Arc VIII Chapter 15
Katsuki saw only bright stars. Her head felt slightly dizzy and everything around her was spinning like wild. The yarn was a trap, as expected, and she was sucked in by the evil portal, which was the last thing she remembered.
Then she fell, and fell, and fell, and hit something hard, which was the cause for her current state. Katsuki suffered from a mild concussion and right now the world was upside down for a poor disoriented kitten. She couldn't tell apart left from right paw. Everything was just blurred amid startling white.
It was too much for her and Katsuki collapsed, nearly about to vomit. Fortunately, she emerged victorious over her corporeal urges and didn't throw up. After all, such behaviour was unbecoming of a cat of her standing. Royalty and vomiting didn't go well together. But for now, motion sickness got her and knocked her out effectively. Too much spinning, too much ringing for her poor head.
Katsuki was lying on the ground and licking her wounds. She needed some rest to recuperate and gather her thoughts. And it worked. It took its time, but eventually, her vision somewhat cleared up as her concussion faded again. She saw trees, many many trees, and a strangely blue sky. The sky was decisively bluer than she remembered and lacked the natural pastel azure shade she was used. The blue, the light, the clouds, everything was so different.
This was not her palace. In fact, she even doubted that she was still in the spirit world. So where was she?
Katsuki scanned her surroundings and stumbled over a purry cute little girl. Her hair was a lovely silken black and her fluffy cheeks were simply adorable. But most importantly, the girl was a human.
Katsuki stared at the mysterious girl and the girl stared back at her. Both were clearly surprised by each other, unsure about how to react to this sudden encounter.
A human. A real human. Katsuki had read a lot about them in her scrolls and she also had heard much about this mysterious species called humans. After all, they were their potential summoners and so every kitten was well-advised to study their culture and customs.
They were taller than cats and bipedal, walking on two feet was their primary mode of movement. They didn't have any fur, tail, or even whiskers. Their ears were located on their side of their heads and their eyes were just strange. Humans had round pupils and not cute slit-shaped like theirs. And to make things even stranger, humans were neither meowing nor purring, which Katsuki found of course curious. In summary, humans were definitely strange creatures, nya.
But still, Katsuki had never seen a human before except for depictions in her scrolls. This was her first time to meet a human in person. Nevertheless, she was determined to make a good impression as the crown princess of the cat clan.
Katsuki stuck her chest out proudly as only a cat could do and observed the girl carefully. So this was her new master?
Katsuki tilted her head. The girl was undoubtedly sweet, but all things considered, her new master seemed ... rather normal. And that made Katsuki curious.
The girl didn't look strong and her Chakra was not really ... powerful. Her Chakra was normal, everything about her suspiciously normal. Which begged the important question, who summoned her? Who was responsible for the purple portal? It surely wasn't her ...
Katsuki noticed only too late that they both weren't alone here. Her gaze wandered off and Katsuki stiffened instantly. Petrified, her body refused to move. There was another girl nearby, slightly taller than her ... little sister? She wore a hime cut, which Katsuki obviously approved of, and her entire bearing emanated pride, grace and dignity. Her bearing alone was enough intimate Katsuki by sheer authority, making a little kitten feel smaller and smaller and smaller with every second passing.
Her eyes were staring right at her. Cold, profound, and filled with a dark black that would make even the night reconsider. Her eyes seemed more than just human. And so did her chakra. A chakra that resembled a heavy suffocating veil.
A cold shiver ran down Katsuki's spine. The girl was scary was and she wasn't ashamed to admit so. It was undoubtedly her, it was her who summoned her.
Katsuki made a step backward. She had met powerful beings before, powerful ancient beasts, but even the most primal ones paled in comparison to what she felt now.
Who was she? Who was this girl? What had she done in her previous cat lives to deserve such a fate? Katsuki retreated further, slowly backing away.
Her plan didn't work though. Her attempt to flee failed spectacularly. The girl tilted her head and threatened her with a lovely scary smile and an equally scary singsong voice. "Where are you going? Do you really thinking running is a good idea?"
Katsuki stiffened once again, petrified by her smile. She knew, she knew everything. The girl was reading her like an open book.
Katsuki panicked. Her feline instincts screamed danger, telling her to run immediately with her tail between her paws. But where?
In her moments of desperation, Katsuki made her choice. She jumped into the nearest bush, hiding and praying to all supreme cat gods that evil princess of darkness wouldn't find her. She was just a small kitten. She was too young and noble to be eaten, nya. She didn't even taste good when minced and cooked.
Katsuki cowered in fear and hoped for best. She waited and waited and nothing happened. Was she safe ...
Katsuki couldn't defend herself and was suddenly grabbed from behind. Yuki lifted the terrified cat slowly and hugged her close to her chest.
"Nee-san, you are a big meanie. You shouldn't scare little defenceless kittens. That's not nice." Yuki pouted and did her best to clam Katsuki by petting her ears, which worked. The petting helped and Katsuki felt indeed better.
Asami furrowed her eyebrow. "Little? Defenceless? Yuki, you know that your little kitten is not a real cat but a spirit I have summoned with my blood, right? This cat could be very well a few centuries years old and have brutally murdered countless people in their sleep."
Asami narrowed her eyes. "Your little kitten is neither little nor defenceless." At least, that was how it was supposed to be.
Yuki blinked in confusion before giving Katsuki a slightly concerned look. "But, but ... but she doesn't look dangerous! I am sure she is a good cat. She would never hurt me!" Yuki's hug grew tighter.
Katsuki merely nodded, raising her paw in agreement. "Nya, nya, Yuki is right, nya, I would never hurt her. After all, ..."
Silence reigned as Yuki gave Katsuki a simple blank stare. Yuki was staring at her and Katsuki tried to avert her eyes. It was possible that she had messed up, wasn't it?
Yuki took a deep breath and tightened her huggle on a poor cat. Yuki was veritably bouncing out of joy. "Nee-san, nee-san, nee-san!"
Asami scratched her head, not exactly sure what caused this sudden change in Yuki. "Yes?"
"Nee-san, can we pleashe keeep her! Can we pleashe keeep the talking cat! I really really really want her. I always wanted a cat to play with!" Yuki even deployed a pair of puppy eyes to support her plea.
Asami blinked, slightly dumbfounded. Apparently, Yuki liked cats more than she had initially thought. Quite an unexpected development to be honest.
Asami cleared her throat, answering deliberately vaguely," Well, I think that can be potentially arranged under certain circumstances."
Yuki didn't care though. She just beamed happily while petting Katsuki.
"But first I need to have a little talk with our new feline friend. So what is your name? I am curious." Asami smiled.
Katsuki tensed up, traumatised by the previous events. She had always believed that smiling couldn't be scary. But she was woefully wrong and much wiser now, smiles were scary.
Yuki felt Katsuki's anxiety and whispered in her ears," Don't worry, Asami nee-san isn't always mean. Just often, and to many people. Especially, if they annoy her. But she isn't always mean. Be and good kitten and you will be fine."
Yuki let Katsuki down who carefully approached Asami. Paw after paw, she closed the distance under Asami's close scrutiny..
Asami leaned down with a smile. "See, was this so difficult?"
Katsuki shook her head.
"So what is your name?"
Katsuki hesitated, her voice faltering."Nya, nya, my name is ... Katsuki, and I am the crown princess of the cat clan, nya."
Asami giggled. "Crown princess? Quite a position and a heavy burden for a kitten like you."
"How old are you, Katsuki?"
Katsuki blinked. "Nya, ... Nya, I am ..."
Katsuki stared at the ground and grew increasingly silent. "I am 12."
Asami stopped for a moment. "That is ... young." Surprisingly, young in fact.
"And what do you have to offer me, Katsuki, in the case, I contract you as my summons?"
"Offer? What do you mean by that?" Katsuki looked up.
Asami grinned."I mean exactly what I said, Katsuki, the summoning contract isn't definitive yet. I still need to confirm you as my summons and officially seal our pact."
"So what do you have to offer me, Katsuki? Power? Strength? Wisdom? What does the cat clan provide me with?"
Katsuki was tempted to say neko sage mode, but sadly the secrets of the technique were lost to the sands of time. And it didn't look grim otherwise.
Katsuki cast her eyes downward and chose silence as her answer.
"I thought so." Asami sighed. Nevertheless, she decided against her better judgment and unraveled the scroll.
"You know, Katsuki, you are lucky that Yuki is fond of cats. Fortunately, that is reason enough for me to accept. So please place your paw here and I will consider our contract as concluded."