Inaka Life Chapter 18 Part 1

The Guidance of the Cat General


I’m trying to earn a bit of money so I hope you don’t mind the detour.


I heard the sound of horses from a distance. Those soldiers have probably come to capture me. I stopped the chore I was doing. No, perhaps Reichel-niisama has come himself all the way here.  To catch the criminal who is me.
To escape from their notice, I ran to the backyard and hid within the flower garden.

I’ve arrived at Princess Liliana’s house.
The last time I remember riding  a horse this swiftly was when I was a kid who was excited for his first lesson, I reminisced while breathing heavily.
When I got off the horse, Yuan, who was behind me, also got off and tied the horse near the turtle’s pond.
If it’s the usual, I’d go take a look att the turtle before entering the house, but I don’t have the time to look at its face. I must see Aine even a second quicker, as I hurriedly walked towards the front door, Yuan called out to me.

[Aniue, please look at this.]

Yuan picked up the bucket and brought it over to me.  When I thoughtfully looked in it, I saw Kamekichi hiding in its own shell.  It was driven from the wide pond into the bucket.  Kamekichi has been staring at us while staying still.

[…What does this mean?]
[Aniue, let’s quickly go up the house. Aine-niisama might’ve been…]

Unable to bear what I might hear next, I ran inside Aine’s house.  When I opened the door, a very uncomfortable feeling washed over me. That’s because the things that should’ve been there since yesterday have all disappeared. It  feels so lifeless. It’s returned back into when Aine wasn’t here.
Shocked by the same sight I’m seeing, Yuan’s shoulder shook.

[…We’re going up the second floor.]

It was then. Aine’s pet cat snuck up and brushed past my leg and cried *Na~* once.

[Sorry but we don’t have time to pay attention to you.]

I told the cat while facing it, then shook it off and climbed to the second floor towards Aine’s room.
There, I found a scene that seems to be  saying “We’ve just been packed”. On top of the bed is an open trunk where Aine’s clothes, shoes, tableware and other essential items are stuffed. All the picture frames, vases and pots which were present  yesterday are all gone.
Aine has disappeared from this place, and from my sight—
I was shocked by the sudden thrust of reality.  It’s true that I used to not want to see him, I also thought that I can control him, I also never thought that he’d go to place far from my reach. A very dark emotion came over me.

[I will never forgive him.]
[He’s mine. I will not forgive him for disappearing selfishly.] (TN: Ehh… since when?)
[A. Aniue! As I thought, towards Aine-niisama, you…!]
[Ouch! You! What are you doing?!]

Suddenly, the cat scratched me all of a sudden.  Although it’s through my clothes, it still hurts. I have no time to be scratched by you, when I tried to catch it, the cat slipped past my feet and headed straight to the door.
And then, it stopped and looked behind me with only its neck. As if it’s telling us to follow it.

[I see, you’ll take us to him.]

When I asked it so, it moved its head as if it was nodding.

[Alright, lead the way. Let’s go, Yuan.]
[A, Aniue?]
[When you were attacking Aine, it brought me here.] [TN: Mike-sama!!!]
[This guys works for me. Should I call it General Cat?]
[This cat is…]

Yuan was lost for words. When the saw that we’re not moving, a Naa~ came out from its throat.

The place where the cat guided us the flower garden behind the house. There’s a flower garden before entering the mansion, but I never knew there’s another in the back. Yuan also seems to be clueless about it as he was looking around all over.
The flower garden at the back grew taller than the ones in the front. The flowers grew up to my waist. With this vastness and this amount, also with this height, if one just crouches over, you wouldn’t be able to tell where he’s at. When the Cat General saw our troubled faces, it started running.

[Oi! Where are you going?!]

You can’t abandon us after guiding us this far!
We stepped on the flower garden as we run in a hurry. We pushed apart flower after flower as we somehow managed to run in the same direction. (TN: 花と花を掻き分けながらなんとか走っていったであろう方向に走っていく。 Not sure) It was very difficult to chase after the Cat General in this garden.I managed to not click my tongue as we were running.

[Nii-sama, Yuan.]

Beneath the tree, there sat Aine. On top of his knees, the Cat General was sitting with a happy face.
When he saw Yuan and me, his face fell and he started crying.
[You came here to catch me, didn’t you? Because I broke my promise and entered the castle.]
[Please rest easy. I’m leaving this place. I will live far from Nii-sama’s and Yuan’s sight. I’ve truly caused you trouble.]

Forcefully cutting my words, Aine courageously spoke. “I’ve already decided”, it’s that kind of talk.
And so, carrying the Cat General, he stood up, bowed his head with the intent of leaving quickly. I caught hold of his hand.

[That’s not happening.]
[You are not permitted to leave this place. Do you plan to go against Father’s will?]
[…I plan to talk to Father and make  him understand. Anyway, I can’t stay here. That’s why, please let gor of my hand, Nii-sama.]

To escape my hold, Aine tried to twist his hand. However, instead of letting go, I exerted more strength to prevent him from leaving.
I will never let go of this hand.
When I strengthened my grip, Aine showed a pained expression.

[It, it hurts, Nii-sama.]
[Aniue, please let go of his hand.]

Yuan came in between me and Aine to separate our hands apart. His eyes are cold. He’s probably thinking what the heck I am doing to his precious Aine-niisama’s body.]
I clicked my tongue and unwillingly let go of Aine’s hand. In his hand stayed my hand print.

[Aah, Aine-niisama, you poor thing. It must’ve hurt.] (TN: Pain, pain~ Fly away~!)

He said as he naturally blew on Aine’s reddened arm. At that moment, Aine’s body flinched. With that reaction, the Cat General fell from his arms and ran off somewhere.

[Aine-niisama, we didn’t come here to catch you. We’re here to apologize.]
[To apologize…?]
[Yes. I, myself lost to my desires and attacked Aine-niisama. I’m aware I’ve really done something that couldn’t be undone. I’m very sorry.]
[You’re wrong, it’s because I didn’t properly receive that something like that…]
[You’re wrong, Aine-niisama. Nii-sama didn’t do anything wrong. Even if Nii-sama guided me back to the living room, the me at that time without a doubt would’ve done the same thing.]

When Yuan confidently stuck out his chest and said so, Aine’s face retracted (?). I also pulled back. Where does his confidence come from? As I thought, my little brother is a real pervert, I unconciously confirmed. Yuan ignored , my reaction and continued talking.

[I am in love with Aine-niisama. I can’t imagine you out of my sight.  I will go mad. That’s why, please don’t disappear…]

It was like listening to Yuan’s heart’s cry. Aine must’ve felt the same, as he was looking at Yuan’s face that was about to cry.

[I can’t, I just can’t, Yuan.]
[I can’t stay here. If I’m here, the both of you will turn weird.] (TN: Too late, Aine.)
[I don’t know who you heard that from, but that’s not true. On the other hand, we will go crazy if you disappeared.]
[That’s not it, Yuan. Indeed, I heard a lot of painful things, however that’s not all.]

Aine softly took his eyes off Yuan and turned to me who was quietly watching with my arms crossed.

[I stepped down as a successor candidate, I don’t own any political position. I am not doing anything. Even then, I’m vividly living in Liliana-sama’s Garden. There’s no way that’s forgivable.

Aine diligently talked while squeezing his voice out. I indeed found him very much  unworthy of living in this castle.
This man has come to a point where he stopped considering himself as our brother. This train of thought might have been induced by those nobles but, but the him who thought up to here is, in a way, a genius.

[I might indeed be a Prince, but I don’t have any duties, I’m just a waste of space. I have no good reason to be here. I will just live by myself in the countryside instead—]

I pulled Aine’s body close to stop him from talking.

Your small brain is screaming. You’re overthinking things.]
[P, Please stop, Ani-sama, this is a very serious problem. If the useless me stays at the castle, it will cause you guys trouble.]

It was so funny I laughed through my nose. Probably wondering why I laughed. Aine wrinkled his brows.

[What’s so funny, Nii-sama?]
[Were you planning on going out with that?]
[Because you’re a useless commoner and are causing us trouble? Don’t make me laugh, who said you’re troublesome? Never have Yuan and I ever said that, right?]
[Bu, But…]
[No buts. Isn’t it because you’re taking care of Liliana-sama’s Garden that you’re not given any political position. Aren’t you just following Father’s orders?]
[You don’t seem convinced.]

Aine who’s within my arms looked up and glared at me. Those upturned eyes aren’t scary at all, on the contrary, the owner probably does not know that it looks cute.
Suppressing the inadequate feeling surging within me, I stroked Aine’s hair. His black hair was so smooth, it felt good to touch.
Aine seemed to have calmed down a bit after his hair has been stroked. With pointed lips, he softly said.

[That’s because I like farming and gardening that I do it. Even if it’s not me…]
[If you want an official position that much, I’ll give you one.]

Aine’s eyes changed color instantly. Was he that pleased to finally be of use?
My eyes were taken by such Aine, I instinctively lowered my lips to his. (TN: Don’t ignore Yuan, oi!)

[You should just be my wife.] (TN:I remember someone admonishing his little bro for wanting to take his older brother as his wife. Who was that?)

With that, won’t it be fine?
When I said that,

[Aniue! Only that, I won’t forgive! Besides, it’s already decided that Aine-niisama will be my wife!]

Suddenly, when Yuan shouted in a loud voice and Aine’s face reddened without understanding what’s happening, I laughed.

(To be cont.)