Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Arc 2 Storm
Chapter 2 Cat
* * *
“My body hurts…”
“I’m sorry, Shuka-san, I overdid it.”
The sun had set but I still couldn’t get out of bed and Ideal was taking care of me. He had wiped my body with a wet towel, helped me change my clothes, fed me milk porridge, and was now massaging me.
“After all that, Ideal is doing fine…”
I was exhausted after cumming so many times and I could barely lift a finger, but Ideal was full of energy. As far as I could remember, I must have let it out at least four times. And yet, he was busy going in and out of the room, bringing things like hot water to bathe me with and pitchers of cold water to drink.
“As one would expect from a hero, your stamina is off the charts.”
“…I guess so.”
It was meant to be a casual remark, but Ideal’s reply struck me as odd. I looked at him but didn’t notice anything unusual, he was just carefully rubbing my feet.
—Was it just my imagination?
“What is it?”
I waved my hand, which I could now move thanks to the massage, and gestured for him to come closer. Ideal stood up and leaned into me.
I raised my hands and ruffled his glossy black hair.
“Haha, looks like a bird’s nest.” I hand-combed the man’s hair as he stared at me, but Ideal remained still and allowed me to do as I pleased. But when I had finished adjusting his hair and took my hand away, he squatted down and offered me his head again.
“Now… do it again.”
“It can’t be helped.” I ruffled his hair again, and Ideal’s eyes narrowed happily. In return, he brought his face closer to mine and kissed me. It was a slow, deep kiss with entwining tongues, something I’d secretly fallen in love with.
Looking at his downcast eyes, I remembered his reaction when I called him a hero earlier. Maybe Ideal didn’t want to be called a hero. Somehow, I thought so.
* * *
“Let me introduce you to the servants of the house.”
“It’s a pleasure to meet you, Shuka-sama.”
At the dinner table, a dozen people bowed to me. I didn’t know how to respond, so I bowed back lightly, and as if that was a signal, they returned to their posts.
“They are somewhat unusual servants. They like being taken for granted and treated like they belong there. They don’t talk a lot, but they will serve you well, so feel free to ask for help, Shuka-san.”
“Like they belong there?”
“Like wind, water, or fire. Like those things that are constantly by a person’s side but aren’t usually taken into consideration. For example…” Ideal suddenly tossed the smallest knife on the table toward the window. Of course the knife should have fallen noisily to the floor.
But what the hell did I see happen? The maid, who had been standing by the window for some time, as if she belonged there, quietly caught the knife, placed it on a silver tray, and left the room. While I was transfixed by her fluid movements, a small knife was arranged in front of Ideal, just as it had been before.
“What was that?”
“A servant is a creature that doesn’t draw attention to itself or behave roughly— that’s what they think. They don’t like to be treated as individuals, so just pretend like they aren’t even there.”
“Like they aren’t there?”
“If you want to take a bath, don’t ask them to prepare it, just head straight to the bathroom and the hot water will be ready. If you get hungry, there will be tea waiting on a nearby table. You can ask for it verbally, but they’ll be happier if you treat it as normal to expect it will be there.”
“That’s a hard one…”
“I’m sure you’ll get used to it,” Ideal smiled.
All of the food at the table could be eaten with a spoon, and the dinnerware provided was all light and easy to hold.
* * *
The next morning, I woke up before the sun and decided to take a walk in the garden. Naturally, I put on the clothes that had been left next to my bed and went outside. There was even a light cloak to accompany my nightclothes, as if they had known I was going to get up early in the morning.
There were signs of people, but I couldn’t see them. Maybe it was because I didn’t want to see them. I had a strange certainty that had I wished to see people, they would have appeared immediately.
The morning sun began to shine as I plodded across the well-arranged lawn. The small mansion shone in the light, its stone walls glistening. I thought it was a rather strange house. The servants were silent, but excessively competent. A small mansion on the outskirts of the capital, a modest life for the Hero of Salvation. The surroundings were forested and quiet, but the house was too far away from the bustle of the city. He seemed like a retired old man or an aristocrat under house arrest.
“What a strange man.”
I wondered who Ideal really was. I didn’t think the stories about him being the Hero of Salvation were false, but I still couldn’t believe that he had defeated millions of opponents single-handedly. Rumors were things that grew as they passed through people’s mouths. I was sure that if I directly asked Ideal, I could find out the truth, but thinking back on last night, I couldn’t bring myself to do it.
“Well, I guess it doesn’t matter who Ideal is…” This relationship wasn’t going to last long anyway. While it was being kept under control, I was determined to find a way to break the curse. Even if I couldn’t break it, I was still going to leave as soon as possible.
This place — by Ideal’s side — was far too comfortable. I couldn’t be dependent on him for the rest of my life, and I couldn’t let myself get used to the comfort of his company. If I didn’t distance myself quickly, it would be harder for me when I had to leave.
The problem was the suppression of the curse — if only I could find a clue about it. If only there were someone other than Ideal who could suppress it, even a little. They didn’t need to be as good as Ideal. If they could suppress even half of the curse, that would be enough.
As I was wandering around in contemplation, before I knew it, the sun had already risen and a little bird was chirping at my feet. When it noticed my presence, it immediately took off and disappeared into the forest —
—And, as if to replace it, something large flew at me from the forest.
My first thought was that it was a giant flying squirrel, as it leapt at me with its limbs outstretched. Its body was about the size of two adult heads, and it was covered in fluffy fur. Oof! It hit me straight in the face and filled my entire field of vision.
“Meow meow! Meeoooww!”
It was a cat. The big fluffy thing that attacked me from the forest was a bright red long-haired cat. It flailed about wildly when I tried to peel it off me, and its fluffy fur kept getting stuck in my mouth. I tried to grab it and lift it up, but it stretched its torso and wouldn’t let go.
“Meow! Mrowr! Mrrrrrrow.”
“Are you mad at me? What?!”
The large cat remained attached to my head as if it were hugging me and refused to let go. Surprisingly, however, it hardly scratched me. Despite its fierce claws, when I tried to peel it off, it would only use enough strength to grip onto me, but not enough to break through my skin.
“Mrrruh! Meow? Meeooow!”
“I have no idea what you’re saying, but you sure are noisy…”
I couldn’t understand the cat’s words, but from its expression and manner of speech, it seemed like this cat was a bit of a bully. I felt like I was being taunted. And the other party was a cat.
“…hff… hff, hff.”
“‘Pfft, that tickles!”
When I gave up trying to pull it off, the cat became more relaxed. It buried its nose in my neck and started sniffing me. And then…
Its eyes and mouth were wide open. I knew that look. …That was the face a cat gets when it smelled something that stank.
“Mrrr, Mrrr… Meow”
“Shhhh, you rude cat! I don’t smell that bad!”
The cat sniffed around like something smelled, but still, it didn’t seem to want to move away from me.