Jingai Musume 183

In the Eyes of a Dragon
Editors: Speedphoenix, Joker

The hero’s sudden advent inspired in me naught but surprise. I had not expected her to apparate within the dungeon’s confines, let alone emerge with her garments torn and her frame smeared in filth. So numerous were the streaks of blood that adorned her that I found her still animate state difficult to comprehend—she was a terrible sight to behold.

A brief moment of petrification assailed me as I observed her, but the spell did not last for long. There lay a towel nearby, one typically reserved for the children, used to clean their faces upon their return from their adventures. I retrieved it as I summoned Lyuu and entreated her to procure our medical supplies.

Upon weaving an incantation meant to abate her injuries, I happened upon a realization. The hero was uninjured. Though her appearance indicated that she had suffered greatly, she bore no wounds. My ability to perceive, analyze, and quantify that which lay within my sphere of recognition informed me that she was in no immediate danger. Relief washed over my mind. She was safe.

I looked over her once more and examined her condition in greater detail. Her breaths were taken at a regular pace, her bones appeared unbroken and her body unswollen. She was in good health in spite of her apparent distress.

It was then that I understood that Yuki had purged her wounds prior to arranging for her transportation. Her lack of injuries was sourced from one of the many potions he carried on his person. I am aware of many of his methods. And yet, I know nothing of the technique employed in her ferriage.

His ability to have her sent through the very fabric of space without his accompaniment was particularly curious. And yet, it came as no surprise, for Yuki’s antics were more often bizarre than not.

“Is Nell gonna be okay…?” The child by my side, Illuna, raised her voice in concern.
“I believe so,” I provided her with a reassuring pat as I replied. “She is merely asleep. Yuki has already seen to her wounds.”

Need I need be concerned for him? My thoughts drifted to the demon lord as I mentioned him in passing. As I did not wish to distress the children, I did not allow my worries to show. Still, they persisted. I was left with little anxiety over the safety of his flesh; I knew full well that there was little concern to be had for his physical health. My apprehensions lay with his mental fortitude, or rather the lack thereof. My husband appears to others as a confident, outgoing, and even arrogant man, one who is unable to be conquered by the likes of an attack on his psyche. But that is far from the truth. His heart is frail and his mind easily attacked. The value he places on those he holds dear is far too great for his well being. I know all too well that he would not allow his sense of rationality to stand in the way of his fury should he bear witness to one with whom he has concerned himself with coming to harm.

Keeping an eye on him was a must. Fortunately, Leila and Enne were performing that exact action in my place. While the former’s ability to keep Yuki rational lay only within the realm of the questionable, I had no doubt that the latter’s presence would allow him to keep his rash nature at bay. I should have known that accompanying him was a choice I should not have forsaken. I regret nothing more than allowing myself not to be by his side.

But what is done is done. I cannot change the past, and there is little use in lamenting my mistakes at this precise moment, for there is still much to be addressed. I directed my attention to the human that lay before me. I’d best move her somewhere more comfortable.

***

Many an hour passed before the girl finally began to stir.

“Have you finally awoken?” Spurred on by my words, Nell groggily opened her eyes and examined her surroundings.
“Where… am I…?”
“You lay now within a dungeon’s confines, Yuki’s dungeon’s confines.”

The sound of my husband’s name caused her to snap to attention. Hurriedly, she pushed herself up from the bed in which she lay and pieced together her consciousness.

“W-where is he?” she stammered. “And what happened?”
“I do not know his whereabouts. He was not present upon your advent. But whatever the case, you would do best to remain calm.”

My explanation appeared to provide her with a sufficient summary of the situation, as she quieted down and began to speak in a tone indicative of tranquillity and understanding.

“Oh… I guess that must mean he saved me…” Her lips began to warp into a small but evident smile, one that failed to reach completion as she found herself awash with another wave of confusion. “Wait, Lefi!? Huh? What the heck!? I’m in Yuki’s dungeon!? Isn’t that all the way in the middle of the Wicked Forest!?”

…It appears that I may have been mistaken in assuming that she had come to an understanding.

While there had been others that had sat by the hero’s bedside, it was only I who remained by it even now. It was not that they were unwilling to attend to her, but rather disallowed by the passage of time. Even my own waking state was driven not by intention, but by habit. My husband and I would often make use of the time that we shared alone come nightfall to indulge in all manners of games that made use of cards, pieces, and boards. I do not understand. How is it that he retains his energy throughout the day in spite of so little rest? It is none other than our late night activities that drives me to spend so much time in bed.

“That is correct. You are within the forest.” I replied. “How are you feeling? You appear unwounded, but I do not know if that is truly the case.”

The hero turned her eyes on her body and examined it in detail. At first, there appeared to be nothing out of the ordinary, but I soon found her with her brows furrowed in confusion.

“Huh…? What happened to all my injuries…?”
“It is to my understanding that Yuki made use of a potion and restored you prior to initiating your transport, for you were uninjured upon your arrival.”
“Yeah, I remember that, but… even all my scars are gone,” her voice faded into a mutter that expressed both denial and relief, “I had so many from all the training I went through…”
“Pay it no mind. Yuki’s potions are of a particular efficacy. The removal of old scars is but to be expected.” I raised and lowered my shoulders in an expression of indifference. “If you are in no pain, then it is best that you focus your efforts on the restoration of your stamina. I expect that you are hungry, yes?”
“Oh, uhm. Yeah, thanks.” Despite her still evident confusion, the hero accepted the bowl I offered her and lifted a spoonful of porridge to her lips. And in doing so, she froze. Her hands lost all momentum immediately prior to the act of consumption.
“Uhm, hey, Lefi? Not to sound rude or anything, but did you uhm… mix up the sugar and the salt?”

An uncontrollable, discontent groan escaped my throat. I cannot believe myself. I know no longer the number of times I have made that very mistake. When was it that I erred? I vividly recall tasting it many times throughout its preparation and ensuring that I made use of the correct ingredients.

“I… apologize,” I offered my condolences after an awkward pause. “Both Yuki and Leila have departed for the demon realm. None of us that have remained within the dungeon’s confines bear any significant skill in the culinary arts.”

I lifted my hips off the chair positioned by her bedside as I continued to speak.

“Worry not, I shan’t make you consume such a wretched creation. I will return shortly with a second bowl made anew.”
“It’s okay. It’s still edible, and I don’t mind.” The hero giggled. “Thank you, Lefi. I really appreciate it.”

She stopped me in the middle of my ascension and began to consume the oddly flavoured porridge. Though I remained embarrassed by my own lack of competence, I abided by her will and returned to my seat.

Following the interaction was a brief period of effective silence. The shuffling of the children in their sleep and the clinking of a spoon were the only two sounds to be heard.

“Yuki…Yuki saved my life.” Nell set her tableware aside and began giving form to her thoughts. Each word that left her carried with it a deliberate purpose; she chose each carefully in turn as she voiced the last.
“Then it is as I suspected. It pleases me to know that my husband has proven himself to be of use.”
“Your… husband. Right. You two got married.”
“W-we did,” I stammered. “Did he mention the change in our circumstances?”
“He did. He bragged about it with a big, happy smile on his face.”

My cheeks reddened as my mind assembled an image of the scenario she described. However, my embarrassment soon faded as I caught wind of a minor yet glaring detail. The smile that rested upon the hero’s face was unnatural. Forced.

As was typical of draconic beings, I knew little of the expressions of humans. I found it difficult to discern the intricacies of their gestures. And yet, I knew hers. It was a countenance that served to indicate she was desperately suppressing her emotions, a guise typically worn in the event that one was left with no choice but to give up on securing a particular individual as a mate.

“Have you…” I hesitated to confront her at first, but soon continued as I shook off the shackles of my uncertainty. “Have you fallen for him?”
“Wha!? Huh!? N-no! Not at all! Y-you’ve got it all wrong!”

So flustered was the hero that I had little choice but to smile. How terribly easy to read, she is. But I suppose that such is the way of a hero.

…Or perhaps not. Considering the concept of heroism reminded me of a man I had once reduced to cinders. He too shared in her status, but was of a dissimilar nature. He was proud, boastful, and knew nothing of the natural order. Our confrontation was one-sided. The ancient hero found himself as helpless as a mere hatchling before my might. It was not that heroes were straightforward and honest, but rather that the individual before me happened to be of such a disposition.

“Calm yourself. There is no need for you to panic. I do not plan to inflict any harm upon you regardless of your answer. It was a question I posed only out of simple curiosity,” I said. “So? Have you fallen for him?”
“I…think so.”
“A more ambiguous way to describe your emotions I have never heard.”
“T-That’s just because I’m not really sure…” said Nell. “I don’t think I’ve ever fallen in love before, so I’m not really sure if that’s what this is.”

I momentarily shut my eyes and reflected upon the situation.

She and I were no different. Even our thoughts and emotions ran parallel. Yuki certainly does have quite the unfortunate talent for seduction.

“I-it’s not really my fault…The way he saved me just made him seem so cool! How could I not fall in love with him after something like that…?”

With a slight blush adorning her face, the hero recounted the events that led to her advent.

***

“I cannot believe that he appeared at such a critical juncture without any prior planning.”
“I know, right! And this isn’t the first time he’s done this either! He did the same thing when he visited Alshir!”
“He is simply that type of man. Despite claiming to put little emphasis on it, he is sure to steal the spotlight and position himself centre stage if presented the opportunity. It is a quirk of his nature.”
“Right!? He always perfectly resolves the situation the moment you take your eyes off him! And then he acts like it was no big deal! And I can swear that almost everything he does catches me off guard!”

Voicing our complaints about the man at whom our affections were directed led us both to giggle.

“I wish I knew this was going to happen…” As her laughter faded, it was replaced by a smile that reeked of sorrow. “I know I can’t possibly mean more to him than you, but I would have at least tried to tell him how I felt if I had known you were going to get married.”

Again, I was led to understand that she and I were no different. I understood her. I knew her feelings well. Because like her, I too had found myself drawn to—charmed by—the comfortable air that lay about Yuki’s person. Like her, I knew all too well that he was an idiot and that his sensibilities differed far from my own, but I had fallen for him nonetheless. Because I knew that being by his side was sure to put a smile on my face. It is as if we are as one. Regarding her feels no different from gazing upon my own reflection.

And that was the thought that spurred me to direct my inquiries inward. Would I be able to bear the fate to which she must? Would I be able to return to living in mateless solidarity after knowing his warmth? His kindness?

I needed not even the briefest of moments to arrive at a conclusion.

Absolutely not.

I knew that I could not bear a life spent without him any longer.

“I shall allow you to live with us.” I raised my voice immediately upon reaching the conclusion. I could not be so cruel as to consign one of the few I saw as a friend to a fate that not even I could endure.
“Huh…?” She turned her eyes upon me in confusion.
“He is unlikely to refuse the request should you make it, for I know that he thinks rather fondly of you.” I continued to speak. “I would not mind you taking up a place at his side, even in the case that you one day find yourself as another of his brides.”
“T-that would make me really happy, but are you sure? That would probably make you sad, wouldn’t it?”
“I certainly do not think nothing of it. But I also do not think nothing of you. I know your sorrows well and I do not wish to force you to bear them.”

I almost wished to break into laughter. I could not help but find myself entertained by the extent to which I concerned myself with her emotional well being. I would not have lamented over it in the past. But Yuki had changed me.

“I have known for all too long that it is impossible for me to remain his sole lover.” I gazed upon the vampire and the slime sleeping in their respective beds. “They are likely to join in sharing my status upon coming of age.”

Yuki had already promised them that he would take them as his own should the time come. I knew well that it was a statement he made only to entertain the children, but it was likely that he would one day have to own up to his words.

While it was only the children that had expressed interest in his affections, I knew that they were not the only residents that may one day pine for his affections. I suspected that the maidservants could also come to adore him.

Picturing a future in which we shared his love was an easy feat, one that left me with a gentle smile. I loved him. But I also loved them. And I wished for their happiness as much as I desired my own. Each individual I resided with was an equal part of the fortune I hoarded. None could be replaced, and each had an intrinsic value that disallowed their substitution. My brood was warm and accepting. It was for that reason that I was unable to see them objecting to one so kind and honest joining our ranks. She was sure to become yet another part of my fortune and imbue my days with yet another layer of joy. Still, I find it odd to know that I have considered the likelihood of her acceptance. I cannot see it as anything but strange for the one feared as the Supreme Dragon to be so concerned with the emotions of others.

“We have spoken much tonight,” I said. “You require much rest, and I believe that our discussion is one that will require the others to be present. Let us continue in the morning.”
“Okay,” replied the hero. “Hey, uhmmm… Lefi…”
“What is it?”
“Thanks for being so nice to me. I really like that part of you.”
“E-enough,” I stammered. “Cease your prattling and rest.”
“Mmk. Thanks again for everything. Good night, Lefi.”
“Sleep well, Nell.”

With those words as our last, we returned to our beds and allowed the night to pass.

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48 thoughts on “Jingai Musume 183

  1. Thanks for the chapter~

    Lefi POV is harder to read when compared with Yuki, but at least it’s not Shakespeare. Fuck Shakespeare, with all of his iambic pentameter, “thou”s, “thy”s and what not.

    Liked by 13 people

    1. Yep. Agreed. Shakespearean bullshit format is even harder to read, not to mention its improper. yes, she speaks in archaic japanese style but translating it in semi-archaic english-like crap is nothing but a joke. They don’t use those styles anymore for a reason, and don’t even get me started with the gangsta-like versions other tls have done. Joker and his crew really did great on portraying her manner of speech, which was very formally redundant like grannies unfamiliar with each other having conversation for the first time. I would say this format is the best of the best I have read so far.

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  2. Thanks for the chapter!

    Side note but for all who have been bitching no harem blah blah blah monogamy blah blah blah lefi is best girl. Yes she is in fact best girl and god damn this chapter proved that.

    Liked by 11 people

      1. that is what i love about this harem story forming. unlike other harem stories that just go “lul harem” , this one actually gave a solid reason for one. a long lived being that knew and knows the pain of loneliness for what i am guessing was most of her life, would much rather share with those she cherishes instead of them feeling the loneliness she did, or the pain of denied love that for a brief moment she felt when she imagined herself in anothers shoes that could face it.

        not going to lie, this novel is not the greatest, but it handled this aspect wonderfully.

        Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks for the chapter.

    could only spot this one; “for you were injured upon your arrival” should be “for you were uninjured upon your arrival”

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  4. Just as I thought, the dungeon’s inhabitants all contribute to Lefi’s life immensely and so she views them all as her treasures in return. No wonder she zeroed in on bringing Nell into the fold. Excellent planning Lefi

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      1. lol, no he is not a weeb….He is a normie a very forgetful normie, he has never considered it…they are likely to force it upon him. But that’s something for another day, they are still kids, unless they made a really big time-skip I dont think we will see it in the near future.

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    1. There is a very big difference here. Yuki promised that he would marry the girls because young girls love their fathers and only know that marriage is something a girl does with a boy they love. As they grow they come to understand both the concept of marriage as well as the subtle variations in different kinds of love, and so they stop thinking or wanting to marry a parent. Lefi’s thoughts are due to how she, as both a female and resident of this world, has a better grasp on how the girls feel as well as common sense of this world, the ages that love, marriage, sex, and pregnancy are taught to children, and is using that info to make a guess. She isn’t thinking that things will absolutely be the way she is predicting, only that she thinks “it was likely that he would one day have to own up to his words”

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      1. It’s also important to consider how their relationship will change once Yuki has some actual kids of his own. That will tend to clarify some things on both sides (well, it’s only Yuki who is deluded here).

        At the least, after five or six years have passed for Yuki’s blood daughters to get to the stage of thinking of ‘marriage’, Yuki will have to deal with his promise to ‘abduct’ Princess Iryll (Iryll will have to negotiate her own awareness of the non-bowdlerized version of the implications of a Demon Lord abducting a princess). He’ll also have to deal with Illuna reaching a physical maturity comparable to Lefi. So he’ll probably clarify that his blood daughters don’t get to marry him when they grow up (or someone else will do it for him).

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  5. Dunno, I feel like it would’ve been better in this instance without the addition of a pov chapter. It’s just too much to explain a drastic change in rationale in a single chapter and expect to come out of it unscathed, and other than this Lefi’s thoughts on the matter have seemed to change overnight. But hey at least the author successfully set the foundations of a harem where ultimately no one will get to do anything with mc.

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    1. I think you are looking at it the wrong way. This chapter is not showing how Lefi thoughts changed overnight, it is detailing how she has been feeling for a while now, and how that is affected when she learns abot the Hero’s feelings

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    2. Lefi knew Yuki was a Demon Lord right from the start.

      She knew exactly what it ‘meant’ every time he invited each and every female to live in his dungeon. So did Illuna, Leila, Lyuu, and Princess Iryll. Nell seems to have been a bit confused when she accepted not being kicked out into the Wicked Forest with night coming on, but she was quick enough to pick up on the implications of all the other girls living there. Well, it’s understandable that she realized Yuki didn’t mean anything by inviting her to spend the night (other than feeling bad about scaring her to the point she literally couldn’t stand any more), since he really didn’t.

      Yuki’s the only one who is ignorant of the conventional wisdom about Demon Lords, to the point where he is constantly blindsided by the assumption that he’s eagerly dragging women back to his dungeon and chaining them down spread-eagled.

      It’s easy to forget that Lefi knows what Demon Lords do with any females they acquire because her motives for initially choosing to live with him are unclear. Certainly it was for the sweets, and her amusement at Yuki himself is clear, but what she planned to do when he ‘inevitably’ gave into lust and assaulted her is unclear. Likely she merely would have used it as an occasion to reassert her dominance, but we’ll never know because she ended up lewding him first, at which point her plan for dealing with Yuki’s lusts changed to inviting them as much as possible.

      By that time, Illuna was already ‘married’ to Yuki (at least according to Lefi, though it’s equally plausible that she was simply ‘adopted’). Granting that Lefi is aware that Yuki doesn’t see it that way, she’s also aware that Illuna is quite serious (as are Lyuu and Leila). She also did nothing to inhibit him from taking in Lyuu and Leila other than warning Illuna what that ‘obviously’ implied.

      The idea that Lefi won’t tolerate “cheating” was always mostly her (etc.) playing along with his one-sided assumption, which she does largely because she finds it amusing (and a little charming) but also because she wants to protect his unique other-worldly moral perspective even though she doesn’t fully understand it. She’s the same way about him killing intruders, it really doesn’t bother her at all, but she does know it troubles him, just not exactly why.

      Everything we’ve seen that was from Lefi’s POV or her discussions on the subject when Yuki wasn’t around demonstrates that.

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  6. Cheers for the chapter!

    I find it odd that Nell was so blindsided by Lefi’s appeal to Yuki to take her as a wife. While I can see her not expecting it to happen so soon, Lefi stated that she would talk with Yuki about it, yet the scene in question read like she had no clue the option was even a possibility.

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  7. So, now, after having reread this entire story for the umpteenth time, I’m still 99.99% sure we’ve never had Nell learn who Lefi is (AKA that she’s the supreme dragon) that we know of. It’s never been said in front of her “on screen” (if you will), or even hinted at that I could tell, Nell herself has never said anything about dragons in relation to Lefi, and Lefi hasn’t shown her wings off in front of Nell that I can remember.

    Now, that last one… it’s not really been said if she tends to keep them hidden or not in day-to-day activities, we know she can make them vanish from her humanoid form at will, and there’ve been a few times Yuki has requested that she make them appear for the purposes of either him comparing his to hers, or just straight up fondling hers. However, they’ve never been written about when Nell was in the picture besides saying something about them being hidden while on the trip to the city, which didn’t say she hid them specifically in preparation for that trip, just that the guard wouldn’t see them.

    And since the demon king’s intel didn’t say that Yuki had brought the supreme dragon into his dungeon, only that he seemed to have a good relationship with her, I think it’s safe to assume that nobody outside of the dungeon, and maybe Nell, knows that she and Lefi are one and the same. I think. I have a slight feeling in the back of my head saying “didn’t that guy they met who’s really important in that city learn about how that little girl who was with Yuki was the supreme dragon?” but I also have a larger part saying “I’m pretty sure I’ve checked that arc several times specifically for that reveal, and couldn’t find it” so… *shrug*

    I’m still hoping for Nell to get shocked about it at some point in the next few chapters, or whenever it does come up in the future. The whole “Oh shit, this girl I’ve been talking to normally is actually about a thousand times my age and is pretty much the strongest being in the world that we know of? And I’m openly admitting that I’m in love with her husband? I’m so dead…” feeling is gonna be great to read about. Nell does have a tendency to catastrophize somewhat, so it’s probably gonna be a funny scene when/if it happens.

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    1. My memory of the manga might be stronger than my memory of when it happened in the novel, but I’m pretty sure Lefi asked that governor/whatever-city-lord something along the lines of “you already know who I am, right? But you should be talking to this guy over here since your town took his family” etc etc, paraphrasing.

      Sure hope we get to find out if Nell knows sooner rather than later because I’ve been itching to know for a while now.

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  8. Thanks for the chap~

    Mannn how I love girls talk like this one
    Really appreciate the author for bringing this up, though I think it’ll be more appropriate as side chapter, like, flashback side chapter where they explain why this comes to that.

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  9. tnx for the chapter and i thought lefi and yuuki are doing something at night but it’s just games and games man… THAT’S THE BEST!! anyway lefi best girl and best dragon the way she thinks of the dungeon’s inhabitants as a treasure is too wholesome as she is a dragon although the harem talk is a little bit off but considering this is a novel and the way her moral standards is far off is too dumb to even think about cuz this is a novel but i love the execution of this explanation about the harem anyway the maids joining in? nope i smell yuri ever since they started to work? in the dungeon

    Liked by 1 person

  10. A new chapter, a new word to learn (“ferriage”). Lefi is really a great waifu, and if her cooking skill gets better then she will be the best. So, will the next chapter be about how the hero managed to defeat all creatures in the dungeon, by conquering their bellies with her cooking? 😀
    Thanks for the awesome translation! God bless you!

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  11. This is great, the first wife needs to be just as strong character-wise as the protag in order to make a harem really work, and this does that perfectly!

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  12. Thanks 4 the chapter!

    For a harem to have a higher chance of working, it does need a first wife like Lefi. She loves/cares for the other girls too.
    In some fiction I read it sometimes seems that the harem belonged to the first wife. Especially if she’s bi.

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  13. Thanks for the chapter, it is nice to see her opinions and get a look into her thoughts, well now to see how Nell takes to becoming a resident of the dungeon.

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  14. ……..I don’t know to say to ask while avoiding spoiling something but I just gunna ask how many are you gunna fight I wonder? After yuki and nell chapter By the way I’m talking about the previous chapter about fighting you about it………I been wondering why the searches taking so long beside the preparations and stuff oh good luck and thanks for the chapter I really love reading here maybe I should say rereading?good luck with the approaching fight FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT! if someone is gunna ask me wich team I am I am team yuki by that I gunna support him to whom he gunna marries by the way does anyone still remember illuna is yuki first wife?

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    1. Who could forget? Lefi suffered the unjust deprivation of sweets for three days over that incident.

      Well, Yuki seems able to at least pretend ignorance until reminded.

      Like

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