“Aaaah, it’s really starting to come down, huh.”
Mita exclaimed while gazing out the window, foolishly drawling his words with a paper cup pressed to his mouth. Tempted, I also glanced outside and saw raindrops falling from the darkened sky. It stormed a lot lately now that it was the rainy season. In this kind of weather the trains became packed; I’d get hit by wet umbrellas, and then my suit would get all soaked too… When I thought about the suffering I’d have to go through each time I went home from now on, I unconsciously let out a sigh.
Mita’s sudden holler made me look back at him again — he was staring at me all excitably. What is this, it feels fucking disgusting… So that my inner feelings wouldn’t show, I pasted a fake smile on my face.
“Sakurai-san, it feels like you’ve started getting real sexy lately, haven’tcha.”
“Yeah, ever since Golden Week you just suddenly… turned really sexy, or maybe it’s more like, erotic?”
“…… Mita, so you’ve been looking at me with those kinds of eyes…”
“Hell no, what the heck, how’d this turn into the kinda thing people bring up in the smoking corner?”
“Just what are you on about, it’s grossing me out.”
“Thooough, it’s too bad. If Sakurai-san were a girl, I’d probably try to put some moves on ya.”
“Too bad I have a ‘thing’ firmly attached down there.”
“Weeell, guess it can’t be helped that everyone’s making eyes at ya, Sakurai-san. The level of the women in our department is way too—”
“Dumbass, shut up, don’t say another word!”
I reflexively hunched down below my monitor to hide. The closest woman was on the phone, the next wasn’t at her desk, and the others were two desk islands away, so they were safe… Thank god, looks like none of them heard our conversation just now. Mita, who’d hunkered down even lower than I had to the point where his face was stuck to his keyboard, was covering his mouth with both hands like he wanted to say ‘I’ve really done it now’.
Just as Mita said, the female side of our department was made up of truly indomitable women. Though if I’m honest it’s not like I was dissatisfied by these women who knew how to do their jobs, and I much preferred them over ladies who were all beauty but no brains, but… well, as a man you really can’t help but think that it’s vital to also have an oasis for your eyes. Maybe it was because too many of them wore only parkas and jeans, or all-black outfits like goth-lolis who’d aged into old witches, that I couldn’t even do my best to appreciate their faces… But if I dared to let even just a word of this escape from my mouth then tomorrow there would no longer be a Sakurai Azusa sitting here; thus, I absolutely made sure my lips were always pressed shut.
During Mita’s welcoming party, when we were at the third after-party and our female colleagues had all left for home, Mita had passionately cried out about how ‘the women of our division are so scaryyyyy!’ till morning — the memory of that was still fresh in my mind. And yet, for him to carelessly bring up this forbidden topic while at the company… It wasn’t just the guy who said the words but also the guy listening to him who’d be blamed. I’m definitely not going to be complicit to his crimes — at lunchtime tomorrow, I’m ditching this punk.
Mita raised both of his hands in apology when he saw me glaring, a conflicted smile on his face. But in an instant that smile turned into an expression of surprise, then morphed into a big grin. Just what’s with this guy… He doesn’t feel bad about what he’s done at all.
“It’s suuuper erotic for the uptight Sakurai-san to have a love bite, ya know.”
The second he said that, my hands flew to cover my neck, and I went running out of the office.
It was still raining when I left the company building. I exasperatedly fished around inside of my bag, but even after poking and prodding everywhere I couldn’t find what I was looking for. I had no choice but to open up my bag wide to look inside… and yep, it really wasn’t in there. Now that I think about it, I’d used my fold-up umbrella two days ago to go back home, and since it had gotten drenched I’d left it by the entrance to dry off. Did I seriously forget to bring my umbrella… Heaving a sigh, I did a check — it was only a light drizzle, so I decided to just make a run for the station.
I held my briefcase over my head to at least partially protect me from the rain and made the 10-minute dash. It wasn’t really that far of a distance but just sprinting that much had already winded me, maybe because I was getting older. Whilst unbecomingly gasping for breath, I tapped the ticket checker with my train pass, went through the gates, and slid into my usual train before contacting Ilias with my phone. The train carriage stuffed to the brim was exactly the way I’d predicted earlier this morning; I could only catch my breath and close my eyes wearily. The feeling of suffocation made me draw my eyebrows together. I really have to start exercising my body, if only for my own sake.
Actually, those kisses Ilias and I shared before work were just us messing around but in some way or another, we would eventually start getting carried away. The things we did lately had become more like mutually getting off. We had already done it once before, and when we slept in the same bed together it was so easy to just reach out a hand and… Damn it, the way I just go with the flow and start acting all submissive like I’m thirsting for it is really bad. But we had never actually gone all the way — the most we did was just rubbing against each other. I couldn’t let this guy show off how skilled he was at anything more than this.
Now that I’d gotten addicted to the feeling of doing it with him, I began struggling to get off by myself. There was also the fact that ever since I’d started this life with Ilias, I’d become more aware and frustrated by the physical disparity between his body and mine. Though it was already a certainty that the build of an office worker would be different from that of someone who did physical labor, that guy was still younger than I was, and even his physical strength and the number of times he’d satisfied his partner were much higher than what I could say for myself. Mm, yeah, I’ll really have to start working out after all — it’s scary to think of getting embraced and then crushed between his arms in the near future.
Once I got off the train at my local stop, an unexpected sight stopped me in my tracks. A man with familiar blond hair stuck out in the sparsely-populated ticket gate area, restlessly fidgeting where he stood. He started to look around as if sensing my dumbfounded stare and upon finding me, gave a small wave while his cheeks reddened. Oi, stop that; the high school girls on their way home are grinning nonstop while looking this way — they’re definitely a bunch of fujoshis. I’m hearing whispers of the word ‘gay’ over there, so please stop waving your hand.
He rushed over to me as soon as I passed through the ticket gate. After exchanging the pleasantries of ‘Welcome back!’ and ‘I’m back’, he showed me what he’d been holding in his hand when I asked him what was going on: apparently, he had come to bring me my umbrella and escort me back since I’d forgotten to take it with me earlier. However, he held only this one umbrella of mine.
“I appreciate it, but where’s yours?”
“I-I… What did I do…”
Having just realized his mistake, he seriously got depressed when I pointed it out. So even this guy can get scatterbrained at times, huh. I took the umbrella from the downhearted Ilias and started walking toward the escalator.
“Thanks though. Let’s go home.”
Ilias brightened up at my words, nodding eagerly as he followed after me down the escalator and to the exit, where pouring rain greeted us. I opened up the umbrella and told him to come stand next to me. Though he seemed embarrassed, he eventually came under its shelter. Why something like this made him shy completely baffled me considering that he passionately made out with me every morning, but it seemed like he was enjoying himself so I didn’t press on it.
As we walked down the sidewalk I earnestly listened as Ilias told me all about what had happened in today’s daytime drama. This had become something we did every day, and because of that, I’d firmly grasped the show’s love-hate relationship plot despite never having watched it. Mm, I see, so in today’s broadcast the affair between the husband and the wife’s best friend had come to light. Just how many times has this kind of mayhem broken out, anyway. We took a shortcut through a park that wasn’t often visited, and after Ilias’s chatter about the daytime drama trickled down, I opened my mouth.
“Anyway, onto another subject… You, just when did you put a hickey on me?”
“How—how do you know about that?!”
“My junior at the company told me about it… Hey, don’t make them where people can see from now on.”
“So… sorry, Azusa… You were letting off such a nice scent… so…”
“Was that this morning?”
I thought back to how Ilias had caught me after I’d woken up that morning. As he tightly embraced me, Ilias had lowered his face against the nape of my neck, muttering that I smelled nice and dropping kisses all over the area from my nape down to my collarbone. Because of that, my mini-Azusa which had just calmed down once again happily stood up, and since I wasn’t able to quickly get off, I had nearly been late for work for the first time in a while. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t have forgotten to bring my umbrella with me…
“It’s embarrassing when someone else points it out.”
“… It… is, indeed.”
“Be more mindful about it next time.”
“… So you forgive me for having marked you?”
“Well, I was wondering if you would be angry that I had placed a kiss mark on you…”
“!!!!! I-I-I-It’s not alright!! Marks are prohibited!!”
The hell! I hadn’t even noticed until he pointed it out… Why the hell did I just dere at him like it was natural, and tell him to be more considerate when putting hickeys on me?! I corrected my blunder in a hurry, but unbeknownst to anyone I’d exhaustively used my best efforts to cut off this conversation about how I’d just accepted the way we’d been doing things. Wait a minute, I can’t end this conversation just by convincing myself—listen to what I have to say!! Ilias splendidly looked the other way as I raved and ranted, then turned back and said, “By the way, why was he able to see the base of your neck?”
“The place I’d marked was just under your collarbone… so why, exactly, was it possible for your junior to see it?”
One of his hands came up to grip my shoulder while the other stroked my neck with a finger, slowly descending to my collarbone before it slid down to trace the very kiss mark he’d been talking about. In contrast to the lewd movements of his hands, his eyes were… completely not smiling… Mr Ilias, that’s scary…
“I-I’d just laid down on my desk…! My dress shirt was a little bigger today, and since I was dressed for Cool Biz I wasn’t wearing a necktie, so my neck… that’s why…!” 1
“You can tell me about your excuses when we get home.”
I, I hadn’t done anything wrong, so what are you getting mad at me for?! Aaaargh, Mita, you idiot!!!
[Update 3/9/2018: Corrected the name of the chapter title “I couldn’t do anything about being kissed!” to “I couldn’t do anything about it!”. I accidentally confused some words!]
Here it is! Thank you Psyx for sticking with me and doing such an awesome editing job!!
Last night I cried so many times while translating chapter 16 that I don’t have the energy to write a long note… Even though I already know the ending and have even finished reading the sequel, why am I still crying?!
In other news, Taro-sensei is writing a new story!! This time it’s a BL with crossdressing. I haven’t started reading it yet, but I’m excited.
Oh! I forgot to mention – I’ve finished making a guide on how to set up a Japanese Renta! account and purchase a volume of the Picked up a Strange Knight webnovel! You can find the guide over here. If you have a dollar or two to spare and are interested in supporting Taro-sensei, please check it out~
Furthermore, if you’re studying Japanese and would like to read the webnovel but don’t have the funds or are too young to purchase it, please contact me through novelupdates forum (username: ars), or by submitting a message through the contact page. Tell me a little about yourself and why you’re studying Japanese, and I’ll send you two dollars to purchase volumes 1 and 2 of Picked up a Strange Knight through paypal. You will need to have a paypal account set up so make sure you have that ready! This offer is to encourage you readers to learn and also to give some support to Taro-sensei, so please properly make sure to purchase the webnovels, okay?
Thank you for reading. Next chapter is an explicit R18 one, so be prepared.
- Cool Biz is a campaign started by the Japanese government to reduce air conditioning use by encouraging their employees who wear business suits (like salarymen) to dress more casually during the summer. They can wear short sleeve shirts or just wear less articles. In Azusa’s case, he dropped his tie and opened his shirt up a little more. ↩