The Fourth Victim
Ellis brought Katie over to the changing room and wiped down her body with a towel until her fur regained its volume and became fluffy again.
In the meantime, Katie has been crying ever since Ellis had told her she could stay.
Once Katie was all dry, Ellis took Katie’s hand and pulled her out towards the door behind the receptionist’s counter. “Well then, I will show you to your room.”
Reeve, Frau, and Claire watched the two leave without saying a word. Once they confirmed that the two had disappeared through the door, Reeve and Frau started moving first. They started to gather their clothes, and Frau made sure to pick up Katie’s clothes that were left behind.
“Well, shall we get prepared in our rooms?”
“Yes. It’ll be Katie’s first time, so we will probably have to wait a while longer.”
Claire was surprised at Reeve and Frau’s actions. She was feeling jealous of Katie’s sudden inclusion, so why were they acting like everything was normal?
“Hey Reeve, Frau, are you two okay with Ellis being taken by Katie?”
Then Reeve and Frau gave Claire a vague look.
“You shouldn’t have to worry about it?”
“Is that so?”
Even so, the two could tell that Claire was still dissatisfied, but that was how Ellis has always been. If she doesn’t visit someone one night, then she won’t visit anyone, and if she does come, she comes to everyone. There was one exception, but Ellis had not gone in with those intentions. Also, the perpetrator of that incident was sufficiently punished the following night.
“I see. The two of you felt the same way as I do when I first came here.”
“There was a little more room in the house back then, though.”
“Ufufu. Claire is still young.”
With Claire convinced, the three finished putting on their pajamas, turned off the lights in the house living room, and returned to their respective rooms.
Ellis had guided Katie to the last open room in the house other than the guest room upstairs, and Katie was still crying on her new bed.
“I want to stay with here; I want to be with you…..”
Ellis lit up a Luminescent stone that was in the corner of the room. Katie’s body reflected the light before Ellis.
Katie’s head looked human. The only things of note were her pure white hair that reached her shoulders and the two cat ears placed on top of her head. Cat hair started from the nape of her neck, down her shoulder, and continued on along her spine to the tail.
On the other hand, there was no hair on her abdomen or her hands. All you could see there was the same white skin as a human girl. However, under her naval was hidden with pure white hair.
Katie’s body was supple, and her skin as white as pure snow. The breast size was between Reeve and Frau’s? It was a body with an exquisite balance.
Katie’s expression was the charm of a cat itself. Small lips with dull gray eyes that were shining slightly from the tears. An incisor tooth reminiscent of a fang peeped out.
Ellis reached her hand out to Katie’s throat and began rolling her fingers across Katie’s neck.
Then Katie started to unconsciously pur.
Ellis did it once again.
Katie fell over onto her back as Ellis continued to pet her allowing Ellis to start petting the pale white skin on Katie’s stomach.
Katie’s purring became a little louder as her arms and legs stretched out.
Ellis continued to play with Katie as if she was just a large house cat. Then, as if all her crying until then had been a lie, Katie’s worry’s melted away, and she started to relax.
And then Ellis got started.
Ellis continued to caress Katie until midnight switching off between cat-brushing and different techniques that Eiji had brought over.
When Ellis confirmed that Katie had completely passed out, she quietly left the room. She felt bad for making them wait, so she made sure that Reeve enjoyed her cruelty, Frau her abuse, and Claire her comfort.
Once she was done, Ellis returned to Katie’s room, and she began to pet Katie again. Katie slowly regained consciousness from the pleasure that had sprung up again.
The next morning began with a call from Frau that breakfast was finished.
Ellis brought in the set of clothes that Frau had laid out for Katie, and when she was dressed, took her hand and lead her to the dining room.
At the table big enough for six people, Ellis took her usual spot at the center. Reeve sat across from her, Frau sat to Ellis’s left, and Claire sat across from Frau. Katie checked the vacant seats and took the seat to Ellis’s right believing that she had gotten lucky.
“A good seat is available.”
“If you really think so, then it must be true,” Reeve muttered quietly enough that Katie couldn’t hear.
In reality, Reeve and Claire are two people who want to see Ellis, so Reeve took the spot in front of Ellis while Claire took the spot to Reeve’s right. Frau is part of the faction that wants Ellis, so she took position to Ellis’s left. Since Frau takes care of setting out Ellis’s food, seasoning her dishes, and wiping Ellis’s mouth with a napkin when it gets dirty–Ellis inevitably ends up turning toward Frau more often. All three people have chosen their seats based on the situation. Meanwhile the seat to Ellis’s right could be seen as the worst seat because as mentioned earlier, Ellis has to turn toward Frau often during the meal. In other words, Katie spent most of the meal staring at the back of Ellis’s head.
Halfway through the meal, Katie’s ears began to droop, and three people couldn’t help but smile. They had become a cat family, and Katie was slowly becoming accepted in her own way.
After breakfast, Ellis urged Katie out of the house.
“You have to go get your luggage to move in!”
When hearing what Ellis said, Katie became excited and ran out of the mansion.
Once she confirmed that Katie was gone, Ellis turned toward the other three. “Since Katie has also become a friend, I’d like to explain to her my ability.”
But Frau shook her head. “Ellis, I think it would be better if you wait for a bit.”
“Because right now, we don’t know about the relationship between Katie and the thief guild.”
Ellis was convinced. Baltis was acting a little weird when he visited Lily Garden yesterday, and Katie herself admitted that she was here because Baltis ordered her to be.
It’s possible that Baltis allowed Katie to come here out of his own good conscience. For Katie’s sake and Ellis’s. The master could’ve recognized Katie’s feelings and allowed her to come. Even if it wasn’t for entirely selfless reasons, his intentions could also just be to have Katie work with Ellis as a thief adventurer thus increasing the amount of money the thief guild makes whenever they go out exploring.
Unfortunately, as a former elite within the thieve’s guild, Ellis couldn’t deny the possibility that Katie was here to gather information. And if Ellis couldn’t completely convince herself that Katie was safe, then convincing Frau would be impossible.
“I agree with Frau. Let’s observe Katie’s situation for awhile,” Reeve chimed in. “According to the meeting from yesterday, the thief guild and the merchant guild will both be sending over new dispatch managers today, so we can watch how the situation progresses from there.”
“You’re both right. Let’s do as Reeve says.”
However Claire was unsure about their decision. “I don’t really feel right doubting people…”
“I understand, but let’s think of it a different way. We aren’t doubting her; we are just confirming her trust.”
With Ellis’s words, everyone came to an agreement.
The carriage from the adventurer guild arrived shortly after. For each employee from the thief and merchant guild that came off, Ellis taught them about managing the bath, sales rules, and product shipments. The reception counter is decorated with various bathing items from the merchant guild, and the robust safe brought over from the thief guild was installed in a blind spot from the customers.
By the way, Ellis and Reeve confirmed with the merchant guild employees that all the products they brought over were bought at purchase price.
The days went by quickly as Ellis transferred management duties over to the council.
Ellis met with the council again at their regular meeting and explained the transfer of management for Lily Garden. Of course, since Baltis, Theseus, Flint, and Maria were already adjusted to the situation in advance, this explanation was for the benefit of the people who represented the regular citizens. Ellis’s proposal, which was just the council’s proposal made to seem like Ellis’s idea to avoid suspicion, was approved, and the first step and second step for the Garden Expansion Project was begun in Warren. Next, Maria proposed a similar project be applied to the already existing public bath for men’s use.
Once everything was settled, a proposal was put forward to have Ellis become a member of Warren’s council.
Ellis was naturally surprised by this. Who the hell would want an 8-year-old girl to be a member of the city council?
However, it seems that this plan was already agreed upon by each guild master.
“Ellis is the owner of Lily Garden, so it is only natural,” Theseus explained. “It wouldn’t be right for the thieve’s guild to monopolize the central figure of this business.”
So Ellis’s ascension to associate member was unanimously adopted.
Baltis taught Ellis later that she didn’t have to worry. “Associate members are only honorary, and they do not have any voting rights. You won’t have any added responsibilities, but you will be able to obtain information on the city’s movements in advance.”
Oh, that’s it.
This man is watching out for me.
Ellis realized once again that Baltis is a reliable person.
Ellis decided to leave the bathhouse under the patronage of the thief guild without any worries. Even if the guild will receive a huge payout from the deal, this decision is correct. At least in the current Warren.
More than anything, Baltis was interested in making this 8-year-old girl involved in the management of Warren. What will this intelligent girl do from now on? So Baltis decided to set her free and break her ties with the thief guild. Instead, he decided to let Katie take Ellis’s place and have her become close to Ellis.
“Don’t worry. Katie isn’t tied down to the guild.”
Ellis was convinced with Baltis’s whisper. This old man supports me.
A few days later.
At the center of the city, a carriage arrived at what has been called the “Lily Garden front stop.” Here, if your luck is good, the women can enjoy a fun sight. Men whose whole bodies are dyed red with paint, hanging naked upside down from the eaves of the adventurer guild with colorful ribbons tied around them.
The landmark know as “Scarlet Laundry.”
This is one of Lily Garden’s specialties. This is the fate of all men who are caught trying to intrude where they are forbidden to go. By the way, the color of the ribbon is used to indicate who caught them.
The member of the adventurer guild who was in charge of driving the carriage waited for the ladies to get their fill of watching the men dangling from the tops of the carriage. Then, once they’re all satisfied, she untangles the ropes and drops them from the carriage. Next, male members of the adventurer guild tie them up to the adventurer guild eaves for further humiliation. The perpetrator’s belongings that were stripped off of them are unloaded from the carriage, and they are made the property of the adventurer guild. Once the men are cut down, they will be given a hemp shirt before they flee from the guild.
All possessions repossessed by the guild will be sold, and half of the profits will be given to the girl who caught them. Currently, blue ribbon is in the lead followed by red and white. Black ribbon is rarely seen, so certain maniacs refer to the men caught by her as “vintage items.”
The place that the ladies next set foot in after leaving the carriage is the Lily Garden.
The ladies will pay the entrance fee to enter and receive their locker key. After stripping down naked, they will soak their worries away.
Truly a paradise.
Another hot topic is the hot water toilet which always has a line formed in front of it, and ever since the merchant guild took over commodity sales, cold drink variations have increased.
After enjoying a refreshing sweat and relaxing enough they will soon be able to enjoy an elegant lunch from a neighboring restaurant that is currently under construction.
Thus Lily Garden will become a landmark of Warren’s eastern outskirts, and is the name of the bathhouse that will lead Warren to be known throughout the continent.
The five people in charge of this historical landmark are currently lazing around at home complaining.
“Ellis, I want to go rampage.” Reeve is currently playing with her shamshir while entreating Ellis.
“I want to try out this mace.” Frau is currently examining the one Minotaur mace that they hadn’t sold to the guild.
“Take me with you.” Claire has been interested in going exploring ever since she started listening to Reeve and Frau brag about how much fun they had genociding those horses and cows.
“I want to join too.” Katie, who just recently joined the group, was excited to perform a team activity with everyone else.
It was here that Ellis realized that she didn’t know how Katie fought.
“How does Katie fight?”
“I’m a Cat Fighter.”
Cat fighter? Looking around, no one had any idea what that meant.
“It would be faster if I showed you what I mean,” Katie stood up.
Katie came back from her room as quickly as she had gone up wearing some type of metal armor on her hands and legs.
“These are my Crow Gauntlets and Crow Guards.”
The Crow Gauntlets were metal armor that reached from Katie’s elbow to the back of her hand while the Guards covered her knees and wet down to her toes. There were also three metallic nails that probably served as cat claws gleaming on each.
Katie’s fitted armor was a pair of shorts and a bra top. Both were white, so they awkwardly blended into Katie’s skin.
“We are weak to heat, so we are not good with full body equipment and armor. Instead we only protect ourselves and attack with these gauntlets and guards. ”
“What about luggage?”
Katie pulled out a cloth bag that was set next to the sofa. It was a large drawstring bag made with sturdy cloth.
“I usually use this. I take it off and leave it to the side when I’m fighting though.”
Ellis got caught up in examining the rough stitching in the bag, but Katie ignored that and continued.
“Well then, let me show you some of my moves.”
Katie took a fighting pose on the spot.
“Here I go.”
Katie’s movements truly embodied the idea of “agility.” Both her arms and her legs flowed together like water until she mixed in a light jab or kick that would have dug her claws into her imaginary opponent. It was a mixture of light body work that looked like she was dancing. The unreasonable postures and positions would be impossible for a normal human, and it could only be understood as her long white tail busily moved about to keep her balance. This was the “close-combat” type that the owner of the armor store had told her about.
Frau is an attack-oriented type.
Reeve is a universal type.
Katie is close-combat.
Ellis simulated the battle in her head.
With just Reeve and Frau, since the battle was generally fundamental, there were some difficulties with collective warfare. But with Katie, we can cull the numbers.
Frau restricts the movements from the front, and Katie can move around while kicking away the small fries. Meanwhile, Reeve makes a strong blow from an accurate position. This could work.
“This is a wonderful thing.” Reeve was also impressed by Katie’s footwork.
“It will bring a breath of fresh air to our battle plans.” Frau was also thinking about different strategies that could work.
Ellis was getting excited.
“Well then, shall we make plans to go out to the labyrinth?”
Reeve and Frau nodded their heads with vigor, and Katie stopped her dancing to join in.
However, there was one person who had taken some distance from this atmosphere.
“Everyone, don’t forget about me……”
Ellis had completely forgotten about Claire’s equipment.