I Reincarnated As A Villainess, But Why Did I Become A Cat Butler Instead? - Chapter 22
I had to let the Duke know that Coco was in my room now. Thankfully, the servants and knights who recognized me paved the way, so I could reach the Duke without difficulty.
“Why are you looking for your slaves from me?”
The Duke of Blois uttered coldly as he looked down at the men from the front door.
I approached him and tapped him slowly.
Hearing my call, he turned to me and narrowed his eyes.
As I was about to tell him where Coco was, he sighed and whispered to me.
Eventually, he added a brief explanation to my puzzled eyes.
“The smell of him is terrible.”
…He has a really good sense of smell.
Nonetheless, I feel sorry for him because I think this incident occurred because I brought Coco back from the beginning.
And, at the same time, I was worried.
‘It seems they must have done something bad to Coco. The Duke doesn’t like Coco, so what if he says they’re right and hands over Coco?’
Worried, I glanced around the men who confronted the Duke of Blois. There were what looked to be like a dozen men or so. All but two of them were wearing expensive-looking clothes, while the rest were carrying weapons and traps. There were what looked to be like a dozen men or so.
‘Is it like a search party?’
They’re catching a cat, though they were carrying around scary weapons like that… I can’t believe it.
“The traces of the slave we were looking for are lost here, Sir. If you allow me to search, I will find that rat-like bastard right away.”
At that, I was terrified that the Duke of Blois would give up Coco at any moment.
I was looking at his mouth anxiously, and he snorted.
“You’re going to bring those dirty feet into my mansion for just one slave? You have a big dream.”
“Then, please find it yourself!”
“Why should I do that? They aren’t even my slave.”
The men looked at the Duke as if asking what to do, before exchanging glances with each other.
Moments later, the two people in expensive clothes whispered to each other, and one of them smiled a little bit in an instant. He quickly lowered his head to hide his smile, although I could clearly see the obvious sneer.
The other one took a step forward and said.
“Even though you’re both Shapeshifters, the Duke isn’t planning to protect the Shapeshifter slave, are you?”
Saying so, he emphasized the words both Shapeshifters’ and the words ‘Shapeshifter slave.’ Obviously, it was a sarcastic tone of sarcasm because the Duke didn’t give up Coco because he felt sympathy with the Shapeshifter slave.
‘Is he provoking him?’
It was amazing.
Still, he was the Duke of Blois, so the slave traders could only provoke him at best.
‘It seems that buying and selling prisoners and abusing them have become so commonplace that there is nothing in sight.’
I once read a column about buying and selling human dignity. There, it was said that anyone who once traded someone’s dignity for money would never forget that exhilarating experience. That was why, whenever an opportunity arose, they repeated the experience to the opponent he considered weak.
Moreover, what of those slave traders who made their business of buying and selling beasts with free will?
Their brain would have been filled with the thought that Shapeshifters were someone that could be crushed easily. Because of that, the slave traders provoked the Duke of Blois without hesitation.
He seemed to be talking without even realizing that he was looking down on the Duke.
“We are invested by the Count of Bilbao!”
The Duke tilted his head.
“So, what do you want me to do?”
“If you don’t want to make things big, please give me the prisoner slave.”
At his words, the Duke grinned and asked back, “What if he wasn’t in my mansion, what do you plan to do?”
“If you are so sure, why not risk your lives as collateral?”
He looked very angry.
‘It’s stupid. You’re hurting a cat’s pride.’
After all, cats are proud creatures.
Meanwhile, the traders, who hesitated at the Duke’s words, did not respond and hesitated.
‘Please just leave like this…’
I longed inwardly.
But then, the maid, Sophia, was seen quietly bringing someone and shoving their back.
The back that Sophia was pushing was Tilda, the maid who was belittling over my clothes when I went to Mrs. Elbas’s mansion. She came forward with a smirk, and turned towards the Duke of Blois.
“Duke, there are people who have seen the prisoner hide in the Madam’s bedroom.”
Then, I could feel she was staring at me.
…Is she really saying that here?
It was clear that she wanted the Duke’s wrath directed at me. On the other hand, the faces of the slave traders who heard the maid’s words were brightened instantly.
“The Duchess is very interested in Shapeshifter slave…”
They seemed to be familiar with Rowaine’s notoriety. The next moment, the slave trader rubbed his hands together and opened his mouth.
“The smooth face of the guy who ran away is perfect as a plaything for ladies. It is understandable that the Duchess is coveted.”
Now, the arrow was aimed towards me.
I pondered for a while. Would it be better to explain the situation in a way that everyone could understand and pay Coco’s ransom right now?
‘However, if I give money to those guys, that will become money that enables them to take prisoners again, to make them slaves and abuse them…’
I never wanted to help their ecology.
Perhaps, he noticed my concern, the slave trader smiled sullenly and spoke again.
“If you wish to take our slaves, Duchess, will you not have to pay the price? If you stand still like that…”
He glanced at me and continued to mutter to himself.
“Slave is private property… Is it not theft—”
Hearing that, I saw Sophia, the maid, looking at me and smiling as if sneering.
Desperate, I opened my mouth to say that I would pay the ransom for Coco. However, Duke Blois was faster than me.
“Are you breaking into my mansion, and now treating my wife like a thief? How dare you insult Duke Blois?”
The shadow of the angry Duke shook.
At that moment the wind seemed to wrap around his body, and black smoke shot out towards the slave trader and the armed search party.
In an instant, the men who had gathered flew in all directions.
Literally, like a piece of paper…
“If my wife took the slave is a thief, am I a robber who will take your life?”
When the Duke smiled and reached out once more as if his joke was funny, the men screamed and ran across the garden without looking back.
The Duke, who snorted his nose, called his aide.
“Yes, Your Excellency.”
“Follow them and take them down.”
At that, Hyle and the knights pursued the slave traders swiftly.
As I stared blankly at the scene, the Duke of Blois spoke coldly.
“I’m glad you’re happy.”
Then, leaving me behind with a puzzled look, he gave a glance at Sophia. At first glance, I could see him wriggling his lips.
‘Huh…? What is he talking about?’
I thought he was going to kill me, but somehow, I must have seen it wrong. For a person who said that, he had a very gentle face.
Besides, he left Sophia’s disposal to me.
“I’ve entrusted the personnel right to my wife, so let’s wait and keep an eye on the servants. It won’t be easy.”
It meant that he would leave this matter to me without punishing me separately.
Before he left, I carefully asked him, who was passing by me.
“What should I do with Coco?”
He shrugged his shoulders and answered, “Aren’t I the one who gave the wife permission in the first place? Do as you please.”
Hearing his words, I spoke softly to the back of him as he went up to the office.
When I returned to the room, Coco was still asleep.
Looking down on him lovingly, I fell into agony.
‘Where do I sleep…?’
Even though I had already slept with Coco in the same bed, at that time, I didn’t know that Coco was a Shapeshifter.
‘Besides, now that he’s in human form, sleeping next to him is a little…’
After contemplating, I went to the sofa with a pillow and a lap blanket and laid down. Coco’s peaceful breathing sounded like a lullaby. He was falling asleep peacefully without knowing what had happened.
I crouched down on the sofa with my legs crumpled.
‘There’s no other way.’
Cats are like that.
The next day, I heard through Agwen that the slave auction house under the shopping street had been destroyed overnight. It seemed that the slave traders seemed to have fled to another area.
Hearing that news, I felt as though I had received a great gift. It was a moment when the Duke of Blois felt humanly wonderful.
After all, those bad guys who abuse lives deserve to be ruined.
Agwen, who told me the good news first, hesitated as she examined my mood before telling me another news.
“Well, Madam… But, the maid who did it yesterday…”
“What about that Tilda?”
“I heard Tilda talking to the other maids.”
“What did she say?”
“Yesterday, even though she did such a thing, the Master kept an eye on the Madam, he didn’t say anything to her and just moved on.”
“It’s clear that the Master doesn’t like you…”
Agwen looked into my eyes, hesitating that I might offend. Still, she seemed to have decided that it was an issue that I should be aware of. Sure enough, she already knew I was going to replace the servants.
“…I heard they said you haven’t even joined the room yet, and the Master put the wife in the annex.”
“Thank you for letting me know, Agwen.”
“Are you not offended, Madam? Tilda is a very nasty woman. How dare she say such things to the Madam without knowing the subject?”
“No, it’s rather good.”
I smiled meaningfully at Agwen, who took my side and resented.
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