Chapter 14 – There’s Always a First Time For Everything

Warning: Nonconsensual kiss

Translator: Lucia Rose


Though he didn’t dodge, Livy snorted in amusement. “Oh? Then, pray tell, Major General, why is this place unsuitable for me?”

In his heart, he thought, considering how much of a party animal he was, shouldn’t the pub be akin to his natural habitat?

“Because, subconsciously, you’re always searching for tranquility and solitude.”

Gently yet firmly, Claude tapped his finger against the left side of Livy’s chest. “It’s just that your heart is in disarray, so rather than listen to it, you wile away the time in inharmonious spaces, numbing yourself to all else.”

“I don’t recall you being a philosopher.”

Livy paused. Just as he was about to turn around, however, his wrist was seized by the other party.

“Were you to fly the Pure-Hued Lady into the skies, you would become the alien invaders’ most conspicuous target. Will you be afraid then?”

Livy laughed, and the smile that blossomed across his face seemed to cut through all the pub’s discordance and din. “Why would I? They’re my targets, too.”

Without warning, Claude twisted his wrist and ruthlessly tugged Livy towards himself. Shocked, Livy grabbed onto the railing to steady himself. He was about to yell out in protest when Claude abruptly grabbed the back of his neck and kissed him.

Taking advantage of Livy’s moment of insensibility, Claude sucked hungrily on Livy’s lower lip. His actions held a tinge of desperation, and when the young pilot reflexively parted his lips, Claude entwined their tongues together.

This kiss was definitely not a joke; Livy, though oblivious, was not stupid.

As a soldier who had gone through all the standard military training, he reached for Claude’s neck with vicious killing intent.

Sensing danger, Claude swiftly pushed Livy away.

Locked in a stalemate, the two people stared at each other.

The world, suspended above a jostling, clamorous mob, seemed to slow, and Livy’s fingers, which gripped the railing tightly, turned white. The surging tide of individuals beneath the banisters seemed to stand still under Claude’s gaze.

“What were you doing just now?” Livy’s jaw was tense.

“Kissing you.” There was no expression on Claude’s face; no humor in his eyes.

“Why.” Livy tilted his head and raised his chin. This somewhat disdaining attitude caused Claude’s expression to turn even more ice-cold.

“You obviously know why, but you want to ask me the reason? Is Livy Van Perle such a hypocritical person?” Staring fixedly into Livy’s eyes, Claude crept closer once more, like a panther stalking its prey. The intensity in his gaze could nail a person to one spot; trap them between the seams of time itself.

“Ridiculous.” Livy spun around and descended the stairs. Like a fluid stream, he blended into the dusky, twinkling lights, and Claude, who was silently watching from behind, was left to brood, alone, on the shadowed balcony ledge.


Exiting the pub, Livy hurriedly withdrew his neck into the safety of his high-collared coat as the cold wind came in full force. The lights of the night market were dazzling.

In this skyless city, such lights were like the vast sky full of stars.

Except, there was no soul.

The second that he opened the door to his room, Livy issued a command: “Don’t turn on the lights, Lilith. And don’t speak to me, either.”

The whole way to his bed, Livy’s steps were marred by haphazardly scattered, unwashed trousers, empty beer bottles, and a sexy black thong. He staggered, nearly tripping, towards his destination and collapsed unceremoniously atop it.

“Why did the person encountering this ridiculous situation have to me?! And why did that guy… that ridiculous guy, have to be Claude?!” Livy flung his head back onto his pillows in defeat. He knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that the people of Zone Z would not be seeing him again.

Because if he had to meet with Claude one more time after tonight, that would be akin to torturing himself.

And a masochist Livy was not.

Tomorrow’s matters will be dealt with tomorrow! With a tug, Livy pulled the blankets over himself, too lazy even to take a shower.


On the second morning where Livy failed to make an appearance at the training center, Miller felt ready to explode.

“I’ve already forgiven this b*st*rd’s slovenliness, but now he doesn’t even show up to train?! Just what the h*ll does he think of the Pure-Hued Lady?! He must be rolling in the sheets with some woman again, flinging all his sense of responsibility to God knows where!”

The other researchers and staff were also talking quietly amongst themselves. After a while, they managed to dig out Livy’s phone number. Unfortunately, when they called him, they were met with the busy tone. In a fit of rage, Miller turned on the PA System, and his wrathful voice was broadcasted to the entire base.

‘Requesting Second Lieutenant Livy van Perle report to Zone Z ASAP.’

‘Second Lieutenant Livy van Perle, report to Zone Z within three minutes!’

‘Urgent announcement, Second Lieutenant Livy van Perle, get your lazy @rse to Zone Z THIS MINUTE!’

All of this was like throwing pebbles into the big sea.

By this time, Miller had smoke emitting from his ears.

The whole time, Claude sat quietly in front of his computer monitor. Had one merely looked at his expressionless face, one would have thought that nothing was happening at all.

“Major General! Shouldn’t you be using your search authority to dispatch someone to that rascal’s room to check on him?”

Claude made a dismissive gesture with his hand, “If he doesn’t want to come, what’s the use in forcing him?”

Miller was stunned. He opened and closed his mouth and almost doubted this man was Claude. It took a long while before he could react, “What the h*ll happened?”

“It’s possible that he’s just too tired and we should give him more time to rest and think over what he truly wants. If it was me, I wouldn’t want an uncommitted fighter pilot, either.” ‘Impartial bystander’ Maurice leisurely opened his mouth to speak. However, the smile at the corners of his lips hinted that this affair was far more complicated than it initially appeared.

Claude closed his eyes and massaged his canthi. He inadvertently met Maurice’s inquiring gaze. However, Maurice was slightly disappointed when his inquiring gaze was only met with an obscure and unfathomable laugh from Claude.


This day didn’t mark the end of Livy’s playing hooky by any means; rather, it was the beginning of it. When this ‘absence without leave’ persisted for nearly a week, even Miller was at his wits’ end.

“I’m going to go and drag that scoundrel back!” Miller’s temples pulsed; he gnashed his teeth in anger and was prepared to leave the simulation room.

Claude’s next words, however, stopped him dead in his tracks.

“No one is permitted to find him.”

Claude’s command reverberated throughout the space with an indescribable intimidation that caused everyone’s eyes to gather on his person. “We’ll only proceed if he comes back himself.”

Footsteps halted in place, Miller stared at his superior officer with an incomprehensible gaze.

Most of the eyes in the simulation room, apart from query, were filled with puzzlement.

“This is an order.” There was no trace of humor in Claude’s eyes, and the entire Zone Z abruptly realized that this order was absolute and not to be violated.

But there was one person who did not put this order into his eyes.


That same evening, carrying two bottles of beer, Maurice arrived in front of Livy’s door.

“Open the door, you little devil1Little devil (小鬼 – xiǎo guǐ) is an endearing way to address a child or subordinate.! I know you’re inside. We’re all men here; if you have something to say then just say it.”

Hearing Maurice’s voice, Livy, who had been daydreaming on his bed, returned to earth. He didn’t understand why, but, for some reason, Livy wasn’t able to ignore Maurice. Perhaps it was because the two of them had very similar characters.

After lazily opening the door, Livy proceeded to collapse disinterestedly on his sofa without any superfluous greetings or small talk.

When the light came on, Maurice took a gander at Livy’s messy room and let out a giant smile, “My good boy, the style of your room makes me feel matchlessly cozy!”

Having said his lines, he pushed away Livy’s several-days-old socks and sat down on the sofa. Then, he passed over a bottle of beer: “Drink some; cheer up!”

Receiving the bottle, Livy immediately took two drafts, “What’ve you come for? You definitely didn’t come to drink with me; otherwise, you would’ve brought two crates, not two bottles.”

“Heh, I see your brain hasn’t rusted.” Maurice patted Livy’s shoulder, “Say it; why haven’t you come to Zone Z to train? Everyone thought you had fallen into the gentle trap of a beautiful woman!”

“Gentle trap……” Livy sneered. That was, of course, if a big man like Claude could be considered to be a ‘gentle trap’.

“Did Claude confess to you?”

Mid-swig, Livy spit out his beer. “Hey, are you always this direct?”

Though he felt a little put off by Maurice’s directness, to him, what was more unsettling was not that Maurice was able to say this matter outright, but that he was even privy to this matter at all.

“If he confesses, then he confesses.” Maurice made a move to clink his bottle with Livy’s. Then, he stared introspectively at the ceiling, “Seeing your present actions, it is naked sexism. If it had been a skirt-wearing female military officer doing to you what Claude had done, today you would have already happily and diligently been at the training center.”

“How could this and that be the same?” Livy took a long draft of beer, “he could have chosen not to say anything and not to do anything.”

Maurice helplessly shook his head, “Do you really not know why Claude felt he needed to confess to you?”


“Because he needed to make sure that when the day came for you to take the Pure-Hued Lady into the skies, his adoration would not interfere with your judgment; for once that day arrives, no one will be able to protect you again. And the only thing that Claude can do is to ensure that the functions of the Pure-Hued Lady are perfect, prepare for you the best training, and then, like the others, look up at you hopefully as you fly up into the heavens… and be more fearful than anyone else of your fall.”

Livy lowered his head. His bangs obscured his eyes and made it impossible to read his expression, “Listening to you speak like this, it seems that Claude loves me very much.”

“Whether he loves you or merely admires you is something I have no way of knowing, but what I really want to know is if you plan on giving up the Pure-Hued Lady. If so, then I will go to Claude and tell him not to waste any more time waiting for you, and we will start searching for another suitable pilot.”

Once again, Maurice gave Livy’s shoulder a few pats, “You are no longer a child anymore, Livy. In these extraordinary times, from the day you became a soldier, you lost the privilege to be headstrong.”

After Maurice excused himself, Livy leaned his head back against the sofa and laughed.


That night, Claude, who was at Zone Z, was observing the holographic display screen while recording notes onto his tablet. In the entire simulation room, there was only him left, and the entire space was quiet as if the whole world was immersed in a deep slumber.

From the corridor, there came a faint echoing of footsteps, and Claude’s lips curved up into a tiny smile.

The sliding doors were pushed to the side, and a figure stood there with arms crossed, “If I never intended to come back, then what would be the purpose of you diligently sitting here and doing this research?”

“For the next pilot.”

“If he or she were to be able to fly the Pure-Hued Lady, would you also love them like you love me?” Livy’s voice took on a slightly enquiring tone.

Claude sneered, “I still believe myself to be a rational person who is able to discern the difference between falling in love with a person and falling in love with a dream.”

Measuredly walking over, Livy looked straight into Claude’s indigo eyes, “Then, you also listen carefully: your loving me is your business. But don’t ever think about letting your feelings become the shackles that bind and hold me back.”

“Deal.” Claude extended his hand, and Livy magnanimously accepted it.

“But, I have one more condition. Don’t you dare kiss me. And no sexual harassment.”

“I’ll try.”

Livy was just about to dispute the meaning of this sentence “I’ll try” when Zone Z suddenly sounded the emergency alarm.

‘All fighter pilots on emergency standby! All fighter pilots on emergency standby!’

The red emergency light had lit up and began rotating, signaling a ‘Class A’ crisis. The entire K11 Air Base had entered a state of suspended alertness, as all soldiers awaited orders of dispatch.

Livy tilted his head inquisitively, “What happened?”

Claude altered the frequency of the holographic display. There were no stars in the pitch-black night sky. Only bursts of firefight illuminated the airspace. He quickly drew up a preliminary understanding of the situation: a team of fighter pilots was being attacked by aliens, and based on their comparative strengths, if there was no effective help within the next 3 minutes, they would all be obliterated.

In less than a minute, almost the entirety of K11 Air Base’s fighter pilots had been dispatched, and even the command ‘free-fire’ had been issued.

“Is something the matter?”

“It’s Team E from St. Louis; they were responsible for bringing X-II to us.”

“You mean that expensive artificial element, 0.01 milligrams of which would be enough to power the engines of the base’s air force for three years… that thing?”

“Yes, the thing that we want……” Claude furrowed his brows.

“Is also wanted by that sounder of alien pigs.” Grinning, Livy swiftly turned around, and the automatic sliding doors which were hibernating before him obediently stretched out to the sides.

“Where are you going?” Claude tucked his hands into his pockets and followed closely behind. Despite this, he instinctively, at that moment, already understood what Livy wanted to do.

And, when that spacious showroom unfolded before their eyes again, Claude and Livy raised their heads in concurrence to look up at that majestic object in the center.

Like a deep, tranquil sea, the silvery white fighter plane stood at ready under the cold, detached display lights.

2Image by Lee Rosario from Pixabay

Livy walked forward and didn’t stop until he had reached the Pure-Hued Lady. Smiling as he had in the past, he shrugged his shoulders, and the nonchalance with which he conveyed his next sentence was like that of a noncommittal god.

“There’s always a first time for everything, Claude.”


T/N: Welcome back, everyone! ♡

  • 1
    Little devil (小鬼 – xiǎo guǐ) is an endearing way to address a child or subordinate.
  • 2
    Image by Lee Rosario from Pixabay

Lucia Rose

Thank you so much for reading! ☺ °✩ Above the Firmament: Legend of Skyrim [TL] ⋆。° Knight of the Sea [Co-TL w/ Sushi] ゚。⋆ Could You Not Tease Me? [Co-TL w/ Nura] ✩˖ ࣪‧₊˚ If you wish to support me, please consider donating to my Ko-fi! ♡

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4 thoughts on “Chapter 14 – There’s Always a First Time For Everything”

  1. Claude’s type of character is annoying because he doesn’t respect boundaries *sighhhhhh* i hope his character improves but the author always writes male leads like this so I know he probably won’t :/ I can’t help but think Miller would be the better male lead…oh well I quite like the plot of this story???? Thank you Lucia for the translations!!

    • Yes, it’s the only part of the story that I feel frustrated with. ༼ಢ_ಢ༽ I really love the author’s writing and sense of humor, but consent is such a sensitive topic for me (and for others, too) that I can’t help but wince whenever I see Claude being creepy (and forcing his feelings on Livy). (⋟﹏⋞) This was the same issue Nine had as well. (இ﹏இ`。)
      I’m sorry! I wish I could tell you if his character improves, but I’m actually translating as I read so I can’t say for sure. (つ﹏⊂)
      Maybe I’ll write a Livy x Miller fanfic in the future, hehe. ☺

      You’re welcome, Cherry! Thank you so much for continuing to read this story! ❤

  2. The first real fight in the Lady! I’m glad that Maurice talked with Livy, but I would’ve liked it more if Claude was the one talking.

    Thank you for the chapter!


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