Queen of the Mad Dog Knights - Chapter 20.1
Intermission 1 – Dog at the End of an Era (Vice-Commander of the First Division, Shiba’s PoV)
My name is Mameta von Shiba.
I am the youngest son of Marquis Shiba.
My parents love to dote on me.
But that didn’t turn me into a weak man.
Both my educational and military prowess is unmatched. I’m both graceful and sturdy, a wonderful Waken.
I have a really small body, just like my mother, and my face is a face that people would describe as ‘cute.’
Since I was born a Waken, I really wanted to have a manly-looking face like Tosa-san or Akita-san.
The fact that I am from the branch family of the Shiba, ‘Mame-Shiba’, is a problem too.
We Mame-Shiba are small, even among the smaller-sized dogs.
Why is it that our future prospects (size) are determined from the time where we were born?!
I want to grow up to be as big as the Akita, or at least as big as the Kishu!
I know that there’s nothing I can do about which family you were born into…
But being in a family where our appearance is still considered ‘cute’ even when we are considerably aged feels really strange to me!
More than anything, I have a man that I admire.
I want to be a big, wonderful dog like him!
* * *
On that day, I saw a man in a black cloak, wrapped in a military uniform, standing under a blue sky that was paler than the sky in the Lumania continent. The sky of the new continent, though the continent was neither new nor old for the natives.
The man was tall and had a fearless face.
Even from a distance, his back was straight. His light blue eyes were clear.
He had this charismatic atmosphere around him, and at the same time, he seemed really distant, as if he was trying really hard to isolate himself…
The man was the young Duke Wolfhound, the hero who survived the worst war in the history of the Kennel Kingdom.
Darius von Wolfhound.
Together with the similarly young Prime Minister, Duke Golden Retriever, both of them were the heroic Dog-Kins who successfully restored the pride of the country.
The man was looking down at the mountain of graveyards without changing his expression.
The city, like other cities in the continent, was already covered by corpses by the time we arrived.
We gathered the survivors and moved them to a temporary base built by the Kennel Kingdom.
There was a lot of hustle and bustle with food being prepared here and there. People with stretchers were coming and going, carrying the injured survivors.
Among the Kennel Kingdom personnel, one man, Kishu-san, called me over, ‘Mame! We need more people here! Help us!” I immediately rushed toward him.
* * *
When our beloved king, Abel, passed away.
When the entire royal family who loved us, the Dog-Kins, disappeared.
Something started to occur inside the mind and the body of the Dog-Kins, the majority resident of the kingdom.
It was a genetic condition called Wild Dog Syndrome.’
In human form, they lost their reason.
In dog form, they lost their sense of cooperation.
As time passed, the society started to crumble and people started fleeing toward the legendary cursed mountain ‘Hokenjo’, to prevent conflict among the Dog-Kins.
This condition was caused by… despair.
The lack of the royalty who acted as their master created a huge void in the Dog-Kins’ hearts. It destroyed the fundamental belief of the Dog-Kins that had been built for thousands of years.
Effort, success, friendship, and loyalty.
Those were the beliefs given to our ancestors by the Founder King, Ayer-sama, and one after another, those beliefs were lost to despair, it was unbearable to watch.
It even happened in my family. One of my siblings suddenly said, ‘I’m going to the mountains.’ disregarding the panic he made in our household after that declaration.
My mother confronted him by saying ‘Can’t you just lock yourself in your room?!’ though it was more of a desperate scream than anything.
“But I’m having a hard time! I also feel really sad for some reason… there is something urging me, to want to eat every bone I could find, to howl at the moon as much as I like, to fight every enemy I come across! It feels like it’s the natural thing to do!
This urge made me feel like a wild dog, urging me to run into the mountains and through the plains, urging me to kill the White Beetles!”
By the way, White Beetle is a beast that existed in ancient times, it was as big as a brown bear and is now dubbed as the legendary beast.
Seriously, what kind of life did our ancestors have back in the day?
Anyway, because of this, the Kennel Kingdom was targeted by the neighboring countries.
The Humanist Kingdom, who discriminated against the Dog-Kins and the empire who wanted a piece of our territory teamed up to attack the kingdom.
Normally, our country should be able to drive them out easily since most of the people are soldiers.
However, at that time, the Knight Order suffered from the Wild Dog Syndrome, wasn’t functioning properly, and was easily routed.
Many heads of the noble families and the commanders of the Knight Order went M.I.A in the middle of the war.
That was when Darius-sama, the famous pet dog of the late king appeared.
He was a huge dog with a magnificent body.
His limbs were strong, his claws were sturdy and above all, the glint in his sky-blue eyes was powerful.
A pet dog was known as a dog among dogs.
The most capable dog that was able to win the king’s true love.
Historical records of pet dogs were plentiful and it went back to the tale of the Founder King’s pet dog, Pochi-sama.
Darius-sama appealed to the people with his majestic demeanor.
His tail was balding and it bothered me a little, but that didn’t make him any less majestic.
[People of Kennel Kingdom! We must not give up! Our King might not be in this country, but who is to say that he is not in this world for sure?!]
A true Dog-Kin should never give up their hope on the royal family.
No matter how far away the royal family is from the Dog-Kin, they should use their sense of smell, hearing, all their senses to find their master.
[I believe that somewhere in this world, a member of the royal family is still alive and well! The Knight Order will do our best to find them! That’s why, please, do not give up!
We will stabilize this country so our master is able to return to their home, the Kennel Kingdom, with peace of mind!]
His powerful speech and howl gave hope and inspired courage among the people.
The eyes of those who had almost succumbed to their condition began to shine and those who had been trying to head toward the cursed mountain stopped in their tracks.
At that moment, we started to believe in our future.
The future where the king is waiting for us, the future where he would pat us on the back for all our hard work.
From there, began our fierce counterattack.
We drove back the enemy that was closing in on the royal castle with the firepower of the Puppies.
The enemy that was rampaging in the city was eliminated by the citizens.
The enemy stationed on the border was destroyed by the claws and fangs of the private troops of the knights and nobles in an all-out battle.
At that time, I was assigned as a soldier in the First Division of the Central Knight.
Needless to say, me being assigned there was mostly following the will of my parents and also out of our family’s obligation.
Under similar circumstances, a group from the Maltese family who belonged to the same age group as me was very active at that time, they were active enough to be named ‘White Devils’ and were noticed by the commander of the Fifth Division.
I envied them… but I knew my limits.
I wasn’t really good at fighting, well, in the first place I got into the royal guard because of my intelligence, not my fighting prowess.
When the war finally ended.
Darius-sama made a declaration, ‘From now on, this is our job.’
It was a signal for the transportation vehicles (consisting of vehicles that could operate on water, land, air like tanks, huge ships, and many other kinds of vehicles) made by the Fourth Division to enter the stage.
The Central Knights decided to look for the legendary Ancient Continent.
It was speculated that Abel-sama’s last surviving descendant would be located there.
To reach the continent, there were two possible routes that they could traverse.
There was a tale that a merchant ship that was heading for the Cat-Kin’s country was swallowed by a storm and ended up in the Ancient Continent by accident.
And there was another route that was ‘discovered’ by the Imperial explorer, Radon da Gama.
According to the passage left by the Founder King, the Ancient Continent could be found if we were to go east from the east coast of the Kennel Kingdom.
This was in line with the news we got from the lost merchant.
However, according to Radon da Gama in his best-selling book, the continent was located ‘a little further south.’
Thus in this journey, Darius-sama and the Duke Golden Retriever, Leonhardt-sama who had taken over the Prime Minister position at his young age, eventually suggested that we split up into two fleets.
Normally, the Commanders would be able to move freely within the Lumania Continent.
However, what lay before us was a vast ocean. Even the ancient Dog-Kins needed a miracle to cross it.
‘We’ll need a proper leader to take command of this operation,’ said Darius-sama.
In the end, a fleet consisting mainly the members of the First Division decided to head ‘a little further south’ while carrying the latest equipment, a large amount of food, and the technology to process food that they could find on the spot during the operation.
The result of that operation was this.
They found a whole different continent than the Ancient Continent. According to the locals, the name of the continent was Xystus.
It took them a long time to reach the continent even with the latest ship technology.
—–What they found was a land ridden with war.
According to a survivor who happened to be a scholar, the continent’s population was reduced to 90.000 people from the original 20 million people because of the war.
We named the continent the ‘Dark Continent.’
As I started cooking in the slightly cool morning air, I looked around mindlessly.
Entering my vision were the natives, dressed in unfamiliar bright-colored clothing that didn’t hide the wear and tear, proof of their suffering during the long war.
At a glance, they didn’t seem to be a member of the Alters, but occasionally, they would take their other form that was unfamiliar to us.
In this newly discovered continent, the language they spoke was somehow similar to ours.
I said similar because they had this unique intonation when they spoke. It didn’t make communicating with them difficult, but it just made them sound funny when they talked.
Dr. Schnauzer, the Head of the Research Institute who accompanied the First Division, stroked his beard with pride as he analyzed the situation.
Once upon a time, during the ancient times, there was a time when the ancient Purists ruled the continent with tyranny.
The Alters escaped from them and eventually arrived on this new continent.
Like in the continent of Lumania, they built their own countries and civilizations here.
Or that was how it was supposed to be.
So, why did this continent become so war-torn?
It was because of the unique way of thinking the Purists in this continent had.
In Lumania, the fundamental teaching of the Purists was to respect ‘reason’ and ‘purity’, and that teaching was used as a basis for them to govern their country.
Here, their fundamental belief was ‘justice.’
This is the end result of that.
Humanity believed in their justice to an abnormal degree that they denied each other’s justice and acted excessively in the name of their own justice.
This was caused by the corruption in the upper echelons of the country’s military.
The military chose violence to bring down their hammer of justice on those who threatened their position.
They spoke justice, but really, all they wanted was to get to the highest position and lead an easy life.
In the end, the corruption in the military was spreading quickly and people retaliated by fighting with violence.
Eventually, the revolutionists destroyed the corrupted military, but that didn’t change a single thing since they also had their own agenda that only benefited themselves.
The cycle eventually continued as more similar-minded groups emerged.
From there, the scale of the conflict became more widespread, from conflict among the groups to the conflict among the tribes, the clans, the families, and even to the individuals.
People from all over the continent engaged in a ‘righteous struggle’ to protect themselves.
In the end, the Dark Continent was left with a devastated land, soaked in blood and corpses.
But even though the continent was like this, we wouldn’t lose sight of our objective.
We would prioritize looking for the royalty or other Dog-Kins.
Something superficial like a justification to attack other people, we wouldn’t bother ourselves with that.
Darius-sama once said.
“Our priority is to search for the royalty and other Dog-Kins. Capture anyone who was in the way and tried to attack us. Keep them all in one place and supply them with food, weapons, and praise.”
It would be troublesome to be treated as invaders and unnecessarily trigger their justice mentality.
We gave weapons to the people who couldn’t see eye-to-eye with us.
We confined the weak in a small area so they wouldn’t get involved in any more unnecessary conflicts and reassured them of their safety.
The Commander of the Seventh Division, Greyhound came to report to Darius-sama with a bundle of documents under his arms.
He scratched his head and said, ‘The rendezvous for the whole justice fiasco is over. There is one person remaining, that guy somehow killed the armed men with his bare hands. Can I make a scoop of this?’
Greyhound’s eyes were shining, he found the scene interesting apparently.
“No, don’t even try.”
“It would make an interesting scoop though. Also, I think that guy is a Dog-Kin.”
Among the ‘agents of justice’ that were involved in that rendezvous, there was one who remained standing until the very end.
His name was Survival Intrachia Wolfe Lobo.
It was our first encounter with the man who eventually became the ruler of the Dark Continent, now named the Liselotte Continent.
* * *
Survival was brought to a temporary camp.
He was made to change his clothes and was wearing a clean, but worn-looking headdress.
He stubbornly refused to wear the clothes we had prepared for him, saying that he didn’t want to accept any charity.
As I stood beside Darius-sama, I observed the lone tribal chief.
He had taupe hair and eyes of the same color.
He was a big man with a well-trained body and wild look. He was a little shorter than Darius-sama, but he was really tall.
Even when he was seated in front of Darius-sama, he didn’t lose his composure.
And he didn’t bow his head.
I could feel his pride in his straight back and sharp gaze.
“Is this arrangement acceptable to you, Survival-dono?”
“I have no problem with it.”
Darius-sama and Survival kept their distance and observed each other.
It was as if two leaders of the herd were trying to size each other out.
Darius-sama eventually moved his nose and asked.
“You are a Dog-Kin, aren’t you?”
“If by that you meant I could change my form, yes I could.”
He took the form of a giant dog.
He had taupe fur with small pupils. The color of his pupils seemed to be similar to his fur, but if you were to look at them closer, it was more golden than anything.
His face had a slight resemblance to the Vice Commander of the Fourth Division, Husky, though that man had blue eyes instead of golden.
“What kind of treatment did the Dog-Kin receive in this continent?”
[…We are called demons. If we were to be discovered, we would be burned at the stake. In our tribe it’s a common practice to teach our children to never take the form of a dog…]
“What do you think of your current situation?”
[We originally fought to survive. The weaklings are to be defeated. Since you defeated me many times and captured me, it’s only natural that I am here. That’s all.]
“I see. One other question, what do you think of the Purist Religion?”
[That is not a religion. It’s merely a reason to resort to violence.]
“Alright, I understand.”
To his surprise, Darius-sama decided to let him go.
In the midst of his confusion, Darius-sama took his dog form.
Survival’s eyes widen at the sight of the large dog.
We haven’t taken our dog forms even once ever since we came to this continent.
This is mostly because we had been on our guard when we learned of the existence of the Purist Religion in this continent.
So, we took on our dog forms.
A large dog and four Wakens showed themselves to the taupe Survival.
[We came from the land of the Dog-Kins. We ask of you, to be the hero of this continent.]
We essentially were the heroes of this continent.
But what we wanted to do here was not to run the continent.
We were looking for someone.
It had taken us a long time, but we could finally fulfill our original objective.
We told him that we would help him as much as we could.
But in return, he had to rule over the continent.
[You are looking for someone…?]
[We are looking for the meaning of our lives, our source of happiness.]
[Well, chances are you wouldn’t know about them, but…]
Darius-sama took his human form and pulled out a piece of cloth from his left chest pocket.
To our surprise, Survival reacted more strongly than I expected. He seemed excited from the thing’s scent.
[What a mindblowing scent…! I’ve never smelled anything like this in my whole life!]
“These are Abel-sama’s socks.”
[And who is this Abel-sama…?]
“My beloved master.”
“You are probably a wolf-dog, a descendant of the wolves that can never be tamed by the humans. But know that, if you are moved by this scent, it means you are essentially a dog. I repeat, you are a dog.”
Survival stared at the socks.
Darius-sama placed the treasure away in his left chest pocket, clearly, he had no intention of showing them off any more than necessary. ‘Well, I couldn’t care less about this continent’s reconstruction, what I’m concerned about is our search–’ he said before someone cut him off.
[Urgent message from the Prime Minister!]
A soldier carrying a specially made capsule came running in.
Intercontinental communication capsule.
It used a year’s worth of gunpowder supply from the Kennel Kingdom to launch the capsule over to another continent.
This process was called intercontinental ballistic communication apparently. The head of the Greyhound Family originally volunteered for the Greyhound to enter the capsule to personally send the message and caused a lot of trouble.
…as expected of the Fourth Division, to succeed on sending this over in one shot…
Inside the capsule was a metal plate and box with material that was strong enough to not melt.
Words were carved on the metal plate, it was a letter and the small box contained…!
[It’s even more fragrant than the cloth just now!]
It was a small white ribbon,
The ribbon had the smell of royalty.
In addition to that, there was an image burned into the metal plate.
A small, skinny-looking, expressionless girl.
She had silver hair and violet eyes.
Her gaze was listless and had an air of loneliness in it.
It wasn’t a wild guess.
My instinct told me this.
As expected, Darius-sama, Survival, and the older Waken took a sniff of the ribbon.
“Leonhardt finally found the royalty. He said he secured and protected her.”
“I want to go back home right away, but Leonhardt said that, ‘She is an earnest person and the kind of person who wouldn’t leave the weak unattended, she would look down on the people who abandoned the weak.’”
Darius-sama wrinkled his brow and made a painful decision.
He decided to improve his master’s opinion of him, even if only a little.
“Call off the search! But before we return home, we will rebuild this continent to be a suitable continent to live on! Survival, you lead the way!”
Darius-sama said to Survival who had been staring at the ribbon.
“I am the leader of the dogs. Survival, you will follow my instructions! Lead this continent and present it to your master. In return, you will be praised and petted by her.”
Survival, the native of the land decided to abdicate the ownership of his own homeland.
Well, I don’t blame him, I too, would do something similar for the child who has that kind of scent.
Though I’m just a weak Mameshiba. My only strength is my pride.
I wonder what can I give to that lonely master of mine?
I racked my brain.
—-In the end, I decided to stay in the Dark Continent to ensure the stability of the continent.
I wanted to reduce the political issues in this continent and give that master of mine peace of mind.
As an autonomous territory of the Kennel Kingdom, together with Survival, I declared this land as my master’s by naming it with her name, the country of Liselotte of the Liselotte Continent. We began the joint administration of the country starting from the Capital City Liselotte.
Darius-sama made a copy of Liselotte-sama’s portrait and she came to be known as Goddess Liselotte in honor of Darius-sama, who prayed to her as his ‘goddess.’
A temple was soon built and the newly emerged ‘Liselotte Cult’ drove out the Purist anarchists. Darius-sama was also revered as ‘O-Inu-sama’ and was treated as the messenger of the goddess.
Incidentally, their dogma was similar to other religions’ dogma, but there was a difference that they specifically worshipped a goddess called ‘Liselotte-sama’, while other religions didn’t have a target of worship.
There was also a law unique to the, in which anyone who sexually assaulted young girls would immediately be executed.
* * *
“O-Mame-sama, please stamp this.”
“Lobo-san, can you please stop calling me by that name?”
My name is Shiba, but for some reason, people started calling me ‘O-Mame-sama.’
Apparently, this is a backlash from me using my dog form way too often in public, even though it was a political move to show the people that we Dog-Kins are the ones in control of this continent.
Moreover, people still called me cute.
It’s a political measure to gain popularity among the people, yes, it can’t be helped, right? I’ll accept this humiliation.
Everything for the sake of my master.
Someday, I hope my efforts will be recognized by her and she will make me her pet dog.
Or so I naively dreamed when I started running the continent earnestly.
No one told me anything.
The fact that she already had a pet dog and that pet dog is also a Mame-Shiba.
Moreover, the dog is the worst kind of dog, completely different from the ideals of the Dog-Kins…!!