Disclaimer: I don't own Mana Khemia.

I want to explore the whole 'raised by a cat' aspect of things. It explains quite a bit about why Vayne is the way he is.

His decision to become an alchemist was the first ever desire that was his, according to the split personality that was caused by a horrific childhood experience in an almost normal way. So how does an entity that is other people's desires, yeilding to them like water flowing downhill, develop the independence from its own nature that would take?

A human, with control over that sort of ultimate power, wouldn't want it to develop a will that might disagree with the human's own. Or what if Isoide found him first, when she realized before the end of the game that to kill him she'd have to make him want to kill himself "by his own hand!" She was happy to drive him to suicide: I pity an infant Vayne if she'd been the one to find him.

This was infected by my fondness for dark humor, more than a little tongue-in-cheek (as later chapters will highlight if they get written), and there's fact that Sulpher is a cat, and half-starved at this point. A carnivore. It's certainly not cannibalism if it's not your own species. And he's feeling a lot more sad and betrayed than he lets on. The anger stage of grief.

I want to add at least two other ficlets on to this – life in the forest & starting out at Mana Khemia. I might have it lead into the post-game scenario I want, the one where Jess lives. We'll see what I'm up to.


Sulpher yowled, decidedly not amused.

Theofratus Aurelius was now officially dead to him, he decided as he sat back, tail lashing.

That was on top of being literally dead, of course.

The human could at least have had the decency to open the damn door first. Years of companionship, and Sulpher was left as good as locked in with a corpse? If Isolde didn't stop by soon, as she did randomly in hopes the tom she was attracted to saw sense, and find him then Sulpher would starve to death.

Although, what with this large lump of meat here, the more immediate problem would be water. Sulpher wasn't mad enough to drink from the cauldron, and he didn't have hands to turn the faucet.

There was a person in here with hands, but the kit was staring at the body, too lost and confused to even mew. Or cry, which seemed to be the human equivalent. Sulpher didn't approve of the water.

He had just opened his eyes for the first time and been immedietly confonted with a near-madman who had ordered him to kill. Mana who were pacted had the ability to refuse commands, but a newborn? The kit, Sulpher had decided, had clearly had no idea what his father was asking. What any of this meant.

The shock had made him fall out of midair, where he had been floating (mana did that), onto a hard marble floor, and he was just lying there, newly-opened light eyes blank, staring in the direction of the corpse.

Hmm. A mana who could grant wishes. What Sulpher needed right now was a pair of hands.

And food. Theofratus had been in here for days, focused on the mana and forgetting to make Sulpher's gourmet catfood. At least he'd let him at the raw materials, but he'd eaten all of them.

Sulpher padded over to the infant mana hopefully. When that failed to get his attention, he pushed his head against his hand. Nothing worked until he stepped in front of his (the dead man had called him Vain: the ultimate act of the vanity they'd accused him of, he'd ranted) eyes and blocked his view of the corpse.

The wish to be able to communicate & the wish to be let out of the room were easily granted. Then there was the wish to have his favorite cat food, which he certainly needed after all this, and Vayne obeyed his instructions, his wishes, exactly.

There was no need to wish for materials, not with the body there. Having Vayne push it into the cauldron killed two birds with one stone: newborn minds and memories were fragile. Without the rotting reminder Vayne would hopefully forget his first moments, in the way cats didn't remember their first weeks or humans their first years.

Or so Sulpher wished, anyway, because that look of lost, broken devastation and inability to understand was unpleasant.

Theofratus' original desire had been to create a mana that could grant miracles, even restoring life, the life of that girl. Sulpher had watched him become twisted until Sulpher wondered if he even remembered the name of the catalyst of all this. He'd heard Theofratus rant and realized Theofratus no longer cared or wanted to save her, didn't want anyone to succeed where he had failed. Didn't care about anyone other than himself, even his own cat.

Vayne could probably have restored Aurelius to life, if Sulpher had wished it.

Sulpher did not wish. Theofratus was officially dead to him.

The man who had shared his food with a stray cat was not the man who had left his loyal companion to die and done this to a kitten.