The White Cat That Swore Vengeance Was Just Lazing on the Dragon King’s Lap – Volume 01 – Chapter 23

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Chapter 23 – The Return

Ruri returned to the forest with a tinge of worry still in the back of her mind. She stood in front of the entrance of Chelsie’s house, took a deep sigh, and went inside. In the living room, Chelsie sat in a chair sipping a cup of tea.
“Welcome back.”
“Thank you.”
“Did you manage to talk with her?”
“Well, yes and no…” Ruri sat down in the chair across from Chelsie and told her about the confrontation with Asahi. Upon hearing the whole story, Chelsie’s face made a rather dubious expression.
“I’ve heard stories about this girl many times, but… she’s a little off, isn’t she?”
“‘A little’ nothing! I was thrown into the forest and forced to fend for my life and she just tries to pass it off as me getting into a ‘little fight’? That is simply unbearable!” That whole ordeal wasn’t something that could be passed off as a “simple little fight.” She was framed for a crime she didn’t commit! She was kicked by soldiers! She was forced to go all survivalist in the forest! The anger toward that soldier that had kicked her still remained fresh in her memory.
“Not being able to communicate the point to her is a pretty big issue.”
“You can say that again. I would like to take a look inside that head of hers to see how she heard what I said and concluded that a spat was to blame.” Ruri had calmed down slightly after venting her frustrations and asked Chelsie, “Chelsie-san, telling Asahi that I wasn’t abducted is all well and good, but if it does change her mind and she opposes the war, then the King won’t get a chance to eliminate her, right? Although, I’m afraid that if Asahi doesn’t comply and they’re unable to go to war, they’ll just end up summoning more people to get their next Priestess Princess.”
“That is a likely possibility. But they can’t do much of anything right away. Asahi is already well-known as the Priestess Princess. Claiming that they got the wrong person would give rise to suspicion and, anyway, they can’t conduct another summoning right away. That only works when a path between the two worlds is open, so they’ll need time to prepare. Even if Asahi was to suddenly go against the war, the King and Priest would first try to persuade her into reconsidering. This will buy us some time until the war starts.”

Ruri breathed a sigh of relief. While it didn’t completely eliminate her fears, they seemed to be unnecessary for the time being.
“You said you talked to her, but did she accept what you said as fact?” Asked Chelsie.
“She gave me a bit of the runaround, but after everything I told her I’m sure she is at least thinking about it.” Ruri couldn’t explain it any more simply than how she had. As dim as Asahi was, even she probably felt some distrust sprout up over Ruri saying she wasn’t abducted. Plus, she was a grown adult! She should have enough intelligence to think on her own…
Asahi may have tried to brush off what the Prince and the others did to her as the result of an argument, but it was likely that Ruri’s persuasive lecture made an impression. Considering that, even discounting the two years they’d spent in this world, it was the first time Ruri had actually tried to speak to Asahi in several years. What they needed to consider now was how to handle Asahi going forward.
“Last thing, I’m wondering where we should put Asahi in the immediate future. Also, there is the issue of needing to extract her from Nadasha if she does turn against the war.”
“That is a matter for other people to solve, not you.”
“Do you think so?”
“Even more importantly, shouldn’t you be getting back to the capital soon?”
“Why is that?” Ruri asked, clueless as Chelsie smiled wryly, stood up and disappeared off somewhere. She returned shortly with a stack of papers in her hands, presenting them to Ruri and taking her seat once again.
Ruri scanned the papers to find some kind of letters written on them, but seeing as how Ruri was still a beginner at this world’s language, she had no way of telling what precisely was written on them. While there were some parts she could make out, they weren’t much.
“What are these?”
“They’re letters checking on if you’ve come here. Claus has been asking me a few times every day. Ruri, did you not tell them that you were going out before you left?” Chelsie asked, exasperated.
“I did tell them. Though I did write a letter instead of telling them verbally.” Chelsie knew of Ruri’s reading and writing capabilities, so she had her doubts.
“How did you write a letter yourself when you don’t have enough reading comprehension for those letters there?”
“Well, I strung together some of the vocabulary I know…” Ruri recalled the letter and how it most likely got the general point across, but she hadn’t yet realized that it had unfortunately been interpreted in a different manner.
“This is what happens when you leave a note with a mastery of only very basic vocabulary. The royal capital is in an uproar about you running away.”
“Huh? ‘Running away’?!”

“I told them that you haven’t run away and that you came here after you arrived, but this time, I’m getting a multitude of letters addressed to you from His Majesty. And Claus has been sending letters non-stop asking that you hurry back home.”
“What did Jade-sama say?”
“It’s mostly along the lines of, ‘If I did something to upset you, then tell me and I’ll improve myself, so please just come home.’”
“Jade-sama…” Ruri had finally caught on to the fact that she had caused people to worry over her.
“I was told that all of His Majesty’s aides together managed to stop him from coming here himself to retrieve you. Now, hurry on back and put his mind at ease.”
“Yes, ma’am,” Ruri replied, but it was already late at night. She had Chelsie teach her the words needed to write a letter telling them that she would leave tomorrow morning and sent it via the water tray.
She spent the night at Chelsie’s house and departed in the early morning. “Right, I’ll be off now.”
“Don’t be a stranger.”
Ruri then flew off in the direction of the royal capital. After flying for a while, something suddenly popped into her mind.
“Oh yeah, I haven’t seen Kotaro around for a bit. I wonder where he’s gotten off to?” Ruri said to herself, pondering the fact that she couldn’t find Kotaro, who usually popped up whenever she was around.
It was too late to turn around now, though, so she put the matter of Kotaro on the back-burner and headed straight for the royal capital.

◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

Ruri made her way back to the royal capital through several towns, then turned back into a cat and headed toward Jade’s office. Since she had no way of opening the office door as a cat, she scratched on it to signal her arrival.
The door opened inward with little time wasted, and within an instant Ruri felt her whole perspective on the world change, making her eyes bulge wide. This was because Jade had scooped her up off the floor. Within Jade’s arms, her eyes met his greenish-blue ones.
“Ruri, where in the world did you go? And you leaving that note behind… It was bound to make me worry.”
“I apologize, Jade-sama. I never intended for you to be this worried over me…”

“I would obviously be worried if you up and left. From now on, just speak to me directly. I was so worried that I couldn’t concentrate on anything.”
“I will,” Ruri replied as she looked into the room to see Claus sighing in relief.
Chelsie had mentioned that all of Jade’s aides were restraining him, so the relief at Ruri coming back was warranted. Ruri had never thought that her note might be misinterpreted as a running-away note or that Jade would cause this much of an uproar. She felt extremely sorry for the burden she’d placed on Claus and the others.
“I am truly glad that you have come back to the castle. His Majesty spoke of ‘picking you up’ despite not knowing your whereabouts, so it was quite the task to prevent him from doing so.”
“I am sorry for that, Claus-san.”
“You needn’t apologize. I am just glad that you did not leave permanently. If you actually did leave for good, His Majesty would have become completely incapable of carrying out his duties. That said, whenever he doesn’t know your whereabouts, he does find it hard to concentrate and his work piles up quite a bit.” Claus turned his attention toward Jade, commenting with a grin, “But now it seems that you can make fine progress, so I would suggest that you get started on your workload.”
Jade seemed to understand the tenor of this statement, replying to him with a sour face “Yes, I get it.”
Realizing that she would get in the way of his work, Ruri tried to slip out of Jade’s arms. But when she tried, instead of letting go Jade squeezed even harder, preventing her from jumping down from his arms. When she looked up, there was Jade’s face—in all its displeased glory.
“Where do you think you’re going?”
“Um, I thought I would leave the room because I’d interrupt your work.”
“No. You stay here. How many days do you think you were gone? A quick hug won’t be enough to heal what ails me,” said Jade as he returned to his seat with Ruri in his arms, placing her on the usual position on his lap. And with that, the mighty Dragon King was on cloud nine.
“Um, Jade-sama? Wouldn’t keeping me on your lap distract you?” Ruri knew that, if the roles were reversed, it would surely distract her. Regardless of her cat form being small, it had to get heavy having her on your lap the entire time.
“It’s no problem. In fact, if you went off to where I couldn’t see you, it would make me more worried and I’d come to a standstill with my work.”
“Hmm, is that how it works?” “That’s how it works.”
Ruri looked at Claus to confirm that this was indeed the okay thing to do, but Claus only gave a wry smile in response. He even went so far as to approve of Jade’s behavior—a far cry from suggesting Ruri leave the room. “His Majesty is in a much better mood this way and makes more
progress with his workload, so I ask you to please stay there for the time being.”
Since that seemed to be the plan, Ruri found a comfortable spot and curled up on his lap.
A satisfied look came over Jade’s face as he looked at Ruri’s balled-up body. He lightly patted Ruri’s head before getting started on squaring away the mountain of documents stacked on his desk. The sounds of shifting papers and a scribbling pen echoed throughout the silent room.
These sounds were oddly relaxing to Ruri as she realized just how drained she felt from her conversation with Asahi. She finally felt like herself again back at Jade’s extremely comfortable side.
Jade would stroke Ruri’s head to comfort himself as he worked, which made Ruri squint and smile in glee.
It didn’t just happen once or twice either—it happened so many times that it made her worry he wasn’t actually getting any work done. But since his one hand was petting Ruri and the other hand was holding his pen and moving unimpeded, she assumed that he must be working.
Claus, who was behaving as if he was on surveillance duty, was silent with a good-natured smile on his face, which clued Ruri in that Jade was progressing at an excellent pace.
Ruri wished she could assist him, but considering that her skill at reading their language was pretty dubious, she probably couldn’t really help him with anything. Although, that gave her the idea that maybe she could help with smaller things he might need.
“Jade-sama, is there anything I can assist you with?”
His pen paused and Jade looked down at Ruri on his lap and grinned. “I appreciate the sentiment. You staying right here is all I need from you.”
“Um, okay…” It seemed as though she wasn’t going to be very useful as a cat— a fact that slightly distressed Ruri.

◆ ◆ ◆ ◆

As Ruri sat quietly atop Jade’s lap as to not get in his way, she thought about the King and Head Priest of Nadasha.
Not only did they summon a handful of unrelated individuals just so they could eventually go to war, but in an act of brazen selfishness, they chucked Ruri into the forest because she interfered with their designs.
She couldn’t forget her resentment from back then, even if she tried. No matter how much of Asahi’s Bewitchment powers were on them, she could never forgive what the Prince of Nadasha and her former classmates had done to her. But Ruri naturally saved her greatest resentment for two people and two people alone—the King and the Head Priest.

She probably would have been making new friends and enjoying the splendors of her college life right around now, but those two stole all of that away from her. They were people who thought of other people as nothing more than tools. If they wanted to go to war so badly, they should have just done it on their own and not gotten innocent people embroiled in their plots— Ruri wanted to shout that right into their faces.
(Just wait and see. I’ll get my revenge on you all!) After being tossed into that forest, anyone would believe that Ruri was dead. They probably never even dreamed that she would be living as healthy and comfortably as she was right now. The next time they met was going to be delicious. They were going to be so shocked they wouldn’t be able to stand up straight. Just imagining the looks on their faces brought a grin to her face.
Ruri wasn’t going to let them do whatever it was they pleased; she was going to thoroughly trounce their plans and, some day, slam her fist right into their smug faces.
What a treat that day was going to be.
Ruri renewed her determination as the faces of those she hated popped into her head.

Several days later, Nadasha declared war against the Nation of the Dragon King—an act that essentially meant that Ruri’s lecture proved meaningless.
She’d gone so far as to sneak into Castle Nadasha in order to help Asahi in spite of the dangers, which made the cut of betrayal hurt that much more.
No, perhaps attempting to make Asahi understand was a mistake from the get-go. But did she really relay anything too difficult to understand…? She simply said that she wasn’t abducted by the Nation of the Dragon King and not to trust the King or the Head Priest.
Asahi wouldn’t have motivation if Ruri hadn’t been abducted. She said that she needed to participate in the war as the Priestess Princess, but did none of the unscrupulous things she told her about the King get through to her?
This declaration of war was quick… a little too quick.
Even if Asahi was ultimately talked into going through with it, she’d thought what she’d done would at least stall the decision slightly, but this was far outside the realm of her expectations.
It meant that not a single one of Ruri’s sentiments resonated with Asahi, and despite telling her to be wary of the situation, she wasn’t wary at all and continued to blindly do as she was told.
Asahi had to understand what this meant. She had to understand that the start of this war meant the day had come—the day where the King and the Head Priest would carry out their plot to eliminate her during the chaos of the war.
“That no-good idiot! You could have held out for a little longer, for God’s sake!” Ruri screamed at the top of her lungs, but that scream wouldn’t reach all the way to the far-off Land of Nadasha—and neither would Ruri’s resentment.

To be continued…

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