To end the fic, what better way than Sulpher's opinions of the game's different endings?
Nekomata are the cat equivalent of kitsune, sort of. Although there's more to it than that. I just liked the idea.
Sulpher didn't have any complaints.
Except the ones about Theofratus, of course.
Aside from that, he'd had a pretty good life. There was no reason not to stay here, to keep Vayne company as he died.
There wasn't any reason not to give up his life for the sake of giving Vayne a little comfort. It wasn't like he didn't have four more of the things.
Sulpher normally wouldn't deign to share his thoughts with the unfeline masses, but that universal translator thing was handy. He yawned, then got up to prowl around a bit.
"His Highness, the Prince of Antares, Grand Duke of Sirius…" Sulpher tuned out the list of titles. "…demands tribute! Offer him your finest fish, and perhaps your miserable lives will be spared!"
Some of the many bowing servants scurried off to obey the order conveyed by Sulpher's herald.
Only the best for the adoptive parent of Muppy's Queen, after all.
It wasn't quite the respect he deserved, and he deserved more worship than this just for being a cat, but ruling several star systems wasn't a bad retirement.
"Sulpa!" One of Vayne's youngest kits squealed with delight when he prowled into their room at night, just checking. He wasn't a watchdog or anything like that, but it was only natural for a tomcat to patrol his territory.
He jumped up onto a dresser loaded with supplies for dealing with small children. Luckily Vayne and Nikki were alchemists, since making this would have used up money that could have been spent on bonitas and tiger blowfish. The children around the dresser all tried to attract his attention, since they'd been woken up by Mimi's exclamation.
"Mrow." Don't wake them up, he reminded them.
"Sulpa says don wake up Mama and Papa."
"Can I come?"
He yawned, washing his paw for a bit. It's up to your sister. He'd let them sort themselves out.
"I'll let you play with my ball!"
Mimi yawned, looking aloof and recovering her dignity now that Sulpa was here. Some lack of proper gravitas and lapses in behavior were only to be expected of kittens. "I spose."
Sulpher began jumping down into cribs, picking up kittens, and putting them on the floor where they could run around.
Vayne might have hidden his nature, but it was still part of him. Sulpher had been right to be nervous about what Vayne's kits would be like. Hiding their powers was being every bit as irritating as Vayne's had been.
Some of them he still didn't know what their element was, or which one in the litter that had been present had done whatever it was.
The things he did for that kit… Still, at least he would know that the universe had been made a place vastly more worthy of his species deigning to exist in it due to his noble effort.
There was finally a Mana of Cats.
"Can you keep an eye on her, Sulpher? Please? I need to run to town."
Sulpher hated puppy dog eyes, but he still turned around and found a sun-warmed patch of bed to sit on. The fact that it was Jess' sickbed had nothing to do with it.
She was asleep, anyway, so it wasn't irritating at all.
Jess only stirred briefly, shifting a bit. Vayne must have given her a strong draught so that she wouldn't try to strain herself while he wasn't around to supervise. One time, she'd pretended to be asleep when he left and he'd returned to find that she'd fallen in the kitchen and hit her head.
She might have died then, trying to make him something.
She might die today, even with these precautions. The smell of decay was heavy in the room, it made Sulpher sneeze a bit and need to resettle himself in his warm patch.
He hadn't wanted Vayne to pact with an alchemist who wouldn't outlive Sulpher by very long. At this rate, Sulpher was going to outlive Jess. At least Vayne wasn't pacted to her.
It would still break his heart when she died. If Sulpher hadn't been a cat, he would have tried to nudge Vayne away from her. But he was a cat, and this fruitless struggle was Vayne's own decision.
He hoped this girl wouldn't destroy Vayne the way she had Theofratus.
While Vayne and Flay had their little reunion, Sulpher was pleasantly surprised to find that Flay had the good taste to play host to a very pretty little white cat with a gorgeous little set of fangs.
Apparently he had learned proper petting technique over his years of playing villain, too.
After Flayvor of Evil was defeated by his arch-rival Alchemy Man, the world was saved but his evil syndicate still lurked in the shadows, ready to rise to threaten the world again the next time Flay got bored.
Finding homes for all those kittens kept him busy for awhile, at least.
"Here you are," Pamela said happily, floating up through the roof he'd been walking along. "It's time to move on to the next town, ok?"
What, she'd gotten them run out of another one?
Sulpher just shrugged and jumped up onto her teddy bear (the mana could bear his weight). He'd enjoyed traveling with Theofratus. Places to go, new kinds of fish to eat, Queens to pay court to…
"Wow, that was intense. Wasn't it, Sulpher?" Vayne lay stretched out on the ground, panting, after he'd finally brought Anna down. "I was almost out of cure jars."
Sulpher ignored him in favor of picking the good bits out of the tray of sushi Anna's servants had brought. They should visit more often: he would have told Vayne this if Vayne could still hear him.
It was a little dangerous, because Anna was superstitious and had a tendency to attack first and ask questions later, but he was confident in his ability to hide the consequence of his age and power from her.
Sulpher quite liked having two tails to lash.
Roxis gave good pettings. He also made better cat food than Theofratus.
There were other reasons why he was the best choice for Vayne's pactmate, as soon as Roxis' research found a way to unlock Vayne's powers despite Vayne's denial and claims that he was human now, but Sulpher was a cat, and thus gave his personal comfort the high priority that it deserved.