Black Cat Chapter 125: Hopeful Young People

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 After spending a rough night in Ms. Jessica’s room, I decided to return to the base after sending Ms. Leila to the apartment.


 The guild’s holiday is until today, and Ms. Jessica will start shift work tomorrow.



 The guild starts work so early because they are trying to accommodate the young people coming out from the countryside.


 On the way to drop Ms. Leila off, we saw many young people carrying large bags in town.



“Do you get this many people here every year?” (Nyango)


“That’s right. People who don’t have a job in the village flow to the city. But not everyone can find a good job.” (Leila)


“That’s true…” (Nyango)



 I have a brother who came to the city, lost his job, got cheated by heartless people, and ended up in the slums.


 If possible, I would like to improve the status of catkins and reduce the number of people like my brother… but I have no idea what I should actually do.



 I asked Mr. Cordobas, the Guild Master of the adventurer’s guild, for advice on how to improve the status of the catkins when I bargained for the reward for the Academy hostage incident, but so far, I haven’t gotten anything that will lead to immediate results.



“Nyango, what are you thinking with that difficult face?” (Leila)


“Meow? About the treatment of catkins…” (Nyango)



 After explaining my brother’s situation while blurting out about life in the favela, Ms. Leila took me to a cafe overlooking the street.



“Yummeow! This scone is yummeow! It’s full of walnuts and really buttery, yummeow!” (Nyango)


“Nyango, you should look at the road while you eat.” (Leila)


“Unya? Road…?” (Nyango)


“That’s where the horse-drawn carriages stop and this is where the guilds and inns are.” (Leila)



 From the direction Ms. Leila pointed, young people with large bags on their backs were passing by one after another as they gazed at the city.


 They looked as if they had just come from the countryside.



 Perhaps I was like that when I first arrived in Ibouro.


 Some people approach the young people without hesitation.



 They are talking about something with gestures, but I can’t understand what they are saying because of the distance from here.


 While I was thinking about making a microphone with void magic, two other people wearing government uniforms walked up to them.



 Immediately, the person who was speaking to them seemed a bit flustered and moved away from the young man who had come from the countryside.



“This year, it seems even more blatant, doesn’t it?” (Leila)


“Ms. Leila, is that…?” (Nyango)


“The short answer is dangerous solicitation. That squirrelkin girl who was approached, there’s a demand for them amongst some of their clientele.” (Leila)


“Dangerous? Demand…?” (Nyango)



 Squirrelkins, like catkins, are small in size, but in appearance they look like human children with squirrel ears and fluffy tails.


 In summary, it seems that they are popular among pedophiles who like little girls with beast ears and tails.



 The solicitation earlier is probably like a scouting for adult entertainment or adult videos in Japan.


 If the person is satisfied with the content of the job and chooses to do it, there is probably no problem, but if the person is deceived like my brother was or taken in without being fully informed of the content, it is a problem.



“It seems that the authorities are stepping up their crackdown, but it seems that they are incapable to permanently fix things…” (Leila)



 The economic disparity between a town like Ibouro and a village like Atsuka is said to be behind these incidents.


 I did not expect to see such economic problems in another world, but it would be strange if they did not occur because people continue to live and work in this world.



 And the economic disparity is not only between the city and the rural areas, but also between races.


 The small-bodied races such as the catkins are generally poor, while the wealthier races include lionkins and tigerkins.



“Take a good look at a young catkin walking up to you, Nyango.” (Leila)


“Nya? Oh…” (Nyango)



 Leila told me, and I immediately noticed.


 The young catkin was dirty in appearance.



 The fur was unkempt, there were weed seeds tangled in it, and the clothes he was wearing looked dirty.


 Compared to young people of other races, they were obviously inferior.



“Was Nyango’s family wealthy?” (Leila)


“Oh no, we could barely eat. When I got my magic, we were eating better every day, but until then, we were…” (Nyango)


“It’s hard to get a good job without that. When I first saw Nyango, I was surprised that you were so well-dressed and didn’t smell.” (Leila)


“Indeed, it seems that most catkins don’t like to bathe…” (Nyango)



 It seems that cat people are shunned by the general public for their filthiness, just like me getting shunned by the rich people at the cake shop where Claudier and her friends went.


 They can’t get good jobs because they are ill-dressed, and because they are poor, they can’t afford to take care of their appearance.



 Add to this the catkin’s inherent lazy nature, and a negative spiral seems to be occurring.


 However, it is impossible to catch a catkin walking on the street and throw them into the bathtub to wash their whole body, so the way to improve the status of catkins seems to be far away.



“What does Nyango want to do with catkins?” (Leila)


“If they could live normally… that would be enough, but I have a feeling that would be difficult.” (Nyango)


“I think it would be difficult. If they are as talented as Nyango, it would not be difficult, but the town is not kind for ordinary catkins to live in.” (Leila)



 Even so, cat people who grew up in the village come to the city with dreams in their hearts.


 It might be necessary to create some kind of Hello Work [T/N: Japanese government employment service] or vocational training school for catkin.



 Why, indeed, are all catkins born like this?


 The whims of the gods of this world make me not just a little, but extremely angry.



“First of all, we need to make Fawkes independent. That will pave the way for ordinary cat people to become independent, don’t you think?” (Leila)


“Yes. It will start with brother.” (Nyango)



 Having said that, in the case of my older brother, he has suffered bitterly in the slums and is desperate not to return to that kind of life, but it would be difficult to ask a catkin who has just come to town to do so.


 Besides, I made my brother eat a goblin’s heart.



 My brother’s magical index must surely be higher than that of the average catkin, and treating others in the same manner would not yield the same results.


 I wonder if it would be better to gather all the catkins living in Ibouro and hold a goblin heart-eating party.



 In the Fatima religion, it is forbidden to eat raw meat from monsters, but eating it does not mean that you will be treated like a witch during the witch hunts.


 Among adventurers, it seems that eating the hearts of monsters is known as a way to increase one’s magical power, and some people actually do it.



 However, it is an unspoken agreement, and it is unclear what kind of response you would get back if you did something where you recruit a lot of people and make them eat it.


 If the number of catkins die from eating the hearts of monsters, it could further tarnish the image of catkins.



 Since it is necessary to consume the rapidly increasing magical power in the body, it would be dangerous to feed them goblin hearts unless they are frequent users of their attribute magic.


 And moreover, in the case of the heart of an orc, it would cause a life-threatening reaction.



 I warned my brother afterwards that he must be careful that those who eat goblin hearts do not become adventurers and carelessly eat orc hearts.


 Well, since it is rare for a catkin to want to become an adventurer, I think he will be fine, but if he can use strong magic, he will change his mind.



“Nyango, subjugate the wyvern.” (Leila)


“Meow? Me…?” (Nyango)


“That’s right. If you defeat Wyvern, the world’s view of catkins will change.” (Leila)


“But it doesn’t seem to have changed much even after subjugating the Bronze Wolf…” (Nyango)


“Yes. So, you need to stand out more, and the best way you can do that is to rise through the B ranks and A ranks and make the name of Nyango, a catkin adventurer, known by the whole world.” (Leila)


“I see…” (Nyango)



 I’ve been trying to act as inconspicuous as possible, although I’ve been conspicuous as a result of my actions.


 But if I think about improving the status of the catkins, it might be better for me to stand out.



 Even a catkin can make it big as an adventurer.


 Even a catkin can do more work than others.


 If I can make money even as a catkin… maybe the world will look at catkins differently.



“Even if Nyango becomes famous, things won’t change if other catkins are the same as they are now. Even so, I think there will be a difference between having an iconic person and not having an iconic person.” (Leila)


“But that means I have to be a role model for other cat people, right?” (Nyango)


“That’s right, but you don’t have to think so hard, right? Be a cool guy.” (Leila)


“I see… But a cool guy…” (Nyango)



 The first time we met, Laius was cool enough to try to warn off the horsekin adventurer who had attacked me.


 On the other hand, the horsekin adventurer who attacked me afterwards and was beaten back was not an uncool guy.



 Serge was cool even if he acts a bit frivolous, but he still had a strong core when the moment called for it, and Gad was cool because he was quiet but kind enough to take care of my brother.


 Bode is not cool, of course, and Teodoro is not cool for trying to take credit for Bronze Wolf’s work.



“Don’t act cowardly, be considerate of the weak, don’t have the habit of making mistakes… be a cool adventurer.” (Leila)


“Yes, I will steadily do what I can do now, one thing at a time.” (Nyango)



 I enjoyed tea with Ms. Leila and returned to the base while looking at the young people who were walking down the street anxiously, but with their hearts pounding with expectations welling up.



 Well, my day off is over for today, and tomorrow I’ll be getting ready for the wyvern subjugation.





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