After too long, Re;Blade is back.
The end of the semester was rough, but I don’t think there’ll be another long hiatus.
Hope you enjoy the chapter
Re;Blade 60 – Cat
It’s like they’re afraid to make a sound, Tetsuko thought. Though there were many people on the street, everyone was as quiet as could be. No one made any sound even as they walk. There was complete silence. It wasn’t only here. Most of the town was the same.
“Everyone’s afraid,” Anna only whispered, but it was enough for her voice to echo as if she had screamed. Everyone turned to her, fear stamped on their faces.
“That’s not a surprise,” spoke Faela in the same low tone, ignoring the fearful looks. “They must’ve figured out the attacks were getting more frequent.”
When a carriage turned around the corner, everyone stopped to watch. The driver lowered his head, afraid to meet their eyes as the horse’s hooves hit the stone floor, the sound so loud it seems more than one horse was pulling the cart. As he stopped at a store for a delivery, one of the men dropped a crate. The bang was so loud some trembled in fear of another monster. Even Anna grabbed the handle of her sword.
Faela touched her hand gently. Only then she realized her fingers were pale and let go of her weapon. “Sorry,” she whispered.
“Don’t be. You need to be cautious. That will keep you alive,” Faela said.
You almost sound like a master, Tetsuko projected her thoughts to them.
“She is my master,” Anna said with a smile.
Faela let out a weak laugh. “I’m far from one. Your father is a master.”
The mention of her father made her lower her head. “Dad…”
“Don’t worry. We’ll find a way to help him,” Faela assured her.
Don’t you mean me?
You say that, but it seems I’ll be doing all the work.
“We’re one sword, one soul.”
Tetsuko couldn’t help but chuckle. Can’t believe I’m hearing the same thing in this world.
Nothing, the soul in the sword projected her thoughts to the swordswomen. That was the name of the sword style back in my world. I never imagined I’d hear it here.
Before her wielder could say anything, a scream echoed through the street. They ran towards it without a second thought.
There was a crowd surrounding something a few streets from where they were. Everyone whispered, but it was hard to understand anything. However, there was one thing they knew; the people were afraid.
“Excuse me,” Anna said, trying to get past the people, but they didn’t even hear her.
“Let us through,” Faela ordered, pushing people out of the way.
At the center of the crowd, there was a woman sitting on the floor. She held a knife covered with blood with both hands so hard her fingers were colorless. By her side was a dead dog.
“What happened?” Faela asked, kneeling next to her.
“I-I-I heard a noise,” she managed to say despite trembling. “The d-dog came out o-of the alley… H-he shook and growled… a-and white foam came from his mouth…”
The swordswoman touched her hands and gently lowered them. When the fingers weren’t so rigid, she took the knife from her and handed it to Anna. “Everything’s gonna be okay. You weren’t hurt, were you?”
“N-no… I-I k-killed him w-when the f-foam…” the woman trembled so much she couldn’t talk anymore.
“Can you sense anything?” Faela whispered to her sword.
Yes. It’s faint though. This dog was just poisoned. She killed him before he could turn into a monster. Tetsuko concentrated, feeling the poisonous and ancient Celeste coursing through the animal’s body even though he was dead. Turn him around.
Faela obeyed, narrowing her eyes when she saw deep scratch marks.
That’s how he got infected.
“Did you see anything?” Faela asked the woman.
She pointed with a trembling finger. “I-I heard a cat in the alley… I think they were f-fighting for food…”
Faela turned to the alley and then at the dog. Just like her sword, she realized those claw marks belonged to a cat.
“Where’s the cat?” she asked the woman.
Before she could say anything, Tetsuko felt it. Watch out!
Faela grabbed her and rolled out of the way the same instant her sword warned her. The next moment, something came down crashing where she was standing with a huge noise, cracking the stone floor.
As the dust rose and the people screamed and ran away, Faela handed the unconscious woman to Anna and drew her sword.
He’s been infected with the tainted blood, Tetsuko said when the wind cleared the view. There was a cat in the middle of the small crater. His eyes were glowing yellow and his fangs were so big it didn’t fit his mouth. Though he was big, he wasn’t huge like the monster dogs from the other day.
“I can tell that by myself!” Faela muttered.
He’s different from the others, she thought, hoping she could project her annoyance. This cat didn’t become a monster. He’s almost like a worshiper!
Before her wielder could reply, the cat leapt towards her, the claws ready and sharp.
Out of reflex, Faela blocked the claws, the sound of metal on metal ranging.
“What the hell are those made of?” she complained as she pushed back the monster. “And get sharper!”
Tetsuko ignored her wielder and focused on herself. Fold your energy. Fold it and become sharper.
Before she could fold her soul as sharp as katana, the cat attacked again. When the claws clashed with her, the animal used her body, swung in midair, avoiding the blade and slapping the swordswoman across the face with its tail.
“Shit!” Faela staggered. She widened her eyes, clenched her jaws, and took a deep breath to keep her consciousness. “What the hell is wrong with that tail?”
“Master!” Anna shouted and charged at the animal.
The cat jumped and swung the tail at her, but she dodged and got under it. She stabbed at the exposed belly, but the tip of the blade didn’t even scratch the fur.
“Don’t try to kill with your sword. Use the dagger!” said Faela, swinging Tetsuko at the animal, who dodged.
Anna leapt back and drew the dagger her master gave her, using one weapon in each hand.
The cat looked between them and snarled. Then it charged towards Faela, bringing a paw down.
She blocked the claws with Tetsuko, and before the cat could do anything, Anna stabbed him with the dagger. The small blade broke the animal’s fur, but it was still too shallow to do any real damage.
“Shit! So a normal living metal blade is not strong enough,” Faela muttered, swinging Tetsuko and pushing Anna out of the way before the tail came hurling at her.
She rolled on the ground and smashed against a wooden stall, which broke. As she got rid of the wood and stood, the cat had already leapt towards her.
“Like I’d let you!” Faela stabbed at the hinder leg, trying to stop the monster.
It worked. Though it wasn’t enough to hurt the animal, it was enough to make it miss his target and hit the wall. But instead of crashing against it, he moved upwards, leapt, and landed on the ground, turning to the swordswoman with a snarl.
Careful. This monster is different from the others. He’s different from the worshipers too, Tetsuko informed her wielder.
“Is it his energy that is different or something?”
No. It’s more like… The ancient celeste woke something inside it…
“What do you mean?”
Before Tetsuko could answer, the monster cat charged towards her. Unlike when it leapt on the ground, he was much faster.
Faela had no time to prepare any defense. Out of reflex, she jumped out of the way to avoid the impact. Though she dodged, she couldn’t avoid the tail.
Tetsuko folded her energy again, ready to cut it. But when the tail met her edge, she was pushed back along with her wielder. What the hell? It’s like flexible metal! And heavy.
Faela was sent against the stone wall of a house, grunting and losing all the air in her lungs with the impact.
Are you okay? Tetsuko asked when she spat something red.
“Yeah… I cut my lips,” she said, standing up despite wobbling, her sword rattling a little. She cleaned the blood from her mouth.
The monster cat hissed, flashing its enormous fangs, blood spraying as it swung the tail.
“Oh, look, you managed to cut it,” she said, almost amused. “Now I need you to become sharp enough to chop that off.”
Can you hold on without me long enough?
“I’ll try. How long do you need?”
Not long. Just don’t die while I sharpen myself.
“Don’t plan yet.”
As the monster cat charged, Faela remained where she was, waiting for the right moment to move.
At the same time, Tetsuko ignored everyone and everything around her and focused within.
Though she shut herself off from the outer world, she was sensing a little through her wielder’s hand. But the fight seemed distant, as if occurring somewhere else. I don’t have time to think about that!
Even if she had no lungs, Tetsuko imagined herself taking deep breaths to concentrate. Then she sensed the Celeste flowing within her. Just like she had done countless times when she was human, she folded the energy like it was metal, making it stronger and sharper.
Yes, just like when I was a human… Tetsuko pictured her body, her hand, lifting a hammer and bringing it down, the sparks flying whenever she struck. However, instead of metal, it was the strange energy that flowed within every soul in this world.
She felt a sharp pain and her whole metal body shook. Faela’s using me as a shield again, she thought but ignored. She had no time for that. If she wanted her wielder to survive, she had to become sharper than the monster cat and slash him.
Fold and fold… Fold your soul and forge your metal, Tetsuko told herself.
“Tetsuko!” Faela’s desperate voice brought her back.
Though it wasn’t as sharp as the fight against the Grand Priest, Tetsuko’s edge was ready to kill the monster cat and devour that poisonous Celeste and make it her own.
The tail came towards Faela like a spear at amazing speed. But instead of dodge or block, the swordswoman held Tetsuko before her, completely still.
As the edge met the tail, the blade cut the fur, broke the skin, and sliced the meat.
The cat jumped backward screaming in pain, but it was too late. The tail was sliced right in the midsection. The eyes lost the black and became completely yellow as it licked the wound. At the same time, Tetsuko sensed the Celeste filling the tail and trying to heal it.
“Shit… It can heal itself?” Faela muttered. She was panting and sweating.
No. It’s trying though, the soul in the sword projected her thoughts to her wielder.
Tetsuko didn’t know why, but she knew the wound wouldn’t heal. Not because it was too deep. Nor because the monster cat couldn’t. It was because of her. When her edge sliced the tail, her Celeste remained there.
It’s like a poison… Just like Lucky Chaos, my energy is poisoning that monster.
How did I do that? Can I do it again?
Can I control someone like him?
Tetsuko focused on her energy preventing the tail from healing. Though she could sense as if it still belonged to her, she couldn’t manipulate it.
However, the cat reacted to it. Glaring at the sword, the monster stopped screaming. Panting, it turned until the base of the tail was before its mouth. Then it bit it off, tossing the poisoned tail aside.
“That monster is too smart for my taste,” Faela said.
Yeah. We need to kill it now.
“You read my mind.”
She advanced to meet the animal, ready to end the fight.
The cat hissed louder than ever, charging towards her. Then it leapt forward, bringing both front paws down to slice Faela.
She rolled forward, dodged the mouth and the claws and was underneath the monster. As she passed by it, she stabbed her sword at the monster’s belly, tearing from neck to tail.
“Damn it!” she complained. The attacked deep and mortal, yet not enough to end the monster’s life right away.
The cat screamed again, but even dying, he was still planning to attack. However, before it could pierce Faela with the claws, one of the hinder paws exploded.
Anna had been waiting for the perfect moment to throw one of the thin living metal needles her master had given her. Thanks to that, the swordswoman was unharmed.
The cat had trouble to support itself with the three legs and the mortal wound. Even so, it showed no sign it would simply wait for his death. Despite the wounds, he jumped once again.
Careful with the blood!
Both Faela and Anna covered their faces and looked away as the rain of blood poured down on them. That opening was enough for the monster to run away.
“Crap! It’s getting away!”
It won’t go far with all those wounds. Even he knows he’s dying.
“Can you sense him?” Faela asked.
But it wasn’t necessary. Even without the sword, it was easy to find the cat. They only had to follow the screams.
Despite the wounds, the cat ran through the streets. The people screamed and ran out of the way, getting in Faela’s and Anna’s way.
Before the cat could turn in the alley, Anna threw her dagger. He jumped backwards and then ran up a wall, getting to the ceiling, running away. However, the fight and the mortal wound were too much. As he jumped from building to building, it broke one of the wooden ceilings and came down.
The place was packed. A lot of people had run into that building once they heard the sound of the fight and the screams. Now they pushed each other to get out of there, but before they could, the cat attacked the closest ones.
“Out of the way!” Faela shouted as she got it. It made no difference. No one was hearing her; everyone trying to get away and save their lives. Anna couldn’t get inside; the crowd was too much for her.
By the time she and Tetsuko got to the monster, it was barely moving anymore. With a weak hiss, it stopped moving completely, though it was still alive.
Faela stood before the cat’s face and closed her eyes.
“I’ll free you from this pain,” she said, and then drove Tetsuko through his head, killing it instantly.
As she finally stopped to breathe, Tetsuko looked around.
The scene was a massacre. There were people crushed by the cat when it came through the ceiling, but there were those who were crushed when everyone tried to run away.
The cat’s blood had sprayed everywhere, as if someone had painted the walls, the floor and what was left of the ceilings, red.
“There’s still some alive!” Faela said when she noticed a movement.
She ran to help, but a heavy log was crushing the man from the waist down. With Tetsuko, she cut it with ease and pulled the man out.
“You’re gonna be okay.”
Get away from him! Tetsuko shouted and Faela obeyed at once.
An instant later, the man swung the arm at where the swordswoman was.
“What’s wrong with you?”
He’s being poisoned by the cat’s blood! Everyone here has!
Faela looked around. The people she thought dead slowly rose and turned to her, their eyes becoming yellow.
Thanks for reading.
Hope you enjoy the chapter.
Tetsuko will have plenty of chance to become stronger
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