|Author: Himezaki Shiu||Original Source: Syosetu|
|Translator: PunishedLyly||English Source: Re:Library|
In the wide bathroom that could fit a lot more people even with Ciel and I inside, there wasn’t anything resembling a shower. Instead, there’s a faucet and a wash basin, so we’ll just use those for rinsing our bodies. Even in my past life, it’s not as if every bath was furnished with a showerhead, so it’s nothing unusual. Rather, having something like a showerhead is more unusual in this world.
Ciel, who had been leading me by the hand, released her hold 「Can we do that washing each other thing?」 and tilted her head. Come to think of it, I do remember us making that promise. If I’m not mistaken, I should have made this promise with Ciel when she was sulking about me being in the bath together with Viviana. At that time, I didn’t think that the promise would be realized this fast. No, I didn’t even think that it would ever be realized.
Since we’re here, I’d love to thoroughly scrub Ciel down squeaky clean but it would probably be better to ask the maids to do that instead. In our case though, just rinsing our sweat off would be enough.
「Washing each other means that we just have to wash each other’s body, right?」
「That’s right. Though, as for the hair, we can just rinse off the dirt as usual.」
「I see. I only have to wash Ain first, right?」
Understanding what I said, Ciel filled the wash basin with warm water. To make sure that Ciel won’t catch a cold, I’ll keep Ciel warm with sorcery. I can’t make combat-level sorcery, so I guess I could just use any fire-type sorcery.
Now then, regarding Ciel, due to a certain someone, she’s become extremely good at making soap lather. I’m still better than her for now, but she’ll likely catch up to me eventually. In the meantime, I’m sitting on a chair and waiting.
While I was waiting leisurely, something caressed my back. I know full well that it’s Ciel’s doing but I let out a strange voice and it’s embarrassing.
「Ain’s voice really is adorable.」
「… Our voices should be the same, though.」
「You think so? Ain is a Song Princess. Wouldn’t it be natural for Ain to have a more adorable voice then?」
「Now that you mention it, that might be true.」
I was sulking a bit from the surprise attack but as we continued talking, it eventually became irrelevant to me. On the topic of voice, Ciel certainly seems to be right. And I likely can’t dance as well as Ciel can too.
As we continue talking, Ciel’s hands glide as if tracing the outlines of my body. It’s honestly pretty ticklish, so I’m desperately holding back my voice but maybe Ciel can still hear it. Our bodies are just so close together after all.
I don’t know if the heat I feel from my body is caused by embarrassment or just the heat from the bathroom, but I’ll just say that it’s the latter.
「Ain’s skin is really soft.」
「It shouldn’t be any different than yours, Ciel. I think.」
「That’s true. But in that case, would our size here be the same too?」
As she said that, Ciel’s hands reached for my chest. I already prepared for this but I still couldn’t stop myself from yelping 「Hyuu-」 the moment she touched me. I’m really not used to a lot of the female sensations. The worst part about this is that the manner of Ciel’s touch feels like she’s just genuinely enjoying the texture, so I find it difficult to stop her.
「It’s not big but it’s quite soft. How should I say this? It’s somewhat addicting.」
「A-as the one being, touched, I’d rather that you don’t get addicted to it though…」
Ciel didn’t reply to my words, instead, her hands moved to a different location.
It was a struggle.
Even after washing me, since it was practically the first time Ciel had come in touch with another person, it seems like Ciel took quite a liking to the sensation of my body and kept on poking and touching my upper arm and such. She was like a child that has been bought their first memory foam pillow, her actions itself were of pure heart. Even though her touch occasionally deviated from that, it seems like she’s mainly ascertaining my warmth.
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How do I say this? Every time I react, she smiles teasingly but in general she has a beaming smile. If possible, I would’ve loved to see her from the side.
As for me, I wholeheartedly focused on washing Ciel squeaky clean. When my hands touch her, Ciel seems to be really enjoying it, so I ended up getting pretty serious about it.
And now, I’m in the bathtub, soaking side by side with Ciel. Having hair soak in the bathwater might be heresy but with the barrier coating, our hair and the bath won’t get dirtied, so we entered without caring about that. Thanks to that, our hair spread out on the surface of the water and between us, a black and white marble pattern was formed.
While it is pretty, if not for the barrier, our hair would have gotten caught with each other and this would have been a disaster.
We entered the tub holding hands with our shoulders touching each other but Ciel suddenly let go and abruptly sat me on top of her lap. And then she embraced me from behind. She’s probably copying what I did with Viviana before. Anticipating her motive, I settled in between Ciel’s arms without any resistance. Still, I must be heavy sitting on Ciel’s lap, so I squeezed in and sat in the space between her legs.
And then, I brushed my hand against Ciel’s arm.
With embraces from behind, it’s generally a man that does the embracing but being embraced by Ciel1 like this isn’t bad at all. Though, even if I did the embracing, appearance-wise, it’d still be a girl doing it. On the inside, I don’t know. Honestly, I only vaguely remember that I was formerly male. I might be both or none, but being influenced by Ciel’s body, I guess I’m leaning more on the feminine side.
As I was pondering about that, Ciel rested her head on my shoulder. While caressing her head, I decided to speak about something that I probably should talk about.
「To tell you the truth, there’s still something I haven’t told you, Ciel.」
「Really? Other than being formerly male, coming from another world, and being on the way to becoming a god, there’s still something that Ain wants to say?」
Now that she mentioned that, it does feel a bit late to be worried about this. Still, this is a topic that Ciel has been curious about for a long time. While combing Ciel’s hair, I continue the conversation.
「The origin of Ainsel.」
「You’re going to tell me?」
「Yes. After all, I have no reason to keep this a secret anymore.」
「I see. Then could you tell me now, Ain?」
「Of course. The name Ainsel originated from a fairy —something like a mischievous spirit, I suppose— in my former world.」
「There were spirits in your world too, Ain?」
「No, there weren’t any as far as I know. They’re fictional beings that only existed in stories. Fairies are generally depicted as very small people, some would help people, some would cause mischief. There’s a great variety of them.」
Somehow, I’m struggling on a topic different from what I expected to struggle on. Explaining fairies is pretty difficult. Trying to somehow understand my explanation, 「Hmnn…」 Ciel groans.
「Is it like how spirits also appear differently from each other?」
「Something similar to that. Among these fairies is Ainsel. Interestingly, the word Ainsel also meant ‘myself’ in a certain country in my former world. According to the story, one day the fairy Ainsel appeared before a boy who was playing near a hearth. After introducing herself, the boy replied ‘I’m Ainsel2 too.’ in kind. The two played together happily until the boy accidentally burned Ainsel. The fairy cried out for her parents, who arrived and asked who had hurt her. Since the boy had introduced himself as Ainsel, the fairy responded, ‘It was Ainsel!’ This caused confusion for the parents, who ultimately took the fairy back to their home. That’s the general idea of the story.」
The details are probably different but that was what approximately happened. Thinking about it, I can’t help but feel bad for Ainsel. If I’m not wrong, there are some that say that she was also scolded by her parents.
「I understand the origin of Ain’s name. But why did you keep it a secret?」
「It’s because Ainsel has become a switch for me to disappear.」
「You can’t disappear, Ain. You promised not to!」
As expected, Ciel is displaying an extreme reaction. As if to keep me from leaving, the arms around my neck tightened and our bodies got even closer. To calm Ciel down, I gently caress her arm.
「Yes. Since there’s no need for me to disappear anymore, I decided to talk about it.」
「Really? That’s not a lie, is it?」
As I answered her, Ciel loosened her arms. Even so, our bodies remain close to each other. Our cheeks are also stuck to each other. This warmth is different from that of the bath, this sensation of skin touching without anything in between, I just want to surrender myself to it.
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「Now, as for how I would disappear, in short, it’s because Ainsel means ‘Myself.’ Even if you shorten it to Ain, it still means ‘Me.’ So if Ciel calls me Ain, it would be like she’s referring to herself from an outsider’s perspective.」
「So even if I say, Ain cast this barrier, it would be like I’m saying that I cast this barrier myself, right?」
「I wasn’t confident that it would work, it was more like wishful thinking. As we know, using magic requires some sort of sacrifice.」
Thanks to that, I can’t use combat sorcery. I probably can’t use healing sorcery as well. Though, in the case of healing, Song Princess can cover for it.
「That’s why I thought of a magic that would transfer all of my magical abilities and skills to you, Ciel. This way, you would be able to cast a barrier on your own. The price for this would be my own existence, which would be completely erased, leaving no trace behind. It would also alter memories, and although it’s uncertain if it’s even possible, the fact that I used the name Ainsel made it seem plausible. In other words, if this magic were to be activated, everything I have done would become yours, Ciel. With the exception of those in this mansion, only you know and have used the name Ainsel. The maids who assisted me might feel something is amiss since they assisted ‘themselves,’ but aside from that, I should disappear from everyone’s minds aside Mistress Fiiyanamia, since she’s a divine messenger, without any major issues. Those we met before coming here do not know about Ainsel, so there would be no need to alter their memories.」
I wasn’t sure if it was possible or not, to be honest. It was more of a hopeful wish on my part. However, since I received approval from the Supreme God, it should be possible to turn it into magic. Or rather, it may be that this is only feasible because there is an abundance of untapped divinity.
Whatever the case, if Ciel doesn’t want to be a god, if she can’t accept what I actually was, or if it’s judged that I’m unnecessary; I intended to disappear using this magic.
「Then, even now, Ain is still in a state in which that magic is usable, right? What can we do to make that magic unusable?」
「If I’m given a different name and called that, the magic will become unusable.」
「…That’s troubling, really troubling. To me, Ain is Ain, any other name would feel really weird.」
Well, I understand how large of a hurdle it is for Ciel to think of a name for me. Besides, I understand the feeling. It would feel weird for me to be called by the name Yumemura Leon after all this time too. In that case, if Ciel can’t think of anything, having her call me by my former name should be the best option. After all, even the Supreme God didn’t speak of it.
Still, with how I look now, the name Yumemura Leon doesn’t really fit me.
「In that case, even just this once, please call me Yume.」
I was considering Leo, but Yume sounds a bit more girlish. Hearing what I said, Ciel tilted her head in confusion but because our faces were close to each other, Ciel’s head hit mine. For now, I gently brushed her cute head and Ciel narrowed her eyes in a ticklish manner.
「Is that Ain’s old name?」
「A nickname made from my old name… I suppose. I thought that this one would fit my current appearance the most, you see.」
「I see… Say, Yume. I like Yume. I like Yume so much. So please, don’t go disappear, okay?」
「Yes, of course.」
I lean my head on Ciel as well. There’s hair in between us, but this somehow feels extremely calming. At the same time, I understood by instinct that I can no longer use the magic that’d make me disappear.
Ciel is asking me for answers with her gaze, so I whispered to her: 「I can’t use it anymore.」
Hiya~! Yes! We finally got to hear the secret of Ain’s ominous other magic, which is actually a self-destruction switch for herself!?
Anyhow, here in this chapter, we see Ain finally opening up with the last secret she’s keeping, and in my opinion, this is the true final show of Ain opening herself and exposing her vulnerabilities, something that has been happening this whole arc. As I’ve read with from other people’s comments, and in my own personal opinion as an individual, the time with Fiiyanamia was a bit forceful. Even Fiiyanamia herself recognises that her method isn’t a fair method. However, for me, that functioned as a good contrast to the opening up that Ain is currently going over right now, to the most important person that she really needs to open up to first. The one with Fiiyanamia functionally served as a sledgehammer to make Ain self-conscious that led to Ain gradually opening up instead of letting her feelings overflow uncontrollably again. It did lighten the burden a bit, but only temporarily, since it wasn’t really a conscious choice. It was these little interactions with Ciel that really made the difference.
I also really loved how the story of Ainsel (Me aan sel, or My own self) was melded into this. It subtly hints on the type of person Ain was, knowing a bit of fairy tales and loving songs. It really does strengthen the Disney Princess image of Ain, lol. And I don’t think this is a well-known story either. As for me, I only learned of the story through this series, lol..
As for the adorable interactions, really, what else can I say? Still, Ciel subtly weaving in impure intentions with her innocent touching was funny. Also small callbacks like how Ain taught Ciel how to make good lather with soap, Ciel mimicking what happened with Viviana, subtle things.
Now then, I hope you enjoyed this chapter. Please feel free to comment. Stay clean, stay safe, and have a nice day~!
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