ACDWL 004: Not Just A Child

ACDWL 003: A Small Variant
ACDWL 005: Increasing Guilt

Author’s Notes:

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─Rodokiasu side─

“Ryodo.”

Raise one finger.

“Kou.”

With the other hand, raise one finger, and then stick the raised fingers of both hands together.

…does this mean he wanted to learn numbers?

I taught him words while demonstrating them.

This way seemed to be easier for Kou to learn the language.

I raised one finger.

“1 (ichi).”

“Wan (hichi).”

Raise two fingers.

“2 (ni).”

“Twu (nii).”

In this way, I taught him numbers until ten.

Kou is not good at pronunciation, but he’s quick at memorizing things.

In no time, he was able to count from one to ten.

“Wan (hichi), twu (nii), shree (shan), pour (chii), feve (gou), shix (ryoku), chibin (chichi), yeight (hyachi), nin (kuu), twein (jyu).”

(T/N: For those who don’t know, one to ten in Japanese is: ichi, ni, san, shi/yon, go, roku, shichi/nana, hachi, kyu/kyuu, juu.)

In the house where I’m accustomed to being alone, the appearance of a child’s voice wasn’t as bad as I expected.

After saying that, I think he looked cute when he looked up as if to ask “how was it?”

I immediately stroked Kou’s head even though I shouldn’t have the habit of stroking someone else’s head.

“Kou, twein (jyu), yeight (hyachi).”

I still don’t understand the meaning of the words he sometimes says.

However, though there are many things I want to know, I’m most concerned about Kou’s power.

Kou might not be aware of it, but I went to that spring because I sensed a mighty force.

I was wondering if a new kind of monster had appeared.

“Ryo, do, a, cha, ma, i, e, sho, to.” (T/N: Kou’s just saying the words that he knew how to write.)

(Can he write letters already?)

It seemed like the characters he’s writing are all irrelevant.

(It seemed like he’ll become famous in the future.)

I might have to ask a leading expert in magic to guide Kou in the future.

“Ryodo, *****?”

While I was thinking, Kou looked at me.

“Hn? What’s wrong?”

“Ryodo, *******? *****.”

He’s saying something, but I don’t understand.

However── for some reason, he stroked my head.

This…is he comforting me?

From what I can guess from the size of his body, Kou is about 2-3 years old.

He cried only once, and now he’s learning letters and words without crying.

Normally, one would be anxious to be with someone you don’t know in a place you don’t know.

He even cried when he wanted to see his parents.

Sometimes, he’d have sad eyes, but he never complained.

At other times, he’d look dissatisfied when I treat him like a child, but all in all, he’s a smart child who listens to what I say.

Kou is that kind of child.

“It’s all right (daijobu). Don’t worry.”

“? Oh, rai? (rai, bu)”

“All right (daijobu).”

“Ho, right? (rai, jobu)”

“Ahh…that’s not it, okay (hai).”

“Hyukay? (hyai)”

“Yes (hai).”

While affirming, I tried to combine it with the word “yes”.

That’s so that Kou doesn’t get confused.

He learned a lot of words in just a few hours.

He could even write a few characters.

And his intelligence seemed to be high.

What kind of life had he been living up to now?

I’d have a conversation with Kou forever before I noticed.

“Kou, meal (shokuji).”

However, it’s about time for dinner.

Isn’t he hungry?

Did memorizing the words became the priority that he just forgot that he’s hungry?

“Mweal (chokuji)?”

“Meal. Eat (taberu).”

When I made eating gestures, he seemed to have understood immediately.

Kou often memorizes words by guessing from my movements.

“Chumach (hiyara). Heet (chaberu).”

“Stomach (hara), empty (suita).”

“Chumach, hwempty (hyara, chyuita).”

“Stomach, empty (hara, suita).”

“Chumach, wempty (hyara, shuita).”

They repeated it until the pronunciation was close.

Why did it not seem like a hassle when Kou smiled every time he learns a word?

He’s a really mysterious child.

I don’t have any servants in my house.

There’s some in my parent’s house, but I live here alone.

I only hire people to clean up once in a while and eat outside.

There’s no inconvenience in it.

However, Kou’s body is small, so the clothes in stores don’t fit.

I bought some cloth, but I’m not good at sewing.

Kou layered the cloth in front and tied a cloth to the waist instead of a string.

Is he used to wearing clothes like this?

(We’ll have to go to the tailor tomorrow.)

It’s too late today, so I decided to take him there tomorrow.

“Meal, outside, go (shokuji, soto, iku).”

“Outshide? Gyou? (shoto? ikyu?)”

“Go outside (soto iku).”

“Go outshide (shoto iku).”

I picked him up and went outside.

Meanwhile, Kou’s enthusiastic about studying.

I mainly eat in the barracks’ cafeteria.

Sometimes, I’ll eat at another place, but this time, I still went there.

“Captain!”

My subordinates noticed me and called out to me.

I told them they didn’t have to salute during the meal.

“Captain (taicho)! Kou also came?”

It seemed like Renneiga was also there, so he approached us.

“Ryodo, aptain (icho). Mweal (chokuji), heet (chaberu). Chumach (hyara), wempty (shuita).”

As soon as Kou talked, Rennaiga was frozen to the point that it’s funny.

But, he got over it almost immediately and──

“Captain! Kou is talking!?”

He pointed at Kou and seemed excited.

“Aahh. In this short time, he’s able to speak simple words. He can even write some letters. It seemed like his intelligence is high.”

I was also surprised since I knew that he can’t speak nor understand their language at all.

“You’re amazing (sugoi na, omae)!”

“Amzing (chugoi)?”

Kou, who proudly raised his chest, was both childish and cute.

I sat on my seat while holding Kou and placed him on my lap.

Otherwise, Kou would not be able to reach the table.

Renneiga also took the same seat at our table for some reason.

He seemed interested in Kou since he never came in contact with children and because I’m interested in Kou.

Kou sat on my lap, but he still couldn’t reach the table without reaching out for quite a bit.

“I have to prepare a chair for Kou.”

Whatever he needs, just make it.

Not only clothes but also tableware will be needed.

The first should be a desk.

Right now, he’s lying on the floor while practicing writing.

Everything in that house is tailored to me, so it wouldn’t be easy for Kou.

“…you’re completely worried about the child.”

Renneiga had a distorted face for some reason.

Am I so different from usual?

I just thought Kou would find it hard to use my things.

Because there are no children that could humanize, there’s nothing that Kou could use.

“Ryodo, *****.”

He looked up at me and said something.

Since there are many words he didn’t understand yet, he often used his original language.

However, unlike Kou who could speak my language, I could only hear Kou say my name.

I have to meet him in the middle as an adult.

Kou moved from my knees and stood directly on the chair between my legs.

“Kou?”

“Ryodo, gud boy (iko).”

“…”

For a moment, my thoughts stopped.

Kou hugged me and patted my head.

Such a young Kou almost seemed like an adult.

“Kou, good boy (iiko).”

I hugged that little body.

Kou probably wanted to comfort me.

I think our encounter was inevitable.

“*****? ********. *****************.”

“Hn? What’s wrong?”

I saw him saying something and let go of his body.

And then──

“*******. **********. ****.”

And after he said something, he looked like he’s about to cry.

“What’s happened!?”

I asked him why he looked like this but Kou just closed his eyes.

What the hell was wrong?

He was laughing a while ago.

“Kou?”

“…aw wight. (raijobu).”

Kou said with his eyes closed.

It’s as if he’s telling that to himself.

“Kou!?”

“Aw wight. …no.”

When he opened his eyes again, he smiled as before.

(Do you mean to say “don’t worry”?)

I can’t do that.

What was that crying face…

Don’t hold back and tell me.

Even though I just became his guardian, I feel like I was shown a thick wall that I couldn’t see.

I didn’t expect him to trust me right away, but Kou seemed to be sorry about something and holding back.

(Am I mistaken in something?)

Why doesn’t Kou convey his feelings?

He might not have the means now, but I wish he could rely on me more and let me spoil him.

Why do you have cold eyes that aren’t like a child at all?

I don’t know what to say.

It’s the same with Renneiga, who looked at Kou and me alternately with a confused look.

(Even if I rush him, I know it can’t be helped, but…)

I have to wait until Kou learned more words and was willing to talk about his feelings.

(…when I picked him up…)

When my thoughts went that way, I felt my eyes dyed red.

I probably won’t forgive them.

I can’t forgive anyone who left Kou naked in such a place.

And── I realized that I couldn’t imagine a future of living away from Kou.

Why am I so obsessed?

I just met him today, and I still don’t know much about him.

For me, isn’t Kou just “a child I should protect”…?

If so, what am I looking for in Kou?

Even when we finished the meal while being asked by Kou for the names of various things, I found no answer.

─Rodokiaus side end─


Translator’s Notes:

Sorry, I only have half my brain cells when I’m posting this so expect a lot of mistakes. I’ll get around to it when I’ve had my sleep.

ACDWL 003: A Small Variant
ACDWL 005: Increasing Guilt

2 thoughts on “ACDWL 004: Not Just A Child

  1. Thanks for the chapter 🙏🏼 🙏🏼🙇🏽‍♀️🙇🏽‍♀️ I’m glad this novel got picked up again!

How about something to motivate me to continue....

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