Chapter 6

“Why? Why does she seem to not want to show me…?”

Could it be because I look too foolish? Painful as it was to accept, if that was the reason, I had no choice but to acknowledge it. I was so tiny, I could be blown away by a small gust of wind, and so dumb-looking that I wouldn’t survive anywhere on my own.

‘If I were a bit more dignified and impressive, Mamela would have introduced me to her family right away…’

Mamela’s gentle touch reached me, but I couldn’t bring myself to act cute as I usually would. I wanted to crawl under the bed and be alone, but instead, I collected my thoughts rationally. Whatever the reason, Mamela had sincerely taken care of my injuries. So even if Mamela was embarrassed to be seen with me, I had to follow her without complaining. I couldn’t allow myself to feel petty about someone who was nothing less than a benefactor to me. As her hand tickled my chin, I licked it. It was a small gesture, but I wanted to show my gratitude and affection to her.

It was then that her expression eased, and a light chuckle escaped her lips. Hearing her clear laughter, my own mood improved a bit.

* * *

“Aril, I’ll be back soon.”


I grabbed onto the hem of Mamela’s clothes as she headed towards the door.

“Don’t go, Mamela. Let’s play together. Let’s play with a ball.”

Whether my intentions didn’t get through or not, Mamela gently removed my grip and spoke.

“Aril, I’ll play with you later.”

As she turned the doorknob, I quickly slipped out of the door before Mamela. She looked surprised as she held the door open, and I managed to dart back into the room.

Mamela looked puzzled as she held me tightly and placed me back in the room.

“It’s not allowed. Why do you keep trying to go outside?”


I looked at Mamela with a sheepish expression as she gave me a stern look. This wasn’t the first time I had tried to go outside without permission while Mamela was watching.

In order to gain confidence in Mamela’s actions, when I tried to bypass her and cross the doorway, Marmela quickly darted back and directed me back into the room.

‘Really, was that the case…’

As I sat down hesitantly, Mamela looked at me anxiously and closed the door.

“I told you not to. Why do you keep trying to go outside?”


I looked at Mamela’s serious expression and pouted.

‘I’m not upset! Let’s find something to do quickly. Maybe if I do something else, I’ll feel better.’

I got up from my spot with determination and looked around. At least until Mamela returned, I had to play by myself.

Thankfully, Mamela’s room was full of interesting things, perfect for exploration games.

As I roamed around the spacious room, my eyes fell on a desk.

‘Mamela is always sitting there, working hard on something.’

Driven by curiosity, I approached the desk. It was an impressively large desk that required me to crane my neck to see the top of it.

With a little hop, I lightly jumped onto the chair and then onto the desk. Once I had made my graceful landing, I looked around the desk.

Papers covered in human writing were spread out in every direction.

“Wow. Looks like Mamela wrote all of these.”

With a subtle sense of anticipation, I leaned in to get a closer look at the paper closest to me.

Gradually, life seemed to seep into my eyes. As I examined the inked characters on the paper, my words were caught in my throat.

“This is Mamela’s handwriting…?”

There was no doubt, as Mamela was always sitting here with a pen in hand. I flipped the paper back and forth before I simply let it drop.

It was terrible. Truly terrible penmanship. The already complex characters were a jumbled mess, making it feel like my head was spinning.

Was this really human writing? It seemed like an evolved form of an alien language.

Taking my gaze away from the paper, I looked at the pen and ink bottle on the desk. I approached and sniffed them.


What kind of smell was this? It felt like my nose was decaying.

I wrinkled my nose and swiped it a few times with my paw to clear the strong scent. Then, I resumed my exploration. I needed something to play with until Mamela returned.

I moved my small body around vigorously, hopping around the desk and exploring every nook and cranny.

Eventually, I stopped running when I reached a sheet of paper lying on the desk. My eyes held an inquisitive gleam as I examined the paper.

“This doesn’t seem like something Mamela wrote.”

The elegant and neat handwriting caught my attention. At first glance, it felt a hundred times more refined than the printed letters I had seen in Mamela’s books.

“Who could have written this?”

The characters were meticulously arranged with a sense of regularity, intriguing me to gaze at the paper.

Soon after, a vague haze settled in my mind, and a stifling feeling began to emerge.

“Again… Why does my mind feel so stifled like this?”

Sometimes when I look at human writing and hear their language, I experience this sensation. This time, I needed to figure out the nature of this feeling once and for all.

Just as I made up my mind, I heard Mamela’s footsteps in the distance.

In an instant, I dismissed my thoughts and leaped off the desk, rushing to the door.

Today, time seemed to have flown by unusually fast, and I happily bounded over to greet Mamela.

* * *

Finally, today, they removed all the tight and suffocating bandages that had been bothering me. Leaving the discarded bandages in a pile, Mamela and Jona looked closely at my belly. Whether or not they spoke, I exposed my belly and eagerly extended my front paws to be petted.

Mamela, with a slightly suspicious expression, opened her eyes wide and said,

“It seems you’re feeling better now.”

“The wound was so severe, yet it healed cleanly without a single scar. It’s been about a month now.”

“Could it be because you’re still a kitten and have a good recovery ability?”


“I wasn’t planning to say this, but I guess that old saying about cats having nine lives is true.”

“If you say so.”

As the fur cleaning finished, I absentmindedly looked at Mamela’s adorable face and got lost in my thoughts.

‘Come to think of it, I’ve been feeling some strange changes in my body lately.’

Around the time when the wound had completely healed, a strange energy started circulating throughout my body. This energy was as clear and refreshing as the morning air, pushing away any negative thoughts in my mind.

‘Could it be because I’m getting healthier?’

Lost in my thoughts, I felt Mamel pat my backside.

“Aril, you can go play now.”

As she nodded her head, I jumped up from my spot. How long had I been waiting for this moment?

Without hesitation, I leaped off the sofa, my body trembling with anticipation. Carefully, I started moving, testing my newfound energy.

“Wow, this is like a whole new world…!”

With the bandages that had been wrapped around my belly and back gone, not only did the stuffiness disappear, but my whole body felt lighter. Overwhelmed with excitement from having the bandages removed, I started bouncing around the room like a playful calf released from a leash.


This is so refreshing!

I played around, darting and bounding in a hunting game, my body feeling so light that it seemed like I could even fly.

“Aril, hold on a moment!”

Caught up in my excitement, Mamela swiftly caught me. I was caught mid-air, my paws flailing, but I came to a stop as she held me securely.

In that instant, I glimpsed the state of the bedroom, now a complete mess.

“When did it get this messy…?”

I glanced over at Jona, who always cleaned up the room. She was looking at the chaos with a bemused smile. Although she always worked hard, it seemed today would require even more effort. I felt sorry about that.

“Oh, by the way, Miss.”

Jona clapped her hands suddenly and began speaking. Mamela adjusted her hold on me, looking amused.


“By the way, Ansel said he has something to tell you, miss. I’ll go and see what it is.”

“Yeah, okay.”

Jona picked up the old bandages that had been stacked on a table and left the room.

I sat on the couch with Mamela and started a different game. In front of me was a cream-colored yarn ball that Mamela had brought. I raised my front paw with a determined expression. Mamela watched me nervously.

I took a deep breath, gathering my energy. And then…


My eyes flickered, and I quickly pounced on the yarn ball, tossing it around at lightning speed. If my movements were visible to the naked eye, they would probably just be a blur!

Before long, a small box emerged from the unravelling yarn ball. I swiftly lifted the top of the box, and the lid flew off in a twirl. Inside the box were pieces of meat. I eagerly devoured the treats that Mamela had hidden.

Mamela watched in awe and gave me a round of applause.

“Aril, you really become serious  when there are treats involved.”

I guess it was a form of praise. I rubbed my nose with my paw.

This is all thanks to getting rid of the bandages. The training effect was like carrying a sandbag all over my body after being wrapped up so tightly in bandages.

“Now when I look in the mirror, I’ll be incredibly cool.”

I confidently descended from the couch and headed to where the mirror was placed. How much had I grown? Why not take a look?

With great anticipation, I faced my reflection in the mirror. I saw a bright and cheerful expression. And then, in an instant, that expression changed to one of shock and disappointment.


I stared at the mirror in bewilderment. Nothing had changed. I was still the same small, scrappy kitten. It felt like the world was crumbling.

“Why is this happening?”

Trembling with frustration, I glared at the mirror. I had surely been reborn after shedding those bandages, so why did I still look the same?

Angry, I huffed a breath and gave the mirror a strong tap with my paw. Suddenly, with a sound like a snap, thin lines appeared on the mirror, like spider silk.


Startled, I took a step back.

“No, why… Why did this happen?”

Well, I said “tap,” but it was closer to a “thump.” But why did it crack? Even if I gave it my all with my little paw, how could it…?

I turned around discreetly. Mamela, sitting on the couch, seemed to be paying attention elsewhere.

Luckily, I hadn’t been caught. If I played it cool, no one would suspect that I had anything to do with it. I quickly turned around, trying to leave the scene.

That’s when the outside suddenly grew noisy, and a strong gust of wind blew in through the open window. The blue curtains fluttered, and the papers on the desk were scattered into the air. Along with them, my own body swayed.

Gasping, I grabbed onto the corner of the table for dear life. I held on tightly, preventing my small body from being swept away.

“Is Mamela okay?”

I turned my head to check on her safety. However, I noticed a handkerchief floating in the air near the edge of the table.

I stared blankly as the handkerchief seemed to hover there. It was embroidered with purple flowers… It seemed like the kind Mamela always kept with her.

An eerie thought popped into my mind as I watched the handkerchief lift off as if being pulled by the wind. I was taken aback, my mouth agape.

“Oh no, this can’t be happening! Come back!”

I dashed after the handkerchief, racing toward the window. The urge to grab it overwhelmed me to the point of paralyzing my every thought.

Mamela’s voice from behind was drowned out by the howling wind, making it hard to hear clearly.

The fluttering handkerchief finally came within reach, and without thinking, I leaped to catch it. I managed to snatch the handkerchief right in front of my nose and bit onto it firmly.

“I got it…!”

A moment of relief and accomplishment washed over me, and I turned around. However, before I could even ponder what was happening, my body suddenly lurched downward.


A voice that sounded like a scream echoed in my ears.

The sensation of plummeting, in sync with gravity, filled me with dizziness. It felt like my insides were turning upside down, yet amid all this, my nose twitched almost involuntarily.

As the ground rapidly approached, I could sense an aroma similar to Mamela’s emanating from it. There was even a fleeting glimpse of what seemed like her light blond hair below.

But in the next instant, I was unceremoniously thrown into a tangle of grass, leaving me no time to think about it. The dizziness overwhelmed me, and my vision spun wildly, rendering me immobile.

I saw stars, or maybe there were five? Seven? Then, something swiftly and deftly corrected my disoriented mind.


It was a low voice, coming from right beside me.

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