Trap

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As the hunt begins, I stayed with father who was also riding with Prince Alexander. Leonel also decided to tag along with us as he was worried for my safety. Those that were not participating with the hunt are to stay at the camp site and can chat as well as socialize with other peers.

Prince Alexander was riding by father's left side while I was on the right-side father's horse. Sometimes I would catch the prince staring at times but I focus on Leo instead.

"I really think you should have stayed by the Crown Prince's side"; I stare at Leo who was looking for a prey to hunt.

"He has lots of other guards. There is no need for me to be there for him", Leo counter.

Sighing, I wonder if I made the right choice befriending Leo as he is currently assigned to be the knight in charge of the Crown Prince's safety yet here, he was with me.

"You should go as I don't want to be blamed if something happens later", Leo gave a long look then nods in agreement.

"Alright, but only since you said so"

If I remembered it right, during the first day of the hunt, Prince Knox will encounter a white tiger during noon. He dealt a swift strike that took the tiger's life and won the competition as nobody got a better hunt than the Prince himself.

"Papa, do you mind if I go ahead of you?" Father was quite surprised I propose this as he was enjoying himself.

Father was known to be quite skilled yet during this hunt he didn't seem to be active and instead was enjoying his ride with his daughter and chatting with the prince.

"But darling angel, I told you to be close to me", Prince Alexander smiled hearing the Duke's nickname for his beloved daughter.

Giving a fake smile, I said "And I will. With this group of party, I doubt any hunt will show themselves to a group of people which is why I wish to be ahead and get at least a rabbit for tonight's dinner or such. You know how skilled I am after all... Please?"

I gave a face that was full of irresistible charms, making father surrender and allowed me to go ahead but not to stray too far from the path designated.

"Ok then, love you papa", I race with Midnight ahead.

As it turns out, when you are alone it is easier to catch preys since I spotted a rabbit and a pheasant bird walking around. With a precise aim and calculative move, I landed a hit on the rabbit but the pheasant bird got away. It was a good catch from my first hunt.

I was about to go back to father until I suddenly heard a noise. It was like a faint cry of help from a struggling animal. But the sound was quite a bit far from where I was currently at.

"Did you hear that, Midnight?" Midnight replied with a neigh. "Stay here for a while" Midnight didn't seem to want his master to go but I assured him it was going to be fine.

It is currently autumn; the leaves were falling as the wind blows gently with each breeze. With silent steps, I approach to find the source of the sound as it was also giving pains to the ones that heard it. I wasn't sure what was making the noise as I've never heard of the sound before. So, imagine to my surprise when I found a baby white tiger cub. (A/N: A person can dream right?)

The cub seems to have landed on a trap that caught its front paw which made it unable to move. It might never be able to walk again however its life does not seem to be in a threat. The cub stopped making noises when it saw me and instead was growling thinking I was going to kill him.

"Hello there little guy", I stood still on the spot trying to look as less threatening as possible. "I'm not here to hurt you but I am sure you do not understand this so instead I'll do what I can to help".

Stopping a few feet away from the cub, I lowered myself down to see what the trap was like. That was when I heard some shouting a few feet from where I was at.

Turning around, Crown Prince Knox had arrived with Leo by his side. The reason why they were shouting was that an adult white tiger which must be the cub's mother had appeared and was just a few meters away from the cub and Jade.

It was currently growling at me with a menacing look as I was the closest to its child and seems like a threat. I might be in trouble. As the tiger was focusing on me, it made it harder to move as I can't make any sudden movements.

Leo was screaming my name and telling me a list of things to do but all I could do for now was stare at the tiger's beautiful blue eyes, as if trying to convey how I wasn't going to do anything.

Prince Knox suddenly threw a stone at the tiger, trying to get its attention. It did not work as the mother was too focus on the enemy in front as it thought I was the one who caused its cub to get hurt.

Keeping eye contact with the tiger, I put down the weapons to the ground and with a serious yet calm tone said, "I'm not trying to hurt you or your child"

The tiger suddenly stopped growling, as if understanding what I was saying. But it still gave a menacing look as it approaches its cub.

Realizing the tiger was not going to attack, I gave a look to Prince Knox who was already approaching the tiger and gave a silent command to stop whatever he was doing. Thankfully, he also understood and stayed still, telling me to come over to his side while I could.

The situation was filled with tension and everyone was wary of the adult tiger so they were looking at the scene where the mother and cub unites. The cub was happy to see its mother while the mother licks at the cub, trying to calm it down and telling it she was there. The mother gave a look at me as if telling I can finally go and leave to which I understood.

Unknown to all, there was still a panicking soldier that had his arrow ready to shoot and seeing that Lady Jade was at a safe distance, the soldier lets go of his arrow that missed its target but was then heard by the tiger.

The tiger got angry and ran to attack the weaponless me that was closest to it and I could only stand still as the tiger approaches. My body suddenly couldn't move as I did not know what to do.

Crown Prince Knox who was also closest to the two, ran and sped ahead taking his sword out, stabbing the tiger's back with one swift strike.

It all happened so fast, Leo who was also running towards me with his sword in hand was ready to kill the tiger but since the Prince was ahead, he envelopes me in a hug, letting go of this sword as he was mutters how glad he was since I was safe.

Tears fell down my face and all I could hear at the moment was the cub's crying. It seems as if it was either crying in pain due to the trap or due to its mother's death.

Watching the scene of Knox stabbing the tiger made me remember the bad things but casting the thoughts aside, I put my hands-on Leo's chest saying, I'm fine".

Leo was still worried but let's go of me as I got back up to approach the cub and this time, I did not step a few feet away but directly walk towards the cub.

"Jade!" warned Leo and Crown Prince Knox but, ignoring the two of them, I was mainly focusing on the cub in front of me.

With all my strength, the trap was released and the cub tried to move but had falter in its steps and was in front of me.

"Come, I shall take care of you from now onwards" I let the cub sniff my hand and as if it giving permission, the cub licked my hand. The cub must've not understood what just happened and looked as if an innocent child that I need to take responsibility for.

Still crying, I picked up the cub and embrace it in a hug, careful to its injured paw. "Snow... I'll name you Snow as you are pure and fur is white as the white snow during winter".

Knox and Leo who was watching Jade was in a daze. Leo was amazed at what Jade just did while Knox on the other hand felt an emotion he had not felt before watching the scene before him. It was a mixture of regret, amazement and warmth.




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