Trudging and dragging his feet, Ayra arrived at the inn and entered through the front door.
The inn was incredibly quiet; a few tired-looking villagers were inside, sipping alcohol.
The inn’s owner, who was trying to soothe their patrons, immediately recognized the young lord and approached with a smile.
“Please, welcome! You must be incredibly tired today.
If you’ll be staying here, I’ll show you to the best room.”
“Mm, is someone called Janus here by any chance? He came here with me–red-haired, somewhat handsome…”
“Ah, that person! Yes, he came in earlier in the morning and is staying upstairs.”
Before going up, Ayra ordered some hot stew and some other dishes.
He climbed up with the food and opened the door to the room the innkeeper had pointed out; Janus languidly laid on the bed using his arm as a pillow.
When the door opened, the mercenary raised his head and grinned.
Ayra also matched his smile and shook the bottles of alcohol in his hand, “Can I sleep here tonight?”
The person who caused the landslide may reappear at any moment, and the young lord was incredibly tired.
He still didn’t fully trust Janus, but it would be better to sleep with the mercenary than to sleep alone in some strange locale.
In addition, Janus’ terrifying power had been fully demonstrated while they had passed through the Dallum gorge.
Fortunately, Janus graciously allowed Ayra to sleep with him, “Feel free; anytime.”
Now that he received permission, Ayra, dragging his feet, entered the room.
He plopped down in front of the brazier and leisurely took his boots off.
Trembling, he dragged his cold hands and feet close to the heat.
After he had watched over the villager’s rescue efforts all day, it felt like the young lord was frozen through.
He felt like his ears were about to fall off, and the coldness had robbed his hands and feet of all sensation.
‘I want to return to the Labyrinth… I miss the warm sunshine of the south so much…’
Sweet fruit dripping with juice; birds chirping wildly.
Almost too-hot summers underneath burning sun-rays; thin silk robes… As Ayra began to settle down to reminisce about the Labyrinth and wither in front of the fire, Janus clambered off the bed and sauntered towards the young lord.
When the mercenary approached, Ayra had been crouching, curling into himself, as close as possible to the fire.
Janus sat down and reached out to the alcohol bottle.
Ayra took a few sips from the stew before placing it down–he was too tired to have an appetite.
‘My hands are so cold…’
Even if he placed his hands right before the fire, the coldness didn’t seem to melt away at all.
Because the inn was a bit old and shabby, the heating wasn’t efficient.
He missed the leather water bag that Botello would warm up for him.
While rubbing his hands in front of the fire, Ayra took a sidelong glance at his companion.
Janus was holding the alcohol bottle in one hand and supporting his hand against the ground with the other.
They were laying on a fur carpet made of deer leather in front of the brazier.
After brief contemplation, Ayra slipped his hand between Janus’ and the hide carpet.
Janus, who was drinking inattentively, raised his eyebrows at that action.
When Ayra, who pushed his cold hand into the mercenary’s, gave an unspoken request with a sheepish smile, Janus smirked and moved his body right next to the young lord’s.
He hugged Ayra from behind, pulling his cold bare feet into his hands, and began to knead them.
‘He’s a human furnace–a radiator.’ Ayra thought.
When Janus rubbed Ayra’s frozen bare feet and soothed them with his body temperature, the young lord felt vulnerable and exposed.
Since his hands were left unattended, he glanced slyly at Janus again.
Ordinarily, people would be upset if another placed their icy hands inside their clothes in the middle of winter.
But, look at this guy–he was wearing solely a thin linen shirt in a room that was cold enough for Ayra to find it hard to breathe.
That man bathed in cold snow on the way here.
Ayra slowly lifted the hem of the mercenary’s shirt.
After cautiously touching his companion with one finger, he placed his entire palm on Janus’ stomach.
Since there was no particular protest, Ayra pushed his hand inside the other’s shirt with ease and slowly curled himself up in the other’s warm embrace.
It was definitely super warm.
Then, Janus’ hand, which had been rubbing Ayra’s now-lukewarm feet, moved somewhere else; they fluttered about the young lord’s body as they pleased.
However, the warm touch felt so good that Ayra left them to their own devices.
After fully warming his palm, the young lord turned his hands over to press the back of his hands against the warm torso.
Ayra’s eyes were slowly opening and closing due to drowsiness; Janus’ lips, which had been touching the nape of the young lord’s neck, moved to Ayra’s cold earlobes.
When the mercenary’s tongue, hotter than even his hands, licked Ayra’s ear, all thoughts of sleep were chased away.
Goosebumps raised all over his skin.
“Nnngh…” Once they had casually tumbled around in the hay 1 it became difficult to resist.
While the young lord tried hard not to become too attracted to the mercenary, he couldn’t help but think that it would be nice to possess such a wild person.
However, Janus wasn’t exactly the type to work well underneath someone else.
‘Furthermore, he’s pretty dangerous.’
In fact, as a Lord, Ayra didn’t want to let the mercenary into his territory unless Janus was his ally.
He recalled how the other exterminated the Occampania herd without much expended effort.
He had tried to judge how proficient the mercenary was while travelling through the Dallum Gorge, but Ayra still didn’t have a good grasp on the other’s abilities.
While letting Janus chew on his ear as if it were chewing gum, Ayra summoned his stats.
Physical Attack Power: ???
Magic Attack Power: ???
Affection: 95 <3
‘My affection value was 95? “95” is how much I like myself?’ After pondering, Ayra nodded, satisfied with that value.
After all, he did love his appearance, personality, and talent with magic.
‘But, why is my HP only at 758…? Even the shabbiest of villagers have at least 1,000 HP!’ Unable to understand his poor physical stats, Ayra turned towards Janus.
‘Then, what’s the HP of my companion? 5 thousand? 10 thousand?’ Curious, Ayra summoned the mercenary’s status window.
Physical Attack: ???
Affection: 3 <3
“What’s wrong?” Janus asked–the young lord, who had been yawning and leaning comfortably against his body, suddenly became tense and rigid.
Ayra hurried to sit straight and rubbed at his eyes, but the number before him didn’t change.
Because the young lord kept rubbing at his eyes, he managed to give the mercenary the excuse that something was stuck in his eyes–Janus let him go.
The young lord was too bewildered to pay any attention to his companion, though.
9,999,999? Is that even possible? That kind of number was a rarity in games unless a player used a cheat code.
Ayra could only blink at his companion’s unbelievable stats.
‘Bug? Is this a bug?’
The young lord patted the back of his hand and summoned his artificial spirit.
“Pebble, come out.”
”That thing’s name is Pebble? Really?” Janus asked amusedly; Pebble, which had been dozing off on its owner’s hand, popped out into the air.
Though its expression was no different from usual, it was squirming about, flapping its hands, and manifesting ‘cold sweat’ effects.
“Aren’t you going to do your job properly? Why are you so haphazard with your work?” Ayra said.
No matter how extraordinary Janus’s stamina may be… 9,999,999 makes no sense.
Ayra grabbed Pebble and began stretching and bullying it; the artificial spirit squeaked melancholically.
For some reason, though, it kept floating heart emojis throughout the bullying process…
‘This perverted spirit… I’ll cut it some slack because it looks so cute.’
After telepathically reading that thought, Pebble gathered its hands neatly in the front and acted cute by creating a large heart symbol on its body.
Mollified, Ayra let it go; immediately, as if he had been waiting, Janus reached out to try and grab the spirit.
Obviously, his attempt failed.
“I can’t catch it?” Janus said in a disappointed tone before trying to snatch the spirit out of the air a couple more times.
However, his hand passed through the outline of its body every time.
Pebble fluttered and turned translucent every time the mercenary reached inside.
Fluttering, it slowly landed on the young lord’s knee.
“As a spirit, it has no physical form.
You can’t touch it without using magic.” Ayra said as he patted the spirit on his knee–Pebble seemingly melted into the young lord’s body.
Janus tickled the place where the spirit disappeared.
Now that the shock of seeing a value as high as 9,999,999 subsided, sudden fatigue rushed into his body; Ayra yawned.
“Really? And how do you use magic?”
“Mmm… There’s various ways–one is to awaken as a mage.
The other is to be in constant contact with a mana stone.
You could also use magic tools meant for educational use.”
Mages weren’t the only ones who could use magic.
Around 5 people out of a group of 10 have the ability to use magic tools as long as they make the steady, painstaking effort.
1 in 1,000 may awaken as a mage.
While explaining the intricacies of magic, Ayra recalled that unbelievable number in the stat window.
How on earth did the spirit make an error of displaying 9,999,999? At least some other humanly relative value would make some sense.
A human might have 9,999,999 HP compared to an ant.
Then, compared to Janus, Ayra might as well be a magic ant…
TL: Ayra: I forgive pebble for anything because he’s cute.
The original is ‘mixed their bodies’ aka a slang for sex.
I localized it to something that an english audience might know more.
However, basically, Ayra is referencing their casual sex.
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