“Wh, what is that…”
“It’s like a stone that comes out when you hit the devil, and it’s really delicious.”
…It sounds like an explanation of a game description.
“You say you hit the devil…”
“Yes, though humans can’t catch it.
Cats as strong as tigers seem to catch them.”
Saying so, Coco then bumped his fluffy front paws like cotton together before adding.
“Ah, the dream demon’s magic trick also makes their hearts hurl out.
I’ve eaten it once.”
Rat Shapeshifters and dream demons…
I have seen the contents mentioned in the original novel about their existence.
The status of the prisoners was not high in human society here.
However, among them, the rat beast received less treatment than all the other beasts.
This was because rat Shapeshifters were enemies of humans, using dream demons, which were lower demons, and shared the energy of sleeping humans.
Even if a little bit of energy was taken away from people with a healthy body, they would only have little energy for a couple of days.
But, in the case of children and the elderly, it could lead to death.
People here often suffered from headaches because of rat beasts and dream demons.
However, for the cat beast, the low-level dream demons were nutritious food.
Cats and beasts have mystical eyes that can recognize demons, and it is said that cats and beasts can use that point to catch dream demons.
So, even though it was the first time I had ever heard a story like a devil’s heart, I knew to some extent about rat beasts and dream demons.
Coco opened his mouth confidently, waving his paw.
“Devils are strong, but I can catch a dream demon with just one shot.”
I was a little disappointed.
‘That is something I cannot make or do for him.’
Like a cat who was quick to recognize people’s emotions, Coco quickly noticed that I was disappointed and comforted me.
“They sell it at stores, too.
Hunters use cat and beast slaves to hunt down devils and sell them.”
* * *
Dimitri, in the form of a cat, was sitting right in front of Rowaine’s door, listening to them.
He did not really listen to anything in particular, though he just happened to hear it by accident while walking to the annex far away from the main building.
After all, cats have good hearing, so it was by chance.
Then, the conversation he heard from inside made him click his tongue.
‘That cat is wielding Rowaine very well.’
Because of Coco, who wanted to eat the devil’s heart, Rowaine immediately began to get ready to go out.
‘Such a bother.’
Coco, who was close to Rowaine only and liked her very much, annoyed him.
‘…Let’s follow first.’
It was to keep an eye on Coco.
He doesn’t really want to follow Rowaine.
‘It would be better to follow in the cat’s form.’
If he turned into a human, they would notice him right away.
Thinking that, Dimitri quickly ran to his room.
He then found a small bag the size of his palm in his closet.
‘I might need clothes.’
Dimitri, in human form, shoved his shirt and pants into a bag, before turning into a cat and carrying the little bag on his back.
He waited for Rowaine to get into the carriage, and then slipped into the carriage’s luggage compartment.
* * *
As the carriage headed near the trader store, Coco sniffed the air and his eyes lit up.
“There’s a lot to eat there! I smell the hearts of many kinds of demons!”
Then, he put his chin on my lap, gazed up at me and begged me.
Coco had now been in a human form.
“Will you buy me, angel”
Coco, who had been shouting no, no earlier, swiftly changed his tone this time.
“Will you buy me, Madam”
At that, I stroked Coco’s hair.
His long wheat-colored eyelashes were constantly drooping and purring.
Although at my answer that followed, he pointed his lips out.
The carriage glared past the Shapeshifter’s trader store.
Seeing Coco feeling sad, I took a deep breath.
‘I have a lot to teach him.’
Even though Coco was a clever cat beast, he often lacked basic common sense.
Perhaps, it was because he was still young and had not received the basic education that people receive because he was held as a slave.
Besides, in this world, prisoner slavery was so legalized.
Naturally, the rights of prisoners were not protected at all.
As a result, exploitation of prisoners’ labor or abuse of prisoners was a daily occurrence.
So, even though Rowaine took the prisoner and abused them, no one stopped her…
‘Still, some people with the right idea seem to know that it was not desirable.’
As proof of that, there were many people who cruelly cursed and slandered Rowaine, who publicly abused Shapeshifters, so her notoriety has spread far and wide.
I explained to Coco in a way that was as easy to understand as possible.
“That’s where the hunters exploit your friends and sell them, Coco.”
“I don’t have friends.”
Maybe, it could be you and not the other cat beasts.”
“If I pay money to buy things at a place like that, people who have experienced it will be making money.
Then, they’ll take more cats, hunt them and exploit them.
How would you feel if you lost all your prey And, you don’t want to hunt, but what if you force the hunt to continue”
“I don’t like it…”
Coco, a clever cat beast, quickly understood what I was trying to say.
He did not tell me that the hunters exploit the feline beasts.
However, I could easily guess that they would forcibly exploit the cat prisoners.
‘Cats are not suitable for work.’
If you are a dog beast, you would be able to cooperate with humans to hunt and actively help with things that are beneficial to humans.
So, in fact, it was written in the novel that among the beast slaves, the dog prisoner was the most popular.
You can teach martial arts and raise them as guards, or you can carry them around as guards.
Of course, there are people who just take them as pretty pets.
Although I have also heard that poor aristocratic families, who do not have enough money to manage their employees, buy one or two dogs and use them instead of their employees.
On the other hand, in terms of ‘labor force,’ the cat Shapeshifter was highly evaluated as beings with no investment return.
After a while, two of my newly-selected exclusive maids saw Coco and said without malice, ‘If the Madam wants to get work done, you’d be better off with a dog.
But, your taste is different.’ Since most cats are mostly regarded as ornamental—just to enjoy the cute looks.
Because of my personality…
“Angel, where are we then”
He does not listen to me very much.
Far from being loyal like a dog beast, he was showing a bit of rebellion and pride.
“You ignorant cat!”
“That’s even worse, Coco.”
“Even if it’s bad, I’m cute.”
‘I can’t refute…’
How would they train these guys to make enough money to make a living
‘I asked the butler, and he said that the devil’s heart was traded for that much without turning the price of snacks for cat Shapeshifters like a factory.
It is impossible to make a living with cat Shapeshifters.’
Of course, there were cats like Dimitri who suppressed their instincts and worked hard.
However, in Dimitri’s case, the story was different because he voluntarily pursued his own goals.
Besides, he was a well-educated man in the first place.
‘It was written in the novel that Mrs.
Elbas hated Dimitri’s cat behavior so much that Dimitri’s mother trained him to behave like a normal person as much as possible.’
So, that was why he seemed like a normal person when he was with other people.
‘…Still, he still looks like a cat in my eyes…’
I am a big fan of cats.
Huhu—The more you know, the more you see.
Anyway, given the nature of the cat beasts, it was expected that the hunters would use a coercive method against the cat beast slaves.
Still, after hearing the story of the devil’s heart, I came out to train Coco to hunt.
“Today we’re going to catch a lot of demons, Coco.”
I wanted to bring some snacks back.
Coco, noticing my intentions, opened his eyes wide and then tilted his head 45 degrees.
“Are you going to exploit the small and weak like the hunters, Madam”
Coco’s head tilted further.
“Are you going to exploit Coco and give the brother the devil’s heart”
…What should I do with him, really
Reluctantly, I had no choice but to beg Coco.
“You can hunt only three… No, can’t we just give two of them to this angel”
If I gave it to Dimitri as if it was a gift from Coco, I wondered if he would like Coco a bit…
Meanwhile, without knowing how I felt, Coco smiled with a triumphant expression on his face.
“Do you think hunting is that easy, Duchess”
…In the end, I promised to make a cat scratch his chin for fifteen minutes for three days in exchange for receiving two devil’s hearts.