Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Part 5 – Lemon Candy Magic
Chapter 15 – I Remember
We always meet each other under the red sunlight.
The pillow felt damp against Sui’s skin. He could feel the trace of dried-up tears on his cheeks.
Why? Why did I forget? It was supposed to be such a precious memory.
He rubbed his eyes and got out of bed.
Passing by the living room, he found a small note:
‘Red’s fever has gone down so I’m going back to do some work. Sui-kun can take a day off today~ Keep an eye on him and make sure he’s resting properly. If anything happens, call me. -Kasa’
Reading Kasa’s note, Sui let out a sigh of relief. He put the note in his pocket, washed his face, and headed towards the kitchen.
He heated up the congee he had made the day before and headed for the stairs to bring it to Red’s room.
There was a sudden encounter.
Red’s white hair sparkled under the rays of the vermillion sun that had flooded the corridor. His eyes were, as always, covered with a blindfold and he couldn’t see them, but Sui was certain that they were a jewel-like red even more beautiful than the sunset – even more beautiful than the sunrise.
“Good morning, Red-san. Are you feeling better?”
“Yeah. Sorry about the trouble.”
“I was worried but it wasn’t any trouble. I made some congee yesterday – can you eat?”
Red seemed surprised.
“You made it?”
“Kasa-san showed me how… Ah, Kasa-san came over yesterday.”
“I guessed. He left a note on the table.”
The two went to the living room together.
Honestly, Sui’s heart was still in turmoil. But, still, he was certain that no matter how long he had kept it a secret and no matter how much he had lied, if it was something that Red needed then he’d accept it.
Red had told him before, not to put so much trust in him. As Sui had answered back then, he would not doubt his trust in Red. Which was why he was sure that there was a reason behind why he had forgotten these memories, a reason why Red hid his eyes, a reason why he lied. Since those were his thoughts, Sui wanted to come to grips with the new information he had received. He wanted to process it and question Red after he had sorted his heart out.
“It’s not burnt…” Red murmured, looking at the congee that was arranged on the table.
“You thought it would be burnt?”
“Sorry, sorry.” Red let out a small laugh and Sui’s lips twitched.
Well, it was true that the only dish Sui had made by himself in the past was pasta and he had burned that.
“That’s why I told you that Kasa-san taught me how to make it. Don’t worry, it’s edible.”
“Don’t pout, ok?” Red flashed a troubled smile at the offended Sui. He then clapped his hands, said, “Itadakimasu,” and brought a spoonful of congee to his mouth.
“Mm, it’s good.”
Sui felt relieved looking at his broad smile.
Red, who ate the congee heartily and even asked for seconds, seemed to have completely recovered.
“However, Kasa-san has entrusted me with the task of looking after you today and making sure you rest properly. Therefore, please relax.”
“So, hey,” Red called out to Sui’s back as he washed the dishes.
“What is it?”
Red looked at the ground, hesitant.
“Yesterday… did you go into my room?”
How should I answer that? Sui was lost for a moment.
“I did. We had to carry Red-san, so Kasa-san and I went in together.”
“Red-san.” When he called out his name like that, Red lifted his head just a bit.
“I-” the moment Sui was about to say something, there was a knock on the door.
“Coming.” He got up and headed for the entrance.
When he asked – “Who might this be?” there came no answer. As Sui was about to peek through the small window on the door, it suddenly opened.
“Since when did you hire a maid-”
On the other side of the door, there was a voice and a figure that Sui had seen only yesterday.
“You. You’re yesterday’s…”
It was the man with the large build that had come to the library the day before. If he remembered correctly, his name was Azul. But why would such a man come to Red’s house?
There was a possibility that Sui wouldn’t have considered before he had that dream.
All of a sudden, he recalled what Kasa had said.
“I think this kind of mouth is suitable for someone who is your son’s friend.”
Could it be?
The dream and yesterday’s exchange suddenly clicked in Sui’s head.
“Could you be Red-san’s father?”
“What’s that boy thinking, letting a human into his home?”
Grinding his teeth in anger, Azul yelled out Red’s name.
Just as he heard the sound of someone running through the corridor, Sui’s hand was pulled and Red, who had come running, hid Sui behind him.
“Why are you here?”
“Oi, what’s with that human? He was at that Knowledge Magic user’s place too. What are the two of you thinking?”
“It has nothing to do with you. Leave.”
“You’re the one that’s going to be leaving. Discard that human and this house and come to Ulshia already.”
His face distorted in annoyance and Red clenched his fist tightly.
“I’m not leaving and I’m not throwing this guy away. I don’t care if you disown me or break off all contact, just don’t get involved with me anymore.”
“You’re going to waste your power like this? If you’re as strong as I think you are, then we can build an even more powerful government in Ulshia. Stop whining and come at once.”
In the blink of an eye, a light burst out.
Spark-like things scattered around them and Azul stepped back, raising his right hand.
Dumbfounded, Sui only realized a moment later that it was magic.
“I’m sick of that place. I’m never going back there. I don’t care about political power and don’t understand why you’d want something like that! Even if you gain all the power in the world, mom’s not coming back.”
“I’m not doing this because of that person.”
“Are you sure about that? If mom hadn’t died, would you have been so fixated on power? Even if you have power, the past’s not going to change. You can’t bring someone back from the dead.”
“But… if you have power, you can change the world. I will make a world where those regular, powerless humans are subjugated to us. I don’t care if I have to kill that human first to make it happen.”
Azul’s sharp gaze pierced Sui.
“This guy has nothing to do with mom.”
“However, that person died because of a human like him.”
“It’s useless to talk to you.” The air around Red changed. “If you even think about laying your hands on him, I won’t go easy on you.”
“Why would you go that far to protect that thing?”
“I have no obligation to tell you.”
The two glared at each other, but then the man sighed and turned his back to them.
“One of these days I’m going to get you to leave this town. Even if I have to burn it down.”
“You’re planning on starting a war with Yizul-san?”
“I’ll make it happen. If you don’t like it then you better get ready to leave,” Azul jeered and walked away.
It became quiet and an awkward atmosphere grew between Red and Sui, both still standing at the entrance to the house.
“Sorry. I got you involved in something weird.”
“Ah, no, it’s-”
“Just a bit… could you let me be alone for just a bit?”
There was pain in Red’s voice and Sui knew he should leave him alone, but…
“Red-san.” Sui grabbed his sleeve as Red turned his back to him.
“No matter what happens, I am on your side. Even if Red-san lies or keeps secrets from me. It’s no use, I will only keep trusting you. Because, without a doubt, you are the one who saved me. I… I had forgotten the taste of that lemon candy, but, from now on, I won’t forget. Because the Red-san I know is everything to me.”
Red’s shoulders flinched in surprise.
“You,” his voice was shaking, “how come you’re so kind?”
It was a question Sui had once asked Red.1
“Probably because Red-san is so kind.”
“What’s with that?”
The reason Red’s back was shaking was undoubtedly because he was laughing.
“Just now, was that your father?”
“I don’t really know your family’s circumstances, but do you want to leave this town?”
“Of course not.”
“Alright, let’s think then. Together. How to stay here.”
Finally, Red turned to look at Sui.
“Is that ok? You-”
“If Red-san’s not here, I won’t be able to look for my grandmother’s friend. I’d be troubled,” Sui said impishly and then added, “Besides, I want to be with Red-san. Because I like you.”
Sui thought Red was just grabbing his arm, but instead, he pulled him towards himself.
All of a sudden, he was snug against Red’s chest and hugged tightly.
“Let me do this, just for a bit.”
Sui wondered for how long they’d been hugging before Red said something.
“You’ve noticed, right?” he murmured.
“That I’m not a regular human like you.”
“I’m a magician.”2
“Sorry… for lying to you. For the secrets and for Azul too…”
“Next time, when you’ve calmed down, tell me everything properly, ok?”
Red agreed in a small voice and Sui could feel the movement of his head nodding.
“…That person is probably pissed about today.”
“Red-san’s father seems to hate humans.”
“Yeah. It started after mom died.”
“Was she killed by a human?”
“No. It was an accident. Dad doesn’t seem to think so though. That’s why he’s so troublesome. He’s like that – can’t see anything else once he’s made up his mind about something. He can’t even see me.”
“…That must have been lonely.”
Sui wrapped his hands around Red’s back and patted him gently.
“It would be nice if we could find a way for you two to reconcile.”
“Reconciliation is… impossible.”
“You can only say the things you want to say when he’s still alive. There are a lot of things I wasn’t able to tell my grandmother. Magicians may live a long life, but no matter how long, there will come a day when the two of you will need to part. I don’t think you hate your father from the bottom of your heart. Wouldn’t it be sad then, if your relationship is bad until the end?”
Red, who had fallen silent, hugged Sui even tighter.
“Don’t talk there… it tickles.”
You’re the one that’s hugging me. Sui thought about retorting but decided to keep his mouth shut.
Red probably had his own thoughts that he wanted to sort out.
But we probably don’t have that much time. I need to think of a solution.
A solution to make Red, Kasa, the people of Akebi, Red’s father, and anybody else he could find, just a little bit happier.