Chapter 1.2: Masazumi and Yoshihisa (Part 2)
Translated by Mojo of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Now parted from Kase, Masazumi let out a sigh. He found Kase, – or rather, found all alphas difficult to deal with, except for his brother, since they were blood relatives. What made life even harder was being called something like ‘rare species.’
In this world, in addition to male and female genders, there were three sexual classifications ‘alpha,’ ‘beta,’ and ‘omegas.’ A large majority of people were born as betas, with no characteristics other than that of a normal male or female. Masazumi was, statistically speaking, born as an omega by a one in ten thousand chance. This was the secret he was desperately hiding.
In order to protect his body from all the risks and handicaps that arise from being an omega, he was looked after by the school doctor and his father’s old friend, the Dean. In this way, Masazumi was somehow able to live a peaceful student life amongst all the other boarders.
Sometimes he cursed his body and wished that his life would just end quickly. The daily life of having to prevent others from realizing was a continual source of tension. If not for the private room, he would have already collapsed mentally, his body and spirit both destroyed.
Omegas possessed pheromones that excited the sexual urges of alphas, and he must take daily suppressants to avoid provoking them. When the physiological phenomenon, called ‘heat’ occurred every twenty-eight days and was suppressed with that medicine. During this period, omegas experienced extreme lust.
In other words, it was similar to the way a dog went into heat. While experiencing heat, the omega’s capacity for rational thought disappeared, unable to focus on anything except receiving an alpha’s semen. Luckily, Masazumi had not experienced a single heat yet as he has taken expensive suppressants his whole life. To him, alphas were a presence that required extra caution.
Though their birth rate was not as unlikely as an omega, the birth rate for alphas was still quite low. In spite of this, there were two alphas in Masazumi’s grade. One of them was the son of the Nashiba family, Nashiba Takashi, and the other was Kase Masamichi who Masazumi was just together with.
The number of omegas was a lot less than that of alphas, and for reasons not yet clear, they had a higher chance of being born into lower-class families. In this academy, where most of the children were from the noble families which make up the upper classes, encountering an omega was exceedingly rare. In terms of his genetic lineage, Masazumi must have mutated somehow, in order to be born as an omega. No matter how many generations they trace back, there was no record of an omega ever being born into their family.
Although there were six genders in total, out of the entire population, about 90% were born as betas, which had normal male or female characteristics. The remaining 10% was made up 70% by the superior gender, alphas (7% of the world), and 30% by the rare species, omegas (3% of the world).
To describe the features of alphas simply, they possess the faculties necessary to impregnate omegas, both male and female. For this purpose, omegas constantly emit the pheromones which attract alphas. Betas, however, were not influenced by the pheromones at all and cannot even sense them. So it could be said that these pheromones only existed for the times when an omega was near an alpha.
“There are no rare species students in this school… right?” Taking his statement at face value, it would seem that Masazumi was successful in hiding the fact that he was an omega from Kase. Though it was possible that Kase asked some leading questions, Masazumi wanted to believe that he was able to avoid them.
He delivered the class log to the staff room and returned to the pathway which cut across the courtyard; he was the only student in sight. From the sports grounds, a little further away from where he stood, he could hear the sounds of friends in the clubs calling out encouraging words to each other, and the sounds of balls bouncing around. He pictured them, the energetic scenes playing out in his mind. The courtyard was separate from all that and quiet.
Without a trace of anyone else, Masazumi’s surroundings were dyed gold with a red tinge by the evening sun. The carefully maintained lawn, the multicolored flower beds, the trees with their neat branches. Every corner was meticulously looked after. Masazumi could feel the love flowing from the labor put into this garden, and realized how beautiful it was.
As he stood still and looked up at the sky, the burnt yellow color of the sunlight dazzled him and his eyes narrowed. Behind him, he heard the sound of rustling leaves.
He turned around quickly to see one of the caretakers of the school standing in workman’s clothes, on the other side of the garden. His heart jumped.
‘Ah, not again…’ thought Masazumi, as the beating of his heart, became too quick for him to handle. Just as he had started to relax, and believed he was alone, this guy had suddenly appeared. Though it was mostly due to the abruptness of his appearance, the young and handsome figure of the worker added to the inexplicable tension in Masazumi’s chest.
Compared to normal people, Masazumi was more sensitive and always reacted nervously to various situations. Perhaps this was a side effect of his omega nature, but whether this was the only reason for his cautious character was debatable. Worried that he had revealed a strange side of himself, Masazumi felt uneasy.
“Hello.” In order to regain his composure, he politely bowed and greeted the man. At home or at school, he had always been taught strictly, to express deep gratitude to the people who worked on behalf of him, or the students.
The man responded by taking his cap off and bowing in return. He put it back on his head with such surprising speed that Masazumi was not able to see his face very well.
The visor of the cap hung low over his face, so all that was visible was his high, well-shaped nose and a gentle-looking, expressive mouth. His height appeared to be around 180cm, with a strong figure. However, maybe at the fault of a shy personality, whenever he passed by Masazumi he would lower his eyes. If he was greeted he would bow in return without a word. Now, he did the same.
Masazumi often wondered what sort of face hid under the cap, or what sort of voice he had. He was curious about this ‘Miyake,’ a name which he knew because he had seen it when they were in close quarters, embroidered into his work clothes. Tracing back his memories, the first time that had happened was probably when they encountered each other in the library.
Most likely he was the youngest of the workers, and although it was less than two years since he had started at the school, he seemed to be dedicated and talented at his job. Other students had called him the ‘silent and calm janitor’ so it seemed like Masazumi wasn’t the only one who was on the receiving end of this demeanor.
Miyake somehow always managed to catch Masazumi’s attention. Every time he entered his sight he couldn’t help but be conscious of him.
Miyake was one of the people employed by the school to manage the campus facilities and their maintenance, so there was really no reason for Masazumi to be connected to him. If he freaked him out to the point of not being able to calm down, it would be better to ignore him. But whenever he came into his line of sight, he inescapably drew Masazumi’s attention.
Maybe it was because of how close they were in age. Miyake was around twenty-five or twenty-six, or so someone had said. He was a member of the lower classes, as could be seen from how he carried out the tasks around the school, but rumor said that he had received higher education.
In fact, as they had both been eating lunch on the benches in the shade of the trees, Masazumi noticed a worn-out book next to Miyake that looked as if it had been read many times. It was not a novel, but some kind of physics textbook. Though he wasn’t a student he had been reading such a demanding book during his break, so he seemed strange. He was difficult to understand, that’s what Masazumi thought.
He didn’t understand him, but when he sees him like this, he ends up thinking about what sort of person he must be. Even more sensitive to his presence than with other people, Masazumi noticed him whenever he was around. When he walked together with other people, he mixed among them and Masazumi didn’t lose his composure, but those times when Miyake was by himself and at such a close distance, he became so nervous that he wondered whether his heart was going to rupture, or burst out of his chest.
Sometimes Masazumi was so tense that he wondered whether Miyake was able to sense his anxiousness. The thought gave him chills. For a second, he felt as if Miyake was going to raise his head and meet his eyes, though there wasn’t a reason to think that. He didn’t seem to have any interest in individual students and even if he did look up at Masazumi, he would probably forget about him almost instantly.
He was very earnest about his work but paid little attention to his surroundings, he was all alone, he was a rough janitor with little appeal – this was the impression that he gave Masazumi. As a result of his omega traits, his intuition was good and he could empathize well with others and was heavily influenced by emotions, so he didn’t feel as if his ideas about Miyake were entirely misguided.
Usually, they would simply exchange greetings if they met, but situations like these where there were no people around and Masazumi didn’t have to worry, were exceedingly rare. He felt the urge to build up his courage, and start a conversation. Otherwise, it looked like their relationship would never go further than a ‘hello.’ Since he was curious, he had no choice but to be assertive, “Is your work finished for today?”
Miyake raised his head in surprise. The shadow from his cap still partially covered his face, but they were facing each other like this and exchanging more than just greetings, so Masazumi felt as if the distance between them had closed a little.
“Ah, yeah, that’s right.” The gentle voice hit Masazumi’s ears, it was a slightly low tenor. It had a lovely quality that caused a throbbing sensation in his abdomen, and he trembled slightly in shock. “After I finish inspecting the grounds I’ll be finished.”
It seemed like Miyake was also a little nervous, Masazumi’s feelings of closeness to him grew.
The pale brown work outfit, and the cap with the large visor which hung over his eyes, were things that he was used to seeing. However, it was the first time he had been able to look at him for this long without being cautious of their distance. He was unable to take his eyes off the long limbs, the strong-looking stature, and the broad chest of the man in front of him.
Miyake, even in comparison to Masazumi’s alpha brother Takanori, was blessed with a strong body and good looks. Among the betas, there were some whose achievements came close to surpassing alphas. Since it was possible for mediocre people to be born into noble families, it wasn’t impossible for poor, lower-class families to produce those with great talents. Perhaps Miyake was an example of that. If he has ambition and a desire to improve himself, there would be plenty of occupations he could be appointed to.
Looking at Miyake now, he didn’t seem to be dissatisfied with his job. Masazumi had even seen him caressing the petals of flowers while gathering dead leaves which had fallen into the flower beds. At that time, Masazumi had thought that this person definitely loved his job. It appeared as if he had more affection for the silent flowers than he did for people.
Though he had gathered his courage and tried talking to Miyake, the conversation was predictably hard to continue. Even if it was just one or two words they had made a little bit of progress, so Masazumi decided to end the exchange there for the day, though it was contrary to his wishes.
Though this time it was Miyake who reservedly spoke, “…How come you are still at school this late?”
Having the conversation continue was beyond Masazumi’s expectations, and it also seemed that Miyake knew that he wasn’t in any clubs. He felt a little shaken by this discovery, “I… I was just about to go home now. I had class duty, so I’m a little later than usual.”
“Ah,” Miyake nodded to show his understanding. Though his face wasn’t entirely visible, for some reason Masazumi got the impression that his eyes had narrowed kindly. “Take care. It’s almost dark. The dorms are part of the campus but they’re quite far away.”
Take care. Kase had said the same thing earlier. Maybe that was why he suddenly felt as if the two men were alike somehow, and a strange sensation engulfed him. In the brief moment, as he zoned out thinking about this, Miyake had turned his back and begun walking away.
Bidding adieu to the retreating figure, with his muscular back and good posture, Masazumi thought back over the events of the day, relieved that it was over. He knew that once he was alone in his dorm, he would end up musing over his exchange with Miyake.
He was subject to a lot of jealousy from many of the students since he had a private room that he had been graciously given by the Dean. Thanks to this fact the time he spent with other students had decreased considerably and he was able to live with relative ease. He didn’t even participate in club activities, just quickly returned to the dorms and involved himself in his studies, so he had to at least maintain the top grades in his year, or else he’d damage his reputation.
After he separated from Miyake, Masazumi returned to the dormitories without any detours.
If word ever got out to the public that Masazumi was an omega, despite being born as the second son of the Count Nirei family, which even among nobles was one of the most renowned families, it would be an eternal embarrassment. At five years old, when his mother received the gender test results, she had broken down crying. Apparently, she had been on the verge of taking Masazumi away from the house and requesting a divorce from his father. But his father had kept his gender a secret except for their family and certain involved parties, deciding to announce that Masazumi was a beta.
Therefore, within this school, the only two people who were aware that Masazumi was not actually a beta were the Dean and the nurse whose help he had enlisted. Fundamentally, betas lacked the ability to distinguish omegas by smell. The problem was the alphas, but as long as Masazumi took the pheromone suppressants daily, he wouldn’t agitate their sexual urges and he himself wouldn’t have to suffer through heats.
He survived through six years during secondary school, and after that, he needed to go through maybe four to six years of university. If he could manage to continue like this, he could later find a way to move overseas and live an independent life that wouldn’t cause trouble for the Count family. He certainly had no desire to be impregnated at the whim of an alpha. If he couldn’t even be spared that kind of humiliation, then he would be far better off dead.
Just the same as today, and from now on too, without catching anyone’s eye, and without giving his heart to anyone, he would continue to live his solitary life. From the moment he had understood his gender and resigned himself to its implications, Masazumi had thought like this.
For that purpose he would, to the best of his efforts, act out the character of the flawless honor student. He had no choice but to continue like this without letting his guard down.
He continued along under the darkening evening sky, thoughts of his future running through his mind. He pushed his shoulders back and raised his chin, and like the elegant son of a famous family would Masazumi walked on proudly.