The narcissist that became a dragon’s bride in another world – Ch 7
happy christmas everybody! I hope you’re enjoying the holidays <3
thank you Nebula for finding that typo in the last chapter uwu
Author: Kiyo Date (伊達きよ)
Setsu was walking one of the castle’s hallways, heading back to Xiao Ya’s chambers after a trip to the library. Due to the heavy pile of books in his arms, he was more staggering than walking actually.
Today’s magic lessons would start in the afternoon. Since Xiao Ya was busy with his work as a Master of Sorcery, he wasn’t able to spend all his time and energy on Setsu alone. Between lessons, Setsu spent all his time studying the language, since his abilities had turned quite pitiful ever since the Language Conversion Spell had been removed. He had been prepared for it, but it was still bitter not being able to convey half of what he wanted to say. In addition, since he didn’t have a japanese dictionary to aid him, he couldn’t easily decipher texts, and thus, wasn’t able to progress in his studies as smoothly as he had hoped.
Since he was unable to read more sophisticated books, for now, he was limited to only reading books for children. But because these children’s books had many illustrations, and were written in simple language, they were quite educational in a sense. And because many of them were about the country’s legends, they were useful for studying its history and culture, so Setsu really enjoyed reading them.
Yes. It was true that now being able to communicate was inconvenient, but learning was fun. Whether it was learning about the language in his free time, or reviewing his magic studies. Of course he also didn’t miss out on his daily exercise and walks, or on his cooking and housework.
Setsu was very grateful for being under somebody’s patronage, so that he was able to study without having to worry about getting food and a place to stay. Nonetheless, it was uncomfortable to be taken care of like that without contributing anything at all. His main concern was thus, to pick up magic as quickly as possible and to become an Earth Sorcerer.
And there was one more thing besides using magic that he wanted to accomplish: Helping his Destined Mate, Li Huang, to transform. After all, he hadn’t been summoned here as an Earth Sorcerer, but as Li Huang’s mate. Objective #1 had to be supporting Li Huang in turning into his adult form.
This was the reason why many of the books that Setsu borrowed from the library were about the imperial family. Since he couldn’t ready most of the characters yet, he picked books with illustrations as much as he could.
‘Studying is all I can do for now.’ He muttered eagerly to himself in Japanese, and readjusted his grip on the books in his arms. The one on the very top of the stack was threatening to slide off. He rushed to correct his stance, but he was too slow. Soon the whole stack of books was threatening to fall to the floor.
It was time for a sacrifice. In order to prevent the books from getting damaged, he promptly let himself fall backwards. Like this, his own body would cushion the blow. However, there was something behind him to gently catch his falling body. The books in his arms suddenly positioned themselves into a neat stack again.
“Are you alright?”
“Ah! Your Imperial Highness.”
It was Li Huang who had come to his rescue. He was holding a hand to Setsu’s back, while his other hand was pointed in the direction of the books.
“Let me use a Weight Reduction Spell on these books. Here, hand them to me.”
The books gently floated into a bag with a hand strap that Li Huang had procured from somewhere (it was likely that he had created it from thin air). Although all the many books were crammed inside it, the bag gave no sign of expanding.
Setsu gave an impressed bow. Now that he had started studying magic himself, he had come to appreciate the difficulty of working spells.
“Thank very much.”
Li Huang smiled at Setsu’s broken language and polite gestures
“Let me carry them back to your room for you.”
“No offish…off.., … no work today?”
He had probably meant to say “official business”, but after trying to pronounce the word several times, he settled for the easier vocabulary “work” instead. Not getting out the right words seemed to frustrate him, and a funny little pout appeared on his face. Li Huang gave an involuntary laugh and nodded.
“It’s ‘official business’. I’m still not done for today, but I came to inquire on your state. You weren’t in your room, and I thought you might be studying in the library, so I headed there.”
“I look.. See!”
Setsu’s nod came a beat too slow. It probably took him some time to translate Li Huang’s words in his head.
“I’m happy you came to meet me.”
Setsu’s smile was soft, like cherry blossoms gently swaying in the wind, and Li Huang felt himself getting slightly flustered.
Ordinarily, he would have definitely said something like “You came to meet me?! HA HA HA! Of course, of course! You’re totally fascinated by me and just had to come see me, right? Aah, I’m so charming!”, but he didn’t have a good enough grasp of the language of Lan Huang yet to do so.
Now that Setsu couldn’t speak fluently anymore, Li Huang had started to pay close attention to his behaviour instead. In order for their surroundings to believe that the two of them were in love, he frequently came to visit him whenever he had some spare time between his princely duties. This meant that he had time to properly watch Setsu.
The basic pattern he witnessed was that Setsu didn’t live his life just pampering himself incessantly. Instead his lifestyle was well regulated. Li Huang had never seen him idling. He also wasn’t rushing around without any calm either. Whatever he did – reading, drinking tea, cooking – he seemed like he was enjoying himself.
He remembered how Setsu had told him that he did things “for himself” when they had met at the banks of the Lu Huang. Setsu enjoyed whatever he did, because he believed that it was of use to him. But no matter how much this motivated him, he was still just a person, so there still had to be things that annoyed him, and things that he didn’t want to do. But he never showed any signs of that, and he always put in his full effort, whatever the task was.
Perhaps his strong narcissism was the root of this behaviour. But even if so, the result was the same: he was a hard worker. His behaviour spoke much more eloquently of Setsu’s character than his words did.
Watching this said behavior again and again made Li Huang reconsider the image he had of Setsu. Although he knew what Setsu’a character was like, but when he was being smiled at so sweetly and honestly, it made something itch in his chest. And that itch wasn’t necessarily an unpleasant sensation, rather it was…
After hesitating for a moment, Li Huang reached out the hand that wasn’t carrying the bag, and tightly held Setsu’s hand.
“…just… I mean… Look, we’re supposedly in love, so, so I thought we should at least hold hands. I guess it looks more natural this way…”
“…? …Uhm.. can you, slower please?”
In his inexplicable bashfulness, Li Huang had unintentionally spoken fast and without a pause, until Setsu pulled his hand away to make him stop. He probably hadn’t caught on to what he had been saying. Li Huang coughed to clear his throat, and then took Setsu’s hand again.
“I’m saying, pretend lovers. Do you understand?”
“…Oh! Get it. Yes!”
He made a face like it had finally clicked, and grabbed Li Huang’s hand back. When Li Huang saw that Setsu wasn’t bashful or hesitant at all, he felt a little let down. He suddenly remembered what Setsu had said before.
Right… He said he couldn’t love me as long as I look like a child to him…
When they had met for the first time, he had told him to try again in ten years. And at that time Li Huang had declared that he wouldn’t try to woo him even if ten or twenty years passed.
Remembering and realizing this made him feel as though a heavy weight dropped on his chest.
Weirdly, Setsu’s smile, which he had found so adorable up until just a moment ago, suddenly made him feel miserable.
Unbeknownst to Li Huang, the reason for this misery was him having come to understand that Setsu’s frequent smiles at him carried no romantic feelings. He couldn’t bear to look at Setsu anymore, and so he turned his face away toward the windows…