Kou was scared of His Majesty.
On our way home, Kou stopped crying. Just when I thought he’s brightening up, he cried again after a while.
Rather than being scared of something, he seemed more like a lost child, crying at not knowing the way back…
Why would you make such a face when you’re in my arms?
Why are you crying?
Even when I called out, he just quietly shed his tears.
Can you tell me why you’re crying?
I handed him a water bag, but he returned it after just a little sip.
Do you want to go back to your home that badly?
Am I not fit to be a guardian?
I decided to go back to my house instead of the barracks.
Arriving home, I picked him up and got off Sig.
The eyes where tears still accumulated were red and painful.
I walked inside, lowered him to the floor, and Kou looked up at me again.
“Ryodo, twalk (hanashi => hanachi).”
What did he say?
What should I do if I’m told: “I want to go home” …
──but, the words Kou said didn’t seem to mean that.
“Kou, twen, weight. Small, different.”
I’m relieved at not being told that he wanted to go home…but what does he mean?
As I tilted my head, Kou turned his gaze and picked up a paper.
He then wrote something on it…
Looking at his hand, he seemed to be drawing a picture.
He easily drew and it was me.
“You’re good at drawing.”
He’s not just smart.
However, when Kou finished drawing──
After saying that, he started drawing again.
Next was Kou.
But then, he drew another one.
I thought he’d draw Renneiga, but it apparently wasn’t the case.
It looked like a grown-up Kou…
“A parent…no, a brother?”
I asked unconsciously, but there was no answer.
After drawing, Kou pointed to the two sheets of paper.
And said that.
That, in other words…?
“I’m sorry. Kou, small, different.”
Did that mean that this figure of Kou is the same as our beastification!?
So, this grown-up figure was his original form?
Did the “10, 8” that Kou kept mentioning mean to say that he’s 18 years old?
Even though he’s grown up, he didn’t look 18…
“Is this your real form? I’ve never seen a beast that looked completely like a human. Did everyone around Kou do the same thing?”
I asked him unintentionally, but Kou just tilted his head.
I knew he wasn’t completely fluent in the language, but I was just so excited.
“Big, can you?”
When I asked, he shook his head.
Either he can’t do it now, or he didn’t want to do it in front of me…
Because their instincts would increase when becoming a beast, many people couldn’t get used to humanizing in the beginning.
…in the figure drawn by Kou, there was nothing to tell the race.
I pointed at myself, but Kou didn’t seem to know.
I wanted to draw a picture like Kou and picked up a paper.
I didn’t have much opportunity to draw.
When I was a kid, I’m still in beast form and after I humanized, I started working as a soldier, so I didn’t have the chance to draw.
When I showed what I drew──
Kou looked stunned and just compared me to the one on the paper.
…apparently, he still didn’t understand.
(It’s faster to show it.)
I took off my clothes and became a beast.
When I concentrated and turned into a beast, Kou, who was looking up at me, stopped moving.
(Did I scare him?)
Kou’s unlikely to endure the aura of an Akinist whom even adults are afraid of.
That’s why I should not have become a beast──
It completely went over my head.
──will he cry?
──will he dislike me?
I can’t do anything after I’ve already shown him.
Let’s take a look at the situation.
But Kou, with shining eyes, reached out and stroked my body.
“*****…! ***! *****!!”
I was surprised at how excited he was…I don’t feel any fear from Kou, who’s stroking my body and rubbing his face on my flank.
On the contrary, his cheeks loosened.
“…Kou, scary, wrong?”
Still, I can’t help but confirm.
He emphasized something, but…what exactly is he saying?
Ha~…Kou with a smiling face.
Did he forget that I couldn’t speak his language?
“Scary, different. Wike (suki => chuki).”
He was so scared of His Majesty who was humanized…
Until now, not only children but also adults would be scared of me…
As expected, Kou is special.
He seemed to care that he’s already 18 years old, but that’s not much of a problem for me, who’s 156 years old.
I laid down around Kou and licked his cheeks.
Far from being scared, Kou smiled at me.
I could see his hands reaching for my face, so I bowed to the floor for easy access.
He stroked my cheeks and forehead with a smile, even the base of my ears were rubbed.
Kou stroked my body and face while saying something happily.
My body’s an Akinist, so no one would be so happy just by stroking it.
For me──more exactly, no one would try to touch me during my beastification, so being stroked is a fresh feeling──it’s the same as me exposing my beastial instincts during the beastification.
The reason why our senses are sharper than when we’re humanized was that our instincts became stronger.
Smelling Kou, I involuntarily inhaled.
With my sharp sense of smell, I found myself wanting to sniff Kou all the time.
There was a fragrant scent that I didn’t notice much when I was humanized.
I only thought it was a “sweet smell” and was wondering if every child had that kind of smell.
But this fascinating scent is…
(T/N: Okay, mate isn’t exactly the correct translation. Hanshin literally means half-body which I assume meant the other half. For easier reading, I’d interchange the words ‘mate’ and ‘other half’ when this word pops out.)
We have longevity.
It’s not uncommon to change marriage partners during that long life.
There are many races in which it’s desirable for people with low fertility, such as Akinists, to marry as many people as possible and frequently change their partners.
This way, maybe someone among them would give birth to a child.
However, there’s one exception.
The existence of “mates”.
It’s extremely unlikely to meet one in their lifetime, but those who found one would only look at their mates.
Their mind, body, and soul would only want that mate.
It’s also said that birth rates were higher between mates.
Usually, one would marry someone and have a child without waiting for their “mate” whom they don’t even know they can find.
Then, many people end their lifetimes without meeting their mates.
It’s said that you’ll know they’re your “other half” just by being on their side.
I haven’t been taught how to make that distinction, but they just said that I’ll understand it by instinct.
I wasn’t the only one who grew up being told that.
Everyone knew it.
And in my beast form, I finally noticed Kou’s scent.
I only slightly felt it since Kou was a child and we’re of different races.
He seemed to be 18 years old, but that’s the age where a child could humanize.
With such a childish body, I can’t put my hand on him as an adult.
After recognizing it as the “smell of his other half”, my instincts clamored for Kou, but I managed to suppress it with reason.
I also removed my beastification and humanized myself.
…please don’t look so sorry.
I figured that if I stayed like that, I would attack Kou.
It’s impossible for me, who had the title of his guardian, to attack Kou.
“…Ryodo? Hwurt (itai => ichai), you?”
However, I felt guilty when I saw that anxious face.
I knew Kou didn’t have any romantic thoughts about me at all.
I know he only considered me as his protector.
“Hurt, wrong. I’m not (shitenai).”
But I said something entirely different.
My other half is a child of an unknown race who didn’t even understand many words…
Kou looked relieved and I thought about the future.
Should I leave before my reason runs out?
…but, I don’t like other people approaching Kou.
Thinking back now, was I instinctively aware that he’s my other half, which made me frustrated at seeing him so close to Renneiga?
Can I endure it until my field of vision becomes bright red?
I never thought that I’d become a person in danger of losing my reasoning after meeting my “other half” that I’d only heard of.
──but I don’t want to be disliked by Kou.
(The other party is a child.)
I recited that in my head many times, but it didn’t seem to work.
At the very least, I have to wait until Kou grew up.
Can I explain that we’re mates and get understood?
Was my behavior suspicious?
“Twank you. (arigato => ariato)”
But Kou said that with a smile.
I haven’t done anything to be thanked.
Stroking his head made that smile stronger.
Did Kou just smell his lower half?
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