Hanare Gatai Kemono - Chapter 2 [v1]




Chapter 2

DYRIA and Ash were taken by carriage to Hira, the capital. A journey that would normally take seven days was cut short to three days.

It was a forced trip, to say the least. The regiment from Uruka did, however, permit them to pack many of their things before leaving the village.

The carriage was covered and was pulled by four horses. Despite its wonderful interior decor, seat cushions, and overall structure, Dyria's behind ached after three days and nights of swaying on the rough roads. His head would jolt and feel dizzy every time the carriage came to a halt. 

Dyria was told not to open the window curtains, so if he wanted to know their current location and where they were headed, his sole guide were the warhorses galloping around the corner. Ash couldn't see their surroundings either. It was his first time riding in a carriage, and he wasn't given enough rest and was forced to wake up frequently.

"Get down."

The 8th Regiment Commander opened the door and commanded Dyria, who was still holding Ash on his lap. The boy was tired and had been sleeping for several hours on his father's chest. Dyria placed Ash on his right arm, lowered the trunk containing their personal belongings with his left hand. He bent his back for more strength, and exited the carriage through the door. 

There, he was finally able to see the scenery outside.

In front of him stood an enormous castle.

Was it in a painting at Ash’s church, or was it in a newspaper? Dyria had a feeling he'd seen this place before, or at the very least, it seemed familiar. A castle made of golden-brown bricks, stacked, and piled up. A large and symmetrical structure that appears to have unfolded wings. It lacked the normal elegance or exquisite arched roof, and instead looked like a fortress. The golden wolf's royal family dwelt in this palace.

The round, curved windows were evenly placed. The vast well-kept garden was lush with flowers and plants. However, unlike the painting Dyria had perhaps seen in the church, there was no large wooden door. In other words, this has to be one of the castle's hundreds or thousands of gates. It's probably one of the back gates. Not the front gate.

Dyria had no idea who had given the order for him and his child to be taken to the royal castle, but what kind of person would have their guests pass through the back?

Dyria took in his surroundings and guessed their location. Aside from the 8th regiment, who had brought them here, there were only a few people who welcomed them. Two of them were female beastmen. They were most likely women of high rank seeing as they each had six attendants behind them.

The woman, whose fur resembled faded wheat, wore a neat, light-colored dress. She was young and plump, staring at Dyria and Ash with a sly smile. The other one had shiny amber fur. She wore a black dress that wrapped her seductive and sleek figure. She looked older than the plump woman, but she also gave off a youthful impression. She was a beautiful woman, despite her stern face.

The amber-furred woman didn't glance at Dyria nor Ash and instead circled her eyes as if searching for something. She smiled with an evident sense of relief when a beastman appeared in front of her eyes.

She shouted, "Yudha!"

The beastman, Yudha, galloped in front of Dyria and Ash. He rode on a particularly large horse, his golden fur fluttering as if it had melted in the sun.

"8th Regiment Commander, what is this?"

Yudha asked the 8th Regiment Commander. Although he did not speak in a particularly loud voice, the regiment could feel the intimidation in the pit of their stomach.

"Your Majesty."

The Commander of the 8th Regiment paid homage to the beastman on horseback.

"I'm not sure why the 8th Regiment were the ones to bring them here and not the Kingsguard or the Forbidden Army. My army should’ve escorted them instead!"

Yudha stepped lightly off his horse and stood in front of the 8th Regiment Commander. The commander, who Dyria believed to be quite large, suddenly appeared quite; small.

Yudha appeared to have a unique body among the Golden Wolf tribe. From Dyria's perspective, he had a very masculine profile. The beauty of the muscles around his neck were hidden behind the high collar of his military uniform. the fullness of his body and the thickness of his tail were visible from all angles.

"What is this? Answer me, Commander."

"Her Majesty, the Empress, ordered this."

"Isn't it discourteous to have them pass through the back gate?"

"That is also the Empress's order."

In response to Yudha's rebuke, the commander replied only the same words. He was proud of the fact that the Empress was backing him.

"Seems like you wouldn't explain anything to me, huh?"

"It's all the Empress's orders, she has only appointed us to bring these two people."

"Then I will ask Her Majesty for the details. However, you must be aware that your actions are a clear violation of military regulations. Expect punishment."

"What...? But I acted upon the Empress' orders?"

"You did. But our entire army, including the 8th Regiment, is under the command of His Majesty the King, not Her Majesty the Empress."

"But His Majesty the King is..."

"In the absence of His Majesty the King, full command and deputy authority rests with me."

"......"

"Wait for your punishment."

"Yudha, you...are going to dispose of your own people?"

The tone of the 8th Regiment Commander changed from rude to a suffering tone. He didn't even hide his abhorrent feelings.

He stopped baring his fangs at Yudha and directed them at Dyria and Ash instead.

"......"

Dyria hugged Ash's head and held it tightly to his chest.

"That's enough. Keep what dignity you have left."

Yudha sighed, stepping between Dyria and the commander. He guarded Dyria and Ash casually but with clear intention, as if they were members of his own family.

"Yudha, you...are you really going to oppose me?"

"I won't let you escape punishment just because you are the Empress’s brother. We don't need a greedy royal family who disobeys military regulations just to please Empress Dowager."

"...I hope you know who you're messing with."

"Retreat now."

"F*ck!"

The commander cursed at Yudha and left with his subordinates.

"I'm deeply sorry for our army's lack of discipline..."

Yudha bowed and apologized as he turned to Dyria.

"I'm not familiar with the castle's customs. You don't have to apologize… but my son is exhausted from three days of being rocked in the carriage. Could you please provide us with a place to rest?"

"...I'm sorry, that was very rude of us."

"I'm somewhat aware of the situation. It's about the boy's father, isn't it?"

"That's right. You’re quick to understand the situation."

"But I still don’t understand your army's attitude. We shouldn't have been brought here by force, much less in this manner."

"...I'm really really sorry about that," Yudha furrowed his brow as he noticed Dyria’s  swelling cheek. "What happened to you?"

"When you punish the commander, you should punch him for hitting me."

While they were travelling, Dyria asked the army to take a break for Ash, but the commander gave him a blow to his face instead.

"I'll be sure to do that... Now, let me show you to your room."

"Don't touch me!" Dyria shouted, shaking his hand off as Yudha touched him by the shoulder.

"I apologize. But at least allow me to take your luggage..."

"No need."

"...Let me take the luggage so you can hold the child in your arms."

"......"

With that said, Dyria set aside the luggage and held Ash with both hands. The child was fast asleep, his little head buried beneath his clothes.

"......"

"What?"

Dyria looked at the old trunk and Yudha, who stared at him and Ash alternately and lifted the luggage.

"It's heavier than I expected."

"The luggage? You have toned muscles anyway."

"What's in here?"

"Lots of water bottles and food."

"Why?"

"Given the commander's temper, I wasn't sure how much food they would allow us to eat, and children have small stomachs. They are easily famished. Only chocolates and dried fruits can keep them occupied on a long trip. Moreover, if you offer them something to eat, you must also provide them with plenty of water or something to keep them hydrated, or they will develop cavities."

"I'm really sorry about that."

"No, I was just taking my anger out on you."

Dyria scowled and then laughed.

"Oh," the beastman also laughed at Dyria's cute antics.

Dyria paused and stopped laughing when he noticed it, and Yudha stretched out his hand to take his.



tl/edit: Greenteaa/Mara