“Rodokiaus-sama! Come to the Tower of Trik immediately──”
I started running without waiting to hear the words of the magician who rushed into the barracks.
The fact that a magician came to call me meant that something happened to Kou.
So I aimed for the tower without looking back.
(Did he get hurt?)
Then I’ll beat those magicians.
…but, what if Kou disappeared…?
That thought chilled me to the bone.
(There can be no such thing!)
I ran while ignoring such anxiety.
(Please…! Please be safe!)
──while earnestly wishing so.
When I jumped inside the tower, I breathed a sigh of relief.
However, when I hurriedly approached and saw the tears flowing from Kou’s eyes, I looked back with narrowed eyes.
“What’s wrong with Kou?”
I picked him up and rubbed his back, but Kou just shook his head.
(Had he been treated badly?)
If so, I’ll crush the entire Tower of Trik.
“What did you do to Kou?”
“I didn’t do anything!”
“What did you say to Kou?”
“Nothing…he just suddenly started crying.”
When I angrily asked him, Rudikda vehemently denied it while being flustered.
Because I know he cares about Kou, he shouldn’t have done anything.
But…why is Kou crying?
“Today I was teaching attack magic. I used the magic I normally do until a while ago. …when I picked him up, I was surprised that he transferred without drawing a formation, but…I hadn’t taught him transfer magic yet.”
(Did you say you picked up Kou?)
Anger gushed out of me.
But I don’t have time to indulge my possessiveness right now.
I’m worried that he used transfer magic that he hadn’t learned yet, but I’m more worried that Kou is crying.
Can anyone tell me why Kou is crying?
“Home, go.” (Let’s go home.)
Seeing Kou nod, I headed home.
I already know that Kou is 18 years old and had a lifespan of less than 100 years old.
He came from another world and he might return someday.
…is there anything else he hadn’t talk about yet?
Is Kou, who always smiles and pays attention to his surroundings, overdoing it?
He might be crying because he can’t stand the accumulated anxiety and dissatisfaction.
…you don’t have to overdo it.
As I walked through the town, I worried about Kou, who kept crying.
I’m always worried when he cried because he’d usually sing, or say the words he remembered, or talk to me with a smile.
Moreover, Kou has a young appearance.
Since such a child was crying, no adult would not be worried.
And I know that many people always look forward to Kou’s smile.
The little hands clung around my neck.
I feel his desperation which is why I can’t smile.
Did you feel some sign that you might return?
Even when we got home, Kou didn’t let go.
“Kou? Home, arrived.” (Kou? We’ve arrived.)
He didn’t say anything and just put more strength in his arms.
If he just wants to be spoiled, I’d be happy to, but it’s clear from the fact that he’s crying that’s not it.
Kou still said nothing as I continue stroking his back and calling out to him.
But he kept crying and clinging to my neck.
How many times have I asked the same thing?
After a while, I heard Kou’s voice.
But he’s still clinging to me and doesn’t show me his face.
Still, if he’s willing to talk, I want to hear everything.
If I don’t know why he’s crying, I can’t do anything.
“…Ryodo, Kou, hate, line, disappear…no.” (...Ryodo might hate me if I disappear someday…I don’t want that.)
“Hate, wrong. Hate, never.” (I won’t hate you. I will never hate you.)
Why would Kou think I’ll hate him?
There shouldn’t be such a thing.
Did someone say something?
…no, Kou smiles at almost everyone, but he only listens to half of what other people besides me say, and I think he’s just too shy.
It seems like he doesn’t like being approached by others, even when Kou’s the one who approached.
He also doesn’t seem to like being picked up, and I sometimes get rejected.
Therefore, if I only ask once in a while, he’d appear defeated and let me spoil him.
Though I’m the only one who says “I want to pick you up.”
So even if I’m told he used transfer when Rudikda picked him up, I just wondered if he didn’t like it that much.
“Kou, Ryodo, likes. Ryodo, together, exist, want…but…return, want. Father, mother, together, want…Ryodo, goodbye, do…no…no.” (I like Rodo. I want to be together with Rodo…but…I also want to return. Mother and father, I want to be with them…but I don’t want to say goodbye to Rodo…that’s not it…not that.)
To hear the words I was most afraid to hear in this way…
However, I’m just glad he didn’t say “I want to go home”.
Kou is crying because he didn’t want to leave me.
He said he likes me.
──I’m happy about that…
After all, it seems like he just wants to see his parents.
Given Kou’s age, it can’t be helped.
But once Kou returns to his parents, I will never see him again.
Kou already knows what a mate is like.
That’s why he put up with not saying it all this time.
──all for me.
He said he didn’t know if he could return to the world he was in.
He suddenly came to this world, so he didn’t know when he would also return suddenly.
I’d be happy if Kou didn’t return to his original world.
…but Kou is different.
Whether he returns or stays here, Kou will cry.
Kou crying is the thing I hate the most.
…how can Kou be the least sad?
Is it best to smile and see off Kou?
Would he be assured if I say that I won’t die when Kou returns to Niho?
…but can I smile and send him off?
I already knew I’d hold him back.
“Ryodo, accept, mawy…no, wrong. Ryodo, children, happy…no, wrong…but…but, return, want.” (I can accept marrying Rodo…no, that’s that it. I’d be happy to have Rodo’s child…no, that’s not it…but…but…I do want to return.)
What should I say to Kou who complains while crying?
I want him to say he’d marry me and have children and that he didn’t want to go home…
In other words, Kou wants to go home.
He wanted to be with his parents more than with me.
Rather than being in Marihect, he wanted to be in Niho.
I already knew he really didn’t want to marry me…
I knew I’m the only one who wanted to marry Kou…
A selfish and stupid feeling overflowed from my mouth.
I don’t want to lose Kou, even if I know Kou would be sad.
“Don’t go anywhere…stay by my side.”
I hugged the crying Kou and begged him.
“…different. Ryodo, wrong.” (...that’s not it. You got it wrong.)
However, Kou flapped his limbs while in my arms.
What’s the difference?
Wouldn’t you like to go back to your parents rather than be by my side?
“Kou, return, move, don’t know. Return, can, don’t know. Before, relax!” (I don’t know if I can return. I don’t even know if there’s a way to return. But before that, calm down!)
He certainly didn’t know when he could go home or if he could in the first place.
And Kou looked angry.
What do you want to say?
Kou looked up at me and looked dissatisfied.
Is he frustrated that I didn’t get what he wanted to say?
“…Kou, bad. Sorry.” (...it’s my fault. Sorry.)
“Kou, not bad. Apologize, no need.” (Kou’s not at fault. You don’t need to apologize.)
You don’t need to do that.
“Wrong. Kou, bad.” (You’re wrong. It’s my fault.)
However, Kou is stubborn.
“Return, can…don’t know. But, can, no, don’t know…Kou, Ryodo, likes. But, family, miss, see. Kou, try, line, did. Now, Kou, return, can, not. But, return, know, want, plan. Guide, Ryodo, bad.” (I don’t know if I can return. I don’t even know if I can do so. I like Rodo. But I miss seeing my family. If there’s a way, I’ll try it. But for now, I can’t return. But once I know how to return, I’ll tell you my plan. I’m sorry for misguiding you.)
I don’t know if I can go home, I don’t know if I can’t go home, I like you but I want to meet my family…that’s what he means. I could understand it as expected.
Did Kou becoming smaller mean that his grown-up figure is his original figure?
But what do you mean you can’t go home now?
And what do you mean that you feel sorry for wanting to go home?
There’s no reason to feel bad if you really thought so.
If Kou misses his parents, it’s not strange at all.
“Angry, no?” (Why are you not angry?)
As if not understanding, Kou looked up with tears in his eyes.
I don’t fully understand, but I can’t get angry at Kou.
I can’t get angry at Kou.
When I hugged and stroked his head, he seemed relieved, burying his face in my chest and hugging me.
“Ryodo, thank you.”
I heard his muffled voice, but I didn’t want to be thanked.
…however, what did you want to say after all?
─Rodokiaus side end─