In the end, it took me several years to understand how the subordinate collar worked and how to release it.
It’s hard to call it perfect yet, but the whole process was over.
Because I followed Rodo on support missions and also took rest days, I didn’t do it every day so it took time.
But with this, I was able to eliminate one element of anxiety.
That’s all I needed.
That alone was worth it.
…and my appearance after several years hadn’t changed at all.
Seeing this, my age also became uncertain.
Am I just another person who has the consciousness and memory of “Aoyama Kou”?
…but my appearance was my original appearance.
Even when I shrunk, I looked the same as when I was little.
On second thought, did I even cross over with my body?
I’m still not sure.
I’m 24 years old now, calculated from when I was in Japan.
I grew until the age of 18 and had never grown since.
──the insides, too.
When there’s nothing to do, I’m always free.
If someone was seriously injured, for me, it’s healed in an instant.
I sometimes follow Rodo on monster subjugations but that also ends soon after.
It might take longer for me to go shopping with my parents-in-law while yelling at them and cooking.
It’s been six years since I came to this world.
I think my cooking has improved a lot.
…since I’ve only made it for three people and they’d only say “delicious”, I might not be able to guarantee the taste.
I only cook to make food that suits my taste.
But because all three kept saying it’s delicious, I don’t have the impression if they prefer the taste heavy or light so I just put in my favorite seasonings.
Would everyone like it?
…or just the Akinists?
Rodo said he wasn’t interested in cooking.
Even if I’m bloated, it’s fine, he says──
As long as it satisfies hunger, he says──
I don’t care about the taste, he says──
He’d lived for a long time so why didn’t he care about his surroundings?
…I can’t say anything if they said that’s just how Akinists are.
But Rodo was also reluctant to deal with his parents, and he didn’t like me cooking for anyone other than his parents, so I can’t get someone else to eat it.
I want Rodo to tell me what he likes, but he just says he likes my food.
…I’m happy but I want Rodo to be happier.
It’s been five years since I got married.
I and Rodo still acted like newlyweds.
The frequency of mixing our bodies didn’t decrease, and above all, the way Rodo looked at me didn’t change.
Soft, gentle, sweet…sometimes with a fever.
Negative emotions such as jealousy would also be directed at me, but because he loves me, it felt good, so I’m inwardly happy even to my surprise.
Rodo didn’t seem to be jealous of me…
Even Rodo, who always showed me a smile and prioritized me over anything else, was sometimes dominated by jealousy and monopoly.
Perhaps because of my time in Japan, I wanted to pull away when a woman was on Rodo’s side.
Some members were female and other members also had feminine figures.
There are also women among the captains, and when they talk to each other…even though I know it’s a job, it’s still frustrating.
…I remember that when the talk was over, I, who was being hugged that time, caught myself silently biting his ears.
──Rodo had quite a sloppy look, though.
It’s a memory I wanted to bury.
But I didn’t realize that I was jealous.
I had the perception that I was just spoiled.
One morning, I was strangely lazy.
I don’t remember doing anything tiring yesterday.
(Am I sick…?)
…but I just feel heavy and some parts might hurt but I don’t cough.
I often have a coughing cold…
Moreover, it’s strange how even when I used healing magic, my body’s state didn’t change.
…what is it?
I couldn’t get out of bed and just sit there. Rodo, who got up earlier and finished changing clothes, approached.
“Ko, what’s wrong? …you look sick.”
When he saw my face, he rushed over.
I can use healing magic, so if I get sick, I can cure it immediately.
Therefore, Rodo rarely saw me having a hard time or being in pain.
That’s why he looked flustered.
“Somehow, my body feels lazy…it’s heavy…I don’t want to move. Also, healing doesn’t work.”
“Is there anything where heal doesn’t work!?”
While feeling uncomfortable opening my mouth, I managed to tell him that much, but Rodo was panicking.
Rodo can’t use healing magic, and he knew there aren’t many wounds or illnesses that I can’t heal.
If I can’t cure it, then it’s serious.
In other words, there’s no point in seeing a healer.
“Can I sleep in today?”
Before hearing Rodo’s reply, he’d already put me back in bed.
I don’t want to sleep, but I want to lie down.
I feel too lazy to even sit.
“Ko! Are you okay!?”
“I’m fine. Rodo, go to work.”
With an almost crying face, Rodo fluttered about.
I’m really just feeling a little lazy, though.
“Then, sleep together? I feel most relaxed in Rodo’s arms.”
He immediately lied down next to me and hugged me.
“…is it okay not informing them you’re having time off?”
“I don’t want to leave Ko.”
Seems like he had no intention of leaving.
Everyone should know we’re at home and would understand considering an Akinist’s habits, so they won’t say much when Rodo is absent.
I wondered “Is that okay” but no one said anything.
Seems like he took days off like this for a long time and I was quite irritated when I first learned about it, but I was the only one who felt that way.
Being in Rodo’s arms always made me feel at ease.
I only knew what “love” meant when I was with Rodo.
I became more selfish but that didn’t mean that I didn’t want to do anything for Rodo.
I don’t know my race yet, and I don’t know my official age.
But if I was born in this world, I should have a parent.
And if I just crossed over from Japan to this world, there should be no reason for me to shrink.
I don’t know myself.
And no one in this world knew me.
Sometimes, I get anxious about that but my anxiety was alleviated because Rodo was always next to me.
And it’s repeated.
But it wouldn’t grow much.
(Is it because I was thinking about the collars all the time until yesterday?)
Fatigue might have unknowingly accumulated.
(Let’s relax today and do my best again from tomorrow.)
I thought I was doing it slowly while taking a break…but I might have unknowingly overworked myself.
I decided to spend my time in Rodo’s arms today and buried my face in his thick chest.
I could feel most at ease in Rodo’s arms.
The reassuring scent and reassuring body temperature.
(What…is this subtle sense of strangeness?)
…what’s happening to me?
When I looked up, I met the eyes of a loved one who’s anxiously looking at me.
….I should be “happy”──
But something’s different than usual.
However, I don’t understand that “something” and it’s making me uncomfortable.
I feel strange, but I don’t know what’s different.
…is it because I’m sick?
Until now, I’ve only been sick for a short time because I’d heal it soon.
Is that why I feel so strange?
──I don’t understand.