Cata Maestra

by

bread moment

City Arc | Chapter 11: Run, Rin, Run

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A note from bread moment

Sorry about the delay. Long story short, when I first started this, I didn't really prepare any chapters or anything. I have a rough plot, of course, but not much in terms of writing. 

What I'm trying to say is that I'm stockpiling chapters so I can release more consistently. 

Thanks for reading!

Oh, and also school is a thing now.

It wasn't in Rin's schedule to get chased by some noble's knight, but unfortunately, she had little say in the whole matter.

It's not like it's my fault you got robbed, dumbass.

She dodges a poorly attempted grab by the knight, her crimson-colored hair easily avoiding the grasp of his hand. People around her make way, not wanting to collide with the thin girl (or perhaps the fully protected knight, wearing heavy plates of metal that cover nearly his entire body. Getting body checked by him would, most likely, hurt).

"Stop, thief!"

A scowl forms itself into her face.

It's your fault for letting yourself get robbed. I'm not even involved in your whole mess. Just cause I look poor doesn't mean I'm the damn thief you want!

Dodging another grab, she ducks into an alleyway as the knight stumbles slightly. Slowing down, her blue eyes search for obstacles to knock over or fences to climb over. Unfortunately, this one's a dead end. Not-so-unfortunately, this doesn't mean she's trapped.

Promptly running just by the exit to the main street, she stands just inside the alleyway. As the knight turns the corner, she kicks out with her foot at a shockingly fast speed, slamming his feet away from under his body. He falls with great strength, slamming his head against the wall, metal armor clanging against the ground. No attempts were made to restart the chase; the fall was more than enough to knock him unconscious despite his helmet.

With surprisingly smooth movements, she props him up against the wall into a sitting position. Taking out a sheet of paper, she writes out a short message before laying it down to the left of the knight.

[idiot knights sit in this spot ------>]

Serves you fucking right, shitty tin-can.

With a sigh, she steps out of the alleyway and starts making her way through the streets of Gantz City once again.

Really, all of that just cause I was in the wrong place at the wrong time...

Rin wasn't actually there to see the "dumbass noble" get robbed. She came after the fact while carrying around a large pouch of coins. She did just finish a nice job from the guild, so it only makes sense she'd get paid well.

You can't blame the noble though. Imagine his situation; you get your money stolen, and the next thing you know, some "slums brat" in the middle of her teenage years is just there, walking around with no small sum of money. You can't, and really shouldn't put him at fault for assuming she was the thief (but Rin insists on doing it anyway). It's not even guaranteed that he was actually arrogant and selfish like many of the others. After all, it's common sense to want your money back after it's stolen.

"But still..."

She can't help but be curious on how someone managed to get away with the deed. The noble's guards were practically surrounding him, so to manage to get through then, and on top of that, steal his money, is no small feat.

I'd kinda like to meet that person...

"Geh. Whatever."

She shakes her head, dispelling the thought. If someone had the guts to attempt it and the skill to get away with it, it's probably better to avoid them rather than meet them; it's doubtful their personality would be very agreeable. Sporting a grin at the fact that she managed to escape so quickly with minimal usage of magic, she adjusts her crudely made hat and moves on.

After a little while, she eventually makes her way by the city's church. It's a fairly grand building, at least for what it should be.

The size should have been excusable, seeing as it's the only one in the city, but...

"...Tch."

She clicks her tongue as she cranes her neck towards the sky. If not for the Mage's Association's building, this would very likely be the tallest building in the entire city. And even then, if going by size, the church would be far larger, taking up a much greater volume.

Yes. It's the only church in the city, but even then, the size is completely uncalled for. Of course, that's not even mentioning the extravagance of it. Intricate carvings line the walls, and massive, stained glass windows create images easily recognizable even from a distance.

"...How ludicrous."

Normally, one would expect such a strong distaste would lead her to avoiding the building, and that's usually the case. However, this time, she's come with a specific purpose. Swifly entering through the propped open doors, she begins tapping her fingers in annoyance.

"Hmph... just where is the damn thing in this one..."

Looking around, her exasperation only grows at both the even more extravagant interior decoration, and the fact that she hasn't managed to find what she came to look for. With a anxious expression, she adjusts her hat once again. She'd much prefer to leave the place as soon as possible.

Only after several minutes had passed did her eyes settle on a discreet poster board hanging from the wall.

"...Here we go."

Stepping closer for better visibility, she starts reading off the board.

"The wanted board..."

Listed on the various sheets of paper pinned to the board are various individuals who are wanted by the church, almost always for some kind of crime. Getting onto it is basically considered a death sentence as the entire church deems you an enemy. As a result, only the really dangerous ones tend to stay on it for a while.

Though quite frankly, Rin only really cares about one entry.


Title: [Rubrum]

Threat Level: C+ | B-

Description: A dangerous non-human with hair that glints like a ruby. Committed mass murder of many church officials. Appears to be a girl in her mid-teens.

Details: Not much is known about this individual in terms of how she acts or what her motives are. However, her entry often disappears, even if she has not yet been subjugated. Exercise caution even if this entry appears to be completed.


"Hmm, it suddenly disappears?"

Rin takes a few glances around as if looking to make sure nobody is watching. Eventually satisfied, she turns back to the board. Without anybody noticing, her hand becomes a blur and tears off the entry, quickly storing it in her pocket.

I wonder why, hahaha.

With her business done, she pretends to pray at the altar for a bit and leaves with a bounce in her step.


"Aah... I'm hungry..."

About one hour has passed since she completed her "business" with the church's wanted board. Because she was just mistaken as some homeless girl, she spent the time buying new clothing so a similar situation wouldn't repeat itself in the future. Unfortunately, the reason why she was seen that way wasn't because of the state of her clothing, but the type of clothing. A shabby cloak and already used pants doesn't exactly do the best in giving someone a non-impoverished appearance.

Of course, Rin doesn't know this.

Happy with her new clothing, she shuffles over to the nearest stand of food, ending up at a humble skewer seller.

"Excuse me, I'd like to know how much one skewer would cost."

The man at the stand jerks a bit as though he had just woken up. After a moment of staring blankly, he finally comes to his senses.

"O-oh. My apologies, I've just been a bit tired lately."

With a sheepish grin, he scratches at his bald head.

"Right. A single skewer's just five copper."

Oh? Not bad for the amount of food.

With a smile, Rin reaches into her pouch and takes out the exact amount needed for the exchange. Handing the coins over to the man, he promptly grabs an already prepared skewer and hands it over.

"Thank you very much."

She gives a small bow in thanks before walking off. With the skewer in her hand, she looks it over, inspecting the meat.

Hmm, orc meat? Not bad, but I've grown to prefer Ironhide Bear. Tough meats are a bit more satisfying to eat, in my opinion.

With that in mind, she shrugs her shoulders, muttering to herself something along the lines of "not that it really matters", and brings the skewer up to her mouth.

The sensation of a light breeze flies by her head. Her teeth, which were attempting to bite some food off of the skewer, only close around open air.

"...Eh?"

As she glances at her hand, she notices the glaringly obvious absence of a skewer that she was supposed to be holding onto. Letting out sounds of confusion, she glances around in search for her missing item, until a subtle movement on the ground catches her eye. Out of reflex, she looks down, only to see a small, black and white kitten chewing on the skewer she had just bought.

"...A kitten?"

She stoops down in thought (and despair, but that's not important).

"You've gotta be fucking kidding me."

There's no point in taking the skewer back, as the damn cat's gotten to it, and taking revenge on a fucking kitten is just pointless.

Sighing once again, she pats the kitten and prepares to move on. However, before she even manages to take a step, a greyish, reddish blur flies past her and lands an open handed chop directly on the kitten's head.

"Wah!"

Rin lets out a small shout, jerking back in surprise. Right in front of her, a girl smaller than her stands, furiously scribbling on a notebook. With her message fully written, she looks it over a last time, likely to check for any mistakes, and turns it around, presenting it to Rin. Along with the message, ten copper coins are laid out haphazardly.

[I deeply apologize for my pet. It seems I accidentally let her run off on her own, and because of that, I've inconvenienced you. Please take these coins as compensation.]

Oh my. Is she mute?

Scrutinizing the girl's appearance, Rin glances between her and the message she holds.

The first thing she notices is the singular, visible eye. It almost seems abnormally large, but upon closer inspection, it's really just held wide open. She'd imagine the girl was full of energy if it weren't for the dark circles around it. What strikes her most however, is the coloration. At some times, it seems to be a horribly dull grey, but at others, it shines with a strong, silvery tint.

...Because of that eye, I almost didn't notice the bandages covering the rest of her face.

Indeed, after her attention strayed from that fact, only then had she noticed the bandages. They seemed quite worn, and a little portion was torn off from her mouth, almost certainly because eating would be impossible otherwise. The little bits of skin that were visible could only be described as sickly pale.

Rin's gaze moves to the girl's head.

Although her hood covers most of it, small tufts of ashen hair spill out from the sides. It's a peculiar color, but she's heard stories of hair losing its color after experiencing situations of extreme stress. The missing eye and bandages covering her face only serve to support her theory.

Not much else is very notable. Her clothes are fairly worn out and dirty, but were likely good quality products. Below them lay her thin frame, only barely noticable to Rin's eyes.

This girl's probably an orphan. Pretty well mannered though.

With a small nod, she scoops up the coins and holds them in one hand, patting the girl on the head with the other.

"It's nothing to worry about. Just be a bit more careful in the future, alright? And get some food to eat, you're as thin as a twig."

Her expression unchanging, the girl performs a slight bow and picks up the kitten, her feet pattering against the ground as she runs off. Rin watches with a slight smile as the girl's back disappears into the crowd.

"...What a considerate young girl."

Her hand moves down to put the coins into her pouch, only to feel empty air. The smile on her face cramps up.

"...What a little piece of shit."

Her feet start moving as she breaks into a sprint, moving in the direction the girl had gone.

"Out of all people, you just had to steal from me, didn't you."

She lets out a dry chuckle as she runs even faster, becoming a blur in the eyes of those watching. Mana begins to course through her body as her eyes narrow.

"...Bad luck, kiddo."

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A note from bread moment

Rin is really quite good at acting like a well-mannered girl.

It's too bad the insides are more or less the opposite...


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