Creation's Lament Chapter Ten: The Rescue
"Stop the music!"
The huge cat in the corner did so, grinning evilly. The Cat King was now on his hind feet, glaring at the male cat holding his future queen. The entertainer didn't turn, and Haru's face was completely covered by the cat's broad shoulders. But she wasn't moving either, her hand still on her partner's shoulder, squeezing it slightly.
"I know for a fact that you've never entertained here before, so who exactly are you?!"
The orange cat reluctantly released Haru's hand and pulled off his plumed hat.
"How rude of me. I should have introduced myself." He threw the hat to the side, the white cat in the corner struggling to contain his evil mirth. "I am exactly who I appear to be."
The feline monarch could see the orange cat raise one hand (hand, not paw) to his face and slowly pull off his mask. Haru gasped softly, her hand relaxing from his shoulder. Then the cat turned to the king, revealing his face and the light blush his fiancée was giving as she continued to look at her dancing partner. She knew how to blush? The Cat King had thought that she just didn't have the ability, since she had never done it before.
"I am Baron Humbert von Gikkingen, and I have come for Haru."
What happened next could not be mistaken by anyone present. The cat Creation had never really been comfortable with court functions, and polite smiles were about all they expected from her. But the grin that took over her face at hearing Baron's words was far superior to any expression they had seen out of her prior. She jumped up in order to wrap her arms around his neck and squeeze hard, being about a head shorter than him.
The orange cat looked a little surprised at her sudden affectionate gesture, but the grin on his face said that he didn't mind in the least.
"He is handsome," Natori was actually stupid enough to say within clawing distance of the Cat King. He roared his displeasure.
"He can't have her! Guards, seize them!"
Green cats billowed from every curtain, save the one that the guests were fleeing through. The white cat dropped the accordion and stepped in front of the two Creations as Baron wrapped his cloak protectively around Haru. The king looked to his right, but found his heir and future daughter-in-law gone. The orange cat laughed as his huge companion took down all the guards stupid enough to attack.
"Looks like your blackmailing chips are gone, Majesty. Now there's nothing binding Haru to you."
The disheveled king slowly turned to the thief, flames appearing in his eyes.
"She still gave her word! How much is your honor worth to you, Haru?!"
Baron could feel her tremble slightly, still clinging to him. His anger rose higher.
"Even if she was a regular cat, her spirit's far too noble to be bound by a vulgar blackmail marriage. But if you personally want her, than come get her."
Haru turned sharply to him, wondering what he was thinking, since Muta had taken out all the guards the king had sent. Two security guards tried to drag him from the violence, but he threw them off like paperweights as he grabbed a stray word from the ground. Muta tossed a sword at Baron from one of the fallen guards. He grabbed it with ease, flashing green eyes locked on the king of cats.
"Give her back!" the king howled angrily. Baron wrapped one arm firmly around her waist, closing any remaining distance between their bodies. The brown half-cat couldn't help but notice how well their bodies seem to fit together, almost like puzzle pieces. The blush returned, but Baron didn't notice.
"I want one thing clear, Majesty. I can disappear with Haru in the blink of an eye. You can fight for her if you wish, but if you lose, then you must abdicate the throne to your son."
That stopped the king in his tracks, his blue and red eyes wide with horror. Give up the throne? After everything he had done to keep it?
But Haru was such a babe; it would be a shame if she went to waste inside some Refuge with this rogue. He glared harder, and raised his sword to attack the figurine.
The Cat King always got what he wanted, no matter what.
"Fight like a cat, you chicken!"
Baron smiled grimly, expecting this, and gently pushed Haru towards Muta, a look telling the white cat to keep her safe. He nodded, and placed one paw on her shoulder to warn off the guards struggling to rise. The girl Creation trusted Baron's judgment not to raise a fuss about the huge cat touching her, but she prayed that he was a good enough fighter to take down the Cat King. Somehow, the white cat could read her thoughts.
"Don't worry about Baron; he's got it under control."
She nodded, suddenly curious about something.
"What's your name? Toto never mentioned it." She decided it would be prudent not to use the word 'pig' in front of him, after seeing how he had taken down the guards. He grinned evilly, and spoke loud enough for everyone left in the hall to hear.
"I'm Renaldo Moon. But friends call me Muta." he added softly, making her smile and giggle, completely believing him for his appearance. The cats that could still walk bolted out of the banquet hall screaming. The king was so angry; he didn't even blink an eye over hearing that the worst criminal in Cat History was within ten yards of him. He and Baron raised their weapons and charged.
Being an immortal, Haru could see very clearly what happened in the split second the two clashed their swords, but Muta's sight, being more akin to a mortal's, couldn't quite tell what had happened. She struggled to contain her mirth until what Baron had done could be made obvious.
The orange cat back-flipped and landed squarely on his feet, which the white cat thought was just plain overkill, since Haru was already impressed with him. The king turned and held his sword ready for another round, breathing angrily through his nostrils.
A loud cracking sound echoed through the banquet hall, and the purple gem on the Cat King's forehead shattered. He howled at the loss, the sound soon being followed by most of his fur falling off his body. Embarrassed beyond words, he tried to cover himself up as Baron disdainfully shook his sword once to rid it of the stray hairs still clinging to it.
"I win, King. Or should I say 'ex-king'? It's safe now Lune, Yuki."
The royal couple emerged from a seemingly solid piece of wall to observe the damage. All the tables were turned over from when the guards entered; all the damaged food and dishes laying over the ground in a terribly smelly mess. Green cats were strewn all over the middle of the floor, courtesy of Muta, and the King's shaved fur moved around slightly in response to the draft from an open window. Yuki shuddered, glad that she wasn't going to be part of the clean-up crew anymore. The king spoke very softly to his heir as he sat down and crossed his legs to get a last look of Haru as she happily tore off the fish-shaped crown and necklace, throwing them to the ground disdainfully.
"I'll be retiring starting today, Son. Hope you're ready for the responsibility."
Prince Lune nodded, knowing that was as close to an apology as he was going to get from his father. Haru walked over to the new king and queen, embracing them fiercely.
"I know the Bureau wouldn't have been able to get in here without your help. Thank you for not letting me join your family."
Lune grinned, guilty that he hadn't been able to help out more, since he had been providing most of the trouble. Yuki soaked in Haru's warmth and gratitude as Baron walked over and touched her shoulder.
"We'd best leave while the king's skull is still cracked."
Lune's head shot up.
"You cracked Father's skull?!"
Haru laughed and squeezed his shoulder.
"That was a metaphor. See you guys around?"
The royal couple nodded and hugged her one more time before releasing her to Baron, who was patiently waiting. He had pulled off the black outfit, revealing a gray suit that Haru thought suited him very well. Muta shook his head and grumbled something intangible as he crawled onto the window sill and looked outward for something in the sky.
"Hey Bird-Brain! We're done in here, and we've got Baron's new girlfriend, so if you could-" he was cut off when a pair of dark claws grabbed his outstretched paws, and the cat was completely taken out of the window, still screaming at Toto.
Haru blushed a bit at being called Baron's girlfriend, but decided not to correct it. The orange cat looked at her and grinned, understanding what her silence meant. They nodded at each other, and bolted for the window, which was at the other end of the banquet hall. The brown half-cat marveled how her step and Baron's were already in sync, even moving their arms in the same fashion. Reaching close to the window, the two Creations used the gathered momentum to jump out the opening, twirling around like dancers as Toto caught them on his back.
Haru had landed directly behind Baron, and she wrapped her arms around his chest as he caught a fistful of feathers. Toto headed toward the portal tower, somehow able to handle the weight of the three cats.
'I left your bag at your place in the Refuge, Haru.'
'Thanks, Toto. Thanks for everything.'
'No problem. So, what do you think of Baron?'
She grinned and squeezed the orange cat a little tighter as the crow spiraled up the tower towards the portal opening.
'I think you understated him; he's cool and hot. But if you tell him I said that, I'll team up with Muta against you.' Although she had hardly seen the two interact, she was perceptive enough to see the perpetually brewing feud.
Baron couldn't understand why his feathered friend started laughing uproariously, but to be honest, he didn't care all that much. He used his free hand to cover Haru's, privately thinking that if she had been at the Refuge when he first arrived there, he probably wouldn't have gotten bored enough to start the Bureau.
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