Cait Sith Chapter 4: Towards Dao Village Part 1
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The light outside blinded Mia and Felix for a while. As I scanned the surroundings, the siblings got their bearings.
There was no presence of danger anywhere. The air was also not as heavy as before. The dreadful feeling was nowhere. Once again, the forest felt clean.
“Woah! The miasma is gone!!!” (Felix)
“Brother you’re too loud!” (Mia)
“When we came here, the air was thick with the corrupted mana from the Lamia, but now the corrupted mana can’t be sensed. Only the poisoned plants have some traces of miasma. It’s like a purification ritual was done.” (Felix)
“Brother, Sir Victor purified the miasma, you know.” (Mia)
Did I purify the miasma? I just recently learned what miasma was. How can I purify something unknown to me?
“Huh? Was that supposed to be a secret? But only a Templar or Saint can use [Scripture]. I heard Sir Victor whisper some kind of [Scripture] then the whole place was purified. He also used it to heal you brother.” (Mia)
[Scripture]? Is that what a prayer is in this world? Hmmm… It has been quite the mystery of how prayers from Earth have some sort of effect here. I should find a way to learn the history and common sense of this world.
“Oh is that why you address Sir Victor with a Sir? I thought you share some affect—bufu!” (Felix)
“Brother, there’s an insect on your mouth. I was kind enough to punch it. Anyway, I’m sorry for revealing your identity Sir Victor. I hope you are not offended. Please forgive me.” (Mia)
“Meow it’s fine, but I’m just a normal Cait Sith that happened to come here meow.”
“Oh, of course, Sir Victor. I’ll keep your secret.” (Mia)
“Ehem. Me too Sir Victor. I will also keep your secret. But how will we explain the disappearance of the miasma?” (Felix)
“Meow. Let’s just say that a wandering Templar purified it meow~”
“You’re so kind Sir Victor.” (Mia)
“I have always lived alone with only meow teacher. My knowledge about the outside world may be lacking. I hope you can help meow with that. I was sent out by my master with knowledge on a lot of things meow. However, I don’t know if and how I should apply the knowledge I have meow. It would help me a lot if you can help meow.”
“Count on me and my sister, Sir Victor.” (Felix)
“Then let’s head towards your village meow.”
We hiked towards the sibling’s village. They say that we might have to spend a night or two before we reach Dao Village since the sun is about to set.
Both of them taught me the value of most things including the widely used currency in this continent. [Sol] is the name of the currency here in the continent of [Amihan]. There’s another continent called [Habagat] very few people live there, their currency is called [Luna]. Mostly races that have a high tolerance of mana in the air. The races there are fewer, but they have more robust bodies and have more mana than the races here in Amihan.
Some call Habagat the Dark Continent, not because people are evil or the land is corrupt. It’s just dark because of the thick mana-saturated clouds. The people there collect [Mana Ore] and [Ether] that are used for magic tools. Then they trade it for food grown here in Amihan.
Both continents clashed multiple times before but the threat of monsters made both continents establish an alliance to combat the monsters. Monsters here are like natural disasters that people can’t control. Apparently, monsters are born from places with high concentrations of mana. That mana condenses and if a spirit or animal approaches the place they become corrupted and become monsters.
However, there are cases where monsters are born from pure mana. The monsters are not born intelligent, but if they are left alone or if they hunt enough creatures or fellow monsters, they become more and more intelligent. All monsters have mana and most have the ability to use mana through Magic or Skills.
Speaking of skills, I learned that everyone can use [Self Status] but they have to receive it from a Temple of the Goddess of the Wisdom (Minerva). Once you receive the skill [Self Status] you can raise your skills under your Proficiency Skill Tree. I have no Proficiency so how was I able to acquire skills without one?
A person’s Proficiency can be given from birth or appear once you become 5 years old. However, you can only see this once you come of age, usually at 13 years old. That might be why I don’t have proficiency, I’m only a year old. How can I explain this? The good thing is that only I can see my status. There are very few classes that have the [Appraisal] skill and only a few have a high enough level to appraise a person. Only people working as Inquisitors can have such a high level [Appraisal].
After a day of traveling both siblings are exhausted. They look like they are about to topple and fall asleep. So I told them that we should set up camp and rest for the night.
“Let me take the first watch meow. You both look like you need the rest meow, also you’ve been subjected to the miasma from that monster meow.”
“But Sir Victor—” (Mia)
“We are not in the state to be useful as night watchers. Thank you Sir Victor. Please wake us up at midnight.” (Felix)
“Then go to sleep, meow.”
“Thank you, Sir Victor.” (Mia)
Once the siblings were asleep I opened my status to check the state of my skills.
Name: Victor Race: Cait Sith Sex: Male Age: 1
Proficiency: None Title: Jack-of-All-Trades, Unfortunate Guy, Cat Maniac,
Survivor of Misfortune, Follower of Fluffy, Exorcist,
Demon Slayer, Assassin
Skill Points: 34
● Strength: B
● Vitality: D
● Endurance: B
● Agility: B
● Dexterity: B
● Intelligence: A
● Magic: A
● Luck: F
● Passive: [Strength Up Lvl 4] [Stamina Recovery Up Lvl 7] [Physical Damage Resistance Lvl 5] [Poison Resistance Lvl 2] [Fatigue Resistance Lvl 7] [Hunger Resistance Lvl 3] [Intuition Lvl 5] [Meditation Lvl 5] [Enhanced Holy Attack Lvl 3] [Holy Aptitude Lvl 5] [Mana Recovery Lvl 1] [Language Comprehension Lvl 4] [Enhanced Reflex Lvl 4] [Evasion Lvl 2] [Parry Lvl 1] [Enhanced Natural Recovery Lvl 1] [+]
● Active: [Negotiation Lvl 5] [Melee Combat Lvl 5] [Blade Combat Lvl 5] [Cooking Lvl 3] [Grooming Lvl 10] [Stealth Lvl 8] [Intimidation Lvl 2] [Construction Lvl 4] [Crafting Lvl 3] [Riding Lvl 1] [Persevere Lvl 3] [Prayer Lvl 6] [Exorcism Lvl 5] [Barrier Magic Lvl 1] [Life Magic Lvl 1] [Appraisal Lvl 3] [Blade Dance Lvl 2] [Counter Lvl 1] [Assassination Lvl 2] [+]
● Unique: [Hunter’s Blessing] [Enlightened] [Deft Hands] [Jack-of-All-Trades] [Self Status] [Carnivora] [Felinidae Sanguis] [Devotion] [Silky Fur] [Soft Paws] [+]
● Follower of Fluffy
My level increased and so did some of my skills. I am glad to have met the siblings. I now have some common knowledge about this world called Gaia. It has been quite some time since I’ve had any downtime. I had always worked hard and unceasingly since I left the orphanage. Putting food and finding a better place where Fluffy and I can live has been my purpose in life. I never thought that being freed from the hustle and bustle of Earth would leave me so empty. I don’t think I’ve lived long enough to feel this empty and useless when there is nothing left to do. Sigh.
I’m so grateful for Mia and Felix, meeting them gave meaning to my existence here. I’ll just have to find another path to take.
“It’s kind of peaceful here, but I have to be prepared for anything.”
I think about my future steps and although I have magic-related skills I lack the proper spells and complementary skills. Sensing and controlling mana is important. Apparently, just taking magic enhancement skills can make failed spells explode or cause curse-like effects on the caster.
So I selected [Mana Detection Lvl 3] and [Mana Control Lvl 3] costing me 14 skill points. Those two skills will help me safely use magic especially since they have a higher level, however, I should still practice using magic and controlling mana.
Controlling mana in Gaia is a part of everyday life here. The modern conveniences on Earth don’t exist here. So everyday chores include using mana. That’s why having these skills is important.
One thing I realized is that my level doesn’t match the number of skills I have. I know I am above average in strength and abilities on Earth. Father Raphael made sure that not a single child he raised would die because he was negligent in “educating” us. He was quite spartan and apparently he did it to all the children left in that orphanage. We lived in a very dangerous district in a very dangerous city. The place was ravaged by war against other countries and war from within. The weak have always perished in that place.
The orphanage was in a church but none of the adults were exactly devout in their faith and only Father Raphael was the only man of the cloth there, though he looked more like a gangster cosplaying as a priest. I know they only used it to give our lives a direction or a purpose. The directionless and fragile souls there die young.
“Well enough of reminiscing. Thank you, Father and everyone.”
I should get more magic skills so I can use my race’s high magical ability. I’ll take [Holy Magic], [Spatial Magic], [Shadow Magic], and [Enchantment Magic], each one costs 5 skill points but they were the ones that gave a strong impression.
[Holy Magic] would work well with my [Holy Aptitude] and [Enhanced Holy Attack]. [Spatial Magic] might have an ability similar to teleport or blink step. I already have the Magic Bag that looks like a hemp sack but if there’s a storage-like skill there it would be a plus.
[Shadow Magic] would work well with my skills that are focused on sneak attacks and assassination. [Enchantment Magic] could have spells with effects similar to my [Prayer] skill without needing to recite a long prayer. It might also have a synergistic effect if I use it in tandem.
I’ll try to acquire the [Chantless] skill next time but it costs a lot of skill points. Felix told me that some people can gain skills by undergoing training or being taught by a person with a [Mentor] or [Teaching] skill. Though Felix said it would cost a lot of Sol to pay for a lesson and mostly children of nobles and large merchant families can afford it, a single session costs as much as an average adventurer’s monthly income.
Still, the [Enlightened] skill is helping me learn and improve the skills I often use and the [Jack-of-All-Trades] skill removes the limiter on the availability of skills that the people here seem to have. I could probably learn skills if I am able to observe and gain knowledge and familiarity about the skills I wish to learn.
For now, I should practice my [Appraisal] skill. The night is still young and I have [Intuition] that could tell me if anything dangerous is near. I was able to learn more about the goblins and improve it to [Appraisal Lvl 3].
“I’ll try appraising the things in my surroundings first.”
“Common Rock from Dao Forest”
“It has more information. Appraising the goblins from before only told me where they came from. I hope to increase the amount of information I can learn. Anyway, [Appraisal].”
“Common Rock from Dao Forest”
“Common Rock from Dao Forest”
“Common Rock from Dao Forest”
“Common Rock from Dao Forest”
I have been doing this repeatedly for some time and there is no change in the information I gather from [Appraisal]. Maybe it’s not just repetition but the variety of things related or similar to the target of my [Appraisal].
I have never appraised the same goblin twice, the same with their equipment. The variety of targets appraised might be the key to increasing the skill level. I should scout the surroundings while I keep using [Appraisal] on everything I see.
Still, I should not go further than the distance where I can’t see the campfire. Okay, I’ll just add some more firewood before I scout the area.
“Dao tree from the Dao Forest.”
“Common grass from the Dao Forest.”
“Common rock from the Dao Forest.”
“Dao Tree – Origin: Dao Forest
Description: Dao Trees produce sour fruits and bark that can be used to create Weak Anti-Fever Potion and Weak Wound Poultice. Can cause miscarriage if misused.”
“Dao Forest Rock – Origin: Dao Forest
Value: 0-0.001 Sol
Description: Can be used as ammunition for Slingshots.”
“Goblin Weed – Origin: Dao Forest
Description: Goblin Weeds are the most common grass within Dao Forest. Common food of herbivorous creatures living in the forest.”
That was better but it took a lot of back and forth from the camp and I have pretty much appraised most of the things around the camp. The added information is somehow related to what I know after observing the surroundings.
[Appraisal] might help me distinguish what could be immediately harmful to my body but it might miss details related to topics that I have no knowledge of. This might not be like the ones in games or novels that can make characters omniscient.
I have very little knowledge about Gaia but the bountiful knowledge I have from Earth that may be relevant here is connected to what I am appraising.
[Appraisal] is just a skill that scans a target and gives you information that you can eventually find out after pondering. The information regarding the Dao tree proves it. I have not used any of the potions in this world. But Father Raphael hammered the knowledge on Earth’s folk medicine.
I should learn more about magic if I want to appraise information related to magic. It is kind of interesting, it’s like Gaia is making me want to learn more of her secrets.
Dawn is almost near. The darkness has started to retreat. I should probably wake up the two siblings.
“Hey wake up meow…”
“Meow, wake up…”
“Hehehe… I might have to pet their head to wake them up…”
So I carefully went near them. Felix and Mia were sleeping with their faces away from each other. Their tails are curled and twisted together, like kittens that are scared of their surroundings.
Hehehe… They are close enough together that I can pat their heads or better yet scratch their ears. Hehehe…
Stealthy reaching my paws over their heads, I found my paws sinking into soft fluffy fur. Mia’s hair was as smooth and silky fur as a cat with an undercoat. So silky smooth, ehehe… It was such a nice experience.
Felix’s hair was a little less smooth but extra fluffy. Is this fur or a cloud? So fwuffy. Stroking both their heads, I hear a quiet purr…
No! It’s too cute. I’ll try to give both ears a light scratch, ehehe… Oh, they are purring louder. Their tails are now swishing like marsh grass swaying with the wind. Ehehehe… More purring, more swishy tails.
“Mmm… Papa… You’re back.” (Mia)
“Welcome back… Father.” (Felix)
Like cold water was poured over me. I froze for a bit.
During our conversation, they told me they are orphans like me. Their parents were both adventurers, but their mother passed early in their childhood. They have very few memories of their mother, but their father did his best to raise them.
He sounded similar to Father Raphael if all the drill-sergeant-ness had been squeezed out of him. The other difference is that Father Raphael might still be alive while theirs died protecting them from monsters that attacked their village.
I stroked their head and whispered.
“You both did well, I’m proud of you… Meow.”
I think that’s enough for me. It’s time to wake both of them up.
“Felix! Mia! Time to wake up, meow!”
Soon both of them stirred and stretched as they woke their minds and body.
“Good morning Sir Victor.” (Mia)
“Good morning. Oh, Sir Victor, you should have woken us up for our shift.” (Felix)
“It’s fine meow. You both looked like you needed it and it wasn’t really hard to do night watch now that there’s barely any monster around. There’s the bread and dried meat in the bag.”
“Thank you, Sir Victor. Let us instead refill your canteen.” (Felix)
“Haha. I kind of lost a lot of my stuff, meow.”
“Oh! No worries Sir Victor. Take mine, I’ll share my brother’s. Here brother.” (Mia)
“Didn’t you say you can’t use magic, meow?”
“Mia can only use [Body Reinforce] and [Acceleration] with her amount of mana, but I can only use low level [Life Magic].” (Felix)
“Meow? You have higher mana, Felix?”
“Yes sir. Male beastkin usually have higher mana capacity than females. But it’s still less than other races. Though, there are some beastkin with superior mana capacity they usually came from [Habagat].” (Felix)
“Mia holds the canteen properly so the water doesn’t spill.” (Felix)
I watched Felix as Mia readied the canteen. After I got the skill [Mana Detection] and [Mana Control] I can see the movement of mana whenever I use [Appraisal]. I think appraisal uses a trace amount of mana to scan the target.
I have been able to make the thread of mana move slower or faster. I can even move it around obstacles but only one to two strides away. As a result, I can appraise objects that are obstructed from view. Soon with enough practice, I can appraise objects that are much farther. Anyway, I’m here to learn some [Life Magic] spells.
Felix placed his palm a short distance above the mouth of the canteen. Then he chanted,
“Water comes forth, quenches this parched traveler. [Spring Water]!” (Felix)
Then a ball of water condenses near Felix’s palm before flowing towards the mouth of the canteen. Once the first canteen was full, the water flowed to the second canteen. Once the canteen is full the water remaining outside the canteen stopped and turned to mist.
That was what can be physically seen. But the movement of mana showed me what had actually happened. A significant amount of Felix’s mana concentrated on his palm, then the ball of mana condensed the water from the air. Then it controlled the ball of water under his palms. It was fascinating how all of it happened in a minute or two.
“Here’s some water Sir Victor.” (Mia)
“Thank you, meow.”
I am not sure if I can use it by just repeating what Felix did. But the idea of learning magic is quite exciting.
“My thirst is quenched. Thank you meow.”
“You’re welcome Sir Victor.” (Mia)
“I was the one who filled it with water, you know.” (Felix)
An angry flush went up Mia’s face. Haha. They are really close.
“Brother there’s a bug on your face.” (Mia)
“What bu—Bufoo!” (Felix)
Felix’s body flew for a second before landing on his tail. Cat Beastkin aren’t like cats, they don’t always land on their feet.
“Both, you siblings are a quite close meow. We should start our journey and head to your village meow.”
““Yes!”” (Mia & Felix)
~3rd Person Perspective~
In another place,
A slumbering existence finally stirred after years of quiet dreaming.
“Hmmm… A foreign soul… Interesting…” (Slumbering Creature)
This creature is an ancient soul that has been known by ancient people to cause great upheavals. An uncontrollable force of nature, a creature of chaos, the bringer of change, the one that every person in Gaia ought to fear and worship should they know of his presence.
Their very existence could very well be known as “The Great Destroyer”, “Storm Bringer”, “Maelstrom”, these are some of the names this creature is known.
“…it has… been awhile…” (Slumbering Creature)
A/N: So the presence of an ancient creature. Check.