Chapter 20

The Oona Case Part 1

"Are you quite sure we are going the right way?" Dawson asked looking away from his map and down at Crisp warily.

"Of course I do! You think I'm just flying in the sky aimlessly like a moron, don't question me!" Crisp snapped at Dawson, while Dawson just frowned in response.

Haru giggled and wrapped her arms tighter from behind Basil as the four of them picked up speed in the wind.

It has been about five hours since the four of them left London and headed for Germany, and begun their journey to the Dog Kingdom.

Dawson sighed and looked behind him at Basil.

"Basil, not that I doubt your methods of doing things, but. . . I have to ask. . ."

Basil stared back at Dawson and grinned at Dawson's confused expression.

"Ask away, old chap." Basil said holding tightly to Crisp's feathers as they passed through another air current.

Dawson grabbing to the feather's on Crisp's neck, frowned and looked at the map in his hands.

"Why do we have just an ordinary map of Europe? It doesn't even have a well written description of Germany, and there's no mention of the Dog Kingdom anywhere, not even a location."

Basil gave a tired smile.

"Unfortunately, I was unable to find map of Germany, containing the location of the Dog Kingdom, but this was the best I could find. . ."

Haru eyes widen.

"Wait, wait! You mean we don't know where the Dog Kingdom is?!" Haru asked a bit horrified.

Basil chuckled nervously.

"I'm afraid so, after all the only information we knew about the Dog Kingdom is that it's in Germany, and we got that info from you Haru, with the translation of Hund. . ."

Crisp then turned his head angrily at the mice on his back.

"So you mean I've been treading air for nothing?!" Crisp exclaimed.

"Not exactly Crisp, we do have a location, we just need to discover the exact location." Basil said.

"This is ludicrous! We could have been sitting down, enjoying some nice waffles, here in Belgium, trying to figure out the exact place we need to go! But no, you have me flying all around the place like an idiot with no location!" Crisp said flying a bit roughly, causing the three mice to hold on tighter.

"Crisp? Did you just say Belgium?" Dawson asked holding on to his bowler hat, so the wind wouldn't blow it off.

"Yeah, I know this place anywhere; this is where I get the world's best waffles." Crisp snorted.

"Then let us stop, to discuss-" Dawson tried to say, but was interrupted when a strong gust of wind began to blow at them.

"Hold on rodents!" Crisp called out from the wind, tilting his wings upward to try to go slower.

Dawson and Basil took a good grip on Crip's feathers and their hats as the wind continued to blow past them, however Haru wasn't so lucky.

Haru's hold around Basil's waist began to slip, Basil began to notice this and tried to get a good hold on her as well, but failed, Haru's arms slipped.

Haru's eyes widen once she realized she was no longer sitting on Crisp's back and was now in midair, hurdling down towards the earth. Haru screamed in horror.

"Haru!" Basil cried lunging to catch her, but slipped off of Crisp's back also.

Dawson and Crisp, just noticing Haru and Basil's current situation, turned at the sound of Haru's scream in the wind.

"Basil! Haru!" Dawson exclaimed.

Crisp growled.

"The trouble others put me through. . ." Crisp grumbled under his breath and directed himself downward toward the falling Haru and Basil.

Basil straightened his body out to pick up speed to reach Haru.

Haru's body turned even further downward, so she was able to see the world below, she stopped screaming and looked down.

With admiration she looked down at the many trees, rivers, and green land below her.

Despite her peril, a smile appeared on her face.

'I think, I can learn to like this.'

Suddenly she felt arms wrap around her.

Haru quickly turned to see Basil smirking at her, positioning her bridal style in his arms.

"Are you alright Ms. Haru?" Basil asked as the two continued to fall towards the earth.

Haru smiled.

"Yes, believe it or not. . . I'm not afraid actually. I'm kind of used to free falling from the sky." Haru giggled.

Basil stared in wonder at Haru then smirked.

"Good to know your taking this well." then looked above them.

"Hang on tight Haru!" Basil said holding tightly to Haru.

Haru wrapped her arms around Basil's neck as Crisp darted below the detective and young girl, allowing Basil to fall onto Crisp's back with Haru landing on his lap.

"You're welcome." Crisp snorted.

Dawson turned around to look at the two mice.

"Are you two alright?!" Dawson asked, eyes still wide from the close call.

Basil nodded.

"We are quiet alright Dawson." Basil then looked down at Haru.

"You might want to hold on tighter this time though." Basil teased.

Haru pouted playfully.

"I know, I know. . ." Haru said rolling her eyes and keeping a firm grip on Basil, as she sat on his lap.

"Okay you little twerps, if you don't mind, I think we should be landing." Crisp said swooping down towards the green land below them.

OOO

Basil, Haru, Dawson, and Crisp looked around at their surroundings in wonder.

"Where are we?" asked Haru.

Basil sniffed the air.

"Based on the unique scent of hazel nut and fruit trees mixed in the air, I deduce that we are in Belgium's own Ardennes Forest."

Dawson looked around and turned to everyone.

"Perhaps we should find someone who could help us with directions to the Dog Kingdom?"

Basil nodded.

"Agreed. . ."

But before they could get a good look around, they heard a shout.

"Oona! Come back this instant!" cried a male voice.

The group turned to see a rat, wearing a blue shirt and tan pants chasing a young mouse who wore a dark hooded cloak.

"I'm going to find my daddy and uncle and you're not going to stop me!" the young mouse cried back at the rat.

Haru turned to the others.

"I know they look like they are in a tight situation, but why not ask them?" Haru giggled nervously.

Basil and Dawson frowned, but nodded.

"Hello!" called out Basil.

The young mouse turned to look at them and slowed slightly, only to be grabbed by the rat.

"Ha! Gotha!" the rat smirked down triumphantly at the young mouse while holding the mouse up from its cloak.

"No fair! No fair!" the young mouse cried squirming in the rat's grasp.

The rat only threw the mouse over his shoulder and smirked to himself and turned to the others.

"Sorry you had to see that. This little twerp was getting into trouble."

"Its fine, we just wanted to ask a question." Dawson said.

The rat tilted his head and smirked.

"Ask away."

"Do you by chance know where the Dog Kingdom may be?" Dawson asked.

The rat frowned.

"Nope, sorry, didn't know a Dog Kingdom was still around."

"Look, it's really important we find out the location, so is there someplace we can go to ask someone else who may know?" Crisp frowned.

The rat nodded.

"Actually, there is a village nearby that I'm heading to right now; you can come along if you want."

Basil smiled in gratitude.

"Thank you, I'm Basil by the way, this is Dawson, Crisp, and Haru." Basil said motioning towards the others.

"I'm Daan." the rat said.

Daan then smiled and grabbed the struggling mouse on his shoulder and held the young one out.

"This is Oona Peeters. Say hello Oona."

Daan pulled Oona's hood off to show a young girl mouse, who had soft brown fur and wore her hair in two darker brown braids behind her rounded ears.

'Aww. . . she's so cute.' Haru thought, smiling.

"Let me go! Let me go!" Oona cried, not bothering to say hello, but thrashed around in Daan's arms instead.

Daan frowned.

"Now, now Oona, don't be a hardhead, we're going home." Daan said firmly.

Oona stopped thrashing, but still wore an angered expression on her face.

Haru turned to Basil, Dawson, and Crisp inquisitively, but they just shrugged.

OOO

After some time, the six of them made it to a small village of mice and rats.

Daan turned to everyone.

"Come, let's go to my place, I'm sure you're all hungry."

Crisp smirked.

"You bet I am!" going at a faster pace with Daan.

Daan, with a pouting Oona still in his arms, came to a small house and pushed open the door.

"Come in, my soup should be about ready." Daan said.

They all came in and sat at a rounded dinner table.

Daan placed Oona in a seat next to Haru.

"Behave. . ." Daan said glaring slightly at Oona, who only rolled her eyes in the process.

Daan left everyone in the room.

Dawson sighed.

"Thank goodness we were offered food; I was just about to get hungry."

Haru looked outside the window at the passing mice and rats going about with their day.

"I hope somebody here knows about the Dog Kingdom." Haru said still looking out the window.

"I hope so too, Haru. Or else we will just have to wing it." Basil said.

Crisp glared at them.

"Better be a small 'wing it' because I'm not going to fly randomly, waiting energy. I don't care what the others back at Rescue Aid Society say, I'm not doing it!" Crisp stated.

Oona, who was staring at the ground until now looked up at Crisp suddenly.

"Did you just say Rescue Aid Society?! Are you from Rescue Aid Society?!" Oona asked her golden eyes widened.

Crisp nodded.

"Yeah, what's it to you squirt?"

A huge smile began to form on Oona's once scowling face.

"I knew it! I knew someone would come to help eventually!" Oona said standing on her seat.

"Wait what?" Crisp said clearly confused.

Haru looked at Oona.

"Help, with what?" Haru asked.

Oona turned to Haru and smiled sadly.

"To help me find my daddy and uncle, they have been missing for a while now and. . . I'm worried."

"Missing?" Dawson asked turning to Basil, who frowned at Dawson.

"Uh huh. . . my dad and uncle are geographers and they recently heard about a mysterious island that appeared suddenly at the North Sea. They went to investigate four days ago and never returned. . ." Oona said staring down at the floor sadly.

"Oh dear. . ." Dawson and Haru said in unison.

But Oona brightened up and looked to Crisp.

"But your here to help right, that's what the Rescue Aid Society does after all. . . help people." Oona smiled hopefully at Crisp.

Crisp shook his head coldly.

"Sorry, but I can't help you. I'm already helping these fools to get Germany, to the Dog Kingdom."

Oona turned to the others.

"Well. . . couldn't you help me, only for a day?! I promise it won't take more than a day; the island is only in the North Sea. That's not too far! Please! I need to find my dad and uncle!" Oona said persistently.

Before the others could say anything, Basil spoke.

"Certainly not, we haven't the time. We are on a tight schedule; we shan't have time in finding lost parents." Basil said.

Haru and Dawson looked with shock faces at Basil's cold statement to Oona.

"Besides, I'm sure your mother will send help to find them." Basil said reaching for a glass of water and taking a sip.

Oona's moods only sadden.

"I. . . don't have a mother. . ."

Basil immediately choked on the water he was drinking and became a coughing wreck, till he finally calmed down.

"I just have my father and uncle. Daddy left Daan in charge of me while they would be gone, and Daan himself doesn't know what to do about their disappearance, he keeps telling me that they will come eventually and that I just need to be patient. . ." Oona said frowning.

"But I can't wait! I have a bad feeling that they are in danger! That's why I need to go find them now!" Oona said desperately.

Haru's eyes softened at the little girl.

"Say Basil, why don't we help her?"

Basil eyes widen and turned to Haru.

"What?!"

Haru groaned, got up from her seat and grabbed Basil's wrist and dragged him out of the house.

Dawson and Crisp looked as the two mice departed and then at each other in confusion.

Once they were alone, Haru stopped and turned to Basil.

"Look Basil, I think we should help her." Haru said.

Basil raised his eyebrows at her.

"Excuse me Ms. Haru, but have you forgotten our situation?! Ratigan could be right now trying to get the Opal of The Hund and that stone is your last hope of returning you to your human state! We don't have time to help Oona; we can barely even help ourselves!"

"I know that! It's just. . . we can't just leave Oona here to worry about her father and uncle. She did say they went to an island; it couldn't be so hard to look around it and search for them. Like she said it couldn't take more than a day to find them, it wouldn't hurt to try!" Haru argued.

Basil sighed wearily and placed a hand on his face.

"But Haru. . . like I said. . . time isn't on our side. We don't even know if Ratigan has the stone as we speak. We are unsure of everything! Are you sure you want to risk losing your humanity over this girl?" Basil asked.

Haru looked down at the ground.

"Well. . . I actually don't want to risk losing my humanity and stay a mouse forever, but. . . " Haru hesitated.

Basil titled his head at her.

"But. . ." Haru continued.

"I think Oona is the one in need right now. . . even more than me. . ."

Basil's eyes widen at her statement and his eyes softened.

"Haru. . ."

"So please, Basil, let's help her. . . I am ready to accept the consequences if something happens." Haru said with determination.

Basil sighed.

"You're just going to complain if I say no are you?" Basil asked.

Haru nodded firmly.

Basil sighed once more and smiled at her.

"Then I guess we better get ready to go to the island then."

A bright smile appeared on Haru's face and she immediately engulfed Basil in a hug.

"Thank you Basil!" Haru said burying her head in his chest.

Basil stood there a few minutes with his arms hovering over Haru and finally rested them on her and returned the hug.

'Even in more need than Haru?' Basil questioned in his head.

'She would rather help a stranger than help herself. . .' Basil thought in admiration.

Basil's thoughts came back to the first day he met her, when she save him, Dawson, and Clive from that bus.

'She saved us and wants to help this young girl, not to mention her saving the Cat Kingdom's king. . . and she still asks for nothing in return. . . Is she really that selfless?' Basil thought, unconsciously holding Haru tighter to himself.

"Haru! Basil! Daan says foods re-ady?" Crisp said poking his head out of the house, to see Basil and Haru in each other's arms.

"Oh. . . nice. . . I didn't know it was like that between you two. . . Continue whatever you were doing, don't mind me." Crisp smirked at the two and went back into the house.

Haru and Basil immediately leaped from each other.

Basil coughed.

"Well Haru, let's go inside and tell Oona and the others the news. . . " Basil said turned away from Haru to avoid eye contact.

Haru nodded a small blush visible under her brown fur.

The two of them awkwardly walked back into the house and back to the table.

Basil turned to see Daan sitting next to Oona who sat at her seat staring at her bowl of soup solemnly.

"Oona, after much consideration, we have decided to help you find your missing father and uncle." Basil said.

Oona turned to look at Basil with widen eyes.

"You are?" Oona and Daan asked in unison.

"We are?" Dawson and Crisp also asked in unison.

Haru nodded at them happily to confirm it.

Oona lit up.

"Thank you! I'll go get ready!" Oona said leaping up from her seat and darting out the room.

Dawson turned to Haru.

"But Haru, what about-?"

"It's fine Dawson, we can wait." Haru smiled in reassurance.

Daan smiled at them.

"Thank you. I was beginning to worry about Oona. I was beginning to fear Oona would leave and seek her father and uncle by herself." Daan said.

Dawson chuckled.

"Looks like we are helping another little girl, looking for her daddy, huh Basil?" Dawson said smiling.

Basil smiled a bit also.

"Looks like it. . . strange. . . Things keep recurring from that one case. . ." Basil chuckled.

Haru tilted her head at them.

"Your one case?"

Dawson nodded.

"Yes, it involved Ratigan's last attempt of ruling and another little girl who was looking for her father. I believe that was a little over a century ago. . ."

Haru nearly fainted.

"Over a century ago?! Just how old are you two?!" Haru asked.

Dawson and Basil looked at each other and smiled nervously.

"We stopped counting long ago."

Haru was still at the state of shock.

'They said a little over a century ago! But they should be dead! And they don't look like elderly mice; in fact, these two don't even look like they're even close to half a century old!'

Haru's mind wandered to Baron and Toto, her immortal creation friends, which she had met a year ago.

'Could Basil and Dawson be creations?! But- they said Ratigan was also around back then, right? If they were all creations, why would Ratigan wish for immortality for himself?'

"Uh. . . just how exactly are you two even still around if you guys were still living over a century ago?" Haru finally asked.

Dawson's eyes lit up.

"Oh you don't know?"

Basil smiled and turned to his bowl of soup.

"Animals tend to age slowly, when they live within an animal kingdom. . . In our case, we lived within the Mouse Kingdom all this time, so we age very slowly. . . If we lived far from it however, we would age like everyone else." Basil said simply.

Haru eyes widen.

"Really? Well things make a lot of sense now. . ." Haru said thinking about Muta, Yuki, Lune, and the Ex Cat King's state.

Dawson chuckled.

"I could see why you would be confused."

Crisp rolled his eyes.

Daan smiled at the group and his eyes suddenly widen.

"I just remembered something. . ."

The four of them all turned to Daan.

"Yes?" asked Haru.

Daan laughed a bit nervously.

"If you want to help Oona and find her father and uncle on that island, I must warn you. . ."

The four urged him to continue.

"That island. . . it is rumored to be cursed. . ."

The whole room fell silent, till Crisp broke it.

"Well of course it is! Why wouldn't it be?!" Crisp cried in sarcastic exasperation.

Crisp then mumbled under his breath angrily,

"I knew I was in trouble the moment that Basil dude walked into my office. . . what the heck was I thinking taking this dumb case. . .!"