My Dear Grand Duke on a Leash - Chapter 20
Chapter 10.2 — The dog, the lark and the Princess (4)
It was only then did the gentlemen simultaneously turn their heads toward her. Riette responded lightly to them as they took off their hats and greeted her.
“Good afternoon. everyone!”
She exchanged a few casual pleasantries with the Chalonné gentlemen.
They talked about the sunny weather, the preparations for her sister’s wedding, the ups and downs of their respective families, and the latest fashionable hats and clothes. Cain’s brow narrowed slightly as the gentlemen cracked boisterous jokes, but Riette didn’t seem to mind.
Even though he knew that it was a friendly interaction, it wasn’t the attitude of treating a princess.
Having already seen how the gentlemen treated Beatrice, it was true that this seemed somewhat disrespectful. Every time Riette spoke with such people, Cain unknowingly stamped his toe slightly.
Moreover, it was apparent even to an untrained eye that some of them were treating the Princess with a black heart, not as a vassal. At the same time, he was feeling strangely anxious, like a pet dog that had been deprived of its owner’s attention. A strange tension that made him want to bite the cheeky dog that stole its owner’s attention…
‘…Have I truly lost my mind?’
While Cain secretly sighed to himself in the unfamiliar confusion, Riette had finished greeting all the ladies and gentlemen in the palace garden.
In an excited voice, she placed both hands on her waist.
“I heard that there’s a puppy from Helios. Please show me, too. You all know that I like dogs!”
“Look at the dog that soldier over there is holding. It’s a monster, isn’t it?! It’s a fighting dog brought by His Highness Narkissis. With muscles like that… it could hunt bulls, too.”
The combination of all the words poured ice into Riette’s head.
Where the gentleman pointed, she could see a temporary round iron cage. As two servants stood opposite each other outside the cage, there was an enormous Rottweiler with a chain leash and steel muzzle, which sat quietly and snorted while resting.
“The wheat-colored dog on the other side is a gift from His Highness Narkissis, along with the fighting dog. If the Princess permits it, I’d like to have it fight with that wheat dog. What do you think?”
“…Yes? Of course not!”
Riette raised her voice. Her hands trembled as they curled into fists tightly in the silk gloves.
“A dog fight? One of the two dogs is going to die when it’s over, maybe both of them!”
The retriever puppy, who played the role of the scapegoat, seemed to be in a good mood even with the muzzle on as it slowly wagged its tail from side to side and sniffed the servant’s scent. On the other hand, the fighting dog, the black Rottweiler, sat quietly in place like a machine that hadn’t been turned on.
“I didn’t know that the gentlemen of Chalonné would try to enjoy such barbarism as a sport! At least it’s forbidden in the Palais de Riette. Bring that pretty puppy to me at once and tear down all the iron cages!”
The gentlemen exchanged nervous glances with each other as she pointed at the Rottweiler.
“I’ll ask them to bring in that wheat-colored dog on the other side since the other one is too dangerous.”
“Puppies raised as fighting dogs never attack people, so it’s okay.”
Fighting dogs fight to be loved by humans. Killing a dog in front of you in terror in order to survive hell and return to its master… that was what fighting dogs do.
Cain gazed at Riette, who was huffing in indignation with a strange expression.
“Didn’t you hear? Put away the dog and tear down the cages.”
When he coldly instructed them, the gentlemen who had been sniffing about them finally became discouraged. At the same time, the gentleman who was about to mention the dog fight made a loud gesture to the servant who was holding the dog’s leash.
“Cancel the dog fight. Bring them out!”
As the two servants nodded vigorously before simultaneously opening the cages and stepping out, the color drained from Riette’s cheeks.
“No, if they come close at the same time…!”
A murderous growl pierced her ears as the fighting dog’s eyes shone with ferocious intensity and a pointed posture. It was a signal for attacking.
Everything happened at the same time. With its tremendous power and speed, the servant lost his grip on the Rottweiler’s chain while the gentlemen scrambled away in a hurry, and the young ladies who were watching screamed.
A click and chambering could be heard.
Turning her head, Riette could see Cain pointing a gun at the dog. Before she could judge, the muscles moved first. Without warning, she threw herself before grabbing his hand and raising it.
Surprised by the sudden action, he looked down at her in surprise.
“Let go, you’ll get hurt!”
“Don’t shoot. It got a muzzle on, so all we need to do is to separate them! Only three meters away from each other, just that much…!”
In the meantime, as a frightened servant let go of the retriever’s leash, the retriever was crushed by the dog’s huge paws. As Riette said, the fighting dog was unable to harm the young retriever because he was wearing a forged steel muzzle.
The gentlemen hesitantly withdrew, not daring to get near the beasts as they fought. Cain strode forward, sliding the revolver into his holster.
“You. Lift the little dog, and I’ll take care of the rest.”
However, the servant, who had already lost his judgment, stomped his feet without even thinking of grabbing the leash that was scattered on the floor.
At that moment…
Riette ran out.
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