Late at night, the stars shone so bright in the pitch dark sky.
Outside, the clamor under the name of celebration was still ongoing. It was around the time for the cooks to change shifts, and next, it would be the time for the Shikino’s servants to thank the fief population, it seemed. Saya-san and Taiga-san’s new butler would be managing that.
Taiga-san and I sat down on the sofa as we viewed the lively merrymaking festival through the window. The two of us already took off the ceremonial atire and dress, Taiga-san was wearing a bath robe, and I was wearing a negligee.
…Don’t make me say it, in short it’s the bridal night now. We’re already husband and wife, so there shouldn’t be any complaint, right? Darn it.
“Thanks for your hard work, Seiren.”
“Thank you, Taiga-san.”
Well, let’s put aside how things would escalate to that.
Taiga-san brought me hot cocoa. After all, he understood that I was fond of sweets and didn’t really drink sake. Taiga-san poured sake to his own glass and drank it bit by bit.
Normally, the maid would be doing that, but for some reason, everyone was being considerate of us. No, well, I understand, I understand that, though.
It was still bright outside, and we could see the fief population who seemed to be having fun dancing clamorously. Everyone was congratulating our marriage through all this clamor, huh? Really, I feel grateful. Among them, the orphanage director seemed to still be here. The two of us were greatly perplexed about what would happen if his fake moustache were to come off and his face were to be revealed, but let’s just keep it as a secret.
…Just between us, we reached a conclusion that it was fine since he went through all the trouble of crossing over the worlds just to come and celebrate us. It would be fine to say that he was just someone that looked so alike Touka-san with his entirely same face.
Yup, that would be fine. Orphanage director, please have fun.
While I was drinking the cocoa bit by bit, I looked at Taiga-san’s face for some reason or another. Perhaps Taiga-san noticed that I was gazing at him, as he turned his face to me.
“…We have finally become husband and wife.”
“Yeah, that’s right.”
I lightly tried to lean on Taiga-san’s shoulder. He was the husband who loved me even though I was raised as a man, and now, I finally became his wife. He is someone with whom I will live together from now on.
“Still, I had pondered whether you were serious of making me your wife. Really.”
“Haha, so that kind of thing happened? Besides, Seiren also nodded.”
We continued this pointless conversation for a while. Ah-, we had talked about things such as the past story and the ceremony’s preparations, but we had never have any of this light talk at all, huh?
“That… Can I… kiss you?”
Sorry, Taiga-san. For a moment, I didn’t know what I should say.
No, I wasn’t glad that it finished in just a moment. The moment I comprehended it, well, to be honest, my face grew hotter.
Ah, but the maids weren’t here, or rather, in the first place, I wasn’t supposed only to have a kiss here, but it was so that we could advance things even more than just that, uhm…
Eei, cut it out, Seiren. A woman has to be brave, and I am a woman now.
“Eeh, aah, uhm………… Sure.”
Before my thinking turned round and round in circle, I nodded. I mean, if I freaked out just because of a kiss, whatever came after that would be even more difficult, and it was about to be performed after this.
Taiga-san smiled as if he was relieved, and his face quietly approached. I prepared myself and closed my eyes.
Ah, it tasted a bit like a liquor.
Perhaps in reality, not much time had passed, so I thought. However, to me, I felt that it was only after a long time that Taiga-san’s presence drifted away, and I softly opened my eyes. Since I had to hold my breath, it shouldn’t have been that long.
Then, in front of my opened eyes, Taiga-san was smiling as he looked straight at me. I felt a bit relieved at the smile that resembled the orphanage director in some respects. This smile is something that I have by my side.
From now on, I will proceed along with this person.
“Fufu… Seiren. Your expression turned a bit gentler.”
“Eh, is that so?”
I was a bit surprised having that said to me. I mean, did I make such a stiff expression before?
After all, Taiga-san who said that always had a gentle face. No, well, my first impression on him wasn’t like that, though.
“Seiren, as my wife, please treat me well… from now on. I wonder if it’s okay for me to put it like this?”[1. This is hard to implement in English, but at first, Taiga spoke formally to Seiren, but after the “…”, he switched to an informal way. And the ‘treat me well’ in Japanese is ‘yoroshiku’ that can have a vague meaning/translation.] “Eh? Ah, that’s right. When you say it like that, I feel like you’re a dependable husband somehow.”
Ah, Taiga-san stopped talking in polite language. I wonder did he make some kind of break through? That was why, his expression also turned gentler.
“I’m still inexperienced, but please treat me well, Taiga-san.”
“Likewise, by all means, Seiren.”[2. I translated ‘yoroshiku’ here to ‘by all means’. Translating all these ‘yoroshiku’s here while trying to make it flow is a bit stressful, really.]
We called each other’s name and mutually locked our eyes.
After that, Taiga-san held my body in his arms. When he lightly held me in his arms, I didn’t feel that it was unpleasant at all.
I was raised as Shikino Seiren, then I returned to being Shiiya Seiren.[3. Shikino Seiren here is written in kanji.] From tomorrow onwards, I will live in this world as Shikino Seiren.[4. Shikino Seiren here is written in katakana.] From now on, there might be various problems ahead. But even so.
In this world, I have Tou-san, Kaa-san, and Saryuu. The maids who also came along with me are also here.
I will surely bid a farewell tomorrow, but the orphanage director is also here.
And more than anything else, Taiga-san who will be by my side is also here.
The world where I was raised in and my gender might be different, but even if that was the case, it ended up as a good experience for me.
I whispered within my heart, to this current world and gender, please treat me well from now on, too.[5. There’s your last ‘yoroshiku’ in ‘please treat me well’.]