Chapter 330: You're Demons, Not Mortals!
Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
The next day, Link completed the battle axe.
He was this fast because the axe's structure was honestly too simple. He only included one spell into the entire thing.
It was 160 pounds, five feet long, and the blade was 1.3 feet. Under the coordination of Link's enchantment spell, the various rare materials melded together, resulting in a strange amber-colored crystal. It was semitransparent and crisscrossing red runic strands could be seen. At a glance, they looked like veins.
It had a cold metallic glow on the surface, and the amber darkened as it got closer to the blade. The blade was extremely dark, rather than transparent, and gave it a heavy feeling.
The battle axe was done, but Holun wasn't back yet. Link wasn't in a hurry either. He put the axe away and started reading his book.
Around dusk, Masos knocked on his door. Link opened the door and saw Masos holding a cage. It contained an abnormally smooth-looking black cat.
"You really caught it?" Link was speechless. Did it really fall for the trick?
Masos laughed heartily. "It was easier than I expected. I just used a bird net, closed it, and it was inside, heh."
Felina heard the commotion and came out. She was in disbelief too. Circling the black cat, she nodded at Link. "My bloodline sensing tells me that it's him."
"Put it on the table," Link said. He could also tell that this cat was different from others. Its emerald eyes were very bright, like pure opals. One couldn't help but keep staring at it, meaning that it had a strong spirit.
Masos placed the cage on the table. "It indeed is a bit strange, and it's really fast too. After getting caught, it just squatted there, soundless and unmoving."
Just as he said, the cat was quiet inside the cage. Its limbs were close to its body, and its eyes were half-closed. It purred as well as if it was resting with its eyes closed. Link circled it and studied it closely, but it still didn't move. It was as if it couldn't see Link.
"Felina, can it understand us?" Link asked.
"It should, but it probably can't talk." Felina was uncertain. This cat seemed quite unique from the appearance, but it shouldn't be that special. It's possible that something happened when the exiled God went into it, causing the black cat to lose some functions."
Link continued observing it. After a while, he felt he wasn't going deep enough, so he took out his wand and petted the cat with his Magician's Hand. The black cat looked at him lazily. It let Link probe without fighting back.
"It's a female cat...but Elodim was a man 800 years ago, right? Possessing a female cat was probably an accident. Can he get used to it?" Link asked curiously. As he spoke, he kept his eyes on the cat. If it could understand him, it should have some reaction.
But he was disappointed. The thing continued to lie in the cage, half dead. Its stomach rumbled and other than its appearance, there was nothing special about it. It looked just like a gluttonous cat.
"Is it possible that when he possessed the cat, he sank into a deep sleep to protect himself?" Felina suggested. "Otherwise, why would he be so easy to capture?"
Masos pursed his lips. "Seems like it. I can't believe that something like this is a god. He's just a lazy cat."
Link was annoyed. He'd come for pointers, but if the other was always like this, what use was there?
Something felt amiss when he looked at the cat. After thinking for a bit, he finally realized what was wrong. "Masos, didn't you say that its personality is like how I described? If it can preserve its personality, how can it be so ordinary? Furthermore, this guy was avoiding us earlier, and now it's acting like this. I'm sure it's pretending!"
"Pretending?" Felina studied the cat. It was still sleeping inside the cage. She didn't think so.
"We'll see if we try," Link said.
It was already the evening and time for dinner, so Link said, "Doesn't it like fish? Felina, I have blue rock salmon. Take it to the inn's chef to cook it well. It'll be our dinner."
"Okay." Felina took the fish out.
After half an hour, a server brought a pot of fish soup into the room. As soon as it was brought to the door, the thick fragrance floated in, lifting everyone's appetites.
Gulp. Felina swallowed thickly.
Link studied the black cat. It was still lying on the bottom of the cage without moving as if it wasn't interested. This wasn't logical.
Masos realized too. "That's not right. I caught him using regular fish. It can't be compared to the big chef's fish. It wanted to eat so badly back then. How come there's no reaction now?"
Link and Felina exchanged glances. They had the answer already.
"It can at least understand us. It's definitely pretending right now. Maybe it doesn't want to reply to us, or maybe it feels embarrassed about being caught so easily."
Masos laughed loudly. "It is embarrassing to get tricked by a regular guy as a god and be stuffed inside a cage. Tsk, if it were me, I wouldn't want to talk either."
Since they got to this conclusion, Link felt reassured. He was worried that the god had lost consciousness, but now, he only had to worry about how to make it talk. For this, Link would follow the Red Dragon Queen's solution: cater to its interests.
Link smiled. "Then we'll just let him stay in the cage alone. I'm hungry. Come, let's eat. Let me tell you, the blue rock salmon is fresh and tender but with a little firmness. It's ten times more delicious than regular fish!"
With that, Link gulped down a mouthful of the soup and sighed. He was completely satisfied. The inn's chef was truly good at his job.
The soup had a milky color. With one gulp, the tender, smooth, soft, and tasty flavor hit the nerves on the tip of his tongue. It transformed into beautiful electric currents, flowing into his brain bit by bit-unforgettable.
Masos got the clue. He took a sip, and his eyes brightened too. "I can almost see the beautiful scenery of the Crystal Blue Lake," he praised. "I can die happy after tasting this perfection."
Felina didn't talk. She used her actions to show the deliciousness of the soup. While Link and Masos were talking, she'd already eaten a bowl of fish. The way she shoveled food into her mouth was the best proof of the taste.
Nana was curious too and tried a small bite. She felt that the taste was extraordinary, so she sat beside Link and took one small bite after another like a kitty.
The black cat in the cage was still unmoved. Its stomach continued rumbling, and nothing seemed to have changed.
However, Link discovered that the rumbles would pause. He also saw its whiskers tremble at times and its nose would move slightly too. The actions were minuscule, but Link saw it all. Let me see how much longer you can pretend for, he thought.
With that in mind, he continued saying, "The most beautiful part of life is being able to taste all kinds of delicacies. Masos, I heard that there's another special fish in the Crystal Blue Lake called the Blue nightfin snapper. Soup made from it is enough to make one go wild. Is that true?"
Masos nodded. "Indeed, but it's very difficult to catch the Blue nightfin snapper. A Beastman fisherman can get one per month if he's lucky. They're very expensive as well. One fish costs ten gold coins. Regular people can't afford it."
With that, Masos glanced at the black cat. He smiled and said, "This kitty loves fish, but I'm sure it has only eaten regular fish made with regular techniques. Blue rock salmon, red damask fish, and silver swordfish are rarer. No one would feed a cat with them. As for the Blue nightfin snapper, I'm sure it will never get a taste."
Felina laughed at that. "It's only ten gold coins. That's too cheap. How about we buy some tomorrow?"
Link nodded. "Sure. The chef of this inn is really talented. I'm sure he can make good use of the amazing taste of something as rare as the blue nightfin snapper."
"Nana wants to eat too," Nana said.
"No problem," Link answered with a laugh. He glanced at the black cat again. It wasn't snoring anymore. It closed its eyes and curled up on itself, burying its nose in its stomach.
Link guessed that it couldn't hold up for much longer, so he continued.
"Hey," he said to Masos. "When I was at the East Cove Magic Academy, my advisor Herrera really liked delicacies. She found some of the best chefs, and I got to enjoy the food as well. Back then, I ate a type of fish called the black pike. The chef used excellent knife technique to slice the fish into translucent sashimi thin as paper. Then he made a sauce called 'dragon breath chili,' and we would eat each piece with the sauce. That taste...mm, so good."
Masos laughed when he heard that. "I know about that method. It first came from the Leo Kingdom in the South. A palace chef invented this method. The black pipe is its common name. The official name for this dish is garra lamta. Apparently, the king had some disease and wouldn't eat anything. He became so thin he was practically a bag of bones. But after eating the fish, he was so content, and he recovered. At that time, he rewarded the chef with 300 gold coins!"
Felina was very into the story. She sighed and said, "Ah, you're making me want to try all of them."
Link agreed. "I know, right? I also ate-"
A crisp roar came from the cage. The black cat jumped up, its emerald eyes wide open and its hair sticking straight up. Its tail was standing up like a sword. It glared at the people enjoying the delicious food for half a second before subconsciously looking at the soup. Its small pink tongue licked its nose, and its intimidating aura weakened.
"You're not mortals. You're all demons!"
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