If a Mad Dog Bites a Club - Chapter 2
Translator and Editor: nieye
Nihil crept toward them and blocked Kayley from Adrian. Kayley laughed out loud.
“Apparently, the slaves were the only ones who journeyed out to the far White Rocky Plains, and I see it’s true. Who is this filthy bastard?”
“Why are you asking when you know he’s a slave?”
Adrian replied sternly.
Kayley struck the prison bars with the tip of his sword.
It was a loud sound, but Nihil didn’t budge, so Kayley’s judgment was further twisted. It was brave for a mere slave to defy such a high man, not even flinching as he wielded his sword.
Kayley deliberately raised his sword. Adrian spoke again.
“Stop it. You’ll break your other leg.”
The first son of the Du family had not yet been able to marry even as he provided good conditions for his future wife. The reason is one of his legs was shorter than the other because he broke it when he was young. For a time, Kayley Du’s gait was the laughingstock for young people his age.
Kayley Du’s face flushed red.
“You think somebody like you, stuck inside a prison, can put your hands on me?!”
“I can’t touch you. Think about that.”
Adrian tapped her temple.
“Do you think Prince Ethan will leave you alone?”
It was the name of the second prince. If Kayley was the henchman of the first princess, Adrian was like the second prince’s right-hand man. Although she was currently locked up by some misunderstanding, she knew Prince Ethan would not leave her like this.
Moreover, if Adrian suffered even the slightest harm in prison, he, too, would provoke the wrath of Prince Ethan. But Kayley snorted, humming.
“That’s what you think, little girl. If Prince Ethan really had you in mind, would he leave you here?”
Adrian immediately shot back.
“Why would my prince think of me?”
“Prince Ethan should only think for himself. The reason why he left me here was that I’d interfere with his plans. I was wrong this time.”
Crazy bitch. Kayley clucked his tongue.
Adrian Du’s blind loyalty to Ethan Acela was well known, but he didn’t expect it to be this extreme.
Even with the most hated of his subjects, this was no way to treat a triumphant hero. Even though his triumphant hero was imprisoned, he did not bail her out.
Either way, Adrian yawned, cross-legged, and set Nihil’s head aside. Nihil flinched and stepped away. Unlike when he bared his teeth at Kayley, he looked like a pet dog who had turned docile.
“There are endless reasons as to why the prince left me here. But if someone harms his right-hand man, no reason will stop him from taking revenge. Kayley, I know you hate me, but think about it.”
“Well, is that so?”
Kayley chuckled and put the sword back into its sheath. His face was disguised as a smile, but he clearly listened to Adrian’s words.
“You`ve done something that will overturn the foundation of this country. No matter how much he desired to win the war, it is unavoidable for His Majesty to rule with an iron fist. Even Prince Ethan cannot cover up your wrongdoings.”
It was a warning in Kayley’s own way, but Adrian still scratched her ear with indifference.
“Damn. Well-spoken. Would you hurry up and ask? His Majesty should have acted sooner if he was going to be harsh. Why do this to me now that I’ve won everything?”
“…News of the battlefield. Closely…”
“Hey, you retard. It’s news of the battlefield. We have to deal with it closely.”
Adrian looked down at her finger and blew on it. Nothing flew away. Adrian was staring at her clean little finger but looked up when Kayley didn’t respond.
Kayley was trembling with a flushed face.
Only then did Adrian realize she touched something similar to Kayley’s weakness, and she burst out laughing. Kayley walked with a limp because one of his legs was short, and he hated the word “retard” the most.
“Hey, I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to say that on purpose right now. You understand, don’t you? It’s sorta like a chu-imsae** among us knights.”
“How dare this crazy bitch…”
“Oh, calm down. Calm down. Ah! Look at this.”
Adrian uncrossed her legs and put her right leg in front of the cell. Kayley flinched. Adrian’s right leg was bandaged and swollen from the tip of her toes. Adrian continued, swinging her leg from side to side.
“I hurt my foot this time, too. It might be hard to walk as I used to. So, you and me. Eh? You can call me a retard too.”
Of course, her words had no effect. Kayley’s face went red with anger, and he struck the bars with his sheath. The sounds of shouting and iron clanging echoed through the prison for a long time.
The guard stood behind him and covered his ears. Nihil was covering Adrian’s ears. Kayley took out his anger on the bars for a long time and then huffed, backing off.
“Yes, we’ll see if Ethan saves you, you crazy little bitch. Blow away one leg, and you think Ethan will save a little girl like you who’s now useless as a knight?”
Adrian shrugged her shoulders.
“If only I were truly useless.”
“Ever since you were young, you’ve been so drunk on useless confidence that it causes you to spoil things.”
Kayley took on a sneer. Adrian blinked.
“Try to believe in Ethan for once. See you in ten days.”
Adrian’s only brother retreated and disappeared, vowing to do so. Ten days later, Adrian guessed that would be the day she left prison.
Of course, that may be the day of her death sentence or her release. But Adrian decided not to worry about such complications. Those sorts of worries always belonged to her prince, not Adrian.
However, the only thing that made Adrian suffer was not being able to wash her hair until ten days later.
* * *
Prince Ethan frowned. Twenty-two days had already passed since his favorite knight returned to the capital in triumph. But today was the first time Ethan saw her.
For the most part, Adrian’s appearance was far from clean or dignified, but today was especially terrible. Ethan beckoned his henchman, Count Reise, with a displeased expression.
“I told you to ensure that Adrian’s life in prison went fine, so why is she like this?”
It was the day of Adrian’s summary judgment.
There was a huge hall in Acela’s Castle called the Hall of Apelard. The strongest of Acela’s high lords were gathered. Of course, the first princess and the second prince were in attendance.
The hall was an elongated oval spanning 3 floors, and the throne was 2 stories high, sitting at the top of the oval. Above the throne was a relievo of the heavenly god, Apelard, his wings spread and his magnificence beyond words. There was no access to the throne except for the stairs going up from the hall on the 1st floor. The 2nd floor on both sides of the oval had a corridor that overlooked the bottom, like a long railing.
Prince Ethan and Count Reise looked down from the center of the corridor on the left. Adrian stood in the middle of the hall on the first floor. Beside her was a slave with long black hair.
Slaves had to crawl on their knees when facing the king, so the slave crawled all the way from the dungeon to here. The hall was long, streaked with the blood of the slave’s knees, and the servants wiped it away with disgusted faces.
Count Reise looked down, wrinkles on his forehead.
Most nobles are guaranteed some convenience even when imprisoned for a crime. Adrian was also the daughter of the Du family, so he expected she’d appear in a human state. But Prince Ethan did not know of Adrian’s setting while continuously trying to save her from his father, the king, for ten days.
Adrian’s condition was severe. It didn’t look like she won a great victory in the Rocky Plains. Her feet were bare, still clothed in her soiled knightly uniform. Even so, her jacket disappeared.
“…Perhaps it was the princess’ doing.”
Ethan frowned at Count Reise’s words.
His beautiful elder sister, Della, was born as if under the order that she should strangle her younger brother from the queen’s womb.
He wouldn’t put it past her and her underlings. Della wouldn’t mind giving a small sum of money to her minions, such as the guards if it were to disturb her.
“…Della has been very attentive.”
“It would possibly be more accurate to say Kayley Du did it rather than Princess Della, as he is beneath her. Isn’t it famously known that those two siblings despise each other?”
Prince Ethan looked down at Adrian with regret, pretending to listen to Count Reise as his words fell on deaf ears.
Even as a criminal, she had to stand before the king today. Most criminals who come before the Great King are expected to wear clean clothes, but Adrian was not entitled to even that. Adrian’s green hair was greasy, and her face looked like it had not been washed properly. A foul smell permeated the hall. The servants of the first princess retreated, blatantly covering their noses. They intended to humiliate her.
But Ethan knew Adrian’s personality. She didn’t care. Adrian was indifferent to most of the gazes focused on her. Personally, of course, it was a little different…
At that moment, Adrian’s eyes turned his way. Adrian faced the prince without even searching for him as if she knew Ethan would be standing there. Adrian’s pink eyes were still distinct, and Ethan, who met her gaze, wanted to smile but couldn’t.
Ethan finally clenched his teeth. He visited his father several times to rescue his favorite knight, but King Acela remained undecided.
It was understandable. Adrian went overboard to win the White Rocky Plains War. It didn’t matter if she won on the Rocky Plains. The king couldn’t have liked what Adrian had done.
“Is the king still the same?”
Count Reise asked. Ethan stared at Adrian and replied with a troubled heart.
“Yes. But sister Della didn’t see His Majesty either.”
“Then there’s a fifty-fifty chance.“
It was then. King Acela entered the hall.
“His Majesty, the King!”
Everyone knelt on the 2nd floor. So did Adrian. She shifted her gaze away from Ethan, lowered her head, and knelt, taking the example of a knight.
King Acela was an old man with gray hair and a long beard, and his spirit was so grand that even now, with his muscles torn up of old age, the intimidation he left on his audience was immense. The king slowly climbed the twenty-nine steps and sat on the throne. The king’s eyes landed on Adrian.
The nobles who stood up to kneel and honor the king hesitated. The king beckoned the nobles, ordering them to stand roughly, and then spoke.
“Second daughter of the Du family and proud knight of Acela.”
“It is a pity that you can’t be celebrating at a banquet hall, where you should be instead of standing here.”
“I am honored and very sorry.”
Adrian kept her face down and remained on one knee. The king’s attitude stirred the lords. Because King Acela called her a knight, not a criminal.
**T/N: Exclamatory words uttered by the gosu, a drummer, during a performance of pansori, Korean storytelling song, to arouse excitement. ↵