Chapter 26: I protected! But I was actually the one that was protected!
AN: The dog(self-proclaimed) who eats better things than humans (´・ω・｀)
For today’s snacks, wine-braised beef shanks.
After the meat was prepared, it was added to a pan with onions stir-fried in olive oil, then wine was poured into the pan until it was just barely covering the meat.
The broth that was made during prior preparations was poured into the mix and then everything was left to continue boiling for two hours.
At this point, the tough shank meat should be tender and is still as delicious as ever, but it feels like there’s something different with the old man’s cooking this time.
In a different pot, he boiled large cut vegetables then set it aside together with the meat in a cool place overnight. That made the meat even more tender and it had also absorbed the flavors from the core ingredients and the soup.
Then the next day, it was finally completed by heating it before serving.
Such an elaborate dish was served just for a dog’s snack.
As a rich person’s dog, this is just something I can’t do without.
「Gaffu gaffu* (This meat and even the vegetables are so tender and yummyー!)」1
As usual, I’m in front of the kitchen’s back door entrance greedily munching on the dish that was served on a large platter.
「Chuー (My dear, you’re already eating even though you already ate so many of those “sandoichi” for lunch? Moreover, it’s an extreme amount this time as well……)」
「Wan! (I’m still in my growth period so it’s fine! Or rather, aren’t you eating it too!?)」
「Chuー (I’m just tasting it, tasting. Don’t be so stingy my dear)」
「Nya~n (Waー! It’s true! I don’t need to bite it because it just melts in my mouth~! Tasty~!)」
「Wan wan! (I thought I told you, stop stealing my food from the side!)」
Hey owner! Make sure you give this one her feed! She always appears whenever I’m eating you know!
My own share is now lesser than how it’s actually supposed to be you know!
「Nya~n (Ah, don’t worry. I made sure to eat my meal before coming here after all)」
「Wan! (And I’m telling you that’s even worse!)」
While we were arguing as we were scrambling for every last piece of the old man’s snack, there were 4 people looking at us.
Those were the adventurers who finished the interview with Papa-san.
They were sitting still at the far corner of the backyard while hungrily looking at us.
「B-boss…… Those pets are eating better food than us……」
「What a nice smell…… I’d actually be able to eat these clay-like rations if only they smelled like that……!」
「Leftovers are fine, so I wonder if they could share some with us…………Hm? That cat, why does it look so much smaller compared to that dog……? Is it still just a kitten?」
「Enough. Just shut up and finish your meal. We should go to bed once we’re done setting up our tent since we’re going to start the investigation before daybreak tomorrow」
The men heaved a heavy sigh while creeping about as they nibble on some crackers.
「Boss, wouldn’t it be fine if we had just relied on the landlord’s kindness a bit more? He even offered to provide us a room and meals…… The dog’s food is something like that so I’m sure that they would serve something for dinner that we won’t be able to eat our whole lives」
「Are you an idiot? We were given approval even though we rudely barged in earlier while saying it’s an urgent quest from the guild. It would be rude of us to ask for any more than this. We should just be grateful that they even lent us a place in their garden」
The man who they called boss forcibly poured the water from his canteen into his mouth.
「And besides, it’s not a good idea to get on Zenovia Leonhart’s bad side. When we return, we should also report this matter to the guild master」
「This is the first time I’ve seen her in person you know? Why is that Zenovia here instead of enjoying her retired lifeー?」
「Nobles have a pastime of inviting warriors and artists to their households as guests to sing praises of their heroic deed but I didn’t think she would settle with just one noble」
「Who knows what she’s thinking. That’s the crazy woman who first reached the adventurer’s guild’s highest rank, Double S, with just her fighting prowess after all. Anybody who has exceeded the S rank would probably have a screw or two loose so an ordinary person probably wouldn’t be able to understand her thoughts」
「Do you think that rumor of her is actually true? I heard that she can’t do anything else outside of fighting and that she has a terrible sense of direction. Wouldn’t she just get stranded if she goes to the forest by herself?」
「That’s probably just exaggerated, right? That was probably spread by the guys who are jealous of the woman’s success. And even if that were true, wouldn’t she have difficulty living her daily life normally then?」
“Hahaha”, the adventurers all laughed at the same time.
No, that rumor is actually true.
Zenovia-chan’s sense of direction is terrible you know?
Furthermore, she’ll just run towards a wrong direction with full confidence.
She probably won’t even recognize that she’s already lost.
「Wafu~ (I’m so full~)」
「Nyafu~ (Me too~. Ahー. That was delicious)」
「Chuー (Good grief. My dear, you eat too much…… *burp*)」
We lied down and lazed about after we finished our meal.
What’s more, there’s no one here to scold us.
It’s a time of bliss.
At that moment, one person arrived.
It’s the maid with black twin tails hair.
She was glancing at us with a large laundry basket dangling from her hands.
Uhm, if I remember correctly, I think her name’s Toa.
Is she taking down the washing at the back I wonder?
While quietly biting her lips, Toa-chan looked at me.
It doesn’t seem like she’s angry so she probably wants something from me.
While I was lying down, I looked up at Toa-chan’s face and then I finally understood.
Ahー. I get it.
Those adventurers are scary after all.
That attitude she had in front of the gate was probably just bravado from her sense of duty as a maid since this girl is usually acting childish which gets her scolded all the time.
Being surrounded by those muscular men, she was even shoved away so I’m sure she’s scared.
She’s taking down the washed laundry by herself so she’s anxious about whether or not they’ll mess with her.
「Wafuu (OK, Toa-chan. I know what you want to say. You can just leave it to me!)」
I stood up and let Toa-chan hide from the adventurers with my body.
Like this, Toa-chan won’t be seen by the adventurers. All they can see is Toa-chan’s feet.
It feels like this is the first time my huge body was actually useful.
Toa-chan thanked me with a slightly nasally voice.
It’s fine but you should run away immediately if they actually come and mess with us. Don’t expect me to fight them since even I am scared of the adventurers. They’re really buff after all.
「I’ll finish this quickly」
「Wafuu (Don’t worry about it. You can just take your time. This mutt is free all day after all)」
After that, the adventurers approached the area where the clothes were hung then walked closer towards Toa-chan.
I wonder what happened. The adventurers seem surprised.
Is it just my imagination? It seems like their shock they felt got even bigger as they got closer.
「S-so big… What the heck is this thing……!?」
「A wolf! No, a monster! Even a hellhound doesn’t grow this big you know……!?」
While the adventurers were perplexed, they drew their weapons and quickly backed away.
「Ku~n? (Eh? What is it?)」
I tilted my head and thought about it for a while.
Then, I finally reached the answer.
I completely forgot about it.
That I’m a demon wolf.
That I’m a Fenrir.
They didn’t notice earlier since they were far away earlier so the only thing they can compare my size with was the huge mansion.
You would obviously draw your weapons if a large wolf approaches you.
This is bad, I was careless.
Even I was completely convinced that I was a dog.
Zenovia-chan had started overlooking it so there’s no longer anyone doubting me.
It was actually a bad thing for everyone in the mansion to be so ignorant.
What should I do……?
Would I be able to fool them if I bark?
I can fool the people of this mansion with just that you know.
Should I show them my belly? Should I do the belly pose and cry *kyun kyun*!?
That was a sure-fire technique that was even able to defeat Zenovia-chan you know!
「W-what is it this time! Do you have a problem with this household’s dog!?」
Toa-chan, who was hiding behind me, raised her voice.
Even though she’s scared, she stood next to me and puffed up her chest.
If you look closer, you can see her legs trembling but she’s letting off her usual haughtiness.
「Are you telling me this is a dog……!?」
「Don’t say something stupid. There’s no way a dog could be this big……」
「Never mind how big it is, no dog would look so fiendish!」
「Ojou-san, get away from that and come over here. That thing’s a monster no matter how you look at it……!」
The adventurers were being cautious of me so they didn’t get any closer.
As they all said that to her, Toa-chan just glared at them while in tears.
「Don’t call Routa a monster!」
So as not to fall down because of her shaking knees, Toa-chan gripped my fur with her trembling hands as she protested.
It’s alright, Toa-chan.
You are not alone.
Even I would become weak in the knees if they point their weapons at me.
「Routa is Ojou-sama’s, this mansion’s splendid dog desu!」
What a good child……!
What a wonderful child……!
「Wan wan (That’s right! I’m this household’s pet you know! In other words, a property of the Falks household! It would bring trouble to you if you lay your hands on me! Do you want that!? You will be charged for damages you know!? Do you want that!? Can your measly salaries cover that!?)」
「Chuー…… (My dear, is it really alright for you to make those threats……?)」
They don’t understand what I’m saying anyways.
Barking would also show them that I’m a dog.
「B-boss. No matter what it’s true identity is, it’s this mansion’s dog so we can’t touch it……」
「Ku… It can’t be helped…… Everyone, put down your weapons. This monster…… no, this dog isn’t hostile」
With their leader saying that, the adventurers reluctantly sheathed their weapons.
「I don’t understand what nobles are thinking…… I’m sure that that dog’s pretty strong」
「W-well, they managed to tame it so it’s probably alright…」
「I haven’t heard of monsters getting attached to humans though」
Umu, they’re still skeptical.
I wonder if these guys will be able to keep their mouths shut about me when they go to report that matter with Zenovia-chan.
After that dispute, my role as a wall for Toa-chan is already over since she’s already done with her task.
「Ah, Routa. You don’t have to do that, this is my job after all」
「Wafuu (Well, just don’t worry about it)」
I picked up the surprisingly heavy laundry basket with my mouth then headed towards the back entrance of the mansion.
「Ojou-san. Please wait」
Being called from behind, Toa-chan was startled and went back to hiding behind me.
「W-what is it?」
「Well, I just wanted to apologize for what happened at the gate. We’re leaving tomorrow so even though it might be unreasonable to ask you to not to be afraid, you can at least be at ease」
Feeling sorry, the boss did a deep bow.
There probably aren’t a lot of adults willing to bow down to a servant girl in this world.
Fuーmu. It doesn’t seem like they’re a bad bunch.
They might look scary but they seem like good people at heart.
「Wafuu (I already feel closer to them since they’re just like me」
「Chuー (You shouldn’t get involved anymore you know……)」
At this rate, they would probably encounter Garo and the others once they enter the forest tomorrow so I should go talk to them tonight.
I wonder what did these adventurers come to investigate in the forest in the first place?
AN: They’re investigating you. (´・ω・｀) You understand that right?
ED: What could they be investigating in the forest? Nothing much happened there, just a large beam attack that cleared a large area, a dungeon was annihilated, a dragon lair was blasted and the dragon inhabiting it is now missing, nothing serious. I bet they just want to peek onto the girls bathing area.