Hi guys! IMPORTANT! I made a big oopsie. The part I uploaded last time was actually Chapter 6/Part 1 and not Chapter 5/Part 1. I’d accidentally named them both Chapter 5 and didn’t notice. That’s what you get for uploading after 1 AM.
I’ve replaced the content in the last post, so it’s the correct part, so go re-read it before reading this part.
A voice called him from behind unexpectedly, and Yukino’s shoulders shook in surprise as he turned around.
“Ah, I’m home.”
Izuna said and smiled. That face was too excessively happy so Yukino tilted his head.
“Did something good happen at the meeting?”
“No? Nothing special happened, but….why do you ask?”
“Somehow, you seem to be really happy.”
After thinking for a moment Izuna nodded his head in understanding at Yukino’s words.
“It’s because I was thinking how nice it was to hear Yukino tell me ‘welcome home’.”
[T.N. Awwww…isn’t this puppy seme the greatest?]
Yukino felt his cheeks heat up at those words.
“…don’t say such embarrassing things!”
“They’re true though? Ah, that’s right.”
As Izuna said that to the scowling Yukino, he pulled out something from his pocket.
As he reached out his hand the moment the gift was presented to him, Izuna placed something black into Yukino’s hand. When he shined light upon it with the candlestick, he saw it was slightly old looking small feather.
This was Izuna’s feather that clearly had been left behind in Yukino’s apartment.
It was something that had always been in his possession for 13 years.
“Did you go get it for me?”
“It seemed like you had been worried about it.”
As Yukino smiled, truly happy, he gently wrapped the feather in his hands so that he would not hurt it.
“Come to think of it, Izuna can freely leave the mountain, right?”
Since Izuna had come to pick him up and there were their childhood meetings as well, that was what he supposed.
“It’s not limited to just me. Tengu have always gone to play to the human world. Though, sporadically you can also catch sight of other gods and their households.”
“Ee? Then, am I the only one who can’t leave?”
If Tengu and gods can leave, why can’t only he who was originally human leave?”
He wondered what the hell it had to do with him.
Or —– the words ‘can’t leave’ – were they a lie made to keep him here?
As he unconsciously fixedly gazed at Izuna, the man smiled bitterly as if he felt a little troubled.
“To be accurate, it’s not the case that you can never leave. Once your body is used to the divine power and you’ve become fully non-human, on the contrary you’ll be able to more or less resist impurity. Once that happens you’ll also be able to go to the human world for a little bit.”
“Is that so…”
He had thought he would never be able to leave during his lifetime, but it seemed that was not the case.
“However, even though I’m speaking of you getting used to the divinity it can take years. Moreover, it doesn’t mean you’ll always be able to leave. It should be more acceptable if I’m with you… For the time being, this is the hardest part of the transition period. You’re not part of this or the human world. If there’s a change in your physical condition, tell me immediately.”
[T.N. とりあえず今は過渡期で一番辛いところだ。人の世にもこちらにも馴染みきれていない。- I’m not getting these two sentences. The second might be completely wrong, I was guessing.]
“…ok. I understand. Sorry.”
While nodding at Izuna’s explanation, he felt sorry he had even if only slightly been suspicious that it was a lie.
“Do you have any lingering attachment to the human world?”
As his hair was gently brushed, Yukino pondered. Remaining lingering attachments, it did not seem like he had any. He thought that if he had to name one it had been that feather. However…
“…what happened with my room?”
“Huh? Nothing really, there seemed to be no change since the last time I went there?”
When he thought about it, not so many days had passed since then. He guessed that the apartment’s rent too had not yet ascended to the non-paid stage.
But, the fact he had not really cleaned up anything, now made him uneasy.
There was nothing in that room, but he guessed that his sudden disappearance would cause trouble. There was also the company…
“I was thinking that I should have properly vacated that apartment. The company as well, I should have at least given them a call.”
“That’s what you’ve been worrying about?”
Izuna said and wryly smiled at Yukino’s words.
“Really, I don’t think you need to worry so much about the matters of the human world, but…if it makes Yukino anxious, I’ll do something or other about it.”
“Ee? Something or other…”
Is that something you can do? Those were the feelings that were seemingly clearly displayed in his expression.
“What’s with that face? I understand the human world at least that much. Leave the matter with your room to me. If you’re worried about the company, write a letter and I will also deliver that.”
“Really? Thank you!”
He was more or less worried, but with Izuna’s words Yukino felt his heart becoming a little lighter, and he sighed in relief.
“Ah, that’s, that’s right. I didn’t really do this with the intention to express my gratitude, though.”
“Err, come here for a bit.”
Not caring whether he said it well, Yukino lead Izuna back to the room. Not the bedroom, but the room where they always had their meals.
Within the room there was a single small dining table and a dish covered by a lid made of bamboo.
“Ah, you asked for an evening meal to be prepared?”
Speaking, Izuna casually took off the lid. Inside there were two bottles of sake, two sake cups and lotus root cooked in sugar and soy sauce in a medium size bowl.
“I also helped a little with making that lotus root.”
“—– Yukino did?”
Izuna looked at Yukino as if he was surprised. Yukino hurried to avert his eyes.
“Only a little! But, the varied thickness of the lotus root slices is my fault, not Touji-san’s.
When he said that, Izuna somewhat awkwardly turned around towards the dining table. Then, he suddenly reached out his hand and casually picked up a piece of lotus root and put it in his mouth.
Yukino wanted to tell Izuna to use the chopsticks, but anxious about his reaction after trying the lotus root, Yukino swallowed the saliva in his mouth and watched him attentively.
“…how is it?”
Izuna spoke and stuck out his tongue to lick his fingers.
“This is the most delicious lotus root I’ve ever eaten.”
“It’s thanks to Touji-san, he was the one who seasoned it, but…”
Even though he said that, Yukino’s cheeks loosened in relief.
For now, it seems, he could be happy about it.
“I’ll try harder next time. Since, I asked to be taught cooking.”
“I see… In other words, it’s kinda like bridal training, huh?”
“Whaa? —-You, you’re wrong!! It’s not like that.”
He had just thought it would make Izuna happy.
Yukino hurried to swallow the words that had almost left his mouth on the spur of the moment.
This was also wrong. Clearly wrong.
He found the idea of becoming a freeloader unpleasant, so he just wanted some sort of work. That was clearly the truth.
“Well, it’s fine. I’m looking forward to the next time…anyway, let’s drink this while watching the garden.”
As he said that Izuna casually picked up the dining table and exited the room. Then, he put the table on the bench that was visible in the garden and fell heavily next to it, sitting cross-legged.
“Hey, you sit down too, Yukino.”
Even though Yukino was still a little confused, beckoned, he sat down next to Izuna with the table in-between them. He placed the candlestick next to the small dining table.
Under the light of the garden lanterns, the courtyard was as faintly bright as the last time he had seen it.
As the sake cup was handed to him, he realized he was still holding the feather from earlier in his hand.
A little worried he put it into the sleeve pocket of his yukata and accepted Izuna pouring alcohol for him.
Yukino, who did not drink regularly, could not recognize the flavour of the Japanese sake he was drinking. It had an airy, good smell and it made his tongue a bit numb. As he drank it his throat burned.
He did not understand it well, but it seemed he did not hate it. Yukino put down the sake cup, picked up the sake bottle and this time poured alcohol into Izuna’s sake cup.
He guessed that Izuna liked alcohol. The man quickly gulped it down and sighed in satisfaction. Then he took up the chopsticks and brought a piece of lotus root to his mouth.
“Ah, it also goes well with the sake.”
His chest grew warm at the earnestly happy Izuna. No, this was probably the fault of the sake?
He did not know. He did not know, but if it made Izuna so happy he decided he would cook for him again.
However, it was absolutely not bridal training.
“Are you not going to eat, Yukino?”
“Well, just a little.”
Yukino said that and put a mouthful of the lotus root in his mouth. Since he had sampled it he had been aware of it, but truly the flavour was perfect. He thought the slightly strong flavour would complement not just alcohol but also serve as side dish to rice.
But he did not eat any more than that and brought the sake cup to his lips. Because for some reason he wanted Izuna to eat a lot of it.
However, that was fatal for Yukino who was not used to drinking alcohol.
Maybe it was also because he had gone to bath and his blood flow had accelerated, when he emptied his second cup his head and body went somewhat light and at the exact same time as the first bottle of sake was emptied his body slanted unexpectedly.
“Uh-oh, are you alright?”
As he said that, while he tilted his head at the scenery that had somehow become slanted, he brought the sake cup to his lips.
“You’re weaker than I thought.”
Yukino sullenly knitted his eyebrows at Izuna’s voice that had a wry smile mixed in it.
“I am not…not weak. If I tried hard I could lift as much as Izuna…”
“That is impossible. No, to begin with, it’s not about strength. I’m talking about alcohol, not strength.”
What’s wrong with alcohol? Without understanding, Yukino fixedly stared at his sake cup.
“Oi, it’s going to spill if you tilt it like that.”
He said that even though he did not particularly have a basis for it, but his sake cup was taken away by Izuna.
“What! Give it back!”
As he reached out his hand while complaining, he naturally became glued to Izuna. However, before returning the sake cup to Yukino’s hands, Izuna drained its contents.
“Aaa! That was mine…”
“It’s fine, eat some lotus roots instead.”
Smiling wryly, Izuna picked up a slice of lotus root with his fingers and put it into Yukino’s mouth.
Chewing, he swallowed one lotus piece, but before he was made to eat another piece Yukino blocked his mouth with both of his hands.
“Don’t do that…I made them because I wanted Izuna to eat them…”
He threw a glare at Izuna, but far from looking worried about it Izuna instead happily nodded “I see, I see.”
“Yukino is truly cute.”
Saying that Izuna tightly embraced him, and Yukino waved about his hands that had gone limp due to alcohol.
“You hugged me! You can’t!”
Laughing, Izuna put aside the sake cup, and hugged Yukino with both of his hands. Before he knew it as if he was stranded on Izuna’s lap, he was completely held within Izuna’s arms.
Just then his pulse grew faster – not just because of alcohol – and the area around his temples hurt.
“You can’t do it because when Izuna does that somehow my heart begins to pound.”
While speaking Yukino continued to push away Izuna’s chest, but unnoticed a tingling numbing heat spread to his fingertips and he lost strength.
“Don’t say such cute things.”
Izuna’s laughing voice resounded in his ear. However, he heard it as if it was so close to him it echoed in his head, as well as if it was so far it was a sound heard through water.
Something soft touched his temple.
Just as he shook his head to try to shake it off…
Dizzily, his vision warped —– just like that Yukino fell fast asleep.
He could hear a child’s crying voice nearby.
As he wondered from where the hell did the sound come, he emerged unto the back of familiar grounds.
There were two children. One of them was crouching with his back curling up and the other was stroking his back as if to soothe him.
The crouching youth was the one who was crying. He wondered why the boy was crying, but then he realized that the one crying was him.
Was it again that dream he always had?
That was what he thought, but the treetops in the garden were still green, it seemed like this was not the winter when his mother had abandoned him or the autumn he had been separated from Izuna.
But… ——Ah, that’s right. He had often cried in front of Izuna.
Even though he had never cried in front of his family or his bullies, in front of Izuna he unconsciously made complaints and let his tears spill.
He thought it was because only Izuna frequently kept company with him. At that time the only one on whose kindness he could presume to act spoiled was Izuna.
That was probably the same now as well…
While he thought about such things, his younger self raised his head.
With his eyes, nose and cheeks a deep red, the little Yukino said something and Izuna, who was just as young, listened to it while making sounds of agreement.
And then Izuna suddenly laughed.
“Are you making a promise?”
The gentle voice reached his ear.
Yukino gasped in surprise. The child him nodded.
That’s right. Certainly, it had been at this point he had made that promise.
What the heck had he promised?
He did not know. Why had he forgotten it despite the fact it had made Izuna so happy?
He also recalled Izuna’s face as the man had bitterly smiled and said it had not been an important thing.
He wanted to know. Strongly he thought that once he knew he also wanted to protect that promise like Izuna had done.
However, even if he wished to enquire of his younger self about it in the dream, neither his mouth nor feet would not move as if they were frozen…
Chapter 5 is done. We only have 3 more Chapters, plus an extra left which adds up to 7 more parts.
I’ve also made steady progress with Mating Heat this past week – I’m almost half way through it. My goal is to finish it and uploading this story as fast as possible before the end of summer.
Next part should be in less than a week as well, I’m still trying to work out a steady upload schedule I could manage at my current speed.
Anyways, see you next time~
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