Read at Watashi wa Sugoi Desu!
Chapter 28: Blind Love
With the four bottles of Arasui oil, the act between the two royals concluded smoothly. It wasn’t nearly as violent this time, and everything ended peacefully.
The secretary and six chamberlains waiting silently by their bedside finally let out a sigh of relief. Even as an old, experienced soldier, the secretary couldn’t help but tear up. A quick glance at Ashiyowa told him that the Emperor had been gentle this time, that he had taken care not to scare Ashiyowa.
Though Ashiyowa still didn’t seem completely comfortable, it couldn’t be helped considering what his first experience had been like. Until he succeeded, the Emperor wouldn’t give up. He would prove himself someday, no matter how long it took.
In any case, this was a joyous occasion ― The ‘Grey Wolf’ thought to himself as his heart warmed, overcome with emotion.
The Emperor finally emerged from the bed, peeking out from behind the canopy’s curtains. His face carried an air of sensuality.
“Are the baths ready?”
“They have been prepared, Your Highness.”
A chamberlain tied the bed curtains to its pillars, revealing the sight of a naked Ashiyowa, his back facing them. Ashiyowa remained still, on the right side of the silk bedding. He seemed to be asleep.
His skin still felt hot, drenched with sweat and Arasui, and his lower limbs were covered with sticky, white liquid. The Emperor was equally as messy, bodily fluids and oil smeared across his body. He pulled Ashiyowa up, lying on the bed, and drew him closer, carrying him in his arms.
“W-What’s going on…”
“We’re going to the bath. Please continue sleeping, Aniue, I’ll take care of everything. You must be tired,” the Emperor said as he planted a kiss on Ashiyowa’s cheek and began walking towards the hot spring. In his brother’s arms, Ashiyowa closed his eyes. His neck was bent and his head rested on Lesheine’s shoulders.
Even within the palace, the bath closest to the Emperor’s bedroom was considered special. Its floor was paved with white stone, and on top, there were three flower-shaped bathtubs. Inside, the air was steamy and it felt stuffy. Steam escaped through the ceiling gaps, and the bath was fitted with windows, providing a nice view. The bathwater was milky white, drawn from a hot spring in Ryokuen’s gardens.
While carrying Ashiyowa, the Emperor poured a bucket of warm water over their bodies before descending into one of the three baths. The bathtubs contained benches where they sat.
As they soaked in the hot water, the Emperor changed Ashiyowa’s position. He was still holding Ashiyowa in his arms, but they were now facing each other, Ashiyowa straddling him. He lowered him onto his lap and allowed his head to lean against his shoulders. He stroked Ashiyowa’s head, calling out to him. Inside the milky waters, his fingers reached inside Ashiyowa, squeezing out the Arasui and other remnants of the night. Ashiyowa raised his head, his ears flushed red, and he began flapping his legs, twisting his body.
“N-No… Stop,” Ashiyowa’s voice echoed throughout the bath.
“It’s over. It’s all over, okay?”
As he stroked Ashiyowa’s back and hugged him close, Lesheine continued to whisper sweet words into Ashiyowa’s ears, whose heavy breaths brushed against his shoulder.
With the attendants’ help, they washed the grime off their bodies and came out of the flower-shaped baths. Ashiyowa couldn’t stand up by himself, so they sat him down on a rattan chair to wipe him down. They dressed him in white nightwear and once again, the Emperor picked his brother up in his arms. Despite being the same height, he lifted Ashiyowa with ease.
“I can walk alone.”
“It’s just a short distance. This is fine, isn’t it?” Lesheine replied in a sweet tone as he walked towards the bedroom, knowing there was no way Ashiyowa would be able to walk by himself.
By then, the bedding had been completely replaced and the incense had been changed. The whole atmosphere in the room felt different; everything from earlier had been wiped away.
After laying his brother onto the smooth surface of the bed, Lesheine slipped in with him.
“Get some sleep. When you wake up, let’s have a meal together. Goodnight.”
Ashiyowa didn’t reply.
Despite the bright sun shining in the midday sky, it was dim and silent inside the room; all noise filtered away.
“The Hyakuhana Ryuunem flower buds have blossomed.”
“―Well, that’s to be expected.”
“The dead springs deep in the gardens have revived.”
“Ah, that did happen as well, didn’t it.”
“The three servants in charge of cleaning the garden reported that their back pain has disappeared.”
“Hmm, that’s new. Even within the royal family, the ability to heal is definitely unique. In fact, what His Majesty has done is nothing short of a miracle; no, it’s even more.”
“It seems that even the lion sculpture sitting above the roof of His Majesty’s bedroom has multiplied. There’s two of them now.”
The leader of the Grey Wolves couldn’t help but let out a small chuckle at that report. Soon, everyone around the table was in laughter.
“At one point, I was worried how this would turn out…”
“His Majesty was born and raised around relatives while Aniue-sama has lived away from any contact with relatives, isolated from the world. The gap between the two must have been deeper than we originally anticipated. Even if they are finally tied to each other, we cannot let our guard down. We could have lost our Emperor yesterday, had he chosen to resign. As you can see, he’s not willing to step back when it concerns Aniue-sama,” the chamberlain assigned to Ashiyowa spoke up.
“It’s also possible they’ll get married, isn’t it?” a lady-in-waiting chipped in.
“Marriage, huh… Well, they may as well be, but that is for them to decide.”
When an Emperor marries a relative, his spouse would be given the title of ‘Prince Consort’ regardless of gender. They wouldn’t be given any special duties and at big events, all they would have to do was sit beside the Emperor’s chair. No Emperor would want to show off their spouse.
Unlike other countries, there was no such thing as political marriage in La Seine’s inner palaces, so the Emperor’s spouse would be someone they had a true connection with.