Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 32: I was Confessed to
East, the deputy director of the magic department, was a young man who specialized in magical research. That alone made him very knowledgeable in anything related to the field of magic. It could be said that he was a genius much like Aresh, but in a different discipline.
Compared to Aresh, East had not been born an aristocrat. Rather, he was the son of a rich merchant. Being born with a silver spoon in his mouth granted him a lifestyle that differed greatly from most kids his age, which caused him to develop issues interacting with others. Even as a fully grown adult now, he still struggled with knowing what interactions were and were not appropriate. 1
Despite a social awkwardness that also worried his parents, East’s talent in magic was eventually recognized and he managed to secure a position within the royal palace right after finishing his studies in magic, easily outshining any of his peers.
Although East was not without his own personal troubles in the magic department, his achievements far outweighed their heavy burden. Hence, he was free to do his work in whichever way he pleased without worrying about what others might think of him.
Suffice to say, magic-related research was East’s truest passion, and he would absolutely take any job seriously, no matter what. That determination would then drive him to provide the most satisfactory of results possible.
One of his greatest contributions was his involvement in the revival of the Saint’s summoning, which was actually an old form of magic that no one had ever cast before. It could not have been made possible if not for East, who had taken the time to perform a thorough study on the principles and applications of Romani’s ancient magic that was very nearly lost in the mists of time.
Now that the Saint had been safely transported from the other world to Romani, East’s current interest shifted to the Forest of Magic.
Somewhere near the edge of the Forest of Magic, there was an inn where those who had participated in the expedition for miasma purification could spend their nights. In one of the rooms within the inn, stood the dumbfounded deputy director of the magic department. For some unknown reason, the handsome commander of the Third Knight Order and the man from another world who had been dragged into the Saint’s summoning were piled on top of each other, half-naked in bed.
Realising that he had inadvertently interrupted two people in the middle of some private business, East turned around and moved to close the door.
“Sorry for intruding,” East apologized to the pair, all while his eyes were darting anywhere else to look for a chance to escape the room as quickly as possible. “I’ll make myself scarce…!”
But before East could take his leave, he overheard Aresh say something to him in that low, cold voice he was renowned for. East’s brain, however, was unable to process it as something else more immediate was already preoccupying his thoughts.
Presently, he was distracted by the presence of the other man who had been lying on the bed as Aresh hovered over him. That man was simply known as “Kondoh”, the Saint’s tagalong who was currently serving as the deputy director of the Royal Accounting Department. Unlike the Saint though, he was incredibly vulnerable to mana and magic. This was another fact East knew about the other.
After meeting Kondoh for the first time during the most recent banquet to celebrate the expedition, there was something about him that had piqued East’s interest.
At first, East had thought that maybe it was because Aresh was always by the other’s side, but now he realised he still felt that way even when the knight commander was not around. His suspicions were confirmed during their second meeting. It had only been the two of them back then. Even then, East continued to feel the same sensations surrounding the otherworlder.
In truth, what East had been sensing from the royal official all along were the leftover vestiges of Aresh’s magic.
It should have been impossible for Kondoh to exhibit the same characteristics of Aresh’s magic, especially when the otherworlder could not even use it in the first place.
Now East could conclude that the continuous presence of Aresh’s magic swirling around Kondoh did indeed belong to the knight commander. Since the other man was incredibly vulnerable to magic, akin to babies and other small children, it was clear that he needed to be acclimated via intimate physical contact.
And because Kondoh was a fully grown adult, mere light touches alone would never be enough to acclimatize him. Hence, it was obvious that he and Aresh would have had to go beyond that sort of contact… Everything made perfect sense now, and East nodded to himself repeatedly at his sudden Eureka moment.
“You…” Aresh growled. There was no way he was going to let East off so easily after the mage had caught them at such an embarrassing moment. “Don’t you dare try to run.”
East halted his movements and turned to face the pair again. He had taken Aresh’s words as order and obediently complied, standing still with his usual nonchalant expression and downturned eyes, barely showing any emotion despite facing such a formidable knight commander. Seiichirou on the other hand, who was still lying half-naked underneath Aresh, could hardly move as his shoulders were being restrained by the knight. In the end, Seiichirou could only look between the other two men helplessly with cold and lifeless eyes as if he had just died on the spot.
“I think you should just leave him be. I’m not bothered by this at all,” Seiichirou said freely, as his mouth was the only body part he could move of his own volition. “Just ignore him and proceed, Sir Aresh.
“Like hell I would!” Aresh disagreed. “There’s no way he’s going to keep his mouth shut after seeing us like this!”
Aresh had a point. It was easy for Seiichirou to suggest they resume their prior intimate activities, but it would certainly be strange to do so with East still standing stoic in the room while they did so. Besides that, it was as the knight commander had said, seeing them both together, half naked in bed, was not something that one could so easily overlook. Surely, there was a high possibility that their secret relationship would end up being leaked to all those working within the royal palace as soon as East opened his mouth.
Before Aresh was willing to continue, he got up to confront East, intent on warning him about what he had just seen. However, it was East’s reaction to this confrontation, him excitedly facing Aresh with sparkling eyes, that was unexpected.
“I won’t run away! I want to stay here for a while!” East said with a disturbing eagerness in his voice. Clearly, his interest was at its peak. “Can you two continue what you were doing? Please don’t mind me—I’d like to watch!!!”2
Attentively, Seiichirou listened to East’s lengthy explanation.
“I have to tell you,” the mage said, “it’s incredibly rare to find someone who is so vulnerable to mana and magic in this world. Sure, there are newborn babies, but they usually aren’t exposed to magic since there’s hardly ever reasons to cast a spell on them. Even if they wind up with an acute case of magic intoxication, it’s very easy to acclimate them.”
Seiichirou nodded along in understanding. He had been riding in this horse-drawn carriage with East for the past two hours, the latter talking nonstop about magic since they had set off on their journey.
Either unphased or unaware, East continued. “In your case, you’re a fully grown adult who is almost completely vulnerable to both mana and magic. Since Captain Indrak has cast a protective barrier on you, and a very powerful one at that, you have to be acclimatized with the same amount of magical power so as not to fall ill.
“As I’ve already said, something like this is rarely, if ever, practiced. Since the captain has been the one doing this for you all this time, his magic has begun to take over your body, but you don’t have the necessary ‘core’ to store it. Instead, that magical energy can only circulate in and out of your body, never collecting…”3
Despite being a researcher, it wasn’t hard to imagine East being interested in anything unrelated to his own field of research. Still, Seiichirou kept on listening whilst reclining into his seat.
There were others, who worked in the same department as East, riding along with them in the carriage that were giving Seiichirou skeptical stares, either because the royal accountant did not belong there or because they were completely baffled by East’s uncalled for and one-sided deliberation. East had become increasingly more passionate as he went on, talking and talking without any regard to formality or even pauses to take a breath. He had even started to sit in a more casual manner, one which would have been deemed inappropriate when facing fellow officers like this.
After Seiichirou had managed to chase both Aresh and East out of his room the night before, he had been sure to make arrangements to ride in this carriage today. Rather staunchly, he had refused to share a horse with the knight commander earlier that morning due to some understandably personal reasons and chosen to sit in the carriage for officers serving the Court’s Magic Department instead. His logical argument to gain him entry was that their transport only seemed to travel near areas with less miasma, thus it would be safer for him.
Prior to their departure today, the knight commander had still made time to ensure that the protective barrier on Seiichirou was reinforced again. Now, with the overbearing knight finally out of his sight, Seiichirou could begin sorting out the documents he needed to submit upon his return to the kingdom in peace.
“Kondoh doesn’t have the required bodily constitution to retain magic circulating in his system normally like everyone else,” East kept blabbering on. “However, I think, with time, his body will eventually adapt. There has to be a way for him to develop an alternative constitution that can accept magic. For example…”
Admittedly, the topic East was still discussing out loud was an interesting one, but it was too bad that Seiichirou was far too busy working on his documents; he could only half listen to what East was saying.
As soon as they made it back to the royal palace, Seiichirou would have to submit his report of the expedition to Prime Minister Kamil. And since Julius had arranged for his participation in the expedition specifically, he would need to prove himself useful yet again by preparing additional documents to present to the crown prince and a financial report to be submitted to the other departments later on. To make matters worse, Seiichirou would also be required to submit all of these documents shortly after they arrived. Perhaps, he thought, a horse rider might be fast enough to deliver these documents to the royal palace sooner than me.
All Seiichirou could do in response to East’s words was nod his head, as his eyes could only focus on the documents in one of his hands while his other alternated between using his magic pen and calculating figures on his abacus.
Likewise, the other officials from the magic department were also interested in East’s lengthy discourse, so they kept listening, but their eyes were focused on Seiichirou. At first, they looked at him with curiosity, then they watched him in awe as his hand continued to move, never stopping once as he worked all throughout the journey.
After all, Seiichirou had many things to do in the limited amount of time allotted to him. Other than the financial matters related to the expedition, there was something else he had requested in secret from certain people before this. He had to work extra hard so that the ones he had spoken to would be able to fulfill their end of the bargain after the expedition ended. His request required a lot of people cooperating to work on it, so he was responsible for laying all of the groundwork himself. Now was truly a critical moment for him.
As they safely made it to their next temporary shelter for the night, Seiichirou proceeded to make final checks to the paperwork since he was set to return to the royal palace tomorrow.
Although Seiichirou had wanted to request a rider to deliver the documents for him this evening, he still felt that his work was not yet completed; he still had more to do than anticipated. Nonetheless, he had thought of a backup plan just in case he was delayed. All that was left now upon return was negotiating with the prime minister and a select few other people, whom he hoped would be able to fulfill his request, but that should not pose much of a problem since he had already found them all quite easy to deal with in the past.4
East was one of those people. Although he could be a little annoying at times, he would take things seriously if they were related to his passion and surely this was why his participation was necessary to help fulfill Seiichirou’s request. What the royal accountant was seeking was related to magical research, after all. And it was not only East that Seiichirou needed, but Zoltan’s involvement, too, that would be imperative as well.
Now in his room at the inn, Seiichirou busied himself with work. Too distracted by his paperwork,, he startled at the sound of someone’s voice coming from the doorway.
“You’re still awake at this hour?”
“Excuse me,” Seiichirou seethed in annoyance yet still retained his usual soft spoken demeanor. “Barging into someone’s place isn’t considered rude in this kingdom, I suppose? A single knock or two on the door definitely wouldn’t hurt anybody.”
East had been the first one to do this, now Aresh, who was the man currently standing in Seiichirou’s room. Since two of the most esteemed people in the royal palace seemed to have such a difficult time minding their manners, Seiichirou had jumped to the conclusion that the entire kingdom would have this same attitude as well.
“I did knock,” Aresh answered bluntly. “You’re the one who didn’t notice.”
In response, Seiichirou could only roll his eyes while holding back a sigh.
They had been apart for most of the day. As a result, Aresh appeared to be in a foul mood from the time they separated till all the travelers had arrived in town. This mood even seemed to persist during dinner, lasting long after they had all returned to their respective rooms.
Refusing to argue with Aresh any longer, Seiichirou changed the topic. “Sir Aresh, we will be arriving at the royal palace tomorrow. I’ve received an order from the prime minister to prepare a report and summary of the finances related to this expedition, so I must continue working tonight if I’m to get it completed in time.”
“I know,” Aresh said, but still he grabbed Seiichirou by the arm and pushed him onto the bed. “Though, I assume that you’ve already finished your preparations for tomorrow. And since you’ll be busier than usual, there won’t be much time for you to accept a reinforcement of your barrier, right?”
Seiichirou widened his eyes slowly. To think that Aresh was going so above and beyond all for the sake of his well being… the knight commander did not want to miss a single day it would seem. Unable to withstand the powerful stare of Aresh’s brightly coloured amethyst eyes, Seiichirou averted his gaze.
Although Aresh seemed a little more mature now since taking his job seriously, to the point of even doing paperwork on his own, there were still moments where he appeared to be just as childish as before. Even if he had formed a bond with Seiichirou and was only doing this to take care of him, the royal official was starting to find their arrangement to be overwhelming.
Not only Seiichirou would be busy once they returned to the royal palace, but Aresh had his own responsibilities waiting for him as well. As they were the deputy director of the accounting department who put work above everything else and the commander of the Third Knight Order who was in charge of the most difficult missions respectively, their positions were not meant to interact with one another, let alone meet as frequently as they had been from the start. Yet, fate had brought them together all because of Seiichirou’s vulnerability to mana and magic. That led him to think more critically about everything Aresh had done for him thus far. If it were not for the knight commander’s kindness5, he might not have survived in this world at all.
Therefore, Seiichirou concluded that he had no choice but to accept his current circumstance, that if this was how things had to be, then they would have to make time for each other. At last, he found himself uttering the words he had been thinking about all along.
“Thank you for taking care of me all this time.”
Aresh could no longer hold back anymore. Using his superior strength, he grabbed Seiichirou by the shoulders and kept the royal official pinned to the bed. After chanting the spell to cast the protective barrier, Aresh dove forward to claim Seiichirou’s lips with his own.
“Mmmh,” Seiichirou moaned as he accepted Aresh’s advances. In order to increase the treatment’s effectiveness, he made sure to return each and every one of the knight commander’s kisses. “Nnnh…!”
This was not the first time they had kissed, yet Seiichirou experienced the same odd feeling every time, as if this was the first for him all over again. He would feel the same heat, both from Aresh’s magic and his touch, both completely engulfing Seiichirou’s entire being. As he was kissed into silent submission, Aresh unbuttoned the royal official’s uniform and slid a hand inside it. The pleasant warmth that Seiichirou felt was joined by the sensation of Aresh’s calloused palm gently caressing his skin.
Seiichirou could not help but be reminded of the one sharing kisses with him. To think that this man, who was of noble descent, extremely talented, and very handsome on top of all that, never dared to show much of himself to anyone else was truly a wonder. However, Seiichirou now knew more about Aresh than just that. The knight commander was the one who had saved his life more than once, had even taken extra measures to ensure Seiichirou’s safety and health was maintained to such a degree that he would not ever again have to experience the same fear and dread of sickness or death that he had felt before. As it was now, Seiichirou could not even imagine how his life in this foreign world would have gone without Aresh’s constant presence in it, if they had never met each other at all.
Although Seiichirou still had plenty of work waiting for him, he did not want to use it as an excuse to not spend time with Aresh and reinforce the protective barrier that he knew he needed to survive. While he might not have been able to pay full attention to the knight, as he could never truly get his work off his mind, there would still be enough time for him later to finish his work after he got this task out of the way.
As if Aresh could tell that Seiichirou was thinking of something else, the knight commander pulled away and called out to the dazed royal official.
“Hey,” he spoke loud enough to catch the official’s attention.
“Yes?” Seiichirou murmured, only now realizing the absence of Aresh’s lips on his own. He opened his eyes to see the knight’s amethyst ones staring back at him, casting a surprisingly yearning glance directly at him. Like before, Aresh was the one looking at him so intensely that Seiichirou was left utterly clueless as to why. Feebly, he raised a hand to reach for Aresh’s face, but the knight commander caught the royal official’s wrist within his own hand.
“Of course I take care of you,” Aresh said, tightening his grip on Seiichirou. “I want to be the one who does that.”
Innocently, Seiichirou tilted his head. He was so confused by Aresh’s sudden change in demeanor that he wondered for a moment whether or not the knight commander still wanted to proceed with what he knew came next. Upon noticing Seiichirou’s bewilderment, Aresh gave the royal official another, more intense look, as if demanding Seiichirou’s attention on nothing else but him.
Holding Seiichirou’s hand tightly, as if not wanting to let it go, Aresh said, “Because I don’t ever want to give you over to somebody else.”
Hasr: Here’s a representation the Corporate Slave team absolutely shitting on Aresh on discord.