TC Chapter 12

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“Yes…..”

Asha’s shoulders shrugged even more.

“….
You were very determined to be a hunter.
The strangest thing is that he didn’t catch you.
Riding a horse would not have been enough to run away from him.
You know better how excellent the skills of the Emperor’s knights are even if I don’t tell you.”

Asha nodded. 

The thorns that protect the Emperor, the Cactus Knights. 

They are very loyal, and they never let go of their target.

They are like cactus armed with thorns all over their bodies, surviving under the scorching sun without water for a long time.

“…….All right.
I will teach you how to ride a horse.”

At Jackal’s words, Asha lifted her head in delight.

“Really?”

“Still, it’s better than not riding in a crisis situation.
Besides, as I said before, we can’t accept a hunter who doesn’t know how to ride a horse.”

Jackal spoke coldly but immediately came up with a plan.

“There’s a horse that’s perfect for beginners, let’s practice with that horse first.
I will teach you.”

“Thank you!”

Asha responded with a bright smile.

* * * * *

As soon as Asha finished her breakfast, she first arrived at the vacant lot used as a training ground and waited for Jackal.

Soon she could see Jackal bringing a white horse from afar.

Asha’s eyes widened and murmured at the sight of a horse that could hardly be distinguished from the snow.

“Beautiful……”

In an instant,  the horse’s pure white face flushed red.

Jackal noticed when the horse closed its eyes and was acting coy. 

The horse froze as Asha delightedly approached, reaching out to stroke the bridge of its nose.

Asha said with a light laugh.

“The horses here are somehow very shy.
Just like a person.”

Jackal stared at the horse without Asha’s knowledge. 

The horse flinched at his gaze and pretended otherwise.

Actually, the white horse was Sosa. 

Sosa was also from the kelpie clan that could transform into a horse. 

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He widened his big eyes in embarrassment as if it was unfair.

It was embarrassing enough to be standing in front of Asha, naked and with a morsel in its mouth.

But, Jackal said, dismissing the look in his eyes.

“Horses tend to be wary of strangers.
You are not afraid because you’ve never ridden a horse before.
What happens if you get kicked with his back foot?”

Only then did Asha realize that she had been rude, and whispered to the horse.

“I’m sorry.
Was it a bit sudden? I did it because I was so happy.
I love horses.”

Sosa’s ears perked up at her ticklish voice.

Jackal coughed loudly.

“If you touch the horse’s nose, it can get nervous, so try to slowly touch from the neck to the face.”

Asha carefully touched the horse’s neck with her hand.

Sosa thought to himself, ‘Captain, why are you doing this to me…..
‘, then he looked at Jackal, but he still ignored his gaze.

“This horse is gentle and easy to handle..”

“I see.
That’s a good thing.”

Asha smiled and touched the bridge of his nose for the last time.

Unlike before, the horse accepted her touch comfortably, and that made Asha happy. 

Sosa sighed inwardly and decided to act properly like a horse, but his eyes widened at Jackal’s next instruction.

“It’s good to brush the horses a lot if you want to get close to them.
Horses love when people brush them.”

For some reason, his eyes felt more meaningful, so Sosa swallowed hard.

However, Sosa couldn’t complain because it was something necessary that she needed to know.

Asha happily grabbed the brush and brushed it in the direction of the hair growth. 

Sosa was shocked that she touched his bare body, but he was ashamed of himself for feeling refreshed.

Closing his eyes and trembling involuntarily, Jackal hit Sosa’s nose with his hand. 

Sosa whined. 

Asha asked in surprise.

“Did I do something wrong?”

“No.
It was the horse that did something wrong.”

“What did the horse do wrong?”

“There is something like that.”

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Jackal’s eyes were so sharp that Asha couldn’t ask more. 

He fervently gave Sosa a threatening look, ‘If you feel it, you will die’, Sosa could only groan.

Jackal then gave Asha a brief instruction on how to hold the reins and pull the horse in the direction she wants and then helped her to get on the horse.

When he grabbed her around the waist and lifted her into the saddle, Asha blushed slightly with embarrassment.

It was the first time she had been touched by another man besides the Emperor. 

She felt uncomfortable whenever Karaf touched her body.
It was as if she was being stabbed by invisible thorns, but Jackal’s touch felt ticklish and reassuring.

“It will be a little difficult at first because the saddle is high, but once you get used to it, you will be able to get on it without anyone’s help.”

Jackal also pretended to be calm on the outside, but his heart was pounding because it was his first physical contact with the opposite sex.

Her thin waist and fluffy body were so different from the men he’d known, she felt like a different creature. 

He came to his senses and coughed.

“The most important thing in horse riding is to stay focused.
Make your body vertical from shoulders to heels, and focus on hips instead of thighs.”

Asha nodded and did as he said. 

However, Sosa’s face suddenly turned red again because he was conscious of Asha’s butt.

Jackal glanced at him, then hit his nose again. 

The horse whined again.

Asha asked in surprise.

“What’s wrong? What else did the horse do wrong?”

“Yes.
Although he is gentle, he is stupid.”

“He is stupid…..?”

When Asha saw the horse’s eyes tremble, she stroked it slowly.

Sosa looked sadly at Asha’s hand when she stopped stroking him, crying as if it was unfair. 

Sosa looked down with resignation after hearing what Jackal said.

     …..
He meant that I had done something wrong. 

At that moment, Jackal slapped Sosa in the butt, looking satisfied as a villain.

Sosa’s eyes widened and began to walk forward.

Asha rode the horse around the open space. 

The horse was high, but the smell of the fresh air seemed to make her feel fresh and excited.

Watching Asha riding from afar, her childish face was bright like a child’s.
Jackal suddenly imagined that she was riding on his back. 

He felt that he could always give her his back if she wanted to ride a horse. 

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In his clan, there was a tradition that the backs of married men were given only to their wives.

Jackal, who had been thinking that far, quickly shook his head and erased the thought. 

Meanwhile, Asha came up to him before he knew it.
He gently helped her off the horse.

“Thank you for today’s lesson.
It was very fun and helpful.”

“That’s a relief.”

Asha didn’t forget to say goodbye to the horse, too.

“Thanks.
Pretty horse.”

Asha gently brushed his fur, and Jackal, who was staring, immediately asked.

“Who is prettier?”

“What?”

Asha and Sosa looked at him in surprise at the same time. 

But Jackal asked with a serious face.

“Which do you like better, my baby or that silly horse?”

Sosa’s eyes cooled down at those words that trivially described him. 

Jackal gave him a blank look with a ‘what? what you wanna say?’

Asha said with a smile.

“Of course, it’s the captain’s horse.
That child is a very special horse to me.
Of course, this child is also an angel with pure white fur, but shiny bluish-grey fur is really rare for a horse.”

“Yes, it’s very rare.
You can’t find it anywhere else.
Maybe the Emperor didn’t have one.”

Jackal liked what he heard and replied happily, and Asha also raised her eyebrows and replied seriously.

“That’s right! He is very smart and brave.”

“Of course, he is so brave.
Although it’s a horse, he didn’t know how to be afraid, so he once ran into the middle of the enemy camp and saved our men.”

“Is that true?”

Asha sincerely asked with admiration. 

Sosa turned around and ran away, not wanting to listen anymore.

Asha asked, slightly, tilting her head. 

“Where is the horse going?”

“Probably home.”

“The stable?”

“Yes.
Our horses find their home very well.”

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Jackal answered wisely.

“I see…..
How amazing.”

Seeing Asha muttering seriously and trusting his words again, Jackal barely held his lips tight. 

Asha was lost in her thoughts for a moment, then suddenly tilted her head and asked.

“But, didn’t you feel that the horse was crying for some reason?”

“Why would a horse cry?”

“That’s… that’s right.”

Asha thought she had seen it wrong and ignored it, but in reality, there were big tears in Sosa’s eyes as he walked fast. 

With every step he took, he cried in sorrow and shame, and tears fell on the ground. 

Jackal thought it was a very satisfying riding training, but he didn’t know that today’s behavior would come back to him……… 

* * * * *

Jackal jealous of Sosa, transformed into a horse at sunset.

He went to visit Asha with proud steps. 

He waited for her return.
He had no doubts that she would be delighted to see him. 

But the moment he boldly ran through the door, he ran into Asha, who was changing her clothes.

“Ah.”

Asha was slightly surprised but quickly approached with a friendly face. 

Embarrassed, Jackal avoided her gaze and turned away. 

His eyes trembled.

Asha then grabbed her clothes and smiled.

“Oh, wait a minute.
I will change soon.”

When he turned around and sweated profusely, Asha smiled as she dressed.

“You really act like a person……”

The horse acted the same as Jackal, like the time she took off her clothes. 

It was clear that horses resembled their owners.

After changing, Asha snuck up behind him and gently touched his neck.

Jackal looked back, raising his head in surprise.

His blue-gray mane fluttered wildly.

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