Chapter 17 – Pool Date

Translator: Lucia Rose


“Come to think of it, I never expected you to be in the Air Force, too. When do you need to fly back to your original base?”

“I’m allowed to rest for half a month while my fighter is being repaired. That said, I never expected you to call. I shattered your ‘beautiful dream’, after all. Shouldn’t you be bristling at me like a cat whose tail got stepped on?” Leslie’s voice was reminiscent of clear water flowing over rocks in a stream. Even his sarcastic taunts sounded pleasant to Livy’s ears.

“I’ve already passed the age where I’d be bristling like a cat. Do you have any plans for tomorrow? Sleep, maybe?”

“Do you think I pilot something like the Pure-Hued Lady? In comparison, the Blue Crisis doesn’t consume much energy at all. Tomorrow, I plan to go swimming.”

“Want to go together?”

“What, you want me to show you my naked body so you can confirm I’m really not a girl?”

Livy grinned.

“Hey, hey, at best, I think of you as a captain who looks like Vivian Lucrécy, that’s all.”

“Your head is so simple that I’ve lost the desire to tease you with past affairs. Tomorrow morning when I wake up, let’s meet at the municipal pool, slug.” After speaking, Leslie wasted no time hanging up.

“Hey — I told you to stop calling me slug! You hear me? You hear that?!” Livy huffed out his irritation; unfortunately, the only reply he got was the busy tone.

He, Livy Van Perle, had already stopped being a slug1I’ll quickly explain! ヾ(•ω•`)o The original Chinese was 鼻涕虫 (bí tì chóng), which literally means ‘slug’. However, it can also refer to somebody with a runny nose. 鼻涕 (bí tì) means ‘nasal mucus’, and 虫 (chóng) means ‘insect’. An English equivalent would probably be… something like ‘boogerman’? many years ago!


The next day, Livy showed up at the pool early and swam several rounds without seeing Leslie. Because it wasn’t a public holiday, the number of officers who were currently on leave was low, and there were only a few random stragglers scattered about the pool. After a long while, Livy’s fingers were beginning to look like prunes, but he still didn’t see Leslie.

2Image by Welcome to All ! ツ from Pixabay

“Did I get the wrong place?” Hanging off the edge of the pool, Livy picked at his ears while staring at the electronic clock hanging from the wall. The time was already past 11AM.

“There’s only one municipal pool, though.” Livy mumbled to himself. Though he lost contact with Leslie after elementary school, reuniting with an old friend in another fortress city was a rare occurrence, so Livy was looking forward to speaking with the other party.

Just as Livy was preparing to get out of the pool and return to his dormitory to sleep, a slender silhouette leisurely walked over to the edge of the pool.

The other party’s lean muscles were attractive — a perfect blend between strength and elegance. He wore a pair of swimming goggles, and his appearance attracted surreptitious glances from the surrounding pool-goers. Except, his refined yet unsmiling face, which exuded unapproachability, deterred any would-be admirers from getting closer.

“Hey. Slug.”

“Huh? Leslie, why did you only arrive now?” Livy was a little angry.

“Didn’t I tell you that we would meet tomorrow morning when I ‘woke up’?” Leslie’s lips curved up into what Livy deemed an infuriating smile, “Oh, did you come early so you could meet me?”

“Che. I just felt bored, that’s all.” After seeing the ‘curves’ of Leslie’s body, Livy silently confirmed to himself that his entire childhood had been a lie.

Leslie unhurriedly climbed down the ladder and swam over to Livy’s side, “Seems like the body which couldn’t beat anyone as a kid has a few muscles now?”

“But it’s still better than you, King Kong Barbie.” Livy grunted, “You’re all warmed up, right? I’m not going to save you later if you get cramps.”

“Beat me first.” Leslie turned around beautifully, gifting Livy with a water flower that bloomed across his face. In this way, he swam towards the opposite side.

“Ah — this is the behavior of a rogue!” Livy hurriedly chased after him.

Leslie glided swiftly down his lane with effortless strokes. His movements created a beguiling moving picture, attracting innumerable looks from nearby swimmers. And Livy exerted all his strength merely chasing his tail.

By the time they reached the other end of the pool, Livy was completely worn out. Panting, he plastered himself over the coping while Leslie smirked derisively.

“Don’t tell me, Livy, you’re tired after only this?”

“You’re so shameless; don’t forget that I already swam the whole morning.” Livy climbed onto the bank, “Take your time swimming; I’m going to get some grub.”

He didn’t even take two steps, however, when Leslie, who was still in the pool, called out to him in a loud voice, “Livy, do you still remember what you told me when you were little: That you wanted to swim in the sea?”

“Uh-huh.” Livy placed his hands on his hips and turned around. The lights which reflected across the water danced upon Leslie’s moist face, creating an almost enchanting picture, “But the probability of me swimming in the sea and you being a girl are the same: zero.”

“These two events cannot be compared.” Leslie rested his elbows atop the coping, staring directly at Livy, “I’m a male; that’s a fact that can never be changed. However, swimming in the ocean is a goal which can be achieved so long as you have the determination to drive the alien invaders out of the solar system.”

“I’ve never believed in lone heroes.” Throwing out this offhand statement, Livy shrugged his shoulders.

“Oh, and welcome to K11 Air Base. There are plenty of beautiful female officers here, though their beauty cannot be compared to yours.”

Showering in the locker room and letting the water flow over his cheeks and ears, Livy hung his head and secretly smiled. He thought his childhood self had been so silly as to be cute.

It was the fifth grade.

Young Livy — who had been attempting to skip class — sidled along the wall with his waist bent low and was about to sneak out of the building like a thief when, passing by the window, he inadvertently looked up and saw a girl with ear-length, silvery blonde hair.

At that moment, his heart started beating fast like an out-of-control engine; so fast, even, that now, when Livy looked back on it, he felt it was somewhat ridiculous.

It was just that, for Livy, school was like a cage filled with rules made for keeping him and every single thing in check, and that beautiful fair-haired girl was like the only glimmer of light within that cage.

Day after day, he ran to meet her at the end of class, saved his lunch snacks and brought them over to her, and — even though she never cared — foolishly wrote her some love letters, letters which the other party just frowned at and disdainfully said: “Your handwriting is atrocious.”

More than once she rebuked him, saying: “You need to stop pestering me and showing up in front of me, because I’m a boy, and I do not like being chased by another boy like this.”

But Livy didn’t believe her, because which boy in this world could have such beautiful blond hair, such beautiful eyes, and look so good even while angry?

Rather, he simply thought the girl didn’t like himself.

Finally, one day, he could no longer hold himself back and praised: “Lacey, your hair is so pretty.”

The other party frowned deeply, “I don’t need a slug like you to compliment me!”

And then the next day, she gave herself a bowl cut and came to school wearing boyish clothes, all of which seemed to have been done to convince Livy of one fact, namely, “I am a boy”.

Livy felt sorry; why would she cut off such beautiful hair?

It was just like the color that was reflected off the sunlight, more luminous and elegant than the moonlight.

“Second Lieutenant Van Perle, here’s your calamari and beer.” The bartender’s voice intruded into Livy’s thoughts, drawing his musings away from the past and back to reality.

After leaving the pool, Livy had visited his usual bar, and once he sat down at the counter, he became lost in la-la land. If the bartender hadn’t been familiar with his preferences, Livy might have just stared at the empty table for eternity… or, at least, until the aliens destroyed the earth.

“So, he warned me long ago, but it was myself who didn’t believe it.” Livy sighed in amusement and took a large sip from his beer mug.

He didn’t drink too much; the matter of his first love being a boy hadn’t psychologically struck him to the point of wanting to get intoxicated.

While he was paying for his bill, another emergency broadcast was played over the intercom.

‘All fighter pilots please stand by! All fighter pilots please stand by!’

Livy was still on leave, so he wasn’t sure if he was included among the ‘all’; however, just as he had decided to continue lazing around for two seconds, he heard Leslie’s fighter number being called.

‘What happened? Leslie wasn’t part of K11, so why was his fighter on the reserve list?’

Livy quickly paid his bill and returned to the base. When he arrived at the reserve channel, he saw that the repair division and mechanics were busy, and Leslie was about to open the hatch to sit in his fighter.

“Leslie—” Livy quickly stepped forward and was stopped by the repair master.

“Sorry, Second Lieutenant Van Perle; Leslie’s fighter is about to start up, so you are not allowed to pass.”

“I don’t know what’s going on, but I’ve been transferred to K11.” Looking down, Leslie stretched out his thumb and made a gesture of contempt to Livy, then closed the hatch and entered the pit.

Emergency operations like these were affairs that could not be helped; Livy looked toward the repair division, asking, “What’s the situation now? Even those on leave are going into combat?”

“There’s a mine located between the two fortress cities, K11 and St. Louis. K11 and St. Louis have both been under a joint secret mining agreement regarding the rare metals, and up until now, everything has been conducted from below the ground. However, the invaders discovered the place somehow and dispatched a dozen warplanes over to plunder the resources!”

“Sh*t — the universe may not be ours, but the Earth is! Those alien pigs don’t know when to stop!” Livy turned around and walked away quickly.

“Second Lieutenant, are you going to pilot the Pure-Hued Lady?”

“Nonsense!” Even if the enemy’s number was only about a dozen now, the longer the battle got prolonged, the more likely it would be for the enemy to send out twice as many fighters as reinforcements to vie over natural resources. By then, it would definitely become a bitter battle.

If it was said that the fatality rate of fighter jet pilots was normally one third, this time Livy was afraid it would be much higher.

When Livy arrived in front of the Pure-Hued Lady, Claude was examining the data.

“Why didn’t you plan to inform me of such an important battle?” Livy reached out and snatched the computer away from Claude’s hand.

“You’re getting ruder and ruder to me.” Claude looked at Livy, “What makes you so impulsive? You’ve always cared less about emergency broadcasts of such nature and the like.”

“I’m a fighter pilot. The fate of humanity, the future of Earth… all that is none of my business, but I want to meet the enemy head on. I don’t want to be a porcelain doll protected by you.” Livy’s metaphor caused Claude to frown.

“I’ve never thought of you as a porcelain doll. It’s just that I want you to understand the Pure-Hued Lady is still a new type of warplane; it’s not stable in all aspects, and all of its data is derived from our calculations rather than actual battle……”

Livy looked into Claude’s eyes, and only then did he notice the exhaustion on his face. While Livy was on vacation, Claude had been debugging the Pure-Hued Lady with the only real-world data they had collected, and he probably hadn’t slept these days.

“Sorry.” Livy wasn’t a person who easily apologized, “the Pure-Hued Lady is special; it’s only when it’s in optimal condition that it can—”

“Livy, I think you’re mistaken.”


  • 1
    I’ll quickly explain! ヾ(•ω•`)o The original Chinese was 鼻涕虫 (bí tì chóng), which literally means ‘slug’. However, it can also refer to somebody with a runny nose. 鼻涕 (bí tì) means ‘nasal mucus’, and 虫 (chóng) means ‘insect’. An English equivalent would probably be… something like ‘boogerman’?
  • 2

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! ♡

If you find any errors (E.g. spelling, inconsistent terms, broken links, etc.) , please let us know through our discord channel

Support Dummy

Your donations will help fund a part of the site's costs and management. You can find individual translators' ko-fi under each chapter^^

Join our discord channel

1 thought on “Chapter 17 – Pool Date”

  1. I like how Leslie and Livy are interacting, it’s no wonder how they became friends!

    Thank you for the chapter!


Leave a Comment