Side Story: The Red Puppy and The Moon Goddess
“Wow, how cute! What is this puppy?”
Locke, who just came back from dungeon exploration, had a red puppy wagging its tail as it coiled around his feet. Chloe who was healing his wounds asked him about it but the adventurer merely scratched his head, seemingly struggling to explain.
“It woke up after I beat it, then it gave me the looks of wanting to join us. Well, the treasure chest we found had a “Red Dragon’s Collar” anyway so I just took him with us.”
“What’s that? Dra…Dragon’s blessing!?”
The red dragon’s collar is an item that can be used to tame monsters. It was also the same item responsible in domesticating the two monster chicken of the lodging house.
“But Locke, it’s not wearing one right now. How come it seems so attached to you?”
“Well… blessing is a blessing, after all. This one here is for mistress to use.”
Locke muttered as he spun the collar with his fingers. His adoptive family, the House Glinda, has been acknowledged by an existence Corrundum Kingdom recognizes as a god. They were also a family that took up the leadership of the Dragon Knights for generations. Although Locke is an adoptive child that lost relevance after an heir was born, he was still an adventurer under their name and consequently fulfill the count house’s requests, which also earned him the blessing.
(A being that is beloved by a “god”—I guess the comparable existence to such an individual in our kingdom would be the “saintess”)
As Chloe was busy in her conjectures, Locke handed the collar to mistress Grace and earnestly asked her for a favor.
“Uhh, mistress. Is it be okay to create a dog house around here? This guy has absolute obedience towards me so he won’t attack people anyway, and I’m also taking him with me when I explore the dungeons too.”
“We can’t put that in the guestrooms anyway and if you’re willing to do that much, I’ll allow it. What about its food though?”
“There are monsters and bandits outside the barrier anyway so I’ll just let him hunt those guys.”
“Stooooooop right there!!”
Chloe inadvertently put a stop to Locke, who nonchalantly said something so outrageous. He’s going to let this puppy hunt what!? That aside, so this monster puppy eats too? She thought.
“What are you so surprised about? This one’s a monster too so it should be able to do that much.”
“I….I can’t believe you. To something as small and as adorable as this…”
“Milady, the reason this fella is this size was that it joined us. When we fought it before it was this monstrously huge, after all.”
Sam explains grandiosely spreading his arms for reference. Chloe was surprised knowing some monsters could do that. Still, she thought that it was likely very strong, considering how it guarded the treasure and if you take the parties’ injuries to account.
“Hmm… A treasure chest’s guard dog? D-Don’t tell me… is this puppy ‘Garm’!?”
Chloe turned pale on the name that came to her mind. There are overpowered monsters existing in advanced-level dungeons that guard rare items. Although dungeon explorations are considered “cleared” after defeating the last boss. Garm was likely stronger than them and is something that could be considered a hidden boss.
“That’s way too reckless!! That aside, what about the magic crystal? What happened to my request!?”
“S-Sorry…, I had to obtain a rare item requested by my adoptive family.”
Although Locke was working hard as an adventurer to obtain strength that would allow him to protect Momo, he was still indebted to his adoptive family; Not to mention, he also had responsibilities as someone who had been received the same divine blessing. Chloe knew that it would be unreasonable to expect him to fulfill her request at the same time so she bit her lips and withdrew.
“I guess that can’t be helped then… Still, you sure won against Garm, though.”
“About that milady, listen to this…. pupupu”
Kisara, who suddenly remembered something, burst into laughter. Although it was likely due to that something that she found so ridiculous that she is able to laugh like this today.
“Although Locke’s slashing and disruptive strikes are fast enough as they are, they still couldn’t hold a candle against Garm at all. That’s when Locke used his remaining trump card and transformed—”
Locke’s irritated voice had interrupted the storytelling. It was Chloe’s first time seeing him this flustered. Her eyes wandered back and forth between the two of them.
“T-Transform? Locke did??”
“Don’t mind them!”
“You don’t really need to hide it. I think it was pretty cool.”
“That’s right, it was just so…..bufu—“
“You’re laughing though!!”
Locke who had completely gotten angry took the dog’s collar took the puppy by the scruff and left the lodging house stomping on the ground in irritation.
“Look guys, he’s sulking now.”
“Milady, I’m sorry for the trouble but would you help us in making the puppy’s house?”
“That’s fine but… what was that about his transformation though?”
Lucky and the others won’t answer no matter how much Chloe asked them about it. She could only incline her head, wondering why the three of them look at each other and seemingly suppressed their laughs.
◆ ◇ ◆ ◇ ◆
After leaving the lodging house, Chloe saw Locke was next to the building, pinning nails to wooden planks in an attempt to build a dog house.
“You seem quite used to those?”
“There were many houses in our villages that adopted dogs. Oh right, can you cast “protect” on this so that this guy won’t destroy his house?”
“….I wonder why the mistress allowed you to raise something as frightening as Garm.”
Chloe used her sacred magic to the dog house as she looked at the puppy who didn’t give off the slightest vibe of being dangerous.
“Well, she is keeping monster chickens for their eggs. Besides, it shouldn’t be dangerous seeing as your barrier allowed its entry.”
“That’s… true, I guess.”
“If you’re so worried, how about doing a monster contract?”
Chloe’s eyes shone at Locke’s suggestion. After asking him for more details, the young man explained that turning a monster into your ally through defeating it and making it submit to you is imperfect. You must bind it to a contract by giving it a name. This is what perfects the master-servant relationship between a monster and its owner—although, the divine blessing of Locke that made it so attached was out of the norm.
“Is it really fine if I do it? You’re his master, right?”
“Well, I don’t really have a naming sense. Besides I heard about you from Shin. He said that you were able to previously establish a similar contract by naming a pet before.”
(That yankee butler….!)
Chloe clenched her fist after turning away from Locke. She indeed picked up a boy in the slums before and after naming him ‘Shin’, treated it as a pet afterwards. Although Chloe had reflected on her past actions, it still haunts her like subtle retribution sometimes.
“Haa…, I got it. Since I’m the one to name it, I’ll give it a super adorable one!”
“Why don’t you name it “Benny”, since it’s red?”
He said he didn’t have a naming sense and yet Locke still gives his unwarranted suggestion with a playful grin. Chloe responded with a glare and rejected it. He didn’t want to give others the impression that she still had lingering affections.
“Just to remind you, you’re the one who will be calling him that. Don’t blame me if your head flies off when they found out that you gave him the 1st prince’s nickname.”
Shin currently had a business in the town at the foot of the mountain, so Chloe was off the observation until evening. For Chloe, who is still on a suspended sentence, it was troubling knowing that even Locke and the others would also naturally be subjected to surveillance due to the situation.
(That aside, what should I name it? Potchi or Muku seem pretty dull, and you can’t really call it Whitey since its body is red. Right now it’s transformed so it doesn’t really fit brave-sounding ones…, a puppy…, a puppy huh?)
“Melampus? That’s quite an odd name.”
“It’s fine! When you think of puppies, Melampus1Melampus, the name of Actaeon’s dog with black paws, who tore his owner to pieces after he’d been metamorphosed into a stag, is linked to the similarly horned, agile gazelles or antelopes! comes to mind. Don’t you agree, little Mela?”
Chloe carried Melampus, who seemed delighted as the puppy licked her face. Smeared with saliva all across her cheeks, a sudden thought came to Chloe’s mind. The two of them were the principal of Garm’s contract. In other words, it suffices to say that the two of them are its parents…
“Haha! What am I even thinking? Goodness, me.”
“Hey, you’re face is red, though. What’s the matter? Did the saliva had acid or something?”
“Don’t say something so scary!”
Later on, she explained what happened to Shin but he responded with a grim look.
“Making contracts with monsters is unbecoming of a saintess, milady.”
“We have enough Saintess with just Miss Momo as is. Besides, the one who fought against Garm and won was Locke. He’s practically its actual master.”
“Then what does Chaco plan to do with it when you leave this place?”
“Obviously, I can’t take it with me so I’ll leave it in Locke’s care. By the time I leave this place, a barrier would be put in place so it should be enough to appease its heart’s penchant for evil, after all.”
Shin deeply sighs to Chloe who didn’t seem to give naming the puppy deeper considerations beforehand. The establishment of a master-and-servant contract with monsters is done by offering something to the servant in return making it dangerous. Although, in this case, it shouldn’t go as far as requiring one’s soul since the monster in the contract was not a devil, but considering how it mitigates the risk by spreading it, Locke’s course of action was proper.
(The problem is how the joint-ownership of Locke and Milady functions. Monsters only see a single individual as its lord…., the fact that he had chosen two of them means that from Garm’s perspective, Locke and Chloe are his…)
“By the way, where did Locke go?”
Shin’s train of thought was interrupted by Chloe’s sudden question. The sun had already sunk and was replaced by a full moon.
“He went to get Melampus his food, he said. Also, he said that monsters get their strength from the moonlight so he’ll take it on a walk while he’s at it.”
Food…? Did he really hunt just as he said earlier? Chloe thought. She didn’t want to imagine Locke egging Melampus to eat humans even if they were bandits.
“Chaco, you should be taking a bath around now.”
“Bath… that reminds me; Brother, there’s a place I want to go to, won’t you come with me? Ah, but you’ll have to take off the brooch though.”
A person under observation making such a difficult request of putting a stop to it. Shin refuses, saying this is outside his own discretion but Chloe, who had a wicked grin on her face, whispered to him—
“Hmm? Are the observers perhaps interesting in seeing my bath? If Shin thinks so, then I guess that can’t be helped then.”
“Bath? But why would I need to come with milady?”
The observation so far had exempted the bath and toilet times. Leddorio hasn’t really said anything about those things and even if Shin took them, complaints will likely fly at him. However, the way Chloe worded it out clearly implies that it wouldn’t be a normal bath.
“Because it’s outside! We will go to an onsen outside the barrier. I was told by Locke about it before!”
Suddenly in high spirits, Chloe’s eyes sparkled with great interest.
MV: Sorry, can’t do more than one chapter today. These side stories are at most, 3.5-4k characters which take a considerable amount of time to TL, Edit, and check for errors. Two more parts of these side stories and we’ll go back to the main story
If you wish to support my translation, you can do so through the following links! Thanks!
- 1Melampus, the name of Actaeon’s dog with black paws, who tore his owner to pieces after he’d been metamorphosed into a stag, is linked to the similarly horned, agile gazelles or antelopes!