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Fantasy Unique

Sub Genres
Action, Adventure, LGTBQ, Magical, Multiverse, Romance, Super Powers


permanently exhausted pigeon
It was a quiet day in the forest, as usual, and Cinder found a spot to lie down on the generous grass, looking at the sunlight flittering through the trees, making the leaves shine and glisten as the wind gently brushed past them.

It felt really good to be able to relax for once, recently having been plagued by horrible visions nearly every day. Cinder never really knew what the source of those manifestations was, but until recently she thought they must’ve been connected to the Cat Moon goddess… However, whenever she tried to ask Her for guidance regarding the atrocities she saw, her calls remained unanswered, which was unusual for the deity, who favored Cinder above every other cat-kin in Cat-gemm. The uncertainty made her isolate herself even more within the forest despite it soon being time for a new Pigeon Race.

She was trying to grasp every detail she could whenever the visions found her. But it was a fool’s quest. Everything was pure carnage, chaos and destruction. And in all of the dreams she had about the future, she perished trying to protect her world. She also became more frightened as she could see some of the natural disasters she foresaw take place – landslides, floods, forest fires… So far, the cat-kin had been able to prevent those from becoming awful tragedies, only thanks to her warnings… But that only meant the worst was yet to come.

The only face she could discern, the only recurring pattern, was a blonde girl with blue eyes… Or were they blue? In some visions, they were yellow… And the girl seemed to be more of a foe than a friend, either imprisoning her in a strange world, or executing her publicly for something called ‘treason’. That was absurd to Cinder. How could anyone consider her visions treason? Was she really to meet someone like that in the near future? And what kind of outcome would that encounter lead to? There were too many questions without answer, and her mind was tired and slow for once, as she simply kept staring at the leaves until sleep found her.


A rip in reality, in the middle of the meadow, East of the Capital. Like a huge gaping wound, but also like a gate, beckoning her to witness horrific tragedies.

She fell into the Moon, and travelled through time and space, landing in a foreign land that didn’t resemble anything she was familiar with.

The blonde girl was staring at her as she threatened to take her life.

Further into the future, further, too far to tell for sure… The middle of a battlefield. Cinder was slowly purring to herself as she lied motionless on the ground, wounded gravely. The blonde crawled her way to her.

“We did it, Cinder! We won! It’s all over now!”


Cinder was sitting beside the Cat King, who stubbornly decided to uphold the festival despite her advice.

“At least keep everyone on high alert,” she sneered into his ear. “I told you, I didn’t see a single good outcome of holding this festival tonight.”

The king didn’t bother to look her way as he got up from his throne to face the crowd.

“My dear cat-kin!” He began, loudly, pompously. “We have gathered today to celebrate our beloved goddess and to choose another brave soldier who will be bestowed with tremendous power for another century!”

During the speech, Cinder crossed her arms and looked to the side, irritated by the king’s rash behavior.

“With Her blessing and with my permission, I announce that the Pigeon Race shall begin now!” And he waved his hand as the start signal for the cat-kin lined up, ready to participate, dressed in light clothing to be as agile and quick as possible. They all sprung into the forest at once, and the servants opened the huge cage of birds specially kept for the Great Hunt.

“You do not have Her blessing!” Cinder protested as soon as nobody was within hearing range anymore, just her and the King.

“Cinder, I appreciate your counsel, but we cannot cancel a tradition just because you had a bad dream.”

Moments like those made Cinder want to completely pulverize some rulers who thought they knew better. The King had let his pride and power get to his head, completely ignoring the warning signs and disregarding all counsel. She stormed off and went to mingle with the crowd that was excitedly watching the spectacle, their eyes able to see far into the distance, into the forest itself. Cinder was the only one aware this was going to end badly…

Dark clouds soon began looming above the faraway trees, which made the slighted Advisor frown. Just like in the vision… Soon there would be a thunderstorm, and then an earthquake… All cat-kin should’ve been hiding safely right now instead of being sitting ducks, and it drove Cinder mad. Her premonitions were only getting worse, and she shut her eyes tight feeling a headache incoming from all the turmoil.

Even if she wasn’t looking, she could still hear the loud thunder that alarmed the crowd. Of course a species that was half-cat would be scared of loud noises… And soon the bystanders grew agitated. Only more thunder followed as Cinder pressed her hands against her sensitive cat ears, yet she could still hear the cracks of trees. She didn’t need to look to know that lightning had struck the forest. There was little rain, but lightning came after lightning, setting the entire forest on fire, and the scent of smoke made Cinder whimper.

She felt a hand grip her arm and pull her away from the crowd. It was the King.

“You did not tell me there would be a fire!!” He raged blindly, earning a slap across the face from the already high-strung Advisor.

“I did, it’s not my fault you were too busy picking out colors for your robe when I mentioned it!” She growled and for once glanced at the forest. The cats that ventured in were all brave, and proud. Too much so to let lightning scare them… which only meant they had to be driven out by fire.

“Send the…” The King was stuck. Send who? All of the soldiers who could’ve rescued anyone right now were engaged in the Hunt, except for Cinder herself.

The Advisor didn’t need to hear more nonsense from that puppet of a monarch as she blew her whistle, gathering about seventeen full-cats around her.

“We must warn all the half-cats in the forest,” she spoke to the animals which oddly enough nodded in understanding. “Be careful, and tell them Cinder told them to evacuate and find some place safe.”

And so both her and the much smaller cats set out to rescue as many lives as possible. This night turned out to be one of the worst of her life as she found several burnt corpses inside of the forest, and managed to help only around a third of the participants survive. By the time she got them all to safety, the sun was already shining, and the Moon was starting to fade.

“N-no!” Cinder yelped in terror at the distant star.

Once it would be out of sight, the goddess would not interfere anymore. But this time her call was answered. Only to her eyes, the Moon grew larger and larger, until it became the only thing she could see around her, and she felt herself enveloped by the deity’s strength, communicating with her in a strange way, as if the goddess was inside of Cinder’s head herself.

Cinder, you’ve seen more than others about what is to come. This world will only grow weaker, and my powers will soon be rendered useless without our rituals. Tonight was just a drop in the ocean of horrors that will bestow Cat-gemm. You know what must be done, I’m sure you’ve dreamt it. I have only enough strength left to send you to whatever world you desire, once, before I fall into slumber, and my latent travelling powers will stay with you, but without precision. I only need a living sacrifice, and your fate shall be sealed with mine.

As she came down from her trance, she found herself on her knees, only held up slightly by other cat-kin gathered around her worriedly. They’ve all heard the voice too, although not as vividly as Cinder did. More like an echo, or a whisper.

“I’m dying,” Tigger said, drawing everyone’s attention to him. “My burns… They’re too much, I won’t make it,” he kept explaining. “I can be your sacrifice, Cinder. Just promise me you’ll do your best to save our world.”

Before the Advisor could protest, her friend already grabbed a short sword and, feeling the blessing of the goddess, took his own life, the blood that flowed out being absorbed by the deity, along with Tigger’s own life force. The shock had Cinder fall in and out of consciousness, as her body was already weakened terribly by the recent events, and surely enough, when she closed her eyes, she heard the voice again.

Where do you want to go?

To… To that girl. The blonde girl I’ve seen in my visions…


The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra

  • Glow

    Lets take a break from all that cat stuff and focus on other matters... or so I would like to say, if it weren't for the mechanpanthers currently running on the edge of the roofs, ripping holes in the tent-covers as their claws hurried past with the orange glow of the afternoon Sun to their right. Sparks flew out of the goggles that shifted around their bodies in overdrive, carefully attempting to avoid the holed tent stakes. More than one had already had their "paw" or a claw impaired by the iron, tripping them into a tumble. In a flash some of the soldiers chasing them in the claustrophobic streets below would kick the grow with their boots glowing with runes and leap towards the falling panther, one pressing them against the wall with a spear whose tip was a metallic box with a hole in the center. It opened as it pressed against its victim, each of the four parts now sparking with electricity which wasted no time coursing through the panther's armor.

    As they fell like a lump of iron or a headless undead, the next pair of soldiers formed a pincer with their spears, catching the criminal in-between. Meanwhile the first to jump kicked the wall more softly and arched towards the ground, then hurried and helped his colleagues slow their fall. Some of the passersby and standkeepers applauded their efforts. One of the soldiers was left behind to smile, wave, and watch the criminal while the other two joined the remaining soldiers still chasing the criminals. In sync they lept over and almost mechanically adjusted their position to get through people without causing so much draft it would make them drop their ration bags. One of them almost tripped in the process however, startling a baby as they got back up. It was getting harder to maneuver as the streets began zigzagging and splitting more.

    "There's no doubt about it anymore, those are from the archbattalion. Damn it all, what were they doing there? In-out job my ass!" Cried out the panther at the lead. "Everyone, split tactics! We'll meet back at the base!"

    Meanwhile, on the ground, one of the soldiers brought a glove over their mouth.

    "They're reaching the Fruibant branch in four rays."

    The soldier that spoke looked at the others, and they began slowing their pacing. The leader of the criminals looked over his shoulder, raising an eyebrow at the situation. Part of him felt relief at the idea they were getting tired, but another- and then the ground began shaking underneath them, and the buildings shook too, right as they attempted to take a turn on the edge of the roofs. The last thing many of them saw before crashing back-first into the ground, or barely being saved by a pair of soldiers from having their brains decorating the road, was a woman clad in black armor with red stripes in places and glowing golden eyes almost matching her pale blond hair. She was crouched down, two hands pressing right the center of a crater on the floor. Her stare from behind the black hooded mantle was as intense as they came, much like the fiery red glow of her swords.

    Her gaze was pulled away when the leader fell down and smashed the crate he was carrying on the ground. His eyes widened as he heard the moaning. The man flailed in place like a child that can't walk yet, until he managed to roll away, just in time to escape the grip of a brown, dried hand that erupted from out the remains of the container, with just a little loss of hair. The hand quickly released the strands and began palping the broken wood above it. A foul stench flowed into the air from the dried gaping gaps in the skin revealing the long-since rotten flesh underneath: There was no time to hesitate.

    The captain witnessed as the woman advanced towards the creature which promptly "exploded" with wooden debris flying in every direction, and the undead elf gradually stood still adjusting to its broken spine. It was not to her the abomination turned though, but to the panther cowering against the wall.

    "Ah, no, please, please!" He pleaded as the rotting stench invaded his nostrils from the ever-closer empty eye sockets and mouth of missing and brown teeth.

    "Heat expulsion." a voice declared calmly, but with a slight undertone of anger to it. Before the criminal's eyes patches of yellow, orange and red began appearing on the undead, growing in size until these bits of purple liquid oozed out and finally the creature melted in front of him, raising the worst smoke he'd ever smelled. Just as he breathed a sigh of relief, the criminal felt hot hard steel smack into his cheek and flung him across the street.

    As his consciousness fading, he witnessed the woman in black armor change, her eye slowing being invaded by blue, her hair's color regaining a more youthful blond color, and even her swords losing that intense glow and returning to being actual blades, albeit enchanted judging by the rules.

    "Bringing undead into the city, what the hell's gotten into their heads..." I complained as soon as I returned to my fully solid form. "Arrest these morons. I gotta go to the source. Maybe we'll make SOME progress stopping this today..:"



    Mica Scalleti was not a very assertive kind of soldier. Short grey hair, a distinct lack of armor in her common uniform, a shortstack twiddling her thumbs as she got talked down. She was one of those types that "only joined to help her family" and was used to doing menial jobs and tablejobs rather than anything like her current functions. Even though I warned her, even though I warned her.

    At the same time though, she or anyone could hardly be blamed given who was the one talking down to her. Narrow eyes staring you down like spotted gellin at the butcher's table, rough words addressing you as though you were a buttbiter, yet just sugary enough to not put you down outright, let your mind spiral the words instead and bring you down with its own web. You can be sure that man with the tailored grainsuit, the moist napkin on his breast pocket and long ornate hair stretching a little below the base of his neck, would be quite content to give you the final push in bringing yourself down.

    "....so, as you can see, I cannot stand for this misconduct of justice, although I do appreciate your enthusiasm in protecting our dear city, your authority simply does give you jurisdiction over me and my-"

    He stopped, looking up slowly. The girl cowering before, slowly turned around too, seeing my boot had crossed into view from behind a building, soon followed (of course) by myself.

    "I can't help noticing you are being rather uncooperative Sir Ashencraft." I walked to about midway through the road before turning to the pair. "Despite the numerous accusations you are already facing."

    "Allegations.. Nothing more. It is precisely because of them that I have to be so uncooperative. Justified indignation of the accused, you see. It is the same week after week, after all. If I didn't know better, I would say you are only doing this to see, commander Glow."

    "Indignation, huh. You seem pretty indignated every time, despite the mounting evidence."

    "Of course! The first time it was indignation for an innocent man being thrown such accusations. The second was because your error the first time, you accused me yet again. And subsoquent times were from the sheer insistence in this unsubstantiated theory that I'm somehow behind the undead smuggling into the city. I'm a respectable businessman and I do not have any sort of deathwish, quite the contrary I do very much cherish my life and the fortune I've acquired over the course of it. Why would I take a big risk as to bring something which at best could kill all of my clients and then myself?"

    "It would all go much faster and more smoothly if you simply cooperated. Showed some good faith."

    "You are a lawwoman, and I am a law abiding citizen. We both know that a 5th grade authority has no right to be demanding things from me, irrespective of what unit she may be allocated in."

    "My second grade authority has been shown to you multiple times, Sir Ashencraft."

    "I am merely being pursuant of the law. I shall continue to require seeing it prior to such inspections. I am upholding the rules as laid out by the royal family, even signed by dear princess Regina."

    He DARED call on her name for this snake-like appeal? I clenched my teeth, my head was boiling and it wasn't do to any change of state.

    "All you are doing is buying time for your goons to clean up the evidence!"

    He widened his eyes and took a hand to his chest.

    "Quite the contrary, I would say I am wasting time chatting with your "goon" as you put it. Personally I prefer the term 'employees', but when in Cyell you sing to the fountains as they say."

    "Well, some of your 'employees' were just caught with enough smuggled undead to play a match of portal-spinner. They still had the company uniforms and all. Furthermore, they had equipment clearly beyond their means, and they didn't seem clever enough to remember to bring equippers, but they had them. As such, I must insist you allow us to continue the investigation."

    He closed his eyes and sighed.

    "It is truly regrettable that some people that happened to work at one of my shops was also involved in such schemes. As for how they acquired the equipment you describe, such trafficking is known to be a profitable if rather risky venture. I imagine that might have been where they acquired their funding. Nonetheless, very well, you may inspect as you like. Are you sure you wouldn't accept a refreshment perhaps? Or perhaps some batteries instead? You appear rather exhausted."

    "This much is nothing. We will continue the inspection. Come Mica."

    There was no telling what a Viper like him would put in our drinks even if we did take them. I wouldn't die, but that didn't mean I didn't have to be careful. That went double for Mica. Because she could die.

    We went inside.



    "THAT SLIMY LITTTLE-" I slammed the wall next to me with a sideways closed fist. Even though the walls were made to be fireproof and rather resilient, the smoke still billowed into the air from the small crack where my hand landed. I breathed in slowly, and back out slower, my eyes and hair returning to their usual colors. "No proof this, how unfortunate that, it's 'always a coincidence' with him! Everything, all of it! Damn if his own BIRTH wasn't just a coincidence!"

    I walked through the perfectly square room of grey walls with black stripes. My arm leaned on one of the four white couches each in a different cardinal direction from the knee-high glass table at the center, almost as if tempting me to drop on its softness at the same time that it supported my weight. I pushed forward towards the reinforced window out front.

    My gaze was immediately drawn to the tower among the lower streets that was the Ashencraft Industries headquarters. Everyone in the guards knew the owner was hiding something fishy in that tower with support beams on every surrounding building. Without some serious evidence though, we couldn't anything to someone with a third grade authority. Even if we could, that underground part was in the territory of Gorth. His underground reign gave asylum to many criminals, but he had earned himself a first grade authority, second only to the king himself, in exchange for his 'populace' protecting the most vulnerable side of Fort Gran'Casle. Just having a connection with him at all was reason enough to suspect Ashencraft, but point that out and you could anger someone holding the line to protect every life in the city- which also made all of us his hostages. Nothing stopped people from openly dreading him though. Much like they dreaded the food shafts or the scrapeyard mountains or the Goldensky crash site, those remnants of the floating city that took so many lives when its magic faltered.

    Even so, even after the daylight left us behind and the open markets retreated, the remaining lights of the magitech worshops gave people some semblance of hope, as they worked through the night like some ever-vigilant nightlights. I lifted my eyes to the wall that surrounded For Gran'Casle, so high a giant wouldn't be able to leap past, with the windmills at the top and those purple hooks which were the only visible part of the outter net. Such a carefully maintained balance, and yet so many were so careless with it...I sighed, and released my armor. Smoke erupted from within it as the parts fell down on the metallic floor painted like wood.

    "Oh, I know! I'm pretty tired today, so how about I spoil myself a little?" Just imagining it brought a smile to my face. I was grinning so hard I instinctively pressed on my cheeks. "I'll add some bubblies today, nice and warm, maybe even dive just for a-"

    "Sixth grade authority, Beckon Mir presenting news!" One of my people called out from the outside.

    "Eep!" I jumped in place, startled.

    "Ma'am, everything- ?"

    "It's fine, it's fine, everything's fine!" I cleared my throat, got rid of that smile and straightened my back as I raised a hand at the door. "I grant you entry."

    As the door unlocked passage for him, a man with short spiked black hair made his way inside. He was wearing an informal blue uniform with a badge on his chest, and carried with him a whole load of papers. The red lines across his hands and face, denoting one 'owned' by me, hid his small scars near the lips and eyes. Speaking of eyes, his widened a bit as he saw me.

    "Pardon captain, I did not realize you were removing your armor."

    "It's fine. It's not like we're naked underneath." I still had my those loose, stretchy black clothes and similarly dark chest veil. "What are the news."

    "Yes." He handed me the papers he was holding. "This is a report on an explosion that happened this afternoon while we were dealing with the smugglers. It seems the word being spread is that you failed to save the people there and captain Faust of the third garrison had to intervene."

    "Sounds like him."

    "You think he..."

    "Without a doubt. He let those people burn under his watch to make me look bad. He's the kind of man who would still have done it even if his own wife was in there screaming for her life."

    "With all due respect, you were on the other side of the city! You couldn't have done anything!"

    "It's not that simple to explain that to the people mourning their loved ones."

    "Shouldn't we at least bring Faust to justice then, or that damned Ashencraft, bring them in for interrogation, then do something about them, those authorities be damned!"

    I placed a hand on his shoulder.

    "I understand how you feel, but do not ever say it again, understand? Don't put me in a situation where I would have to arrest you. Because, believe me, I would."

    He gulped, and slowly nodded. I let go of his shoulder.

    "I'll be going then. Thank you for your time. You wanted to relax now, correct? I shall inform the rest not to disturb you."

    "Thank you for that. And for your courage today." I nodded back at him, and watched him leave. I put down the papers on the nearest couch and dropped face-first on the next one.


    "IT'S ONE THING AFTER THE NEXT!" I complained, before muffling my venting onto a pillow as I flailed my arms and legs. Finally, I groaned as I lifted myself back up, and mustered a faint grin. "Nomatter, get yourself together Glow. Right now, there should be nothing between you and a nice warm bath with bubblies. Yeah. That's what you need to relax at last..."

meep. meep.

Mechanpanthers- panther-esque magimechanical suits of armor. No they aren't based on any "marvelous" property.

Roof Tents- The houses in For San'Casle almost universally are rectangle shaped or cubical, and use the roof for extra space. Many have begun to even live in that space, and so its common practice to have a tent for one's roof.

Archbattallion- The guards that serve directly under Glow. There is more to them but I'll explain later.

Fruibant Branch- The streets of Fort San'Casle gets narrower and branch more the further down one goes in the city (AKA the closer to the edge of the city). The points where the road splits the most are labeled "branches".

Spotted Gellin- A high toxic creature which has to be heavily and carefully dissected before it is safely edible.

Buttbiter- Very thin bugs about the size of small dogs which hide under the sand and jump at their victims, and feed on the blood of those they bite, and on the corpse if the victim bleeds to death. Even rudimentary protection can help one not be seriously harmed by any, but often the point of the teeth just barely get past the protections if the the aim is close enough to the ground, thus are known for biting into people's butts.

Grainsuit- A fine luxurious suit made from welded grains.

"when in Cyell you sing to the fountains" = Expression equivalent to "When in Rome do as Romans do".

Portal-Spinner: A game wherein children open small portals in a circle and shoot a sphere of energy through the portals, making it travel in a circle using it until someone either fails to capture the energy in their portal or deactivates their portal entirely thus getting hit by the small blast. A typical game has at least a dozen players.

Outter Net- For Gran'Casle's wall has a massive enchanted net on the outter part of it, only occasionally pulled back for repairs. The net absorbs impacts from creatures that attempt to attack the wall, making it extra defense, energy gathered and letting guards know of places where the wall was already attacked and might be in need of maintenance.

Chest Veil- A long line of very thin single stripe of fabric worn over the chest all the way down to one's lower legs. No particular benefit, just fashion. Typically expected of high ranking people.


permanently exhausted pigeon
Cinder started coming to atop a roof tent. Of course, she had no idea what it actually was, she just enjoyed the texture of it, and thus started kneading her claws into the fabric. Her whiskers twitched ever so slightly signaling she was about to yawn, and when she did, she rolled on her back, her eyes still closed. But there wasn’t that much sunlight to bask in… And she felt like she shouldn’t be sleeping right now, for whatever reason.

“I’m dying…”

She recalled Tigger’s voice saying something like that, and slowly but surely, the memories of the horrible night when her life changed started flooding back in. She kept rolling over wishing it to be just a bad dream, or a vision that could be changed, but she could still feel the presence of the Cat Moon goddess, as if imprinted on her, and she knew this outcome was reality itself. Plus, even if it weren’t for all of that, there were no fabrics like this one in the forest to dig your claws into freely, so at least here location definitely had changed.

Although still unwilling, she opened her eyes and forced herself to take in the surroundings. At first, she could only see the clouds above. And then, the roof that she was sitting on. What kind of bed is this? She wondered to herself as she got up on all fours – huh, she had been in full-cat form all along? She licked her right paw and shook her body swiftly and elegantly to make sure all of her grayish black fur was neat and clean. Cinder could hear a lot of chatter, a lot of loud noises… She walked over to the edge of the roof and looked down only to see more buildings. Where are the grass and trees?...

Skillfully, she climbed down, first by the fire escape (of course, she didn’t know what that was either), and then hopping from window sill to window sill until she landed on the ground. The next sound she heard made her back arch and her tail puff in terror. A bark. She had never heard anything like it, but she didn’t like it. Back in Cat-gemm, there were myths of descendants of wolves (another species she never encountered) who hunted cats for sports the way her kin did with mice… But they were long extinct, and her fight or flight instinct kicked in, completely forgetting she could actually talk to the animal with her powers.

She ran down the narrow streets until she was away from the danger, barely able to retain any of the details around other than more and more tall “houses” towering over each other. Cinder had only seen things like those in her visions of this world, so while not completely unfamiliar with them, she was still shocked to find herself here, now, all by herself. None of the people passing by seemed to have ears or tails, either… And they did not dress anything like the cat-kin in Cat-gemm, so it would be difficult to find something to mingle in the crowd normally… All she knew was that she had to find the blonde girl. She didn’t need much for that, she was an expert at gathering information, after all.

The first cat she saw walking down the street, she stopped in her tracks for interrogating. How odd, though… This adult full-cat was wearing a bell collar just like the kittens in Cat-gemm who were at risk of getting lost during playtime…

“Pray tell, fellow cat, may I ask you some questions?” Cinder began in her most polite approach.

The cat tilted her head confused before answering, “You talk funny!”

“… Can you please answer some questions?”

“Yeah, I think I have time before my owner decides it’s dinner time. I’m Snowflake. And you?” the white cat with black spots answered as she sat down, licking her front paws.

Owner? What? Cinder tried not to let her ears fall flat and continued, “I’m Cinder. I got lost and I’m looking for my owner,” she used the new information to her advantage.

“Oooh, you poor thing! I’ll help, of course! What do they look like?”

“She is… uhm…” Cinder had to recollect more than ‘blonde’ now… “She has blonde hair and blue eyes. Her name is Glow? And she wears a blue cap. She smells like bubble baths.” That’s about all the details she could recall off the top off her head without sounding suspicious to her new cat ally – the bubble bath part being just a guess.

“Glow Pharoad?!” Snowflake exclaimed in surprise. “But… she likes dogs! I didn’t know she got a cat!”

…Cinder did not like that piece of information. “She just recently got me and I didn’t have time to get accustomed to my surroundings. I ended up lost,” she continued her convenient lie.

The white cat nodded, and got up, her tail spiking as well – the signal to be followed. “The commander of the City Guard lives on the upper side of the city, towards the center, in a garrison, that’s probably where she took you first. During work hours she goes to her office, near the royal palace. You probably just tried to follow her scent during the mechapanther craze today and got lost in the crowd,” the naïve Snowflake explained with a sense of sadness at the idea. “Now we can track it again, feel?” Cinder didn’t really feel the scent, no, and had no idea what “mechapanthers” were, but she nodded as if she did, and kept following the white one. Once they reached their destination, she tried not to stare at the imposing building. She needed to keep acting naturally, or even this dumdum would catch onto her soon enough. “Alright, y’know what floor she’s at, right? I have to go now if I wanna make it back in time for treats,” the white cat purred as she flicked her tongue over her sharp front teeth, springing up to leave.

“Thank you so much, Snowflake!” She answered. Cinder would’ve stopped her, only that not knowing the floor where her “owner” lived would be too suspicious. She’d just have to search now. That was easy. She closed her eyes and listened. She knew the distinct sound of Glow’s voice.

"Nomatter, get yourself together Glow. Right now, there should be nothing between you and a nice warm bath with bubblies. Yeah. That's what you need to relax at last..."

Spotted. Cinder started leaping upwards, climbing the window sills and doing all kinds of complicated maneuvers in order to reach the fourth, and last, floor, but she was pleasantly surprised when she noticed the window to Glow’s room open. Of course, who would expect someone to barge in at this height? While taking one of those disgusting things called “baths”, the girl probably left the window open. How incredibly convenient, Cinder found as she hopped inside and looked around. What… What a strange alignment of furniture… She couldn’t make sense of it, but she could distinguish a bed when she saw one, and she felt so sleepy, having walked so much in full-cat form while she was already not in top notch shape… She hopped on the bed, curling into a ball and purring to herself, waiting for Glow to emerge from the bathroom.
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The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra

  • Glow

    First thing I did after calming down and making up my mind (the later more than the former) was open the door and peek out of my room, looking carefully to both sides to ensure no one was coming or in the proximity. Hopefully Beckon would keep to what he had proclaimed and would instruct the others not to come and bother me. I retreated back to my room, and with a relieved grin I grabbed the bubbly powder and headed for my bath.

    I grabbed the handles on the side of the bathtub, feeling a very gradual sapping of my magical energy. The bathtub's meter slided quickly to indicate it was ready, but I waited a moment more to ensure I could be there for a while. Despite how it seemed, however, my hands felt a little numb after using the device. On the plus side, I did remember to open the box with the powder beforehand this time, so it was just a matter of carefully dumping some along the center, and then letting the waters mix when I sat down in the tub. At first there were just a couple of popping sounds, but the foam soon began to form just below the surface and rise, accumulating above it. I raised an arm, enjoying the view of my skin with the foam on top like a white mane, and watching curiosity as it slowly dripped by back down to join that kingdom of white. I giggled a bit when I let my arm drop and bits of water and foam flew everywhere. It almost tickled compared to fragments of rock that sometimes hit my face as I bashed the ground. Splash I giggled again. The warmth water of the bath, that feeling of submersion almost as though I my weight was being supported from all sides and lifted against the constraints of gravity by no effort of mine, and those fun-looking bubbles like a clean wool that popped out of existence so quickly yet so amusingly. Splash, splash, splash. I dived into the water a bit, an emerged shaking then pushing back the hair that got in my front. I didn't feel light, but I sure felt lighter. Hence why I remained there solemnly watching the water get drained away until there were only drops of water and fragment of foam left, after I reluctantly left its embrace.

    Then, it was as though I wasn't there. I felt light, without so much as my body weighing on me. The environment around was also changed considerably, no longer was I in my bathroom, no instead I was in some kind of wooden room. A single magical circle on the ceiling brought light from the other end of the world to shower the room in it, from the intricate black and white tapestries on the walls, to the wool beds laid on the ground upon which were many people. All of them had their eyes closed, or better put clenched, much like their fists and even their mouths on occasion. They would attempt to roll from one side to the other in their makeshift beds, but in reality barely manage to turn before their bodies gave up trying to turn for a while. A hand in front of me, which I recognized as my own though it wasn't, reached for some wet cloth in an attempt to clear some of the sweat from the people on the beds. Some simply kept struggling against whatever ailment seemed to plague them, while those in better conditions (which wasn't saying a lot) smiled and thanked "me". A dark green light ran down their enlarged neck's veins quite visible on their skin, before vanishing again around the chest area. They coughed, some greenish yellow liquid with a disgusting scent dripping from their mouths like drool. The "me" stepped back a bit as those folks were forced back into a laying position by their lack of strength. There was some kind of noise to the side, an a loud, drawn-out exhale, and the "me" turned to a person on the bottom left corner of the room, a skinny man with long black hair. He was seemingly staring blankly at the ceiling, their mouth left open agape and immobile. The "me" rushed to the them, hesitated to touch, and simply stared. Then he got up slowly, and nodded respectfully to the recently-deceased.

    Now I was back to watching the bathtub empty out, blinking a couple of times while my body adjusted back to my actual current environment.

    "Now back to reality with me." I sighed and wrapped a towel around me. Just opening the door left me shivering, ah right I forgot to close the window! I rushed over quickly, pushing it close, noticing these weird sort of scratch marks on it. It was like some group of kids picked it up to play, but it was too high up for something like that. Maybe something flew in and hit the window first? I turned around. "A cat?"

    There was a CAT lying on my couch. Now, I didn't have any sort of problem with cats. None whatsoever. That said, I didn't OWN any cats, and as far as I knew no one in this garrison had one. It was against the garrison's policy to keep pets. Then again, what kind of cat could just climb up a several story high building? Someone either put it inside, or judging by the window someone threw it inside.

    "Whichever the case, what am I even going to do with this thing? It's going to be a mess if it just starts running all over the place once I try to get it out of the couch, won't it?" I began tapping my foot slightly. "Hmmmm... I wonder if it would come if I baited it with food? Maybe I could get it out that way. What kind of food do cats like again? It's usually chicken isn't it?"

    It was a better idea than none if nothing else. I got myself into some simple clothes first, no harm in it since the cat was still sleeping, then got some bits of chicken that I split into near crumbs. I opened the door gently, and with the bits of chicken in a sack I approached the cat and placed the first piece near its nose.

    "Wakey wakey little kitty." I smiled at it.

meep. meep.



permanently exhausted pigeon
For once, Cinder was… dreaming. There was no imminent chaos, no natural disaster, no war, no dying, she was once again a kitten, with her siblings from her litter surrounding her in a warm embrace. The memory of her family was a bittersweet one that she mostly tried to repress nowadays, given they’ve all been long gone. The only blood relatives she had now were great-great-…-whatever grandchildren. And while they were all proud to be related to the Elder Sage, the Sage herself kept her distance for fear of getting attached and suffering yet another loss. She did take all of those factors into consideration when signing up for each of the ten Pigeon Races she participated in, yet as the years passed, loss made her turn to isolation, living the life of a recluse.

Now back to her dream, the seven kittens were lying in the sun after their mom just finished feeding them. They recently became able to see, and they were sniffing and examining each other curiously. The first few months of a cat-kin’s life are always spent in full-cat form. (Who would want to take care of five to ten half-human babies every mating season?) Only five of them made it to adulthood, two succumbing to early death from illness. She could recall the memory of her mother weeping, even if the kittens weren’t even given proper names. Her mother… She was a gentle soul. And she could recall her father’s calloused hands scratching under her chin and cooing at her. She was loved, once. She was the apple of her parents’ eyes. One of their kittens becoming worthy enough of gaining a name bestowed by the Cat Queen herself made them feel accomplished, and her siblings were proud to be associated with her.

But the soft meowing of newborn kittens and the warmth of the blanket she grew up on faded slowly. Her senses were assaulted by the smell of food, and her stomach growled. She had no idea how long it had been since she last ate, but her whiskers twitched along with her nose as she began sniffing, gently nudged out of her sleep by a soft voice… a familiar voice. Yet as much as said voice tried to seem friendly, Cinder had the feeling she couldn’t trust it yet. And then it clicked. It was Glow. She sleepily opened one of her eyes to look at the blonde girl for the first time in person, but it was nothing like any of her visions. Her long hair was damp, and she was wearing simple clothes. There was no harshness in her bright blue eyes. This warm image did not fit with the person chasing or executing her. But then again, she did alter the course of destiny by presenting herself in full-cat form, so she had no idea how the events would unfold now.

She shook her head to wake herself up and shifted her weight on her tummy, sitting up in a cat loaf position. It had been so long since someone called her “little kitty” that it reminded her of the dreams she just had, and for a moment she felt disarmed in front of the peaceful, smiling human-looking girl. There was a simple naïveté in the way her paw stretched out and one of her claws dug into the piece of chicken, bringing it to her face to sniff and taste. She hadn’t even considered it might’ve been poisoned until she already took a bite, glancing at Glow apprehensively. But it tasted just like normal bird meat, nothing special about it. And the girl didn’t seem to wait for her to drop dead, either, as she placed another piece on the floor next to the couch. If the food was in fact poisoned, why would she bother and keep feeding her? One bite would’ve been enough.

Cinder however decided to play with the first chunk a bit more, nibbling and licking at it. Nobody had fed her like this in three hundred years, after all, and she found it rather sweet, as cautious as she wanted to be around the blonde. Finishing the piece of meat, she made it rather clear she was not moving from the couch when she glanced down and then back up at Glow, making eye contact.


The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra

  • Glow

    Oh, the kitty was moving! Good job, me! The way it pawed at the piece of chicken and then nibbled on it reminded me of a newborn pup, throwing its neck around and stretching it in search of its mother's milk. Thinking about it, frankly, it was pretty cute, with that quick little glance as if asking permission, and the way it was playing with the piece of chicken I gave it. I nodded at it.

    "Yes, don't worry, you can it. It's all yours."

    Even so, the rules were what they were, and if even if they weren't that I couldn't keep around some random cat that just wandered into my room, "somehow" (and I would need to have a chat with that "somehow" down in the caffeteria once I figured which one of them it was.). As such, my priority right now was getting the cat out of the room. I placed the second bit of chicken.

    "Come here, come here. It's yummy, just like that one."

    Yet the animal continued to play with the first bit of meat instead of just finishing it already and coming for the second one. I hesitated for a moment. Were they just going to be stuck in that couch for who knows how long? I didn't have time for that sort of thing! So, what, should I try to take the piece of meat by force? Would the kit even attempt to follow in that case, or was it more likely I would just useless end up covered in scratch marks until I healed? Same if I tried to pick up the cat, plus they'd escape potentially towards some worse place to be. My last resort would have to be actually calling one of them, but if that was the case...

    No, no, wait. I should try a bit more first.

    "That bit isn't the only one you know? There's more here, see?" I waved the second piece of chicken at them with a smile, though a more pressured one this time. "Come, come, eat up, eat up."

    Whichever the case, I better at least get dressed properly. I grabbed the armor I left around and headed to my room, stopping right at the threshold which I opened with another voice command, before glancing back at the cat.

    "Don't you dare do anything, got it?" I stared for a couple of seconds, before entering the room and closing the door again behind me. A single light-ore lamp lit up on the ceiling, revealing the large yet simple bed borderline empty room, save for the closet on the left. There weren't even any windows there, just a few ventilation holes. I was the commander of the guards after all, couldn't have someone just climb up a window and kill me in my sleep.

    "They'll try just about anything else though." I muttered to myself. Disturbing the peace. Letting homes and shops burn to damage my reputation. Smuggling undead into the city just for some cheap labor. Rebelling against the king's kindness and jeopardizing the fate of the whole of Fort San'Casle in the process.... I suppose compared to that pranking me with a cat in my room was a relief. The timing was still in rather poor taste, but I suppose I could at least forgive the little sprite if their intentions were indeed pure. After a real, thorough talking to, of course.

    I exited the room again now in my work magiarmor again (urgh, it felt heavier the second time), and looked at the cat again, raising the black gauntlets similar to gloves in design towards them: They were still there, so I would have to move them myself or go downstairs to fetch whoever put them here. Come to think of it though, wouldn't the prankster themselves come? Assuming Mir was not responsible, then all the others should have been informed not to come bother me. The one curious enough to actually come then, would be the culprit! I grinned to myself and at my own plan, and sat on the couch opposite to the one the cat was lying down on. They probably wouldn't have outted themselves if I went down, anyway. Now it was just a matter of waiting.

    Nonetheless, that did raise another problem: If I was going to be waiting for this prankster, I wouldn't be able to do relaxing things. I had to appear professional, could, calm and collected when they arrived! That's how I "always" was, after all. I ought to be getting some work done ahead of time then, but which part? A quick scan with my eyes across the room led to some leftover paperwork on a shelf catching my attention.

    Owww, it felt like a headache suddenly flared up. I ended up glaring at the cat.

    "This was supposed to be my time to relax! I got the bubblies and everything! Why does this have to happen to me?" I buried my face in my hands and shook my head. Then, I took a deep breath, and stood up to go grab that paperwork.

meep. meep.



permanently exhausted pigeon
Cinder found something oddly comforting in Glow’s voice as she reassured her she could eat the bird meat (chicken, she presumed by the taste), that it was all yummy, all hers, as if she was some small kitten who needed to be cooed into finishing her meal. It was endearing, and she unconsciously dropped the guarded look. She felt safe right now, with the blonde in casual attire, with damp, long hair and warm blue eyes. It was her first time thinking of the color blue as warm.

However all of that ease and comfort washed away when Glow returned in her armor. It wasn’t the one from the really bad visions where she’d end up dead, but it certainly reminded the half-cat she was not dealing with a friend, at least not yet. This person could turn out to be dangerous, and she had to watch out, not act like a… hmm… acting like a kitten… She licked her paw calmly thinking over that idea. And when Glow glared at her, her ears fell flat, as if saddened. She wasn’t going to use that stupid trick kittens used all the time… hypnotizing people with their eyes… But maybe she could still show that her intentions were not those of a madwoman as she had been accused of in her visions. Maybe she could still create a… sort of bond, with this person, so that when she revealed her real form she wouldn’t be considered foe on sight.

It felt silly, but it was the only palpable idea she had. She closed her eyes for a few moments as she tried to see the immediate future – still a skill she was polishing, but which was getting better every day. She tried seeing what would happen if she revealed herself, and she couldn’t see positive outcomes. At best, conflict. Leading to her escaping, unharmed. That was no way to build trust with someone, was it? But with a personality that seemed dual and confusing to Cinder, she couldn’t be too cautious… She was not in her own land, she didn’t have anyone here she could trust (unless she could count Snowflake?) and in about every vision she had that involved the blonde, she ended up being easily subdued if she tried to engage into a fight. Cinder became so frustrated she started sharpening her claws, chewing on them for a good second. Then she let out a sound that sounded the most like a sigh a cat could make, and got up on all of her four legs, arching her back to stretch it out.

She jumped off the couch and continued stretching her front legs, and then the back ones as she took a few steps forward. Her body felt better after all the rest, and with night slowly falling, she could feel more and more energetic. So she ended up jumping on the table with the paperwork, sitting on the pile that Glow didn’t pick up and meowing up at the girl. She didn’t seem pleased with the spot Cinder chose to sit on, so she got up again, circling the desk. Once the girl reached for the other papers, though, and her hand was in clear view, she fawned on it, rubbing her cheek and head all over Glow’s palm, purring loudly. Cinder meowed again, a meow mixed with a purr as she looked up harmlessly at the blonde and lied down on her back. Tummy scratchies. The biggest sign of trust and of friendship a cat-kin could show to someone. It felt odd to have someone touch her belly for the first time in so many years and at first she wanted to pull away, to be cautious again, even to scratch the other out of instinct and fear. But she let Glow pet her anyway, and purred loudly, both to calm herself down and to appear “cute”.

It seemed like this was the most progress she could make for the time being. She sat up again and gratefully fawned again on the hand which had pet her, looking up and meowing. She would use words if that didn’t give her identity away… All she could do was meow.

Jumping off the table, she purred some more and rubbed herself against Glow’s legs. If other cats would see her now they’d probably think she had a kitty crush, but the people here… They somehow seemed fonder of dogs, at least Glow was, by Snowflake’s account, and that boggled Cinder’s mind to no end. Well, anyway. She managed to establish the friendly first contact she wanted to. And even if she tried to push her emotions aside in this matter, she couldn’t help but feel attached to the first person who had rubbed her belly in too long for her to even recall.

With all meowed and done, she hopped on the window sill, gently pawing at the glass, asking to be let out. She would explore the town more that night, but she couldn’t break out of cat form at any moment without getting exposed…


The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra

  • Glow

    I could’ve sworn my heart skipped a beat when the cat closed its eyes: Was it about to fall asleep right on the couch?! No, no, no! That would make it even harder to take it out of there! But then again, wouldn’t it also mean the cat wouldn’t be wandering around? Since I had decided to wait out for the culprit, having the animal stay still and not mess with anything was for the best wasn’t it? Even if I changed my mind and headed down after all, the cat being quiet and still were still ideal circumstances. For better or for worse though, it didn’t last long, and the cat seemed to stretch and let out some small exhaling sort of sound after seemingly rubbing her paws against one another for a bit. For a second I was worried it might barf right there, my legs feeling stiff and ready to leap into action, while my eyes remained glued to the feline.

    It then lept onto the table for some reason, which was bad enough, but of all places it could sit, it had to be on top of the paper? It was just a dumb creature, so naturally it couldn’t understand the concept of something important, but some part of me wished it transformed into a child at least so I could give it a proper scolding it would at least remember. As it stood, however, there was no outlet. I felt the heat beginning to grow in my palms, and I quickly released what papers I was holding to ensure there were no accidents.

    “What the hell are you doing? Get out of there! Shoo! Shoo! Out, out! That’s not for you to sit on!” What did the children say to these animals again? There was a phrase. Uh… “Bad kitty! Shoo! Bad!”

    Whether because of the phrase or just because of the loud noise, the cat seemed to understand- or at least respond in the way I wanted it to- to my words, and got up again, leaving just some strands of fur behind on the paper and the inevitable stench of an animal from the street sitting on it. I still had my frown on the cat, even now.

    “It isn’t exactly easy to find trees out in the desert! Don’t sit on something so important!” I sighed, and shook my hands a bit with my eyes closed, feeling the heat that had gathered in my palms begin to disperse. After that, crouched down and began collecting the scattered paper I had dropped and muttered to myself. “Whoever’s responsible for bringing that thing in here is going to pay the fee if the people at the recycling bureau start complaining, I swear on the king....”

    When I stood up finally done with that, I decided it would be best to avoid any more unnecessary contact between the precious military documents and the bumbling cat, so I reached for the remaining documents. I was unexpectedly intercepted by the cat, however, who pressed her head onto my gauntlet’s palm, sliding into it like a snake slithering on the grass. With another sigh, I figured maybe the cat would be satisfied and leave (or at least grow bored and leave) if I just gave it the petting it wanted for now. As such, I played along, rubbing it’s forehead, neck, ears, and so on as gently as I could, sliding my fingers across the fur as though combing the princess’s own hair after a warm refreshing bath. The creature then decided to be greedy and laid down. Since it was not admitting defeat, was this perhaps its last request? My fingers and palm spread across it’s belly, and ondulated upon it with a gentle rub like before. In the end I couldn’t even help smiling a little upon it when she purred like some adorable tiny little thing, but I shook my head and regained my composure, pulling away my hand.

    “There. Are you not satisfied?”

    The cat sought my hand again, and this time my teeth were starting to bear. Fortunately for both of us, it gave up on pursuing more and finally lept off the table, letting me pick up the remaining documents. Unfortunately, she then sought my leg instead, pressing against as she did before with my hand. My cheeks reddened a little as I realized how much she reminded me of this dog, Ash, from back when I had yet to arrive at the ruined city, let alone Fort Gran’Casle. It was strong and had a semi-golden brown fur that blended well with the sands and the aged bricks and clay of the road. The animal never cared for friend or stranger, it simply barked and leaned on those it could find, often to beg for petting, occasionally with the intention to nap on them. Perhaps this kitty’s cuteness was something for a similar origin?

    I was still ruminating on these matters when the kitty began pawing at the window, seeming to lean on it softly.

    “You can’t go out, do you even know how high we-”

    I didn’t have time to finish the sentence, as the window flipped open from below, plummeting out the cat.


    I didn’t think twice before commanding the door to open and rushing down the building as fast as I could from within, praying silently that the kitty was not a pool of blood splattered on the ground by now.

meep. meep.



permanently exhausted pigeon
Okay, enough playing, Cinder decided once she heard Glow saying she couldn’t leave out the window. First she wanted her out, now she didn’t? The blonde didn’t cease to confuse the half-cat with her duality. With a quick flick of magic, she opened the window and hopped down the building, cautiously making her way back to the ground. Unbeknownst to Glow, they somehow ended up just as fast, and by the time the blonde came outside looking all sorts of worried, Cinder was calmly licking her front paw that got a bit pinched in one of the window sills. What a bother.

She gave Glow a curious look, meowing at her and fawning against her legs as she had done before, in a weak attempt to soothe her worries. She didn’t look threatening right now and Cinder didn’t feel like she was being simply chased. She sprinted forward playfully, hopping like a kitten, and turned her head to look at the girl one last time for that night.

“Until we meet again, Glow Pharoad,” she said after averting her gaze back in front of her and disappearing down the curiously-lit streets.

It was a risky move, talking. But now that she could easily run off, she didn’t feel the danger of it. By the time they’d meet again, surely the girl would either forget it or think she imagined it. Animals didn’t seem to be able to speak here, so certainly it would be strange if a cat suddenly called you by your full name, right?

Now back to those curious street lights… In Cat-gemm, of course they had lanterns, but as Cinder stared at the ones here, her pupils shrinking to an almost invisible slit, she could tell it was not actually a tiny flame inside. A tiny flame wouldn’t be able to give out so much light. Nothing made sense in this strange world, at least not without a guide, and so she went ahead to look for Snowflake – or any other cat that could give her a tour.

She caught the white cat’s scent fairly easily during nighttime, and found her bantering with two other felines about the fish she had for dinner. How lucky! The others would slobber enthusiastically.

“Hi, Snowflake,” Cinder greeted as she approached them

“Oh, hey! Guys, you won’t believe it,” she turned to her friends, one of them a tabby cat and the other a gray one, his fur much lighter than Cinder’s. “This is Cinder, Glow Pharoad’s new cat.”

“What?!” The gray tomcat exclaimed in utter shock.

“Yes, yes,” Snowflake went on. “I was shocked too! But I guess humans are starting to love us more and more!”

“You do know Glow is not a human, right…?” The tabby one spoke meekly, confirming what Cinder had known in the back of her mind all along.

“What do you mean?” Snowflake scoffed. “What else would she be?”

“I… I’m not sure,” the tabby continued, “but she doesn’t feel or smell like a human,” she shook her head to emphasize her point.

“You’re just being paranoid again, Mimi,” Snowflake brushed it off. “Oh, I’m so silly, I forgot to introduce you guys to Cinder as well. So this is Mimi and that sour face over there is Tom.”

“Nice to meet you,” Cinder bowed her head. “Pardon the intrusion, I was just wondering if you could show me around more since I’m new here.”

Tom raised an eyebrow, spiking up his tail. “What an odd one, actually showing respect to her elders.”

Cinder nearly blew her cover by snapping at the young rascal. A full cat, demanding respect, from her?! Unbelievable. Abominable. Had she wanted to she could use her whistle and command all of those animals like nothing more than puppets. But she kept her anger at bay for Snowflake’s sake, remembering the way she had willfully helped her before. The white cat didn’t hesitate to do the same tonight too, and they all ended up walking around the more important areas of town, helping Cinder learn the nooks and crannies they themselves needed to be shown when they were kittens.

After departing with the colorful group, Cinder managed to backtrack to one of the spots the others showed her, where she could hide away and turn into her normal form, curling up and getting some rest – the nap she took on Glow’s couch wasn’t nearly enough, and her body was still strained. It felt so soothing to finally be back into her usual appearance, without the strain of shifting. And despite the nightmares - or better said, the memories on replay of the night her whole life changed – her body was rested when she woke up in the morning. Hearing footsteps outside and not recognizing the odd place she was in at first, she instinctively turned back as a dark gray full cat, cautiously peeking outside. So many people, so much light. Everything looked different during the day, and she found herself curiously exploring once more, this time on her own, revisiting the places from the previous night.

Until her path happened to cross with the blonde’s. At first she just followed her around without being noticed, but Glow didn’t… really seem to be in a hurry to be anywhere. Don’t people usually hurry from point A to point B all the time? It felt like they did in this world. How odd… Was this some sort of routine? Cinder just watched quietly for a while longer.


The Pun Tyrant The Gif Hydra

  • Glow

    The cat was just... licking herself? I was only able to stand there, semi-frozen in awe and confusion, and barely able to react when the kitty that just lept off a several story high building approached me immaculate and rubbed against my leg. Maybe the color had some manner of shield to it? No, when I looked down there was no collar, and the fur was clearly raised by the wind like some kind of tangled brush.

    "H-hey, where are you going?" I called out when the kitten suddenly abandoned my leg and sprinted forward into the night. After the leaping, now that speed at which she ran from me... I had to be way too tired. There was probably some really obvious explanation for all this that I was just missing because I wasn't thinking straight, I mean, I even asked that question like cats didn't just run off on their own when they felt like it all the time, or like it would actually answer me. Well, except it actually did answer, and right before it vanished into the darkness.

    "Alright, Glow, alright. So you came home, got yourself a bath with bubblies, and there was a cat in your living room somehow. Then the cat played for a bit and lept off the window. They were fine when you got there, and they ran away super fast while talking. Also, they knew your name. Yes, I see." I took a deep breath, and looked up. I probably had a really pitiful look on my face. "Aaah, I don't get it at all!"

    I buried my face in my hands, shaking it violently. Droplets of water flew in every direction due to my hair being thrown around, interrupted only by the shout of one of my soldiers behind me.

    "Commander! What's happening, commander? Com- " They stopped, looking at the small wet spots on the ground, and me with my face in my hands and a reddened face. His voiced calmed down, with a slight hint of worry. "What are you doing commander?"

    Crap. How was I supposed to explain what just happened? Wait, in the first place, did it even really happen? Thinking back on it, this was all too strange, and it only happened while I was alone so there was no one to confirm it. Even so, however, I wasn't human, I was an archon. We wouldn't so easily become feverish, definitely not to the point of hallucination, and this was hardly the most stress I'd ever been under. Put another way, if I did hallucinate (and what an odd hallucination it was) then there had to be something different that happened today that...

    "Telos. Send for an apothecary. Tomorrow everyone involved in the capture of the smuggled undead will be inspected for any kind of chemical smoke that may have been masked by the undead's odor."

    "Everyone? You don't think? Even you, comman-"

    "Yes, even me. We should also inform them to burn whatever remains there are under contained conditions, and as fast as possible. If I'm right, even just the incineration may pose a problem."

    What an exhausting day. I was hoping to relax, if I really had to then get some paperwork done, but no. I'd just plop right to bed today. Here's hoping at least breakfast would be something nice.


    I arrived at the canteen in full armor that morning. It wasn't a particularly unusual thing, but I felt more gazes laid on me than usual as I strolled to the back wall in between the windows pouring that orange light, where the symbol of the royal family was, a triangle in every cardinal direction surrounded a circumference which in turn surrounded a star. I knelt before it and placed my fingers under my neck as I bowed my head.

    "Four are the hungers of Ankh'Siir, who shan't be sated until the downfall. Three is the path of the founder's blade, a front of magic, a back of invention and a grip of heart, forged together by countless ancestors. Two is the royal union, the law and the guide, together they become the banner that leads us beyond. One is Gran'Casle, our city, our home, the shield, the garden, the oasis. May it be everlasting."

    I stood up again, and added a silent prayer and sigh for a delicious breakfast, which seemed to be heard by the creators: Muffled enjons, freshly baked too! The cook was always complaining about how backbreaking cooking these things was, let alone cooking them on the spot as people arrived, so we could only have it on very special occasions, but I suppose not even he could resist the allure hehehe.

    "I just wish there had been some kind of warning..." It would be really difficult to keep a straight face when I ate those enjons! I usually used the excuse that I preferred to eat them in private, so I scheduled the briefing a little earlier on days we had them and ate them instead on my quarters. I didn't have the opportunity to do so today, so it couldn't helped, and I simply resigned to bringing the tray over to the table and taking my seat at the head. My subordinates gathered around, some still holding their plates and eating even. I looked around to ensure a sufficient number of them was present before talking. "Everyone, thanks for your hard work. I have some good news and bad news. The good news is, from what was reported we won't have much work to do today. It'll be a simple day of patrol. The bad news is, it seems someone is working to spread some nasty rumors about us. I'll avoid naming any names, but I'm sure you already have your own ideas on who might be behind that. Either way, be gentle with the public if you can, within the scope of your duties to the law of course. Also, if the apothecaries received my request, then we'll have an inspection. Those of you who dealt with any undead in the past week, please report here by midday. Outside of that, everyone's patrolling assignments will be as previously discussed. That is all."

    The little Mica hesitantly rose her hand, barely reaching the neckline of some of the other guards around her. She was shaking, but I nodded in direction.

    "Go ahead Mica. Is this about yesterday? About Ashencraft?" Some of the soldiers seemed to want to spit just hearing that name.

    She thought for a second, but then shook her head rather brusquely.

    "N-no! It's just.... I, me and Petra were hoping you could assign us to the morgue branch today."

    "The morgue branch? I was going there today myself actually. Is there some reason you- Ah, right. You were supposed to go patrol the Sunrise branch today, weren't you? Alright, since Faust's machinations may be in place there, it's probably best if I go instead. I get not wanting to go to a place that burned yesterday... But you are going to find your spine one of these days, you hear me Mica? You can't let yourself get pushed around by little things like this. For today though, permission granted to swap assignment with me today. Just be sure to come for inspection as well since you'll be so close to the dead."

    Having said that, I dismissed the lot of them. I looked down at my meal as they left one by one. It was faster than usual, so I hadn't actually taken a bite. I hoped it didn't dry. Even if it was dry, the cat from yesterday would probably still try eating though. Wait, why was I still thinking about it?

    <Until we meet again, Glow Pharoad.>

    Ah, that was probably why.

    "Commander? Aren't you gonna eat? Is something wrong with the enjo?"

    "Oh! Uh, no, nothing! Just uhm...a lot on my mind." I took a bite as if to demonstrate I was alright, and did all I could not to crack a smile at that sweet, creamy taste.


    What exactly happened yesterday? It was an unusual event which no doubt would soon be forgotten, but much like a stunning theater performance, it really stays with you for some time after (albeit back on my first experience, the princess's company probably had something to do with the experience too). It was rather annoying how distracting it was to think about, hopefully the apothecaries would know what to do about it.

    "Wooah!" I nearly fell after stumbling on a heavy box on the ground.

    "Are you alright commander?" I cracked a grin.

    "As if I wouldn't be." My grin fell back into my usual serious, professional expression as I examined the ground. It wasn't just one or two boxes on the ground, but a whole set of them spread in the middle of the street. It wasn't completely a blockade, but occupying half was already a big issue. A single old lady with a slight hunch and flowing curly grey hair from which two sharp ears peeked out, stumbled out of the door of the building to our right and with her wobbling arms attempted to lift the closest box. Her legs shook as she made her slow, slow way back inside. I looked over my shoulder to Dainyell. "Ensure no one is troubled on the street while I'm busy. It shouldn't take more than a few moments."

    Having said that, I made my way to the woman's threshold, on which I leaned.

    "Ma'am, do you realize leaving objects on such an extensive area of the street is forbidden for periods longer than an hour?"

    "The c-commander of the guards is here? I apologize immensely, I do! My grandson was supposed to help me move those in this morning, but he hasn't shown up at all! I've been doing my best to clean up and and I, please I don't..."

    I raised my hand towards her.

    "I see. This is a minor infraction, but an infraction nonetheless. I will have you right a report and send in to the station, understood? But first, as a member of the guards it is my duty to correct the infraction."

    I walked outside and picked up one of the boxes with a hand.

    "Is the content of these fragile?"

    "Some of it is." Responded the old lady.

    "In that case, Dainyell, come and assist me. We ought to correct the infraction we're seeing. Be careful not to be too abrupt with the boxes."

meep. meep.


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