Sky of the Wolf: Chapter 1
Editor: Gold Swallow
First published on Ainushi
Rain (Rio POV)
The rain fell hard.
I had no interest in walking outside in the midst of such rainfall.
I am not walking outside because I wish to, but because I need to deliver the supplies. I am definitely not outside on a whim.
It was only evening, yet the sky was dark, overcast with heavy thunderclouds.
Being wrapped up in my robe held no meaning in front of the rain pelting against me. Even my boots were sopping wet.
Actually, there were a few things I wished to buy on my way to town, but not a single shop was open. Although the street was usually packed with people, there was not a soul in sight now.
If I walked even a minute more, I’d be chilled to the bone.
That luxury is out of the question though, I cannot afford to destroy my health for the sake of a day’s meal. Even if it’s troublesome, I have to boil water to warm myself once I get home.
Thinking of such things, while I escaped from the reality of the awful rain, a small shadow in the street ahead flitted past my sight.
———It’s impossible, there shouldn’t be any children outside in such rain.
Despite thinking so, I walked as I looked around my surroundings.
The shadow I saw just now was surely somewhere here…As I stared restlessly, I saw a silhouette of someone crouching under the eaves of a run-down shop in the back alley.
In the midst of such rain, there’s no way a child would be left alone.
I wonder if his baggy robe was meant for an adult, ashis small trembling body seemed to be swimming in the robe that was clearly too large for him. ———Moreover, he was barefoot.
When I tried gently asking, Where are your parents? Where’s your home?, his head shook minutely.
Does this kid intend to spend the night here? He did say he doesn’t have a home, so not just a night but every day? Looking carefully, although the robe seemed sturdy, mud or something soiled it everywhere.
Currently, there should be no children on the streets thanks to the country’s warm shelters.
When I asked, Will you go to the church? he seemed frightened and shook his head wildly.
———Is the church no good either?
Then, the next thing I thought of was a question no person with a good sense would.
It’s alright. I’m still only 17. I’m working, but I’m not yet an adult. I tossed away the “good sense” to abandon this small child just like a tissue.
“Will you come to my house?”
The little one, who’d finally lifted his head, nodded this time.
I couldn’t let a barefoot child walk, so I crouched down with my back facing him. But he seemed puzzled and didn’t move.
“I’ll carry you on my back, so put your hands around my neck.”
Gently, the slender hands wrapped around my neck. The arms that peeked out from the robe seemed pitifully thin. I lifted him up with a Heave-ho, but because he was far lighter than a sack of wheat, I stumbled forward.
After I lightly bumped him up further, I once again stepped out into the rain.
“Here, take that off and wipe yourself down. I’ll boil the water immediately.”
Once we reached my home, I handed over a tower to the child I’d put down on the front porch and went to boil water.
I didn’t know what children liked, but I decided to warm up some goat’s milk for the time being.
Bustling about, I returned to the porch once I’d filled the large tub in the bathroom with hot water.
“You haven’t wiped yourself down at all! You haven’t even taken off your robe! Take a bath just like that for the time being!”
I picked up and carried in the small body. I wonder if it was because of his nervousness or that he’d gone stiff, but that body was thin and light.
Feeling pity, I gently put him down in the bathroom and put my hands on the robe.
Small hands grabbed the robe, offering resistance, but when I yanked it off with force, triangular ears and a ruffled tail appeared.
More importantly, to think he’s naked under the robe. That’s some good taste there.
———I see, that’s why.
I was quite taken aback, but could still understand. There was deep-rooted discrimination against beastmen in this country. Of course, the church wouldn’t accept them and I’d heard that they’d be refused lodging even if they had money.
While scrubbing off dirt from his body full of ribs poking out, I checked for injuries on him. There weren’t any conspicuous wounds on his belly, but his hands and feet had scars, as if they’d been rubbed raw. ———Handcuffs and shackles.
While making sure my face didn’t betray my thoughts, I thoroughly washed his body. Changing the water twice after I rinsed him, an unrecognisable beautiful boy was there.
Wiping him dry with a towel, I went out to the dressing room and handed him some clothes. They were clothes I’d grown too big for, but they’d be much better than the robe he was wearing before. Telling him to wipe down the water in his hair and tail properly, I too quickly took a bath.
“I’m Rio. Rio Riveri. You are?”
Settling down in the living room, I handed him a warm cup of goat’s milk.
While blowing on his cup to cool it down, he opened his mouth to speak and flapped his lips. At last, he cast his eyes down in regret.
Looking at him, it seemed he could speak before. People can lose their five senses when faced with an excessive mental burden.
They’d go blind, they’d become deaf, or they’d lose their voice.
He’s impaired for sure. And it’s a pretty troublesome kind. I thought like that, but I wouldn’t have picked him up in the first place just to throw him out midway.
“I see. It’ll be inconvenient if you don’t have a name I can call out. Neil. I’ll call you Neil from now on.”
Because he has black hair, black eyes and a black tail, and “Neil”, means black. I didn’t give it much thought, but aren’t nicknames like that? In the first place, it’s wrong to request good sense from me.
He nodded, so he must have liked it. That’s great! If it’s fine, then let’s leave it at that.
“——Then, shall we eat? I couldn’t prepare much, but you won’t starve at the very least. From now on, it’d be great if you could help me with various things.”
Seeing him nod a second time, I proceeded to prepare dinner.
Inability to speak due to disease or damage to larynx or mouth.
Heywoo eveyone〜 Just in case you forget, this story is BL and will contain a few R-18 scenes in the chapters ahead.
Next chappie will be released on Saturday, 22nd March, at 6:30 pm UTC