Arc 2, Crescent Moon
“What kind of villages are Caralime and Yakiya?”
In his office, Ernst asked this question to the head butler.
“Caralime village is… aah, it’s that Kleber’s disease village. Because they have Kleber’s disease, they’re all lazy asses… ah, please excuse my rudeness.”
The head butler, Sington, hastily shut his mouth that had begun to slip.
“I’m not concerned about that. Continue.”
Ernst leaned back in his large chair.
“…That village is, the village where they abandoned their fields.”
“Yes. They said that they could live just by using it as pastureland, so they stopped cultivating their fields. Well, shepherds do have it easier.”
Was that so? Ernst, who had never cultivated fields or used them for grazing, didn’t have anything to contribute.
“Because of that, Meissen’s villages started letting go of their livestock.”
“Why is that?”
The tall-standing Sington continued to look down toward Ernst, who asked this question.
“Because a single village had a large quantity of sheep allowed to graze. The amount of wool they gathered from this wasn’t small. When they harvested an abundance of wool, they could sell for a lower price. The other villages couldn’t compete with the price of Caralime’s wool.”
So was that why the Kata and Latelle villages let go of their livestock?
Ernst, however, didn’t believe so simply that this was the only reason why their life became so pressured.
“Then, how about Yakiya village?”
“That one is… aah, the Lux Kingdom’s village.”
He said something strange. Ernst made a doubtful expression as he asked:
“Isn’t it a village of Meissen?”
“Eeh, well, that’s true, but… the people of Meissen think of them as Lux’s.”
“What do you mean?”
Unlike when he was discussing Caralime, the fluidity of the head butler’s words disappeared.
“The Bastelis river that serves as the border to Lux Kingdom doesn’t rage all year round. Every year, there are two months where boats can cross. The people of Yakiya village take on this job of crossing the river.”
Farmers were unable to pursue anything other than agriculture. Only riverfolk could take on the job of handling boats.
“Are the people of Yakiya not farmers, but riverfolk?”
“No… the previous lord had approved of their request to revise their position. Thus, several people of Yakiya aren’t farmers, but riverfolk.”
The reason why they didn’t all become riverfolk was most likely because the job of crossing the river could only be done for two months. And so, for the reason that they couldn’t fully change over, this roughly impossible had occurred.
“But why, then, is it called a village of Lux?”
Although the two countries were mutually keeping each other in check, they hadn’t cut off their diplomatic relations. On the surface, Lux Kingdom had was a friend of Rintz Kingdom.
When you took into account Meissen’s geographical location, if you were able to use boats, then rather than having to cross steep cliffs to enter your own country’s Rintz fief, it was much easier to cross the river to Lux Kingdom to sell your goods.
Be that as it may, since the Bastelis river could only be crossed two months a year, they wouldn’t sell all goods to the neighboring country; as such, Ernst didn’t understand why Yakiya village, which was the only one that met the river, would be ridiculed as being a village of Lux Kingdom.
“Yakiya village doesn’t sell their products to Meissen’s merchants, but to Lux’s merchants.”
“Yes. For that reason, Meissen’s merchants no longer do business with them.”
For the first time, Ernst set foot upon the militia’s training grounds, which he had always watched from above. Ganche promptly noticed and rushed to meet him.
“Lord Ernst. Has something happened?”
“No, nothing major… Could you tell me where the captain is?”
To give some reassurance to Ganche’s worries, Ernst gently touched his muscular arm. He was slightly damp with sweat.
Even though it was snowing, they continued to train so fiercely to the point that they were sweating.
Just like with his citizens, Ernst had to protect his troops, too.
Protected by Ganche, Ernst walked between the training militia soldiers who were unaware of his presence. Though their swords resonated with metal clangs every time they met, Ernst didn’t feel it was scary at all.
With Ganche by his side, Ernst had nothing to fear.
“Is something the matter?”
As always, Captain Targes was training the new recruits. The look in his gaze was as sharp as always, and even with Ernst in front of him, he didn’t bow to his knees.
“I just want to have a small chat. Do you have time?”
“…It’s very strange to ask that. You could just order me to do so.”
“That may be true. But if I always hand out orders all the time, won’t they become meaningless when they matter most?”
At Ernst’s words, Targes and Ganche exchanged a look with their eyes. Those significant gazes they exchanged several heads above Ernst made something bitter unfurl in his stomach.
“You can take as many hours of mine as you like. Now then, where should we go?”
This is something that we can’t talk about here, right? his eyes said. This man was able to guess this correctly, and to Ernst, it felt like he was able to see through even the jealousy in Ernst’s heart.
Ernst slightly diverted his gaze and grasped the arm of Ganche, who stood behind him.
“In that case, please meet me in my office. Aah, but you don’t have to come in a hurry.”
Targes chuckled, his laugh showing in his blue eyes that were particular to Kleber, as Ernst left. The militia soldiers lightly saluted around him.
Ernst adhered himself to Ganche’s large body without checking if he had closed the door to his office.
Over here, there was only one man who would be able to guess Ernst’s heart. He swiftly lifted up Ernst’s small body.
“You don’t have to say anything… I know.”
Ernst brought his nose to that wide neck, breathing in to fill his chest with that beloved scent.
Ernst didn’t feel any pity for himself.
All he could do was feel jealous over everyone around Ganche.
No matter who it was, anyone who stood next to Ganche ended up looking like they were well-suited to him in Ernst’s eyes. This too-small body of Ernst’s wasn’t able to match up, and it was all too easy for those other people to leave Ernst in the dust.
Taking Ganche with them.
He kissed under Ganche’s ear with his tongue. Then his throat, and the point of his chin. He kissed Ganche’s cheeks, and from a close distance, he peered into Ganche’s copper eyes.
As Ganche gazed back into Ernst’s blue eyes, he returned Ernst’s kisses, deeply pulling him in with his mouth.
Tasting Ganche’s thick, hot tongue, Ernst closed his eyes, peace of mind finally settling over him.
One of Ganche’s muscular arms embraced Ernst as the two of them kissed each other, their breaths mingling into one. Then a loud noise interrupted them, breaking their romantic spell.
Ernst instinctively glared daggers over at the door. Seeing that, Ganche stifled a smile and softly lowered Ernst onto the floor.
The noise sounded once more. Ernst let out a sigh, and turning to the door, he called out:
Captain Targes entered the room. His eyes held a strange laughter. He had probably been able to figure out why Ernst had changed his mind and expressly added that he wasn’t in a hurry to see him.
It was so that he could have a moment to enjoy some time with Ganche.
“Now then, I’ll take my leave.”
Ganche said this to Ernst and Targes before exiting the room.
“…So he’s not going to sit in with us, then.”
Targes asked this to Ernst, a surprised air around him.
“Although his standing may be the same as the captain’s, Ganche is still merely a foot soldier. However, if I judge it to be necessary, then I will inform him later.”
The members of Meissen’s militia must live in the barracks built on the premises of the lord’s estate. Only the captain was allowed to live together with his family. The ones who could live in detached houses with multiple rooms were platoon leaders or higher. Everyone below that had to live together in the barracks, which had been divided into rooms.
Ganche, who was just a foot soldier, also had to live in the barracks. Though it was cramped for that giant body of his, he managed to live there.
But now he lived in the lord’s mansion with Ernst. Ernst was the one who had broken the rules of the militia. He wasn’t able to stand living even a short distance apart from Ganche.
Although Ganche’s social position could be considered to be equal to the captain’s, Ernst wanted to make sure not to worsen Ganche’s position.
There were several situations where he might be distrusted for being the partner of the lord. A mere rumor or speculation that passed through the militia’s army could be believed to be true, thereby becoming an invisible blade turned against Ganche.
To that end, Ernst paid particular attention to the way he handled matters so as to not bring Ganche under others’ suspicions.
“I was thinking of going around the Caralime, Arruca, Yakiya, and also the Iben and Eitt villages in the near future.”
Targes’ eyes widened.
“All of those villages are far away? Shouldn’t you wait until the snow melts, at least?”
“Though I also considered that, it would be better not to leave it for so long of a time.”
“…Why is that?”
“If possible, I want to listen to the stories of people over 150. What happened over these past 100 years, is what I want to find out.”
“…They desperately tried to survive, is what I think they’ll tell you.”
His voice was laced with sarcasm.
Targes had settled in Meissen last summer, brought his swordsmanship skills to the militia, then became the captain a few days before Ernst took up his post as lord.
Ernst had heard that he had once been a soldier of the Rintz national army. Even now, his rank was that of a knight’s.
It was said that for 50 years before arriving in Meissen, he had been a mercenary, like Ganche.
Ernst didn’t know what circumstances had made him leave his highly-paid position in the national army and throw himself into becoming a mercenary. What sort of daily lives did mercenaries live?
But, he knew that people in positions of power didn’t have very many pleasant memories of it.
“Humm. The people of Meissen used their utmost efforts to live on with their own power. That process is something which I also want to know.”
Ernst said this quietly, looking up at Targes.
Targes was silent for a while, then gave a shallow nod of his head.
“…Then let’s send out some of the troops. It’s a good opportunity. We can do marching training with the newcomers in the center.”
Targes suggested this, his usual fearless smile on his face.
“Lord Ernst, are you taking a look around your territory?”
“Aah… I am. That said, I’m only looking at the villages that are far from this estate.”
“How far do you mean?”
“It’s a ten-hour walk to Caralime village, the furthest village from the estate. It seems to be about six hours to Arruca and Eitt.”
“…I can also… accompany you, right?”
Ganche, who never commented on Ernst’s decisions in his position as lord, now made a rare request.
“Humm. Of course; I had also intended for that.”
“Thank you so much!”
Seeing Ganche’s face break into a wide smile, Ernst was unable to hold back and pressed a kiss onto that large mouth.
Although compared to Ernst who could only be said to look like a boy, Ganche’s age matched his large form, Ganche really did carry a sense of youthfulness inside. He wasn’t like Ernst, who had lived for 60 years; he had the youth of someone who had lived for less than 30 years.
To Ernst, this was also something that made him so lovable, and beloved.
“Each village is in a completely different place, so it won’t be possible to visit them all at once. If the travel to visit each one takes one to two days, and we take two days to stay, then it will take at most six days to see a single village. To finish seeing all five villages will take two months.”
As if following the villages of Meissen, Ernst circled his thin finger over Ganche’s compact stomach. Ganche laughed, seeming ticklish.
“I’m looking forward to it.”
“Why is that?”
“Won’t I be able to stay with Lord Ernst all day?”
He said something so cute.
Ernst used his tongue to lick and taste that proudly-standing, dark red giant. Ganche’s fragrance, his scent which Ernst would never be able to have his fill of, diffused in his mouth.
“Hngh… nn… it’s snowing right now, so you might not be able to use a carriage. In that case, I’m more than willing to carry Lord Ernst.”
Ganche said this so eagerly that Ernst unintentionally nodded along with him.
“I would also like for that… Unfortunately, the carriages in Meissen seem to have been made to be able to run on snow.”
“…Is that so…”
Seeing Ganche’s completely saddened and desolate state, Ernst was filled with the urge to do something about it.
But, Targes had said that this would double as training for the new recruits. The inclusion of the new recruits gave him the good reason of bringing along Ganche to instruct them. For Ernst’s sake, he was bringing Ganche along with him.
Ernst couldn’t disturb the matters of the unit any more than this.
“But we’ll still be together; that hasn’t changed. Even if I had to leave Ganche behind at the estate, if it were for such a long time, I don’t think that I would be able to stand letting you go, after all.”
“You think so?”
He finally cheered up after Ernst comforted him.
Perhaps it was because Ganche had to stand on equal footing with people who were two or even three times older than he was in the militia, around Ernst, when it was just the two of them, he became particularly childlike.
But even that was so cute that Ernst could barely stand it.
Ernst gripped Ganche’s cock with his small hands and brought it to his mouth.
Seeing it standing, hard with arousal, made a tingling feeling spread out in Ernst’s hips. Ernst’s body knew well the joy of being hollowed out around its brutal girth.
Ernst crept his tongue along the veins protruding from Ganche’s dark red cock. How many people had he stuck this into, for it to become this color.
He despised those people whose faces he didn’t even know; how sad he was.
Ernst only knew Ganche. Ernst’s small cock only knew the inside of Ganche’s mouth. Even if it was now 60 years old, this faintly flower-colored thing of his could only dangle, small and quiet, from his hairless lower half.
He stuffed his mouth and cheeks full of Ganche’s thick cock. Though he took it in so deeply that he started to gag around it, he wasn’t satisfied with just holding the tip in his mouth.
Ernst was amazed by Ganche’s thickness and length, but the fact that people other than him would be able to bring just as much, no, even more pleasure to Ganche with their skill, was frustrating.
Ganche’s voice drifted down, brimming with satisfaction as he gently stroked Ernst’s hair.
All of a sudden, a powerful sense of attachment to Ganche welled up inside of Ernst.
This man is mine. He is my partner, the man who exchanged vows with me.
I won’t hand him over to anyone.
Ernst gripped Ganche’s large, weighty balls, massaging them. That delicious liquor seeped into Ernst’s mouth. Ernst drank down and savored that fine liquor which overflowed from his mouth.
Between Ernst’s legs, he felt his small manhood start to give its best effort to assert itself.
Ernst is no longer using ‘manhood’ to describe Ganche’s parts. I’m not sure if I should celebrate.
Lately I’ve been binge-reading everything on Kleep’s site (Reborn as a System is so much fun!) and also on Chrysanthemum Garden (currently reading Who Touched My Tail, which is really filling me up with its huge and plentiful chapters). I’m not caught up on any of the stories being translated recently… What are you guys reading? Send me recs~!