Waking up to bright sunlight that burnt his eyes had become a regular occurrence for Subaru.
Petra: [Hey! Wake up! It’s already morning! Wake up Subaru-sama!]
Subaru took pride in being able to wake up quickly, but as he expected, these days he couldn’t bring himself to move right after being awakened. It takes him some time for his brain to process the inviting sunlight, and to get away from the world of sleep.
Lately, his sleep has been especially sound. That was because these days, he had been using his mind and body to its fullest when he was awake, and that was a sign that he was making the most out of his days.
Petra: [You have to wake up! Wake up! Come on, WAKE UP!]
Subaru: [You’re so noisy.]
A voice screamed into Subaru’s ear, not caring about how comfortable he was curled up in bed. Subaru retaliated by embracing the angry voice so close to himself that they could feel each other's breath.
After letting out a noise that sounded as though a frog had been crushed, the owner of the voice was pulled into the bed with Subaru.
It was a chilly morning, so the close contact with human skin provided just the right amount of warmth.
Subaru: [Ah, I’m waking myself up. But going back to sleep with a beauty in my arms sounds peaceful… don’t you agree?]
Petra: [Mmm! I’m..… I…. don't mind…..]
Petra, whose voice had been spirited moments before, easily bought into Subaru’s sweet talk.
They laid in bed together for a long time. Even though Petra usually had a strong personality, whenever she got pampered by Subaru, she would show her childish side.
That’s exactly what Subaru found so endearing about Petra. He was starting to push his luck a bit too much though...
Subaru: [Alright, that’s a good girl. You can spend the rest of the morning with me in...]
Petra: [But the Duchess is in charge of making your breakfast today, if you stay any longer… she might get angry at you.]
Subaru: [Ah…. would she?]
Subaru’s sense of comfort was drained away when he was told about Crusch making him breakfast. He was afraid of what might happen if Crusch found out about him choosing to sleep in over spending time with her.
With no choice but to get up, Subaru hugged the girl in his arms one last time as hard as he could, and then jumped up and down on his luxurious bed.
Subaru: [And I’m up. Oh, it looks like another beautiful day today!]
Subaru bounced on the springs of his bed and then bent down slightly. He looked down at the girl still in his bed that had been dragged in by Subaru’s forcefulness.
Subaru: [Hey hey, wearing that outfit and lying in my bed like that makes you look a little erotic. I’ve always told you that girls shouldn’t look so naughty, Petra.]
Petra: [It’s okay… I only let my guard down when I’m alone with Subaru-sama.]
Sticking out her tongue in a teasing manner, Petra Leyte, who was reaching the age where she looks good in a maid outfit, teased Subaru. He reached out his hand and pulled her out of the bed.
Subaru: [Well, let’s go to the dining room. We should already be there by now, shouldn’t we?]
Petra: [Yes. Let’s go, Subaru-sama.]
Petra nodded with a smile. Then Subaru left the bedroom, still holding her hand.
On the red carpet of the Royal Castle of Lugunica, they both slowly walked down the corridor hand-in-hand.
Crusch: [You're late.]
...The first thing that greeted Subaru as he entered the dining room was a dignified voice, one that clearly made it known that she was in a bad mood.
The threatening edge in her voice made Subaru break out into a cold sweat. He then smiled to try not give away the fear he was feeling, raised his hand and said...
Subaru: [Sorry, sorry. I guess I was just a little tired this morning. I can’t seem to get up these days.]
Crusch: [What a load of nonsense. Don’t lie to me. Did you forget that I could tell whether you’re lying or not?...... I’m sure you were spending your time cuddling and sweet talking the maid who went to wake you up this morning.]
Subaru turned his head and whistled as he tried to avoid her sharp glare. He had actually been flirting with Petra, and no matter which maid had come to wake him up in the morning, there would have been some flirting.
Crusch: [Well in any case, this proves that the Lord is displeased with our promise. I can’t blame you for treating me the way you did…..]
Subaru: [No, I didn’t mean it… that way.]
Crusch: [There is no need to console me. I know that I’m not a… “pretty girl”. Unlike the other women around you, I’ve never been very active except for when it came to swinging my sword. I know very little about dressing up or wearing makeup. It’s no wonder I can’t satisfy you…]
The words of self-deprecation were probably due to the large number of concerns that had been piling up day after day. It didn’t take much for the dam to break and for all of it to be released.
All of her feelings of dissatisfaction came pouring out, and it was definitely Subaru’s fault for not realizing it until now.
Crusch: [What are you doing?]
Subaru: [If you can read my mind, surely you have to know why I’m doing this.]
Crusch: [Don’t tease me.]
She turned her face away as she was being held in Subaru’s arms. Instead, she shakes her shoulders as if she was ashamed of being held. But there wasn’t much effort in her resistance.
Crusch: [The only thing I can see is the wind. I can understand your surface thoughts, but I have no way to read someone’s mind. All I see is the wind.]
Subaru: [Well I’m thinking of something you might find embarrassing.]
Crusch: [Even if what the Lord is thinking of is something embarrassing… I can’t see it.]
There was a slight giggle coming from the lady being held in Subaru’s arms. He glanced down and his gaze intertwined with Crusch’s. Their faces were close, so close that they could feel each other's breath.
So Subaru decided to answer her insecurities in a way that was more eloquent than his words could ever be.
He could feel their lips connecting and the feeling of her tongue overlapping with his in a reserved manner. He could feel the heat of her breath mingling into his, and his ears started burning as Crusch begged Subaru to kiss her.
Their lips were locked for a moment, and then without warning, they parted, breaths uneven.
When he saw her eyes moisten, the fact that he had made a woman with a normally noble appearance have such a lustful expression on her face made his insides burn. The thought that he was the only person who could see that face made his whole body heat up. Subaru stretched out his arms to be even closer to her...
Crusch: [That’s enough for this morning.]
But his arms were quickly blocked by Crusch, who quickly blinked away the passion that had been in her eyes.
With no more outlet for his sensual arousal, Subaru opened and closed his outstretched hands irritatedly. Then he looked resentfully at his partner, who showed her usual dignified smile.
Crusch: [If I let this get out of hand, it will interfere with our plans for the rest of the day. Moreover, the Lord’s work can no longer be handled by me alone. So we can’t.]
Subaru: [...Don’t you want to be cute and indulge every once in a while?]
Crusch: [I’ve already told you. I’m not a pretty girl. --Although, it is tempting to forget about my responsibilities and to spend the day lazing around with you.]
Subaru: [It's a good idea to show your feminine side, you know, at key points like this.]
The hand that Subaru had held out as a last ditch effort was lightly slapped away. While waving around the hand that was struck, Subaru turned around and looked back.
Crusch: [Let’s eat. I put a lot of effort into making food for the Lord… But I’m particularly proud of what I made this morning.]
Subaru: [It would be typical of Crusch-san to make the best food without trying to.]
Subaru slumped his shoulders and walked over to the dining table, where a savoury aroma stimulated his hunger.
Crusch spread her hands out proudly, pleased with herself for a job well done.
Crusch: [I know that you’re a busy man, but let me at least have a moment of your time at the table like this, and let me have the Lord all to myself. ...I’m sorry for being so selfish.]
Subaru: [You say that you're being selfish, well I think you’re just being too cute, my wife.]
When they sat down at the big dining table, Crusch sat down right next to Subaru like she usually did. She glanced towards Subaru and watched as he took his first bite of the meal she had prepared.
He then took his first bite, and as though it was the rule, he exclaimed, “It’s great!”, so great, that he thought it wasn’t fair to the others.
The faint anxiety that had been in Crusch’s eyes disappeared, and Subaru took another bite of his meal.
...Because of official business, Subaru was struggling with the pile of papers on his desk.
Subaru: [No matter how much I work at it, there’s no end in sight. It’s a common scene in manga and anime, but I hadn’t expected to have to do this in real life…]
Ram: [Work while you mumble Barusu. Your break was long enough so get back to work. Fool.]
Subaru: [You’ve seen how much work I’ve done and you’re still saying that?!]
After running through one of the piles of paperwork, he was left with only four mountains to deal with. However, a white mountain range of paperwork was mysteriously added. When Subaru noticed that the number of mountains in front of him had increased by four, he thrust out his quill and said,
Subaru: [Do you really think you can keep treating me like that? Do you have any idea how much power I have in this country right now? I think it’s about time you stop treating me like I’m still a butler at the mansion.]
Ram: [You’re the one who forgot that you can’t even stand properly without the people around you propping you up. If Ram were to abandon Barusu here, who would help you ghostwrite these papers? You should remember your place.]
Subaru: [I’m sorry Nee-sama! Please! Please don’t abandon me! Don’t leave! Help me!]
He immediately went back on his words, threw his body on the desk and begged for her help, abandoning all of his pride. Seeing that, the pink haired maid snorted.
Ram: [No matter what your position is, Barusu stays the same.. It’s about time we stopped this exchange. There’s a better use of your time.]
Subaru: [I’m flattered by your generosity, Nee-sama. If someone else saw this scene, you’d be in big trouble. I’m bowing down to a maid! That would be a scandalous story on the front page of every newspaper. ]
Ram: [Ram is on top and Barusu at the bottom. It’s an unquestionable truth. I don’t see the problem.]
Subaru: [You're a real piece of work, Nee-sama!]
When she heard Subaru’s voice quiver in an unmanly-like manner he usually did, Ram exhaled in disgust. She then put a spare chair next to Subaru’s desk and pulled out a quill from the pen holder on the desk.
Ram: [Ram will take care of the papers that she can write for you, all that Ram needs from Barusu is confirmation, so please answer verbally when you are asked.]
Subaru: [All right, thanks for the help. This country wouldn’t be able to run so well without you Nee-sama.]
Ram: [Show your gratitude by changing your attitude.]
Subaru: [What are you talking about?]
Ram: [Wouldn’t it be courteous of you to address me by my name followed with -sama?]
Subaru: [That is another scene that could really get us into trouble, you know?]
In any case, unlike Subaru, who isn’t able to work his hands while he talks, Ram’s paperwork was advancing at an unbelievable pace. Subaru had heard that Ram had previously worked behind the scenes at the Roswaal mansion, taking care of some of the paperwork on behalf of Roswaal. He had never witnessed her work, so he was surprised at first.
Subaru: [You aren’t slouching even a little bit, are you?]
Ram: [Ram feels as though she’s being judged dishonorably.]
Subaru: [No no, I’m complimenting you. It’s just that most people would slouch at least a bit.]
Ram: [I’m going to approve this petition from a radical political group to get even.]
Subaru: [Stop it...!]
Although he thought about checking out her work, Ram handled the work quickly and at her own discretion, and Subaru decided not to bother her any more than he already has.
This was a sign of the trust Subaru had in Ram, he knew that there was no need to correct her.
Subaru glanced at Ram’s profile as she looked at the documents. As always, there was a tense, blank expression on her face. Her soft face and somewhat childish appearance hadn’t changed since they first met. Her smile was as beautiful as a flower, but it only bloomed once a year, if at all.
Ram: [....You’re slowing down again, Barusu.]
Subaru: [Oh, sorry. I was looking at Ram.]
Subaru: [Did you just click your tongue?! Rem would have blushed and made a cute face!]
Ram: [I’m warning you, stop comparing Rem and Ram. It’ll mess with my head,]
Ram: [What is it I suppose?]
She glared at him with her cold eyes, and a cold sweat rolled down his back.
Subaru hadn’t realised that mentioning Rem’s name would be seen as bad, but he wasn’t going to do it again if it angered her. He just didn’t understand why she got angry when she’s the one who usually put Rem’s needs over her own.
Subaru: [It’s not that I was comparing you with Rem, I was really just fawning over you, Ram. If you didn’t speak rudely, didn’t move around so much and if I didn't already know your unpleasant personality, you’d be super cute.]
Ram: [If you talked with Ram, watched Ram move around graciously and got to know Ram’s personality better, she would transcend above being adorable. ...I’ll make sure to tell Emilia-sama and the others that you told me that.]
Subaru [Don’t make it sound like I was hitting on you! I didn’t say any of those things, did I?!]
Her exceptionally high-self esteem and low opinion of Subaru hadn’t changed at all. However he understood that sometimes she used that as a facade to hide her true emotions.
Subaru could forgive her comments since she used them to hide her embarrassment.
Ram: [You’re giving Ram an unpleasantly warm look again, Barusu.]
Subaru: [Really?... Well I’m sorry about that.]
Subaru turned his gaze away from Ram and back to his paperwork so that she wouldn’t get angry at him again. Subaru enjoyed their conversations, but he wouldn’t be able to follow his schedule if he didn’t finish looking through the paperwork.
Work is work, and once it’s done, he could have fun.
Ram: [Please don’t compare Ram and Rem that way…. It sounds as though you see Ram in the same way you do Rem.]
Subaru, immersed in his work, continued looking at the papers, completely oblivious to what Ram had muttered to himself.
...The only sound that could be heard is the scratching of quills sliding over white papers.
Priscilla: [I have some free time.]
The door was roughly thrown open, and Subaru’s face paled as he heard the words of the person who entered.
He dropped his gaze and tried to get back to checking the items on the table in front of him as though he hadn’t seen her, but...
Priscilla: [Stop pretending not to hear your mistress, it’s disrespectful.]
Subaru: [Oi! You don’t have to throw everything upside down!]
In response to being ignored, Priscilla had flipped the table with her foot, leaving all the objects that had been on it to fall on the floor with a large bang.]
Subaru hurriedly put the table back and picked up the fallen items. Luckily there was nothing fragile enough to break from the impact, but it scared the life out of him.
Subaru let out a sigh of relief after confirming that all the items he had picked up were safe and sound, then he stared at the person who had kicked the table in the first place, Priscilla, a girl in a red dress who was acting as assertive as ever.
Subaru: [I have a lot of work I need to finish today, you know. I’ve told you several times now to give me a heads up when you want to come see me, that way I can prepare myself.]
Priscilla: [Don’t be silly. My spare time is entirely dependent on my mood, so why should I have to accommodate your schedule? Know your place.]
Subaru: [Well, you’re the one who should! Why won't the self-centered women around me change how they treat me even after my position changes!? Am I being treated like some honorary king by any chance?]
Priscilla: [Nonsense, that would be boring. Moreover, your words and actions are especially lacking in elegance. You cannot possibly persuade anyone of the likes of royal principles if you walk so unsteadily with that kind of behavior. You’ve overthrown the mistresses and, despite usurping the throne, this unpleasant state of affairs...is so deplorable it makes me want to quarter you.
TL Note: What he says is similar to saying ”Bang!”, as if he just got shut down.
With a cruel glint in her eyes, Priscilla gave a bored look to the loud Subaru. As usual, she was acting overly arrogant. Subaru often found dealing with Priscilla tiring, but today the fundamental part of her argument made sense.
At the very least, it was true that Subaru's current position was only obtained after putting his wives’ wishes aside.
Priscilla: [What a disappointing hobby. What in the world were you doing to ease your boredom?]
Subaru: [It’s not like I’m just killing time. This is a collection of brand new technologies created from various magical ores that you can find in cities and countrysides.]
Priscilla: [Oh, new technology. What does it do?]
Subaru: [Well for example, let’s see…..]
To answer Priscilla’s question, from the items laid out on the table, Subaru picked up a small, metal, box-like object that fit in the palm of his hand.
She narrowed her eyes and as she was about to ask for an explanation, Subaru lightly tapped the bottom of the small box. Then with a small sound, a blue flame lit up from the top of the box.
Priscilla: [So it’s portable timber.]
Subaru: [In my hometown, it’s called a lighter. If it becomes popular, people will be able to cook food without magic or magic stones, and it can even be used as a small source of light. It can also make it a lot easier to start fires outside.]
Priscilla: [Well I think that there will definitely be some distasteful idiots who will get all excited only to burn down a building or two.]
Priscilla put forward a serious concern. There was almost no way to guess what she was going to do from the way that she talked or acted, but that didn’t change the fact that she was far more intelligent than most.
She stared at the lighter in Subaru’s hand.
Priscilla: [You put a small piece of magic ore inside. You can activate the device by tapping the bottom of the device and start the fire… but if the device is damaged then the slightest bit of overheating might cause the whole thing to pop, and it might even pop with it in perfect condition. If you have to replace them often, it may take a lot of time for them to be used in cities.]
All the deficiencies that Priscilla had listed were exactly the same points that the artisans had said needed improvement. You could say that Priscilla had a good eye for being able to find them at just a glance, or you could say tha Priscilla was exceptionally good at finding something’s weaknesses.
Priscilla: [Well in any case, if you went through the trouble of showing me that one first, then that means that the device you're most confident in right? If this is your best, then that shows me the quality of…]
Subaru: [Hey, shut up, shut up! You know what? Challenging the unknown and inventing new technologies has always been seen as a devout romance. That romanticism has always been at the forefront of human evolution. I believe that that exact sense of romanticism… will eventually pave the way to the next step of humanity.]
Subaru clenched his fits as he refuted Priscilla’s attitude on the fact that she didn’t understand the deep sense of romanticism. Then, he tapped the bottom of the lighter again to show off the blue flame.
Subaru: [Huh? Wait. I can’t get it to work.]
Priscilla: [Hmm, you’ve already stumbled onto a flaw. I didn’t think you were this much of an idiot, but it would be ridiculous to expect anything more from…!]
Priscilla’s expression, which had looked bored as she spoke to Subaru, suddenly sharpened as the end of her sentence rose a pitch. A moment later, she slashed with the tip of the fan she had pulled out from in between her breasts, the top of the lighter in Subaru’s hand was blown off to the side by the force of the fan, leaving it to explode a moment later.
Subaru gasped at the large red flash that appeared in the corner of the room.
Priscilla: [This was a great opportunity for us to witness it’s biggest flaw… and it’s developers would have been severely punished. You are more important than anyone else in this kingdom, and yet you put your life in jeopardy.]
Subaru: [.....I wouldn’t go that far. But thank you.]
If Priscilla hadn’t slashed at the lighter with her quick reactions, then Subaru would have been burned pretty badly, and there was also the possibility of the metal exploding and seriously crippling him.
Subaru touched his face, checking that he hadn’t gotten any scratches.
Subaru: [I don’t want my face looking any worse than it already does.]
Priscilla: [It’s not that bad. Once you get used to it you can even come to love it.]
As Subaru slumped back into his chair, Priscilla walked up to him. Subaru, after hearing rare words of comfort from Priscilla, responded with “Begone evil spirit.”. And then without any hesitation, Priscilla sat down on Subaru’s lap.
Priscilla: [I told you that I have some free time, didn’t I? And thanks to your mistress, you were able to avoid fatal wounds. As thanks, why not indulge in some unplanned contact?]
Subaru: [...I’m only allowed to have some alone time because this is also a part of my official duties.]
Priscilla: [There is no doubt in my mind that you were simply taking a break from your official duties. Spending your break time alone is a waste when you have such a limited amount of it. ...You can spend it with your mistress.]
She swayed on Subaru’s knees and he felt Priscilla’s unusually soft touch as she clung to him. They had done this many times in the past, but he still couldn’t get used to how it felt to snuggle with her. Her charm was amplified by a usual heat, as though it were the first time they had touched.
Subaru: [I guess that I’m only thinking that way because I’m being influenced by a bad woman.]
Priscilla: [I quite like the idea of being called the beautiful princess of a great country. But that doesn’t mean you can get carried away. For the time being, don’t get ahead of yourself. For just a little longer, drown yourself in the pleasure of being with your mistress.]
As she said this, Priscilla’s outstretched arms wrapped around Subaru’s neck. The heat of her touch made Subaru feel as if he was rapidly drying up, and he needed something to moisten up his lips right away.
...Subaru’s tongue extended to meet the red tongue in front of him.
Anastasia: [Well, don’t you look tired. I take it you didn’t sleep well?]
Subaru: [Actually, I think that the problem is that I’ve been moving non-stop since I woke up… I’ve been so busy with work that I’m not used to doing, and my personal life hasn’t been any more relaxing… No, I chose to do this, so I can’t be acting weak.]
Anastasia: [I think that your sense of responsibility is one of the best things about you, Natsuki-kun.]
Anastasia was sitting on the sofa in front of Subaru and gave him a soft smile. Subaru responded with a weak smile of his own and focused his gaze at the table in between the two of them. Scattered on it is a stack of papers that Subaru was getting tired of looking at. However, this time, it was not official paperwork, but rather a hobby that he had.
Anastasia: [Thanks to Natsuki-kun’s help, the Hoshin Trading Company is now the most influential company in Kararagi… and I can proudly show my face in Lugnica. I’m sure that you’ll be happy to hear that you’ve helped a bunch of people in the process.]
Subaru: [I didn’t do that much, honestly, it's the result of Anastasia’s…]
Anastasia interrupts Subaru’s words with a smile. She simply kept smiling at him while playing with the tips of her hair. However, to Subaru, that smile looked completely different for some reason, and it took his breath away.
After a moment of silence, he let out the breath he hadn't realized he had been holding, and sighed.
Subaru: [It’s the result of… Ana’s efforts.]
Anastasia: [Well, is it because of my lack of effort that you still haven’t gotten used to calling me Ana, even if I remind you every time? Or can you not forgive this lady for leaving her room empty for a few weeks before coming back to see you like this?
Subaru: [You say that, but I still call Crusch “Crusch-san” sometimes.]
Anastasia: [That’s exactly what’s so funny. Crusch-san, she’s so lovestruck in front of Natsuki-kun. If you think you’re maintaining the same degree of dignity as Crusch-san by calling her that, then you’re really not able to see yourself, huuuh.]
Anastasia put her hand over her mouth and tried to hide her widening smile. After Subaru called her name and changed the topic, it seemed to have put her in a good mood. Seeing this, Subaru leaned back in relief.
Anastasia: [We’re alone together and you said another girl’s name. Points deducted.]
Subaru: [Isn’t that too harsh?]
Anastasia: [It’s common knowledge to set clear lines that can’t be crossed both in business and in personal relationships. Since I’ve started being with Natsuki-kun, have you ever heard me mention another man’s name, even once?
She gave him a stern look, and Subaru crossed his arms, currently at a loss for words. He looked up to the ceiling, trying to remember if it had happened before.
Subaru: [Well I’m not sure… Maybe I just forgot.]
Anastasia: [It’s good to be like this every once in a while. It’s been a long time since I’ve been here.]
When Subaru averted his gaze, Anastasia walked around the table and sat down next to him. Her hand gently reached out and grabbed Subaru’s hand, and a trace of red appeared on her pale cheeks as she smiled. Anastasia was pale, so when she got embarrassed she would turn red all the way to her neck. Seeing this made Subaru realize how much courage she mustered up and made his love for her grow even more.
Subaru: [...I thought that you said that today you were going to talk about the results of your investments and things like that?]
Anastasia: [There’s no way I was going to make a mistake with the most important money entrusted to me by the second-most important person in the world, Natsuki-kun. Trust me on that, okay?]
Subaru: [If money is a higher priority than I am, then I guess you really are Ana, aren’t you?]
Anastasia: [But first and second place are reeeeally close. However, there’s a huge gap between second place and third place that nothing will ever be able to cross. So I hope you’ll find it in yourself to forgive me.]
Her eyes sparkled with mischief, something that only happened when she was counting money or when she was spending time close to Subaru. He wasn’t sure whether he should be happy or sad that he was being ranked so close to money.
Anastasia: [What is it?]
Subaru stroked Anastasia’s cottony hair with his other hand. Her long, fine hair was as soft as the hair on a baby animal. Anastasia, who was being caressed, closed her eyes and put her head on Subaru’s chest, as if she were a cat.
He sat like that, holding his treasured lover to his chest.
Subaru: [Well, you put them next to absolutely unshakable values, don’t you?]
For the time being, he was satisfied.
Felt: [Onii-chan, you're going to go to hell someday.]
When Subaru returned to his room, he was greeted by Felt’s harsh words as she laid comfortably on his bed. Subaru took off his jacket, loosened his tie and walked over to Felt while unbuttoning his shirt. Once he got close to Felt, she sat up on the bed.
Felt: [Hey, are you listening to me?]
Subaru: [I’m listening, I’m listening. More importantly, you shouldn’t be lying down in your skirt. And don’t sit on your knees either, your skirt is too short, I can see everything.]
Felt: [What are you talking about? It’s not like I mind if you see what’s inside. If you want to see it, just ask.]
Subaru: [You idiot. Sure, it’s great to be able to see it when you want to see it, but it’s when you sneak a peek at it unexpectedly that it’s paradise. Even if you carelessly show it to a guy you like, it’s far from pleasing, I’d even say it’s outright deplorable.]
When he sat down on the bed, Felt clicked her tongue with a “tsk”. She then moved towards Subaru and he followed her lead.
As they laid on the bed, they gazed at each other.
Subaru: [I’m saying this now… with how you’re laying down, if anyone opens the door they’ll see up your skirt.]
Felt: [I’m not gonna let someone see up my skirt, so don’t worry about it. Don’t you think you’ve been treating me like a kid for way too long? How long do you think it’s been since we first met?]
Subaru: [If you want me to stop treating you like a kid, why don’t you show a little femininity? And how long are you going to keep calling me that?]
Felt: [What do you mean? You’re the one who told me to call you “Onii-chan,” saying that it’s more flirtatious…]
Subaru: [Stop it! Let’s not talk about what I said when I was drunk! Without realising it, the beast inside me revealed my true feelings!]
Felt: [I’m sure you regret it.]
Felt laughed at him and put her hand on Subaru’s chest, as he covered his face with his hands. When he felt a soft poke on his chest, he gently wrapped his hand around hers. And so, they laid on the bed with their hands laced together.
Subaru: [I know it looks like I’m just joking around, but I am genuinely worried about you. I don’t have the time to take care of you all the time. I’m afraid that you’re going to be inconvenienced a bunch here…]
Felt: [If you’re only worried about me being inconvenienced, the month after I met Onii-chan was way worse… And the stuff that happened after was hard too.]
Subaru: [Back then I wasn’t able to help you. I regret that I couldn't, but now that I can, I want to do everything in my power to help you out.]
Subaru wrapped his arms around Felt and cradled her on his chest. Today Felt was wearing a dress that showed off her shoulders, and Subaru could feel her skin heating up.
In Subaru’s arms, Felt raised her face, which had turned bright red.
Felt: [It’s still early in the evening…]
Subaru: [If that’s what I wanted, I would’ve told you, but right now I just want to hug you. If that’s what you want to do, I’d be okay with it…]
Felt: [No, no! Not right now! I don’t know if I’m the only person like this, but I need to prepare myself beforehand by eating and drinking something nourishing.]
Subaru: [Do you prepare like that everytime you come to my room at night?]
Felt: [No, because…]
Felt’s face was as red as a beet and Subaru was surprised at the unexpected information. She wanted to argue with him, but she cut herself off and was stuck repeating “because” over and over.
Felt: [Well Onii-chan has a lot of partners… I only get a turn once every few days. I don’t want to underwhelm you because I didn’t prepare enough.]
Felt: [I already know that I can’t be the best because I’m surrounded by amazing people. I can't beat Emilia and Rem in your heart, and I know that I can’t beat Crusch and Priscilla in chest size. I think I can beat Anastasia though.]
She put her hand to her chest, which had grown a small amount during her growth spurt. Then, she continued speaking quickly.
Felt: [But even if I can’t be the best when you compare me to the others, at the very least, I want to be the best when we’re alone together. I just want to make sure that you’re happy when we spend time together.]
Felt: [...! I know it’s weird that I’m thinking about this…]
Subaru: [You're so cute!]
Felt: [Damn you!]
Felt trying to come up with excuses was so cute to Subaru that he hugged Felt even tighter in his arms and rained kisses on her cheeks, forehead and neck. Felt was stunned by Subaru’s overreaction and struggled to stop him. She then turned her eyes away from Subaru, not knowing whether she should be happy or ashamed.
Felt: [Hey, hey…..]
Subaru: [I’ve known that you’re cute for a while now, but you really turned it up a notch right then, didn't you? You’re amazing. You know, the first time we met and you abandoned me in that alleyway I was shocked, but now you’re painting over that bad memory!]
Felt: [When did I do that?]
Subaru: [It’s fine, it’s fine, I already left that memory in the past. I always bullied you in bed because of that, but I’ll be nicer with you from now on.]
Felt: [Well I don’t mind you being a little rough with me… wait! That’s not what I meant!]
Felt, feeling Subaru’s hand gently caressing her, had let her guard down and said something without realizing it. When she realized what she had said, she pushed Subaru’s smirking face away and jumped off of the bed as quickly as she could.
Felt: [Shiiiit! I shouldn't've said that! I’m so embarrassed! I’m never talking to you again!]
Subaru: [I see, I see. So a little rough is good. I’ll remember that well, my wife!]
Felt: [Shut up! Go to hell Onii-chan!]
She raised her middle finger and then tried to turn away from him with a red face, but Subaru managed to turn her back around.
Subaru: [Wait. Felt, I’m begging you, and I know I’ve said this before, but please try to not show off your bad upbringing too much. I’m afraid that something bad will happen to you when I’m not around.]
Felt: [....It’s fine. I’m sure I’ll be okay.]
In order to calm Subaru, Felt looked back at him, put her hand over her mouth and smiled elegantly. Subaru snickered at Felt as she tilted her head.
Felt: [My, is there a problem?]
Subaru: [Don’t act that way in front of me. I don’t mind the way you normally act.]
Felt: [Yeah you’re right. Acting all elegant in front of Onii-chan is a pain in the ass.]
Felt chuckled and pointed a finger at the happy looking Subaru. She then looked into his eyes and said,
Felt: [Don’t worry, It’ll be fine.]
Subaru: [What will?]
Felt: [The only time I wear a skirt… is in front of Onii-chan, when we’re laying down and all that. So no one else is going to see it.]
After saying that, Felt quickly turned away and stepped towards the door. But he quickly took the arm that she had pointed towards him…
And pulled as hard as he could.
Subaru: [You are just super cute! Super cute! Cute! Felt-chan is the cutest!]
And once again, a downpour of kisses rained down on Felt.
Rem: [Subaru-kun. What happened to your left eye?]
Subaru: [I received a hot kiss from Felt’s fist in the eye, which she did to hide her embarrassment. She had a cute side……I got carried away with myself this time.]
Rem: [Jeez, please be careful. Subaru-kun’s body isn’t another person’s possession, after all.]
The evening passes. Rem faces towards Subaru with a smile, who came visiting the room, and she says those words like that.
Subaru shrugs at that girl’s smile and moves towards Rem’s side. He stands up, and waves at the girl to sit down, who tried to give up her spot.
Subaru: [You be careful too. Hypothetically, it certainly is true that my body isn’t someone’s possession…….but realistically you’re the one that should be careful.]
Rem: [Sorry. I should really be helping Subaru-kun in these busy times too…]
Subaru: [Don’t make the wrong assumptions. For now, it’s okay for you to rest and come see me with the greatest smile like that. That is your greatest power. Because at any rate…]
Subaru kneels before Rem, who was sitting in a chair, while saying these words. He faces towards her and reaches out with his hand. What those fingers reached were her stomach...and he understood that this sensitive girl’s stomach, Rem, was now bigger. She was pregnant with another being.
Subaru: [Our child is right in here. Just how much of it is my energy, I wonder.]
Rem: [I’m happy supporting you emotionally, but I want to support you physically too, Subaru-kun. I might be frustrated about having that role taken from Petra.]
Rem sticks out her small tongue, the girl who walks around but tries to cover up her troubling frustration.
As of now, the maid work was transferred to Petra, who succeeded her as a maid that could do roughly anything, and Rem spent most of the day taking care of the child in her stomach.
In particular what took up most of Rem’s time lately was
Subaru: [Looks like you made quite a lot of socks, huh.]
Rem: [I thought I was bad at knitting at first…… but while I was making them, it got more and more fun. I thought about the child getting bigger, then they got a bit bigger and bigger. First it’d be about the size of my thumb, my fist, my palm, an appa, then a melon…….]
Subaru: [What have we done through our sex to make it necessary to have titan sized socks!?]
Rem: [I was just thinking about it getting bigger quickly and wanted it to grow up carefree……]
Subaru: [There’s a possibility that it will grow bigger than the biggest old man I know, so I don’t like this!]
He had confidence that he’d love the child no matter how it came out, but there was no confidence that went above that level. Rem smiles with a “Just kidding” in response to Subaru’s retort and says
Rem: [Well I did realize that it was too big midway, no matter how I looked at it. Now I sewed them and made them smaller. They’re all things for children, so I also made some for Subaru-kun too.]
Subaru: [Oh. You made some for me too. That sure makes me happy. Good, this is work done courteously by Rem filled with love. I’ll always keep them with me.]
Rem: [Yes. There are mittens, socks, belly bands, loincloth, a scarf, a hat, underwear, undergarments, a coat, footwear, and greaves.]
Subaru: [Is there knitting wool left for the kid’s clothes!?]
They were various knitting works presented one by one. If he wore all of this and tackled his duties, he’d probably become groggy from the heat in 10 minutes.
Leaving a skillful person be with steady preferences would result in something like this.
Subaru: [It would be tough to wear all of this and do work…… can I wear them in rotation?]
Rem: [Don’t worry. I’m satisfied just by having you accept my gifts, Subaru-kun. Just from that, the time I spent knitting pays off.]
Rem: [So what you do with what you received is entirely up to you, Subaru-kun. Even if you put them inside the closet and they get covered in dust, even if you use them to wipe off milk when you spill it carelessly, even if you use them as cushion for a chair you sought to sit on when you thought to take a break, I won’t mind it at all.]
Subaru: [I’ll use each and every one every day! You don’t have to imagine such pitiful things!]
He puts on all the knitted material and says “Like this!” as he shows them off. Rem claps appearing to be deeply moved at Subaru’s enthusiastic, gallant figure.
Rem: [Looook, your father is this nice of a person. You want to show your energetic figure soon, huh~]
Subaru: [I wonder, if it saw me like this right now, would it know who I am when I’m not wearing these? Daddy is a little worried about that.]
Rem: [Don’t worry. It’s my child, so it’ll love Subaru-kun. So no matter what Subaru looks like, it’ll know who you are immediately.]
Subaru: [But it’s half my child too. I’m worried about it’s recessive genes on that front.]
Rem: [Subaru-kun is always lovely. So, if it turns out like Subaru-kun, then this child will definitely be a lovely one.]
Rem speaks in her usual manner at Subaru, who pouts with his lips, while rubbing her stomach. Rem’s overvaluing of Subaru did not change at all. Not a single bit. That’s why it was necessary for him to always try his best to overvalue her greatly to correspond with it, so that hers didn’t pile up.
Therefore, the power she gave him truly was an amazing amount.
Rem: [Say, Subaru-kun. Do you prefer a boy or a girl?]
Subaru: [Hard to say. Either way, if it turns out like Rem, then I think it’d be cute or handsome, but if it turns out like me, then it’ll inherit these eyes…..so I’d feel bad if it was a girl.]
Furthermore, it seemed like Subaru’s mom, who had eyes just like him, had rough times with her childhood. Since she always looked displeased with her eyes, the female classmates who were frightened just from walking the road brought her candy, so she was kind of always stuffed.
The person who lived life without being aware of her eyes’ demerit was Subaru’s mother. It wasn’t hard to make a guess for his daughter that hadn’t even been born yet that she’d be like his mother.
Subaru: [It wouldn’t be strange at all if my mean-looking eyes are hereditary. My grandfather from my mother’s side and the grandfather before that seemed to have bad eyes. So, there’s probably a high possibility that it’ll inherit it.]
Rem: [Then would you prefer it to be a boy?]
Subaru: [Well back at my home town they do say it’s good to have a girl first then a boy. I feel like…it would be easy to raise them if it was first a girl…then a boy.]
Rem: [Jeez. I don’t know which one you prefer when you put it like that.]
Rem pouts with her face as if she got angry in response to Subaru having his conclusions go all over the place. He pokes that face with his finger, and after removing that atmosphere Subaru smiles at her and says
Subaru: [So, either way is fine. Actually, I don’t think that’s quite right. I mean that whichever comes, I’ll love it, and it’ll feel my love.]
Subaru: [If it’s a girl, well then I’ll treasure her and love her, love her so much, and I’ll spoil her, spoil her oh so much when raising her, and she’ll love me. My goal is to have her say “I want to be daddy’s wife for the future!” until she’s in middle school, about around there. Being treated with love by one’s daughter is a complete win for a father of this society, although I’m already a complete winner for having a wife that’s too cute.]
Rem blushes at those compliments that came out as if it was a stream.
While gazing at Rem’s blushed face with love, Subaru raises his finger and says
Subaru: [Then, if a boy is born, I’ll pass down my father’s tradition and I’ll be the biggest obstacle to him, the greatest rival, and the greatest partner in crime. We’ll bump into each other constantly and relentlessly, and I’ll be a lion that pushes him over and over towards the abyss! Ahhh, I’m looking forward to it!]
He says “Thus”, and continues to speak...
Subaru: [Rem, don’t worry that much. Simply think about giving a healthy baby. It’ll be alright, be super relaxed. You, who I love so much, will give a super lovable baby. There’s no way I won’t love it to an extreme extent, you know?]
Rem: [...Yes, that’s right.]
While looking at Subaru’s exaggerating actions, Rem makes a happy smile with her lips. Subaru looks at that smile, and it causes him to feel an unavoidable sense of itch and he couldn’t handle it, so he says...
Just from him calling her name and bringing his face closer to her’s, Rem also could guess what he was asking for.
Like that, Subaru brings his face close to Rem, who closes her eyes, and then his lips meet hers.
It was a soft feeling, and somewhere along the line, her tongue nervously reached out.
While entangling their love, Subaru held her tight the whole time.
Subaru: [Today was yet another hard day at work….!]
Subaru was finally finished with all of his work, including the extra paperwork that was brought in right before he was about to go back to his room. Some departments had experienced some delays, which meant that all the extra paperwork had to be taken care of by Subaru. To make matters worse, he was told that it all had to be done by today, which was absurd.
Subaru: [Seriously, I feel as though I’m being taken way too lightly. I guess the Japanese's inability to say no is becoming a big liability here… I wonder if I could get away with being more assertive and saying no.]
However if the problem were to worsen because of it, even more people would get in trouble.
When he thinks about that, it’s hard for him to gather up the courage and tell people “No”, even after becoming the king and leaving his small-town mentality behind. Was it really alright for him to be the king with those sorts of thoughts?
Subaru: [It’s too late to be spilling out my weaknesses, there isn’t even anyone to listen to me vent anyway…]
Emilia: [You can let it out to me.]
While talking to himself, Subaru opened the door to his room and had planned to lay down and think of his plans for tomorrow. Instead, he was greeted by a girl sitting on the edge of his bed with her silver hair swaying in the night breeze. She smiled at Subaru, her silver hair shining in the moonlight.
Emilia: [Welcome back. Thank you for your hard work.]
Subaru was rendered speechless by her words of encouragement. His surprise came partly from the unexpectedness of her visit, and partly from the healing effects of her words. But the bigger factor is...
Subaru: [I…...what is...this?]
Suddenly, an emotion welled up behind his eyes. Subaru felt something hot threaten to come out of his eyes and placed his sleeve on his face to try and stop it from leaking out.
If he looked at her face and suddenly started crying, Emilia would definitely feel bad. So he tried his best to hold it in, but in the end he wasn’t able to stop the tears.
Subaru: [Dammit...what’s with this?...Emilia-tan is here…]
Subaru: [It’s okay, I’m okay. It’s not a problem. I’m totally fine. I’m fine.]
Subaru turned his face away from Emilia and quickly tried to reassure her. He didn’t want Emilia to see the disgusting face he was making. No, he didn’t want anyone to see that face.
No one should have to see the weak look on Subaru’s face.
Looking at where he had gotten by pushing aside their ideals, there was no way Subaru would allow himself to show them that.
But they didn’t hate him for ignoring their dreams and standing where he stood now, on the contrary, they treated him with love and affection. He couldn’t put into words how much that had helped him. For that matter, just how much had it saved him?
Subaru: [I, I’m .......]
Emilia: [You really are a stubborn dunderhead Subaru.]
He tried to think of a retort, but his mouth was stopped by Emilia’s fingertips. As Subaru widened his eyes in surprise, Emilia, who was now standing right in front of him, stood on the tip of her toes and brought their lips together.
He felt as though his head had been struck by a strong impact. A numbing sensation ran from the tip of his tongue to the rest of his body, and what he had been holding back burst out.
Her lips moved away and she cradled Subaru’s crying face against her chest. Emilia put her hand on his back and stroked it in a relaxed rhythm, as if she were caring for a child.
Emilia: [Is it hard?]
Subaru: [.....No, I’m able to do it….]
Emilia: [Do you need help?]
Subaru: [I’ll work a little more.]
Emilia: [Are you sure you aren’t overdoing it? ]
Subaru: [Yeah I’m pushing it a little too much, but this is the right time to push myself.]
Emilia had already comforted him like this, a long time ago. Back then he had spilled out his fears and weaknesses, along with his tears and snot, as he clung to Emilia. His checks burned as he thought back to that time. But he wasn’t only feeling embarrassment. He also felt proud of himself.
The boy who had been so weak and cowardly back then had become a man, able to keep his head up while being held by Emilia in the same way he had been held in the past.
He had been a boy then, and he was a man now.
Emilia: [...Were you thinking of something weird just now?]
Subaru: [I was just thinking that you smelled really good Emilia-tan. Can I pin you down right now?]
Emilia: [No, no. I have to take a bath first. I just got back from being outside…]
Emilia suddenly went back to her normal attitude and pulled Subaru away from their embrace. She ran a comb through her silver hair and hugged Subaru from behind, as if she were trying to stay out of his sight.
Emilia didn’t understand that her doing that aroused Subaru and elevated his excitement more than anything else. That is only one of the many things Subaru likes about her.
Emilia: [Besides, isn’t it someone else's turn tonight?]
Subaru: [Well actually, today is one of my few rest days. I’m supposed to sleep alone today, since Ferris says that if I don’t sleep alone every once in a while, I’ll end up dying prematurely.]
Emilia: [Doesn’t that just mean I can’t stay with you either?]
Subaru: [My heart is pounding, my breath is rough, my nose is blowing, and I’m in a lot of trouble, but I’ll have the power to bear it all if I can just curl up under the covers with Emilia-tan.]
Subaru held up his index finger as he made his suggestion to Emilia, who had a reserved posture.
Emilia: [Subaru… are you going to be okay?]
Subaru: [That’s a stupid question. I'm a man who does what he says he's supposed to do. If I’m not supposed to, I'm not going to do it. When I say I'm going to do something, I’ll do it.]
Emilia: [I’m sorry, I don’t really understand what you’re trying to say.]
Subaru: [I lost track of what I was saying too, but I was basically trying to say that I’m a reliable man. But what about you Emilia-tan? Don’t you feel your love for me erupt whenever you sleep with me?]
Emilia: [Oh you don’t have to worry about that at all, not at all.]
Subaru: [Don’t you think you’re denying it a little too strongly?]
When Subaru made a slightly hurt expression, Emilia gave him a sad look and muttered “I didn't mean to….”
Even though her personality hadn’t changed since they met, she had started examining her words more to try and see how much of an impact they would have on Subaru.
Of course the fact that she still hadn’t changed after that meant that she most probably wouldn’t change anytime in the future. Anyway...
Subaru: [So that’s why I think it would be better for me to sleep with you…. Emilia-tan, will you wrap yourself in the futon with me and play around?]
Emilia: [I am feeling tired, and I do want to spend some time with you after not sleeping with you for soooo long…. Alright, I’ll snuggle with you.]
Emilia held Subaru’s hand elegantly. As soon as Subaru felt her hand around his, he escorted her to the bed as though he was inviting her to dance. Her light body was pulled in and she jumped to hug his chest. They embraced each other in a moment of complete silence.
Then, the two of them slowly slipped into bed.
Subaru: [Well, good night Emilia. I’m sure you’ll see me in your dreams.]
Emilia: [Well, I’ll try my best. ...Good night Subaru.]
Emilia: [..... I love you.]
That’s all she said and Subaru was unable to see her face after she pressed her face in her pillow. Since all the lights in the room had been turned off, Subaru could only rely on the moonlight to look at Emilia’s figure.
Emilia: [Hey, Subaru, you said you only wanted to curl up under the covers with me tonight…]
Subaru: [I thought you said you wanted to spend time with me after not seeing each other for so long.]
Emilia: [That was just an off-handed comment….]
They got into the bed together and that was as far as it would go that night, it seemed.
Subaru covered Emilia’s lips with his own as he expressed his love for the silver haired girl using his whole body. Emilia, who resisted a little at first, gradually followed his lead.
Emilia: [Geez, Subaru’s a dunderhead.]
She said that with a hint of embarrassment, as the night deepened.