Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 107: The Long-Distance Ride (IV)
※ Trigger Warning: Bugs. (Adel: Author-san is exaggerating, but the author felt the need to include that.)
Author: If you can’t handle insects, skip these pages.
Translator’s Note: Honestly, nothing serious happens. Unless your family was killed by insects or you can’t sleep for 2 days if you see a spider, then you will be fine. Read it. Read it or I will show up outside of your window and scream about why Anderheim is the best MC ever.
It was just as Taurus predicted, the weather turned against Legion and Vio.
Actually, it turned against them earlier than they had expected.
They stood at the base of the Alpé Mountains and beheld the beauty of the fields full of rare and ornate flowers. Then, the clouds that hung above them turned black and started to pour rain on their delicate moment together.
They quickly hopped on their horse, galloping away to a cave embedded in the foot of the mountain. Their clothes were soaked, clinging to their bodies like second skins.
“…It really did rain. What kind of supernatural abilities do you have, old man?” Vio asked
“He’s the village chief. Farmers are good at reading the weather, but according to the villagers, he has perfected the art.”
“A master, huh? Amazing, you never would have guessed because the sky was crystal clear with not a single cloud in sight.”
“Yeah, I had my doubts too… Well, I guess that goes to show.”
The two of them sighed and tied their horse to a stake in the ground near the opening of the cave. The area was far enough into the mountain that the rain could not reach it.
They headed further into the cave and found an area with planks of wood laid into a small platform. There was a ledge at the far side where tools had been placed so that they were not sitting on the ground.
“What is this place for?” Vio asked
“This space is used as a shelter when animals are taken out to the base of the mountain to graze. I was told only a few tools were left here for basic fixing of the equipment needed for animal husbandry, but for overnight stays, there is a lodge a little higher up.”
“Ehh… Are there any other places like this?”
“No, not that I know of… I was told that there is a quarry, and that may be around here as well.”
Vio used wind magic to dry them both off, and they sat on the planks for the time being.
From outside, they could hear claps of thunder and the howling of the wind whistling through the entrance of the cave. The stark change the weather had made in just a matter of minutes was amazing.
“We’ve come a long way haven’t we…” Vio commented.
“It’s a good thing we had a place to take shelter, but I’m afraid we will be stuck here for a while. Should we just wait it out?” Legion replied.
“Oh, we probably should. Even with a shield made from magic, the thunder can be frightening. It would be terrible if the horse got startled and went out of control.”
With no objections, they decided it was best to take the time to relax.
Legion retrieved the saddlebags from the horse and pulled out a canteen from them.
“Since we’re here anyways, let’s have lunch.”
Vio nodded and took a look around the cave. He saw a bug on the wall and a pang of horror struck through his heart.
“Hey, there is some weird-looking insect over there!”
“That’s just a cave cricket. It’s totally harmless.”
“Then what’s that over there?”
“It’s just a spider. And it doesn’t look like there are any centipedes, so you’re fine.”
“Is that so? There are no snakes, right?”
“No, there aren’t any snakes.”
Vio had been secluded in his mansion for such a long time that he never had much exposure to insects. Since many of these insects were things he had never seen, it worried him.
Vio casually inched away from the cave cricket and looked around silently. Legion noticed and couldn’t help but ask a question.
“Are you afraid of bugs?”
“What? I’m not so much afraid of them… I’ve almost never seen any; they just creep me out. I’m okay with spiders… What the hell—”
Something fell from above and landed on the nape of Vio’s neck. Vio leapt in surprise and scrambled to remove it.
“What is it? What just fell on me?!”
“Wait, hold on. Stop moving, please.”
Vio stopped moving in response to Legion’s firm command, fighting against the urge to flail around in absolute terror.
Ugh, it’s so cold! What is it, a spider, a snake, a cricket?
Though Legion flicked it off, goosebumps covered his entire body.
“It looked like it was a lizard. Are you okay?”
“Lizard? Oh, okay, I’m fine.”
Vio became paranoid about the cave ceiling, so he created a ball of magic light that illuminated the entirety of it.
Then, squeaking angrily, two black things flew out in front of him.
Two bats flew out of the cave into the pouring rain.
“…I shouldn’t have looked,” Vio said.
“Huh? Ah, I’m sorry.”
Vio had been so terrified he clung to Legion. He realized he was hugging him in a way that might be weird for two guys and tried to laugh it off and pull away, but something painfully pulled at his bangs.
“Ouch, ouch. Sorry, Legi. It feels like my hair is trapped in something.”
“Yeah. It is. It’s trapped in the clasp of my cape.”
Legion silently unfastened the clasp of his cape.
Vio’s head stayed still as the clasp was undone, but in his mind, his head was falling to his chest, completely crestfallen.
I’m too timid, especially considering I’m a man. How pathetic…
On the other hand, Legion seemed to be struggling to untangle the hair in his clasp.1
“If you can’t get it untangled, we can just cut it out. You know, we have a knife…”
“I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
Vio had tried to remove the knife from his belt but Legion stopped him. In Legion’s efforts to stop him, he pulled away a bit, tugging on Vio’s hair again, causing even more distress. Legion frantically apologized to Vio.
After struggling for quite some time, Legion sighed in defeat.
As Vio watched him take out his knife, he thought he had finally given up. Then Vio heard a snap and the pressure had disappeared. He moved away to see it was not his hair that had been cut, but the strap on Legion’s cloak.
Fumbling around with his fingers at the object stuck in his hair, he found the clasp.
“You should have cut my hair; it would have been quicker and easier.”
“There is no way I could harm a hair on Lord Violant’s head.”
Vio was taken aback by the serious tone in which Legion had used.
Vio thought it was actually his fault that his hair ended up caught in the clasp because he had panicked in an unfamiliar place, so he should be the one to have his hair cut. However, Vio thought that, if he had voiced such an opinion, it would only annoy Legion.
“You’re fine. It can be repaired.”
Vio apologized, overcome with a feeling of gloom. Legion noticed the glum look on his face and tried to change his mood.
“Please don’t beat yourself up over it. I would be surprised too if an insect fell on me.”
“You don’t have to console me…”
Vio sighed. He tried to remove the clasp still entangled in his hair, but he found it impossible to get it out; the knots were too complicated.
“Stop, don’t force it… No, it’s still not coming out.”
Moving Vio’s hands away, Legion gently pulled at the part that was tangled in the clasp. Vio stared at Legion, who had a furrowed brow and a desperate look on his face as he tried to untangle it somehow.
The magical light Vio had conjured reflected off Legion’s hazel eyes, which were shining like topaz.
Vio could only see it because his face was close, but Legion, whose eyes met Vio’s, froze.
“What is it?” Legion asked.
“I’m just looking at you.”
“It’s a little uncomfortable, so I’d be very grateful if you could stop staring at me please.”
“Oh, yes, I’m sorry.”
He could understand why it would make Legion uncomfortable. He obediently diverted his gaze away to Legion’s cloak.
When I get back to the mansion, I’ll ask Jill to send the cloak for mending…
The leather part had been cut so drastically that it would be difficult for Rille to repair it. It would be better to replace the strap and clasp in their entirety.
Vio thought about that for a while, but then he looked up again, wondering if it was about to come undone. However, he remembered that he should not make eye contact with Legion, so he let his gaze rest on the mouth of the man in front of him.
Looking at it, somehow he was reminded of what happened at Endsk.
I’ve never thought about it before, but in this world—Edelbran—is it possible for men to fall in love with each other?2
The way Karam Simmons talked about it, it seemed like it might be popular.3 In my memories of Japan, male-female relationships were still the norm. Perhaps that memory was so strong it intruded on my current thoughts. However, if it is widely accepted that men can fall in love with each other, I should be more careful. I wouldn’t want to say something thoughtless and end up in another mess.
“I got it!”
Then, Legion smiled and showed the clasp he had liberated from Vio’s hair.
Legion’s expression was so joyous, but his smile was innocent like that of a child. Vio felt his heart beat a little faster.
Legion gently fixed Vio’s hair and smiled his usual smile.
“There, now you look all better, Lord Violant.”
“Oh… thank you”
Vio thanked Legion, but in his mind, he was reeling away from him in embarrassment. For the first time in a long time, he caught a glimpse of a dog wagging its tail and it made him smile as usual.
“Now let’s have lunch; it’s still storming outside.”
Legion put the fastener in his pants pocket and briskly got the lunch ready, as if nothing had happened.
Vio, looking towards Legion’s back, asked in a casual manner.
“Hey, Legi. Can men get married to each other in this country?”4
Legion suddenly choked and then started violently coughing. Vio became worried because of how hard he was coughing.
“What’s wrong? Are you okay?”
“Y-Yes, why would you…? Why would you ask a question like that at a time like this?”
Legion bumbled through his question nervously. Vio tilted his head. Legion asked his question fearfully with a somewhat stern face.
“Why did you ask me that all of the sudden?”
“My mind wandered back to that day at Endsk. I thought that there could only be love affairs between men and women, so I suddenly wondered what it was. If such a thing were commonplace, wouldn’t it be bad if I wasn’t aware of it?”
As soon as he heard Vio’s answer, Legion’s mood turned sour.
“In this country, you can’t get married… But lovers and mistresses are common. Well, it’s not good for affection to be public, even between men and women. So it’s just not typically seen.”
“Eh? Is it really normal? Are they really not a minority?”
“It’s especially normal among aristocrats. But… It’s not okay to do such things with children.”
Vio blinked and then nodded slowly.
“Oh, so that’s… I see, hmm.”
“Doesn’t it bother you? Some people are disgusted by the thought of a relationship with another man.”
“No, I it doesn’t. It’s their choice. If that’s who they love, then why not?”
Now it was Legion’s turn to look puzzled.
“I thought you didn’t like that sort of thing, Lord Violant.”
“I neither like nor hate it. What I’m interested in is whether it’s common or not. I don’t want to hurt someone with my ignorance.”
Legion smiled softly.
“Lord Violant is a really kind person. I am honored to be able to serve you.”
“It’s nice to have someone like you to serve me. By the way, may I sit next to you? I’m a little cold.”
“Then come here. You can lean against me.”
“Thank you, I’m sorry for troubling you.”
The bitter wind blowing in from the entrance of the cave was chilling, so they moved from facing each other to sitting next to each other. Legion didn’t seem to mind and shifted next to Vio to shelter him from the wind.
“You just came back from a trip; you might be weakened. Don’t worry about it. Here, make yourself comfortable.”
Vio was troubled when Legion held out the cloak to him. It seemed like he would be imposing if he took the Legion’s cloak.
After he looked between the cloak and Legion for a while, he came up with a good idea.
Vio leaned in closer to Legion and draped the cloak across both of them.
“This will keep both of us warm, right?”
“Yes … I guess it will. Let’s do our best.”5
“…? What is it?”
Vio wondered what Legion could have meant by that kind of reply. He reached for the contents of the basket.
Author’s Note: As a side note, cave crickets are totally gross, aren’t they?
In Japan, try going to a festival where you can go inside a burial mound. They are stuck to the walls…