Chapter 1 – Fresh Start
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As I cried, I felt some shuffling around and talking, and soon I felt something pressed against my mouth. Confused, I opened my eyes and was greeted by a faceful of skin. Looking down to what was pressed against my mouth was… A nipple.

What I wouldn’t have given for this in my previous life.

Now though, I just felt embarrassed. The woman, my new mom, cooed as she gently rocked me. Of course that’s how you would react to a newborn crying, although hunger wasn’t the reason for my outburst. 

Even then, jeez, this is going to be how I’m going to be fed for the near future… I just wanna die and start over again, and specify to not be born as a newborn… Then again, would I be punished if I were to go commit die just to get a better spawn? Ugh, while I don’t like this one bit I don’t wanna take any chances.

Realizing I had stopped crying but wasn’t going to eat, my mother covered herself up and talked in a soft voice. I looked up and saw that the man, my new father, was embracing her from behind. They were both looking at me, as I stared back up at them. My mother had bright blonde, almost white, shoulder length hair and pale skin. My father had messy dark red hair that grew down around his neck, kind of like a lion’s mane, and light brown skin. Oh and they both had yellow slitted eyes, and cat ears, the same color as their hair, on the top of their heads. Initially I was a bit surprised by that, although I should’ve expected it with the species I had selected. 

Thinking back on the other settings for my new body…

Oh god, I have to go through puberty again! And as a girl! Gah!

I mean, I had the chance, and who wouldn’t want to be a cute anime catgirl, right? I didn’t expect to have to grow up from infancy! On another note, I was feeling hunger slowly creeping up on me. Internally, I sighed, as I began pawing at my mother’s breasts.

When in Rome... 

~ ~ ~ ~

As nice as it was to be showered with attention, it eventually had to come to an end. I learned the hard way that I didn’t really have the desired control over my body, as the blanket I was wrapped in suddenly acquired a wet spot

After some exclamations from my parents, I was cleaned up and put into a diaper. Although I was screaming on the inside, I didn’t outwardly resist, I knew I would be forced to wear one until I gained proper control over my bladder. 

Must be nice to have the most convenient little bebeh.

After that, my parents had something to eat, most likely dinner, judging from the orange hued sunlight coming in through the windows. I couldn’t get a good look around the house due to my neck muscles being too weak for me to properly look around, but from the small snippets I got to see here and there, it didn’t exactly look like the most luxurious abode. The walls and ceiling seemed to be made mostly from wood, and although I didn’t exactly have an eye for construction work, it looked a bit shoddy to me. 

As evening turned into night, my parents prepared for bed. I was nestled in between them as they went to sleep for the night. I was trying to sleep as well, but something was distracting me. Namely, two very loud purring parents. If it wasn’t so distracting it would’ve been adorable.

After a while of trying, and failing, to fall asleep, I noticed something in the corner of my eye. [1 SKILL LEVEL AVAILABLE]

Yes! Something I’m familiar with. Hopefully, anyway. Now, how do I interact with this?

After a while of trying to just focus on the message, a translucent menu appeared in front of me. It was a rather short list of skills. 

I hope it’s only this short because I’m an infant, because there’s a shocking lack of variety. The only options are a few Basic Skills and Racial Skills.

That being said, there were two noteworthy skills under Universal Skills. Appraisal and Encyclopedia. If my knowledge of this kind of world was up to snuff, those would be very useful. Under Racial Skills were what you would expect from cat people. Night Vision, Intrinsic Weapons, Fall Damage Reduction and… Bestial Morph? That one sounded interesting but would have to wait for later.

Focusing on the Appraisal skill, I got a prompt [SPEND 1 SKILL POINT ON [Appraisal]?]

Confirm.

[[Appraisal Level 1] HAS BEEN ACQUIRED]

Now, how to activate this? Time to try it out! Focusing on my sleeping mother in front of me, I made a mental command. Appraisal!

… 

Nothing happened. Hmm, I guess it’s not that simple.

After a bit of trial and error, I figured out how to activate it. Rather than just thinking of the skill’s name, I had to think of the skill specifically, while issuing the command in a specific way, while also focusing on a target.

[Appraisal]!

What I was awarded with was a small window with some… underwhelming info. Not to say that the information was completely useless.

[SPECIES]: Beastman subspecies, Baast

[HP]: Healthy

[LEVEL]: 27

Guess that’s what you can expect from Appraisal level 1, huh? Hopefully it gets more expanded and more detailed with higher levels. So, catpeople in this world are a beastman subspecies called Baast? Good to know I suppose. I have no scale of reference to know how strong level 27 is, but hopefully it’s not too weak.

I tried to move my head, but to no avail.

Guess I’ll get an Appraisal of my father tomorrow. For now though, some sleep would probably be a good idea.

Although my mind was fully awake and already thinking about the future, it didn’t take long before sleep claimed me for the night.

That didn’t last long though, as I awoke, feeling very hungry. Feeling it was my duty as a newborn babe, I let out a wail to let my parents know of my discomfort.

The following days were rather mundane. Being too weak to really do anything, I was restricted to being carried around by my mother while my father was off, presumably at work.

I did get the chance to use Appraisal on him though

[SPECIES]: Beastman subspecies, Baast

[HP]: Healthy

[LEVEL]: 36

Hmm, I guess it makes sense he’s a higher level if he’s the primary breadwinner of the house.

The day after my birth, we had a visitor. She was a woman with legs of a goat, small horns of a goat on the top of her head, and… a goatee. The goatee made me have an instant mistrust of her. A quick Appraisal revealed that she was a subspecies of beastmen called a Faun, and her level was 43.

She exchanged some words with my mother, and then proceeded to examine me. I assumed she was some kind of doctor, making sure I was healthy, or something. After a while she seemed to be satisfied, and exchanged a few more words with my mother. She then held out an open hand over me, closed her eyes and said some words.

Oho, is this?

My suspicions were confirmed as a soft green glow appeared over me, and I felt a slight tingling sensation flow through my body.

[CONDITIONS FOR (BASIC) SKILL [Mana Sense (Basic) Level 1] HAVE BEEN MET]

Eh? Basic skill? For free? Then what about skill points? I guess this world has several ways to earn skills then? I need to learn to communicate with my parents sooner rather than later, presumably they should know something. I hope. 

I tried to say something, I had a hard time properly controlling my vocal chords. After a bit, I tried forcing something out my mouth… Which translated into a small coo. Both women awwed at me. 

Baby used Baby Sounds, It’s Super Effective! Figures that my body just won’t even let me try talking in english. Actually, now that I think about it, I have no idea what my new name is.  Hmm, I have an idea. Status! Stats! Character! Character Sheet! [Overview]!

After a few tries, the last command reverberated throughout my mind, and a new menu showed up before me. 

[NAME]: Tiye

[SPECIES]: Beastman subspecies, Baast

[SEX]: Female

[LEVEL]: 1

[EXP]: 20/500

[AGE]: 1 day(s)

[HP]: 17/17

[SP]: 8/8

[MP]: 8/8

[STR]: 7

[DEX(++)]: 7

[CON]: 7

[INT]: 7

[WIS]: 7

===========

[SKILLS]

[UNIVERSAL SKILLS]:

Appraisal Level 1

[RACIAL SKILLS]:

Night Vision (Basic) Level 1

Fall Damage Reduction (Basic) Level 1

[BASIC SKILLS]:

Mana Sense (Basic) Level 1

So my name is Tiye, huh? Guess I’ll get used to it. Seems like stats are purely modifiers for abilities, since my Int and Wis are, what I assume, pretty low, but I still have my previous mental faculties intact. At least I think they are… I wonder what’s up with the plus plus next to Dex? Now, about my skills… 

Even though Night Vision and Fall Damage Reduction were one the list of skills I could learn, I already have a basic version of those skills, whatever that means. I assume it just means that they’re weaker? Actually, if most skills are learned as a basic form, and they’re then upgraded through skill points that would make sense I guess?

While I was lost in my own thoughts, the Faun had finished her business and went on her way, leaving me alone with my mother. She said some words to me, only one of which I understood; Tiye.

~ ~ ~ ~

After a couple of days, I was in the middle of… Feeding, when I heard a notification in my head.

[EXPERIENCE THRESHOLD FOR LEVEL 2 REACHED! 1 NEW SKILL POINT AVAILABLE]

I stopped in my tracks.

I leveled up? How?.. No way I get XP from… Then again… 

Noticing that I had completely stopped my suckling, my mother gently rocked me while gently saying a few words.

Eh, don’t look a gift horse in the mouth, I suppose. With that thought, I continued my meal.

~ ~ ~ ~

Slowly, but steadily, I began decoding the language of this world. Whenever I heard a conversation, I would recognize a word here and there. Something that greatly helped the process, was when mother would bring me with her when doing errands around town, letting me get a look at it, and being exposed to many social interactions. 

The village was a small farming community, and everyone seemed to know each other. I would say the population was around eighty tops? Everyone would strike up a conversation with my mother and then get a look at me. After about a week I had been introduced to everyone in the village. 

While being introduced, I gathered some information by using Appraisal on as many villagers as I could. It would seem that the demographics of the village was around a fifty fifty split of humans and various species of beastmen. The average level of adults was around the 23-32 range, with a few outliers.

[[Appraisal Level 2] HAS BEEN ACQUIRED]

Oho? So skills level up naturally through use. Well then, let’s see what new information it shows! 

Deciding on an easy target, I focused on my mother again.

[Appraisal]!

[SPECIES]: Beastman subspecies, Baast

[HP]: Healthy

[MP]: Full

[LEVEL]: 27

So now it shows MP as well, although not very accurately. Not very useful at the moment, but I suppose it’ll be of use in the future.

~ ~ ~ ~

I was lying in my mother’s lap while she was talking to a friend? Acquaintance? I didn’t know the other villagers enough yet to know. While she was focused on her conversation, of which I understood only a word here and there, I was focused on a pink and furry appendage in front of me. 

It was just kind of wiggling back and forth, minding its own business, but I wouldn’t have none of that. 

Dammit, how do I control this thing?!

No matter how hard I tried to focus on controlling it, my tail had a mind of its own. I tried to focus my mind and stay calm.

Okay, tail, move left.

It gently swayed to the right.

No, the other left.

It wiggled a bit, before forming itself into a vaguely question mark shape.

Don’t you get coy with me, missy!

My tail began wiggling again, almost as if it had begun laughing at me.

I swear, one day I will impose my will on you!

[CONDITIONS FOR (BASIC) SKILL [Parallel Thought (Basic) Level 1] HAVE BEEN MET]

Eh?

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