Part 8 of the story about Meta's Nen: in which Meta encountered a strange guest and a mysterious cat in Prancing Pony Inn.


Part 8

INTERLUDE


Meta had heard that some dreams could be dreamed repeatedly, but he hadn't heard of a dream that could be repeated for as many as this particular nightmare of his does. What was more, his nightmare was just getting worse and worse and worse. And it was getting longer, too.

Meta usually liked dreams and dreaming. However, lately he began to favour bleak, black dream of nothingness rather than these suffocating nightmares. He also began to wonder just what kind wicked deeds had he done in his past lives that he deserved this torture. He knew that he'd been a tad bit too mischievous, but wasn't this a bit over the top?

…Right?

With pale face and dark purplish rings under his eyes, Meta trudged his way down the staircase and to the kitchen. He was famished; the nightmare exhausted him as if it had been a reality. It had been like that lately, and Fino's parents had been quite worried about him. He tried to brush off their concerns—not because he didn't like being worried about and spoiled rotten by the lavish gifts that the elder pairs tended to give him when he was down in spirit, but more because he didn't like having some questionable herbs and God-awful medicine shoved down his throats by them whenever they found out that he was sick.

"Not feeling well, squirt?"

Meta gave a face at Shalnark and mumbled a "leave me alone" at the Spider grouchily. Shalnark was to avoid as well, since he tended to report to his father about Meta. The last thing Meta needed presently was his father giving him THE look and making him spill out whatever the hell was happening to him and giving him some heinous training to remedy his weakness. Meta was aware that his father didn't exactly behave like how fathers would normally behave. For one, there was a time that Meta fell into a trap in the forest and injured himself and gotten himself sick with fever because of infection. The consequence of that was that Kuroro made him do some survival game in a God-forsaken fever-infested island to train Meta's survival skills and his antibody towards disease.

Needless to say that Kurapika threw an earth-shattering fit at Kuroro when she became aware of said treacherous (term courtesy to Kurapika) training, and Meta was curious on how his father managed to prevent his mother from fetching him from the damn island at the drop of hat. In fact, Meta managed to finish the training without his mother bearing down the wrath of a t-rex with ulcers at him.

Although, after some discreet hints from Lucian, Meta decided he didn't want to know how his father did it.

Meta grabbed his breakfast and decided to eat his breakfast in his room because he could feel Shalnark's curious gaze at him. No doubt the man suspected something, so Meta didn't want to risk it. On his way to the staircase, Meta heard Fino talking to a guest. Meta then made a mental note to avoid Fino as well, because she ALWAYS reported to his mother and everyone on Earth knew that his mother was mighty fretful about her children's well-beings. All things considered, Meta was more afraid of his mother than his father when it came to 'parental concerns'.

"Oh, no. The forest beyond our inn is not our property."

That made Meta stop.

Meta usually had the habit of observing people in the inn. New people came and went—although he didn't have any idea on how The Prancing Pony Inn could always have guests coming in all year long although their little town was uncharted in the map—and Meta made it a game with Bia and his father (when he was around) to make guesses of the guests' history and character. It was like a detective game for them.

Recently, Meta wasn't in the mood of observing people. Not with the nightmares that were plaguing him throughout the night and the exhaustion it caused for the rest of the day. Therefore, Meta didn't know of this particular quest that Fino was talking to.

He couldn't recognise the guest. He didn't even know if it was a woman or a man. The guest wore long trench coat that concealed the shape of the body. Meta hadn't heard the guest speaking either. Curiously, Meta started discreetly making his way around the room so that he could take a glimpse of the guest's side profile. He was juuuust about to see the guest's face….

"Miaaaw…"

Meta literally jumped around in surprise.

At the bottom of the staircase, an eerily beautiful black cat was staring at him with its golden eyes. They shone with curiosity and, unnervingly, warning. Meta couldn't tell if it was a male or a female cat, but the animal certainly had the gait and grace of a royalty—if cats had such thing. It sashayed its way towards Meta and brushed its soft side against Meta's leg as it gave a velvety purr that sent shivers down Meta's spine.

"Meta? What are you doing there?"

Immediately after hearing Fino's voice, the cat bolted across the floor and slipped its way out of the inn through the closing door of the inn. Meta then realised that the questionable guest was nowhere to be seen and concluded that the guest was the one who had gone out of the inn and had been followed by the cat. However, before Fino could question Meta about anything and before she even realised that he was bringing his breakfast to his room—which was actually forbidden by Fino—Meta had ran up the stair to the bedroom that he shared with his other siblings.

Meta then swore, as he was telling the encounter to Bia, that he could interpret the cat's purr with his God-awesome empathic-ness as:

I am watching you, boy…


Anyone wants to guess who/what the guest and the cat are? Mfufufufufufu