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142 Part 1
“This is Ms. Neko. She’s here to help us regain our memories.”
I introduced Eli and Ms. Neko to each other. Of course, Ms. Neko remembered Eli just fine and seemed impressed with how much she had grown up.
“So, Eliza, which one will it be, meow? The free stake course, or the paid magic course, meow?”
“The paid one, of course!”
I didn’t even wait for Eli to react. I just immediately replied in her stead.
“All right then, that’ll be two years worth of river fish, meow.”
She looked at me with a face that said ‘But isn’t it better to do it for free?’, and while I appreciate the housewife attitude, I’d better dismiss it for now. She’ll drive a stake through your head! Your personality may change! And it’s going to hurt a lot! No thanks, we’ll pass.
“So, can we ask you to do it now?”
“Sure, meow. Just sit down and wait here, meow.”
We obediently followed her and sat down in front of Ms. Neko.
“You seem like a good match, meow. Do you have a lot of fun at night, meow?”
“I’m kind of jealous, meow. No matter how horny I get, I can’t seem to find a proper mate, meow.”
I said stop it!!
“If you two ever have children, I’d like to see them, meow.”
But I’m not even married yet!!
“…Our memories, please.”
“Ah, sure, sure, meow. I just got intrigued, that’s why I asked, meow.”
Eli seemed to be embarrassed as well, so I wished she would start with the procedure to help us regain our memories quickly. She also seemed to be getting a bit nervous after Ms. Neko came back. Will she regain her original feelings after living together with her for a long time?
“Alright, back to the treatment then, meow.”
It seemed that rather than starting with the treatment right away, there was something Ms. Neko needed to explain to us. Was there something we should be careful about?
“For starters, memories are something like branches off a complex structure, like fish bones, meow.”
… I felt as if I’ve heard an explanation like that before. What’s with using fish for explaining things…?”
“Imagine a thick bone, like a spine… A thick memory like that won’t disappear very quickly, meow. That’s why even though you both have lost your memories, you still retain most of your personality intact, meow. Just as always, meow.”
Ah, is that so…? So, in other words, according to Ms. Neko’s impressions and theory, our personalities shouldn’t have changed after we lost our memories. That’s a bit of a relief.
“As a fish grows, their little bones grow and increase in number. And memories gradually branch off in the same way, meow. Due to some accident, you seem to have lost some of those finer branches, but as long as the spine remains, those branches can be restored, meow.”
So, fishbones. Our memories are like fishbones. Did I get that right?
“Fish without fine bones are easier to eat, meow. If it’s just the spine, you can easily take it out, and if you cook it well, you can even eat it too, meow.”
Nah, she was just talking about eating fish.
“But it’s kind of boring when there are no little bones in my fish, meow. It tastes much better when you have to remove the little bones before grilling them, meow. And yeah, there’s the risk of missing a few of those little bones and getting them stuck to your throat when you eat them, but I can’t complain, meow.”
I don’t know about that… I’m sure you can complain about getting choked by fishbones! It’s very unpleasant!
“And it’s the same with memories, meow. It may seem refreshing to have no memories at first, but it’s really not that interesting at all, meow. It’s boring, meow. That’s why I’ve been studying how to recover lost memories for a long time now, meow.”
Ah, so there’s the connection between the two. For a moment there I thought she was lecturing us on how to prepare and eat delicious fish.
“Ah, by the way, I also know how to regenerate small fishbones, meow.”
…I think I’ll pass on that, thank you very much.
“When an accident occurs which makes the fish lose their smaller bones, I can’t just regenerate them, meow. It’s not that I can’t do it, I just won’t, meow. If I just force them to regenerate, there’s a good chance they will lose them again in the same way, meow.”
Oh, so she does sound like a teacher of sorts. Even though she’s a cat.
“After a living being loses something, it starts to fear, meow. That’s why I don’t just return the memories just like that, meow. What I try to do is squeeze that fear until the memories play themselves back, meow. That’s the true nature behind the magic that will help you regain your memories, meow.”
It looked like she was talking about fish, but it turned into an explanation about her procedures we could understand completely… What’s this sensation of utter defeat…? She was talking about fish, and all of a sudden got me this interested in what she was talking about…