At that point, everything was hazy, katsu felt cold and cramped.

All he could hear was the river flowing, splashing around as the barrel he was inside got pulled by the current.

Katsu is now in a deep sleep, but that sleep isn a peaceful one.

As that moment, when both his parents died, haunted him in his dreams.

His parents were bloodied, pale, and skinny as if they rose back from the dead.

”Why didn you save me? ” his mom disappointingly yelled at him in his dream.

”You are too weak to save us, you couldve done something, but you didn , ” his father said. Blood rushes down and starts flooding the empty void.

”NO! NO! Please! Leave me alone! ” as he starts to cry.

That moment will forever haunt him…

e useless! From the moment I gave birth to you! ” his mother continues.

”I am very disappointed in you ”

He felt a pain in his dream that scarred him. That dream, felt like it lasted for hours, it was like he was going to be stuck there forever. Until…

He heard an unfamiliar voice calling, it kept getting louder and louder until.

Katsu finally wakes up, his vision blurry, it got a little better, and trying to open his eyes he sees a silhouette of a man.

The voice he hears got louder; he starts to regain his consciousness.

”Hey, kid, kid you alright? ” a stranger asks whilst shaking him to wake him up.

”What, what? What happened? Where am I!? ” he says as he frantically looks around.

He tries to reassess himself on what had happened.

”Woah, kid. What happened? Why are yah in a barrel in the river? ” he asks Katsu.

”I was heading home, and, and, after that, I- ”

”Woah, slow down kiddo, one at a time. ” He told Katsu and then sat down afterward.

”We… we were attacked and- ”

”Woah! You were attacked! Woah, so the rumours were true. Hmm. ” He says while having a thought.

”Is, is something wrong? ” Katsu was wondering why he had this reaction.

”Ah, nothing, ” he dismisses the thought, ”ah, you know what? Tell me about this later, lets get you fixed first. ” As the stranger lends out a hand.

”Huh? Oh, ok. ” He grabs his hand and stands up.

”Follow me, kid. ” And they start to walk out the docks.

Katsu found himself walking out of the large river docks, through stairs mad of marble, and towering buildings can be seen on the cities skyline.

Large marvellous Victorian era houses, Arches, towers, fountains and towers which surround the city streets gives the air around the city a posh and noble atmosphere.

On each houses, a flag of the Empire was flown, giving a nice patriotic touch to the already heavenly façade of the city.

At that point, he didn know if He was dreaming, what happened was real, or where he was, he only knows that a kind man saved him from doom.

”Where am I? ” katsu asks the stranger.

”Hmm? Oh, you
e in the capital of the largest kingdom of dogs in the world, the city of Landon! ” he replies.

”Oh, So, this is the big city? ” he wonders.

A big city is a place he only hears stories from Mr. Hiroto. He never thought he would have stepped in on one. So, he was amazed at the sight.

”This stranger is so kind, but I can just trust him so easily, mom told me to not trust anyone Id never seen before. ”

The stranger looks back at katsu, and remembers something ”Oh, I forgot to introduce myself! ” he stops and turns to the kid, he clears his throat, ”My name is Vin, Vin Fredrickson. A pleasure to meet you. ”

”Oh, my name is Katsuro Arius Everest, nice to meet you. ” Both of them shake hands.

”Katsuro? Thats a weird name. Your parents are from here, aren they? ” he questions the child.

”Oh, they said that their ancestors were from a different place. ” He answers.

”I see, well, let us continue. ” He invites katsu.

He followed the stranger to a small apartment complex, katsu was starting to doubt him, but he had no choice but to follow him.

”Up here. ” And both of them walk up the stairs and arrives at Vins room.

Vin opens the door and walks inside, he has a 1 room apartment, on the left side there was a couch and a small round table in the middle, a small kitchen at the back of the room with a small counter that acts as the border between the living room/bedroom and the kitchen, the apartment was messy, full of trash, and had a profusely strange smell.

”Eh… sorry, its messy in here. ” He says whilst cleaning some of it up.

”Well, go ahead, take a seat, Ill prepare some food for you. In the meantime, make yourself at home, ” Vin then starts to cook some food for the boy.

Katsu sits down and tries to remember what had happened and how he got himself in this situation.

He starts to remember little bits and pieces of the incident.

Then, a flash flood of memories came rushing into his mind, he remembered everything.

This sudden burst of memories flood his mind irritating all of his senses and it caused a strong headache to occur.

”Agh! ” he exclaims in pain.

Vin noticing the child is in pain, immediately rushes to him.

”Woah, whats happening? Are you alright? What are you feeling? ” he asks.

Katsu continues to remember everything that had happened.

From the moment the bombs fell from the heavens to the soldiers massacring the village folks and following him to his home, to the death of his parents.

It caused great pain and the aches intensified.

And, a strange voice whispered to his ears, the voice told him. ”Live. ”

He then gets a sudden burst of energy, similar to the one he had when he had tackled the soldier.

The burst of energy calmed him, and the pain went away.

”Here, drink some water. ” Vin says while handing katsu a glass of water.

Katsu drinks all the water and then eventually, he calms down a little bit.

”Are you ok? ” vin asks him.

”Yes, Im ok now, I… I remember now. ”

”Ahh, here, some food. Although Im not a great cook. You eat these, right? ” he says as he puts a plate of food on the table.

”Ah, yes, thank you. ” He says and starts to eat.

”So, tell me about what happened to you. ”

Katsu begins to tell him everything that he can remember, everything that he can tell him. He still doesn trust him. But what other options does he have left?

He couldn run, if he did, where would he go? At the time, he felt numb, he knew the situation that was in, but he can feel anything, he doesn feel sad, nor angry. He had nothing left to do, no family, no friends, he is in an unfamiliar place.

His face turns pale, his soul is gone. Nothing left, but an empty shell…

The stranger is shocked at the story that katsu told him. A survivor of cat brutality.

”Wow, I mean, wow, that- thats… Im sorry about your loss. ” He said.

Katsu finished eating and deeply sighed.

”You have anyone to go to? Relatives that might take care of you? ” vin asked, being worried about the boy.

”No sir, I… I don know… ”

His heart is moved by the story. Although he knows he just picked up a random kid in a barrel in the river but it would be against his morals if he would send him away.

As for the boy, his mind is blank on what had happened to him, he is in a state of denial.

After some careful thought, the stranger had decided.

He sighed as he stands up.

”Alright boy, I know weve met for like 12 minutes, but hearing your story, it can be helped, Im going to take you in. ”

”Huh? Why would you do that for me, going through a hassle just to take care of a weak boy who can even protect his parents… ”

”Trying to counter my offer huh? ” vin thought. And then gave katsu a choice.

”Well, that story of yours can make any grown man cry. Plus, if you don want to, I won push, but, what will you do then? ”

Katsu realizes that Hes right, he has no other choices left. But he still can trust him.

”Don worry! Im kind, I won hurt you. Ill protect you from anything thatll harm you! I promise. ” He offers katsu again.

”Well… ”

”I guess I have no choice. ” He thought.

”Ok, I accept your offer. I will try my best not to be a burden from now on! ” bowing and accepting Vins offer.

”Don fret, I will take care of you. Katsuro. ”

”Ah, please call me katsu, it is my nickname. ”

”Alright, then katsu, lets get you fixed up. Come with me. ” He prepares to leave the apartment.

”Where are we going, sir? ” he asks.

”There is a shop I know where we can buy new clothes for you. And don call me sir, call me vin. ” And opens the door and prepares to leave.

”Clothes? ” katsu wonders as to where or what they
e going to do.

”Come on now! what are you waiting for? Lets go! ” he calls katsu downstairs.

”Yes sir! Coming! ” he heads down.

”I told you to call me Vin, ”

And then they start walking down the street.

The voice once again narrates over. ”I was confused and don know what happened. I was an outlander, a stranger, and helpless. You didn have to save me, but you did. ”

They walk through the citys busy market streets. Many people walked around and yelled. This is amazing! Katsu thought as he doesn see this often in his village.

”Wow! its busy here, here I thought that the town market is busy, this is like 10 times more. I would never think of getting here. ” He remarks.

The crowd keeps getting bigger, and bigger, and as they keep walking, he sees the other side of things. He saw many scary beggars on the side of the road, and it scared katsu.

As katsu isn accustomed to the sight, he can only direct his gaze to other places, but they
e everywhere.

”Ah, here we are, the best store that offers the best quality at the lowest price. ” He says while pointing at a shop.

Vin led katsu to what looked like a shady nameless store at a corner of the street, the windows were blocked by curtains, making it hard to see what was inside. But Vin seems to be a regular customer here.

”lets go inside! ” Vin tells katsu.

They both entered the shop, the bells ring as Vin swings the door open.

”Bon! Im here! ” he yelled.

”Hmm? ” he then looks over the counter and sees, Vin. ”Ahh! Monsieur! Looking energetic as usual! ” he says, with a very heavy French accent.

Inside the shop is very messy, with a lot of random things scattered around. Last store youd expect to be a good one.

Vin approaches the counter.

”So, hows the store running, eh? ” he asks bon.

”Im giving it some small renovations, but overall, doing good, ” Bon replied.

”Yeah. No one is going here if it looks so shady. ” He humorously says.

”Hahaha- ”notices katsu ”whos the child? ” bon asks.

”His name is katsu. ” Vin answers.

”A close family relative or what? ”

”ha-ha, ” he laughs but it sounded depressing. ”Come on bon, you know I don have relatives, nor family ”

A sad melancholic silence ensues.

”Right, you left… then who is he to you? ”

”I found him in a barrel in the river, his village got attacked so Im taking him in my care. ”

”His village got attacked!? Man, the cats are attacking more aggressively, to think that they were able to cross the channel. You
e taking the child in? do you even know how to take care of a kid? ”

”don you worry, I can manage! ”

”Anyways, what does he need? Ill give it for half the price. ”

Vin had a slight smirk on his face and then said ”some new clothes. ”

”Find what you need ”

”Ok, katsu! Come! Lets find some good clothes on ya. ” Calling katsu over.

”Ok, Mr. vin! ” katsu responded and follows Vin to an aisle.

After that, katsu tried on new clothes, it took them a while to find a good fit. And they bonded for a while, this bond will continue to harden through time.

While they
e shopping, the voice once again said ”You were so kind to me; you were the reason I got here. ”

Vin puts all of the clothes on the counter.

”Is that all? ” bon asks.

”Yup! Thats all of it! ”

”The total of that will be 5 pounds 12 shillings and 5 pence. ”

”Five pounds!? I thought you halved it? ”

”I did, you just bought a lot of clothes ”

”Oh, come on, can you sell it to me for 3? ” he says as he tries to bargain.

”3 pounds and 10 shillings, ” Bon says, unwilling to take his offer.

”Come on, please? ” begs for a discount.

”Agh, fine, Ill do 2 pounds and 10 shillings, you are buying it for that kid. And to help ease your expenses. ”

”Yes! Thank you, thank you! ” pay for the clothes and puts them all in a bag.

”Alright, katsu lets go back to my apartment! ”

”Ok, Mr. Vin! ”

They leave the store, and it was already noon.

”Woah, we spent a long time there. ”

”Yeah… ”

Vin notices katsu still has a scarred face.

”katsu ”

”Ye-yes, sir? ”

Vin kneels and puts his hand on his shoulder. ”No need to be scared, ill protect you. And I will not let anything hurt you, trust me. ”

Theres nothing he can do but trust him. His mind is now at ease, and hell always think that hes protected by a good stranger named vin.

”Ok, sir… ”

They both returned to the apartment, Vin prepares a bed for katsu.

”Ahh, sorry about this, I rarely accept visitors, let alone let them stay here. ”

Vin finishes preparing the bed, but it was so uncomfortable to sleep on, so katsu declines.

”ill sleep on the sofa, it feels better to sleep on, ” Katsu says as he lays on the sofa and closes his eyes.

So many things have happened, I wonder what the future holds.

Katsu and vin both say their goodnights.

And katsu fell asleep.

”Sleep well, for your story is just beginning. ” The voice narrated.

To be continued

End of chapter 2

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