Even without that person, the world still continued to exist, as if nothing of much importance had happened.
I tossed the pen down on the desk and lowered my head until my forehead touched the cool surface of the desk. It was so cold that my head started to hurt, but I didn't bother lifting my head up. My eyes vacantly gazed at the papers scattered on top of my desk; the quill pen that I had thrown on top of the files carelessly landed on top of the permission form for the new school building and got ink smudges all over it. I sighed; Zeon would surely try to bite my head off for that.
"…sh. Gash!" Harsh voice barked in my ear. Startled, I lifted my head up and the top of my head connected with Zeon's chin, who had been leaning over me to shout in my ear. While Zeon clutched his chin and muttered words that probably weren't appropriate for someone of his age and position, I rubbed the top of my head and stared up at Zeon. It hurt, so tears were starting to gather in my eyes. Zeon looked like a big, fuzzy white blob.
"That hurts, Zeon! Can you please be more careful when you do approach me?"
"Moron! I told you these files had to be filled out by the end of the day! Just when are you going to start acting like a king that you are?" Zeon yelled. He's scary when he gets mad. I think even Kamakiri Jou wouldn't be able to defeat someone like him. Aaaah… He's showing all of his teeth again; it's so scary!
"U… Unuuu… B, but you promised me that I can go see Kiyomaro sometime this week, and it's already Friday! Zeon you liar!"
"Don't cry, moron!"
Ueeeen. Zeon hit me!
"Listen, humans are usually at their work place at this hour! Even if you go see your bookkeeper, he probably won't be at home. Since it's the weekend, you can go see him after it gets dark, okay?"
"R, really? You mean that? I can go see Kiyomaro when it gets dark?"
Zeon narrowed his eyes. "Only if you get all that work done in time. I don't think you'll get much work done when your bookkeeper gets here."
"Zeon, you demon! Evil!"
But even though I was complaining, I picked up my pen to start working again. I wanted to leave as soon as the sun set. Twelve years. It's been twelve years since I became the king of the Demon World and left Kiyomaro. Back then I had been too young to understand my feelings towards him, but now I know for sure. It had been unbearable waiting to see you again, Kiyomaro. This time I wanted to become a man that you can really admire, someone that you won't treat as a baby anymore. Even though I cried a lot because I missed you and my heart hurt whenever I thought about you, I remembered your smile and warmth, so I vowed to myself that I would create a safe world in which you can always happily live. I'm finally ready to meet you again.
So this time, for sure, I want to say this to you directly, Kiyomaro. I like you. You're the most precious person to me in this world.
It was quite hot in the human world, despite the fact that it was night. The long robe and cape of royalty that I adorned only made it worse. I frowned and wiped my face with the sleeve of my robe. It's hot! It's sticky! It's disgusting! While I was complaining like that inside my mind, light footsteps filled the empty, narrow passageway in front of Kiyomaro's home. Even before I caught Kiyomaro's scent, the sound of the footsteps was so familiar that I wanted to cry again. Kiyomaro. Did he change at all? Would he recognize me? I wanted to walk out to meet him, but somehow my legs were rooted to the place and my muscles refused to obey me. I couldn't move at all. Kiyomaro turned the corner of the alley and came into the view, illuminated by the flickering streetlights.
Because of the humid air, I already had trouble breathing, but it really felt like I've forgotten how to breath. Kiyomaro hadn't changed at all. The sharp lines of his handsome face, the deep brown eyes, the messy, dark hair, the thin, slender frame—Kiyomaro looked exactly same as how I remembered him, so tears came out before I had the chance to call them back. Kiyomaro looked up when he noticed my shadows looming over him, frowning slightly.
I don't understand Kiyomaro anymore! Did I forget how to speak Japanese? While I was panicking and stammering, Kiyomaro tilted his head to one side.
"Ah… Can you speak Japanese? You looked like a foreigner, so I assumed you spoke English… I'm sorry. What can I do for you?"
Oh. Kiyomaro was speaking English. No wonder it sounded familiar. (But when I was at England, I was staying with Chichiue-dono most of the time, so I didn't learn much English at all; I only spoke Japanese with him.) I clutched Kiyomaro's shoulders—he flinched and started to back away, but I tightly held on to him—and cried, "Kiyomaro! Do you not recognize me? It's me, Gash Bell! I wanted to see you so much, Kiyomaro!"
"That's right, it's Gash!"
Kiyomaro stared at me, his eyes wide open. His lips were slightly parted, but no other sounds came out. Because this wasn't exactly the kind of reaction I had been expecting from him, I started to panic again. Then Kiyomaro lowered his face and started to cry, big drops of tears quickly running down his face before they rolled off his chins and fell to the ground.
Uwaaaaa I made him cry! What did I do? What the heck do I do now? I felt sweat running down my back (and this time it wasn't because of the hot weather) and I hurriedly pulled Kiyomaro into my arms, patting his back.
"I'm sorry Kiyomaro! I'm sorry; I'll never do it again so don't cry! It's all my fault! You can hit me! U, Unuuuu Kiyomaroooo—"
I felt like crying, too. But it seemed that I've grown a lot, because Kiyomaro was now small enough to fit into my arms comfortably. I always thought he was really big, but now that he was crying in my arms, his warm body snuggled into my chest, he seemed so small and vulnerable. I tightened my hold on him and pressed my cheek against his chair. Ah… It smelled nice…
"Y, you liar… You said you'd come back! Do you know how long I waited for you… U… Ueeeen…"
"U, unu… But Kiyomaro, there were unavoidable circumstances, and Zeon said I couldn't come get you until… Oof."
My breath caught in my throat as Kiyomaro punched my stomach. …He was, I'm sorry to say, quite strong. While I clutched my stomach and kneeled over, Kiyomaro cried and continued to hit me. Kiyomaro, that hurts! ;;
"It's been more than ten years! I was going to give up and get transferred to the American branch of my company, but I wanted to wait a little longer, and… And out of no where you just appear whenever it pleases you, and… Uwaaaaan—"
"Kiyomaro, I'm really sorry, so… Ouch! Can you stop hitting… Ow!"
Until Hahaue-dono came out to see what all the fuss was about and stopped him, Kiyomaro showered me with his affectionate (?) beatings. ;;
"My, Gasshu-chan, you've grown into quite a man," Hahaue-dono said, smiling. I smiled back at her.
"Thank you, Hahaue-dono. Your meals are as delicious as always, too. May I have another serving of rice?"
"Sure thing, Gasshu-chan. I'm really glad you came back. Did you know how much Kiyomaro moped since you went away? He even—"
"Mom!" Kiyomaro interrupted, blushing. The way his cheeks were dyed in rose color looked really pretty. I wanted to kiss his cheeks, but if I do that I was sure Kiyomaro would hit me more, so I checked myself.
"Hahaue-dono, I have something to ask of you."
"What is it, Gasshu-chan?"
"May I borrow Kiyomaro? I want to bring him back to the Demon World with me."
Both Hahaue-dono and Kiyomaro looked surprised, but Hahaue-dono smiled and consented, and Kiyomaro grudgingly agreed to come with me in the morning, too. I felt so happy that I hugged Kiyomaro and kissed his cheek, and as I thought, Kiyomaro hit me.
After the meal and tea, Hahaue-dono sent us to bed. I wanted to sleep with Kiyomaro like how I used to when I was younger, but Kiyomaro's bed was too little for two grown men to sleep together. I had to sleep on the ground. I pouted and complained, and Kiyomaro smacked my head. Added with the lump I got this morning from Zeon, I already had two lumps on my head. People around me are too violent, I believe.
"Heh—Kiyomaro's pajamas are too small for me," I said, laughing. Kiyomaro looked embarrassed.
"It's not my fault that you became so tall!" Kiyomaro barked, turning his head away. Even though the shirt was so small that my stomach and wrists weren't covered and the pants didn't even reach my ankles, I was happy to shed the elaborate court clothes and freshly laundered clothing felt good, so I just smiled and leaned over Kiyomaro. He glared at me.
"Good night, Kiyomaro." I leaned over and planted a kiss on Kiyomaro's forehead. Kiyomaro flinched, then his cheeks became even redder than they did at dinner, so I kissed his cheek, too.
"Cut that out!" Kiyomaro finally said, pushing me away. I retreated to my sleeping place on the floor, grinning like an idiot. I think Kiyomaro got cuter as he got older ♡
When all's been said and done, Zeon is actually a very nice guy. While I was away to human world to retrieve Kiyomaro, he took care of all the files and works that I had to do, and he even prepared a party in honor of Kiyomaro's visit to the demon world. Because the weather in our world was rather cold at the moment, Kiyomaro had dressed in a dark blue court robe, and the satiny material made his already pale skin seem more white and glowing, like surface of the moon from far away. He smiled so much and I heard so much of his pleasant tenor voice that I was starting to have delusion that it will forever be like this—that I will have Kiyomaro by my side forever.
"That was fun, Gasshu," Kiyomaro said, laughing, a thin cocktail glass held in his hands. After dancing we had came out to the balcony to cool off and rest, and I wordlessly smiled at him as he excitedly chatted on. "What kind of dancing was that, anyway? It's unlike any style of dancing I read about. It was a lot like waltz, but it was four beats instead of three beats, and—"
"…What is it, Gasshu?"
"Kiyomaro. Kiyomaro. Kiyomaro…"
Continue to look up at me like that, Kiyomaro. Please continue to answer me with those lips of yours whenever I call out to you. Please stay by my side so whenever I stretch out my hands towards you, I can feel your warmth in my hands.
Ah. Kiyomaro looked uncertain again. I took his hand and took away the drained cup, placing on a table nearby. Then I took both of his hands into my hands. His hands were surprisingly cold, so I lifted them to my lips and kissed the back of the hands. Then I leaned closer.
"Wa-wa-wait, Gasshu, this is a little… ;;"
Kiyomaro covered my lips with his hands, backing away. His dark eyes were wide-open, making him look like a scared rabbit. That was so cute that I wanted to laugh, but I gingerly pushed his hand away and wrapped my arms around his waist, pulling him closer to me.
"Ga, Gasshu! What are you…"
I kissed him. He didn't pull away, even though he didn't exactly kiss me back, either. I kissed him again, then again. His lips tasted of the fruit cocktail he had been drinking, but it was also soft and warm and wet. When I pulled away, he looked up at me, his lips shining with wetness in the moonlight. I placed my hand against his head, and the soft strands of his hair felt ticklish against my fingers as I slowly patted his head.
"I missed you, Kiyomaro. I cried a lot because I wanted to see you so much. Zeon hit me a lot because I kept throwing tantrums and said I'd go and see you."
Kiyomaro's facial muscles finally relaxed and he started to laugh. "Yeah, that's just like you…"
"Kiyomaro, please marry me."
I couldn't read his expression. I felt my voice trembling.
"This is not a childish tantrum, Kiyomaro. I won't be able to live without you. I need you by my side. This was the condition on which I could have brought you to this world. If you refuse… If you refuse, I cannot see you ever again, Kiyomaro. So please… Please be my queen and live here forever with me."
"I never want to be apart from Kiyomaro again! So… Kiyomaro…"
I felt Kiyomaro's hand against my cheek. The coolness felt good against my flushed cheeks, and I realized that I was crying. Kiyomaro's face was shining with tears, too. Why do you look so sad, Kiyomaro? It hurts my heart when you look so sad…
"I'm sorry, I'm so sorry…"
"I like you so much, Gasshu… But this is wrong. You'll forget about someone like me once you find a lovely girl that will love you so much more than I can love you…"
"Kiyomaro! I don't want…!"
"This is your world, Gasshu. And I must go back to my world. We don't belong in the same world, Gasshu. I have my family and friends at the other side, just like you do here. I have obligations and job and relationships and I can't just throw everything away like that… Gasshu, you understand, don't you? We're not meant to share the same space and time like this…"
I shook my head. No, I don't understand, Kiyomaro.
"Be reasonable, Gasshu…"
You're the one who should be reasonable, Kiyomaro. Will it be okay to never see me again? You… really don't care if I can never see you again?
I held him so tightly that Kiyomaro squirmed in discomfort. "…won't…"
"I… won't let you go, Kiyomaro!"
"Gasshu…" Kiyomaro looked at me sadly again, but I stubbornly shook my head.
"I'll never let you go again! Even if Kiyomaro says he doesn't want it… I…"
"Gasshu, stop this childish nonsense…"
"It's not childish nonsense! I like you, Kiyomaro! I keep saying that, but Kiyomaro doesn't really care, does he!"
If my words can't reach you, I'll at least let your body know.
"Ga, Gasshu! Ah… Ahn! Gasshu!"
"Stop that! Ga… That hurts! Gasshu…!"
I knew my frenzied hands were hurting him. I knew he wasn't getting any pleasure out of this. But even though Kiyomaro cried and begged me to stop, I violated him anyway.
- To Be Continued-
This story is divided into two parts; the next and last part will be up sometime next week. :3