Well, guys, here it is – last part of Affection:Call of the King. My second finished translation. This book was way easier to translate in comparison to Secret Nights in The Inner Palace, probably because it isn’t set in ancient timesXD
In other news, it’s starting to get hot around here and I can feel my soul slowly dying as the temperature rises…I need an electric fan….and my trusty mouse I’ve had for years seems to have broken down, I can’t drag and select with it properly anymore…sigh…sad life…
But that’s that, onto the semi-finale~
“Michiru…How are you?”
After slightly opening the white curtain and peeping inside, and making sure that the eyes of his childhood friend who was lying on the bed were open, Kizuki began to speak.
Michiru turned towards him, and whispered quietly “Kizu…I’m sorry for making you worry.”
Saying that Michiru tried to get up making Kizuki stop him in a hurry.
“It’s better if you don’t get up so suddenly. You just collapsed.”
This thing he’d been worried about for a long time had become reality at the start of the sixth period.
During the lesson Michiru had collapsed in the classroom.
Kizuki who had different elective subjects than Michiru did not know about it until after school. He had returned to the classroom after the end of the sixth period class, and there for the first time had learned that Michiru had been brought to the school infirmary.
“I’m truly all right now. I slept well.”
(It is past 5 o’clock now…I reckon he’s slept less than 3 hours?)
Kizuki calculated, throwing a side glance at the clock on the wall.
Kizuki had immediately hurried to the school infirmary after learning that Michiru had collapsed, and had been told by the school nurse “It’s an extreme case of sleep deficiency.”
“Kamiyama-kun has not been that robust from the start so he occasionally uses this room, but somehow it looks like he has lost weight again. Gamon-kun, have you heard anything?”
“…no, not really.”
“I see…in any case since he’s sleeping right now you can come pick him up later.”
Because the nurse had said so, he had killed some time in the library room and having waited for a suitable time once again visited the school infirmary.
“…where’s the teacher?”
“She went out for a meeting. She said she’ll be late so if I’m able to leave it’s fine if I do. She gave me the key of this room. Since the teacher has another key, it seems it’s fine if I take it with me and return it tomorrow.”
Michiru got up restlessly, took his glasses that were sitting near his bedside and put them on. He put on the school uniform pants, shirt and coat he’d taken off. While Michiru was preparing to go home, Kizuki watched him in silence, and sighed in relief on the inside.
(I’m glad. Maybe because he slept, his complexion has gotten at least a little better.)
There’s no doubt that he had not been able to find sound sleep for a long time most likely because of the recent events.
He knew it because he was the same.
However in his case, his sleep was shallow also because of the approaching full moon, in these few days as the moon grew fuller he was fine even if he didn’t sleep, but the human Michiru couldn’t do that.
Like the teacher had said Michiru had never been robust and adding on he’d been further attacked by shock at Takahito’s disappearance, so Michiru who was even normally thin had thinned down more and more.
Michiru had skipped school with Kizuki and together they had searched for Takahito who had suddenly disappeared one day, but when a week passed, their influenza excuse for missing school lost its effect. Because they had skipped school in secrecy with their parents, even though there was contact from school it was troublesome.
“We understand your feelings, but leave the matter with Takahito to adults and go to school. Studying is a student’s duty.” Kizuki as well had been admonished by his parents, and had been left with no choice but to begin to go to school with Michiru.
Currently, ostensibly because of poor physical health, Takahito was on an indefinite leave from school. With this if Kizuki as his twin also did not come to school, the situation would be such that Tachibana’s position as the one in charge of their school year would also become more difficult. He and Takahito kept a high position in the special class, so they were looked upon as sort of ‘advertisement billboards’ of the school.
(It’s been 12 days since then…)
Takahito’s whereabouts were still completely unknown, and the search had completely reached its limits…
Even now there was no contact from outside, and both the line of it being a commercialized kidnapping aiming for a ransom and the line of it being another organization that opposed the Oogami Group had almost disappeared.
[T.N. Well, technically you could say the kidnapper is another family that opposes the Oogami group’s family, so you’re not looking hard enough, I guessXD]
At present time, the possibility that he’d been involved in some sort of accident was the highest.
As expected once they had reached this point, an opinion that they should start a criminal case had come out, and it has been the subject of discussion since a few days ago.
His father and Tachibana were in the agreeing group, and the three families whose main priority was to protect the Jinguuji Family were firmly in opposition.
The werewolves – his grandfather, uncle and mother – were neutral.
As it is, starting with Takahito’s disappearance it looked like his family was splitting up, and that was scary too.
Whether Takahito lived or not – in a situation where they did not even know that, everyone felt driven into a corner and exhausted. Of course, he himself was not an exception.
Since the day Takahito had vanished Kizuki’s life had changed.
First of all, he stopped laughing. As if feeling something strange in Kizuki in such a state, his classmates had also stopped to call him out to play.
The girls of their fan club had been uproarious at the sudden ‘Taka’s absence’ for a period of time, but because Tachibana had explained it away skilfully, now most of them had calmed down. “How is Taka-kun?” occasionally a girl from class will come to ask, and he’d be stopped in the corridor by unknown girls who requested him to pass over letters and gifts for a sick person – that was the attitude they had ended up with.
He’d been allowed to suspend his club activities due to ‘personal matters’ by the basketball club. They probably had sensed that it had to do with Takahito’s leave from school. The manager had said “We’ll be waiting so you can return at any time.”
However, while his younger brother’s whereabouts were uncertain he couldn’t do things like enjoying playing basketball with everyone, he did not have the mood for it.
The conversation with Michiru who originally was not a person who spoke much remained listless, and they walked side-by-side on the school route.
Before Takahito vanished, because Kizuki himself would have club activities after school, Michiru would often return home with just Takahito. Also because since Middle School they have been in the same class, if pushed he’d say Michiru’s relationship with Takahito was much better.
That Takahito had disappeared, and between him and Michiru, just the two of them who had suddenly been left behind, there also stretched out an uncomfortable feeling that was hard to get rid of. That was on top of the feeling of shortage that was due to an important part having gone missing…
All of a sudden, Michiru’s feet stopped.
Squeezing his fists tightly, his childhood friend stared at the asphalt with a tormented expression, and Kizuki called out to him “Michiru?”
“Taka…where could he be?”
As if to cover Kizuki’s words, Michiru spoke in a quiet voice. Raising his downcast face, he looked back at Kizuki.
“If he’d been kidnapped, there would have been some sort of demand, right? 12 days have already passed, but there had been no word from anyone…”
His voice shook. His lips trembled, and he looked like he was about to cry at any moment.
“May…maybe he was hit by a car…and had collapsed in a place nobody had noticed…and…”
Kizuki interrupted the shrill cry-like voice in a calm tone.
“Taka is alive.”
As if he’d been told a lie, both of Michiru’s eyes behind the lenses opened wide. Kizuki gazed straight at the pale face of his childhood friend.
“I can tell…I can.”
“That’s why I’ll search for him and won’t give up. Believe and wait for Takahito to come back. Okay?”
Nodding his head, Michiru’s face curved gloomily. One by one tears spilled from the edges of his eyes.
Kizuki searched the pockets of his uniform and pulled out a wrinkled handkerchief, and silently handed it to Michiru.
Kizuki spoke out towards the empty space. Today too, his dad and mom have gone to the Jinguuji House.
Since Takahito had gone missing, days had gone by with them looking for their son during the day, and holding a family discussion time starting from the evening.
His dad and mom, of course, had probably received an intense shock that was not describable in words, but they did not let Kizuki feel it.
Both had not once shown any tears or spoken any complaints.
They believed that Takahito is alive and that he would certainly return one day, and continued their search.
Kizuki felt the same. The words he said to Michiru earlier were his true feelings.
Kizuki was sure that Takahito was alive.
If Takahito had died, he was confident that he would certainly know it.
(That’s why…Taka is certainly alive)
Climbing up to his room on the second floor, Kizuki threw his schoolbag on the bed, and dived onto it himself as well while still wearing his uniform.
Lying face-up on the bed, he looked up at the ceiling.
This morning too during his shallow sleep he saw Takahito in a dream.
Since he disappeared Kizuki had seen it periodically, but he felt like as the moon got fuller the vague and unending dream gradually became clearer.
Somehow in the dream he had assimilated with his younger brother, and could see the sight seen by his brother.
The thing consistently reflected within Takahito’s eyes was a lot of snow and frost covered trees.
A snowy forest.
It was different than the scenery of the snowy mountain they had climbed when they were young, it was a sight not found in Kizuki’s own memories.
That’s why he thought it was the scenery that was currently seen by Takahito.
(Are you there right now?)
In a forest burrowed in snow…
While he asked his younger brother, Kizuki slowly closed his eyes. Maybe because yesterday too he’d been searching around outside pursuing Takahito’s ‘scent’ till it was past four in the morning, his consciousness slowly grew distant.
A sensation like that of softly floating up in the air. Gazing at an expansive snowy forest from up in the air, Kizuki finally caught sight of a wolf. The light brow wolf of a small, slim build was…Takahito.
(Is this the continuation…of this morning’s dream?)
Just as he recognized the figure of his younger brother he nosedived, gradually got closer to the wolf, and suddenly was absorbed into that body.
Rapidly the world became monochrome. It was proof he was seeing with wolf eyes.
 Meant to be sound of sprinting. I’m terrible with onomatopoeia, so I just romanized the Japanese. If anybody has suggestions for how to better convey running, I’m open.
Sprinting across the snow Takahito’s feet suddenly stopped.
The sonorous howling echoed in the snowy forest.
Finally the sound of footsteps kicking the snow could be heard. In front of Takahito over whose shoulder Kizuki was looking, a large beast made its presence known.
Tufty fur that glittered under the moonlight. Piecing, glowing eyes. A jutting muzzle and sharp ears. A firm muscular body. Thick long limbs.
It was bigger than anything he’d ever seen up to this point, and his tail stood up tensely.
Kizuki’s eyes opened. He quickly rose up, and opened his parched throat.
To be continued…
And it will. Next Wednesday the first part of Book 2 Affection:Fate of the Pair will be up on this blog.
So anybody following the blog will receive the notification, but for those keeping track of this story on NU – Affection:FP will have its own NU entry that I will add under related series for Affection:CK, so check there.
Also, DLLB will be updated tomorrow, so you can also look forward to that~
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