If a Mad Dog Bites a Club - Chapter 1
Translator and Editor: nieye
‘This dream again.’
The boy looked around.
Plop… Plop… The sound of water dripping.
It was dark all around, but golden stars fell like golden sand in the air, making my surroundings appear dim.
As always, I was in a cave. It was dark and difficult to see the way, so I had to constantly watch my step.
I heard someone hitting something.
The boy was very familiar with that sound. He lived this dream so many times that he memorized it beyond normal. The boy rolled up his long sleeves and walked slowly. He circled the black stalactite wall and moved toward the sound.
At the sound of the boy’s footsteps, the woman sitting on the other side of the wall turned her head.
The woman was dressed in clothing peculiar to Yogyakarta. Slightly transparent and light clothes. The traditional patterns of Yogyakarta were intricately sewn into the fabric.
The boy saw a design of five braided knots between the patterns and knew it was the mark of the Royal Family of Yogyakarta.
However, the white skin beneath her clothes clearly revealed that the woman could not wear them.
White skin was unique to the Acelains. I had never heard of an Acelain intermingling with the Royal Family of Yogyakarta.
‘No, I have once.’
But that was a man. The person sitting in front of the boy was a woman and could not be the same person.
Moreover, for an Acelain to wear the marks of the Yogyakarta Royal Family meant she was determined to die here.
Nevertheless, the boy said nothing and went to the woman’s side. The woman was rubbing her face in haste. The boy knew she was clumsily wiping away her tears. Brushing away the woman’s messy green hair, he said,
The woman smiled with puffy eyes.
The boy thought of wiping under the woman’s red eyes but then looked a little below her collarbone. The top of her chest was also red under the transparent fabric.
Thump, that was the sound of her punching his chest. He thought of how she didn’t cut him any slack, caring that he would get a bruise. The woman noticed where the boy’s gaze was and narrowed her eyes.
“Where do you think you’re looking?”
Her voice was gruff, but the boy knew she was pretending to be calm. So the boy squatted in front of the woman. The boy spoke slowly, adjusting his gaze to the woman sitting there.
“You don’t have to put up with it.”
“Didn’t I say that if you keep bottling up your rage, you will very likely be consumed by that rage?”
Someone once said that to the boy. Don’t bottle it up. Instead of his mother, who was no longer in this world, the boy whispered it softly to the woman who saved his life. The woman smiled and placed her hand on the boy’s cheek.
“Pretty good, kiddo.”
He wanted to protest the word “kiddo,” but the boy shut up as always. The woman opened her mouth.
He really didn’t like the name, but the boy listened instead of rolling his eyes. He was there to listen properly to her words. The woman smiled as she swept the boy’s hair back.
“I always thought I was right, so I was confident no matter what I did. But you know what? I don’t know how to handle this because, in fact, I just realized the extent of it.”
“…I don’t know what you mean.”
The boy looked straight at the woman’s face. Her pale, gaunt cheeks and warm eyes stared back at him. There was clear affection in her eyes. The woman looked at him tenderly and kissed his forehead.
“You’ll discover all about it later. Very later.”
And the next second, he couldn’t hear well. The boy narrowed his eyes and scratched his ears, but to no avail.
The woman turned blurry. Her words were muffled. I could only sense the warmth of her hand touching my cheek. Her pink eyes lit up with a bright smile. Her hot, firm fingertips touched my soft skin before pinching and twisting.
The moment I was about to shout.
The man opened his eyes.
It was the same ceiling as always. Painted white with vines intricately embossed on the ceiling.
He sighed and gently closed his eyes. The rough blanket touched his arm. Cold sweat ran down his back and forehead. It wasn’t really a nightmare, but strangely, dreaming of that woman made him sweat like the rain. The man rose to his feet. Even at night, the windows were wide open, and a humid breeze rushed in.
The man’s black eyes stared into the darkness.
There was nothing beyond the window.
It will be clamorous tomorrow morning. So he had to go back to sleep. But the man already knew he wouldn’t be able to fall asleep again. He let out a sigh.
Today’s dawn would be long. The man curled up.
There is no cure for a mad dog. Then, how should you control one?
The answer is a club.
But if the mad dog bites the club, what should the owner do?
* * *
There are several ways to address Adrian Du, the second daughter of the Du family. First, Miss Du. Second, Adrian. The first nickname was normally used by those not very close to her, and the second was used by her family members.
However, she had a third name that was more famous than the other two.
The Mad Dog of the Second Prince.
Someone lamented, “What kind of bizarre title is this for the Du family, who is called an exceptionally old and noble family in the Kingdom of Acela?”
However, everyone who knew Adrian Du would sigh over the disastrous title but implicitly admit that no other title suited her.
Acela, a kingdom that enjoys wealth with “Black Water That Summons Fire,” has been fighting for the throne between the two heirs for 5 years. Barbate Du, the head of the Du family, spoke when his children sided with opposite heirs to the throne.
“Do as you please. I do not know.”
It was not an officially confirmed statement.
However, without the acquiescence of Barbate Du, how could the two children of the Du family survive while bickering in such a way? If Barbate hadn’t tolerated the confrontation of his children, perhaps because of their tempers, one of the two children of the Du family would have seized the other’s neck and taken over the Du family.
If so, who is siding with whom?
Kayley Du, the eldest son, known for his quick wit and intelligence, sided with the first princess.
The first princess, Della, was a cool-tempered tiger, and her bravery pierced the sky. Since the current royal dynasty, the Kingdom of Acela was aggressively expanding its territory and was surrounded by enemies in all directions, and the first princess defeated the northern enemies and solidified her position.
In addition, Acela’s temple also protected the first princess. The temple calls the princess the “Saintess of Acela,” consolidating her practice of the will of the heavenly god, Apelard.
Then, what about Ethan, the second prince, her opponent? The second prince was weak but had a brilliant head and good skills.
He made the kingdom rich by mending the numerous tax laws of the Acela Kingdom. The “Black Water That Summons Fire” was also devised by the second prince, who was fifteen, and was more suitable for war than the method he had used so far.
However, the first princess mocked the second prince at his twentieth birthday banquet, saying, “An engineer cannot be a king!”
It was said that the first princess, who defeated the enemies of the kingdom and was protected by the temple, would be a strong candidate for the king instead of the second prince. However, the situation changed dramatically when Adrian Du, who had just been appointed as a knight and had no place to go to rebel against the first princess, took the side of the second prince.
And Adrian Du, under the command of the second prince, went out and led the war against the Eastern Kingdom of Brisch to a great victory. It was when she was just twenty years old.
Adrian Du raised the flag of the second prince and made improvements to King Acela, offering the stipend of King Brisch. Of course, King Acela was greatly pleased.
Adrian Du’s improvement didn’t stop there. She won everywhere and attributed all her credit to the second prince, Ethan Acela.
Adrian Du made a significant contribution to the second prince emerging as the first princess’s most threatening rival.
Some of the second prince’s henchmen warned her to be on the lookout for her brother, Kayley Du, as the first princess’ henchman. But no one could say that in the face of the victories she brought in for 5 years.
Adrian Du was blind and valiant. She did everything Prince Ethan asked.
After killing the first princess’ henchman on the front lawn of the royal palace for insulting Prince Ethan, her nickname became the “Mad Dog of the Second Prince.”
It was natural for Adrian to be an offense in the eyes of the first princess and Kayley. She was thrown into a war against the barbarians of the White Rocky Plains, which the kingdom of Acela found most difficult to deal with.
And she came back with a great victory, as always.
But it was a rope, not a bouquet of triumph, that was thrown at her as she passed the gates of Acela’s capital city.
* * *
Her head was itchy.
Nevertheless, the fact that she hadn’t washed her head in twelve days was largely due to burning her scalp during the battle of the White Rocky Plains. Adrian rubbed her head against the stone wall for a long time. But the itch didn’t go away easily. Eventually, she shouted for the guard.
“I’m going to rip apart this bastard. Hey! Aren’t you going to get over here?”
Adrian finally cursed at him, and the guard, who had turned his back, looked over his shoulder like he’d chewed on shit.
“Come here and scratch my head.”
“Don’t make that face, and I won’t bite your wrist, so come scratch my head. You punk. My teeth are human. They’re not as sharp as the rumors say.”
“It is strictly forbidden to touch a prisoner. You should know better…”
The guard looked disgusted at her.
“And why didn’t you wash your hair? Were you looking forward to something nice here…”
“You punk. Do you know how terrible the sun is at the Rocky Plains?”
“What does the sun have to do with it?”
“Look, you bastard. Look at the top of my head. Do you see the white stuff?”
“Oh, you’re filthy… Look at your dandruff and lice. No, this woman is really filthy!”
Adrian scoffed at the detestable guard.
“This is why I don’t talk to the capital’s hillbillies. Hey, kid. Nihil. Why don’t you come over here?”
At her words, a man with long hair crept out of the corner of the prison cell.
The guard had a strange expression. He had been monitoring these dirty prisoners for ten days but had never seen a man named Nihil move into the cell with her. He was so immobile that at first, the guard thought he was trash behind bars.
Anyway, the man who he assumed was trash sat down in front of the prison bars next to Adrian. His hands and feet were nailed with long knives so he couldn’t move. Crawling up here was a strange talent.
Adrian’s situation was a little better than the man’s, for Adrian had her hands and feet tied. Adrian pointed a finger to the top of the man’s head, still with her hands tied.
“His hair is dirty, too!”
“Oh, are you showing off? Seriously?! A dirty master and a dirty servant!**”
The guard was so disgusted his face turned seven different colors. Adrian’s face twisted up into a scowl.
“You idiot. Do you think I’m bragging about being dirty? Look closer. It’s not lice. It’s my scalp peeling.”
“Blah, Blah, Blah. You punk. You’ve never been to war, have you?”
“I’m an only son, so I wasn’t drafted!”
“Good for you, fuck. Anyway, there are no trees in the village of the barbarians who live on the Eastern Rocky Plains. Do you know what that means?”
The guard frowned, predicting that this prisoner would give him a rather long speech. Prisoners who could be imprisoned in the dungeons of the Great Kingdom were likely to talk a lot because they were good-for-nothings who came from outside. Oh, his boss said that if he screws this up, he’ll be f*cked. The guard tried to shake off Adrian’s words but to no avail.
The guard also once had a dream of aspiring for greatness, and this prisoner in front of him was a war hero who lived the life he dreamed of.
Besides, the Du family was respected by most of the subjects of the Acela Kingdom. Anyone would be curious about the words of the unusual woman who was born into that noble family.
“There is no shade. “
“You punk, the sun burns your head. The top of your head!”
Adrian chuckled. For a moment, the guard doubted whether this person was the twenty-five-year-old girl from the Du family.
In any case, Adrian’s appearance now resembled more of exemplary trash, and if anyone treated her as a noble lady, the guard would doubt their insanity.
“Among the Rocky Plains, the barbarians mostly hide in the White Rocky Plains. The rocks there are all blindingly white, and the sun’s reflection will make your eyeballs fall out. When you close your eyes and say, “It’s hot, it’s hot,” the sunlight burns your scalp. When you’ve barely sliced off the heads of the barbarians and begun to retreat, your scalp is already burning red. And after about three days, your burnt scalp travels into your hair.”
“Even if you shake it off, you can’t get rid of it. It doesn’t matter if you wash your hair. And when it’s barely time for the skin to peel off, the barbarians will jump out again! It’s hard to hold out and kill them all unless you’re tough.”
So the slaves… the guard swallowed his saliva as he tried to say. He almost got caught up in the story and asked a question.
Adrian tilted her head at the silent guard.
“What’s wrong? Am I boring you?”
“…I just decided to fulfill my duties later.“
Seeing the guard with a hard expression, Adrian mumbled, “Oh, okay,” and then crossed her legs, twisting on the floor. Then, she stuck her head back through the bars again.
“Then, scratch my head.”
“What kind of capital guard has the job of scratching a prisoner’s head?!”
“Oh, you punk! I don’t see you swinging a club at me, and you’re listening to me, so clearly, you like me! Now, scratch it for me!”
She was wrong. The guard sighed without saying, “Where is the brave guard who will swing the club at you?” Adrian went wild.
“Ah! My head is itchy! Damn it! I want to take a shower!”
“…Can I scratch you with a pickaxe?”
The guard asked because he couldn’t possibly touch her head, and Adrian went twice as wild.
“You crazy bastard! Trying to steal the head of the Du family’s second daughter, huh?! You gonna deliver it to the first princess?! How much is she paying you?”
“I didn’t receive a penny! Oh, whatever. Forget about it!”
As the guard turned around, Adrian urgently called to him.
“Hey! Hey! Wait a minute. Then can you at least scratch my head with a hoe? A pickaxe is really going to make me bleed!”
“Where would I find a hoe in this prison?!”
“Then why would you have a pickaxe?!”
It was then.
“Adrian, you’re still the same.”
Adrian, who had been going crazy just a second ago, went silent with the sudden intervention. The guard straightened up in astonishment. Soon, in the darkness of the prison, the owner of the voice appeared. A man with gray hair and green eyes. The guard soon recognized who the man was when he saw the distinctive, dull gray hair color of the Du family, which did not glow.
The man slowly came to a stop in front of the prison cell. And then he smiled.
“Your head itches?”
“How can you use your older brother’s name so recklessly? Adrian, I’m afraid I’ll have to scratch your head till you bleed.”
With a smile, Kayley drew a sword from his waist. The famous sword of the Du family appeared with a rumbling, trembling sound. Adrian snorted.
“Quit it. Don’t hurt yourself trying to hold that toothpick. You can’t even handle it properly.”
“Don’t you think I’ll slice your head off with this toothpick?”
“Before you chop my head off, you should drop your sword and stab your foot first.”
The siblings were really close.
**T/N: Original Korean saying is very similar to: like father, like son. ↵