Merry Christmas everyone! I thought I would finish up both chapter 18 and nineteen till today but a great update arrived to Toram Online, and Android/IOS MMORPG I play and I just had to jump on it. When this post everyone might not have Christmas yet but it will come in a few hours.
Anyway I will still work on and finish up chapter 19, if I actually get fired up for once maybe, but only maybe I will do 20 too. 20 is a good number. I will release chapter 19 on New year’s Eve 11:59pm GMT+ 1 make it the last post of the year while if I do 20th I might as well release it 12am to make it the first post of 2018.
Count this chapter and beginning of chapter note announcement as a Christmas gift from me. (In Sweden we don’t open our gifts on Christmas day but on the evening of Christmas Eve if you didn’t know that already.)
Oh and this chapter was actually posted 8am in the morning and I’m sleeping probably.
Read at sakuraidreader.com to show support to the translator.
Translator: Sakuraid (& Google-sensei)
Was this a dream?
Shiori was floating on a fluffy cloud in the air and looked down beneath. There Shiori was still a college student. She busily moved around the hall wearing the restaurant uniform of her part-time job.
“Sorry it got so late, you can go now”
“Ah, yes, then I’m going ahead”
The store manager said and Shiori retreated to the back of the kitchen. She went to the changing room, quickly changed her clothes and came out. She seemed to be in a hurry.
“Umemoto-san, you can bring this with you.”
She was caught by the store manager when she was about to head out, he gave her a plastic bag. There was a paper with letters spelling ‘fried chicken’ in there. It was a frozen version of what the store offered.
“Are you sure it’s okay?”
“Actually, I don’t need to do something like this, but Umemoto-san is doing her best. But since it’s near it’s expiration date, please eat it up as soon as possible.”
“Yes, thank you”
Oh, I remember. Shiori thought while floating in the air. This is a memory of the past. This dream is a replay of the past events.
It was a Saturday, there were many customers so it was busy. Moreover, the part-timer that was scheduled to enter the same shift as her didn’t show up. Shiori had to work as much as an hour and a half more than usual.
Holding the bags containing some frozen fried chicken, she had to leave quickly or else Krust would worry. She left the store.
But when she opened the back door, Shiori unintentionally let out a loud voice. A Shadow that had melted into the darkness of the night emerged, only slightly illuminated by the light inside the store that leaked out of the door.
A man whose face was deeply hidden beneath the hood of his black hoodie.
Shiori was a little scared and observed the man with vigilance.
“….Huh? Could that be Krust?”
She said with a surprised voice. She judged that it was him by his tall and strong frame that she could see even though the man wore clothes.
In response to Shiori’s voice, the man lifted his hood up. Silver hair like the color of the cold fading moon showed up beneath. It was Krust after all. Shiori rushed to him with confidence.
“Did you come to pick me up? I’m sorry I’m late. We had a lot of customers.”
At that time, two months had already passed since she started living with Krust. He also showed an amazing learning ability and adaptability, it was around the time where he had gotten used to life in Japan.
Krust had learned how to use a vacuum cleaner and a washing machine, in the stead of Shiori who went out, he took care of most of the housework. His cooking was almost perfect, Shiori thought he was the image of a ‘perfect bride’.
She didn’t put it into words, because it seemed like it would hurt his pride as a knight.
Besides household chores, Krust wanted to help with anything he could. For example, picking up Shiori from her part-time job when she tends to work late into the night.
However, since Krust’s appearance stands out, Shiori didn’t allow it. However, whenever Shiori worked late which she often did, Krust would often come and pick her up like this.
Although she did not want him to go out as much as possible in order to prevent Krust from getting caught up in a strange disturbance, she felt sorry for keeping him alone at home. Also she was glad that he was worried about her so she did not scold him whenever he came to pick her up.
He saw the plastic bag Shiori was carrying and asked her in Japanese.
“Deep-fried chicken. Didn’t you like it Krust?”
“Yeah, there was something similar ‘over there’”
Over there was, the world Krust came from. Recently when he talked about his hometown, Shiori’s chest hurt for some reason. Did Krust want to go back to his original world? Thinking about it, she would turn impatient and get uneasy.
She hoped Krust would stay with her forever, she felt disgust over thinking such a thing.
Not to mention Krust, he had already decided that he would return home. That was what he wanted, so that’s what she wished for as well.
“Isn’t it heavy?”
Krust grabbed the bag out of her hands and began to walk. They went out to the street through the parking lot of the shop, and proceeded along the sidewalk toward the direction of the apartment.
Suddenly Shiori heard a distant voice from the front and she raised her face. It was a young couple. It seemed like they were looking at each other, while walking towards Shiori and Krust, she couldn’t tear her eyes from them.
She didn’t want to see such a frustratingly perfect couple, with their hands lit by the lights of convenience store, Shiori’s eyes, were firmly stuck whether she wanted it or not.
It was the so called ‘lover’s connection’.
She wished that she could hold hands with Krust, she completely and honestly envied that couple. When they got a bit far away, Krust who had been silent until then opened his mouth.
“There are a lot of black haired people in this country. Black hair isn’t uncommon in my country, but there are many more here.”
Shiori payed attention to their hands, it seemed like Krust payed attention to their hair. She was ashamed for daydreaming alone about ‘holding hands with Krust’, the atmosphere turned stale.
While somewhat down, Shiori bitterly smiled and said;
“That is because it’s one of the characteristics of Japanese people. It seems that foreigners find it difficult to distinguish people because our facial expressions are so similar, is it the same for Krust? Can’t you tell the difference between the Japanese?”
From him, it seemed that everyone including Shiori, would be replaced with a flat face. That was what Shiori thought.
“Yes. They all look the same.”
Although she became somewhat sad, Shiori tried to return with a smile saying “after all”, she opened her eyes unexpectedly to the words of Krust who had continued.
“- Apart from Shiori.”
She was told with a seductive smile that could have been missed, heat instantly gathered on her cheeks.
Although she didn’t want to react excessively, she was shaken. Because she was a girl inexperienced in love, she had tried to challenge herself.
But, Krust happened to catch how Shiori had turned red like an apple.
Krust, who noticed the bicycle coming from behind her on the sidewalk, took a hold of Shiori’s wrist and pulled her aside. The bicycle passed by uneventfully, she thought that her wrist would be released soon but…
Krust silently gazed at their connected hands, and then moved his hands. His long fingers and Shiori’s thin fingers got tangled.
Like how the couple from before had done.
“Eh, Ah, that…”
“Let’s hurry home.”
Krust ignored the confused Shiori, and started to walk away. Of course, while still holding hands.
Did Krust possibly, when he looked at that couple from before, did he not just look at their hair but their hands as well, like Shiori had done? Shiori got happy with that thought. Her face got even redder, and her chest also started to heat up.
The temperature between the connected hands was really comfortable.
She woke up on a hard bed in the attic and got discouraged.
“Aha, I woke up…”
She wanted to keep dreaming a bit more, thought Shiori while hugging a pillow. The past, what actually happened was only being replayed in a dream, rather than thinking back on it in her head while she was awake, there was much more realism in her dreams. It felt like the warmth of Krust’s hand still lingered on her right hand.
At that time, Krust didn’t release her hand until they got to the apartment. Even after entering the flat, their hands were connected until Shiori shoddily had said “I want to change clothes, but…”.
From that kind of behavior –
(At least that time, did Krust think that he didn’t hate me?)
Shiori thought so but quickly shook her head, ‘No I’m being too self-conscious.’. It shouldn’t have been hate, but I’m not confident it was love either.
Because she didn’t know how much she should think, Shiori stopped guessing Krust’s feelings and got up from the bed. She looked at the sky from a small round window, the clear blue sky spread in the morning.
Today it was the tournament competition where the knights would participate. Of course, the parade would be held as well.
A quiet tension rose in her chest. Today, she could finally see Krust’s appearance for the first time in three years.
While feeling joy and anxiety, Shiori began to get dressed.