Three nightly parties in a row seemed a bit too overwhelming, so we spoke to the village chief and asked him to refrain from organizing yet another banquet. Instead, Fran spent the night telling the villagers about her journey.
It all started because a few of the children, who’d finally grown accustomed to Fran, approached her and asked about her adventures. She promptly began spinning her tale, albeit in her usual way. She wasn’t all that great at exaggerating things or spicing them up, so her stories ended up being much more realistic than they were heroic. But the villagers, both young and old, gathered around her nonetheless. All it took was a few moments for the whole village to rally to her side. She told them of the lich, described her exploits in Ulmutt’s tournament, and then finally summed it all up by telling them what had happened on the ship.
“Then saved by Leviathan.”
The entire village took a collective breath as she wrapped everything up. Every last member of its populace was so tense that they’d started sweating. But none had noticed until she was done. *That* was just how much attention they paid her.
“What happened next!?”
“I can’t wait to hear more!”
“Mmph.” Fran frowned. She had basically told the villagers all she was willing to, so she was at a loss as to what to say. After a moment of deliberating, she decided to talk a bit about mythology.
Specifically, she decided to talk about the reason the black catkin were unable to evolve, as she decided that there likely wasn’t going to be any harm in telling her tribesmen about their curse.
“Hard to imagine now. But in past, black catkin high status.”
The black catkin seemed to sense that Fran was about to dive into a whole different type of topic, but they perked up their ears and listened with interest nonetheless. The more she said, however, the more their expressions changed. They slowly realized the gravity of the tale they were told, so they began to regard her lecture from a more serious standpoint.
Though they weren’t quite at the level of being solemn, they stayed quiet. They made sure not to speak so they wouldn’t miss a word. They learned that the Black Cat Tribe had, at one point, ruled over all the other beastkin as the Beast Lord, that their ruler had lost control after discovering a method to absorb the evil god’s strength, and that divine punishment was the reason they’d lost the ability to evolve. Through Fran’s words, they came to understand that their fetters existed for the sake of atonement. They needed to kill evil beings to make up for the sins committed by their ancestors.
“Nn. That’s all.”
This time, the black catkin stayed silent even after Fran finished speaking. They were having a hard time digesting all the information they’d just been fed.
The first to move was the chief.
“Thank you. Thank you so much for telling us about our past.” He kneeled as he spoke to her.
“We must learn from this!” The chief turned towards the villagers as he raised his voice. “Listen, my kin! Our ancestors have committed a grave, deadly sin, one that we can’t waste our time lamenting! We have to move forward while making up for all they’ve done to prove to the gods that lenience was the right decision! It may be tough, but the path of recompense is not without benefit, it is also the path that will lead our tribe to evolution. We can finally change! We no longer need to be weak kittens abandoned in the dark! We can stop aimlessly running around, living in solitude, and enduring unjust violence! We must follow our own paths! We must carve them with strength, dignity, and honour! We black catkin must become more powerful! We have to get strong enough to make up for our sins! I hereby declare that the village will support the effort no matter the cost! While I won’t force you, I will encourage you to at least try! Let us all work towards redemption, together!”
Damn dude, I can see why the village chief got his position. Really gotta give to him, he’s good at getting people totally fired up.
The whole village remained silent, but the residents’ intentions were clear. Their eyes burned with the very same fiery passion the chief had just ignited in their hearts.
And it was for that reason that the silence only lasted an instant.
The whole village shook as a thunderous roar of sound blasted through it. Every single black catkin had stood up and started to clap.
“I will evolve! I swear it on my name!”
“It’s a shame. I’m far too old to try evolving myself, but that don’t mean jack! I’ll make sure I give you youngsters all the support I can!”
“And I’ll use my skills to inscribe the princess’ words in stone! I’ll even make a monument and set it up in this very plaza!”
Every last villager acknowledged and accepted at least some part of the chief’s speech. Though not all of them decided that they themselves would seek evolution, they at least agreed to contribute to the effort, one way or another. The fact that they were both atoning and working towards their own personal goals at the same time served to drive the ball home.
Wow. I really didn’t think that they would believe us so easily. They’re not mad at the gods either. That’s a full set of expectations down the drain right there. I mean like, holy crap, talk about devout. They totally seem to think that it’s their fault, and that there’s nothing to blame the gods for. Though, I guess it does make sense seeing as how the gods here actually exist.
The adults began celebrating the newfound policy by breaking out the alcohol. I didn’t want Fran to drink, so I had her join the rest of the children for the time being.
“I’m glad they believed us.”
“It looks like the black cat tribe’s full of kind-hearted, trusting people.” I wanted to follow up the statement by telling Fran that there was nothing wrong in making the choice to stay, to remain in Schwartzekatze, even if it was just for a little while longer—
— But she cut me off before I could.
“Nn. Everything wanted to say already said.”
“You sure you want to leave already? This is pretty sudden.”
“Can’t stay. Too comfortable here. Need to leave.”
“I mean, isn’t that all the more reason to—”
“Decision final. Tomorrow.”
Looks like there’s no convincing her.
“Alright. I guess we can always just come again some other time.”
It’s not like Schwartzekatze is going to just up and disappear, after all.
Night fell, the party ended, and peace returned to the village. Like Schwartzekatze’s residents, Fran and Urushi were already sound asleep—or at least they were. The two suddenly got up in tandem.
Are we under attack!? Can’t be… I don’t sense anything, and Fran’s movements had a bit of lethargy to them, so I doubt it’s that…
Neither of the two understood the reason they’d suddenly awoken. They couldn’t identify what they’d reacted to. They looked around and tried to find the source of the disturbance.
But their conclusion was exactly the same as mine: nothing was out of the ordinary.
The heck? Was there an earthquake somewhere or something? Er, wait, right, earthquakes aren’t as common here as they were back in Japan so everyone would probably be kicking up a much bigger fuss if there was one.
We decided to take a look around the village just in case a monster had snuck in through the use of a stealth skill.
But again, we weren’t able to find anything too far out of the ordinary. All we saw were plastered drunks passed out on the side of the road. We had no idea as to where each one lived, so we couldn’t carry them all the way home, but we at least made sure to move them onto grass as opposed to just leaving them face first in dirt.
Though our search proved to be in vain, I highly doubted that there could be as big a coincidence as Fran and Urushi suddenly waking up at the same time for no real reason.
“I know we haven’t found anything yet, and that it’s already late, but let’s keep looking.”
Hey, guys! Joker here. Well, another day, another chapter of Master and Fran. This time, they appear to be starting a cult of cat people. Can’t wait to see where this leads. Haha. Also, very mysterious circumstances surrounding the ending. Wonder what’s going on. Hmmm. Also, as of the writing of this comment, I’m now almost completely done with my second full playthrough of Persona 5. And honestly, it was just as much fun the second time around. 140 hours so far on the save file, and I have created essentially what is the Persona equivalent of God Himself. Absorbs all elements except fire AND blocks physical. Oh, and he’s strong against fire, so all that can hurt me are Gun skills. OP Persona, plz nerf, am I right? All right. Enough rambling for now. See y’all in the next chapter!