Translator:First-Pass editor: HelloMojo
Editor(s): Pandaant , Zololi
Translator Message: Chapters look as if they are getting consistently longer and more complex to translate which sucks a bit. Trying footnotes to clear up tl note clutter.
Editor (Pandaant): Welp I never know what to put as a comment so i’ll just ask everyone to comment down below how their day is going.
Editor: (Zololi): I wish I just had more time to do stuff… Like do a full edit and not push it onto Panda
Chapter 2: Wind, Fire, and…
Episode 2 : Kuu (クウ)
“Rick. Gather other helpers and get the remaining dried meat, as well as all the cold protection clothing that was suppose to be traded for salt, and bring it to the workshop on the outskirts.”
My childhood friend, Rick, as instructed carried the dried meat, along with the cold protective clothing, and wild boar bones and wild boar fat. I took the Firefoxes with me outside the village. Since leaving the village so suddenly, I was wondering if the Firefoxes were anxious about whether they thought they were being expelled. Their usual puffy tails looked a little ruffled.
I walked without saying a word, and then saw our destination appear.
“From here on out, this will be your home. I know it’s bad, but we cannot prepare houses for each and every single person. Everyone will have to live here together. If you find it too unpleasant, there is not much I can recommend. I can search for some elves who would not mind living with you. If it’s only for a few people, some accommodations can be arranged inside the village. What will you do?”
“It would be best if everyone just lives here.”
“Then that’s good.”
I lead the fire foxes to the outskirts of the village to my workshop, and when they saw it the Firefox’s eyes were wide with admiration.
Because there has been no real advancement in construction technology in both the Elf and Firefox villages. Houses are still made of tree, rock, and soil. So it’s understandable that seeing a 30 meter by 30 meter workshop made of brick would be a shock to them, right?
Its unavoidably wide.
1 kitchen room that when converted becomes 45 rooms. If it’s only fifty people, it’s livable.
“There are various dangerous things in the building next door, so you absolutely cannot enter that one.”
Two huge workshops were constructed side by side.
The other day, I added another addition to the workshop because of the equipment from the five hundred soldiers, as well as various production and manufacturing items that filled it to the brim.
This time I wanted to make best use of the second workshop taking into considerations from the last one. I built the first one thinking about the livability and comfort, I did make it while thinking that way. But I gave up cleaning that one because it would take two weeks to make it habitable.
“Umm, Cyril-sama, this… Is it really okay to use this? It’s the first time seeing such a splendid building like this.”
Kuu nervously asked the question.
“Of course. I actually wanted to prepare a place in the village for you. But it would be mentally taxing for both Elves and Firefoxes, with each side doing their own thing right? So until things get settled and everyone gets friendlier with each other I want you to live here whenever possible.”
Both Firefoxes and Elves have their own customs and rules.
With so many people suddenly becoming part of the village, it’s only natural various problems would occur, right?
In the meantime, while putting some distance between them, I want to assign adequate jobs to the Firefoxes to make them appeal to the elves. To show them visible results and for them to recognize the Firefoxes usefulness.
From now on, I want the guys in the village to slowly close the gap.
“Cyril-sama, this Elf Vill….. Elushie, what is it? This… There is no way you could have made this. Could it be that you got the Korine Kingdom’s support, couldn’t you accept more support?”
There was some hope in Kuu’s voice.
Her guess was the most plausible. Brick structure house also, high purity glass house, Elf’s technology can’t possibly make that. Is what she should have derived from just that.
In that case, the only possibility left is the Korine Kingdom.
If the elves accepted assistance from the Korine Kingdom, our safety would increase. Kuu obviously must have thought as far that, right?
“Unfortunately, we don’t have any association with the Korine Kingdom or the commercial city of Ellis. I did my best making it with my own magic.”
“That’s not poss…. no, Thank you very much. I would like to express my appreciation and gratefully accept it, Cyril-sama.”
Kuu respectfully lowers her head.
I don’t believe it would happen, but the reason I hide it is because I am afraid that if I expose it everyone’s mood would worsen.
Long ago, that girl was never this reserved, its because of her position she is using polite manners.
Even though I said this is a place for friends, acting overly familiar with guests while receiving them, or doing foolish things. Even if she was the daughter of the head of the family there is no way she could become the representative, right?
“To give something that I wanted. 「everyone, has a lot of luggage, when we first entered the house. Lets arrange the luggage…」is what I would say, but honestly the smell is terrible, and it’s too dirty. I would like to clean ourselves, there is a well near the workshop, right?”
I point at the well.
and over there, was a well surrounded by brick and a roof.
I spent a lot of time at the studio, so I made a well nearby.
The walls and roof around the metal pump were not made on a whim. I took into consideration protecting someone from getting exposed to the rain.
Usually when I am an elf I can just use water magic to easily pump up the water. But it was inconvenient for my Dwarf form, Kuiro, so I ended up making the well.
“And just like this, this metal handle goes up and down and, the momentum of the water will flow well.”
What was installed was a hand-powered pump. When the handle is pumped up and down, atmospheric pressure causes the water to be sucked up into the internal cylinder. From there it flows vigorously out of the structure.
The water can be poured into the bucket.
“I have all the food preparations inside. Once you have washed yourselves and your clothes, come inside. If you enter now clean up is going to be bothersome. Anyway, I think girls are better clean to start with.”
“For everything up to now and everything from now on, Thank you so much. Everyone here can’t express their gratitude enough.”
This time not just Kuu, all around the Firefoxes at once bowed.
Having just come through the mountains and the forests. Their clothes and bodies were in a terrible condition, covered in mud, grim, and smeared in sweat.
The girls being in such a condition, wouldn’t be able to rest their spirits.
Everyone had a dull expression, with both body and mind being exhausted. The terrible condition of their body’s had an impact as well.
Either way, because of the time needed to prepare the food, I plan to make something good while they clean themselves up.
“The doors are open now, but the building that houses the well is also furnished with a door. If you close it you can’t see from the outside so relax, I will be going. If there is anything you need, just call out to me.”
As I say so, the Firefoxes still with heads bowed made a sidelong glance at the workshop and began to walk in that direction.
For Kuu to call out to me like that.
“umm, it’s small but, please use this, after, when we are cleaned up we will all help.”
Saying it like that, from her back bag, she takes a cluster of rock salt, dried meat, and also cheese.
“Because I want to set aside things I want to preserve, I only want to get the rock salt from you. Since all the Firefoxes are tired, please leave today’s cooking to me. I can only make but simple things so additional help is not needed.”
“is that so?”
“aaaa. that is why, don’t worry just come and leisurely wash your body.”
“I understand. but, I will come back and help soon!”
As if leaving something unsaid, Kuu ran towards the well.
If it’s like this, she is likely to return soon.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
I entered the workshop that I handed over to the Firefoxes, and lucie suddenly appeared.
Apparently, hiding in the shadows in the workshop.
“Firefoxes came but, what’s up?”
“Oh Lucie, didn’t you return to the village?”
“Well I was intending to, but I came back after watching you tag along the Firefoxes, you know. It was hard to call to you, so I followed you back.”[followed]
Lucie was looking a little awkward saying that.
As expected, Lucie has the nature of a hunter, hiding her presence is her specialty; I didn’t even notice it.
“The Firefox village was destroyed by the empire. They escaped and came here it seems. We had various stories and small talk, but the girls are tired and hungry. Anyway I want to prepare a meal for them. Lucie, sorry, but the potatoes, could you harvest about ten roots and bring them to me? I won’t use it in lunch, but I will need them for dinner. I know it’s the potatoes we worked hard together on, but before the elves, we need to cater to the Firefoxes, sorry.”
I bow my head to Lucie.
Lucie was desperately trying her best to grow the potatoes for all the elves. I felt guilty having to selfishly use all that effort for the sake of the Firefoxes.
“Hey, Cyril… You intend to accept all the Firefoxes into Elucie?”
Lucie isn’t angry, so I ask in a normal tone.
“That is my intention. I will not abandon those girls, and we will welcome them to Elucie.”
“Un, if that’s the case it’s okay. I will go get them soon, kay.”
“You’re not angry?”
“Nah, I was doing my best for everyone, you know. Cyril decided that the Firefoxes are now Elucie’s friends right? If I can make friends of Elucie happy, I also will be happy.”
I couldn’t endure it, and I hugged Lucie tightly.
“Uhwa… what the, Cyril!?”
Lucie’s face turns red in a panic.
“I love you…”
When I said that Lucie makes a bitter smile, and I loosened my hold.
“I also like things about Cyril,you know. Hey, please don’t do this forever, the Firefoxes are hungry you know!”
I let go of Lucie, leaving reluctantly.
Lucie was still embarrassed and she quickly escaped to harvest the potatoes.
“Well, I feel recharged… time to do my best!”
Saying so, I pour water from the water jug into the pot the water was drawn from the well this morning, I then light a fire in the stone furnace.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
Inside the furnace were deep red coals, by that time the luggage from the village arrived.
First thing was the dried meat made from the excess wild boar carcasses.
Pelts for cold protection clothing, the meat could be made into dried meat, but the meat just sticks around the bones and couldn’t be taken off. It would be too painful to harvest that as dried meat, so a considerable amount was left behind.
There is also the excess back fat. The top part of the lump of fat, the sinew inside can’t be eaten as is.
But, if I can come up with a way to make it edible I can use the meat around the bones for lunch, and the excess back-fat for dinner.
The pot I poured water into has a depth of 60 centimeters and a capacity of one hundred liters, a perfect business grade size. I abused my authority by using a considerable amount of precious iron, it was a splendid gem I made. [abused authority]
“The water has boiled. I will put the bones in here.”
And then, I take out a Chinese kitchen knife made from precious iron.
Of course, this was also made with abusing my authority, made wholly with the technology I have, it’s the gem of my pride.[EZ1] First was doing my best with the material properties from ingredients on hand to make the highest quality alloy. Additionally being a thirty multi-layered structure……. This Damascus structure is the same materials used in the construction of swords, if it’s sold. If it’s this world, even if made unskillfully you could acquire a house for the same price.[…..] [EZ2]
Using the spine of the kitchen knife I splendidly hit and break the wild boar bone.
The Chinese kitchen knife is all-purpose. Utilizing the weight and striking the spine would cause normal things to break. Because the base of the blade is thick, using the weight and chopping down cuts through meat and skin. Furthermore going toward the tip it gets sharper and thinner making fine work possible.
“I have seen cooking equipment from various worlds, there is no universal cutlery like a Chinese cooking knife.”
And so, the bones were broken up to a size small enough to enter the pot, the parts with meat sticking on them were also thrown into the boiling pot.
About half of the pot was filled with mostly water, and after adding the ingredients it became two-thirds full.
Meat attached to the bone is generally thrown in and the bones that are left out is cleaned up. I then break up the rock salt with the Chinese kitchen knife and toss it in the pot.
Appropriately, I add mountain herbs and mushrooms that were in the workshop into the pot, then put the lid on; at the same time I start my magic.
I influence the wind mana inside of the vase and make the atmospheric pressure increase.
From this, I made the ordinary pot into the equivalent of a pressure cooker. From the start, I thought about making a pressure cooker. Because this and that happened and because it was inconvenient, I stopped.
And while doing so, several Firefoxes with clean bodies and clothes came back.
Blood rushes to their cheeks, steam came out. Until some time ago they had dead-like eyes, but it looked as though just a little vigor came back. As I thought, personal appearance is significant.
Firefoxes specialize in fire magic. So naturally they would be washing their bodies with water they changed into hot water, right. Well temperature drops greatly by one digit and your body senses would be frozen over.
Washing the body with hot water, comforts the heart and spirit.
The remaining clothing was precisely washed and dried from fire magic, becoming sanitary.
“Cyril-sama, I will help.”
The first Firefox to come back was Kuu. She came rushing back.
“Well, I am in the middle of making the stew and don’t need help right now. No actually, does everyone have plates? I am making soup, but there isn’t enough tableware.” [stew]
“we don’t have a bowl, but everyone does have cups.”
“is that so, well then, is it ok if I ask you to instruct everyone to take out their cups?”
“yes, I understand!”
Kuu rushes off toward her friends.
While watching it, I had the feeling that because the pot was better for this I opened the lid.
And, the alluring wild boar fragrance filled the room.
Feeling the gazes on my back I turned and, the Firefoxs’ drool was dribbling. The growling of their stomachs could be heard.
Well they weren’t able obtain decent food right. Warm soup would be very irresistible.
“The quality of the soup, how is it?”
Meat heavily sunk to the bottom, I scooped up one bone with the ladle and gently brushed the bone with the kitchen knife.
And the meat tore off and fell with nearly no resistance. Using the pressure cooker made the quality of the stew dish come out well, the meat around the bone looks like it came off cleanly.
I repeat that operation to remove the Bones that I can’t cut and are too big to fit in the Firefoxs’ cups. I gently stroke the surface of the bone and the meat falls into the pot.
Because that process is nearly finished, I skim the scum from the sorry state of the surface, and complete the soup by stirring it.
Since smaller bones that would fit into their cups have sunken to the bottom, it should be ok, right.
That way we can properly distribute it, so they can slurp and eat it well.
After completing the soup, I hear the calls of the Firefoxes and turn around, and was surprised by the Firefoxes being closer than I thought.
Because of the delicious smell, everyone’s blazing eyes were staring at the state of the pot. It would only make sense. such a thing would be a way of changing what’s on someone’s mind, right?
“Everyone, umm, the soup is finished, so please form one line. Bring the cup you came with and I will be pouring it into that.”
When I say so, each person desperately searched and brought out their cups from their luggage and scrambled to get in line.
The order of the line was properly regulated thanks to Kuu.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
“Yep, here you go.”
“Thank you, Elf-Oniichan!” [oniichan]
“Your welcome, it’s hot so please be careful, kay?”
Standing in front of the pot, one by one I pour soup for each person. Right now I am serving soup into a cup of a young Firefox girl and she accepts it.
I politely hand the cup over with an appropriate amount of soup in it.
I give a smile and the young Firefox girl returns a smile to me. those girl’s eyes, are mixed with a bit of little longing and worship.
If I speak honestly, rather than doing it like I am now. I would say it would be faster if I poured 3 ladles of soup and then transfer it to the next person. But, I won’t do that.
Because this is the opportunity for me to be recognized as a good person.
Firefoxes came to the workshop , their whole bodies unclean, smeared in sweat and filth, coldness freezing them over, and starving.
Meanwhile, to receive the opportunity to wash their clothes and their bodies with hot water, a splendid place to live, and also me hand-delivering them a warm meal, I would look like a god now wouldn’t I?
If people are in a situation to the degree that they are being pursued, when they are saved the feeling of gratitude will become large.
Surely, the Firefoxes together will not forget the taste of today’s soup.
If for this, general acts can be made to be endured.
A little while ago, the soup was given out to all the Firefoxes.
“Its delicious… it’s delicious!!”
“Yah, It’s Delicious, isn’t it”
“This… warm, Delicious meal, it’s really been a long time.”
“We are still alive, aren’t we. are still alive….”
Everyone wholeheartedly drinks the soup.
Although made with ingredients on hand, because the wild boar bone was cooked together in the pressure cooker it produced reliable soup stock, plenty of the best tasting meat around the bone was in there as well. and also, gelatin parts included were large, making it quite a feast.
I ate a little and the result was considerable.
I heard the shaky voices of the Firefoxes.
Tattered and worn-out they began to shed tears.
Now, thinking of their deceased village, the separation from their family and friends, as well as lovers.
Their body being made clean, eating warm food, it only makes sense that the tension would be released.
The girls, escaped from their village, went on a treacherous journey. Until now, they couldn’t afford to shed tears and grieve.
Finally coming here their strength returned.
Not being able to grieve is a truly agonizing time.
“Everyone, it’s ok now lets start a new life here, For us and for everyone who fought(and died) for us.”
Meanwhile, Kuu was going around encouraging all the Firefoxes.
Expressing a smile amid Everyone shedding tears, lending a chest, comforting and listening to their troubles. [lend chest]
Looking at it closely, that girl didn’t even touch her soup yet…. Moving for the sake of all the Firefoxes, it’s obvious there would be no time to desperately eat, right?
Even now, one girl, said「Kuu-ane-sama」dived in her chest, her head being stroked gently. [ane-sama]
Kuu’s expression, seen from around, is not quite sad, but like a holy mother, she gives a gentle smile.
I can’t look.
I prepared another soup by pouring it in a large dish that was in the workshop, I open my mouth slowly.
“Everyone, I just replaced it so there is still more soup, so please eat freely. it’s OK to empty this pot.”
While saying so, the Firefoxes with their empty cups came diving in with more momentum.
Of course, even the girl earlier who was crying on Kuu’s chest.
“Kuu, as the Firefox representative I have things I want to talk to you about. Would please come to the next door building for a little bit?”
Kuu saying so, rose up empty handed.
Even though she should still be hungry, she did not show regret for the untouched soup.
Seeing Kuu like that, I made a bitter smile.
“Well, shall we go?”
I bring Kuu to the filled up workshop next door that had the empire soldiers equipment.
◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇ ◇
“Well, first please eat that soup for me.”
The Firefoxes get a second serving and I inform Kuu before I hand-deliver a prepared dish of soup.
“Huh? Cyril-sama, doing that… why?”
“If you don’t eat… Anyway, why don’t we talk right after.”
“But, my ration is properly….”
“Ahhh, well certainly Kuu’s portion, I served that one… Even so, even after all the effort to make such a delicious thing, and it went cold because a certain someone didn’t bother to even lay a hand on it. The cold soup which has its flavor lowered, cooking which I thought was my pride was hurt, that is why. Please eat this dish that is still warm, I want and request you to do so, is that bad?
When I asked that, Kuu shakes her head, and she didn’t whisper even while having an expression of smiling and crying, as she tasted the soup.
The first mouthful and her eyes changed color, then she started to scooped up more soup vigorously.
Unlike a cup, a bowl you can pour a considerable amount of soup into. Kuu drained two cupfuls in one go.
“Fuu, it was delicious. this is the first time since I was born drinking such a delicious soup. especially this meat being so soft, somehow, a I feel it’s been a long time tasting food.”
“Even saying that to me it was the result of my work. and, Kuu before you start talking as the representative, for just a little bit, I would like you to talk to me as friend.”
And then, at once those words cut off. Those words were a little embarrassing that I kinda cornered myself with them.
“I am glad you’re alive, Kuu”
Even though embarrassing, no matter what I needed to communicate that to her.
I let out a bottom of my heart feeling of relief voice, and express a smile of relief.
Serving the cup and the meaning of that smile I made was different, bring glad that my friend was OK from the bottom of my heart meaning.
“I think Kuu really had it hard, its sad that your father and the Firefox people died. but even so, I got to meet Kuu again, I am very happy for that.”
“Kuu, I am talking to you as a friend. and also, here there is only us. calling me in such a way, I don’t like it very much.”
“But, I… as the family head, Cyril-sama, is the Chief of the Elves…. of Elucie.”
Kuu’s voice was agitated as if to run away.
Surely that girl, until she was able to eat soup together with the Firefoxes, she couldn’t afford to grieve.
The pressure from the responsibility was big, it will take time for her composure to return. I want to save her.
“We’re friends aren’t we. now after watching Kuu doing the impossible I know it was painful. the Kuu I know is a more honest and nice girl, you know.”
“Cyril-sa, umm, Cyril-kun, such a thing, if I start talking lik…. I… can’t keep it up….”
“It’s ok you know. I already know Kuu is a crybaby. there is no need to keep up that appearance this late in the game. If you like, shall we put the frog on your back again? If we do that, your persistent stubbornness might disappear by a margin, right.” [frog back]
“Cyril-kun if you say such a thing, even I know I am a mischievous and cheeky girl,”
“Even I am mischievous and I like cheeky, you know”
Kuu hearing my words, from her tear crumbled face she expressed that smile I missed.
“Really, to say that point, I did not change. but, rather than the Cyril-kun I know, I was able to feel more of Cyril-kun’s gentle adult side.”
“Its growing after 5 years. Kuu also, became splendid. The crybaby Kuu I know, I think ran away long ago, you know. until now, you’ve been enduring haven’t you…. even saying so earlier, there are no other Firefoxes here. The only ones here are my friends. That is why, it’s ok to be relaxed, ya know.”
Kuu is still 14. even so, becoming the family head and leaving everyone here.
And coming here all at once, her sad face and grief face didn’t show at all. Even though she is still at an age where someone could be acting childish, having to shoulder the other Firefoxs’ grief and sadness, it was expected of her responsibility.
Until they arrived at Elucie, while encouraging her friends crossing over impassible roads it would be expected to would be tough. Even being yelled at by Roreu, they must have had fear running through their minds. Even during negotiations, the sense of responsibility would have been crushing.
Even so, Kuu fought without rest.
That kind of Kuu I respect as a friend.
“Yes, I did my very best….”
Kuu pressed her brow onto my chest.
“Because I am the family head, everyone has complaints they didn’t say. even full of unease, it will be ok I would say, inside the forest, if we arrive at the elf village it will be ok, even though I was thinking uneasily no matter what I encouraged them, coming here, and at that time, that Roreu person was about to drive us away, rather from that Roreu person, the Firefoxes, everyone was scared. I brought them to this village, they didn’t think I was a lying to them. not knowing about the next place if it was OK, inside my head was messed up, if I said it, I didn’t know if I was giving enough hope to everyone.”
Surely, during the time of them coming from the Firefoxs’ village to here, it only makes sense their hearts would have been broken numerous times. even so, just enduring from just the hope of being told if you come to Elucie you will be saved….. Kuu gave them hope to continue to believe in.
“When I thought it was useless, Cyril-kun came, and covered for me, I was about to cry. at that time, I… Even for that moment, Cyril-kun took care of everything, I was about to give up. Instead of negotiating, it was just us pleading to be saved.”
“But Kuu didn’t, so it’s all good. if, that happened, I wouldn’t have been able to accept the Firefoxes, you know. because it’s important to demonstrate the Firefoxes worth, to be able to be in the village. at that place, the only one who did it was Kuu. thats why, its ok to boast.”
That was not a lie.
I think about Kuu as a friend. I know the Firefoxes existence is useful.
Even so one-sidedly requesting protection, and only accepting colleagues who only depend on us, is something Elucie cannot afford. for Elucie’s sake what are they able to do? I was thinking that before accepting the other party.
“This is strange. comforting a negotiating partner.”
“Its because we are doing it as friends right now. once you go back to being the family head, I will be strict.”
“So just like that, I can’t just simply change like that you know.”
“If it’s Kuu you can, you know. that is why I can be more at ease and more gentle.”
“Gentle is being strict, huh.”
As Kuu says, wiped her tears away.
“Thank you very much. I am okay now, talking as friends is over. from here on I will be talking as the family head, kay? Cyril-sama”
Kuu put emphasis on that -sama.
From then the distinction between the talk between the Elucie chief and the Firefox family head was made.
“Aaa, that’s right. there is something I want to ask you. The Firefoxes, why did Kuu and the others head out toward Elucie? Did you know that we escaped the empire’s control? Also the number of people and, why I don’t even see a single escort male, the Firefoxes here were sacrificial pawns weren’t they? Why is the family head’s daughter Kuu, here?”
I dared to thrust those cruel words.
but, I need to ask it.
For the Firefox’s behavior to be that affected.
Because the elves only recently escaped the empire’s control, the Firefoxes thought that the elf village was still under empire control, so why did they come here?
About the girls escaping I understand. but, and why were there no males escorting them?
And also, why are there just too few people. the Firefox village with its rock salt trading accordingly should have a plentiful population of four hundred people. for just only fifty women to have escaped is just way too little.
Deriving from my conjecture, Firefoxes dispersed the risk.
Coming to Elucie, if by chance the favored option failed, the insurance would keep the their continued bloodline from expiring.
That is why, there are not even any escorts and not many people.
“Sacrificial pawns huh… that is cruel isn’t it…. but even so… let’s get to the point now shall we, I will let you talk. The events at the Firefox village? Fill me in on that.”
Without denying my conjecture, Kuu gave out a deep sigh.
and then, Kuu slowly began to speak…
followed: kanji usage here indicates to shadow or stalk like follow.
abused authority: I am not sure why it is necessary to say it in this fashion author just says it this way. He is the Chief and he is the only one using the equipment anyway.
…. author was probably going to add more details in there and left it open ended. Sorry…
stew: the author called it stew(煮込み) then soup(スープ) through out, so take it as it is.
oniichan: Oniichan, big brother.
lend chest: Japanese lend a chest is like lending a shoulder.
ane-sama: older sister.
no idea: In complete idea? Probably another open-ended thing the author was going to elaborate on but didn’t complete it.
frog back: tl&ed: we suspect the author was referencing the idiom “monkey on one’s back” but used frog instead. Idiom was lost in translation maybe?