Tensei Saki de Suterareta no de, Mofumofu Tachi to Oryouri Shimasu ~Okazari Ouhi wa my Pace ni Saikyou Desu~
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17. An Eccentric Silver Wolf
“The wolves look so comfortable.…You’re doing such a g-great job today too, Lady Leticia. I respect you…”
Edgar stared at me, seeming to be at a loss for words, but unable to hide his interest.
“It’s thanks to my tools. I saw this brush illustrated in a book I read back home, so I used magic to make it.”
“Thank you. I have another one, if you would like to give it a try?”
“Y-you won’t mind if I use such a valuable item?!”
Edgar jumped at it right away. He was a wolf watcher, so his love and curiosity for wolves seemed to be stronger than others.
“These brushes were originally just scrap iron, so they should be fine. However, I’m worried about their durability, and I can’t guarantee how long they will last.…Is that alright?”
When I asked him, he nodded vigorously. His amber eyes shone brightly behind his long bangs.
When I handed him the slicker brush, he held it like a holy sword, quietly shaking in excitement.
“Oooooh, this is a god’s brush!!!”
“Oh gosh, you’re exaggerating. Do you know how to use it?”
“Yes! I-It’s okay! I’ve been watching you for the past few days! Oh, when I say I’ve been watching, I don’t mean in a weird way! Erm, I meant the brush…”
“I know, I know. But just to be safe, brush them gently with little force at first, okay? Some wolves may not be comfortable with that brush, so you should be careful with them.”
This slicker brush had a metal comb, so some of them might find it unpleasant. Fortunately, the wolf in front of me seemed to like it, just like Jiro, but you could never be too careful. It was better to start light so as not to startle them and make them dislike it.
“Y-Yes, Master1! I understand!”
Grasping the brush, Edgar took a quick look around and saw a wolf coming towards him. He stroked the wolf reassuringly, sat it down and began to apply the brush to its fur.
At first, he was a bit hesitant. But eventually, he seemed to get the hang of it and moved the brush with a smooth hand, making the wolf feel comfortable.
That’s what they call a wolf watcher, is it?
“Amazing. You’ve already learned how to use it. Look, it’s so happy to be brushed.”
Edgar was happily smiling at me. It was hard to tell because he was always frightened and stiff, but he had quite a pretty face when he smiled.
“This brush was confusing at first, but it’s easy to use!”
Edgar was talking animatedly about how comfortable the slicker brush was. He still didn’t make eye contact with us, but he seemed to have gotten used to it, and his words were becoming smoother.
“And this looks very useful for getting tangled hair out of the way!”
As he said this, Edgar was removing the wolf’s hair from the comb.
Being a wolf watcher, he naturally had several brushes for the moulting season. However, though they differed in size, all of them had bristles of pig or animal hair.
Although natural materials had sufficient brushing ability, they had the problem of clogging with tangles of loose hair, making them difficult to clean. On the other hand, the slicker brush I’d made had a sleek metal comb and was relatively easy to clean.
From Edgar’s point of view, with so many wolves to take care of, the difference must have seemed huge.
Edgar was brushing the queuing wolves with excitement. Feeling warm because of that, I continued brushing the wolf in my hands.
“Oh, what’s wrong?”
The wolf stirred and whimpered under the slicker brush.
Did I put too much force into the brush?
I observed with worry, but the wolf’s gaze had turned away from me, directed instead to the end of the grove. I noticed that the other wolves had also stopped moving and were quietly staring in the same direction.
With noses pointed at a specific place and ears upright, they sat with their front paws aligned, like vassals awaiting their master’s arrival.
The rustling of trees resounded through the silence, and a wolf emerged into the grove. His fur was a glossy, shimmering silver, shining under the sunlight filtering through the trees. His body, covered with a beautiful coat, was larger and more powerful than the other wolves.
The silver wolf walked up to the front yard and looked around. His eyes were a brilliant bluish-green like a lake in winter, sharp and deep with a hint of intelligence and pride.
The silver wolf approached, staring at us, his bluish-green eyes squinting.
The silver wolf’s face was up close and personal, sniffing and sniffing from right to left and in all directions. It seemed to be checking my scent from various angles.
‘What’s that smell? As I thought, it’s strange.’
The silver wolf tilted his head seeming to want to say that.
The gap between the strangely human gesture and the fluffy body was amusing, and I felt my lips relax.
“Fufu. What’s the matter? Why do you and His Majesty Glenreed find my scent so interesting?”
His Majesty Glenreed.
At that name, the silver wolf’s body seemed to freeze for a moment.
Even though it was a beast, this silver wolf was an individual that was kept by a person. If that was the case, he might have already heard His Majesty’s name elsewhere.
“Edgar, you are amazing. Being feared and even getting wolves to react is not an easy thing to do, no matter how much of a king one is, don’t you think?”
I teased Edgar a little and turned to him.
“Please get away!”
Edgar grabbed me by the shoulders and pulled me behind him. I was surprised to see how strong he was since I thought his large build had only been superficial. I looked up at him and saw that his face was unexpectedly serious.
“That wolf is not one of ours!”
No way. A wild wolf? Even though he was wearing a collar like the other wolves?
I was confused.
Edgar was nervous but ready to face it.
Lucien braced himself.
The silver wolf was glaring at me.
The tense silence was once again shattered by a sound coming from the grove.
“Huff, puff don’t strain yourself so hard. I can vouch for the identity of that silver wolf.”
“Old man Mohr?!”
I could see Edgar’s body loosening after his shout.
The man who appeared was a small old man with a long white moustache and eyebrows that covered his face.
“Edgar, who is this?”
“…He is the head of the wolf watchers and also longest-serving one, old man Mohr.”
“That’s right. I have not had the pleasure of meeting the Queen before. I’m pleased to meet you, Lady Leticia.”
He bowed his head.
I gave my name and greeted him back; I then decided to inquire about the situation.
“…What is that silver wolf, Mr. Mohr? Edgar said he didn’t recognize him either…”
“There are a few reasons for that. Have you seen the colour of his eyes?”
“He has beautiful green eyes tinged with blue. It’s a different colour than the other wolves…”
The wolf that I had been brushing earlier was sitting up and looking at me. Both of its eyes shone amber or brown, depending on the light. The other wolves had brown eyes as well, though some were darker or lighter.
“See? This silver wolf was unexpectedly born with bluish-green eyes. And since many of the royal family possess bluish-green eyes, and wolves were their symbol. Hence, this silver wolf was highly prized and was almost kidnapped by insolent people.”
“…That’s troubling. That pup has been through a lot, hasn’t he?”
It was a terrible thing to try to take him by force just because of his rare appearance.
“Fortunately, the kidnapping was unsuccessful, but…perhaps because of the kidnapping, the silver wolf is a bit eccentric and hard to get along with. As a safety precaution, I’ve been taking care of him quietly in a separate space from the other wolves. Edgar there just finished his apprenticeship, so it’s no wonder he didn’t know. I’m sorry that I didn’t tell you.”
Edgar seemed to be satisfied with Mr. Mohr’s explanation. Edgar was 17 years old, just like me. I’d heard that he had become a wolf watcher only about a year ago.
“Thank you for your explanation, Mr. Mohr. I understand the situation of that silver wolf, but…was it okay for us to come into contact with each other? Could it be that the pup had escaped from where he was supposed to be?”
“Oh, that’s alright. Even if it’s for safety, it’s not good to be too cooped up. I took the time to come down here for a little while to stretch my legs today. I may come here from time to time in the future, so please take good care of him―OW! Hey! Stop! Stop it!!”
‘I didn’t ask to be taken care of!’
The silver wolf head-butted Mr. Mohr as if to complain. He snorted discontentedly and stared at me.
“Um…Could it be that you’re interested in this?”
I held a slicker brush in my right hand. Apparently, this silver wolf was intelligent in its own way. Perhaps he was curious about the unfamiliar tool and was interested in it.
“Is it okay if I touch this pup, Mr. Mohr?”
“He doesn’t like to be stroked, but he should be fine with brushing. After all, he’s had people messing with his appearance for a long time now.”
“Is that so?”
It wasn’t okay to touch him directly, but it was okay to use a tool to comb him? I didn’t really understand the criterion, but it was from Mr. Mohr, who knew the silver wolf pretty well.
I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t pet his beautiful fur, but instead of greeting him properly, I decided to groom his coat. I carefully combed him with the brush so as not to damage his skin.
I stared at the wolf, whose silver fur was becoming even shinier, wondering what sort of strange pup he was.
At a room of the royal palace, in the King’s private office—
“Guu―Damn it. The other wolves looked so comfortable with that brush that I couldn’t help but be groomed…”
He kept muttering about things such as his silver hair being shinier than usual and whether there had ever been a king with such an appearance.
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