15. — Hedwig Jo Malone (1)
“Looks like you are here. A dog shapeshifter with orange fur…”
The man who entered through the open door was holding a bunch of old papers. Seeing the man coming in limping on his left leg, I understood what Ed was talking about by the strange sound of shoes. He frowned as though he had not expected my presence here. After staring at my face for a moment, he lowered the paper he was holding and asked.
“Who are you?”
The man’s eyes shone sharply. He then smoothed his goatee beard as he found the children hiding behind me and raised the corner of his mouth.
“Oh, you were there. A dog shapeshifter with orange fur.”
The child’s body stiffened noticeably at the man’s words. Seeing that, I clasped his tiny hand, which was holding the hem of my dress. Ed gazed at me with trembling eyes.
The man wrinkled his face against my figure shielding Ed, and opened his mouth.
“It’s been quite annoying for a while. Who the hell are you?”
“I heard that there are only two young dogs in this house, who are yet ten years old.”
I pretended not to listen to the man and carefully looked at his clothes and accessories. However, there was no such thing as a pattern to symbolize the family anywhere. Was he deliberately hiding his identity because he was doing something terrible…?
Or, was this man not Baron Jo Malone?
He glanced at Ed and Enni, who were sneakily hiding behind my back. The two children shook their heads with frightened faces.
“Why don’t you just hand them over to me instead of doing something useless?”
The man wrinkled his face as though annoyed at me for not answering. Dry saliva ran down my throat when I saw the man acting as if he was going to take Ed and Enni with all his might.
He wants me to hand over Ed and Enni…?
I was a snobbish, typical strong-willed but weak person. Perhaps, if it had been normal, I would not have been obstructing him like I was now, though I would have passed on Ed and Enni as I was told.
I was born with that kind of personality in the first place, so I would not have suddenly changed my personality just because I was possessed into a book. It was like that even when I remember the moment when Cain asked about my identity and talked about everything. I did not want to die, and I wanted to avoid getting hit as well.
No matter what I did, I wanted to live long and thin as much as this life.
Of course, that does not mean I hate righteous people or anything like that. Rather, I thought it was cool that they did things I could not do. Should I say that it was like the main character in a novel or movie…?
Yes, such people are suited for the role of the main character.
…Not someone like me.
“You don’t seem to be able to understand with words.”
I saw a man’s hand reaching out towards Ed. So, in a way, this behavior was not very like me.
“That’s a bit difficult.”
“So, if he didn’t like it, you shouldn’t try to touch him like that. It makes you look like a villain.”
I smiled at the man who was staring at me with a stiff face. Although my current behavior was obviously close to a gamble. Adelia, too, was a person who had a hard time protecting even her own body.
Let’s trust this novel, not myself.
“This little girl is fearless? Do you even know who I am, to get in my way like this?”
“Then, do you know who I am for you to treat me like this?”
“There’s no way that a powerless human woman could have survived in this town.”
“So, you must be a shapeshifter who stole clothes from a dead woman!”
A large man’s hand gripped me by the collar. I bit my lip as I gazed at the man rashly grabbing my clothes. If I had known this would be the case, I would be wearing a rather low-cut neck dress instead of one that goes up to the neck…!
I grabbed the man’s wrist in a hurry with a tight breath, but it seemed that it was too much to overcome his physical strength.
“Thi, this… No—Let go!”
“Why don’t you tell me, huh? I’m curious as well. You’re obviously not on the record, so who the hell are you…?!”
“She’s my fiancée.”
There was a cool chill in the low voice that was heard.
Hearing that voice, the man’s face hardened visibly. The gaze of the man who was shaking his hand that grabbed my collar slowly drifted behind me.
“So, I’d like you to take your hand away.”
He then took the man’s hand away from me in an instant. A small cough broke out of my throat as I took a suffocated breath.
Cain, who had been gazing at me quietly, turned his eyes to the man.
“Wait, Your Highness the Grand Duke…”
“It’s been a while, Baron Hedwig Jo Malone.”
…So, it was really Jo Malone.
I bit my lips at his voice notifying me about the man’s identity. Meanwhile, Jo Malone’s voice was trembling as if he had never expected to meet Cain in a place like this.
“Why, why is the Grand Duke in a place like this…”
“I didn’t expect to meet you in a place like this as well.”
Cain naturally hid me behind him from Jo Malone, who peered at my face.
“Sis, sister, are you okay…?”
Enni, who was clasped around my waist, asked me with tears filling her eyes. Looking at her like that, I smiled and patted the child’s head.
That is fine… because Adelia now had Cain, the male protagonist of this novel, who was more reliable than any other character.
Cain stared at Jo Malone in confusion and uttered in a low voice.
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