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!”, 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. 
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.
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…” 
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.  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.”
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.
 Azusa is saying “IH”, shorthand for Induction Heating – heating stuff up using electricity.
 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…”
 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.
 Gap = short for gap moe, which is the term for when someone’s appearance doesn’t match their personality, making them seem cute/lovable.
 Shota = slang for little boy/someone with an appearance of a little boy. Counterpart of loli.
The two subordinates from the extras in Picked up a Strange Knight appeared! Azusa totally didn’t remember their names.
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