Chapter 2 – Playing Passive
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---- The Same Day ----

Afternoon

POV: Kurosaki Kageyama(?)

Not the most favourable outcome. If I wish to be treated well, I needed to be on the good side of my captors. Our brief encounter showed that they were in no rush to ransom, nor treat me well. Rubbing the side of my head, I pushed myself off the ground with a groan. I noticed a strange feeling in my mouth, right… the ball gag. It was an uncomfortable, pushing feeling in my mouth. I can feel my jaw aching.

Masochists were real creeps. How the fuck do they find this exciting? All it does is cause a headache. Glancing around, I see my captors have moved the slaves somewhere else. The horrible smell remained, but at least I now had some privacy.

*Swish*

One would have assumed that the room would be completely silent with them gone, but there persisted a periodic swishing sound. Whenever I concentrated and strained my ears to listen for it, it just went away. When I was distracted with my thoughts, it returned. Like an inconspicuous street cleaner, whose brush sweeps the ground in a rhythmic pattern, I soon found the sound becoming rather reassuring. My day had been horrible, and clinging to any constant right now was settling.

Now alone with my thoughts, I finally had time to inspect myself. The only things I knew was my hair was much longer, and I probably looked like death (judging by the lack of flab on my fingers). Making circular motions with my right hand on my head to soothe the bruise that had formed, my hand snagged against something. Hm? What was this?

I felt something soft and furry protruding from the side of my head. I grabbed it. A muffled meow escaped my lips, obstructed by the ball gag. I pause. Those fuckers really did mess with my head, didn’t they? I felt around some more, this time using both hands. I had no idea what kinds of drugs they put me on to cause me to make such noises, or how they managed to get fucking cat ears on my head, but this was unforgivable. I felt my anger rising and my ears perked forward, reacting to my emotions… These were real, weren’t they?

I felt my fingers slowly brush against them. It wasn’t a completely alien feeling either, just like rubbing your ears normally would. They bent under pressure and sprang back into place when untended. There was no doubt about it now. I was in some human experimentation facility. *Swish* I heard the noise again, now without the aforementioned comfort.

Something in this room was making that noise and I hadn’t found its source yet. This time, testing my new pair of ears, I closed my eyes and honed my concentration. Wow. This pair of ears' hearing sensitivity is ridiculous. I could confidently pinpoint with precision the exact location of where even the slightest of sounds were coming from. A slight breeze and rustling of grass outide the window… the disciplined, steady breath of a guard stationed down the corridor… *Swish* There it was again, coming from behind me. I turned my head around.

A black snake coiled around on the floor behind me, slinking left and right along the ground. I leapt up in alarm, the chains I was attached to becoming taut immediately, stopping me from distancing myself any further. Half crouched, I looked for the snake again. It disappeared. I slowly stood up, trying to get a good view of the entire room, making sure not one corner was hidden from sight. There it was!

Out the corner of my left eye, I spot a shadow of a black snake make its way into my field of view, rather close to my face. Why the hell was it eye level? I had no experience in handling snakes, but from what I knew, snakes did not float. With the snake seemingly frozen in position, I used this opportunity to slowly turn to face it. I ensured that I didn't make any sudden movements that could jeopardise my safety. As more of the snake came into view, I grew confused. It was indeed eye-level, but not floating.

As I fully turned my head, my eyes followed its curving shape downwards until it met just above my ass. It wasn’t a snake. It had no eyes, nor scales. Instead, it was covered in fluffy, black hair. I don’t believe it. I reach out to the black limb protruding from my coccyx1AN: A bone at the base of the spinal column and cautiously graze it with my hand. I definitely felt my hand on my… tail? You’ve gotta be joking. That noise was my tail unconsciously wagging from side-to-side. My captors managed to give me fully functioning cat ears and a tail. Was that even possible? It had to be. The evidence I needed waving right in front of my very eyes.

Hold on. If they could engineer additional appendages, It wasn't a stretch that they could do the opposite. I dreaded the thought, immediately thinking of my manhood. Apprehensive to check what else they tinkered with; I slowly directed my eyes downwards. Not a promising start. I was greeted to two mounds on my chest.

In any other situation, I would be thrilled to have these shoved so close to my face. Right now, though… I am not too enthusiastic. I immediately withdrew my hands from fiddling with my new tail, and shoved them beneath my rags, trying to confirm my suspicions with a squeeze. It was no illusion. I was indeed endowed with soft, bouncy breasts.

I moved my hands further down my body. I had to confirm my worst fear. My fingers stopped. Ah… goodbye penis; you served me well. What greeted my shaking fingers was not the relieving feeling of an impressive cock, but the quite the opposite. A shiver makes its way down my spine. I had ignored the signs. When calling for the guard, my voice was several pitches higher than usual, feminine in nature. I dismissed it at the time as poor hearing, just having woken up from a drug-induced sleep.

It seems… I am a girl now. I immediately realise how fucked I am. A powerless catgirl, locked and chained up who-knows-where. To them, I was not the CEO of Tomohi Technologies, easily worth half a billion yen2AN: ~ USD 5 million . I was a slave. A girl. Worthless.

The situation just became a whole lot more complicated.

 Well, I was always up for a good challenge.

 

---- The Following Week ----

Evening

POV: Juliana Von Wickten, Lady of House Wickten

Finishing my court duties for the day, I lean back from my desk. Dealing with the other nobility and managing the demesne was exhausting as usual. Looking out the window to my right, I see the sun was about to dip beyond the horizon, casting long shadows across the garden and emitting an orange glow. I think back on the day and frown slightly.

Court intrigue was never my strong suit, I am much more comfortable with household management. My husband insists that I should continue to make use of these more frequent meetings to develop strong ties with neighbouring lords.

I hear a knocking at the door. I nod as I gesture to the maid stationed beside it. She walks over to the door and opens it. A guard steps in and stands to attention in front of me.

“You may speak,” I say, rather interested in whatever he was going to say. I didn’t usually get direct reports like this. They would usually reach the butler’s ears before mine

“Your ladyship,” he started, bowing his head, “I have come to report that there was a disturbance in the servants’ quarters last week.”  My eyebrow perked. “In the east wing.” He clarified. So, the slaves being indelicate, were they? They cost quite the sum, especially that one gem I found. I nodded, indicating he should continue. “Five of your ladyship’s recent purchases have been relocated to a different cell, one remaining in the original cell.” Hm. I can more or less guess what had happened.

“Why is this only reaching my ears now?” I ask. The guard fumbles and bit, before answering.

“Reportedly, after a commotion, the beast is at ease and passive, eating its routine meals and is not causing any further disturbances” He stopped to consider his next words. “I felt it necessary to observe its actions for an extended period before reporting back to your grace. A black cat such as that would never act in such a nonviolent way. Its actions are a vain attempt to conceal its true motives. Your ladyship, I cannot agree with letting this darkness continue to reside on the estate any longer. It is a danger to yourself and the servants!”

I raised my hand, and he stopped his rambling and bowed.

“I am sorry for my unsightliness your ladyship, but I implore you to please consider my words carefully. The curse of darkness is not one to be taken lightly,” he recovers. Discard my little toy? Of such rarity and obedience as well? I’d rather not let my plans go to waste.

“Take me to the beast,” I order the guard, seeing frustration cross his face.

 

POV: Kurosaki Kageyama(?)

It’s been a week since I first arrived here. With only a monotonous jail cell to keep me company, mind-numbing boredom was slowly chipping away at my sanity. I had a lot of time on my hands. Two ‘meals’ per day, both coming served in a humiliating cat bowl. My diet consisted of pottage3AN: Pottage is a thick soup or stew made by boiling vegetables, grains, and, if available, meat or fish, served around mid-day, and a pitiful amount of stale bread in the evening. Why they served the bread in a cat bowl, I do not know.

Provided no cutlery, like an animal, I had to resort to lapping it out the bowl with my tongue. The first time, finding out too late that the bowl was too shallow and too wide to drink from normally without causing an unsightly mess. Strangely, they modified my tongue as well. I found my tongue’s new rough surface managed to do the job surprisingly well.

The action almost felt natural after practising for a few days. In the evenings, I just grabbed the bread with my hands, not deigning the cat bowl even the very thought of being used for this. 

My ball gag was removed temporarily for midday feeding time and completely removed in the evening. A guard would put it back in the morning, who would be greeted without resistance each time. Over this week, I have attempted to look as non-threatening as possible. I am attempting to gain the trust and favour of the guards that occasionally pass by the cell, with hopes that it will convince them that I didn’t require that damned ball gag any longer.

I have also concluded that I had been transported to somewhere in western Europe. Assuming that not much time had passed (my hair growth being the only evidence against this), it was November time. In Japan, the winter season was going strong, all the trees long since discarded their last leaves. Over these last few days, I noticed the occasional red leaf which made its way into my cell through the small, barred window high up. It was autumn here.

That narrowed down the geographic locations greatly. I also eavesdropped on the guards' occasional chatter during a change of shifts. I did not recognise the language, but the speech patterns, I did. A western language. English, French, German? I had no clue. I did not have an education in linguistics, nor was I particularly interested in other cultures. The language barrier was going to be a problem.

From this cell, I tried using my ears (that I am admittedly beginning to like more and more), to eavesdrop on the guards’ and the girls’ conversations. I was pretty sure I got some basic words down. “Blohk” for slave, and “meva” for meal. I had no clue how the grammar worked, but as long as I could continuously grow my vocabulary, I had better odds of being treated nicer in the future.

A simple cost-benefit analysis. Only positives for me, along with zero risk. I would be a fool not to attempt to learn their language. Definitely a worthwhile investment of my time… but not like I had anything else better to do.

Nibbling on the bread that I received for the evening, my ears perked up. Drawn from my brooding, I heard the jangling of keys and a familiar stomping pair of boots (I recognise it as the guard that knocked me out on the first day). It was followed by the delicate steps of someone new coming down the corridor.

I prepared myself mentally once again to advertise my harmlessness. I flop onto my back and begin to make the most playful mewling and purring sounds my vocal cords could produce. People found cats who meowed and purred cute, right?

Ah, this was way too embarrassing.

Of course, I could never discount the possibility that all my actions thus far had gone to waste. If the intentions of my captors were to simply turn me into a permanent ornament of this cell, my attempts at winning their favour would be in vain. This newcomer gave me hope that this was not the case. My good behaviour and obedience bearing fruit. The steps were getting closer. Only fifteen paces away now… My purring unconsciously getting louder at my anticipation, ears flapping and tail wiggling beside me. Ten steps…

The guard appears first, gazing into my cell through the iron bars with a cautious eye. Come on man! I’ve been showing no signs of defiance for a week and you are somehow still weary? My eyes follow the guard as he makes his way to the jail door and stands to attention respectfully. So, the mystery second person was his superior then.

The superior's light footsteps hinting at a man of youth or small stature. Listening closer to the footsteps, they seemed to clack against the stone floor. Heels? I discounted that idea immediately. The idea that a woman overseeing this operation confounding logic. So, what was it then? Iron soles? A walking stick? That didn’t make sense… A young person would have no use for a such a thing.

The footsteps stopped.

Pulling my attention away from my internal conflict, I look towards the source of my rumination. A domineering woman now stood in front of my cell; decorated from head to toe in jewellery, adorned with an undoubtedly expensive and gaudy dress. She wore a devious smirk as she looked down at my submissive form.

“Dafast fesi vi ert blohk jeflonsz gekylnanri?” she spoke, turning to the guard on her left.

I tried to decipher her words. ‘Jeflonsz’ means ‘looks like’. ‘Gekylnanri’ seems to be derived from the base ‘gekyl’, which means 'threat'… Shit… Did she just say I looked threatening?

My purring ceased and my tail stilled. I miscalculated. Was purring not as endearing to Europeans as I thought? I scrambled off the floor and stood up. My mind drawing blank, my lips opening and closing several times, before she turned back to me and spoke first.

“Si elt Juliana von Wickten. Vensh adar hinpill. Si dold ven ji unn yerappoint~”. The tone seemed friendly enough. She must want me to introduce myself. Her name rather recognizable in the sea of unknown words.

“Byvsz Wickten,” I bow with as much grace as I can muster, “evd enam Kuro...” I slowly look back up into her calculating eyes. Her unmoving expression betraying nothing.

Hopefully I managed to introduce myself correctly?

AN: Here is the second chapter! People seemed to prefer longer chapters so I tried going for it. Kuro finally meets her master, Julia. I am interested to see reactions to how their dynamic will play out in the future. A mostly Kuro POV chapter this time, as people seemed to enjoy those parts. Please comment any mistakes or suggestions. Any support is greatly appreciated!

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