Rocco hit his head hard against the ceiling. He fastened the seatbelt tightly on the back seat, but it didn’t help much for him who has narrow shoulders and thin body. This electric car is small and light, and so it is easy to be caught on a rough road. Children and those who are light have to prepare for the bounce. From Ile bian, they drove for about an hour to the west. The town of Caize appeared in front of them.
“Are you all right? We have passed Caize, and so there will be 30 to 40 kilometers to go. We’ll be there soon, Mr. Rocco.”
“Call me Rocco, please.”
Darill was asked by his sister, Ms. Soroban to take Rocco to the house of the old priest by car. Ms. Soroban told him to drive carefully, because Rocco is the most important existence for humans. Darill was very nervous that day.
“But you are such a famous Mr. Cat, Rocco. Well, it sounds funny.”
“So, call me Rocco. OK?”
Rocco and Darill have been driving for two hours now.
Rocco cast his eyes on the landscape. Outside the window, olive fields stretched all over. He sniffed in the air, and thought they are close. He’s going to visit the village for the first time, but his animal instincts told him it’s close. Endless looking hilly areas are going to end. There is a small mountain as if to block the front view. Unless you go up to the top of it, you cannot see what’s there on the opposite side of it.
“Yes, it looks exactly what I’ve heard.”
Rocco remembered what Doctor told him.
“When you reached to the top, stop the car, get out, breath deeply, look at the village from one corner to the other, and then enter the village. That’s where the entrance of the village is.”
“Stop over there, please.”
After reaching to the top of the hill, they drove a while an even road, and then began to go down. There, Rocco got out of the car.
He had never ridden for so long, and felt heavy. When he took the first step to the ground, he felt his legs gone to sleep for the first time. He had no feeling when he took the step. Such a thing truly happens! He remembered that Kii often got cramp in her leg while dining or had her legs gone to sleep. He didn’t expect that he himself would have such an experience. He had thought that humans move very slowly to do anything. But it can’t be helped, walking on two feet. Rocco understood one defect of walking on two feet.
Rocco didn’t want to fall down there. He grabbed the car door firmly and took his second step onto the grassy land. The right foot was OK, but the left one was still numb. He thought he shouldn’t let go of the door yet, when he noticed a strong gaze from Darill. He was at a loss how to understand what he saw. He left after responding to Rocco’s thanks with stiffened face.
Rocco looked over the village.
It was very different from what he heard of. It was very different from what he had imagined, either.
Rocco moaned. Because the landscape he was seeing was very different from what he pictured in his mind.
There is a certain order in the way rural landscape is. Rocco was browsing a thick picture book of villages, when Doctor told him about this village. The book had many pictures of small villages on flat land or on slope, towns, and fishing villages with a harbor. But here something is very different.
In front of him, a post of about two meters high is put up. On the post is nailed a rotten board which has letters almost illegible written. Rocco got close to it to the extent that his nose touched it, and read it.
“The entrance of Morangogne. No car is allowed to enter.” This too simple sign disappointed him again. From the foot of the sign, there is a narrow path, which allows only two persons to walk side by side, stretching to the center of the village. Rocco took his step onto the path. There is someone he has to meet by any means, although he didn’t make any appointment.
He is the mentor of Dr. Chancewinsky. Satchina also respects him very much. He is the one who loves Morangogne the most of all.
It was a gentle downhill, but it is the hardest road for Rocco to walk. He knew that his instincts was telling him to run rapidly on four foot, but he decided to walk on two foot anytime. Because Ms. Soroban always told him to take one step at a time and not to hurry. Rocco is greedy for new knowledge and absorbs it very quickly. Ms. Soroban told him not to swallow knowledge, but learn its meaning. She always concluded gently, a step by step, OK? It is hard to go step by step walking on four feet.
Rocco walked several hundreds meters, but he didn’t meet anyone.
“Are there people living here?”
He came to a place where those who came up could have the entire view of the village. He took a deep breath and looked over the village.
“Ah, I know. I thought something was different, but now I know why.”
There is no sense of unity among houses. In other countries, there is a certain standard in building a house in terms of, for example, height and color. But there aren’t any here in this village.
It might mean that there are people of different values. Rocco came to be excited.
But there should be regulations against ruining the fine view of the village.
Wait a minute. What did view mean?
“It’s not a word but a mere noise, if you don’t know the meaning. Noise doesn’t convey anything. Those who don’t understand the meaning of words emit them and made the world noisy place. You came to use words to be the part of it, don’t you, Racco.”
Ah, yes, he is the one. No doubt about it. He is exactly the same as I’ve heard and imagined.
Rocco introduced himself politely and told him why he came to meet him.
“Well, then, follow me.”
He went down to the village at a quick pace unlike an old man. Rocco followed him hastily.
“Humans are interesting creature. They are too assertive even though they don’t have ability, but they haven’t done what needs to be done. You were born to be a cat luckily, and why do you want to mimic humans? It should be easy and nice to be a cat.”
“Yes, I know. But if we don’t take any measures, the Earth will be destroyed. An evil star called id star is aiming at the Earth. Those who are alive will be dead!”
“It’s nothing unusual in this world that those who are alive will be dead and those who meat will part.”
Rocco took his breath away and stepped back.