Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 17: Roar
The Emperor lifted Ashiyowa and carried him away from the dining room, one arm supporting his back and the other under his knees.
“W-What is it—”
He was still unsure of how to address the man and was left unanswered.
The Emperor called him ‘Aniue’ or ‘Lafoseine.’ But, whenever Ashiyowa called him ‘Your Majesty,’ he would be corrected with “My name is Lesheine.”
Lesheine… The Emperor’s name. A name only members of the royal family could use. A name that the Emperor hadn’t heard in a long time, ever since he became the last royal. Between someone without a name and someone who had a name but no one to use it, who was lonelier?
Passing through numerous chambers, they arrived in a room much larger than the one Ashiyowa was using. Inside, there was a four-poster bed, decorated with a luxurious canopy. The room had a high ceiling and was wide enough that if two people were to sit at opposite corners, they wouldn’t even be able to have a conversation.
Just like that, Ashiyowa was placed on the bed.
Distantly, he heard the pattering of the chamberlain’s and guards’ footsteps.
“What is it?”
He was made to lie down on his back and the Emperor, who had climbed on top of him, stuck the lower halves of their bodies together. Remnants of the chocolate remained smeared across his lips.
“Ah…I love you… Lafoseine, my Lafoseine.”
Ashiyowa couldn’t tell which was more uncomfortable, being told ‘I love you’ or being called by his real name, something he wasn’t used to hearing.
“I-I’m not Lafoseine… Your Majesty.”
For a moment, he paused.
“I’m not ‘Your Majesty.’ Lesheine. Call me that. Call me Lesheine.”
The chamberlain and others who had caught up disappeared once again after lighting up some candles.
The Emperor’s golden hair fell onto Ashiyowa, occasionally shining under the candlelight that dimly lit up the room.
“Call me Lesheine…”
Hearing the Emperor’s voice by his ears, Ashiyowa’s throat tightened and goosebumps stood all across his skin.
Blue eyes watched him.
“Yes, that’s right. Lesheine. That’s my name. Ahh…”
The Emperor, delighted, buried his face into Ashiyowa’s neck and took a deep breath, inhaling his scent.
If I’d known he would be this happy, I would have called him that earlier.
Ashiyowa raised a hand to pat the Emperor’s back, only for his face to be raised and brought closer to the Emperor’s. He felt a peck on his cheek.
Ashiyowa drew back his neck. But as he tried to turn his face away, his lips were met by the Emperor’s.
Still in shock, his lips were pried apart and the familiar sensation from dinner was back.
Ashiyowa tried to say “T-There’s no chocolate anymore!” But he couldn’t speak because his tongue was tangled with the Emperor’s.
The Emperor, panting, briefly let go to take a breath before joining their lips together once again.
No matter how much Ashiyowa moved his head, he couldn’t escape. The Emperor licked Ashiyowa’s lips as he pulled away. But without even giving him time to breathe, their lips were reunited, the Emperor’s tongue inviting itself in.
As the two tall men struggled on the bed, they gradually stumbled to the centre. At some point, Ashiyowa felt a slight breeze on his body.
His blue robes were in a mess, the string holding them together had been pulled apart by the Emperor in a flurry.
“Aniue, it’s fine, isn’t it?”
“I want to hold you, Aniue.”
The Emperor removed his own outer robes and was now left in nothing but his white undergarments, sprawled across Ashiyowa, staring back at him in disbelief.
——To hold? E-Eh— As in, to—?
As far as Ashiyowa knew, this was something that only couples did together, an act between husband and wife.
It happened sometime during his adolescence. He was washing his body in the mountain’s rivers, when he felt a strange sensation in the lower half of his body, reacting to the pressure of the gently flowing river. Panicked, Ashiyowa quickly returned to the hut and asked the old man, who as always, scolded him but taught him what it meant in the end.
“Do you not know, Lesheine?”
Ashiyowa struggled, but the Emperor pressed himself firmly against his waist, running his fingers through Ashiyowa’s short black hair. He replied seductively, in a tone unfamiliar to Ashiyowa.
“What is it?”
“This is something only husband and wife can do.”
He paused, his hand remaining still on Ashiyowa’s head.
“Then let us marry, Aniue.”
Ashiyowa hurriedly placed a hand on the Emperor’s chest, pushing against him.
“That’s wrong. Marriage is between man and woman. We can’t do this.”
“Aniue, it matters not to the royal family. You may not know, but for us, whether they are men or women, whether there is love between two men or two women is of no concern. Gender doesn’t matter, and neither do familial ties. All that does is that you like it, that you want it. Do you desire it? Or do you not.”
Upon hearing that, Ashiyowa remembered. Yes, the one vice of the royal family ruling over La Seine; consanguineous marriage. An act that ignored all morals. It made his hair stand on end. The royal family can only love those who share the same blood. Whether it’s your sister, mother, aunt, or cousin, whether it’s your brother, father, uncle, or cousin, the royal family longs for each other and loves regardless of gender.
The very same royal family that possessed unique abilities and prospered the lands were cursed to love only their kin—
Ashiyowa slapped the Emperor.
“Don’t touch me!” Ashiyowa screamed at the Emperor who was holding his left cheek, stunned.
“I-It’s weird! It’s immoral! And you’re defending it? I-I’m leaving. Leaving from this place. I’m going back to the mountains!”
The Emperor desperately reached out to Ashiyowa, who had already jumped out of the other side of the bed.
“I’m not your brother! I don’t ever recall being part of the royal family!”
“Aniue! Aniue! You’re my brother! I can tell. I-I can’t stop thinking of you. Without you, the royal palace is barren. Please, please don’t say you’re leaving.”
Ashiyowa shrugged off the Emperor’s hold on his hand, goosebumps standing all over his skin.
“—Listen well, Ashiyowa. It is because we have morals that we’re human. Those who cannot distinguish between the moral and immoral are beasts. Just look at the royal family, they’re all just beasts with beautiful fur. No matter how prosperous the land is, their true nature will eventually pollute this country.”
The old man’s words echoed in Ashiyowa’s head.
“… I’m leaving. Don’t expect me to come back. I’ll return to the mountains; I’ll live like I always have.”
“Aniue! I’ll go too. I’ll go with you.”
Ashiyowa glared at the Emperor, whose cheeks were now wet with tears.
“Don’t follow me! Don’t ever show yourself before me again!”
But the moment he spoke, an animalistic roar erupted from the person in front of him.