I Die Crushed by Catgirl Pillows, Yet My Total And All-Consuming Love for Catgirls was Rewarded and I am Reborn In Another World, as a Princess! Then I Find Out My New World Has Catgirls, So I Will Aim to Create a Harem With All the Catgirls in The World!
I looked down at my new ring.
Ten rings and ten fingers. Ten catgirls. It almost fit as perfectly as if there was some sort of grand design behind it, as if it was something more than just a nice-sounding number chosen arbitrarily at random by someone without better ideas.
Perhaps I didn’t have a ring yet, but with Violet also already on my side, that meant two down, and eight to go!
Yet there was this unease inside me. This strange feeling I couldn’t quite make heads or tails of. Like the one time I ate some non-specific food that counted as a sandwich when I got back home late at night, thought it tasted all fine and dandy, but when I got up the next morning what was left of it in the fridge was all mouldy, and I was left forever wondering if what I had eaten the night before already had gone bad without me noticing, and if the nausea I was feeling was because of that, or if I was just sick for other reasons.
Rather forced and pointlessly long analogies aside, I did have an idea of what was wrong: the whole situation was missing a proper sense of progression.
There was a proper order, a sort of procedure you had to follow when it came to these kinds of things. Maybe I didn’t follow it with Violet, but she didn’t count by virtue of being my sister. That basically made her easy mode, but now it was time for the real deal and whatever this was, whatever spark there was between me and Linn, the five minutes since we met weren’t enough for things not to feel weird. Like, these things were supposed to get progressively harder as you went along, not easier.
Seducing Violet had taken about ten minutes. This had taken five.
It should have been the other way around! Things were supposed to get harder as you went along! Though this world didn’t seem to have anything in the way of those kinds of level systems or stats or abilities you’d see in some media. It just had magic and the magic just… worked.
“So, Linn…”, I couldn’t bear not giving voice to my doubts, “if you really do feel that way then that’s of course great. Fantastic, even! But is it just me or is all of this going a little too well? I kind of…”
I peeked over my shoulder, then spun around to get a good look at our surroundings. Boring castle hallways as far as the eye could see.
“:.. I kind of can’t help but feel like I must have missed something here. Like there’s someone out to get me, someone that everyone knows about and is hiding from me, someone that’s about to play a very mean prank on me, something that everyone except me is in on and that’s about to ruin what would otherwise have been a perfectly perfect day.”
“Sis, that’s an oddly specific example.”
“I like my analogies on the longer side, alright?”
And something was wrong here. I could tell. I had a seventh sense for those sorts of things. The sixth was for detecting nearby catgirls.
“So, Linn, there wouldn’t be something more that you happen to want from me?”
“No, not in particular.”
“But are you, like, really sure?”
“Yes, I would say I am indeed rather certain.”
Violet sighed at my refusal to let go.
“Linn, please just play along with my sister. If there is anything my life so far has taught me, it’s that things work out much more easily that way.”
“Thank you, Violet! I knew you’d be on my side!”
“Only because of how much of a pain saying no to you is, and I’ve already tried that once today…”
“Don’t worry, it’s the thought that counts. I’m glad you’re thinking of me!”
Violet sighed again and ignored me as I hugged her harder — I never mentioned letting go, did I?
“But I actually didn’t have any expectations of your sister anyway. Iheard the rumours, so that was enough for me to not hope for too much.”
“And you’re still marrying her? Why?”
Linn shrugged and Violet didn’t look quite content with the answer. Violet stared at her contemplatively, before Linn finally cracked under the pressure the uneasy silence was conveying to everyone in the room except my ignorant self.
“Don’t think that’s a good enough reason? I would hardly think you should be one to speak, considering what I’ve heard about you. Something about marrying princess Viola just because she is your sister?”
“For the record, I agreed to marry her despite the fact that she is my sister, not because of it. And how did you already hear about that? It can’t have been more than a few hours ago.”
“I have my resources”, Linn smiled mischievously, “and I wanted to be the first to do the ring thing. Anyway, you two wish for me to make things harder for you? Fine. I will do exactly that.”
“I’d personally be okay with not making things any harder than they have to be…”, Violet added.
I ignored her and pointed dramatically at Linn.
“So, what is it you ask of me, my dear maid?”
“Let’s see…”, she tapped her finger against her lower lip in a pondering gesture, “I think I have an idea. You will do something for me, and you will also let me cast a spell on you.”
“I’ll take it.”
“You’re not even going to ask what I’ll ask of you or what magic I’ll use on you first?”
“That would just make things too easy.”
Linn was a lot of things to me. A complete stranger, someone I met for the first time five minutes ago, a catgirl whose existence I somehow hadn’t been aware of, supposedly a maid, and someone I could trust with my life.
At this point, perhaps it’d be better if I didn’t say it. On the other hand?
I really liked the word catgirl.
And that was the answer. She was a catgirl, and that meant I could trust her.