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The Recovery of Kasumi, the Cat Girl
Maxwell’s Oddities and Antiques Short Story Installment by Seth Underwood
Maxwell’s Oddities and Antiques
Maxwell’s Oddities and Antiques is an integrated fantasy world that forms the underlying basis of the fantasy elements in Rosella Tolfree’s world. But the locations and events for Maxwell’s world are more contemporary in that the stories are in the 21st century, but like all mid to high fantasy, there are complexities in the names used to describe the creatures, places, and concepts.
For example, any references to magic in its strictest sense refer to the control, influencing, prediction of, or producing marvels using hidden forces and energies. There are as many forms of magic as there are types of actual forms of energy, sub-atomic particles, and quantum states. The question is not if the magic is there or not, but if the user knows what the heck they are doing. It’s all in the technique and understanding. Descriptions aside, what appears as a magical effect to us may simply be advanced technology to another.
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Many of the fantasy elements, such as the creatures, are drawn from existing global mythos, folklore, and stories. Occasionally they have been reinterpreted to fit the mechanics of the world.
The following are definitions used in this story:
Ancients- Creatures and entities which have existed in such a way they defy time and creation itself. There are very few of them, and no one has a clue where they are or who or what they are. But a few are on Earth, such as Baba Yaga and the Celestial Dragons.
Celestial Dragon, Lai Xinya- She is one of four of the good dragons. There are also six evil dragons. All of them are associated with Chinese and Buddhist mythology, have been worshipped from time to time, and are even in the game Mahjong. She currently owns an herbal shop in China Town in Washington, D.C.
Dimensions, Bubble Dimensions, Pocket Dimensions, Multi-Dimensions and Sub-Dimensions- All these words are basically describing the same thing. The only difference being that of size with a dimension being larger than either a bubble or pocket. And everything being larger than that of a sub-dimension. Dimensions are not the same as a plane but are part of a plane, connected to a plane, or outside of the plane, with the plane being a much larger and defined form of reality. Some dimensions can be simply time itself, as with the Militant Plane, which despite having an arrow of time forcing the flow in one direction can sometimes have multiple timelines occurring. This is because of multiple time dimensions. Elves are creatures which always exist in multiple dimensions simultaneously in any plane they occupy. Hence, they are pan-dimensional. They can create vaults that occupy multiple dimensions. Some creatures, like Nuru, exist and don’t exist in multiple time dimensions and in different states of being. There are also fixed-dimensional creatures, like Rosella Tolfree, who are so unique that there’s only one of them in all known existence.
Dreamfolk- A catchall term referring to a wide range of various mythological, legendary, fabulous, supernatural, cryptid, and ancient creatures that have been spoken throughout human history.
Elves- They are technically supernatural pan-dimensional entities. Think Midsummer Night’s Dream, where the elves operate in a different world from our human world (unlike Tolkien’s elves that coexist in Middle Earth and are immortal). Their magic, however, is strictly based on the manipulation of probability at a fundamental level, allowing them to create incredible phenomena.
Group 67- Originally known as Abteilung 67 under the SS in Nazi Germany. They handled the collection, cataloging, examination, and weaponization of the Dreamfolk. After the war, the U.S. Army forced those Nazi scientists to continue their work as a black project which continues today.
Maxwell’s Oddities and Antiques – An early colonial building sitting behind the old U.S. Post Office at 31st Street Northwest in Washington D.C. If you went there, though, you’d never see it because a magical ward hides it from prying eyes. Only those in the know are allowed access. The original owner was named Maxwell Hall, and the shop acted as a trading post for the Dreamfolk in the early days of the Maryland colony before the United States of America was founded. Dreamfolk of various types would trade either magical items and/or treasure for goods and items they could use. In doing so, the shop absorbed the magical energies of the items to the point that the shop became alive and attached itself to the owner. Now the shop craves treasure, magical or otherwise, requiring the owner to secure the items. They have passed the shop down through the Hall family from male-to-male child. The current owner is Jayden Hall, a 40-something-year-old man.
Militant plane – The militant plane is a reference to the world we are living in right now. The Norse would call it Midgard. Basically, Earth and the universe as we know it.
Nekomimi – Japanese for cat girl. They are a popular feature in Japanese anime and manga. The young women have cat ears and cat tails. They may or may not have magical powers. They are not associated with Japanese cat yokai, such as monster cats, which can disguise themselves as humans.
Planes of Existence – This is a reference to what some would call the multiverse. Some of these planes interact or intersect with each other. Still, some are isolated. All are different in their own way. Rosella Tolfree interacts with one known as the Spiritual Biome, a realm made up of multiple interconnected dimensions arranged in a wheel of cardinal directions, to which the mythical Tree of Life and center pin of the universe connects to our plane at its direct center.
The Onyx of Inscriptions – A magical artifact made of bone that dates to the time of the Ancients. It’s reputed to have such power as to cause a rippling effect throughout the known planes of existence.
Tiānlù – A type of Chinese mythical hybrid creature. It’s a winged lion creature known as a Pixiu, that is male of the species and oversees wealth. The female version, Bìxié, wards off evil spirits and guards the treasure.
* * * *
Strewn about an old timber-framed room, with a series of open box frames with wooden ladders reaching upwards to higher levels, were stacks of books, wooden crates, old chests, racks filled with scrolls, and ancient weapons and armor. The air danced with the flickering specks of dust from the candles lit about the place.
Sitting behind a large oak desk, dimly lit by candlelight, was an early-40-something holding a quill in his hand. He was writing an entry in the large ledger book before him. Leaning against the desk was his ebony staff, topped off with a silver head of a dragon. His black woolen coat was draped over the backside of the chair.
Jayden Hall’s Journal Entry for the Shop
Transaction 453895- Recovery of Kasumi, the Cat Girl
Journal Entry 15 In Ledger Book 234567
“Normally I don’t accept rescue missions, but the item being offered in exchange was too tempting. It’s not every day that someone is offering one of the more ancient artifacts that were made when only such Dreamfolk as the Ancients were around. Group 67 is no doubt already looking for this nekomimi if she’s worth such a high price. Not that her talents are of any concern to me, except in locating her. Still, a nekomimi whose power outweighs that of a godlike powerful object. Sounds like a Demi-god to me, and one who is too immature to realize her full potential. I don’t know why I’m doing this, except this living shop’s hunger for treasure demands me to take the job if I want to take a brief break.”
Lloyd Page was a six-and-a-half-foot tall well-built man living with his Chinese American wife of nearly 25 years in the Ivy City neighborhood of Washington, DC.
His father had died in a police altercation when he was only a teen, and only recently did his mother pass away from breast cancer. He and his mother had become estranged from his two older sisters and their young families after their father’s death. Lloyd saw himself as a self-made entrepreneur and even dropped out of college during the dotcom years when a friend was starting up an internet business. The business failed within a year, and shortly after that, the dotcom bubble burst.
It was after this failure he married Yi Pan, a petite woman he met at a college friend’s Chinese New Year’s party. The older Lloyd entranced her. Lloyd had this charismatic enthusiasm that made it sound like whatever he could set his mind to would simply take off and become successful.
While it was a custom for Yi’s older brother to take over the family restaurant, her brother had become a medical doctor instead, so this duty fell to Yi. Reluctantly, Yi didn’t go to college so her parents could afford to help her older brother with his educational debts. Lloyd and Yi lived with her parents above their restaurant for several years. Lloyd helped with the restaurant doing deliveries, all the while pitching business schemes to Yi’s father. Yi’s father was always tight-fisted about Lloyd’s schemes, typically quoting Confucius with phrases like, “I slept and dreamt life is beauty. I woke and found life is duty.” Lloyd did not know what Yi’s father was talking about and figured it was some cultural thing from his homeland since he was an immigrant.
All this changed when Lloyd’s mother died and willed him her row house. This is when he moved out with his wife to live on their own. He also stopped working at the restaurant while Yi continued to commute each early morning to start the day there. Lloyd’s mother had left him a small nest egg from a life insurance policy, which for a time provided both him and Yi a certain amount of comfort.
Within a year of the death of Lloyd’s mother, Yi’s father died from a heart attack. To make matters worse, for some time, Yi’s mother had been showing the early signs of senility.
“Tain, I know the restaurant can help with mom’s expenses. Both mom and dad helped with your college debt from the restaurant, so it could pay for her care. We don’t need to sell the place.”
“I still owe on my college loans. The amount they paid didn’t even make a dent in those costs, and you think the restaurant can pay for long-term memory care?”
“You’re the one who wants to put mom in a home. Why can’t your family care for her in your place? You have the space and it’s all one level.”
“That will not work, and I will not do that to Ann and my children. We are not living in China.”
“This has nothing to do with China. It would save us a lot more money if we cared for mom ourselves. Even Americans do this.”
“Then why don’t you do it?”
“I would, but our place isn’t designed for such care. Lloyd’s own mother couldn’t even do hospice there when she had cancer. There was no space for the special bed, and it’s a two-level row house built in the 1800s with a narrow staircase and ancient electrical wiring. Lloyd’s parents had no money to fix the place up.”
“Then why don’t you convince Lloyd to sell the place and move back here to the restaurant? He could watch her upstairs.”
“Are you kidding? I can’t have mom having a fit upstairs with patrons eating downstairs. And besides, I can use the rooms upstairs for workers and lower their pay. Then there’s the fact mom has become afraid of Lloyd as her dementia has gotten worse.”
“Fine, but I’m still moving mom to Cypress Senior Care. Just send me a check when you can.”
A couple of months rolled by, and Tain called Yi about that check.
“$20,000? Really Tain, you want $20,000?”
“Yes, please send me $20,000.”
“Uh. Sure. But it’s going to take me a bit. Is that okay?”
“Just get it to me in the next couple of weeks.”
Later that night, Yi was sitting with Lloyd. She rubbed his broad shoulders and back.
“What do you want, Yi?”
“Oh, nothing. You looked tense.”
“I don’t think so. You always start rubbing my back when you want something. So, spill it.”
She stopped rubbing him and faced him squarely. “I need to send my brother $20,000 for mom’s care.”
“So, pull it out of the restaurant.”
“The restaurant doesn’t have it right now.”
“What happened to the money I gave you a month ago?”
“I spent it on upgrading the refrigerators. It was that or face health code violations because the old ones weren’t keeping things cold enough.”
“How did your parents get away with owning such old stuff before?”
“I don’t know. I think they spoke Chinese to the inspectors and then the inspectors left them alone.”
“Don’t you know Chinese?”
“Only stupid kid stuff like ‘I gotta go pee,’ and the name of menu items. I grew up here learning English just like you. Mom and Dad never taught Tain and me Chinese for whatever reason. I think it had something to do with their age since both were older than your mother.”
Lloyd grabbed Yi by the waist and pushed her down onto the cushions. “Tell me you gotta go pee in Chinese.”
Softly, she responded, “Wǒ dé qù xiǎobiàn.”
Lloyd patted her on the cheek, saying, “That’s my girl,” as he got off her. “Let me get the checkbook. But going forward, the restaurant must pay for this stuff.”
“Of course. And I’ll have a surprise for you tonight.”
“Now that’s what I want to hear.”
Over the next several months, Yi listened to Lloyd’s ideas to help the restaurant get more customers and thus more sales, like buying Yelp reviews. Lloyd also bought a bunch of sound and lighting equipment and produced YouTube cooking videos from the restaurant. But sales were not improving despite the expansion into social media.
Lloyd became bored with cooking videos and did gaming videos after buying a high-end gaming system. These gaming videos netted him some residual income, but the production schedule was highly demanding, and anniversary events, like Yi’s birthday and their wedding anniversary, were put on the back burner.
It didn’t matter to Yi anymore. She had become focused on running the restaurant to keep sending checks to her brother, which caused her many times to sleep overnight at the restaurant with the two worker she had left since letting the other two go.
Then one evening, Yi had a difficult talk with Lloyd. This time she didn’t use any sexual means to get his attention but stood right in front of him while he was preparing for a gaming session.
“Yi, get out of the way. I’m going online soon.”
“Lloyd, I need to say something to you. I’m going to live at the restaurant.”
“It’s the only way I can keep paying my brother for my mom’s expenses.”
“But soon this video gaming thing is going to take off. I just know it. Each month, the revenue is up. There are some creators raking in millions. We’ll be able to buy a new place and take care of mom with private aides.”
“You said the same stuff with the restaurant and social media, and nothing happened. All we did was waste the insurance money you got. I can’t wait for one of your schemes to work. I need to deal with my brother’s demands now. Dad always quoted Confucius saying, ‘He who knows and knows that he knows is a wise man–follow him; He who knows not and knows not that he knows is a fool- shun him.’”
“Don’t give me that Chinese crap.”
“It’s not crap, but a way of life. It means I shouldn’t follow you because you don’t know what you are talking about.”
“Are you saying I’m an idiot and a failure?”
“No, that maybe you don’t know everything you think you know, and that it has filled you with too much self-pride that blinds you.”
“You’re sounding like your dad. Fine, just go. I don’t need you here.”
Yi packed up some necessities and told Lloyd to call her if he needed anything before leaving for the restaurant.
Two weeks later, Lloyd’s gaming YouTube channel was banned after issues with community guidelines and comments he was making about women during live streams. While his comments were not sexual or graphic, they were views that were no longer in step with the time and thus considered offensive.
This is when Lloyd stopped caring about things. Caring for himself and for the house. Trash piled up, and he stop bathing. His beard grew out, and he kept ordering food delivery since Yi was never around anymore.
It was around this time when a calico cat made its way into the row house unnoticed.
Late one night, Lloyd heard the soft whisper of a woman’s voice in his ear as he slept on the sofa. “Move over. You’re taking up too much space.”
“Is that you, Yi?”
“No silly. I’m Kasumi.”
“Kasumi. The cat that came into your house.”
Lloyd awoke and quickly stood up, looking at the sofa for a cat, but saw in the dim light the silhouette of a teenage girl dressed ever so scantly.
“Look, I don’t know who you are… or how you got in… but you can’t crash at my place. I don’t take in refugee kids.”
“I’m not a refugee or a kid. I’m a cat.”
“You look like some teen girl to me.”
“Do teen girls have cat ears and a tail?” she said, pointing to the two pointy calico ears on her head as her tail flicked up and down behind her.
“What the fuck are you? Yi’s father told me about those Chinese demons that eat people. Are you one of those?”
“Heavens no. Just your ordinary cat girl.”
“So, is that like a genie? Do you grant wishes?”
“Wishes? Really? Sorry, the only wish you are going to get is a hard-on by looking at me.”
“Okay then, how do I know you are real? I mean, I could be tripping right now.”
“Well, it’s possible the fumes from all the trash might cause a person to hallucinate, but I’m sorry to say I’m the real deal.”
Kasumi got up and walked around Lloyd as she traced her finger around his body as her tail wrapped around him. It had been a while since feeling the touch of anyone. A shiver went down his spine as she went behind him with her finger and tail. He couldn’t believe what he was feeling. When he was a teen, he experimented with drugs once, but this wasn’t like that. Her touch was real. It was very real. Her tail was fuzzy and warm. Kasumi came back to the front and stood there before Lloyd. Looking down at her, he could easily see the tops of her naked breasts in the nightgown she was wearing.
“So, am I real? Or a hallucination?”
“Damn! If you’re a hallucination, I can’t tell the difference.”
“Look, I’m tired. Can we go back to sleep?”
Kasumi snuggled up into Lloyd’s chest as both fell asleep on the sofa.
Kasumi made herself useful by cleaning up the place. Dressing appropriately, she also would go out and come back with groceries and make meals for them both. It was like Lloyd had his wife back, except now it was some teenage cat girl. Oddly, none of the neighbors ever noticed Kasumi’s comings and goings, and Lloyd never questioned how she got the groceries or where her clothing came from. He figured she had some magical power, allowing her to gain money or clothing whenever she needed it.
This continued for about a month until Yi stopped by the row house to check up on Lloyd.
Yi saw Kasumi in her cat form as she entered the row house, and Kasumi hissed at her.
“Lloyd, when did you get a cat?” she asked as Lloyd was sitting on the sofa in a bathrobe and pair of boxers.
“I didn’t. It broke into the house and will not leave.”
“Well, it doesn’t like me.”
“It doesn’t mind me at all and sleeps with me.”
“Does it have a name?”
“Why that name?”
“It’s from a computer game. So why are you here?”
“You haven’t called me, and I got worried.”
“Why? If I needed something from you, I would have called.”
“I know, but it has been a long while. I thought you’d at least call once for food or help with cleaning up the place.”
“No need. As you can tell, the place is clean, and you can check the fridge.”
“I can see that. I was concerned when your YouTube channel said it was unavailable.”
“I didn’t realize you took an interest in my channel, but the channel being down is only temporary. YouTube does it all the time to small creators like me.”
“I suppose so. You still have some money left? Or did you get a job?”
Lloyd tensed up. “Is this why you came over here? To see if I’m working or that you need more money for your mother?”
“That’s not what I’m saying. I recently saw the channel was down and became concerned. I wanted to make sure you were okay. The restaurant is so far able to make routine payments to my brother.”
“Well, I’m doing fine. You can go back to the restaurant.”
Yi shook her head and left.
“Wow, she took forever to leave,” said Kasumi standing in her cat girl form.
Getting up, Lloyd rubbed his bald head. “I think Yi might be right. Maybe I should get a job.”
Kasumi came up to Lloyd, clung to his body and curled her tail around his legs, and looked up into Lloyd’s brown eyes. “But you have me. You don’t need a job. I’ll take care of you.”
Lloyd looked down at her. “A child taking care of an old man like me. Is that what has been going on here?”
“I’m not a child. I’m much older than you think. Very much older.”
“You look like a teenage girl to me with cat ears and a tail.”
“That’s what men like you always see of me when I’m in human form.”
“What do you mean ‘men like me’?”
“Oh, you know, manly men. Real men, who like to be in charge and have the woman cook and clean. Those who own home gyms, and-” she smelled Lloyd’s hairy chest continuing to say, “whose testosterone would put any woman into heat.”
“Into heat, huh?” Lloyd picked up Kasumi, holding her up in the air. Kasumi wagged her tail back and forth in excitement. Lloyd carried her upstairs to the bedroom.
Jayden Hall entered Yi Pan’s restaurant and took a seat near the window in the corner.
“Ms. Pan, the white man with the overcoat and cane sitting in the corner, keeps asking for youtiao. I keep telling him we don’t have youtiao, but he will order nothing else and insists on having a serving of it.”
“Youtiao? I’ve heard that name before. Mom mentioned it once. Maybe it’s with her recipes I wrote down.” Yi went to the back room and pulled out a spiral notebook. She flipped through it. “Here it is. It looks like some sort of fried dough. I suppose I could make a batch. I’ll have to charge based on something similar.” She took the notebook to the chef and instructed him to make a small batch.
Presenting the plate of four strips of long golden deep-fried dough to the gentleman, she bowed slightly. “Sorry for the delay. This isn’t something we normally make, but please enjoy this unique dish.”
“I’m certain I will. Please take this in compensation.” He pushed a gold coin toward Yi with a man’s head on it encircled by the words “Georgivs III Dei Gratia.”
“Sir, I can’t accept this.”
“Please. I don’t have a credit card or American dollars on me.”
“But that’s a gold coin.”
“Yes, it is. A 1793 George III Guinea.”
“That’s too much for a plate of youtiao.”
“That might be true. I wouldn’t take anything less than fourteen hundred for it.”
Yi’s eyes widen as she picked up the coin. Was this man for real? Could she accept an old gold coin for a plate of youtiao? How would she record the sale? And who was this man?
“I see you have questions. So do I, and hence my payment.”
Yi snapped out of her trance with the coin. “Huh? Questions?”
“Your husband. I need to know where he is right now.”
“My husband? You mean Lloyd? Why? Are you a debt collector or something?”
“Interesting idea. I never thought of myself as a debt collector. But I suppose you could say that in this case, I am.” The early-40-something clutched his cane under his chin. “My understanding is that your husband has become involved with a nekomimi. One who’s dangerous and has fled her colony. If I don’t retrieve her, he may lose his life, and the nekomimi may die.”
“Nekomimi? Isn’t that Japanese? I’m lost here. How did you know about my husband being in trouble? How did you find me here? This all sounds like the nonsense bedtime stories my mother told me as a kid.”
“One, nekomimi is Japanese for cat girl. Two, I have my sources. Three, your mother’s bedtime stories are not as much nonsense as you think.”
Yi put her hand to her head. Her eyes looked worried with confusion. “Are you saying that the stupid cat at my husband’s place is some magical cat girl who’s going to kill him? As in a cat girl from anime with cat ears and a tail?”
“Not exactly kill him. More like he’ll kill himself. But yes, that cat is a magical cat girl. With cat ears and a tail. And I need to know the address of the place he’s at.”
Pulling her hand down. “I thought you had sources.”
“They aren’t limitless.”
Yi couldn’t believe what she was hearing. It was all sounding like something out of a fantasy novel, or Chinese folk tale. When she lived with Lloyd, he wouldn’t lift a finger to clean or cook. So, could this nekomimi explain why her husband’s place was so clean despite not having a job? Maybe that’s why the cat hissed at her. It saw her as a returning threat. Maybe this weirdo was right? Maybe Lloyd was in some sort of spiritual trouble, like the characters in those Chinese folklore stories her mother used to tell her as a kid. Was it possible that they are more than just stories. Yi could not believe what she was thinking and what she asked next.
“If you’re right. Would this nekomimi clean and cook for Lloyd?”
“Yes. And maybe do other things.”
“Other things? Like sex?”
“It’s always possible.”
“Okay, that’s gross. I don’t even want to think about this anymore. Here’s the address. Just get rid of the damn cat.” Yi took out an order pad and pen from her pocket and wrote the address and gave it to the man.
“Thank you. Oh, and as a parting gift, here’s a talisman for you to hang up on your wall.” The odd man pulled out from his pocket a small jade disc with ancient Chinese writings on it and a winged lion in the middle.
“A talisman? What?”
“If you hang it up, it will attract a Tiānlù to the restaurant, thus, protecting the money you make from being stolen from you.”
“Sure.” Yi took the object from the man as she examined it to figure out how to hang it up on the wall.
The man got up, put on his jacket, and left.
Noticing the man leaving without eating, Yi asked, “Sir, your youtiao?”
Waving his silver dragon-headed tipped ebony wooden cane above his head, he said, “It’s fine. Leave it as an offering for the Tiānlù.”
Jayden Hall, the mysterious man who was just at Yi’s restaurant, stood on the stoop of the row house and rapped the door with his cane.
“Kasumi, I’ve come for you. Best you be a good girl and come with me.”
Jayden heard the scream of a young woman coming from inside. Immediately, he touched his cane to the door while mumbling under his breath something unintelligible. The door latch clicked and flung open. Jayden rushed in to come upon a scene of Lloyd sitting on the sofa, holding in his trembling hands a Glock pistol with a box of bullets scattered at his feet. In front of Lloyd, with both a fearful and horrified look, was Kasumi, her tail all bushy, ears flat against her head, and tears running down her face.
In a hushed voice, Lloyd repeated over and over, “I’m a loser and failure. I’m worthless.”
Upon seeing this, Jayden thrust his cane onto the floor and shouted out loud, “Dormi!”
A gust of wind issued forth from where the cane hit the floor, and Lloyd fell over asleep, dropping the gun from his hands. Jayden walked over and put the gun and bullets in his jacket pocket.
Running to Jayden, the tearful Kasumi clung to him, saying, “I didn’t think he’d try to kill himself. The others just got bored with me and then only saw me as a cat.”
“The other men came to realize their problems and owned them, thus changing themselves, but I knew if you kept going, you’d eventually run into someone who was too weak and unable to change. Now let’s leave here. Your colony misses you dearly. Besides, if you keep staying out here in the militant plane too long, those from Group 67 will find you.”
“But what will happen to him when he wakes up?” Kasumi asked as the two were walking towards the front door.
“He will not remember you or what has happened. His mind will fill in the gaps with other plausible memories. I’ll also call his wife to come by so they can begin again. As an added measure, I’ll leave them this.” Jayden pulled out a small piece of white paper from his pocket and folded it.
“An origami crane?”
“Yes. It will bring them luck, good fortune, longevity, fidelity, and peace to their marriage if they live here.”
“What if they toss it in the garbage?”
“That’s why I’m putting it into the wall.” Jaden’s hand, holding the crane, phased into the wall next to the door frame.
“Can I ask how much my colony paid to have you retrieve me?”
“Normally I don’t discuss such transactions, but since you asked, the Onyx of Inscriptions.”
“What? The Onyx of Inscriptions? You’re kidding. That’s one of the most sacred treasures of my people that goes back to the Ancients. I can’t be worth that much.”
“Evidently you are to them. And it should fetch me a hefty price on the Subreddit.”
“You plan to sell it? You can’t! If that ends up in the wrong hands, untold things could happen.”
“Should have thought of that before running away.”
“How was I going to know my colony would trade the Onyx for my return? I can’t be worth that much to let loose the possibility of such chaos into the planes of existence.”
“Don’t worry about it. Usually, the elves buy this kind of stuff all the time, then stuff it in one of their multidimensional vaults. They are into anything with a high probability of change. Now, hold on to me tight while I open a gate to your colony. If you don’t, you’ll be left behind or lost somewhere between planes.”
“Wait, you’re not using a fairy ring?”
With that, a vortex of bluish-white light sucked the two in.
Jayden Hall’s Journal Entry for the Shop
Transaction 453895- Recovery of Kasumi, the Cat Girl
Journal Entry 16 In Ledger Book 234567
“Well, the Nekomimi is safely back in the pocket dimension with her colony in the hills outside of Los Angeles. She still doesn’t have a clue how truly powerful she really is. So, long as she doesn’t show up at the upcoming Anime Expo, things should be fine. If she uses her powers and it’s captured on video, that’s going to attract undue attention from Group 67. Of course, I can’t blame that colony for coming out for that event. It’s the only way they get to make some needed human money to buy resources they lack.
I suppose some Dreamfolk are lucky that the human entertainment industry has adopted them. Still, their activity makes my work harder to keep them as myths. Such is the time I live in, I guess.
According to the Celestial Dragon, Lai Xinya, it seems a Tiānlù took up residency at Ms. Pan’s restaurant. Should make their lives easier. She thanked me for getting rid of the cat, believing it to be some evil spirit harming her husband. Apparently, he got a job with the local post office sorting mail, and she said they were expecting their first child. I suppose I should drop off something as a gift. A nice ending for this transaction.”
Jayden paused, putting the quill back into the ink jar. He looked at the black two-foot tall, curved boney horn with pulsating runes translating down its ridges, plainly sitting on the desk as if it always was supposed to be there. He then reached for his smartphone on the desk. “Now all I must do is list the Onyx of Inscriptions on the Subreddit. Boy, I hope the elves bite. I can’t keep something like this here for too long. It has way too much energy for the shop.”
“I mean, it would give me a good long vacation from this place, but it would suck dry all the energy from the other items, making my back inventory useless. I may have to put it up for a hefty discount just to move it. This is always the problem with items made during the time of the Ancients. They are nothing but overpowered pieces of useless junk that are more of a hassle than anything else. And almost no one can afford them.”
A week after Jayden had returned the cat girl to her home, in an apartment in East Los Angeles, a young child was staring at his father’s ring.
“Papy, why is your ring glowing?”
“What?” The child’s father looked at the ring, then at his child. “It’s nothing, Manuel. It means the batteries are working again.”
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