Slowly, the cat stalked closer; its sharp glare was petrifying, but the purring in its throat conveyed no sense of enmity. Anyone who encountered the cat would be confused by these conflicting signals and temporarily be at a loss for what to do. This was the double bind technique that tainted cats used to trap their prey.
Having already experienced this tactic, I reacted first and quickly muttered my mantra.
“Saki, don’t!” Shun’s voice echoed. “It’s enough already…”
His words stunned me. What should I do? I couldn’t stand by and watch him be killed. But…
The three and a half meter long cat reached out as if to kiss Shun, and opened its mouth wide. I was about to release my cantus.
At that instant, Subaru leapt forward with a terrifying howl.
The tainted cat glanced at Subaru and brought its right paw up to meet him. Its razor-sharp claws cut into Subaru and blood sprayed everywhere. But thanks to the hard shell on his back, the wound wasn’t fatal. Subaru didn’t falter for a second and went straight for the cat’s throat. It dodged with startling agility, but Subaru still managed to sink his teeth into a leg more than ten times his size..
Even now, I don’t understand what happened. After generations of selective breeding, bulldogs should have completely lost their violent tendencies. The Subaru I knew was always aloof toward other dogs, and never went beyond barking or occasionally baring his teeth at them. You could almost describe him as being sullen.
So what was going through his head at that moment? What had happened to suddenly reawaken in him the bloodthirsty nature that his ancestors were known for?
As he viciously attacked an animal that, in all probability, was going to kill him, I remembered the legends that named bulldogs the strongest fighting dogs that would take on animals many times their size.
Subaru clamped his jaws tightly and shook his head from side to side. His upturned nose made it possible to breathe no matter how deeply he buried his teeth into enemy.