Chapter 83

Chapter 83

Throwing away my conscience and using my brain, I promised Sasha that if she won the fight, I’d let her make a contract with the devil. I stood face to face with Sasha.

It was time for a conversation.

“Sasha, do you really want to make a contract with the devil?”

“Mm! Of course!”

“Can you tell me why?”

I was a little nervous. Even though I had heard something from Dimitri, I wanted to hear it from Sasha’s mouth.

‘Although it’s quite regrettable since I’ve already made the promise.’

I hoped Sasha didn’t want to make a contract with the devil on a whim. If I could persuade her, I hoped I could.

As I thought that, I couldn’t let go of that glimmer of hope. However, something came out of Sasha’s mouth that I hadn’t fully expected. She gazed at me straight with her blue eyes, as if she were tenacious, and made a clear argument.

“I’m going to be strong. I’ll be strong and keep the bad guys out of here, and I’m going to protect Rowaine and Coco and the others. The leader is strong, so it’s okay, but the rest of the family are weak, so I have to protect them.”

By leader, she probably meant Dimitri.

I was speechless for a moment as I listened to Sasha’s words.


That was what she was thinking. She was accepting us as family.

My heart ached.

Sasha continued excitedly.

“I’ll lead the family well, so no one is going to be abandoned.”


“It’s a terrible feeling to be abandoned. If you’re suddenly abandoned in a strange place one day, you’ll have no idea what to eat or what to avoid. Walking around barefoot in a world you’ve never seen before until dawn… you feel very dirty.”


It was so sad that she still remembered what happened when she was abandoned. I thought she had forgotten all about everything and was happy because she always seemed so cheerful and active.

My heart ached as I listened to Sasha’s courageous voice.

“I can never forget the helplessness of that day, Rowaine. I’ll be strong. I’m going to be strong and never feel that helpless again. And I won’t let my family feel that way either.”


I stroked her cream-colored hair as I called her name with a sigh.

Who abandoned her like this…

Who made her grow up like this…

I could have been resentful of them, but instead, I was heartbroken by Sasha’s innocence, which burned with a sense of responsibility to protect her family. I never thought she was thinking this seriously. At the same time, I regretted not listening to Sasha’s story.

I wondered what I could say to convince her?

I finally understood what Esca’s words meant.

“Sasha’s desire is much stronger and more persuasive than Madam Rowaine’s opposition, so there’s no way you’re going to win her over.”

As it turned out, he was right. Sasha’s desire was much stronger and more convincing than my vague sense of anxiety that ‘she can’t do it because it’s dangerous.’

Hiding my churning heart, I smiled at her.

“Okay. You can do it, right?”

Sasha nodded without hesitation.

“Of course. I’m not going to die, Rowaine!”

At the same time, Cayetana’s maid, Betty, who had been ordered to keep an eye on Rowaine’s every move, was eavesdropping on the conversation between Rowaine and Sasha. She clearly understood what the two were talking about through Sasha’s clear voice and headed to her master’s room.

There, Cayetana was drinking a strong, rose-scented black tea.


“Did you hear something?”

“I don’t know if this is a story that will help you, Madam, but the Duchess was talking about the devil with the cat shapeshifter.”


Cayetana let out a sullen sigh, wondering if it was a trivial story again.

‘Always surrounded by cats all the time. It seems that there is nothing but shapeshifters in my head.’

So it would have been better to tie Rowaine up with the shapeshifters and send them away, but there wasn’t much to hold a clue*.

[ T/N: An idiom which means, ‘to use something as a pretext to provoke a quarrel. ]

Rowaine, who was said to enjoy abusing shapeshifters, was, on the contrary, very kind and gentle with them. It would be nice if she could use her cruel temper to demean her and use that as an excuse to apply pressure on them.

“She said she’d let the cat shapeshifter make a contract with the devil.”

“What? Are they trying to nurture a monster like Dimitri? Ha.”

When she found out that Dimitri was dealing with demons, Cayetana did a little research about demons in order to figure out his weaknesses.

‘It’s very rare to succeed in signing a contract with a devil, and it’s even rarer to make a pact with a strong demon…’

Her brow narrowed as her thoughts deepened.

‘Could it be possible that the reason why she brought in so many cat shapeshifters was with the intention of training an army?’

Perhaps. After all, there were cat shapeshifters who make contracts with demons as powerful as Dimitri’s, so if she let a bunch of cat people tried it, maybe some of them would survive.

‘Still, Rowaine isn’t the first person to make such an attempt.’

Inspired by the Emperor’s use of hounds to build a powerful army, there were nobles who tried to do the same with all sorts of animals.

However, none of them were successful.

The emperor used the ‘curse’ secretly passed down from the imperial family to completely subjugate the dog shapeshifters without anyone leaving, even at a lower cost than a regular army. The other nobles, however, had no means of keeping the powerful shapeshifters in line.

‘Especially in the case of cat shapeshifters, who rebel against their owner or run away, unaware of the grace that has been bestowed upon them.’

Very occasionally, someone would force hundreds of cat shapeshifters to make contracts with the devil and gain one or two strong cats. Still, their endings were always the same—either got revenged by a cat shapeshifter and died or lost without any control over them.

‘You’re wasting your time, Rowaine.’

Clicking her tongue, Cayetana raised her teacup to her lips but stopped just before putting it to her mouth.


She set her teacup on the table again.

‘I don’t need the truth to catch a clue.’

As she thought so, her eyes moved quickly as if calculating something in her head.

“Yes, cats with the devil…


Tilting her head, Betty glanced at Cayetana, who was talking and chuckling to herself. Her rose-red lips then curled up to one side in a thin arc.

“Cats with the devil…”

Her long fingernails grazed against the beautiful teacup rimmed in gold.

“The rat shapeshifters’ nightmare is also a demon… all bad things are evil.”


The next moment, high-pitched laughter spat out of her mouth as if she was having fun.

Taking Sasha to his office, Dimitri began secretly teaching her how to make a contract with the devil. They agreed to set a date once she had a brief knowledge of demons and what to look out for. During those times, I didn’t go anywhere near the office because I knew that if I listened to the two of them talk together in the office, my resolve would be swayed and I would oppose them again.

Two days passed by just like that.

The other kittens were being educated by Esca, Coco was as cute as usual, and Blue, along with Sasha, were solidly playing the role of the leaders of the annex.

In the meanwhile, the school dormitory that would be used as a shelter was undergoing renovations, and we were told it would be ready to accommodate the prisoners within a few days. I also received a report from Avila that the dogs were doing well and that they had started a private study.

Baron Seville Placen and I took care of the mansion as usual and inspected the estate once with Dimitri.

Dimitri had been carefully selecting the elders and cronies to recruit to our side. Thankfully, things seemed to be going well, seeing as Dimitri was happy that my healing abilities were significantly increasing his efficiency.

It was doubtful whether the elders, including Count Schdental, hadn’t been able to fight back yet, whether it was desperation or they were preparing something. In addition, Cayetana’s silence was suspicious, but it was a peaceful day.

In the meantime, an unexpected guest suddenly contacted Blois.

“The First Princess wants to visit Blois.”

After lunch, I was drinking tea and relaxing in the study when Dimitri came over and handed me a yellow-dyed letter.

“The First Princess?”

Surprised, I picked up the letter and read it.

In the letter, in very old-fashioned handwriting, was a courtesy request for a visit, saying, “I wanted to visit the estate nearby for a change of scenery and was told that the scenery of Blois is excellent and suitable as a tourist destination.”

I was overcome with a very strange feeling.

Because the First Princess Elaine de Astor was…

‘She’s the original heroine…!’

In the original story, it never happened and never would have happened.

‘The heroine goes sightseeing in the home of the villain?’

I swallowed a gulp and glanced at Dimitri.

“Are you going to allow her?’

“I don’t see any reason why I should say no, so there’s nothing we can do about it.”

In the original story, the heroine would’ve turned against Dimitri after he harmed Cadis, whom she had been eyeing, and for his involvement with the Count of Bilbao’s slave trader. However, because I twisted the whole thing, Dimitri and Elaine haven’t had any contact.

That said, there was no ill feeling between the two of them yet.

‘It’s going to be okay… I guess?’


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