Chapter 7: The Lonely Cat Maid
Klein brought over a map in the afternoon of the same day in an attempt to let Wu Qingsong identify Karazhan’s possible location. However, he did not know that there was no possible way he would ever find that place.
Wu Qingsong took the opportunity to examine the map and figured out the locations of several important places. This area of mountains where they were at just happened to be the very center of this entire continent. Not far to the south was a vast ocean and behind the Turks mountain range in the north was an astonishingly wide desert.
The east and northeast side were all mountain range and forests, which was also the region where Klein let him paid attention to. He thought the Karazan that came out from Wu Qingsong’s mouth had the highest probability of appearing here. Especially the northeast side, because there was another huge mountain range there which was also the most ancient place in the entire continent containing the widest forest and swamps which could be found everywhere inside.
There was really nothing good to say about the development of this world.
Wu Qingsong criticized in his heart.
This must be a military map but there were not many roads, cities, and forts marked down. In contrast, large areas of blank indicating the wilderness were there. Apart from that, the map was labeled with pretty and artistic words which he could not understand, so he still could not get much information about this place.
“Maybe?” he said, nodding his head. “I remember that I walked towards the direction of the setting sun for a long time and also climbed over several hills, but I don’t remember climbing mountains.”
“Maybe you accidentally came through this transitional area between the Haldogi mountains and the Turks mountains?” Klein quickly found a reasonable explanation for him. In a sense, this was even more convincing than the words coming out of Wu Qingsong’s mouth.
The following few days, Klein was in an extremely busy state.
Wu Qingsong did not know whether he was busy investigating the non-existent names that he had mentioned or tirelessly dealing with the crime of sending all his subordinates to their graves while fleeing by himself. However, he was clear on one thing, the deeper his investigation was, the more doubtful Klein would be. And what he should do, was to utilize this short span of time where the guard was most relaxed, to come up with ways to escape from this place.
Merely, the things that he could utilize was not much.
Probably because he did not want to listen to his obscene speech again, Klein had pretty much given him the maximum amount of freedom within the limit he could tolerate. Only, he had given Wu Qingsong a warning that if he found out any problem, he would stuff Wu Qingsong inside a box and bury him deep underground.
“Hehe,” Wu Qingsong smirked. “As long as you don’t provoke me, I won’t mess around too.”
He carefully examined the environment inside the basement. The cage was quite far from the surrounding tables and chairs, and the gaps were also very small. Except for the gap that was used to send in food at the bottom of the iron door, there was nowhere that could allow his hands to stretch out.
He proceeded to wrap the blanket around his legs and continuously kicked the iron cage with all his might on the place that he deemed the most brittle. But this cage was quite sturdy and there was no sign of it getting damaged whatsoever.
Ultimately, he decided to urinate on the joints of those iron bars. He remembered reading such a scene in a novel. According to what was written, doing so could speed up the corrosion of the iron but after observing it for a day, there was simply no signs of any corrosion or loosening on the joints.
Hopefully, Klein had enough patience…but from what he had shown, Wu Qingsong could not put any faith in it.
The days of staying inside the cage were boring, Wu Qingsong repeatedly urinated on the joints of those iron bar then attempted to kick the iron cage. Other than that, he had nothing else to do.
He was aware that Klein must not know of his operation. Because if it happened, he might get suspicious of his words and start to call into question his entire story.
However, a mere blanket wrapping around his legs could not cover up all the sounds produced. During one afternoon, after making sure Klein had left again, he was hard at work trying to find a breakthrough. Yet, he unexpectedly saw a small shadow in the vent of the basement.
On the day he was brought here, he had heard the interaction between them and knew there was someone like that in this house but he never thought that the sound he accidentally produced could alarm her!
All of a sudden, he felt his heart went cold. Yet, before he could hoodwink or give any sort of explanation, she had disappeared from that place without any trace.
Nervousness and worries made Wu Qingsong unsettled for the whole afternoon. What made him astonished was that after Klein came back, he acted as usual and gave him food and water. After saying some well-meaning words that were basically all lies and asking for even more details about Karazan, he left as though he had never known about his attempt to escape.
Hence, Wu Qingsong left out half of the dinner he had given him and in the afternoon of the second day when he left, he first calmed down his heart and tried to find the traces of that small maid.
The sound of footsteps came from the floor above his head. It seemed she was busy with something and so he called out, “Anyone there?”
The sound of footsteps immediately came to a halt. Moments later, an even more minute sound rang out. She was probably moving cautiously. So, Wu Qingsong tried to greet her once again but she never appeared in the vent again.
Wu Qingsong began to pay attention to the activities above his head. What made him disappointed was the fact that Klein never mistreated this small maid as he expected. It seemed she was also not assaulted.
If he was to make an assessment, then he would say that Klein was looking at that maid like he was looking at an ordinary tool, indifferent yet had nothing to complain about.
This was probably a matter of course, because in the previous world, except for an extremely few people, the majority of the normal people would not chat with their washing machine, mop and rice cooker like they had nothing else to do. In this world, for an elf like Klein (Wu Qingsong still did not know that he was actually a half-elf), there was essentially no difference between a maid and a tool.
Wu Qingsong did not know what she thought about all of these. Perhaps she was accustomed to such treatments and believed it inevitable. Still, she did not inform Klein about his attempt to escape. This made Wu Qingsong feel that the procurement of a chance to escape through her might not be just inside his head.
Thus, the next day when Klein left the house again, the moment he heard a small sound of footsteps, he cleared his throat and began to sing an emotional song that he was good at.
Perhaps there would be huge differences between people as their habits, perspectives, and other things differed. However, Wu Qingsong believed their appreciation for fine things would remain the same. Just like how he had no interest in things like opera, he had to admit that meticulously portrayed facial makeup and that exquisite workmanship on the gowns used for the plays were very beautiful and very detailed. And he would also give his applause to all those difficult vocal music in admiration.
His eyes had never left the vent of the basement. Eventually, just as he began to sing the fourth song, he spotted a small shadow.
She seemed to be very curious, as a tiny head cautiously peeked out to spy on Wu Qingsong who got locked up in the basement, with her ears standing erect in order to listen to his singing voice.
But the moment Wu Qingsong’s singing voice stopped, she would quickly flee with nimble movements.
A strange relation was thus established. Every day when Klein left the house, Wu Qingsong would begin singing songs. That little cat maid would always get lured by the singing voice to that vent and only when he stopped, would she begin busying herself again.
In response to that, Wu Qingsong gradually lowered the volume of his voice. Until, finally, one day, her figure appeared completely on the window sill.
Her body was so petite that she could crawl in from that place.
“Don’t be afraid,” he suddenly stopped singing in the middle of a song and said.
The cat maid vanished immediately but Wu Qingsong was pleasantly surprised to see that her shadow did not leave that place.
“I’m called Wu, what’s your name? It’s alright, I won’t hurt you,” he voiced out to her. “Have you eaten breakfast? I still have half of my dinner last night that I haven’t touched. Do you want it?”
“Fine, I’ll just put it here. If you want to eat, come get it yourself,” he said despondently. “It’s fine, Klein won’t find out.”
Thus, he resumed his routine of kicking his iron cage. Not long after that, he suddenly saw that tiny silhouette appearing again on the window sill, apparently observing him.
“Hello!” and so he said. “It doesn’t matter if you don’t want to talk. I only want to thank you for helping me keep my secret. Do you want to eat these?”
She scurried right away.
That day, she never appeared again but Wu Qingsong made the same attempt every single day, racking his brain to search for songs that could attract her attention from his memories. After a few days, she finally, very carefully, jumped down from the window sill for the first time and appeared in front of him for real.
Perhaps she had not even reached twelve years old?
Wu Qingsong could not help thinking so. At least, from the standard of a human, she could only fit the category of a loli.
Petite was the first impression she gave to Wu Qingsong. Klein must not have given her much food seeing that she looked like a cloth rack hanging a maid dress, empty and sorrowful to look at.
The second impression was very cute. The maid outfit she wore was obviously too large and also very old, yet very clean. Her eyes were big and her triangular ears were furry with brown stripes, which moved from time to time, stirring up his desire to stretch out his hand to touch it.
Someone once told Wu Qingsong that if anime characters were to appear in real life, there would be a catastrophe. But the cat girl in front of his eyes was enough to crush this statement into smithereens.
Wu Qingsong deeply sighed in his heart.
There were worry and hesitation on her face. Her triangular ears stood erect like a cat on an adventure. Her tail and body tightened up with a posture as she would escape anytime.
“There’s no problem, You can eat it,” Wu Qingsong said with the gentlest tone he could muster and simultaneously pushed out the plate holding the food from the opening of the cage.
She cautiously hid behind a pillar to look at Wu Qingsong, evidently still wavering.
Because of that, Wu Qingsong began to hum a folk song to alleviate her tension. He noticed that, during these past few days, she was most fond of this tune.
In the middle of his singing, the little maid finally calmed down somewhat. She looked at Wu Qingsong uncertainly and slowly trot over to take away the jerky on the plate.
“No need to hurry, eat slowly. Let’s meet again tomorrow!” Wu Qingsong slightly shook his head and said.
But what he had not expected was, she did not run away immediately and instead, she sat on the window sill again to observe him carefully. Because of that, he hummed a tune again. In the midst of the gentle singing voice, she finally put down her worries and ate the jerky. After she was perfectly satisfied, she ran off again.
The two’s friendship was thus slowly built up. The little cat maid never spoke a word to Wu Qingsong but she was gradually familiarizing herself with him and became not that afraid of him.
“It’s tiring to sing every day, how about listening to a story?” Wu Qingsong asked one day.
As usual, she hid behind the pillar and did not answer. Hence, Wu Qingsong began to talk about a fairy’s tale on his own accord. Merely, he had obviously changed the protagonist to a cat maid and the antagonist to a sinister and cold master.
The little cat maid was apparently interested in the story. Wu Qingsong noticed that when the story reached the climax, her tail started to tighten up and stand up straight. And when the story reached the part where the evil master received the punishment he deserved while the pitiful cat maid gained her happiness, her tail swayed in a gentle and satisfied manner behind her.
Owing to the reason that he was locked up inside the cage and was thus unable to move about, this kind of thing had quickly become his only pastime. On the other hand, despite the fact that the cat maid was still refusing to say anything to him, she was not as scared of him as she was before. It was to the point that she would lean forward on the vent window sill every day to finish listening to his story that was getting longer and longer before she took off.
Wu Qingsong especially liked the way her tail hung down lazily in a relaxing manner from the window sill. It was similar to a cat that was contentedly basking under the sun.
He really wished he could pinch her ears and tail…
There was no vulgar intention in there. He just purely wanted to press down this cat girl and mess up her hair like rubbing a kitty…
Still, she had not uttered a single word to Wu Qingsong. If it was not for the fact that he had heard her voice before, he might start to doubt whether she could speak.
But no matter, the short span of time between half an hour to a full hour every day was a completely relaxing and pleasant time for both of them.