This Chapter contains some sexual content so please click on the NSFW version only if you’re over 18
4. Overflowing Feelings
Hayase-san was an important person to me, but it was easily discernible that I was much more than that to Hayase-san.
From the beginning, Hayase-san treated me as something precious and took care of me in many ways, but as we started living together, the gaze with which Hayase-san looked at me seemed to have turned more fervent.
I felt it when our hands brushed accidentally when we did laundry together. Or when our feet touched when lying on the bed. In every gaze and even words of his.
Even the rather dense I could understand that Hayase-san held feelings more than that of friends or family towards me, and that um, he sought me in a sexual sense.
Hayase-san by no means sought to hide his unordinary feelings towards me, and the people of the village already thought of me as Hayase-san’s, um— Lover or Wife or something of that sort and warmly looked out for me. Everyone said that Hayase-san had changed ever since I’d appeared. He seemed happier and laughed.
It made me happy to hear that, but it was embarrassing after all, and I couldn’t bear it.
No, but we’re both men. Actually, I hadn’t gone out with anyone, but I had liked some someone, and that someone was definitely a girl.
As for Hayase-san looking me with such eyes, I strangely did not feel any disgust. However, I was at a loss as to what to do.
Everyone in this world had a good physique and Hayase-san too was tall and unexpectedly solidly built. I was normal in my former world, but I was puny when compared to the people here. Nevertheless, I had confidence in my stamina, but looking at the way Hayase-san was concerned for and treated me, I’d often doubt ‘It somehow feels as if he’s mistaking me for a woman.’
I wonder what my feelings are towards Hayase-san. Seeing him wholeheartedly compound medicine to ease the pain on a villager’s hand, I felt great respect; and if you asked me whether I liked him, I did— I even wished for us to stay together. He’d feel bashful when stared at intently, and get a little nervous when his hand was gripped. Yeah. I’m conscious of him after all……I guess?
But as expected, the hurdle was high, and I couldn’t see Hayase-san in that light no matter what; and in the end, spent every day pretending not to notice those feelings. The perceptive Hayase-san must have definitely noticed it, yet he did not try to unreasonably increase contact.
On the other hand, I gradually became close to the village’s children.
When it came to Ichigo and Akina, because they were the first ones I’d met close to my age, Ichigo especially became awfully attached to me.
“Kou, let’s go fishing!”
Ichigo and Akina dropped in the house every day.
“Alright. I won’t lose this time.”
“Kou hasn’t won against me even once though.”
“Kou doesn’t realise when the bait’s taken either.”
Akina spoke as she laughed.
“Fishing is hard.”
I turned around to look at Hayase-san.
“I’m going out. I’ll be taking dinner with me.”
When I spoke, Hayase-san gave a wry smile.
“See you. Take care.”
In the breaks between work, the children would fish and catch insects by the stream at the edge of the village.
Ichigo and Akina were the village’s hope.
They were the last children in this village filled with older people. No one spoke of it, but everyone hoped that Ichigo and Akina will fall in love, get married and have children.
The rate of disappearance of people had become quite moderate when compared to 20 years before. In the past, people used to disappear at the rate of one per day, but not a single person had disappeared in the past few years. Like this, if no one disappeared, someday another new life will sprout. The wish of the villagers for at least the children to not meet a lonely end wasn’t unreasonable.
Should I call it luck, for Ichigo and Akina got along well.
“Ichigo, you reeled in one more, amazing!”
Looking at the fish reeling in my Ichigo’s rod, Akina raised a cheer. Ichigo too seemed proud.
“What about Kou? Still haven’t caught anything?”
“You’re annoying. Just you wait.”
I laughed and cast the fishing line.
Akina was pulling out the freshly sprouted grasses nearby.
Snow hadn’t fallen ever since the day I came here. Even the wind was now warm. It must be spring.
Looking at sparking water’s surface, I held my fishing line in a leisurely manner, I could hear the birds chirping afar.
I then glanced at Ichigo.
I felt my blood drain for a moment.
Ichigo was turning transparent. Staring absentmindedly into the distance, Ichigo’s body sparkled, as if, as if……!
While shouting, I tossed my rod and ran towards Ichigo. Setting my foot in the stream, I ran to the other bank, and desperately hugged Ichigo. My heart throbbed loudly as if broken. I could hear Akina shriek.
“Ichigo, don’t go, come back! Come back!”
Offering all my prayers, I hugged Ichigo.
At long last, a faint warmth returned to Ichigo body that had gone cold. I did not move a muscle.
Ichigo, looking at me in puzzlement, rapidly returned to normal. His transparent cheeks became ruddy again.
“Huh? What was I doing?”
He came back.
I let out a deep breath and slumped at the spot in relief.
The fact that Ichigo almost disappeared was a great shock to the villagers.
“Kou-kun, thank you, really.”
Starting with Ichigo’s parents, the villagers all spoke excessive words of gratitude.
Perhaps, due to the fact that no one had died these past few years, a hope, or rather carelessness had birthed in the villagers’ hearts. The fact that their ordeal was yet to end, and moreover, even the children could disappear, the shock they experienced from the realisation was greater than my expectations.
Hayase-san seemed visibly disturbed.
“Can you please not tell it to the others? I beg of you.”
He spoke in such a manner for the first time, and stopped me from leaving the house. He seemed to have not let the children’s parents from leaving the house either, and no one came to invite them outside too. Even if people were holed up inside their homes, they would still disappear. Everyone knew this quite well, yet, remembering the pain of being suddenly separated from the people close to them, they mustn’t have been able to endure this parting.
Hayase-san, like a nervous animal with its fur standing on its ends, was constantly on tenterhooks, always chasing after my silhouette.
That night, I brewed some sweet tea, and somewhat generously poured the sake Ayama-san had given in it.
As I handed over that cup to Hayase-san, I sat down on the sofa, beside him.
When Hayase-san drank the contents of the cup, he let out a deep sigh.
“This was exactly what I feared.”
“It is because I cannot bear the pain of losing someone important to me all of a sudden that I need to prepare my heart to see them disappear someday, to not get hurt…… I have to live on, even if I’m the last one remaining.”
Hayase-san covered his mouth with his hand.
“But, I met you. Kou-kun, I love you. I cannot bear to lose you.”
……I wonder what I should call this. Being ravaged by a beast, perhaps?
As I lay on the bed in an absent-minded state, Hayase-san slumbered peacefully beside me while hugging me.
After that, Hayase-san wiped my body with great care, and after he’d dealt with the aftermath he even carried me to the bed, but well, the damage had been done, and I silently accepted everything.
Even though I ought to be troubled by us both being men, it ended up like this. Whether or not it was consensual was questionable, and my butt felt awfully uncomfortable. I ought to feel angrier, but seeing Hayase-san’s peaceful sleeping face after he’d calmed down, I felt it was fine either way.
Well……It felt good.
I cradled Hayase-san’s head and made our foreheads touch.
Hayase-san seemed to have woken up, for he opened his eyes a crack.
Inside my heart, love for the person in front of me gushed forth. I gave Hayase-san a slight kiss from my side. Hayase-san smiled.
Maybe, I came to this world just to meet him.
Calm returned to the village, little by little.
The children could now go outside, and Hayase-san once again permitted me to leave the house.
Life had slowly returned to how it was in the past, but if there was something different, it was that Hayase-san’s displays his affection had awfully increased in number. His gaze towards me seemed all the more fervent. If he got a chance, Hayase-san would touch me and would kiss me with no regard for place or occasion.
Behind Hayase-san’s actions lay the situation, “No one knows when a person will disappear.” Hesitation and modesty were deadly. There was no guarantee that you’d still be able to greet the person you greeted today tomorrow. It was uncertain if you could still touch the person you touched today tomorrow. Even though I knew it, I still felt bashful no matter what.
Hayase-san always hugged me passionately.
The more we touched, the more we were together, the more my feelings for Hayase-san grew strong. But, at the same time, I felt a faint suffocation.
That’s right, I wasn’t the only one who could disappear. Hayase-san, too, could disappear, leaving me behind.
When I thought of that prospect, I was unable to bear it and decided to do whatever I could possibly do.
I’ll save this village.
A note from the TL:
No means no, no matter how novels try to justify it. Even if it feels good, non-consensual sex is still rape. Consent is important, and I hope all you boys and girls reading this know it and understand it.
I’ve taken a lot of poetic license with the smut here.
I swear these scenes sound so much more tasteful in Japanese.