The Duke's Companion - Chapter 5 Part 2
Out of curiosity, I threw the doll away and ran to the table. I jumped up and set my feet stably, and my eyes met something unfamiliar on the table.
Huh? I blinked bewilderedly and looked into it.
‘…Who is it?’
The first baby beast I had ever seen was looking at me.
Its tiny ears twitched and its tail swung pleasantly. I slowly attack the baby beast.
On the fluffy, cotton-like fur characteristic of the baby, there were open black patterns. The blue eyes staring back at me gleamed like waves reflected in the sunlight.
It was a tiny little kitten who couldn’t even bite. What exactly is this dusty thing?
‘Are there any other animals in this room besides me?’
I was surprised and tried to put my front foot on it. But I could see the cat on the opposite side raising its front paws after me.
‘…Are you copying me?’
When I thought of that, I felt really bad. I stared at the cat. Then that little cat started to stare at me for saying that it was also a beast.
‘What is it?!’
Do you want to try me now?
When I lowered the front foot that I was holding, the cat also lowered the front foot. When I crumpled my face, its face also crumpled.
When I growl because I can’t stand it, it follows along, revealing its teeth…
Suddenly I felt strange and stopped. The cat on the other side looked at me, stopping just like I did.
It struck me like a bolt out of the blue.
‘Is that me?’
I approached with caution and put my foot on the cat quickly. Then I felt a cold and hard touch. Just like a wall.
‘Did I touch it wrong?’
It was confusing, so I took courage and stepped on it more boldly this time.
Then I knew for certain. I really hit the wall. This appeared to be reflected in it.
I didn’t know earlier, but the view of Mamela’s room in the back was similar. I looked at the wall, in the mirror.
‘So you’re saying I look like this?’
Looking at the angle, I was at a loss for words. Disappointment flashed over my face in the mirror. It was very different from what I had imagined.
‘I thought it’d be bigger and cooler…’
The reflection in the mirror was like a plump rice cake covered with seaweed powder.
I became gloomy. Then, when I unintentionally looked at my expression in the mirror, I was terrified.
‘Oh, you look so stupid.’
Why do I look so stupid? Is it because I’m stupid?
The shock was so great that when Mamela came back, I couldn’t even welcome her and just looked in the mirror.
“Aryl, I’m here…what are you doing?”
As Mamela approached, her image was also reflected in the mirror. Because of that, it became clear that something like that strange wall was illuminating.
It was shocking in itself. Having a tearful face, I jumped into Mamela’s arms.
Mamela, who suddenly hugged me, looked puzzled and asked, “Huh? Why is our Aryl so depressed?”
Mamela patted me hard on the back as if she was trying to soothe me. Crying, I thought with her tender touch.
‘It’s probably because I’m still young. I’m sure I’ll be huge and slick when I grow up!’
I held back my tears as they were about to fall. I managed to comfort myself, but I couldn’t help feeling sad.
How did I get so chubby? Did I eat too much? I only ate what Mamela gave me…
It was when Aryl buried her head sullenly in Mamela’s arms. There was a familiar buzz outside.
“My lady, this is Jonah. I’m here to tell you something.”
“Yes, come on in.”
Jonah? Are you here to let her know that I escaped from Mamela’s room?
When Jonah, who entered the room looking decent, said something, Mamela’s expression was filled with surprise.
When I looked up and saw the two people alternately, I pretended not to know and looked elsewhere.
“Aryl left the room? Wasn’t she caught by my brother?”
“Yes. Fortunately, I guess the Lord didn’t see Aryl.”
“That’s a relief. But how did she get out?”
“Isn’t it possible that you didn’t close the door?”
At those words, Mamela’s expression turned shocked, and she took a deep breath.
“I guess so… It almost became a big problem, I’ll have to be more careful from now on.”
Mamela headed to the sofa holding me as Jonah left the room. She held me tight with a serious look on her face and said,
“Aryl, I’m glad you didn’t meet my brother alone. I’m sure my brother would have kicked you out there saying you were a stray cat.”
I sniffed out Mamela’s incomprehensible words. When I smelled the good scent, I thought of the question I had since before.
‘Who is that human being who smells like Mamela?’
Although she raised questions vaguely, in fact, a plausible answer had already been decided.
Everyone smells different, but didn’t that person smell similar to Mamela?
I looked up at Mamela and thought. ‘If he’s a family member… What kind of person is he?’
If it was her family, he’d definitely look like Mamela, so I guess he’d look cute too, right?
I was filled with anticipation, imagining the bright sunshine like Mamela.
‘But why doesn’t Mamela introduce me to her family?’
The desire to meet them is like a chimney. Is it possible that Mamela’s family is shy? I was fussing with my imagination and suddenly remembered the figure of Jonah a little while ago.
So I stopped digging into Mamela’s arm.
‘By the way, Jonah was the same, so why did everyone react like that?’
Jonah’s eyes were looking around nervously when she took me to the room, and I’m sure she was just saying that I left the room, but the atmosphere became serious…
My mood plummeted in an instant from the intense anxiety. I looked up at Mamela with trembling eyes.
‘Don’t you want to show me?’
As soon as the speculation hardened into conviction, my heart sank.