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Once Amelica left my table, I directed my attention to my mug of milk and honey. I gingerly took a sip. The liquid was still warm but not steaming hot anymore. The honey offered a slight sweetness to the drink but it was not overpowering. I took a bigger sip from the mug. Suddenly, I became aware of a pair of eyes on me—from across the table. In my desperation to learn more about this world from Amelica, I had totally forgotten that I was not alone at my table.
I casually looked around the room and shortly thereafter, my eyes linked with a pair of pale yellow-green eyes with small, blade-like black irises. Those inhuman eyes were attached to a small, inverted bun shaped face full of white fur, several long, thin whiskers, and a pair of fur-covered pointy ears. The face belonged to the patron sitting in the middle of the table across from me. The head was attached to a small but definitely feminine figure wearing a tight fitting red tank top. Yellow stripes covered her arms. A tail dangled up in the air behind the patron. It was a cat girl!
I tried to tamper down my excitement at the sight of this creature, who continued to stare at me. I admit that I had a cat girl fetish. Cat girls were absolutely adorable with those fluffy ears, soft fur, and those paws which could bat at balls of yarns for hours without being bored. In fact, my ideal girlfriend would be a cat girl. Calm down, Larry! Seeing that the cat girl was staring at me the entire time, I finally decided to make her acquaintance. I slid across the bench until I was directly in front of her. I looked at the floating caption above the cat girl's head and read, "Name: Kalistra, Level: ?, Disposition: Curious." I decided to give Kalistra a friendly smile.
The cat girl's whiskers twitched as she finally spoke. "For a nobility, you sure are naive, Lawrence."
Huh? I was flabbergasted. We were total strangers and this little girl just called me "naive?" I calmly ignored the insult. "Why do you think that, Kalistra?" I asked as I took note of the black scabbard adorned with yellow butterfly patterns, and the pommel of a long sword on the table near her. The sword was a keen reminder that I was badly outgunned; I had teensy weensy, tiny dagger while this cat girl was probably a skilled and dangerous swordswoman.
The whiskers twitched again as the cat girl ignored my question. "Maybe you're just lucky," the cat girl mused as Kalistra's eyes glowed for a moment.
"Explain," I gritted my teeth in annoyance at being ignored.
Kalistra wiggled a furry paw at me. "A fool and his money are soon parted."
"If you're going to do nothing but insult me, then please leave me alone. I have a headache," I said and started to shift along the bench back to my original seat.
Kalistra quickly replied when I was just a seat over. "If you pay for my breakfast, then I'll tell you," the cat girl negotiated with me. She held out her paw on the table with her palm facing up. “Just give me five coppers.” Her whiskers twitched again. This time, her tail twitched too.
"Huh? I thought everyone has to pay up front in this place," I said with a blank look.
Kalistra giggled at my stupid comment. "See what I mean?" Seeing that I was becoming angry, she quickly explained. "You're a newcomer and a stranger. I'm a regular here, meaning that I'm more trustworthy than you. If I skip on my tab, the owner will simply demand payment from my papa," she explained, "and my papa, in turn, will punish me for the dishonest act. If you bail, however, the tavern keeper won't be able to find you to seek payment," she pointed out.
I nodded at the logic. "Continue," I said while putting five coppers on the table just in front of me.
Kalistra reached for the coins with her paw, but I quickly put my hand on top of hers. Wow, her hand was incredibly soft!
Kalistra looked at me with an amused expression. "Among the cat people, you place your hand on top of a cat girl's to show your intention to pursue her as a mate," she explained.
"Can't I?" I retorted defiantly.
In the blink of an eye, Kalistra grabbed the scabbard and rapped my knuckles.
The sharp pain quickly caused me to pull my hand back. A pop-up appeared in front of my eyes and it read, "-2 Health." A second pop-up appeared underneath the first one, and it read, "Condition: Bruised hand. -5% Attack." Well, I just confirmed that I was inside a game. I wondered how much health I really have. And how would I call up my status screen?
"You have sharp reflexes—for a human," the cat girl's eyes gleamed with approval as I massaged the throbbing area with my left palm. "Since you're paying for my breakfast, I will complete my end of our deal. You were naive because Amelica could have taken your plats. You were lucky because she is a sweet, honest, Gods fearing woman who wouldn't think to scam you out of your coins," Kalistra explained slowly as if she was talking to a newborn kitten.
The cat girl looked out the window. "It's getting late. I have to return to my family dojo. Perhaps you would be interested in taking lessons from my school. It's called 'The Butterfly School of Swordsmanship.' If you come, I'll give you a discount," she winked. Kalistra got off the bench. My five coppers were left on the table next to her empty bowl. Sliding the strap of the scabbard across her back, the cat girl put her four paws on the ground and ran out of the inn.