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Chapter 108: The Long-Distance Ride (V)
We’d like to give a big thank you to Anonymous “M” for this week’s double release. Adel used the money to get a Gatorade for Vio, because he had been running through Legion’s mind all day. Thirst traps need electrolytes too. So without further ado, here it is! We thank you all for reading and supporting us. Enjoy!
It was still summer, but the air felt cool in the cave at the base of the Alpé mountains.
It was nice that it wasn’t hot, but it seemed that the downpour had caused the temperature to drop even more.
Vio was wearing a thin cloak of his own, but even with Legion’s cloak over him, he still felt cold. He pulled closer to Legion without thinking about it.
Thanks to that, Legion’s body temperature was steadily rising.
Even now, he was wondering if Vio would discover the sound of his heart pounding in his chest. Legion didn’t even know what color his face was anymore; was it red or was it blue?
Vio, who was eating his sandwich quietly, suddenly looked at Legion and asked, “Aren’t you going to eat anything?”
Vio couldn’t tell that Legion was flustered. He had no idea that he was so attractive that even someone of his own sex could see him as a potential love interest.
“Oh, yes, please. Here’s your tea.”
Vio smiled as Legion poured tea from his canteen into a cup and handed it to him. Vio really enjoyed tea.
Legion, who was now seeing the smile up close, felt the beating in his chest turn into what felt like painful palpitations.
“Hmm… It doesn’t seem like it’s letting up at all.”
Looking out of the cave, Vio muttered.
“I guess so.”
Legion agreed, looking up slightly. Vio didn’t like strong scents, so he didn’t wear any cologne or perfume, and there was nothing to explain why the smell coming off of him was so good.
Calm down, Legion told himself. But if telling himself was all it took, the palpitations would have stopped by now.
I adore Lord Violant, of course, but only as a master that I serve… That’s all this is. It’s not like I’m in love, right?
When Vio asked him if men could marry men in this country, Legion was so surprised that he almost jumped out of his skin.
He was so disappointed that Vio would ask a question at a time like this, even if his heart started racing when Vio hugged him after being scared by the bat. If Vio was doing it intentionally, then Legion would say he was doing something that could only be called devilish, but he knew that Vio was serious and asking it on a whim.
Love… Love… No, well, I don’t know. Have I ever felt this way with a previous girlfriend?
Then Legion realized that he couldn’t even remember the face of the woman he used to date.
What was her name? What was it? Marie? Ellie? No, I think it was Lily. She used to wear yellow-green dresses and had a phobia of getting too much sun lest her skin tan.
It had surprised him how afraid of the sun she had been. She never went on a walk outside without her parasol, and if she didn’t have it, she would want to go indoors or stay in the shade. Cheval had told him there were women like that, and that it wasn’t too strange, but he just found it annoying.
But what if it were Vio?
It didn’t matter if it was indoors or outdoors. If it were Vio, Legion would just be happy to be by his side. If Vio were afraid of the sun, Legion would bring him the parasol himself.
“Legi… Are you okay?”
Legion snapped back to reality and jumped at Vio’s question. Vio looked somewhat stunned and pointed at Legion’s hand.
“Your sandwich. All the ingredients fell out.”
He was surprised. He didn’t remember grabbing the sandwich, but he was so lost in his thoughts that he let the contents spill onto the planks of wood. He was relieved that it fell to the floor and not on Vio.
“I’m sorry. I wasn’t sure if I should tell you, but I thought you might notice it before they all slipped out…”
“Oh, it’s okay. I was just thinking.”
“Is it because you’re hungry? I don’t want any more of mine; you can have the rest.”
“You’re only eating half? Are you feeling unwell?”
“No, I’m just full. I don’t eat that much to begin with.”
It was true that Vio ate very little for an aristocrat, but this was a meager amount even with that in mind. But since he said he didn’t want it, forcing him to eat too much would just make Vio feel sick.
Legion held back his desire to tell him to eat more and hurriedly popped the bread, which was the only thing left from his now ground-wich, into his mouth.
“This is enough for me too.”
“But you ate less than I did.”
“Haha, my chest1 is full…”
After looking at Vio and giving such a poor excuse, Legion blushed. He cleaned the floor with a rag.
He closed the lid of the lunch basket and sat back down. Vio leaned against his left arm; Legion’s heart was about to burst.
“Ah, um, Lord Violant?”
“I feel nostalgic for some reason.”
He didn’t expect Vio to say something like that. An unsettling feeling of discomfort rose in Legion’s chest. When Vio had a thousand-yard stare, as if he was looking far away, it was usually because of “him”.
“…Yeah. If it was cold when we walked together, he would wrap me in his cloak. I wouldn’t be able to tell you how many times I wished that he was my real brother…”
Vio let out a despondent sigh.
It was still a story about that man, Erik Carland. Erik had been there for Vio when he was a child, protecting him. Even after his betrayal, he was still a big part of Vio’s life.
The thought of it made Legion angry every time, but he did not want to say anything to trample on Vio’s memories. If he spoke his feelings aloud, it would only hurt Vio’s feelings. He hated holding back more than he hated this discomfort.
However, it was still upsetting. Legion did his best to collect his thoughts.
He was really cold, even though he has dried herself with magic. The chilly air coming in from the rain must have really gotten to him. Seeing that Vio was shivering so badly that even Legion sitting next to him could feel it, Legion suddenly came up with a good idea.
“Excuse me, Lord Violant.”
He picked up Violant, who was sitting next to him, and made him sit on his lap, facing sideways. The cloak fit perfectly when Legion wrapped it tightly around them. Legion nodded, approving of his own idea.
“Is this warmer?”
Vio looked up at him in a daze before giving his answer.
“Yeah, but isn’t this a burden for you?”
“Well, Erik Carland isn’t here for you, is he?”
Vio was absolutely mortified when Legion answered his question with a question. After a moment of silence, he laughed bitterly.
“You always act strange whenever Erik comes up, don’t you?”
“I just want you to find that I take better care of you than he did.”
“I understand… I know that, but this is a little embarrassing… I’m sorry…”
Vio’s skin, which was usually as white as snow, turned red up to his ears. Legion felt a pang in his chest again, and he tried to push down the thoughts that filled his mind.
“What, what’s wrong? I must be heavy; just put me down.”
“…I don’t want to.”
“But, even if I’m cold, this is embarrassing…”
“Are you listening to me?”
Legion hugged Vio tightly, trying to disguise it as something that he was doing only so that Vio wouldn’t fall off his lap.
His chest began to feel full of warmth, almost as if the heat would overflow.
…I see. It’s not respect… It’s love; I’m in love with him.
Vio struggled to figure out the reason for the joy on Legion’s face.
“Legi? …I don’t think I’m supposed to use a knight as both a heater and a chair. It makes me feel sorry for you.”
He couldn’t help but smile at Vio’s mutterings and the apologetic tone that accompanied them.
“It’s fine, Lord Violant. Only the horse is looking.”
“No, no, I’m not okay doing this to you… but, well, it is warm.”
Legion gave a serious response to Vio, who was mumbling that this was too much for him, no matter how loyal he was.
“If anything, I’m happy.”
“I-is that so? Is it alright? No, are you sure?”
Vio still looked unconvinced, but he saw that Legion was not going to let him go, so he finally gave up his resistance and leaned against Legion’s chest.
“When the rain stops, you will stop holding me, right?”
Legion nodded enthusiastically.
Then, he took a wish from his heart and threw it into the sky.
—Please rain just a little longer.
Vio would have been angry to have heard his wish, but for Legion, this was the best long-distance ride of his life.
Afterward, when Vio figured out Legion was nervous, he asked, “Is your heart okay? It sounds like you have an irregular heartbeat. Are you okay?” Of course, Legion was disappointed to hear Vio’s concern about his heartbeat and to find that Vio could not read between the lines.
Translator’s Note: Alternatively, it could just rain forever. And you guys could just snuggle for the next 5 chapters. Honestly, I’ve seen the local 5-day forecast for the area of Leca and there is a 99% chance of precipitation, so… maybe you guys should just keep snuggling.
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