PRESENT: Higashikuze Junya (東久世 潤也)
PAST: Emperor Aoi (葵月帝)
A Revolving Love is Like a Lotus ~ The Two Who Remember ~
Let us go around and around, until the day we love (meet) again…
The one you met when you were reborn was the beloved of your “previous life”…
This is a love story about two sets of memories–
(Someone stop me!! From constantly picking up projects!! No, to be honest though, I’ve been wanting to do this one for a long time because I’m a sucker for these types of stories and this volume struck me so hard in the heart. Normally, I’d provide a synopsis but there’s actually a prologue track that does it at the beginning so yay! R18 WARNING!)
EDIT 2018/08/11: Added the Milky Chain tokuten, thanks to @shngml for providing that one to me ;w;.
Note1: There’s a lotus in the series title because lotuses in Buddhism are symbolic of creation, renewal, and rebirth.
Note2: His Aoi name is written with the kanji for the flower “hollyhock”.
*** TRACK 1: Prologue ***
Long ago, during the times when it was proper to have an emperor, there was a husband and wife: a man who was caught in a narrow cage because of the noble blood running through him, and a woman who was tossed into the cage as a tool for a powerful official. The two, who were bound together against their wishes, ended their lives without opening up emotionally.
Aoi: I know not what sort of world shall be next, but the lotus shall lead you beyond. It is certain to be calm and a world filled with love… If there is to be a companion you meet there, I believe even one as hard to please as you will unfurl their heart… Unlike I, a husband who had no heart… this time it shall be one who will love you sincerely…
Time passed into the present age and, contrary to the man’s wish, the circle of rebirth overlapped and the two of them met once again: a man caught in financial problems and born to a distinguished family, and a woman born to a father who desired blue blood. The two, who had repeated circumstances descend upon them, mysteriously held their previous memories and in the end met again. Was this the joke of Buddha? Or in accordance with karma? A hapless fated love story begins here.
*** TRACK 2: His Circumstances ***
*dogs barking; phone rings*
Junya: … Hello? Higashikuze Animal Clinic. Ah, it’s you, father. Yes, I’m on break right now. For you to call here, is it something urgent? If it’s about the marriage interview I’m sure I told mother I didn’t care if you two proceed however you like. I thought I didn’t have the right to refuse from the beginning?! It’s too late for you to be concerned about me now–
J: Huh!? This weekend!? Tsk, dammit… only these arrangements are quick. Ah, it’s nothing… Whatever, you don’t have to bring pictures over. At any rate, we’ll be seeing each other on the weekend. There’s no need to confirm this beforehand, right? Where’s the place? *writes down*
J: Mm… then we’ll meet the day of there. Ah, don’t prepare any new clothes, okay? How many pieces are sleeping in closets that I’ve worn only once?!… Haa, it’s because you waste money on things like this that I’m stuck with doing marriage interviews like I’m selling myself into bondage. Hurry up and realize our present–… tsk, he hung up on me. *slams phone*
J: Haa… in the end it’s another political marriage. I have absolutely no luck with love, huh.
*** TRACK 3: The Reunion ***
*sliding door opens*
J: I’m sorry for being lat–… ah!… Ahem, I’m sorry for being late. I received an emergency call from a patient, so I was inevitably stuck at work and it became this time… Mother, how far has the conversation gone? I see, then we just need to introduce ourselves, huh…
J: Nice to meet you. I’m the eldest son of the Higashikuze family, Junya. Having a job that involved only documents and numbers didn’t agree with me at all, so I stopped working at the family business, pushed through with a selfish request, and set up an animal hospital in the building my grandfather left behind. Because I’ve prioritized my work ever since opening my practice, my parents seem to be worried but… thanks to that, this meeting and chance has come around to me, so in the end I think it wasn’t too bad. Right, mother?
J: Ahah, you might think it strange for me to say this but… I feel like I have a very deep bond with this young lady, somewhere in the past. Although I say that, our age and lifestyles are different so we wouldn’t have met somewhere in the past. *heroine spills drink* Woah! Are you alright? No, I’m the one who’s sorry. It doesn’t seem like there was much in the glass.
J: Oh, excuse me! *to staff* Could I ask for someone to clean this up?… Not at all, you’ve been sitting all this time so your body might have been stiff. While the waitress puts everything in order again, how about we take a walk through the garden?
*scene skip; walking*
J: It’s a nice garden, isn’t it. The view from inside was splendid but when you’re walking it’s been prepared so you can secretly deepen your relationship with someone. It’s been built with thought behind it.
J: Hm? Ah, please relax, I haven’t thought at all about making a move on you while we’re hidden. I just… thought that, rather than continuing that formal conversation, becoming alone together like this will let us understand each other on various points. You feel the same too, right? *heroine stumbles back*
J: Pardon me, I was too close… *under his breath* It seems the sensitivity in your ears hasn’t changed… By the way, do you know the name of those white flowers you can see there? Yes, hollyhocks. The same meaning as the name I had before, and the same flowers that bloomed beautifully in one season and which could be seen in the gardens from your bedroom.
J: Haha, thank you very much for your easy to understand reaction. As I thought, you also seem to remember… Let’s stop keeping up appearances with our conversation. It’s been a long time, empress of mine.
J: What’s with that. It’s useless to play dumb at this point. Because with your temper your thoughts come out in your attitude immediately… *heroine stumbles* Woah! Haha, like that incident with the glass just now, you’re so easily discomposed. If you’re alright, I’m going to let go now.
J: … From your appearance, it seems you also didn’t know the other person was me, huh. What’s the story that led you to accepting this?… It’s as if it was foul play. I see, the result is that the both of us have been manipulated by our parents. Still, to think that in addition to being reborn we would be pushed into marrying the same person under the same circumstances. *under his breath* Is this to say that prayers from someone like me didn’t reach Buddha?
J: It’s nothing. And so? What are you going to do about this marriage interview?… Your father, who has been successful with business, wants to obtain the family name of Higashikuze and give himself dignity. My parents, who have nothing but their family name, want to obtain your family as a support and will do anything to keep up the face of their noble status.
J: In our previous lives, you and I had no way of going against things. But this age is different. No matter the particulars that led you here, now that you know the other person is me, you must not want to proceed with this marriage proposal, right? We couldn’t avoid our reunion but thanks to both of us remembering we can conclude this without repeating our mistakes.
J: … This is also my wish. That this time you will become happy with someone you love from the bottom of your heart.
*** TRACK 4: Aoi’s Period ~ The Encounter ~ ***
A: Your Ladyship, raise your visage. Hm… considering it has been said you are the apple of the Right Minister’s eye, I speculated on what sort of fragile beauty Your Ladyship would be. Contrary to my expectations, you appear to have a strong willed countenance, do you not? It is providence at least that you do not resemble your father.
A: Heh, have I offended you? Unfortunately, until your father achieves victory, you have been cast away to this countryside. And I’ve yet to have the knowledge on how to humor Your Ladyship who has been raised in the capital. To be tread on by this ill-mannered one must, no doubt, be a humiliation. However…
A: … The seed that shall fill this stomach is certainly of noble blood. Receive it gratefully. *kisses*
A: If my older brother had lived, you and I would not be having relations like this with partners whom we both did not desire… Truly, epidemics are iniquitous things. Well, even if we have regrets now, nothing shall change. Let us, at most, enjoy this mutually. *kisses*
A: Haha… it appears that you will at least react to your lips being engulfed. Your brows lacked any movement no matter what was said, and so consequently… *kisses* I thought that, instead of a daughter, a doll was sent to me. Hehe. *kisses*
A: Heh, no… there is no mistake you are a doll. You and I are both directed around as the Right Minister pleases… like dolls. *kisses*
A: … *sniffs* Is this incense something you mixed? There is no brilliance, but it is a genteel and calm scent. Not bad. *kisses*
A: Haha, do not be so stiff. If you do not relax then the one who shall go through a painful experience is you. *kisses*
A: There seems to be some perspiration. However, owing to that, your skin presses along closely to my hands… How does it feel to have your bosom touched by a man whom you just met? Mm… *kisses*
A: Heh, how interesting. This… Each time I touch this small body with my tongue, your voice slips out. Come now, cry more for me. *kisses*
A: Hm? To obstruct your mouth with your hand… what are you doing on your own accord? Did you not hear it when I told you to cry more for me?… Hm? There are teeth marks. *kisses*… Listen well, this body belongs to me now. Even if it is you, I will not permit you the liberty of wounding it. Remember this. *kisses*
A: Heh, in addition to this state of affairs, you have the willpower to glare at me, I see. In that case… shall we ascertain whether you can still make those eyes when I touch you here? *fingers heroine* Mm… heh, I see, it is as tight as I would have thought. *kisses*
A: Right now I am preparing this place to be filled with my seed. I mentioned this before but, if you do not relax, it will be painful. *kisses*… Unlike a man’s body, which can obtain pleasure just from being touched, it seems this place will need some time before it becomes able to reach completion. I hear that once it learns how though, it will feel pleasure manyfold more than a man’s… this hole which has not yet known a man… Heh, I suppose remolding it to fit around me snugly would be an amusement. *kisses and fingering*
A: Becoming pregnant or falling to pleasure… I wonder which shall happen first? Hahaha!… *kisses*… Do not close your eyes. It only tenses you needlessly… At last, two fingers, I see… *under his breath* perhaps, rather than accustoming you to this little by little, it may be better to penetrate you instantly. *draws back*
A: Hah! You seem to be relieved but this hasn’t concluded yet. *undresses himself* Hereafter, at last, is the true act that will complete this. Receive it carefully. *inserts himself* Kgh! It’s tight as I thought… *kisses*… A little more and everything will be in. Endure it… *kisses and pushes himself in more*
A: … That is everything. Can you tell? That I am within you and this…! *pushes forward* My seed will be poured into your deepest part. If you catch it firmly then you may be blessed with a child from this one evening. Once that happens, it will result with me not needing to touch you for a while, earlier than the period of three nights. Heh, do your utmost to pray. *thrusting*
(T/N: Heian wedding ritual where the man sleeps with his wife for three nights in a row and then eats rice-cakes on their third night).
A: Much like your disposition, this place here also appears quite stiff. Furthermore, when I encroach deeply, it searches for a means to resist… Be sure to keep your eyes open and watch. This is… the appearance of the man who is deflowering you inside. *kisses and thrusting*
A: I… having been set up into this elevated position and shut up in a place such as this, loathe your father… For you… heh, it would be quite pitiful to resent your father. You can bear a grudge against me for doing as I please with your body like this… It is not your fault you are in these circumstances… If you think like this, you may be slightly at ease.
A: Ngh! Kgh… *intense thrusting*… It’s about time… ngh… Rejoice, empress… this time it shall be the end. *kisses and thrusting*… I will be releasing it deeply… firmly into that stomach… take my seed…! *kisses*… I’m…! *he orgasms*
[15:32] *scene skip; night*
A: … Have you come to?… It appears you have no strength in you. You should sleep like that. I can arrange my clothing by myself…
A: Now that we have exchanged relations, a court lady should be arriving to cleanse you. Your duty today has been fulfilled. There is no need for us to be together any further… I shall return to my own chambers to rest… Luckily or unluckily, it appears the compatibility of our bodies is not bad. Now then, I shall see you again… tomorrow night. *he leaves*
*** TRACK 5: Same Situation; Different Relationship ***
J: Today’s destination is this zoo and botanical garden. If we go to the left, it’s the gardens. If we go to the right, it’s the zoo. Although I say that, the zoo only has small animals like parrots and rabbits. The gardens have been managed by some people but it’s been roughly left to nature and, actually, a plain establishment. To a young lady with money it’s a boring place to relax for commoners. If you are not pleased, please do not hesitate to head home from here right now. I won’t mind.
J: What’s wrong? You aren’t going home?… Fine, then I’ll show you around the botanical gardens first. *they start walking*
J: … What exactly are you thinking? I was certain you would refuse this marriage proposal, but… for some reason the talks continued and, before I knew it, under this pretext of a test date we’ve gotten pressed into making an effort to take pictures of “memories” which will most likely be used at the wedding reception. At this rate, there is no doubt we’ll become married, you know? Are you fine with that?
J: … Grh. It’s not fair to answer a question with a question… There just so happens to be a bench over there. Let’s both speak frankly. *they walk over* Ah, wait!… *wipes off the bench* Go ahead.
J: This is sudden, but… how much do you know about the financial affairs of the Higashikuze family? I see. For better or worse, my parents were raised in distinguished families. They aren’t bad people but their lacking some sense with money. Because of that, they have absolutely no business skills and after my grandfather’s death all the properties and assets just continued to decrease. Finally, when they sensed danger, a talk came with good timing about renting the building they owned.
J: My father said this to me, “The continuation of your clinic or your way of life, which will you choose?”. At first, I wondered what the heck he was saying. But it is my father’s freedom to sell the building that he owns. It wasn’t unreasonable for him to say that if I wanted to stop that, I’d have to bring out a suitable compensation.
J: At this point I’m not going to stop being a veterinarian and be his successor, so I thought it’d be easier in every way to leave the marriage interviews to a third party. Of course, I intended to treat my marriage partner with sincerity and put in effort to make things peaceful… that was my intention, but…
J: … It’s hopeless between you and me, right?… You must remember clearly what happened at the end of our calculated connection. Knowing that you will meet with unhappiness, there’s no need to choose the same road. This time you should become happy with a man other than me.
J: Now then, I’ve said everything about my circumstances and my thoughts on it. Next is your turn. Why didn’t you refuse this marriage proposal?
J: I see. You wish to be married but you’ve had no luck so you decided to let yourself go with the flow. Or something like that? But you were brought to that place, not knowing the other person was me. Now that you know the situation though, why are you still meeting with me like this? Even though you remember our past… why me…
J: Huh?… Puhahahahaha!! HAHAHA!! That’s true! If you’re thinking about marriage and the other person just so happened to have the looks that you like then no one could refuse that. No, it’s a clear and understandable reason.
J: … You’re right. Although we remember the past, I’m no longer the emperor and you’re not the Right Minister’s daughter.
J: That’s unexpected. I thought I was more hated than that… *to himself* was I being conceited? Ah… *gets up* I’m withdrawing my previous remarks. And I apologize for my behavior up to now. If it’s the present you and me then we might be able to create a surprisingly good relationship.
J: If you’d like, why don’t we also go over to the zoo side? Because I’ve done physical examinations on the animals here they’re reasonably friendly with me. I planned on going to see them alone after parting with you, but… I want you to know what I like now. Er, that is if you’re interested… ah, of course, not just me but, if you don’t mind, I’d like you to tell me about what you like now too.
*** TRACK 6: Aoi’s Period ~ Nonintersecting Feelings ~ ***
*walking; bird chirping*
A: It appears that, regarding my empress, she is in a rare pleasant mood. Oh dear, such cold words to ask what I am doing. I’ve announced beforehand that, were I to have spare time, I would come over. *sits down*
A: It has been one year since we have become husband and wife. Gathering from the Right Minister’s countenance, he seems to be quite docile and obedient; but in this situation where all is at crossroads he must be plotting something… How nice it would be if all the women in the world were as indifferent to their husbands as you are, but… I cannot answer your expectations in this situation with what is coming around.
A: There have been no signs of conception and, on top of that, there are rumors about our discord. This will create an opportunity for the masses to take advantage of. I am aware that, to you, it is better if I do not call upon you so that you may pass your days in peace. But think of this as your duty and bear with it for a brief period.
A: … Some time ago there has been this bird cry. Not in the gardens, but it seems to be chirping quite close… Hm? It’s inside that box?
A: Oh? How generous of you to pick it up after it fell from the eaves. It must have taken refuge here after fleeing from a large cat aiming for its life. When I was young I also took care of an injured bird in a similar way. How is it? Show me.
A: The bleeding appears to have stopped but if it has impaired its wings then it will take some time before it is able to fly. No, perhaps it may not be able to fly already… But it is eating its feed well and it can go on living as a pet bird. Do you intend to continue nursing it?
A: Heh, so even you have a heart that can become attached to something. If you intend to care for it for a long time then this box is inconvenient in many ways. I shall have a bamboo basket delivered to you tomorrow.
A: … Several days ago, it was something that was free. But abruptly a large power had focused its eyes on it and, having no choice, it now has to live in a place it did not desire… If we asked the one concerned, it may think of that as nothing but a misfortune that has befallen it, but… contrary to expectations, it is something that happens quite often, no? To something that flew about the vast sky freely, life in a cage may be constraining but… once it comprehends that it cannot escape its undesired place, it can come to terms with it.
A: Hm? Why do you have that expression? To the end, I was merely talking about the bird. Haha. Nevertheless, to think that the first gift I have decided to send of my own volition would be a bamboo basket. Furthermore, you too appear to be pleased by that. Truly, a strange pair of husband and wife… we are.
A: But this is the perfect opportunity. Allow me to ask what sort of items are to your liking. As a man, I do not understand the differences but to women there are colors of rouge that they favor and do not favor, correct? Let us converse about that–
A: … Heh, indeed. It is unnecessary to have those conversations between us. *embraces heroine*… Because you only need to conceive my child. And I am nothing more than the one who is paired with you to fill that stomach of yours with my seed… I just recalled our primary relation. Shall we fulfill our duty? Wife of mine. *kisses and pushes her down*
*** TRACK 7: Fresh Lovers ***
*opens door; rings bell*
J: I deeply apologize but the examination times for today have ended– oh, it’s you! What turn of events has happened to make you come all this way to meet me at work?
J: You happened to drop in because you were close? Whether it be for work or your private time, I don’t believe there’s anything in this area for an important person like you. Oh well, I won’t question it any more.
J: Have you eaten dinner already? Oh, then let’s grab a meal somewhere after this. There’s still some errands remaining so I can’t leave right now but I’ll do my best to finish quickly. Could you wait a moment?
*scene skip; door opens*
J: It’s a little messy, so I’d appreciate it if you didn’t pay too much attention to that. Here, come in. *they walk in; bags rustling*…. Lately, department stores have progressed quite a lot with their number of items and appearances–… If you need the washroom, it’s down the hall and to your right?
J: That’s not it? You look a bit fidgety. *to himself* No matter how I look, it doesn’t seem like it’s nothing but… oh well. *sets out things* This needs to be heated, huh… Hm? You don’t have to keep standing there, how about sitting down?
J: You suddenly came to see me and, instead of eating out, you said you wanted to eat at my house. And once you came into my room, you haven’t been calm… I can never read your mind, to say nothing of trying to read it today. Did something troubling happen? *comes to sit beside her*
J: I think I said this at the marriage interview but your emotions come out on your face more clearly than you think. And you’re bad at lying. It’ll do you good to just say it… Haa, then how about I try guessing it?
J: Let’s see, it’s been about two months since the marriage interview. We’ve had a number of test dates and so maybe it’s time to go ahead with talks about a engagement. Or something like that? If it’s about that then, while it annoys me a little just imagining the self-satisfied looks on my parents’ faces, I’ll talk to them in the near future. Once that’s done, I’ll also go and see your parents again. Fortunately, both families and parents seem to think we fell in love at first sight at the marriage interview so they won’t overturn this marriage at this point.
J: Oh, rings…! If we’re engaged then we’ll need engagement rings, huh… What’s the timing for those to be prepared? Should they be made after the talks have been concluded? Or should we have them already when we go greet our parents?
J: Ah, sorry! I’ve digressed. In other words, um, what you’re worried about is the specifics of wanting to go ahead with talks about marriage, right?… Hm? Then you’re feeling a problem with how things are right now?… I’m sorry, I honestly can’t think of anything. For me, I’ve thought all our dates have been fun but… was that not the case with you?
J: … Kiss? A… ah…! It’s about that… that’s, how should I say this… it’s not that I don’t want to, I just don’t know the timing… You may be wondering what I’m saying at this age but, with respect to you, I don’t know the timing to make advances on you…
J: For example, last week we went to see the movies, right? At that time, your face when you were looking at the screen to choose a movie was cute and, unconsciously, I wanted to move my body but then I thought about how it’d be bad to kiss you in the theater lobby and so I gave up.
J: There were other times too like how excited you were when we were watching the dolphin show at the aquarium. Or like your thrilled face when you’re at the front of the line choosing your salad. That kind of impulse wells up regardless of the place, so I kept controlling myself… leading to this day.
J: … Could it be that everything today was, uh… you being the one to create a chance… or something?… Haaa… that’s… no wonder you were fidgeting. I’m really sorry… It’s a bit late now, but let me ask you too?… I don’t want to let you go home today… won’t you bare everything to me?
*** TRACK 8: The Second First Night ***
J: Could you wait a moment? *goes to get a condom* Sorry, before I can’t restrain myself anymore I thought I should have things prepared. Until your name is added to my family register, we’ll need this, right?… I just didn’t know the timing, okay, but just in case I did buy these… Ah, laugh as much as you want. I’ll treasure you for how much time this took, so I want you to show me everything. *kisses*
J: It’s embarrassing to say this but… right now I’m really nervous. Look, feel my chest… See? It’s beating fast, right? That’s how it is, so I might not be able to stay composed and I’d like you to forgive me for that… *kisses*
J: I knew from the marriage interview that the current you has sensitive ears, but… *kisses* but being too sensitive could be a problem too. If you react so cutely then… *kisses* every time I try to talk to you secretly, I’ll end up having to battle my urge to ravish you, ahah. *kisses*
J: Ngh… I’m going to take this off, so could you slip out of the sleeves?… This… is this what they call “lucky” underwear? Haha, when I think about how you’re wearing it for me to see, it feels like a shame to take it off. *kisses and sucks*… If you react like that then I can’t say it’s a shame. I’ll need to be sure to take it off to make you feel good… Can you lift your back up a bit?
J: … I think this is okay… Heh… *kisses* Ahah, like I thought, it feels better directly… Do you like it when I play with the tip like this? The same as in the past. *kisses*… Look, in no time, it’s hard to the point where it digs into my tongue. *kisses*
J: Can I leave a mark here?… *sucks*… Take a look. It’s so beautifully red. Next time, before this mark disappears, I’ll make advances on you. And the next time, and the next time after that… Every time we lie with each other, I’ll leave a mark here. This mark is a sign that you’re mine, ahah. *kisses*
J: … You’re a little wet. Mmngh… why don’t we take this off too? Can you lift up your hips a bit?… Can you open your legs wider? So that my body can fit between… Like that, thank you.
J: Haha, what a nice view. From this position, you can also see what’s going to be done here, right?… That first night I didn’t relax you well enough and forced myself in, so… this is my apology in our second life. Until you tell me to go ahead today, I’m going to be sure to prepare you. *gives oral*
J: This place… Does it feel good when I suck on this swollen part here? Or… is it better if I push my tongue in and lick wherever I can reach? Mm, I want to know precisely what you like. Come on… your answer?
J: Hahaha, got it. Then I’ll push my finger around inside. *oral and fingering*… Every time I suck here, my finger is squeezed… you’re properly feeling this, huh… Look, you can see this too, right? This mouth down here is swallowing two of my fingers. I was wondering if this position might hurt a bit, but… it looks like the pleasure outweighs the feeling of pressure. Even now, see…! It squeezed tightly. It looks like you’ll be unsatisfied until I add one more finger. *oral and fingering*
J: … Amazing. My saliva and what’s flowing out of you is mixing and staining the sheets… Ah… it’s okay for me to put it in already? Then, wait one moment. *withdraws; unbuckles belt*
J: Ah! You don’t have to touch me. I can put the condom on myself too. I told you, didn’t I? That I have no calm. If you touch me right now, I’ll probably… come before I enter you. *puts on condom*
J: It’s stupid to be picky about this, but… for the first time, I want to release myself inside you. Haa… *kisses*… I’m putting it in. Ngh…! We’re finally one… *kisses*
J: It’s hot. So this is how it is inside you… there’s a tightness that’s different from the past. I don’t feel you rejecting me. It’s clenching around me as if confirming that I’m inside you… this is… ngh… I might not be able to hold on for long. I’m sorry… I’m going to move now! *thrusting; kisses*
J: … Here, right? The place you feel pleasure… When I was moving my fingers around too, if I grazed this spot, the movement inside changed… Mngh!… Haha, nice. Match my movements. Your lovely voice is slipping out… ngh…! Angh!
J: Just understanding each other’s feelings completely changes how this feels by so much… Mngh! Haa… haa…
J: … Can we… hold hands? Haa… haa… your right hand has been clenching the sheets, so… Mm, you might as well hold my hand… *they hold hands; still thrusting; kisses*… Haha, I’m disgustingly needy if I do say so myself, huh… Ngh! Holding your hand like this makes me unbearably happy… *kisses*
J: Are you really okay with me? *kisses* For me to be the one you chose even after being reborn… ngh… haha, even if you say you aren’t, at this point I won’t let you go… ngh!… I’m… coming…! *kisses; orgasms*
J: … I’m sorry, my timing in asking that was… ahah, bad… I love you. *kisses*
*** TRACK 9: Aoi’s Period ~ The Last Moment ~ ***
A: Ah! Empress! Do you see me?… I was late in coming to inquire after you. I did visit many times up to now but today was the day your court ladies opened a path at last. I wondered how emaciated you were due to their obstinate refusal but, heh, you have not changed much at all from before you collapsed to illness.
A: The physician’s diagnosis must have been mistaken. Fear not, I am certain you will start to recover. It seems that bird you loved returned to the skies without issue; I heard it flew off quickly without any hesitation. As you wished, it left its narrow cage and became free openly. It is sorrowful that we will no longer see it again, but to the bird it was the coming of its liberation at last. I even feel a slight envy.
A: … When I was young, I heard that those you nurtured would come around to you again. For the spirit of the dead, who ascend to the Pure Land, it seems their next lives would be prepared according to the goodness they conducted themselves with. For you… haha, you can be somewhat fastidious, but you were pure as a person and, even as a woman, you were too much of a good wife for me.
A: When the day comes for you to return to the heavens, I am certain your spirit will be lead to the Pure Land and shortly thereafter you will ride the lotus and be sent out into the next world.
A: I know not what sort of world shall be next, but the lotus shall lead you beyond. It is certain to be calm and a world filled with love… If there is to be a companion you meet there, I believe even one as hard to please as you will unfurl their heart… Unlike I, a husband who had no heart… this time it shall be one who will love you sincerely… and with them, this time, you will become a blissful pair.
A: … You appear to be drowsy once again. I shall end my conversation here… Good night, my one and only wife… until the next world, sleep comfortably… Ah… *kisses*
*** TRACK 10: A Revolving Love ***
*morning; heroine rolls over*
J: … *SUPER SOFT* If you roll over there you’re going to fall… Oh! You’re awake.
J: *comes closer*… No, it’s still too early to say good morning. You should sleep again. Mm? Ah, I was sleeping just now too, but… I had a nostalgic dream. I couldn’t settle down so I watched you sleep.
J: … Rather than a dream, it was a memory from before, I guess. It was about the last time I exchanged words with you. As I watched you begin your trip to the afterlife as if you were sleeping, for the first time in that life I prayed for someone else’s happiness from the bottom of my heart.
J: Really? You actually heard then. No wonder you had that attitude when we saw each other’s faces at that marriage interview. Well, now that things are like this, it’s become a funny story. A funny story between us that we can’t tell anyone else.
J: … If only we talked like this, huh. Didn’t you start to notice a little yourself? That the me in that time was being drawn to you little by little. Though I was bound by the words that piled up and, unable to be honest, I was left behind in the end.
J: Is the man beside you right now, one you truly love from the bottom of your heart?… Haha, answering my question with a question again? Oh well, I’ll answer. Right now, the person beside me… by way of a second life and who I finally joined my heart with… is a woman who is to me my most beloved.
J: I’m glad I could meet you again… This time, we’ll become a happy married couple… and I swear this to none other than myself. I love you… *kisses*
*** ANIMATE TOKUTEN: Aoi’s Memory ***
A: It seems it is almost the period where we are hindered. Heh, that being the case, it means that after this we will be spending days without seeing each other’s countenance, hm? *kisses*… I heard that this evening is the most ideal for your body to be blessed with a child. Be sure… to conceive. *kisses*
A: Hehe… mm… Despite simply caressing you lightly over these clothes, you are reacting much more than usual. *kisses*… I see. So this is your state on your most ideal day. *kisses*
A: … As splendidly round as the full moon. They match the movements of my hands… and the way they change shape is one part of you that is unexpectedly soft. *kisses*
A: In this one year, you’ve learned how to suppress your voice somewhat but… when I suckle this place here, you cannot seem to endure and your voice slips out. *kisses*
A: If I recall correctly, these crimson-stained ears were also… a place of pleasure for you, correct? *kisses*… Mm… hahah, we practically know nothing about each other as people but, in regard to this body… I believe I comprehend it much better than you yourself. *kisses*
A: Ears… the red decoration on these breasts… your neck… and caressing the spine on your back, ahaha, it’s increasingly pleasurable, no?… And then, above all… the one that makes your body writhe the most… this flower bud when I am fitted tightly into you. Ngh! Haha, it’s become something that accepts my fingers quite readily. *kisses; fingers*
A: To an extent I couldn’t fathom from your clear and cold face in the afternoon… it’s hot and dripping wet. As if the empty greetings during the day were a lie, it captures my fingers and refuses to part with them. While I stir my fingers inside you, when I… also press down and rub on this swollen part with my finger… *heroine writhes*… Ahah, it’s irresistible? Your voice became all the more sweeter.
A: Though your heart remains hard, your body has become quite honest. *kisses*… Mngh… it’s a suitable time soon. *withdraws; undresses*
A: Now then, I’m entering you. *inserts himself* Ngh!… Haa… When I raise your body like this, this… place where we are connected and your expression lost between the interval of shyness and pleasure is all seen clearly by me. Haha! Even if you glare at me with those hate-filled eyes, this joining between us is, to us, an important duty we ought to do, no? Furthermore…
A: … becoming aroused is also necessary for me to pour my seed into you. You understand, do you not. That the shyer you become… this part of me, mngh… increases in hardness. Heh. *kisses*
A: Look, I shall move now. *thrusting* Ngh! Mngh… you’ve grown quite accustomed to this. Entered this deeply, you’re squeezing me as if welcoming me. *kisses and thrusting*… The result of striving towards always releasing in your deepest part to impregnate you soundly… hasn’t achieved a child, but… angh! It appears I’ve been successful in dropping you over the edge of pleasure.
A: … Hmph, I see. However… *kisses; thrusting*… No matter how much you repudiate with words… your place here is wrapped around me, desiring my seed. I shall fill you amply in here today as well… Receive it all without releasing one drop… ngh… *kisses*
A: It seems… you are also at your limit… ngh… it’s clenching increasingly more inside from before… and squeezing… *kisses; thrusting*… I’m releasing…! Into your stomach… my seed, all of it…! *orgasms*
A: Ngh! Mngh… don’t pull your hips back… it’s still releasing… *kisses*… Ngh!…
[13:56] *scene skip; still night*
A: You’re awake?… Hahah, vestiges of our actions just before must remain in your body still. You do not have to force yourself to sit up… Hm? Ah… the hollyhocks in the garden have opened. I was gazing upon them.
A: Once I am satisfied, I will return to my chambers as always. Thus, do not concern yourself with me and sleep… Ah, woah! Even though I proposed for you to sleep, hah. Indeed, you are quite contrary.
A: … Those flowers were favored by my late mother very much… No matter how high they stretch, their heads do not droop. They are always staring up at the heavens, aren’t they? It seems she liked that about them. Hah, I was told that every time I see those flowers in the hills and fields I should always be like that flower.
A: For you, during the season of these flowers, you may feel displeasure at feeling as if you were being seen by me, but once these flowers open their life is brief. Endure those feelings for a short while.
A: … Hm?… Haha, what, do you think me fleeting now? I’m afraid to say I am the human, not the admired flower, Aoi. To the extent where, among my father and brother who passed away to the epidemic, I survived alone and healthy. Your dearest wish will not come around that easily.
A: Ah… rain… I should return to my chambers soon… You too should return to your bed before your body chills.
A: *under his breath* In time, I would like to walk together with you through the hollyhock blooms though… *gets up* Now then, empress of mine, until the next time I cross over. Enjoy your momentary tranquility. *leaves*
*** OFFICIAL TOKUTEN: Honeymoon Incident ***
J: What are you reading?… Hm? House listings? Ah, for new homes! Our engagement’s been settled without problems, so I suppose it’s time to start looking. Do you have something in mind already?
J: Let’s see… oh… mm… Hm? Wait a minute… the properties you’ve chosen all only have one bedroom. There’ll be times I come home late because of work and when you think about one of us being sick shouldn’t we have separate bedrooms? And we’re not going to be having sex every day after we get married, so when we’re going to do it we can just choose one bed–
*heroine slams pages closed*
J: Wait! I said there’ll be times I come home late because of work and times where one of us is sick. I didn’t say I didn’t plan on sleeping together on days where we didn’t have sex! Don’t misinterpret things just from one part!
J: Haa, it’s true that in the past I went back to my chambers immediately after we finished, but isn’t it wrong to blame the present me for that!? Even if we remember, you should know personally that we’re different people in the present from the past! In the first place, at that time it wasn’t that I didn’t have anything to do with you apart from sex, but that I thought it’d be easier if we stayed in separate rooms.
J: … And it was actually easier for you, right? Up to then you would talk with your court ladies happily but the moment I entered the room your expression would change instantly… There’s no way I could stay in the same room with someone who rejected me that clearly– Ah!… Ahem, I went too far just now. *heroine runs off*
J: A-Ah! Wait!
*heroine runs into room; closes and locks it; Junya talks through the door*
J: It’s nothing to run away for, right?… Aah, I’m definitely the one at fault here. *knocks*… Please, open the door. *knocks; clock ticks*…
J: *knocks* Can’t you let me in now?… I’m begging you… I was really wrong there… I’m sorry. *door opens*
J: … Haa, thank you. Can we sit on the bed and talk?… I’m sorry for back then. I went too far. I didn’t know you were so bothered by that in the past… You’re right, for now let’s set aside talks about the past. As a kid I was raised with my own room so I simply didn’t have the thought of sharing a room with someone… It’s definitely not because I don’t want to sleep with you. Is that clear?
J: Mm… *hugs heroine* I’m glad… *kisses*… Can we continue like this and do it? *kisses; pushes heroine down*
J: … Doing this while it’s still bright, makes you feel like we’re doing something bad, huh… The light slipping in through the gap of the curtains lets me see your reactions clearly… *kisses*
J: Hm? What’s wrong? I can’t take off your clothes like this. Ah, usually I’d do as you wish and turn off the lights but… *kisses* heh, I can’t do anything about the natural light. *heroine pushes him over* Haha, woah! A blindfold, huh. Certainly, with this I can’t see you no matter how bright it is outside. But… *rustling* look, I’m back to normal in a second. Heh, too bad.
J: That cute resistance… only arouses me, you know… *kisses*… Ahah, the mark I left the day before yesterday is still there beautifully. *sucks*… Don’t worry, I didn’t put it in place that could be seen from outside. This is… *kisses* a sign I made love to you. It’s enough for me to be the only one who sees it. *kisses and sucks*
J: I wonder if the one on your hip is there like this too. I’ll have to make sure of that later… Honestly… I want to lift up your legs and lick here but… heh, if I do that in this light, ahah, we’ll get into another fight, won’t we… Aah, I know. I won’t do anything you truly dislike.
J: But there’s two types of things you tell me to stop for, huh… Mm… heh, and right now… this is the one where you tell me to stop but you want more… *wet noises*… Does it feel that good when I move my fingers in here? *kisses*
J: Haha, no matter how many times I see it, that’s a cute reaction. *kisses; draws back and unbuckles belt*… Oh, sorry, could you take out what’s in that drawer? *heroine pulls out condom* Ahah, thank you. *kisses; puts it on*
J: I’ve made you wait. *kisses*… I’m putting it in… mngh… ngh… You’re tighter today than usual… I see, so your reaction changes this much in the light… Mngh… haa… *thrusting; kisses*
J: Usually, this is after work or at the end of a date… I want to hurry and be able to be connected with you around the clock without worrying about the time… ngh!… Haha, that’s right… that’s why we were looking for houses and fought… mngh!… *kisses; thrusting*
J: I think you know but… it’s not just for the sake of being able to do this that I want to live with you… Even though our feelings are in harmony, being separated is… mngh!… frustrating… Hngh! You’ve clenched again… *thrusting and kisses*
J: It’s about time soon… nrgh… I’m about to… *kisses*… haa… ngh… ah!… I’m coming! Mngh! Hagh! *he orgasms; kisses*
J: … Ahaha… *kisses; he pulls out*… Is this what they call make-up sex? Haha, it’s surprisingly not bad… Fighting and making up was something that was impossible for the past us, huh. We finally have a relationship where we can show any kind of emotions… *kisses*
J: Because this is a fight that spans two lives… don’t you think it needs a more thorough making-up?… Haha! *kisses*
*** THOUGHTS ***
Honestly, this story still strikes me right where it hurts whenever I come back. It’s just so !!! WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN. It’s so sad because you can see where, if the two in their past lives just took the leap and opened up to each other, they could have had a happy life. But because of their situation and guarded suspicions against each other (he essentially treated her as an enemy from the start because he disliked her father; she had no choice and was used like a broodmare) they never did dare to take that step.
But you can see how innately he has a gentle personality ;w; and the heroine is genuine and nice as well. It was just a clash of two stubborn people who didn’t want to chance getting hurt and led to the saddest scenes ever. And it comes through so well in the voice work.
BECAUSE!! SPEAKING OF VOICES!! I cannot recommend hard enough for people to hear Yamanaka here. If I had to choose a demo CD to display his voice talent then it would be this one hands down OH MAN. Every other Japanese review I’ve read mentions the same thing as me because it’s just that skillful LOL but basically he nails so many tones in this CD.
- Modern voice: It’s the voice you hear starting in Track 2 and you can hear his innate gentleness even when he’s annoyed at his parents. It comes through during the marriage interview too and basically he has no pretenses on and is just a gentle and polite man.
- Emperor voice: SO IMPERIAL AND COLD. The majority of the time you can hear this mocking irony to everything around him, as if he’s already given up on fully controlling his life. And holy moly he has some impressive low growls. But even still from time to time you can hear him when he softens up and I’m still not over how soft his voice is when he’s talking about the bird or during the last moments with the heroine. HIS INNATE GENTLENESS IS LEAKING OUT AND IT’S JUST SUCH A GOOD CONTRAST TO HIS USUAL MOCKING TONE.
- Modern Emperor voice: This has to be one of the coolest voices because it’s an interesting blend of both. He still speaks in a casual and modern tone but you can’t shake off the regality in his voice or the brick wall that’s erected to guard himself. I loved this one review that said this voice almost felt like he was putting on an “act” because it’s so true. He only talks like this when he’s trying to push the heroine away at the beginning :’)).
- Modern love voice: I’m. so. dead. I had to mention in that last track the part where his voice goes soft because I legitimately almost died from how tender his first lines there were. IT’S SO SOFT AND WARM AND LOVING AND !!! I believe so much in Yamanaka’s acting here about how much he loves his empress.
But going back to the story, I think you can also see how they both changed from the experience of their past lives. The heroine is much less guarded about her feelings and actually just says her thoughts out blatantly (love that track where she admits she likes his face LOL). Meanwhile, Junya is much more relaxed and open with his feelings as well. I think because, at the end of his life as Aoi, he realized how much he loved her…
Also, I hoped I did the difference between their modern speech and archaic speech justice here LOL. It’s why, even though I love this CD so much and wanted to share it, I sat on it for a good couple of months because I didn’t know how I wanted to tackle that. (I was honestly tempted to just run it through a Shakespearean language converter LOL but that just feels weird because I didn’t want to rely on Middle English like that… so here’s to me stretching my writing muscles).