Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 44 (Part 2)
The beginning of November.
I got up while it was still dark outside, planning to head out to the next city. Since riding a bike close to the city walls would be too conspicuous, I had no choice but to walk until I reached a less populated area. However, because of the star fragment, a lot of people were currently heading to the 11th city, making everything especially crowded from morning to noon. Which was why I decided to depart before daybreak when there were the least amount of people around.
Trying not to wake Luca up, I cautiously removed the arm that was wrapped around my waist, but as soon as I moved away from him, he let out a groan, perhaps due to the cold air that had taken the place of my body.
“Mnm… is it morning already? Morning, Zagan…”
“No, it’s still night. Sorry for waking you up. It’s still early so go back to sleep.” I patted him on the head and got out of bed.
The weather was getting quite cold outside, but inside the room it was warm thanks to a magic tool.
I grabbed my magic bag and moved a bit farther away so as not to disturb Luca, before taking my armor out.
People with the dark attribute have good night vision, so I had no problem changing in the dark, but Luca created several dim, floating lights. Then, for some reason, he cried out in surprise: “Wa-wait a minute. Why are you already getting dressed?”
“Why, you ask? Cause I’m leaving soon.”
“Wait, you were planning on going by yourself…?”
“? That’s how it went until now.”
What could be the problem? I wondered as I continued to unbutton my pajamas. As I did, several light tentacles reached out and wrapped themselves around my arms, stopping me. There were also tentacles around my waist and legs, lifting my body up. They carried me over to Luca, who was sitting on the bed.
Luca hugged me, tentacles still twined around my body, and kissed my cheek before rubbing his face against my head.
“Zagan, let’s go together from now on, ok?”
“Won’t it be problematic? … if the nobles see us?”
Despite saying that, when I truly thought about it, the knowledge that Luca and I were lovers had probably spread amongst the nobles.
When that woman wounded Noel, Luca told the nobles there that I was his lover. That I was his beloved. There were a lot of people there at that time and the story of how Noel got injured had probably spread as far as the royal capital. Along with that one detail – that my attribute was the cause of it all.
“Well, it might get annoying, but even then, I’ll definitely protect you this time. I won’t let anything happen to you, so stay with me… won’t you?” Luca asked timidly.
I also wanted to be with Luca. However, even if that was what I wanted, it didn’t change the fact that I had the dark attribute or that I was a man. Which was why…
“If you’re with me, Luca might be the one to receive censure instead. People will ask why you, despite being a prince, chose a lover that is both male and has the dark attribute. Would you be ok with that?”
“Who decided that a dark attribute user can’t be by my side? And what rule is there that says a prince can’t marry a man? The law allows for same-sex marriage, so there’s no point in bringing that up.”
I wonder if it’s truly ok. I’ll cause him a lot of trouble if I stay by his side.
Luca looked at me as I pondered his words. He furrowed his brows sadly when I didn’t immediately give him a reply.
“Well, that’s right. Zagan might get hurt by standing by my side. You can hide when you’re on your own, but when you’re with me you inevitably stand out and might receive the ill-will of others. Even if I can protect you from physical attacks, their sharp words might still reach your heart.”
“I’m not that weak. Also, I’m an adventurer – we abide by the law of the jungle. No matter how much abuse they hurl, if they’re weaker than me, they’re nothing more than a piece of trash under my blade.”
The adventurer’s guild’s job was to defeat monsters while also taking on commissions. The stronger you were, the better. Therefore, if someone insults them, an adventurer can intimidate that person into silence. It is to the extent that a person would be accepted as an adventurer as long as they showed strength.
Luca, however, held a place in noble society. Furthermore, he was a prince. As a member of the royal family, he had to take into consideration the opinions of the nobles and listen to the voice of the people. It would cause problems if he were to coerce people into silence.
“No, in the first place, isn’t insulting a prince considered lese-majeste… or maybe not? Will they be arrested for defamation?”
“It wouldn’t be lese-majeste, but the punishment would be much stricter if the person being insulted is me.”
I see, so the punishment changes according to the person’s status… I also didn’t know about same-sex marriage – I should properly study the laws of the Soleil Kingdom. I’m not good with legal stuff, though. I end up turning my head the moment I open a law book.
Luca let out a chuckle, perhaps at the face I was making while in deep contemplation, and kissed my cheek.
“I said it before, didn’t I? I’ll use everything I have if it’s to protect Zagan, be it my position or my authority, so there’s no need to worry.”
“But… isn’t it lame for a man to be protected?”
The last time he told me he’d protect me was when he ordered the knights to be on guard and defend the city from the Dark Organization, so I quietly accepted his words. However, this time, Luca wanted to protect me as an individual. Since he was a prince, it would have turned out the same for whoever stood by his side.
I wanted to be with him, but I didn’t want to be coddled. What should I do in this situation?
While I was thinking about that, he kissed me. On the corner of the eye this time. Then he looked straight at me.
“Ne, Zagan, do you love me because I’m a prince?”
“Then what made you fall in love? Won’t you tell me?”
I didn’t know why he was asking me that all of a sudden, but I found it hard to answer when he repeated the question.
I knew why I fell in love with him, I just didn’t know when it happened.
“That… because Luca was willing to love me. Even though I’m a dark attribute user, you loved me. You taught me that it was okay to love someone even if I have this attribute. And you stood by my side. That’s why I fell in love with Luca… I think.”
After saying all that, I gradually got more and more embarrassed, casting my eyes downwards. Ngh, my face was hot. Luca smiled happily though and he touched my cheek.
“I see. I approached Zagan often and tried my best to make you like me. And then you responded to my feelings. Then, now that our love is mutual, should I stop putting in the effort? Of course not.”
I thought about it for a bit and then nodded in agreement.
I’ve always been alone. I did my best to live by myself and not get involved with others.
However, I also needed to work hard to live with someone else. One needed to put in the effort not to fight over trivial things, and not to end up disrespecting and hating each other. Furthermore, being together with someone meant being tied by several bonds.
“I’m going to try even harder from now on, so that we can always be together. I’m going to try my best so, Zagan, there’s no need for you to feel like you’re lame – let yourself be protected by me.”
I see. To leave Luca without any plausible reason would be to ignore all the effort he had exerted. It wasn’t lame for a guy to be protected by another. Shouldn’t I too do my best, in my own way, to protect Luca?
Luca grabbed my left hand when I nodded in agreement. While I was wondering what was going on, he brought my fingers to his mouth and pressed his lips against one of them. Kissing the base of my ring finger.
We looked at each other just like that, the floating lights adorning the space between us in a beautiful, azure glow.
“Zagan, no matter what obstacles come our way, I will take on all of them and protect you. So please, always stay by my side.”
My heart pounded loudly, my temperature rising all of a sudden until my whole body felt feverish.
Why all of a sudden? Why was he confessing to me so seriously? And using honorific language? It sounded too earnest when he said it like that and my heart was pounding like crazy, my head spinning.1
It’s no use – Luca was too cool to be true. Even though I thought I’d finally gotten used to his blatant shows of affection and ikemen-good-looks, it was foul play to be even more attractive.
Anyway, I wanted to express my thanks and tell him that I would protect him too, but maybe I was too overwhelmed, or happy, or shy because when I tried to open my mouth, tears started welling up.
Because of that, no words came out and I could only nod. How lame. Still, Luca said:
“Thank you, Zagan. I’ll treasure you for the rest of my life. I’m so happy. I love you, Zagan. I love you so much.”
Luca hugged me tight and kissed my face as he whispered his love.
Hasr: Sorry for the weird schedules with the updates lately, y’all can join the discord to do some sick burns on me for that