Cage Devotion～The Engagement was Broken and I was Locked Up. I Will Never Forgive You~ - Chapter 5
- Cage Devotion～The Engagement was Broken and I was Locked Up. I Will Never Forgive You~
- Chapter 5 - Past - Happiness
Translator: MadHatter Editor: MadHatter
Upon closer study, it became apparent that the white feline beast he had let go from her cage had stripes in certain spots. The pattern was unusual, and when Elias tugged on her tail, a somewhat protesting mewling sound came from her. As he continued to play with her without paying attention, the filthy little merchant spoke to him again.
“Your Highness, this girl likes you very much, doesn’t she? She is fond of you, Your Highness.”
His tone was as if he was genuinely impressed. Elias was aware that it was only flattery intended to placate the visitors, but he did not feel bad about it. When Elias looked at her, the beast was looking up at him with her puffed up with pride as if to show off the red collar she had just been given, her free tail wagging loosely from side to side.
“She’s very awkward, despite her graceful appearance, which means that she’s been dragged off to her master’s place in displeasure by everyone so far. At least, she has never shown any interest in anyone. So aren’t you proud of it?”
As if in response to the merchant, Elias gave the beast a pat on the head. Her tail wagged more and more, making a flapping sound.
Are you a dog?
Elias’ cheeks were about to loosen, but he clenched his back teeth and maintained a dignified expression. A noble man would not get carried away with this kind of game, nor would he show his emotions in a place like this.
“Perhaps it’s a good thing His Highness bought her.”
There seemed to be a tinge of honesty in the merchant’s flattering remarks. The man rubbed his hands together and with a wrinkled face stared at the white cat beast like how a grandfather would look at his grandchildren. The beast was merely staring at her owner with a fervent gaze, seemingly uninterested in this commoner.
“I see,” Elias spat grimly, but he couldn’t help but feel his hands rubbing the beast’s head. He was only a boy of twelve.
She still closed her eyes pleasantly and mewled in discontent when Elias removed his hand.
Elias suddenly tilted his head.
“These beasts can speak, right?”
“The beast-race is clever and can generally talk as well as humans, but apparently this beast makes… noises, so it doesn’t sound like she can’t speak, but, you know…”
“No matter. If she doesn’t speak, so be it.”
“It is likely that she just doesn’t speak, but has no problem communicating.”
Looking down at the girl who was carelessly twitching her cat’s ears, Elias reasoned that perhaps she was dim-witted.
But that would be more convenient.
Creatures who can maneuver words don’t speak well. Anything would be much better if they didn’t say it in the first place if their mouth wouldn’t let them express what they intended to say. Moreover, it was not a relationship of equality anyway. Elias was a human being and the other party was a beast. What was the use of talking to a beast?
“What is her name?”
“Albania=Francis as her former master used to call her.”
“Nonsense. That’s a bunch of crap.”
Following the boy’s snort, the girl straightened her posture and turned her large, somewhat anxious – or rather, expectant – eyes on him, who had been wagging her ears and tail in a good mood earlier.
“You’re Kitty. Nothing more.”
After a beat, the kitten let out a meow, as if to signify her approval.
It was a melting, luscious voice that intoxicated people’s hearts.
Ultimately, the Second Prince was too frightened of the demi-human with ears and a tail to make the purchase, and Elias returned to the castle with Kitty in tow. The Fifth Prince, who was obedient and seldom selfish, received everyone’s surprise but was generally favorable to his unusual request. This was partly due to Kitty’s charming appearance.
“You did well to find such a beast.”
“Your Highness has a good eye.”
Such praises were interspersed with the occasional chatter.
“Of all things, that cat of misfortune.”
“Looks can be deceptive. He is only a child after all.”
Some even ridiculed Elias.
Surprisingly yet, Kitty was the one who shown the most animosity toward those who opposed Elias.
Kitty would mildly wag her tail when Elias was in a good mood, but if Elias was in a bad mood even a little, she would instantly start to snarl with her ears down, and howl in her cage at whoever Elias was holding back with a smile on his face, even though she was secretly tempted to bite them. Her furious behavior was as powerful as that of a ferocious lioness, and anyone threatened by Kitty would screech and fall silent.
But Kitty, on the other hand, never once bared her fangs at Elias, under any circumstances.
“Kitty, your master has returned.”
Kitty, who had been kept in Elias’ room, would come running from the back of the room to greet him when he returned. The fact that there was a presence waiting for him soothed the boy.
Once they were alone after having other people leave the room, their secret time together began. The prince stroked the beast every night and vented all kinds of unspeakable things.
Discontent with his family. Complaints about the people around him. There was no end to his frustrations. Since he was a boy, Elias had always been displeased with everything, but he was far too noble to allow others to witness his dissatisfaction. The wordless, obedient listener was the perfect outlet for his exasperation. His complaints would eventually reveal his true feelings.
“But what I really can’t forgive is myself.”
Elias covered his face with his hands, obscuring everything. Even so, Elias could sense that Kitty was looking at him with different-colored eyes, listening attentively.
“I can’t make my wish come true, and I really hate myself the most. No matter how hard I struggle, I can’t attain my ideal, why is that? Kitty, this world is full of liars. Nobody will tell the truth. I already know that. No one really compliments me. They take it for granted that I can do better, and when I can’t, they shove it at my face. Some say it’s my fault that I’m not adorable, but I’m not a stupid woman, and it’s only natural for me to be this way, isn’t it? Is there something wrong with me? Why doesn’t anyone love me properly?”
Elias was not incapable of social interaction, but no one treated him with warmth. Both his father and mother were preoccupied with other family members and neglected him for the most part, while all the other adults who approached him tried to flatter him and exploit him for their own convenience. The Fifth Prince was in a vulnerable position, and everyone naturally gave him condescending looks and words, even if they were unconscious of it. Unable to trust his parents or the adults around him, Elias maintained his self-esteem by dismissing the children of his generation as playful and carefree, while his fictional exterior and arrogant interior made him increasingly distrustful of them.
But if trust were to be exercised in such a world of liars, where betrayal and abandonment were the rules, what would ensue? What else could he do as a young boy but to live with such barriers in his heart?
The innocent kitten seemed to understand and accept all his anguish. She meowed and gently rubbed up against him as though in response to whatever he said. Elias raised himself up on the bed and turned to face the cat, who was gracefully lying down and wagging her tail. His dark brown eyes were as dark as ever.
“Kitty, I don’t hate you. You listen to everything I say and don’t say anything out of line. Am I right?”
The cat purred. Elias climbed under the bed and grabbed a black lump from a nearby table.
It was a long whip for ravenous beasts. But Elias never struck it against Kitty’s flawless skin. By the way the whip slashed the floor, Kitty, who was perceptive, could tell what Elias was seeking and that he was in a foul mood.
“Kitty, satisfy me. Your master wishes to see your tricks.”
The white cat with tiger stripes ran quickly down the bed and crawled up to Elias’ feet, where she rolled over and defenselessly exposed her belly.
Elias wiped the perspiration from his forehead and took a deep swallow. Slowly, he lifted his shoe and stomped―on her shoulder area―he hesitated because he felt that the belly might injure organs, etc., and the chest might be really painful. The beast was unresisting. She stared at Elias with two round eyes – as if she trusted him not to destroy her completely. He put all his strength into his legs, but she didn’t move. The boy’s starving belly was satisfied, and he felt a strange sensation of warmth welling up in his icy chest.
“Good girl, Kitty. I have a reward for you.”
After kicking the attractive young girl for a while and feeling a sense of vain superiority, the prince put away his whip and took out a candy from the basket on the table in his room. The girl received it with her tongue outstretched and tasted it rolling delectably in her mouth. On her shoulder, a faint red mark remained. When Elias traced it, she shuddered.
“You’re such a fool, you know that? I’ve done cruel things to you. You should be enraged, you should resist. Do you really have no idea what has been happening to you? What happened to the claws and fangs of the predator? Why don’t you separate yourself from me? I’m in the wrong, and everything is simply a matter of convenience… I’ll throw you out in a heartbeat if you rebel.”
Elias stroked her head, his tone gentle and almost feline. The boy’s eyes narrowed as he listened to the purring of the kitten.
“Kitty, I want you to be loved by me. You’re not going to betray me…”
The look in his eyes was not one of love, but of desire. As a young boy, he was a bundle of emotions that had no destination but―
He may have spent three years living with Kitty. Those days might have been the most fulfilling days of his life. Kitty was a saintly human being in spite of being a beast, and every night she took in Elias’ negative emotions, purified them, and supported his peace of mind.
That was precisely why Elias was willing to let her go. He was pretentious but totally absorbed, and at one point he became aware that he had gotten in too deeply.
The turning point occurred on a steamy night in Elias’ fifteenth year.
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