Black Cat Chapter 1: The Nest Leaving Ceremony

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T/N: So, things to remember:

A/N:” are the author’s notes, and

T/N:” are the translator’s notes that may or may not include useful information. Sometimes I make comments because I just cannot help it.

The perspective is usually the main character’s unless you see this “~___’s Perspective~” and tells you who’s perspective it is.

If you see “italicized texts”, it means that it is in the third-person perspective. However, it is usually only for short sections. Enjoy!



 The priest’s solemn voice echoes in the plaza in front of the church, surrounded by a crowd.



“Atsuka village, faithful Miguel, come forward…” (Priest)


“Yes!” (Miguel)



 Miguel, the wolfkin who is the grandson of the village chief, seems to be nervous today.


 His face is pale and his usually fluffy tail is drooping.



 Every year in Ibouro, a ceremony called the “Nest Leaving Ceremony” is held on the day of the spring equinox.


 There is a church in the village of Atsuka, where we live, but there is no priest to perform the ceremony, so we were taken by horse-drawn carriage to the town of Ibouro.



 In the plaza in front of the church in the center of the town, children from the surrounding villages have gathered to participate in the ceremony, and residents have also gathered to watch the spectacle.


 In a town where entertainment is scarce compared to Japan, the “Nest Leaving Ceremony” is a kind of festive celebration.



 Miguel walked awkwardly up to the priest, kneeled down, and folded his hands in front of his chest.


 The priest held a staff with an intricately carved design and a large jewel at its tip above Miguel’s head and began chanting.



“Under the protection of Goddess Fatima, live in good health and bless the faithful as they at the time they leave the nest…” (Priest)



 Miguel’s body was enveloped in a red light as the jewel emitted a white light.



“The attribute is fire! Faithful Miguel, show the Goddess Fatima the blessings she has bestowed upon you.” (Priest)


“Yes!” (Miguel)



 Miguel stood up, turned to the square, took a deep breath, and raised his hands to the sky.



“In the name of the Goddess Fatima, let the flames burn!” (Miguel)



 At the tips of Miguel’s raised hands, a fireball of about 50 cm in diameter burst into flames.


 The crowd gathered in the plaza was impressed, but the applause that immediately followed was less than enthusiastic.



The “Nest Leaving Ceremony” is a ceremony for children who turn ten years old that year to show their determination to leave with the blessings of the Goddess Fatima and live as adults, but its original purpose is something else.



 All people in this world are born with their own magic, but at an early age, they may harm themselves due to uncontrollable magic.


 It is fine if wind- or water-attribute magic runs out of control and ruins a room, but in the case of fire- or lightning-attribute magic, it can be deadly.



 The church has come up with a technique to seal magic called the “Goddess’s Blessing,” and the “Nest Leaving Ceremony” is a ceremony to unseal it.


The “Goddess’s Blessing” has reduced the number of children who injure themselves due to magical outbursts, and the church has established a firm position in the community.



The “Nest Leaving Ceremony” is a demonstration for the church, but it also has another purpose.


 It is said that the magic offered to the goddess immediately after the seal is broken indicates the talent of the person who invoked it.


 It is said that those who are able to use great and stable magic from the start will grow faster thereafter.



 At the “Nest Leaving Ceremony,” an examiner from the Royal Knight Order and a knight from the Viscount Lagart family, which governs this area, are in attendance.


 In other words, it is a scouting opportunity to discover promising talents.



 Immediately after the magic was performed, those who were recognized as having talent were approached by the judges, but Miguel, who turned around after putting out the fireball, was not approached.


 Another child who was approached had created a fireball more than twice the size of Miguel’s.



“Atsuka village, Horacio, come forward…” (Priest)


“Ye-yes…” (Horacio)



 The oxkin Horacio, whose name was called out, stepped out with a confused look.


 He is about a head taller than Miguel, but he has a very quiet personality.



“Under the protection of Goddess Fatima, live in good health and bless the faithful as they at the time they leave the nest…” (Priest)



 As the priest chanted, Horacio’s body was enveloped in a green light.



“The attribute is wind! Faithful Horacio, show the Goddess Fatima the blessings she has bestowed upon you.” (Priest)


“Yesh!” (Horacio)



 He stood up, turned to the plaza with a rough grunt, and raised his hands in the air.



“In the name of the Goddess Fatima, let the wind soar!” (Horacio)



 The normally quiet Horacio shouted so loudly that one would have thought he was a different person, and a strong wind blew across the plaza.


 An air current was created toward the tips of Horacio’s upraised hands, sucking in the air of the plaza.



 The crowd gathered in the plaza let out a loud roar, and when the examiner of the Royal Knight Order raised his right hand, he was greeted with thunderous applause.


 If a person is scouted by the knighthood and survives the rigorous training period, he or she will be officially ordained as a knight.


 At the same time, it is also about gaining status as an aristocrat, for children living in remote villages, this is a success story they can only dream of.



 Horacio covers his face with his hands and weeps, and is led to the line of recruits, with a layperson holding him by the shoulders.


 Miguel looks on with a bitter expression as he sees him off, but the village chief’s connections are not enough to get him into the Royal Knight Order.


 Even if you could, the knighthood is a meritocracy, and unless you are a member of the Royal Family or the son of one of the great nobles, your connections alone are not enough to make you an official knight.



 This year, the four children from Atsuka village who will participate in the “Nest Leaving Ceremony” are Miguel, a wolfkin and grandson of the village chief; Horacio, an oxkin; Ines, a sheepkin; and myself, a catkin.


 The crowd that had gathered in the square began to leave when Ines was discovered to have water attribute and weak in magic.


 I was the only child left because I was only a catkin.



 Generally speaking, it is said that the strength of magic is proportional to one’s physique.


 Even for an adult male, it is difficult for a catkin with a height of only about 120 centimeters to have strong magical powers.


 I, who am less than 80 centimeters tall at this point, am not expected to have any at all.



“Atsuka village, Nyango, come forward…” (Priest)


“Yes!” (Nyango)



 As soon as I kneeled down and the priest held his staff above my head and started chanting, a change occurred in my body.


 If I were to use an analogy, something began to flow through my body like water flowing out of a faucet, and at the same time, information flowed into my brain all at once, as if a closed folder had been opened.



 This is the magic that was given to me… or rather, the magic that I had.


 Even the words I was to recite immediately after this poured into my head, even though no one had taught me how to say them.



“The attribute is not water…  is it?” (Priest)


“Yes, it is not.” (Nyango)


“Hmm, the attribute is nothing (Void)! Faithful Nyango, show the Goddess Fatima the blessings she has bestowed upon you.” (Priest)


“Yes!” (Nyango)



 What surrounded my body was a light blue light, lighter than the blue of the water attribute.


 The crowd was beginning to giggle, but I was intent on using my magic.



“In the name of the Goddess Fatima, let the sky be frozen!” (Nyango)



 As soon as I thrust my hands into the air, the square erupted in laughter.



“Gyahahaha, look, nothing is happening!” (Audience)


“Ahahahaha, it’s natural because it’s an attribute of nothing.” (Audience)


“A catkin with weak magical power and void attribute… he’s done for, isn’t he?” (Audience)



 The crowd gathered to watch may see that nothing is happening, but my magic has been activated and the air is solidified into about the size of a paperback book above my hands.


 It’s probably only as strong as Styrofoam.



 I put my hands down, bowed to the priest, and exited to escape.


 The crowd is still laughing, and my face is burning with embarrassment.



 The void attribute is said to be a useless attribute, but how could I give up my dream of becoming an adventurer, a life I have dreamed of since I can remember, because of this handicap?



 As I listened to the priest’s closing speech, I began to think about how to use the magic of the void attribute.



T/N: Nyango has the attribute of (sora, kara, or kuu) or そら (Sora), it can mean sky (sora), nothing (kara), or void (kuu). The words in some cases can be interchangeable. The そら (Sora) here is related to the five elements of fire, water, wind, earth, and aether.


This is a new series since I’m close to the latest chapter of All-rounder Healer.


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