The cat didn’t seem to want to run away.
Not only that, but as we moved a little, it even followed us in a hurry.

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“What should I do…”

Agwen looked at me and carefully suggested.

“If the Madam likes it, wouldn’t it be okay to take him?”

“But, what if the Duke doesn’t like it?”

“How about leaving it in the annex? After all, it’s far from the main building and is where the Madam lives, so wouldn’t the Duke also allow at least one little cat?”

“The annex is bigger than most houses…”

“There are a lot of noble ladies who have cats these days… Wouldn’t it be all right to develop similar hobbies to communicate with other people?”

“The garden attached to the annex was also very large… If you just look down on the corner of the garden for a bit… ”

“That’s right.
The Duke wouldn’t even care.
Besides, the Duke hasn’t even visited the annex once…”

Saying so, Agwen stopped talking and hurriedly shut her mouth before glancing at me.
She seemed to think that I was concerned that the Duke didn’t come and visit me.

However, she was right.
Of course, I agreed and took it one step further.

“Anyway, the annex seems to be used as a place for uninvited guests.
There’s no way the Duke would visit on his own.”

As Agwen suddenly clasped her mouth, I looked at her once again as if it was okay and grabbed her cat.

“How can I leave a cat who was hurt like this alone?”

“That’s right, that’s right.”

Neither of us had anyone to stop us…

Just then, Agwen whispered words that sparked my ears.

“Even if Duke doesn’t like it, there are a lot of people who work in the mansion, so if you ask, there will be at least one of them who would want to raise the cat.”

“Then, this is temporary protection…!”

In the first place, I was infatuated with cats as I was so swayed by them that I was the one who fed the local cats every day with the money I worked hard for ten years.

‘How can I not fall for the cat!’

So, I ended up reaching out to the cat following us.

In fact, there were unfounded positive thoughts running through my head.

‘If the Duke was just a cat, he might be wary of and dislike unfamiliar cats, though wouldn’t it be different because he’s a beast? Shapeshifters might like cats since Blue is living in the mansion right now.’

The gentle wheat-colored cat was held in my arms with a face that knew nothing that was going on.

“I’ve never seen such a human-friendly cat again!”

“Madam, your clothes are dirty!”

“It’s all right.
Clothes are washable.
How can he be so modest!”

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Preoccupied with the cuteness of the cat, I did not see the shackles covered by the cat’s long fur.

 

* * *

 

Dimitri suddenly felt uncomfortable.

‘What is this…’

What is this feeling of wanting to keep searching inside the mansion…?

It felt like he could smell an unfamiliar smell from the wind that brushed the tip of his nose.

‘Something doesn’t feel right.’

This ominous energy was creeping over from the annex where Rowaine was living.

‘Let’s go.’

Dimitri, who had turned into a cat, immediately ran to the annex.
However, there was a spectacular sight right in front of him.

“Oh, beautiful.
You’re so pretty.”

“Ppyak—!”

Rowaine, dressed as if she’s been somewhere, was petting a cat!

‘How dare you dare invade my territory without fear?’

Dimitri’s eyes flashed fiercely.

“Don’t worry.
I’ll find you a good guardian.”

Muttering, Rowaine quickly noticed that Dimitri had appeared again this time.

“Blue?”

Astonished to see him, she hugged the strange cat.

Dimitri slowly approached the unfamiliar cat, rubbing his jaw and tail at every passing spot, burying his pheromone.

‘This tree is mine.’

‘This land is mine.’

‘This chair is mine too.’

‘This person is mine, too.’

He then wrapped his tail around Rowaine’s legs and stared up at the strange cat.

‘Where did you come from?’

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The cat trembled as soon as it saw Dimitri and climbed onto Rowaine’s shoulder.
It was because he felt the unusual intimidation emanating from him.

Rowaine also felt embarrassed and apologized.
She looked a little troubled.

“Calm down, Blue.
I’m sorry.
I was passing by for a while.
I’m going to bring this kid into my room.”

‘What? Bring it into her room? That intruder…?’

Hearing those words, Dimitri’s eyes lit up.
He quickly returned to his room, humanized and properly dressed, then headed back to Rowaine.

‘I can’t tolerate another cat in my territory.’

Cats are territorial animals.

The new cat, not a family member or friend, was just an intruder to drive out.

So, instinctively, Dimitri wanted to get rid of the cat that Rowaine had brought.

As he raised his hand to knock on her door with a sharp force, then came the sound of Rowaine and her maid talking from inside.

“How can a cat be so friendly?”

“I know, right? Even after I wash it, it’s still so calm!”

“Our Coco is an angel cat, right? Oh, how are you holding up?”

It looked like she was washing the cat.

‘Are you holding up? Angel? Our Coco…?’

Deepening his frowns, Dimitri snorted as though he was dumbfounded.

‘That cat is having a lot of fun.’

Feeling the limits of his patience, he knocked on the door of Rowaine’s room.

“Who is it?”

“It’s me, Madam.”

Dimitri’s voice quieted the inside for a moment.

Subsequently, a flustered voice murmured, followed by a bustling presence.

“Please hold on a second!”

The door opened, revealing Rowaine with her sleeves rolled up.

“Is there something going on?”

“The wife must be pretty busy tonight.”

“Well, what do you mean by busy…”

Sensing something unusual, Rowaine blocked the door and did not show Dimitri the inside.
However, he made full use of his stature to glance around the room over her head.

Then, Dimitri narrowed his eyes and looked down at Rowaine.

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“Madam.”

Rowaine, who was always confident, could not make eye contact with him today and rolled her eyes back and forth.

“Yes…”

“I have a very developed sense of smell.”

“….”

Saying so, he took a deep breath at Rowaine’s neck.
At that, she flinched at the breath tickling her neck and took a step back.

“The wife’s body smells terrible.”

Dimitri’s stomach churned.

‘Who dares to put a lot of pheromone on her body?’

His grip on the door frame was strengthened.

Because of that, she closed her eyes tightly and confessed, “That… I’ll explain everything, Duke.”

“Yes, you’d better do that.”

Dimitri reached out and pushed the door Rowaine had been blocking with his hand above her head and slammed into the line.

With his ferocious momentum, she had no choice but to step back.

On one side of Rowaine’s room was a wooden barrel full of water.
There was a lot of wheat-colored cat hair left there.

Seeing that, he turned his head and looked in the opposite direction.

Agwen was trembling while holding a cat wrapped in a towel.

“I went out today and found Coco being attacked by other cats.
Oh, Coco is that cat’s name.”

Rowaine quickly explained.

“But, Coco’s condition didn’t seem so good since he had been abused by someone, so I looked at it for a while, and since then he has been following me…”

She then gazed up at Dimitri pitifully.

Perhaps, because his mood didn’t seem to get better, her words got longer and longer.

“There is a gray cat living here in the garden, so I thought it would be all right to bring another one.
It’s spacious here, and I’ll be able to provide enough food for him.
Of course, I was planning on getting permission from the Duke before that.”

Rowaine rolled her eyes and struggled to vomit excuses.

“Do you… do you hate cats? They’re just ordinary, cute cats.”

“For me, a cat…”

He was going to say that he hates cats very much.

‘A normal and cute cat? A cat is just a cat.’

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Cats hate unfamiliar cats.

That’s their nature.

Especially a cat that hides a secret like the wheat-colored cat with that innocent face.

Dimitri’s patience, as he was staring at the cat, thinned out.
However, he was speechless at the sight of Rowaine, who looked at me eagerly with her hands clasped.
It was because he was reminded of the story she had told as she was crying last night.

“I wanted to take all of my cats and give them a good treat when I have my own home.”

“I wanted to heal all the sick and give them delicious food every day, so that they can live comfortably in a warm place.”

“….”

Dimitri bit his lip.

‘Still, it’s not okay.’

The cat’s pheromone was poking at the tip of his nose.

‘…No way.’

Making up his mind, he parted his lips slowly.

Although the words that came out of his mouth were completely different from his thoughts.

“I don’t hate cats that much.”

‘…Damn it.’

The confident woman looked at him so pitifully that he couldn’t bring up the words that no other cat was allowed.

He wouldn’t have been swayed by her if he didn’t hear the story she said whilst crying.

“Ha…”

Dimitri irritably wiped his face dry.
Meanwhile, Rowaine confirmed it again as if she was surprised.

“Really? Is it really okay?”

“Yes…”

“That’s a relief!”

‘I can’t believe she’s so happy without knowing how I really feel.’

Dimitri struggled to suppress his boiling heart.

At that moment, the cat that didn’t have any clue about what was going on could no longer stand the water dripping from its fur and shaking its body.

…And, a few drops of water even splashed on him.

Dimitri, who was already annoyed to the top of his head, unwittingly revealed his teeth.

“Oh, my!”

…He wanted to take back what he just said.

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