When the main topic ended, Jackal returned to his calm demeanor and said.
“I’m done talking now.
If you say mean or insulting words to the same member in the future, you won’t end up just being grabbed by the collar.”
“……Yes, I’ll keep that in mind.”
Gabe quietly curled his tail.
* * * * *
The next morning, Asha woke up in the soft bed.
She was sure that she had fallen asleep on the rug while having a good time with the beautiful horse.
But it seemed that someone had appeared, picked her up, and carried her to bed.
I wonder if it was Jackal.
Asha got up from bed, feeling a little stunned.
But then, she heard the sound of chopping wood from outside.
Asha put on the coat that was hanging and went out.
In the front yard, Jackal was cutting wood with an ax with his shirt off.
Each time he swung the ax down, the wood was precisely cut in two.
Jackal scooped up the firewood, then tossed it aside, then he grabbed another tree stump until he found Asha looking at him.
Asha couldn’t give him a hasty morning greeting.
Because she felt sorry for what happened yesterday.
An awkward atmosphere came between the two.
Jackal looked away first and said casually.
“…..It’s cold, so don’t come out.
Sosa will bring breakfast soon.”
He finished speaking and went back to chopping wood.
His back looked really strong and reliable.
Asha realized that he was chopping wood for her.
The room was warm all night.
She fell asleep, so she didn’t notice.
But now she knows that it was all thanks to his help.
While she slept he was chopping wood.
“About yesterday… I’m sorry.”
Jackal stopped chopping.
He said, keeping his eyes fixed on the wood.
“…..You don’t have to apologize.
I did the same thing to you.”
He also regretted misunderstanding Asha yesterday and pushed her away.
By his standards, Asha’s purpose was truly incomprehensible, but considering how big of a decision it was for her, who was living a second life, she was right.
“Yesterday you said I was going to die.”
Asha was puzzled, trying to think of something to say, then spoke calmly.
“It doesn’t matter, it hasn’t happened yet. It’s nothing strange to take the lives of others, so there’s not much damage.”
“Besides, thanks to you, I know the future, so it’s all right to change it.
Judging from that, it seems like following me has never happened before, isn’t it?”
“Then that’s fine.”
Jackal didn’t say much, but what Asha said yesterday played over and over in his head.
In this life…… I will prevent the emperor from catching and killing him…….
When he remembered the face, when she said she would protect him, it was ridiculous to the point of laughter.
But on the other hand, his heart was pounding.
Because she’s the only woman who can tell me that….
Somehow he was ashamed of himself and said something else.
“…… I will make you strong.
So, never say something like death recklessly or even think about it again.”
Asha’s eyes widened slightly at those words.
“Then… … .”
You will be a hunter.”
A bright smile slowly spread across Asha’s stunned face.
“Thank you! Mr.
Jackal! I’ll do my best!”
Jackal glanced at Asha, who answered eagerly.
Her slightly flushed cheeks and serious expression were somehow funny, so his mouth twisted a little.
…… To be honest, she’s cute.
However, he still doesn’t know how difficult it would be to train her as a female hunter, but he thought it would be worth teaching her.
Jackal said indifferently, without looking at her.
“Call me captain like a Lycaon.”
Asha’s eyes sparkled when he recognized her as a Lycaon.
Jackal almost smiled but managed to hide it.
“Don’t let your guard down.
The test is not over yet.
For the next month, I will train you like the other members of the organization.
If you don’t pass the test, I will mercilessly kick you out.
We want strong hunters, we don’t want weak hunters that we have to protect.”
He spoke more coldly on purpose, but Asha’s face glowed.
I’m glad to have another chance.”
Asha promised never to miss this opportunity.
But then, Sosa, who was bringing breakfast from afar, found them and ran towards them happily.
“…… Huh? Asha! Are you awake?”
When Asha looked up, he said with a smile.
“My name is Sosa Cotton.
I am the right arm of the captain and the secretary of Lycaon.
You may become the captain’s partner, so I will take care of you with utmost care.”
“……She is not my woman.”
Hearing those words, a low voice was immediately heard.
Sosa smiled and raised one hand to whisper to her.
“Even though he looks like that, he’s shy.”
Asha nodded, remembering his shy face from the night before.
Seeing Jackal staring, Sosa quickly led Asha into the house.
While she diligently slurped up the corn soup with a spoon and dipped bread into the soup, Jackal brought all the firewood at once and threw it into the fireplace, and sat in front of it, silently lighting it on fire.
Asha spoke carefully to him.
“By the way, boss…..About the horse you’re raising…”
Jackal suddenly shrugged.
“……What’s wrong with him?”
“Well, the horse and I were together last night and when I woke up, I didn’t see him…..
Where’s the horse now? If I go to the stable, can I see it?”
Even in the middle of winter, Jackal suddenly seemed to have cold sweat on his back.
“No, that horse is…….”
He narrowed his eyebrows and thought for a moment before replying.
on an outing.”
Asha blinked at the unexpected response.
“…….uh… The horse is a wanderer.
Sometimes it goes and comes back.”
“Really? So, after the horse goes out on an outing, does he come back home on its own?”
Horses are home-seeking animals by nature.
Especially, it is much smarter than a normal horse, so it knows where its master is and comes to me quickly.”
When Asha was truly impressed, Jackal was upset because he seemed to have unintentionally bragged about himself strangely.
What do I mean, a wandering horse?
It was ridiculous, but Asha nodded very seriously.
Perhaps the reason the horse came to the hut last night was to get his owner’s permission to go out.
The horse felt like a human to Asha.
Jackal sighed to himself, his mouth twisting slightly at her simplicity.
Asha asked curiously.
“Then may I know the baby’s name?”
Jackal replied while coughing as she called him ‘baby’.
“Name it whatever you want.
The horse has no name.”
“Really? Doesn’t it have a name? You should have given him a name at least, it’s your favorite horse.”
When Asha slightly raised her eyebrows and questioned him, he felt even more upset because he seemed to be being scolded for not caring about himself.
“Okay then, name it.”
Asha asked surprised.
“Me? Can I?”
He will understand whatever you call him, but he may like his name….”
Jackal muttered at the end.
In fact, the first time she asked him his name, he felt a bit excited.
It was strange and exciting that someone would be curious about his name after a long time.
And the reason was that nobody called him by his name Jackal anymore.
Asha said with a happy face.
“Then I’ll think of a name for him! I hope he comes back soon.”
Jackal glanced furtively at Asha.
“Do you like that horse that much?”
“Of course! Absolutely.
Your horse saved me.”
“It was not the horse who saved you, but me.”
“Oh…… I know the captain sent him.
I’ll never forget that.”
Asha replied awkwardly.
Jackal felt triumphant again, his shoulders lifted slightly, but he was taken aback by the words that followed.
“But it seems that your horse loves and is loyal to its owner, but the owner doesn’t seem to care about him?”
Asha glanced slightly, and Jackal replied in bewilderment.
“Who said I don’t care about him? Do you know how much I care about him?”
Asha asked, still suspicious.
I even washed him yesterday.”
Asha nodded, recalling that the horse’s mane was wet yesterday.
No wonder the horse smelled like soap.
“So when will he be back?”
“….. I’m not sure….
Last night I removed the dirt off him and polished him, he’s going to roam the mountains hard looking for a mate.”
Asha smiled happily.
Her innocent look caused Jackal’s expression to fall apart.
“I’m sure he will get a pretty partner.
Because he is handsome.”
Jackal blinked as her words suddenly pierced through his chest again.
He couldn’t figure out why his face kept getting hot.
But then, Asha suddenly said seriously.
“Captain, I have one request.”
Jackal was nervous for a moment.
Maybe she is trying to get the wild horse away from him.
If he became her horse, it would be very beneficial to the clan.
“What is it?”
Jackal braced himself, waiting for her to speak.
Then Asha spoke with determination.
“Teach me how to ride.”
Jackal blinked, not expecting it.
Asha said a little embarrassed.
“I’ve never ridden a horse before because the emperor wouldn’t let me get close to one…….
The captain’s horse was the first I rode in my life.”
Jackal closed his mouth and looked at Asha.
That’s why she liked horses so much when she first saw me as a horse.
No wonder, even when she was on my back, she hung vaguely unbalanced, not because her body was frozen, but because she didn’t know how to ride a horse.
Asha asked again, glancing at him.
“Is it a difficult request?”
I was just a little surprised.
Basically, there’s no one here who can’t ride a horse.”
Asha blushed even more embarrassed.
“Then, did you run on foot when you escaped from the Imperial Palace?”
His eyes grew slightly larger.
“You ran away without a horse? From that tyrant?”
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