Hi guys! it’s been…a while.
I’ll briefly explain why I went AFK at the end of January. It started with me getting unexpectedly busy IRL with some last exams, after which I ended up falling ill twice in the following month. Mix in some in some human laziness and the fact I had technical difficulties with my source text that made translation cumbersome at the very least and some other frustrations and you have the general idea. Then COVID hit and all my school work tuned to home tasks, which meant I spent most of my time translating for uni and was not feeling to translating even more in the rest of time. Then I had exams again for most of June, and now we’re here.
I might have also gotten locked out of this site for a while. Don’t ask. I’m a moron.
But I’m back. I’ve spent June getting back into the sway of things since I had to refresh my Japanese and I finally solved the technical problems, so now I have a source text that’s easier to work with, so my translation speed should go up as I get used to it more.
Anyways, that’s about it. I might be forgetting to mention something, but it’s super late here because I had some difficulties with the site today too, but I wanted to get this up finally. So enjoy.
Also, I will be confirming all the comments I’d gotten during this time. Apologies for that, it was my technical blunder, I was not getting any notification for them and did not even realize it. I can be very stupid about this sort of stuff – I barely understand how to get around Facebook.
At times like these I really think I need an editor/manager to stand behind me virtually with a whip to push me to do better.
Yukino opened his eyes in the growing light of the morning, and blinked absentmindedly, for a moment not being able to grasp the situation.
In front of his eyes there was the chest of a man dressed in a black yukata.
Last night he had slept being held tight by Izuna.
“You’ve already gotten used to holding hands, right? We can proceed to the next thing, right?” Izuna had said, and even though Yukino imagined it would not end with them sleeping while holding hands for only one night if he said he has gotten used to it, he had said “Well, okay.”
When he was faced with Izuna’s expression filled with such expectation, he could not reject him. As expected, he was weak to Izuna.
After that Yukino could recall Izuna’s happy face as he hugged him tight.
Since he had seemingly made Izuna so happy, he had thought “Well, I suppose this should be fine.”
“Slowly separating their bodies, as he peeked at Izuna’s sleeping face that was slightly above him, that sleeping face also looked extremely happy.
Unconsciously, he smiled wryly and gently carded his hand through the hair that had stuck to Izuna’s forehead.
His name being called in a hoarse voice, Yukino was startled.
“Izuna? Did you wake up…?”
Yukino softly called him, but those eyelids remained closed.
He was probably still half-asleep?
As Yukino thought of that, the strength with which he was being hugged greatly increased.
The nasal breathing that caressed his nape tickled him. However, while he was wondering whether the man was awake or not, Izuna’s hand restlessly caressed the region of his bottom.
“…you’re awake, right!?”
After his body quivered in surprise, Yukino spoke and forcefully tore off Izuna’s body.
Izuna reluctantly removed his hands and got up.
“Good morning. You’re so energetic even in the morning.”
“Whose fault do you think that is?”
Yukino too got up while complaining to him.
As Izuna turned towards the corridor and called out, soon there was the sound of footsteps and Saburouta appeared holding a hand towels and buckets of water.
“The breakfast preparations will be done soon.”
As Saburouta placed the two buckets and hand towels, he spoke, bowed his head and immediately withdrew. Yukino didn’t even have the time to thank him.
Somehow, in comparison with yesterday, there was a slightly busy feeling.
Wondering at how strange it was he was washed his face, and took breakfast in the adjoining room.
Today too he smacked his lips at how delicious the breakfast was…
“I’ll be a bit late today. I’ve instructed Saburouta to serve you, so if there’s anything you need you can ask him.”
“Ee? Ye…yea, I got it. Are you going out?”
He was a little surprised because these two days they had always acted together.
“Aah, as expected I have to start working from today. Including the wedding ceremony I received three holidays, but…”
“Ah, I see…”
That was true.
Since Izuna was the chief of the Tengu, it was natural that he had work to do, but somehow he had been oblivious to that.
Probably it was also because he could not at all imagine what sort of work it could be.
“What is your job?”
“Ah, right…it’s things like patrolling the village and the mountain, listening to the villagers problems… Oh, there’s a meeting of Tengu in the afternoon today. I will probably be a little late.”
Yukino nodded in understanding, and thought of a question “What do they talk about in Tengu meetings?”
However, is that so….
“I want to work as well.”
“You being here and awaiting my return is work.”
“Not that, isn’t there anything more I could do?”
Seeing that he lived here, he should probably do something as well. Yukino thought that, but Izuna’s brow was knitted in unease.
“Even though you say that… Fundamentally, the Tengu’s bride does not leave the estate. But it’s fine if it’s together with me.”
“If that’s the case, how about work inside the house?”
“Umm…taking care of everyday necessities is the priest’s job.”
Despite saying that, Izuna promptly consumed his meal and stood up. In the bedroom Saburouta was already waiting for him, and got Izuna ready in the blink of an eye.
Naturally, there was no time for Yukino to also be helped to prepare by Saburouta.
First of all, even though it was only to see Izuna off, Yukino finished his meal and together they entered the corridor.
Like that they walked till the detached entranceway, but as expected it was impossible for him to go outside to see Izuna off while wearing the yukata.
Nevertheless, Izuna stepped down on the hard packed dirt floor and spread his wings, looking quite happy.
“How strange that there is no effect visible on the clothing,” he thought as a single feather fell on the wooden floor.
For some reason Yukino picked it up, but…
—–This reminded him.
Suddenly recalling something, he took a long hard look at the feather held between his fingers.
“Is something wrong?”
“No, I just wondered whether the feather I received back then was also Izuna’s.”
“Oh, that is the case, but…had I not told you that?”
Now that he said that, Yukino thought that when they had met again Izuna had indeed asked about his feather.
But at that time he had not understood what Izuna had meant by that…
“…Since that feather is so important, ah, it’s a little regretful.”
Despite having been encouraged, in the end it had been left in that apartment.
Yukino, whose mood had become a bit earnest, came to his senses in surprise at Izuna’s voice. When he looked at him, Izuna was wearing a broad and indecent smile.
“I see, I see, that’s how much you love me?”
“You…you’re wrong! It’s not like that!”
No, actually, well, it was like that, but since he loved Izuna as a friend, it wasn’t something to get stirred by.
“It’s…it’s fine so hurry up and go! Hey! Goodbye!!”
Saying that, Yukino pushed Izuna’s back and pushed him out of the entranceway, and slapped the door closed.
Like that he turned around on his heel and returned to the bedroom.
In the room Saburouta had prepared Yukino’s clothing and was waiting for him.
“I’ll help you to get ready.”
Somehow his mood having become miserable, Yukino lowered his head. Finally he could not bear to throw away the feather he had picked up and for now put it on top of the chest of drawers.
Even though Saburouta helped him to get dressed, he believed he should learn how to do this himself as fast as possible.
To say nothing of it being their job, being looked after, as expected it gave him a problematic feeling…
After he thought that, suddenly something came to his mind.
“What is it?”
“Isn’t there any sort of work I could do as well?”
Izuna seemingly had not been able to think of something, but in truth the ones who oversaw the management and everyday necessities of the estate were Saburouta and the other Karasu-tengu. That’s why he thought Saburouta too would know the places where they did not have enough hands, but…
“Work, you said?”
As if bewildered Saburouta’s hands stopped for a moment but soon he once again began to tie the obi.
“If you’re at leisure, how about taking a walk in the garden?”
“No, it’s not like that, yesterday and the day before that I spent the whole day playing around so I thought I would feel awkward if I don’t soon start doing something…”
“Even though Yukino-sama says that…”
Saburouta said as if he felt troubled.
“Since being in the estate is Yukino-sama’s job, there really isn’t anything you need to do.”
“My job is being here…”
With a slightly different nuance in his words, Izuna too had said that fundamentally the Tengu’s bride did not leave the estate.
“Not being allowed to leave the estate, is that also a Tengu law?”
“No, it does not mean you cannot leave. You can go wherever you want as long as you’re together with Izuna-sama. However, I’d say you should err on the side of caution…”
Yukino’s eyes widened in surprise at Saburouta’s slightly disturbing proclamation.
“Caution, you say…this is Izuna’s holy precinct, right?”
“Of course, that is the case. However, there are also people like Fugen.”
The man was Izuna’s rival.
Certainly Fugen’s attitude had been quite strange, and Izuna had told him to be careful, but…
“Is Fugen-san really that envious of Izuna?”
At Yukino’s words, Saburouta seemed to hesitate for a bit, but as if he had judged it better for Yukino to know, bit by bit he explained the situation.
“Long ago Fugen had not been such a bad man, but…”
Among the contenders for the post of Chief, he had been the superior one.
However, because Izuna, who had been born after him, possessed divine power so strong the likes of which had not been seen these days, since Izuna’s birth Fugen had become practically a superfluous contender.
Nevertheless, since Izuna had not displayed almost any intention to become Chief, it seemed like there was a time it was thought Fugen too had a chance.
However, since at a certain moment Izuna suddenly became motivated, in the end Fugen had not been able to become Chief…
“Of course, there were several other contenders as well. Most of them respect Izuna-sama’s strength and recognize him as Chief.”
Saburouta softly sighed while tying the obi.
“But since, until Izuna-sama was born, Fugen had thought it was almost definite he would be the next Chief…It’s probably why he resents Izuna-sama so much…”
“Is that so…”
That is, in other words, didn’t that mean it was kind of his fault as well?
Yukino had heard from both Izuna and Saburouta that it was because of him that Izuna had started to care about his training to become Chief. Moreover, if what Saburouta had said was true, it was something everyone in the village knew.
Once again he wondered whether that had been the reason why there had been a somewhat turbulent feeling on the day of his marriage ceremony.
As far as that is concerned, truly it would be better to not do anything dangerous.
[T.N. wow, somebody agreeing to not do something dangerous in a novel…how rare…]
“It’s better to not leave the estate recklessly, I understand that. But, nevertheless, it would be really inexcusable for me to sit around doing nothing despite not being ill or anything…I’d be fine with things like cleaning or doing laundry, so can’t you let me do that?”
As Yukino argued vehemently, after Saburouta had pondered for a bit, he clapped his hands as if he had hit upon a good idea.
“Then how about serving one dish made by Yukino-sama at the evening meal?”
“Izuna-sama would also definitely be happy about that. Ah, since there’s the meeting today, there won’t be an evening meal, but an appetizer that could be served with alcohol should be fine.”
Saburouta had already nodded as if this was the only solution.
However, truth be told the only domestic chore he could not do was ‘cooking’. On top of that, the level of perfection of the dishes that were served here was quite high. If he told them he’d make something, won’t he just be causing them trouble?
“—–the truth is, I can’t cook.”
After a moment of hesitation, Yukino honestly confessed.
“Oh…Is that so? I overstepped.
“No! It’s fine, no need to do that.”
Yukino hurried to stop Saburouta whose head was still lowered apologetically. He did not really want Saburouta to apologize. How should he put it, he thought he should be the one apologizing instead…
“Frankly, I know it would be a big bother, but I will try to do my best so…could you please teach me how to cook?”
“—-Ee! Of course!”
Saburouta energetically nodded at Yukino who had timidly asked him that.
“I’ll go talk to the kitchen staff immediately. Please wait a moment!”
Saburouta nodded his head several times while speaking, and left the room with a flapping sound.
Yukino saw him off while still feeling a little bit dumbfounded, and began to fold the yukata he’d taken off. Luckily, he had folded garments at his home at the temple, so he had no problem dealing with the yukata.
However, putting it on was a completely different matter.
“Not just cooking, shouldn’t I also ask him to teach me how to dress?”
As Yukino murmured, a wry smile slipped out of him.
“Eh, I wonder if I should tell him I made it…”
In the evening, while stretching his body inside the bath, Yukino recalled the dish he had made today and a sigh spilled out of him.
Afterwards, Saburouta had settled the matter, and it was nice he could be peacefully taught cooking, but…
Because Izuna had eaten a meal at the meeting today, they had planned to make some snacks for him to have with a drink after he returned home.
The one who taught him was a Karasu-tengu called Touji who was part of the kitchen staff – in other words a chef.
Touji was somewhat of a silent type, but his way of teaching was courteous, and there was not a single hint of reluctance on his face as he accompanied Yukino, who guessed he was probably being a hindrance to their work.
What they made was lotus root cooked in sugar and soy sauce. However, although Yukino had cut the lotus root, Touji had had prepared the vinegar for removing the astringent taste and seasoned it with him only cooking it with the spatula as he was told to do.
Saburouta and Touji had told him Izuna would be happy if he knew Yukino had made it, so he should surely tell him, but…
As expected, he had a problem with brazenly saying that he had made it. On the other hand he would also feel sorry if they thought Touji had cut such uneven lotus root slices.
“Hmm, I guess I’ll have to honestly confess to Izuna.”
He did not think Izuna was the sort of guy to be displeased because of that.
While thinking of such things, Yukino rose from the bath, put on the yukata, and went back to the room with a candlestick in his hand. There were faint lights burning in the garden lanterns that were visible from the corridor, they were quite charming.
No matter how he looked at it him being here right now felt strange, and just like that Yukino absentmindedly gazed at the garden.
Not even a week has yet passed since Numata had collapsed at their workplace.
Even that already seemed to him like a distant memory. And yet, he could brightly recall the days spent with Izuna 13 years ago like they had happened only yesterday.
That was definitely because for a long time he had kept them deep in his heart, in his most important place.
Like a completely forgotten time capsule that had not been opened a second time, the deeply burrowed memories were easily dug up and frees by Izuna.
I won’t make predictions for the next update, cuz with my new technique I’m not yet sure what my word per hour count is. But it will definitely be within the week.
On another note, the entire 3rd chapter (5 parts) of Mating Heat will be up on Patreon within the hour after this goes up.
Thank you to all the people who have supported me, be it on Patreon or ko-fi, or just commenting on these translations, I can’t promise I won’t go off the radar again, but I will always come back and that will be because of all of you.
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