Introducing Master Yaow

So. I now have the Callers’ barracks tomcat. Here’s a bit of Lee Cheong and the cat who saved his life….

We treated his bite; Chin-sun cleaned it herself. We thought he was getting better. He thought he was. Until

He’d attacked Master Yaow. He’d tried to kill Master Yaow, the lean and lithe fluff of snowy fur and fangs that was death on four legs to any rat or mouse that dared the barracks.

I’d been in the courtyard just before dawn, perched on the edge of the veranda roof, watching the sky turn colors while it was still dark enough not to hurt. And watching over the Commander as he paced and grumped at a scrupulous distance from men and women stretching to warm up for the day’s training. Working out where our funds should go down the coast to local demon-hunters, since some people weren’t letting him go hunt himself, hmph, just watch it, youngster, I can take you on the practice ground any day-

“Of course you can, Commander,” I’d said – or something like that, I believe. Master Yaow had just pounced across the roof to stop, and delicately sniff my fingers, permitting one languid strop of my hand down soft fur from jade-green eyes to silver-spotted tail. I was, that twitch of whiskers informed me, honored.

But, enough, that tail flicked. Master Yaow stretched forward, then gathered himself on all fours, about to leap down to the courtyard for a languid patrol-

An errant skirl of late night wind fluttered up from below, bringing the faint scent of seawrack most humans could not scent and the Commander could not seem to shake. I could not help it; my nose wrinkled, even as I hoped Commander Kim would not see that-

The Commander was… staring at us. Eyes unblinking. Wrong.

Master Yaow hissed. Not the grumpy half-scold he threw at hands that touched him when he did not wish, or kittens pouncing too much and too often on a twitching tail. But the fast, piercing hiss of a Callers’ cat at a beast gone wrong.

The Commander blinked. And eyes opened, shark-black.

Vampires are fast. Faster than human; faster, even, than most cultivators ever can be. But to use that speed we must think. And all I recall thinking was one dark scream of no-!

A blur of claws and body leaped; at me, at Master Yaow.

That saved me. I had not been among the Callers long, but we had trained together. And Master Yaow was yowling. Not the prey-call, nor a warning, but the frantic yowl of, this prey is too big! Help!

Callers protect each other. No one else can. And so I-

I will not remember that here.


20 thoughts on “Introducing Master Yaow

  1. Kitty! Kitty with back up, hopefully. Master Yaow is amazing, I love him already. He’s clearly used to getting back up for unexpected demon spawn, and the Callers clearly see him as one of their own.

    Does the Cat Die? Please no.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. Phew… traumatic memory of a fight… yeah.

      Also, Master Yaow did survive – the beginning:

      “He’d attacked Master Yaow. He’d tried to kill Master Yaow, the lean and lithe fluff of snowy fur and fangs that was death on four legs to any rat or mouse that dared the barracks.”

      Operative word – tried.

      Master Yaow will live to take down more rats.

      Liked by 6 people

      1. Said traumatic memory will come up again in more detail later, in a setting more appropriate to grieving and explanations. At this point in the story Lee is in the middle of planning an assault, he’s not letting himself get distracted too long.


    1. Very sad feels. The Callers are working around a very experienced leader’s hole in their command structure. It’s gonna be messy… it’d be worse, but Commander Kim was not wrong to put Lee in charge. He’s doing his best.

      (He may need someone to sit on him and tell him to rest, though. And sort out his paperwork.)


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