"Hey, Norn!" Klein called in from the door of the base. "Check it out!"
"What, Klein, meow?" the cat-girl asked innocently, bouncing up the stairs to the door. Delsus turned a head over their way, looking over the strange package that Lita was turning over in her hands.
"We found it at the outskirts of the outdoor theater. It was a reward for taking out a growloon," Lita explained. "They were quite insistent that we take it, and, well, we thought you might enjoy a little."
"Really, meow?" Norn smiled, sniffing the air curiously, trying to catch a whiff of whatever theyíd brought. "Meow. I canít smell it!"
"Itís in an airtight container, Norn. We didnít want to ruin the surprise," Klein grinned. "You would have smelled us from the city outskirts."
"Open it, open it! Meow!" Norn exclaimed, tail swishing furiously. Klein and Lita exchanged knowing, somewhat sadistic, glances, and then opened the package. Marietta blinked.
"Hey, isnít that..."
"You didnít get..." Delsus trailed off.
"Catnip! they exclaimed in unison.
Klein and Lita simply burst out laughing.
"Youíre even crueller than I am," Delsus noted, rubbing the back of his head. Klein let Norn have a good whiff of the catnip and then dropped it in the empty cauldron.
"Meow, meow, yay, meow," Norn sang, running laps around Kleinís cauldron.
"Sheís gone nuts," Marietta blinked. "What possessed you to do this?"
"Admit it," Lita said, "if youíd gotten the catnip instead of us, you would have done the same thing. Wouldnít you, Delsus?"
"Donít let the fact that youíre right make you think Iím going to agree."
Klein opened his mouth to speak, but was suddenly interrupted by Norn, walking on all fours, rubbing against his leg. Lita frowned.
"Hey, hey," Delsus chuckled, "I donít suppose you could get me some of that stuff for use on Marietta?"
And thatís why Delsus had a black eye for two months.
Norn, meanwhile, had taken to leaping from table to table, rolling in the pages of the journal and scratching her fingers on the anvil.
"I think youíre letting her go a little too wild," Marietta sighed.
"She deserves a little fun," Lita argued. "Besides, itís funny."
Delsus groaned and rubbed his eye.
Lita laughed hysterically when Norn thought Popo was a mouse and started chasing him around the upper level.
"Klein? Klein, olí buddy? Help!"
Popo lead Norn in a few more laps of the upper level (much to the merriment of and torrents of laughter from Klein and Lita) before Norn crashed into the side of the cauldron and knocked it off its stand, sending it rolling along the floor toward the edge. It hit the guard rail, broke it, and then came to rest, teetering on the edge of the floor.
"My cauldron!" Klein screamed.
"Crap! Stop, Norn!" Lita cried. But Norn still smelled the catnip laying under the inverted cauldron.
"I want some more for meow!" she said cheerfully, and proceeded to "dig" under the cauldron with her hands, which of course served only to knock it over the edge.
And onto the Mana Bath.
"My Mana Bath!" Lita screeched.
"My cauldron!" Klein cried.
"My precious! Meow!" Norn shouted happily, bounding down the stairs to retrieve her precious herbs.
Marietta and Delsus stared, wide-eyed.
Well, not so much in Delsusí case, but you get the idea.
"You broke my bath!"
"Zeldalia can fix your bath, she broke my cauldron!"
"Whose stupid idea was it to bring the catnip home!"
"Can we blame Delsus?"
And thatís what they did.