A leader of (odd-looking) lions puts a drop of magic liquid on his face to look like a person resembles someone else. The leader of lions is going incognito, so he needs to resemble a person who is not himself. He takes this drop of powerful face paint and transforms.
Now he resembles an even greater leader, and all the lions get down on one knee (に) to pay their respects.
(Note that we recently changed this kanji's main reading from ね to に, because ね is an irregular reading.)