If a Mad Dog Bites a Club - Chapter 8
Translator and Editor: nieye
A long time ago, an Acelain man found his way into Yogyakarta. While wandering through the mountains, he encountered a Viralian woman. She happened to be Princess Isla of the Viral tribe, who had gone up Mount Kaleahala for the succession ceremony. The two fell in love. A child was conceived between them, and after gazing at the newborn, the man suddenly returned to Acela. He had claimed to be Acelain royalty, and he promised Isla that he would return. However, he never came back, and everyone thought that the princess had been deceived by an Acelain swindler.
Everyone assumed that the princess would become the queen of Yogyakarta, but instead, she cared for the child. The one who succeeded the throne was her distant relative, Parutuskal. Originally absent from Yogyakarta, Parutuskal returned to the capital, Karta, and successfully claimed the throne through the succession ceremony. This was possible because anyone with Viralian blood could succeed, not just the king’s children.
After becoming the king of Yogyakarta, Parutuskal fell in love with the beautiful Isla. In their union, Isla gave birth to a princess, Elmyra, who had the same wings as Parutuskal, wings as large as a palm, attached to her back.
Isla’s son, Celeste, inherited his mother’s dark Viralian skin and her lovely smile, but he did not inherit her wings. While most Viralians had at least small wings or a few feathers, Celeste had none because of his mixed blood with the Acelains.
Princess Elmyra’s wings were truly magnificent. With their gleaming red feathers against her black skin, they shimmered with every movement and would flutter whenever Elmyra exerted her strength.
Whenever Elmyra flapped her small wings and freely darted through Yogyakarta’s palace, everyone would recall the legend of the Golden City. The story spoke of a Viralian child with fiery wings who would bring back the Golden City to Yogyakarta.
This story had been passed down for centuries within their community, and no one doubted that Elmyra, a Viralian and Yogyakarta’s savior, would bring prosperity and become the king of humans.
Thus, it was only natural that Princess Elmyra was loved. However, circumstances changed as the Viralian succession ceremony approached.
Acela relentlessly invaded Yogyakarta’s territories, finally resulting in the capture of the capital only a year ago. The King of Acela demanded Princess Elmyra as a hostage. In response to the protests of Yogyakarta, who argued that they couldn’t hand over the heir, the Acelain king responded coldly.
“Don’t you have a prince?”
In terms of bloodline alone, Celeste Lou Yogyakarta could also succeed the throne. The Yogyakartans countered that the Viralian succession ceremony was not such a straightforward matter. But King Acela pressed further.
“Princess Elmyra herself didn’t go through the succession ceremony. If succession can happen without adhering to bloodline, then isn’t it acceptable for someone other than Elmyra to succeed?”
In a way, his argument was logical. King Acela proposed that if Princess Elmyra spent five years in Acela, and married an Acelain, then she could return home.
Therefore, the one currently ruling Yogyakarta, was the man sitting before Adrian’s eyes. Well, it might be an understatement to say he ruled, as before her arrival, the deputy regent of House Teterborough had been in charge.
A hot breeze blew. Her body swayed. It was only natural. Right now, she was sitting on a palanquin carried by a beast. And not just any palanquin—it was a very high one.
Adrian tried to speak but almost bit her tongue. She hadn’t ridden in a palanquin very often, and the beast carrying it was even stranger. The creature was enormous, easily several times her size. Its hide was gray, and it had a long nose. Its back was hunched but wide and flat, and its head was bald with sparse tufts of fur, giving it a rough and leathery appearance.
Adrian looked away again. The man seated in front of her, Celeste, was also looking out. The welcome from Celeste Lou Yogyakarta was a relief to Adrian, who was starting to get tired of traveling on horseback. He had requested her to ride the palanquin.
‘To think the heir to the throne showed up himself.’
It wasn’t a common occurrence, but it wasn’t entirely unheard of either. Yogyakarta had been conquered by Acela for a year now. Considering the suspicious timing and the fact that Adrian had encountered many dangers on her journey here, she suspected Princess Della might have had a hand in it.
If he was the legitimate heir to the throne, then calculating how many negative consequences could arise from not guarding Adrian properly wouldn’t have been difficult.
Adrian glanced at his brown skin.
Barbate said the king had intended to arrange a marriage between her and this man. He said it gently, but essentially, sending Adrian to Yogyakarta as a bride was originally the king’s intention.
When thinking about it, it wasn’t entirely unreasonable. Adrian might be a bit unruly, and she had acquired nicknames like “crazy dog,” but she was a member of the Du family. So, arranging a marriage was not out of line for a household like hers.
Furthermore, in the king’s eyes, she was more than an adopted daughter. Even if he severed ties with her in case of an emergency, she wouldn’t have been a particularly undesirable match.
So, who was the prospective groom?
Other than this man, there was no other suitable candidate.
Princess Elmyra of the Viral tribe marrying an Acelain was one thing, but it wasn’t unreasonable for the King of Acela to give an Acelain queen to the man he appointed as the heir to the Yogyakarta throne.
‘So, that means he almost became my husband.’
Adrian contemplated how her father, who insulted Prince Ethan as an imbecile, would perceive this prince. Well, to her father, Barbate, who complained about having a daughter, it might have just been the same old joke.
At that moment, the man’s gaze, which had been focused outside, turned towards her. Instead of flinching, Adrian opened her mouth as if she had been waiting.
“I’ve seen this beast before.”
“No, during the war in Yogyakarta four years ago.”
The man’s azure eyes sank cold.
“When I saw your soldiers stabbing this beast’s legs and then sending it on a rampage, I thought it was very violent. But it seems it can carry people as well.”
“Is that so?”
“I thought you had just fought in the Battle of the Rocky Plains.”
“I was initially deployed during the Great Yogyakarta War, but I was later transferred to another place.”
The war between Acela and Yogyakarta had been going on for several decades. It could be described as a conflict between the humans, represented by Acela, and the twelve tribes of Yogyakarta, who had their eyes on the Viral tribe.
And it’s been three years since the reigning King of Acela officially launched an attack on the capital city of Karta. The battle lines had been drawn taunt because Yogyakarta, too, possessed the power of the Black Water that Summons Fire, the same as Acela.
Adrian fought in the first and second battles, only to be transferred to a different front shortly after. Her exceptional combat skills drew attention naturally, and Princess Della, who had returned to the royal court, had immediately kept her in check. Nonetheless, even on different battlefields, she had managed to accumulate achievements…
Then Celeste interrupted her thoughts.
“Oh, I see how you could think that. Elephants can’t be stopped when they get angry. But if you had observed for a while, then you would’ve realized that this beast is actually quite gentle.”
“Does it stay on the battlefield for long?”
A skilled knight ends a fight quickly. The man grinned, hearing the implication of her words.
“No one wants to stay on the battlefield long.”
He wasn’t wrong. Adrian tilted her head and looked to the side.
The land of endless low forests and lakes. The kingdom of eternal summer lay before her.
When Adrian first came to Yogyakarta, she hadn’t been able to appreciate this place. Fighting amidst trees that were different from Acela’s forests, with their wide leaves and low heights, had been burdensome and difficult.
Dealing with the Yogyakartans emerging from the jungles was incredibly challenging. The wide leaves blocked out sunlight, making everything inside feel dark.
However, looking at Yogyakarta from the back of an elephant was an entirely different experience.
The warm and humid breeze blew. She thought that enduring the heat on horseback while traveling south had been difficult but being at a higher elevation was somewhat different. The trees were all short and low, and among their twisted and sprawling branches, wide, green leaves stretched out. Under the bright sunlight, scattered lakes that resembled puddles dotted the landscape. Prickly grass and trees were sprinkled throughout. The reddish ground, made of either sand or rocks, revealed itself gradually.
The intense heat covered her skin and wrung sweat from her, and a stifling sensation filled her throat. But the scenery that could overcome this stickiness was right in front of her. It looked like fluffy clouds were rising above a straight green horizon. A blue sky and white rocks.
It was different from the terrifying, blinding white rocks of the Rocky Plains. Through the green foliage, there were occasionally vines rising… Adrian swayed on the elephant’s back as she observed the scenery with blurry eyes, then turned her gaze away.
Beneath the black hair, blue eyes were staring at her. Those blue eyes were just like the clear sky where the clouds were rising. Thus, Adrian found herself unintentionally wondering what it would be like to live with those blue eyes among the Viralian people who typically had black or red hair and black eyes.
Of course, she had enough awareness not to voice such thoughts aloud.
“There’s no need to offer such hospitality to a deputy regent.”
Instead, Adrian addressed the girl who was gently massaging her legs on the back of the elephant. Looking at her, it was clear the girl wasn’t an ordinary Yogyakartan. There was a small bump on her back, and a few soft red feathers were growing there. Clearly Viralian. What reason could a member of the Yogyakarta Royal Family have for massaging her legs? Celeste smiled at Adrian’s questioning gaze.
“After the conquest, it took us more than a year to recover, and finally, you are the one who has come to our homeland. It’ll be a long while until the official regent is appointed, so we’ll be spending plenty of days together.”
“Her name is Sera.”
Though she hadn’t heard precise news from her home country, she wasn’t clueless. Acela had stationed Eloy Teterborough, a member of the Teterborough family who had provided rear support during the war, there until the official regent arrived in Yogyakarta.
Of course, it might have been because he was the fifth son of the Teterborough family, who held no significant title or position. However, the problem was that Eloy Teterborough was known for having a rather formidable temperament. It was well-known that he had been tormenting the Yogyakartans.
In any case, she was appointed as deputy regent in his place. It would still be a long time before an official regent arrived in this unbearably hot and humid land, so she was willing to adapt to its ways.
Adrian awkwardly looked at Sera. The dark-skinned girl with short hair looked up at her and smiled.
“I’m here to serve you!”
“Just to make sure.”
Adrian raised her chin and questioned.
“Are you implying you don’t know that I’m essentially a criminal exiled to this land?”
“In the homeland, they might say such things.”
The one who responded to her was Celeste. He sat down on one knee in front of Adrian and retorted.
“But that doesn’t mean you’ll be treated as a criminal here in Yogyakarta.”
“…I’m just saying there’s no reason to try to please me.”
“Well, it’s fortunate for Sera that you, the deputy regent from Acela, are such a considerate person.”
It was baffling to be met with such answers without saying a single word. She had been treated as if she didn’t even exist in Yogyakarta all along, but it seemed that wasn’t the case. To think that he had such an audacious and eloquent way with words.
Instead of continuing the conversation with the man, Adrian turned her gaze back outside.
Sway, sway. The slow movement of the elephant caused a dull sound to echo. Thump, thump. While it was painfully slow compared to a horse, it wasn’t bad to be slowly swaying through Yogyakarta’s wide path.
“May I ask you one thing?”
“What is it?”
“Could you tell me your age by chance?”
Adrian raised an eyebrow and looked at the man. It was hard to tell what thoughts were contained in Celeste’s blue eyes. Adrian smiled slightly.
“I’m seventeen this year. The age where one dreams of finding their first love.”
The man nodded. Adrian felt embarrassed.
“I was lying. I’m twenty-five.”
She scratched her head in embarrassment. Even Nihil, who was beside her, blinked his eyes in disbelief and stared at her. It seemed that Barbate’s unfunny jokes may have passed onto her. Adrian smiled uncomfortably.