Is it called resolution? Because I got more than enough
Once in a while, I would dream about my past life.
No matter how many times it happened, it was still a feeling that you could not get used to. It was sad but happy at the same time. I would see myself acting at those times, and I would recall every single thing I felt back then.
When I was little, everything was blissful. Although our situation was not the best, we still managed to get by. My parents were kind and full of affection for me. Many times we would go out to simply hang out as a family, have fun. Just by being together, we were happy... until things changed.
It is kind of funny, but I was rather ignorant at that time. It came as a huge shock when my mother suddenly fell unconscious one time. I guess, it was around the age of five, I was playing by myself in my room when I heard a loud sound coming from the kitchen. Something might've fallen I thought. Worried since my mother was making lunch, I went to take a look, but when I arrived, I found my mother lying unconscious on the floor, I can vividly recall that I froze as soon as I saw her. It was a mix of surprise from what I saw, denial about what was in front of me, and merely not knowing what to do.
Every time I remember that I cannot help but laugh at my pathetic self. Why didn't I move at once to help her or to check on her? I don't know.
Luckily, my father arrived home at that moment. He quickly went to check my mother and called an ambulance.
The rest of what happened is a little foggy, to be honest, I can't manage to remember what happened later.
There is one thing I am sure of, I probably did nothing.
I think it was around that time that I started to hate myself, although I could not understand such a thing at that age.
As those memories played in front of me, I was prepared to watch them over and over, as the reminder that I can’t do anything when someone I care about needs my help.
This time, however, something was different, I was waking up.
I could tell because everything turned hazy and I could feel someone shaking me.
"W... u.! N..a-n..! Wa.. up!". I faintly hear an anxious voice. My mind was in a muddled state, but I felt like I had heard that voice before.
As the sensation of my limps was transmitted to me, I noticed something, my body was pretty cold. Nonetheless, somehow, warmth was slowly being transmitted to me, and the cold was being driven away.
3rd Person POV
Anxiously shaking Nora to wake him up, Kuroka was rather distressed and Shirone was nervously watching her sister from the side.
It had been a couple of months since meeting Nora and both sisters were used to sometimes finding him asleep when they came to his room, which happened on daily basis. However, this was the first time that they found him in that condition. He was covered in sweat from his head to his toes, faintly shaking and crying in his sleep. When they got close to him, they found out that his body temperature was really low so Kuroka embraced him to transmit every bit of warmth that she was able to while she tried to wake him up.
"Nee-sama..." Shirone said crestfallenly.
As Kuroka noticed that her sister was getting more anxious with each second, she tried to reassure her.
"It will be ok-nya. He is just having a nightmare so I am going to wake him up-nya. As soon as he wakes up, he will be back to normal-nya". Kuroka muttered as she tried to soothe her little sister.
Nonetheless, Kuroka was getting more anxious despite her words. It has been over five minutes, but Nora showed no signs of waking up. Already tired of waiting for him to wake up naturally, Kuroka decided to use her Ki to help him. She still lacked a lot of training, but it was better than doing nothing.
"Wake up! Nora! Wake up". She tried calling his name while putting her hand on top of his head let her Ki pacify him.
This time there was a response, his eyelids faintly twitched so she did not stop her actions.
"Nora... Nora... Wake up!" Shirone exclaimed as she tightly grasped Nora's hand.
Seeing how her sister was showing more emotions for Nora, Kuroka felt a little jealous. However, she got rid of those thoughts with a shake of her head; she was also worried about Nora after all.
"Uhmmm.. urgh". Nora groaned.
With the evident signs that he was giving, it was easy to tell that Nora was one step away from regaining consciousness, and finally, after an unknown amount of time, both sisters saw him opening his eyes with some difficulty.
"Wha..." Nora mumbled weakly.
"You finally woke up-nya". "Nora!" Both sisters said before they tightly hugged Nora.
It was a rather common sight to have Kuroka showing skinship with Nora since she took care of him often when he was not feeling well so he was already used to it. However, Shirone had never allowed Nora to touch her, she always kept her distance. Kuroka had already noticed this behavior before, and she had an idea why that happened. Her reaction this time proved that, but Kuroka will talk to Shirone about it later. For now, both of them will just let the relief of seeing Nora awake to takeover.
"Argh... Kuroka-chan… What is it? What, are you taking advantage of me again in my sleep? Wait, Shirone-chan?" Nora asked confused.
Feeling more weight than usual on top of him, Nora had assumed that Kuroka was holding him, but moving his gaze from Kuroka hugging one side of his body to his other side, he found himself being tightly squeezed by the younger sister as well.
"I must be still sleeping..." Nora muttered before closing his eyes again.
"No-nya!" "Don't". The Nekomata sisters exclaimed in unison after seeing how he closed his eyes.
There was no way that they would allow him to go back to sleep yet after the earlier episode.
"Ok... I might be awake" Nora quietly murmured after feeling how they further tightened their grip on him.
After a few minutes of skinship, the catgirls found that Nora's temperature had gone back to normal so they split up.
Sitting on the bed as they usually did-
"I see... so that is why you woke me up". Nora commented after hearing a recount of what happened while he slept.
Pondering for a moment, he began inspecting his body. Pressing lightly on different parts of his body, he soon found an area that caused him to flinch in pain when he applied pressure. There were also several stitches in the center of the area, there is no doubt that they were there to close what was probably a deep cut made during an operation.
Watching as Nora aptly began to touch different parts of his body, the Nekomata sisters stared curiously at him. It was nothing new for them as they had seen it before, but they were curious at why he was able to do it calmly and orderly, and following a certain pattern. He always inspected areas like the chest, head, and neck first for some reason.
Although interested, they never asked since they would not be comfortable if he started asking stuff about them.
It has been some time since they met, but there was still much that they did not know about each other. Although-
"Nora-nya, can I ask you something?" Kuroka suddenly asked.
"Hmmm? You just did though?" Nora commented as he tilted his head.
Kuroka felt slightly annoyed that he was still playing around, but what she wanted to ask was something different so she will pay this joke later, for now, Kuroka will focus on her intended topic.
"How bad is your body doing-nya? Just now, it didn't look like a simple nightmare-nya. And don't even try to change the subject; I will get angry-nya". Kuroka said in a serious tone.
Judging by how firm her gaze was directed at him, Nora knew that she will continue to pester until he speaks the truth if he just half-heartedly replies. That's why-
"Kuroka-chan, why do you want to know? Even if I tell you nothing will change. Knowing more about me, are you prepared for that? It won't be a one-sided questioning if I talk". Nora replied as he stared at Kuroka straight in the eyes, not looking away.
Kuroka just remained silent at those words. Biting her lips, she did not answer immediately. Those questions were something that she still felt uncertain about that she could answer. Kuroka understood the reason why he asked that. Right now, they are getting along just fine without prying too deep into their situation. If something happened to the other, what they would feel at most is a little bit of dismay, since they just sympathized on a superficial level. However, if they go further and something happened to the other party, it would hurt a lot.
"I know that I sound like an ungrateful b*stard by saying that even after you took care of me on multiple occasions. However, I think that you don't need to add more worries to your plate on top of the ones you already have. To begin with..." Nora spoke in a serious tone, but Kuroka just stopped listening at some point
Hearing him talk, she thought that perhaps he is just trying to be considerate in his foolish way by making it look like he is the one that is keeping his distance when the truth is that she is the one who does not want to change the way that things are. The best proof of that appeared a moment ago when he asked her 'why'. He did ask her back if she was ready to talk about herself but Kuroka was not able to answer that.
"That is why I think you should not ask that again..." Nora concluded.
Watching Kuroka as she kept her head down, Nora felt like taking his words back, but he managed to hold it and he remained silent.
"Nora-nya... I want to know". Kuroka softly said.
Hearing her answer, Nora couldn't help but smile wryly. In the end, she still preferred to know.
Sighing in defeat, Nora decided to concede for a tiny bit.
"I will tell you all you want to know, but not here. As you might've guessed, I am here against my will, so when I am free from this place... How about you come to my house? I will welcome you there, and we will be able to speak free of worries". Nora said after contemplating for a moment.
There was not exactly that much to say on his part, but after considering that Kuroka might speak about delicate topics, he thought that their current environment was not adequate.
"...Are inviting us to your house then?" Kuroka asked in a somewhat expectant tone.
The other Nekomata in the room acted like it was not her problem while she nibbled her cookies, which who knows when they appeared in her hands, but her tail revealed her emotions rather easily, there were also the obvious glances that she directed at Nora now and then.
Nora thought for a small millisecond that he should say that it was a joke, but he punched his evil self in his head to get rid of that wicked idea.
"I sure did, both of you are welcome anytime you want". Nora muttered as he gently smiled at their anticipatory expressions.
While Kuroka did not get an answer to her questions, she was not bothered in the slightest. After all, she got something more exciting in exchange. Well, there was still the worry about Nora's condition but she will keep an eye on him more often. That said, going to Nora's house. It seemed nice just thinking about it.
"Everything was going fine so far..." Theodore spoke to no one in particular. He was rather used to speaking to himself after all.
Another look at the results of the test he had subject 10032 go through, and he noticed that his health deteriorated too much because of the last procedure.
It was pretty much a miscalculation on his part. Theodore assumed that adding another devil's cells would not cause any issue if they were not battle-related., and in fact, he succeeded in doing that. The problem was that he did not think it was enough, so he added a third set of cells, which caused a sharp decline in the subject health. Even when his body was quite resilient to withstand the experiments, there was a limit to what he could take. The stress his body was going through was too much for him to handle at once.
He had some trouble keeping him alive during the procedure, but Theodore lucky managed to save him. It was quite absurd to try to save a disposable test subject, but this one was an important source of data, and there was much more that he could provide if he was left alive.
Already tired of always being considered weak by his peers, Theodore saw the possibility of going beyond his limits in these experiments.
Although he found it frustrating that he could not choose which sample to use in subject 10032 thanks to the higher-up's meddling. He did understand the uses of the first one, but the second one was not something he could understand. Unfortunately, the third set of cells which he had somehow managed to secure and use for his gains were rejected by the subject's body. Still, it will be extremely interesting to see when the innate powers manifest, and how they will interact with each other inside subject 10032's body.
For now, he will have to give subject 10032 some time to allow him to recover. Although I will continue the procedures when I consider him able to survive. In the meantime, he will change his focus to his other experiment.
-Time skip ???
For some reason, I have not been taken to that operation room again for a while, which has allowed me to regain a bit of my vigor. I went through many procedures lately so my vitality had problems catching up to the damage it had to heal up.
One thing did feel strange though. I started to sense another energy moving through my body. It is faint, and the quantity is absurdly low, but I certainly felt it. The problem is that it does not seem to be always there. I would sometimes be able to sense it with some difficulties, but at times I was not able to find any traces of it. It worries me how something foreign moves around my body without my knowledge, however, I doubt I can do something about it in this kind of environment.
Not everything was relaxed now that I got some time off from those procedures. Kuroka-chan started to leave more often to go through several tests. It seemed that in exchange for my time, she had to pay the price. It saddened me greatly, but it also made me angry.
Sometimes she would arrive very tired and weak after a day of tests. Whenever it happened, I would use Senjutsu to alleviate her discomfort, even if was barely able to use it, it helped her greatly. She had taken care of me before so now it was my turn to take care of her. Although it pained me to see her like that, she was still a child just a few years older than what this body of mine has existed. I did not want her to go through that. However, I had still not found a way to leave this place, or rather, to be able to remove the choker and these damned things that prevent me from using my Ki.
I wondered if they were fixed in place by using magic or they were some kind of gadget. I had tried to break them by striking the walls with them, but I failed to cause significant damage. No, that was an exaggeration. I failed to cause any damage at all. I just suffered an electric discharge caused by the choker acting up. There had to be some sort of surveillance in this damned place.
It was unrealistic to expect everything works out easily. Nevertheless, this was hard, if I were an MC, I would’ve been saved already.
On another note, a certain matter made slightly tricky my daily life. Well, it was not exactly something I would call a problem, but it was awkward for me. With Kuroka gone to go through those tests, I was left alone with the white cat girl.
A heavy silence plagued the room. Shirone-chan was sitting on the bed while holding her knees with her arms, and resting her head on top of them. She is just staring at the door in a listless mood.
Sighing for who knows what number of times, I observe the cat's little sister. She did not talk too much normally, but without Kuroka-chan here, she is being extremely quiet. It makes the time we met and talked seem like a lie, although I can't blame her. She might act rather aloof and seem a little cold to Kuroka-chan but there is no denying that she cares for her. I think she is just a little awkward at expressing her feelings. And maybe Kuroka-chan's overreaction at times makes it slightly hard for Shirone-chan to respond. It was not like they did not talk at all, but they seem to be out of sync with each other.
Maybe I stared at her for too long since she turned her head to stare back at me. Shirone-chan looked intently at me straight in the eyes without blinking.
Oh, boy... here we go again.
With no other contact between us so far, it was not a bad idea to go along with her here. We just stared for a while, and no other movements were made in the meantime.
It was a rather intense showdown, or so I would like to think to hype myself up since I felt like closing my eyes already. I had been staring at her for a while already so I am at disadvantage here.
Doing my extra best, I managed to hold the urge to blink for a few more minutes, but the more I tried to drive away urges. The more they kept appearing in my head.
On the other side, Shirone-chan seemed at ease, not having any difficulty in keeping this staring contest.
She might as well call herself a pro.
In the end, I lost the contest.
Nevertheless, it was not a bad deal for what I got in exchange. Shirone-chan was now looking at me in a happy mood. She keeps her usual stoic expression, although there was a slight change on it, as the corner of her lips was slightly curled up, not to mention, her tail was a giveaway.
It has been a while since she has expressed strong emotions. Without a doubt, it was when we met that she acted the most emotional I had seen her, along with that time when I had that nightmare.
I have not been able to bond that much with her. She was probably having a hard time too, not only Kuroka-chan. As an adult (on the inside), I have been too inattentive, she also needed proper care. Regardless of the awkward mood between us so far, I should've made an effort.
"...I won". The white cat girl said softly. She tried to keep her expression as stoically as possible, but that smug look was hard to hide.
"You sure did..." I replied while smiling wryly.
Something as simple as this made her happy. It sure left me in a complicated mood. Well, as long as she is happy, then everything was ok for me.
"...We are tied. We both have one victory and one loss". Shirone-chan muttered as she raised her hands and used her fingers to signal the score.
Oh, right. I do recall something like that happening when we met for the first time.
"Then maybe we should play one more time? We need to decide the winner". I asked.
It would be healthier for her if she distracts herself from her worries even if it is for a little bit.
The little girl seemed happy to hear that. Well, her expression hardly changed, but her tail was honest.
"...Hmm". The white-haired girl nodded in response.
Instantly changing to a more comfortable position where we were facing each other face to face, she stared at my eyes again without saying anything else.
I guess we were going to start right away huh.
This time I won the match, but she was sulking as a result of that. That means that this was not a full victory.
"You know... It is no good to quit when you are going ahead. How about we try again?" I asked Shirone-chan.
"...Revenge". Shirone-chan replied as she got a little closer to me to continue with the next match.
That was a hard word for a child. Shouldn't it be a 'rematch'? Anyways, it was time to do this again.
We spent playing the whole morning, and now it was time for Kuroka-chan to come back already so we took a break.
We were not doing anything special but I think it helped to shrink the distance between us. I mean it, as Shirone-chan was seated just beside me, and I mean when I said literally, as in only literally. Because when I tried to move my hand to pat her head, she would tilt her body to avoid me. Something quite amusing as well, since she would tilt her body to avoid me but as soon as I moved my hand back, she would reassume her earlier position. I repeated my actions a couple of times but the result was always the same. I even stretched my hand fully making her lose her balance a fall on the bed. I will keep in my heart how her resentful look was really cute.
The good thing is that even after that, she took a seat beside me instead of seating far away.
A few minutes later, Kuroka-chan finally arrived. Exhausted as she looked, she still tried to cheerfully greet us.
"Shirone-chan! Nora-nya! I am back! Did you miss me-nya? Well, your Onee-chan is here-nya". Kuroka-chan exclaimed after she entered the room.
No matter how you try to act, you look tired, you dumb cat.
"Kuroka-chan... Come here". I exasperatedly said while patting the space in from of me on the bed to indicate to her where she should sit.
My Senjutsu is not that effective, but I will manage with what I can use, I have been practicing so I can at least do something for this silly girl.
"Nora-nya... What happened when I was gone?" Kuroka-chan, who suddenly used a grave tone of voice, got closer to the bed.
I could not help but tilt my head at that question.
Hmm? Did something happen?
I turn my head to see Shirone-chan equally tilting her head.
"That! Why are you two so close-nya? Your actions just now were completely in sync too-nya!". Kuroka-chan complained while pointing at Shirone-chan and me.
Finally climbing on the bed she took a seat where I asked her to, with her back facing me.
"No... Even if you tell me that, I am not sure what to tell you". I muttered in an uncertain tone.
I mean, being in sync was probably a coincidence. If we wanted to do it again then we would most likely fail.
Concentrating on the task at hand, I began gathering the Ki from my surroundings. To make the Senjutsu as effective as possible I had to inevitably use close contact, so to relieve her from her fatigue and exhaustion I did two simple things. One was rather simple. She did this to me a lot, caressing my hair when I was lying down. It was very relaxing for me so I started to do the same for her, although it was closer to me combing her hair with my hands. It was well-received by her so I continued to do this every time she had to go through those tests, the other thing was a simple massage to loosen her muscles. Kaa-san's teaching came in handy here.
I studied different subjects, all related to improve the health of others, included was also the use of massages along with Senjutsu to produce multiples effects. Such as improving blood circulation, circulation of Ki, or even things like magic power or demonic power, although I did not have much experience in a field other than Ki. Patients in need of such a thing did not exactly rain like it was a downpour, and not every patient would allow me to do the process in the place of Kaa-san.
Now then, you might wonder why would need to use massages when Kaa-san's Senjutsu techniques can do things even more amazing things than that. When I asked her the same thing she just told me that not everyone can do the same as her and that I should not trust that my methods are always absolute or the best. Always learn new things and use them to improve your skills. Never forget to try what you study over and over so that your body remembers the process even when you don't order it to do it.
My thoughts came to an abrupt stop when a sudden pain coming from my leg distracted me. Directing my gaze to the place where the pain came from, I found a delicate hand pinching me not so delicately. There is no need to think deeply about the owner of that hand since I am familiar with it.
It hurt me quite a bit by the way.
"Ouch... What are you doing Kuroka-chan?" I asked the assailant while I used my hand to move hers away.
"I am talking to you-nya!" Kuroka-chan replied indignantly.
She did not show it often, but Kuroka-chan likes when you pay attention to her. She gets angry like this when you ignore her. I think it was after telling her that I would take her to my house that she began to act a bit more selfish around me though.
"I see... sorry about that. How about I duplicate the massage time to make it up to you?" I offered.
I am rather happy to see her open up.
"Hmm, ok-nya. But I am still curious. You are getting along better with Shirone-nya, and it is when I am not here". Kuroka-chan said in a somewhat lonely tone of voice.
What can I do with this child? Sighing in my mind I pondered what to tell her. There is not much to say... and precisely because there is not much to say is what makes me think about how I should tell her in a way that she is satisfied with my answer. Hmmm, you know what? I never had my way with words so I am probably wasting my time thinking too much about the issue.
"We were just playing a game. Don't worry. I am not taking her from you. You are her precious Onee-chan after all". I explained.
The effect of my words was immediate. She had unknowingly lowered her head, and ears and tails were down as well. But upon hearing my words, she straightened her head, and her ears and tails seemed to gain life again. These girls are really honest.
"Really-nya?" Kuroka-chan asked.
"Yes, it is the truth". I reassured her.
As I answered I started to move my hands again. Using my fingers to caress and comb her hair. I could feel her lush and silky strands of hair in my hands. She has really pretty hair.
"Your hair is well-taken care of. It is very pretty, Kuroka-chan". I praised her as I used a minimal amount of Ki to massage her head.
I usually use the chance when I comb her hair to massage her head as well.
"Thank you. A woman's hair is her life-nya!" Kuroka-chan exclaimed vigorously.
Hmmm... I might've heard something like that before, but I can't recall where.
In any case... she seems to be taking good care of it. I wonder if they give her anything to do so or it is naturally like that. These cat girls' clothes are made of good materials. And they are well fed as well. The fact that Shirone-chan eats cookies means that they get snacks too. I wonder if they do so to keep on an appearance that they are law-abiding devils.
Somehow that was rather funny... law-abiding devils. Pfft.
After punching my inner self that tried to make lame jokes, I continued to comb Kuroka-chan's hair.
As Kuroka-chan lied down on my bed sleeping, along with Shirone-chan who snuggled near her sister. I seated on the floor to let them sleep and while the bed had enough space for the three of us... I wanted a little space to think alone, but I did not want to leave them sleeping and go to another room. Kuroka-chan can be a worrywart sometimes.
Closing my eyes, I just let my thoughts wander around.
Many things went through my head. Worries about Kaa-san, Yasaka-san, and the few people I met. Those occupied a good part of my thoughts but I kept them in check. There was nothing I could about that in my current position. So what was left were the worries I had about these two girls that are sleeping right now.
As I planned to leave this place, I was going to take them with me. That much I had considered. Nevertheless, it was still unrealistic to escape. I doubt that the security that they have is something a feeble Nekomata can take care of on his own. Even if I add those two, escaping seems like a dream.
However, I want to leave as soon as possible. I found many needle marks on Kuroka-chan's arms. It was not that difficult to see since I massaged her. They are hurting her.
My mood takes a turn for the worse when I think about it.
How long will she have to go through it? That b*stard is to blame, I wondered if there was a way to take care of him. Given my situation... I doubt I will be able to show mercy even if I had the choice, not only it would be risky in a fight to the death but if he managed to do something bad to these two later, I could never forgive myself. Then... what I have to do is clear since the moment I decided to take them with me.
Honestly, I feel quite bitter about it. My father and mother were not the types who liked that kind of stuff... so I always felt like I would disappoint them if I thoughtlessly took a life. Although I can't deny that I was a little scared of that as well. It is not an act as simple as stepping an ant. You don't just start walking around and kill someone. No. It requires more than that. And you later have to carry with that weight... which is one thing that scares me.
Do I have what it takes?
Scratching my head, I just put aside that train of thoughts. I still have not made up my mind regarding that anyways.
I should concentrate on the things I could take advantage of to leave.
It is not a fast process, but I can tell that whatever he uses to knock me up somehow lose its effectiveness on me the more he uses it. There was also a time where I am taken out of this floor and that is the moment he takes me to that hateful room.
Perhaps that was my best chance.
It was about a week later when the experiments were reassumed again. My easy-going days were over, my body was no longer troubling me as much at that time so it was time to be called back I guess.
Fighting with the discomfort and rejection I felt as I was taken to that place again, I tried to be on my best behavior, trying to take as much information from my surroundings as I could. Even when I tried resisting before, I just suffered an electrical discharge to keep me in check so it was rather useless to resist, no matter what I attempted to do.
What I have planned can be described as absurd on many levels so preparing the best I could be was the obvious answer.
One simple method I used to learn the layout of this place was to use my ability to see through things, allowing me to also extend my sight to faraway places. In the beginning, I faced several failures when I began this process. This whole building is protected against techniques or magic that could be used to peer inside. Well, the floor I was staying at had no such a thing. Although I only encountered problems when I tried using my ability along with Ki to enhance my sight, I had started using that method to reduce the burden it gave my eyes. However, as I tried using it without Ki, I was able to see through places I could not before. It was rather strange I must admit. Nevertheless, I might need to ask He (?) for a detailed answer.
Arriving already in the operation room, I prepared myself for what was to come.
The person, who brought me here, accompanied me to the room where he bonded me to it. Reflecting that this was because of my actions before, I just quietly accepted it.
"Oh? You are being rather well-behaved today. Did the mouse get your tongue? I expected that you at least cursed at me a little. Look, I even had my finger ready to press the button of the controller here". That man said while smirking. Outfitted as a surgeon, he was called Naberius... or so I heard others calling him as such. He even raised his hand to show me how he had his finger on top of that damn button.
His actions annoyed me to no end. But I remained composed. Scanning the room, I found the body from the woman before lying down on another table. It seems that this time's operation will have to do with her. I don't find the after-effects of the procedures as tough as with the others bodies used so it is a bit of a relief.
"Not going to speak either huh? How boring... It was rather fun to see you struggling and twisting your body as the electric discharge affected you against your will. But I guess that you are finally learning your place". Naberius muttered as he took a syringe from a small table beside me.
That table was always there. He has everything prepared before I arrive. Everything that he uses to cut my flesh is neatly arranged. Scalpels... the syringe he uses to inject me with the drug is also there. If I could move freely, I could get my hands on some useful stuff.
Watching him brought the syringe closer to me I closed my eyes. It was not out of fear... I was already used to it and went past the stage where it bothered me. It was to brace myself to how the drug will affect me.
Briefly wishing that Kuroka-chan does not under any circumstances get used to getting injected with such substances as it would mean that she went through this a lot. I began feeling the cold metal piercing my skin and how the contents were emptied inside me. The feeling was not exactly immediate. I could feel as it slowly made my body lose my strength, with each breath it made it hard for me to endure the notion of just sleeping. Nevertheless, I held it back with pure force of will the best I could.
Was it seconds or maybe minutes? I had already lost my sense of time without notice. I was just lying down, with my eyes closed, and bonded to the operation table enduring the urge to sleep. No longer could I hear anything. So I was not able to tell if Naberius was saying something or not.
What I felt was how my flesh was suddenly cut. It erased any sleepiness that my head had, although I could still not feel my body completely. My sense of smell was faintly catching the smell of different chemical substances in the room, and my ears were able to hear again.
"Urgh..." I groaned as quietly as I could but-
"Huh? Do I have to change the dose again? He was not completely asleep. What a bother if he begins moving I won't be able to get anything done today". I could hear Naberius mutter that before I feel once again the coldness of the syringe's needle.
Along with another dose of that drug he is using as anesthesia, I stopped feeling the pain that brought me out of that half-sleep state I was. This time, I was not able to offer any resistance before my thoughts stopped altogether.
After finishing today's procedures, sitting in what seemed to his study. Theodore was reviewing his notes from the experiments of the two Nekomatas and seemed pleased with what he read.
"The data is coming along nicely. It was worthy to let that kid rest for a while. He did not face any rejection this time, and as expected, using the first sample was more effective. His body is adapting fairly well to the cells I implanted. Soon, it will be time to prove if he managed to inherit that original devil's innate magic. As for my 'dear' bishop, I had slowed the process with that experiment as I focused more on the subject 10032, but taking my time on only her, brought great results, her powers are rising steadily, as my bishop’s mastery of the skills that youkai have goes up, I can expect an even further increase in her powers". Theodore spoke aloud.
In front of him, there was a small recorder. After saying his piece, he took the recorder and put it in a box filled with strange symbols, which, upon contact with the recorder, teleported the object to who knows where.
Thinking that what he did was enough of a report. Theodore was about to prepare his notes of the experiment when someone opened the door to the study.
"Naberius-sama! An important report, today, there was a patrol moving around the vicinity". The man who had just entered the study swiftly reported.
Frowning somewhat, the man's words were met with silence.
"Do never enter my study again without my permission. I will not allow anyone to bother me during my research, and as for what you said... you don't need to worry, it has happened several times during these months. The barrier is perfect and no one will see through it, without a doubt, they won't locate this place. Now leave before I decide to punish you for your earlier actions". Theodore coldly muttered before completely discarding the man's reaction to his words. His expression remained in a frown until he heard the door closing.
Alone in his study, Theodore immersed himself in his data once again.
I have to say, that was tough. No matter how much I got used to getting beaten by Kaa-san, the pain a fist causes is different from what a cut causes. Expecting to use an opportunity while I am in that room is not easy as expected, but I already knew that. Unfortunately, I can't see another way to leave this floor. Breaking that door without my Ki is not possible. I might already be able to use outside Ki rather aptly for the short amount of time I had been learning to do so. However, that was not enough. If I keep hitting it continuously, eventually I would be able to break it. The problem was... would they let me do so? Pressing a button is all they need to do to stop me.
This collar has to be removed at all cost and the closest I am to an opportunity to do it is by getting closer to Naberius. It gives me a headache when I think of how to do this. More than once my line of thoughts went to the point when I considered escaping here pretty much impossible. However, I can't just give up, right?
There are many things I have to do, things I want to do, and I couldn't leave those two here either.
One day, I was practicing controlling Ki to see if I could improve the speed in which I took the Ki from the outside and put it under my control. It was certainly difficult at first but now I am doing it rather smoothly.
Out of boredom, I tried giving shape to the Ki... and while I was able to do so, it lacked proper substance to maintain itself like that. As I covered my hand with it, the further the Ki was extended from my hand, the more difficult maintain a physical form. So far, I had used Ki to either strengthen myself to protect my body as Senjutsu and Touki or in Youjutsu and Kasha as a means of attack. In the case of Touki, you compact the Ki to form a layer of it over yourself, but it can hardly be said to be made physically. It would impede your movements or so Kaa-san explained before.
This was rather tricky.
Why can't I make it solid? Or more like... When I manage to get close to it, how can I take the final step to make use of it as I want? Maintaining a physical solid form... Huh.
If one layer is not enough to do that, I could add another one and another. Instead of trying to make a thick layer, I can add a number of them on top of each other. It is pretty much how the skin of humans works.
Thanks my dear studies, while you gave me headaches... Knowledge will never betray you, at least when it was correct.
Days of hard work finally paid me back with... nothing. I overestimated my abilities. Or rather, a couple of days were not enough time to be able to do this.
Trying to use the small amount of Ki that I can gather is frustrating. I have to keep the amount I have while gathering more, not allowing it to disperse. It sounded easier but handling outside Ki is never easy. I must be extremely careful to only use Ki that contains positive energy or it could make it go berserk. It happened once yesterday when in my lack of patience I tried to use all the Ki I could gather without trying to filter it. In no time at all, for it became unstable and dispersed without me being able to control it.
It was frustrating.
Ki is not as easy to use as I thought.
Sometimes, I would just take a break from training to distract myself. I would focus on gathering as much info as I could or playing around with Kuroka-chan and Shirone-chan (although this rarely happened if Kuroka-chan was with us, the white-haired kitty usually foreign aloofness).
Gathering info was rather successful. I was able to memorize the layout of a few floors already. Although I lacked many more, this place was pretty deep underground from what I could see.
This process was very slow as I had to be very careful to not use my ability for too much time or it would burden my eyes stopping me from using it for a long while.
There were a lot of things I wanted to question about this facility. Not only Kuroka-chan's experiment and mine were handled here. I could see a large number of laboratories where they make questionable substances and they use them on other individuals located on other floors. Some of them go through this process willingly while others... well, they are not given a choice. I was able to spot different people of all ages and races. It angered me how many were of those were forced to go through these sickening acts, but I was powerless to do something. I was not even able to help myself so playing hero was not something I would do. Taking Kuroka-chan and Shirone-chan with me is going to be very hard already. Taking more people would be asking for too much.
However, if I can do something about it without that action interfering with my plans, I will do so. I find it hard to stomach to just do nothing at all when you can lend a hand and that costs you nothing.
You can call me a busybody or someone meddlesome, but it is not like that. I just... don't want to be like I was before.
Just as I was practicing my Ki control-
"Nora-nya! I have come! And Shirone too-nya!" Kuroka-chan exclaimed cheerfully as opened the door like she owned the place.
Her appearance made me think about a certain game, and my mind could help but imagine-
-A wild Kuroka has appeared!
…Such a message appearing in front of me.
I need to leave this place, for more reasons than I thought. I might go nuts if I stay here for too much time.
And there was something I have noticed before, Kuroka-chan keeps nonchalantly adding '-nya' as a suffix to my name.
"Oh... Ok? But... Where did the Kuroka that respected my privacy go? You don't know what kind of things I could be doing". I warned her in a not-too-serious tone.
While I don't mind it this time, I can't help but worry if she would keep doing this in the future. I am not an exhibitionist, so showing my naked self as I change could be bad, even if they are children... or perhaps that makes it worse. There is also the problem that she might do this to people other than me... which slightly irritates me when I think about it.
"You always say funny things-nya. Sometimes I don't even understand them, but don't worry; I won't dislike you for saying strange stuff-nya". She just nonchalantly dismissed my warning and... Reassured me?
I don't know how to feel about that.
"*Sigh* Just get inside, and close the door after you come in". I said to Kuroka-chan as I gave up explaining.
Waving my hand to Shirone-chan as a greeting, I saw her wave back with an almost impossible-to-detect smile.
"You are in a rather good mood today... although you are always like that, today you seem more hyped". I spoke to Kuroka-chan as she got on the bed after helping Shirone-chan to do so as well.
As expected of a caring big sister, she tries to score sisterly points every time.
Too bad that Shirone-chan is not good at showing her affection; I wonder how could I help with that.
"Be thankful Nora-nya! Today, I managed to get my hand on some cookies. But not any cookies, no Sir-nya! These are the ones that you liked before. Behold! Chocolate chip cookies-nya!" Kuroka-chan smugly exclaimed while holding a small pouch high in the air.
What a silly cat
"You didn't have to..." I replied with a wry smile.
I don't even know why she goes to such lengths for me, and I am not talking just about the cookies. All the help she lent me when I was feeling weak and sick, and coming to this place to hang out. I have truly been in her care.
"Nya? You don't like it? I thought you would happier about it-nya". Kuroka-chan muttered, obviously disappointed at my lack of enthusiasm.
"No, no, I am happy... It's just... That is your share, right?" I hastily answered back as I saw her become dispirited.
"Oh, that-nya? Don't worry about it. I like these as well-nya". Kuroka-chan, who was happy once more, replied.
Lies... You like the strawberries ones.
"You... *Sigh* Thanks". I muttered before I pulled her closer to give her a tight hug.
Kuroka-chan seemed at lost because of my rarely seen show of skinship, but later she grinned widely.
"Nyahaha, I knew it... You like them. You like them enough to call me Onee-chan for them?" Kuroka-chan asked.
My thoughts came to a sudden stop.
"Give me back my feelings". I replied as I pulled her away from me while giving her the blankest and unimpressed expression I managed to make.
Where was the basic trust between humans? Is it because we are not humans that these kinds of things happen?
"No-nya! I thought that since you were finally being clingy I could ask you that-nya! Don't look at me like that! I did not have any ulterior motives-nya! Hug me again!" Kuroka-chan admitted.
She tried to get closer to me putting on a sad expression.
Kuhh, I am weak to that kind of look. Stop it; don't use the upturned eyes technique! Argh... I have to forgive her... No! Don't let yourself fall for her tricks. She could still be trying to deceive you.
"You say that but... How can I trust you?" I asked the black cat girl who tried to get close to me, but could not as I had my hand extended to keep her away.
"You can trust me! If you don't trust me... ask Shirone-nya!" Kuroka-chan replied tearfully.
You have to hold it, Nora, don't fall for her tricks. First, confirm with the white cat girl.
Turning my head to one side, I saw Shirone watching our interaction with an amused expression, which she erased quickly when she noticed that I was looking at her.
"*Cough* While usually Nee-sama likes to play around... She is saying the truth. Nee-sama worried a lot about it. She kept repeating 'Will he like it? Will he like it-nya'. There w-mmmmmghhhh". Shirone-chan explained until her big sister swiftly covered her mouth with her hands.
That was fast.
"You don't have to tell him that-nya! Ahhh! Shirone-nya, you dummy!" Kuroka-chan complained in a shy tone.
I will forgive her.
These two are people whom I have grown accustomed to. Watching them play around like that, I thought once again that… I want to bring them out of here with me.
I am not sure if I will be able to properly help them to lead a normal life, but I would like to at least give them that opportunity. At some point, I believe that they will be able to decide by themselves what to do with their lives. Until then, I will support them. But for that, we need to leave together.
I... might be being selfish since I have not talked about that with them. Imposing my will on them thinking that it is the right thing... I can't help but wonder if I am the same kind of person as that Naberius guy.
Perhaps I should talk to them about it.
They are not lifeless dolls but two girls with their own desires.
"Nora-nya! Forget what you just heard. It was a joke from Shirone-nya!" Kuroka-chan exclaimed, now having Shirone-chan in a firm hold while she covered her mouth.
Poor Shirone, those eyes directed at me asking for help do not seem to be joking.
"Alright, alright... let's put that aside and eat the cookies, ok? Release her already, and come here both of you". I gently coaxed them.
Following what I said, Kuroka-chan finally released her poor little sister. And came to nonchalantly take a seat to my right where she usually seats.
As for the other cat girl... she ignored Kuroka-chan who was tapping beside her to tell Shirone-chan that she could sit there and took a seat to my left. I was mildly surprised at this, but I guess that Kuroka-chan had upset her little sister earlier.
The black cat seemed dispirited at that so I patted her head for a moment before I offered the cookies I had taken from the pouch.
One thing did surprise me though, Shirone-chan offered me a cookie from her pouch.
"Exchange..." Shirone muttered after she saw me eat her cookie.
It was not free huh.
Well, I can live with that.
No more words were shared between us, as we just quietly ate.
Time moved forward. Not sure exactly how much time had gone by but... my hair was reaching my shoulders already. Since coming here I have not cut my hair so I think that maybe the period of my capture has been rather long.
The number of procedures I had to go through went up as I had been here for a while and they were affecting me as I could feel my body changing. There was an uncomfortable feeling coming from my lower back, it stayed after one of the operations I received. I thought the pain along with the feeling of discomfort would vanish after some time, but only the pain seemed to go away. What was left was an out place feeling which I can't explain. Besides that, the different energy inside my body that I felt before has been growing slowly but steadily.
Today was a terrible day... I was able to stay awake after the dose that Naberius applied to me. However, that meant that I had to feel the whole procedure. Before, I had already tried doing and failed to remain unmoved so that b*stard quickly found out and raised the dose of the anesthesia. It took me many tries until I was able to maintain my body unaffected by any of the things that he did to me.
I have never seen hell before, but I certainly felt it today. I am surprised that just by sheer will I managed to remain conscious without giving him a clue of my status.
The knowledge I learned from Kaa-san helped me a lot. Knowing exactly how an unconscious person must behave enabled me to imitate one rather accurately.
I practiced keeping my breathing in check so many times, forcing my body to stay still, having it go through that was not easy by any means. Nevertheless, I found some useful things thanks to my reckless approach. There were moments in which he released me from the table, and we were both alone. This information was extremely valuable.
Taking action would have to wait for another time. To be honest, that was terrible. It was not pleasant to feel how they cut your body, not to mention to remain awake during the whole process which took hours.
Thinking back... I should have acted at once.
As I was playing with Shirone-chan while I poked her cheeks with my tails to distract her and make her look away as we stared at each other, the door opened and-
Kuroka-chan arrived with her hair cut, and her face at that time was heartbreaking.
She seemed to have been crying for a while already, as her eyes were red and puffy.
Kuroka-chan came inside the room crestfallen and in silence, with her head lowered; she just walked near us and climbed the bed.
Neither Shirone-chan nor I said a word. I just watched her as she lied down between the two of us with her face pointing to the ceiling, taking the pillow using it to cover her head.
Her beautiful long hair was cut around the same length as Shirone-chan. She did not look bad at all, but this girl was so proud of her long hair before.
I couldn't contain my rage. I felt like storming out of here and beating the cr*p of whoever did this. However, I calmed down. Right now, there were more important things to take care of.
Since she came in without saying a word, I will assume that she does not want to talk for now.
Getting down from the bed to close the door, and coming back, I found Shirone-chan snuggling at one side of Kuroka-chan as she gripped her hand.
Me? I just took the other side doing the same. I used my free arm to pull her closer to hug her. As I heard her sobbing, I tightened the grip of my hand.
For days she did not say a thing. She limited herself to just lie down weakly on the bed. I tried using Ki to soothe her but it was not the almighty solution. Sometimes, only time solved these issues.
It was not until much later that I learned what happened after I coaxed her to tell me.
That bastard did it.
Apparently, during one of the experiments, she failed to follow the instructions during training. And that irritated Naberius as cut her hair as punishment. He also gave her a warning that if she does that again, he will raise the level of the punishment a level higher.
That is too much even for that sicko.
What's next? Physical punishment? Taking their food away? No, for Kuroka-chan the next thing that would scare her of receiving the most is... that Shirone-chan receives the punishment instead of her. That guy is that type of disgusting individual after all.
It can't be delayed any further.