Chapter 51 : The Compromise of The Cat
「KORA! You’re scaring Tama! You can’t be too violent to him, Stella-chan!」
(There’s no escape… I guess this is it…)
Tama was already giving up. Stella had thrown herself at him in a running dive while screaming words that no child should ever be allowed to hear. Aria seemed to have woken up from Tama’s terrified scream and swiftly put herself between them
The moment she heard Aria’s voice, Stella – as if some sort of heaven-defying skill had been activated – changed the course of her dive to the corner of the room, suddenly cowering in fear.
It seemed that she was still extremely scared of Aria.
It was a desperate situation indeed.
Tama’s face brightened up and his little kitten heart was filled with hope. His master saved him in his most perilous moment, and he promptly leaped into her bountiful valley in search of safety.
「Fufufu, are you alright, Tama? 」
Aria caught Tama mid-leap and soothed him, brushing his fur gently. Her mere touch was enough to calm Tama, who was already closing his eyes in bliss. Aria then turned her attention to Stella.
「Stella-chan, I know that Tama is cute and charming and it’s hard to resist him. But, as I said before, you can’t have him. He’s too young to have a child and, most of all, he’s my knight《Pet》. 」
「GUNUNU… How vexing… But, the current me is… 」
Stella was muttering in frustration as she went back to her bed.
Seeing that, Aria sighed, going back to her bed while thinking about how the current situation could be solved.
<――Oi, Powerful One. I will give up for now, but I’ll keep telling you how much I love you…!>
Stella’s voice resounded in Tama’s head, who was curled up in between Aria’s melons. He couldn’t do anything but keep silent since Stella’s confession came out of nowhere.
「What is this!? Yesterday’s sausage and smoked meat platter was already delicious and yet this one’s quite good as well!」
Stella, once again, was making a scene in the first floor of the inn. This time it was during breakfast. It was as if she’d already forgotten everything Aria had reprimanded her for last night.
She held up a fragrant toast covered with baked bacon and a half-boiled sunny-side-up egg as the final topping. She raised her voice again between bouts of stuffing herself with toast and fruit water
「Moreover, this〝Sour Fruit〟is awesome! This is the first time I drink something so tasty! 」
Even Aria, who was wary of her due to last night’s incident, relaxed her guard when she saw Stella acting like a child.
「Stella-chan, I know it’s cruel to ask you this since you have no memories, but do you have something that you’re good at?」
「Mogu~* Something I’m good at?」
Stella’s hand halted mid-air when she heard Aria’s sudden question.
Aria had been thinking about their situation for a while. She wasn’t worried about taking care of Stella since she was the one who brought it up.
However, there was no guarantee that her lost memories would return. In that case, she’d have to train Stella in something so she could be independent.
Not only that, but those who don’t work shall not eat – she wanted Stella to be aware of this motto. But she would only tell her this after she got her answer.
「In that case… I’m good at fighting! No, it’s better to say that I love to fight!」
「Fighting is it… EH? But Stella-chan, weren’t you scared of the inside of the labyrinth? Doesn’t that contradict your words?」
「What are you talking about? The only one I’m scared of going up against is you. I’m not scared of fighting the likes of that monster!」
「… WHAT? You’re scared of me? Can you tell me why, Stella-chan? I mean, I don’t remember doing anything to you before…」
「True, you did nothing to me before. But aren’t you the one who managed to subdue the Powerful One as if he was just a baby? I mean, he’s such a terrifying existence, after all!」
Aria was extremely shocked when she heard how much Stella feared her. Tama, on the other hand, nodded in understanding from his hiding place in between his master’s melons.
(Ah, I see now…)
Long story short, the reason why Stella feared and respected Aria so much was because she subdued Tama, who slaughtered Stella as a knight《Pet》 when she was still in her dragon form.
The world of monsters was a world where the strong preyed on the weak.
The weak were eaten by the strong or obeyed them forever.
The real situation was far from Aria subduing Tama, she just doted on him like a baby.
Stella was terrified about how powerful Aria could be, being an existence that could subdue Tama.
<――Hey Powerful One, just what kind of person is this woman named Aria? She has a really gentle atmosphere even while being accompanied by someone as powerful as you. This whole situation feels so out of place.>
Stella’s voice suddenly rang inside Tama’s mind through their mental link just as he understood the reason behind her unique reaction to Aria.
――It’s nothing special, she’s my benefactor, thus she is my beloved master. She’s a really kind person, hence why she’s taking care of an aimless wanderer like you. You better make sure you don’t repeat your mistake.
<―― To make someone as powerful as you call her master… Uuuhh! What a woman! How frightening!>
Tama sent a mental image to Stella to remind her of her mistake. He received an instantaneous reply from her. It seemed that there wasn’t any misunderstanding in this telepathic communication.
―― By the way, Earth Drago-… I mean, Stella. You mustn’t tell my master that you can communicate with me in this way.
<―― Hm? Why not? Wouldn’t it be more convenient if she could understand your words with me as an interpreter?>
―― My master is currently under the impression that I’m simply a cat more powerful than usual. She doesn’t know that I’m actually a Behemoth, an S-Rank monster. It’s more convenient for me, her knight if she continues to believe so.
<―― Ho ho, that’s some juicy information that I just heard! Powerful One, if you don’t want her to know your secret, then let me bear your child!>
Tama found himself speechless by Stella’s actions. He never expected that she – a former monster – would stoop so low as to blackmail him!
<―― … Is what I wanted to say, but it’s just a joke. My pride won’t allow me to use such a method to gain your love. But prepare yourself, Powerful One! Someday, I’m going to make you fall madly in love with me!>
―― I… Never expected that you, a former monster, would make such a joke… Love aside, you can’t keep calling me Powerful One forever. Just call me Tama like my master does.
<―― Ooh! You’re letting me call you by name! Yosh, that’s a big step forward!>
He wasn’t letting his guard down. However, he hadn’t felt any hostile intentions coming from her since last night. Also, he understood that she was, in fact, very much in love with him. Although Tama couldn’t reciprocate her feelings, she would still try to bridge the gap between them step by step from now on.
Moreover, Tama still felt guilty of robbing Stella of her life as a dragon, even though it was for Aria’s sake.
(For some reason it feels like Stella can communicate with Tama…)
While Tama and Stella were engrossed in their mental chat, the ever intuitive Aria felt a pang of jealousy in seeing them staring at each other in silence.