Translation: Kurehashi Aiko
Editing: Team Foxsunes
「Ara. You have nothing to apologize for, my dear. Personally, I think that this ugly side of yours is also very cute.」
I said that to that man with a smile on my face, and in response, that man pulled away from me and turned his back at me. Seeing him acting in such a childish way was really cute and adorable. And if he was acting in such a way, it means that he was not really all that upset. If you really wanted to hurt his pride and worsen his mood, the best thing would be to state that he started to act more like an adult compared to the day we have met for the first time. Or maybe right now there would be no reaction at all?
Just imagining something like that made me want to laugh out loud in amusement. Just then, I felt that man’s hands reaching out to me, embracing my waist from behind and pulling me closer to him, and then hugging me closely.
That man’s hands then gently touch my hair. I could feel that man’s body right next to mine, but instead of cold it was incredibly warm. I wonder if he used some kind of magic to make his natural body heat increase? As my own body started to gradually warm up thanks to his body heat, I could hear a small chuckle escaping from that man’s mouth. Right now he must have been in a really good mood. Being held in his arms like that, gradually I could feel my whole body becoming more and more mellow and entranced. Ahh, that’s not good. That’s not good at all. I must resist the temptation to stay that way some more. So I turned around, straightened my arms to put some distance between us and then I looked up at that man’s slightly frowning face.
「What is it?」
Right now we were so close to one another that I thought I might be able to feel that man’s heartbeat any minute now. But before that could happen, I opened my mouth to speak up.
「Before you say anything, there is something that I would like to talk to you about sometime late. Will you please hear me out then?」
I was really happy that the man nodded his head and agreed to hear me out late. I wanted to separate from him completely and invite him to the dining room so he could have his supper, however.
「–––– Edi, do you think you could perhaps let me go now?」
Even when I was trying to give his chest a gentle push in order to communicate with him to let me go, his embrace would not go away and his arms would not loosen. I gently looked into his eyes, and I could see in them that the man was not intending to stop anytime soon. On the contrary, his embrace got even tighter and stronger. Eventually, that man hugged me so tight that my face got buried into his chest, making me completely unable to resist him. I could then hear his silent laughter.
「I would like to stay just like that for a little while longer.」
「Ara, ara. Looks like someone wants to be spoiled rotten today. Oh well, if you are asking for it so nicely, then I guess it cannot really be helped.」
Although mentally I am much older than that man, I must admit that lines and behavior like that are my weakness. Or maybe it is exactly because I am older than that man? So I know that I should be happy for that man acting like that, but in reality, I was feeling slightly guilty and regrettable about it. However, no matter how good that situation makes me feel and how comfortable it seems, it cannot last forever. So I called his name once more, this time in a harsher tone, and after a while, that man released me from his embrace, although he did that most reluctantly.
「Edi, for now, let’s eat dinner, okay? The nights are getting colder by the day, so for today, I thought I would make a tofu hotpot to help keep us warm.」
The man nodded his head while passing me on his way to the living room. Right about now his eyes were his usual cold and emotionless looks, with those traces of warmth from just a moment ago already gone. But even so, even though that man was gone for now, I could still feel the warmth of his body all over me. That and the throbbing sensation inside of my chest that I was feeling all the while would not stop. It took me a moment or two to finally settle down, but soon I was ready to return to the kitchen and give that man his supper. But just as I was to do that, I hit something. That something turned out to be that man’s back.
Why would that man stop in such a place all of a sudden without going into the living room? While I was holding my nose I saw that man turning around. There was a gentle smile on his lips and a warm look in his eyes. He then leaned over and whispered silently right into my ear.
「Let’s continue this. Tonight. In the bedroom.」
While I was too shocked and too embarrassed by his sudden words, the only thing I could do right now was to let out that short inarticulate sound. At the same time, that man smiled and turned around, but instead of heading into the living room he started to climb the stairs to the upper floor, most probably heading right towards the bedroom. He did not look behind him, not even once. I don’t know why, but looking at his back like that, a sudden sense of irritation started to fill my chest.
Even though it’s been more than a year since we started living together, I still feel that I absolutely cannot win against that man. I wish that this man was more vulnerable. That he would get visibly flustered or enamored by my natural charm, or even get swept right off his feet…… AS IF!
「…… No matter how I look at that, it feels impossible.」
This seems impossible to me in more ways than one. It’s as impossible as asking me to do a handstand completely out of the blue! Something like that. And it irritates and frustrates me beyond belief. I grit my teeth, then let out a sigh, and then slap my hot cheeks a couple of times in order to try to cool myself down. I must not lose my cool, no matter what. The next order of business is to actually go to the kitchen.
And once I went to the kitchen, I realized that it was warm. Really, really warm. But not with the kind of warmth you would get from cooking. I lifted the lid on one of the pots that was warming up thanks to the heating magic stone that was placed underneath it. Then I look inside of the pot. The dish was boiling up nicely and it was giving off a nice scent. Looks good for now. Nice job, me!
Next, I use a wooden spoon to gently stir the contents of the pot while they are cooking, all the while humming an upbeat tune under my nose. At the same time, I place a fish and stir-fried mushrooms on a separate plate, and once everything is nicely arranged I carry it to the dining room and place it on top of the table. Upon entering the room, I saw the man dressed in light clothes, preparing the cups and pouring water mixed with mint and lemon juice into them.
「You show at just the right time.」
「Yes. The food is all ready now, so let’s eat it while it is still fresh and warm.」
I pointed towards his usual seat, and the man sat down obediently and without even saying a word. I also take my seat and then link my hands together to say a prayer before the meal. I look at the man and he reluctantly does the same thing.
「Let us thank the merciful and ever-loving Goddess for blessing our table with this humble meal.」
「Thank you, Goddess.」
After that man said his thanks before the meal, I followed suit with my usual “Let’s dig in.” and held my spoon in hand, carrying a huge serving of the dish right into my mouth. It was soft and tender, slightly salty, and composed magnificently well with the boiled vegetables and the sausage stock. Gazing at the man across the table, he was eating his portion in complete silence, a sight that made me so proud of myself that I almost giggled under my nose. Apparently, tonight’s dish pleased him greatly. Apparently, it was a good idea to make just a little bit too much of it. Just when I realized that, I thought that now might be a good idea to bring up the matter I wanted to talk about with that man.
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