With a look of confusion, Lin Jie stared at the chubby and fluffy white creature on the table.
Two pointed ears, that long swishing tail and that curious pose it was in.
Yep, definitely a cat.
He then caught sight of the damaged stone gargoyle as well as the eggshell fragments on the table.
A seemingly bizarre conclusion came to his mind — this cat had hatched from the ‘insect egg.’
No, since it’s a cat that hatched out of the egg, shouldn’t this ‘insect egg’ be called a ‘cat egg’ instead?
Lin Jie’s mouth twitched. This phenomenon, which greatly violated the laws of biology, would have definitely made Darwin climb out of his grave to investigate this anomaly.
However, this was another world, so Darwin held no sway here.
Based on the current circumstances, Lin Jie could roughly guess what had happened while he had been away. The egg had probably gotten into an accidental collision with the stone gargoyle and neither came out on top. The stone gargoyle split open, and the eggshell was cracked, resulting in the aforementioned scene with the cat.
By the way, isn’t this egg really that hard?
But… since a cat can even be an oviparous species here, having a tough eggshell really isn’t that shocking…
Lin Jie felt that his previous hypothesis was spot on; this was indeed a mythical creature worshiped by the Church of the Dome.
He slowly approached the counter as these thoughts swirled in his mind.
The larva that had just completed its transformation was wagging its tail, but upon catching sight of Lin Jie’s happy grin, it froze up entirely.
Lin Jie reached out and scratched the ‘white cat’s' nape skillfully, then lifted it up and gave it a good look.
"Hmm, this cat looks a little weird. Is it disabled?" muttered Lin Jie as he stroked his chin.
“There aren't any pupils within those yellow irises…”
The larva brandished its claws in a futile struggle: “...”
Lin Jie placed a finger near the ‘white cat’s' eye socket and pressed down gently. "Isn't there a need for medical advice for this condition?
"But this thing isn't an ordinary cat either, would a vet really help?” Lin Jie muttered to himself.
The larva felt a powerful wave of sensation reverberating within its skull, causing it to panic in fear. Hurriedly, it started to form small rounded pupils within its eyes, wanting to prove that it did have pupils, though small.
"Oh, they were probably too constricted that I missed it... But why are these ears also strange? I wonder where the ear holes are…”
Aware of Lin Jie pinching its two ‘horns,’ the larva hastily modified its appearance again.
"Ahh, the long fur was covering it..." Lin Jie had another sudden realization.
He petted the 'cat's' back, discovering that its smooth and oily coat did not feel that nice to touch. Then, he put his hand under its armpits and lifted the cat up in the air.
"Give me a meow?" asked Lin Jie with a smile.
The chubby larva kicked its hind legs at the air twice before purring softly with a dazzled look on its face.
“Aw~ How cute.”
Lin Jie placed the cat back down and began to stroke its furry chin. “From now on, your name is 'Whitey' and you can live in the bookstore, I'll prepare a cat bed for you later.”
Hearing this, the 'white cat' stiffened up and raised its head to look at Lin Jie.
This was met with another bright smile from Lin Jie. “You will have to behave yourself. This gargoyle was a gift from a client that I am well acquainted with. I'm actually extremely peeved now that you’ve destroyed it. Do you understand?
“Of course, I’m not so heartless as to boil such a cute little cat.”
Boss Lin petted the head of ‘Whitey’ gently.
“Unless I really feel like eating you.”
Whitey's tail shot up in fear. As it noticed the ring on Lin Jie’s ring finger, it mewed softly, then lowered its head in a submissive pose.
Patting his newly adopted cat companion, Lin Jie turned his attention to the mess still on the countertop.
Cleaning the eggshells would be easy, but dealing with the gargoyle was going to be a headache.
Repairing a work of art like this gargoyle sculpture was no easy feat, and getting the help of others to fix it might result in an unsatisfactory outcome.
He’d better wait for Old Wil's next visit and have him restore the sculpture in person.
“Sigh, I really do feel like I've let Old Wil down." Lin Jie couldn't help feeling a sense of guilt. This stone gargoyle had only been here for a few months and it was now split open.
He picked up Whitey again and caressed it. “Remember to pull your own weight and act cute. Oh, I also don’t mind if you help to watch the house. Otherwise you wouldn't be of use.”
Whitey let out an increasingly proficient cat meow as its body trembled.
Satisfied, Lin Jie placed Whitey onto the ground before making his way to the basement downstairs to look for materials for crafting a cat bed.
Joseph first made his way back to the Church of the Dome to oversee the work of the Intelligence Division. Only after matters were finished did he return back to Secret Rite Tower headquarters.
Mere moments after arriving, he received a new report.
“Margaret, Head of Medicine at the Truth Union, was attacked by an unknown transcendent being?”
Joseph frowned. “From what I can recall, isn’t she from the Sandra Clan? This clan which specializes in arcane medicine isn't one to be trifled with. This clan has always kept a low-profile, so logically speaking, they shouldn’t have any enemies.”
Claude, with a file in his hands, nodded in agreement. Despite being a transcendent being, eye bags were still something he couldn’t escape having.
“Indeed, according to the aetheric traces found at the scene, the assailant utilized a forbidden technique ‘Bloodgate.’ We had just apprehended all the previous retailers of this spell scroll, and it's highly likely that the assailant is from Blood Feast.”
Joseph's eyes narrowed. “Zukaiku?”
‘Blood Cursed Mage’ Zukaiku — a Destructive-rank magician and one of the founding members of Blood Feast. He was someone backed by the Path of the Flaming Sword and the owner of Congreve’s human skin book.
Some time ago, he had fallen for a trap set by the bookstore owner and had been reduced to a blubbering fool by the indescribable horrors Joseph had summoned.
His iconic techniques were utilizing blood as a medium to perform different forbidden spells.
“Which means to say that there's an objective and an organization behind this attack. Given the exact timing, this incident might be a repeat of the last.
"They struck just as we were occupied with storming the Church of the Dome."
“What’s the situation now?” Joseph asked.
Claude replied, “Margaret’s current whereabouts remains undetermined. The Sandra Clan are furious and have made known their reservations regarding Secret Rite Tower and the Truth Union. They are planning to send their own personnel to search for her…”
Joseph’s face fell. “Are they a bunch of idiots?! An organization like the Blood Feast must have conspired beforehand to dare attack someone with Margaret's background.
"It's highly likely that this is instigated by the Path of the Flaming Sword. Perhaps their target was the Sandra Clan all along who are currently delivering themselves into the enemy’s hands.”
“I’ve already mentioned this to them.” Claude gave a bitter laugh. “But as you already know, older clans like these are stubborn in their ways. They still believe in Walpurgis even till now. Changing their minds about this is nigh impossible.”
Joseph took a deep breath and continued with his questioning, “What about Zukaiku? Any ideas on getting him to talk?”
“We’ve tried using a sobering agent as well as some other methods. However, all we’ve barely managed to do was to bring him to a semi-deranged state. We could only squeeze a limited amount of information out of him, and all of it was just basic info.
“The interrogation, however, is placing too much pressure on his body and he is just barely holding on,” Claude replied.
At this moment, a subordinate rushed in and reported, “Zukaiku has killed himself!
“He had a moment of clarity before his death and swore that he will return from the dead for his revenge. It seems like he had casted a resurrection spell in his human skin book!”
Lin Jie halted his sawing. It felt like a dream creature seemed to have broken into his dream realm.