Chapter 10: You’re asking why we dig holes? It’s because the ground is there, Master (by Malamute & Husky)
Today was the day I was looking forward to—we’ll be inspecting the whole royal palace.
This time would be mainly the dining hall and the horseless square carriages—all the dog-people called them “tanks.”
I’m looking forward to the dining hall, especially!
On top of inspecting it, I would be eating meals in the palace’s dining hall.
I usually have my meals in the room next to my personal room.
I didn’t use the dining table used by the previous kings because it was too wide and lonely.
Also, since it was lonely to eat by myself, I have Miss Teresa or Lord Mars eat together with me, but I’m interested in seeing the dining hall where everyone else boisterously eats.
Did everyone sit in chairs when they eat?
Lord Leonhardt and Lord Darius wanted to eat their meals at my feet in their dog forms, so even when I was with them, it didn’t feel like many adults were there.
Did they not eat normally in their human forms? Did they not use forks and knives?
Occasionally, the commanders and aristocrats wanted to eat at my feet in their dog forms under the pretense of having a dinner party with the queen.
I couldn’t understand their sentiments as they claimed, “It would be supreme bliss for us to eat at Lady Lizelotte’s feet.”
They prepared food especially for their dog forms and ate it elegantly without spilling anything… In the past, eating underneath the monarch’s table was considered a reward…
I also couldn’t understand that point.
Back when Lord Mazo was participating at that time and I was impressed that he ate more elegantly than anyone else, I heard him whisper, “Now, I can get another step on my back.”
I had done my best when I closed my eyes and stepped on him, but while he seemed delighted, he also said that it wasn’t enough because my legs were weak.
His line, “Please eat plenty and quickly get bigger,” left an impression on me.
My outfit composed of a comfortable, cream-colored, one-piece dress and leggings allowed me to leisurely inspect the outside.
I really liked the pawprint design around the sleeves.
However, there appeared to be many who mistook this pattern for the real thing.
As if jealous of another dog’s presence, they would mutter, “I want to put my prints on her, too,” as they loitered closer. It was terrible. Luckily, Lord Mars would repel them every time.
While it seemed to be on the unexpected side, there were many comfortable clothes when I excluded the very formal ones used as the monarch’s uniform. There appeared to be a history of the development of clothes for “the sake of playing with the doggies.” Although female-oriented, there was an abundance of clothes such as overalls, pants, and leggings in the closet.
When I asked my stepbrother if he wanted to go around with me, he declined, saying, “I’ve already seen everything. Rather, ain’t ya a little late to be interested?”
Lord Leonhardt’s page’s senior was a young lord of the German Shepherd family, but he appeared to be fierce with his work, so I ain’t seen him around recently.
I was so lonely that I ended up almost speaking in a pseudo-western dialect.
“Then, we shall be on our way.”
“The head chef is looking forward to being able to greet you, so please enjoy your meal in the dining hall.”
“Recently, High Priest Apso has been coming to the dining hall, but please pay him no mind.”
Now then, I entrusted Bad-Shiba to Miss Teresa and headed to the dining hall. Lord Mars stood by my side, and all the guards were behind me.
Also, Lord Leonhardt led the way.
Lord Darius was in front, maneuvering the tank.
He stuck quite closely to me, so when I asked him to go on ahead, he whimpered, held the corner of my skirt in his mouth, and refused to move.
―When a dog as large as Lord Darius would grab my skirt, my leggings would be completely exposed.
Miss Teresa would get angry at this, loudly rebuke that a gentleman should hold back his dog tendencies a little, and kick him outside the door. A plucky mother was the best!
Watching that, Lord Leonhardt would snicker out loud. Those two got along well.
The royal palace had five dining halls.
When I looked at the largest and foremost among them from afar, I saw that it operated in a self-served style.
Plenty of rows of tables filled this large space. Inside, many soldiers in human form and those who appeared to be civil officials were waiting in line with their trays.
There was one main dish, but they could choose from the various side dishes and have the amount adjusted if requested.
There were civil officers who only ordered a little and soldiers who heaped mountains of meat on top of their bread. There were various ways to enjoy a meal.
I wanted to observe more, but practically all of the adults sensed me when I neared the dining hall.
It wasn’t just the dining hall as those in the kitchen stopped moving. All their eyes fell on me.
“It’s the queen!” “Lady Lizelotte has come!” “What should I do? My fur’s a mess!” “Master~”
Woof woof woof woof!
They were on the verge of chaos!
I realized this recently, but all the adults loved the phrases, “Wait,” “Sit,” and “Fetch.” Their eyes sparkled in anticipation, wondering when would be the next time I give them an order. Furthermore, it didn’t matter if they were young or old, male or female.
When Lord Leonhardt objected, “I should have notified them beforehand, though,” with a troubled look, the head chef finally came out from inside the kitchen.
He removed his apron from on top of his white clothes and took off his chef hat.
His short, brown hair tumbled out. With droopy, charming eyes, he thanked me.
“Ordering us adults to act like we usually do when the queen arrives is impossible for us. We’ll know from her presence and smell, and once we realize it, there’s no way we could remain calm. I would like to be praised that I managed to prevent many of the adults from coming here from the other dining halls.”
His name was Alan Bloodhound.
He wasn’t from an aristocratic family, but he made his way to the top as the royal palace’s head chef with his cooking skill.
He was on the humorous side as he jested in his introduction. “The reason I was chosen to be the head chef was that the royal family happened to be gone and I hadn’t lost that much fur.”
Since he had the best nose among everyone, he could naturally sniff out the quality of the ingredients along with the smell of soldiers taking an unfair amount of meat.
Because I wanted to eat as normally as possible, I had requested they act as they always did.
They strove to return to their normal selves for me.
But, I sensed them peeking, peeking, peeking at me. I knew that they were trying their best and enduring.
…Unfortunately, if they were going to be this intrusive in the future, it might be best not to go to the dining hall next time.
Sandwiched between Lord Leonhardt and Lord Darius, I also took a tray and lined up.
Lord Leonhardt cheerfully took out a coverall apron and prepared to wait on me, but I declined. I didn’t want to stand out any further.
But, that might be impossible.
The food in the dining hall greatly differed from what I usually ate in my own room.
Was it because it felt like the variety lessened, the arrangement of dishes lively, and the volume increased?
I didn’t like to indulge in luxury as the country’s monarch, so I often suggested that I eat the same as everyone.
Because my favorite was a chicken cutlet with cheese inside, I ordered that first.
Mr. Alan sweetly smiled and presented me with it. Along with marinated vegetables, a piece of round bread, and milk. Milk was always exclusively for me.
Handwritten on the label was “35kg of Milk.”
It was filled with the concern of all that adults since I still haven’t reached the world’s standard weight.
Finally, when I went to get pudding as dessert, white―a fine, white-haired elder dressed like a clergyman was distributing them.
He was the authority of this country’s religion: High Priest Apso.
As he presented the puddings one by one, he preached to the adults.
“Reform your meals.”
Shouldn’t it be “Reform your ways?”
When I appeared in front of High Priest Apso with my tray in hand, he slowly squinted under his thick, white eyebrows. He gave me two puddings, informing me, “Lady Lizelotte doesn’t need to reform her meals, so please eat more.”
“Why is the High Priest here?”
“Because the first king, Lord Aial had said this. ‘Doggies cannot be big and chubby. Pay especially close attention to their snacks.’”
“That is why you’re here in the dining hall?”
“Yes. ‘Doggies should be proactive with their walks. No matter the job, they should come up with a way to move their feet,’ he said.”
This country’s religion was called the ‘Doggie Sect’ and was something created for the dog-people to join along with the existing religion of the continent.
After the death of the first king, the high priests documented the words and deeds of the first king, Lord Aial, and compiled them into their bible (training a pet dog).
The person himself didn’t at all intend for it to be used as a reformative religion, but as his words and actions overflowed with his love towards the dog-people, it ended up penetrating every community.
Unlike other purist beliefs and exclusionist doctrines, their theme became ‘Dog-people live in happiness no matter what and suddenly die healthy,” and it had historical value as a manual to live healthily.
The high priest instructed me to do my best, and I headed for the table.
Lord Leonhardt and Lord Mars looked like they would pick up and carry my tray, but I told them not to with a look.
I said, “Thank you for the meal,” before eating as per the country’s customs.
The glaze was very crispy, and the cheese was piping hot and delicious.
However, what was pitiful was my facial muscles.
Even though I was deeply moved, it couldn’t be expressed in my face. Just how many misunderstandings have happened since because of my overly stiff face...?
But, the head chief showed a wide grin, and the surrounding dog-people were also smiling. Seeing them fawn over me as such, I ate the delicious pudding while feeling anguish in my heart.
During the meal, Lord Mars said he would present me with bell peppers, but I declined. Even if he didn’t like them, he had to eat properly.
Now then, when I finished my TetraPak container of milk, I noticed that the gobbling and chewing sounds from before were still going on.
When I looked diagonally in front of me, there was a mountain of plates on the table slightly distanced from us.
Something was wriggling further in, and it looked like the person was desperately trying to stuff something.
Drawn in by my curiosity, I took a peek after cleaning up my own plate.
There, a short man wearing work clothes was fervently devouring chicken cutlets. Even though he wasn’t fat, he was consuming a dreadful amount. Where exactly did all that mass go?
“Chew chew chew chew chew.”
“Is it delicious?”
“Gobble gobble gobble gobble gobble.”
His response was chewing.
“It’s pointless to call out to that dog during mealtime.”
The one who spoke to me from the side was Lord Rascal Von Malamute and Lord Keith Von Husky.
Two pairs of almond eyes approached me.
When the two of them removed the coats of their military uniform, they brandished their burly arms.
Lord Leonhardt scolded them, saying, “How can you appear before Lady Lizelotte like that?” but the two objected, saying, “But, didn’t Master say that she wanted us to act like we normally do~?”
These two humbled themselves during their first meeting, but when they relaxed, their speech became lazy. I didn’t mind as I gave them permission, but just as Lord Leonhard reprimanded Lord Mars on his speech, he must have often done the same with these two.
They announced they were on their break after meals as well as offered to invite us to see the 4th Division’s independent training before we go to our guided tour of the tank.
It took ten minutes to go there from the royal palace and through the underground tunnel.
When we exited, I saw a building on top of an expansive plot.
When I sat on the fluffy sofa on the balcony by the large window, the two prepared some hot milk for me.
Lord Darius stuck close to me in his dog-form. He appeared to have left the training to Lord Rascal and Lord Keith. Was that alright, captain?
The 4th Division was the group handling technology, information, and transportation.
They were the ones who developed the means of transportation such as the tank, the square box for communication, and transceivers.
Incidentally, when manufacturing such, it was a joint operation with the 3rd Division, but as Lord Rascal’s words swiftly became more technical, I could no longer comprehend.
If it wasn’t for Lord Mars explaining, “The Malamute and Husky families are the quintessential craftsmen, so they’ll often enter their own world. They constantly forget about those around them, so please do not mind,” I would have become depressed that I didn’t understand.
“The glutton you saw before is our chief technical officer, Peter Beagle. As you noticed, once he starts eating, he loses sight of everything around him, so I’m sorry that he couldn’t greet you.”
“Despite his appearance, he’s a competent technical officer. I ask that you please don’t be angry with him.”
“You sure it’s not because he’s undisciplined?”
Lord Mars pointed out, but Lord Rascal scratched his head in denial.
“We’re a group of subordinates who value technical ability, so many of us are too quirky for military men.”
“Especially since Technical Officer Beagle is handling an intense job now and exhausted his stamina. Yes, he should soon come to apologize.”
“I deeply apologize!”
The one prostrating before me was the man known as Lord Peter.
No matter how much of a trance he was in while eating, he would be called a failure of a dog-person, and even more so a Beagle, for not noticing the scent of their queen.
His face looked like he was ready to jump out the window, so I panicked.
“You don’t need to worry about that. I heard that you’re handling an enormous job.”
“Yes! A magnificent hole has been completed so the Puppies can line up three without hitting each other! I think I did quite fine for a digging dog! Moreover, the side of the hole—”
“Yes, yes, stop. Get too full of yourself, and I’ll hit you with a spanner.”
His mouth was covered by Lord Keith.
Lord Peter wanted to be praised, and just as he got full of himself, he was despondent.
He appeared to be a very honest person.
Lord Keith received a call on the transceiver and gave out directions.
“Then, please come with me to the balcony.”
When I went outside, I saw a space that was simply leveled.
Once I left the royal palace, it was wide skies and land. This country was very spacious.
“Then, let me introduce them. They are our beloved tank unit—nicknamed the Puppies!”
The things that rumbled as they crawled on the ground were certainly the same as that horseless carriage that rescued me. No, they were tanks.
Roughly twenty were lined up as they advanced. The round pipe attached in front targeted a small mountain far away.
Lord Rascal instructed them through the transceiver.
The Puppies energetically shot out with a loud sound—and eradicated the mountain.
Rocks and dirt flew through the air. A beautiful plateau was created.
“A mountain has just been erased! Something came out from those pipes?!”
“Yes, they are shells. These are practice shells, so we didn’t use much firepower— Appear, flying Puppies.”
Lord Keith explained, and when he gave further instructions over the transceiver, something came flying in the sky with a thunderous roar.
Another tank. Something rotating was attached to its top.
With a grinding sound, it directed the same round pipe equipped to it to the ground.
Lord Rascal ordered, “Destroy it,” with the same expression, and the eradicated mountain was turned into a large, gaping hole.
If those things were fired at the royal capital where I was born and raised, they would have easily surrendered…
Then, he narrowed his almond eyes, puffed out his chest, and reported.
“This is the power of our tanks.”
“We developed this to find the royal family. It houses the tenacity of us dog-people.”
It wasn’t designed for war but for searching. I felt the weight in these words.
Then, I went down to the training grounds to see the tank from up close.
When I looked closely at the tank, it was larger than a normal carriage and was made of metal.
When I touched it, it felt cold.
This had that much destructive power…
I was allowed to enter inside as well, but there were too many gauges that I didn’t really understand.
My stepbrother was a boy, so he would have liked these kinds of things.
When I sensed their advanced technical prowess, I noticed that a portion of the tank unit had disappeared into the ground.
“The Puppies have vanished!”
“Ah, yes. They’ve returned to the underground hanger.”
Lord Keith responded, and Lord Rascal informed me with an even more prideful expression that there were many underground tunnels in this country, and tanks and other weapons were stored there.
“Dog-people love digging, after all.”
“There are many people who would want to dig because there’s ground. Like the Dachshunds and the Schnauzers. It’s the same with these two.”
[Though, I still don’t understand.]
Lord Leonhardt, Lord Mars, and Lord Darius, who wasn’t working as usual, commented, so Lord Peter, who was silently behind, suddenly asserted, “Yes, yes! Even Beagles have their own individual fortes.”
“Vice Commander! The hole! The matter of the hole! Is it alright to talk about it now?! We can talk about it, right?! It’s fine to discuss it?!”
“It’s fine, Commander.”
“You finally finished it the other day, after all.”
Lord Peter looked like he desperately wanted to talk about it and bitterly remembered the labor, so Lord Rascal gave him permission.
Lord Peter enthusiastically explained.
“Yes! Our excavation—digging unit was creating underground tunnels to every country in the world up until now!
All to find the royal family!
We had reformed the one leading to that revolting Humanist Kingdom to be especially large and wide!
Likewise, we have Puppies already stationed in the tunnel of those guys who insulted Lady Lizelotte!
Preparation for an invasion has already been completed!”
My mouth hung wide open, but Lord Rascal and Lord Keith nodded with a matter-of-fact look.
“Because we can no longer endure the attitude of those who called our Master an idiot.”
“Yeah, Captain said, ‘Can’t we annihilate them already?’ Right, captain?”
[That’s right. It’s about time. Let’s do it.]
“Shh! You can’t! Lady Lizelotte hasn’t said anything yet!!!”
Lord Darius retroactively gave permission, but Lord Leonhardt was flustered.
When I looked over to Lord Mars next to me, he said, “We can finally exterminate those cockroaches, yes?’ I look forward to it. It’s fine to massacre the cockroaches, yes? Since if you leave one behind, they’ll multiple,” with both hands wrapped behind his head and a delighted look on.
He gave me a smile of satisfaction with his large eyes. ‘I look forward to it,’ he says…
You gotta be kidding me.
These doggies were trying to pick a fight on their own to please their master.
This pattern once again?