Author: Lara Editor: Lara

A faint smell of medicine grazed the tip of my nose. As I swam through the dim consciousness, I felt someone turn over my body with a careful touch. 

 

I was forced to open my mouth and smack my front feet. As my mind grew clearer, a low voice rang in my ears. 

 

“Hmm. The pulse is perfectly normal, she only lost consciousness for a moment due to a shock.”

 

Oh. Fortunately, it seemed to be a touch to diagnose my condition. It felt so careful and gentle that it made my nervous muscles melt. 

 

Relaxed, I continued to sleep because my eyelids were heavy. 

 

“Sir Evelyn, there are no abnormalities in her health, so you don’t have to be concerned.”

 

“That’s a relief. It’s a big problem if Lord Ahin eats a sick rabbit.”

 

Who said I was a sick rabbit? While dwelling on the rude remarks, I could immediately know the owner of the voice. 

 

Talking about emergency food, he must have been the black-haired man who made me faint.

 

I wanted to get up right away and punch him with my front paws, but I pretended to be asleep calmly because the cowardly cells in my body dissuaded me. 

 

Soon after, the voice of the man called Evelyn could be heard again.

 

“Is there any other problem? Maybe the rabbit would shift back into her human form. Earlier, she seemed to understand what I was saying and seemed to be on the clever side.” 

 

“Well … I can’t smell the shapeshifter’s pheromone at all, and it’s already been half a day since Lord Ahin brought her. Shapeshifters couldn’t stay in animal form for more than half a day. If she were a shapeshifter, it would have been time to shift into her human form.” 

 

“Is there any possibility of her being a young shapeshifter who has not yet turned into a human?”

 

“That’s also impossible. Shapeshifters would have turned into humans within three years of birth, young shapeshifters also didn’t behave as active as this rabbit.” 

 

Oops, only then I realized my mistake. I showed the behavior of understanding words easily. 

 

It was natural at the Levian mansion, so I responded to Evelyn’s voice without much thought earlier. 

 

If I told you that I was a shapeshifter, would you let me go? 

 

‘But

 

The more I agonized, the more anxious I was. 

 

I heard there were many scientists in the black panther’s territory, if they found out that I failed to shift even though I already held a coming-of-age ceremony, I would be handed over as a test subject. 

 

After contemplating, I chose to remain silent for now. 

 

“For now, it looks like an ordinary rabbit.” 

 

The doctor looked at me, who had been pretending to be asleep, and asked carefully.

 

“Lord Ahin … did really bring this rabbit to be eaten?” 

 

“No, it’s just my deduction.” 

 

What made you think like that? It was difficult to know whether Evelyn was kidding or telling the truth when he spoke.

 

His word carries no weight.

 

It was ridiculous. Clearly the black panther named Ahin, the owner of this gorgeous bedroom, brought me as a snack.

 

The doctor replied somewhat promiscuously, perhaps thinking the same as me.

 

“Ah yes Sir Evelyn, I’m done with the treatment, so I’m going to leave now.” 

 

Wait, don’t leave me alone with this weird guy! A desperate cry rang out as the doctor left the bedroom.  

 

I have started to get tired pretending to be asleep. However, it was ambiguous to get up now since I could feel Evelyn approaching me even with my eyes closed.

 

“Ms. Rabbit.” 

 

Soon after, I heard a low whisper and felt his breath on my side. 

 

“Your closed eyelids are flinching. If you don’t get up, you may be on the table as an appetizer. Which one do you prefer, as a soup or grilled?”

 

My body jumped up, I raised my head and puffed my eyes. This vicious beast. As of today, he most likely would be the black panther shapeshifter I hate the most among the black panther clan. 

 

***

 

Evelyn, who kneeled in front of the cushion, had a strange confrontation with me. He was quite polite in any manner. 

 

What’s the point of being polite? I could never let my guard down as he was the one who said I was an emergency food. With my ears up, I took a ready posture for a back kick.

 

Feeling such vigilance, Evelyn placed his hand on his chest and spoke. 

 

“I’m sorry for the late introduction. I’m Rudd Evelyn, Lord Ahin’s aide who brought Ms. Rabbit to this mansion.” 

 

The courteous greeting made me worried again.

 

Whether or not I should let him know that I could communicate. However, seeing Evelyn introduce himself in this way, it seemed he had already laid a premise that I could understand what he was saying.

 

“There must be a reason why you drew Lord Ahin’s interest. I just follow that meaning. An animal that understood the continental language, at first I thought you were a divine animal. But your appearance seems ordinary.” 

 

“ … ”

 

“You definitely look ordinary.”

 

You didn’t have to be stressed twice by the fact I looked like an ordinary rabbit. I was angry for no reason because of his trivial remarks and serious looks on his face.

 

One good thing was that I didn’t feel like he was going to eat or harm me right away. By the way

 

‘Why did the black panther named Ahin bring me here?’ 

 

It was said that a beast would come if you talk about it. As soon as I had doubts, a loud salute rang outside the bedroom. The noise caused by the guards’ armor friction sounded creepy for no reason.

 

Eventually, the door opened and a silver-haired man I encountered during the day entered. His  overall loose movement looked like an arrogant beast that cornered his prey.  

 

Evelyn carefully held me, he raised his body and bowed in silence. 

 

“Welcome.” 

 

“Evelyn, why are you here?” 

 

“You sent me to take care of Ms. Rabbit.”

 

Oh, right.”

 

His slow-moving red eyes fell into me, who was in Evelyn’s arms.

 

What do you mean, ‘Oh, right?’ Delaying the answer and making subtle silence just before answering, it was an obvious gesture that you had forgotten.

 

I couldn’t help but wonder why Evelyn pushed me forward and asked.

 

“Lord Ahin, what in the world is this?”

 

“I picked it up in the forest on the rabbit territory’s border. There were people who crossed the border recklessly. Have you checked if it was a shapeshifter?”

 

“The doctor said that was impossible.”

 

“Really?”

 

Ahin was unraveling his cravat while listening to the explanation, his eyes lingered on me again. Contrary to Evelyn’s bluntness, it was an indescribable gaze. It was difficult to even predict what he was thinking.

 

“Well, it doesn’t matter anyway.”

 

“Would you mind if I ask the reason why?”

 

“I’m going to eat it tomorrow.” 

 

His words hit me like a bolt from the blue, I quickly looked up at Evelyn. You said there would be a special reason why Ahin brought me. It’s a different story! 

 

Evelyn nodded and looked at me with a serious face. 

 

“It’s better to be grilled for breakfast. I’ll let the chef know in advance.” 

 

‘Hey, hey!’

 

I was betrayed in a matter of seconds. For the past few hours he pretended to build a bond, there was no other traitor in the world like him.

 

“Oh no, it’s already late.”

 

Evelyn put me down on the bed, he calmly walked to the terrace and drew the curtain. Red curtains gradually covered the dark night sky.

 

“I’m going to leave now. Have a good rest.”

 

Don’t back down as you please. Stop right there, Evelyn! I did my best on the bed and growled, but the traitor’s back went further away.

 

Huffing and puffing until he left the bedroom completely, I felt a shiver creeping down my back. It was because I instinctively sensed danger, thanks to the gaze on the back of my head.

 

As I turned my head slowly, I made eye contact with Ahin, who kept a straight face. For a moment a horrific scene from the day flashed through my mind.

 

“Aaaargh!”

 

“Urgh!”

 

The smell of thick blood spread in the forest and two people’s heads rolled on the soil. The mere thought of it made me sick to my stomach.

 

‘ … to be alone with a black panther like him?’

 

I could never. My eyes became as dark as night outside the window.

 

***

 

It was late at dawn. Crawled out of the blanket, I glanced at the beautiful black panther. 

 

Fortunately, he didn’t budge and fell asleep as if he had forgotten that I was in his bed. As if he was cold, he wrapped up in a blanket and showed only his face.

 

‘He’s really good-looking.’

 

I heard that the beasts have a distinctive splendid appearance, but seeing it in person, I think it was a truth that cannot be refuted. 

 

Contrary to the horrifying and terrifying remarks he had made, such as eating and spitting out insular words, his sleeping face was gentle and soft. When he opened his eyes, he was definitely smiling, but somehow it gave me a chill. 

 

To tell the truth, I felt threatened from the fangs I saw whenever he spoke or smiled.

 

Just looking at the fangs made me feel like my brain was short circuited. A hot sigh escaped.

 

I stared still at the light of the lamp fire that swayed over Ahin’s face, then I turned my gaze and looked at the bedroom. I’ve been looking around for a while, but there wasn’t even a small hole to get out of. 

 

In the first place, this was black panther’s territory, the chances of surviving were low even if I escaped safely. 

 

In fact, I have heard the maid say that the wild beasts shun continental rules and often eat herbivorous shapeshifters. 

 

“We have to bring it deep into the forest.”

 

“The command was her to die in the hands of black panthers.”

 

I lost my energy when I recalled what happened during the day. I have already been thrown out of my family and there was no place to go back to. 

 

“This is a terrible curse!”

 

“Pitiful, it is a lamb forsaken by the God of Beast!”

 

The temple said that the God of Beast cursed me, but it was hard to comprehend no matter how much I thought about it.

 

I couldn’t shift but I didn’t think I had been cursed. 

 

It was certain that my parents wanted me to die in black panther’s territory because I was cursed and a disgrace to the family. 

 

What should I do now? My heart became frustrated because I had to face this situation. Even if I tried to find a way to live, the future was bleak for a rabbit cub who couldn’t shift. 

 

I jumped over the pillow and moved a little closer to Ahin’s face.

 

If I had not been brought by this man, it was likely I would have been eaten by real beasts. It was a very ambiguous relationship, he seemed to be a benefactor but he would become an enemy if he tried to eat me tomorrow. 

 

‘ … As of now I’m grateful.’

 

Right in front of me, I could see Ahin’s flawless skin. Just when I slowly stretched out my front paw to show my gratitude, his eyes suddenly opened.

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