chopsticks. It was bothersome to have to end up being his conversation partner, but I was already used to having to make these kinds of connections.
“Is that so? To me, you’re the one that I didn’t expect to see.”
“It’s cuz I’m totally outta money and I couldn’t find anyone to help me out, that’s why today’s just cup noodles.”
“I see, so you’re a piece of trash.” 1
“Hahaaa, you’re not wrong, yeah.” 2
I moved my gaze away from Mita, who laughed and nodded at my words, to look at my computer screen. If the work I’m doing now finishes processing at the end of noon, then the amount of free time I’ll have later in the afternoon should increase, and I might even be able to go home on time. Maybe I should try bringing back some cake as a present every now and then… That guy who’s valiantly doing all of the chores back home would probably enjoy eating shortcake. While I thought about which cake stores closest to the train station would be good, I felt an unpleasant gaze on me. I glanced over to where Mita sat neighboring me, and when our eyes met he quickly grinned.
“Knew it, I was right.”
“Sakurai-san, didja get a girlfriend recently?”
“Just now you were thinkin’ bout something with this reeaally gentle look on your face! D’you have a date tonight?”
“No way. You’re completely wrong.”
“C’mon, you don’t have to hide it, ya know! I was wondering why you suddenly got all into your work, it was so weird. But it’s really cuz of a woman after all, huhh. Is she cute?”
“I told you already, you’re wrong.”
“This super gentle expression like I’d never seen you make before just floated up on your face, so even if you tell me I’m wrong, I kinda don’t really believe you?”
“…… I, I made that kind of face?”
“Yeeep, it was max-level sappy.” 3
Mita nodded and gave me a thumbs up.
I ignored him in favor of starting to eat my meal. Next to me, obnoxious slurping noises sounded. I pounded at the keyboard while holding onto my chopsticks, and just when I thought I couldn’t possibly be any more disturbed, Mita started messing with his smartphone. This kind of junior… I side-eyed him. Now that he’d told me the fact that I’d been making a stupidly sloppy face while thinking about Ilias, my hands had gotten agitated and kept making mistakes on the keyboard.
… I’m really glad that Mita hadn’t noticed that, at least.
Hello again! Thanks to everyone who commented last chapter! Taro-sensei read your comments and made this tweet:
The translated chapter 6 came out…! Somehow, I feel so amazed and moved that there are only kind comments… Overseas readers, thank you…!
BL can cross over the world…! For loving Azusa and Ilias, thank you so much…! Should I learn English?! ｡ﾟ(ﾟ＾ω＾ﾟ)ﾟ｡
(I think she wants to thank everyone personally, but since she doesn’t speak English she’s shy, haha)
I’m really happy and thankful to everyone as well. T_T I’m glad we could show Taro-sensei how much readers like us enjoy and appreciate the work of writers like her. There are many authors who are uncertain about or even dislike having a foreign audience, so for Taro-sensei to greet and welcome us so kindly is something rare and very touching. It goes without saying that she could have easily asked me to stop translating her work, but instead she allowed me to keep translating and even cheered me on. I cherish her kindness very much, so I’m glad we could return it by showing our appreciation.
Anyway, I’ll stop being so sappy here!
With a show of strength and many edits, Agent Psyx once again saved the day. With her help, Azusa and Ilias’s date went off without a hitch! Also, Ilias once again shows off his charm points. I’m certain that [Feed delicious food] is the kind of action that will quickly raise Azusa’s Love Meter. Good job, Ilias.
In the next chapter, Ilias and Azusa go on a date. It’s super lovey-dovey… Tch, show-off happy couple. Please look forward to it.
- Azusa literally calls him garbage… Azusa, he’s still your coworker!!! ↩
- Mita, you’re letting him get away with it!?!?! ↩
- The exact word used is ‘darashinai’, which has several meanings which include: slovenly, loose, sluttish, undisciplined, careless. Basically, Azusa spaced out thinking about Ilias… ↩