7 A Talent for Taming
The Skaduwee growled at Casimir, glaring at the intruder which suddenly appeared in its stable warily, ready to pounce at any given moment.
"Young master, don't make any sudden moves. This type of predator tracks their prey through movements." Edgar said calmly, trying not to spook the beast.
I'm about to be eaten here and you tell me not to move?!
Casimir thought to himself angrily but still chose to follow Edgar's advice since he was more experienced in these types of circumstances.
What he didn't take note of though, was that, due to his sudden fall, the haystack which he had landed on had become unstable and, right at that moment, it began to give away, causing Casimir to slip further into it.
Although he only slipped slightly, it was that small action which served as the last straw for the beast and, with a pounce, the beast had Casimir pinned down.
Is this how I die?
Am I about to die again without even accomplishing anything in this world?
No! I refuse this ending!
Casimir glared at the Skaduwee which had its teeth bared at him.
"Why is the barrier in Stable 26 deactivated?! Where's the kid who was in charge of it?!" Edgar grabbed one of the workers and started firing question after question.
"S-sir! Clint was su-supposed to be the one taking care of stable 26 b-but, yesterday he was disposed of for letting the b-beast inside the stable escape!" The worker stuttered out, his answer making Edgar click his tongue angrily.
Just as Edgar was about to rush towards the stables gate, the worker said something that made Edgar's blood run cold. "Y-yesterday, sir... The beast attacked the y-young master a-after it escaped..."
"Fuck!" Edgar cursed, running as fast as he could to the stables. This type of predator never lets go of the prey it set its eyes on! It would run after its prey and never give it up even if it dies trying to catch it. Hopefully, the young master survives until I get there.
In the stable, Casimir determinedly stared back at the Skaduwee, his eyes meeting the beast's.
I am going to become the most powerful wizard in the world and I won't let anything stop me!
"Get off me." Casimir said in a grim tone. Unconsciously, a sinister aura was being released from his body, causing the fur on the back of the Skaduwee to stand in caution.
It was as if Tachibana Ayami, one of the top assassins of Gretzheims, had been revived.
The Skaduwee, unlike its wild and feral appearance would suggest, was actually a creature with high intellect and, right now, its brain was telling it that the prey in front of it may actually not be a prey at all.
"I said, get off me!" Casimir shouted at the beast, his voice and pressence turning cold, putting an invisible pressure on the beast.
The beast started to release its hold on Casimir's body but didn't fully let go, as if it was hesitating.
So when Edgar finally arrived at the scene, he had the shock of his life.
There, inside the stable, was a small boy, barely one third the height of the Skaduwee, sitting on a haystack with a hand on the beast's nose, trying to push the beast away.
Instead of the boy being afraid like one would expect, it was the beast instead which had a frightened look.
At least, that was what it looked like to Edgar.
"Let me go already, you stupid beast!" When the beast refused to let him go, Casimir decided that he needed to use force to make the beast understand him better so, with a clenched fist, he punched the beast's face with all the force a child's body could muster.
Surprised by the sudden attack from the child under its claws, the beast accidentally let go. Despite the level of attack being no more than a tickle to the beast, it was actually stunned since it was an action it had never expected.
None of its preys had ever fought back.
With this, its previous hostility to Casimir had turned into rabid interest so, in order to not let this interesting creature go, the beast directly laid down on Casimir who was just about to escape.
Its head was on top of Casimir's belly with its chest pinning down the boy's legs in a way that would prevent the boy from moving without harming him.
"Again?! Stupid beast, get away!" With his hands as the only parts of his body which he could move freely, Casimir tried to push the beast away with all his might. "You're too heavy!"
To Casimir's attempts, the beast just sniffed the hands that were pushing its head away and licked it, trying to imprint the smell and taste of the boy in its head.
It licked my hands! Is it trying to have a taste of its meal before consuming me whole?! Casimir suddenly had a terrifying thought.
From the corner of his eyes, Casimir finally spotted Edgar who was just standing in front of the stable's gate, staring at them with a blank expression.
"Ack! Mr. Edgar! A little help here please!" As if being woken up from his reverie, Edgar shook his head and hastily unlocked the gate, attracting the attention of the Skaduwee.
Seeing an unfamiliar man entering its stables, the beast growled lowly, warning the man to not go further in its territory or else it would attack.
Edgar paused his steps, aware of the beast's meaning, having been dealing with different kinds of beasts for more than twenty years already. But, since the son of the manor's lord might be in danger, Edgar couldn't help but grit his teeth and throw caution to the wind.
He discretely grabbed his wand from the pocket of his trousers and braced himself for what was about to come. He hesitantly took a step forwards.
Unfortunately, the beast didn't take his actions too kindly.
With a loud roar, the Skaduwee stood up and charged towards Edgar, its teeth bared and ready to rip the man to shreds.
That sudden shout was like a single drop of water in the ocean amidst heavy rains; so insignificant. Yet, it was that exact shout which caused the beast to halt its actions and look behind towards the young boy who was just getting up from the ground.
"Have you heard?"
"The young master! Have you heard?"
"Of course! Who hasn't?!"
"I've asked around the stablehands! They said the young master fell into the cage of a newly arrived beast and within ten minutes, the beast was tamed!"
"Ten minutes? I heard it was five!"
"So insane! He must have been born with a great talent for taming!"