“If I’m not mistaken, your child doesn’t have a name yet, do you need my help coming up with a name?” Having came up with so many good names for my subordinates in the past, I was rather confident in my naming sense so I decided to offer my services before asking one last question, a question that I had been concerned about all this while: “Oh right, is your child a male or a female?”
‘So it’s a female, great, great, if it’s a she then I don’t need to take her out by accident. My daughter will be safe after all.’
Looking at the two little scamps playing together nearby, Sinmosa smiled a mother’s smile. “Miss–ter Mo Ke, if it’s all right with you, can you name our daughter.”
“You were about to say ‘Miss’ weren’t you…”
“…” She gave me an awkward smile and neither denied nor confirmed that.
‘Bah, I just knew that would happen sooner or later. It’s not even worth my energy to refute it anymore.’
Intending to move on quickly, I threw out a quick explanation of my gender before getting down to her request. “Whatever the case, you just have to know that I’m a male. As for your daughter’s name…how about we call her Lil’Blacky.”
“Don’t give me that look, I was just joking, livening up the mood and all that…definitely not out of spite for what you did…if you don’t like that name, I’ll just change it so there’s no need for that stare…believe me, it will be good…how about Cinderel?”
The name Cinderel was something I came up with after thinking of that famous fairytale. It was a pleasant sounding name and had a pretty decent connotation behind it. After all, the heroine did marry a prince. And yes, the name was nothing but a rip off of Cinderell*…
“Cinderel?” Sinmosa paused for a moment, giving the name some thought before turning to her husband who had been listening intently to our conversation till now. The two began conversing in the tongue of the hellhounds after which Sasani gave a nod of his head, seemingly pleased with the name I gave. WIth that settled, there wasn’t much reason for Sinmosa to reject either: “My thanks, Mister Mo Ke. Our child will be known as Cinderel from now on.”
Having said that, she turned her eyes back to the little black puppy still in the midst of horsing around with Mo Na.
‘Hmmm really though, what’s wrong with Lil’Blacky, it’s endearing and full of meaning…’
With regards to finding the Purgatory Shadowcats, it was rather simple, just head east. There was no chance of getting lost this time since we had Sinmosa and Sasani to lead us along the way. As an added bonus, we no longer had to waste time on trivial tasks like scouring for food thanks to Sasani. His familiarity with the surroundings meant that hunting was a lot faster as well.
To the husband and wife, leading us around and accompanying us wasn’t the most difficult part of the journey at all., Rather, it was the fact that they had to face their own kin that concerned them the most.
Naturally, it would be best if we passed through the territory of the hellhounds without being noticed but was that even possible? After all, hellhounds were famous for their amazing sense of smell. For strangers like us to even pass through unnoticed was basically…impossible.
On the second day of being in the territory of the hellhounds, we were discovered by a patrol. Coincidentally, the patrolling hellhound was someone Sasani knew, even more coincidentally and perhaps worse so, that person, dog, was Sinmosa’s suitor. Emphasis on the was…
With regards to this particular encounter, one had to first know about a certain life form in Purgatory before talking about this story. The territory of the hellhounds was a mountainous one with steep slopes and rock terrain abound. It was a difficult land to traverse, for us at least.
The land itself barely had any plant life so the roads were mostly blackened stones with streaks of red lava peeking through the cracks from time to time. Within said streaks lived a number of strange insects that could be consumed as meat. However, those insects tasted horrible and most hellhounds avoided eating them unless they really had to. Even in the hardest of times, Sasani would never allow Sinmosa to eat those insects.
Because those insects were remarkably weak, their souls were extremely fragile as well. The instant they died, their souls would immediately dissipate into the air leaving nothing behind to be consumed.
The hellhounds named these type of insects Meat Worms because of their remarkable resemblance to wood borers, except that they were painted red.Naturally, I avoided them completely, let alone think about eating them. Mo Na on the other hand, was fascinated by them but thankfully I managed to nip that fascination in the bud by force.
Other than those worms, there was another source of meat known as the Flame Devouring Frogs. These frogs were basically the frogs from Earth but with a tunneling ability and no fixed habitat.
They mostly reached the level of One-star with some even reaching Two-stars. These frogs were communal creatures and grew to be as large as a kitten while still possessing an impressive leaping ability. Their meat was known for being delicious so they ended up as one of the main food sources for the hellhounds.
The whole reason why we bumped into Sinmosa’s suitor was because Sasani so happened to bump into them while they were out hunting for frogs as well.
Like that, the two Cerberuses met each other despite both assuming that they would never have to see each other’s ugly mug for the rest of their lives.
Both sides gave out a warning howl. However, since I couldn’t really tell the two apart, I almost mistook the new Cerberus for Sasani. Had it not been for the fact that Sasani was clearly the one standing nearer to us, and that his soul aura was familiar to me, I might have really mixed the two hellhounds up.
“What’s up with those two?” I pointed at the two Cerberuses and turned around to ask Sinmosa who had just rushed over after hearing Sasani’s howl: “Aren’t you guys from the same clan? Why is Sasani acting like he just met an enemy?”
“The one facing off against Brother is Neanderke, he used to be…” All three of her lips curled into a bitter smile having said that. “He used to be my suitor…the most fanatic kind as well…”
‘So that’s why….come to think of it, if I was fanatically chasing after another girl, but that girl ended up eloping with her own brother instead…I would’ve probably lost my mind there and then.’
‘I totally get where that Cerberus is coming from now. I bet he and all the other suitors were thinking something along the lines of: at least choose one of us, anyone is better than your own brother! Or perhaps something along the lines of: are you siblings messing with us or something?! Perhaps even something the lines of: I treated you as my older brother-in-law and yet you stole my goddess from me?! Well, I’m out of perhaps for now…either way the moral of the story is, poor Neanderke…’
“Mama, looking at those two Cerberuses reminds me of a saying…” Mo Na furrowed her immaculate eyebrows and thought hard for a moment before enunciating the phrase, word by word. “Men are naught but fortune’s fools”.
Soon after that stormy greeting, the Cerberus known as Neanderke discovered our position as well. His attention, however, was immediately captured by someone else entirely: Sinmosa. The moment she trotted into view, outsiders like us were completely erased from his sight.
Tossing aside his hated love rival, he galloped towards the nearby Sinmosa and though his three dog faces still looked foreign to me, I could tell that they had on blissful smiles at the moment.
Neanderke must have really liked Sinmosa. Really. He liked her so much, he even ignored the fact that she was already happily married. He liked her so much, he threw aside everything the moment he saw her and galloped right to her side, only to have his dream shattered right away…
Standing right next to Sinmosa was not only me but also Mo Na, and in Mo Na’s arms was a certain puppy known as Cinderel.
To a hellhound like Neanderke, there was no way he wasn’t able to detect the combined scent of Sasani and Sinmosa on the unknown little puppy.
Just based on that alone, one could, beyond any reasonable doubt, judge that she was a child of those two.
If I had to describe the poor hellhound right now, a certain song verse came to mind:
I thought staying behind wasn’t wrong
I thought my hard work would be understood
Yet even the falling leaves are mocking me
<<Walking in the Cold Wind>>
(TL: <<走在冷风中>> Go youtube it yourself.)
(TL: Not going to translate the whole song because he wants to make up his word count…)
Truth be told, I really pitied Neanderke. From his doggy dog faces, I could feel the immeasurable sorrow oozing out of them. It was as if the entire world had abandoned him despite all he had done. He probably thought that they would never meet again in this lifetime but fate decided to play a cruel trick on him. Not only did he meet his goddess once more, he even met the child she bore with his hated rival…
‘Oh heavens, please send down your heavenly wrath to strike this d*mned love triangle…’