Translated by Addis of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
“Why are you back? I was going to call the police just now, saying that someone ate a meal without paying.”
Back in the restaurant, Mowanya was squatted on the cash register, her pupils shrunken into a slit within her topaz eyes, flashing a dangerous light. Augusta took out his wallet and paid, but pointed to Antosa’s nose and said, “You don’t get any tips!”
Antosa ran into the kitchen with a sad face.
During this period, Kyfayar was staring at the small cakes that were prizes for the event. He looked like he was losing his soul. His appearance made Augusta think of a child stuck to the shop window, staring greedily at the toys inside. The difference was that Kyfayar was twice as tall as a child, and kids didn’t drool.
“Let’s go, Kyfayar!” After closing the accounts, the magician called for his werewolf. Kyfayar hesitated for several seconds to respond to Augusta before reluctantly following him out of the restaurant. But he never looked away from the little cakes. Augusta was very puzzled, it was just a few stupid cakes — well, he had to admit, it did smell good, but it was not as attractive, right?
“Kyfayar,” the magician said, calling back the werewolf youth’s soul after he hit the back of his head. “Do you really want that cake?”
Kyfayar rubbed his head and looked pitifully at Augusta, “No! I…” He paused, “I’ll just look at it!”
What happened within that delicate pause! Augusta thought. If you want to eat, just say it! This guy looks like a kid who didn’t get a present at Christmas! He will look at you with that kind of melancholic and erratic eyes, from one Christmas to the next, for a whole year. All because he was not given presents!
Augusta had a headache again. Since the werewolf appeared in his home, his blood pressure had never come down and his headaches had become more frequent. In the long run, Augusta felt that he would lose at least ten years of his life.
“Let’s go back in.” He said.
Kyfayar kept up with him. They returned to the dining room, and the great master on the cash register raised her head slightly, “What? Have you come back to tip since your conscience has found you out?”
Augusta came straight to the point, “Can I have one of those cakes? I’m willing to pay twice — No, three times the price.”
“Why? It’s just a cake. I’m willing to pay, but you don’t want to sell it?”
“They’re not for sale.” The great master spoke with much care. Augusta guessed that she must often speak to Antosa in this tone. “That’s the prize of the event. I set the rules of the activity. If I break the rules for you now, will I not slap myself in the mouth?”
“The rules can be changed!”
“How much are you willing to sell them for?”
“Augusta Hollich, why are you so upset?” The cat slapped the counter hard, but its paw made no sound on the wooden table, so it had no deterrent effect. “This is a simple and people-friendly activity. Kiss someone on the mouth and take a picture, and you can take two small cakes home. It won’t take you even ten seconds. Why don’t you just take part in the activity instead of arguing with me?”
“Don’t you want lovers to kiss and take pictures? Where do I come from?” Augusta grabbed the master and shook her.
“Why don’t you just kiss that werewolf?”
“He and I are not…”
The cat put a paw on Augusta’s face, “Why are you saying it! If you don’t say it, no one will know you’re not lovers!”
“What am I supposed to do?”
“Just kiss him! Antosa! Antosa!” The great master cried out. The witch maid came out of the kitchen with a polaroid camera in her hand.
“Ready, great master!” Just listening to her tone of preparedness, one would think she was carrying a machine gun.
“Wait! Don’t shoot!” Kyfayar reached out to block the camera lens. “You can’t force Mr. Augusta to do what he doesn’t want to do!”
Antosa dodged from side to side, trying to find a gap and get Augusta into the camera frame. Kyfayar found that he couldn’t stop her, so he opened his arms and blocked Augusta.
“Sir, let’s go!” He pushed the magician. “I don’t want that cake. I’m — We…”
“No! I must get the cake!”
The cat exclaimed, “What’s the matter with your strange aggressiveness?”
“Do we get a prize as long as we kiss and take a picture?” Augusta asked.
“Yes.” The great master nodded.
The magician moved to the counter, turned to Kyfayar, and said, “Come on!”
The great master grinned and laughed. “Look at your expression! It’s like going to the execution ground! Is-Is this your first kiss? Well, pftpft…” She buried her head in her claws and looked ready to faint with laughter.
“Ah, of course not stupid cat!” Augusta blushed. It’s not. The first day the werewolf entered his house was when he had his first kiss! Agh! Why did I think of it?!
Kyfayar looked at him helplessly, “Sir, do you really want to…”
“What’s with all this nonsense?” Augusta grabbed Kyfayar’s coat by the lapel and pulled him towards himself. “I’m Augusta, the great mage. You’re my loyal servant. I can’t even give you a cake…”
He closed his eyes and scolded the stupid cat ten thousand times. How dare a lower mammal tease a great mage in this way. Wait for me, dead cat. One day I will skin you to make an instrument to play with at home every day!
He felt Kyfayar take a step closer to himself, the other party’s breath and heartbeat immediately within reach. Augusta couldn’t help but feel his body tense, his scalp go numb, and arms get covered with goosebumps. He had never been so nervous even when he tried ancient magic that would make a mage’s bones disappear.
A cold thing covered his lips. Augusta’s mind was in a mess, and he could only barely realize that it was Kyfayar’s lips. The werewolf was kissing him. He is kissing him! Kyfayar kissed him cautiously. It seemed as though Augusta was a beautiful and fragile vessel made of glass, which would be broken if one was not careful. It also seemed that he was a blessed holy object on the altar, and any excessive contact was blasphemy.
Augusta trembled, not knowing whether he was angry or frightened. He wondered why he had to kiss for such a long time. Had Antosa not taken the photograph yet? He also secretly hoped that the kiss would not end too soon. The feeling of being treated with care made him feel at ease and he enjoyed it a little.
After some time, the touch on the lips disappeared. Augusta opened his eyes, and Kyfayar who was in front of him, was staring at his toes awkwardly. He didn’t dare to look him in the eye. He blushed to the base of his neck. Antosa’s camera spat out a picture. She pasted it on the pink love circle photo wall and put a tack to make sure it stayed firmly on the wall.
“The spring of love!” She was elated, “Ah, I hope that the seeds will be sown in spring and the fruits of love will be harvested in autumn. How wonderful it is!”
“Beautiful, fuck off!” Augusta was furious. “Give me the cakes!!”
“Are you going to eat here, or are you going to pack it?” Antosa glanced at Augusta’s expression and stuck out her tongue. “I’m going to get the box.” She took two lovely pink cartons, packed two small cakes and gave them to Kyfayar.
“Let’s go!” Augusta said, “I don’t want to come to this kind of place again!”
“Thank you for your patronage and you’re welcome anytime for your next visit,” said the cat behind his back.
With the box in his arms, the young werewolf followed Augusta up the street of the town in the same direction. The magician was still in a rage. Kyfayar’s legs were soft and he could hardly keep up with Augusta.
After a while, Augusta turned around and said, “What? Come on!”
Kyfayar stared at the asphalt road under his feet, his facial features almost wrinkled.
“Lord Augusta, I…” He murmured, “Why are you so kind to me? I don’t know how to repay you…”
“I don’t want to hear that now!” Augusta interrupted, “I’m going home!”
He turned his head and left. But Kyfayar still did not follow and instead, cried out, “Sir, don’t you think about me?”
“What are you thinking about?”
Kyfayar took one step forward, and then another. He trod up to Augusta and grabbed Augusta’s arm with his free hand. “Didn’t you say you didn’t have a lover yet?”
Augusta wanted to pull his arm back, but Kyfayar held it too tightly, and there was a huge gap in both their strengths. He had no chance at all, so he had to let the other party hold him like this, hoping that he would not break his arm.
“So… don’t you think about me?”
With that, Kyfayar closed his eyes regretfully. Why choose this opportunity! Lord Augusta must be angry. He thought. I’m so abrupt that he must think I’m a fool!
However, Augusta didn’t roar as much as usual. Kyfayar opened his eyes and saw the magician staring at him with a look of disjust, half-advice and half-lament, “Kyfayar, what I like is ‘men’.”
“Men. People,” Augusta said, “Are you a person?”
“Sir, you sound racist.”
“But you are not human.”
“I know! Although I am not human, but… I am a man! I meet your requirements halfway. Have you really not considered it?”
“How can you meet half of it?” Augusta angrily threw Kyfayar’s hand away. At last he showed his unhappiness as plainly as ever. “In your opinion, why don’t I also think about women? Women are also ‘human’, which meets half of my criteria.”
“If you mention one more such nonsense, I’ll send you back to Cavaldien!”
Kyfayar shook as if he had been struck by lightning. ‘Send back to Lord Cavaldien’ was more terrible than anything in the world, not only because it was Lord Cavaldien but… Although he was also terrible, Kyfayar was even more frightened that if he was sent back, he would never see his Lord Augusta again.
“I’ll never say it again!” He covered his mouth.
On the way back to the mansion, he did not even say a word. After entering the room, Augusta waved to him, “Take both cakes and eat them. I’m not interested in this kind of snack.”
“But this cake is yours…”
“If I tell you to eat, eat it!” Augusta raised his voice with a tone of irritation. “Why do you always disobey my orders?”
“I don’t — I… Yes!” Kyfayar saluted.
However, that night, Augusta sat down at the table, and Kyfayar first served a delicious little cake, with a weird candle on it, instead of the dinner dishes.
Augusta frowned. “I said I wouldn’t eat it.”
“I know.” Kyfayar stood nervously beside him, his hands uneasily clasped together, before separating and clasping together again. “I’ve tasted the other one, and it’s surprisingly delicious. Such delicious food, I — I want to share it with you.”
Augusta looked up. Kyfayar turned his head and did not dare to look at him, his ears red.
“Pick it up.” The magician commanded.
The young werewolf picked up the plate of cake and bit his lips. He was very aggrieved. Why is Augusta so heartless? Is his kindness worthless to him?
“It’s a dessert and should be served after dinner,” the magician added.
Kyfayar’s mouth dropped. In an instant, all his discontent and grievances were like the smoke blown by the wind. His heart was filled with something warm and breathless, almost overflowing and making him warm.