“What do you want, dog?” asked Nekoto, the oldest felis there. He kept the other eye closed. The remark wasn’t taken well by Kelin, who felt his claws extending.
“You know anything about a thief, maybe one who lies as well as a cat?” Kelin asked indignantly. Nekoto just smiled in a knowing way.
“Nope, nothing,” Nekoto said. “Why don’t you go back to your little friends? They probably know better than I.”
“What about your sleeping friends, what do they know? Anything, just hiss it out, as I’d rather not play with you,” Kelin said with a growl.
“I was awake during the first robbery,” Nekoto said.
“That an admission of guilt, cat?” Kelin asked with a sneer.
“You know it wasn’t any of us. I was only awake, doesn’t mean I know who the robber was. I heard someone shuffling around outside in the middle of the night. I thought about getting up, but I was too tired to get up and check. Seemed boring as well.”
“You gutless little, this is why I hate felis. Lazy cats,” Kelin said with a snarl. The felis next to Nekoto opened his eyes, but soon closed them again. It didn’t appear as though anything interested him.
“Hah, better than living like a dog,” Nekoto said.
“Wolf, and you should remember it,” Kelin said.
“I’m bored now. Listen, this is what you want to know, what happened, right?”
“Yes, go on.”
“Well, I woke up, heard the shuffling, but then the person ran off. I was only half-conscious, so I took my time to get up. I was about to walk out, but I heard Yan. He was out, walking around, maybe talking, I’m not sure. I just know it was him out there, doing something. Maybe he knows who the thief is. Might be surprising what you find out, I bet.” Nekoto was still grinning, and he closed his eye again. Kelin walked off without a word.
“What happened there Kelin?” Pete asked while they walked off.
“Nothing much. Met him before. Prideful and arrogant person, but that’s to be expected of felis,” Kelin said.
“But I don’t get it. Why did he help?” Pete asked.
“Pride and arrogance, again. Annoying cats, they love toying with people. But their pride doesn’t allow them to be suspected for anything they haven’t done. Period. There is no point being polite. If I had asked instead of demanded, they would have just played with me till I became frustrated. I let the insult exchange go till he was bored, which happened fast enough, so it’s fine,” Kelin said.
The next group Kelin went to was the deeri group. Six deeri, both boys and girls, were talking in a group that was farther from the rest of the kids. The deeri all looked very cautiously at Kelin and Pete as they approached. When fifteen meters from the group, Kelin called out to them.
“We’re looking for information about the earlier crime; can someone come out and talk?” Kelin shouted a bit, but he was far enough away from the group so that they didn’t mind. Pete kept to Kelin’s side, as he knew that deeri hated being approached too closely by other species, especially lupus. They all grouped together for a moment, and upon breaking apart one walked towards Kelin. She was tall and elegant. Her name was Elenor, a deeri well-known to everyone else.
“I shall help you. The others will not. Twill did come by earlier and explained; therefore you have my cooperation, and what I know,” Elenor said.
“Then I won’t hesitate. What do you know?” Kelin asked.
“The culprit is white. Fur or feathers or hair or skin, I could not tell,” Elenor said.
“When?” Kelin asked.
“Last night. I heard the rustling. I want to say I investigated, but it appears you know quite well how fearful we deeri are. I eventually opened the tent a little to peek out, but all I caught was a glimpse of something white. I think it was a person, as it was moving, but I don’t know anything else. It was a split second, and it scared me just as quickly. I considered saying something earlier, but with everyone around and how quickly everything happened, I couldn’t,” Elenor said.
“That, that is a clue!” Kelin said with excitement. Elenor bowed her head a little and turned to walk away. “Wait, is there anything else?”
“Nothing.” She didn’t turn when she spoke. Elenor returned to the group of deeri, and as a group they all walked just a little bit farther away from everyone else.
There was one more sizable group, aside from other people here and there, and that was the group of slitherers. They happened to all be together, yet separate even from one another. Such was their nature, Kelin knew, but nevertheless there was one who would prove worthwhile to speak with. His name was Ter’ae, and he had actually started walking towards the detective duo as soon as they left the deeri group.