The two kissed under the dim moonlight. The autumn wind had a tinge of cold, but the heat of their two bodies were shared even through their clothes.
He pulled the shivering Youran close into his arms.
「Are you cold?」
「Yes, but I’m okay.」
As if she wanted to see his reaction, she looked up into his eyes, and asked him with a tone of trepidation. Because it was only a few times that he had heard her say that, it was still fresh, and Taiyou enjoyed it.
「Hm, what is it?」
「Are…you really okay with it?」
「Me calling you like that.」
「Why would I have a problem?」
「Because…I’m Shingetsu no…」
Hearing that, he nodded.
「I think I’m okay with it in front of all the wives, but calling you that…calling you master in front of others is going to make me feel weird.」
「Then just use it when you want to.」
Youran looked down and pursed her lips.
He was wondering why it was impossible, and then, in that instant,
「I can’t…hold back…」
She seemed so cute having to explain it all, that he couldn’t hold back now, and squeezed her tightly.
「You’re so freaking cute!!」
「C, cute? What are you saying, I’m…」
「Well, you have no problem with that, right?」
「Of course I do! You know who I am…Shingetsu no Kami, right? I lead over a million people as the ruler of Juunishima….」
「But, you’re going to make me king, right?」
「I mean, it’s not a big deal to me…」
「What do you mean, not a big deal…」
「If you call me that, I don’t know if I’ll be happy or not. You want to, right? Then do it. You’re just resolving a problem then. Yeah, right. Just solving a problem, right.」
「What’s with that blank look?」
Then Youran started laughing.
「Hm…hah hah hahahah.」
「Why the laughing all of a sudden?」
「I can’t believe you’d say something like that so easily.」
「Well, it’s not a big deal to me. Things just end up the way they are.」
「Yeah, you’re right.」
She pushed her face into his chest, and meekly said,
「Thank you, I may not be cute, but love me forever, okay, master?」
He nodded and held her closer.
After a moment, he remembered something.
He held her away from him as she looked at him a bit taken aback.
「I wanted to give you something.」
「Something for me?」
「Yeah, I was going to give it to the others too, but I have to give this to you first.」
「I don’t know what you mean, what do you mean…master?」
Taiyou said, and took out a ring case from his pocket, and held it before her.
Youran realized what the contents of this box was from the moment he held it out to her, and her face flushed red.
「Half right…it’s a ring.」
With that, he opened the case with a clink.
It was the same ring he had given Kotone and the others.
Seeing it made her face light up beautifully, just like he expected Youran to do. Then she remembered the way that Taiyou had phrased his response to her, and she asked,
「half right…what does that mean?」
「It is a ring, since I wanted to give you a marriage ring, so at least you got that half right.」
「And the other half?」
「It’s from Sakura, created with the Blood Soul.」
Suddenly her countenance changed to something like anger or caution, or perhaps, confusion.
It was a face with a descriptionless expression.
「Why do you have something like that, master?」
「She gave it to me.」
「The previous Blood Soul was the bloodthirsty magic sword, right?」
「You know a lot.」
Youran responded, as he told her the same story that Sakura told him. The by-product of the Blood Soul was not blood, but the ability to channel one’s thoughts into power.
With that power in a ring, she had given it to Taiyou.
He revealed it to Youran directly without keeping it a secret as he did to the other wives.
「There you go.」
「I see it as a lifesaver. If this works as expected, then there’s nothing else that you all need.」
「Well, I guess so. If it works as you say.」
Youran took the case in her hands, looking at the ring from different angles.
「That’s what they told me at least. It’s not a physical thing, but as research into the soul or spirit has progressed, one can turn desires into power, the spell casting division of Juunishima told me. Different from the other one.」
「Since you gave it to me master, I’ll wear it, but…」
「I guess I want a real wedding ring too…」
He laughed and drew her close again.
「I’ll make sure to get one. I’ll get one for all seven of you. Just take this as a substitute, until then.」
「Okay…so could you…」
She looked the case over again and put it out for Taiyou to take.
「…master…could you put it on me?」
She asked him meekly again, so he took out the ring, and put it on the ring finger of her left hand.