Ruth, woken up by the chirping birds, noticed that morning had already arrived when he saw the sunlight pouring in from the crack in between the curtains.
“Ugh… my butt…”
Ruth stopped his movements when he sat up and pain from an unexpected place ran through his body. It felt like something was stuck in between that place.
He looked down at his body and realized he wasn't wearing anything. In any case, it seems like he was covered with the futon while he was still naked.
“Wh...what is this…”
Ruth slightly pulled back at the large amount of hickeys on his body when he looked down. He doesn't even need to think to know who the culprit behind this is.
“Alec-- huh…. He’s not here?”
He looked around the room, but the culprit, Alec, was nowhere to be seen. Even his equipment, that were scattered around when he was undressing, disappeared without a trace.
(He already left?)
According to yesterday’s conversation, Alec was going to leave for the capital at the crack of dawn. Peeking out from the gap between the curtains, it seems like early morning had already long passed from how the sun is shining. If that’s the case then Alec probably departed from the village already.
“Even so, that guy… in the end, just what did he want to do yesterday?”
Ruth was surprised when Alec, who’s normally calm and collected, got all riled up and assaulted him; but Ruth ultimately still doesn’t understand why Alec did so in the first place. It still makes absolutely no sense even when he remembers the conversation they had before it. However, because Alec mentioned “unrest” then something might have happened to him.
(Maybe… he wanted to graduate from being a virgin before going off on the journey.)
He’s never had those sort of conversations with Alec before, but because it’s a small village, rumors about recklessly sleeping with women spreads like wildfire and eventually lead to having to marry into their family. Therefore, there’s an extremely high likelihood that Alec is still a virgin considering how there are absolutely no rumors about his love life.
(But, since he’s going out on a journey as a hero, Alec must have thought it would be bad if things stayed the way they were now. That must be the “unrest” he was talking about. It’s possible... this sort of situation, becoming an adult and wanting to go off on a journey, the feeling of wanting to show off your maturity by shedding off your innocence...)
Even though it sounds a bit lewd, wanting to become an adult, in both mind and body, before leaving on a journey is something Ruth understands. Nevertheless, that alone is probably linked to one’s confidence. Even though Ruth himself didn’t experience this in this past life, the fact that he once witnessed one of his friends gaining a mysterious boost in confidence after they threw away their virgin status and smoothly advanced to the next round in one of their competitions only confirms his thoughts.
However, Ruth believed that even if Alec wanted to stop being a virgin, he didn’t need to choose Ruth as his partner.
(But, hitting on a random woman would lead to a lot of problems for Alec later…)
So, in that situation, Alec chose Ruth. Something like that is pretty likely. Or rather, it's more like Ruth can’t think of any other explanation than that.
“But Alec… it’s okay because it’s me, normally anyone would be mad if you did something like that, sheesh…”
Usually, this would lead to cutting off all ties if not handled well.
However, whether it’s by chance or coincidence, Ruth, including his previous life, has the mental age of a 50-year-old. He’s able to calmly act this way because Ruth normally never gets too mad at whatever Alec does and holds a high tolerance for most things. Truthfully, he never imagined that Alec would do that to him, but he’s not angry either. In fact, Ruth didn’t mind and believed that if Alec is more confident in himself from now on then even the pain in his butt is a cost worth paying for.
(... Wait… but what if that wasn’t Alec?)
For someone who's mentally 50 years old, everyone in the village who is the same age as Ruth looks like adorable children in his eyes. However, when he imagined someone besides Alec suddenly doing things just like yesterday to him--
Disgust and chills ran through his body as a wave of nausea also welled up inside of him. He quickly dismissed the idea and returned to thinking of Alec’s face.
(I shouldn't let my thoughts wander around like that...)
After some deep reflecting, without ever thinking about the most important part of why he is fine with Alec, Ruth shifted gears and looked for his clothes.
"Anyway, where are my clothes...huh? A letter?"
Ruth's clothes were placed on top of a table at the edge of the room together with a hastily written letter. In the paper, Alec wrote some departure words, how he would occasionally send letters to keep in touch and an unexpected message at the end.
“I’m leaving the thing on your wrist in your care until the journey is over. The proposal is postponed.”
“My wrist …?”
Ruth looked at his right arm and there was a shining silver bracelet fitted around it. He remembers seeing this design.
"Huh… this… isn't this his proposal bracelet…. Is it's okay for me to wear it? Well, first of all, I need to make sure I don't lose it…"
His thoughts stopped for a moment when he stared at the sparkling and shining bracelet, but the usual women-loving Ruth couldn’t deduce that Alec loved him.
Then, after a while, Ruth realized the reality that he will never be able to walk the road to true adulthood until Alec returns.
(Alec, come back as soon as possible if not, I might end up having to become a sage again…!)
Even though he dreads having to experience another job change into a sage, the end is still yet to be known. After all, Ruth’s fate, in various ways, is already in the palm of Alec’s hand.
- In the LN version this line was changed slightly so I thought I might include it here too: "Ruth couldn't deduce that Alec put the bracelet on him because he loved him. He was just left with this dubious feeling."
- I fixed this part in the edited version of Chapter 3 but "sage" in here is referring to a major trope in japanese isekai series where the virgin guy turns into a sage/wizard after he turns 30. They are considered as a "sage/wizard" for being extremely patient and enduring a lot of "trials
MARY: Thanks for waiting! This marks the end of the first arc!!! \o/ Translating this chapter made me lose so much brain cells... Ruth why are you like this. Anyway, the upcoming arc is prettyy exciting so I think y'all will like that. Until then, there's an extra chapter left in this arc so I will see you guys in the next update ^_^)/