“Mama, those kitties are so funny.” Mo Na doubled over in laughter as she pointed a shaking finger at the contestants of Try-not-to-laugh.
With regards to such comical sights, there was nothing that could compare to the good old sight of a bunch of crazy cats horsing around, when wanting to grab her interest.
“Well, you can make fun of them later, first, we have to take care of Weiderly.” Anmi awkwardly diverted the topic back onto business –perhaps he was a little embarrassed by the childish antics of his fellow cats as well. “Lohmi will help us delay Weiderly’s army, as for his guardcats, they are all competing against Gaiuz’s own guardcats so all we have to do is focus on capturing Weiderly.”
As luck would have it, things actually proceeded as smoothly as that simple plan would suggest seeing as everyone(cat)’s attention was squarely focused on the Try-not-to-laugh Challenge. For the Purgatory Shadowcats, this comic event must have held some kind of special place in their hearts as every cat watched with rapt attention, laughed with rapt attention and even slept with an utmost seriousness…in short, there was no one(cat) who noticed our few dissonant figures.
By the time we arrived at the side of Weiderly, Gaiuz’s team was down to merely three cats while Weiderly’s had six left…with nearly a 100% lead on their opponents, it was destined to be a crushing victory for Weiderly.
Knowing that as well, Weiderly was clearly in high spirits as he sat upright on his Elemental Segregation Platform and continually taunted his losing brother. As for Gaiuz, his performance was worthy of an oscar. From his furrowed brows, his downcast eyes and his curled lips, he was the perfect picture of a defeated kitty –exactly what was needed to draw away the attention of his unsuspecting brother.
It was in such a backdrop that we hopped onto his platform and before he could even react, surrounded him.
“Anmi? Aren’t you supposed to be locked up?” Never in his wildest dreams did Weiderly expect Anmi to turn up like this during his moment of triumph. With no guardcats by his side and us already surrounding him, Weiderly had no way of resisting and could only surrender to us.
“Just like how you forced a choice on me, your brother, Gaiuz, forced another choice on me as well.” As he said that, Anmi glared at Weiderly. “This damned platform, gives me the shakes just standing on it.”
‘Speaking of which, I feel pretty bad too. I guess that’s only to be expected since this platform was made to purge a person of his fire elements.’
However, because of how my fire element was completely welded onto my being, the lost of energy was barely noticeable.
“To me, guards!” Even with how dire the situation was, Weiderly still wasn’t addled enough to not call for help. However, no matter how much he yelled, it was already too late.
His own troops were currently occupied with Gaiuz’s own. Even if he was in danger right now, there was no way they could arrive in time, especially given how Gaiuz had dispatched Lohmi to command his troops beforehand.
Turning around, Anmi announced to the Purgatory Shadowcats beneath: “Stop! This battle has gone on for long enough. Today, I hereby declare our intention to not only end this farce but also to confirm a successor to the throne!”
It had to be said that his words had a major impact on the cats present. To begin with, their nature was more lackadaisic than anything else so they didn’t take too well to all these management and military affairs. Still, a succession war was one that required an army by definition and while these cats were relatively undisciplined, it wasn’t to the extent where they didn’t listen to commands at all. Thus, these cats followed the lead of the three candidates into what they viewed as a pointless battle.
Even so, their dislike of this unending battle wasn’t erased at all; each kitty cat wished from their bottom of their hearts that this blasted battle would end soon.
Before meeting us, Anmi could be said to be the very representation of this school of thought. Even after being bullied to tears by Sidarth, he still chose to remain in his territory, instead of running off to Meisian, Gaiuz or Weiderly to ask for help. At the end of the day, he simply didn’t want to get involved in this mess.
Sometimes…it felt as if I would never be able to understand these cats no matter how much I tried. The moment Anmi finished his announcement, every cat stood stock still, no cat wishing to fight any longer, instead eagerly awaiting for this scene to play out.
“Don’t worry, we’ll do our best to end this war and then every cat can return to their normal and peaceful lives.”
Hearing the words ‘normal and peaceful’, the gathered cats immediately erupted in some kind of weird cheer.
Just like that, all the cats returned back to spectator mode, this time, with a markedly different show to watch. As for Gaiuz, he was in the midst of flying over with his platform, neither too quickly nor too slowly. Even though there were only 100 meters separating us, he still took over 10 seconds to reach us.
Speaking of the elder acting as a judge, he already had his metaphorical popcorn ready for this show.
The two platforms lightly touched against each other before joining up. At that point, a smug Gaiuz sauntered over with a broad grin on his lips. “My foolish brother, you’ve finally fallen into my grasp.”
Weiderly eyed the nearby Anmi who was still visibly shaken because of the Elemental Segregation Platform. Within his eyes were probably a multitude of questions especially given how Anmi was the mercenary cat he sent out in the first place. For his hired help to turn around and bite him in the tail, the humiliation must have been indescribable.
“Anmi was never locked by you at all…blast it, you tricked me…”
“And that’s why I say you’re stupid. Back when I told you that I had Anmi locked up, I actually didn’t expect you to believe me at all and yet you did.” As he said that, Gaiuz disdainfully pointed at Weiderly’s head: “I just can’t fathom how a moron like you is even my older brother.”
“Hmph, no matter what you say, I’m still older than you.”
“Fine, fine, right now you’re still the eldest but soon that will change as well.” Gaiuz smirked: “According to the rules, you’ve lost, am I right?”
“Hmph…” While he didn’t answer that question directly, Weiderly’s act of turning his head away was a tacit admission of defeat.
Throughout this entire ‘assassination’, Meisian sat quietly by the side, not showing any intention to interfere at all. Well, there was nothing really left for her to do now since the entire competition was now pointless thanks to our sudden intrusion.
We handed over the captured prince to Gaiuz for safekeeping, and then returned to our mobile Cat Nest without being asked to as we waited for Gaiuz to conclude this succession war, and fulfill his promise.
Even now, I was still a little puzzled by what had just happened despite being a perpetrator myself. I just couldn’t wrap my head around the strange way in which the Purgatory Shadowcats fought their succession wars; wasn’t a succession war supposed to be a bloody affair? Besides, as a candidate for the throne, why did Weiderly even think that it was all right for him to send his guardcats out into the competition like that…thanks to his foolishness, we encountered no hindrances whatsoever.
Even more unbelievable was the fact that all the cat soldiers actually gave up because of Anmi’s declaration…truly unfathomable, these cats.
With no war to fight, what else was there to do for the remaining cats except to return to their own business.
As for the two princes, they were actually having a peaceful meal together despite having just fought against each other not too long ago. Had this been a human affair, Weiderly would have probably been executed by now, or at least put under permanent house arrest.. In fact, if one were to ignore the constant snide remarks being thrown around, their meal was a picture perfect depiction of harmony…truly the Purgatory Shadowcats functioned in different ways from humans.
The next day, Weiderly led his cats back to his castle without putting up so much as a fuss. In order to fight for the crown, Weiderly had recruited a great number of cats into his army. Now that the war was over for him, they naturally dispersed as well, back to their homes or territories. No longer did they have to mess around with some foolish war under the leadership of a potato, instead they could finally enjoy their long-awaited peace and quiet.
Now, there was only Meisian left to contend with. However, as we had agreed upon previously, that was not part of our mission. After all, she was the one who had sent us out in the first place and through a string of strange happenstances, we somehow ended up in Gaiuz’s camp. Because of that, I just didn’t think it would be right for us to strike out against her now.
With Weiderly out of the picture, Gaiuz happily flew off to find his little sister for a little discussion…as for the contents of that discussion…it was undoubtedly about persuading her to give up the fight…
However, things didn’t proceed as smoothly as with Weiderly, and his proposal was immediately and ruthlessly shot down.
On the surface, it looked like Gaiuz had failed, in actuality…well, even I didn’t know whether or not this cat had a way of persuading his little sister. Why? Because no one could ever understand the thoughts of a Shadowcat.
As for me, all I cared about was how long it would take for them to settle these last few loose ends after which I would rewarded with the method to enter Abaddon.