(If you’ve already read this elsewhere, please see my note at the end of chapter 17.)
Reason for Distress
I’m skillfully building a trusting relationship with Ko…feeling that I can’t say that doesn’t seem to be all in my head.
Why do you look like you’re going to cry…?
Why do you have a distant look in your eyes…?
Why is your smile so fleeting…?
It’s okay if you can’t smile.
If you’re sad, say “I’m sad”, if you’re lonely, say “I’m lonely”, I want you to tell me.
Am I not enough to fill the hole?
Is that why you can’t rely on me?
You say “I’m okay”, but how can you be okay while wearing that expression?
So that I don’t worry, Ko stubbornly hides his weakness.
I heard from the platoon that that time they bumped into him he looked like he wanted to cry, and that Ko told them to keep it from me.
He said that he didn’t want to make me worry.
But, I want to be worried.
If Ko is crying, I want to hold him tightly.
I want to take away his sadness.
And yet, he won’t tell me what he’s thinking that makes him want to cry.
Because I don’t want him to say “I want to go home,” I can’t ask him if he wants to see his parents.
Supposing that he was kidnapped, and somehow or other was left in the place we met, it wouldn’t be strange for him to miss his parents.
It’s not weird for him to feel that he wants to be with his parents more than marrying me, who’s much older than him.
It’s because Ko still doesn’t understand the idea of being my “other half” well.
I didn’t even recognize the scent of my other half until I was beasting, is it because Ko is a child?
Still, that time I heard something gut-wrenching.
Ko’s life-span, he said that it isn’t more than 100 years.
It seems like Ko is currently 18 years old, that’s only 82 years left.
And being unable to live until 100 means that he’ll live less than that.
I don’t want to only be able to spend that short a time together…
I have heard how one’s fate is to follow after them after losing your other half.
It’s like the soul leaves, basically becoming an invalid.
And then, after breaking down, death soon follows.
After roughly 80 years, that’s the future that awaits me too?
“Ryodo, go ‘ome?”
“Yes. We’re going home.”
The conversation was diverted, but I think that it’s better to go along and escape the corner I’ve been driven into.
I think I’ve become extremely timid since meeting Ko.
That strong feeling of not wanting to be disliked by your partner, hasn’t been there until now.
I’ll embarrass myself by whispering words of love, always misunderstanding that the love is returned to me.
Even now, I haven’t been faced with any romantic feelings from Ko towards me.
I thought I’d wait until he was 100 to propose marriage, but hearing that his life-sp
an isn’t even 100 years, I’m troubled about what to do.
I thought it would be nice to look after him and slowly fall in love, but it doesn’t seem like there’s time for something like that.
If that’s the truth, then I’d like to get married right now…but I have no choice but to wait for Ko to say yes to me.
…But before that, I first want to know the reason why he looks like he wants to cry.
I picked up Ko, and headed towards home.
Away from the barracks, it’s still too early for eating.
Rennéga said that he’d head back to the barracks and left.
I pat his head, and Ko leans against me like that.
That caution hasn’t become much, but…will I still not be able to know everything about Ko?
While he is inside the house, Ko is no different than usual.
Studying so that he can learn letters, asking for pronunciation, etc.
Recently it seems that he’s been studying actions and feelings more than the names of things.
When I say the words that he wanted to know, Ko repeats them.
It’s this way every time, and it seems that memorizing words like this is the best way for him to learn pronunciation the fastest.
He says words while walking.
He memorizes more while walking than anywhere else.
His tongue is as clumsy as ever.
Words like “hot” and “cold” were taught to Ko by drawing pictures.
Tastes like “sweet” and “bitter” seem to be not very different from me.
Because of Ko’s appearance sweet things are given to him a lot, but after eating something he thinks is “too sweet” once he won’t eat it a second time.
He put’s one into Rennéga’s mouth as a prank, usually hand
Usually he puts it into Rennéga’s mouth as a prank instead of holding it in his hands.
“…Ryodo? You, tywad?”
I peek at his face with a sigh.
“I’m not tired.”
I shake my head in answer, but for some reason Ko puts away the spread-out papers and book after pondering it.
“Today, study, end?”
He calls out with a nod.
That’s rare, until now he’s been cramming in too much.
It’s not odd to take a break.
After he finishes cleaning up, Ko comes over to me again.
Since I mentioned “marriage” and “other halves” Ko has been approaching me less and less.
…I wonder, what’s wrong today?
Getting tired from using magic…I can’t see it being that.
Ko, who had been staring at me for a while, looked like he had resolved himself.
I wonder what he’s determined to say to me?
…What is it?
“Ryodo. Kou, diffwent. Mawihekch. Eewi. Chibelch. Kichetoa. Lajead. Awikaryen. Pawents, Kou, born…diffwent.”
I’m speechless at the unexpected information. (TN: So am I ;_;)
This country is called Maliheckt, so following that the other things Ko said must consist of the rest of the six countries: Eeli, Shivelt, Kisetoa, Lazeard, and Alicaren.
(TN: Thank you, Rodo, for being such a marvelous gibberish translator.)
But, it can’t be that Ko is saying that he wasn’t born in any of those countries.
It would be ridiculous to not be astonished at that.
Because there are no other countries other than those six.
Encircling the single large border of the six countries, they’re surrounded by the sea.
…I’ve never heard anything about there being a country beyond the sea…
Since raging sea beasts appear on the open sea, no person would willingly choose to cross the sea.
People who curiosity urged them to head towards the sea, there’s not a single one who has returned yet.
“Kou, *****, pawents, born.”
I’m not able to catch his words competently.
But, if Ko was born in that country called “Japa”, I wonder, how did he cross the sea and wind up alone on the hill with the fountain?
Even I walked into that place on Sig because I didn’t want the grass to restrict my legs and I’d be prepared for a demon appearing there.
Futhermore, that place is a considerable distance from the sea.
Although Ko, who was barefoot and naked, was taken there by someone, why were no wheel tracks or hoofprints there?
“Sea, boat, Japa, Maliheckt, go?”
When I asked if he crossed the sea from Japa to Maliheckt by boat, Ko shook his head back and forth.
If it wasn’t a boat…was it transfer by magic?
“Kou, woom, sleep. Wake ap. Ryodo, there.”
…In other words, after falling asleep in his room, when he woke up I was in front of him, huh?
He wasn’t aware that he was being moved?
As I thought, it was transfer magic?
However, it seems that Ko was sleeping, so why in the world would someone do that?
I heard that it’s difficult to transfer long distances through magic.
If someone expends magic to go to a stranger, it takes even more.
Though thinking about Ko’s power, his parents might possess great power too…
But still, they might be able to go for a short distance on the open sea.
Even so, it’s said that a person that can use magic to return to land from that great a distance doesn’t exist.
Is it even possible for a person to send someone from an unknown country even further than that?
Ko began to write something again.
After drawing a circle, he drew a design inside that I’ve never seen,
(What in the world…?
For a while Ko drew pictures like he was in a trance.
However, when he was finished drawing, he pointed at a small pattern and said the word he’d said previously.
It seems like it’s where Ko was born, the country called “Japa”.
Though his pronunciation seems a little different…
Is this a map?
I’ve never seen a map like this.
…What’s going on?
Ko points at the whole map and says something.
Is he saying that what’s inside the circle is are all countries?
He probably knew that I didn’t understand him.
Pointing, he shows me the land and sea.
(Are there countries like that beyond the sea?)
I ask where Maliheckt is, and Ko shakes his head.
(He’s not identifying Maliheckt…?)
I’ve got no clue what any of this means.
Tracing the circle, he says it again.
My pronunciation’s a little off again, so I’m a little confused when he nods.
He started to draw something again.
This time he seems to be drawing nothing but circles…What’s the meaning of this?
“Shun, *****, *****, *****, ***, ***, *******.”
He seems to be listing names one by one.
But…the first one he said at the beginning was “sun”.
And then, the fourth one he said was the one from before, “Erth.”
(…I don’t get this.)
Is Ko saying that he happens to have knowledge of things that I’ve never heard of before now?
In other words, he’s saying that “Erth” is the name of a star?
So Ko was born in a country called Japa of Erth?
If so…how did he wind up in Maliheckt?
He says that he “transferred while sleeping”…
I don’t know how he managed to come here, but if Ko came from a star called Erth, then is he a person not from this world?
In that case…Why is he my other half!?
This probably isn’t me misunderstanding.
I’m certain that my heart, body, and soul are longing for Ko.
“…Ryodo, Kou, you, hate nwow? I mwake?”
The unexpected circumstances made my mind go blank, but seeing Ko’s anxious expression swept away my confusion.
I hugged Ko tightly.
“I would never hate you. Ko, I like you.”
So what if he came from a different world.
That fact that he’s my other half hasn’t changed.
“Kou, go back, nwot know. Mawihech, why cwame, nwot know. …Weturn, when, nwot know. ……Ryodo, mwe, leeb, when?”
Somehow I was easily able to understand the words he told me falteringly.
(TN: Please pass on this magic to me ;_;)
I don’t know the way to go back home, I don’t know why I came to Maliheckt, and that’s why I don’t know when I might return, and-
When will I leave him-
After he said so, the tears that had gradually gathered began to flow.
(So this is the reason why he always looks like he wants to cry…)
It’s not strange to be feeling anxious when you don’t know if you might suddenly disappear.
I wonder if he felt a little bit lonely at being separated from me.
Ko continued to cry in my arms.
I hadn’t even considered that I might lose Ko.
Even though I was shocked just by the talk about his short life-span, that there’s a possibility that he might simply not be there one day…
I miserably regret that I can’t say “It’s alright.” and “I’ll protect you.”
I don’t have the power to keep Ko, who doesn’t know how he got here, in this place.
I just have an Akinist’s power, which is only a resistance against normal magic, and I’m practically unable to use it.
It doesn’t seem likely that my power will be able to do anything if a sorcerer greater than Ko appears.
Since transfer magic would be used, there’s no way for me to help.
While Ko continues to cry in my arms, I also almost begin to weep.
If I lose Ko, I’ll become an invalid.
I guess it would be amusing if I go mad precisely because I won’t be able to thoughtlessly choose death for myself
I finally found my long-awaited other half, so I don’t want to lose him like this.
(Why did something like this…)
What am I supposed to do?
Why have I been given nothing but trials like this?
Is just being happy hopeless?
Is that much compensation necessary for me to obtain the irreplaceable existence of my other half?
But, no matter what kind of future is waiting for me, I want Ko for my other half.
“Ko, I like you. I love you.”
Even if tomorrow Ko vanishes, even if I lose my life, that feeing won’t change.
Ko doesn’t stop crying as I hold him, whispering my love.
Since I’m not able to do more than something like this.
“Ko, I’ll love you forever.”
That alone is something that I’ll never let change.
-Rhodkiaus side END-