Neko no Ongaeshi
(The Cat Returns)
|Synopsis - Page 5|
Inside, Muta wanted to follow Haru when she was led to change before meeting the king. Haru called Muta a pervert and ran into the changing room while Muta was led into the next room where refreshments were set for him. The cats attending to Haru kept praising her until one of them mentioned the wedding, to which Haru immediately told her that that was not why she had come.
As the king went to see Haru, Natori went to see Muta, who was gorging himself with cakes. He finished everything but was still feeling hungry. Turning to the back of the room, he eyes the huge jar filled with jelly.
In the dressing room, Haru was explaining to the king that she could not marry the prince due to the prince being a cat, and apologized. The king and Natori, who had by then joined the king, looked at each other and grinned. The king told her that it was not to be a problem. She was, after all, a cat herself. Surprised, Haru began fingering her cat ears and face while the servants fetched her a mirror. Haru gazed into the mirror and prodded her face some more for a while. It took a while before she realized that she had turned into a cat and, screaming, ran into the next room for Muta. As bad luck would have had it, Muta had drowned himself in the jelly and was stuck in an awkward position. Natoru told her that she had to go to the banquet but refused to leave Muta. So Natoru had Muta brought into the dining hall as well.
The king had prepared a huge banquet and invited guests from different parts of the globe, as well as entertainers to entertain the guests. However, none of them was able to cheer Haru up, who was sobbing and looking considerably distressed, much to the king's displeasure, who demanded for someone who could do much better than the previous entertainers. At that, every single entertainer stepped backwards except one.
Dressed in a cloak and a mask, he claimed that he will cheer Miss Haru up. Walking up to her, he extended his hand and asked her to dance with him. Haru hesitated, but let herself be led to dance in the end. And so Haru and the figure began waltzing in the middle of the hall. The figure was an excellent dancer and Haru herself began to feel attracted to him. Whisker began to sprout from her face Haru yelped but the figure calmed her down. He told her to just be herself, like he did once before. Haru got the hint, but could not recognize who it was.
The king was growing steadily suspicious and demanded to know who he was. As the figure slowly removed his mask, Haru gasped as it turned out to be- the Baron! The king ordered the Baron to be captured and a fight started. In the commotion, the glass jar broke, freeing Muta. Dazed, it took him a moment to figure out what was happening.
As Muta fended off the guards, Yuki led the Baron and Haru through a secret passage which led to the outside perimeter, after telling them that they still have a chance of returning to the real world if they could get out before dawn. She showed them a very tall tower in the middle of a maze, the only exit out of the kingdom. Muta joined the group after Yuki had left, and the set out towards the tower.
Meanwhile, the king and several of his subjects had gathered on one of the nearby towers and watched as they made their way into the labyrinth. Natori had sent guards after the trio too, who were running on top of the walls. Muta had the same idea too, and unfortunately for him, the guards were already closing in on him. Using all their skills and a little luck, they managed to lose the guards and continued on their way.
Unknown to them, several of the walls were fake, which led them to more dead ends. Haru was the first to notice something odd and alerted the Baron, who kicked one of the walls. Oddly enough, the cats holding on to the fake walls were all standing in a row and a domino effect ensued, clearing the path towards to the tower. Haru was tired after all the walking and running and told the cats to move ahead. The Baron, a chivalrous cat, swept Haru up into his arms instead and ran off with Muta close behind.
Haru was taken aback by the Baron's chivalry. As she gazed upon his face, her whiskers grew longer. It drew the Baron's attention and Haru promptly looked away, blushing red.
Natori's idea of placing guards in the tower itself literally fell through as the steps crumbled, leaving the path free for the trio all the way to the top. Left with no choice, the king decided to use "that". Taking a remote control from Natoru, he pressed the button. "That" turned out to be explosives planted everywhere inside the tower and with half the tower destroyed, the trio were back on ground level again.
Fortunately for them, Lune had returned with his army just in time after being alerted by Yuki and stopped his father just in time from ringing them back to the castle. The king meekly told him that he wanted to thank her and thought that he might be happy if Haru married him. Lune, of course, was not pleased at all, and told hs father that he already had chosen someone he wanted to spend the rest of his life with.