In Love With the Strongest Man

Translator: Shizukuku

Editor: Helen

Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!

Arc 3: True Identity

Chapter 6 “…I’m Tired…”

* * *

“This meat is small.”


After sending the carriage back and walking around the relatively safe parts of the capital, I bought a skewer from a food stall to eat as a late lunch. It was terribly small, with nothing more than an ordinary piece of lamb meat. One skewer cost a copper coin, which was a bit expensive but still within the normal price range.

But, it was small. In the past, a piece of meat that price would have been about the size of a small circle made by a thumb and index finger. Now, however, the meat was only about half that size.

Although the number of meat pieces stuck on the skewer was the same as before, it had become so light that I could easily hold it in my hand. This meant that the price had practically doubled.

It wasn’t just the skewers. It seemed like everything in the market had either increased in price or shrunk in size. I didn’t notice it the other day because I only saw black bread and tea. Considering the span of twenty years, some price fluctuations were inevitable. But even so, wasn’t it a bit much that everything had halved in size?

Furthermore, despite being the busiest market, the number of imports from neighboring countries was noticeably low. In the past, there would’ve been several stores specializing in imported goods, but when I looked around, they had all been replaced by other stores.

Biting into the meat, a slightly scant amount of juice seeped out.

“Public safety is getting worse, things are getting more expensive, and there are no imported goods… Not long ago, there was also a war between the four major powers. Maybe the Hidden Land isn’t functioning after all.”

The main role of the Hidden Land was to maintain security. Its overall goal was to maintain world peace—in other words, to avoid wars between the nations.

There were instances of assassinating those who schemed to invade or overthrow nations, but fundamentally, the role of the head was to manage affairs in a way that trouble wouldn’t arise in the first place, eliminating the need for assassinations.

It involved maintaining public order and orchestrating acts behind the scenes to prevent imbalances in power and resources between nations.

The human nation in particular was often underestimated by their neighboring nations of demons and angels. They would be charged unfairly high tariffs on goods. Looking at the current state of the market, it appeared that Gokkan had allowed that to happen.

Essentially, unjust wrongdoers would be punished to death and made an example of—to serve as a deterrent to more wrongdoings. The fairy tale of the “Assassins’ Guild” became widespread as a result of this process. While it was considered a fairy tale among the general populace, those in political and underworld circles all knew it to be true. 

There were times when I received requests from such people.

—Just like that assassination request twenty years ago.

“I don’t recognize you as the head! If you want to be recognized, go kill at least one person!”

Looking back on it now, it was Gokkan, who was competing with me for the position of the head and instigated the request. It was a request to assassinate a nobleman who was secretly hiring vagrants and brutally killing them.

What was actually there, though, was an emaciated young child. I was sure that a preliminary investigation had been conducted, but did they falsify the investigation and force me to accept a fake request? Did they want to trick me that badly?

“…I mean, I wouldn’t have minded if Gokkan became the leader…”

At the age of twelve, which I was at that time, one was considered almost an adult in the village. Children were less likely to arouse suspicion. Therefore, everyone in the village had been involved in missions from when they were in their mother’s womb.

As an adult, I probably should have thought about it more seriously. If I wanted to give up being the head, I could have just done so. But I didn’t.

“…I guess it didn’t really matter to me.”

I stroked Akane, who purred in my lap.

Back then and even now, I didn’t have much I wanted to do. I just wanted to provide for Akane until he lived out his natural life. I wanted to see that child from back then grow up healthy.

That was all. I didn’t have any other desires.

“You are the most selfless person in the village. Please lead the Hidden Land.”

“—The village elder picked the wrong person. I’m too greedy.”

Being an elder from a tribe that had selflessly worked for world peace for a long time, they probably couldn’t understand. I had lived that way all my life and they couldn’t recognize the heresy that was me.

“I don’t have any great ambitions like ‘I want to bring peace to the world’…”

That was the case even now. 

The job of the head was ingrained in me. Therefore, I could understand how to move the village in the future based on the current state of the market.

But it didn’t have to be me. Someone else had been doing it since ancient times. It didn’t have to be me.

A few times in past history, the village had ceased to function somewhat, but that always changed in a few decades anyway once a new generation took over.

I had no desire to change that status quo. I would be happy to lift the curse if I could, but even then, I could just cut off my leg in the worst case scenario.

So maybe if Langetsu had just told me to go back to the village, I might have done so. If Ideal had simply instructed me to stay in the house, I might have done so.

It was easy to be influenced by someone’s words.

“…I’m tired…”

Why did big decisions come when one least wanted them to?

I hated that no matter what I chose to do, I would disappoint someone or be a burden. I wanted to run away now. I wanted to procrastinate.

“What am I supposed to do now…?”

My thoughts had now gotten trapped in dead ends faster and more deeply than they had in the past. It wasn’t this intense before, but over the twenty years, I seemed to have become more fragile, losing all my mental energy and strength.

“I’m tired, Akane…”


“Let me sniff your paw.”


He sounded very disgusted, but I didn’t care, I scooped up his paws and inhaled. It smelled good, like sweet, savory grain. It was soothing.

“Mrrrrruh. Mrrrr.”

“Just a little more…”


I was prepared for claws to come out, but contrary to my expectations, they didn’t. Though I did get a good kick in the stomach with his hind legs.

“Ahh, that’s soothing…”

“I’m not kidding, that’s what we agreed on! If I buy you a drink, you have to come home with me…”

“Huh? You just misunderstood on your own.”

“…? Is there trouble?”

From a nearby alley, I heard the sound of an argument. Setting Akane down, I peered down the alley to see a red-faced man angrily shouting at a person with long red hair.

The individual with long hair appeared delicate and beautiful at first glance, almost resembling a woman, but the words coming from his mouth were strong-willed and assertive, carrying a low tone. He seemed to be a young man.

“Who would follow an old man full of ulterior motives for just one drink? Look in the mirror, fat ass.”


The red-faced man was agitated by the young man’s provocation. When his hand swiftly moved to his back, I instinctively picked up a fist-sized rock from the ground by my feet.

“I’m gonna rip your face to shreds…!”

The drunk man pulled a knife out of his back and pointed it at the red-haired young man.

My eyesight was good. Although I didn’t have much confidence in my weakened grip strength, I’d been familiar with my body for a long time. Whether it hit or not was a fifty-fifty chance, but the rock I threw using my entire arm, with just a hint of guidance from my fingers, hit the hand of the knife-wielding man as intended.

“Ouch!? What the hell!?”

“Oh, it hit… No, this is bad, bad, bad.”

The drunk turned toward us. Our eyes locked, and a cold sweat broke out on my back. Akane, with wide eyes at my feet, looked up at me, his mouth agape.

“Mew-ka, no way…”

“I didn’t think about the consequences. Let’s run, Akane.”

“Fool!! Foolish human! Foolish human!”

“Sorry, really sorry… I’ll listen to the lecture later, if we make it out alive!”

“Don’t say that, unlucky human!”

I really did it unconsciously. It’s not something I wanted to do, but I couldn’t dream of abandoning what I could do with this body alone. It was one of my bad habits that resulted in me being cursed.

“Wait, you bastard! Don’t think you can get away with this for free!”


The drunken voice chased after us. Akane and I ran away from the place like startled rabbits.

Want to Read Ahead? Support Us on Patreon!
Become a patron at Patreon!
Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments