SYS (Novel) Chapter 210

C210 - Ruby Cat

Murakan and Quikantel knew the name of the cat demon.

"I thought you were taking too long, but I had no idea you would bring something like this back. Look, it's the Ruby Cat from Heluram. I can't even remember the last time I saw it. It's probably been abandoned since it has grown much bigger."

"So, there was a reason why both Quikantel and I couldn't figure out what kind of demonic creature Heluram might have had. It's not a demonic creature. It's a spiritual beast. This is Shuri, Heluram's cat. It used to be a fairly well-known spiritual beast about two thousand years ago."

The spiritual beast that Jin had mistaken all along for a demonic creature was a gift from Orgal, the Demon Lord, to Heluram.

"He gave Shuri, the Ruby Cat, as a means of transportation because Heluram couldn't ride a horse, and he couldn't fly with his staff all the time," said Murakan.

And as described, Shuri didn't seem hostile to having people on its back.

Jin had already ridden on Shuri's back when he returned with his companions after finishing the Melodic Royal Wine.

There was no particular reason why he got on its back. He just thought he could give it a try since it was now his creature.

Besides, people generally wanted to try embracing or riding large animals when they saw one, and Jin was no exception to the rule.

Nyaa~

"But why Ruby Cat?"

Jin looked at Shuri while tilting his head in perplexity. It had black fur with white spots, and its eyes were amber-colored. The name "ruby" didn't seem to fit anywhere.

"Eh? Haven't you seen its ruby yet? Didn't it decide to acknowledge you as its new master?"

"It hasn't. I also learned its name just now."

"That means you're not its owner yet."

"Really?"

Then Shuri carefully looked around and opened its mouth to spit out an object.

It was a red gem about half the size of an egg. It was a ruby. The ruby was completely dry and shone brightly, even though it had just come out of its mouth.

"Oh."

"You must infuse your mana into that gem to become the owner of the Ruby Cat. Not just anyone can do it either. Only people chosen by the Cat can infuse their mana into it."

"Why didn't you tell me about this before?"

Nyaaa~

Jin quickly turned his head and glared at Shuri, causing it to avoid his gaze.

Then it timidly pointed its front paw at the ruby on the ground.

Jin chuckled and picked up the ruby.

When he infused mana into it, the ruby glowed, and Shuri's eyes turned red.

It seemed as if the ruby and Shuri were resonating together through a mana connection.

Then something astonishing happened.

"Eh?"

Shuri's giant body turned into red-colored energy and was sucked into the ruby.

There was not a single trace or fur left where Shuri had been, as if it had never been there.

"Now, lick the ruby, like a cat."

"Do I really have to do that?"

He turned around to see Quikantel nodding as well.

It almost seemed as if he was wondering why Jin wasn't already licking it.

Jin had no choice.

He brought the ruby to his tongue.

"And with that, the contract is complete. Now, you'll be able to summon Shuri at any time as long as you have the Ruby with you. You won't even need a large amount of mana, like summoning that guy, Tess."

"I really like that."

Summoning Shuri was quite simple. Shuri leaped out of the ruby when Jin infused a tiny amount of mana into the gem.

Rrrrr!

The ruby filled with color, and Shuri was summoned. Jin was over the moon when he saw it happen.

"But this feline fellow seems somewhat smaller now."

It still had a considerable size, but it wasn't as huge as its previous size, which could easily match the volume of Murakan in his true form.

Shuri was now the size of a horse-drawn carriage. Jin touched various parts of Shuri's shrunken new body as he looked at Murakan and demanded an explanation.

"Ruby cats shrink in size depending on their owner. Only ownerless ruby cats are as huge as houses. The ones in a contract usually come in a smaller size, which reduces complications in living with their owners. It's a sort of survival mechanism."

"Oh, wow! Congratulations, Lord Jin! I don't know much about these things, but it seems like you've got something incredible, right? It's also worth noting that you're going to have your second cat, after Butterfly Runcandel," said Kashmir.

"Who are you calling Butterfly Runcandel? Hey, insect!"

"I apologize, Lord Murakan. Lord Jin, do you think I could also take a ride... Oh, I suppose not!"

Buzz...

Shuri raised its claws as Kashmir approached.

"But Murakan, how do you know so much about them?"

"I made a contract with a Ruby Cat before. It was about two thousand years ago. It lived out its lifespan and crossed the rainbow bridge. Well, Ruby Cats were rare back then too. One had to have connections with demons if they hoped to see them."

Murakan's favorite transformation mode, the black cat, was based on his Ruby Cat back then.

After the fall of the demons, Ruby Cats were now nearly extinct.

While there weren't many written records in human societies, there were quite detailed descriptions of Shuri as part of the intelligence of the major factions, as it was the Ruby Cat of the Witch Heluram.

Cyron was able to identify Shuri because he had taken hold of the old texts from Zipple with his Black Knights.

"It seemed like he originally kept it for Luna."

"Understandable. So, that means he left Shuri for the next Family Head, right? This must mean that your father is starting to acknowledge you as his successor."

"There was a Melodic Royal Wine related to Shuri. I could hear what my father told the descendants of the Fairy Clan when I drank it. My father obviously treasured my sister Luna. I had never imagined my father had that side to him."

He said it seriously. Cyron ordered a Melodic Royal Wine to be made for his children! He could barely believe it, even if he had experienced it himself through the drink.

"However, Shuri made a contract with you and not your sister."

"My father discarded all interest in Luna the moment she abdicated the succession seat, allowing the real Melodic Royal Wine he had prepared for her nearly twenty years ago to become mine. I can be discarded at any time as well."

"Wow, you worry about too many things. You hardly have any siblings who can challenge you now."

"Well, we'll see about that when I come back."

Jin then described Shuri's curse to Murakan and Quikantel. Their faces darkened.

"Wow, that's a witch for you. She placed a truly horrible curse on the Cat. It's called the Curse of Immortality, quite literally. There are two existences capable of creating such a curse. A human who has made a contract with the Moon God, and of course, the Witch Heluram."

"The catalyst for the curse is at least a million human lives. In my view, one of Heluram's great tragedies must have occurred to put the curse on Shuri."

"Oh my god! That woman is crazy! No matter how much you love a Cat, you can't use a million humans as a catalyst to make it immortal! Oh boy. I know humans do horrible things, but never in my entire life had I imagined a woman so wicked."

Then Quikantel shook his head with a solemn look on his face.

"The Curse of Immortality is not something you place on someone you love. Imagine how terrifying it is to live an eternity with a body that will never die, no matter what you do to it."

"There's no way a witch like Heluram wouldn't know that either. Knowing her, she might very well have cursed Shuri with immortality on a whim."

"The curse is still active. That means Heluram is still out there. If Heluram truly cherished Shuri, would she have left him alone in the Black Sea after cursing him with immortality? After releasing him from the contract as well?"

"Oh, my god. If both Dragons are right, the Witch is still out there. It gives me chills. Look at my arm. I have goosebumps all over."

Nyaa (╥﹏╥)...

Shuri suddenly lowered its gaze and let out a sad whimper. Murakan and Quikantel pretended to cough, realizing how rude they had been.

"About that. This kid will be a hundred times better than the witch, Shuri. So don't be so sad. Come on. If you cry like that, it... It makes me look bad, you know? I'm sorry. So, stop crying now and..."

"Oh, well done, both of you. Quikantel, you went too far too. The whole conversation must have been painful for Shuri."

Nyaa, nyaa (ಥ﹏ಥ)~.

"Ugh, damn it. Curse my mouth. Boy, just call for Tess. That guy has always been a master at comforting spiritual beasts," advised Murakan.

Kak!

When Tess was summoned, he immediately fluttered his wings joyfully upon seeing Shuri.

"I extend my greetings to the Master of the Fire World!"

Quikantel bowed his head to greet him, but Tess's gaze only shifted from Murakan to Shuri and back.

"Oh, yes, sure. Long time no see, indeed. Oh, wondering where we got this cute little thing? The brat brought it, of course. Yes, that's right. Of course, I agree. No, I didn't make it cry. I told you, it really wasn't me! It was her! Quikantel!"

Tess pecked at Murakan's head for a while nonetheless. Quikantel continued to silently kneel, which might have helped her avoid Tess's violence.

Nyaa!

Nevertheless, Murakan's claim that Tess was a great comforter of spiritual beasts turned out to be true. Despite seeing Tess for the first time, Shuri snuggled and purred under his wings.

They seemed to be communicating as well. Just as Murakan and Quikantel could understand Tess's intent, Shuri could understand him too.

Tess stayed for a while to console Shuri and returned to the Fire World. He didn't forget to scold and remind Murakan to treat Shuri well.

"Tess said he would lift Shuri's curse when you yourself bring Shuri to the Fire World," Quikantel told Jin as she wiped cold sweat off her forehead.

Tess remained a figure of utmost reverence to her.

"That guy, really. I think he has a habit of making empty promises. Let's be frank. By the time the kid can reach his realm, Jin might very well find and kill Heluram on a whim," said Murakan.

Fortunately, Shuri wasn't the type to get depressed.

It was thanks to this trait that he could endure the loneliness of a thousand years in the Black Sea, but it only made Jin feel more pity for Shuri.

"Anyway, let's return now. Let's introduce Shuri to his new family."

----------------

Moving on Shuri's back allowed the group to leave the Black Sea many times faster than traveling on foot, relieving their urgent need for food.

Jin returned Shuri to his ruby and continued on foot as they started seeing human settlements.

"Young Master, if I may be so bold as to attempt to understand the intentions of the Family Head, I don't think he was so disappointed with the warm-hearted nature of Lady Luna," Gilly said.

"Why do you feel that way?" Jin asked.

"You said this cat was cursed with immortality, right? If that's the case, even if Lady Luna had obtained the map, she wouldn't have been able to kill him either. How else would she be expected to subdue him then? Perhaps the Family Head must have thought Lady Luna would take good care of Shuri."

Jin recalled Cyron's affectionate smile at that moment and thought it was possible.

"Well, Luna continued to enjoy certain privileges even after abdicating her succession seat, so it might actually be true."

Jin and Gilly discussed the topic for a while.

They couldn't reach any conclusion since Cyron's true feelings were unknown, but it was indeed quite an intriguing topic to discuss.

"Oh, and Young Master, there's something I must report."

"Well. What is it?"

"There has been notable movement in the Compass recently. A contractor has been going back and forth between the Allied Realms of Hufester and an uninhabited island in the North Sea. We investigated, and the uninhabited island was registered under the family of a Guardian Knight of Runcandel."

"Is the island owned by a Guardian Knight of Runcandel?"

"That Guardian Knight is a man of Joshua. In practical terms, it is likely that the island is under Joshua's control."
-
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