The Duke's Companion - Chapter 1 Part 1
Picking up a Cat
“It’s really dead, right?”
Two priests whispered as they threw the wounded kitten under the tree. Their white priestly clothes were dotted with red stains..
“There’s no one who wouldn’t die after being stabbed by an Archer.”
A priest kicked the cat as if he were dealing with a stone on the street. The cat rolled over the dusty floor helplessly.
He spat at the cat and said, “How dare you imitate a human being when you’re a beast, you don’t know anything.”
“…Is this really okay?”
At the stupid question, the priest who was playing with the cat with his feet snorted.
“We’ve been doing this for hundreds of years. If it was really wrong, wouldn’t God punish us right away?”
“Don’t be afraid. His neglect is like permission. God cares more about us humans than these few beasts.”
As he chuckled, he kicked the cat again, and the dirt from his shoes splattered across the filthy fur like a rag.
Satisfied, he turned away leaving the cat behind..
They put on a black robe over their shoulders and grabbed the reins of two nearby horses.
“It’s late, so we have to hurry. Wouldn’t it be sad if we were late on this precious day?”
“Yes, I understand.”
The sound of a horse’s hoof quickly receded.
Soon the sound was gone. The little animal, who seemed dead, shuddered and trembled.
There was not even a bird flapping in the quiet forest.
‘I’m finally alone.’
I need to run away immediately.
Without hesitation, the baby beast hit the ground with its tiny feet and ran. The traces of severe abuse engraved on its body made each step heavier.
The wound on my stomach was burning hot, and it tasted like blood every time I breathed.
‘I, I can’t fall… !’
The baby beast held its balance with its shaky legs.
‘They might come after me again. So please hold on a little.’
I stepped on the bushes constantly with my short legs. I couldn’t even tell how much I ran with my tiny body.
As I was running like crazy, I could see the edge of the forest.
The dazzling sunlight filled my vision.
After a moment of relief, my feet soaked in wounds got caught in a stone beak.
Without even the strength to rely on, the young beast roamed the bushes helplessly.
My eyes were dizzy. There was blood flowing from the wound that did not intend to stop.
A leaf of grass covered with dew came into view. Gradually, the shape becomes blurry and distorted… It was only for a moment that my eyes were dyed with darkness.
“I can’t believe today is already the departure.”
Mamela, a little girl in Cadellarot who turned 12 this year, crouched in the field and looked around the villa.
When she was young, her parents and her brother, the current Duke, the four of them used to come here, and the scenery here was unchangingly rare and beautiful.
On the right, there was a dazzling lake with sunlight, and on the left, there was a dense forest full of fresh green.
On top of that, people could only see the pillars through the forest. There was no more magnificent view than this.
Mamela murmured with a sigh, “I just want to stay here…”
“It can’t be because the Lord is calling you.” (Jonah)
Suddenly a voice was heard from behind. Mamela knew who it was without looking back.
“I also miss my older brother.”
“How much less will the Lord be terrified? He must have been so worried about you young lady that he couldn’t even sleep?”
“Jonah, you’re too much!”
At her nanny’s comment, Mamela burst out into a bright smile. Jonah followed the young lady and laughed, but she didn’t agree with her.
The Duke’s love for his little sister was well known beyond the walls of Cadellarot and among other nobles. Despite the fact that she was unaware of it.
“Miss, we must leave now.” (Jonah)
Mamela got up shaking off the grass in the field. As she reached the carriage carrying her luggage and looked around disappointingly.
Her movements suddenly stopped, “Wait, Jonah.”
Mamela squinted and looked somewhere in the forest.
I couldn’t see well because it was too far, but there seemed to be something between the bushes.
Mamela felt a strange movement in the bushes and moved towards it as if possessed.
“Jonah. I’ll go over there quickly and come back.”
“What? Miss!” (Jonah)
When Mamela suddenly ran away, Jonah couldn’t run after her. The girl who couldn’t resist her curiosity and ran out stopped near the entrance to the forest.
Jonah, who had followed her for a long time, took a deep breath and said, “Miss, we have to go now.”
But something was odd. It was because she was frozen in place, just like Mamela.
Mamela, who stepped back from her contemplation, pointed in front of her with a trembling hand. Only then Jonah could see what Mamela had run to see.
Where the little girl’s fingertips pointed, there was a kitten.
A dying kitten bleeding through a huge stab wound.