Emmerich and the Fickle Kittens — First Part
It has been a few months since I started living with Aina in my homeland.
Because I was retiring from the military soon, I was burdened with work, so I could not make enough time to spend with her.
It is the long-awaited life with her, but there is no trace of sweetness.
Rather, Aina-chan’s behaviour is salty.
In the morning, she glares at me warily while making breakfast.
Before I realise it, the lunchbox is placed inside my bag. I always am at awe that it’s like magic.
Because I come back late at night, she is always sleeping before me. However, there are many dishes on the table.
I’m happy from just that. Aina-chan is doing her best for me.
I asked her if there was anything bothering her or if there was anything she was holding in, but all she would say is, “Not really.”
I have no clue on what women need so I am leaving that to the landlady.
The usual morning.
I hurriedly woke up just in time and start dressing up.
Since there is a woman, I have to be careful, but maybe because I am tired every day, my body does not listen to me.
I brushed my teeth, shaved my beard and combed my hair before putting on the military uniform Aina-chan cleaned.
When I go to the dining room, Aina-chan is making breakfast.
Why is such a frail and diligent snow fairy in this house? I immediately felt happy.
When I offered a greeting, Aina-chan quickly looked back and glared at me with an expression as if she was looking at her parents’ killer. Of course, she did not reply back.
When I sat down and waited, she left a cup of coffee with a loud bang.
Even though I thanked her, I was ignored. Her tightly shut lips did not open. It was the usual.
I did not mind her attitude. Ritz-kun said in his letter that she is the shyest girl in the village. Furthermore, I already understand Aina-chan through exchanging letters.
She always worried for my health. She said that my mundane stories were fun. She always sent polite words.
Moreover, the food she cooks every day has deep love in it.
Therefore, I believe that her harsh attitude comes from either embarrassment or shyness.
As I was reading the newspaper while drinking coffee, she served breakfast on the table.
Aina set the table with waste-free movements.
She sliced freshly baked bread and spread jam on it. It was so delicious. When I asked where she got it from, she told me that she made it.
She spread plenty of butter of on another slice.
Other than that, there were white sausages, potato soup, and boiled and peeled eggs.
They were all delicious.
Even as I ate, Aina-chan worked diligently.
When I invited her to eat with me before, she sternly refused with a “No!” so I did not invite her after that.
I thanked Aina-chan for the delicious meal.
“Aina-chan, thank you. They were all delicious.”
“……Why don’t you go to work quickly?”
We repeated the same conversation every morning.
When I went to work, I was held up by a colleague I was seeing after a long time.
Apparently, the cat he has been raising at his home had babies so he was having trouble.
“No, my house, is shared……”
“You won’t get caught if you keep quiet!”
“I will get caught.”
Moreover, I don’t want to betray the kind landlady.
To begin with, I prefer dogs.
I’m actually feeling a little melancholy because I had not met the dog at my family’s place for some time.
My parents’ place is nearby, but because of the busy schedule I couldn’t really contact them.
“That’s how it is, so,”
“Wait a bit!”
Even though I declined, my colleague persisted tenaciously.
“Aren’t you lonely alone?”
I never told anyone that I am living with Aina-chan. If I did, they would pester me to introduce her.
I wanted to boast my cute Aina-chan, but it would be troublesome if some guys fell in love with her, so I did not introduce her.
I also ate her lunches filled with love in secret. I was without flaw regarding that.
I was like this from a long time ago.
I never showed what was important to me anyone else, just keeping it to myself.
I felt that childhood habits do carry over to adulthood.
“Hey, it’s just fine with looking, so come over tomorrow.”
“N-No, tomorrow is a holiday in a long time, so,”
I was trying to say that it wasn’t possible, but my colleague had already left.
I was planning on going out with Aina-chan on my next holiday though.
Although I didn’t tell the person in question.
The next day.
To prepare for going to my colleague’s house, I dressed myself up.
After breakfast, I informed Aina-chan that I am going out.
“I’ll be going to colleague’s house today.”
From the sudden schedule, Aina-chan looked surprised.
I wonder if she wanted to go out somewhere with me.
When she went out alone before, she was harassed by a ruffian so I told her to not go out alone. I asked the landlady to go out with her.
If it’s now, at this timing, it might be easy to ask her out.
Fortunately, my colleague is married. He is also a devoted husband, so he won’t be attracted to Aina-chan.
I mustered up my courage and asked.
“Aina-chan, would you like to come as well?”
Aina-chan made a surprised expression again.
I told her that we should try ice cream on the way back from seeing the cats. She stayed expressionless for a while, but soon she nodded in response.
I waited until Aina-chan finished preparing.
The clock was ticking past the appointed time, but the guy is waiting in his home so there won’t be any problems.
A few dozen minutes later, Aina-chan came out of the room.
Seeing her in her street wear, I let out a sound of awe.
Her somewhat wavy silver-white hair was tied up high, and she had light makeup on. The lips with the pink shade were unbearable.
She had a white blouse adorned with laces along with a sky-blue dress. It’s something I never saw before, maybe she bought it with the landlady?
Whatever it was, I felt that she was extremely lovely.
Usually, she would glare at me but today she turned her face elsewhere.
Is she embarrassed? I thought, but I refrained from questioning because that would be pushing my luck.
The exquisite white bag she has in her hand is from Ritz and Sieglinde.
The two of them are currently staying in Thüringen. Apparently, Sieg is pregnant so they will be giving birth here. It’s a wonderful news.
I wondered if I should buy celebratory goods on the way back, but then I realised that I never heard of gifts for pregnancy.
Well, a gift for their hospitality might be good too, I thought as I walked to my colleague’s house with Aina-chan.
Wehn we arrived at my colleague’s house, his wife and a four-year-old child greeted us. After that, my colleague and the cat.
He was surprised to see Aina-chan, but when I introduced her as my wife he warmly received her.
The sweets gift we bought on the way was also gladly received.
Aina-chan was guided by my colleague’s daughter to see the kitten. The wife also followed them.
When I became alone in the room with my colleague, it turned into an interrogation on how I came to find such a beautiful woman.
A few dozen minutes later. When Aina-chan came back, she had a kitten in her arms.
She looked at me with upturned eyes as if she was pleading something.
What was in her arms was a red kitten with large and round eyes.
Maybe because it just had milk from its mother, its stomach was chubby.
I know what Aina-chan wants to say to me.
However, we live in an apartment so we can’t raise cats.
If we want to, we would need a detached house.
Detached houses have high rents.
In preparation for retirement, I want to save up as much as possible.
However, Aina-chan looked like she wants to raise a cat.
I immediately made up my mind.
— Alright. Let’s live in the countryside!
I told Aina-chan that we will raise it after we move, and I asked my colleague for the red kitten.
It was easy planning for the future after deciding what we wanted.
I decided to move to the countryside village where my uncle was at. I left the arrangements for housing and a job to him. The rent is less than half the price of the apartment I am living in. Three hurrahs for the countryside!
Coincidentally, the village is close to the place Ritz-kun and Sieglinde lives at. Aina-chan will be relieved as well.
On the day we left, we fetched the kitten from my colleague’s place and went to bid farewell to the landlady.
As a show of gratitude, we gave her the jams and sweets Aina-chan made.
While accepting the gifts, the kind landlady told us that it would have been alright to raise cats.
When I told her that it was not the only reason, she accepted it although she looked disappointed.
Aina-chan was on much better terms with the landlady than she was with me. The landlady softly embraced Aina-chan and patted her.
Then, with a sad expression, Aina-chan asked a favour of the landlady.
“Ah, erm, if it’s alright with you, can you name this child?”
“So that I can always think of you.”
At Aina-chan’s words, the landlady smiled happily.
The landlady bestowed the name of ‘Rossa’ to the kitten.
Apparently it means ‘red’ in the language of her dead husband. I thought that it was perfect for the cat with attractive red fur.
With a new family, we headed to the countryside.
I wonder if the author used a red cat because the illustrator is called ‘Akaneko (red cat)’……
Sorry about yesterday and the day before. School shenanigans kept me occupied.