“S-Sorry…I’m sorry, Yuri.”
Leo stuttered, his speech awkward as he apologized. He really looked like a sad puppy.
Yuri thought he looked a little pitiful and stroked his drooping head, and at that, his deflated ears and tail slowly resurrected. She gazed at Leo’s clothes, which looked like they would soon turn filthy, and thought to herself that she had to prepare new clothes for him soon.
Right then, a flock of birds flew across the night sky. They approached where Yuri and Leo were, and slowly began to transform into a shape.
“I’m here, Arachne.”
A young man emerged from the flutter of black feathers. He was very slim, and his face looked oddly pretty, like a doll, making him seem like he was still a premature boy. His dark purple hair fanned out like a dark cloud in the darkness. Peeking through his hair, was a pair of unusual pink eyes, appearing like the stars.
Yuri flatly greeted her fellow test-subject whom she hadn’t seen in a long time.
“Don’t you think you stayed out of touch for too long? I was waiting forever.”
Odin grumbled as he lightly stepped on a nearby tombstone. Then he belatedly discovered Leo, who was puffing out his back in front of Yuri.
Odin’s face crumpled with disapproval.
“Arachne, are you still keeping this son of a bitch around?”
When Odin looked at him, Leo flashed his sharp teeth, his tail raised, and he growled a fierce warning.
‘Hah,’ Odin scoffed, seeing Leo getting in front of Yuri, as if he was trying to block anyone else from approaching her.
“Leo, it’s fine. Stay back.”
As soon as Yuri touched Leo’s head, he instantly transformed into a docile lamb. Seeing this, Odin ground his teeth at the contemptuous behavior.
“I still think that name is too good for a failed son of a bitch.”
Odin’s lips twitched at the sight of Leo acting cute by rubbing his face in Yuri’s hand.
“To think you even gave to a name to a beast abandoned at the lab…Really, Arachne, you’re too nice.”
In Odin’s opinion, Leo was a failure that couldn’t even be called the lab’s test subject like them. Of course, that didn’t mean he was proud of the fact that he was a successful experiment. But basically, the issue was he couldn’t stand the sight of some unqualified son of a bitch stirring up Yuri’s sympathy and sticking to her like a pest. That was just it.
“Hey, watchdog. When do you plan on ever knowing your place?”
Odin deliberately called Leo by name they used to refer to him in the research institute.
“How long are you going to keep mooching off Arachne cuz she’s nice and keeping up this disgusting act of yours?”
“‘Krreung’ my ass. If you have something to say, speak in human language. Don’t bark at me like some dog.”
Leo flashed his teeth again and glared fiercely, but Odin merely snorted, like he didn’t care. This was not the first time their bad relationship came to the forefront; actually, this was a pretty familiar scene.
“Odin. I believe I’ve told you this before.”
But the moment Yuri opened her mouth, the both of them fell silent, like beasts held by the reins.
“Don’t talk to Leo like that.”
The gleam in Yuri’s eyes under her hood was slightly cold. From behind her, Leo whined pitifully. But facing Odin, a hateful winner’s smile was planted on his face.
Odin was enraged when he saw this but held back when he thought of Arachne. Anyway, Arachne contacted him first today after a long time, so it was a happy day.
“OK. I went a little overboard just now.”
So for now, he took a step back first.
“By the way, Arachne, why did you call me today? Weren’t you taking time off for a while? Are you starting again from now on?”
He asked expectantly, but Yuri shook her head.
“No. There’s something I want you to find out for me.”
Odin’s ears pricked up.
“What is it? Tell me everything!”
Since it was Arachne’s request, of course, he had to listen to everything.
“There was a man tailing me some time ago and I think he’s someone from the underworld.”
Yuri described it.
It was very basic information, but for Odin, it was enough.
He majestically raised his arms, making his black feathered cloak spread out like a mantle of the night and crows came out like they were submerged within. They flew across the night sky, creating quite a spectacular sight.
He didn’t exactly have to release the crows this way, but it seems Odin liked to be flashy, as expected. If Odin, who was still very conscious of Yuri’s gaze, knew what she was thinking, he would be quite heart-broken. In any case, it was certain Odin would be able to get the information she wanted faster than anyone, through releasing his crows.
Yuri added in another request:
“And I would also like you to look into the current situation in Carnot.”
“Ahh, because of the rumors that the throne had changed hands? Alright.”
A change in the King of Carnot was a critical issue that affected everyone who had stepped into the ‘shade’ to some extent. So Odin came to his own understanding without Yuri giving much explanation and nodded his head.
“Give me a quote for the request fee, as usual.”
“Nah, we haven’t met in a long time, no need to be dull.”
A somewhat peculiar smile came onto Odin’s pretty face and he drew nearer to Yuri.
“Besides that, Arachne.”
Leo, who was at Yuri’s feet, raised his guard against Odin.
“Are you free tonight?”
A white finger flitted past Yuri’s face, which was slightly exposed beyond the hood, twirling the flowing hair underneath in a seductive manner. Of course, Yuri remained as unresponsive as ever, smacking down Odin’s temptation in one blow.
“I have to go home early today.”
And the very next words that followed made both the crow and fox open their eyes wide.
“I picked up a cat.”
Leo’s eyes were tinged with shock in that moment and Odin’s face was also clouded in surprise.
“A cat? Arachne, you keep those things too?”
“I just happen to be taking care of one for now.”
Yuri turned her back to her two fellow lab mates, opting to leave the graveyard first.
“See you later then.”
Odin and Leo did not look away until Yuri’s figure completely disappeared from view.
“Hey, shitty mutt.”
Leo mildly growled at the low voice that came from Odin’s mouth.
“Do you think the cat Arachne just talked about is an actual cat?”
“No, right? I’m not the only one thinking that, right?”
Leo nodded fiercely, as if he had forgotten he was excluding Odin just a little while ago. But Odin had already put Leo out of his mind.
“Ah, seriously. Why is Arachne so nice to these damn animals? It’s already hard to put up with this son of a bitch.”
A shadowy aura began to slowly gather around him.
Leo flinched away to avoid it and his fur stood on end as he watched Odin with caution.
“To make things worse, she brought it home this time.”
The next moment, Odin’s lips formed a smile akin to a broken piece of glass.
“Hah. Bunch of insignificant things…”
There was a sharp glint to his eyes, vivid even in the darkness, like a fire was lit in them. Odin was in a foul mood. Just imagining that there was another thing similar to this son of a bitch staying in Yuri’s house made him deeply annoyed. As a matter of fact, he was already irritated because of the turds drooling over her at the coffeehouse.
The one who used a crow to deliver poop on Snow’s head today was none other than Odin.
To Yuri, it wasn’t a terrible idea to deal with the troublesome people this way, instead of taking the trouble to personally get rid of them, so she permitted Odin’s little tantrum. But her permission was only up to there. He couldn’t peek into her home as he wished, as it was a very private space of hers, unless he was determined to be hated by Yuri.
Odin grit his teeth and harshly flapped his cloak.
The next instant, he changed into a flock of crows and flew over the graveyard.
Left alone in cemetery, Leo sneezed due to the feathers scattered in the air then he turned in the direction Yuri disappeared to.
‘Reflect on yourself. If you do this again, I might really get angry.’
But suddenly remembering what Yuri said earlier, he yelped and hesitated. Eventually, Leo sulkily turned around. Then instead of chasing after Yuri, he crawled into the bush behind the tombstone, moving towards his nest.
Like that, the noisy night went by for each of them.
* * *
Yuri went straight home after that. As soon as she opened the door and walked in, she locked eyes with the person on the sofa of her living room.
Lakis lifted up a paper that seemed to have been prepared in advance.
Seeing him like this put her in a strange mood for a moment. She wonder why for a bit then the reason flashed through her mind. It had been such a long time since someone greeted her this way when she came back home so it gave her an unfamiliar feeling.
“Yes, I’m back. Do you feel okay?”
But maybe he thought his answer wasn’t enough, Lakis picked up the pen and wrote something down.
[Thanks to you.]
“I guess the medicine did its job. I’m glad to hear that.”
Like Yuri said, the medicine she left on table worked. Of course, it wasn’t the painkiller but the digestive medicine.
Right then, a disgusted voice rang out in Lakis’ head.
 Not sure what this means. I translated literally but I’m guessing he’s acting like a guard.
 Odin calls Leo a ‘poop dog’ here; obviously it’s an insult but ‘poop dog’ doesn’t come across well in English.
 I guess this is how a fox sneezes???
*Funny enough, the author sensors f*ck but not son of a bitch. Which one’s worse?
*The way some of these chapters end give me a whiplash tbh.