Picked up a Strange Knight – Ch 20: Omake I

Omake ~A short story about crossing over~

Translator’s Note: This chapter contains attempted non-con. I’ve marked the beginning and end of this scene with footnotes. If you’re uncomfortable reading this, click on them to skip this scene.

 


 

 

“Thank you for waiting. Here is today’s recommended set.”

I placed the dishes in front of a brawny middle-aged man whose clothes clearly marked him as a mercenary. An evaluating gaze scanned me from the top of my head to the soles of my feet, but I didn’t pay it any particular mind and stepped back─or at least I tried to, before he grabbed my hand.

“Hey, pretty face. What’s your name?”

“I’m afraid that my job is to serve your food, sir. Offering my name is unnecessary.”

“Oh, you can serve me all night tonight.”

“Sir, this isn’t that kind of establishment.”

Seriously, again? I don’t even know how many times I’ve gone through this in just one month anymore. Give me a break

…Were thoughts I let out only in the privacy of my own mind. On the outside, I had my polite business smile still pasted on my face as I casually pushed back my hair, showing off the jewel dangling from my left ear.

The man made a surprised face, but that was all; the next moment, his grip tightened and I was yanked forward.

I lost my balance and barely avoided falling into the food, while my elbow hit the table with a loud smack and caused a glass full of water to tip over. Though the entire restaurant floor had been quite noisy, the shrill screech of glass shattering on the ground made all eyes swivel toward us.

“You think I give a shit if you’re married? That makes it even better.”

“Sir, please stop. This is causing trouble for me.”

The reason why I didn’t immediately shoot him down and just went along to this point was because I had already learnt a lot from my first experience. They would usually back off after I flashed the earring, but it seemed that the opponent this time was a difficult one─even my awkward, or rather, disdainful tone seemed to spur him on.

Just why does this have to happen to me? I’m not the only waiter here─my coworker’s a girl and moreover, she’s a big-busted chick wearing clothes so scanty it’s a sexual harassment case waiting to happen! Even if I’ve already been told that this is a world where gender doesn’t matter, for some guy to call out to me, a man, for a one-night stand─it’s still fucking weird, isn’t it…?!

Sorry~ This boy’s husband is a member of the Knight Order aaand~ he easily gets suuuuuper, deeply, jealous, you know~? If he finds out about what you’re doing, he’ll crush you to a pulp so badly that you won’t be able to go back to work tomorrow, so, can you let him go?”

Calling out as she made her way to us─massive tits a-bouncing and all, was my senior at work, Tanya. The valley of those mountains, each probably the size of my head, was even more emphasized when she intentionally leaned forward and stuck them out for the whole world to see. It was such a waste, really. With her pink twintails and loli-like face, she’d be supremely adorable…if only she wasn’t taller than Ilias…

As I was thinking such rude things about the person who just intervened for my sake like a piece of trash, Tanya motioned for us to go. I pulled my hand back and gave a slight bow before I was pulled over to the kitchen.

“I owe you one, Tanya.”

“A-chan! Tanya is really mad, you know.”

“Ah? Ho-How come…?”

My business face is absolutely perfect, so there was no way my thoughts about her being a busty loli-faced giantess would have leaked through. However, I couldn’t come up with anything else even after going through all the possible things that could piss her off in my head…I gave up and asked the person herself.

Tanya let go of the hand she had grabbed earlier, then pulled me into a crushing hug.

Guh…Tanya, please spare me…You’re using way too much strength…I can’t breathe…! These words I wanted to shout out ended up being smothered as my face was buried into her outrageous chest.

Because, A-chan is a beauty! Tanya’s the one who’s supposed to serve the seats with dangerous customers! We promised, didn’t we?!”

So that was why…A girl was angry out of worry for my safety─for some reason, I feel like I’m having a personal crisis right now? What did she say again? Ha…haha…I don’t really get it…?

To keep my sanity and swiftly-diminishing pride as a man from flying away, I desperately zoned her out and pretended I didn’t hear anything.

 

Half a year had quickly passed by since the time Ilias appeared back into my life and brought me to his world.

I learned what he’d been up to while we were separated─that guy got a promotion after serving at the fort for a year, and got relocated to the capital. He could’ve lived at the knight dormitory with no fuss or hassle, but he chose to look for a house near his workplace so that we could live together. He also prepared an exquisite earring that cost who-knows-how-many months of his salary, and which I was now wearing on my left ear.

Proof of one’s marriage in Japan was commonly a ring on your left hand, but over here it was a pair of earrings shared by the couple. I had thought that it was something we should discuss together but…the next thing I knew, Ilias was taking out an earring out of nowhere and putting it on me, just like that. He actually has a bit of a black-bellied side to him, doesn’t he…

That said, it would’ve still ended up on my ear though, discussion or no discussion.

The new home for our happily married life was a cozy place which wasn’t all that big, but size wasn’t its selling point─it was accessibility. The castle where that guy worked was just a ten minute walk away, and the district where the guild, inn, and food shops densely congregated was just on the next block. The clincher, however, was that Mr. Ilias thought that it looked like the kind of place I would like, that kind of 10/10 full marks response.

Knights, so to speak, were pretty much the same as civil public servants, so Ilias came back from work at a precise time. The occasional night shifts only happened once or twice a month, and thankfully he always had the next day off. It was a rather lifeless white-collar work culture, but to a corporate slave like me, it looked absolutely blinding.

“You had entirely taken care of me during our time together in Nippon so this time, I’ll be the one to take care of you,” Ilias had said. Thus, as per his wishes, I changed my occupation to his housewife─or more accurately, a NEET. 1

I was unbearably happy when he told me that I didn’t have to work, but that only went so far as a week. The compactness of the house meant that if I wanted to clean I’d be done as soon as I’d started, and as for cooking, I could only get fired up about it in the mornings and evenings when Ilias was there to eat with me. And above all, it was so dreadfully boring in the afternoons that I slowly died inside. I didn’t have a TV or my smartphone or anything else to kill time. I might as well just go work…!

At first I tried to sound it out with Ilias by asking if there were any menial job positions at his workplace, but he was absolutely against it. Well, I’d already imagined that if it came to physical fitness, it might be impossible for me, but for him to oppose it that much… ouch.

In the end, he finally relented on the condition that the job should only be part-time and during the day. With that consent, I started working in the guild establishment’s mess hall as part of the waiting staff. There were other places such as taverns which were closer to our home, but their operating hours were at night, so they were a no-go. Just like that, two months after living in another world as an apartment wife, I succeeded in returning to the workforce.

Once I started working, I finally fully understood the reason why Ilias had been so excited when we’d gone to that family restaurant.

Even a noob like me knew the basics of customer service, but unfortunately, for the people of this world, those basics seemed to be quite advanced to them. When the girl who was already working there, Tanya─that is, the pink-haired, twin-tailed, well-endowed giantess─started to guide me on the job, I still remember getting blown away with shock.

She spoke to the customers without any respect, and when I saw how she forcefully tossed the plates overflowing with food onto the table, I ended up being the one instructing her instead of the other way around. At that time, she got attached to me for some reason and started calling me by a nickname without my permission, but since I thought it would be troublesome to do anything about it, I just let her be.

Well, that’s the story of how I began my career as a waiter, but it seems that I’m probably going to end up suffocated to death by my senior not too long after getting the job.

“Tanya, that’s enough. Azusa’s about to die.”

“Eh?! Nooo, A-chan! Are you okay?!”

From afar came the voice of Death, but it was actually just the owner. I was finally released and as I coughed violently, Tanya fretted while going ‘Who could have done such a terrible thing~?!’. The me who didn’t tsukkomi back ‘You did!’ at her, was seriously admirable.

“How many times has this happened this month? Azusa sure is popular!”

Cough. “I’m not happy getting solicited for one night stands by men at all.”

“A-chan’s pretty face makes you wanna do lewd things so it can’t be helped~”

“The hell are you saying? Just what part of me seems lewd, seriously.”

Hmmm~ Your fair white skin~ and your tiny-ness~ and how you’re a married wifey, maybe?”

“Hah…haha…ha─oh hey, some orders are ready.”

“Thanks~!”

I know you intended to compliment me, but each one of those “praises” feels like a knife to my gut, Tanya. I glossed over my frustration and put the dishes Master had given me onto a tray, which I then brought out to the dining floor.

 

“Thank you for your hard work!”

It was steadily getting darker outside when my shift ended. I changed out of my uniform and into my personal clothes, then left the guild.

It’d been a while since I’d last helped wash the dishes… If I didn’t hurry and finish shopping before going home, Ilias would end up having to wait for me. He let me go work when I asked, despite looking so reluctant, so I wanted to keep the housework in order at the very least.

I was too preoccupied with pondering tonight’s dinner that I was late in noticing that someone was calling out to me. When I startled and looked back, I could vaguely see the troublesome customer from before standing within the gap between two buildings that led to a back alley.

Hey, this guy is probably real bad fucking news, my instincts warned.

A really weird thing was that apparently, in this world, I was a lot of guys’ type. I can no longer count how many times I was called out at work because of this, though thankfully they all stopped at the sight of my earring. Since people didn’t marry lightly here, the ones who did were paid a lot of special attention. I had thought that was fine or whatever, but I had been naive… 2

“Hey, stop playing hard to get. Let’s play just for one time, okay?”

“I already told you earlier, I refuse.”

“I’ll make you feel good, c’mon; wouldn’t it be great to try something bigger than your husband’s?”

“It doesn’t feel great to be held by a man at all.”

“So you’re the bottom? You’ve got a wet, loose hole down there just begging for a dick to come fill it up, then.” 3

“……ha?”

Okay, I can’t deny that I might be the ‘woman’ of my relationship, but don’t you dare think that I don’t have my pride as a man, too. Who’s fucking ‘wet and loose’, damn it?!

I knew that giving him a death glare would backfire on me, but I just couldn’t stop it. To no one’s surprise, a sleazy smile began spreading on the man’s face upon seeing my reaction.

“Oooh, that face you’re making sure is nice. The disgusted expression from earlier was quite good, but this rebellious face of yours is irresistable.”

“Fuck off, you sick pervert.”

Even though I provoked him, I was aware of my odds of beating him in a fight. That was why I had to make sure we stayed here in the main street where there were other people around. If he were to pull me to that alley…

He began to pant heavily like a maniac about to commit a crime─the hell, is he getting turned on? So fucking gross…!! My face instinctively warped like I was about to get the hell away from him, which must’ve set him off because the next thing I knew, he had already caught my arm in a vice-like grip.

“Wha─?! Shit, get the fuck away from me…!!”

I frantically tried to pull away from him while yelling, but the difference in our strengths was clear. There was just no way that a delicate, former salaryman who worked indoors would be able to win against a freakin’ mercenary.

As he started dragging me away from the street and towards the alley despite my desperate resistance, I began to feel afraid and whipped my head around to find someone for help. The surrounding townspeople, however, only looked on with worried expressions.

Are you kidding me?!

Though I’d do the same if I were just watching from the side, too…But can’t there be at least one person who’s willing to help me out here?!?! In the end, nobody stepped up and I was taken into the alley, where I was shoved against the wall of a dead-end. My head felt muddled when I realized that the situation was probably completely hopeless.

You’re kidding me… am I really going to get raped here? By a man? Buttons went flying off as he ripped my shirt─it was an ero doujin-like development, but it was no longer funny when I was the victim. An attempt to struggle rewarded me with a blow to the stomach, knocking the winds out of me and leaving me too weak to stop him as he gripped both my hands above me so I wouldn’t be able to move.

“You shitty…!”

The only thing I could do left was glare at the man and refuse to cower. I had a rule to never get into fights I couldn’t win, but at times when it couldn’t be avoided, I would absolutely never give in. It seemed that this attitude of mine appealed to him; his face split into a shit-eating grin, and suddenly─4

The sharp edge of a sword pressed against the side of the man’s neck from behind.

“Move any closer, and you’ll be cut open.”

“The fuck are you…!”

“You really want to die, it seems.”

Those words coming from a voice colder than any I’d ever heard before was followed by a drop of blood trickling from a red line on the man’s neck. The man clicked his tongue and finally let go of me, and when he looked behind him, seemed surprised that the person holding a blade to his neck was a knight.

“You think it’s okay for a knight to do something like this…?!”

“Something like this? I am only fulfilling my duty of protecting an upstanding citizen from a brute.”

“Yeah? You think there’s some sorta crime going on here?”

“Indeed. I figure the crime is that a man has torn apart my wife’s clothes.”

“Urk─no way, you’re…?!”

“Captain!”

The sounds of clanking footsteps came from the back, and when the rest of the knights joined, the hopeless situation had completely turned around.

“Azusa! Thank god…!”

“Ilias… you made it just in time.”

Though─what the heck, I knew that the other guys who came must’ve been in the same group as Ilias, but to think Ilias was actually their captain… That startled me… This Knight Captain-dono didn’t spare another glance at the man he’d just tied up and immediately came over to wrap me up in his embrace.

“How many times must I say it, Azusa… since you’re so captivating, you have to be more careful…!”

Ahh, he said it, that thing he’d been telling me at least once a day. I would always fire back ‘I’m not captivating, jeez’, but now that I was the idiot who’d just gotten jumped, I no longer had any right to give him lip.

“… Sorry. I was wrong.”

Ilias startled at my meek apology and swiftly released me to grab both of my shoulders and peer into my face. When I saw on his expression his unsaid worry that I was being so docile because I had just been assaulted, I hurriedly shook my head.

“That’s not it! This only happened because I hadn’t been paying enough attention, so that’s why I’m properly apologizing!”

“Azusa…! No, it isn’t your fault that everyone finds you so attractive.”

“What’re you…?”

“Letting you walk around late night was also a fault in my judgment… I’m sorry, Azusa…”

“Hey, are you even listening to what I’m saying?”

“To walk home alone is truly far too dangerous, after all. From now on, I’ll pick you up after work.”

“What?! No way, that’s not gonna happen! And besides, you can’t do that anyway since you have night shifts.”

“During the times where I cannot go, I shall send a subordinate in my stead.”

“Uh…. huh?”

“Alright, it’s decided, Azusa.”

Ilias wagged his tail at full power as if saying ‘Praise me, praise me’, and I couldn’t bring myself to refute him. It would definitely make going home utterly embarrassing, but more than that, the thought of involving these subordinates with whom I had absolutely no relation with made me feel so damn sorry for them…

“We’ll be allowed to accompany the Captain’s wife back…?!”

Awesomeeee! I’m so glad that I chose to follow Sir Ilias!”

Huh? Uuuummm…. Huhhh? Something weird’s going on here, right?? While tightening the ropes around the convict, Ilias smiled at his subordinates as if saying ‘alright, that’s enough’─hey, just why does this scene look like you’re giving away ‘Accompany Azusa’ tickets as a reward for your minions, dear husband of mine?

Watching them, I was able to take a clear look at Sir Ilias’s integrity. Well… I guess this can be considered one way of his to show he loves me, so I’ll accept it…?

 

“A-chaaaaaan~! Your husband’s here to pick you up~♡♡♡”

Tanya’s voice resounded from the serving floor, making not only the people in the dining area but also the people in the line checkout turn around.

“I’m sorry for keeping you waiting. Shall we go?”

My dear husband held his hand out to me while releasing a sparkling aura. It was embarrassing, so I smacked it away and walked off. Ilias only lit up with an elated smile in response and followed after me.

“Azusa-chan sure is tsundere today, too~”

I resolutely ignored the girl at the counter as I passed by; even if she’s giggling under her breath really annoyingly, I’ll lose if I make any kind of reaction!

And more importantly, just who taught her the word ‘tsundere’?! It has to be Ilias, right?! Aaaaah…!!! Just what’d I do to deserve being treated like this!! After we’d left the guild, I looked back to glower at Ilias who, just as I thought, was wearing such a friggin’ happy smile on his face.

“For Azusa to be here and willing to be my partner in this world… I still feel as if I’m dreaming.”

“─tch, what’s with you, jeez!…I love you too, okay?!”

Today, too, in this other world, my husband and I enjoy our peaceful days together.

 


 

Author’s Note

I truly apologize for leaving this story for a year just before it was complete…!

Nevertheless, thank you for your warm thoughts and applause! I’m truly happy…!!

The main story ends at chapter 19, but I added a story about what happens afterward as a bonus (omake).

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  1. NEET is Japanese slang for someone who’s Not in Education, Employment, or Training. Basically, someone who just lays about while not contributing anything. (Life goals) 
  2. Attempted non-con scene start. Summary: Azusa gets pulled into the alley by the mercenary, who talks about how he wants to do xxx things to him. Azusa glares and is ready to fight back with all his power, insulting the mercenary. At one point, the mercenary rips off Azusa’s shirt, buttons flying and all, and Azusa mentally comments that this is something out of an ero manga. 
  3. I’m not 100% on the details of this line since it’s reaaally coarse, and I also… can’t ask anyone I know to translate it for me because of what it is… The overall meaning is there though. Probably. 
  4. Scene end. 

Picked up a Strange Knight – Ch 19: I picked up a strange knight

Now that he was wearing armor instead of his usual apron, Ilias looked incredibly cool—this much was undeniable.

We’d had sex till we both turned into a mess, took a bath together, then went to sleep. The morning after, I stayed in bed and watched a certain perky, energetic someone get dressed.  As for me, I was completely exhausted and spent, and I couldn’t even move from the waist down; the stamina of a knight was seriously crazy…

“Azusa… I truly…”

“I already told you; it’s okay. More importantly—once you get teleported back, make sure you take care of yourself.”

In truth, it wasn’t actually ‘okay’. But it’s not as if I could just tell him to not go, so I had no choice but to speak as if it didn’t affect me.

Ilias turned downcast at my words.

I continued watching as he dispiritedly fastened his sword to his waist. Though he had been swinging around a 2-liter plastic water bottle every day while saying it was for training, I worried over whether that was actually enough. Would he still be able to fight properly once he returned?

He became the picture of a gallant, dashing knight once he had finished getting ready. Especially when he took a knee by my bedside and pressed a kiss to the back of my hand, it looked just like in those fairytales—save for the fact that this princess was only wearing a t-shirt and boxer shorts, so I looked like an out-of-place joke more than anything.

“Azusa… for everything until now, I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I have no words to express how truly grateful I am..”

“……. I also… feel glad that I was able to meet you.”

Under the gaze of those blue eyes looking up at me, my true feelings unintentionally slipped. I hadn’t planned to say such a thing, and in the first place—did I actually think that stuff? I doubted and questioned myself inside, but once those few words came out, I couldn’t stop the rest from escaping.

“I really enjoyed it, this kind of life where I had someone important to me to keep in mind. It was the first time that I thought… that living with someone else could be so comforting. I wouldn’t feel that way if it were with anyone other than you, Ilias.”

He had become a part of my life, and the thought that after today, I wouldn’t be able to meet him anymore… was devastating. This wasn’t like a long-distance relationship—it was losing him forever, as if he had died. It really made me glad that he didn’t just suddenly leave without a goodbye… We had time to prepare ourselves mentally, and I was grateful for that.

“Since you were able to change me this much, once you go back, you absolutely…”

Can be happy. Will be happy, with someone that isn’t me.

It’d be fine, wouldn’t it? It should be. Ilias finding happiness in his original world would be a good thing. But…I couldn’t get those words out.

Even though he was finally able to go back after much difficulty, why can’t I wish him happiness? I finally couldn’t keep his gaze and looked away; right then, an impact coursed through my body. It took me several seconds to realize that Ilias had stood up and embraced me.

“It was the same way for me. The only person who can make me feel this kind of happiness is Azusa alone… No matter what may happen, I swore to be with you.”

“Ili…as…”

“I love you… I truly love you, with all of my heart.”

Warm droplets came falling from above, and despite myself, I couldn’t help but smile. Come on, again? It’s unfair how guys as handsome as this one can make even crying look pretty. Irked by that, both of my hands moved at lightning speed to lightly smack his cheeks before pinching them.

“You sure are an idiot for making a vow to a man like me. Even if you want to take it back, I won’t allow it.”

It’s impossible, after all. Giving the person I love my blessings to be happy with somebody else and being satisfied with just that… is something that I can’t do.

Instead, I want to be a shackle that binds you.

 

It happened suddenly.

Ilias had finally stopped crying so I released his cheeks. At that moment—a magic array emerged beneath his feet.

This was not the first time I had seen this; it was my third time, in fact. And yet, I was still taken aback and could only stare dumbly at the sight in front of me.

Within the glowing, blue-lit formation that was surrounded by whirling gusts of wind, Ilias’s expression wobbled into a desperate smile as he called out my name.

“I’ve cried in front of you far too many times… In these last moments, at least…I won’t.”

“Ilias…!”

This can’t be—

It’s happening. He’s really going back.

Bathed in surging light, Ilias knelt down on one knee and drew his sword. He turned the point of his sword skyward, both of his hands gripping the handle and holding it at chest height, then turned towards me with a gaze so intense it seemed to pierce right through me.

“To have met you is the greatest joy of my life; it is my pride. I will be to Azusa ever faithful and loyal, and hereby so swear to devote my fidelity to you..”

Even if I didn’t know what he was doing or what it meant, I understood that it represented something special; this surely wasn’t something that was just fine to do on a whim.

I only belatedly realized that his silhouette was steadily waning as he spoke—he was nearly on the brink of vanishing. With unsteady feet I took a step forward.

A transparent barrier around the edges of the formation blocked me from getting any closer.

Strong blasts of wind spun in-between the barrier and the luminous array, yet none of it got to where I was; my side was entirely still and calm—as if we were already in two separate, fundamentally different spaces.

 

Undeterred, I pressed both of my hands to this invisible barrier and cried out his name. He rushed to meet me with eyes full of overwhelming despair.

“Don’t—Ilias, no…don’t do this! Don’t, no, don’t go—don’t leave me, you dumbass!”

“Azusa—”

“I—I’m also…I’m also in love with you, so don’t go…Don’t leave me behind! Don’t you dare go, no, don’t leave me…I love you, you idiot, so don’t, no—Ilias, don’t leave—take me with you!!”

“Azusa! Azusa!!”

His voice was muffled as he cried out my name, and his hands rose up to press against the barrier as if wanting to meet mine before everything was swallowed up by blinding, white light.

In the next moment, when my vision cleared, no traces of what just happened remained.

There was only me inside an apartment that looked the same as always, as if nobody else had ever been there at all.

My voice sounding terribly hoarse, I called out a name but no response ever came.

Slowly, downwards, I slid to the floor. Just like the tears that wouldn’t stop falling.

On that day, I cried more than I’d ever cried in my entire life.

 

I had thought that there was no way I could stand to keep living in this apartment. It had only been for a short period of half a year, but any place I stood drew up memories of the time we lived together—the doorway where I first found him, the hallway where he would send me off to work with a hug, the kitchen where he always stood, the shower where he drenched and stripped me, the sofa where he would lazily pass the time watching his housewife tv shows, and the bed where he would always be lying beside me the moment I woke up in the mornings.

My mood sank even lower when I realized that all of the things meant for two people now had to go back to being just for one.

Nevertheless, time moved on as it always did, and each day bled into the other in a never-ending cycle of dragging myself back and forth between the apartment and the office. My job became my refuge; to distract myself from the memories, I began to spend less and less time at home and sank deeper into work. My face, which never had that much expression in the first place, hardened into a cold block of stone.

Mita asked me to go out drinking countless times, perhaps out of worry, but I just simply couldn’t will up any enthusiasm to ‘have some fun’ so I ended up rejecting him every time.

It had been the peak of summer, and then the seasons changed to fall, then winter.

When I’d decided that I’d had enough of it and that I should forget him, I took out his belongings—the clothes we bought together for him, and even that cup we made a detour for after he looked at it at the apartment store display with such fervent eyes, but when it was time to haul and throw them all away, I found myself incapable of moving an inch.

I was obviously able to endure seeing him weep in front of me, and yet…now that he was gone, I couldn’t keep it together when I thought about how all that was left of him was only these. I couldn’t do it. Just looking at them made me so miserable I wanted to get them out of my sight for good, but my gut was telling me that I would absolutely regret it if I did.

It was the same for the apartment itself, and that was why I couldn’t move out, even now. I really… loved him. There wasn’t anyone else that I could love as much as I loved him.

Somewhere along the way, the sadness dissolved into nothing until only a gaping hole inside of me remained.

 

“I’m home.”

Half a year was still not long enough for me to get rid of this habit, so only silence greeted me back as I spoke to an empty, dark room.

I locked the door, took off my shoes, turned on the light for the hall, then went inside my apartment. The evening new program was talking about the economic effects of Valentines when I turned the TV on.

Oh, that’s right…It’s already February, isn’t it… I didn’t go back to my parents’ house this year for the holidays, and I had shut myself in for the end of last year and the beginning of the new year, so I suppose my awareness of the date had grown dull.

My body felt so exhausted that I didn’t even have the energy to eat a meal, so I tossed the convenience store bento I’d just bought over onto the table—my bag, my coat, and my suit jacket following after. My body I threw onto the sofa, which was then promptly assaulted by a sudden bout of drowsiness. Letting out a yawn I couldn’t stifle, I loosened my tie while my eyes closed just a bit…and my consciousness sank into oblivion.

 

There was that voice I recalled from my memories, and my body was gently shaken. I want to keep sleeping, though… I turned over, clearly communicating to leave me alone, but I was shaken again. Annoyed by that persistent disturbance, I cracked my eyes open, and in front of me was an unbelievable sight.

“Azusa, you’ll catch a cold in a place like this.”

“…… Eh?”

I rubbed at my eyes, obviously seeing things, but when I looked up again—there he still was. Ilias, kneeling in front of me and wearing the same outfit he had when we were separated, though his hair looked much longer than before.

So I’ve finally hit the point where I’m seeing hallucinations…Shit.

The Ilias that had been cooked up by my delusions caressed my cheek with so much love and tenderness in his touch, though my face was still a frozen block of ice after withdrawing into myself for so long.

“You’ve lost so much weight… The bags beneath your eyes are terrible. I’m sorry to have kept you waiting for such a long time…”

“Um…Ilias?”

I tried calling out his name without knowing why, and he replied, “What is it?”

Is it really…?

It really was him.

But why—why would he be here…?

“Azusa, I just have one thing I wanted to ask. The words you spoke during the teleportation, do you still mean them, even now?”

“The words I spoke…?”

“ ‘Take me with you’, was what you told to me.”

I yelled them while crying wretchedly, I recalled. That’s right, I’d said that when I saw him fading away.

Rather than leaving me behind by myself, I wanted him to bring me with him—but such a thing just wasn’t possible, I knew, so I no longer cared about anything and lived as if I were dead…but if he’s saying that he can make it happen, then there was absolutely nothing in this world I wanted more than to go with him.

He waited patiently as I sifted through my emotions, looking steadily at me with a serious look on his face. When I finally told him that my feelings hadn’t changed, his expression immediately changed, and—

With no explanation whatsoever, I was asked to give my left hand which I reflexively presented palms up. He flipped it around, then took out from his pocket something with a dull, silver glint under the lights. As he slipped it onto my ring finger, all thoughts that had been circulating in my head halted to a complete stop.

“The arrangements took a while, but I finally came back. Azusa, let’s get married.”

It was a sweeter voice than I’d ever heard. Something seemed to overflow inside me; my throat had clogged up and my voice wouldn’t come out, so I wordlessly nodded my head up and down countless times. Tears started to come out at some point.

Ilias exhaled as if relieved by my answer, and as he smiled, wiped away my tears and said, “Thank you.”

“I had decided that I absolutely wanted to propose the way that it is done in your world. That I let you feel such loneliness during this half a year, I apologize.”

“For—for real…! You’re… damn late…!”

“It was my wrong. From here on, I’ll never let you experience such a feeling again. Though even if you were to say no, I don’t think I would be capable of letting you go.”

He captured me with a mischievous smile, and I wound up smiling, too. At that moment, the magical formation that I had seen on that day suddenly appeared beneath our feet. Unlike before, I felt the wind stirring beneath my feet as well, for this time I was within the circle.

“It’s time. Azusa, let’s make the leap.”

“Thi—this, what am I supposed to be doing…?!”

“It’s alright, just hold on to me.”

I was about to stand when he picked me up into his arms. Startled, I clung to Ilias who then turned to me with a satisfied smile.

“Thank you, Azusa. I will absolutely make you happy.”

He vowed with such a bright smile, looking the happiest that I’ve ever seen him. This guy really loved me that much, though I also shared that same lovesickness.

“What’re you saying—I’ll be the one who’s going to make you happy, Ilias.”

He looked stumped with my reply, before bursting out laughing. ‘Excuse me, what the hell’s so funny?!’ I said, but it didn’t have any weight since I was laughing right along with him.

Aah, really…All it takes to make me happy is just being with him.

It was worth waiting half a year.

As the light around us devoured the familiar surroundings in sight, Ilias who was holding on to me remained clearly visible. I understood right then how it meant that I’d be able to stay with him from here on after. Though I felt some loneliness over leaving this world in which I had lived until now, I couldn’t help but look forward to the extraordinary future waiting for me. There, I’d be staying at the side of the person I love—there was really nothing greater than that.

I had picked up a strange knight, and now I was going to another world to marry him.

 

 


 

Translator’s Note

This is the final chapter of PSK’s main story. Thanks to everyone for reading Taro-sensei’s amazing story, and thanks for your patience!

Make sure to continue reading chapter 20, the first omake! I’ll be releasing the second omake and the first chapter of the sequel sometime in the future. Please look forward to it!

 

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Picked up a Strange Knight – Ch 18: In the face of farewell *

Advisory Notice
This chapter contains explicit content.


 

“Azusa, are you off for the weekend?”

Rising over the sounds of the TV, this question of Ilias’s came up while I was having dinner. I looked over at him in response; there it was again—that weak, slightly lonely-looking smile that had always been on his face ever since we returned from the inn. But since this tiny smile was something he had already put his all into mustering up, no matter how fragile and flimsy it was, I decided not to mention anything about this mood of his aloud. I nodded at his question whilst chewing on my rice, and he smiled. “I see.”

Only the background noise of the TV playing kept the room from being utterly silent after that. Though he didn’t particularly say anything else, I knew without a doubt—the subject he really wanted to bring up was the one we didn’t want to broach the most. It was only after I’d finished my meal and had a moment to take a breath did Ilias reveal that it’d been exactly as I’d thought: earlier in the day, his home country had contacted him again.

“I received a report which said that everything was ready. The teleportation sequence is scheduled for the day after tomorrow.”

“The day after tomorrow… Saturday, huh. So it’s already here…”

“…… Yes, it is.”

Watching his expression steadily darken somehow affected my own emotions, so I exhaled to shake off that mood and reached out to ruffle his hair.

“Why’re you making that face? Smile!”

“Azusa…”

“You’re finally going home, right? You really held on, didn’t you…”

Ilias suddenly captured my wrist. For a split second, I wondered if he’d been bothered by his hair getting messed with just before he brought my hand over to his mouth and pressed a kiss on my fingers.

“Azusa… I don’t think I can’t go through with it.”

“…… Ilias—”

“On the day after tomorrow, if you weren’t by my side anymore… I wouldn’t be able bear it.”

He tugged at my wrist to pull me closer, and my body fell into his chest. As I stifled a cry, I coiled my arms around his wide back, gently colliding against him.

“I wish I could bring you with me… if such a thing were possible.”

His arms around me tightened while he spoke those words that were surely his true thoughts. That’s right; if that were only possible, it would be the best…But, we both knew it wasn’t. If he were able to do it, then he probably would’ve proposed it straight away.

“Ilias.”

His shoulders jumped when I spoke up. The strong grip around me loosened, and as he looked down towards me, I wiped at his tear-damp cheeks with my fingers before pressing a kiss on his slightly trembling lips.

“Let’s spend tomorrow together. We’ll pass time lazily until noon; then we’ll go shopping, and we’ll make some curry. You’ll be the onion-chopper, Ilias.”

“But Azusa, your work…”

“As if I’d rather go to work than stay together a little while longer with someone I’ve lived with for half a year. It’s not like I’m an honor student.”

I grinned at him, and though he was still crying, Ilias smiled back. It’ll be okay, I told myself. During times when he’s crying like this, I can stay strong.

 

 

We went to the supermarket and bought ingredients, just as we had done so many times before. The first time Ilias had come here, he’d used his puppy eyes on me to let him push the cart. It’d been January back then, back when it was so damn cold. Those days were completely different to now, when we had to keep the air conditioner blasting all day long.

I absentmindedly recalled such things while the guy standing next to me picked out potatoes. It didn’t feel real that this would be the last time we would ever buy groceries here, or that this would be the last time we would make the trip back home to the apartment together. But even if I couldn’t believe it, I wanted to commit to memory this precious remaining time we had left—thus, my eyes followed Ilias wherever he went.

We returned home and started prepping everything for the curry. I was aware that I was being more excited than usual—just the mundane sight of this guy shedding tears while chopping onions had me guffawing out loud. Even though this wasn’t anything special, I was having a lot of fun somehow, and Ilias laughed along in amusement as if influenced by my mood. I wrapped my arm around his waist from behind while he stirred the pot, uncharacteristically acting spoiled as I told him that I wanted to hurry up and eat.

Once the meal was done, we idly passed time on the sofa. The sunset’s glow flooded the room, the time saying that evening was soon approaching—yet even so, I was reluctant to leave his side. I went ahead and rested my head against his shoulder. Ilias didn’t seem surprised by my sudden behavior at all, and though he had been watching the TV as some plot or another carried on, he even gently combed my hair with his fingers.

“Wouldn’t it be better if time could just stay like this forever…?”

His voice was low as a whisper while he spoke with a dipped head, and I replied with silence. Though I said nothing, he understood that I wanted him to continue, and so he did.

“When I learned that I had been blown away to another world, I had cursed my misfortune—but that was wrong. This experience was a necessity in order for me to grasp within my hands something utterly irreplaceable to me. Once I realized that, I started to appreciate it more and more. I’ve received so many things from you, Azusa. Your knowledge, your way of thinking, your values, and your feelings—all of those had become the things which nourished me. But, if you were no longer to be by my side, those would all turn into shackles.”

I stopped breathing. Alarmed, I raised my face to look at him, yet against my expectations he was simply smiling calmly. He enveloped my cheeks within his hands, his graceful face coming closer.

“But that’s a good thing, Azusa. It means that I will never forget you. You will always be together with me, inside of my heart. Even if tomorrow I return to the world where I was meant to be, I shall never love anyone else. All of me is devoted to Azusa, and Azusa alone. This I so swear.”

“You… are you an idiot, or what…”

Everything in front of my eyes blurred. Just how was it that Ilias could so easily say the words I wished to hear from him the most?

I wanted to be the only person in Ilias’s heart, the person most important to him. But in actuality, even if I held him in my heart, we would no longer be able to contact each other after he had returned. So, from this moment on, I didn’t know what would happen. I didn’t know if he might find a lover after his return, and similarly didn’t know if he would forget all about someone like me, who didn’t have any charm at all.

But instead of going in circles fretting over that, what I should focus on was that all of these words came from his own mouth. For him to say it out aloud even while knowing my personality, it must be because he wanted me to believe in it—to believe in him. He’s really such a can-do guy, seriously. I couldn’t get a hold of my surging emotions, and just like a child, I started crying, big fat dollops of tears rolling down my cheeks. Startled by the sight of me in that state, Ilias immediately smiled as if to stave off my tears.

“It’s as you say. I’m a great big idiot.”

He dropped a kiss on my cheek with a light smacking sound, then brushed at my tears with his lips. Despite looking so damn pleased with himself, he was still so unbearably cool every time he did something like this, and I couldn’t help but love that gentleness of his.

My cheeks, eyelids, and forehead—he traced them all with his lips, and as he continued over the rest of my face, my gaze twined together with his before our lips melted into one. I opened my mouth several sweet, light kisses after to let our tongues tangle even further, winding my arms around his back to hold him closer while he, on the other hand, moved his hand from around my cheek to the back of my head. This was a kiss with no mood at all behind it and yet, I was already panting heavily as if driven by an unquenchable, insatiable lust for him.

His other hand slowly slid down to my back, gently stroking it—that feeling alone was enough to send me tingling with sparks of pleasure. What would become of me once the guy who’d made my body this way was gone? While I was in the middle of pondering that thought, I suddenly found myself lying on top of the sofa.

“Azusa, I want to hold you.”

Seeing him give me that confirmation after he had already pushed me down, I couldn’t help but laugh—pffft. Ilias gave me a look of confusion when I let out that inappropriate spurt of laughter.

I silently chided myself to be more serious, then brought my arms upwards to encircle around his neck.

Mhm, I also want you to hold me.”

The phantom tail sprung up for the first time in a while, nearly wildly wagging itself into pieces at my agreement.

Lately, I really had to wonder whether this guy had been concealing this doggy-like face all this time, or if it was just me seeing his face as this sparkling and handsome one that I’d fallen in love with. Either way, Ilias’s entire being beamed with happiness, and he once again pounced upon me.

Hngh, ah…”

The way he sucked on my tongue like this, then softly bit it and caressed it all over with his own left me weak and boneless—these sensations he stoked inside me felt so utterly good that something like ‘my pride as a man’ was worth zilch when compared to it. I couldn’t care less if anyone thought I was becoming like a woman.

My mind had already turned into a muddled mess as we devoured each other’s breaths, and so when I finally realized that my hoodie had ridden up, revealing my chest, my body pricked up on its own.

My nipples instantly hardened at his touch, as they always did. Ilias, however, didn’t play with them like usual today—though his hands were groping here and there, kneading the surrounding area and tracing circles along the areola, he was unmistakably avoiding them.

This slow, deliberate teasing frustrated me to no end, but he ignored how I squirmed and rubbed against him in desperation. I couldn’t even speak with my lips held captive; when finally released, they were already rendered useless as they desperately gasped in oxygen—flapping uselessly like a fish on land, panting shallowly like a dog.

And yet despite all that, I must’ve gotten the message across with my eyes since this guy started smiling.

“What’s wrong, Azusa?”

“Haa, haa… ah, nn!”

“Mm? You want me to touch you, do you?”

I jerked a nod, but he only grazed a light touch over them. At that cocktease of a caress, I shook my head forcefully side to side.

“You don’t want me to touch, is it?”

“More, touch it… more…!”

Shit, he has the nerve to put on such a composed face…! I thrust my chest forward demandingly, before he finally concurred by pinching at a nipple—sending such a strong stimulus throughout my body that my hips could only jerk up in response.

As his tongue swiped over the other nipple and his other hand moved slowly down to my lower body, moans kept spilling out of my half-open mouth at the satisfaction of having been given what I had wanted. I stroked his head as he suckled my chest, then shuddered when his hand made contact with that part of mine down below.

I raised my hips to make it easier to strip me, and he quickly pulled both my underwear and sweatpants off—my dick popped out instantly, standing erect and steadily dripping. As if he wanted to smear the leaking precome, Ilias started pumping my dick with his hand in the way I had become familiar with, before I stopped his hand with my own. He looked over at me in surprise.

“It’s fine to, there…”

“What do you mean…?”

Ilias tilted his head, not getting what I meant. To clarify—I grabbed his hand and pulled it further back, and the moment his fingers hit that narrow place, I heard the sound of a sharp intake of breath.

“Lube’s, in the drawer on that shelf, the second one.”

“But—wait, we,”

“Go on and get it already.”

“But… Azusa…”

“That’s enough; it’s fine, so hurry up. I want to feel you inside me now.”

I knew he wouldn’t refuse if I begged him for it—sure enough, he nodded and got up.

After retrieving the item from the drawer and returning back, Ilias began prepping with a skillfulness I didn’t think he’d have, considering that this was his first time using it in this world. Liquid was poured into his warm palms, and he lathered it all over both hands to warm it up.

I didn’t need him to be that considerate, though. The person you’re doing this with is a fellow man, so you don’t have to be so hesitant, just slather it on—when I told him aloud to just put it in, he nodded in understanding and pushed his slick, wet fingers inside me.

“Unf, ah, aah…!”

I groaned at the pressure. Ilias might have misunderstood something in my voice because more lube was added, dribbling down his inserted fingers, and causing me to shiver at the sudden feeling of coldness. When he moved, the graphic sounds of wet squelches echoed in the room, and all of it just made me more agitated and excited.

“Breathe out.”

It was then that I realized I was unconsciously keeping my breath in, and I exhaled when Ilias reminded me; his fingers moved leisurely, steadily at the same time. These slow, unraveling sensations were unbearable… I wish he’d just thrust them in all at once instead. When he embraces me this gently, my mind gets all mushy and soft for some reason I don’t understand.

In the end, forget about speaking coherently; even just closing my mouth was no longer possible in my state, and I couldn’t even bother wondering if I was already drooling with how sloppily open it was. Even my vision couldn’t focus so I could only blearily see Ilias’s figure. The one thing that remained clear among all of this was Ilias’s touch, which made me throb without end.

At some point, the number of fingers inside me had increased. The two moved roughly, and when they struck my prostate, the voice I let out was about an octave higher.

“Are you feeling good…?”

“Aah, ah…! It feels, good, ah…!”

Though he asked me a question, my brain felt like it was covered in a hazy shroud and I couldn’t reply well. The reason I wasn’t able answer him properly though, was mostly due to the fact that right when I was speaking, he grazed right against the spot that felt good—it was absolutely done on purpose, I swear. I balefully glared at him, and the tears that had been gathering at the corners of my eyes now dripped down.

“Don’t rush,” Ilias said, smiling wryly as he inserted the third finger. I don’t know for sure, but maybe it was because the tension had left me that my ass began to loosen up. He did it gently and slowly, without burdening me in any way; I guess it might’ve been all for my sake, but to me, it just felt like I’d been put on hold.

I wanted more, I wanted to really feel it. I couldn’t help but fantasize about how he was so big, he could just wreck me—as I thought about how perverted I had become to be having this kind of thoughts, my body continued moving on its own. My torso raised up a bit, and I heard an intake of breath when my hand grasped Ilias’s cock through his pants.

“Hurry up—I want, this.”

When I whispered that after bringing my face close to his ear, I heard the faint clicking sound of a tongue unsticking from a dry mouth. He yanked his fingers out all at once, his eyebrows furrowing, and as I looked up at him I could see him breathing unevenly, see him roughly tug at his pants to loosen them. Shivers of anticipation ran through me at the sight of him losing his composure.

I wanted to see his expression become even wilder—as if cornering my prey, I hooked my arms beneath my knees and spread my legs, letting him see.

“Ilias, hurry…!”

Even I had never heard myself use that voice ever in my life before, so I could only imagine how it sounded to him. His reply was just a smile, but with eyes so ferocious he seized my hips and raised them up a bit—without warning, his thick and enormous part penetrated me.

“Uu—aaaah…!”

It obviously couldn’t be easy to take in something that damn huge; I could only breathe in without reacting to the apologies raining down from above me—and on top of all that, the cock inside me was still pushing deeper in.

My eyes flew wide open from the overwhelming pressure. Right before my eyes was Ilias’s expression as he ground his teeth, trying to endure, and seeing that brought a surge of happiness racing through me. Even though I should have been suffering, my face shamefully softened instead.

“Azusa… it’s foul play to make that kind of face…”

His face slowly drew closer, and my eyes naturally slid shut before a soft kiss fell upon my lips. For a short while, there was only our mouths moving as one, smacking together as his tongue gently sucked at me, and then we parted.

“It’s far too arousing… I can’t stand it!”

The thickest part of his cockhead thrust deep inside me at the same time he spoke.

“Hy—aaaahh…!!”

Everything in front of my eyes blanked out for a moment with so much mass inside me. But regardless of the state I was in, the rest went in smoothly after the thickest part had breached the passage—and thus, at some point, Ilias had filled up the distance between us, and hot, burning skin pressed tightly against mine.

“It’s all in.”

“For real? …Haha, I’m happy.”

“Are you feeling alright?”

“Ah, nn… I’m fine, so just, start moving.”

I wrapped my legs around his hips which had been moving slowly in circles and without further ado—pushed myself forward into his cock all on my own, then moaned loudly as he hit me so deep inside.

“You, just when did you become so lewd?”

“Ah, ahh, it’s, ngh, all because of, you…!”

“Azusa…”

“Hya, ah, it feels good, ah, hurry and, fuck me—”

“Tch, how naughty…!”

I kept moving, unable to stop, when Ilias stilled my hips with his hands then adjusted our positions. Just when I realized he was holding them in place, he started pistoning into me—quick, shallow thrusts at first, before gradually driving deeper and deeper inside me until I became a creature only capable of letting out vowel sounds in time with every hard push and every drawn-out pull.

“Ah, ahn, ah, hyaa!”

He pulled out until his cock had nearly popped out, then thrust all the way inside to hit that spot that my back arched from the mounting pleasure. My brain couldn’t even think about holding back my voice anymore.

“Ilia, as, Ilias…!”

I wanted to be closer to him—I held out my arms, and he smiled and brought his body closer. With my arms encircling around his neck to hug him close, he once again captured my lips with his, the steady rhythm of his full thrusts quickening. My head swayed back and forth without any support as our bodies rocked together faster and faster.

Ilias might have been nearing the end; with a strained expression on his face, he reached a hand between our bodies to grasp and work my cock.

“Ahn, ah, no, hya, I can’t…!”

Unable to endure the dual sensations from the front and back, I tried to beg him by shaking my head, but his only response was to raise the corner of his mouth. Aaah, are you serious, why the hell does this feel so damn good… I just might explode when I come if this kept up; it’s just too much.

“Love you…! Azusa, I love you! I love you…!!”

Something warm fell from above and landed on my cheek, slowly sliding down and making it appear as if I was the one crying. I wanted to caress him and tell him not to cry at that time, really; unfortunately—

“I’m coming…! Ah, aah, I’m coming…!!!”

My climax crashed over me, and at that moment all that left my mouth were loud and panting moans.

 

 


 

Translator’s Note

Azusa… Ilias… T_T

Thanks everyone for your patience. Agent Psyx worked hard to edit this chapter… So much ero, so many feelings…

The next chapter is the final one. Of the main story, at least. There are two omake chapters after that, and there is also a 10-chapter sequel. I really love Taro-sensei’s writing, so I’m glad that there is still more to come…! 。・;´∧`;・。

Also – the translator of the BL novel Screen Partner very kindly recommended Taro-sensei’s Picked up a Strange Knight on their recent update. I’m very grateful T_T The story that Kleep is translating, Screen Partner, is another amazing story with great characters and spicy smut. It’s about a (straight) Taiwanese actor who fell into debt and went into the gay porn industry, where he meets and works with an experienced (straight) Japanese AV actor. Sparks start flying between them, but then somehow without realizing it they start liking each other and… Kyaa!! It’s so good! The details of the industry are very realistic and the smut is godly level. And somehow, it becomes so sweet (^q^) Also it seems that the author is so knowledgeable about Japanese AV… lol. I really recommend you all to read it too! Psyx and I really enjoy it!!

Be prepared with your tissues for the next and concluding chapter of Taro-sensei’s wonderful story. Please look forward to it.

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Picked up a Strange Knight – Ch 17: Though I like you, because I like you *

Advisory Notice
This chapter contains explicit content.


 

This was the first time I’d ever felt like bursting into tears the very moment I woke up. Pressed tight against Ilias’s chest within a fluffy futon, what greeted me upon opening my eyes were the unmistakable signs of his bitter suffering last night: there were deep, dark shadows underneath his eyes, and little Ilias who had risen up because of a certain natural morning phenomenon was even bigger than usual. Fuck, I did something terrible to him…Stirring him up so thoroughly, only to pass out and leave him hanging right before we could get to the good part…For a man, there was absolutely nothing more painful than that.

But more intense than the guilt of having committed an unforgivable sin was the gut-wrenching shame I felt when I recalled the unbelievable things I’d blurted… Aaaah! No more, no more—first, let’s get my priorities straight. Number one was definitely my terrible hangover. Feeling a wave of nausea rising up from my stomach, I immediately hurtled out of the futon and rushed to the toilet with no time to spare for concerns about disturbing him awake.

Forget about breakfast—I was feeling so wretched I was practically about to keel over any second now. Ilias, who had been roused by my clamoring, came over and gently rubbed my back while I desperately chugged down medicine.

“Really… I have no words to express how sorry I am…”

I would go on my knees in a dogeza right now if I could, but I might barf all over the place if I actually did it. That was why I could only settle for apologizing weakly from where I was draped over a chair, drained and exhausted.

“Don’t worry about it. If I can be together with Azusa then anything will make me happy.”

Wuuu… Mister Ilias, you’re so amazing, super handsome… I’ll try my best to do something by tonight…”

 

Eventually, it was already 3pm by the time we were able to head out. For the sake of the guy who had skipped meals just to tend to me, we went over to a store that sold freshly-picked, earthy foods for an extremely late lunch. After eating we strolled for a bit, and somehow we found ourselves back near the inn. There was a fireworks display that started at around 7pm, so I decided that dinner could wait after we had finished watching them. With that, we returned to the inn.

We first took a bath to wash off the sweat we had worked up on our walk. Once we had changed into our yukatas, I switched off the lights and cooler and sat beside Ilias by the window. Why did you turn them off? Even though we’d just taken a bath, we’re going to start sweating again. I ignored these remarks of his, and rather than say ‘Are you a girl?!’ I stressed to him that this was the way that people enjoyed fireworks. Setting the atmosphere was important.

Moonlight illuminated the dim interior of the room, and from the wide-open window a breeze billowed in. If only wind chimes had been hanging, it would have been perfect.

We listened to the ambient sounds of the distant clamor carried by the breeze when light suddenly shot up into the heavens. Bright and vivid fireworks bloomed like flowers against the pitch black sky, followed by the delayed boom of the explosions that echoed after their wake.

“It’s starting.”

“This, is…”

Ilias gaped in blank amazement at the fireworks that rose up and burst one by one. It’d been several years since the last time I had watched fireworks in person like this, too. It was real nice after all. For a short while, there was only silence between us as we continued to gaze up at the sky.

 

“They’re beautiful… yet fleeting.”

At Ilias’s whisper about halfway through, I turned to glance at him and locked gazes with blue eyes that were staring straight at me. He laughed right then, and the sound felt lonely more than anything.

It must be because watching the fireworks had put me in a sentimental mood, since I couldn’t find it in me to make some sassy retort to those awfully poetic words for some reason. In fact, I couldn’t say anything at all—it felt as if there was something stuck in my windpipe, so I just scooted closer to his side without a sound.

“It’s as if I’m watching Azusa, and… it makes me want to cry.”

“What’re you talking about? You sound like I’m about to die.”

“It’s the fleetingness of it.”

He reached out and held my face, enveloping my cheeks with his hands, and his eyes were so near I could see the fireworks being reflected in them. Those eyes that were now a mysterious hue of blue and green were locked on one and one thing only—me. I realized right then that I had completely monopolized him, and with this realization came the desire to kiss him. Perhaps he had the same thought as well; we were slowly drawing closer and closer together.

The moment I closed my eyes, my lips met with a soft warmth before they were licked wet and gently opened. My hips shuddered in response to something slipping inside and delving further into my mouth, and the obscene noises he made while sucking on my tongue left me shivering from shoulders down to my spine.

It felt good… it’d been a while since the last time I’d felt this. More—I wanted more. As I wrapped my arms around his neck, clinging tight to his body, he hugged me in response with one of his hands slithering upwards to stroke my back.

Our sweat-slick chests were pressed hot against each other, the skin scorched with sensual pleasure. More, I wanted us to touch more, but our clothing were in the way. Perhaps sensing those thoughts of mine, Ilias moved the arm he had curled around my back over to my shoulder and tugged the yukata aside with just one hand.

“Haa, nnn…. ah.”

Though I was already in a desperate struggle to gasp in mouthful after mouthful of air, Ilias waited for no one as he started dropping kisses along the nape of my neck, leaving behind a trail of deep marks across the skin. Each sucking sensation brought a jolt to my spine, each nip followed by a gentle caress of his tongue. His lips quickly traveled past my collarbone to  my exposed shoulder.

“Ah… h!”

Normally, him doing this kind of thing wasn’t anything special, but today it was more than enough to make me feel good. My hips were already trembling uncontrollably and my fingers were completely twined into his hair without me realizing when or how they got there. I wanted to tell him to stop, but I also wanted to tell him to keep going—these conflicting thoughts, however, had no chance of forming into coherent words while moans continued to leak out unbidden from my wide open mouth.

He slowly pushed me down with gentle yet unyielding force until I was lying on the tatami, the futon just a few steps away from us utterly disregarded; the precious moments it would take to move over there were better off spent doing much more important things.

Ilias rose up on top of me before once again laving my body with soft, light kisses. My neck, collarbone, shoulders, chest, navel—his lips traced them all without leaving a single spot untouched. His touch made me feel like I was melting, more so than they’d ever made me feel before, and somehow it brought tears to my eyes.

The hand that had been kneading my nipple slowly slid down. Roaming lower and lower, it went—stroking my stomach, then inching even further down to that part that was already staining my underwear wet with precome. Ilias gently squeezed my dick through the cloth then began working on the shaft; as his fingers skidded over the glans of my cock, each slide made my hips spasm in sheer abandon. But though I was feeling it more than usual, the stimulation he was giving me wasn’t enough; I wanted him to touch me properly.

“That’s—enough…”

“You want me to stop, even when you’re this wet?”

“No, that’s not… what I want…!”

Hurry and touch me more. I appealed to him with my eyes, and he smiled in understanding. Pulling my underwear halfway down my ankles, he finally grasped my cock in his hand and started pumping it, switching between a slow and fast pace. I couldn’t stop the noises coming out from me each time he moved, dazed as I was that I belatedly noticed the foreign intrusion at my behind. Ilias’s finger had actually breached my hole.

Hya?! Ah, ahh!”

I let out a high-pitched voice upon feeling it slide in deeper inside of me. Once his entire finger had entered, he waited until he felt that I had gotten accustomed to the sensation before curling his finger and moving into my deepest parts. He immediately rubbed against my prostate—my entire body lit up with pleasure as he grazed against that place before getting racked by violent tremors. He had stopped being careful by the time he put the second one in, and by then I had lost all sense of reason.

Nha, ah, ya, it’s so good…!”

Earnest words from deep within me bypassed my overwhelmed brain and went straight out of my mouth unfiltered. Ilias looked like he was at his wits’ end, but also laughed so happily. I loved it. Just when I thought that I was getting close, he inserted the third finger. There’s no way they’re all going to fit, I wanted to tell him, but after thinking about how there was something even bigger that was going to come next, I had to get used to this size first if I wanted that to enter me. If only we had some lotion…Not bringing such a practical thing with me was a real blunder. As I pondered over any substitutes we could use, I suddenly remembered the bottle of hand cream I brought with me despite not having any use for it in this kind of weather.

“Ah, Ilias—wait—”

“What is it?”

“My, ahh, my bag… cut it—! Handcre—eeea?!”

Stop moving your fingers while I’m talking! I ended up making a weird sound since he kept rubbing that sensitive part inside me while I tried to talk… In the end, I was still caught in-between clashing desires of wanting to escape from his clutches and wanting him to stroke it even more. Ilias managed to grasp what I meant even though my words were incomprehensible at best in that state; pulling out his fingers, he disappeared to the back of the room in a flash. The sudden emptiness made my hole throb with aching desire for something to fill it up again.

“Haa, haa…”

I prayed for him to come back quickly as I regulated my breathing, and soon enough he returned bearing a generous amount of cream which he used to coat his fingers.

Fua…!”

Two digits were thrust inside with no hesitation at all—but this time, the slide was smooth and not as painful. In the brief intervals where the sound of the fireworks ceased, the slick and wet noises made a feeling of shame spark up inside of me but I couldn’t dwell on it properly with Ilias playing with that spot that felt so good over and over and over again. With each thrust and each stroke, I could feel my thoughts slowly scattering away piece by piece.

“Is it fine to put it in?”

At my nod of approval, Ilias withdrew his fingers and pulled open the front of his disheveled yukata. He stripped off his underwear which revealed his thick and aroused cock in plain view—thoughts of how it would be going inside of me had me gulping my saliva.

Ilias let out a small smile upon seeing what state I was in. He covered my body and pressed his dick snugly against the entrance of my hole… and then, stopped moving. As I looked over at him to see what was wrong, my eyes collided with his serious gaze.

“Azusa… I… the way I feel for you—”

I pressed a finger against his lips before he could say anything more, which he obviously hadn’t expected me to do from the alarmed expression on his face. What I was thinking though, was that: yeah, it was normal to say those kinds of words while in this situation…However, how about you get to the action first and then say it—though in this kind of atmosphere, I didn’t retort that way.

Haa, that’s enough—don’t say them… for my sake.”

His eyes widened after I spoke those words  while tracing his lips with my fingers. He must be so confused, right? Yesterday I had acted so spoiled towards him, yet now I selfishly stopped him when he tried to say such sweet words… My disturbed breathing gradually settled down, and I could finally speak again.

“Once you leave, once you’re gone and I’m left here alone, would I be able to live on if you say those words right now? That’s why…don’t. Please.”

“I can’t… I’m sorry, but I must say them. I cannot just pretend my feelings aren’t right here. Not when I’m truly in love with—”

“Ilias!”

I raised my voice and cut him off, then chewed my lips as I shook my head repeatedly.

“I’m begging you… Please…I’m already like this, what more if you…I won’t be able to handle it. I’m already this weak because of you so please, take responsibility.”

None of what I was saying made any sense, I knew.

I said before that it was so that we could go back to our previous lives without any lingering attachments tying us both down, but the truth was, that was only an excuse. I was in fact carving out an escape route for myself to keep myself from getting hurt. If he didn’t put his feelings into words, then I wouldn’t know them, wouldn’t know for sure.

Once I’m left behind with only an empty apartment and a life without him, then I could say to myself: ‘You were just deluding yourself. He didn’t actually have feelings for you’. So that I would be able to convince myself of that, so that I wouldn’t spend the rest of my days clinging to his memories…he must never say them. I knew just how selfish I was being. Disregarding his feelings and forcing him to swallow his words like this, deceiving him with my words and acting so troublesome…I felt so guilty.

And yet… even so, a part of me wanted to hear those words. A part of me was screaming that I wanted to convey my own feelings for him…Really, this whole thing was hilarious. What was I, a maiden?

“… I get it.”

Both relief and sadness welled up inside of me when I heard his words of agreement. Though I should’ve been thanking him with a smile, all I could see in front of my eyes was a blur. I was just feeling more sensitive today than usual—that’s absolutely the only reason why these tears were slipping from my eyes. I wasn’t crying because of this conversation, or what I’d driven him to say.

Right then, I suddenly became aware again of the hot thing gently pressed to my back, and remembered that we had just been in the middle of something. I wanted to continue from where we left off so bad, but I had just refused his confession…Reason and desire crashed against each other in a tangle of thoughts, and perhaps because I was too preoccupied with this internal conflict, I was caught unprepared when his cock softly brushed against my hole. Torturous, teasing sparks instantly traversed across my whole body.

“Put it in, Ilias.”

“But… but you…!”

“It’s not like you’re forcing me. I want this. I’m the one who invited you—this is all on me, so come on, please…hurry up, put it in me…”

He wavered for a while, not knowing what to do, but in the end nodded with a face that looked like it was on the verge of tears. Then, he thrusted inside me.

“—ngh! Ha—”

Pushing past the tight entrance of my body, the mass of his engorged dick made my breath stop. It felt so painful, and bitter, and uncomfortable… but I clenched my teeth, not allowing a single sound of complaint reach my mouth. As I desperately endured the feeling of something so gigantic penetrating me, droplets of Ilias’s sweat dripped onto my chest while he heaved a labored breath.

Ngh, Azusa… you need to loosen up…!”

“Haa, yo…you’re asking for, impossib—ah, nn!”

If it can’t get in then just let it out! I huffed and puffed and tried to loosen up; only when it seemed like it was time did Ilias force his cock deeper inside of me.

Hya?!”

“I’ve put it all in.”

Ilias moved not an inch until I had settled down, save for his fingers that gently stroked my head, as if combing through my hair, while I panted. As he had himself propped on his elbows, his face was quite very close to mine, and in such proximity the smell of his body mixed with his sweat was overwhelming when it was carried over to me by the crisp night air. I buried myself into that scent, adjusting my breathing, before I finally readied myself and urged him to continue with my eyes.

“If it gets too much, tell me.”

Haa, if I say so, nn—will you stop?”

When I asked that question with a grin, Ilias blinked several times as if surprised before returning the same smile.

“If that happens, I’ll be more careful to make you feel even better.”

The radiance of the fireworks provided some backlighting, and yet I couldn’t see a thing due to the mist in my eyes, the sensation of him licking at me, and the way his smell was addling my senses. All of my insides and even my breath froze in wait when he slowly began to move—though he was slow and gentle, there were still some twinges of discomfort which I quickly suppressed. Gradually he quickened, and the slapping sounds of skin hitting skin and wet slurping noises soon filled the air in a staggering rhythm.

“Ah, nn, aah, a…h!”

Moans kept on leaking out from me with every thrust; his fingers were utterly incomparable to his length, his size, his reach inside right now, as well as the wave of ecstasy that was currently washing over me at the moment. And then, as our bodies rocked back and forth, he persistently struck at that spot inside me that had me melting in pure bliss.

“Ha, ah, Ili–as…!”

“Nh, haa, are you alright?”

“Ah, aah, nha, don’t, there!”

I felt I would go crazy if he kept thrusting against that place, but even when I begged him to stop, his movements showed no hints of ceasing and grew wilder instead. I had no choice left but wrap my arms around his back and cling on.

“Even if you tell me to stop, you aren’t letting go of my hips, Azusa.”

He smiled at me with squinting, glittering eyes—it was then that I noticed the legs I had unconsciously twined around his waist, locking him inside me, and my face heated up. It was a little too late to be all shy about it after the deed was done, but still, having it told aloud was quite embarrassing.

Does it feel good?”

His breath brushed against my ear erotically as he whispered to me in a voice thick with desire.

“Hey, don’t tighten up…!”

Ilias spoke in a voice that didn’t allow any room for argument, and bit by bit he pulled out his cock before plunging it all the way back in. Whether it was because I was getting close to the edge or because of the way he was vigorously thrusting into me, my body shuddered violently.

“Too… fast! Ilias… nn, hya, an, ah, Ilias…!”

I had long since lost control of my body, so it wasn’t particularly surprising that I was unaware of my nails digging deep into Ilias’s back.

Aah, it feels good…I like it—I like it, you know? I like you… so, that’s why, stay by my side.

Since you’re such a cool yet gentle guy… once you leave me, soon enough you’ll find someone else to take the place I have now. I know that, I understand that, but… I can’t stand it. I hate it.

Despite thinking about how I don’t want to let you go so much, even I can’t let myself be that selfish…so, please, I’m begging you, even when you return to the other world—

“Don’t become someone else’s.”

The words that I had unintentionally let loose from the bottom of my heart were drowned out by the sound of the fireworks.

 


 

Author’s Note

I rewrote this so many times… Emotional scenes sure do whittle down my spiritual power for writing…

I corrected some typos…! How embarrassing… Thank you very much ><

 


 

Translator’s Note

Here is the moment everyone has been waiting for.

You know… you know? I really think there’s no one who puts as much effort into translating R18 scenes as Psyx and I do…

Our Editor-sama is now working full-time so she only has a small bit of free time. Even so, she’s doing her best to help make this translation look beautiful!!

Thanks very much to our amazing Agent Psyx, and thanks very much to our wonderful author-sama Taro-sensei!!

I’m about to be late to work, so I’ll leave it off here. The next chapter contains more explicit content (and more tears), so be prepared. Thank you for reading. Please look forward to it.

 

Previous Chapter | Index | Next Chapter

 

Picked up a Strange Knight – Ch 16: A tsun’s eyes have tears, too

I really felt like I was floating. This being my first time going on a trip with another person, I completely let loose and enjoyed myself to the fullest, to the point where I messed up on pacing myself and accidentally drank too much.

My mood had never been better after I bought canned beer from a vending machine following dinner; I had planned on savoring them together with Ilias, and yet this guy had already stopped after just a couple few and switched the TV on instead, sitting on his futon with his back turned toward me. It wasn’t as if I could just coerce someone who didn’t have a lot of alcohol tolerance into becoming my drinking partner—that would make me feel too guilty, but it was boring as hell to drink all by myself. Therefore, all I could do was just sit on the chair next to the window, curl my knees up to my chest, and sulk at his back. We came all the way here and you’re just watching TV? You better get ready ‘cause I’m comin’ at ya, mister.

Heyyy.”

“Hm? What is it, Azusa?”

Responding to my voice, Ilias turned around to face me—then immediately snapped his eyes back to the screen, his cheeks furiously flushing red. Good, good, all according to plan. Me sitting in this curled-up position was for a reason: it would inevitably result in the yukata sliding down to reveal my bare thighs, and Ilias’s gaze being drawn toward the exposed skin instinctually before he diverts his eyes in a panic. I’m so grateful that he’s so easy to read.

Heyyy… Ilias.”

I sweetly called out his name like I was cornering an enemy in retreat. He looked over my way again and swallowed his saliva with an audible gulp, the subtle, sensual movement of his throat turning me on.

I don’t usually say his name at all; in fact, I try to call it as few times as possible. It didn’t really mean anything until that day we crossed a certain line, and now the act carries an implication of a certain kind.

When that guy’s name passes from my lips, it’s because I want to have sex with him. Probably brought about by the number of times I would unconsciously call his name out whenever our bodies were pressed tightly together, this was simply just another habit I wouldn’t have paid any attention to if Ilias did not point it out. He understood me quite a bit as well, huh. And so, tonight, I called out the name of this guy who had gone on this trip with me only to flee toward the TV. The Ilias from a little while ago would’ve already jumped at the opportunity to kiss me, but lately—or to be more precise, ever since he’d communicated with his home country last month—he’d stopped doing anything that would segue into the two of us becoming physically intimate.

Even though I’m trying to do it with him, saying that I’m in the mood, that I want it is the limit of my ability if he doesn’t initiate. I’m this inexperienced because I didn’t have to do anything before—even if I was just sleeping, it had been normal for me to get pinned down the second I woke up, so…

I already knew a hundred times over that having a relationship like this wasn’t good. What Ilias wanted to do, I think, was to draw a line between us; that way, we could still treat each other well even with his return looming over us. But for me, knowing that we wouldn’t see each other again for the rest of our lives only made me want to touch him more than ever.

That was why when he didn’t react to my invitation, I finally couldn’t stand it anymore and got off the chair, walked over to where he sat cross-legged in his futon, then plunked down into the empty space formed by his legs with the two of us face-to-face.

“Really, what’s going on, Azusa?”

Ilias showed no sign of anger or annoyance after I blocked the TV just like that, and instead stroked my head when I cuddled against his chest. The steady rhythm of his heartbeat soothed me, and I could feel the frustration I had earlier wash away, replaced by a wave of happiness now that he was finally by my side once again. I placed my hand on his burly chest in a way that looked like I was clinging to him.

“Caught youuu.”

I raised my head and gave him a dopey smile, which he responded to by opening and closing his mouth like a fish’s, as if he had lost all ability to form words. It was a pretty funny sight, and getting him to make a face like that lifted my spirits up. My good mood restored, I yanked on his collar and drew his face closer. Smacking noises sounded out in the air while we gently kissed, but then he suddenly sealed his lips shut when I attempted to slip my tongue in. The hell. He doesn’t want to make out with me anymore?

“Ilias…”

My voice came out wrecked as I shot him an aggrieved expression. No matter how I looked at him, his gleaming eyes betrayed how much he wanted to do it—so just what was he holding back for? I pulled his head down once again and found his lips compliantly parted open this time. My tongue entered to meet his, twisting and sliding across each other before I traced his teeth and the walls of his mouth with all the experience I had at my disposal—that is, a beginner’s. I couldn’t quite reach his upper jaw to lick it, so I gave up on the idea and instead used both of my hands to turn his head, deliberately putting them over his ears as if to close them. Pressing my tongue deeper, I pestered him again and again until he finally gave in and took over the reins. He started by aggressively tangling and twining our tongues together till I ran out of breath.

“Ah, hnngh—”

His kisses were too intense; now that he was serious, I knew that I only had scant seconds left before I grew dizzy from lack of oxygen but I didn’t want to stop; I tightened my grip on his head instead and hung on desperately.   Only after seeing how intoxicated I was by pleasure and how excited I had gotten over his desire to conquer me did he finally release my lips with a raised corner of his mouth. That evil smile oozing with sexiness was the last straw; I shoved at his shoulders and pushed him down.

“Wha—Azusa…?!”

Caught unprepared by my actions, Ilias fell backwards on the floor and had no time to react before I mounted him, pressing my hands against the futon and settling my hips on his lower half before I continued our kiss. I had earlier pulled my yukata loose after it had gotten unpleasantly tight, and at some point, one of the sleeves had slipped off of my shoulder and fallen to around my elbow.

“Haa, ha…”

Separating our lips to regain my breath, I peeked over at his face and locked gazes with his feverish eyes, sending a crackle of electricity into the air. Also—I felt something hard pressing up against and hitting my ass. Knowing that I wasn’t getting excited all by myself made me happy.

Ilias’s shoulder trembled as I traced my fingers from the nape of his neck down to his chest; the sight of him chewing on his lips to endure the sensation was utterly adorable, so this time I pressed my lips to his nape. But just as I was adjusting my position, his arm came up to block me around my collarbone. Why is he stopping me? I unintentionally shot an annoyed glare at him.

Ilias, despite looking like he was in heat, had his eyebrows lowered and bore a troubled expression.

“That, um… Let’s go take a bath!”

Quicker than anyone could’ve even nodded in agreement, Ilias got up, easily hoisted me into his arms, and started walking.

I was then brought over to the bathroom in the next room and carefully placed down, before I watched him retreat all a fluster in the dressing area when I told him that I could get in the bath by myself. This demeanor of his, however, faded once he noticed my gaze and he pulled at his obi with recovered composure. I stripped manfully and then followed after him in pursuit into the open-air bath. As I took a dip in the water, the warm temperature felt so nice, a sigh naturally leaked out. I couldn’t bring myself to speak with this delicate atmosphere hanging around us; I could only soak in silence and then submerge even more deeper when Ilias, whose tolerance to the water was lower than mine, stood to get out of the bath.

He looked like he wanted to say something, but not knowing what, started to flounder. I turned around to face him, chin in my hands with my elbows dipping into the water as I looked up. “Aah,” he said, then, “Uuh.” …The only things coming out of his mouth weren’t even words. I knew that this guy could be useless sometimes, but… it frustrated me that he couldn’t even be honest at a time like this. Was I the one who’d have to bring it up? Well, I guess that was fine… but, really.

“I get it.”

“What do you…”

“I won’t touch you anymore. Since this is our last month together, I’ll respect your boundaries. I won’t try to cross them again.”

“Boundaries…? What are you talking about?”

“Usually, I wouldn’t start a sexual relationship with someone if I didn’t also like them romantically. My feelings might’ve gone a little off track, but they’ll go back to normal soon. I’m sorry that I made you put up with me like that.”

“W-Wait, hold on! When I touched you, Azusa, it had never been my intention to…!”

Even if I stayed here any longer, it wouldn’t amount to anything, so I might as well go cool my head off a bit. Though caught by surprise when I abruptly stood up, he quickly came over to seize me by the arms.

When you touched me, that had never been your intention’ you say, then just what kind of intention did you actually have? Don’t tell me you actually want to say ‘I did it because I’m in love with you’. If that were the case, why would you start avoiding me like this… I really don’t get it. My head felt like it was ready to burst, and soon enough, tears started to well up in my eyes.

“Azusa… please don’t cry.”

Large hands enveloped my cheeks, and a thumb swiped under my eyes. Damn it, just why the hell am I crying in the bath. He knew that I would like being caressed like this, and that’s why he was doing it, wasn’t he.

“For making you feel so uneasy, I’m so sorry… it’s… I feel pathetic saying it, but at this rate I feel that no matter how much I try to restrain myself, I’m still not able to, so… you really don’t have to worry.”

“… restrain… yourself?”

“That is… what I mean is… what I want is not something as casual as what we’ve done up until now. I’m actually… I’m afraid… to fully embrace you. If it turned out that you hated it, then…”

For a moment, I thought that his weakly tapering-off statement must have been a conveniently-timed auditory hallucination. But, when he gazed at me without averting his eyes, I understood that it was real.

What… the hell? He was trying to be considerate to me, and that’s why he’d decided to restrain himself and stop touching me…? The heck’s with that, you should’ve just told me sooner… I had been upset wondering if I had been thrown away, but it wasn’t freakin’ like that at all.

Perhaps it was because I’d gotten whiplash from my emotions, but once a single tear dashed out of my eyes, a flood of tears soon followed. I began to cry inconsolably, and hugged the chest before my eyes. It was hard with muscle, and felt warmer than usual.

“–glad… I’m so glad…”

Those words leaked out as I sobbed. Alarmed by my reaction, Ilias kept calling my name and asking what was wrong . Without answering his pleading, I raised my head.

“Good news.”

“Wha…”

“As a special for you, I’ll let you embrace me.”

“A—Azusa?! What are you…?!”

“What, weren’t you saying that you wanted to hold me?”

“Ah, um, that’s certainly true, but…”

“Hey… won’t you give me some memories to remember you by? Take me… won’t you?”

“Ngh—Azusa…!”

He hugged me tightly, and from his chest I heard his heart beating faster than I’d ever heard before. He had been waiting for me, for this moment, the whole time, hadn’t he? Since I easily gave him permission to take all of me, I wonder what he was feeling right now? He should be only feeling happiness  right?

I once again raised my face, meeting Ilias’s gaze whose smile reached from ear to ear and closed my eyes as his face approached. But suddenly I swayed, feeling all light and floaty, and my weak legs buckled without any strength to support my body.

“What’s wrong, Azusa?!”

He hysterically raised his voice, sounding completely different from how he had been just earlier. Though I wanted to tell him I was okay, I couldn’t even open my eyes—drunk and overheated as I was after drinking a considerable amount of liquor and then getting into a bath.

Aaaaaaaah—I’m such an idiot… why the hell did I drink so much? Regret was the last thing I thought of until I finally relinquished my consciousness.

 


 

Translator’s Note

Here it is… here comes the pain train… (grips tissues)

You don’t want to know how many times I’ve cried over these next few chapters. All I’ll say is, the number is definitely in the double-digits.

Regarding the chapter title – I made a lot of different translations for this, ranging from clearly descriptive to more poetic. “There are tears in a tsun’s eyes, as well”, “A tsun’s eyes can cry, too”. Basically, even though tsunderes like Azusa act tough and haughty, they also have times where they’re sensitive and emotionally vulnerable. Azusa really loves Ilias and cried because he thought Ilias didn’t love him back… waaa ๐·°(৹˃̵﹏˂̵৹)°·๐

For this chapter, Psyx journeyed through scorching deserts and frozen wastelands, battled nefarious villains and rescued attractive side characters, all the while carrying the precious mission cargo with her until she finally made her return to base – weary and worn, but still as illustrious and magnificent as always. Let’s thank our favorite Agent and editor for her hard work!!

Also, I didn’t really prepare anything for April Fools… well, instead, I can show a short 4-koma using the Line stickers that I’ve been drawing for fun!

On Chapter 8, after their Sakura-viewing Date

doki
E-eh…? My heart, it’s thumping…?
gaan
…!!!! My heart seriously went dokyun~ for him?!?!
orz
…….
facepalm
I’m straight, aren’t I?…… I’M STRAIGHT, AREN’T I?!?!!

Narrator’s voice: The Azusa of that time did not yet know that his blissfully married life would soon begin.

 

In the next chapter, Ilias goes chrysanthemum-viewing(R18). Please look forward to it.

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Picked up a Strange Knight – Ch 15: Since it really was just as hoped

“It’s just for three days and two nights—what’s with all this luggage?!”

What greeted me when I came home from work that Thursday evening was an enormous bag cluttering up the entrance. Packing up this gigantic carry-on… Are you going overseas?! I also did plan on bringing a boston bag, but it absolutely wasn’t as stuffed as this… Just some underwear and a change of clothes is fine, you know…!

Reduce it, I ordered Ilias, who began opening his bag like a kicked puppy. The mumbled excuses to himself were ignored, as well as the forlorn air exuded by his back after I told him that he couldn’t possibly need so many stuff. I wouldn’t coddle him on this no matter how pitiful he looked. Hardening my heart into a demon’s, I peered into his bag and assessed the contents.

The magical communication device was a given so I suppose I’d allow him to bring it, but as for the other objects stuffed inside… Cooking utensils, household amenities, a pillow, a light blanket…

“… Hey, what kind of traveling have you done before?”

“That is… Training or expeditions…”

“Is that so,” I deadpanned. So this guy had never packed his things and gone on a trip simply to have fun, whether as a young master of nobility who rarely went outside or as an honorable and steadfast knight. I sighed and dropped my hand onto the bag. Ilias despondently apologized, so I ruffled his hair to tell him it was alright. To even start smiling wryly at him… I’ve really got it bad.

 

It was early in the morning, and though normally we’d be asleep at this time, the both of us were instead at the train station. Well, though I said it was early morning, a bunch of people still crowded the station terminal. The accustomed, veteran me zoomed toward the express train boarding area while Ilias waddled along from behind. 1 He gave the special express ticket I purchased at the platform a mystified look when I handed it over. “Don’t lose it,” I instructed before we went inside a shop. After taking a look around, I located the real pleasure of taking a train ride: the station-special bento, ekiben.2 “Let’s take this chance to get something to eat. Pick whichever one you like,” I told him.

“Is it really alright to buy such an extravagant bento?” Ilias asked, earnestly worrying. With how he was always throwing whatever foodstuffs he liked into the grocery cart, I wondered why would he be concerned about this now, but I guess he got bothered since the deluxe appearance of the ekiben was much different from the normal bento sold at the supermarket.

I was glad to see that the train had shinkansen-like seats rather than the regular ones; I might be slender enough to fit in those, but this guy over here who was double my size definitely wouldn’t be. 3 Once we were seated and the train started to move, Ilias stared out the window with childlike delight exactly just like how I’d imagined that a smile came up unbidden on my face.

I cracked open a tourist magazine while Ilias was preoccupied with the sights outside. As I went through the support section to check the recommended tourist spots, restaurants, souvenirs, and made especially sure not to forget to look for shops that sold sweets, I stuck some sticky labels I swiped from work onto the pages. Ilias soon abandoned the scenery he had been watching in perfect contentment to peer over my shoulder. The magazine was a real pain to read because it was absolutely riddled with names written in kanji, but with the help of the plentiful photos accompanying the text, Ilias was somewhat able to understand it. Looking through the magazine together ended up being surprisingly fun.

After we ate our ekiben, there were still 30 minutes left until we reached our destination. The wave of drowsiness that hit me right then was not surprising at all, considering how early I’ve gotten up and how I’ve been moving non-stop ever since. I was yawning when my left hand was suddenly captured; wondering what was up, I looked over at Ilias only to see him twining our fingers together.

I was a man just like him, so how come this guy’s hand was so much bigger and wider than mine… It must be because my fingers had always been a little too slender, which must’ve made my hand appear slimmer as a whole. While I worriedly chewed over such thoughts, I told Ilias to take a look—but he only smiled and called my name as a response, probably because he didn’t want to show a disagreeable attitude.

That’s a yes, isn’t it? So my fingers are way too thin?! I didn’t say this out loud, though. There were other people around so, if possible, I would’ve liked for him to let go of me, but… it was exceptionally difficult to say upon seeing how happy he was to hold my hand. I helplessly raised the armrest and, having gotten rid of any barriers between us,  stuffed our hands into that space as if to hide them. It might have been a vain struggle but it was still better than just showing off our clasped hands in the open.

“Thank you.”

Seeing that I’d made a concession for him, Ilias turned a truly sweet smile on me. I instantly diverted my gaze in embarrassment and looked down, but at the very least I tightly gripped his hand back.

 

We arrived at our intended train stop. As I got the rental car, I figured that for the time being we should first check out the furthest sightseeing spot. I input the address into the GPS, and when I got out of the car it felt pretty good to see Ilias looking over at me with such admiring and sparkly eyes. I had thought about taking my ‘beginner’ sign with me since I’m actually a crappy driver, but now I’m really glad I didn’t bring it. 4

After we enjoyed the sights for a day, we headed for inn where I was shocked by the high-class appearance—it was much better than I’d thought it would be. Was this really the right place? I nervously walked up to the front desk and gave my name, and they confirmed that I really had gotten a room here. I paid the lodging fee and was grateful that this was the kind of inn where additional bills for food and drink would be settled at check-out. Buuut, this was the first time I’d seen a place where the hostesses all wore kimonos… It was vexing how, even though I felt so out of place that I was shrinking back, Ilias seemed accustomed to being served so his demeanor toward the hostesses was totally the same as usual. Instead, what he looked around restlessly at was the unfamiliar traditional Japanese décor. In the end, the level of our combined awkwardness was completely maxed out!

 

We carried our luggage with us as the hostess led us to our room. Upon seeing that it was complete with its own outdoor bath, I couldn’t help but get spooked again—is this a suite or something?! The hostess lightly explained the features of the room, and when she took her leave we bid her farewell at the entrance. Finally the door closed, loosening the thread of tension hanging in the air. I heaved a big sigh while the guy next to me who’d been completely unruffled up until now suddenly stiffened up.

“… Hey, what’s up?”

He gave no reaction at all, not even when I waved a hand in front of his face, and only snapped back to reality when I called out ‘Hey’ for the second time.

“A—Azusa… this room, what…”

“Really makes you nervous, right? It’s my first time staying in such a nice place, too.”

“This is… um… the thing called ‘tatami’, isn’t it…? I thought it could only be seen on television…”

“Yup, that’s what it is. Oh, yeah—this is your first experience with a traditional Japanese room, right?”

Every part of my house had wooden floors, so this was probably his first encounter with floors that were purely traditional Japanese. This was something that we Japanese people had already seen plenty of times, but it wouldn’t be an exaggeration if I said that it was a once in a lifetime experience for a foreigner. Since the opportunity really was that rare, I understood Ilias’s enthusiasm over this never-before-seen thing. His gaze spun around the inside of the room, and when he turned his eyes on me to pleadingly ask for permission, I told him to go ahead. He pounced on the screen door and slid it open, his tail eagerly wagging the whole while. As stressed as I was, I’d probably be doing the same thing as well if Ilias hadn’t gotten fired up over this.

We still had plenty of time to kill, so we dressed in the yukatas left in our room and went to take a look around the inn. As could be expected, Ilias was too large for the clothing that all of his limbs stuck out awkwardly, but since the guy himself really wanted to wear the yukata I decided to just let him do what he likes. We peeked into the room that became a dining hall in the mornings and went around the kiosk stalls to windowshop. By the time we returned to our room, there was still an hour left until dinner. Dinner, it seemed, would be sent over to our rooms, so before the food arrived I called out to Ilias. When he heard me say ‘Let’s go take a bath’, his gaze whipped towards me with a snap, face flushing deep crimson.

“Uh… what’s with all the blushing?”

“S—sorry… er, that is… in my country, bathing with another person isn’t really something…”

“Oh, so it’s like that? Even at the dormitory? How did you guys take baths over there?”

“There were many solo shower compartments so we just picked whichever ones were vacant. I suppose the impression is quite similar to the individual stalls found in the ‘restrooms’ here.”

“Huh, then gabbing at each other while naked isn’t something you guys do either, is it?”

Jabbing while naked?!” 5

“… Yeah, I can vaguely guess the answer now.”

He had clearly used some weird pronunciation there. I squinted at him to see if he would explain himself, but Ilias’s gaze skittered away as he acted like of course such a thing didn’t happen. So that was it. Even if he put on an ascetic expression like that of a damn monk, I already knew just how carnivorous this guy really was.

“For your first time, do you want to go to the big public bath? Compared to our room’s private one where it’s just the two of us here, at the public baths there’ll be all of the other guests staying here as well, so—”

“Azusa, your bare skin would be seen by other men?!!”

“Uh, yeah… since it’s a bath…”

“That’s no good, here is fine—a bath with just the two of us is fine!”

“I-Is that so…”

He firmly nodded, and driven by his strong determination, he faced our room’s bath with his underwear in hand. I opened the door to the bathhouse which directly led to the indoor tub for washing, and beyond that, a spacious and fully-furnished open air bath that faced the sea. 6 Though this place looked like it came straight out of a travel TV show… it’s somewhere even I can stay in, huh. Exhilaration bubbled up inside of me as I unwound the obi around my yukata, ready to go ahead and dive in. Loosening with a rustling sound, the obi dropped to the floor after I pulled it out, followed by the yukata which slid from my bare shoulders down to the ground.

“A-A-A, Azu….!?”

Upon hearing his trembling and agitated voice, I looked back to see Ilias standing at the entrance with both of his hands covering his blushing red face. Supposedly, that is, considering his fingers were splayed out in such a way that there was just enough of a gap between his fingers to ensure he could see through them.

“What are you doing; hurry up and strip.”

“But, just…!”

“I’m already used to seeing your naked body, anyway… Well, I’ll just get in first~”

“Eh?!”

“I won’t get out ‘til you come in. If I get dizzy and faint, it’ll be your fault.”

I lightly kicked my underwear off and went into the bathroom with a towel in hand. Even if our relationship didn’t have anything to do with feelings or deep emotional connections, I couldn’t possibly be shy about him seeing me nude when we continued to have physical relations once every three days. And besides, this was a bath. In the first place, there was that time when he’d gone wild and made us do it the bathroom even while we were still wearing our clothes, so just why the hell would he be so bashful in this situation now… I’m really struggling to understand. Well, even if he said he was that embarrassed, I’m sure he’ll obstinately end up getting in anyway.

I quickly washed my body and hair before jumping into the bath. Once I started soaking, he finally came to join me with—of all things—a towel wrapped around his body.

Are you a woman?! I yanked it off while tsukkomi-ing, then threw him into the dressing area to wash off properly. Though he objected for a while, saying that he could do it himself, he still inevitably got worked up in the end and his thing even got halfway hard as it splashed the cold water.

We leisurely lingered in the hot pool, and after testing the limits of how long Ilias could comfortably stay within, it quickly became time to eat. The meal that looked exactly like something you’d see advertised with the commercial jingle ‘Fresh and abundant treasures of the sea!’ made my veins thrum with excitement. 7

I requested to have some sake as well, and expressed my gratitude when it was immediately delivered to me. It was pretty nice to live such a ‘want for nothing’ life sometimes, huh. As I looked over at Ilias and watched him stuff his cheeks with just as much joy, I honestly felt that I was glad to have come here with him. Ilias sent a smile my way when he noticed my gaze, and just that small act from him made happiness well up in my heart. I would never say it out loud, but I guess it seems that I’ve really got it bad for him.

 


 

Translator’s Note

This chapter was full of things to learn. Such a fulfilling tourist life.

Thanks to the JP translators from Blob T for helping translate some tough lines! And thanks to our top star Agent Psyx, who slid this beautifully-edited chapter over while under the cover of the night. (worships)

One more bit of news – Taro-sensei permitted me to translate the sequel, so I am now working on it alongside the final chapters of PSK! I’ll try to release it around the time that the last chapters of PSK are posted. The sequel is from Ilias’s point of view and talks about their life after the events of PSK.

Azusa reaches max power in the next chapter. Please look forward to it.

 

 

Previous Chapter | Index | Next Chapter


  1. The line here is written with sound effects. Azusa moves through the station like zukazuka while Ilias follows after him like chokochoko. It’s a really cute image if you can imagine the sounds their footsteps make. 
  2. Ekiben, known in English as “railway boxed meals” or as I like to call them, station bento, are a specialty type of lunch box sold exclusively at or near Japanese train stations. These bentos are usually much more extravagant than normal ones, and are packed with regional specialties and delicacies. They are essentially advertising the local area’s goods. I recommend searching up ekiben (駅弁) to see some amazing photos. 
  3. Shinkansen seats seem to be somewhat spacious and deluxe. From what I saw while researching, they look like first-class airplane seating: two or three wide cushioned chairs sitting beside each other next to windows, forming a row of 4 or 6 chairs with an open aisle in the middle. I assume that normal train seats are much more cramped, so seeing these spacious seats made Azusa relieved. 
  4. Azusa says that he was glad he didn’t bring his ‘wakaba mark’. In Japan, beginner drivers put a green and yellow chevron sign on their car to show that they’re unfamiliar with driving. It is known as a shoshinsha (beginner) mark, or as a wakaba mark (Wakaba being the region where the sign imagery came from). This sign is also an emoji in certain places; for example, it will show up in Discord as :beginner:. 
  5. Kanji pun. Azusa says “You guys don’t socialize while naked?” where the word “socialize” is written 付き合い [tsukiai]. In Ilias’s line, he repeats the sound [tsukiai] but written as き合い, where 突き means “thrust, stab” (as in fencing/swordfighting). In other words, he understood socializing while naked as naked thrusting at each other… 
  6. There are several parts to a bath area in Japan. When Azusa and Ilias first exit their room, they enter a ‘dressing area’ where they can take off their clothes and wash up in a small tub. Once they’ve cleaned up, they can then proceed out from the dressing area and to the actual open-air bath. If you’ve seen bathhouses in anime, you’ll have noticed that it’s proper etiquette to wash up before getting into a shared bath; it’s the same principle here. 
  7. It seems that travel or destination commercials might commonly show closeups of extravagant and beautiful seafood platters with the text “Fresh and abundant seafood!” overlaid on the screen. What Azusa is eating looks exactly like one of those seafood platters he’d seen on TV. 

Picked up a Strange Knight – Extra: Lovers’ Quarrel

Translator’s Note

Hello! In the previous release (chapter 14) I wrote that ‘Ilias’s muscle workouts remain a mystery’ in response to the original Author’s Note for that chapter. Taro-sensei saw that note and very kindly sent a copy of the oneshot story in which those workouts are described! I believe this is an entry to a writing contest/challenge where participants must write a oneshot in 60 minutes based on a theme. The time this takes place seems to be somewhere between chapters 10 and 13 of PSK.
Please enjoy!

 


 

My Midnight Mini-Edition 60-Minute Oneshot Challenge

Subject: Lovers’ quarrel

 

“Ehhh…?”

It was morning. Work had just started, and while drinking his yogurt through a straw, Mita let out a weird voice.

Mita was a constant generator of weird noises, so I ignored him without reacting in any particular way. I was in the middle of copying some files from the server over to my local machine—that sort of pain-in-the-ass thing—when Mita rolled his chair toward me, sliding my way.

Actually, I don’t want to see his face so close to me in the morning… And on top of that, he reeks with some acrid cologne… My face pinched into a frown.

“Sa—Sakurai-san?”

“Yeah?”

“Nah, it’s just, those wrinkles between your eyebrows are gnaaarly. That’s a totally no-good expression, ya know…”

I’d been trying to ease up on the furrow of my brows, but glared slightly when Mita said those words in a low voice. Mita, however, hadn’t learned from his mistake and once again uttered, “Gnaaarly.” In a sense, Mita could be considered a truly brave fellow.

If it were me sitting next to someone who’d been pissed off the whole morning, for example, then I’d have just left him the fuck alone.

Just as I admired his audacity, this brave fellow who hadn’t even asked me what was going on seized my arm and jumped to his feet. He wasn’t taller than the average person but he was at least taller than me, so when Mita stood he inevitably pulled me up by the arm and forced me to get to my feet as well.

“Wai—What’re you—”

“C’mon, let’s go!” he declared, interrupting me as I tried to chew him out.

The brave hero strode forward, pulling me along and essentially dragging me out from the office. Since business had just started, the corridor was quiet and devoid of people. The rays of sunlight flowing in from the windows gave it a refreshing feel.

Mita walked ahead, not minding the loud sound of his footsteps in the people-less corridor and also not letting go of my arm. By the way, I did speak up in protest, but fell silent after he just ignored my second attempt. Cripes, I really don’t want us to stand out any more than we already do…

The place he eventually pushed me into was the most remote kitchenette on the entire office floor.

I usually never came over here so even though I knew of this kitchenette’s existence, this was actually my first time entering it. It looked like a ladies’ hangout spot—though probably I only thought that because I had been influenced by the daytime dramas Ilias had recounted to me.

Unlike what I had expected, this place conveniently had no one in it.

Mita had been carrying that yogurt in his other hand, but he now dropped it on top of the sink and called out ‘Sakurai-saaan’ in a terribly pathetic voice. Don’t whine like that—the only ones who can pull that off are cute anime girls.

“Jeez, what is it? My mood’s pretty bad right now…”

“Yeah, that’s it! That’s what I’m saying, seriously, your face looks freakin’ terrible right now! What happened??”

“… Nothing really.”

“Is that it?? Is it your girlfriend??”

“Eh… uh—”

“I totally nailed it, didn’t I! I pretty much guessed that the reason why Sakurai-san’s been in such a bad mood lately must be cuz of your girlfriend.”

“No, that’s not…”

“It kinda gave me the same feeling as before, when ya had to stay late for overtime ’til 10 at night.”

Ah… That was the day when I’d been so late that Ilias had cried while waiting at the ticket gate…

That’s right; back then, Ilias didn’t have a smartphone yet, so the thought of how I couldn’t get in touch with him had pressed on my mind. I had been anxious and worried, and desperately wanted to finish up already.

Though I’d tried not to let it show through my behavior, Mita had actually caught it… Are you kidding me, that’s so freakin’ humiliating…

“Is she turnin’ into a control freak? Or is she like, totally neglecting you?”

“What are you…?”

“Your girlfriend! You had a fight with her, yeah?”

“A fight… is it something like that… but I’m not the one who did anything wrong.”

“Oooh, how unusual. So what did your girlfriend do? Did she take your money and spend it all for herself?”

“Wait, what. Did that happen to you before?”

“Uhhhh… well, she kinda, took my credit card and…”

Mita, you’ve unexpectedly suffered, haven’t you…

Compared to that, what happened between me and Ilias was probably really minor. No, but, when I think about what happened today, I really have to think that Ilias was in the wrong. The fact that I could only just put up with what happened really pissed me off.

And finally, it’s because of what he did that I completely hadn’t been able to sleep. He rutted against my back as I slept, and then he started touching me even though I was still sleeping. That woke me up, and then I got pulled along by the flow and… yeah, it’s definitely all Ilias’s fault!

“So if it’s not money… what is it, sex?”

Hack, cough, cough…!”

Just when I’d been spiraling down the path of frustration, Mita came and smacked me back to reality with those dead-on-center words. That I ended up choking was inevitable…

Mita’s mouth dropped open. The way he kept staring at me as I choked… really pissed me off! I don’t have problems getting sex, dumbass! But the reason why we haven’t gone all the way yet is because my partner is another man!

Eeh, seriously?! Wait, what?! So Sakurai-san, you’re pent up?!”

“It’s the other way, idiot!”

Eeeeh?! So you were attacked?! So she’s a carnivore?!?!”

“I decided to take the initiative for once, but I was rejected on account of the muscle training…”

“Muscle training?! Huh, that’s like, so powerful?! Just, what kinda stuff does your girlfriend…?”

“Keeps curling up doing a bunch of sit-ups.”

“Something like that’s fine, though.”

“Swings a 2-liter water bottle around for sword-wielding practice.”

“Sword-wielding practice?! Eh, what’s the point of that, to be a fencer?!”

“Also, goes running whenever I’m not around, too, it seems like.”

“Damn, that’s amazing… if she’s that disciplined, then rejecting ‘cuz she needs to work out is… well…”

“I’m not mad about getting rejected. What I’m mad about is that later I got attacked in my sleep, forcing me to have to wake up and get out of bed.”

“Uh…?”

“Even though I had to work the next day, we just kept going until morning!”

While I had been still sluggish from sleepiness, beside me, Ilias had grinned and said, “Last night, Azusa was truly so adorable.” Infuriating! And why the hell was he sleeping naked? It’s just too much to see Ilias’s naked torso laid out on the white sheets—that sight just has far too much destructive power. Even though I was only wearing underwear, too…!

And in that situation, for him to start spilling out all of those gushy words with that prince-like face of his… It made me completely flustered.

On top of all that, he followed me into the shower while I was washing my body…

I’d thought that I had already taken care of him after he’d started touching me in the dead of night. Yet even after I’d told him that I really didn’t have time to waste that morning, when I looked into the mirror and met Ilias’s gaze and his lust-filled face, he came to my ear and…

“I already said that I couldn’t anymore, so it’s not ‘still okay’! That violating demon…!”

Even just remembering it made me blush, and by trying to hide it I ended up leaning over and shouting into the sink.

Argh, it’s so embarrassing, and so shameful, but even despite that it still made me excited…! What am I, some kind of pervert…! I don’t agree to letting Ilias turn me into one, damn it…!!

Such were the thoughts running through my mind as I agonized over the activities Ilias and I had gotten up to from late last night to early this morning.

And of course, as to whether or not Mita who’d been standing next to me had noticed that I was blushing redder than I’d ever turned in my life… to sum it up: it goes without saying.

Picked up a Strange Knight – Ch 14: It should’ve been like that, but it wasn’t

The days naturally grew much hotter when the sun came out at the end of the rainy season. When Ilias had first told me that no such thing as ‘the four seasons’ existed in his homeland and that it was always chilly all year round, I had somewhat predicted how he would react to the summer. But, this guy… he really turned out to be absurdly weak to the heat. ‘I feel guilty about using the air conditioner…’ were his words when he decided to pass the days by with only the electric fan. One day, however, I came back from work to find him melting off the sofa, passed out. My heart nearly stopped at that moment.

Ever since he had suffered mild heat stroke that day, I persistently instructed him to make sure to keep the air conditioner running even if it was cool inside, and to drink lots of salt water. “The Summer of Nippon is quite severe, isn’t it…” When I heard Ilias make such a rare and earnest complaint, I anxiously started fussing over him to the point where I might as well have Job Changed into being his Mom. 1

On a certain day, I left work and got back home at the same time as usual. Ilias, who had been cooking dinner, had greeted me with a ‘Welcome home’ when I opened the front door. It was then that I noticed the cloudy expression on his face. Though he tried to hide it, I wasn’t fooled one bit by his utterly transparent smile. I peered at Ilias’s face, tilting my head as if to ask what was wrong, but I decided not to call him out on it and only replied, ‘I’m home’.

“Oh, we’re having hiyashi chuuka today?” 2

I checked what was for dinner while walking past Ilias, who only smiled before pinching a bit of shredded ham from the edge of the cutting board and offering it to me. Well, would you look at that—at first he used to scold me for sneaking food whenever I passed by, but now he simply handed it over to me. Time to eat up! I parted my lips and chomped down on that ham in front my eyes, then chased after the hand that was withdrawing. Ilias’s body gave a jolt when I took his fingers deep in my mouth, but I had no plans of stopping. My tongue slowly licked the underbelly of his fingers, slid in the space between his nails, then wrapped around the fingertips as I nipped gently at them.

“Why you—Azusa…!”

His eyebrows knitted in self-restraint, reddening all the way up to his cheeks. I had recently discovered his weak point—it lay in his fingertips, which I henceforth began to tease and molest whenever possible. Though the words ‘Let go—’ fell from his mouth plenty of times, he would actually never continue and say something like: ‘Just get off of me already, jeez’. I really loved that face he made, like he was falling apart and barely able to hold himself together.

After taking my fill of his fingertips, I released his fingers with a powerful suck. My eyes met Ilias’s, whose princely façade had been rent apart by an expression openly dripping with lust. Crap, I went too far—the instant I pulled my body back, Ilias’s outstretched arm reached out to me. As if I’d let him catch me that easily. Just how many times would we skip dinner if he caught me every time, I thought. Spinning around towards the bedroom, I gave him a good view of my back and, of course, didn’t forget to look back and grin smugly at him.

“Thanks for the snack—I’m heading off to change.”

Satisfied by the look on his face after he’d been told to wait, I swallowed up the ham.

 

 

We watched TV while drinking barley tea after we had finished eating the hiyashi chuuka. A variety show played on the screen, but since I hadn’t been paying much attention I didn’t understand what it was about. Although usually Ilias eagerly tried to learn and understand the words coming from the TV, today he only watched the screen with a blank gaze like his heart wasn’t into it.

Something must have come up. I had wanted to just gently wait until he talked about it, but… it troubled me to think of how many of these days might pass before then. At times like these, you could only rely on the power of alcohol. After making a show of stretching widely, I stood up and went to the fridge, then answered the questioning gaze I felt at my back by picking up a can of beer and holding it up so that Ilias could see it.

“Wanna drink?”

“… Sure, why not.”

I wondered if he’d picked up on what I meant when I said that. Ilias made a face like an idea had come to him, and nodded. While he fetched glasses, plates and some potato chips, I took out two beer cans and dropped them on the low table. It would be fine if we just drank straight out of the cans, and rather than pouring the chips out onto a plate we could have just opened the bag, but… well, I guess Ilias was just well-mannered that way.

I raised the pull tab on the can with a satisfying pop, then poured the drink into the cups Ilias had brought. The beer sloshed inside the glasses as we toasted with a clink. Ahhhh, beer after a long day of work was the best. I gulped it down for nearly half a minute, then stretched my hand out for the snacks.

While watching TV, I repeated that process for quite a while… then the show ended and switched over to the commercial break, and a somber voice from beside me called out my name.

Mhmm?”

“That is… I was contacted again today.”

I had thought it would be something like that. When this guy brooded, it would usually be because he was thinking about his return to his home world. It was something that should’ve made him happy, so why did it make him have a face like that instead? He held the glass in his hands and restlessly fidgeted. I prompted him to keep going in the silence that followed, and after fixing his gaze down to the table, he continued to speak.

“At present, the restoration of the teleportation device has reached 80% completion. My return is estimated to become possible as early as next month, according to Nippon time.”

“So it’s all going as planned, huh. That’s good news—what’s there to feel down about?”

I stuffed potato chips in my mouth, talking as if it didn’t mean anything to me. That’s right; it didn’t mean anything. He was just going back to where he belonged. That was all. He and I weren’t lovers, so it was nothing. We were just… roommates, roommates who had a more intense physical relationship than other people… Being called ‘partners’ might be the best fit for us.

“…I want to stay here, by Azusa’s side.”

He looked like he might cry. When he squeezed those words out, my breath stopped.

What the heck are you saying? Let’s stop that, okay? Saying such things… I’ll pretend I didn’t notice, so don’t say it. Don’t say that kind of thing… There was so much that I wanted to say then, but at that moment, ‘Damn it’ was the only thing that came to mind.

“What are you saying? Tell me, Ilias Garland, what position do you hold?”

“Azusa…”

“You’re a Knight of the Kingdom who’s meant to guard the Gri-whatever Fortress, aren’t you? That was your pride and honor, wasn’t it?”

Relieved to have said it, I took a breath. Ilias finally turned his face towards me. The expression he had, as if he was utterly lost, made me want to smile bitterly—but only in my heart. Right now, the only thing I could do was put on a cruel face and coldly hook up the corners of my mouth.

“Back in your world you have friends and family waiting for your return, as well as companions who are desperately working to bring you back, don’t you?”

“That’s right, but…”

“You’ve got things you have to do, for their sake as well, right? Is this really the kind of situation where you can stay and keep cooking meals for me?

“…That is…”

“Ah, it’s not like I’m asking you to keep freeloading off of me forever; it’s just, that’s what I like best about you staying here. When I can’t eat your meals anymore, I’ll be—”

Really lonely, was what I had wanted to say, but the words didn’t come out. A strong pair of arms wrapped around me and buried my face into Ilias’s chest. From the side I heard the clear ringing of the glass falling onto the floor, but none of that mattered when the embrace tightened. Above me came the sounds of sniffling accompanied by a rain of ‘sorry’s and desperate apologies.

He’s really such a crybaby, this guy. Can you really be a knight like this… If he keeps crying like that, it’ll make me start tearing up, too.

The truth is, I want you to just be with me. I can’t imagine living alone anymore, and I don’t want to. But the limit to our time together is just around the corner, and now we have to stop hesitating and face it. Ahh, damn it—just how did things turn out like this?

I’m straight, so, just… how did I end up falling for this doggy-like knight? Even though I never understood what it meant to love someone so much that your chest hurt… right now, my heart was in so much pain that I wanted to die. Stupid Ilias.

 

 

Hmmm, it’s deeefinitely tough alright, but if you’ll only be with ’em for a limited time then even if you can’t date, you can at least make some memories, maybe?”

“Making memories, huh… I can’t believe words like those actually came out from a mouth like yours, Mita.”

I drank some draft beer within the busy pub, while Mita’s face screwed up as he ate edamame.

“Whaddya mean! What I handed you was totally a good answer, ya know!”

He had this ‘I’m being picked ooon!’ expression, but that was really the impression people got considering the way this trash’s brain worked—I didn’t point it out though, since it would end up being a pain.

Sometimes when it was time to leave work, the words ‘Let’s go drinkiiinggg!’ would come flying at me. Normally I would just refuse, but after yesterday’s events had left me with an uneasy feeling and the need for a distraction, I agreed this time on the condition that I’d have only one drink. I amenably told Ilias over the phone that I was having a single drink with my junior coworker, and when he told me to be careful about having too much I readily agreed. His voice sounded somewhat lonely, so I added that I wanted dinner, too. “Then I’ll wait for you!” he replied with utter happiness, and my gaze and mouth naturally softened.

Mita, who’d been eavesdropping on our exchange, had exclaimed, “So you’re living together?!” And that was how I’d gotten the bad idea of complaining to him all about this guy who’d come from another world etc., while roughly fudging certain unmentionable details in my explanation.

This person who was not my lover—a roommate and companion I had a physical relationship with, though we had never gone all the way, revealed a desire to stay together with me while crying. It was impossible to stop those words from being spoken, but I wanted later on to be able to end our relationship on pleasant terms without any rotting emotional baggage weighing us down. And as I worriedly mulled over what I should do about this, Mita’s suggestion to go make some memories had slightly surprised me.

“There are a ton of events to go to around this time, right? Ahh, and how about watching fireworks together outta the window of an inn, yeah?!”

“By now, there’s no way that kind of great room would be available.”

“You won’t know unless ya search for it! I’ll ask around with my friends—hold on a minute!”

After stating that, Mita tapped away at his phone and then began to make a call. I would really appreciate if he would be this motivated toward work as well… And in the first place, I wanted to tsukkomi him and ask if he really thought he could get a room in a high-class inn just by using his personal connections, but the moment the call connected and he started speaking, I shut my mouth. 3

His suggestion wasn’t bad at all—I had been thinking that I wanted to do something with Ilias for the end; I suppose going on a trip might be a good idea. Maybe there would be fireworks, or maybe a summer festival. I wanted to let him experience an open-air bath at an onsen resort, and if the sea was close by then maybe I could take him to go swimming, too. 4 The more I thought about it, the more I really wanted to do it. This is the first time I ever contemplated over something so much for someone else’s sake, so my mood became somewhat sappy. Aah, it really does feel like I’ve fallen in love with him, huh.

“Sakurai-san! I managed to get you the first Friday, Saturday, and Sunday of August. I’ll send you the details for the inn later!”

Ah… Mita.”

“What’s up?”

“Thank you. Really.”

Going on a trip with Ilias—just thinking about it made me excited. Perhaps my expression unconsciously changed or something when I gave my thanks, because Mita’s face strangely turned a shade of red before he covered it up, muttering something in an inaudible voice.

 


 

Author’s Note

The people in the comments gave me the question ‘How does Ilias exercise’, but… how does he, ne?? I didn’t really think too deeply about it…

In a bit, I’ll write about the a-mazing story of Ilias’s muscle workouts! Thanks for giving me some great content! lol

 


 

Translator’s Note

Ilias’s muscle workouts remain a mystery, but here’s something else!

There’s a hashtag floating around on Japanese twitter which reads:

#物書きのみんな自分の文体でカップ焼きそばの作り方書こうよ
#Calling all writers, write in your style how to make cup yakisoba

 

Taro-sensei’s Tweet #1

Put the soup base in after three minutes… Alright, it should be good now. Though I wonder why the container for this cup ramen is in such a square form… hm? Wh—Why are there holes at the end of the lid…? Eh? The hot water has to be drained?

W-wait, please, Azusa. My soup…? Huh? This isn’t ramen…?

E…. ehhhhhh?!?!

 

Taro-sensei’s Tweet #2

Uwaa, are you serious, you actually threw the sauce in there… It smells so freakin’ strong… Wait, a—are you crying?! It really made you that sad…?!

W-well, at least the yakisoba will be happy that you care about it so much… Ah, he didn’t… laugh… He’s, not, smiling…!

Nnnngh, fine! Here, go eat your ramen! I’ll top it off with a boiled egg, so don’t cry anymore. Okay? (lol)

 

pats Ilias It’s okay… you aren’t the only one who didn’t know about cup yakisoba…

IMG_7014

If  you’re like me and Ilias, cup yakisoba a set of packaged dry noodles similar to cup ramen. Yakisoba, however, is supposed to be eaten dry. You pour the hot water into the container, let the water sit and cook the noodles, then drain the container using the handy-dandy sieve included in the lid (see those holes above)! After you drain the water, you put the seasoning on.

Ilias, however, had no idea what cup yakisoba was, so he treated it like ramen. He poured all of the seasoning into the hot water which is supposed to be drained out…

Azusa took pity on him. (lol)

 

Thanks to our lo♥ve♥ly Agent Psyx for her wonderful work as always!! We’re trying a new system where she takes the chapter and runs away with it instead of having me staring and breathing heavily over her shoulder. I think it works!

Thanks to Taro-sensei for her wonderful stories!!(≧∇≦) I was so excited to see those tweets… Ilias and Azusa being a lovey-dovey married couple heals my soul. Especially during these chapters…

In the next chapter, Ilias and Azusa go on a honeymoon. Please look forward to it.

[Edit 3/20/2018: Thanks to Yuann-san for correcting sea baths = swimming in the sea! (・ω´-ゞ)^☆ ]

 

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  1. “Job Change” is a gaming term from certain kinds of classical JRPGs like Final Fantasy, where your party characters can switch their ‘classes’ to become warriors, mages, monks, and so on. In this case, Azusa is saying that he should change his specialty from being a ‘salaryman’ to being ‘Mom’ because he was fussing so much. 
  2. Hiyashi chūka is a Japanese dish consisting of chilled ramen noodles with various toppings served in the summer. (via Google)chuka-with-mikan 
  3. I’m leaving tsukkomi in since English words don’t do it justice. If you’re not familiar with tsukkomi, it’s a word from a Japanese comedic trope. One person is the boke does or says something stupid, and the other person is the tsukkomi who tries to snap them back to reality, sometimes in a shocked or exaggerated way. tumblr_inline_nba0lwemEe1qlybcy 
  4. Onsen resort = hot spring resort. 

Picked up a Strange Knight – Ch 13: He has moments like this too? *

Advisory Notice

This chapter contains explicit R18 content.


 

Author’s Note
As a result of incorporating the elements that I like, it became chaotic.

 

I think this is the first time that I’d ever thought Ilias could be scary. He was always so earnest and so docile, and when he followed me around I always saw him as somewhat like a dog… but he was human after all. What popped into my head then was, duh, of course it must be possible for him to lose his temper too.

However—the reason why he had gotten angry was something I completely didn’t understand. Like yeah, Mita had seen my chest, but it wasn’t on purpose; it was a complete accident. No matter how many times I explained this, Ilias only just replied ‘Is that so’ while remaining unrelentingly unconvinced. When I thought back on this later on, even though I really hadn’t done anything guilty at all, the way that I frantically tried to excuse myself might have been one of the reasons why he didn’t believe me.

We returned to the apartment in a stormy mood. I properly stored away my umbrella, placed my bag by the entrance, and took off my suit jacket. As I swatted the slightly wet spots on it, a strong grip locked around my arm.

“Uh… hey?”

I looked up in surprise to see Ilias staring at me with an expressionless face. I was barely able to drop my suit jacket over my bag before he yanked me through the apartment and threw me into the shower room. Oi oi, I’m still wearing all of my clothes; what’s the big idea?! I planted my feet on the floor, glaring at Ilias who got in and shut the door behind him despite being fully-clothed as well. The sight of the exit being blocked off like that made me antsy, but I didn’t let any of that show on my face. Instead, I put on a façade of sullen displeasure and caused Ilias’s eyebrows to twitch up slightly.

“Oi, just what do you think you’re doing? Get a hold of yourself—” My words were cut-off by the sudden, swift motion of a hand going past me to strike the wall with a don, and I jumped backwards in surprise, hitting the mirror behind me. Just as I began to ask what the hell was wrong with him, Ilias simply stopped me again with his lips. His kiss wasn’t the obscene yet gentle kind like it usually was—instead he was solely fixated on seeking out his own pleasure, nipping and sucking so aggressively I couldn’t almost breathe. When I tried to move my tongue away and escape, he quickly captured it with his. My successive attempts to flee only resulted in him biting down sharply, and my shoulders trembled from the pain. And so, I could only meekly submit my mouth and let him ravish me. Hot water started to pour down from above at the same time; it turned out that Ilias had started up the shower.

He only released me when I began getting dizzy from lack of oxygen. I gasped in fresh air desperately,  coughing in-between. My pants suddenly felt too tight—the ferocity of the way he kissed without even giving me a pause to breathe had forcibly made my dick harden up.

“ ’It wasn’t on purpose’, you say.”

Ilias brought his face closer, water droplets cascading down his features. I felt a little relieved when I saw that emotion had returned to his face, but since his eyebrows had knit together in a pained expression, I couldn’t say that it was a good thing to see. I answered his question by nodding as I panted heavily, unable to find the strength to speak. After I did so, Ilias’s other hand slowly traced over my chest.

“I don’t doubt your words, Azusa… But, I can’t forgive that someone else other than me has seen this skin.”

Ilias deftly undid the buttons of my dress shirt with one hand, each one slipping out with a slight pop. His hand slithered over the exposed skin, and I hurriedly stifled the moan that threatened to spill out.

“This white and slender neckline…”

He softly caressed it with his lips before pressing countless more kisses all over the nape of my neck as if pecking at me. I screwed my eyes shut with embarrassment and turned my face away.

“This seductive jutting collarbone…”

His lips kissed their way down to my collarbone, and as he swept his tongue over the line of the bone, I felt that I was being gently devoured. Lust flooded me with each soft touch, and soon enough I couldn’t hold back any longer. A hoarse and sensual groan leaked out me.

“And this chest which holds such beautiful flower buds, as well…”

He pressed a light kiss to my nipple, then dragged his tongue all around as if avoiding it. The faint sensation wasn’t nearly enough; I found myself feeling frustrated. I wanted him to just lick and nip at that nipple which had already hardened to a point, but there was no way that I could say that myself… I endured the torturous pleasure, my neck swaying left and right.

“All of these are only for my eyes. That’s why, I want to clean them up… can I?”

Mm, ah—

“I need your command to do it… Azusa.”

Yah, nn, Ili—as…!”

“Azusa… please, give me the order. Command me to overwrite any trace other than mine.”

“… Touch me… Ilias.”

“As you command, my darling Azusa.”

Even though he was finally smiling, for some reason I thought that he looked more like he was crying—it was a sight I couldn’t bear to see. I cradled his head in my arms and pressed him against my chest. He got my message, and answering my wish, took the nipple in his mouth and fondled it with his tongue teasingly, sucking and nibbling until I couldn’t keep my voice quiet any longer. I was aroused enough to moan aloud as my nipples were persistently assaulted to the point where they turned swollen and red. Yet Ilias didn’t get tired of kneading them with his tongue, and as he marked his way all over the area of my chest, his hand moved southwards toward the lower half of my body.

I only realized he’d loosened my belt when the sound of clinking metal was followed by my pants sliding to my ankles. He then pulled down the underwear that blocked his way, leaving them halfway down my legs around my knees.

“Amazing… are you feeling it more than usual?”

Fwah…!”

He wrapped his hand around my dick and started stroking it, making me quickly put my arms around his neck. The sex was fiercer and more primal than the way we usually did it, so I couldn’t deny that it was more stimulating for both of us. This guy that I’d thought could only ever be gentle had actually gotten fired up with jealousy, and though the forcefulness of his movements were completely different from normal, I also found myself enjoying them. Maybe I actually had a masochistic side to me, though it was only for Ilias.

Rough, then tender, fast and slow—when treated that way by his hand, my hips naturally quivered. It felt good… It felt good, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I didn’t want to be stroked by myself. I wanted him to rub his thick and large cock against me. I swung my hips forward to bring it to his attention, and I raised his head which had been eating up my chest. He licked his lips slickly as our eyes met.

“When you make such an inviting expression… I worry that your junior won’t be able to keep his hands to himself.”

Haa, he, he has a girlfriend, so don’t worry… Nngh, and besides, I’m a man, ah, stop—”

I’m going to come—the moment I thought that, all movement stopped. I imploringly looked at him as if asking why, and saw that even now, his face looked like it would break into tears. The instant I realized that, he picked me up and turned me around, pressing me back against the mirror. With both of my hands pushing against the wall and my cheek flush against the mirror, I didn’t even have time to be confused before my ass was firmly groped.

Hyah?!”

“It’s been a while. Shall we play with this as well?”

Ever since that first time we frotted together, I’d never paid attention to that place again. Goosebumps rose up along my spine when I felt him knead circles on my ass that hadn’t been touched for a long time. As he gripped and massaged it with his hands before pressing a kiss to my back, I shivered from the unfamiliar sensation.

“Cut it out…!”

“It’ll be alright.”

He whispered into my ear, and from there nibbled on my earlobe. His finger circled around my hole before mercilessly plunging in, making me reflexively hold my breath.

Uhn, ha…!”

“Let go and relax.”

Something hot and heavy grinded against my hips, and a tongue plunged into my ear. Just from that, my mouth loosely opened up. I shuddered from the sloppy, wet noises pounding directly into my ear. Not only that, but at the same time Ilias kept ruthlessly driving his fingers deeper into my asshole. I didn’t like the feeling of that foreign intrusion; I couldn’t stand the shame of having someone else’s fingers entering such a filthy place. My vision grew hazy, and I couldn’t tell if that was because of the water pouring out of the shower or if it was because I had started to cry.

The fingers that had slid in all the way to their base began to move, and to fend off the feeling of wrongness I squeezed my eyes shut and sank my nails into the wall. As his fingers moved in all directions, sometimes rotating with his wrist, discomfort wasn’t the only thing I felt from them. An incredible jolt of pleasure attacked me in an instant when they skimmed across a certain place—drawing out a high-pitched voice like I’d never made before that surprised me to the point where my eyes flew open. Even without seeing his face, it was obvious: the guy behind me was caught unprepared by it even more. His throat made an audible swallowing sound, and his fingers moved more boldly than before, striking that spot once again.

Nnaah!”

“Found it.”

His fingers intently thrust against that spot as he lowly murmured, making me spill out loud and panting moans. It felt so good that I thought I was going crazy. My legs lost strength, and I dropped a knee onto the soap stand in front of the mirror. Even though I wasn’t able to stand anymore, Ilias kept relentlessly moving his fingers. The stimulation got even stronger than before as he inserted another finger in me, but no matter how many slipped inside my spent and pliant body they all felt so good that I couldn’t even compare them. But, even though the pleasure was so intense I might even die, and my body was shaking like it was on the brink, for some reason I still couldn’t come.

Ah, nn, ah, ahhh—

I couldn’t bear it anymore, and as I raised my voice that sounded like a woman’s, I started rubbing against my own dick in the mirror. When it slid across the smooth surface, so completely unlike Ilias’s cock that I had gotten used to, the missing feeling of friction was utterly dissatisfying. It wasn’t enough at all. Ahh, fuck, I really can’t come unless I’m touched…! Just as I moved to bring my hand to myself, Ilias whispered into my ear, excited and enraptured. My gaze flickered to his reflection.

“It’s as if there are two Azusas grinding against each other.”

“Wha…!”

A sloppily opened mouth, vacant eyes, swollen, red nipples peeking out of a wet and transparent dress shirt, a hard and erect penis with the tip pressed against the mirror. When I saw this sight of myself before my eyes, I became speechless. What is this… Is this really me?

“Are you having a tough time? I’m sorry, I treated you too harshly.”

He flipped my body around once again, and this time he sat me down on the chair that’d been under the stand. He got down on one knee and finally began thrusting his large dick against me like he usually did. Aahh… This is it, this is what I wanted. I relaxed.

Nn, Ilias, it feels good…!”

The man before me came closer. I wrapped my arms around him in an embrace, and he kissed me gently, as he usually did. It felt amazing and I laughed lightly, relieved. Rather than return a smile to me Ilias knit his eyebrows as he had done all day; then, suddenly, his eyes began to leak with tears. Eh, why, what are you crying over?! I wanted to say that, but as Ilias’s pace grew quicker I didn’t have the chance, and soon enough all that came out of my mouth were meaningless sounds and words.

“What I had told you was, just an attempt to justify my, desire to monopolize you… Ah, to have been considering such a thing… how annoying I must be. I’m really the worst.”

Close to the edge, Ilias’s words came out haltingly. I was surprised that he had told me his motives—it really was about his desire to keep me to himself. The only person allowed to handle my body like this was just this guy here, though… Yet he’d even gotten anxious over some guy whose name he didn’t even know, just because the kiss mark he’d made had been seen. Now knowing that I held such an important place in his heart, I felt happy and a grin rose up on my face. Ilias kept on apologizing, saying ‘Sorry’ even as he vigorously moved his hips, where I twined my legs around.

“If you can make me come in the next ten seconds, I’ll forgive you.” Trying to provoke him, I spoke those words with a smile on my face.

“As you wish,” Ilias said, and laughed. He gave me an erotic smirk, not looking anything at all like that man who’d been sobbing his heart out up until this moment.

 


 

Author’s Note

In the memo for chapter 13, I didn’t write that Ilias became jealous and used the back in the bathroom because I honestly became impatient.

Thank you very much for the appreciation and the warmly-worded comments…! I’m truly grateful, so please excuse me for adding such a strange update…

 


 

Translator’s Note

It’s here! The smut scenes are so intense…

Agent Psyx really worked hard to make the descriptions in this chapter as vivid and flowing as possible in English! The translation became so good after she worked her magic on it!! Thank you for completing this difficult mission… it was tough, but you pulled through…!

Also, we took a small liberty here. When Ilias is going down parts of Azusa’s body, he doesn’t actually call Azusa’s nipples ‘flower buds’… but we were trying to think of a good English term to use, and somehow that was the one we picked. Please forgive us for going a little wild.

As an additional notice, the author’s notes included in this story are the ones Taro-sensei wrote on the original Syosetu post, so sometimes they might be referring to the commenting/appreciation/updating system on that site!

The next chapters might look a little weird because I sobbed all over them. Please look forward to it.

Bonus: an excerpt from our chat

Psyx: My pitiful stash of smut vocabulary…:joy:
Psyx: Like, I was seriously considering replacing ‘nipples’ with ‘tits/teats’ or even ‘flower buds’ :joy::joy::joy::joy:
Ars: HAHAHA
Ars: f-flower buds
Ars: >//>
Ars: enjoying the sakura blossoms, Ilias
Psyx: Omggg
Psyx: Azusa’ pink nipples
Psyx: Ilias will be crysanthemum-blossom viewing next, then? :joy:
Ars: :joy::pray:
Ars: HAHAHA
Ars: holy heck :joy:
Ars: so perfect :joy:
Ars: how did we become such dirty minded people…
Psyx: Properly appreciating Japan’s flowers, indeed *nods solemnly*

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Picked up a Strange Knight – Ch 12: I couldn’t do anything about it!

Aaaah, it’s really starting to come down, huh.”

Mita exclaimed while gazing out the window, foolishly drawling his words with a paper cup pressed to his mouth. Tempted,  I also glanced outside and saw raindrops falling from the darkened sky. It stormed a lot lately now that it was the rainy season. In this kind of weather the trains became packed; I’d get hit by wet umbrellas, and then my suit would get all soaked too… When I thought about the suffering I’d have to go through each time I went home from now on, I unconsciously let out a sigh.

“Oooooooh…!!”

Mita’s sudden holler made me look back at him again — he was staring at me all excitably. What is this, it feels fucking disgusting… So that my inner feelings wouldn’t show, I pasted a fake smile on my face.

“Sakurai-san, it feels like you’ve started getting real sexy lately, haven’tcha.”

Haa?”

“Yeah, ever since Golden Week you just suddenly… turned really sexy, or maybe it’s more like, erotic?”

“…… Mita, so you’ve been looking at me with those kinds of eyes…”

“Hell no, what the heck, how’d this turn into the kinda thing people bring up in the smoking corner?”

“Just what are you on about, it’s grossing me out.”

Thooough, it’s too bad. If Sakurai-san were a girl, I’d probably try to put some moves on ya.”

“Too bad I have a ‘thing’ firmly attached down there.”

Weeell, guess it can’t be helped that everyone’s making eyes at ya, Sakurai-san. The level of the women in our department is way too—”

“Dumbass, shut up, don’t say another word!”

I reflexively hunched down below my monitor to hide. The closest woman was on the phone, the next wasn’t at her desk, and the others were two desk islands away, so they were safe… Thank god, looks like none of them heard our conversation just now. Mita, who’d hunkered down even lower than I had to the point where his face was stuck to his keyboard, was covering his mouth with both hands like he wanted to say ‘I’ve really done it now’.

Just as Mita said, the female side of our department was made up of truly indomitable women. Though if I’m honest it’s not like I was dissatisfied by these women who knew how to do their jobs, and I much preferred them over ladies who were all beauty but no brains, but… well, as a man you really can’t help but think that it’s vital to also have an oasis for your eyes. Maybe it was because too many of them wore only parkas and jeans, or all-black outfits like goth-lolis who’d aged into old witches, that I couldn’t even do my best to appreciate their faces… But if I dared to let  even just a word of this escape from my mouth then tomorrow there would no longer be a Sakurai Azusa sitting here; thus, I absolutely made sure my lips were always pressed shut.

During Mita’s welcoming party, when we were at the third after-party and our female colleagues had all left for home, Mita had passionately cried out about how ‘the women of our division are so scaryyyyy!’ till morning — the memory of that was still fresh in my mind.  And yet, for him to carelessly bring up this forbidden topic while at the company… It wasn’t just the guy who said the words but also the guy listening to him who’d be blamed. I’m definitely not going to be complicit to his crimes — at lunchtime tomorrow, I’m ditching this punk.

Mita raised both of his hands in apology when he saw me glaring, a conflicted smile on his face. But in an instant that smile turned into an expression of surprise, then morphed into a big grin. Just what’s with this guy… He doesn’t feel bad about what he’s done at all.

“It’s suuuper erotic for the uptight Sakurai-san to have a love bite, ya know.”

The second he said that, my hands flew to cover my neck, and I went running out of the office.

 

It was still raining when I left the company building. I exasperatedly fished around inside of my bag, but even after poking and prodding everywhere I couldn’t find what I was looking for. I had no choice but to open up my bag wide to look inside… and yep, it really wasn’t in there. Now that I think about it, I’d used my fold-up umbrella two days ago to go back home, and since it had gotten drenched I’d left it by the entrance to dry off. Did I seriously forget to bring my umbrella… Heaving a sigh, I did a check — it was only a light drizzle, so I decided to just make a run for the station.

I held my briefcase over my head to at least partially protect me from the rain and made the 10-minute dash. It wasn’t really that far of a distance but just sprinting that much had already winded me, maybe because I was getting older. Whilst unbecomingly gasping for breath, I tapped the ticket checker with my train pass, went through the gates, and slid into my usual train before contacting Ilias with my phone. The train carriage stuffed to the brim was exactly the way I’d predicted earlier this morning; I could only catch my breath and close my eyes wearily. The feeling of suffocation made me draw my eyebrows together. I really have to start exercising my body, if only for my own sake.

Actually, those kisses Ilias and I shared before work were just us messing around but in some way or another, we would eventually start getting carried away. The things we did lately had become more like mutually getting off. We had already done it once before, and when we slept in the same bed together it was so easy to just reach out a hand and… Damn it, the way I just go with the flow and start acting all submissive like I’m thirsting for it is really bad. But we had never actually gone all the way  — the most we did was just rubbing against each other. I couldn’t let this guy show off how skilled he was at anything more than this.

Now that I’d gotten addicted to the feeling of doing it with him, I began struggling to get off by myself. There was also the fact that ever since I’d started this life with Ilias, I’d become more aware and frustrated by the physical disparity between his body and mine. Though it was already a certainty that the build of an office worker would be different from that of someone who did physical labor, that guy was still younger than I was, and even his physical strength and the number of times he’d satisfied his partner were much higher than what I could say for myself. Mm, yeah, I’ll really have to start working out after all — it’s scary to think of getting embraced and then crushed between his arms in the near future.

Once I got off the train at my local stop, an unexpected sight stopped me in my tracks. A man with familiar blond hair stuck out in the sparsely-populated ticket gate area, restlessly fidgeting where he stood. He started to look around as if sensing my dumbfounded stare and upon finding me, gave a small wave while his cheeks reddened. Oi, stop that; the high school girls on their way home are grinning nonstop while looking this way —  they’re definitely a bunch of fujoshis. I’m hearing whispers of the word ‘gay’ over there, so please stop waving your hand.

“Azusa!”

He rushed over to me as soon as I passed through the ticket gate. After exchanging the pleasantries of ‘Welcome back!’ and ‘I’m back’, he showed me what he’d been holding in his hand when I asked him what was going on: apparently, he had come to bring me my umbrella and escort me back since I’d forgotten to take it with me earlier. However, he held only this one umbrella of mine.

“I appreciate it, but where’s yours?”

“I-I… What did I do…”

Having just realized his mistake, he seriously got depressed when I pointed it out. So even this guy can get scatterbrained at times, huh. I took the umbrella from the downhearted Ilias and started walking toward the escalator.

“Thanks though. Let’s go home.”

Ilias brightened up at my words, nodding eagerly as he followed after me down the escalator and to the exit, where pouring rain greeted us. I opened up the umbrella and told him to come stand next to me. Though he seemed embarrassed, he eventually came under its shelter. Why something like this made him shy completely baffled me considering that he passionately made out with me every morning, but it seemed like he was enjoying himself so I didn’t press on it.

As we walked down the sidewalk I earnestly listened as Ilias told me all about what had happened in today’s daytime drama. This had become something we did every day, and because of that, I’d firmly grasped the show’s love-hate relationship plot despite never having watched it. Mm, I see, so in today’s broadcast the affair between the husband and the wife’s best friend had come to light. Just how many times has this kind of mayhem broken out, anyway. We took a shortcut through a park that wasn’t often visited, and after Ilias’s chatter about the daytime drama trickled down, I opened my mouth.

“Anyway, onto another subject… You, just when did you put a hickey on me?”

“How—how do you know about that?!”

“My junior at the company told me about it… Hey, don’t make them where people can see from now on.”

“So… sorry, Azusa… You were letting off such a nice scent… so…”

“Was that this morning?”

“Yeah…”

I thought back to how Ilias had caught me after I’d woken up that morning. As he tightly embraced me, Ilias had lowered his face against the nape of my neck, muttering that I smelled nice and dropping kisses all over the area from my nape down to my collarbone. Because of that, my mini-Azusa which had just calmed down once again happily stood up, and since I wasn’t able to quickly get off, I had nearly been late for work for the first time in a while. If it weren’t for that, I wouldn’t have forgotten to bring my umbrella with me…

“It’s embarrassing when someone else points it out.”

“… It… is, indeed.”

“Be more mindful about it next time.”

“… So you forgive me for having marked you?”

“… Huh?”

“Well, I was wondering if you would be angry that I had placed a kiss mark on you…”

“!!!!! I-I-I-It’s not alright!! Marks are prohibited!!”

The hell! I hadn’t even noticed until he pointed it out… Why the hell did I just dere at him like it was natural, and tell him to be more considerate when putting hickeys on me?! I corrected my blunder in a hurry, but unbeknownst to anyone I’d exhaustively used my best efforts to cut off this conversation about how I’d just accepted the way we’d been doing things. Wait a minute, I can’t end this conversation just by convincing myself—listen to what I have to say!! Ilias splendidly looked the other way as I raved and ranted, then turned back and said, “By the way, why was he able to see the base of your neck?”

“Eh?”

“The place I’d marked was just under your collarbone… so why, exactly, was it possible for your junior to see it?”

One of his hands came up to grip my shoulder while the other stroked my neck with a finger, slowly descending to my collarbone before it slid down to trace the very kiss mark he’d been talking about. In contrast to the lewd movements of his hands, his eyes were… completely not smiling… Mr Ilias, that’s scary…

“I-I’d just laid down on my desk…! My dress shirt was a little bigger today, and since I was dressed for Cool Biz I wasn’t wearing a necktie, so my neck… that’s why…!” 1

“You can tell me about your excuses when we get home.”

I, I hadn’t done anything wrong, so what are you getting mad at me for?! Aaaargh, Mita, you idiot!!!

 


 

Translator’s Note

[Update 3/9/2018: Corrected the name of the chapter title “I couldn’t do anything about being kissed!” to “I couldn’t do anything about it!”. I accidentally confused some words!]

Here it is! Thank you Psyx for sticking with me and doing such an awesome editing job!!

Last night I cried so many times while translating chapter 16 that I don’t have the energy to write a long note… Even though I already know the ending and have even finished reading the sequel, why am I still crying?!

In other news, Taro-sensei is writing a new story!! This time it’s a BL with crossdressing. I haven’t started reading it yet, but I’m excited.

Oh! I forgot to mention – I’ve finished making a guide on how to set up a Japanese Renta! account and purchase a volume of the Picked up a Strange Knight webnovel! You can find the guide over here. If you have a dollar or two to spare and are interested in supporting Taro-sensei, please check it out~

Furthermore, if you’re studying Japanese and would like to read the webnovel but don’t have the funds or are too young to purchase it, please contact me through novelupdates forum (username: ars), or by submitting a message through the contact page. Tell me a little about yourself and why you’re studying Japanese, and I’ll send you two dollars to purchase volumes 1 and 2 of Picked up a Strange Knight through paypal. You will need to have a paypal account set up so make sure you have that ready! This offer is to encourage you readers to learn and also to give some support to Taro-sensei, so please properly make sure to purchase the webnovels, okay?

Thank you for reading. Next chapter is an explicit R18 one, so be prepared.

 

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  1. Cool Biz is a campaign started by the Japanese government to reduce air conditioning use by encouraging their employees who wear business suits (like salarymen) to dress more casually during the summer. They can wear short sleeve shirts or just wear less articles. In Azusa’s case, he dropped his tie and opened his shirt up a little more.