At the loud noise, Calix searched the ground below the window with restless eyes and was instantly relieved.
The youth that had fallen immediately sprang up and patted the dust off his butt. With a neat face, as if he had never fallen at all, he began walking with big strides. As if he was always like this, he appeared full of boundless vitality. After a couple steps, he stopped. He appeared to tilt his head and look around, and he turned in a random direction to start walking again, full of energy.
One of the guards below the window saluted towards Calix and began following the youth. Calix confirmed with his own eyes that the guard was tailing the youth who was getting further away and turned away from the window.
Calix, who stepped outside the room after being dressed by the maids, rubbed his nose. He had been taunted zealously, to the point that it still stung. It seemed that he was feeling hurt because Calix had not called his name all this time.
Kay. He said it was Kay. That was the youth’s name.
Calix called out loud while following the guard who was guiding him.
It was a name that suited the youth’s willful eyes and black fur. Somehow, it felt like a lovable name would be a little more fitting, but the nuance of the name “Kay” that didn’t disturb the youth’s firm pride wasn’t so bad.
It appeared that the youth’s pace was not very fast.
Not much time had passed before Calix caught up to the youth. Standing next to the guard who had been following the youth at a distance, K’s figure could be seen illuminated under the bright moonlight.
“I believe that he has lost his way.”
The guard spoke in a low voice.
As the guard said, no matter how you looked at it, the youth seemed to have gotten lost. He stood absentmindedly, and his movements as he looked at his surroundings were rushed. But even if he was lost, there was no sign that he was worried or anxious. He merely tried to find his way with calm eyes.
“My perspective is different because my eye-level has changed. It’s disorienting.”
The youth mumbled quietly after looking around for a long time. He wrapped his arms around himself and shivered.
“Ah, it’s cold.”
Calix tutted at the youth’s murmurings.
It was an early winter night. He didn’t even have an overcoat. Of course he would be cold. Calix felt restless when he saw the small, shivering body, but the spirited youth soon straightened himself up and began walking.
Where in the world could he be going in this deep night?
The youth was absorbed in walking and did not stop. It was an unhindered stride without a speck of hesitation, but it was not easy to guess his destination. When his path was blocked, he turned to the right and kept walking straight until his path was blocked again, then he would turn to the right once more. The watchmen he should have occasionally encountered had already been cleared out of the way by the soldiers who made a path for the youth, but there was no need to take further action. Because the youth was now walking on his second lap around the same path.
It seemed that the youth did not even consider the possibility that he had become lost. No, it seemed like he had faith that if he kept on walking, he would somehow get there. If he just left the youth like this, it seemed like he would just keep circling the same spot. And once he got tired, he would probably stand in one spot and call for Calix, just as he had before.
Calix remembered when this youth of his had called out for him at the top of his lungs. After sitting still and calling him over and over, he had released all his fury once Calix went to him and held him in his arms.
Thinking about it, if the same sort of situation were to happen right now, he felt like the youth would react the same way. If it did happen, he wondered how the youth would call him. Would he call him Sugar Prince like last night?
It didn’t matter what the youth called him, if the youth called out for Calix again and again as loud as he could, Calix would surely be happy. He would pick up the youth who was calling for him, shivering from the cold, and pull him into his arms.
“…Where is this?”
The youth stopped in place and mumbled. The sight of him looking around and letting out a sigh was adorable. Calix gazed at the youth, who was standing and looking up at the sky, and thought for a moment.
Let’s see… How should we proceed—
The lost youth shivered from the cold and stood in place vacantly. He would have liked to gently embrace the youth warmly and comfort him, but he was not lacking in the desire to watch over him for a little while longer. Since the youth, whose personality led him to demand for help when necessary without hesitation, he might even call for Calix at the top of his voice.
Calix watched the youth with calculative eyes.
The youth looked blankly at the sky and shivered periodically. But he made no move to rub his hands or hunch in order to ward off the cold. Calix tutted when he saw the youth’s fingertips turning blue underneath his sleeves and approached him.
As Calix wrapped his body in the coat, the youth jumped in fright. Calix grabbed ahold of the icy hand of the youth who had jumped back. It was even colder than he imagined.
When he saw Calix’s face, he shouted, eek—, in surprise and blinked in shock. What thoughts were racing around in his mind? He blinked his black eyes and they darted about busily. His attitude showed that he wouldn’t say a word until he understood the situation. But Calix focused on clutching the youth’s frozen hands and blowing warmth into them.
The youth’s hands were easily covered by Calix’s own, and they were blue enough to suspect frostbite. As he gently massaged and rubbed them, the rosiness began to return, but it was still completely dissatisfactory to Calix’s eyes.
He should have brought gloves.
Calix clicked his tongue mentally.
The youth spoke bluntly with a rough voice.
It seemed like he was unable to hold his words back when Calix was pouring so much attention on only his hands. His gaze was as turbulent as his voice, as if he didn’t agree with the situation at all. While rubbing the youth’s hands, Calix opened his mouth to speak.
“My name is Calix.”
The youth blinked his black eyes, tilting his head slightly, then nodded his head right away. Then, he spoke with an awkward voice.
He said his name, repeating the question, and the awkward expression disappeared from his face as he nodded his head enthusiastically.
Calix looked back at the black eyes that shone animatedly and said the youth’s name. As if pleased, the youth, curved his eyes gently and smiled when he heard his name.
“Ah, I think I’ll live now.”
The youth who had gulped down a sip of warm tea spoke as he let out a sigh. Even now that he was human, the fact that he could not eat hot things was the same. He had just taken a sip after having blown on the drink for an extended period of time.
The cheeks of the youth who was frozen from the cold now flushed rosily as he warmed himself by the fire. He yawned as drowsiness washed over him. The youth rubbed his sleep-filled eyes with his fingers and stretched out his arms in an attempt to ward off the sleep.
“Hggggh— I really thought I would freeze to death before I even got to the library.”
The youth who spoke to himself suddenly whipped his head around and looked at Calix. Suspicion still flickered in those black eyes. Normally, Calix would stroke the youth’s black head and comfort him, but it was regrettable that right now that was impossible.
“But why were you wandering around at night… like this?”
The youth spoke evasively in a suspicious tone with a complex look in his eyes. It seemed that he was gauging what he should say when he saw Calix’s silent stare. But seeing there was no change in response, he slowly smiled. And for the first time, his eyes sparkled as he asked again.
“Hm? So what were you doing outside?”
Calix saw the suspicion in the eyes of the youth who asked this in a forcefully cheerful voice. He could see the youth’s eyes, pressing for an answer, overlap with his usual feline expression. That little one would always look at Calix with round, shining eyes and cry out, nyaong—, whenever he asked for something he wanted.
“I was looking for my cat.”
The youth’s shoulders flinched. Calix gazed at the youth with eyes full of laughter and continued.
“I woke up and saw that the cat was gone, so I went to go look for that child.”
“Yes. My cat.”
The youth held the teacup in both hands and pretended to blow on it. He buried his face into the teacup as if he was dunking it in. But just about now, his small head would be frantically turning its gears.
The youth who had been blowing his tea, hu— hu—, slowly lifted his gaze.
“What kind of cat is it?”
Calix returned a smile to the youth’s black eyes that expressed his curiosity. He could almost see the youth’s tail, unable to resist interest, swinging right and left.
“Its fur is black.”
“It is small.”
Upon hearing that he was small, the youth’s eyes glinted harshly. His small lips grumbled soundlessly. No matter what, a boy was a boy, and he fussed over his small build.
“And what else?”
The youth spat out curtly. Calix habitually moved to stroke the youth’s head, but froze. The hand that he drew back felt unbearably empty.
“It likes when I scratch its neck. I must always stroke its head with a single finger, and it likes when I stroke its back slowly.”
The youth’s stiff expression melted away. Seeing his narrowed eyes blinking slowly, it seemed like he was remembering that sensation. Whenever he stroked his head and back, the small one would always have that expression.
“Why were you looking for the library?”
At the sudden question, the youth twitched his foot and slowly opened his mouth to answer.
“There is a book that I have to find.”
The youth raised his head after a momentary pause and slowly searched the books that were organized meticulously up to the high ceiling, then let out a big sigh.
“But I am already clueless on how I’ll find it.”
The youth spoke in a weak voice and furtively glanced at Calix. The sight of him tilting his head to the side slightly and blinking his eyes slowly was familiar. Calix could easily read the youth’s body language.
Aren’t you going to play with me? Or maybe, aren’t you going to do this for me?
The little one was whining at him to go find the book he needed. And Calix had not once refused the youth’s demands.
“Should I find that book for you?”
The youth broke into a grin, and his eyes sparkled.
Lol so I actually have even less time to translate, since my advisor/mentor person at the lab is back from vacation, so I start earlier. But I’m still here super early with nothing else to do, so once I watch my daily dose of cat videos I can start TLing, and I’ve been making good progress! Heh I’m even a chapter ahead and am probably driving editor gege crazy. Lmao SP is being such a creep this chapter, and K is stupid, as always. (Did I mention it’s friggin’ cold in the lab? I don’t know if I’m supposed to wear my lab coat even when I’m just sitting at the desk, but I need layers! Layers!)
Also, comment if you’ve been having trouble using this website for any reason. I can try to get it fixed.