Hanare Gatai Kemono - Chapter 8 [v1]




Chapter 8

"Do you want more?"

"It's enough, Ash."

"Ung...but you look like you need some more."

And thud. Little Ash suddenly glued his forehead to Dyria, checking the temperature.

"You're still warm. A little more ice cream, Dyria?"

"Okay then."

"Ash will come back soon, so if anything happens, call me and I'll come right over, okay?"

"Yes, I'll call you."

Chu.

Ash pressed his lips against Dyria's forehead and immediately ran to Edna, waiting patiently in the doorway.

Both said they would make ice cream in the small kitchen next to Dyria and Ash's current room. And although it's a bit cramped for wolf's size, the kitchen is still bigger than the one in Dyria and Ash's old house. It was also filled with all the utensils they needed.

"Yudha, come when Ash calls you," asked Ash to Yudha. Said that they would need him later to churn the mixture vigorously to harden the ice cream.

"Call me anytime."

"I will!"

Ash said bye bye to Dyria and Yudha, taking Edna's hand and heading to the kitchen.

"He's really caring."

Yudha, who turned to Dyria, put on a soft expression.

"A charming doctor..."

"He's copying what I told him when he's sick."

"It makes sense. The way you talk to him is exceptionally gentle."

Dyria had always been taking care of Ash in a gentle way. Because a child is a mirror of their parents. If you see how a baby behaved, then you could see what kind of person raised them.

"Dyria, you're really a good parent."

"Thank you."

Dyria was a bit embarrassed because almost no one complimented his parenting method before. Embarrassed, but very happy... Somehow his heart was tickled.

"I really mean it. You took good care of Ash, raising him rigorously but gentle, and that's why he grew up being so caring and cute. He's a good boy..."

"Yes yes, I know but please don't flatter me so much."

"You always take a close look at Ash and notice even a little change in him. You are truly amazing."

"I already know you recognize my efforts so can I get out of my bed now?"

Dyria, not being able to stand the embarrassment, changed the topic. Life on bed was hard and this was already his third day. Dyria wished he could get up soon.

"Don't worry about Ash."

"I know that."

"If so, then sleep tight." Yudha gently pressed Dyria's shoulder to get him to lie back down. "Let me spoil you."

"I feel uneasy for staying on the bed."

Ash read books, drew, and solved his math problems at Dyria's feet all day. Since Dyria couldn't play with him, he played with Edna and Yudha and they also took care of his bathing and brushing his teeth.

For the last three days, four people were eating in one bed...and that was a bit strange.

Dyria was always in good condition and since it was the first time he had such a relaxing time since giving birth to Ash, he didn't feel familiar with the whole thing. He bathed with Yudha's help only the first day and after that, the wolf would bring him warm water and a hand wipe, so he cleaned himself that way. He felt exhausted and also a little restless.

Or maybe very restless.

It seemed like a great sin to leave all his responsibilities to someone else. He felt like he was neglecting his duties as a father.

"It's normal to get help when you are sick."

Yudha took it for granted. Dyria believed that the wolf was strong enough never to have needed someone else. In any case, he thought the man was very reliable. Edna and Yudha really seemed to like him and his child a lot. Only with Yudha and Edna could he leave Ash with complete trust.

"I trust you."

"How did you come to that conclusion?"

"Because I feel it..."

Yudha's ears and tail fluttered with pride. The wolf was cute and straightforward when Dyria spoke nice to him.

"You and Edna can be trusted, because I'm sure you guys are not the ones who poison our food."

"...You know about that?"

Yudha moved from the chair next to the bed he was sitting on and settled on the edge of the bed. It sank silently as both stared at each other, at a distance where Yudha's body temperature was transmitted to Dyria perfectly.

It seemed there was a poison in the food Dyria and Ash ate. A stimulant. And this stimulant was one used by the golden wolf army to give them more vitality and strength. After the war ended, most of these items were destroyed, yet some vials were distributed to the market and were relatively easy to sell.

"it was not life-threatening for Ash, but a stimulant would have caused him to misbehave at the meeting with his great-grandmother."

Dyria agreed. But that didn't take away from the fact that it was a threat.

"Is that a warning to get out of the castle?"

"Don't say that."

"If you knew who put the poison, you have to tell me real quick..."

"I couldn't say that without knowing who the culprit is..."

Dyria smiled bitterly.

Dyria was a 23-year-old human, and Ash, a 5-year-old beast who liked to eat different food. The seasonings, ingredients, amount of food, everything was different, but it was the day after their arrival at this castle that Dyria felt uncomfortable. When they ate the food in the castle for the first time, Ash suddenly became hyper. He didn't look like a baby tired from being in a carriage for three days. He was in a good mood instead, wagging his tail and opening his eyes wide as he started eating. He also greeted Yudha, whom he had met for the first time, with so much joy that it seemed abnormal. However, in return for that extra energy, he resisted reading his favorite picture book, shouting "No!" to practicing arithmetic, and would say "I want to play," before running on all fours. Saying to the servants that his baby felt uncomfortable being not used to the new environment, Dyria decided to bring meals to his room instead.

Ash's food was eaten by Dyria while making the little boy eat dried fruits he had brought from home, baked treats that didn't use sugar, and canned food.

Soon after, Ash back to his usual self again. In contrast, Dyria, who ate everything from the castle felt like he was in a steam bath, sweating, and breathing faster. However, when they ate Edna's sweet, their behavior did not change.

"The servants brought meats and fruits every day."

"I see."

"I like it, but not when they serve it raw."

"Ah, yes, it's not good for Ash to eat raw meat. But what happened to the meat though...?"

"After I noticed the effect, I decided to find out who the culprit was and when I went to the kitchen with Ash... Oh! I was going to tell you that the chef and Ash became fast friends."

"Friends...?"

"Ash said to the chef "Hey, Dyria's getting sick! But raw meat is gross so put vegetables on it!" Stuff like that."

"You're good at imitating Ash... But what's that got to do with it?"

"They baked the meat to make sandwiches, and the rest of it was smoked. So, well, I was relieved because you only eat fruits and meats that are hard to mix with poison. But, that just means they made it from somewhere else."

"The gifts from you and Edna really helped me and I'm grateful for your research, but I can't let Ash live like this forever. You can give us food personally or go to the chef to see that everything is cooked properly, but this just tells me I can't take my eyes off Ash."

Putting stimulants in the food came first. Maybe they would push him down the stairs or even cause some skin wounds later. However, from Yudha's point of view, the only one they should be worried about was Dyria himself. If they gave Ash stimulants, he could make a small mistake in essential situations like meeting his great-grandmother, but it can be terribly poisonous to humans. It is creepy if he suddenly has a heat.

"You're not going to eat anything from now on if it's not from my hands, understood?"

"It's better that I suffer than Ash does."

"What does that mean?"

"If they wanted to kill Ash, they would have done it from day one. It turns out that's not the intention, but to cause me to go through a heat cycle because they know I'm an Asriff... It's important to identify the enemy but if it's about me, then it doesn't matter."

"If that hurts you, Ash is going to be very sad."

"But Ash won't suffer."

"You think Ash, who hasn't been away from you for three days, didn't suffer?"

"......"

"It's good to think about Ash's physical health first, but think about his mental health as well. Ash needs you a lot more than you think."

"Okay."

"Don't eat anything, don't drink anything. I'll get it all for you from somewhere else."

"But if it happens again..."

"It will never happen again! I will do everything I can to make you well."

"...Yudha."

"What?"

"Your hand..."

Yudha squeezed Dyria's hand tightly on the bed. It was tight but soft because of the fur.

"Yudha, your tail is all bristly."

"I know."

"If you know, then calm down..."

"It's not that easy."

"Why? Oh, are you worried about me?"

"Why wouldn't I be worried about you? Why would I be calm when someone is hurting you?"

Yudha's tail could not calm down. Truth is, he already knew the perpetrator who had mixed the stimulant. It was a man, one of the servants. Yet he still did not know the one behind. Yudha was investigating but very cautious and worried about what would happen to Dyria from now on.

If he hadn't spoken up...

If he didn't love him as he did...

"You're reckless, and you prioritize Ash over yourself..."

"...?"

"You care about Ash, perfect. Then let me take care of you."

"...Thank you."

No matter how sweet and gentle he said it, it wasn't working for Dyria. Yudha exhaled and plopped down.

"What's wrong, are you tired?"

"No."

"You're busy with work, investigating the poison matter, and awake here the whole time. Did Ash bother you too much?" Dyria flipped the edge of the blanket over and tapped the space next to him. "Come, sleep here."

"Are you already comfortable enough to invite a man to your bed?"

"Ah... Ah, yes. I'm sorry. It's just like what I do with Ash." Dyria pulled back the blanket. "I wanted to... Um, Yudha, forget about what happened three days ago."

"I can't."

"Yudha... Yu..."

Yudha held Dyria's hand. A large shadow covered them and then, two lips met... A brief kiss showed that the act three days ago was a deal between the two of them. Yudha's mouth remembered it, his fingers...

"I can't forget you..."

Yudha stated this in such a way that he could feel Dyria's breath all over, and if one of them leaned his neck a little, the distance became so small that their lips would touch again.

"And I won't let you forget me again."

"I won't—"

"Yudha! The ice cream!" Ash, with a small apron, rushed into the room, almost out of breath.

"Yudha! Come on! Now it's time to use your trained muscles on...! Oh, did we disturb them?" Edna, covered in colorful dust, put her hand to her mouth. Saying, "I'm sorry, did we disturb you two?"

"...Yudha, quick, Ash is calling."

"Ah... Yes it's a bad time."

Laughing with a naughty face, Yudha licked Dyria's lips one last time before turning his back to him. His tail was in a good mood.

"Wait okay, Dyria!"

"Yes, Ash. I'll wait for you."

He replied to Ash, cooling the heat on his cheek with the back of his palm, thinking, "I think I have a fever again."