Immediately after the words left my mouth, Bubu scratched my arms with her extended claws making me yelp and hastily drop her. I looked at the red marks printed on my skin.
Just what is wrong with that cat?
Bubu ran straight back the way she came. She was never this aggressive. She can't be mad because I didn't take her out, right?
I massaged my temple. I really don't want to go out again, not after what happened. There's no telling what would happen with my luck. But I promised Nana I'll come to see her as soon as I can.
I disinfect the cuts in the bathroom, luckily it was just scratched. I put on some cute yellow kitty bandages I found in the first aid box and returned to the room.
The clock struck 11 am and I just remembered I was supposed to meet my dear husband today for the first time.
Why hasn't anyone come looking for me? Didn't he say to meet him today? Is he waiting for me to look for him? Is his ego this big? Should I take the initiative to find him? But that would only make him feel high and mighty.
[Yes, and if you refuse just imagine what exactly an offended mafia boss could be like.] I shuddered at the thought, he probably has a dark underground dungeon.
I can't afford to mess with him. I might hate all the way to heaven and back but that should remain my secret.
"Be good and wait on the bed, little charcoal. I'm off to meet my "very responsible" husband." Our secret. Charcoal is my bodyguard after all.
"Don't move around, your wound would open."
I pulled the door open and almost knocked my head into a body standing just behind the door.
My heart leaped to my throat and I whipped my head up so fast.
Silver hair. Grey eyes.
"You, again. Can you please, for the love of God stop sneaking up on me? You almost gave me a heart attack."
"Are you that happy to see me that your heart almost gave out?" He grinned.
My lip twitched and my traitorous face started warming up for some unknown reasons.
"You wish. Get out of my way."
Instead, he placed his right hand on the door and pushed it open making me step back.
"Is that how you treat your cousin-in-law?"
"When you started behaving like a responsible adult and not a pervert, I'll treat you like my cousin-in-law."
He didn't respond and simply pushed the door open. He moved to enter without permission but I was fast this time. I placed myself in front of him. "Are you looking for something?"
He eyed the room and his gaze settled on the bed, his lips hook up mischievously.
"I see you've got yourself a new pet."
"None of your business. I'm sure that's not what brought you here."
The 'pet' laying on the bed blink one eye open, glanced at Zed briefly before closing its eye again.
"You can't keep stray pets. You have no idea where it came from."
"I don't care. He's been abused by his owner." Your cousin. "God knows what they'll do to him once he gets back."
"That's none of your business. He can't stay here." He sidestepped and head towards the bed.
"Stop! If anyone comes looking I'll hand him over, okay. You can't just chase him out. He's injured." I dashed to the bed having the advantage of being closer, I grabbed Char hugging him tightly onto myself. "I'm keeping him and that's final. Now get out of my room." I
Zed paused mid-walk and something dark flashed in his eyes. His jaw ticked and he looked conflicted for a while. Finally, he nods and turned around to leave without another word. When he reached the door he stopped, turning his face to the side.
"Your husband is out of town. He left earlier this morning and won't be back for a while. You come looking for him."
"Wait, what?" I said after he left the room.
"What did he mean he left? He just came back and he's away again?" I felt like chasing after him and demanding answers.
"I didn't even get to see his ugly face!"
What sort of marriage is this? Did he marry me just to lock me up? Did I mean nothing to him?
I felt so wrong.
This isn't fair. I might as well get a divorce sooner.
The black cat leaped out of the suffocating hug of the overbearing girl fast asleep on the bed. Straining his injured leg in the process.
He limped out of the room and into the dark hallway. At the end of the hallway stood a mountainous figure with his head wrapped up in a turban and had half of his face covered with a black shaggy beard. He straightened up his back as he caught sight of the limping black cat and saluted.
"Esteemed Ben'el hakam!"
He opened the locked doors of the study and the cat went in, followed behind by the burly guard. As it climbed up a large seat, shadows emerged from the wall and salute in unison.
"Greetings, your majesty." Zus only hummed in reply.
The room was dark and cold, and the only things you can see are the outline of their bodies from the moonlight coming in through the opened curtains.
"Report." His husky voice sounded in the quiet voice. It was a little bit high-pitched due to his current form, his strange accent sounding even weirder. He cursed in his mind for the hundredth time. Although he is currently in the body of a cat, it didn't hinder his ability to speak, but from time to time, he felt the natural urge to meow and purr like a cat. Especially when he gets angry.
Like right now.
Zed who was concealed in the dark was casually leaning on the wall. He was the first to reply.
"He got away. We chased them out of the city and then lost track of them. They vanished in thin air." He made a whooshing gesture in the air.
"That had always been the case anytime we went after them. No matter how close we are to catching they always manage to escape in the blink of an eye." Another one with a deeper and gritty voice said. It was obvious they are all his right-hand men.
"Expect nothing less from dark filthy beasts. It's obvious they are using dark magic. Ben'el hakam, I suggest we change our tactics as well. We'd only be throwing our efforts in vain if we carry on like this." Leo added.
"Hmm," He agreed. "What about the bodies?"
"Maxum and I had taken care of them. They've been burnt, Your highness. Not a single trace can be found." Dardum replied.
"Yes, your Majesty." His burly guard replied.
"Find me a demon of the Red Valley clan, one well versed in dark magic."
"Consider it done, Ben'el hakam."
The room lapsed into silence with that after Ifrit vanished.
"Your highness," It was Maxum, the one with the gritty deep voice.
"About your..... condition. You've been..."
"Forget about it."
"You'll be in danger if the others hear about this."
"I said forget about it. And I don't want to hear a single word on this. If words get out, I know who to hold responsible."
He had no choice but to shut up. They'll have to wait until Ifrit returns with the Red Valley clan demon, hopefully, he can cast out the spell inflicted upon their Prince.
"You are all dismissed." They bowed and stepped back into the wall, vanishing leaving behind the languid Zed.
"Why aren't you gone?" He asked when the room was empty again. Zed moved from his position and sat on a sofa.
"The girl is getting stronger Zus, you should be careful." He said. At first glance, he thought the girl was stupid and naive. Although whoever holds possession of the ring held immense power, he felt less threatened when he met her as she was as good as useless.
He was wrong. First, the dark powder and now mind control. Earlier back at her room, he had to struggle hard to prevent himself from bowing his head down to her. If a demon as strong as he is could bow down to her, it won't be long before she has the entire world at her feet.
"I know," Zus replied. "Keep your distance from her whenever necessary." He'd been glued to her the entire day, of course, he felt the changes in her.
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