37. A Sneaking Cat
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The next morning at school.

"Kyaa~! Saki-chan, your hairstyle is so cute!"

Sakura exclaimed as she rubbed her cheek to Misaki's face.

"Stop hugging and rubbing your cheeks on me, Sakura! I can't move!"

Misaki replied as she tried to release herself from Sakura who suddenly hugged her. She was suddenly hugged while casually reading a book on her desk which made her surprise.

Sakura took it off and looked at Misaki with a teasing grin.

"After all, Saki-chan is too cute! Come on, let's hug again!"

Sakura tried to hug her again, but this time Misaki managed to push her away which made Sakura lose her balance due to leaning too much forward.

Brack!

"Ouch!"

As a result, she fell with her head hitting the floor which made her dizzy.

"S-How evil..."

Sakura's head was spinning as she tried to stand up.

"That's what you deserve."

Shinomiya said with a flat gaze aimed at Sakura.

"By the way, why did you suddenly change your hairstyle, Saki-chan?"

she asked as she noticed her hair had been tied up.

"Eh?"

Misaki glanced at her own hair.

She usually leaves her hair loose or ponytails her hair back when she has PE or cooking lessons. Apart from that, Misaki rarely changes her hairstyle.

However, this time she tied her hair in a twintail, with a bright yellow tulip-shaped hair tie. Obviously it made Misaki have a fresher appearance than usual. And that made Shinomiya curious.

"Actually last night..."

She told them what happened last night. Starting from her wanting to go take care of the cat, and the condition that she could go out the night before.

"I see... Sometimes your brother acts weird."

"Is that so, maybe I should separate him from Endou to reduce his mischief."

She think seriously.

The 'Endou virus' was too dangerous for Kazuto to keep him from going crazy like him.

....

"Haachuu!!!!"

Endou who was sleepy from thinking about last night's question suddenly sneezed loudly which made the whole class look at him.

He immediately apologized to them for making noise.

"Are you sick?"

asked Kazuto who was sitting on his chair.

He looked innocent for last night's incident that made Endou unable to sleep.

"No. I just had the feeling that someone was badmouthing me from behind."

He said as he rubbed his itchy nose.

"You still believe in that superstition."

Kazuto stopped looking at him as he think back on how he could send a cat into space.

He still hasn't given up.

....

"By the way, does this hairstyle suit me?"

Misaki asked her.

"Yeah. That looks good. Maybe more boys in this school will want to date you now."

Shinomiya replied with a slight giggle.

"Mou... Then I'll untie tit."

"Just kidding... Maybe. Since you're getting more and more popular at this school, I'm sure your shoe locker will get even more letter."

"Your words make me want to stop wearing this hairstyle even more."

Misaki replied in a tired tone.

It had been months since she got his first love letter, but it didn't stop there. Over time, the letters she received more and more, especially after the basketball duel incident made her more known. Even though she didn't do anything at all. But at least, there is a positive side where she can talk more fluently with strangers, or at least she is quite able to communicate with people her age as long as they are alone and not crowded.

"Ohh, isn't this a letter from Nichiro Fukada? Isn't he quite popular because he is a reliable soccer player in the club? Even though he is less handsome than Kazuto and Endou, he has better charisma."

Sakura said as she read one of the letters placed on the column of Misaki's desk.

Misaki immediately took it because it is not good to read someone's disgrace.

"If you compare him to those two idiots, maybe he's better."

Misaki answered honestly. She had seen him once while looking for Kazuto, and her level was at least not much different from Kazuto and Endou, he also seemed charismatic and quite popular among the girls at school.

"But, no matter how good that person is I will still reject him. Dating at this age is not suitable at all and is not good for lessons."

After all, I'll probably never marriage with someone in the future, since I'm an ex-boy. She added in her heart.

Even though she has accepted herself as a woman, it doesn't mean she has started to be attracted to other men.

"I feel sorry for the people Saki-chan has rejected."

Shinomiya said as she looked at the number of letters in the column of her desk. He could count there were over 40 letters in there, and that was the number for these 2 weeks. Then what if it is added up by the letter in the third week or the previous month? She couldn't believe Misaki could patiently utter such subtle rejection sentences over and over every day.

"Well, let's sit down. Class is about to start."

Misaki said as she looked at the clock which indicated that class was about to start. Other students also enter class immediately or stop activities that could be distracting.

---

"Master cat! I'm back~"

Misaki exclaimed as she approached a cat who was lazily sleeping while enjoying the sun's ray.

The cat lifted his head and looked at Misaki before laying down lazily again. He didn't seem bothered by Misaki's presence.

"Ehehe, your fur is still as smooth as yesterday."

She said with a sweet laugh as she stroked her fur carefully so as not to disturb him.

"Ahh, sorry. But first I will treat your wound first. After that I will feed you, understand?"

The cat just nodded as it yawned. As usual, he looked strange.

Misaki took care of the cat before feeding it, and played for a while before regretfully heading home.

This has become one of her habits now. She really couldn't wait to contact her parents, and ask their permission so she could take care of him.

The cycle continued for the next few days.
.....

Until it rains again.

"Onii-chan, are you sure the cat will be okay?"

Misaki asked with a worried look as she stared at the pouring rain from her window.

"Erm... Yes, he's probably fine."

Even though Kazuto said that, he wasn't sure himself.

But since the cat itself had managed to survive until now, then it was possible for him to survive this rain.

But Misaki was too worried, especially after hearing Kazuto's doubtful voice, she chose to go look for him instead of staying at home and waiting for the rain to stop.

"Hey! Where are you going?"

asked Kazuto who saw her running towards the exit carrying an umbrella.

"Gosh, that kid."

Kazuto actually wanted to go after her, but his umbrella happened to be left behind at school because he forgot to bring it. However, this afternoon when they came home from school, it was still sunny so he forgot his umbrella. To be honest, as a person who also has a strong memory like Misaki, he felt quite embarrassed to forgot such a thing, even if it was a small thing.

"Hah, she will definitely be sick again tomorrow.."

He muttered looking at Misaki's disappearing shadow.

....

"Mister Cat, where are you?"

Misaki finally arrived at the park quickly after running, but as a result, her clothes also got wet even though she was wearing an umbrella.

But regardless, she kept looking for the cat around the playground where she used to find it.

Unfortunately, she couldn't find where the cat was.

"M-Mister cat..."

Her body felt cold from being exposed to the rain for too long. She walked with trembling steps from the cold. Even so, out of concern she continued to search, until she finally heard a familiar cry.

"Nyaa."

"Mister cat?"

Misaki noticed that his voice was coming from a public restroom, so she looked there.

"Nyaa."

And sure enough, when she got there, she found and made her happy.

"Master Cat, I finally found you here!"

She said in a cheerful tone.

As if all the coldness in her body was gone, she excitedly approached the cat.

Misaki was grateful that the cat seemed fine.

She actually wanted to hug and pet him, but her clothes were wet so she can't.

However, the cat came up to her and rubbed his body to Misaki's feet without even thinking that she was wet.

"Aww, so cute. But please stop, you might get wet with me."

The cat looked at her with questioningly face like ask why she was here.

"Hehe, sorry. I was worried about you so I looking for you in this situation. Ahh, I'm sorry for forgetting to bring you food."

Still with a flat look, he seemed to be asking her to go home soon.

"Eh? Why?"

Misaki asked sadly. Even though she had gone to great lengths to come here and look for him.

"Is that so, you're worried that I'll get sick? Well, I do get sick easily. Come to think of it, Onii-chan might get angry seeing my condition..."

Misaki said as she understood the meaning.

The cat snorted after making it clear and turned to leave.

"Ahh, okay Mister Cat! I'll go first! Maybe tomorrow I can't come because I'm sick!"

Misaki let him go. She also turned around to hurry come home. As long as she saw that the cat was okay, she could rest easy.

After she got home, Misaki was reprimanded by Kazuto for getting wet even though she had brought an umbrella.

Misaki had seiza for 2 hours, and listened to Kazuto's lecture during that time.

---

"Hachi!"

And sure enough just as Kazuto and herself had predicted, she became ill overnight. And it was even worse with her having colds and flu.

"That's why I told you not to be rash."

Kazuto said with a sigh.

"???"

However, Misaki just looked at him while tilting her head, because right now Misaki was being replaced by her alter ego due to illness.

"Take care... of the cat...."

Misaki muttered to him.

Even though she said it, she herself was at a loss as to what she meant. However she didn't share the memories, but the feelings she had were still there so they came out on their own.

"Yeah, yeah. I'll take care of him later. Stay in the room and rest okay? I'll leave the window open to let some fresh air in, I heard there won't be any rain until tonight, so it's fine."

Kazuto said while hugging her for a while because Misaki asked him to before leaving the room and going to school.

"...."

Misaki just stared blankly at the closed door, before lying down and closing her eyes to rest.

"Cat...."

She mumbled before falling asleep while hugging her doll.

....

Meanwhile.

On a wet morning, where the rain is still imprinting and creating puddles. A cat is sitting upright on a park bench, staring blankly at the person standing in front of him.

His gaze turned into a question mark when he didn't see someone he was used to.

"If you look for Misaki's whereabouts, she isn't here. After all, she got sick after going to look for you in the rain."

Said Kazuto who was trying to understand it.

The cat changed its expression by widening its eyes for a moment before returning to normal.

Kazuto felt a little horrified at how human that expression was. But he sighed and pretended not to see it.

"Unfortunately, since I promised her to take care of you, I can't throw you into space as I planned."

(You're still wearing that joke?)

No, he really really wanted to do it.

(....)

The cat became a little wary of hearing this strange thing.

He totally understands what I'm saying, doesn't he. Kazuto thought.

"...Forget what I said, I was just joking.... Yeah, maybe half-joking. I'll put your food here, see you then."

Kazuto put the bread beside him, then turned to leave. Since his wound had healed quite a bit, he didn't feel the need to treat it. So he would just feed him, then leave him alone.

The cat stared at Kazuto's back silently and took a bite of his food.

Done with that, he should just sit quietly while enjoying the morning sun that has risen as one of his routines. But instead of doing that, he stepped foot and walked towards his unclear destination.

But rather than being unclear, the path he took turned out to be the direction of the road to Misaki's house.

Hmm, if I'm not mistaken this is her house, right?

The cat was standing in front of Misaki's fence while tilting his head. He was confused if he should sneak in.

Hahh, whatever. I'm already here anyway.

However, he stopped caring as he jumped over the fence and into the yard.

The cat's body is amazing, I can easily jump over such a high wall. He thought as he stared at the 2 meter high fence behind him.

Although this cat has no name so far, he actually has a own name. His name was Natsumoto Hisashi, the person who had actually been reincarnated, and the reason he was smarter than usual cat.

Ignoring all the important details in the future, he is a 30 year old uncle who now just wants to live a leisurely life as a cat. Or that's what happened when he try to be passing in another cat's territory, and the cat was so fierce that an epic fight between them was inevitable.

(How can cat fights be so epic? Can you explain?)

No, I was just bragging so that Natsumoto wouldn't lose his pride as a man.

(Oh...)

Unfortunately because he was still too young, he had to lose and suffered an injury to the right side of his stomach. Therefore he had to rest and find a proper place in a garden.

That's what happened before meeting Misaki, and how he got hurt.

Since he had been cared for and fed by her, he became very grateful for it, moreover he seemed to be being cared for by her. So as his potential employer, hearing she was sick worried him.

Hmm, which way should I enter.

He wandered around the house looking for a gap to enter. After wandering around for a while, he could only find one way, which was an open window on the 2nd floor. It was easy enough to figure out how to get up there, especially with his flexible body.

He only needs to jump a few times at the jump points he has set.

Swap! Swap! Swap!

And like an assassin, he managed to reach his goal just by jumping. Her jumps would look cool if he wasn't a cat.

Ohh, it turned out to be her room.

It just so happened that the room he entered turned out to be Misaki's room as he stared through the window. He felt lucky that he didn't have to look any further.

He jumped in and climbed into Misaki's bed.

There, Misaki lay down by exhaling her breath from her mouth due to his blocked nose. He could see there's an uncomfortable feeling of his wrinkled face.

So she's really sick, huh.

He said as he touched Misaki's forehead with his small arm. A hot feeling could be felt when he touched it.

Unfortunately he couldn't help and could only stare. If he could return to his human form, then he would take care of her here.

I'd better go leave hier alone.

Unable to help, he chose to leave. His existence would probably only be distracting here.

"Cat..."

But just as he was about to walk away, Misaki's voice made him freeze for a moment. He turned around for a moment only to see a pair of hands approaching him. Because he was a little caught off guard, he couldn't dodge which in the end made him get catch and fall into Misaki's arms.

He tried to get out, but Misaki's embrace was strong enough and because he didn't want to disturb her sleep, he couldn't do his best to do so.

"Cat...."

Ahh, so he's just digressing.

He thought as he looked at Misaki's sleeping face who was muttering.

"Fahhh..."

He sighed. He wasn't sure how long he would be trapped here, but he seemed to be free when Misaki woke up or his brother came in here and kicked him out.

He would take the first option if possible.

That was what he thought until several hours had passed.

....

"Misaki, I'm home."

Kazuto said as he entered his house.

He actually had training again at his club, but because his sister was sick he had to go home early and didn't go there.

Of course taking care of Misaki is a priority, don't you think?

He immediately went into Misaki's room to see how she was.

But what greeted him inside was a cat that begged for help upon seeing his existence, and Misaki who hugged him so tightly that he seemed to be suffocating.

"...."

"Nyaa... (Help me...)"

The strange cat begged Kazuto to let him go.

For the past few hours, he had felt like he had entered the WWE ring, and when Misaki rolled over he felt like he had been got smackdown by her. The incident was repeated until now which made him dizzy half to death. Seeing Kazuto coming gave him some hope of being free.

"...Looks like I'm in the wrong room."

However Kazuto with a straight face slowly closed the door. Seeing an intruder break into the house made him want to get rid of it, but because the cat looked so miserable, he was going to let it rot there for a while.

"Sweet dreams...."

Kazuto grinned like an evil as the door was about to close. Finally he was able to make the cat suffer even though in a different way.

No, hey! Help me!

Bram...

The door closed completely, and his light of hope also faded with it.

"Nyaaa! (I'll revenge to you later!)"

Natsumoto cursed Kazuto as he continued to suffer, until Misaki finally woke up a few hours later.

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