Rowaine tried to say something more when she saw Dimitri’s clothes, but stopped.
Instead, she pointed to the kitten she had hidden behind her with her finger.

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Surprised by the hounds, the child who unknowingly turned into a cat was cream-colored with black spots on its face, ears, four paws, and tail.

‘She must have been quite surprised.’

To show both a human form and a cat form in front of people they see for the first time.
The child must have been poorly educated.
Of course, not to mention Coco, who did the same thing even though he was all grown up.

In Dimitri’s eyes, Coco was a foolish cat, and he was as big as a kitten.

“I…I’m going to go in a little later because of this child.
I want to feed her.”

Saying so, Rowaine glanced at Dimitri cautiously.
When suddenly, the kitten suddenly stuck out its tongue and wiggled.

“Uwaak—”

A little bit of clear, white vomit that was nothing but water and foam fell on the floor.

Rowaine gazed at it sadly and opened her mouth.

“As you can see, she’s starving.”

If a cat starved for more than a few hours, it could not resist hunger and would ‘throw up on an empty stomach.’
​​
Dimitri clicked his tongue and grabbed the kitten by the back.

Unlike what he had done to Coco, he was handling the kitten with a gentle touch.
It was because the large hand with strong force was quite stable.
Meanwhile, the kitten was like a doll hanging from a bag or something as it was dangling with its arms and legs hanging in the air while being quietly held.

“Let’s go.”

“Yes?”

Rowaine looked nervous about what Dimitri would do to the kitten.

Instructing the knight to bring the carriage, he glanced back at her with a languid expression on his face.

“You don’t need to feed them outside food that hasn’t been inspected.
How many chefs are always waiting in the mansion?”

“….!”

At his words, her eyes widened.

“…No way.
Are you going to take her?”

“You don’t like it?”

“It’s amazing! I love it!”

Dimitri turned his head coyly and got into the carriage that had just arrived.
At the same time, Rowaine followed him, hopping with excitement.

‘If I had said not to take her, she would have come and stayed here every day.’

He thought she was just like a cat.

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Originally a matrilineal society, cats form families centered on females.
Rowaine was like a female cat growing in influence in the herd.

 

* * *

 

I gazed proudly at Dimitri, who sat down graciously at the table for a late meal, Coco, who nibbled at the food, and the child who swallowed a chunk of meat without chewing.

“Eat slowly.”

I asked, wiping the oil from the child’s nose and cheeks.

“But, what’s your name?”

Coco said he did not have a name because he was being held captive by a slave trader.
So, I was very fond of the name I gave him, so that was why I was using it.
However, it seems like there must have been someone who took care of this child, so I thought she might already have a name.

The child mumbled and gazed at me with blue eyes like the sea.

“Pretty.”

“…Is your name pretty?”

“Don’t call me that name, mwiss.”

“Yes… ”

It was a good word, though if it was a name, depending on your taste, it could be annoying.

“Then, what should I call you?”

“I don’t know.
Mwiss, give me more meat.”

The child lifted her bowl over her head after saying that.
I poured the food from the large bowl into the child’s bowl.

The child bluntly flattered me.

“I’m proud of you, servant.”

“At times like this, you should say thank you.”

“Thank you, servant.”

Coco, who was next to me, interrupted.

“She’s not a servant, but an angel.”

At that, the child then raised his head indifferently and hit Coco on the head.

“Huh, mwiss?”

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“Ackk…! Look at her, angel!”

“Sweetie, you can’t do that to your brother.”

The child retorted, opening her eyes skeptically that her pupils were half-covered, and spoke, “Not my brother.
I don’t have a brother who can’t hunt.”

“I’m good at hunting!”

“Ho?”

The child pulled one corner of her mouth and snorted.
It was the outbreak for the second round.
Most of the time, Coco was right.

At the commotion, Dimitri struck the table with his fist.

“Shut up.”

Immediately, the two cats were suppressed by his momentum and quickly became quiet.

‘As expected, the leader cat!’

It was because little cats were taught by grown cats.

I asked the child again, “If you don’t like your original name, how about the name Sasha? Sasha.”

“…Sasha?”

After repeating the name, the child eventually shrugged her shoulders and answered.

“Ah, do whatever you want.

“All right, Sasha.”

“Yes.”

“All right, you said yes.”

“Yes.”

Although her tone and expression were rebellious, she often followed when taught.
It was in stark contrast to Coco, who had an innocent, good-natured face and rebelled when taught.

“Sasha, there’s something you need to know.
From now on, even if someone gives you something delicious, you can’t follow them.”

“What about servant?”

“My name is Rowaine.
You can call me Madame or Duchess, not servant.”

“Yes, Rowaine.”

As I corrected her, she seemed to be obedient, yet she still had a strong sense of self.
Also, cats were arbitrary.

“Anyway, it’s fine if it’s me.
You can follow me well because I’m the exception.”

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“You’re self-centered, Rowaine.”

“….”

The sound of Dimitri’s chuckling and laughter was clearly audible.
When I glanced at him, he was cutting the meat expressionlessly before opening his mouth to me.

“It seems to me that we need someone to educate these guys, Madam.”

“Education?”

“It would be nice to have a teacher.
If they want to live in a human society, they have to act like a human.”

“People’s pretext…”

Dimitri narrowed his eyes as I mumbled because it was awkward to use the word ‘human pretext’ for Coco and Sasha.

“I’m sure you’re not forgetting that they’re half-human, Madam?”

Then, Coco and Sasha joined Dimitri.

“That’s right.
I’m a human angel.”

“I’m a person.
Not a cat.”

Everyone behaves like a cat to their heart’s content, and at times like this, they decided to get along…

‘Look at what they are doing.’

Still, no matter how they looked to me, they were not just cats, they were cat shapeshifters.
I thought it might be disrespectful to treat them like a cat too much.

“You just threw food on me!”

“What, mwiss?! Wouldn’t it be a shame not to be able to even hunt?”

“Haaakk…!”

Disrespectful… is it?

 

* * *

 

After many twists and turns, we eventually finished the late dinner.
Dimitri offered to find a teacher for the little cats.

“Instead, Coco and Sasha will only be staying in the annex.
So, it would be a good idea to move the wife’s room to the main building.”

“What about my room…?”

“The room you’re using now is the room I gave you because I thought the wife would only stay for a while.
I think it would be better for you to move because they’re some employees who have good eyes.”

Looking the other way after finishing his words, Dimitri coughed loudly.

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“I cleaned up the room across from me.
It’s essentially the Duchess’s bedroom.”

The last time he made the same offer, I turned it down because I did not trust him, though I am pretty comfortable with him now.

Nonetheless, He made a lot of concessions for me.
It was the same for Coco and Sasha.
He also gave me the opportunity to increase my influence in the mansion and create my own people by letting me manage the people of the employees.

Because of all those reasons, I had no reason to insist any longer.

“Wouldn’t it be uncomfortable for me to be so close to you?”

I asked because I was afraid that he might think that I was invading his territory.
However, Dimitri’s reaction was very surprising.

“Why is the wife uncomfortable?”

“….!”

Although he replied a little bluntly, I realized that he recognized me as a family member or friend already in one space.

“You’re no longer the one who’s going to leave, so please, come into the main building.”

His smile seemed to have darkened somehow, but I nodded my head thinking it was no big deal.

“Yes.”

“Then, let’s get up first.”

As he got up from his seat, Dimitri hesitated for a moment before uttering with a prim face.

“The wife will manage the annex from now on, since I don’t even want to manage this matter.
I’m not going to draw a line on the ground and go over it.
If your hobby is to rescue cat shapeshifters, I won’t stop you.”

For a moment, my head went blank.

He continued bluntly to me, who only blinked my eyes with a bewildered face, “…Well, it’s not that I’m doing anything bad.
Originally, nobles were very interested in philanthropy.
It’s, it’s not for the wife.”

“Thank you… Huh?”

Tears unexpectedly fell from my eyes.
I was confused, not realizing that tears had fallen on my lap.
It was only a moment later that I realized that I was crying.

Dimitri was staring at me in embarrassment.

“Are you crying?”

“No, it’s…”

Embarrassed, I quickly wiped away my tears and smiled.

“I’d like that a lot.”

Even though I thought it would be nice to have a home where I could bring homeless cats to my heart’s content, my wish came true so suddenly.

It really felt like a dream.

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