My name is K. I am a cat.
Is one letter of the alphabet really my name? No. I actually do have another name. But I hope you won’t worry too much about that. So, K. That is enough.
I mentioned it earlier, but I’m a cat.
From the tips of my ears to the end of my tail, I wear rich black fur. Unlike common mixed-breed cats, my coat doesn’t have even one hair of a different hue. This unadulterated color testifies to my noble pedigree.
My superiority does not stop with just my coat.
Perfectly balanced proportions, alert ears, and gracefully curving tail; in other words, I am perfect. In addition, I can land soundlessly from any height with my plump, soft paws.
And how about my elegantly curved whiskers sprouting from my muzzle? Specimens of excellence which simultaneously satisfy both functional and aesthetic roles! Of course, my large, round eyes and beautiful, strong claws cannot be left out.
Perfect from any and all angles, I am a cold, lone-spirited city cat. Undeniably warm towards my woman, though. Hmph.
Right now, I am looking down at the creatures making a fuss far below. They are the humans that work at the palace I live in.
Each one had their own name, but for convenience sake I divided them into two groups—maids and manservants. Of course, there were times when I separated the pretty maids from the ugly ones, but let’s pass that for now. There was also the division between the big-breasted maids and the flat-chested ones, but also pass.
Anyhow, right now they were looking up at me perched high in the tree as I moved restlessly. It wasn’t pleasant watching them scurrying hither and thither. But I acted like I couldn’t take my gaze from them. It was because they were calling to me worriedly.
“Butterfly~! Good kitty! Come heree~.”
My name is K.
“Come down, please. Butterfly!”
My name is K.
My name is K.
“Butterfly! Be good and come down!”
My name is…I’ll just stop.
Teaching the humans, whom I was ignoring, my real name was hard work. In the first place, they couldn’t understand me, so it might not completely be their fault. But by no means did this mean they could change my name to 「Butterfly」. Because my name is K.
I ignored the humans calling me a strange word and turned my head. The view from high in the tree was quite worthwhile. The beautiful, sprawling gardens with the grand palace located within them was fairly pleasing to the eye. This lavish and grand palace was my home.
Looking back down, the humans were bringing over a long ladder. With just a glance, I could tell it wouldn’t be far from reaching the height I was at. But it seemed like the anxious humans were still going to make an attempt. They were fools who needed to taste in order to tell if it was oil or urine.* Giving a cold smirk at their pathetic behavior, I turned my head and appreciated the evening sunset’s glow.
It had already been several hours since I had climbed up this tree.
While on a stroll through the gardens, I had come upon this tree which I quite liked and climbed up to this spot I was currently at. The tree was extremely tall, and I didn’t reach the top even after climbing higher and higher. Having climbed to this spot, even the toughest vines could feel my superiority.
It suddenly went quiet down below. I opened my eyes narrowly at the sight of the maids running toward one person. The maids and manservants who had been looking up at me just a little while before were all gathered around him. Their expressions were as if they had met their savior.
“What is all this?”
The person asking this while looking at the humans gathered around him was someone K was very familiar with. Naturally. He was the knight always running around chasing the Crown Prince, Simon Richt. Listening to the moaning and groaning of the servants, he shook his head and looked up at me. I looked down at him from my elegant sitting position. I was rather pleased seeing Simon’s expression contort faintly.
“It’s too high. It was impossible to bring the cat down even with all our efforts.”
One maid complained in a tired voice. By the looks of the light in Simon’s eyes, he agreed.
A brief expression of hesitation crossing Simon’s face, he turned toward me and shouted.
“Come down here!”
I stayed sitting where I was and snorted. The maid next to him whispered quietly.
“You have to call its name as well.”
At the whisper, the twisting on Simon’s face was cranked up another level.
The corner of my mouth lifted, and I looked down at Simon with narrowed eyes. I didn’t just narrow my eyes because I was enjoying the entertaining situation. Even from where he was, the knight Simon had sharp vision and could look at me piercingly. If he saw my eyes narrowed mockingly, his frustration would multiply. Muscularly built, Simon was a knight and didn’t lose his temper easily, but when he did become enraged his lips would twitch.
He started to fume. To call his expression cute would make me a pervert, but it was actually sort of like that.
After barely shouting that one syllable, Simon clamped his mouth shut. I could clearly see Simon’s ears blushing red-hot. A sight like the big-framed Simon calling 「Butterfly. You should come down now.」 wasn’t easy to see.
After stuttering “—tter, —tter, —tter” a couple times, he suddenly roared,
“Come down immediately!”
My eardrums felt like they were going to fall out. Imbecile.
After sending Simon with a burning glare, I looked away. From over yonder I could see my owner, the Crown Prince, coming. It seemed he had heard Simon’s yell.
Simon and the servants bowed hurriedly. Even though they weren’t bowing to me, I puffed up with pride. It was a cat’s fate. If kept by a prince, a prince cat; if kept by an earl, an earl cat; if kept by a beggar, a beggar cat; if living on the streets, treated as a thieving cat. There was no reason to go along with the social classes made up by humans, but right now I was no less than the Crown Cat Prince.
The Crown Prince, now near the tree, looked up at me.
Meeting the Crown Prince’s golden eyes, I swished my tail a couple times out of courtesy. I didn’t really think of him as my owner, but, as he did adore me, it was only right to be cordial. Don’t misunderstand that my manners showed loyalty or anything.
I gazed blankly down at him while sitting elegantly, and the Crown Prince extended his hand.
What. You telling me to come down?
As I tilted my head, the Crown Prince made beckoning motions with his hand. I think it means I should come down. I only stared back at him, and he parted his lips slightly.
I considered it for a second. But I didn’t let the gravity-like pull of his coaxing ruffle my refined and unmovable image. The Crown Prince was still extending his hand toward me. It looked like he wouldn’t put withdraw his hand until I came down. Seeing his sincere gesture, giving in and coming down seemed like a tempting idea. Didn’t I have the responsibility to at least save his face since he was taking care of me?
I finally came to a decision and opened my mouth.
I could see the humans’ expressions change a little at my pitiful cry. To encourage them I let out another long cry.
Crap. It’s too high up here. Get me down.
“Besides being a bit scared, it seems to be fine.”
I wasn’t scared, okay? Not at all. Can you prove it?
A manservant who could have no way of understanding my thoughts handed me to the Crown Prince. He had taken a long time in getting me down from the tree, and I could see his proud expression. It was disgusting how he acted all heroic after taking over two hours to rescue just me, but I decided to let him off easy. Because I’m a cool cat. It was a given that I didn’t need to show any gratitude. Because I’m a precious cat.
The Crown Prince held me in his arms and stroked my head. I guess because I was in his familiar arms, my nerves went away, and my body relaxed. As I yawned, the Crown Prince’s chest rumbled softly. It was unmistakable, he had chuckled to himself. I turned my head and looked at the Crown Prince. His expression was the same old poker faced look. But I knew. This guy had dared to laugh just a moment ago.
Hey. You laughed, didn’t you!
Pushing gently on his chest with my front paws, the Crown Prince’s golden eyes narrowed gently. At times like this, it really felt like he could understand what I was saying.
“Prepare some warm water.”
Sugar Prince commanded the servants trailing behind us. One servant hurried ahead to prepare it for him. Looking at the servant walking away, I anticipated the hot bath.
It had already been four days since I came to the palace with the Crown Prince.
Four days may not be long, but it was long enough that I could vaguely judge the Crown Prince’s character.
His name was Calix. It was uglier than my own name, K, but it was decent. Other humans called him「Your Majesty Crown Prince」or 「Your Highness」, but I called him 「Sugar Prince」 short for Sugar Daddy Prince. Even though he probably didn’t know I called him that.
My Sugar Daddy Crown Prince was an extremely nice guy.
For a grown man, he was quiet almost to a fault and always had an expressionless face, but it was no question that he was actually gentle and kind on the inside. The way he treated me so thoughtfully was one way I knew this.
And he wasn’t just nice on the inside. He actually had quite a handsome appearance. Because I had the perspective of a cat, I couldn’t judge his height very accurately, but it was certain that he was taller than the average man in this country.
The thing I liked most about him, though, was the color of his eyes. Just like his blonde hair, his eyes were the same beautiful shade of gold. Even though he always had an unreadable expression, if you looked into his eyes, you could get a faint glimpse of what he was feeling.
The Crown Prince, who was walking with long strides while holding me, stopped suddenly. He gazed at me evenly. Looking at me like that for a moment, he stroked my neck with a finger.
“You lost your collar again.”
Stroking my neck, the Crown Prince said this rather softly. Aware of his warm chest, I washed my paws absentmindedly.
As soon as I had come to the palace, Sugar Prince had put a collar on me. At first I had just taken it off because it was bothering me, but, lo and behold, now that I could look at it, the collar was decorated with a glittering gem. Seeing how the jewel was the size of my front paw, it must have been extremely expensive. Holding the gem in my mouth, I buried it deep in a corner of the garden. Right now, I was a cat and only had to worry about getting a good meal, but once I become human again I would need to have money. When I hid the collar and feigned ignorance, Sugar Prince just put another one on me. After that, I got excited and buried that one too, and Sugar Prince just put on another collar. I had already stored away five of those jewels. The ones I already had saved were my insurance, but it seemed I was doing it too often. Sugar Prince was starting to question things.
His golden eyes narrowed when I quickly glanced up from thoroughly combing my front paws with my tongue. Crap. Was I found out?
After staring at me a little more, Sugar Prince took his hand from my neck and resumed walking. I let out my breath. What a relief. If I was chased out from the palace now for being to greedy with a bunch of jewels, I would be demoted to beggar cat in one fell swoop.
From now on, instead of one jewel every day, I’ll only pocket one a week.
* to tell if it was oil or urine/piss – originally “to tell if it was fermented soybean paste or shit” but fermented soybean paste is super cumbersome and gross to work with