I headed straight to Cadis, who was locked up in a dungeon.
Even though it was close to noon and the sun was warm, the dungeon had a cool breeze flowing through the cold stone walls.
Descending down, I could feel the humid, damp air smelling of rust unpleasantly clinging to my body.
It seemed that the hounds were each kept in solitary confinement.
I glanced through a small window in the cell to see where Cadis was locked up.
The hounds, who heard my presence, barked wildly in the solitary cell, regardless of who was first.
Woof! Woof, woof!
The structure was already resounding, so it was very noisy as if ten dogs were barking together.
“Can’t you shut your mouth”
The knights pounded menacingly on the iron door of the cell, trying to silence them.
‘…I think that would be more counterproductive.’
As I expected, the stimulated hounds raised their voices more severely.
The sound of large, distracted dogs barking through large reverberating barrels was truly terrifying.
They must have been so ferocious that they had been trained to defeat the enemy as much as possible without surrendering if caught by the enemy.
I stopped the knights, feeling nervous.
Everyone, don’t provoke them and be quiet.”
After that order, I finally found Cadis in the second cell.
I was going to ask to take him out first.
However, his reaction to seeing my face through the small window was strange.
Cadis, who had been barking fiercely in the form of a dog, stopped barking as soon as he saw me.
Then, he groaned and turned around in place before going into the corner of the narrow cell and glancing in my direction with his body curled up.
His body, looking at the other side and glancing sideways, was unnaturally rigid.
‘Why is he doing that’
Curious, I asked the knights guarding the cell.
“Do you know why he’s like that all of a sudden”
“No, this is the first time I’ve seen that.
I’ve seen him bark nonstop every time he hears someone, but he’s so quiet…”
I went a little closer to the small iron cage.
But, as I stood on the fence, Cadis stared at me, making a sound that I did not know if it was growling or sobbing.
It was as if you instinctively wanted to growl, although you have been trained not to do that, and you were barely holding it in.
I could feel a confused expression from him as though he did not know what to do.
As I watched him silently, I realized something.
‘Has he already been abused by Rowaine…’
I did not think of that, but there was a possibility.
After becoming the emperor’s lover, Rowaine enjoyed abusing Cadis with the Emperor’s permission as a hobby.
The reason why she chose Cadis was because she knew that the female lead, the princess, loved him.
Rowaine hated the heroine for some reason, and after she mistreated the two main characters, she was later executed by Cadis, who received the heroine’s orders.
‘…Obviously, I thought that Rowaine would have abused Cadis after she became the Emperor’s concubine, though has she been abusing him since before’
Rowaine spent time with the Emperor, going in and out of her palace, even before she became his mistress.
Because of that, she may have already had contact with Cadis.
The plot of her novel begins from the point of view of the heroine, and it was only when the story progressed to some extent that Rowaine appeared properly.
So, I misunderstood that her misdeeds against Cadis were a future thing.
‘Come to think of it, I remember that Cadis was already very wary of Rowaine when they met for the first time.’
How did I forget that
I felt dizzy at the thought that I had forgotten something important and touched my forehead.
‘It was a pity that I was buried in the thoughts that I should not be taken to be Emperor’s mistress immediately.’
It would have been a big mess.
Cadis, the male lead, already had a grudge against Rowaine, and without knowing it, I was living peacefully with Dimitri, who later resented the heroine.
‘It was God’s will to bring Cadis here.’
If I correct it now, I can truly escape the fate of the villain.
Oh, how fortunate I was to still have the opportunity!
I felt relieved and complicated at the same time.
It was because how would I like to treat him, who must have been helplessly abused by Rowaine without being able to speak under the command of his master, the Emperor…
‘It would be better to soften his vigilance for now.’
It was best to eat either a human or an animal to alleviate the vigilance.
Believing that it would be the same for the prisoners, I spoke out loud to the guards so that Cadis could hear me.
“From now on, I will take care of these dogs’ meals myself.”
I have to feed him a lot of good stuff.
The guards were puzzled, but they nodded their heads to understand.
Since then, my routine has changed a bit.
For breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks, I personally took the kitchen servants directly to the dungeon where Cadis was located and fed them with nutritious and delicious food.
At first, Cadis did not seem to be sure if he could eat the food I gave him.
He endured several times without food.
Nevertheless, it did not last long.
As far as I know, the Emperor’s hounds were restricted in their diet in order to be put into battle at any time.
Hounds were always forbidden to eat till their stomach was full because their movement slowed down when they became heavy.
In the original story, Cadis, who had the keywords of a ‘younger man’ and a ‘large dog man,’ was currently eighteen years old and was in the midst of growing up.
Filled with vigor and hunger, he quickly succumbed to flamboyant, greasy food.
He was treated as a combat weapon, and since he had never eaten good food properly, it would not have been easy to resist the temptation of fragrant food.
At first, I lowered his environmental vigilance a bit by letting him eat and drink for a few days.
Then, when I felt that I could go a little further, I gave an unconventional order.
“Open the cell door.”
The guards shuddered.
“Isn’t that too dangerous Shouldn’t the Madam go in with the knights…”
“Aren’t they bound by shackles anyway”
“As the Duchess will know, the Emperor’s hounds can wield very powerful magic.”
“Isn’t it the shackles that control the white magic of the dog shapeshifters No matter how much they’re the Emperor’s hounds, they can’t break the enchanted shackles.”
I pointed out that the guards were too afraid of the prestige attached to the Emperor’s hounds.
Considering the background of this world, there has been a long history when people began to treat dog shapeshifters as slaves.
It was not that difficult from the beginning for humans to be attracted to the dog shapeshifters, who were very loyal to their master, though the dog shapeshifters were much stronger physically than humans.
Suspicious humans did not really trust the invisible abstract feeling of loyalty.
Therefore, a physical device had to be devised in order to reliably control the dog shapeshifters and make them enslaved with peace of mind.
Humans were able to easily research and manufacture devices that could completely control them through the cooperation of the dogs.
Consequently, the magic supplies to control the dogs were quite reliable.
No matter how much flying and crawling they were on the battlefield, even the Emperor’s hunting dog would not be able to destroy it.
‘…Unlike the cat shackles.’
The reason Dimitri was able to simply destroy Coco’s shackles last time was probably because—unlike the dog shackles—the cat shackles were not well developed.
Cat shapeshifters were not very cooperative with humans and were criticized for being difficult to deal with in many ways.
In addition, the cat shapeshifters use the devil as a medium to use black magic.
Not everyone was like that, but only a strong cat shapeshifter like Dimitri could do it.
In any case, the cat shapeshifters were still relatively unfamiliar to humans compared to dog shapeshifters, and the demons the cat shapeshifters wield were unknown beings.
Of course, the black magic used by the cat shapeshifters was also an unknown area.
So, guessing, even if the magical supplies used for the dog shapeshifters and the cat shapeshifters had similar uses, there would be a huge difference in the quantity and quality of the research underlying their existence.
‘In short, even if you don’t believe in the shackles of a cat shapeshifter, you can trust the shackles of a dog shapeshifter.’
I reassured the guards and forced them to open the cell door.
‘Even if it was not because of the shackles, Cadis won’t attack me.
The Emperor’s hounds are trained not to attack anyone unless ordered to do so.’
After several days of watching, it seems that he has been specially trained not to be a threat to me.
…I decided to believe it.
When the guards rushed out, they opened the door to the cell, ready to fetch Dimitri.
‘I hope the magic perfume works properly.’
I happened to have two perfumes that I bought at Avila’s shapeshifters Supplies Store.
One was a magical perfume for disturbing the sense of smell of dog shapeshifters that I used a few days ago, and the other was a magic scent that lowered the alertness of a dog shapeshifter.
‘I wanted to be friends with a dog that I recently adopted, so I bought anything including it in a reasonable amount… But, how did I buy it so well’
I admire my past self very much.
Translator’s Note: Hello, it’s Nabi! I’m the translator of this novel ପ( ๑•ᴗ•๑ )ଓ♡ I recently opened a kofi, so if you like the novel and would like to support me, please feel free to click the button below to go to my kofi~!