“Hmph, fine, I won’t fault you for what happened just now but I want you all to surround them right now, I don’t want a single of them to escape!”
The guardcats who had all just stood up, swiftly took up positions around us. In front of us was the traitorous Anmi and in the corner were the shadowy elders who were still carefully observing us…truly, this was a precarious situation.
“Your Highness, I don’t remember us dogs having offended you.”
“Silence!” With the tides turned, the cowardly Prince who, not too long ago, was too afraid to shout at Sinmosa, was now more than brave enough to berate her. ‘What a pathetic cat…’
“Woof!” Seeing his wife get yelled at like that, Sasani let forth a furious bark but unfortunately for him, the Prince didn’t even spare him a glance. Of course, it could’ve just been that no one understood his barking…
“Let’s get this straight here, you’re on MY territory!”
“I guess it’s too late to leave now huh…” Given how sullen I looked right now, one would have thought I had swallowed a fly or something.
“That’s right, those are the only two choices you have now.” Having said that, Weiderly smugly glanced at Anmi who still had his head lowered in a daze: “Anmi, if they refuse my offer, you know what to do…”
“…” Anmi remained just as silent as before though he managed a nod soon after raising his head to look at the Prince.
“I’ll take your silence as consent then.”
“Bah, I’ll give you another ten seconds to consider, if you’re willing to help me, I’ll forgive your previous insolence and even prepare a suitable reward once I ascend to the throne. What my little Sister can provide, I can definitely do so as well, being her older brother.” Patience clearly at an end, he issued an ultimatum to us.
Faced with a choice that could potentially ruin us if we weren’t careful, the Cerberus couple chose not to say a word but instead threw me a trusting look.
If I were to reject his offer…the two of them them would undoubtedly throw their lot in with me as well. Then there was No.3 and Big 4: the two of them, from start to end, maintained a vaguely defensive posture as if they were ready to jump out in my defense at the drop of a hat. And then there was Mo Na and Cinderel’s safety to consider as well…should I reject his offer, those elders would…forget them for now, even those ten guardcats and Anmi were enough to send us packing…in other words…defiance was a death sentence.
‘I don’t want to die, I’m sure the others don’t want to either…even if it’s just out of consideration for the kids, I shouldn’t reject his offer…’
For our survival, my principles had to take a back seat for now. Breathing deeping, I slowly exhaled amidst a furiously pounding heart that threatened to burst from my chest cavity right this very second. With no other choice left open to me, I caved in…was there even a choice to begin with?
“I can abandon the mission given to us by Meisian and help you instead, but I won’t go after Princess Meisian. Also, once I help you ascend to the throne, you must tell me the method of entering Abaddon. If you can’t promise that much, then I’ll just have to say sorry.” Naturally, that sorry wasn’t directed at the Prince or Princess Meisian. Rather, it was directed at those who put their faith in me, the Hellhound family, No.3, Big 4 and Mo Na…
The moment I accepted his offer, I felt a certain weight fall off my shoulders…
“Smart choice, to think there would be such a loyal person amongst the devils, almost makes me want to keep you here with me.” Was he mocking me or was he actually praising me, that I didn’t know but neither did that matter. Having said that, the Eldest Prince nodded his head and signalled for the guardcats to back off.
Once they had all retreated, the Prince resumed addressing me: “So that’s what my little Sister promised you, well, that makes things simple then. As long as you aid me in this fight, I’ll naturally tell you the way to enter Abaddon. I’m sure you know of our ability to Dreamwalk.”
“Mhm, I heard you are able to wander the dream state freely as a soul and accumulate knowledge despite being asleep.”
“And that’s why you don’t need to worry that I will cheat you. After all, it’s just telling you how to enter Abaddon, such a price won’t affect me at all.”
“Then what do you require from us?”
“I don’t need you to handle my little Sister so rest at ease, regarding that front…I have plans of my own…” As he said that, his eyes narrowed and darted towards Anmi. However, given Anmi’s unknown state of mind right now, the poor cat naturally didn’t notice the scheming look the Prince gave him then.
‘Why did it feel like he had just stepped out of the frying pan and into the fire…well since he agreed not to send us against his sister, that means there can only be one target left: the Second Prince.’
“I need you to handle that dumb brother of mine.” As expected, the mission he gave me had to do with his younger brother.
“Same as before?”
“Mhm, after this fight with my little Sister, we’ll have a three way battle. At that time, there won’t be any cats guarding my little brother. All you have to do is walk into his castle and take care of him. How about it, simple isn’t it?”
“…I just hope so…”
‘Maybe it might be simple for you cats, but everything that had to do with the Purgatory Shadowcats so far was anything but simple…can anything ever be simple when it had to do with a bunch of crazy cats…”
“As for your guarantor cat…how about I have Anmi follow you guys. My foolish Brother’s castle isn’t too far off from mine so you guys can rest for a couple of days and set off once his army has engaged with mine.”
Weiderly then arranged for one of the guardcats to bring us to a resting room. Because we still had to wait here for a several days, I chose not to reject his hospitality and left with the guardcat who promptly brought us to a giant suite on the second floor.
Like Meisian’s castle, Weiderly’s was split into three levels as well. The first floor was where the guest hall, office, kitchen and other miscellaneous facilities were all located. That was also where the majority of the guardcats and servant cats lived. The second floor was constructed as accommodations for guests as well as for cats of certain stature, like those elders or the guardcat team leaders. The final floor was the private area of the Eldest Prince; other than those close to him, this area was mostly off-limits to visitors.
The room we were assigned to was huge, spanning at least several hundred meters square. Upon entering, we first found ourselves in a living room that had tables but no chairs; most likely that was because the cats themselves didn’t need chairs. In general, the furniture was crafted in a very Purgatory Shadowcats-esque style, having been made almost completely out of that strange rocklike plant material growing around this region. Certain smaller furniture pieces were even decorated with bones while some were carved from stone entirely.
Just like before, the ceiling was filled with hanging fish bones that I didn’t know the exact purpose for.
Right outside our suite was a well-lit balcony which was stacked full of squarish tables and flower pots filled with those same blackish red plants we saw growing outside.
That was basically it for our room. I had to admit though, sleeping was probably going to be a pain because our beds…if it could even be called that…was a bunch of boxes shaped like a cat’s nest…
Probably out of consideration for a variety of body sizes, there was a number of boxes ranging from large boxes to smaller ones. While the small boxes weren’t much, the large ones on the other hand…they could easily fit both Sasani and Sinmosa at the same time.
Once our guardcat left, Anmi immediately tried to sneak away while we were still caught up in the atmosphere of being in a new room. Unfortunately for him, he was swiftly apprehended by the eagle-eyed Mo Na who forcefully dragged him back with a yank of his tail.
“Bite his tail, Cinderel, don’t let him escape!”
“Ruff ruff!” Cinderel obediently dove for his tail and adamantly held onto it while trying to yank the traitorous cat back. Even though the little puppy’s teeth were clearly not a threat against Anmi, he knew that he was in the wrong here so he chose not to resist but instead halted his tracks.
“So Sir I’m-the-most-reliable-cat-in-my-clan, Anmi, how about giving us an explanation here? There are some things I really don’t get.” As I said that, I glanced at Sinmosa, Sasani, No.3 and Big 4, who promptly encircled Anmi, cutting off any avenue of escape: “We were clearly here on Meisian’s orders and yet just look at what happened to us?! Why did you turn on us?”
Though I said that, Anmi clearly had no intention of running away anymore. Instead, he lowered his head, averting his eyes in the process, and then mumbled: “I just don’t want to marry Meisian…”
“Do you hate her that much?” By now, even a moron could tell that he didn’t want to marry her, that much I didn’t need him to explain, what I truly wanted to know was why.
“I told you those three siblings are all morons…”
“Don’t try to bluff your way out of this, I know you’re hiding something for sure.”
“Silence is golden huh?” I glanced at the two Cerberuses: “Pin him down, No.3 you know what to do, I want all his fur gone right now!”
“Hey…don’t be like that, we’re all companions here, aren’t we…there’s no need for such cruelty…” The moment he saw the two Hellhounds approach him, he immediately started to struggle furiously but with the two of them arrayed against him, and given that there was hardly any space between them to begin with, it only took a few seconds for them to apprehend him.