Koezaru wa Akai Hana: Luji’s Route

This follows the Common Route of Toya, Luji and Uru. Luji is a doctor and also helps Toya with his research. Also, the character I was interested in from the start so don’t be surprised if my post looks biased lol. R-18 game! But I will not post any R-18 CGs in my reviews and there will be spoilers.

Naala decides to go out for a walk for a breather. There’s a maid washing clothes nearby and one of the bedsheets is blown by the wind and caught in the tree near Naala. Naala offers to climb up to get it despite the maid’s protests, recognising her as Toya’s wife. Naala manages to get it, but the branch also breaks under the weight – thankfully Luji catches her in time. He’s happy that Naala remember his name, since it’s been a while. Naala says that she won’t ever forget, since he saved her friend, and now her. Luji smiles as he remarks that it’s a doctor’s role to save lives, though well in this case it’s a bit different and Naala didn’t quite expect someone who’s usually holed up in a room to have such strength. After he lets her down, Naala sees the bedsheet all muddy and apologises to the maid. Of course the maid feels bad instead since Naala was in danger, but Naala insists that it was his own initiative and she actually feels better after stretching her body like that. Though Luji remarks that he’d rather her change her mood by not doing such dangerous things, since it she’s hurt people will be sad. Recalling Sharu and Sarana, Naala accepts his words, which makes Luji chuckle as he finds her interesting.

When Naala asks if he’s making fun of her, he denies this and instead corrects his words – rather than interesting, she’s cute. She would do surprising things such as putting her life on the line for her friend, climbing the tree for a bedsheet, but it’s all for the sake of others. Her motivation is probably her love for everyone, and he finds that she does it all with her utmost effort and it’s cute. Taken aback by her honest words, Naala wonders if he’s doing it all unwittingly, and worries over how he may get stabbed one day by a woman lol. As Naala questions what he’s doing here, Luji then remembers the bottle of medicine he wanted to give her – though it appears that she’s sleeping fine now. He’s also here ‘cos the research room was shifted to the palace, as Toya made such an invitation to him.

As they’re talking, Naala wonders why she feels at ease talking with Luji. Thinking about it, most men look down on women since there are those who think that they’re inferior to contract the disease, and others who see them as a tool. But Naala doesn’t feel any ulterior motive from Luji and asks why he’s so kind to women from an enemy country. Luji is surprised, as he feels that he isn’t particular kind or anything – if he really is being kind then it’s for his own sake. He does sympathise with them and want to do something for them, but he has other reasons too. Naala is curious about this, but also hesitant to pursue further since it seems to be something sensitive. To her surprise, Luji is willing to talk to her, but asks to switch places since it’s an embarrassing matter. After they do so, he asks her to first promise him that she won’t change her attitude towards him, since it may disgust others. Naala strongly assures him that her attitude towards him won’t change no matter what.

Luji then tells her that when he was young, he was assaulted by a man before. He was going to the forest behind the palace to collect medicinal plants, when he was suddenly attacked by behind. Thankfully, before anything worse could happen his two good friends, Bal and Els, came to search for him and saved him. Naala is certainly taken aback by the nature of his confession, but if there’s any disgust to be felt it’s towards the man and not him at all. She can see how difficult it is for Luji to have told her this, and doesn’t think of him as useless to be still haunted by this. Naala can understand the fear of being robbed of one’s freedom, and it isn’t easy to overcome a childhood trauma either – she herself took a long time to overcome her separation from her mother. Luji thanks her, and explains that ‘cos of that incident, he decided that he definitely wouldn’t give women that similar fear. And the reason for him telling this to her, is ‘cos he wants to gain her trust by showing that he wants to find a cure and has no desire towards the women. He was actually appointed to be in-charge of the new research centre, so he’ll need their help, and chose to approach her, someone who is trusted by the rest of the Rusu women. Naala thinks that you can’t call that an ulterior motive anymore if you revealed it. But wonders if he isn’t afraid that she’ll use his weakness against him. Luji confidently says that he has always been good at judging people.

After hearing this, Naala can only think of him as kind. Other people who may have witnessed the same incident, may instead choose to do the same to others. As Luji insists that he doesn’t like the current situation so he’s doing all this for himself, Naala thinks otherwise – others may choose to ignore what the women are going through since it’s easier that way. But he doesn’t, so Naala thinks of him and kind and strong. Luji in return comments that she is a cute person after all, much to her surprise. He remarks that she’s like a meteor. He thanks her as he feels better after having carried this secret for so long – she’s the first person he has told this to so it’ll be just her and his secret now. In return, Naala asks him to drop the polite language since they share a secret now, even if it’s just when they’re alone. After some hesitation, Luji agrees and Naala offers to help him out anytime. So he asks her to help him with his research starting from tomorrow and Naala happily agrees, as they shake hands. As Luji remarks again how she’s like a meteor, Naala starts to feel self-conscious over him for some reason.

Bond

Naala accidentally drops some of the research material when in the research room that day. She feels that she’s been making these small failures but the others worry more over whether she’s hurt or not. Going to clean things up, she happens to overhear two women talking about Els being released from prison recently ‘cos of his family connections – but it’s also ‘cos of this case that his family will no longer handle jobs assigned by the royal family. They doubt that Els will be able to marry anyone like this too. Sharu, who happened to be bringing some stuff in for her, overheard this as well though. Though Sharu insists that she’s alright, Naala knows that she will keep blaming herself and will regret if she doesn’t get the chance to apologise. There’s no telling when a person’s life will end, so it’s better to apologise when you can. Sharu ends up breaking down as she recalls what a cruel thing she did to make use of a person who was so kind. Even though she did it all to return Naala back home, there’s still no excuse for hurting him. As Naala hugs her, she tries to think of how she can get Sharu to meet the guy first so as to apologise.

Later in the research room, Luji can tell that Naala has something on her mind and guesses that it concerns Sharu. He knew of it before the rumours started circulating, and assures Naala that it will be okay even though it’s just his own forecast. His instincts are always right and if he’s wrong this time, he’ll even stop being a doctor. As the conversation goes along, Naala thinks that the current research he’s working on is significant enough to change history. But it’s surely tough to keep walking on a path when you can’t foresee any end in sight and Naala remarks that she respects him for it. Luji recalls that his own father kept objecting to his career though, saying that he should quit being a doctor when anyone can be one, and go be a politician instead. It may be true in a way, in that people rely on him ‘cos he’s a doctor and not ‘cos he’s “Luji”. But Naala thinks otherwise, at least personally, she wants his help ‘cos he’s “Luji” and she likes him for himself. Luji reddens at her words, before awkwardly answering that he likes her too, as a friend.

He then switches the topic by asking if she’d like to have a drink with a group of people, and asks for her help in asking out a few girls. Naala takes a liking to this idea and decides to ask Sharu and Sarana later. They decide on meeting later tonight in this very room. Naala goes to ask her two friends later and they both are excited over the idea, and Naala is happy to see the bright atmosphere in a long while. Sarana then asks how she and Luji are, and Naala quickly corrects that they’re just friends. She is Toya’s wife after all but for some reason her chest aches at this thought. After Sarana leaves, Naala sees that Sharu is still feeling down and tells her to enjoy herself for tonight before thinking of how to apologise to the guy tomorrow. Later that night, Naala goes to the meeting spot only to see Luji with Els, the guy Sharu deceived. Sharu comes in not too long after but Luji holds Naala back from interfering and to just watch. Looking carefully, Els doesn’t appear angry and so Naala decides to keep quiet for now.

Indeed, Els apologises to Sharu instead. He admits that he should’ve thought of why Sharu would’ve asked for the map, but was just too happy to be able to go out with her. In the end his carelessness hurt her. Sharu is in disbelief at first since she caused him to go to prison, but he insists that he doesn’t hate her at all – he’s too much of an idiot to hold such feelings. Sharu starts tearing up, as she remarks that it’s ‘cos he’s like that that he gets deceived. She eventually apologises to him too and says that she doesn’t deserve to be liked by him. But Els knows this, and that she already has someone whom she thinks of the most, but he’s okay with it as long as he’s still somewhere in her heart. The situation between them has been resolved and soon after Sarana appears with Bal. They have an enjoyable time together, something Naala wouldn’t have expected after being forced to come to Nasula. Even though the best thing would still be to return to Rusu, she’s still happy to see Sharu feeling better now.

Towards the end, Els gets drunk and Sharu offers to see him home since she’s in his debt. But Luji tells her that Els doesn’t think that way. Initially Els only wanted to pass her a letter but he persuaded Els to tell it to her in person, even though he was afraid at first. Even though he was told not to say this, but Els actually first saw Sharu when he was asked by Luji to come over and help – he saw her crying in a corner. Though he may not deserve to say this as part of Nasula, he thinks that Sharu shouldn’t carry all the burden and to lend a friend’s shoulder if she wants to cry. Perhaps Els wanted to be her support as he kept seeing her, and hence fell in love with her. Sharu wasn’t aware of this at all but is touched to hear this. Though Naala is disappointed that she wasn’t aware that Sharu was feeling so much burden, she’s happy to see her lighten up a bit more now. Bal also sees home a drunk Sarana and that leaves Naala and Luji left. Naala thanks him for everything, though Luji remains modest and says that he was only the starting point. Still, Naala thinks that that is the most difficult job.

Even though he always denies it, Naala thinks that he’s kind after all, and passionate about his work. With both a nice heart and features, it would be stranger to think that he isn’t popular. In fact, he’s even popular among the Rusu women, but he probably just doesn’t realise it. She also happens to recall the time he saved her when she fell from the tree, and despite his pretty features he also has a well-built body too. With this renowned realisation, Naala starts to feel self-conscious around him and repeatedly tries to tell herself to snap out of it. Seeing her like this, Luji asks if she’s drunk as well and Naala passes it off as that. As they continue to talk, it is eventually revealed that Luji is 25 years old. As it’s a marriageable age, Naala asks if he has considered of it yet. Luji explains that ever since that incident (which he previously told her) he has been afraid of hurting women and hasn’t been in the mood to marry in a bride – even though his parents often nagged him to do so. But they’ve passed away now. Naala empathises with him since she’s in a similar situation. She recalls that she would always visit her father’s grave in her home village. Luji recognises the village name, Zyezyeg, as that is his mother’s home village.

Seeing the coincidence, Naala shares that her aunt is from there too and has the same name as herself. Luji is stunned into silence, as he reveals that his mother has the same name. They also both confirm that their grandfathers have the same name, Madal, a name which usually only the village head has. This can no longer be pure coincidence which means that they’re cousins. As both of them stare at each other in silence, a guard comes checking since he saw the lights on. Both of them quickly get up as they clear up the room and leave too. Back in her room, Naala is at a loss at how to think about this revelation. Seeing her difficult face, Toya offers to lend a listening ear. After hearing what it is, he pats her head and says that she should just be happy to have found a blood relative. She doesn’t need to change how she has interacted with Luji all along. Thinking that his words make sense, Naala finds herself smiling naturally and Toya is a bit envious of Luji. But he heads to bed before Naala can pursue his words further. As she herself heads to bed, she decides to convey this happy feeling of hers to Luji first thing tomorrow.

Inexplicable feelings

Naala finds Luji and feels herself tensing up even though they had been able to talk normally all along. After she greets him, Naala hesitates for a while before asking if she should call him “Nii-san” (older brother). To her surprise, Luji asks if she truly wants to call him that. But he explains that he’s happy to have found out that they’re cousins, but wonders if she doesn’t hate him since half of his blood is from Nasula. Naala is kinda relieved to hear this, as she thinks to herself that it’s probably ‘cos it’s Luji that she’s able to feel happy over the news. She answers that it doesn’t have to do with whether he’s from Nasula or not, she’s happy ‘cos it’s him. Upon hearing this, Luji lets out a loud sigh of relief before returning to her question – he’d prefer her to call him by his name as he doesn’t want to become her “brother”. Previously she said that she wants his help ‘cos he’s “Luji” and not ‘cos he’s a doctor. He was really happy to be recognised for himself. If she calls him as a brother he’ll feel rather lonely to only be recognised as that, and so would like her to continue calling him by his name. Naala accepts this and they shake hands again with this new revelation, though Naala feels herself reddening.

Luji then admits that he was afraid of meeting her today, as he didn’t want to become her cousin for another reason. He himself didn’t know the reason at first, even though he should’ve been happy to have this bond with her. After thinking about it the whole night, he finally found the answer right now. Naala is feeling really self-conscious of him right about now though, so she quickly releases his hand and signals to head to the research room. Luji wants to nap a bit first and jokes as he asks if she wants to sleep with him lol. After they part, Naala sees Sharu and Sarana who ask about her relationship with Luji, since there are rumours that they’re together. Naala decides to confide in them about the fact that they’re cousins, but wish for them to keep it a secret. It’s too late though as apparently someone overheard them and it has now spread among everyone else too.

One day in the research room, Luji remarks to Naala that it feels as though everyone is strangely treating him more kindly recently. Naala bursts out laughing as she knows the reason, and answers that it must be ‘cos everyone feels closer to him now. Luji appears to understand what she truly means, and says that she must be really loved by everyone. However, Naala reckons that it’s ‘cos he’s originally kind by nature. As she goes to the research room everyday, Naala ends up looking forward to meeting Luji too. But she stumbles upon a girl confessing to Luji on the way. Even though she knows that she should walk away her feet are frozen to the ground. And even though she should feel happy for her cousin, it presses down on her heart instead. Naala convinces herself though that she’s reluctant for her cousin to be taken away by someone else. Even so, that pressure still remains in her chest.

Answer

Things have been busy as usual, but Naala feels bad for Luji since he’s the one bearing most of the burden. He asks her if they could get together to drink again tonight though, and personally he would appreciate the change of mood. Naala agrees in the end and will take note to ask Sharu and Sarana later. But she notices that Luji himself didn’t drink much the last time and he admits that he can’t really drink alcohol. But Naala wonders again if he’s restraining himself for her sake since she can’t imagine still having fun when you can’t drink. Reading her mind, Luji pats her head before touching her face as he remarks that he has such a cute cousin and assures her that he’s fine. He still enjoys himself and he’s also happy to be able to be with her till late. Feeling self conscious, Naala recalls that ever since the day they shook hands a second time, he’s been touching her more often. And with each skinship of his, an unfamiliar feeling appears inside her.

That night, everyone has fun and Naala realises that Luji shows a different side of himself when with Bal and Els. In fact he shows no mercy around them. Luji thinks that he’s like returning to the past when with them, and Els adds that he was even scarier in the past. Though Naala can’t imagine it at all, Els warns her to be careful of him even now and Bal agrees that he uses just words alone to attack all your weak points. Naala jokes that she’ll be careful from now on too but Luji says that he can never get angry at her, with what Els points out is his angelic smile lol. Soon after Sharu and Els start talking and the rest leave them alone. As they observe this, Luji whispers to Naala on how they’re going well. Naala starts flushing and Luji wonders if she’s drunk already as her ears are all red now – he may even mistake them for a fruit and eat them. Naala tells herself to get a grip, especially when she thought that she felt his lips touch her ear and it’s her own illusion – except that it isn’t as Luji apologises to her. She feels a bit relieved a it, but then tells herself to snap out of it as she tries to calm herself down. Seeing the two other couples getting along, Naala can’t help but feel out of place. But she’s also happy if her two friends find their own happiness.

That is till Sarana brings up the topic of wanting children and Bal hesitantly answers that he doesn’t want any for now. It turns out that Nasula has a law saying that if a woman gives birth to a child, she then has to marry another man. This shocks everyone, though Els optimistically says that a couple can stay together forever though if they don’t have kids. Plus, the law may be done away with in the near future with the completion of the cure. Though Luji can’t guarantee that things will actually go that way, he does hope for it too. Both Luji and Bal agree though that Els’ optimistic predictions are to be reckoned with as they can be accurate in forgotten times. This lightens up the atmosphere a bit, as Naala agrees that it’s important to have hope. When Bal asks Luji on the progress, he answers that it’s still far from perfect but at least recently he has an excellent new helper, as he turns to smile at Naala.

Speaking of this, Sarana is reminded of Toya and wonders if he doesn’t say anything with Naala buried in research all the time. Naala replies that he supports this too but then Els gets a ‘bright’ idea and reckons that her nights must be awesome, causing Luji to choke and spit all over him lol. Bal admits that one does get curious about the king’s private life and Naala finally catches onto what Els was referring to. Only Sharu knows their actual relationship and though Naala feels bad for lying, she can’t let them in on the secret. She has no experience with concerns to this so she agrees with Els, and when pursued for the details, she awkwardly relates it to a horse rider’s battle and that it’s like riding a horse lmao. This seems to impress the rest and even Sarana worries over whether Naala’s alright. After Naala managed to convince the rest, she notices that Luji was actually drinking wine all along. He himself isn’t aware though and Els starts making him drink more and Luji ends up rather drunk. Upon Bal’s suggestion, they end the party here and each of them help the other out, leaving Naala and Luji behind.

Naala gives him some water to drink which makes him feel better. Though he rarely gets drunk, he admits that he also feels more relaxed now. Seeing that he’s more sober, Naala offers to help him up but he slips and while trying to help him gain back his balance their lips touch by accident. An awkward silence grows between them and Naala isn’t sure what to say either. Eventually, Luji apologises as it wasn’t intentional. Naala understands this, but she can’t help but remain self-conscious. Just then, Luji reaches out for her as he says that this one is intentional though, and kisses Naala. Taken by surprise, Naala doesn’t struggle and he deepens the kiss. In between he mutters “Naala……You’re my……” and Naala repeats his words, curious to know what he means. Luji pulls away from her suddenly and apologises. For some reason, the look of his face filled with regret saddens Naala. Luji apologises again and tells her to forget what happened before leaving the room. As sadness fills her, Naala questions these feelings she’s having.

Descending feelings

After that incident, Naala couldn’t sleep that night as she kept trying to search for the reason for feeling this way. She decides to act as per normal when heading to the research room that day, but spots Luji heading in a different direction. She ends up following him to an unfamiliar place and it turns out to be the room where the maid with the disease is being quarantined in. Despite his research duties, Luji still continues his role as a doctor as she sees him giving the maid some medicine to kill off the pain. However, she’s in the mood to drink it and would rather die. Even though Luji persuades her to hang in there till the cure is completed, there’s no telling when that day will be and she even requests of him to kill her. Of course Luji can’t fulfill that and so he only says that he’ll come again tomorrow. Naala quickly exits back to the courtyard and as it starts to rain, she sees him walking out looking desolate and looking like he’ll fall anytime. Seeing this, Naala runs up to hug him. Luji apologises and thanks her, and they fall into silence. He then asks her why she’s here and she reveals that she saw it all and apologises for eavesdropping, not that Luji minds it too much.

Luji then says that despite doing the proper thing as a doctor, he ended up hurting the maid. She was originally a strong and kind person, but due to the disease worsening in her she became impatient and is probably in more pain than anyone else can imagine. He feels unqualified as a doctor, as he can’t save someone who is in pain before him. Moreover he’s complaining like this to her now, so her image of him must have been broken now. Naala denies this, and says that she doesn’t feel uneasy at all. She believes that he’ll complete it as no one else is as dedicated to his work as he is. Naala then sees Luji’s expression change into one which she can’t read, but she can feel the heat from his eyes. Luji hesitantly admits that recently his heart hasn’t been making time for work due to another feeling which he developed, but can’t throw away – the heart which thinks dearly of Naala all the time, and the desire to hug, kiss, and make her only his. When Naala shakes her head, he cups them, as if telling her not to run away. But Naala herself is already aware of her true feelings for him, and once it has been unlocked the feelings kept spilling like the descending rain that’s falling now.

However, Luji knows that he can’t have her and so he plans for these feelings to disappear with the rain, for it to be a temporary illusion. As the rain lightens, Luji says that he’ll at least have to return to being the dedicated person she knows, so as to fulfill her wish. He gently kisses her forehead before leaving, and Naala starts to tear up but also doesn’t hold him back immediately. It’s foolish for her to have fallen in love when she’s already married.

Another emotion

Naala wonders when she became this weak, as her heart continues to feel heavy and she wastes time outside instead of heading to the research room. As she recalls Luji’s words, she can’t imagine that the feelings would really have disappeared, and instead his confession has filled her whole heart already. Just then, she spots a kid giving his father (one of the guards) a flower. But the father’s expression changes instantly as he snatches the flower and says that he’ll get his kid another one instead. Naala recognises that it’s the Nameless Flower. It was originally a blue flower but for some reason it turned red after the disease first spread. ‘Cos its fields became red as blood they were seen as inauspicious and labelled as the cause for the disease. But Naala knows otherwise herself since she swallowed it. That clicks inside her mind as she realises that’s the difference between her (as a survivor of the disease) and the rest, and dashes off to report this to Luji.

After listening to her, Luji comes to understand why Rusu has lesser cases of the disease – due to the wind direction most of the flowers will get blown to the south, and Zyeg river has more branches into Rusu which means more villages around the area and hence the women may unknowingly be affected by a part of the flower. After further thought, Luji excitedly shares with Naala that the key component should be the flower pollen. He doesn’t recommend letting the women swallow it like she did though, as the original flower has poison in it. But with the disease it probably mutated to form some resistance and in the process that gave birth to its new feature. Naala said that she developed a fever afterwards and that may be also ‘cos of the poison rather than just the disease itself. The extent of having her hair colour fade away just goes to show how much her body struggled to resist the disease, plus with some luck on her side too.

There should be a way to remove the poison and Luji decides to ask Toya for his help. Besides being knowledgeable on medicine, he’s also well-informed on poison purification and neutralisation.  He’ll also ask Toya for his help on transporting the flower here in secret since it is still regarded by majority as a bad symbol. As for Naala, he asks for her help in persuading everyone to not be afraid of the Nameless Flower. Speaking of which, he never thought that Naala would’ve been the rumoured king’s step-sister which bounced back from the disease. Realising that she gave away her identity, Naala tries to explain things but Luji says that he won’t pursue further as her status isn’t important to him. The only thing which may bother him was that she was engaged to someone, in other words he’s jealous lol. He then offers his hand to Naala and they step out together to get to work.

The days fly past as everyone is busy in the research room. But it also helps Naala to put her focus away from the rainy day. Today, Luji went to test the medicine on the maid and when he comes back he’s in a bit of a daze, before he finally tells everyone that there are positive effects. As the room is filled with cheer, he tells everyone to calm down as they first need to observe the patient’s recovery. But hearing his stuttering, Naala tells him to calm down instead and sits him down. Right now they first need to wait for more solid results so Luji decides to go on check on the progress later this afternoon. Seeing that he’s still nervous, Naala takes him to the bedroom next door to rest. After pacing back and forth, he finally sits down on the bed and Naala goes to sit beside him and takes his hand to wait for him to calm down. Luji sighs as he observes that he keeps showing his sorry sides to her. But Naala thinks otherwise since his nervousness and fear are all proof of how much he has worked till this day. As he decides to take a rest, Naala gets up to go join the rest. But Luji grabs her, asking her to stay by his side. He expected a rejection from her, but is stunned when she agrees instead lol. Though Naala knows that she shouldn’t being of married status already, she doesn’t want to leave Luji alone right now.

Luji: ……you’re too kind. One day you’ll be deceived by a wolf in sheep’s clothing.
Naala: Fufu, if such a person approaches me, I’ll be able to tell immediately so it’s okay.
Luji: It’s impossible. Because you can’t tell it now.
Naala: ……Sometimes you say mean things. Do you wish to embarrass me?
Luji: I just want to see your face, when you’re conscious of me as a man.
Naala: ……As expected you just want to embarrass me don’t you.
Luji: Is that so? It’s the first time I’ve had this feeling, so I don’t really know……

Naala then recalls that once her prey was snatched away by an eagle, as she was captured by its majesty. Despite its serene look, it’s actually ruthless and she finds it a bigger enemy than a wolf. Hearing this, Luji remarks that he’d like to steal her heart like an eagle pfft. As he kisses her forehead, he remarks that her eyes are beautiful and wonders the reason for it. When Naala teases him for it despite being a researcher, Luji answers that the human heart is out of his field but he’d like to research on her for life. But before that they’ve a much bigger task at hand. Naala falls asleep and wakes up later in the evening to find herself alone. She quickly gets up and sees that everyone else has gone home. Luji soon comes in though and she quickly asks of the progress. After a long silence, Luji answers that the medicine has stopped the disease from progressing and the fever is down too. Realising that it’s a success, Naala congratulates him since it’s long been his dream. He collapses to the floor all of a sudden though, as reality only hit him after telling her about it.

As Naala hugs him, he returns the hug back strongly. They both thank each other for the success, and in the end agree that it’s thanks to everyone who chipped into the research. Naala can’t help but feel that this is the happiest moment of her life. The next day, Toya calls both of them in after hearing the news. He himself can’t believe this happy news at first, and apologises for not being of much help since he was tied down with his kingly duties. But Luji is grateful for all his help already though Toya thinks otherwise, and says that thanks to him they’ve carved a huge historical event. There’s already a bunch of ministers waiting to see Toya to express their objection to the development of the cure though. Toya has no choice but to receive them so that he can persuade them, and move on with the two countries’ relationship. He asks Luji and Naala to join him. Naala is surprised at first, but Toya says that she’s his wife after all, and this puts her in an awkward position when he said this in front of Luji.

Luji explains thoroughly about the medicine and the related costs. They still object despite the fact that it’s a proven cure, and even seek Noor’s opinion. They probably didn’t expect that he would show his approval, saying that only they will know how to make it and can hold its manufacturing rights and sell to the rest. Toya eventually convinces them as he is sure that Nasula will prosper with it 10, 20 years down the road – where they no longer need to kidnap women and give their children a peaceful life. They have nothing else to say in response to this and so Toya closes this meeting. Later, he asks Luji to continue his job and he soon returns to his work. When Naala wonders why Toya called for her to join them, he answers that with her around both he and Luji would’ve felt stronger. She isn’t sure if he meant something else by that and quickly excuses herself too.

She finds Luji at the courtyard that night, near the tree where he had caught her when she fell. Joking over whether she should climb up again, Luji advises her against it and also adds that he’ll climb it one day, when he has set his resolution. Luji felt that his fate started to move forward from that moment, as she fell into his arms like a meteor – a bright light that lit up the darkness so that he could walk forward. Naala then notices him wiping away a tear from his eye, but he denies this. He even asks her to lick his finger so that she can check for herself. Embarrassed that she might’ve been wrong, Naala really does so but it’s salty. Luji still feigns ignorance though and tastes it for himself, till he admits that it is. He laughs as he remarks that thinking about all the effort he put in till now, it must have all overwhelmed him. Naala sulks that he’s teasing her, but Luji corrects this and says that it’s jealousy. But he ends the topic here and wishes her and Toya a good dream. Though Naala is happy that their common dream of a cure has been fulfilled, another emotion keeps occupying her heart.

With talks of diplomatic relations between the two countries going on, the research has been put on a hold for the moment – only Luji has been burying himself research. Naala can’t help but feel restless after busying herself all this while. Just then, she’s called to see Toya and it turns out that Oli has sent a reply. He agrees to give consideration to Toya’s proposal but on two conditions: stabilise the success rate of the medicine, and to return the kidnapped women to Rusu for those who wish to do so. Toya is willing to accept these conditions and knowing that the opposition will make noise again, he prepares to set up a meeting with them again. He orders Luji to start research with everyone again to stabilise the medicine’s success rate, and asks Naala to confirm with the women on how many of them wants to return. Toya is surprised when Naala thanks him. She admits that she can’t forgive him for everything but she knows the amount of effort they’ve put in for their sake. Moreover, it’s more important to build bonds rather than hatred. So she can say now that she’s happy that he’s Nasula’s king.

Naala goes to gather the Rusu women later and informs them of the happy news. But as the king’s wife now, Naala can’t share their joy as she would need to remain here. Outside, she sees Sharu and Sarana and is surprised when they tell her that they wish to stay – now that the cure has been developed, they’d like to wait and see the law change (referring to the one after you give birth to a child and have to marry another guy). Though Naala was prepared to have to stay in Nasula, accepting it in reality was certainly more painful than she had imagined.

Loved one

Having to stabilise the success rate, everyone in the research room has been working more diligently. As Naala is busy helping out and consulting with the Rusu women, it allows her to keep her mind away from her relationship with Luji as well as her own position. Out of the blue, Toya comes in to check on their progress and he remains there till everyone knocks off and only he, Naala and Luji are left behind. Toya prevents Luji from leaving though, and makes him drink. Toya commends on Luji’s effort and when the medicine is finished, he can give him a noble status. Luji insists that it isn’t just his effort, but Toya tells him not to remain so modest. Naala can’t help but notice that Luji is quieter than usual. Toya soon leaves to get more alcohol and that leaves the two of them in awkward silence. As Naala asks after him, Luji points out that they’re a married couple so he’s kinda like a third wheel here. Naala can’t tell him the truth though. Toya comes back with more alcohol and continues to make Luji drink. Naala starts to wonder if Toya is up to something else and knowing Luji’s weakness to alcohol, she thinks of how to stop Toya. But Toya abruptly gets up and announces that he’s leaving for the night. He tells the two of them to continue drinking but Luji can barely get up to see him off.

Naala goes to stop Toya and he teases her, asking if she’s lonely without him. As he remarks that she’s as heartless as always, he suddenly hugs her and kisses her cheek, telling her that the rest will be left for the bed lol. Naala is left blushing and she awkwardly apologises to Luji later. She decides to clear things up but Luji grabs her all of a sudden and hugs her, asking her not to go to Toya. Even if it may be Toya kidding around, they are a married couple after all. He had been telling himself this all along but it still hurts him, and it almost drives him nuts when he thinks of how she’s with Toya every night. Naala realises that he’s crying, and Luji finally confesses that he likes her even though he told himself to give up these feelings numerous times. It’s driven him to a point where he can say that he’s willing to steal her and risk his life for her for that crime. After he summed up the courage to tell her, Naala feels that she do the same too and confesses that she likes him too, as she tears up.

As he releases his grip, Luji says that he’d always wanted to convey something to her if he’d finished the medicine. But after hearing her feelings his determination has solidified: he asks Naala to run away with him. It’s surely a tempting offer but she asks if he’s willing to give up the chance to be a noble, to give up his career’s future. To Luji though, he can’t imagine a future without her. As much as Naala would like to accept his invitation, she doesn’t feel well robbing his bright future. Moreover if she disappeared from Nasula things with Rusu will not go well. She can’t bring herself to make him walk on a path he may come to regret so Naala rejects him after much hesitation. Moreover though the sample medicine is out, the research is still far from finished. Not being able to bear to see his sad face, Naala turns her back to him. But instead of his angry words, Luji sadly wonders if she’ll change her decision if the medicine has been perfected. Near the verge of tears again, Naala dashes out of the room, away from her loved one.

Traces of heat

Having climbed up on the tree, Naala recalls the past few days as she overlooks Nasula. With the negotiations going on between Nasula and Rusu, many changes have been taking place – the biggest one being that a new research centre has been prepared. It has more facilities and more people have been roped in so as to mass manufacture the medicine. Though Naala should be happy with this development, that also means that the old research room will no longer be used and her help will no longer be needed. Even though she rejected Luji’s invitation it’s silly of her to be feeling lonely now. She tells herself repeatedly that she’s Toya’s wife and shouldn’t disrupt Luji’s future, though to be honest it’s all her own selfish thoughts. Her half-heartedness has hurt Luji and keeps telling herself to return to their relationship as cousins. Naala ends up tearing up though, and she can only hope that her feelings for Luji wash away at the same time. Just then, she notices a piece of paper tied onto a nearby branch and unfolds it. She soon recognises the handwriting as Luji’s, saying that he’ll wait to meet her on a full moon’s night. She recalls Luji saying that he’ll climb the tree when he’d set his resolution. Coincidentally, tonight will be a full moon and so Naala decides to set her own resolution too.

That night, Naala waits in the research room and it starts to rain. The room has been cleaned up and emptied out. And as Luji enters the room, he agrees with Naala that it’s rather lonely since there are many memories here. But it hurts him the most as he’ll no longer spend time together with her, and it’s almost like the times they had with each other have been wiped away as this room is now. He always wants to be with her, and Naala feels the same way. But they can’t continue like this. He knows it very well himself that they can’t leave Nasula and each day they remain here, their feelings for each other can’t come to light. They’ll only continue to hurt and she suggests returning to being cousins as they distance themselves. Luji catches her offguard though and kisses her midway. As she returns his kiss, both of them start to cry and Luji says that this feeling shall hide away with the rain.

In response, Naala says that even if this night disappears together with the rain, she doesn’t want his heat to remain with her – even with years to come she can hold onto this memory. As Luji gently kisses her, he remarks that every time it rains he’ll surely start to miss her heat. He offers his head to her and brings her to the bedroom next door to do it. It’s his first time have these feelings of wanting to touch someone so he’s easily nervous and keeps asking Naala questions. Naala tries to keep up the impression that it’s not the first time. Not going into the details but Luji treats Naala very gently though he also teases her at times, while wishing that he would be the last man she would embrace. Naala tells herself that this would be the last time she’s like this with Luji, with just the traces of heat left carved into her chest. As Luji tells her that he loves her, Naala can’t bring herself to answer him and tears up instead. As he kisses her tears away, the rain also starts to let up.

A certain doctor’s decision

This is told from Luji’s POV. As the rain pours down, the heat from Naala still remains in him. He actually knew since a while back that Naala was still a virgin. Knowing Toya’s nature, he wouldn’t have easily left Naala’s side if he had embraced her – despite how he looks he’s surprisingly fragile. And on the night he asked to run away with her and asked if she liked Toya, Naala answered that she didn’t instantly. Luji eventually interpreted it all and realised that Toya hadn’t done it with her once. He knows that Toya probably took Naala as his wife to protect her. When Luji figured out all of this, he couldn’t stop his feelings from overwhelming and eventually called Naala out to meet her. Naala probably thought that he’d give up with this but to be honest he wouldn’t have embraced her in the first place if he was planning to do so. Though he feels bad for her, he’s not one to easily give up. After all, he continued a research for years when everyone else scolded him or made fun of him. On this point, maybe his nature is even worse than Toya. He wonders if Naala will be shocked or angry when she hears his decision. This time for when he acts on it is near.

Epilogue: Never-ending research

Ever since that night with Luji, Naala hardly met him. Time passed by quickly as the negotiations with Rusu were completed and today she’s seeing off the women returning home with Toya. Just then, Luji taps on her shoulder from behind, signalling for her to remain quiet. Surprised that he’s here, she gets pulled away by him and eventually ends up in a forest. Luji finally stops and expresses his desire to run away with her. Looking behind him, Naala sees two horses with all the travel gear. As Naala remains at a loss for words, Luji steps away from her and says that he’s about to commit a huge crime – stealing away Nasula’s queen. Though Naala tries to reason that they still have duties to carry out in Nasula, Luji states otherwise: the research is already out of his hands, and she has sacrificed more than enough for her people – she’s no longer bound by duty but it’s by her country’s presumptuous expectation. True enough, the medicine has already been completed and can be mass-produced now even without Luji around. She has also already fulfilled the Rusu women’s wish to return home. With the countries’ relationship stabilised, there will be no more kidnappings either. But Naala is still uneasy over how Rusu will react if she disappears from Nasula.

To persuade her further, Luji tells her that she should be free now. It’s probably more of his own selfish wish to be together with her though. Even so, he still wishes for her to take his hand. When Naala questions if he can really give up his life as a noble, Luji replies that he won’t give up what he wants till the end, while throw away those which are worthless to him. He’s far more stubborn at giving up than she thinks. As he takes another step back, Luji offers his hand to Naala. But Naala still refuses to take it as she doesn’t want to steal away his happiness. At this, Luji exclaims that he will decide on his own happiness. And in fact, he’s the one stealing away her status as a queen and her friends, when he’s asking her to follow him. But even if this puts him in the worst light, he’ll do his best to make her happy if she wishes ever so slightly to be with him.

>> I want to take your hand but…… (Best End choice)
She’s still the step-sister of Rusu’s king and if she runs away like this she fears that her country may be blamed for it. All of a sudden, Toya appears behind them as he casually comments on what a nice day it is to go travelling lol. Luji immediately stands before Naala to take the blame and when Naala says the same, Toya says that he has a task for the both of them – to pick the flowers at Zyeg river for the medicine. But they can take their own time and if they never return he’ll just assume that they were eaten by goblins or something lol. Naala has done more than enough for everyone else’s happiness, so she should now live for her own. No matter what the others say, he promises that he won’t blame Rusu and will protect her country. Both of them instantly realise that Toya is telling them to elope and Naala apologises to him. Toya only wishes for his beloved friend’s happiness and it’s good to release her while she remains a friend. Naala thanks him as she’ll never forget his kindness and Luji bows deeply to Toya.

They take each other’s hand and leave. Along the way, Luji says that she can blame him all she wants to, and he’s even willing to give his whole life to her. But he doesn’t want either of them to regret and so will treat her well. He pauses here and his face flushes slightly, before he proposes to Naala. She can’t help but tease him, saying that she’ll accept when it rains.

>> I can’t do it after all…… (Bad End choice)
As she rejects Luji, Naala can barely bring herself to face him. When she slowly raises her gaze and apologises, Luji faces her with a lonely smile as he says that he should apologise instead. They walk back in silence to where Toya is, and their own path has come to an end.

Bad End: The darkness named despair

Naala can’t recall how many months have passed since then, but amidst it all she became pregnant with Toya’s child. It’s not ‘cos they love each other but it’s her responsibility as the queen. When she first heard the news, she didn’t know how to respond and could only think of Luji’s face. Though everyone else comforts her thinking that it’s the blues from pregnancy, only Toya seems to have noticed the true reason and that’s why he treats her even more kindly no matter how tired he is himself – and it feels like crueler betrayal to Toya. Toya comes back to the room and quickly supports Naala when she feels dizzy. Foolishly, she thought of Luji even though she knows fully well that he’ll no longer appear before her after hurting him. As Toya makes her rest, he decides to go call for a doctor to see her. It starts to rain outside and at nights like this she can’t help but think of her loved one.

To her utmost shock, Luji comes in to check on her condition, but addresses her distantly as “your royal highness” and goes through the motion. His once calm and kind expression now appears aloof. She seems okay now but Luji prescribes some medicine for her just in case. As Naala thanks him, no response comes back from him. She then hesitantly asks if he’s married. With his back still to her, Luji replies coldly that he isn’t, not after having been taught by a certain someone the emptiness of loving someone. Naturally this crushes Naala with guilt. Luji then reveals that Toya didn’t call for him to come, and only asked for someone from the research centre to come here, probably expecting one of his disciples. As Naala questions for the reason, Luji slowly turns around echoing her words with his usual smile. He came here ‘cos he heard that Toya embraced her, and can’t forgive the fact that her memory of her last man is someone other than him. That’s why, he’ll imprint himself in her again and reassures her that he’ll do it gently just like in the past. Despite his kind tone, its coldness freezes her stiff and she’s filled with guilt, sadness, and a darkness named despair.

(Note: I feel rather crude for having to clarify this but it is not Luji’s child, but Toya’s. Though Naala did have sex with Luji, he didn’t…ugh do I really have to explain this? Okay it’s not Luji’s child, end of story.)

Best End: Never-ending research

They’ve settled down on a small island where Luji continues his job as a doctor. Naala receives a letter from Sarana one day and learn that she’s pregnant already – and so is Sharu (meaning that that particular law must’ve been removed). They’re both shocked to hear the latter news, and as Luji hugs Naala he says that he never thought he would’ve lost to Els – in that case, he can only win by numbers pffft. He ends up doing it on the table with Naala and remarks that no matter how many times he has researched on her, there’s still plenty about her body which he doesn’t know yet. After they’re done, Luji hopes that their child would be a cute girl like Naala. He then says that he’ll always love her and forever pursue her – implying that it’ll be a never-ending research this time

Overall

(●´ω`●) Yeah, I don’t care. I’m bias as heck towards this seiyuu. Gosh his voice was so awesome.❤ Yeah he looks like the typical kindly character at the start but in truth he is as he describes himself, a wolf in sheep’s clothing (in a good way I suppose). He would tease Naala and at times say rather seductive lines – it looks like it’s just him being straightforward and saying what’s on he’s mind but I’m sure he does it to see Naala’s embarrassment lol. But he really does think for others and it was cute to see them groups of three link up with with each other. Of course I can’t expect to be touched like how his character in DMMd touched me, but he delivered the lines in his bad end so well. Appears like the same person, but totally different and his feelings for Naala come through twisted. Again though, I can’t compare it with DMMd. But I appreciated the usage of rain as a metaphor throughout Luji’s route. My favourite scene would be when Luji deliberately kisses Naala again as he finally ‘snapped’ – and Toya was sure having his fun with them lol.

Naala remains likeable and I’m still debating whether it’s good/bad for this whole sub-character route branching off a main character’s route. On one hand, it feels awkward for Naala to shift from Toya to Luji. But on the other hand both of their focuses are similar (cure for the disease) so there would surely be overlaps somewhere. While I guess they decided to keep it this way so that Naala’s marriage with the main guy would torture the sub-character lol. Anyway I’ll most probably be doing Toya/Uru’s route next. But I’m not sure how long that will take me to do now that my initial goal (Luji) for this game has been finished. In fact I’m going to replay some of my favourite DMMd scenes now aww yeah.❤

11 thoughts on “Koezaru wa Akai Hana: Luji’s Route

  1. midoriha says:

    Thank you for this! I really like Luji’s character design. Haha. Getting stabbed by a woman due to his sweet talking? Naala, really? That’s what you think about? Lol. And that scene when Els “reckons that her nights must be awesome”, and Naala’s reply…cue me rofl-ing. ‘Steal her heart like an eagle’? Woah, uh…nice line, Luji. Naala and Luji look pretty cute together—–!

  2. Sena says:

    One of the things I super like in this route that everybody ends up all happy between Naala and her two friends. Sarana always gets her happy end it seems, but not so much Sharu. Is it bad that I kinda wish Bal had a route? Him and Sarana are cute, but I liked him lots and kind of wanted to steal him, hahah. Els was nice too. He’s pretty sweet considering his perspective about the whole situation that landed him in jail. It makes me sad to wonder how terrible he must feel in everyone else’s route when he doesn’t end up with Sharu. But I’m so terrible, aren’t I? It’s not like there aren’t enough eligible bachelors in the game. And as much as I liked Sharu in this route because she stopped being crazy and went back to being a regular human being with feelings of regret, her voice kind of annoys me. It was nice that she had this type of ending though. Even in Toya’s route, I felt like she didn’t quite get quite as much redemption. Returning to Rusu was nice and all, but it just seemed more fitting for her to find a guy in Nasula to be happy with.

    I feel like in a sense, I got out of Luji’s route what I felt was lacking in Slen’s in terms of Naala helping the Rusu women and the cure. Her unique experience just seemed like it was better suited to having her help with the cure. I mean, in Nooru’s route, her personality and determination really shone through too, but I guess I just preferred the cure storyline better. And actually, once Luji’s route branched off from Toya’s, it didn’t feel quite as bad that it started the way it did (most of the time. Sometimes I almost felt like I could feel that turmoil over Naala being married to Toya but in love with Luji). This is possibly because I skipped through the earlier scenes I already saw as much as I could, but it worked out.

    The drinking sequences with the friends were hilarious. I enjoyed their discussion of Naala’s supposed nightly rendezvous with Toya. I think I about died when she compared it to riding a horse and the two guys were like…”that’s amazing. I lose to the king.” These game creators knew what they were doing, haha.

    And Toya was so awesome in this route. I just can’t. Luji’s bad end made me like Toya more even though I felt terrible for Luji and even Naala. I feel like I almost liked that end more…part of me probably did. No offense to Luji because I liked him too, butI just really like it when guys are so encouraging like that even when it’s not their own routes. It was like all the good things about Toya’s personality came out in Luji’s route. Perhaps it was the creators trying to salve out wounds from Toya’s bad ends? Since we need to play it first to unlock Luji’s route.

    But seriously, it was so painful to pick the choice that would lead to the bad end. It’s amazing how much the choice almost physically hurt me to do it. And then when Luji started speaking formally again it was so depressing. I was glad I didn’t actually have to see what he did (unlike say…in Nooru’s bad ends), but it almost didn’t leave as much of an impression because of that? Gosh, that makes me sound like I wanted to view the rape, which I didn’t.

    This game is seriously like…”you’re all my babies. You all come here and stay with me forever.”… And that sounds really creepy. I’m going to stop now. This route just brought out all the worse traits in my personality didn’t it? Hahah. Anyways, two routes left. And one of them is for a person I don’t know who the heck he is yet.

    • Yume says:

      Yes, that’s one of the things I enjoyed about this route! Their dialogues were really fun to sit through too, as you mentioned.

      Oh actually, the only route you need to unlock is Nalan’s. You can play Luji’s route from the start (which was what I did lol). Perhaps ‘cos of my play order, I didn’t think of that at all – the creators showing all the good things about Toya’s personality here vs. his bad ends.

      It’s strange to observe this but since you mentioned that they didn’t show what Luji did afterwards in his bad end – actually we don’t get to see any of that stuff for the secondary characters’ bad ends. I don’t know if it was intentional or not, but yeah.

      Lool. Yeah, that one of the remaining two characters doesn’t appear at all unless you finally do his route.

      • Sena says:

        It’s really too bad that none of that could exist in other routes, but I suppose that’s one of the Luji route exclusive things that they had. Not too much happened in his routes either because it focused a lot on their desire to suppress their feelings for each other but at least they were working on the cure so it felt like they did something. What I found interesting was that they didn’t focus too much on the incest thing and focused more on the whole Naalla being married to someone else. Not that I minded, but I expected a little more of the drama to have that in there, but maybe cousins isn’t that close of a blood relation to have really been an issue? I mean, other games have closer family relations I’m sure.

        Oh, haha, didn’t know that. I thought all the secondary routes needed to be unlocked. My reasoning only really makes sense if you play Toya’s route first, haha.

        I’m not sure if it was intentional either, but I just thought that was an interesting difference. Then again, most people might not read too much into it because the secondary routes all only have one good and bad end each (at least I think so?).

        Luji was pretty interesting when he opened up a little later because he started teasing Naala a little more and it reminded me of how Els and Bal were telling her to be wary of him since he has a sharp tongue.

        I think I’m making pretty good progress on this game (ignoring my stagnant progress in Hana Awase), which is good since the PSP version’s supposed to come out Spring next year, I believe. The story will still be pretty fresh, but at least not unbearably so. Especially if I don’t play it right away.

        • Yume says:

          That’s true. Even though they found out that they were cousins they didn’t really focus much on it. It was more like “Oh we’re from the same village – oh wait the same family.” and…the rain washed away this and reminded them of the other issue instead lol. But yeah, maybe cousins isn’t that big of an issue in that time period and setting.

          Yeah, I think the secondary routes only have one good and bad end each. They are really much shorter than the main ones when you look at it like this. The main ones have many more ends.

          That was certainly one of the reasons why I enjoyed Luji. He appears like a gentle character – he is, but he has a teasing side too. (Or maybe I’m just being biased lol.)

          Yeah, there’s only 2 more routes to go for you! You should be able to finish it before the PSP version is out. /o/

          • Sena says:

            That’s what I thought. I just figured they would’ve used it more, but I suppose that might have been too much drama so it could be a good idea.

            even without having more ends, I feel like the secondary routes are shorter because the general storyline to get to the ends are also shorter. I guess the epilogues in all the ends were rather short, but the secondary routes just seemed more condensed. It could also just have felt that way as a result of my skipping through the common routes.

            I agree with you about his personality, but you might be just a bit biased, haha. I already know that I have Toya and Slen biases, so don’t feel too bad. Luji doesn’t appear that much in Toya’s route either now that I think about it, so it’s almost like they have a ranking of the secondary characters. Nalan was in Slen’s route a lot and played a huge role so we saw him a lot. Luji appeared in Toya’s route so we knew who he was, but he made an appearance in name more than real appearances. And then there’s the random last dude who appears in Nooru’s route who we don’t meet unless we pursue him. His route seems like it’s only a little above Uru and Esta’s routes. This could be because I like him (even though I wouldn’t consider it a bias) but I feel like it would’ve made more sense for Esta to get the secondary route. Who knows though. Maybe I’ll like this random last guy. It isn’t good to make judgments before even playing but it’s hard since it just seems so out of nowhere. I don’t get to have a view of him from other routes which means I don’t develop an interest in him from playing.

            • Yume says:

              You’re not the only one who feels that way. The secondary routes do feel shorter. /o\ They have less CG (scenes) too, besides lesser ends.

              Yeah Luji’s a doctor so his story is mostly linked with Toya’s as they find the cure for the disease. Slen’s and Nooru’s don’t touch on that at all, now that I think about it.

            • Sena says:

              They do have less CG scenes, don’t they? Also, in the Common Route all the main guys have a CG with Naala but none of the secondary ones do, probably because you don’t really meet them unless you’re in the corresponding guy’s main route. So I’m really curious to see if they’re going to be keeping this main/secondary routes in the PSP port.

  3. Sena says:

    So I started playing Luji’s route. I was debating whether I wanted to play Nalan or Luji next but I decided to switch it up since I just finished Slen’s route and I know there will be overlaps. I forgot how much I liked Toya, haha. He’s so funny and bluntly expressive it’s hilarious. I’m totally not into the overlap though and I just started. I know in my mind that I’m trying to go for Luji, but then I have to replay the scenes from Toya’s route and I feel kind of sad that I need to change over and essentially cheat on him to get to Luji, which I don’t really like. I mean, I guess it’s good in creating some drama, but I just feel like it’d be nice if these secondary guys could just get their own routes so Naala doesn’t have to cheat on her current husbands to get to their routes. I’ll probably feel the same way doing Nalan’s route.

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