Neko no Ongaeshi
(The Cat Returns)
|Synopsis - Page 4|
The house was well-furnished and very tidy. The Baron gave her a cup of his special blend of tea, which changes flavor everytime. Muta and Toto came in soon after. On request of the Baron, Muta explained that the cat's kingdom was only a place for cats without a mind of their own. When Haru told him that she was to be married to the prince, Muta couldn't see why not, saying that it would be a nice experience after all. The Baron suggested that they go to the cat's kingdom, saying that he had wanted to go there himself. Muta decided to pass the opportunity but the Baron insisted he follows. However, he could not bring Haru along with him, and turned to look at Muta, his intentions clear to both at them. Muta disagreed to babysitting Haru either.
At that Haru decided that it was best if she leave. After all, she had got herself into trouble, and should find a way to get out of it herself. Muta's conscience finally took over and agreed to babysit Haru. The Baron told Haru that she could stay after all. Muta could be nasty with his words, but he was really a nice guy.
Haru agreed and thanked Muta but accidentally said buta (pig) instead. This got Muta reeling mad and decided not to help Haru after all. The Baron directed his attention away by saying that was Chiffon cake in the cupboard Muta, being the glutton he was, forgot about everything but the cake.
As Baron helped Muta apply whipped cream on the cake, there was a knock on the door and thinking it was Toto, Haru answered it. Imagine her shock when she saw the cat at the door, ready to bring her to their kingdom. An army of cats swarmed into the Baron's office and swept Haru away on their backs. Toto flew in too late to tell them about the incoming cats, and was scolded by Muta for being blind in not seeing the cats leaving the house.
Back to the cats, Haru demanded the cat messenger to stop but it apparently was too dumb and thought that she was having pre-marriage blues. Meanwhile, Baron and friends were hot on the trail with Baron riding Toto. Toto picked up Muta since he was lagging behind. When they caught up with the cats, Baron instructed Toto to drop Muta. Unfortunately for him, the cats manuevered sideways such that Muta fell flat on the road. The cat messenger got another round of torture by Haru. She wasn't the only one mad; Muta ran full speed and caught up with the cats with Haru's help. The cat messenger, in dismay, complained that their combined weight was way over the weight limit.
In an attempt to lose Toto and Baron, the cats opened portals and ran through the city, finally losing them in the park. The portal left behind a trail of lights and Baron decided that they follow them in case it leads to the cat's country.
We return to Haru recovering from her fall. The mist around here was steadily disappearing and Muta appeared behind her. Haru asked him how he got to be so big but was told that it was she who had shrunk. As the mist finally clears, it became clear that they were in the cat's kingdom. In the meantime, Toto and Baron had just found the location of the cat's kingdom; a large lake with accompanying smaller lakes, forming a cat's paw shape.
Haru seemed to have forgotten her problems and was relaxing in the long grass when she heard someone calling her. A white cat was standing nearby, telling her that she should not be in the kingdom and that she should go home quickly. Somehow, Haru was more intent in admiring the cat's beauty. The cat repeated her warning again, this time mentioning Haru's name, which puzzles Haru.
The messenger, who was looking for her, called out to her and invited her once again to the castle. Referring to Muta, he told her that her servant could come along too. Haru quickly cleared the mistake, introducing Muta as her friend. Muta wanted to leave but Haru decided that it was rude to leave before meeting the king. Haru also asked if the white cat could follow. The cat introduced itself as Yuki, a servant working as a waitress in the castle. The messenger then assured Haru that she would see her later and led her to the castle.
As they entered the castle grounds, a floating eyeball floated above them. As it turns out, the eyeball was a device the king used to see what was going on. Seeing Haru, he prepared to meet her and left his advisor Natori, who was more interested in Muta. He had a nagging feeling that he had seen him before.