Visit Blog
Explore Tumblr blogs with no restrictions, modern design and the best experience.
#yaoi novel
translations-by-aiimee · a month ago
Text
The Husky and His White Cat Shizun - Chapter 28
Original Title:  二哈和他的白猫师尊
Genres: Drama, Romance, Tragedy, Xianxia, Yaoi
This translation is based on multiple MTLs and my own limited knowledge of Chinese characters. If I have made any egregious mistakes, please let me know.
Chapter Index
Chapter 28 - This Venerable One is A Little Confused
Elder Yuheng broke the rules and was punished. He might as well have sprouted wings. There was no need to wait until the next morning; Almost all the disciples of the sect had heard about it that same night.
Two hundred strikes; if he were replaced by any other ordinary person, they would probably be beaten to death. Even a cultivator isn't indestructible.
Xue Meng jumped up after learning about it: "What?! Master went to the Court of Discipline?"
"Young Master, go and talk to the Lord. He's already injured. How could he stand two hundred strikes?"
Xue Meng was going crazy: "My father? I can't. My father is still at the Snow Palace and hasn't returned yet. A carrier pigeon wouldn't even get there for another day. Why didn't you guys stop Shizun?"
Mo Ran and Shi Mei glanced at each other.
Stop Chu Wanning?
Who in this world could stop him?
"That's out of the question. I'm going to find him right now." Xue Meng roared and ran towards the Court of Discipline. Before he entered the courtyard, he saw a group of Elder Jielu's disciples blocking the entrance of the main hall, whispering about something.
"What are you standing there for? Move! Get out of my way!"
"Young Master!"
"Ah, the young master is here."
"Make way, the young master is here."
The disciples quickly separated and gave way to Xue Meng. The gate of the Qingtian Temple was open, and Chu Wanning was kneeling silently, his posture straight, his eyes closed. Elder Jielu, with an iron rod in hand, was reciting the laws of Life-Death Peak. Every time he finished reciting one, the iron rod slammed against Chu Wanning's back.
"The ninety-first law of this sect: do not indiscriminately hurt the innocent, and do not use cultivation against a mortal. Under this rod, do you have any objections?"
"None."
"The ninety-second law of this sect; do not act arbitrarily, do not act selfishly. Under this rod, do you have any objections?"
"None."
Elder Jielu didn't dare hold back and had to execute the punishment as he would with any other disciple. After more than ninety sticks came down, Chu Wanning's white robes were stained with blood.
Xue Meng respected Chu Wanning the most. When he saw this, his eyes went bloodshot, and he shouted: "Shizun!"
Chu Wanning ignored him. His eyes were still closed and he frowned slightly.
Elder Jielu glanced at the door and muttered: "Elder Yuheng, the young master is here."
"I'm not deaf, I heard him." Blood dripped out of the corners of Chu Wanning's mouth, but he didn't raise his eyes. "He's a noisy child, don't worry about it."
Elder Jielu sighed. ". . .Yuheng, why are you doing this?"
"Who is the one that is always punishing my disciples for being disobedient?" Chu Wanning said indifferently. "If I'm not punished today according to the law, how will I be able to face my disciples in the future?"
". . ."
"Carry on."
"Hah. . ." Elder Jielu looked at his pale, slender neck protruding from the edge of the wide collar that hung gently like thin smoke and asked: "Then can I at least make them lighter?"
". . . This is nothing more than deception." Chu Wanning said. "Don't worry. It's only two hundred strikes, I can bear it."
"Elder Yuheng. . ."
"Jielu, if you don't have anything more to say, carry on."
The iron rod finally fell again.
Xue Meng's voice was frantic: "Elder Jielu! Are you not going to fucking stop? Do you know the situation you've put me in? That's my shizun you're beating!!! My shizun!!!"
Elder Jielu had no choice but to bite his tongue and pretend he didn't hear him.
Xue Meng was about to explode: "Can't you hear me, old man? I'm ordering you to stop! You - If you dare hit him again, I'll, I'll, I'll—"
He thought for a while and couldn’t come up with anything to say. After all, he was only a fifteen-year-old boy. Regardless of the fact that he was "the proud boy of heaven," his strength and qualifications are far less than those of the elders. He could only blush and throw out an outrageous claim --
"I'll tell my father!!!"
Elder Jielu: ". . ."
Chu Wanning let out an almost inaudible sigh.
Ninety-seven strikes. Ninety-eight strikes. Ninety-nine strikes. One hundred sticks. . .
His clothes were torn and blood was glaringly seeping out.
Xue Meng couldn't hold back anymore. His eyes were red with anxiety, and he was about to recklessly rush in, but Chu Wanning suddenly opened his eyes. He waved his hand and a barrier instantly lowered, blocking the entrance. Xue Meng bounced back a few steps, almost falling to the ground.
Chu Wanning coughed up blood. He shifted his glare, narrowing his fierce phoenix eyes.
"Disgraceful! Leave!"
"Shizun!"
Chu Wanning sternly said: "Since when can the Young Master of Life-Death Peak order an Elder to bend the law for his own personal gain? Leave now!"
Xue Meng stared at him. His eyes widened and it looked like little beads of water appeared in them.
Next to him, Mo Ran stroked his chin, and the corner of his mouth was still playfully curled upwards: "Oh, that's not good. Little phoenix is going to cry."
Hearing these words, Xue Meng harshly turned his head and fiercely glared at Mo Ran. His watery eyes were red, but he kept any tears from rolling down.
He had no more objections and no more talk back.
He climbed up from the ground with a single movement. He lowered his head, grit his teeth and wiped the dust off his body. Then he knelt down facing the Qingtian Temple: "Shizun, I know my mistake."
Chu Wanning was still being tortured by an iron rod. His straight posture never wavered, but his face was pale, and his forehead was coated with a fine layer of cold sweat.
Xue Meng stubbornly said: "But I'm not leaving. I'll accompany Shizun."
He said while kneeling.
Mo Ran rolled his eyes towards the sky. Xue Meng, courtesy name Xue Ziming, the proud son of heaven, was only ever humble in front of Chu Wanning. In front of others, he was a phoenix, and in front of their shizun, he became a quail. If he wasn't positive that Xue Meng didn't like men, Mo Ran would start to suspect that this guy was probably in love with Chu Wanning, so much so that he would throw himself in front of death itself for him. If Shizun slapped his left cheek, then this little bitchy quail would humbly slap his right cheek.
Real convincing.
Like an obedient little puppy.
Although he despised him in his heart, he couldn't understand why he was feeling somewhat upset. Mo Ran looked at Xue Meng. The more he looked at him, the more uncomfortable he got and he felt that he could not let him show his loyalty alone.
Chu Wanning already didn't like him. If Xue Meng made such a fuss, does that mean Chu Wanning wouldn't be as harsh with him in the future?
So he simply went over and knelt beside Xue Meng.
"I'll also accompany Shizun."
Of course, Shi Mei also knelt down, and the three disciples all knelt and waited outside. When disciples under the other elders heard the circulating rumours, they all hurried to the Court of Discipline to watch the excitement.
"Oh my god, why is it Elder Yuheng. . ."
"I heard he went into a rage and beat a civilian."
"Ah! He's that cruel?"
"Shhh, keep your voice down. If Elder Yuheng hears you, he won't hesitate to whip you!"
Others: "Why is the young master kneeling?"
"Young Master Mo is also kneeling. . ."
Mo Ran was handsome and he had a way with words. He didn't know how many female cultivators he'd earned goodwill with over the years, but right now, there were several people who couldn't help but feel pity for him and whisper: "I feel so sorry for Young Master Mo. What should I do? Should we intervene?"
"We shouldn't concern ourselves with their shizun - disciple issues. Do it if you dare, I'm not that brave. Do you remember the senior sister who was whipped hundreds of times by Elder Yuheng..."
". . ."
The two hundred strikes were completed.
The barrier was finally removed.
Xue Meng quickly got up from the ground. He ran into Qingtian Temple and approached the scene. Seeing Chu Wanning's appearance, he cried out. He turned his head and grabbed Elder Jielu's collar. "You're dead, old man! Couldn't you have hit him a little lighter!!!"
"Xue Ziming." Chu Wanning closed his eyes, his blood-stained lips moving, and his hoarse voice carried a hidden deterrent.
". . ."
Xue Meng's knuckles creaked. He violently pushed Elder Jielu away, letting him go. This was when Mo Ran came in. He was still smiling, thinking that Elder Jielu must have taken into account Chu Wanning's status and wouldn't deal heavy blows. But looking down at Chu Wanning's injury, the smile on his face suddenly fell.
Didn't Chu Wanning tell Elder Jielu that he had a shoulder injury?!
The two hundred strikes had all more or less slashed across the older wound on his shoulder.
New wounds overlapped old wounds.
Chu Wanning, you. . .
Are you insane?!
His pupils shrank sharply, and a strong resentment surged into his heart.
Mo Ran didn't know what he was resenting, or what he was so annoyed about. He only knew that he felt a blazing fire in his gut, torching through all his organs. He was used to torturing Chu Wanning to death himself, crushing his self-esteem and tarnishing his purity. Mo Ran couldn't stand seeing injuries on Chu Wanning that were made by someone else!
He could move on from his past memories because Mo Ran subconsciously felt that this person was his. This person, whether dead or alive, hated or hated, was all.
He originally didn't care about Chu Wanning being punished because he thought that, since Chu Wanning was an elder, the two hundred strikes would hardly be considered a severe punishment.
At the very least, they would avoid the fresh wound on his shoulder.
But Chu Wanning didn't say anything! He didn't even mention it! What was this lunatic so stubborn? Why did he put up with this? What point did he so stupidly and stubbornly need to prove?!?
His mind was in turmoil. Mo Ran raised his hand to help him, but Xue Meng was already one step ahead of him. He took Chu Wanning in his arms and helped him up.
". . ." Mo Ran's hand hung in the air, and after a while, he slowly lowered it again.
He watched Xue Meng help Chu Wanning walk away, not knowing the feeling that was stirring in his heart.
He wanted to catch up with them, but he wasn't willing to move.
What happened in his past life was all in the past.
Nowadays, Chu Wanning was just his shizun.
Any chaotic, hateful, or intimate entanglement hadn't happened between them yet.
He shouldn't have such thoughts. Whether Chu Wanning was beaten by someone, supported by someone, loved someone, or was even killed by someone, it had nothing to do with him.
Shi Mei came to him: "Come on, let's join the young master and go take a look."
"I'm not going. It's enough having Xue Meng there. I wouldn't help much. Any more people would just create chaos." Mo Ran's face remained unchanged, but his heart was a bit confused.
He really didn't understand what he was feeling right now. What was this feeling called?
Was it hatred?
46 notes · View notes
lunfrot · a month ago
Text
Let's take a moment to appreciate the beauty of Iason Mink ✨
Tumblr media
18 notes · View notes
dfighter-world · 3 months ago
Photo
Tumblr media
Pride 2021 Day 13 Ash X Eiji
11 notes · View notes
Text
Dear Benjamin (Reseña)
Tumblr media
Nombre: 디어 벤자민 (Dear Benjamin)
Twitter del autor: id_whoknows
Artista de la portada twitter: @mmautt
Estado: Terminada (Sin traduccion)
Plataforma: Ridibooks, Bookcube, Bomtoon, Mrblue and Playbooks
Sinopsis: Isaac vivió toda su vida como un Beta antes de convertirse en un Omega recesivo en su adolescencia. Hace cuatro años, tuvo una relación con un alfa dominante, la única experiencia que tuvo como Omega. Pero, mientras Isaac ocultaba su como Omega se dedicaba a dirigir una pequeña floristería como Beta, llegó el arrogante pero deslumbrantemente apuesto Alfa dominante Félix...
Un contrato un tanto injusto es firmado por Félix, un traficante de armas de fama mundial y un peligroso hombre relacionado con la mafia, e Isaac, un omega que sueña con vivir como un Beta normal mientras huye de su pasado.
Dear Benjamín es una novela llena de acción y como todo omegaverse también está llena de un sin número de escenas candentes, Pero lo que más llama la atención en esta novela es Isaac, que es un omega que se sale completamente del estereotipo que tiene infundado el omegaverse de que todos los omegas son lindos, delicados y nacidos para ser protegidos. aunque no estoy completamente en contra con este estereotipo ya que si está bien llevado por el autor y durante el desarrollo de la trama no resulta estresante ni predecible sino más bien adorable y tierno puede llegar a aceptarlo.
Sin embargo, en esta novela no van a encontrar a ese omega lindo y tierno, puesto que Isaac es literalmente el hijo perdido de Rambo y eso es algo que me encanto muchísimo. Isaac que ha pasado los últimos años su vida fingiendo ser un beta, se ha acostumbrado a vivir lleno de zozobra, desconfianza y cuidando de no crear relaciones que lo aten a personas de las que se debe despedir en cualquier momento, por lo que no tiene muchos momentos de paz y felicidad, pero esto cambia cuando una noche el traficante de armas Félix Felice entra a su tienda por un ramo de flores y queda prendado del inexpresivo florista que lo atendió.
Tumblr media
Tumblr media
Tumblr media
Tumblr media
Félix entra en la vida de Isaac para cambiarla completamente y es desde ese primer encuentro en el que la historia de estos dos empieza. La novela inicia siendo narrada por Isaac, lo cual te permite ver un el cambio que genera la aparición de Félix en su vida, también tiene algunas partes de graciosas ya que Félix es un hombre que está acostumbrado a tener todo lo que quiere sin importar el costo y pues Isaac también entra en esta categoría por lo que a ser rechazado por Isaac vemos como un Félix se vuelve loco por llamar su atención y conquistarlo. Félix es uno de mis alfas favoritos, porque, aunque Isaac ya tenía sentimientos por él, su miedo a que Félix descubriera que era omega y que era ese omega de hace cinco años que Félix no puede olvidar y que además de eso que Benjamín era su hijo, podía más que sus sentimientos, razón por la cual siempre estaba a la defensiva con Félix, pero a Félix le valía y trataba de todas las formas de conquistarlo, pues este acepta que está loco por Isaac de inmediato y usa su encanto para cautivarlo.
En resumen, Dear Benjamín fue una lectura muy entretenida que disfruté mucho, pues las escenas de acción son una maravilla y están muy bien trabajadas. Ni siquiera sé qué decir de las escenas candentes, la química de maneja y el apoyo que le brinda Félix a Isaac que ha luchado contra todo solo me llenó el alma, pues yo que amo las historias de mafiosos y una combinada con omegaverse esta fue una maravilla para mí y más si el alfa es el primero en caer enamorado.
2 notes · View notes
benis-boi1 · 3 months ago
cant watch the video rn but whats it like 🧍🏻will it evoke incredible rage
It will invoke terrible mental/psychological(?) pain. Please, dont watch it. Its just the song “i like big boys, iddy-biddy boys” but they kept replaying “gay boys” while putting many images of mlm anime boys either making out, or holding each other close. Its fucking repulsive and really disgusting.
4 notes · View notes
translations-by-aiimee · a month ago
Text
The Husky and His White Cat Shizun - Chapter 24
Original Title:  二哈和他的白猫师尊
Genres: Drama, Romance, Tragedy, Xianxia, Yaoi
This translation is based on multiple MTLs and my own limited knowledge of Chinese characters. If I have made any egregious mistakes, please let me know.
Chapter Index
Chapter 24 - This Venerable One is at War with Him
For a while, no one spoke in the hall. The only sound that could be heard was the choked sobs of Mr. Chen.
Shi Mei lowered his head and covered his cheek. Then he raised his head to look at Chu Wanning, his eyes full of earnestness: "Shizun, don't fight anymore. If you continue to fight like this, it will reach Life-Death Peak. . ."
Mo Ran was even more frightened. Although he was an asshole, he was infatuated with Shi Mei. When he was born again in this life, he secretly vowed to hold him in his arms and protect them. But it hadn't even been a few days and Shi Mei had been injured by the willow vine. What the hell is this!
He didn't care about going to settle things with Chu Wanning. He hurried to Shi Mei's side to check the wound on his face.
Shi Mei said softly, "I won't get in the way. . ."
"Let me see."
"It's alright."
Even though he resisted, Mo Ran still pulled down the hand covering the wound.
His eyes suddenly closed.
A deep bloody scar hideously stretched across his face. The flesh was flayed and blood kept oozing out, flowing down his neck. . .
Mo Ran's eyes burned red. He bit his lip and stared at it for a long time. He abruptly turned his head and yelled at Chu Wanning: "Are you satisfied now?"
Chu Wanning's face was sullen. He didn't say anything, didn't apologize, didn't step forward, and stayed frozen in place, still holding Tianwen, lifeless without any spiritual power, in his hand.
". . ."
Mo Ran's chest seemed to be filled with a myriad of dancing spirits and demons.
Who could stand having a beloved, who died once in a previous life, repeatedly suffer such aggravation and torture?
He and Chu Wanning just stared at each other; neither gave in, neither conceded. It felt like blood vessels were bursting in Mo Ran's eyes. He had hated Chu Wanning with such intensity for so many years. He and the man in front of him were always at odds!
When he had first entered the sect, whenever he did something wrong, Chu Wanning just beat him. Later, Shi Mei was injured. Chu Wanning only had three disciples in his life, but he had stood idly by and insisted on not saving one of them. Later, when Shi Mei died and Life-Death Peak was destroyed, he, Mo Weiyu, had become the emperor of the cultivation world, who wouldn't obey him? Only Chu Wanning was working against him, ruining his great campaign and poking at his conscience - constantly reminding him that the Immortal Emperor, no matter how powerful he was, was nothing more than a heartless and rebellious madman.
Chu Wanning.
Chu Wanning...
Before this life and after his death, it's always been him!
Both of them were still wearing matching auspicious clothes. The red shirts faced each other, standing at a distance. There seemed to be an unfilled gap between them.
Eventually, Chu Wanning finally recalled Tianwen.
Mr. Chen heaved a sigh of relief and knelt in front of Shi Mei. "Thank Buddha, thank Buddha. This immortal cultivator is a living buddha who ends all suffering. Thank you for saving my family. Thank you, cultivator, thank you."
It was always like this.
He dealt with the problem but he drew the willow vine every time. Chu Wanning cleanly did what he was commissioned to do and broke the strict sect rules in the process. In the end, the 'Buddha' was someone else and he was a villain.
It had always been like this.
He had a bad temper, he admitted it.
He had no regrets either.
Only the willow vine had missed its target and he hit his disciple. He finally felt some semblance of guilt, but he had no real dignity and was reluctant to say anything about it. He left on his own and moved towards the Chen family's youngest daughter.
When the little girl saw him, she unconsciously took a few steps back in fright, shivering.
Out of every surviving member of the Chen family, she was the only good one left. Chu Wanning spoke in a slightly slower tone: "Your mother has been possessed by a malevolent ghost and has lost more than 20 years of her life. If she still doesn't want to repent and still has evil intentions in her heart, she'll die in the near future. After she wakes up, tell her to personally set up a red mahogany spiritual tablet for Miss Luo. Miss Luo's identity needs to be acknowledged on the tablet. Luo Xianxian is Chen Bohuan's legitimate wife. You have been hiding the truth for years. The truth needs to be known. This will fulfill her life's wish."
After a pause, he kept going:
"In addition, your whole family will kneel down three times a day, three bows from the knees and nine full kowtows, and recite the 'Send Off Incantation'. Only then will you be able to satisfy Miss Luo and drive away the ghost plaguing your family. This incantation must be recited for ten years without stopping. If you stop halfway through, Miss Luo will come back to seek revenge."
The little girl trembled: ". . . Understood. Many thanks, Dao Master. . ."
Chu Wanning turned his head again, his eyes as sharp as a snow-covered dagger. His gaze swept across the youngest Chen son and Mr. Chen and said sharply: "After Chen Yao wakes up, you both need to tell her everything you've been hiding. Whether you get to stay or go is up to her. If you try to hide anything, I'll cut your tongues out!"
The two of them who were originally rebellious individuals, who wouldn't have dared to agree to this, repeatedly bowed as a promise.
"As for the Hundred Butterfly Fragrance Powder, Luo Shusheng prepared it with his own hands yet you brazenly claim that you made it. You know what to do. I don't need to spell it out for you." Chu Wanning brushed his sleeve aside.
"W-We'll go to the shop to fix this, to clarify things. We'll tell everyone that this powder was Mr. Luo's. . . Mr. Luo's. . ."
After everything was arranged, Chu Wanning asked Mo Ran to help Chen Yao back to her room. I'll cleanse the poison from her body.
Although Mo Ran held hatred in his heart, he knew that being so young meant that he should offer his shizun more respect than disobedience, so he stayed quiet. He shook Shi Mei's hand and whispered: "Go treat your face and stop the bleeding. I'll help her to the room."
The Chen family’s eldest son’s bedroom still had a large red 'double happiness' banner. He was pretty sure that the accident happened so fast and hard that he had been too occupied and forgot to take it down. Chen Bohuan had become dust at this point, so it was extremely ironic to look at it like this.
In this absurd situation, Chen Yao had eventually become the victim of greed. What would she do once she woke up?
Her body was not as resilient as Shi Mei's. After all, she was an ordinary person. Chu Wanning silently cleanse her body and fed her a pill. During the process, Mo Ran was at his side to provide towels and water. The two didn't speak, nor did they look at each other.
When leaving, Chu Wanning inadvertently glanced at the wall. His eyes shifted away, but he suddenly realized something, and turned back, staring at the words hanging on the wall.
It was a few lines of regular script in ink that shouldn't have been written that long ago. The ink should not have yellowed yet.
The writing was --
Soft rosy hands, yellow sealed wine, the city brimmed with the colours of spring as willows lined the palace walls.
East wind devastates, happiness wears thin. A cupful of melancholy, several years of separation. Wrong wrong wrong!
Spring remains the same, but her frame grew thin, tears washed away the rouge and dampened her silk handkerchief.
The peach blossoms are falling, by the empty waterside pavilion. Our oath to each other still remains, yet I can no longer profess my love. Don’t don’t don’t!
Chu Wanning's heart suddenly skipped a beat. The regular script was neat and correct, and the three characters spelling Chen Bohuan were very eye-catching.
The son of Chen, who was forced to marry the daughter of the Yao family, had an unspeakable sadness in his heart. In the last days of his life, he could only stand by the window, with an ink and brush, transcribing the first part of "Phoenix Hairpin"??
Never wanting to stay in Chen home anymore, he endured the sharp pain from the wound on his shoulder and turned to leave.
Chu Wanning and Shi Mei were both injured and weren't able to travel back to Life-Death Peak on foot. Chu Wanning especially didn't like flying with swords, so they went into town to find an inn to rest. It also gave them a chance to see the aftermath of the Master of Ceremonies Ghost's ritual the next day.
Although those ghostly corpses were obliterated into dust by Chu Wanning's "Wind", only the bodies controlled by the Master of Ceremonies Ghost were destroyed. The souls were left alone. They would stay a few more days to make sure there were no residual effects.
Chu Wanning walked silently in front and the two disciples followed behind.
A thought popped up in Shi Mei's mind and he asked: "A-Ran, the clothes you and Shizun are wearing. . . they're. . . what's going on?"
Mo Ran froze. He suddenly remembered that he and Chu Wanning were still wearing auspicious wedding outfits. For fear of Shi Mei misunderstanding, they had to take them off.
"They're. . . from the illusion that happened earlier. Don't think too much about it, I. . ."
Halfway through the conversation, he took another look and discovered that, because Shi Mei had also participated in the Master of Ceremonies Ghost's wedding ceremony, he was also wearing one. However, its style was different from theirs. In addition to the wear and tear of the tattered outfit, it was hard to make out what its original design was supposed to be.
But nonetheless, it was also an auspicious outfit.
Standing side by side with Shi Mei right now, he could almost imagine holding his hand, celebrating in the Master of Ceremonies Ghost's illusion and drinking a cup of ceremonial tea together.
Because of that thought, he just couldn't bring himself to take off the outfit. He just stared at Shi Mei blankly.
Shi Mei asked with a gentle smile: "What's the matter? You trailed off."
Mo Ran muttered: ". . . Nothing."
Chu Wanning was in front of them, a few steps ahead. He didn't know how much of their conversation he heard, but he suddenly stopped and turned around.
The sun had started to rise. After a night of ups and downs, the twilight faded away. and the first ray of dawn emerged from the horizon. The bright red sun rose like a broken and bleeding heart, struggling out of the abyss of the dark night, with a glorious, splendid touch.
Chu Wanning stood against the light, standing at the end of the long night that was getting more and more translucent, standing in the light of the first rays of sunlight painting the sky.
He was facing to his side, his clothes looked as dark as blood. The sun painted a faint golden edge on the side of his face, making it difficult to see his expression.
Suddenly, with a strong surge of spiritual power, the auspicious outfit was torn to shreds by a powerful force.
The fine red fabric, like the red petals of a begonia flower, blowing in the wind, scattering in all directions.
The outfit fell away, revealing the white robe underneath. It fluttered in the wind along with his long black hair.
Fresh blood on his shoulder.
Fragments of cloth flying in the wind.
The splotches of blood that he had obtained trying to protect Mo Ran were especially prominent and vibrant on the white robe.
Chu Wanning sneered rather mockingly: "Mo Weiyu, what's there to misunderstand between us?"
When he got angry, he would call Mo Ran 'Mo Weiyu'. He stayed cold and polite, no bite to his words.
Mo Ran choked, preventing him from making any kind of comeback.
Chu Wanning smiled and walked away.
At this time, there was no one around. He walked up ahead by himself, as if the vast world was small and he was its only inhabitant.
His mocking face was angry and bitter. As soon as he arrived at the inn and closed the door, he couldn't help but tense up.
Chu Wanning grit his teeth, with a painful look on his face, and raised his hand to touch his shoulder.
The Master of Ceremonies Ghost's claws were an extension of an immortal being's body. Because of that, they were almost as powerful as the heavens itself. They were extremely powerful weapons. His entire shoulder was torn and scrapped down to the bone. But, because of his rush to eradicate the evil spirit, he didn't deal with it in time. Now the wound was infected and had started to fester. The pain was unbearable.
Standing in his room, he calmed his breathing. Chu Wanning wanted to take of his robe, but the blood on his shoulder had already started clotting. His clothes and his flesh were stuck together, every tug causing severe pain.
Mo Ran was in the room next door. The inn wasn't very soundproof. He didn't want anyone to hear him, so he bit his lip and viciously tore the bloody cloth off his shoulder!
"Ah. . .!!"
After a muffled grunt, Chu Waning slowly loosened his lips. His lips and teeth were painted in blood. He panted. His face was drained of blood, a cold sweat breaking out all over.
Dropping his long and thick eyelashes, he trembled slightly and glanced at his injuries.
It wasn't too bad.
He could handle this. . .
He supported himself on a table and slowly sat down. With some clean water and the handkerchief that Shi Mei had brought, he pushed through the pain and used his uninjured hand to slowly clean the wound.
He used a sharp knife to cut off the festering skin.
Then he applied the wound medicine made by Madam Wang.
And then, slowly and with difficulty, wrapped himself in gauze.
He wasn't used to showing weakness in front of others. He had experienced this kind of pain many times, and every time he had survived it alone.
If an beast was injured, it would hide itself and lick its wound. Sometimes he felt like those animals. In the future, he would probably always be alone.
He knew he wasn't likeable so he didn't want to pitifully ask anyone for help. He had his own inexplicable paranoid obsession with his dignity.
When he took off his clothes, a pouch fell to the ground.
An acacia tree was embroidered on it in red silk. He moved his painful and trembling fingertips and slowly opened it. Inside was two pieces of entangled blue silk.
His and Mo Ran's.
Chu Wanning was at a loss for a while. He wanted to hold the pouch over the candle flame and burn it along with the ridiculous knot of hair. But in the end, he couldn't do it.
Binding hair as husband and wife, the love between them is clear.
The pitched laughter of the golden boy and girl seemed to ring again in his ears.
He knew the deep throbbing sensation he felt in his heart and he hated himself even more. He held the soft pouch tightly in his hand and slowly closed his eyes.
He couldn't accept the thoughts of Mo Ran he had always had in his heart. He wanted nothing more than to be able to dig out his heart, and slice out those nasty thoughts. Cut them out then throw it away.
What was wrong with him?
Is Mo Weiyu really the one he should be concerned about? What kind of shizun was he? He really was worse than an animal!
Knock knock knock.
There was suddenly a knock on the door and Chu Wanning, who had been chastising himself, was startled. He quickly raised his eyes and swiftly put the pouch into his wide sleeve. He put on a not-so-convincing composed expression.
"Who is it?"
". . . Shizun, it's me." Mo Ran's voice sounded outside, making Chu Wanning's heart beat a little faster. "Open the door."
43 notes · View notes
kikaaaaa · 3 months ago
Text
I'M A FAN OF THIS KID
Tumblr media
I mean they are just wrestling,right?😂
Manga name: The wolf in the flower shop
14 notes · View notes
ypressgames · 2 months ago
Photo
Tumblr media
Support us on Kickstarter! Our new project needs help reaching the goal, so we need a hand. http://kck.st/35KdE2y See the rewards by supporting us in the description! Don’t forget to play chapter 1 for FREE!
Share your memes with us! https://discord.gg/kPd5SvUqeX 
3 notes · View notes
Text
From Divorce to Twilight (Reseña)
Tumblr media
Tumblr media
Nombre: 이혼에서 황혼으로 /From Divorce to Twilight
Twitter del autor: @2400whd
Twitter del artista : @yanagi28yuto
Estado: Terminada (Sin traducción)
Capitulo gratis cada 24 horas.
Sinopsis: Pintado una vez para empezar. El final está pintado una vez más.
Cinco años de matrimonio terminaron con nada más que un vacío para Jaekyung. Después del divorcio Jaekyung mira Taeseok y Taeseok mira a Jaekyung.
***
Esta novela nos cuenta la historia de Jaekyung (omega) quien es el hijo mayor de una familia adinerada, pero su padre lo saca de sucesión por ser un omega. Jaekyung se pasó su vida desde que se manifestó como omega esforzándose por demostrarle a su padre su valía, pero este lo rechaza hasta último momento, sólo porque no se manifestó alfa, a diferencia de su hermana menor que es alfa, pero está enferma y ha pasado la mitad de su vida en un hospital y recibiendo tratamiento en otro país por lo que no puede heredar tampoco la empresa. Es por lo que el padre de Jaekyung tratando de arreglar esta situación le arregla un matrimonio político con un alfa heredero de un grupo muy importante y así empieza la historia de Jaekyung y Han Taeseok (Alfa).
Tumblr media
Esta historia me hizo llorar y tener el corazón arrugado primero por Jaekyung y después por Han Taeseok. y aquí les dejo un pequeño spoiler, a pesar de todos los malentendidos y el drama, la novela tiene un final feliz, por lo que no se deben preocupar, pero sí deben tener en cuenta que, van a sufrir un montón. Y pues le confieso que los matrimonios arreglados son unos de mis clichés favoritos así que disfrute mucho esta novela y ame con locura los capítulos extras.
Por último, siempre recomiendo que lean las etiquetas antes de empezar a leer una novela, porque estás te dan una idea de lo que va a tener la novela y los temas que va a tratar.
1 note · View note
symphonicscans · 9 months ago
Text
Fujimi Orchestra - Wandering Violinist (Book 2, Part 1)
Tumblr media
Author: Akizuki Koh   Illustrator: Keiko Nishi (Read Book 1 Here)
Content Warning! 18+ Yaoi/BL/Soft Noncon This volume doesn’t have rape per say, but there are references to what happened in the first volume, so just in case I’m still providing a warning. Nothing is super explicit. Also, if you want to start with this book there is plenty of recap throughout the book to catch you up on characters and situations.
And we’re onto book 2! This book also has two parts, so hopefully I’ll have the second done in the next few weeks.  If you want to read on Google Docs: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSuh6ZZf--fQVn8mkSKkovlnZgIfKcD0vL1dmNRBBo2xVNMPw3EHBpNChs0vW4zq5qymXWQcZsvZmib/pub#ftnt1
Part I : Wandering Violinist
Tumblr media
I have no apartment… no roost… not for tonight. I looked around in the hot and humid summer night; I couldn't even mumble because I was completely stunned by the situation. If I had to guess at the statistics, I’d say that the Fujimi-cho neighborhood -- where 80% of the residents live in apartments -- is like a ghost-town every year around this time. This is because there are many brave people who insist that they celebrate the ‘Bon Festival in my hometown,’ undeterred by the hustle and bustle of expensive flight tickets or the hellish rush to return home. It kills two birds with one stone: they make their dutiful family trip, and they don’t have to pay for accommodations when they get there. 
Actually, I — Yuuki Morimura — was one of those people. The reason I say ‘was’ is because I had just returned to my dear home-town after a two year absence on one such obligatory trip. I’m 23 years old and a music instructor at a public high school, as well as a violinist and concertmaster of the Fujimi Citizen’s Philharmonic, also known as the ‘Ni-chome Philharmonic’ or just ‘Fujimi.’ I seem to be considered a quiet and serious person because of the glasses I’ve worn since junior high, and often mistaken as younger than my age thanks to my slim body and feminine face (that I’m not so pleased with); I actually think I’m a pretty assertive person. I moved to Tokyo for music school, and then Fujimi-cho, which has become my second home ever since. 
Since my mother passed away, Fujimi feels even more like my second home. So as I returned from my three-day ‘homecoming’ trip and smelled the familiar scents of Fujimi, I breathed a deep sigh of relief. I arrived before Fujimi’s rehearsal day, just after nine o’clock in the evening. Many of the shops in Fujimi Ginza around the small train station were already closed, each shutter with a sign on the door that said they were closed for tomorrow’s Obon holiday; well, as far as the rest of the country is concerned, tomorrow is the real Obon holiday. I took advantage of the fact that I work at a school with summer vacation to beat the rush of people returning home. This was always my trick that I used in the summer when I would go back home to the country. I would take care of my obligations before the proper Bon Festival and spend the three days when Fujimi-cho was quiet, playing the violin in my empty apartment building. It was the only thing I enjoyed in the summer, as I don’t have any other hobbies.
Now the steel frame of the building was exposed to the sky, and underneath my feet was rubble that seemed to be made from the collapsed walls, along with black trash that must have been furniture. I had entered the alley and turned the corner as usual, and saw the scene that was now in front of me; it was a total loss fire. Both my building and the one on the other side of mine were at least 80% burnt down. I scratched my head and turned to the right. The liquor store on the corner was still open.
“Excuse me, good evening!” A lady came out while using a fan. She looked me up and down and made a sympathetic face. “Ah, the Miyajima apartment building over there burned down yesterday evening, I heard about it on the NHK news,” she said.
“I didn’t hear anything about it, I was back at my parents’ house.”
“Oh, you lived there?” The woman scratched her cauliflower-like permed head with the handle of her fan, probably because she was uncomfortable dealing with a person she didn’t know. “That’s terrible. The fire spread quickly and the firefighters didn’t show up for a while because it was right in the middle of rush hour, you know.”
“Um, did anybody...die?” 
“It was a blessing that you weren’t there, the people who were left were burnt to a crisp. They were all dead by the time the firemen got there.”
“I see…”
“I heard it started from tempura oil. Yamamoto-san on the first floor was the origin of the fire. His wife always looked very careless.”
“Ah...Thank you,” the lady seemed like she wanted to keep talking, but I hadn’t recovered enough from the first round of information to keep up with more rumors. I bowed my head and left the store. The only question for now was where I could sleep tonight… I wondered if there were any hotels in this town. I remembered seeing a few love hotels, but as I walked towards the station I realized I needed to find something else: money. I didn’t have any. 
I put down my travel bag and violin under the streetlight and checked my wallet. No matter how many times I counted it, there was only 3,000 yen. Naturally I didn’t have much left, since I had given most of my money to my sister when I left my parents’ house. It was only fair since I stayed for three days at the place she was living with four children and a husband on the salary of a civil servant, while also maintaining a large country house and fields. I wanted to be considerate, and also make a small gesture since I was now a salaried employee, so I left her with enough money for a meal. But now…
“The bank won’t be closed even on Bon holidays,” I said to myself. No — tomorrow is Saturday! No, wait, I can still withdraw money, my card is in my wallet. So in the morning I can get money. I picked up my bag and case, which was now all I had to my name, and started walking. Oh yeah, my scores, my CD player, the CDs themselves, my clothes, my wardrobe, my futon, my toaster… all burned. Everything, everything…! I was hit with the sound of an oncoming car and rushed to get out of the way. As I looked at the red glow of the receding tail lights, I thought of the word ‘penniless.’ I have a violin, an ATM card, and a few clothes for the time being, so I’m not completely broke, but I’d be grateful if I could at least talk to Ishida-san, the caretaker of Fujimi, who I know I could rely on. But he’s on his usual week-long summer vacation. His whole family left for Hokkaido in the country on the same day that I left, and of course his coffee shop Mozart is also closed.
There were only two other members of the orchestra who knew where I lived: Natsuko Kawashima, a flutist, and the conductor, Tounoin. I had been in love with Kawashima for three years, even proposed to her, but we finally settled as friends in the orchestra. And Tounoin… well, I thought about going to him. He would be more than willing to let me stay, but that ‘willingness’ was the problem. He was gay, fell in love with me, and raped me — though the rape was an accident, as Tounoin had thought I was also gay and that I wanted to have sex with him. I respect Tounoin as a genius conductor, and I also think he’s a very good man, as he was willing to give up his affections towards me and not bring that kind of trouble into our relationship as musicians. 
That’s why… I don’t think I should go to his place to stay. No matter how much help he offers or how strong his willpower is, I don’t want to give him the opportunity to spoil me. He’s a human being too, and you never know when his self-control might slip… I don’t want to ruin the friendship we’ve established. I couldn’t impose on him like that, but I also couldn’t think of anywhere else that would let me stay. The list of Fujimi members and school staff had burned to ash in the fire, and there were a lot of people that I couldn’t remember their full names to look them up in the phone book.
I was flipping through the pages of the city phone book, trying to find a hotel, when I heard the sound of rain. It started raining. Then it was pouring. It seems like bad luck was following me like a bad smell. I took out ten yen from my wallet and picked up the phone.
“Hello, do you have any rooms available? Yes, for tonight. Oh, that’s great. Where are you located?” I thanked them, hung up the phone and wondered out loud, “Yeah, that’s pretty far. The cab fare alone would wipe out all my money. I wonder if they would let me stay without a deposit?”
I heard a noise and looked outside. A soaking wet businessman was waiting, so I opened the phone booth and said, “I’m sorry to have kept you waiting,” and dashed under the eaves of a building to avoid getting wet. I hurriedly wiped the drops of water from my violin case. I decided to wait for the rain to let up and then walk to the hotel; since I only had 3,000 yen I really couldn’t spend it on the cab. But the evening downpour, which I assumed would stop if I waited it out, did not let up even after an hour. I waved my hand at the approaching lights of an empty cab and repeatedly counted the contents of my wallet in my head.
---
After going through 5 other hotels, the sixth hotel receptionist — my last ray of hope in the whole town — was a gentle, motherly woman with a pleasant appearance and tone of voice… “Oh, that’s the thing, isn’t it?”
I said quickly, “I have an ATM card, so if the bank is open tomorrow morning, I promise I can get the money! I know you have a rule that you have to pay in advance, but I won’t cause any trouble!” Needless to say, I’m not very good at this kind of negotiation. But there was nothing else I could do. I was so embarrassed that my forehead broke out in a cold sweat, but I persisted desperately. “I’m begging you. I can’t stay out in the open in this rain!” The woman, who seemed to be going through hardship of her own, looked down with a troubled expression. ‘One more push,’ I thought.
“I know it’s a lot to ask, but if there’s any way…”
“Well, let me have your driver’s license.”
“Oh, that’s —“ I was sure that I had finally found a solution. “I don’t have it.”
“You don’t have a driver’s license?” It was heart-wrenching to see her face, which had finally softened somewhat, switch back into cold rejection.
“...my insurance card was burned. But..!” I pulled my ATM card out of my drenched back pocket. “I’ll leave this with you!”
The woman shook her head apologetically. “That doesn’t prove your identity, does it?”
“But if you look up my card number…”
“Can you prove it’s yours?” I was about to open my mouth to argue against her rude suspicion when the sound of rain started up again.
The easy-going face of welcome had turned into a cruel mask when she looked back at me. She said quietly, “Anyway, we don’t accept single guests.” Basically, I was interfering with their business, so get out of here.
“Ah, I see. Thank you.” Apparently this is the way the city is. I thought I could handle the love-hotel atmosphere, but I was naive. I gave the guests that had entered behind me some space so I wouldn’t have to look at them, but it seemed to be an unnecessary precaution.
“Oh, let’s take this room!” I heard the excited girl’s voice behind me as I walked out, not feeling the least bit guilty about being in a love hotel. This was the last of my hotel choices, and I had run out of ideas. I wondered if the heavens had come to regret their cruelty to me, as it was raining lightly when I went outside. But the situation wasn’t any better just because the rain was lighter.
“Police, maybe?” I had heard of something called ‘tiger boxes’ that were used to protect drunks, but I wondered if they would have anything for a lodger like me. ‘It’s all so bad!’ I thought, but that was the only option I could think of at this point. However, the police station was behind the Fujimi train station, which took me 20 minutes to get there by car, and now I had to walk back... “I’ve got 820 yen in my pocket, so I have no other choice.”
The problem was the violin, which could not get wet. I decided to put it in my travel bag, and used my summer jacket as a furoshiki for my overflowing clothes. I walked out into the rain, which was cold on my already soaking body. There was nothing else I could do.
“Achoo!” I sneezed, waking up. I was greeted by masculine-smelling air and unnecessary air conditioning. It seemed that I had caught a cold. I put my glasses on and looked at the round clock on the wall; it was barely 7am… I had stumbled into this police station a little after two in the morning, managed to get them to understand my situation, and they let me stay in the dormitory nap room.
“Achoo!” I guess it’s time for me to leave. After all, the air conditioning was too cold in here. I folded the blanket I had borrowed and left the dormitory room. I looked around for the middle-aged policeman that had helped me earlier, but maybe his shift had ended. I turned around and saw a policeman who looked younger than me.
“Oh, you must be Morimura-san.”
“Yes, I was staying here. Thanks to you, I was saved. This is for the person who helped me last night,” I offered him a box of sweets that my sister had given me to take home, “It’s a little wet from the rain, but inside is manju.”
“Oh no, that’s too much.”
“No, I’m really grateful.” As I was saying this, my nose started to itch again. I sneezed and bowed.
The city was already hot and humid, so I was grateful for the chills that were creeping into my body. I bought the cheapest lunch at a convenience store in the middle of the street and headed for the bank. It was 7:24am on August 13th, and in 30 minutes I would be able to say goodbye to the miserable feeling of having just 500 yen in my pocket. But I didn’t know… I didn’t know that today is the day the door of hell would be flung open.
It’s hot… the cicadas are so noisy. And… there was no money. The lack of money I thought I had was extremely shocking, there must have been some mistake. I’m sure it was just some small clerical error, like a paycheck failing to transfer. I did buy a new suit for the school year and paid for it in one lump sum with my bonus, but that should have gone through in July… but the ‘balance of 2,637 yen’ on the statement the cashier spit out was an unquestionable fact from the employee that was working that Saturday. He told me to come back on Monday for more details. The bank book, which was supposed to be a clue to solve my money question, had been reduced to ashes along with my personal seal and ID card. And the only thing that could guarantee that I am Yuuki Morimura was an ATM card, which could be stolen or picked up…
If it had been the bank where Kawashima-san worked, she probably would have taken care of it. Fujimi’s most beautiful flutist, Natsuko Kawashima, who had rejected my desperate proposal, was the type of person who would be strong in an emergency situation like this. But she’s not here, and anyway as a man I couldn’t just go to my girlfriend’s workplace and cry to her. For an hour I was at a loss for what to do, wondering what the hell I did to deserve this, envying the heavens and cursing my fate. Maybe I was stupid to have left with only my violin and a few changes of clothes. But! I had taken proper precautions against fire, and I was only gone for three days. Usually you don’t have to think about the possibility of your apartment burning down in such a short amount of time. 
The sun was shining on the benches, and shadows stretched out over the ground. I was craving grilled fish… but what was I supposed to do now, when it’s two more days until Ishida-san comes back? I was able to withdraw 2,000 yen from my credit card, but with a grand total of 2,511 yen it was barely anything. I pulled out the notepad I kept in my pocket. I knew I had only Mozart, Kawashima-san’s house, and the number of the school staff room written down. The school was closed for the Bon holiday and there was no answer on the phone. Kawashima-san was the only one who could help me. But… I said to myself, ‘Is it really worth it to go through all this?’ Of course, I wanted to just wait it out, but if I had to… if I did, I’d have to stay out in the open for two more nights. The policeman last night was kind enough to help me, but the way he acted made it clear that the police were not a hotel, and I was already feeling sick from my search for shelter in the rain. My pride as a man wouldn’t let me rely on Tounoin. 
As I soothed my dry throat with lukewarm water from the park fountain, I made up my mind. By the time I found a phone booth, I had sweated out more than I had drunk. I wondered if Kawashima-san would be at work or if she was off? In this case, I could barely spare even ten yen. In a desperate mood, I figured that she would have gone to work, so I looked up the number of her workplace in the Town Pages, which I was grateful to have even if it was in tatters.
The reply on the other end of the line was, “Kawashima-san is off today.”
I took my wallet out again… oh, ten-yen coins, you are valuable after all. I dialed her home number, and the voice that answered was that of a mother.
“I’m Morimura of the Fujimi Philharmonic. Is Natsuko-san at home?”
“Ah, the concertmaster. Thank you for always taking care of my daughter,” said the warm voice. I felt the dark clouds in my chest clear. Thank God. 
“Oh, of course. So, where is Natsuko-san?”
“This morning she went scuba diving in Izu with a friend. She’ll be back the night of the 15th.”
I couldn’t remember if I had said a proper greeting when I hung up the phone… as I exited the phone booth I felt that my last hope was gone. I’m finally going to have to live on the street. But… but… what the hell am I supposed to do? I asked myself over and over, and reluctantly arrived at the answer I already knew, the only solution. I have no choice but to go to Tounoin. Go to him… I’ll just borrow some money. As long as I have money I can do whatever I need to do; get a hotel room, ask the principal for a new ID when school resumes after Bon, go to city hall to get a certificate of seal impression, and then take it back to the bank. It’s just a debt, I will owe him a favor, but I can pay him back as much as I borrow. 
I walked, keeping my face down from the sun that was beating down on me. I was sweating profusely, yet an inexplicable chill ran down my spine. I put my hand to my forehead, which wasn’t even hot, but I felt like I was having a heat stroke. I need to borrow money to buy some cold medicine...a hotel… a cool room… I should have called Kawashima-san last night instead of trying to be proud and stick it out on my own. But it was so late at night… and either way it was too late now.
The Telephone Pole Mansion was silent and open as usual. On the wall opposite of the door to apartment 11 there was a row of mailboxes with numbers from 11-71 on them, and on box 71 was a handwritten name: “Kei Tounoin.” There was an elevator door next to it, and in front of the door an abandoned tricycle with the name ‘Mamiko’ written on it in permanent marker. I pushed the trike aside and pressed the button. I got off at the fifth floor — which was the end of the line — and climbed the remaining two floors, breathing hard. They say only idiots catch colds in the summer, but I felt myself getting more and more sick. But I had to act cool in front of Tounoin. He’ll probably tell me to use his place instead of a hotel, but I don’t want to accept a favor I can’t return. I had rejected him. Actually, he really wasn’t the kind of guy I could borrow money from, either… I finally managed to get to the apartment, and was anticipating getting to change clothes since the ones I had been wearing were soggy from being worn since yesterday. I put my hands in my pockets — I just remembered, I don’t have the key…
I usually have the key to his place. It was the middle of last month when Tounoin offered me his apartment, since mine didn’t allow the practicing of musical instruments and I had no other decent place to practice. At the time, we were still like a rabbit and a wolf, and I was the rabbit running away. I resisted and resisted, not wanting to be lured into the wolf’s house by some kind of trick. But then we developed a proper relationship as friends, and I decided to accept that his offer was out of kindness, not a trick. Since then, I’ve practiced here every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday night, and Sunday afternoon. I have a duplicate key because Tounoin’s apartment is soundproofed, and he plays music so loud that he doesn’t hear if somebody knocks. He gave me the key so I could come in on my own, but I had left the key in my apartment. On the morning I left, I put it in a bag of rice in the kitchen, along with my personal seal, bank book and other valuables… 
He had no doorbell. I knocked on the door, but there was no answer. I knocked a few more times, then thought to put my ear to the door, but it seemed to be silent behind it. Just to be sure, I looked for a window, but there was not a single window on this side. I went to the edge of the aisle and looked, but no, there was no window on that side either. There was a window across from the door inside… but regardless there was no sign of anybody being in the apartment. 
“He’s finally away…” did he go to his parents’ house, or on vacation, or just out shopping? No matter what Tounoin was doing, my situation was simple: I had no other place to go, no other option. As long as I had the key, I could go in; Tounoin wouldn’t mind if I came in when he wasn’t home. It would be much easier to wait in an air-conditioned room, and I would without hesitation, but without a key… it’s metal, so there is a possibility that it didn’t burn up in the fire. But to find it, I would have to go back down the stairs and walk for twenty minutes in the hot sun. Then I’d have to dig around in that pile of rubble, and what were the chances of finding it? Even if I did find it, it might be useless, and either way I’d have to come back here… by then, Tounoin might have returned. So I decided to just wait. Fortunately there was a roof over the passage, and the elevated location allowed for good ventilation. I sat down in the aisle with my violin case beside me on the concrete, which was cool and pleasant in the shade. Looking through the bars of the railing, the city was the color of scorched gold in the midsummer sun. I’ll wait here until it cools down in the evening, and if he doesn’t come back I’ll go look for the key…. but what if the key doesn’t work? Whether it’s there or not, I’ll have to come back, but what if Tounoin doesn’t come back tonight?
Tumblr media
Then I’ll just spend the night here outside. No one but Tounoin comes up here anyway, and it’s summer so it shouldn’t be a problem to sleep overnight… but what if he’s on vacation? I haven’t heard anything about that. He’s probably shopping or something, he’ll be back in the evening. As I stared blankly at the scenery thinking about this, I began to feel sleepy. To tell the truth, I didn’t want to move anymore. The sooner I went to look for the key the better, and the sooner I could take some medicine the better. I didn’t have much of an appetite, but I was thirsty and I knew I could get a cold drink at the convenience store downstairs. But once I was sitting like this, I didn’t feel like getting up again. I felt like I didn’t actually sleep much at the police dormitory, and yesterday was still yesterday…
I had helped Mimiko with her farm work in the morning, took my nephews to the town swimming pool, and taken a six-hour express train ride home, and then when I was feeling relieved to be home, the apartment was gone. And all that time I wasted looking for a hotel… after all that, it’s not surprising that I didn’t get a good night’s sleep. In other words, I was utterly exhausted. And to top it off, I was coming down with a cold. I laid down with my bag as a pillow, just to give my body a rest. After a short nap I would take a fever reducer… and then go find the key… I laid down, staring at the concrete ceiling of the aisle and the blue sky beyond, thinking about the pile of scores I had that were now burned. I hadn’t finished learning more than half of them, maybe I should have brought at least those with me… I couldn’t help thinking about it now. 
...I opened my eyes with a start and realized I had fallen asleep. My body ached all over, probably from lying on a concrete bed. But I didn’t feel like waking up, I was feeling very sluggish, as if I were being held in a metal box. I wanted to look at the time, but I couldn’t lift my arm to put on my watch. ‘Never mind,’ I thought, ‘This is the top floor, and the only room up here is Tounoin’s, so I can afford to take my time. I’m sure he’ll have something to say when he gets back, and there’s no need to move when it’s still so hot…’ With this thought, I was sucked back into the darkness of sleep. But it was a sleep that I shouldn’t have fallen into, like what people experience when they’re in distress on snowy mountains.
I was burning hot when I woke up again. I forced open my heavy eyelids. Through the bars of the railing, at the same height as I was lying, the orange sun was blazing, and I was basking in the west sun. I tried to get up, but my body felt like a bag of wet sand. If I stayed here, I would dry out in the sun. I managed to crawl up on all fours and move to the little remaining shade by the top of the stairs. As I let my head fall limp, I thought of something. The violin! I shouldn’t have left it in the sun like that… I crawled back to the apartment door, grabbed the violin case, and went back to the shade. The coldness of the concrete made me feel uncomfortable, like a myriad of worms were slithering under my skin. Chills kept running down my spine incessantly. I was already starting to doze off, thinking of how awful this was. The sound of cicadas chirping somewhere in the distance was becoming more and more faint. Water… water… when it gets cooler, I’ll have to go to the convenience store… barley tea, juice...water...water…. I found myself depressed. When I came to, it was pitch black. I felt cold, and when I moved my entire body was filled with aches and pains. My head also felt like it was going to crack open, and the breath on my lips was hot. I felt like I couldn’t get up, but I managed to do so because I knew I was in danger of dying out here. Going down the stairs, however, was even more dangerous. My legs were unreliable, and my hands were shaking as I clung to the railing with what little strength I had. Still, I somehow managed to reach the elevator and descended to the ground floor. 
I staggered the 30 meters or so to the corner store and went in. The brightness of the white lights hurt my eyes.
“Excuse me,” I said, leaning against the register, “Do you have any fever reducers?”
“No, we don’t,” the cashier replied, “But there’s a pharmacy a little bit down the street.” He seemed kind. 
“How far is ‘just a little bit…’” It was too far for me now. “Could I have a bottle of Pocari?” The clerk asked me which one. “No, a large one.”
“Two bottles are six hundred and eighteen yen.” 
With trembling fingers I took the change and the heavy package and left the store. I didn’t have time to go looking for the keys. I literally crawled back to Tounoin’s front door on the seventh floor, relieved to see that the violin I had left behind was still there, and then I completely ran out of steam. I would fall asleep intermittently, waking up with chattering teeth, and then fall asleep again only to wake up drenched in sweat… each sleep and awakening had a similar sense of torment and nightmares, and time passed slowly. Every time I woke up, I would first check to make sure my violin was safe, then take a sip or two of Pocari, touch the violin case again and fall back into another painful sleep. 
I felt like my beloved instrument, which was ‘only two million yen’ in the eyes of musicians, was still very precious to me even at this moment when I felt on the brink of death. When I was a student, quite a few of my friends had instruments worth 2 million, and some played on ones worth 3 or 5 million. I wondered how they managed to squeeze that out of their parents. The violin is a small but expensive instrument, with the best ones like Stradivarius costing hundreds of millions of yen. Because of their nature, being made with wood, the sound gets better with age, so the 300,000 or 400,000 yen new violins lined up in the window of a music store are only considered entry-level instruments. When I was a student, I used a brand new violin that cost 700,000 yen. My mother spent all of her savings to buy me the best one she could find in the country, and that was how much it cost to get the violin and the bow as a set. The sound is somewhat proportional to the price, so no matter how hard I tried my instrument could not match that of a 3 million yen instrument. That’s why when I got out of college and started a temporary job, the first thing I did was buy this violin. I had already given up being a professional, but I really wanted an instrument that had a better sound; it was the culmination of around four years of frustration. I sold my 700,000 yen set for 600,000 yen, keeping the bow, and then added 1.4 million yen of my own from a personal loan to purchase my current instrument. I was really happy at the time, and now with only one more payment, my beloved instrument will be mine in both name and reality. Then, I will buy a suitable bow for it… probably something around 500,000 yen… with a loan again, but I will do it to get a new bow. I’m not sure if I’ll be able to afford it. And then I wished I could play the violin just one more time before I died, if this was to be my last moments…. when I think about it, I was being as sentimental as something you’d see in a shoujo manga, and later I blush when I recall being like that. I’m proud of myself for being a violinist, and under normal circumstances I wouldn’t have ever thought of pawning my violin for money. But I’m a fool, and in some way it’s more manly to be foolish.
That was what I was thinking about when I absentmindedly changed thoughts to the man who seemed to not be coming back, no matter how long I waited. I thought I heard footsteps, but figured it was just another hallucination. But the sound was getting closer… a white object appeared on the stairs, quickly turning into a Panama hat with black eyes under the brim. As I was lying on my concrete bed, all I could see was what came into my field of vision from the other side — a man with only a head, then a neck… his eyebrows were tight, the eyes underneath long and narrow, with a well-defined nose that even from the front you could tell was high. 
“No way,” the lips murmured. Then the shoulders appeared under the man’s neck, and a hand came up and lifted the Panama hat, which he fanned his face with. The man’s dark hair was long and full, tucked in tightly from the hat; it didn’t look rude or obnoxious because the style suited him. “Morimura… san? What are you doing here…?” With a clatter of footsteps the whole body appeared, a solid 190cm tall body in an elegant linen suit. He was holding a trunk that had customs stickers in one hand. Had he been traveling abroad…?
“Hey,” I smiled, or at least I thought I did. It was Kei Tounoin, the 22 year old unknown genius conductor who had dropped out of the Music Department of the National Fine Arts University — which he was accepted straight into — because he had ‘nothing more to learn’ after one year, and then he studied abroad in Germany and Austria. His present status was as the permanent conductor of the 2-Chome Phil, or Fujimi Orchestra, an amateur ensemble of people who love music. “I’ve been… waiting for a while…” I said in a raspy, shrill voice. Before I realized it was me speaking, I was folded into the chest of the suit that had quickly appeared. 
“Morimura-san! What’s going on? What the hell are you doing in a place like this?!” 
I was going to answer, but I lost consciousness…
--
When I woke up, I was in the water. At first I just felt vaguely cool and comfortable, when I heard a chuckle in my ear. My face was wiped with a cold towel dripping with water, and I opened my eyes. 
“Oh, you noticed,” The one who said this in a very relieved voice was Tounoin, who was looking right into my face from above. I tried to sit up, as I was using his arm as a pillow, but I heard a bang and realized I was lying in a Western-style bathtub filled with water. Completely naked.
“Wha-ah…” I jumped in shock.
Tounoin said in a serious voice, “I had to hurry to lower your temperature, it was over 40ºC.” I was relieved to hear that, but then my eyelids began to feel heavy… “Wait! Just one sip before you go to sleep,” he said with a panicked voice, and his arm snatched me up in a hug while he placed something hard and cold to my lips. A cup…? “You’re dehydrated, just drink as much as you can,” he said. Adam woke up and took a bite of the apple, but when I covered my crotch with my hand I felt even more embarrassed. “Sorry,” he said and shoved a thin object into my mouth. “It’s a thermometer,” he told me.
Tumblr media
When he saw the temperature dropped to 37º he let me lean back into the water. I noticed that the sleeves and chest of his expensive linen suit were soaked from where I was leaning against him. “I’m sorry… I feel lost… put it on…” when I mumbled with the thermometer in my mouth, Tounoin smiled.
“I’m glad you’re okay,” I was scared because I was afraid he was going to kiss me. But he only leaned in to read the thermometer. The door behind him slammed open, and he murmured, “It’s about time he got here.”
“How is it? Has it gone down a bit?”
“Seven degrees in one minute. I’ll move him to the room. Oh, can you get a bath towel for me from the cabinet over there? Two or three for the bed.”
“I should have brought a nurse,” said the man, opening the cupboard as he thrust his stethoscope into his pocket. Tounoin tried to pick me up, but I said I could walk myself. Both of them got irritated at me, thinking that I was just embarrassed. But the problem was the bed that I was brought to… two months ago, I was raped in this bed… but I couldn’t very well say that to Tonouin, who had taken care of me like a mother, nor to the doctor. After all, I don’t have a place to go home to, and I can’t look for an apartment until I get better.
“I’ll give you some glucose. You can still give him water. Basically the only medicine he needs is water and rest. Let him have some porridge when he has the energy to eat. I’ll come back tomorrow to see how it goes,” said the doctor, who left quickly after finishing his diagnosis.
I had enough energy to talk, “Are you related to that doctor?”
“He’s my uncle,” was the reply. I tried to tell him that there were pajamas in my bag, but he ignored me.
Instead, he pushed the dial button on the phone he pulled out from under the bed, but I couldn’t quite hear what he was saying. “Hello, this is Kei. No, from Fujimi… please tell him it will be a little while before I can come back. No, I have a guest.” As I listened I felt his voice soften, and it occurred to me that he had a family, too. I hadn’t thought about it before…
When I woke up after a good night’s sleep I felt much better. I put on my underwear and pajamas, went to the bathroom on my own, which also made me feel better. My precious violin had been placed on the shelf above the audio components. When I told Tounoin about my unfortunate situation, he expressed his deepest sympathy and said I could stay in his place for the time being.
“I can’t annoy you any more than I already have,” I said. He had taken care of me and slept on the floor so I could use his bed.
“I see…” he said, his tone of voice sounding slightly angry. “I don’t think it’s annoying.”
“Well, I think it will still be two or three more days until I can get everything sorted out. So I’m sorry for that.”
“Yeah. But there’s no rush, you can stay here until you have the energy to play the violin. Conductor’s orders.” I laughed, and Tounoin laughed too. He’s a handsome man, but with his usual expressionless face he looks dour and misanthropic. However when he smiles, he looks very youthful and friendly.
—-
It was the third day I had occupied Tounoin’s bed. I had been thinking that tomorrow I could go out and look for an apartment, but I fell asleep… I woke up in the middle of the night because of a faint sound of music, just a murmur. 'That is… that’s Tannhäuser,' I thought, the song that filled up this room when it was at full volume on the night two months ago, when Tounoin forcibly embraced me! ‘Oh my god!’ I thought, and felt like jumping to my feet. But my body stayed still like it was bound up by rope. No, I was holding my breath like a rabbit who had heard the snort of a wolf, who was stalking him. I stifled a gasp, then fearfully opened my eyes. 
The room was dark, illuminated only by moonlight streaming in through the window, where the blinds were lowered… Tounoin was in his usual place, looking like his usual self on the other side of the room: facing the console cross-legged with his back to the bed. The sound of Tannhäuser was leaking from his headphones. The broad shoulders of his back made me wince, and inwardly I took an escape stance. Tounoin raised his arms and folded his hands behind his neck, then slowly curled his body forward. He stayed like that for quite some time. I could only see his curled back as I secretly watched him, fighting the memories that came back to me no matter how hard I tried to push them away. I don’t want to remember, but why is it that inconvenient memories are so vivid? I was attacked and raped while this song was blaring at maximum volume… the feeling of his thing going into me, the pain of it tearing my ass and the sensation of my internal organs being pushed out of my mouth when he was penetrating me. The uncountable minutes of humiliation, feeling crazy, embarrassed, terrible… I felt unbearably miserable, I really want to be able to erase this from my memory! Of course I didn’t want to do it… but I had gasped and moaned, and he was saying, “I love you”... no way! I wish I was lying, but the facts are what they are. 
I don’t know why he’s listening to that song, but before I knew it the sound stopped, and the silence made me choke up even more. The sound of my heartbeat throbbed in my ears as I pressed my head into the pillow, and I was worried Tounoin would hear it. I swallowed hard… how long was the silence going to last? Tounoin, motionless as a stone, murmured faintly, “Yuuki… Yuuki…” in a piercing whisper. Then he took off the headphones and stood up. I shut my eyes quickly. I felt a presence approach the side of the bed, and the raggedness of his breathing was stifling. I tried my best to pretend to be asleep. Tounoin seemed to be staring down at me. “If… if he’s willing…” he said quietly.
I decided what I would do and how I would do it, but I was confused. If he comes at me like he did that other time, I’m going to punch him in the face and run away, but… can I do it? ‘I will!’ I shouted at myself. Tounoin is a good man, and he saved my life, but that’s one thing and this is another! It has to be different! Tounoin was still standing there. The tension in my throat was so great that I felt my face begin to flush, thanks to the struggle to stifle screaming and the feeling of wanting to leap out of bed. 
I thought I had reached my limit when I heard his baritone voice say, “I’m sorry…” and he softly ruffled my hair. I opened my eyes when I heard the footsteps move away from me and the sound of blankets being spread out. Tounoin was lying with his back to me on a blanket on the wooden floor, instead of his bed that he had given up for me. He knew. He knew that I was awake, that I was curious about him. He knew I was afraid that he might do something, even though Tounoin had sworn never to force me and was keeping his vow. I wanted to tell him I was sorry, but I was scared to do that because it would give him hope… if I made him want to try again, when he was trying to give up like a man…. well, honestly I was afraid of Tounoin. Our friendship was built on the thin ice of his self-control, and if I take one careless step and it cracks, I will be swallowed by the flames of his passion that are still burning underneath. I knew that for sure from that afternoon in July.
 I also knew that I couldn’t allow myself to succumb to pleasure in the arms of a man; I couldn’t forgive myself after my body confessed itself unintentionally. He had hugged me with arms that were free of lust and apologized. I had said ‘I understand, but I’m not going to be in a romantic relationship with a man no matter how much he loves me.’ He accepted it when I said those words, and then we settled down into the normal friendship I had hoped for… but the way Tounoin was fighting with himself now, the bitter battle between his true feelings and the pretense he showed me tonight, that was the truth. He only put on the ‘just a friend’ act for me, a false image that twisted his true feelings. I knew I had to snap out of it with an ‘I’m sorry,’ which I was able to say by pushing down my emotions through reason, but it was much more painful than I had expected. He said that we would go find an apartment tomorrow, and that was the scream of his suppressed emotions. I knew I shouldn’t have stayed here… I like Tounoin as a person, but I can’t accept him the way he wants me to. I’m like a fish laying in front of a cat, ready to be eaten. I can’t let him do this to himself anymore.
The next day we took a cab to the real estate office. I said we could walk, but Tounoin was adamant, so we drove. We actually went to four real estate agencies, but couldn’t find anything that I liked so decided to try again another day. While we were out I also went to the school I worked at, which was two stops away by train. The vice principal was there, and he expressed his deepest sympathies for my situation and gave me a new ID card after I had requested him to reissue it over the phone. I immediately went to the city hall, got my seal registration card and went to the bank. Tounoin asked the branch manager to check my bank account in a calm and unobtrusive tone, and got the answer that I should wait for a few days. The bank book with a balance of 637 yen was quickly reissued with a single three-sentence stamp, since he showed his passport and acted as my guarantor. It seemed my body was still not up to full condition since I fell asleep in the cab on the way home, which worried Tounoin a little. 
As soon as we got back Tounoin pushed me to go to bed, and then Ishida-san came to visit suddenly. It seems that Fujimi’s caretaker was very worried about me, since I had been missing since the fire. He said, “Well, I got a call from my landlord as soon as I came back from my vacation. He asked me if I knew where you had gone, so I called your family but they replied that you left them on the 12th. I didn’t say anything about the fire, I just told your sister that I had urgent business for Fujimi. Since the police assured us that nobody died in the fire, I didn’t want to worry her unnecessarily.” 
Come to think of it, Ishida-san was my guarantor for my apartment contract. “Thank you for everything,” I bowed my head from the bed. “I was going to call my sister after I found a new apartment,” I added, “But Tounoin didn’t think I should mention the mishap with the fire. It’s not really a nice thing to talk about, after all.” Ishida-san nodded in agreement. 
“It’s a good thing you have shelter right now. How is your cold?”
“I'm getting better. I’ve been troubling Tounoin-san a lot.”
“So, are you going to find an apartment?"
“It’s hard to find a cheap place where you can also practice violin.”
Ishida laughed, “I hope the landlord decides to rebuild, but he is getting old. I did hear that he will be compensated for the spread of the fire."
“That’s right, even though the landlord didn’t start the fire.”
“Well, that’s about it. So…” Ishida-san rummaged through the bag he brought with him. “There’s not much in there, but be careful when you open it,” he said, placing an envelope next to my lap.
“Oh no, no, you shouldn’t have.”
“It’s not much, just a gift. This is the kind of situation for it, after all. And you don’t need to give anything back in return; we’ve known each other for a long time, even if it doesn’t feel like it.” He smiled at me and sat up. “Are you going to stay here until you find an apartment?”
I was about to reply ‘no,’ but Tounoin said “Yes.” 
“That’s good. I’ll see you later, then. Is rehearsal still off for tomorrow?”
“No, I’ll go.”
“Oh, yes. Well, we can’t have rehearsal without Morimura-chan, and Tounoin-kun isn’t going to attend either. You don’t have to force yourself.” 
After Nico-chan left, looking busy, Tounoin and I had a disagreement about where I would stay until I found an apartment.
Tounoin said, “I’ll be staying at my parents’ place from tonight, so you can take your time finding an apartment.”
“That’s…! No, I’ll go to a hotel.”
“That would be a waste of money,” I choked up… it’s true that if the bank doesn’t figure out my situation, I’m penniless.
“But I can’t just kick you out of your own place…”
“It’s okay, I should be dutiful to my sponsors sometimes, after all.”
“Where’s your hometown?”
“Seijo.”
 Wow, a high-class residential area! “But then, won’t it take you nearly two hours to get here?”
“Well, yes.”
“I can’t bother you like that.”
“I told you, it’s not a bother.”
“But it’s definitely inconvenient.”
“It’s about time I slept on a decent futon anyway.”
“Well, let’s switch. I’ll sleep on the floor tonight.”
“You’re a sick man.”
“I’m better now!”
“Then why don’t you go for a run around the town?”
We were dancing around the subject, he knew it and I knew it. Tounoin wants to get out before his emotions get the better of him. I can’t make the man who saved my life leave his own apartment. But to hold him back would be to continue tormenting him… 'Oh, righteousness or humanity!' I thought, and then I realized that it wasn’t out of duty or courtesy that I wanted to keep him around, is it? It’s just my stubbornness, and that I don’t want to admit that I’m actually afraid of him….
“Okay,” I said. “I feel really bad for you, but if it makes you feel better…” 
Tounoin laughed with a huff, “I’m telling you that I don’t think you can sleep well with me around, so I’m removing myself.”
I was pissed off that he pointed out the truth so bluntly, “I trust you, don’t I?”
“Do you?” 
Now I was really annoyed, “So why don’t you sleep with me tonight?” I thought I’d lost it as soon as the words came out of my mouth, but I couldn’t unsay it. “If you don’t want to sleep on the floor, then sleep next to me. I don’t mind,” I told him, confident he would refuse.
“Oh, that’s a good idea,” he said with a sly smile.
“Then let’s go with that.” He smiled at me as I looked up at him, feeling like I had dug my own grave.
“I’m a better sleeper than Morimura-san.”
… Tounoin’s daily routine is that of somebody who is young and doesn’t have a regular job (I think, I never asked him about it), but is very precise. He wakes up at seven in the morning and has bread and coffee for breakfast. Then, he runs the washing machine and cleans the room with a rented mop. When he's done, he takes out a book or two from the cabinet full of scores, spreads them on his knees and studies them. He wasn’t playing recordings this time, but apparently just reading the music in his head; I had heard that only geniuses of Seiji Ozawa’s level could do that sort of thing without the assistance of an instrument. Usually you play piano or something at least. Conductors use the score, a book of music that contains all the parts of the orchestra (brass, woodwinds, strings, percussion), and each page has all the staves needed for the instrumental parts. The conductor’s job is to understand the flow of each part and how it interacts with the harmony in the complex combination as a whole. To be blunt, it was a task that my mind could never handle, but Tounoin apparently can construct it completely in his head. I knew he was a true genius. But of course, he didn’t seem to be doing it effortlessly either. He was doing it in his usual manner, with the score on his knees, but the level of tension and concentration was completely different from when he was reading with the recordings. He doesn’t talk to anyone, but I feel like I need to refrain from even breathing…
He does this from around eight o’clock, sometimes until the afternoon, without taking a break, and then would take a nap. After sleeping like a dead man for an hour, he would put on recordings in addition to reading the scores. Then he had dinner delivered from a restaurant (today while waiting for the food, he remembered the laundry and went to put it in the dryer), and after he finishes eating, goes back to playing recordings and score study.  He finishes up around twelve o’clock, takes a nightly bath, and goes to bed. He doesn’t have any sort of nightcap or alcohol; he was a man who lived a life completely immersed in music. 
I looked at the clock every five minutes, waiting for midnight to come. Well, maybe waiting wasn’t quite the right word, it was more like being in a state of trepidation. It was a little past midnight when Tounoin took off his headphones and turned the components off. He turned around to see if I was asleep (of course I pretended to be), turned off the light and walked past my side of the bed to the back door. Incidentally, this apartment is very well designed, except for the fact that the room isn’t square in shape. The first thing you see when you walk in is the audio equipment with five speakers that look like they cost a million yen. When you remove your shoes, you can see a large window at the other end of the room, and when you step inside the flooring is cork. The bed is at the far end of the room, and next to the double-sized bed there is a row of doors on the wall. The three closest to the entrance are cabinets full of musical scores. The fourth one leads to a cabin in the back, which houses a bathroom with a Western-style toilet, a storage area with laundry facilities, and a dining/kitchen area, all crammed into one functional space. 
After finishing his nightly studies, Tounoin went into the captain’s room for his usual bath, but he didn’t come out for a long time, while I waited and waited pretending to be asleep. He usually doesn’t take long baths, but it was over thirty minutes at least. Tired of nervously waiting, I actually dozed off instead of pretending, waking up when I felt the bed sink. Tounoin had laid down in the empty spot by the wall. He fidgeted a bit behind me with his back to me, but he soon quieted down. Then came the sign of someone who was satisfied with the comfort of sleeping. I couldn’t help but listen attentively to the sound of Tounoin’s breathing less than a meter away. If it didn’t switch to the sound of deeper sleep, I wouldn’t be able to sleep peacefully myself… but it wasn’t long before I started to hear his breathing slow and fall into a regular pattern. For now I was relieved, and was ready to fall asleep too. But… my mind was still racing and I couldn’t quiet it. It wasn’t that I wasn’t tired, but I hadn’t been out of the apartment in days, and even if my body is tired my mind is so sharp that it refuses to sleep. And then the more impatient I am to sleep, the more I hear Tounoin’s sleeping breath, the smell of his shampoo, and other things poking at my consciousness that brought back memories from that night and afternoon. This man who suddenly revealed himself as a passionate person, who attacked me and stole me away, when I had only known him as an impudent and calm conductor… this man who plucked my pride and twisted my flesh into a type of affair I’d never known… this man with wide shoulders, a broad chest and strong arms, that held me captive and dominated me, stopping me from challenging him with his strength…
For a moment, I remembered the feeling of something thick and hot ramming into my ass. I twitched, and at the same time I realized that my penis was on the verge of rising. Why is my body in such a state of rebellion against my will? How was it that a  single, forced experience made me a homosexual who wants a man? But… but… smelling Tounoin’s scent… his presence… is what causes this change in my body. He already understood, I convinced him that I can’t be his lover, and he has not laid a finger on me as promised. I...I...I… stiffened at the sound of a sigh behind me.
“What’s wrong? Can’t sleep?” The sleepy voice had a faint hint of a teasing smile. The bed creaked as he turned over, and then Tounoin fell asleep with a swoosh. 
‘Damn it!’ I thought. I was supposed to be worried that he would break the chains of his reason! Yes, I was. He really wanted to have sex with me, but out of concern that he couldn’t keep his vows he was going to stay at his parents’ house. Because I hinted at that, his vain counterattack was this accusation that I didn’t trust him. The rest was just saying words for words’ sake, but… okay, I’ll buy it. I’ll buy it. I’m determined to see how much more of this you can take, until you give up! But if you lose it and come after me, I’ll laugh my ass off and ask what happened to your vows! Yeah, that’s right, I’m going to laugh about it. Once my mind was made up, all I had to do was sleep. Oh yeah, I’ll laugh it up. He’s going to get a real good night’s sleep…
I woke up twice in the night. Why is that? ‘I’m a better sleeper than you…’ get out of here with that kind of joke!
I woke up in a daze. It was cool and chilly, and I nuzzled my nose into the warmth in front of my face. I heard, “Good morning.”
“Mmm…” I replied softly. Huh? 
The warmth was the chest of Tounoin’s pajamas, and I had slept hugging him! I tried to sit up, but he pulled my head back and said, “Now do you understand? I have confidence in my ability to reason,” reminding me of what I had thought before I fell asleep. I steeled myself to prepare for an escape. 
“Yes, but you’re not a good sleeper, are you?”
 Tounoin laughed, “I’ll be as careful as possible.” Now I’m sure you’ll be sleeping with me as long as I’m here. Don’t start barking now that your tail is out, wolf… I’m perfectly fine with it. But the AC is so low in this room that it feels good to be together… I’m in trouble… I fell asleep again and was woken up for lunch, and I felt embarrassed. 
In the afternoon the two of us went out to look for an apartment again, but we didn’t find anything that day either. I withdrew my requirement for being able to practice the violin. I was satisfied with my modest request to be able to afford the rent, and making sure it was in Fujimi-cho, not too far from the station. But I couldn’t even find one that would satisfy those modest wishes. Most of the apartments in Fujimi-cho are bedroom-focused, and the emphasis on family units seemed to be a bottleneck. I didn’t mind living in an apartment with one or more baths, but the rent was accordingly expensive…
 I had a Fujimi rehearsal in the evening, but I was tired from visiting real estate agencies. But I had promised Ishida-san that I would attend, so I started preparing in the evening. I realized that if I don’t play for a day, I can’t move my fingers the following day. Aside from the right hand that uses the bow, the left hand has to play on the strings almost of its own accord. To make up for a week’s absence of practicing, I spent three hours before heading to the Civic Center. But… fuck! This is just Allegro! Why can’t I move my fingers better than this?
“Morimura-san.”
Oh, I’m depressed, I missed it again. And it’s in such an easy position…
“Morimura-san!” He shouted in my ear. I looked up to see Tounoin looking down calmly. 
“Go ahead, I’ll be on my way shortly.”
“Are your clothes OK? If you want to change…”
“No, thank you. It’s fine, it’s fine.” I only had two sets of clothes in my travel bag, and the ones I was wearing at the moment were procured by Tounoin because he thought it would be inconvenient to keep wearing the same clothes. He has good taste.
“So, we should leave soon. We can stop at Fujimi on the way home for dinner.”
“Yeah,” I nodded and thought to myself, is he acting like my guardian? Yeah… he is.
Fujimi’s summer vacation lasted ten days, and I returned on the second rehearsal after the vacation. I was escorted (or so it appeared) by Tounoin. We stepped into the main conference room of the Civic Center and got down to business as usual. I took out the folding chairs from the storage area and arranged them, took out the folding table and arranged it, then the tuner and checked the batteries… Tounoin helped me quietly, and when he was done he disappeared to somewhere else. 
The first person to arrive was Ishida-san with his double bass, “Well, you’ve come out after all.” Apparently he had come to set up the venue in my stead. Everybody else seemed to come very quickly as well, and when they came up to talk to me they all knew about the fire in my apartment. I shouldn’t have felt annoyed that they were worried about me, but I also felt embarrassed, so I just said, “Thank you” and “It’s okay.” Kawashima-san also came to give her condolences.
“I was worried when I heard from my mother that you called me. Where on earth did you go…?” as she said this, the beautiful flutist looked at me with a puzzled expression. She knows about my relationship with Tounoin, except she stopped short of saying anything out loud.
I took the initiative, “Yes, actually, I’m staying at Tounoin-san’s right now,” Ishida-san knew about it, anyway. I added firmly, “In a clean and respectable way, as a housemate.”
Kawashima ran her white fingers through her pretty hair, “So are you still following the trend?”
“Of course not! I’m not gay!” 
Kawashima-san cut me off, chuckling, “I’m sorry, I have to admit I have a little grudge against you, so I felt like teasing.” It was a one-way love triangle between me, Kawashima-san and Tounoin. I was in love with Kawashima-san, she fell in love with Tounoin at first sight, and Tounoin fell in love with me… then I was dumped by Kawashima-san, she was rejected by Tounoin, and of course I have no intention of becoming a lover to a man. But it was a joking manner of resentment. After all, she’s the one that keeps trying to get me and Tounoin together. She seems to think homosexual couples are ‘trendy,’ but you know… a man and a man bedding together is just an awful sight. 
That evening we were supposed to be finishing up Finlandia, which we’ve been working on since last month… I took a break, and hadn’t touched my violin for a week. I looked at Igarashi-kun, the student cellist, and thought, ‘Well… let's see.’ I clapped my hands to get his attention. “Since everybody seems to be ready, can we try playing the part together? Strings, let’s do all the strings together and all the winds together. Timpani, please join the winds. Kaizuka-san, please take the lead of the wind section.” 
The principal oboe raised her hand to gather the other winds, and I joined the string group, taking advantage of the rattling and rearranging. “Ichiyama-san,” I called the second violin leader. “I’m sorry, but I need you to be the leader today.”
“But Concertmaster, why are you stepping down?”
“I haven’t played for a week, so my fingers are completely rusty. I want to get back in shape before Tounoin-san gets here. Sorry to be so selfish.” Ichiyama, who was an accounting manager of a construction company in the next town, nodded seriously. 
“I heard you were sick in bed with a cold. How are you feeling now?”
“Better, thanks.”
Igarashi-kun smiled at me as I joined the circle. He was especially happy, but everyone was already tired of practicing the monotonous long notes. The winds began to play and Ichiyama-san frowned. “I can’t hear very well,” he said. For the next forty minutes, until eight o’clock, we concentrated on uniting the string section.
“Stop, stop! We have to listen to each other more. If the string parts are not played like a single instrument, it will be more disjointed when we put it together with the winds. Then, let’s take it from bar 32.” The group with the timpani added to the woodwinds and brass seemed to be working hard to create the right harmony, playing and stopping. Playing and stopping. I had been able to instruct them on the right way to practice.
“Sorry,” said Nico-Chan, scratching his head. Ishida-san, who held the title of ‘Fujimi Citizen’s Symphony Orchestra Caretaker,’ had been sentenced by his wife to have his instrument taken away when he almost destroyed his main business, Mozart coffee shop, because he was so devoted to Fujimi. As a relief measure for the situation when we lost our bass player, we won her pardon so he could return to playing after almost ten years of being benched. He couldn’t help that he couldn’t produce a solid sound, but Ichiyama-san had been a friend of Ishida-san’s since the formation of Fujimi, and therefore had a relationship that allowed them to complain freely. Ishida-san apologized and tried his best to meet the order of playing ‘crisply’ in a serious manner. This was one of the things I liked about Fujimi, how in the family-like atmosphere warnings and advice were exchanged very naturally. We were all getting better together while having fun.
“Morimura-chan,” Ichiyama-san’s voice made me turn around. “You’ve got a lot of tension in your shoulders.”
“Oh, yes,” I lowered my violin and did some exercise with my shoulders. I’m getting really stiff.
“So, let’s start at measure forty-eight,” It’s really wonderful to have such colleagues, I thought. Oh, I’m in tune… yes, it’s going well. Eventually, at exactly the right time, Tounoin walked through the door after his five-minute observation and climbed up on the podium. I wondered where he had gone off to; I had thought he was going to be there for the earlier part of the rehearsal since he came over with me. Then I realized something: could it be that he did it for me? I didn’t mind at all, but it's true that I didn’t want it to be obvious that we had come to rehearsal together. 
I was packing up to leave after Tounoin’s usual, ‘We’re done’ when Igarashi-kun came up to me, looking like he wanted to talk. 
“So I heard that you were laid up for a while,” Igarashi is a current student in the cello department of the local music university, who started school the same year I graduated. He’s a cute guy who looks up to me for some reason. He’s talented, motivated, and cheerful, and also tends to be the ‘mood-maker’ in Fujimi.
“I caught a cold when I got stuck without a place to stay,” I replied, “But I’m all better now. Why?” I opened the floor for him.
“Actually…” he scratched his head, “The thing is… I’ve been ordered by the orchestra director to transcribe some music. It’s for a program in next month’s school festival, and it’s due tomorrow. I gathered my friends and we worked hard, but we still have a third of the score left to do.”
“Haha… what’s the piece?”
“A symphony composed by Kitagawa, a senior student in the composition department. It’s long and complicated.”
“Then you shouldn’t have come to rehearsal tonight.”
“If I didn’t take a break from it, I’d be dead by now. I’ve been up all night for two days and still haven’t finished.”
“So are you trying to get another cat’s paw?” Igarashi rubbed the back of his head as I talked.
“Sempai, please. I’ll get you midnight snacks and breakfast!” 
Transcribing music is literally copying music, but not the easy way with the photocopier. What Igarashi and his friends were doing was creating parts from the conductor’s score, the music that represents the entire piece. However, for each player in the orchestra the score is inconvenient, since all the notes of the instruments are written in the music, and each page only consists of four to six measures per page, requiring frequent page turns. So for the performers, a part must be made from the score, a transcription of the part from the general score, and it must be done for each instrument; for first violin the first violin part, oboe for the oboe, percussion for percussion. Of course, for major works by popular composers such as Mozart, Beethoven and Toshiro Mutsu, the publishers give you both the score and parts if you buy them (or if there are copyright restrictions, you can rent them for a fee) — or copy them if you can get away with it. However, the ones that Igarashi and his colleagues are working on are by a student composer, with only the original score to work with…
In other words, the only option was to take the score and write out the parts, which I had done many times. The ‘Freude Orchestra’ was formed as a music college club, and had a tradition of playing newly composed pieces by fellow students mixed in with regular concert programming. In Fujimi, whenever I needed to make my own arrangements for missing parts, I was the one to do the transcribing (Nico could do the arranging as well, but as a busy coffee shop owner he usually didn’t have time to do it). So I know firsthand the difficulty Igarashi and the others are facing. 
“Okay, I’ll help you out,” I answered. “Where have you been working on it?”
Igarashi looked relieved, “In my apartment, we only have the string parts left to do.”
“Is it a good piece?”
“It’s not bad. Mayuzumi said it was a great work, but…”
“Hahaha!” I realized that the only people left in the practice room were me, Igarashi and Tounoin, and everything but the chair I was sitting on had been put away. I told the tall conductor, “I’m going to go with Igarashi-kun to help him with some transcribing right now, so please go home first.” He stared at me for a moment and nodded. He quickly left the room. “I’m staying with him for right now, since I haven’t been able to find a reasonable apartment,” I explained.
“Oh…” Igarashi nodded. After that, I felt like he was secretly biting back a laugh, but that was probably my paranoia. “Well, you really saved my life. I was wondering what I would do if Morimura-san refused me.” 
I finally escaped, didn’t I? But while listening to Igarashi’s smiling voice, I was thinking of how Tounoin’s back looked somewhat depressed as he walked away. It’s not a bad feeling to have somebody worry about you, but he’s being overly protective. I’m a full-grown man, I can take care of myself. I don’t need a guardian anymore.
—-
Igarashi’s apartment was on the third floor of a newer reinforced concrete building, just a few blocks from my old place that had burned down. The room, which was about six tatami mats with a kitchen, was fairly clean, and two exhausted-looking coworkers were waiting for Igarashi to return with his helper.  The windows were open and the air was a bit stuffy, but there was no fan running. A pile of staff paper scattered about the room was the reason why they couldn’t have any inadvertent breeze.
“This is Kikuchi on clarinet and Oyama on piano.” Kikuchi was a small man with pouty lips that looked like the type of person who would play clarinet. Both of them were dressed in running shirts and pants, and their eyes were red, their faces full of stubble and fatigue.
“I’m Morimura. How many more pages do you have to do?” The symphony, titled Yuguna, is a large work with a performance time of fifty minutes, filled with waves of sixteenth notes mixed with thirty-second notes in modulation after modulation, a characteristic of modern music. I could tell from a glance of the score that it was a difficult piece. However, I could see a glimpse of talent in the unique melodic quality of the phrases, which was probably why it was chosen as the piece for the Freude Orchestra’s regular concert. But...I put my face close to the handwritten copy. Is that a C? Or is it a D?...D apparently… it’s hard to tell.
“It’s hard enough to read, isn’t it?”
“I think you should probably re-write the whole score while you’re at it,” I said, and the atmosphere quieted down. I realized that I had lost my mind. Damn it, these people…
“Well, I guess Kitagawa-kun will conduct, so I’ll just leave it at that.”
 I tried to recover my position, but then one of them said, “Yoshida is the senior in the conducting department, he’s going to conduct it…”
“So…”
“I’ll take care of the conductor’s score.” Igarashi’s face lit up as I said it with a sacrificial look of resignation.
“I’ll do the second violin,” Kikuchi said, “Who’s gonna take cello?”
“I don’t mind doing the cello part,” Oyama said, staring at the copy of the score, “Just the cello.”
“How much time do we have?”
 I flipped through the part, trying to assess how long I thought it would take, when Igarashi said in a small voice, “I promised to have it done by nine o’clock…”
“... in the morning, right?”
“Hahaha, well…”
“So we’ve only got ten hours! What are you waiting for? Staff paper! Pens!” There was no point in transcribing music if you can’t make it accurate and legible. And most of the time, you have to race against the clock.
I started with the first violin part, one of the two that I had been assigned. There is only one conductor’s score, but there are eighteen violins in a full orchestra. Priority was given to the many. I wrote in the note heads as fast as I could, going back and adding the stems after I had written a few measures' worth. Then I wrote the accidentals as needed — oops, it’s in B-flat from here. Damn it, I don’t want anybody to get keystroke from… for moving chords around so much. It’s a six-bar break, not five. Oh, is it natural or sharp? No, it’s natural. Hey, is that an E or an F or… uh… 
“Igarashi-kun,” I called out to him from halfway across the table, where he was focused on his own work.
Without looking up, Igarashi placed something in front of me. It was dice.
“Is this..?”
“If it’s an even number, it’s E.”
“So you want me to roll the dice to decide which pitch it is? That’s random…” I mumbled, and began to examine the chords to try and draw a conclusion from their spelling.
“Iga, give me the dice,” said Kikuchi, who was behind me using a beer container as a desk. Igarashi tossed him the dice.
“I need them too,” said Oyama, who was also using a makeshift desk next to me.
“What, you’re all doing it that way? You’re lousy transcribers, aren’t you?”
Kikuchi muttered to me as he rolled the dice for Oyama, “I’m sure Morimura-san will figure out why soon enough.”
I knew that if I had to guess and interpret every chord, I would never make the deadline in time. Damn it, if it’s difficult, it’s probably a great piece. I don’t get this music at all! I started working on it about ten o’clock, and it was past midnight when I finished the violin part with the measure numbers written in. I skipped checking the music at this point and started transcribing the whole score. If there were any mistakes, they could find them in rehearsal and if not, then it’ll be what it is. After all, I had to finish this thick book of sheet music by eight o’clock at the latest… But let’s be real, this is impossible! It’s physically not possible to do in seven hours what it would take three people like Igarashi and his team two days and nights to do. But we had to get whatever we could done. As I wrote the names of the parts on the second sheet of the score, I called out to Igarashi, “The piano parts are done. I can’t finish the score by nine o’clock, but I’ll do as much as possible.”
“You’ve finished the violin part already?”
“Really? Wow, that’s fast!” Igarashi picked up the completed part. “I can’t believe this is handwritten! Morimura-san, you could make a living as a transcriber!”
“What? Which one? Wow, that’s great.”
“That’s true, the first violinists are lucky.”
“Ah…” I didn’t have time to be happy even if they praised me. Okay, brass is done. Next is…. but it’s so hot, even with the windows open, because there’s no breeze coming in. The rest of them were wearing only their underwear; they had told me to take mine off too, and I would feel better. So I took my shirt off, though I wasn’t wearing underwear so I was only naked on top, but it’s only guys here anyway. 
I was writing out the harp section on page 43 when I heard, “Oh, it’s finally done!” Oyama exhaled a deep breath and suddenly fell back onto the tatami floor. “It’s already four o’clock and I’m starving,” he said and rummaged through the bag from the convenience store that was left there.
“There’s a ramen if you want it,” replied Igarashi, still moving his pen.
“If you make it for me, I’ll eat it.”
“What about you, Morimura-san?” He asked me. I was about to answer ‘no’ when I remembered that I had skipped dinner, and I was almost at the limit of my energy with my stiff shoulders.
“I’ll eat. I missed dinner.”
“So you want me to make two?”
“No, just one.” I quickly sipped the cup of ramen while reading the rest of the score, and returned to my writing. As I started the fiftieth page, Kikuchi announced that he was done with his work. As soon as he finished his ramen, he flopped down beside Oyama, who had fallen asleep, and he did the same.
“So depressed that they’re done already,” muttered Igarashi. Oyama was snoring, Kikuchi had a peaceful sleeping breath, and the sound of Igarashi and my pens running on the paper… the smell of ramen and the sweat of tired young people… I noticed a cool breeze coming through the window, and when I raised my eyes it was light outside. I breathed in the brief freshness that comes between the tropical night and a hot day. Now only a hundred pages to go.
When Igarashi packed his and the other’s finished bunches of parts into paper bags and left the apartment, I was still wrestling with a job that would take another six hours. The sun was on the way up. The hot room was somehow even hotter; sweat dripped from my hair as I bent over the staff paper, so I wrapped a towel around my head. It trickled down my bare chest and armpits, even on the back of my hand. Sweat gushes out in beads no matter how much I wipe it off, making the pen slip in my hand. I took a short break when I had just started the 100th page. In order to reduce the remaining 50 pages as much as possible, I did one more page in the three minutes I was waiting for the cup o’noodles to be ready, but it took me longer than I thought it would, and the ramen turned into udon. 
As I slurped down the bloated noodles, I thought about how I was too good-natured. I felt like an idiot for staying up all night on a job that has nothing to do with me or Fujimi… speaking of which, I wonder if Tounoin was worried about me. But at this hour, it would be an imposition to make a phone call, and I don’t even know his phone number in the first place… well, it should be ok, I already mentioned that I was doing the transcription, and he should know that it’s a time-consuming job. I finished the soup, drank two glasses of Aquarius to rehydrate myself, and took up the pen to resume work. Ahh, my hands hurt, my eyes are tired… but if I rested now, I wouldn’t be able to finish the job. Give me strength… I wrote the last symbol on the last page, and the long, long job was done. Eighteen hours of work! My fingers were so stiff they creaked when I tried to put the pen down. I took off my glasses, which felt like they were burrowing into my nostrils, and placed them on top of the finished score. I was tired~
Igarashi and his friends had not returned yet. Come to think of it, he said he had rehearsal in the evening. It’s hard for the underclassmen when they’re overworked by their seniors… I was going to just leave my score behind and go back to Tounoin’s place, but when I laid down to stretch my back — which was stiff as a board — I didn’t want to get up again. I decided to sleep while looking after the house until Igarashi returned. Feeling my tired body falling asleep, I patted myself on the back for a job well done. 
I smelled food and drink. The sound of voices, sometimes loud and sometimes guttural. It sounded like I was in the middle of a drinking party. I turned over in my sleep, thinking it was too noisy.
“Oh, Morimura-san, are you awake?” I heard Igarashi’s voice say, and felt him come over to look at me. I pretended to still be asleep. They were probably celebrating being done with the transcription, but right now I wanted to sleep more than drink.
“Morimura-san, we have Oden. Hey, Morimura-san.” I didn’t want it, just let me sleep.
“No, he won’t wake up,” I heard Igarashi say to his friends.
“Ah, well he’s a great person. Did you see the score? He rewrote it down to the last page. I admire him,” Kikuchi replied.
“He’s a very serious person, he never makes mistakes on the violin. He practices like a pro, I bet.”
“And he’s cute, too…” Oyama’s voice said, “I didn’t notice it until I saw him sleeping just now. So amazing.” His speech was slurred, so clearly he was drunk.
“Hey, Oyama, don’t be weird,” Igarashi said with a laugh.
“What do you mean ‘weird’? Beethoven and Karajan had male lovers. Genius lives in homosexuality,” after making this startling counterargument, he seemed to stand up.
“Hey Oyama, sit down,” Igarashi said.
“Hehe, just look at him,” he said, and inwardly I frowned as I felt liquored breath on my face. “The more I look at him, the more attractive he is… so cute. Haha, he has such a beautiful chest… and smooth skin… and perky nipples.”
“Hey if Morimura-san wakes up he’s going to kick your ass!” Kikuchi yelled. Oh, I’ll kick his ass alright.
“Beethoven, Karajan… why are you making up that kind of bullshit?”
“Someday you’re gonna get killed, saying that kind of stuff.”
“It’s not bullshit, and I’m a genius. When I see a guy like this I get so horny… he’s so sexy...” The reason I didn’t take action until the person speaking slammed into me was because I was just too tired to bother moving.
“Whoa!” It wasn’t me who screamed, but Igarashi and Kikuchi. My mouth was blocked by the boozy lips stuck to my face. As I struggled, Oyama gasped and said, “You look so sexy, ahh…” as he groped my chest and stomach.
“You idiot! Stop it! Stop it!”
“Oyama, goddamn it, stop!” The two of them were yelling and trying to pull Oyama off of me. 
I twisted Oyama’s ear, which he grabbed with his struggling hand, then I slapped him as hard as I could in the face.“You perverted son of a bitch!” I shouted and glared at him. 
Oyama looked at me soberly, “This… you! You hit me! I’ll fuck you up!!”
“Oyama! That’s enough!”
“I’m sorry Morimura-san, so sorry!”
“Dammit, let me have a shot at him!” Oyama yelled, and still tried to grab at me while being pinned down by Igarashi and Kikuchi. I almost punched him, but I thought twice about it when I noticed a poster of some chamber music group on the wall behind Oyama. That’s right, I’m a violinist, and my hands are my most important tool. I looked around and saw a bottle of wine. I grabbed it in my other hand and swung it over Oyama’s head; he thought I was going to crack his skull, and Igarashi held up his hands in surprise. But what I threw at his head was… alcohol. After I emptied the contents of the bottle on Oyama’s head, I threw the bottle down.
“There, I’ve cooled you down a bit, asshole!” I spat at him between my clenched teeth. I glanced at the three rigid men and put on the clothes I had taken off. Damn it, if I had known I’d get mixed up in something like this, I wouldn’t have agreed to do anything. I stepped into my sneakers and opened the door.
“Oh, Morimura-san, please wait!” Igarashi dashed after me, but I ignored him. “Sorry, I’m so sorry! I’m really sorry this happened after you helped me so much. I’m sorry!” Igarashi was crying. “When he gets drunk he turns into a monster, but he usually doesn’t do that sort of thing! I’ve never seen him do anything like that before.”
“So are you saying it’s my fault?” Igarashi fell silent for a moment when I sprayed him with the cold anger that was inside me. I looked at him sideways. Igarashi followed me and wept with a crumpled face. I sighed and stopped. “...I know it’s not your fault. I can’t tell you not to worry about it, though.”
“I’m sorry…!” Igarashi squeaked out and sobbed. “Oh I… I can’t go to Fujimi anymore.”
“...are you saying you’re going to make the cello section vacant?”
“No, because I…”
It came out of nowhere. The blood that had been frozen in the pit of my stomach shot up to my head and I yelled as loud as I could, “Don’t be stupid! Don’t you dare waste that shit score I just transcribed for you! And now I’m repaid by getting teased by a drunk and being told that our only cello is quitting? Do you think I’m an idiot?”
Igarashi’s eyes darted as he looked up at me, mumbling, “I’m sorry...I’m sorry…”
“It’s all right, as long as you understand,” I said, and walked away. I thought how the tone of voice I used was like Tounoin’s. Come to think of it, Tounoin… is he worried? It was already night again, and I had left my watch in Igarashi’s apartment, but it was too late to go back. I hurried through the humid night, passing by the convenience store near the apartment. Remembering that I was hungry, I turned around. No, wait, I don’t have any money.  But I went ahead and took a peek at the clock at the cash register before I turned the corner again; just before one o’clock… ‘I wonder if Tounoin is asleep,’ I thought, and then I realized: I don’t have my keys. I still haven’t made another spare since I lost the last one, and the last time I left the apartment I was with Tounoin, so I didn’t realize that I would need it. I’m in trouble… guess I’ll have to camp outside of the door again…
I knocked several times, but there was no answer and the door didn’t open. I twisted the knob, hoping that it would work — the door was unlocked. It was dark in the cool, air-conditioned room, and Tounoin seemed to have fallen asleep. Feeling like a curfew-breaking teenager, I stealthily took off my shoes and entered the room, trying to dampen the sound of my footsteps. Tounoin was in the bed, asleep. I slipped my violin case on the shelf and walked quietly to open the door of the cabin without making any noise. I took a quick shower (the hot water needs some time to come out, but I didn’t want to wake up Tounoin), changed into my pajamas, and crept into the kitchen to get at least a piece of bread. I found a sandwich from the convenience store sitting on the table, a box of cup soup, a cup and a pot of hot water. As I took a bite, my heart was filled with a sincere feeling. ‘You’re a good guy, Tounoin…’ as my rumbling stomach settled down, I was ready to forget about what stupid Oyama had done to me, that damn drunk. I turned off the lights in the cabin and snuck back into the main room. I slipped into the space Tounoin had left open for me, and breathed a sigh of relief.
I heard a half-asleep voice say, “Oh… you’re back…”
“Yeah,” I replied.
“Did you finish the transcription?”
“It was an all-nighter, eighteen hours of work.”
“...are you okay?”
“Yeah, I just want to go to sleep.”
“Good night.”
“Good night,” I said, and I fell asleep right away… around what seemed to be dawn I woke up because it was cold, but it was too much effort to get up and turn off the air conditioner, so I chose to huddle closer to the warmth that was near me. It was so warm… Tounoin seemed to notice and hugged my shoulder, but I was already drifting back to sleep so I didn’t know, and didn’t care. I’m not sure if it’s because I trusted that I would be safe with Tounoin, or because I believed he was different from Oyama and that narcissistic, violent homosexual Yasaka. 
The next day was super, as if all the bad luck I had been having was turned upside-down. It was literally my lucky day. First of all, the manager of the bank came to visit me with a gift. He told me that due to a computer processing error, my salary — which should have been deposited into my account — had been transferred to another customer’s account. The manager bowed his grasshopper-like bald head and said, “Please keep this matter to yourself.” He left me a noshi envelope with a greeting card and a brush writing on it. Inside was two months of my salary. I showed it to Tounoin.
“This is how much they gave.” 
He sniffed in frustration, “I’m not sure if that is adequate compensation for their part in causing these difficulties.”
“Well, yes, but it’s all over now…”
“If that’s what you want, then it’s not my place to tell you otherwise.”
“But I feel bad, you know… crashing in front of your apartment and all…”
“I was happy to do it,” Tounoin said, turning away from me with a sigh. I remembered that I needed to find a new apartment as soon as possible; I felt bad staying here forever. 
The second lucky break came at a real estate agency in a neighboring town, where I went separately from Tounoin.
“There’s a one-bedroom and bath for 40,000 yen, a three-year old condo on the 6th floor.”
“In Fujimi-cho?” I was about to jump for it without question, but the old owner’s eyes flashed behind his glasses.
“To be honest, it’s been hard to keep occupied. Since this past April, three people have already left within a month of each other.”
“No way… did somebody just move out again?” The realtor shook his head in disbelief. 
“The person in the apartment above play music loudly at all hours of the night and day. But you can’t complain about it, because it’s occupied by the landlord’s son, so you know…”
What? Could that be…? “Is it a tall apartment building down the corner from a convenience store…?”
“Oh, do you know it? It belongs to the bank president, so the facilities are top-notch, but just that one room on the 6th floor has been vacant since June. The floor is the only part that isn’t soundproof, and nobody could stand the ‘noise’ coming from the ceiling. So the rent has been discounted by 80,000 yen.”
“How big is it?” The realtor gave me a look like I shouldn’t ask, but told me that it was a Japanese-style eight-tatami-mat room with a four-and-a-half-tatami dining and kitchen. It also had AC and heating. “I’ll take it,” I said. “40,000 for a one bedroom with bath, AC and background music is too good to be true, I’d even put up with a ghost or two.”
“Well, if you say so…” the agent pulled out a contract with a face that said ‘Don’t come crying to me later.’ The name on the rental contract was ‘Inmitsu Tounoin.’ I thought of an old gentleman with gray hair, but if he was Tounoin’s father he couldn’t be that old. Rent can be paid via bank transfer; so, he’s the son of a banker, I knew he wasn’t a commoner. I’ve got three months’ deposit and money for the key, plus rent for this month and next month thanks to the ‘condolences’ money from the bank —but that’s a small price to pay for luck. “Ah, also I’d like you to get a guarantor.” The agent pointed to a blank space on the contract, “Here’s where your name and address are, please put your seal here.”
“Is it okay if I bring it back in a couple of days?”
“Yes, that’s fine. Here’s the address. Oh, right, you know where it is, don’t you? Now, the key.”
I took the key and asked, “Which bank president is the landlord?”
“Fujimi Bank, sir?” He looked at me like he couldn’t possibly not know the president of a long-established bank in this area. 
“Oh… and that’s located in…”
“It’s in Seijo. But I’m the property manager. If you need anything, don’t hesitate to ask me.” It seems that I wouldn’t have a chance to cross paths with Tounoin’s father; I was a little curious what kind of person he is. On my way home, I stopped by Ishida-san’s Mozart. 
“Oh, in Tounoin’s building?” He smiled and said, “Well, I’m glad you found a nice place.” He smiled and said, “Since you found an apartment…” he pulled out a cardboard box from under the counter. It was full of sheets, towels, tea bowls, cups, pots and pans… “Kawashima-san is indeed a solid office worker. She made a ‘list of items needed to reconstruct a house’ rather than just gathering donation money, asked people to give their unused items from their houses, and it turned out to be enough for a whole house. That was the idea.”
Tumblr media
“She’s going to make a great wife, I’m sure.” She knew that I’d mind if it was money, so she collected practical items. The fish that gets away is always big… “Um, so, could I get some coffee vouchers?”
“You don’t have to give anything back in return.”
“Yes, but I want to give something to Tounoin-san.”
“Oh, I see. So you want some coffee coupons?”
“It’s practical, isn’t it? Please, I’ll take three books of ten vouchers.” Ishida-san smiled a little apologetically; I’m sure that he knows I’m buying them as a way to repay him for the money he gave me when he visited.
“By the way, I’d like to talk to you about something,” Ishida-san stepped up to the counter, changing from owner of Mozart to that of Fujimi caretaker, “For our next piece, why don’t we do Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto?”
“A violin concerto?” 
Ishida-san looked around quickly and whispered with conspiratorial enthusiasm, “I got the hall reserved at the Civic Center. There was a cancellation for Sunday, November 27th.”
“So… would it be a regular concert?”
“Not anymore, it would be a proper concert.”
“Oh, are you sure we have enough time to prepare?” Ishida-san nodded smugly as I was leaning over the counter.
“I was thinking that we should do it this year, now that we have Tounoin-san with us. I really wanted to do it after New Year’s, but I heard that the hall would be under renovation from January to May. I happened across that cancellation, so I jumped at the chance even though I was a bit busy.”
“Yes, I’ll do it, I’ll do it.”
“So I thought I’d like to include the Mendelssohn.”
“That sounds great! But… what about the soloist?”
“There’s already one,” Ishida-san pointed at me.
“Me…? I’ll be the soloist?”
“Icchan agrees.” Come on…
“But we’ve never done a piece with a solo before…”
“So that’s why we should do it. It’s good for us to do one once and awhile.”
“But then what about the first violins…”
“We have Goto-chan, Miyake-chan, Kijima-san, Nitta-san, Yoshiko Suzuki-san, Hirota-san… why don’t you ask Haruyama-san to join from the seconds?”
“Then the second violins would be Ichiyama-san, Higashi-san, Hirai-san…”
“Seven people would be enough, right?”
“Yes, in terms of just numbers…” but when it came to balance of competence...
The door chime rang and a group of housewives walked in, and Ishida-san turned to welcome them and prepare some glasses of water. “Well, you should think about it, and discuss it with Tounoin-kun.”
“Yes, I’ve always wanted to do a concerto, but…”
“All the strings were saying that they wanted Morimura-chan to do a solo.”
“Hah...haha.”
—-
On my way home my feet were skipping lightly. ‘We can have a concert, we can have a concert. For the first time in two years, Fujimi can have a concert!’ I ran around the corner, bounded up the stairs and opened the door with my freshly made spare key. The sound of the Brandenburg Concerto hit me, but I was deaf to it today.
“Tounoin! Tounoin! I slid down on my knees in front of him, where he was sitting cross-legged in his usual spot. “We’re having a concert! November 27th!”
Tounoin made a gesture of ‘I can’t hear you, please wait’ and went to stop the music. As soon as the sound stopped, I repeated myself, “A concert has been scheduled! Sunday, November 27th, Shimin Kaikan Hall! Ishida-san was able to get a date because of a cancellation, and asked me if I wanted to play the Mendelssohn Violin Concerto!”
Tounoin looked at me from in front of the console, and I realized that I was very excited in contrast to his calm demeanor. My face flushed. “No, but do you know, it’s been two years since we had a concert.”
“November?” Said Tounoin in a cold voice.
“I know it’s soon, so it’s going to be hard, but it’s at the end of the month… so it’s about three months away, right?
Tounoin’s complexion softened, “It depends on how we do it. I don’t mind.”
“Really? Great…! So…” he glanced at the envelope in my hand.
“Oh, did you get something?”
“I was kind of lucky today, I found an apartment as well.” I pulled the contract out of the envelope, and when I was about to show it to him, I noticed the look in his eyes was somewhat complicated. At once I felt something flutter in my stomach; it was the first time I felt that. “It wasn’t a bad idea to crash here, but it was an emergency situation for both of us. Anyway, the place I got is cheap, well-equipped, and convenient. I’ve already signed the contract.”
“That’s good to hear,” said Tounoin with a deep sigh. If I remained here, it would only cause more suffering… the word ‘Love’ is very similar to the word ‘Strange’...
“Well, actually, I do need a guarantor,” I opened the contract and placed it in front of him. “Would you mind?”
“Yeah, well that’s already...” he said as he picked up the contract with a hand that was trying not to show his reluctance… I froze. I wasn’t sure if this was a good idea or not, his normally cool, long eyes were round.
“Not bad, huh?” I asked. Tounoin secretly panicked and turned his head, pretending to read the contract. 
“...It’s okay, I guess. How much is it?”
“40,000. But it’s only a minute’s walk to the civic center. I think it’s great. Now, why don’t you say something?”
With his head down, Tounoin patted various pockets. Then, “I’ll go get a pen,” he said.
“I’ll also need your seal,” I said, starting to stand up.
“Please stay here,” Tounoin said, “...I’m afraid I’m going to have to hug you.” Then he ran off into the cabin. I laughed, I couldn’t believe that the man who sells himself on his pride and arrogance lost his nerve like that. Just because I happened to get an apartment in the same building as his, that’s all. Then I felt a stinging pain in my heart at the thought. I got up and went into the cabin, but when I saw Tounoin’s back at the kitchen table, I didn’t know what to say. I didn’t have the right to ask him if he wanted to continue being a snake charmer for the rest of our lives, and it’s hypocritical for me to consider his feelings when I made the decision that I wanted to be his friend and nothing more… I pulled another envelope out of my pocket and approached his back.
I was spoiled by his kindness, but that together with when he agreed to give up on pursuing me, for the time being made us even. “And also this. I don’t know if I can thank you enough, but I mean, I feel…” I put the envelope over his shoulder on the table. 
He opened it as delicately as if it were a sparrow’s tapestry and froze again, but this time he got over it in an instant. “Thank you, I’ll treat you to Mozart’s coffee for the time being.” He turned around and had put on his poker face… ha, he’s not good at accepting this.
“Yeah, I’m sure we’ll be over there to talk about everything until the performance.” Here as well.
“‘I’ll never go out with you for coffee or dinner,’' He said with a smile, reminding me of what I had told him. After all, this was the game between us. I want to make sure that we are friends, and Tounoin wants to develop into lovers. But I won’t be the one to lose.
—-
I woke up in the middle of the night after being kicked twice. The next morning, while Tounoin was making coffee and I was cooking bacon and eggs, I mentioned it to him.
“Well, you stole the blanket twice and gave me an uppercut,” he replied.
“I think even a double bed is too small for two men.”
When I glared at him, he said, “Well, it’s big enough if you’re embracing each other,” and laughed… that was the first time I ever heard Tounoin laugh out loud. The kitchen here is nice and bright. For the one in my apartment, it remains to be seen.
10 notes · View notes
translations-by-aiimee · 27 days ago
Text
The Husky and His White Cat Shizun - Chapter 30
Original Title:  二哈和他的白猫师尊
Genres: Drama, Romance, Tragedy, Xianxia, Yaoi
This translation is based on multiple MTLs and my own limited knowledge of Chinese characters. If I have made any egregious mistakes, please let me know.
Chapter Index
Chapter 30 - This Venerable One Doesn't Want to Eat Tofu
"Hey, hey, did you hear? Elder Yuheng violated the sect rules. As punishment, he has to kneel in Yanluo Hall for three days."
In the morning class the next day, the disciples gathered on the Platform of Righteousness and Evil to practice and meditate. In the end, they are all teenagers and 20-year-olds, and they couldn't just do as they were told. If a master wasn't paying attention, they'll start whispering and gossiping.
The news that Chu Wanning had been punished quickly spread.
The disciples who witnessed the beating yesterday were not shy about sharing the gossip with others.
"Wow, why are you guys finding out about it so late? Oh . . . So yesterday Elder Lucun took you up the mountain to collect night dew flowers? Well then - you guys really missed out on a lot! Yesterday evening, in the Qingtian Temple, there was flesh and blood flying everywhere. It was horrible. Elder Yuheng was beaten with more than two hundred strikes! More than two hundred strikes! Not a single one missed! There was no mercy!"
The disciple made a particularly exaggerated expression every time he said a new sentence. No need to mention the show he was putting on for all his junior brothers and sisters surrounding him.
"Do you actually count all two hundred strikes? Even a big man could be killed, not to mention Elder Yuheng. He couldn't stand it and passed out. This made our young master mad. He rushed in and fought with Elder Jielu. He said not to lay another finger on Elder Yuheng. Ah, that scene—"
His facial features were wrinkled up like a steamed bun. He squeezed his eyebrows. Finally, he stretched out a finger, swaying from side to side, and summed it up in three words:
"Tsk tsk task."
Immediately, a younger sister disciple paled: "What! Elder Yuheng fainted?"
"Young Master and Elder Jielu got into a fight?"
"It's no wonder I didn't see Elder Yuheng in this morning class . . . so pitiful . . . what crime did he commit?"
"I heard that he beat a civilian in a fit of rage."
". . ."
Such gossips drifted into Xue Meng's ears from time to time. Life-Death Peak's young master had completely inherited his shizun's temper, so he was very irritable. It was unfortunate that more than one person was gossiping about this. There were groups all over the Platform of Righteousness and Evil, all muttering "Elder Yuheng was punished" and so on. It made him feel so irritated, but there was nothing he could do.
In one corner was Xue Meng, veins bulging on his forehead, and in the other was Mo Ran, unable to stop yawning.
Xue Meng couldn't direct his anger anywhere else, so he viciously spat at Mo Ran: "The plan of the day relies on the morning. You dog, you're so lazy in the morning! What has Shizun been teaching you?"
"Huh?" Mo Ran said with sleepy eyes followed by another big yawn. "Xue Meng, that's enough. I can handle Shizun's lecturing. Who do you think you are? I'm your cousin. Behave yourself when you talk with your cousin. Don't be so rude."
Xue Meng said fiercely: "My cousin is a dog. Be whatever you want to be!"
Mo Ran laughed: "You're so mean. If you don't look out for your elder sect brother, think about how disappointed Shizun will be once he finds out."
"You still have the audacity to mention Shizun! Let me ask you, when he went to the Court of Discipline yesterday, why didn't you stop him?"
"MengMeng, he's a shizun. Yuheng of the Evening Sky, Beidou Immortal. What did you want me to do?"
Xue Meng was furious. He drew his sword, his sharp eyebrows furrowed angrily: "What the hell did you call me?!!!"
Mo Ran's grin stretched from ear to ear: "Be good, MengMeng. Sit down."
Xue Meng bellowed: "Mo Weiyu, I'll kill you!!"
Shi Mei was caught between the two, listening to their daily bickering. He couldn't help sighing. He silently held the edge of his forehead, trying to concentrate on reading his book: "The sun and the moon are poured in the pot* when the spiritual core is first formed. The way of heaven cannot be interpreted, and life and death are involved in the process. . ."
*(T/N: 日月壶中灌 - referring to the Daoist practice of leisurely inactiveness)
Three days passed in the blink of an eye and Chu Wanning's period of reflection came to an end.
According to the rules, the next thing he had to face was a three-month grounding period. During this period of time, he could not leave Life-Death Peak and needed to go to Mengpo Hall to do miscellaneous chores, clean the corridor pillars of Naihe Bridge, sweep the steps in front of the mountain gate, and so on.
Elder Jielu was anxious: "Elder Yuheng, to be honest, I don't think you should do these things. You are the best shizun of your generation. Doing this kind of dishwashing and floor cleaning . . . it feels wrong." He trailed off, leaving half the sentence unsaid --
The main reason is that the old man doubts whether you can even sweep floors, cook and wash clothes!
Chu Wanning didn't doubt himself at all and went to report to Mengpo Hall in an orderly manner.
All of Mengpo Hall, from the chief steward to the servant, was shocked to hear that Chu Waning was coming to do hard labour. They were terrified, as if they were approaching the enemy.
Chu Wanning, dressed in white, arrived in a flutter.
His handsome face was cold and calm, completely expressionless. If you added an auspicious cloud under his feet and a whisk between his arms, he would've looked like the picture-perfect immortal.
Manager Meng Potang felt very ashamed and uneasy. He was actually supposed to make such a beautiful man wash vegetables and cook.
Chu Wanning didn't have the self-image of being a beautiful man. He stepped into the kitchen and coldly swept his gaze over the crowd, who couldn't help but take a step back.
". . ." Chu Wanning was straightforward. "What should I do?"
The chief steward coyly pinched the edge of his hem and thought about what he should say. He cautiously went with: "How does this elder feel about washing vegetables?"
Chu Wanning said: "Okay."
The chief steward was greatly relieved. He originally thought that Chu Wanning led a very pampered life. He might be reluctant to do this kind of labour, however, all the other jobs were either dirty and tiring or required some skill. He was worried that Chu Wanning wouldn't be able to do a good job. Since Chu Wanning easily agreed to wash the vegetables, he didn't need to worry about it.
As it turns out, the chief steward was really naive.
There was a clear stream in front of Mengpo Hall. Chu Wanning went to the stream with a basket of green vegetables. He rolled up his sleeves and began to wash the vegetables.
This area is under the jurisdiction of Elder Xuanji. Occasionally a disciple of the Xuanji sect passed by. He saw Chu Wanning actually washing vegetables and was so scared that he couldn’t even get a word out. He rubbed his eyes three or four times to make sure he wasn't seeing things. He said in astonishment: "Elder Yu-Yuheng -- good-good morning."
Chu Wanning raised his eyes: "Good morning."
Elder Xuanji's disciples shivered and fled.
". . ."
Chu Wanning didn't bother to talk with them and continued with his business. He broke the leaves, washed them, and threw them back into the basket.
He washed them very carefully. He broke each vegetable leaf apart, repeatedly brushing them thoroughly. The consequence of that was -- come noon, the basket of vegetables still hadn't been washed.
The man waiting in the dining room was anxious, pacing around in circles: "What should we do? Why hasn't the elder come back yet? If he doesn't come back with the vegetables, how are we going to make the stir-fried beef and vegetables?"
The chief steward looked at the sun and said: "Forget it. Hurry, let's replace it with braised beef."
So, when Chu Wanning returned, Mengpo Hall had already served the beef. The stew was so crispy and flavourful that there was no need for vegetables at all. Chu Wanning frowned. He held his vegetables, rather unhappily, and coldly asked: "If you didn't want the vegetables, why did you make me wash them?"
The chief steward's hairs stood on end. He wiped the cold sweat on his forehead with his handkerchief and said something that he regretted: "That's not it. I was thinking you could make a pot of stewed tofu with vegetables?"
Chu Wanning had no expression. Still holding his vegetables, he tilted his head and pondered silently: ". . ."
The chief steward hurriedly said: "If you don't want to, that's alright--"
He hadn't even finished speaking before Chu Wanning asked: "Where is the tofu?"
Chief Steward: ". . ."
"Elder Yuheng, do you . . . know how to cook?"
Chu Wanning said: "I'm not completely ignorant. I'll give it a try."
At noon that day, all the disciples happily entered Mengpo Hall as usual in groups, looking for somewhere to sit. Then, they headed to the counter to get their food served.
There was no shortage of food on Life-Death Peak. The food had always been plentiful and today was no exception.
The braised beef was fatty and lean, the fish shreds were vibrant and rich, the farmhouse pork was golden and crispy, and the chopped pepper fish was red and tempting. The disciples rushed to grab their favourite foods, lining up around the hall, asking the chef to add a spoonful of sweet and sour pork ribs to them, pour some marinade on the rice, or add some spicy sauce.
The ones who always made it to the front of the line first were Elder Lucun's disciples. The little guy at the head of the line had a big pimple on his nose. All he had on his mind was some Mapo Tofu. He skillfully carried the wooden tray to the last counter without raising his eyes and said: "Shizun, I'd like a bowl of tofu."
The shizun, with pale, slender fingers, handed him a plate full of tofu.
However, it wasn't the Mapo Tofu he was familiar with. Instead, it was a plate of strange food with a charred black colour and indistinguishable ingredients.
The disciple was surprised: "What is that?"
"Tofu boiled with bok choy."
Mengpo Hall was full of people, so the disciple didn't pay attention to answering the other person's voice. He said angrily: "Are you an alchemist? Can you even call this tofu with vegetables? I don't want it. Take it back!"
While cursing, he glared at the shizun there. As a result, when he saw the person standing behind the counter, the disciple screamed in fright and almost knocked the tray over.
"Elder Yu-Yuheng!"
"Hmm."
The disciple was on the verge of tears: "No, that's not what I - I didn't mean that just now. I. . ."
"Since you're not eating it, I'll take it back." Chu Wanning said blankly, "Don't waste it."
The disciple stiffly picked up the plate, handed it to Chu Wanning then left with his tail between his legs.
In a short while, everyone knew that Elder Yuheng was standing at the last counter, so the originally lively Mengpo Hall was suddenly silent.
The disciples lined up like a pack of puppies, and they hurriedly grabbed their food, panicked. They went up to the last counter respectfully, greeted the elder, and stumbled away.
"Hello, Elder Yuheng."
"Mmm."
"Good day, Elder Yuheng."
"Good day."
"Elder Yuheng has worked really hard."
". . ."
The disciples were very disciplined and were acting with an abundance of caution, so Chu Wanning accepted the tense greetings from each disciple, but no one dared try his pot of boiled tofu with green vegetables.
Slowly, the line was getting shorter and the food in front of other shizuns was almost gone. Only Chu Wanning still had a pot full of food. The pot of vegetables was completely cold and untouched.
Chu Wanning's face didn't waver, but his heart was conflicted. He had washed them all morning. . .
At that point, his three disciples showed up. Xue Meng was still in silver-blue light armour, refreshing getup. He bounced over with excitement: "Shizun! How are you? Does your wound hurt?"
Chu Wanning was very calm: "It doesn't hurt."
Xue Meng: "Well, that's good."
Chu Wanning glanced at him and suddenly asked: "Do you eat tofu?"
Xue Meng: ". . ."
37 notes · View notes