Moonlight on the Snowfield: Chapter 14

Arc 1, New Moon
Chapter 14

After the man left, the room had grown cold. Ernst had long since realized that the fire in the hearth had gone out. Shivering from the extreme cold, Ernst curled up his quaking, trembling body within the cold bedding.

That man, just what did he say…

Even though Ernst had submerged himself in blankets, sleep never came for him.

Morning eventually came, and Ernst hadn’t even gotten a wink of sleep. Seeing that the candles and firewood had burnt themselves out, the butler turned a condemning glance on Ernst. With his head fuzzy from a lack of sleep, Ernst ate his breakfast, which was the same food as yesterday.

In his office, Ernst cast his eyes over some of the documents that the head butler had gathered.

The number of villages in Meissen, the number of towns, their population, demographics, militia count, the resources within the fief, the resources they imported from other territories, the number of livestock, the acreage of farmland, the rate of usage. The relationship with the neighboring Lux Kingdom, the relationship with Grude Continent, the previous Lord’s reign.

There was no end to the things he had to know, and even if he did learn them all, there was still more to come.

Yet not a single thing stuck in Ernst’s mind. It wasn’t because of his lack of sleep. Even Ernst knew that.

Last night, what was that man saying? Ernst had deliberated over the meaning of what that man had told him all through the night.

Loved him to the bottom of his heart. Loved him. L, o, v, e.

Ernst now noticed that the concept of ‘loving a person’ was a gaping wide blank in his understanding.

After all, he had been the crown prince. For sixty years since his birth, up until a few months ago, he had been the crown prince. This wasn’t an existence where he could frivolously fall in love, and the partner whom Ernst was to love was to be some powerful noble’s daughter, as decided by the leaders of the Kingdom.

It was an existence where, regardless of Ernst’s wishes, he would have to usher in several people as his consorts. Ernst’s circumstances had nothing to do with falling in love with anyone.

That was how it was supposed to be. Ernst himself had thought that this was how it should be.

Falling in love…

What type of feeling was it, to fall in love?

All throughout the night, he had thought this over.

Even now, while he was looking through the information on his territory, most of his head was filled with that matter.

In the royal palace, people were ‘things’. [1]

The head butler, the butlers, the maids, and the royal guard, all of them were ‘things’. They were the same as the desk, same as the chair, same as the walls, same as the pillars. Even if the person were replaced, nothing would change except for the face; it was no different from re-upholstering the back of a chair.

It was for this reason that Ernst never asked for anyone’s name. He had looked at them the same way he looked at objects. The ambassadors from other countries who had come to visit the royal palace were also ‘things’. There was no difference between anyone or anything.

Ernst, who couldn’t discern people from objects, let alone pick out individual people, couldn’t possibly do something like fall in love.

But, he pondered.

From now on, he was free. He wasn’t royalty; he was going to live as just any other noble now. Ernst could now choose his own partner to love at his own discretion.

In that case, he considered.

Do I fall in love with that man?

He had never considered something like taking a man as his partner. It couldn’t be helped. He had been royalty, after all. That was something who had to leave behind a child no matter what. That wouldn’t be possible if his partner were a man.

But from now on, he was free. In the first place, the races of Schell continent lived longer lives than races from other continents, so they didn’t find much worth in having children. Marriage itself involved a painstaking exchange of contracts, and only royalty and nobles bothered to go through with it.

Love between the common people was more free. Ernst had also witnessed this with his own eyes in those few months he had spent at the villa. There were male companions, female companions, and also lovers for only a few days.

That’s right, those people had all freely loved, and Ernst had also become just as free as everyone else.

Freedom, what a great word that was. Ernst looked out the window of his office.

Here, there was no tall fence to obstruct his view, and he could see the enormous forest spread out over the distance. If Ernst wanted to do so, he could even go and run over to that forest as he pleased.

Even now, Ernst had never gone running before. Once spring came and the snow melted, he wanted to try running up to that forest. It was an idea that made his heart thump with excitement.

Aah, no, wait. He had a much more urgent problem to think about than spring.

That was, ‘falling in love’.

What was it that the man had said? Right, he’d said that he wanted to stay by Ernst’s side.

Ernst had been happy. There was someone who had said to him that they wanted to stay with him.

Was this what it meant to be in love, he wondered.

No, that wasn’t right, was it. Ernst recalled his memories of those faces that he would be able to recognize, even now.

If those three hunters had told him that they wanted to stay with him, he would also be happy. If the villa’s butlers and maids said it, that would also make him happy. This feeling wasn’t how it felt to be in love.

At some point, it became time for lunch. He blankly ate the same thing he had eaten in the morning.

He kept thinking it over until his head felt like it was going to burst. He wished he could separate it from the neck up and just leave it somewhere.

There was nothing he could do cooped up in his office, so he went to take a walk inside the manor. On second glance, it was a shabby mansion. Bare stone walls without any wallpaper spanned the corridors. Here and there, the eaves of the roof were broken, letting some snow blow inside. Couldn’t they fix it? Even though he was inside the mansion, Ernst wore a heavy cloak as he walked.

Had it always been this lacking, or had it only been dirt before? This shabby mansion’s only benefit was its spaciousness. Even after walking for a long time, Ernst hadn’t come across any butlers or maids working here. It seemed like they had limited the areas where they worked.

The servants in Meissen were extraordinarily pragmatic, he found.

A fine, authoritative voice drifted over on the wind. Ernst walked down the corridor, then looked out a window.

The militiamen were training. No, to be more precise, the stern-eyed commanding officer and that Dunbertian were sparring.

As expected of the leader of the militia, the officer’s movements looked sharp and fast to Ernst’s eyes. But he wasn’t a match for a natural-born warrior, and the Dunbertian easily sidestepped him.

Soon after, the other militiamen who had been watching from the sidelines stood, and they turned their swords on the Dunbertian. Though the commanding officer tried to stop them, they didn’t hear his order, and a large number of people dashed forward.

Without even realizing it, Ernst rushed toward him. All he could think was that even if the man was Dunbertian, there was no way he wouldn’t be hurt when fighting against that many people.

But then, the way the Dunbertian held himself changed – just as that thought passed through Ernst’s head, the Dunbertian evaded all of the swords pointing toward him, and he stood in the place the militiamen had just left. Some of the militiamen let out sounds of amazement.

Ernst was so relieved that he carelessly patted his chest and gazed at the man in admiration. That enormous body was capable of making such vivid movements.

After that, the frustrated militiamen who wanted to fight again, along with the militiamen who thought it would be amusing and pulled out their swords, together formed twelve opponents who faced the Dunbertian. Yet in the end, not a single person was able to land a hit on him.

Amidst the exhausted Kleber who collapsed to the ground, the Dunbertian alone stood without losing a single breath.

[1] This hasn’t been apparent in the translation, but all this time, whenever Ernst refers directly to another person (usually his servants), he uses the word 者 (mono) rather than 人 (hito). Though both words mean ‘person’, 者 is also a homonym of 物 (mono), which means ‘thing’. 者 is used mainly in formal situations; it seems to denote a lowered status, so people may use 者 to refer to themselves in order to be polite/humble, while a superior may call others 者 to show they have higher rank. In this particular sentence, Ernst says “人はモノ” or ‘[In the royal palace,] People are things’. It’s implied that he now understands that people are living and breathing beings that he can feel connected to. After leaving the royal palace, he has learned that others aren’t ‘things’, they are ‘people’.

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Moonlight on the Snowfield: Chapter 13

Arc 1, New Moon
Chapter 13

Maybe it was another rule that in Meissen, all three meals consisted of the same thing. In the morning and at noon it was always the same soup as ever, and dinner was soft baked bread.

The same as last night, the head butler glanced at Ernst as if telling him to ‘Quickly go to bed’, so Ernst found himself in front of the hearth in his own room.

Letting out a sigh of relief at the warm fire, Ernst sat in a chair. The candle they had given him was short. Was this to tell him to go to bed before the candle went out?

Snow blanketed the earth; the night was quiet. Ernst wondered if everyone in the manor was asleep. He had thought that normally, if the lord of the manor was awake, then all of the servants would also stay awake, but it seemed that things were different here.

First, he should try to follow the way the people of Meissen did things, Ernst thought.

Ernst heard the sound of a hesitant knock at his door.

“Come in.”

Easily pushing open the heavy door, an enormous man nervously entered the room. Ernst silently pointed toward the one other chair in front of the fireplace.

Looking up at Ernst from his lowered face, the man sat in the chair. His large body was unable to fit in it, so he sat with his buttocks hovering over the seat, his body squeezed to take up less space.

But of course, it wasn’t the chair’s fault.

“If I’m not remembering wrong, I know you.”

Ernst glanced at the large man from the side of his eyes. The man’s large body flinched.

“Hmm. So it seems like you’re the one I was thinking of, after all.”

That large body grew stiffer and stiffer.

“Well then… for what reason did you come here?”

The man nervously opened his mouth.

“I, had come here to join the militia.”

“Since that was where I found you, that seems obvious enough. What I am asking is why are you, who had been serving the bathhouse of the crown prince, now here, in Meissen, as a member of the militia. Surely this can’t just be chalked up to coincidence.”

The sight of those large hands tightening on themselves caught Ernst’s attention from the corner of his eyes.

The large man currently cowering before Ernst was that very same manservant who had served in the bathing chamber. He was a person of the courageous Grude race, the Dunberts. It was hard to believe that this figure who was so tense under Ernst’s questioning was supposed to be of such fearless character.

“It… isn’t a coincidence. I heard that Lord Ernst was to become the Lord of Meissen, so just a short time before that happened, I entered Meissen and joined its militia.”

“… Why?”

Those who desired to govern the kingdom, or otherwise those who desired power and authority, would no doubt cling to their social status. Ernst didn’t know which he was, but it seemed that he himself was an obstacle, he thought. When Ernst thought over his situation, it was easy to guess that somewhere out there, someone was trying to ostracize him.

So it seemed like this large man hadn’t come here to kill him, Ernst guessed. After all, there was no way an assassin would stand out this much. This overly large body wouldn’t be able to hide anywhere.

In that case, what was he doing for him to be in a place like this? In Ernst’s chest, a single light flickered to life.

He turned his delicate body slightly towards the large man, waiting for the Dunbertian’s words.

“I… wished to serve Lord Ernst.”

With his head lowered, the words this large man whispered made Ernst feel a swooping sensation.

In that palace, in that cold palace where Ernst had not formed a single connection to another person, there was someone who had missed and yearned for him.

Of his own free will, he had chosen to follow Ernst even in the face of the dangerous forest and steep cliff faces that Ernst had crossed.

“I see! I see!”

Overturning his chair in his haste to stand, Ernst grabbed the large man’s hand. It was a warm, faithful hand.

“I had never before had someone that I wanted to praise and commend. As I am now, I’m unable to even give appropriate recompense to those who are willing to serve me. Even knowing that, you still willingly chose to serve me; how magnificent you are!”

The large man raised his head. For some reason, his reddish-brown eyes held some distress.

“Lord Ernst, that’s not it. I, I…”

“What is it? Did I get something wrong? Is it that I misunderstood something, somewhere. You did say that you wished to serve me now, didn’t you?”

The swelling delight within Ernst deflated.

“That’s not it! I do wish to serve Lord Ernst. If it is for Lord Ernst’s sake, then I am even willing to throw my life away!”

His large hand grasped Ernst’s and squeezed. His grip was tight and powerful.

“In that case, what did I get wrong…?”

“I… I adore Lord Ernst…”

The large man painfully spit out these words.

“Adore? So you’re saying there was even a person who was able to adore me… Aah, what an honor that is. For someone to adore even a boring person like me…You understand how delighted this makes me…?”

Everyone had sought out Ernst’s value as the Crown Prince. There hadn’t been anyone who wanted to follow Ernst when he had lost everything. They each had their own lives, and they lived steadily in the place they had rooted themselves to. Ernst was just an existence that passed by between them. A faint existence.

Yet this giant man had thrown everything away, and he alone had chased after Ernst. Ernst did not know any joy greater than this.

“That’s not it! That’s not it!… That’s not it!”

The giant man violently shook his head.

“Just what, isn’t right…”

Pain rose within those reddish-brown eyes as they stared at Ernst. He didn’t know exactly why, but Ernst felt that this man was pitiable.

“The meaning of my adoration, and Lord Ernst’s adoration… is different. I love Lord Ernst to the bottom of my heart…”

Translator’s Note

I thought these chapters would take longer to translate, but I was eager to find out what happened next.

This chapter might actually be the first time we see real dialogue in this story. Before, all of the dialogue was narrated through Ernst’s thoughts.

This is the last chapter I read through MTL. From here on, I’ll be discovering the story while translating. I’m looking forward to finding out how Ernst will work to improve Meissen, and just what exactly is going on with the Dunbertian manservant!


Image result for loli police
Me @ the ML the first time I read this chapter through google

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Moonlight on the Snowfield: Chapter 12

Arc 1, New Moon
Chapter 12

By the time Ernst arrived, the mansion was shrouded in darkness. In Meissen, which was located in the north of Rintz, night fell quickly.

Noticing the sounds, a middle-aged man exited the manor. At first glance, Ernst thought he was the head butler, but upon seeing the careless way the man carried himself, he began to have doubts.

The man greeted him whilst biting his own tongue. He really was the head butler.

But, this…

Ernst felt a touch of anxiety. After a hundred years passed without a Lord to rule it, it seemed that Meissen had lost all of its ways. Before Ernst came here, were these people the same as the rest of the population, living their lives by plowing fields and hunting?

Among the territories in Rintz Kingdom, Ernst didn’t know of any territory that was considered worse than Meissen. Ernst would be spending his whole life as the lord of this land. Thankfully, Ernst had been given a lot of time. He would be able to work on this slowly, he thought

Though the curtain of darkness had fallen quickly, the night was still young. But after Ernst finished eating what was considered a full meal to them, he was encouraged to immediately head to bed. Though it had been a long journey, and he was certainly tired, was he supposed to go to sleep without taking a bath? Ernst was puzzled as he thought this, but when he told them that he wanted to take a bath, they looked back at him with perplexed expressions.

The royal palace did as the royal palace did, the villa did as the villa did, and Meissen did as Meissen did. Ernst paid respect to the way they did things and went to bed early.

That day, the sense of relief he had from safely reaching the mansion pulled him into a dreamless sleep.

The next morning, he woke early. Apparently, ‘early to bed, early to rise’ was a rule. There was no fire in the hearth, and Ernst shivered in the cold as he changed his clothes. Perhaps there was also a rule that the fires would only be lit in the fireplaces when it became night.

At the dining table, he ate a simple meal. Thin soup and hard bread. There wasn’t a single piece of fruit or a sip of tea. He drank hot water.

Once he’d settled in, Ernst met with the servants of the manor face-to-face. There were two butlers and three maids, and there was also one cook. As well, there was only the single head butler. There were less servants here than at the villa he’d stayed in temporarily.

Meissen was a remote region – or rather, a border region. Though the three Schell countries were friendly on the surface, they were by no means neighbors who would always trust each other.

Meissen was, at the moment, the front line against Lux Kingdom should they ever come to war. Naturally, it should have a militia within.

So was this supposed to be that militia? Ernst felt out of his mind as he looked down at himself. All of the villagers he had seen yesterday were the same – shabby and thin men who stood around aimlessly. Would those people be able to fight; would they be able to win against an enemy? In the first place, would they even be able to wield a sword?

Ernst went to talk with the man who was considered the commanding officer. He was a man with arrogant eyes. He had a good physique for a Kleber. This man seemed to be the only soldier here. Yet, he carried a kind of atmosphere which said that in the event of an emergency, he would go anywhere.

Ernst gathered the militia in the much-too-small inner courtyard of the mansion. There were also people hidden by the walls of the residence. Hiding his inner dismay, Ernst slowly walked through the mansion, looking at and memorizing each face. He made his way to the back, and just as he turned around, his feet stopped.

Capturing the gazes of the militia men still hidden by the walls of the manor, Ernst’s thin legs froze.

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Moonlight on the Snowfield: Chapter 11

Arc 1, New Moon
Chapter 11

The distance between the village at Meissen’s outskirts where Ernst had parted with the hunters and the manor of the feudal lord took about half a day’s worth of travel via carriage. When he compared it to the smallness of the royal capital’s territory, Ernst understood just how vast Meissen was.

Ernst stopped the butler who wanted to hurry and bring him to the mansion, saying that he wanted to take his time to look around. Though it would be impossible to check out everything, Ernst wanted to at least view the villages scattered along the way to the mansion.

To begin with, Ernst asked who was the head of this village. The person the villagers all glanced at came forward; he was an old man whose legs were so unsteady, it wasn’t certain whether he could walk on his own. Was this kind of person really fit for the job? Ernst furrowed his eyebrows.

When he looked it over carefully, he couldn’t find any men who looked like strong workers or breadwinners in this village. There were old men, women, and strangely enough, many children.

Where did the fathers of these children go? In response to Ernst’s question, the village head pointed to several of the villagers and said, “All of them have Kleber’s disease, sir.”

This was the first time Ernst had ever seen someone else who had Kleber’s disease.

There were very few people who developed it in the royal capital. They lived in the lower city surrounding the capital.

But more frequently, in poverty-stricken lands far from the capital, such as Meissen, one would find many people with Kleber’s disease.

There hadn’t been enough time before Ernst’s departure, so while riding his carriage out of Rintz, he had read some information that he had hastily sent for. In Rintz Kingdom, the average rate of occurrence of Kleber’s disease was 1 in 100. Yet in Meissen, that rate became 1 in 20.

Though they had Kleber’s disease, not everyone was like Ernst, who was unable to sire children. Rather, it was considered unusual to be like Ernst, who was entirely a child.

Ernst once again looked over the villagers. These were people who were said to have Kleber’s disease. In this village, the rate of occurrence of Kleber’s disease was 1 in 10, no, 1 in 5, wasn’t it.

A sudden thought occurred to him, and Ernst asked the village head for his age. This year he had turned 147, he answered. These words stunned Ernst.

The average lifespan in the Schell continent was 200 years. Rintz Kingdom was comprised primarily of Kleber people who were, of course, one of the races of Schell, so their average life expectancy was 200 years. No matter how Ernst looked at him, the old man in front of him seemed like he should be somewhere from 190 to 200 years old.

Normally, a 147-year old should still be good to work, and their lower half should still be more than strong. So why did he look like this? Did he have some other disease?

Feeling like the questions in his mind had gone unanswered, Ernst unwillingly moved on to the next village. This village was in the same state. There were many people with Kleber’s disease, and there were only elderly villagers with not a single person in their prime.

Nothing changed in the next village, either.

When the mansion was in sight, Ernst asked the butler what the average lifespan in Meissen was. The butler only shook his head. “I don’t need an exact number – how old?” Ernst asked again, but the butler just titled his head away.

Why does he have to keep shaking his head so much, Ernst thought, a doubtful feeling rising within him. The butler trembled nervously as he asked a question. What is an ‘average lifespan’, he asked.

Ernst was stunned in disbelief. It couldn’t be that a butler who worked at the manor wouldn’t even know something like this. Then, he suddenly recalled something.

When comparing the countries in Schell continent, including the Luxe and Silus Kingdoms, the literacy rate of the Rintz Kingdom was clearly lower than the other two. The disparity between classes was clear; along with the nobles and wealthy merchants, only 1 in 5 people among the commoners was able to read.

But in Meissen, this rate was possibly even lower. A butler who served the manor shouldn’t possibly be unable to read, but his behavior roused Ernst’s suspicions.

The materials that Ernst had hastily gathered only briefly listed some details regarding the neighboring Lux and Grude territories.

For 100 years, no one had ruled this land. Ernst watched the scenery from the window of the carriage.

The bright red sunset illuminated the distant reaches of the snowfield.

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Moonlight on the Snowfield: Chapter 10

Arc 1, New Moon
Chapter 10

This was the last night Ernst would spend with the hunters. After walking for one more day, they would reach the outlying village of the Meissen territory. There should be a welcome party for him in the manor of that village. The hunters would part with him from there.

Even though Ernst had said that it would be fine if they at least rested for a day at the manor, the hunters politely declined. Winter was growing deeper and deeper. If they delayed their departure for even one day, the valley might close on them. The snow seemed to be falling more heavily this year.

After passing through the valley, they entered Meissen’s forest. They lit a fire with the drywood they collected here and there.

The forest within Meissen’s territory was quiet. Here, the land, the people, and the beasts were all barren and starving. In this forest, there wasn’t a single sign of a living creature.

They spoke quietly while drinking warm tea. Ernst listened to the hunters’ stories, and he in turn told them stories of his time at the villa. When they heard about how Ernst had been tricked by the butler’s tale of the wolf, the hunters’ grim faces broke out into smiles.

When they got along like this, it made Ernst feel regretful over how they would have to part ways. But it wasn’t as if he could ask them to come along with him. After all, these men lived their lives as hunters.

Ernst told them that he wanted to apologize for the horse they lost. He also wanted to thank them for safely bringing him to Meissen. Yet these things were also firmly refused. They couldn’t receive more compensation than what had already been decided, they said.

They drank tea and began preparing to rest. Today, too, the hunters switched off on fire-watching duty between themselves. The four of them had overcome their obstacles. They chatted about various things.

It didn’t feel as if, by tomorrow night, they would all be gone.

They walked through the forest. The trees in Meissen were wide and tall. It sure would be hard to chop these down,said the hunters, who also worked as lumberjacks.

Was that so? Ernst had thought that it would be better if the trees were large, but it seemed that it wasn’t good if they were too large.

Moreover, it was even difficult to find trees for firewood.

When Ernst asked why that was, the hunters answered that there wasn’t any deadwood in this forest. Along with that, last night, they had only found enough firewood to fuel a fire for one night despite how long they had searched.

Something moved between the trees. The hunters’ feet stopped. They covered Ernst, who stood at the back, and gazed into the depths of the forest.

It was a deer.

Even to Ernst’s eyes, the sight of this deer with its enormous horns was eyecatching. They stared at this outstanding deer. It was incredibly large. The hunters let out murmurs of amazement. Though where they were bordered Lux Kingdom to the north, it also bordered Grude to the east, so the animals were quite large, weren’t they? the hunters said.

A map of Meissen’s territory drifted through Ernst’s head.

Certainly, if you kept walking east, you would reach the land of Grude. There, you would find Grude Country, a land which existed solely for the purpose of trade. Grude Country was located in the approximate center of the Grude continent, and it was said that the rest of the land was filled with dry rocks and reddish soil.

That large man of the bathing chamber belonged to one of the four races which lived in Grude, the Dunberts. All four of the races of Grude shared enormous and sturdy physiques. The animals which dwelled there were also larger than could ever be imagined in the Schell continent.

The deer had stared fixedly in their direction, then turned its body and leapt away.

If we’d brought that deer down, it would’ve made for a fine meal, the youngest hunter said. With that size, it would’ve been a pain, the eldest hunter replied.

When Ernst asked why, the hunter explained that it was too big to be brought down by the arrows used in Schell. Then why not use a knife or hatchet? Ernst once again asked. Even if they did, with a beast that big, it was impossible to even get close to it, the hunter explained, then shook his head as if trying to let go of his own reluctance.

In the distance, they heard the sorrowful cry of a wolf. Even those wolves wouldn’t be able to bring down that deer, the hunters muttered, showing a trace of sympathy.

The forest wasn’t withered of life. Yet what abounded within it was the frustrating feeling of being unable to grasp that which was right before your eyes.

The village was bleak and desolate. The welcoming reception from the manor consisted of solely one butler.

The villagers who unsteadily crept out from their dilapidated shacks all wore clothing that looked rough and chafing. Even though the people of Schell continent were strong against the cold, they still wouldn’t walk around like that in a place like this. They were thin and emaciated, and their limbs looked like sticks.

Ernst had unconsciously frozen still. One of the hunters softly pushed his back. Ernst suddenly remembered to walk, and he went to thank the butler who had come to greet him.

Well then, the hunters said, about to leave. Ernst hurriedly rushed to hold them back a bit. He expressed his thanks to them, and for the first time in his life, he lowered his head and bowed.

Though the hunters, the butler, and the villagers were stunned, Ernst’s bow had come naturally. The hunters had brought him through such an arduous journey; just bowing his head once wasn’t enough of a sacrifice to pay them back for everything.

He raised his head and saw the faces of the hunters. He looked at each and every one of their faces, wanting to carve into his mind the memory of what they looked like, and then he shook the hand of each of them to say goodbye.

They had bulky, rough-skinned hands, those warm hunters.

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Brought My Wife Back from Another World: Chapter 3

Chapter 3
He and my subordinates

Just as how Azusa did for me in Nippon, I explained to him how people lived in this world.

Electricity, gas, and plumbing didn’t exist; instead, everything ran via manastones, and the way to use these utilities was also different. The most obvious was the use of fire and water. In the Kingdom of Selentia, we did not light fires. Instead, we used heat conduction. I explained this to Azusa whilst cooking breakfast in the kitchen; though he looked amazed and excitedly responded with a word I was unfamiliar with, which sounded like “Eye-ech-ee!”[1], the ‘stove’ he used was more amazing in my opinion.

In regards to water, it wouldn’t continuously flow after you turned a faucet; water would come out after you held your hand over the faucet, and the flow would stop after a fixed time had passed. When washing one’s body, it was necessary to motion over the faucet again before the timing ran out and the water stopped flowing. “Like when you gotta take care of business in public places, huh,” Azusa said, but I didn’t understand the meaning of his words. He wouldn’t be able to settle business through battle, and neither would he be starting a business here… It made me feel rather sad to think that there were still things about him which I didn’t understand. [2]

The first breakfast he had ever cooked for me had been fried eggs. This time, I wanted to make the same thing for him, so I began making a traditional fried eggs breakfast. I simply placed it over a piece of bread, seasoned it with salt and paper, and also included some soup. I placed the dishes in front of the already-seated Azusa and took a seat across from him.

“This sure is nostalgic…”


“You probably don’t remember it, but for breakfast, this was the first thing I’d made for you.”

He said this with an awkward laugh. No way, for him to have actually had the same thoughts as I had… I was so happy that I stared at him, unable to even come up with words. When I did so, Azusa seemed to have misunderstood something, for he only turned his face away as if to obscure his sullen pout.

“It was just something nice I remembered. Don’t sweat it.”

“No, that’s not it, Azusa. I was also thinking of the same thing when I made this.”


“The first breakfast you ever made for me – I would never be able to forget it, right? That you recall it as well makes me so happy, Azusa.”

I earnestly conveyed my feelings, and this time, Azusa was startled and looked right into my eyes, his cheeks blushing red. Once my words sunk in, Azusa shouted, “Well, time to eat!” and sunk his teeth into the bread as if he was trying to conceal the way they affected him. Everything Azusa did when he felt so shy and embarrassed was so adorable. Unable to bear it, I smiled, and my shoulders trembled. I got found out, and Azusa, glaring at me with a red face, kicked at my feet under the table.

“Kuh, hahaha…!”

I couldn’t hold it anymore…! Laughter finally erupted from my mouth. My wife was so cute, I feared that from here on, he would be the only matter occupying my entire mind.

“—Tch! Don’t laugh.”

Before Azusa’s teary-eyed face as he valiantly tried his best to implore me, I, who was unable to go over and embrace him for fear of interrupting the meal, truly had to do my best.

Since I felt that Azusa would feel rather cold if he went outside as he was currently dressed, I held out my coat to him and requested that he wear it, just for today. I had anticipated that Azusa would be too slender for it, but I was surprised by how the coat was even looser on him than I’d expected. My eyes were drawn to the slight peek of Azusa’s fingers from the ends of the sleeves. Aware of my staring, Azusa put on an expression that said Don’t you dare say a word about it as he crossed his arms to hide his fingertips. Alas, even though it was so indescribably stimulating.

As one might expect, the appearances of the houses, buildings, and streets in my country differed from those in Nippon. There were no tall buildings, cars, or traffic lights. Though the streets were paved with stones, they were far from being flat and easy to walk upon. The street lighting was also in a sorry state. Wherever I compared it, I couldn’t help but feel that my country was inferior. Once he went outside and saw the reality of this place, perhaps Azusa might end up feeling homesick for his hometown, which was so much easier to live in… My thoughts began churning in a terrible direction.

“Frickin’ awesome…! This world’s so…!”

Yet, when I glanced beside me toward the source of that unexpected shout, I saw Azusa looking around with sparkles in his eyes. For the first time before my eyes, Azusa, who sparsely gave compliments and who looked expressionlessly at the things which held no interest to him, was now as jittery and excited as a child.

“It looks like an RPG! Damn, I’m pumped!”

“Once you become accustomed to this, won’t you find it inconvenient?”

Even though I ought to have just kept it to myself, I ended up saying something as if splashing cold water over him just as he had become happy. Even so, without minding it at all, Azusa responded with a smile.

“Once I get used to it then I’ll think it’s just normal; I’m not gonna feel like it’s tough to live with or anything.”

“…You’re truly something, Azusa.”

“You think so? Well, this is the world you were born in, after all; maybe that’s why it looks so special to me.”

Despite saying something to stir me up, the culprit himself didn’t realize it… Blindsided by his words, I was left speechless. That I held such an important place in his thoughts was something that I didn’t know. Though normally he would say whatever he wanted without holding back, when it came to important matters, there were many things which Azusa preferred not to voice; for him to say a thing like this was momentous. He really was a complete genius at making me feel happy.

First we had to sort out his clothing. Though I had wanted to get him clothes tailored for his body, Azusa was obstinate that he didn’t need such expensive clothing, so we ended up purchasing ready-made pieces. Even so, I found it fun to pick out and buy them for Azusa. In Nippon, Azusa had to handle all of the purchases. Given that I had no income, I was unable to even pay back the gesture with a gift; now, he was willing to wear on his body the things which I had purchased and gifted to him, making me very happy. As I was picking out various things, if Azusa hadn’t stopped me and said ‘This is already more than enough’, perhaps I would have kept going without end.

We decided to take a break and went into a restaurant to eat lunch. Since it was customary to eat bread here, there wasn’t much rice available. When I explained this to Azusa as he looked through the menu, he gave a slightly sad laugh and said, “Can’t be helped, then.”

Lastly, we went to several stores to pick up some daily necessities. Though it would have been fine if I had prepared them earlier, I had wanted Azusa to pick out the ones that seemed most familiar to him, so I had purposely left it off. This seemed to have been the correct course of action, and the two of us had fun chatting about silly, trivial things as we shopped. My life from now on would be filled with much more laughter and happiness than I had ever imagined, I reflected.

As the sun started to set, the outside grew darker. Carrying our purchases with both hands, we began walking home. Whilst I was in the middle of thinking about how we ought to use the tableware we purchased today during dinner tonight, and other such thoughts, I heard the words of an apology come from beside me. I didn’t understand what Azusa was apologizing for, so when I earnestly questioned him, he replied that it was because I had needed to pay for everything. Azusa had just arrived in this world, and he of course wasn’t working here, so it was natural that I would be paying. Of course, even if Azusa found a way to generate income later, I intended to continue treating him.

“Uugh… somehow this makes me feel so damn guilty…”

“Since we’re a married couple, won’t you be troubled if you don’t grow accustomed to it?”

“Guh… It’s embarrassing, so don’t say it…”

“Even though I had wanted to show off that you were mine… It’s too bad…” [3]

Though we had been together for half a year, our relationship hadn’t been that of lovers. Therefore, since I hadn’t spoken words of love to him, I hadn’t known that Azusa turned out to be quite shy. Though the subject of how we should treat each other as lovers hadn’t come up, since this was Azusa, I had thought that he wouldn’t pay much mind to it – that was why this reaction was so unexpected. For you to react so shyly to the things I say every time is just too cute, I’m sorry… I thought. Even if he told me to stop thinking that, I wouldn’t be able to.

“Hu-uh? Ain’t that Ilias!”

“Good evening, sir! It’s good to see you!”

Interrupting the two-person marital bliss between Azusa and I were the voices of two men, one high-pitched and one with a gentle tone. I had a sinking feeling upon hearing those much-too-familiar voices; I truly wouldn’t be able to get away with not turning around, would I. Upon seeing me stop in place and turn back, Azusa also paused and turned. Just as I had thought, there behind me were my subordinates Lev and Cecil. Seeing that we had stopped, they took it as permission to run over to us.

Cecil was sensible so he shouldn’t cause any trouble, but the unrestrained Lev was a huge problem. Lev was short, and at first glance, he looked like a young boy; he understood his appearance and used it to act as he pleased, without any discipline. I was worried; it would be better if Azusa didn’t get involved with him, I thought, but before I knew it, Lev was already standing in front of me.

“Huh? Ilias, I thought’cha were supposed to be restin’ today, but you’re actually going on a date with this hottie?”

“Hey, be more respectful, Lev!”

“Fine, I’ll do it since you say so, Cecil. Good evening, mister.”

“Eh – ah, uh, good evening.”

My sinking feeling had been right on the mark, and it seemed that it wasn’t going to end with just this one exchange. After suddenly being spoken to, Azusa had been bewildered and spoken a reply, but right after that he sent a questioning glance over to me. Who the heck are these guys? Just with his eyes, I understood what he was asking. I had wanted to introduce him to all of my subordinates together, but now that we were in this sort of situation, I had to concede that it couldn’t be helped.

“These two are my subordinates. The shorter one is Lev, and the calmer one is Cecil.”

“What’s up, I’m Lev Mauser. I might be short but I’m still the oldest one out of us here, including Ilias.”

“It’s nice to meet you. My name is Cecil Beretta.”

“And, this here is Azusa.”

“It’s nice to meet you. I’m in Ilias’s care.”

How miserable it was that I could not introduce Azusa, who politely bowed to them, officially as my wife. Though I had placed a ring upon the ring finger of his left hand, in this place, the proof of one’s marriage was shown by donning a single earring. If I were to introduce him as my wife without having given him an earring, it would be saying that he wasn’t worth preparing for, and it would cause inexcusable offense to him. Though inside I was irritated by this horrible timing, I was able to avoid showing it on my face. Lev and Cecil stared at Azusa with intense interest.

“Never seen a face like yours before – all it takes is a single glance and I’d never forget a beauty like you. Hey, where are you from, Azusa?”

“W-What are you asking…!?”

“Is this your first time in this city? Ilias’s explanations are really serious – you must be bored, right? Wanna come play with me?”

“L-L-Lev! Saying something like that…!!”

“C’mon Cecil, simmer down. Virgins should keep their mouths a little more shut.”

He shut up and just watched on as Lev took Azusa’s hand and shortened the distance between them. Though his upturned eyes and smile looked cute, the way he acted was staunchly masculine; though perhaps this might be what Azusa referred to as a ‘gap’, this was something that I frankly couldn’t comprehend. [4] To Lev’s side, the flustered Cecil frantically tried to stop him; I couldn’t help but take pity on him. As Azusa worried over how he should respond, I hugged Azusa’s waist from behind and pulled him away from Lev. I heard the sound of Azusa’s sigh of relief against my chest.

“You guys are in the midst of your duties. Don’t slack off in a place like this; go back to work.”

“Yes, sir. Please excuse us!”

“It’s pretty sneaky of you to use your orders as our superior for stuff like this, ya know.”


“Yes yes, so-orry. Time to get back to work.”

Responding to Cecil’s warning with a wave of his hand, Lev saluted and said, ‘Well then, please excuse me,’ then turned and walked away. Cecil, who also saluted and asked to be excused all in a flurry, ran after Lev as if chasing him. As we stared at the backs of those two subordinates after they returned to their patrolling duties, I let go of Azusa’s waist, and we stood facing each other. Though he looked at me with a perplexed expression, I, unable to answer him, just lowered my head and bowed in apology. As his superior officer, it was up to me to apologize for the rude behavior my subordinate displayed; yet when I did so, Azusa said in a tight voice, “What are you doing! Raise your head!” Hearing his voice, I reflexively obeyed.

“It’s fine, okay! I don’t need you to do something like that…!”


“I don’t feel bad over it or anything, so I don’t need any apology.”

Because he trusted in the goodness of other people, he didn’t necessarily take guard against them. Though I wanted to make sure he knew that he didn’t have to just go along with them, Azusa grabbed my arm and pulled me over. It wasn’t important to solve this now, so I didn’t resist and allowed myself to be pulled along by Azusa as we walked. I wanted to know what was going on so I peered at Azusa’s face; even when he stared straight ahead, I could see that his ears had flushed red. I then remembered that the people of Nippon disliked attracting attention to themselves. The same should be said of Azusa.

Working knights could be said to draw eyes wherever they went in town, and when those two familiarly approached and spoke so loudly, they drew attention from the people around us. Furthermore, when I had bowed my head in apology after those two had left, even more people began looking over at us. It was so embarrassing that Azusa couldn’t stand it, so he made us leave as if running away… I finally understood up to there. I had gotten used to being stared at, so I hadn’t noticed the gazes upon us, but they must have been difficult to bear for Azusa. It was a bit sad to say, but so long as he was with me, he would need to become a little more used to it; though, perhaps it would make a big difference if he had been allowed to prepare his heart beforehand. I had unintentionally placed Azusa in such a troublesome position; from hereafter, I would have to take more care not to do so. I had learned one more thing about him, but it was mortifying how this came about because of my own disappointing failures.

“Though, it was a big help when you got me away from that shota. So, thanks.”[5]

These words that Azusa spoke in a truly tiny voice whilst facing straight ahead were, without a doubt, his true feelings.

It was certain that the reason he said them now was because he had seen my current state and wanted to lift my mood. Though perhaps he may have done it unconsciously, but when he spoke out to me just as I was about to fall into misery, it had startled me. There might never come the day where I would be able to match up to Azusa. Even though I’d been so caught up in myself, the words he gave me had made me so happy. I felt my face grew soft, but I tightened my expression to hide this as I chased after Azusa. There was nothing in the world which could pull apart my hand from his.

[1] Azusa is saying “IH”, shorthand for Induction Heating – heating stuff up using electricity.

[2] Japanese puns! The key word in this exchange is セントウ (sentou). Azusa says, “So it’s like in a public bathhouse (銭湯/sentou)~”, as in, the water operates via motion sensor like what you would find in public restrooms (and bathhouses, I suppose). Not knowing what the word ‘sentou’ means, Ilias tries to figure it out. “Azusa wouldn’t be able to head into battle (戦闘/sentou), and there’s no vanguard (先頭/sentou) here…”

[3] Loose translation. Ilias says 「私は自慢して歩きたいのだが…残念だな…」which, when translated word for word, means “Though I had wanted to walk boastfully… It’s too bad…” The results of the key phrase here in google brings up a ton of pictures of shiny, sparkling PDA couples. So, just imagine that Ilias also wanted to him and Azusa to be one of those blindingly cute and affectionate couples.

[4] Gap = short for gap moe, which is the term for when someone’s appearance doesn’t match their personality, making them seem cute/lovable.

[5] Shota = slang for little boy/someone with an appearance of a little boy. Counterpart of loli.

Translator’s Note

The two subordinates from the extras in Picked up a Strange Knight appeared! Azusa totally didn’t remember their names.

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Moonlight on the Snowfield: Chapter 9

Arc 1, New Moon
Chapter 9

After arriving safely at the hut, Ernst rested there for one day. The hunters living at the hut welcomed him with some warm soup. Though they noticed the horse was missing, they didn’t mention it.

The day passed slowly.

Ernst laid down so that he could recover the energy it would take to safely cross the valley. Though his body felt very tired, his mind didn’t feel any better, either.

Even so, he wasn’t able to fall sleep.

What they did was the right thing to do. If they hadn’t sacrificed the horse, someone might have died. No, maybe all of them might have died. One horse was enough to satisfy a pack of wolves. If that hadn’t been the case, Ernst wouldn’t have been able to escape on foot.

He couldn’t stop thinking about those days he spent swaying on the back of the horse. He had been told that as king, he shouldn’t hesitate to sacrifice one or two people for the greater good. He should always unhesitatingly choose the good of the country over the lives of a thousand citizens.

Ernst, also, had believed that this was the way of an admirable politician.

But now, faced with the sacrifice of just one horse, he knew he would never be able to do such a thing.

He had really… become so weak.

No, that wasn’t right. In that cage called the royal palace, he had just lived without knowing anything. Something like ‘living’, and something like ‘dying’, he didn’t understand either of them. For that reason, as life held no meaning to him, it was simple to throw away the lives of his people whilst debating what should be done.

The valley was more difficult to cross than the forest.

It didn’t have any wolves. It didn’t have any other dangerous animals to replace the wolves, either. It was the terrain itself that was dangerous.

In the summer, it was said that this place was rocky. But the scenery laid out before Ernst’s eyes was one vast, white surface. Below the white snow covering the area were countless unstable rocks.

The hunters carefully searched for footholds to move forward. Now that they had exited the forest, there weren’t any trees to block the wind from blowing directly on them. Ernst’s small body was about to be blown away, so one of the hunters tied Ernst to himself with a rope.

As they went forward, the amount of ground they could walk on lessened. The path narrowed, making the cliff seem like it was getting closer.

Three days after they started walking, they approached the most treacherous part of the valley. Will we be able to get through this place safely? Ernst wondered, his body shrinking in fear.

The hunters took one day of rest before heading to that area. They used cloth, branches, and snow to ward off the wind. Using the lumber they’d brought from the hut, they stoked a fire. They melted some snow, and for the first time in three days, they were able to have a hot drink. They added tea leaves and ate some of their treasured butter in order prepare for tomorrow and build up strength in their bodies.

The next morning had fine weather. The wind also wasn’t very strong. Ernst felt relieved; he thought that it would be easy to cross from here on, but in contrast to his thoughts, the hunters had gloomy expressions. When the weather was good, the temperature would rise, and it would be easier for the snow to melt.

But of course, it would still be easier to walk than if the wind were blowing. Winter still hadn’t passed over the entryway to Meissen. They had no choice but to hurry and get out of here while they still could.

The youngest hunter proceeded first. He carefully searched for footholds. He grasped at the rocks with both of his hands. Ernst watched him with intense concentration.

He couldn’t afford not to do so. If Ernst missed his footing, he would fall into the cliff on the other side. You couldn’t see the bottom even if you peered down. With the depths of hell at his back, Ernst had to be able to walk on his own because no one would be able to save him if he fell.

Ernst was the second to go. The eldest hunter had fastened a rope around Ernst’s stomach, then tossed the rope toward the crossing hunter. After confirming that the other person had tightly grasped the rope, the hunter urged Ernst forward. With a nervous expression on his face, Ernst nodded and began to walk.

He believed in the three hunters.

He followed the footsteps of the hunter who had crossed before him. His fingers gripped the cliffside. He felt like his bulky gloves didn’t have much use when it came to this.

As best as he could, Ernst put all of his strength into sticking his fingers to the rock. Slowly, carefully, he inched his feet forward. Because he wore the winter clothing, he couldn’t see his feet.

When Ernst leaned slightly back to get a better look, the voice of the senior hunter rang out. Move forward by searching out the next spot with the tip of your foot, he said.

Ernst hastily pulled back his neck. He was right; even though Ernst had only leaned back a little, the gust of wind coming from below had destabilized his body.

He couldn’t just rely on his eyes. He concentrated all of his senses on his feet, and as if fiercely trying to get his shaking fingertips to settle, he applied more strength to them. He let the vast scenery behind his back fade from his consciousness.

His eyebrows were frozen because of the cold. Ernst slowly advanced, and as he glanced up, his gaze collided with the serious expression of the hunter carrying the rope.

Regardless of whether they had been hired by Ernst, regardless of his status as the former Crown Prince, they all felt that they wanted to safely get out of here together. Ernst boiled with energy that bubbled up from the depths of his body.

Ernst took twice as long to cross as the hunter leading the way. On Ernst’s last step, the hunter who had watched over him gripped him with his powerful hand.

As Ernst fell over, the hunter firmly hugged his small body. He patted his back as if praising him, Well done. Ernst felt more proud than when he had solved a difficult formula in the royal palace.

The two remaining hunters also safely passed through.

Once again, they walked in a group of four. Just because they had crossed the hardest spot didn’t mean that the rest of the path in front of them would be easy. They had to climb both crumbling rocks and frozen stone surfaces. It was hollow beneath the snow, putting them in danger of falling in.

But because the three hunters accompanied him, Ernst wasn’t afraid. Day by day, step by step, Ernst felt like he was growing stronger.

He felt like he was learning, for the first time, how to trust in other people.

It had been inevitable that of all the people in the royal palace, no one had felt sadness or regret over his leaving.

Ernst didn’t know the name of a single person living in the royal palace. He didn’t even know the name of the head butler who had accompanied him since birth.

Even if he didn’t know, it didn’t matter. Though he didn’t know their names, the only things they spoke were instructions. There wasn’t any trace of affection in them.

So that’s how it was, Ernst realized.

Ernst didn’t even know the names of the people who’d lived in the royal palace.

When he thought about it, that giant man had been the only person whose name he had wanted to ask.

Translator’s Note

Hello! Thank you for reading the latest update to the MotS translation!!

The story continues a bit slowly for the next few chapters until Ernst settles into Meissen, so I’m going to wait and release them as a batch update.

Also, if you haven’t seen it yet, my friend Cael is also translating a new BL story on this website! It’s called Your Kingdom. Please check it out~! It’s about an innocent and sickly prince who is attended to by a mysterious angelic(?) man.

Finally, for one last shameless promo, I’ve been writing an original story of my own too! It’s called Klue & Berry, and it’s about a shameless trader who accidentally falls in love with the monster of a forest. It’s still WIP, but please try it out if you have free time~

I’ll try to keep working steadily. Thank you for enjoying the stories that these authors have lovingly crafted!!

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Welcome to our translator Cael!!

Hehehe! Ars here! Very excited to announce that my friend Cael has started translating the story Your Kingdom by Takana Ayame!

Cael is the translator of several Japanese stories including Herscherik (Reincarnated Prince Series), Ashes and Kingdoms, and The Sorcerer King of Destruction and the Golem of the Barbarian Queen!

Cael helped me countless times when I first started translating. This is their first time translating a BL story, and I welcome them with open arms!!! Please check out the other stories they’re working on should they catch your eye~ You can visit their website here!

Let’s give Cael a warm welcome~ And thanks to everyone for enjoying our BL translations! We’ll continue to work hard!

Brought My Wife Back from Another World: Chapter 2

Chapter 2
The morning on which I returned with him

In the blink of an eye, the scenery of the Magicom Bureau’s office replaced Azusa’s nostalgic room.

Countless pillars with manastones embedded inside of them had been erected in this stone chamber, appearing to encircle the entire room. An ominous magical circle was engraved on the center of the floor. As I stood inside the circle whilst carrying Azusa, the afterglow of its pale light illuminated my feet. Once the wind had died off, I let him down on the ground. To him, this place must have been quite the curious sight. I watched him look around at his surroundings with great interest and felt relieved. Since this was Azusa, it wasn’t that I had thought he would panic or anything like that, but he had accepted this situation more easily than I had expected.

“This is frickin’ awesome… Never thought I’d see stuff like this outside of a ‘geemu’…

“Those exaggerated stage settings are similar to here, aren’t they.”

“Hm… those places sure borrowed a lot, huh?” [1]

My guess was correct, those were the places he was talking about… those phrases he loved to use, I had kept them in my heart. As a bitter smile came over my face, Azusa looked over with a scornful glare. Azusa, though you seem to think of me as a proper knight who had never sullied his hands, over this past year, I did whatever it took to bring you to my side. I wanted to keep him unaware of that side of me as much as possible. Unless he asked me to tell him, I had planned to never speak of it, but it seemed that the time to have this conversation had already come… Just as I had thought, the door to the teleportation room opened with a loud bang. I looked over in surprise to see the figure of one of the magic research staff.

“The teleportation sequence was a success, Garland. You did well!”

Spreading his hands, he rolled up the sleeves of his white robe while walking over. He stopped in front of the magic circle and started to study Azusa, his gaze practically licking him from the top of his head to the tips of his toes. His staring was so detestable that I pushed myself in front of Azusa to protect him. Seeing my behavior, the man watched me with a smirk on his face. “So that’s how it is~” he muttered. If this man’s position were anything but the chief of the team, I might have chosen to just push past him.

“Hum, so this thing’s the person from the other world that you were so stuck on, Garland.”

“I would prefer if you would refrain from addressing him as ‘this thing’.” [2]

“I heard that he’s the inhabitant of a world so primitive that it doesn’t even have any teleportation technology, but… I get it – his looks are enough for you to have fun with him.”

“Please pardon me, but I had arrived in his world late at night. If it wouldn’t be too much of an inconvenience, may you allow us to be excused?”

“I don’t want him break that easily, so I’ll let you do that.”

“As you say.”

I couldn’t hold back the scornful laugh that rose within me after I heard the unbelievable words this man, who saw other humans as nothing but animals for experimentation, said. Thanks to his interest having waned, he didn’t take offense at my scorn and left the room without turning back.

As the tense atmosphere in the room loosened, I heard the sound of a sigh come from behind me. After I met Azusa’s eyes, he smiled wryly and said, “That old guy sure was somethin’, huh?” Despite how that man had spewed a bunch of nonsense to ridicule him, Azusa didn’t feel any anger at that man’s derisive perception of him. From this, I felt the bountifulness of Azusa’s heart. In comparison, I felt disgusted with myself for not having immediately defended him in the face of that criticism.

“Hey, it’s fine. You don’t have to get involved with every person who starts talking shit. It’s less troublesome that way.”

“…I’m sorry.”

“There’s nothing you have to be sorry for.”

This person was able to perceive every thought that passed through my mind. I lowered my head, feeling sorry, and he roughly ruffled my hair. Just like that, this conversation had been settled. Once Azusa himself had said he didn’t mind, there was nothing else I could say, so all I could do was follow suit.

“Because of me, you had to go through so much over this past year… how frickin’ lame am I…”

Though I had the urge to rub my forehead against the back of his neck, I had to endure it here. His appearance as he was so earnestly embarrassed was so cute. Though, even if my mouth were split open, I wouldn’t dare to say that aloud.

Just as we were about to leave the teleportation chamber, I realized that Azusa wasn’t wearing any shoes. Of course he wasn’t – he had been resting in his room when I suddenly came to take him away in the middle of the night. That said, he wouldn’t be able to walk like this; I prepared to carry him once more, but was completely refused.

The day had long since ended, and other than those who were working the night shift, there wasn’t anyone left in the castle. The only people who’d be out and about at this time were likely in bars or brothels. Since the situation was like that, he agreed to let me carry him on my back. First thing tomorrow morning, I’d buy some shoes for Azusa.

“I wanted to ask you this from the start, but how many people know about my situation?”

“Good point… The ones who know are the people from the facility we’d just left, as well as the upper-ranking knights. The people who knew that I’d been gone for a year might also know.”

“Ah, I got it. Your report is their only source of information about Japan, so I’ll match it.”

“I’m sorry for making you bear my burdens with me…”

“I just don’t wanna rock the boat. Don’t worry about it.”

Then, Azusa yawned widely, breaking up the conversation. The heat and swaying of my body was probably making him drowsy. I told him that it was fine if he slept; though he replied in a sleepy voice that he was fine, after a short while, I heard him breathing softly, fast asleep. I wanted to hurry and let him sleep restfully in bed. Taking care not to wake him, I quickened my walking pace and hurried back home.

When I had sent my report on Nippon, I had falsified information whenever it was convenient.

The existence of manastones couldn’t be confirmed in this world, and its people couldn’t even recognize them. Therefore, to these other-worlders, teleportation technology was just a theoretical and fantastical theory. They used fire, water, etc. in primitive ways, ensuring them the minimum possible standard of living. Though they more or less had a social system, there did not exist any hierarchy or order in their society. The people of their country were at peace with each other, and they lacked things to fight. However, they had achieved their own unique evolution, and their defensive technology was on par with ours; yet due to their preference for self-isolation, it would be difficult to interfere in their matters.

It was concluded that this world did not pose any risk or need for involvement, and thus, Azusa was recognized as a man who had come from a world of such low standards. The truth was that the technological power of his world far surpassed our own, and there were many things which they could teach and share with us; it was a world where one could obtain boundless information. I had thought it better if I could personally prevent interference with that world. Azusa seemed to be of the same mindset, so I was relieved that I had chosen not to show off what I had learned.

Every time I had gone through the teleportation tests, I had the following day off to rest because of the possibility of abnormalities cropping up in my body.

Though the Knight Order seemed dissatisfied by my leaving to take arbitrary time off, in the face of an official order from the Magicom Bureau to take my physical condition into consideration, they had no choice but to agree. Though there had been cases where the test subjects broke out into fevers or headaches, the only time such an abnormality had occurred in me was when I had been swallowed up by the magical overflow. Though I usually felt guilty knowing that my subordinates were going to work as normal while I alone rested, I was grateful for my confinement this time.

I laid Azusa on the wide bed I had gotten for the both of us to sleep on. Azusa was still softly sleeping; I dropped a kiss to his forehead and quietly escaped. The first thing I had to do was prepare some shoes for him. Unlike in Nippon, we didn’t have a custom of taking off our shoes upon entering a room, so Azusa wouldn’t be able to move around as things were. I was more than willing to carry him whenever he wanted to go somewhere, but he would absolutely protest the idea, wouldn’t he.

Luckily, I knew the size of his feet. Back in Nippon, there was the time when Azusa was generous enough to lend me his clothing. I had brought up to him that my feet were too large, which led to me finding out his shoe size. I had been surprised by how small the shoes were and had wondered if they belonged to a woman, and Azusa had gotten angry and told me that they were the average men’s size in Nippon. Truthfully, I wanted to take my time selecting shoes for him, but I didn’t want to let Azusa wake up alone, so I purchased some simple shoes that could easily complement any outfit. I could come back to this store later. On my way home, I quickly purchased some ingredients for making breakfast.

Carrying the shoes in one hand, I once again opened the door to the bedroom. There, I saw Azusa sitting on the bed. The moment he saw my face, he smiled with a sigh of relief. I had made him wake up alone; a piercing feeling of guilt ran through me. To wake up alone in a foreign world, even though he ought to have woken from his sleep after hearing me speak a few words to rouse him, must have made him feel helpless and forlorn… Damn it, why hadn’t I been more considerate to him? As I reflected with my face turned down, I heard the sound of light laughter. I raised my head again and looked at Azusa, and he looked back at me with a gentle smile on his face.

“Why’re you looking so downcast, you.”

“No, I… because I’d gone out, you were left all alone, Azusa…”

“The heck’s with that, am I a kid or something. It’s fine, you know.”

He made a beckoning motion as if telling me to come over, so in accordance with his orders, I approached the side of the bed. Now, he slapped the bed cover to tell me to sit. I did as I was told and sat, and then I was powerfully hugged from the side. Though his face was buried in my chest, my head couldn’t process what was happening, so all I could do was become flustered.

“Hmm~~~~ haaaaaa. Iliaaas, you’re so…”

“A-Azusa…? What…?”

“I’ve been having an Ilias deficiency, so let me recharge a little.”

He said those discontented words while looking up at me with upturned eyes. I couldn’t believe my own ears… he was just, too adorable of a person! When I heard him mutter in a muffled voice that it helped him relax, the tenderness in my heart overflowed endlessly. I gently carded my fingers through his hair as if petting him, and the way he cuddled closer to me made him seem like a fickle black cat who had been tamed. I endured being hugged with all of my might; after a while, I came to enjoy it. Once Azusa felt at ease, he slowly pulled away. He looked over at me, his eyes sweet and enchanting, and this was the final straw for how much I could put up with.

I called his name, and this time, I was the one who embraced him. As if in natural response, his arms wrapped themselves around my back, making me feel both joy and arousal. I brought my face closer to his; Azusa had an expression that said he couldn’t wait any more, so he closed his eyes, releasing an incredible amount of sex appeal. As our lips met, I pecked soft kisses on him, and Azusa enthusiastically returned my kisses. I pushed the tip of my tongue between his lips, and as his mouth slightly opened, I slipped my tongue inside. I searched out and entangled my tongue with Azusa’s small one as if keeping it locked with mine. Azusa’s arms, which had circled around my back, tightened and gripped my clothing.


Stirred up by Azusa’s panted breath, I sucked on his trapped tongue. Azusa was weak to this move, and he became boneless in my grasp. So that he wouldn’t slip off, it would be good to wrap his arms around the back of my neck and support his head with one of my hands, I had thought – but his head had stayed in place, fixated against mine as I traced the line of his teeth and licked at his jaw.

“Haa, ngh…!”

Azusa would probably start to run out of breath if I didn’t let go of him soon, so I sucked on his tongue one last time before letting go of his lips. Azusa slightly opened his eyes in inquiry, and faced with that state of his, I felt piercing regret: if only he hadn’t opened his eyes!

His eyebrows had knit together as if in distress, and the depths of his eyes held a thin layer of tears. His cheeks were dyed red, and as he panted for breath, his small tongue peeked from his open mouth. The saliva that he couldn’t swallow shimmered at the corner of his lips. Azusa’s appearance was unbelievably obscene as he slowly opened his eyes, and whilst continuing to breathe roughly, he sweetly smiled at me. Just what manner of torture was this…? My body could no longer be held back by reason; before I knew it, I had already pushed Azusa back down onto the bed. His black hair fanned out over the white sheets, and as the morning light shone upon it, his hair seemed to shimmer.


I glided my lips from the base of his throat down to the line of his collarbone. Perhaps it caused a ticklish sensation, for Azusa let slip a giggle.

“Hey, c’mon, stop that.”

He rubbed the back of my head with his hand as if petting an animal, but I didn’t intend to stop. As I bit and sucked on the nape of his neck, I heard the sound of Azusa taking in a breath as trying to steady himself. Wanting to hear more, I slipped my hand into his shirt, but before I could reach my target, Azusa had blocked me.

“C’mon, I said to stop it. If we keep going like this, we’re going to end up spending every day in bed.”

“Ngh, I suppose you’re, right…”

It was as Azusa said. I had lost to my own lust and nearly whiled away an entire precious day… Whenever I’m in front of him, all of my rationale and sense disappears. It was shameful to realize that I was still so immature as a person.

“So? Where did you go when you ditched me and went off on your own in the morning?”

“Ah… I went to purchase shoes and ingredients for breakfast.”

“You serious? In that case, thanks. I didn’t eat a thing for dinner last night so I’m actually frickin’ starving over here.”

His innocently laughing appearance as he rose from the bed didn’t contain a single speck of the sexiness he’d displayed just a short while ago. I was stunned by how quickly he’d switched moods; I knew that he was originally someone who wasn’t easily swayed by sex, but he could even act like this now…Today, I had made plans to go out and purchase daily necessities and clothing for Azusa. Grateful that I had the opportunity to change my plans, I got off the bed and knelt down on one knee. Azusa looked over at me with a perplexed expression as I took his foot and settled it over my bent knee. Having guessed what I was doing, Azusa blushed furiously.

“Wai–hang on! I can put it on myself…!”

“I want to put them on you.”

Even if he complained that there wasn’t time for this, these were the items which I had painstakingly chosen and purchased for Azusa, so it would be good to yield the privilege of their first use to me. If he truly protested from the bottom of his heart, then I had planned to give up on it, but if there was any possibility of him allowing it, then I wanted to be the one to put these on him. As I looked up at him with these feelings hanging over me, Azusa turned his face away and muttered something in a small voice. Is it not alright? I asked once again, and Azusa covered his mouth with the back of his hand, with only his eyes darting over to look at me.

“Just do as you like…!”

His agreement which came in the form of a shy reprimand filled me with joy, and in good spirits, I was allowed to dress Azusa’s feet with my shoes.

[1] Azusa is talking about how this place looks like something out of a video game. To Ilias, Azusa’s sentence doesn’t fully translate – he basically hears ‘This is something out of a ゲーム!’. So Ilias has to guess what he’s talking about,,and from having listened to Azusa talk about this stuff before, he correctly assumes that Azusa is talking about his games’ fantasy world visuals. Even though Ilias isn’t familiar with games, he tries his hardest to keep up with the subject whenever Azusa talks about them… what a devoted husband (´;ω;`)

[2] The chief researcher uses the pronoun ‘sore’ for Azusa, which is the word used to describe objects. It’s equivalent to using ‘it’ when talking about a person.

Translator’s Note

I didn’t mention this before, but welcome back to Azusa and Ilias’s love fest~

It’s full of fluff, and we get to see a lot of Ilias’s home world. I enjoy the sequel a lot. Many thanks to Taro-sensei for writing such a cute story and healing our hearts!

Also, I’m not sure if I mentioned this before, but I drew some fanart stickers of Ilias and Azusa! They were originally for LINE, but I decided to make some of them into a free emoji pack on Discord. If you use Discord Nitro, you’re welcome to join this server and use the stickers while chatting with your friends. I’m not a chatty person so this server has no purpose other than providing these emojis though…

Link to Discord Server invite

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Moonlight on the Snowfield: Chapter 8

Arc 1, New Moon
Chapter 8

The march through the forest grew more difficult with each step. The closer they went to Meissen, the deeper the snow became. At the moment, the snow nearly reached the knees of the horse – yet they hadn’t even finished half of the journey.

Every now and then, a belly grumble-like cry of an animal issued from the forest. That was a wolf. This time, it was an actual, genuine wolf.

With the long winter approaching, the wolf’s stomach was most likely empty. In order to keep it from sensing them, Ernst’s escort proceeded downwind of the wolf.

The people traveling with Ernst were hunters who lived in this forest. Large and heavy-looking hatchets were balanced on their hips, and they carried pointed, sharp knives. Carrying bows on their backs, they marched through the forest with grim faces. All three of Ernst’s escort were Kleber.

Though they hadn’t yet encountered a wolf, Ernst was slightly worried over whether just these men would be enough against a wolf.

Certainly, all of them had burly and strong physiques compared to Ernst, who suffered from Kleber’s disease. But in his mind, Ernst was comparing them to a Dunbertian’s body.

If that man were here, he would be able to walk leisurely without worrying about the snow catching his feet.

The snow continued to fall constantly.

The snow flew between the branches of the trees, which stood still as if they were dead. Sometimes, a snowstorm blew.

This was the first time Ernst had ever felt so cold in his life. He buried himself in the winter clothing that the villa’s servants had prepared for him to avoid the freezing cold.

Unconsciously, he hunched over. Because of how cold it was, he couldn’t even look in front of him; he couldn’t raise his face to see.

He listened to the sound of the horses and hunters stepping through the snow. This quiet marching was all that he could hear. Ernst started nodding off until one of the escorts woke him. Whether he was asleep or awake, time passed without much difference between them.

Even when he was awake, he dreamed.

In his dreams, there was a warm bath. That giant man of a servant was there. He gently washed Ernst’s body. His fingertips slipped into the hole in Ernst’s backside and scrubbed it. With his large hands, he washed every inch of Ernst’s body, and he touched Ernst’s small manhood. Warm happiness flowed through Ernst.

Only Ernst had a horse prepared for him. With his boy-like slender body, it would take all of his might just to stand in the snow.

They advanced through the woods. They kept on advancing. The snow continued to pile up heavily, but the men marched forward without paying it any mind.

Ernst heard the howls of the wolf coming from far away, and closeby.

At night, they dug holes in the snow and and rested inside. This was the first time Ernst learned that snow could be something warm.

His escorts took turns resting, and they continuously stoked the fire to make sure it wouldn’t go out.

Ernst offered, “Shall I take over?” After all, during the daytime he was the only one on a horse, and he thought that he shouldn’t be as tired as these men who had to walk through the snow.

The men’s faces showed that they had been caught off guard, and they laughed awkwardly as they rejected Ernst’s offer. Their stern faces had made them seem scary, but their expressions when they laughed were nice and honest.

Ernst chatted with them little by little. They walked in silence during the day, but at night, they gathered around the fire and spoke. Bit by bit, the men told him in quiet voices about what it was like to live in the forest, and how they had lived in the Rintz region ever since they were young.

Gazing at the fire, Ernst fell into a strange and quiet mood.

The howls of the wolf echoed throughout the night. Though Ernst still felt scared, it wasn’t as much as he had been when he’d first entered the forest. This was because he’d come to understand the people escorting him. He didn’t need to worry uselessly; instead, he just needed to get to know them.

They ate the food they’d brought with them little by litte. Though the luggage they carried gradually grew lighter, the expressions on the men’s faces grew more severe. When Ernst asked why, they told him that from here on out, if a wolf attacked them, they wouldn’t have any food to spare for luring it away.

So that was why. Their food wasn’t just for eating; in an emergency, it was also used to divert a wolf’s attention.

That said, walking through the snow while carrying extra food wasn’t all that easy.

As their load lightened, their walking speed increased. They had to leave the forest before they encountered any wolves.

The next obstacle to face on their path would be the valley. Supposedly, in front of the valley was a hunter’s hut. They would travel up until there, and then they would leave the horse and continue on foot. Once they left the forest, there wouldn’t be any wolves. The men’s feet moved faster.

The night, too, quickly approached. Though the fire would repel a stray wolf, they would be helpless if a group came after them. The wolves were intelligent enough to know to wait until there wasn’t enough wood for the fire to keep burning.

The horse exhaled, its white breath rising like a cloud. In the night sky, the whirling snow glittered like stars. The fallen snow looked like crystals, and it was beautiful, cold, and cruel. To keep himself from falling asleep, Ernst tightened his grip on the horse’s reins.

Suddenly, he felt something gazing at him. The men’s feet came to a still. Sending a signal with his eyes, the youngest hunter touched Ernst’s arm.

He was asked to quietly get off the horse and follow him. They hadn’t left the forest yet. This wasn’t a resting place, either. Ernst heard the urgency in their voices, but he neither questioned nor resisted them. There was nothing in this forest that Ernst would know better of than they did.

The eldest hunter tied the horse’s rope to a tree. He touched the nape of the horse’s neck as if comforting, apologizing, pitying it. The horse stomped its feet restlessly.

Surrounded by his escort, Ernst quietly but quickly proceeded down the snowy road. He followed after one of the escorts, who had gone ahead to break up the snow, making it easier for Ernst to walk. Though his feet still got caught in the snow, Ernst fervently followed him as if trying to chase away the frightening thoughts in his head.

As Ernst continued to walk, clenching both of his hands, the sounds of the horse’s neighs reached his ears. He heard the wolves’ enjoyment. Ernst tightly closed his eyes and shook his head.

He roughly exhaled. Kept traveling through the forest. The escorts strode forward quickly. Ernst clumsily moved forward like he could fall at any moment. His body looked like it was about to collapse, so one of the escorts grabbed his delicate arm and pulled him along. No one said anything. No one could say anything.

Ernst felt like he wanted to cry. But he couldn’t afford to do so.

Translator’s Note

RIP horse.
We made it 4 chapters without Ernst thinking about his parts, let’s celebrate.
I’m really enjoying Tsukiya’s writing. I hope you guys are too!

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