Cata Maestra

by

bread moment

Interlude: A Monologue From [Celes]

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Fuck, man. It was really hard pretending I didn't know her. Was even starting to get a headache there.

I need some time to think to myself here. Hoo boy, where do I start?

...Maestra. Let's... start with her.

When I heard the church claiming they finally killed [Nemesis], or in other words, her, I... was almost relieved. Not that I was happy she died, no way, but nobody, and I mean nobody, should ever have to go through as much as she did. I mean, her mom, who I knew pretty damn well, was killed just cause she was related to her, and she was only being targeted cause of a stupid prophecy. If it weren't for that, they'd have no reason to go after a normal human. If it was any other person, then maybe...

...I'm getting off track. Where was I?

Yes, that's right. Maestra. She's basically lost everything, gained everything, and lost everything once again. I'd know, cause I was there for all of that.

sigh

How about we take a little skip ahead here, about a month later. From who she used to be, to when I caught her stealing my food. At first, it was like seeing a ghost, right? I mean, she died. I even saw her corpse in Icefall Forest. There's no way it could've been her. When I accidentally startled her into attacking me, I wasn't exactly sure what to think. Normally, I would've just killed whoever it was reflexively, even if it was actually my fault, but when she looked so similar to the girl I knew, I just couldn't do it.

So I talked to her, and that's when things started to get a touch uncanny. It... still gives me the chills when I think about it.

Everything about her was just... her. It's as if our very first meeting was repeated. I run into her in a forest, and she's real fuckin traumatized, ends up attacking me. My eccentricness pisses her off, so she starts throwing stuff at me to no avail. The only real difference was that demon cat of hers, and her newfound muteness.

Once we finally found a way to communicate, it all clicked together, cause I heard her name. And I also remembered her mom, talking to me about some wacky soul magic for after shit started to fall apart. A last resort, she called it.

[I'm Maestra.]

Now, I don't know what happened that made her lose her memories, go mute, lose an eye, and get covered in so much blood, or why she grew claws and predatory teeth, but she's gone through some shit. She already went through a lotta shit, and now she went through even more, and that pissed me off.

Cause, well, I care, y'know?

For a moment there, I kinda slipped. Almost showed my real self, which post-death her... wouldn't be able to cope with. Pre-death, maybe, but not her current self. Luckily, I don't think she noticed anything. For now, at least.

Now, let's talk about her combat. The mock battle.

I told her that she was terrible.

...Well, that was a fuckin lie if I've ever known one, at least for the most part. I'm not sure if she noticed in the heat of the battle, but a few times there, I went about 10%--a pretty damn good amount compared to a veteran warrior--, and she managed to dodge and counterattack. Of course, with her unique constitution, a lot of her old fighting habits didn't carry over very well, but that doesn't change the fact that she could dodge.

If I had to say, she forgot how to use magic, but can still, for some reason, use it on instinct. Same goes with her fighting, considering how similar it was. As for why I told her she was terrible? Well, her base power's no more than garbage, and if she can only use that magic of hers instinctively, then she needs to work harder to get a hold of herself.

So, that's that. I gave her that self-defense powder in case she doesn't figure out her magic.

Now, time to go over what I said right before we parted.

"My good friend, cute little Maestra. You haven't changed much, but you're a little nicer compared to who you used to be. Don't give up."

I feel pretty bad about this one. Not cause I didn't tell her as much as I could have--if I told her too much, I'm afraid she wouldn't be able to cope--but because of how I addressed her.

My good friend...

Tch. I'll admit, I kinda gave into temptation there. Truth is, Maestra never really saw me as a friend, like I had implied. An easy way to imagine her view of me is the way a rape victim of goblins might view their savior, if their sanity's still intact by then.

As to why she saw me in such a way...? I don't need to explain. It should be obvious, I saved her life, after all.

Really, I'm not the type to enjoy being treated, idolized, in such a way. So I guess I just kinda wanted to trick her into believing I was someone I really wasn't.

...That's it for Maestra, I guess.

...

Well, now I've only got one other thought plaguing my conscience: the Church.

After Maestra... died, the Church started making its moves again. With their greatest obstacle gone, it's clear that they'd do that. It's just... troubling.

Cause they're starting to take a more direct approach.

Everyone knows the Church hates non-humans. Cause it's "God's Will", or some bullshit like that. Up till now, they've just been kinda subtle about it, like discriminating, or turning them away for healing.

Well, fuck that, I guess. Cause now they're literally slashing off beastkin tails and ears, clipping off the pointed ends of elf ears, removing horns from demons, etc. It all happened so suddenly, I can't help but feel glad that I look 100% human.

Basically, the situation's all gone to shit, the non-humans in the kingdom are in a shitty situation, Maestra's found herself thrown back in the shithole called "Maestra's Life", everything's just fucking shit.

Unfortunately, I'm not allowed to take direct action unless it's gotta do with me directly. Never have been, and never will be. Still, that doesn't stop me from... guiding fate, I suppose.

So for now, I'll be doing just that, cause I've just about had enough of all this.

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bread moment

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