In Love With the Strongest Man

Translator: Shizukuku

Editor: Helen

Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!

Arc 3: True Identity

Chapter 13 “I want to explain myself properly.”


I couldn’t immediately digest what was said. The child from twenty years ago and Ideal did indeed look similar. The resemblance, not just their appearance, but also their preferences and expressions, was so striking that I couldn’t dismiss it as chance. 

“But, his age…”

Still, the reason I’d continued to deny it until now was because the ages of Ideal and that child didn’t match up. That child appeared to be around five or six years old. Ideal should have been only two years old twenty years ago.

“So that’s why you were hiding it, huh?”

“Atu— shut your mouth.”


I shuddered as I felt a chill run down my spine. Those few words made every being in the room shrink back.

An indescribable fear of the handsome man with black hair standing in front of me took form.



“I’m sorry.”

Ideal stood up and bowed deeply.

Instantly, the sense of intimidation dissipated. A man who had appeared so imposing just moments ago now seemed to shrink as if the previous moment had been a dream.

“I’ll tell you everything. I want to explain myself properly… Will you listen?”

The voice that clung to me sounded a lot like that child.

Because his head was bowed down, I could see the crown of Ideal’s head, which was normally not visible to me.

—In the past, he was smaller than me, and all I could see was the top of his head.

Oh, is this man really the child from back then?

A warm feeling welled up in my chest. Before my words could turn into sobs, I hurriedly spoke.

“If you want to talk, I’ll listen. But let me say this first.”


I embraced the man with all the strength I could muster.


“You don’t have to say things you don’t want to. Whatever you are, it’s okay. —Anything is fine, as long as you’re alive.”

Both of us had changed a lot over the past twenty years. Yet, in that moment, I could vividly recall the past as if it were yesterday.

A small, emaciated child who had given up on living.

“You’ve grown so much… Thank you for being alive…”

“Well then, where should I start…”

Knowing it would be a long conversation, we moved to the greenhouse. Despite some time having passed since then, both Ideal and I were still red-eyed.

Atu was sniffing and wiping his nose. Perhaps he was more prone to tears than I thought.

Akane was threatening Ideal with all his might.

“Meow! Meeoowww!” 

“Akane, what’s the matter? You’re being awfully aggressive with Ideal today.”

“Oh… well, forget it.”

I restrained Akane, who seemed ready to pounce any moment. But Akane continued to fidget and wouldn’t stop trying to threaten him.

Ideal languidly held out his palm toward the fang-baring Akane’s head. A faint light danced softly between them.

“Hisss!! Grrrr!! Mew-ka!! This guy is outrageous!! He took away my ability to talk!!”

“Took away…?”

Suddenly, Akane began speaking human language again, albeit somewhat clumsily. However, the words he spoke were ominous.

“Cat. If you say unnecessary things, I’ll consider it a breach of contract.”

“Akane is a well-behaved cat. I won’t say unnecessary things.”

“Wait, hold on a minute, Ideal. I want an explanation. What’s this about a contract?”

I was surprised by Ideal’s cold attitude toward Akane, but I suppose everyone shows a different face, depending on who they’re dealing with. It wasn’t my place to say anything about that.

However, if there was a contract involved, as Akane’s owner, I wanted to know about it.

“…That cat originally couldn’t speak human language. But he expressed a desire to talk to Shuka-san.”

“Meow! I didn’t say that! I never said that I wanted to talk to servant number one!”

“He said he would give me information in exchange, so I shared my power with him on the condition he wouldn’t say anything unnecessary to Shuka-san. But that cat is on Shuka-san’s side, so now I had to temporarily revoke that power.”

“I couldn’t care less, you creepy, sneaky man!!”

“Shared your power…?”

I restrained Akane, who was trying to unleash a cat punch. I was trying to sort out what I’d just heard, but I just couldn’t understand.

“Sharing power with a cat so it can speak… Is that magic too? I always thought magic was about conjuring fire or lightning, or cleansing the body.”

“I told you there’s no such thing as a bright red cat.”

It was Atu who interrupted. He’d been watching the situation silently while munching on the baked goods that had been prepared for tea, but it seemed like he decided that he could no longer remain silent.

“Come to think of it, you said something like that before. Isn’t the adorable Akane a cat too…?”

“Shuka-san, unfortunately, Atu is correct. That cat is a cat, but not just a cat— he belongs to the same species as me and Atu.”

“Wha— the same species?”

I instinctively glanced at the faces gathered around the table.

In terms of being tall and beautiful, it made sense that Ideal and Atu belonged to the same group. However, Akane, who sat on my lap, was obviously different, including the number of legs he walked on.

“What do you mean? —Ah, but now that you mention it, all of you have red on your bodies.”

“Yes. We all have red somewhere in our bodies and call ourselves the Red People. But we also have another name… one that is better known, and many of our people go by that name.”

“Another name?”


Ideal faltered a bit. It seemed difficult for him to say, or rather, he seemed like he just didn’t want to say it.

I’d told him that he didn’t have to tell me anything he didn’t want to. Nevertheless, it seemed like Ideal was determined to tell me everything. He looked up as if he’d made up his mind faster than I could stop him.

“Shuka-san, are you familiar with the Incubus Tribe?”


Badump. Badump. Badump. It took about three beats to digest that word.

“Incubus… Incubus, you mean…”

I remembered hearing it before. For twenty years, unable to talk to others properly, I mainly relied on the stories drunken patrons shared loudly in taverns as my source of information. It was a term that came up fairly frequently in those stories.

“Something naughty…?”

Essentially, the full story was that the guy who held me yesterday was an incubus. An incubus was a fictional entity that appeared in lewd tales, supposedly a weak spirit that seduced people and drained their essence.

Two handsome men claiming to be incubi and one adorable cat too.

—My head was in complete turmoil.

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