Black Cat Chapter 120: Year-End Shopping

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 After dropping Ms. Jessica off at her apartment from the coffeeshop, I returned to Chariot’s base.


 In the front yard, my brother is swinging a staff as Shure watches over him.



“Meow, Mehyow! Meow, Mehyow! Meow, Mehyow!” (Fawkes)



 As I watch him swinging the stick with single-minded devotion, with the occasional correction, I get the feeling that his body is firmer than when he first arrived at the base.


 His back, which used to be round, seems to have grown a little slenderer, but, well, in our case, he is basically turned hunchbacked.



 Watching my brother swinging his stick so hard is like watching myself a while ago.


 Come to think of it, this time last year I was swinging the iron staff with all my heart in Atsuka Village, which was covered with snow earlier than usual.



 I never thought that my brother, who had been lounging around at home for so long back then, would be swinging a staff like this.


 I tend to skip training these days, too, so I’ll have Shure join me in a hand-to-hand match starting tomorrow.



 I was about to walk through the edge of the yard so as not to disturb my brother, when Shure suddenly leaned in close to me.


 Somehow, I’m afraid of her stare…



“Nyango is a cheater…” (Shure)


“Meow, I was not cheating or anything like that… well, I am not Shure’s…” (Nyango)


“The smell of soap is different from Leila’s… who did you play with…?” (Shure)


“No, that’s…” (Nyango)


“You can’t stay in the academy dormitory… then, who was it…?” (Shure)


“I’m not talking!” (Nyango)



 *Scoot*, *Scoot*, with a feint to slip under Shure who was slowly closing the distance, I jumped diagonally behind and used [Step] to escape upwards.


 As expected of Shure, even at this height… It was dangerous, and Shure’s fingers grazed the tip of my tail.



 When I got to the roof of the base and looked back, Shure had puffed cheeks and folded her arms, and my brother shrugged with an exasperated face.


 No, I’m not dating Shure, nor do I remember signing an exclusive cuddle contract with her.



 My brother’s fur is getting better, and I want him to help me live a carefree life.


 Speaking of which, my brother was a bit of a wreck yesterday after eating a goblin heart, but he must have been able to rest since he was able to swing a staff like this.



 As expected, even Shure didn’t use my brother in that state as a toy.


 After returning to my room through the skylight and getting dressed, I put away the laundry that had accumulated in the bathroom.



 This time, I finished the washing in a drum-type washing machine with a mixing magic circle.


 I washed the clothes with warm water and soap and rinsed them thoroughly.



 Since one part of the drum was made of separate parts for the drainage and water supply, the rinsing process went smoothly.


 The finishing touch was to dry all the clothes together in my warm-air magic circle.



 While washing my laundry, I put away my brother’s, too, but all of his clothes were worn out.


 My clothes are not in a very good condition either.



 It will be the New Year soon, and my brother might start a new job next year, so it would be better to have some clothes that he would not be ashamed of.


 I asked my brother at lunch and decided to go out shopping for clothes in the afternoon.



 When I was wondering where to go shopping, Shure said she would accompany us.


 Well, it was better to have Shure with me than to be walking around with my catkin brother, so I didn’t have to worry about getting into trouble.



“Nya-Nyango, please tell her to put me down…” (Fawkes)


“Sorry bro. It’s cold today, think of it as a substitute for a warmer and bear it with me.” (Nyango)



 On the road out of the base and on the way to the market, the brother is being carried by Shure.


 Although he has the physique of a catkin, it is still embarrassing to be held by a woman.



 I’ve been carried by a lot of women in the past, so I know exactly how it feels.


 I understand, but I’m not going to switch places.



 Well, Shure shows off to me when I came home in the morning… it seems that there is also a meaning, and sometimes she even rubs her cheeks against his cheeks, which seems to annoy my brother.


 Yes, it’s the picture of an excessively clingy owner and an annoyed cat that I used to see in my previous life in Japan. [T/N: Cat scratches and bites are just another way to say, “I love you”.]



 The people he passed giggled at him, and he struggled to get away but gave up halfway through.


 I’m not laughing, I’m not laughing I promise, so don’t look at me with such resentful eyes.



 The street lined with stores leading to the market was decorated for New Year’s Eve, and many people were passing by.


 The decorations were not sparkling with lights like those at Christmas in Japan, but they were colorful and brightly decorated with cloth dyed in bright colors.



 Although there were no commercial songs that were so loud like those in Japan, the sound of lively salespeople’s voices echoed from all over the place.


 The voices of people talking on the street also seemed to be somewhat livelier.



 Food stalls lined the town square and main streets, adding to the festive mood.


 I remembered the time when Horacio and I had visited all the stalls together during the nesting ceremony, and I began to feel a bit excited.



“Thief! A thief!” (Voice)



 Suddenly, I heard a voice echoing down the street, and I turned to see a large, bearkin man with a scarf covering his face running toward me, carrying a bag.


 Behind that man is an old sheepkin man running with a face that looks like he is about to cry.



 I couldn’t help but chuckle at the already picture-perfect snatcher scenario.


 I stand there with my arms outstretched, blocking the way of the running man.



“That’s far enough. Please stop like an adult.” (Nyango)


“You’re in the way, pussycat! Dah—aaah!” (Thief)



 The man pulled a knife from his waist, but I hit him in the face with a void magic [Shield], and he fell with a thud.


 The man was on all fours trying to get up with blood dripping from his nose.



“Buh… ah… what was that?” (Thief)


“Please return the bag obediently.” (Nyango)


“Stop joking! I’ll king yo—Gah! Guu! Gua!” (Thief)



 The man who snatched the bag stood up with a knife in his hand, so I made a staff with void magic and gave him a stab in the crotch, throat, and chest, in that order.



“In front of you… Gaaaaah…” (Thief)



 It seems, that physical attacks with the body of a catkin alone are not enough to bring a bearkin, who is superior in size, to unconsciousness.


 In the end, I used a lightning magic circle to subdue him.



“Thank you. I had just picked up off my New Year’s Eve budget at the guild, and if this money had gone, I wouldn’t have been able to welcome the new year.” (Sheepkin)



 The old sheepkin man, who had picked up the bag that the thief, the bearkin man, had thrown out and held it in his arms, never to let it go again, bowed repeatedly like a chicken pecking at corn.


 Just then, one of the authorities who had heard the commotion came running up to us, so we told him what had happened and decided to leave the bearkin man in his charge.



 I presented my guild card and introduced myself. The dogkin official looked at my card and my face twice and then asked,



“Perhaps you were the person who arrested the robbers yesterday?” (dogkin)


“Yes, at the cake shop robbery.” (Nyango)


“Another one for today. Thank you for your help.” (Dogkin)



 The dogkin official saluted and let me go.


 The old sheepkin man offered me something as a reward, but I firmly declined and went back to my shopping.



“Nyango, you really are amazing.” (Fawkes)


“Uhuh, of course, Nyango is super talented.” (Shure)



 No, so why is Shure bragging about it?


 I told my surprised brother that I was a C-rank adventurer, so it was normal.



“Shure, can I be like him too?” (Fawkes)


“Uhuh… that depends on your motivation…” (Shure)



 Big brother, after pondering deeply and staring at his hands for a moment, clenched his fists tightly.


 Well, since he’s being carried around on a princess carry by Shure, it doesn’t look awesome at all.



 I had left it up to Shure to show us where to go, expecting her to take me to a clothing store, but the first store she took me to was a women’s store.



“Meow, isn’t this place exclusively for women?” (Nyango)


“Since I’m teaching Fawkes, you should buy me at least some clothes as a present…” (Shure)


“Muuu…” (Nyango)


“A good man should be able to give women advice on how to match their outfits…” (Shure) [T/N: It’s a trap. Run!]


“Gnuuu…” (Nyango)



 In the end, Shure talked me into going into the store, but I was extremely out of place and including my fellow catkin brother.


 I mean, don’t try to hide behind me, brother.



“Nya-Nyango. Maybe I should wait outside…” (Fawkes)


“Is my brother going to abandon me?” (Nyango)


“Meow, that’s not what I’m trying to do…” (Fawkes)


“Give up. It’s part of life’s training.” (Nyango)


“Harsh, meow…” (Fawkes)



 I hide behind Shure and my brother hides behind me as we proceed through the store.


 There are two types of gazes from female customers, one is a look of disdain, and the other is a look of wanting to fluff if there is a chance.



 I mean, if you want to fluff so badly, make sure the catkins are not discriminated against.


 I was so preoccupied with hiding after Shure that I didn’t realize I had stepped into a forbidden area.



“Welcome, what are you looking for?” (Sales Lady)


“Hmm… pick something a little fancy… Nyango.” (Shure)


“Me-meow! Choose, this is the lingerie section…” (Nyango)


“Do your best, Nyango.” (Fawkes)


“Brother…” (Nyango)



 After this, I had to spend about two hours with Shure trying on clothes.


 Don’t ask me which one looks good on you. …I’m too embarrassed to look properly.



 My brother is curled up in the corner of the fitting room with his head in his hands, and the clerk is looking at me with a *nyufufufu* stare, and I’m more tired than when I had been dealing with Killer Bees.





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