Hanare Gatai Kemono - Chapter 9 [v1]




Chapter 9

There is something a little aggressive about Yudha. It showed the day Dyria got out of bed and returned to his everyday life.

At dawn, Yudha said, "Come on, we'll live in my mansion from now on." And before Dyria responded to anything, the wolf held Ash in his left arm and Dyria in his right, quickly leading them to his own square.


Yudha's mansion was on the grounds of the royal castle. It was a castle built for the younger brother—a free-standing palace surrounded by fountains and nature that looked quite ancient and noble. The appearance of rocks, red clay, and brick gave it a rustic texture.


The interior decor was not homely, but Dyria could tell it had a relatively tranquil atmosphere. At least, it wasn't as stiff and stuffy as the royal castle.


"My lord, welcome back."


"Ah, hello, Aaron. Dyria, this is Aaron. He's been taking care of me since I was little so, it's not an exaggeration to say he's like a father to me. Aaron, this is Dyria, and this here is Ash." Yudha showed Aaron Dyria and Ash, from left to right and then murmured, "You'll see them around here quite often, I hope?"


"Hello, Grandpa Aaron, I'm Ash. Please get along with me."


Ash, still being held by his armpit, bowed his head as much as possible.


"Oh, hi, little guy! I'm Aaron. Please make friends with Aaron too."


Aaron greeted Ash with a giant grin, thick-framed glasses perched on his nose.


"I'm so sorry to make noise so early in the morning. My name is Dyria. My son and I are truly sorry to disturb you."


Dyria, with his right arm still trapped by Yudha, bowed almost as much as Ash was trying to.


"Thank you very much for your words, Mr. Dyria. But if you have any problems with the furniture here, please don't hesitate to contact me. I would be thrilled to be able to take care of you as much as possible."


"Beard, beard."


Ash suddenly yelped, asking Aaron to let him touch his huge white beard.


"Do you like beard?"


"First time I've ever seen one."


Ash reached out his hand and squeezed it hard. It's fluffy, and yet it never loses its shape. That's mysterious.


"Every morning I spend time shaping it because I think beards give personality. Thanks for your interest, Ash. By the way, would you like to have a room with a garden view?"


"I would like it very much!"


"...Is there a room with a garden view?"


"There is a special room where you can go out into the garden. We have a room for the boy and Mr. Dyria too. This way."


Under Aaron's direction, the four of them headed for the so-called "Special Room."


"...Yudha."


"What?"


"Please let go of me now. I'm not going to run away."


"Oh, I forgot."


Yudha let go of Dyria's arm and allowed him to walk down the hall alone for the first time in a long time.


"Are you okay?"


Yudha walked beside Dyria. Face still pointed in his direction.


"Yes."


Dyria walked forward, looking at Aaron and Ash, who were walking instead briskly in front of him.


The carpet, laid in the hallway, was such a deep green that it could be mistaken for black.


The reddish-brown walls were firmly carved, but there was no single vase, painting, or tapestry. Yudha didn't seem to like flashy things, yet he did seem enamored of heavy things. At first glance, an amateur Dyria could see that the decorations on doors, frames, and bulbs were much more laborious and expensive than beautiful.


"This is the room of this little boy and Mr. Dyria. It surrounds the garden. Around to the right and from the front, we have a parlor, waiting room, the servants' quarter, and a living room for the family. The waiting room, little boy's room, Mr. Dyria's room and finally the master's room. Each room has a dressing room and a bathroom. The gifts from her majesty, the Empress, have been brought and placed in Ash's room."


"A gift from her majesty, the Empress?"


Dyria spoke up immediately at Aaron's words. The Empress, the widow Kusinada, Ash's great-grandmother. She hadn't heard that she had to give him gifts.


"Hey... Look at me. It's evidence that my grandmother Kusinada recognized Ash as her great-grandson."


Yudha responded immediately.


Evidence...


It was evidence that Kusinada recognized Ash as Surdo's real son, not Yudha's... But Yudha still seemed especially pleased for the moment. Not many people would turn Kusinada, a heavyweight of the golden wolf tribe, into a friend.


"Why are you so pleased?"


"That..."


"Sir, I too very much appreciate the stand-up conversations but please, you should relax a bit first and talk it over when it's most convenient for both of you."


Aaron passed Ash to Yudha and told the servants to prepare tea.


"Aaron, I'll take it from here. You can go now."


"Yeah, okay."


In response to Yudha's words, Aaron bowed and walked out, taking a turn that looked quite elegant.


"Aaron is in charge of this entire mansion. If you have any inconvenience or shortage, you can ask him."


Sitting on the sofa in front of the garden, Yudha placed Ash on his lap.


"...I've never seen such a large garden."


Dyria stood in front of the garden.


The room facing the garden had no windows or doors and was supported only by pillars from which one could immediately step out. But since there were no windows, walls or doors, the wind would enter the room while the floor would get wet on rainy days. However, neither the sofa nor the table was dirty. No dust on the carpet. The cleanliness was so good that it was scary. But of course, it was proof that Yudha reigned well as part of the castle. This beauty could not be maintained if even a single servant despised it.


"You are fabulous."


"Not at all. Aaron's skill is simply good."


"Such a big castle how can you live like this?"


It was more expansive than the first castle. However, it was easier to go from here to Ash's room.


"Yes, it's not easy to use. There are other rooms available. The north side of the castle has a good view and the south side faces the main castle. You can be anywhere you want. It's fine because I told them it's to have more control of the child."


"Are there any other rooms besides this one?"


Ash, who rose from Yudha's shoulders to his head, had his ears dancing back and forth.


"Ah. This is the center of the mansion, where we are now, and the rest is a square building. Then, the corridor extends around the center, drawing a cross that connects to each of the north, south, east, and west sides of the buildings."


Yudha put Ash on his lap and drew a map in his little hand.


The center of the mansion where they are now was the safest because people had limited access.


Yudha used to wake up in a room in a northerly direction, but from today onwards, he would wake up here, with Dyria and Ash. In addition, Yudha was often absent due to military, political and public affairs so it was a bit more comforting to be like this.


"There is a library, a music room, a stable, and a game room on the east. The north side is for visitors, but many rooms store dust since I only use it. Search as many as you like and find the room you like best. Everything is yours, even the stable in the north forest. You can practice riding there and at any time of the day."


"Yes!"


Ash followed Yudha's finger on the map he had drawn on his hand and began to laugh in an incredibly excited manner.


"On the outskirts of the west side, there is a house where the servant lives. The kitchen and laundry are in the basement of this mansion. If you want a snack, look for a chef with bright yellow fur in the kitchen. He has fed me since I was a baby."


"Ash will go all the time!"


"Great. Oh, yes, there's a separate palace and a greenhouse in the south. There's a guest room in the separate palace. Be careful. Aaron wants to decorate it with vases or something."


"That's fun!"


"Is it?"


"Are there any ghosts?"


"A ghost, hm..."


Yudha looked at Dyria, asking for a correct answer. He didn't know if he should be honest about having a ghost or should he say, "There isn't one" to avoid scaring him. Maybe he had to say that there was but they are friendly ghosts. He had no idea, so he asked Dyria to help him.


"Ash, what if there is a ghost?" Dyria placed his knees on the ground until he was at Ash's level. "What are you going to do?"


"We'll eat Dyria's bento together!"


"Why do you want to have lunch with the ghost?"


"It's delicious!"


"Ash, what if you get some kind of ghost that doesn't eat lunch with you?"


"How?"


Ash's ears and tail flatten.


"What if they scare you?"


"What's scary?"


Yudha wondered how he had been teaching Ash all this time if he didn't know the concept of scary. It seems like Dyria had stayed Ash away from scary things so Ash couldn't experience any of them. Yudha shot him a look as if to say "overprotective".


"Everything is an experience, so it would be a good idea to meet a ghost once."


Dyria looked at Ash and wrapped his incredibly soft hands around his cheeks.


"Yes, I'll see them."


"...I don't know if it'll go so well, though."


Yudha smiled at the cute interaction between Ash and Dyria. For the time being, before Ash meets any ghosts, Yudha will be going around the southern palace and asking everyone to watch out for a small wolf boy.


"Yudha."


"What is it?"


Dyria placed his hand on Yudha's lap. It was a casual act but Yudha's attention changed almost immediately.


"There's a problem with my room."


"You don't like sharing the same room with me?"


"It's not convenient."


"Ash have no problem! I like sleeping with Yudha. It's a little hot with him, but he's very fluffy! I like sleeping on Yudha's side! Do you want to sleep with Yudha, Dyria?"


"Uncomfortable."


Dyria grabbed Ash from Yudha's lap and giggled, causing Yudha, who raised an eyebrow, to giggle as well.


"If you won't sleep with me because I'm hot, then I'm a guy with terrible bad luck. I'm just hair."


Dyria didn't have the personality to make a place brighter by casually saying funny things like Yudha, so maybe it will be advantageous to have the wolf there with them.


Also, Ash, who had a huge room, was so excited that he didn't seem to mind their discussions. There were also chefs, so he could eat as much as he wanted to, people who had been cooking for Yudha for many years! They had earned the wolf's trust, so Dyria thought they had his as well. And with Aaron here, he was convinced that no weird things were going to happen.


Is it really safer to live here? Dyria honestly thought so. He was a little surprised at himself, the one who trusted Yudha so much even when he was hiding things from him.