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A Slice of Eternal Life: Afternoon News

Who: Kaguya Houraisen, Aya Shameimaru
Where: Eientei
What: When Aya delivers her papers to Eientei, she gets to interview Kaguya about the local happenings and tags along in her hotspring plan.

 

Whew. What a place. That bamboo wood is hard to navigate. Luckily, Aya has a

good sense of direction. It takes a little longer, though, because Aya is on

the alert. And finally, she's at the modest-looking Eientei. Aya already knows

that it's not quite as plain as on the outside once inside. Aya pulls out a

small stack of papers before knocking on the door to announce herself. "Paper

delivery."

 

At the moment, Kaguya thought she'd been all alone. She'd sent Natsuki off to

check out the hotspring for her before, and wasn't expecting to anyone.

Admittedly, she jumped a little at the Tengu's sudden arrival. "Paper delivery?

Oh my, I have a visitor?" she said out loud. "Feel free to come in," she called

out down the seemingly massive hallway ahead. Tengus had good hearing, and after

a long day, she wouldn't mind extra company. She finds her way to the front

door, meeting Aya standing outside, stack of papers at the ready. "Always on

time, aren't you Shameimaru. Come, come. Make yourself at home for a while."

 

She gives a grin back to Aya and says "I've been well lately. My rabbits are off

on their own business. As for me, I've been whiling away today in peace and

quiet, like always. Anything new from the wider world. I heard an explosion at

the edge of the forest a while ago. I hope everything is alright?" She walks off

down another long hallway, and calls out "May I get you anything? We have some

food and drink left over. I'm sure you'd need a warm meal after your hard work,

yes?" All the time, she's pleasantly humming a little tune, keeping herself busy

while her rabbits are away. The transient nature of Eientei lets Kaguya take one

hallway, which might lead to a totally different one altogether, but she

obviously knows her way around by heart. "Now then, I might have something to

tell you if you have time, Aya." Her voice carries through the twisting hallways

like she was right next to Aya.

 

 

"That explosion? Yes, well, I'm afraid that's at least partially my fault."

Aya chuckles nervously. "I was trying to ask someone a question they didn't

want to answer. Only it was an important question." Aya continues to follow

Kaguya carefully, trying not to get lost in the palace's hallway. "The person

kind of caused an explosion when she crashed. Aya shakes her head, before

noticing she still has her papers. "Oh, hey. Anywhere you want me to set

these? Normally, I just give them to one of the rabbits."

Kaguya mentions that she has something to tell her. This immediately piques the

crow's interest. "Oh? What sort of something. Hang on, let me get my notepad

out." Of course, that has to wait until she's set the papers down somewhere.

 

She leads Aya into a small sitting room, where she usually greets her guests.

"Place them over by the door, please. Just a moment." She leaves and almost

instantanously comes back with a fresh pot of tea. Like everything else, the tea

tastes just as good as when it was first made. Setting down the tea, and a

couple cups, she sits down patiently, and motions for Aya to sit down with her.

"Quite interesting stories you have. I'd like to hear more sometime, if you

visit me again. In the meantime, I might let you in on a little surprise I have

been planning for a while now. Would you like to hear it?" She realizes Aya must

more to tell her. "Actually, have you been to the hotsprings recently? I would

go there, but I haven't heard much about it." She picks up a paper and idly

reads it over. "I would love to travel the world like you. There is so much out

there I would enjoy seeing." she says, with a wistful tone in her voice.

 

The tengu takes the papers back to the door before returning to Kaguya's side,

pulling out her notepad and having a seat with her. "I'm glad you appreciate my

stories. It's always nice to hear that people enjoy your work." Aya smiles a

bit more, looking over to Kaguya. "Not recently, but a few months ago, I did a

bit of a hot spring review. I don't know if we're thinking the same hot spring

though. I remember the one I went to was quite nice. Decent service there

too."

Sipping the pseudo-fresh tea, Aya looks over at Kaguya. "Maybe I don't know

enough about you, but why don't you go out more? Sure, if you aren't used to

it, it takes a lot of effort, but you'll get used to it. Well, other than

having to keep watching for your rival and all. I can't imagine what it must be

like going through that."

 

 

"So, I am being interviewed? Splendid!" She thinks for a moment to answer her

questions. "The reason I don't leave Eientei much is mainly because of my rival,

Mokou. Her vendetta always puts a damper on any occaison.” That is a major understatement “Sometimes I wish she'd leave me be for a while to have some peace. On the other hand, I'm fearful of

the outside sometimes, and wonder who or what is out there waiting, good or bad.

It's quite a quandry. My rabbits make expeditions out there, and tell me such

wonderful things." She sips her tea thoughtfully, and is overall in a pleasant

mood. She neglected to say that her laziness was one factor into it, but she'd

let it slide for now. "That is the one i'm talking about, the one by the strange

geyser. I've heard it leads down to some sort of 'hell'. I've only heard about

it from Reisen and the others. I often wondered what I would do after I gained

immortality, and wanted to travel and see the wonders of this world." She gives

a light smile to Aya. "but I live here, with meals cooked, and plenty of

friends, so I can't complain about how I live now, except for that one detail.

Kaguya continues drinking her tea in silence, waiting for Aya's next

question.

 

"I see." Aya takes a couple notes on that. "I guess Mokou constantly at war

with you does make it tough to visit the outside world. There has to be some

way or some time you can get away, though, right?" She shrugs. If Kaguya had a

way to move like a tengu or something that might make things a little easier.

She continues to think. "You mentioned a surprise you were thinking about

earlier. I'm definitely curious about all that." She still has a bit more

important of a question for Kaguya, but that can wait. At least until later in

tea, anyway.

 

She pauses while sipping her tea and slowly puts it down, with a fun-loving grin

on her face. "Hm? Oh yes~. I'd almost forgotten to tell you. You do remember the

old Lunar Expo i've put together one time, isn't that right? I'm planning yet

another one, but this time, it's more of a smaller event. Much like a party, you

understand." She figures by inviting everyone over to Eientei, she can make some

new friends easier, or at least have something to do. She whispers "This is just

between us, so don't publish about it yet. I'd like to keep it a surprise for

some time yet. Ufufu~" she laughs behind her long sleeves. Kaguya, while

appearing stern and regal, still has an unquenchable thirst for having fun, and

this is the best way to satisfy it, unless that pheonix ruins it all. Either

way, she'd have fun, either by enjoying some new company, or humiliating her

favourite foe. She suddenly feels a rabbit hopping into her lap, and she is

startled, but picks it up and pets it slowly, watching Aya scribble it all

down.

 

"Oh, that's interesting." Aya writes it down, smiling. Sounds like a fun

party. "You know, I just had a thought. That Lunar Expo idea is good. But if

you can get more friends-more people who are really your friends and all, you

could get a bit of a travelling party. That way you'd have some help defending

against Mokou, right?" Aya smiles a bit. Kaguya wants to see the world, and

that might be a way to do it." She then sips her tea again. "The expo should

be fun though anyway. I take it you will be showing off your stuff from the

moon again?"

 

She nods. "I will try to dust off the new moon tech sometime soon." Nervously,

she says to Aya. "I'm planning to go the the springs soon, with the Inabas. If

you'd...like to come...that'd be wonderful. I wouldn't mind spending some more

time. Polite conversation is hard to come by these days, and I would be thrilled

if you could accompany me there." She's somewhat shy, because she mainly listens

and doesn't often ask anyone except the Inabas to go anywhere. She relaxes, and

finishes her cup of tea, with a contented look on her face.

Kaguya Houraisen pauses. "I'm sorry, that's unlike me. If you are busy then, I

understand completely..."

 

"Well... I had been planning to visit the springs again soon." Aya finishes

her tea, leaning back. She actually chuckles a bit. "I can find some time. I

think it could be fun." She thinks, pulling out a different notepad. Oh, wait,

that's a calendar. "Have any particular time you were thinking for it? And if

Mokou shows up, I can try to help with her if you want." So this isn't what she

was planning on. But it's turning out quite nicely. A good fun time may be

developing. "I think I could find time most of the time."

 

Hasn't thought of when to arrange it. "I'll be heading out as soon as my rabbits

come back from their duties. Whenever they're ready, we can head there. That

might be in a few days." She stares at Aya, puzzled by what she said right

after. "Help me? With Mokou? How so?" Understandably, she's afraid the Tengu

might get caught in the crossfire, as would Reisen and Natsuki. She would

despise her even more if she ever hurt her friends. "Oh, don't worry at all

about her. She'll not get in our way, I don't think. If she does, she and I will

settle it ourselves, you can be sure of it. We've been feuding for ages

uncounted, and I'm used to it."

 

 

"Well, it can't hurt to have help, right? I have a couple of strong spells at

my disposal if you need them." Aya smiles, nodding to Kaguya. "Besides, I'm

going to be there anyway." Aya shrugs, looking through her schedule. "I think I

can manage in the next few days, sure." She sighs, taking out her notepad

again. "Can I ask you something about the rabbits, though? Something

important?" Time to get down to part of her business. And then more fun stuff

after. Aya stretches a little. Gensokyo isn't getting any smaller, and she's

not getting any younger either.

 

 

What an odd question. What did she want to hear about the rabbits? "Yes," she

said, somewhat confused. "Ask away.

She was happy to have met Aya in person for once, and in all fairness, she

didn't think she'd be as pleasant as she was. Maybe it was because of what she

read in the papers, but still, she seemed a friendly one, and that was surely

her ticket to exploring the great, wide world outside of her unchanging home in

Eientei.

 

Well, it's not really about the rabbits so much as what they've been doing.

"Have you been hearing them talk about a brutal, stealthy youkai stalking the

bamboo forest? I heard a rumor and I wanted to make sure it checks out." She

flips through her note pad. "According to my source, this youkai is always in a

white fur, covered in dirt and leaves, with a pointy nose and dark face." She

then flips to a fresh page to take her notes again.

 

And now an even stranger question. It didn't sound like Mokou's typical

harassing of her rabbits. This concerned her. "What do you mean, a brutal

youkai? In my forest? Where did you hear this from. A good journalist always

checks her sources, after all. This must be some kind of rumour, because I would

have already heard about it, if this was so." The description irked her as well,

because it didn't sound like any youkai she'd heard about. However, what was

stranger was that she hadn't heard anything like it before. "If it's true, I

would need to look into the matter on my own, and possibly cancel our outing.

That wouldn't do. This is probably the work of some fool who wants to scare

everyone from here to the moutains with all that nonsense. I wouldn't pay it any

heed."

 

"I heard it from some nymph in the human village. She claimed to not have a

reason to lie." Aya shrugs. "She had some ghost as a source, but I have no

idea how good of a source she was." Aya nods looking over to Kaguya. "No, I

know you would be the one to hear about it. That's why I asked you about it;

you're the best source for this and all. That's why I haven't gotten it to

print." Aya takes her notes as always, just in case this was something Kaguya

had actually heard of after all.

 

She tilts her head a little, saying "But I've lived long enough to know that

people who claim that they've seen something unlikely is usually a liar. If you meet them,

tell them that, maybe let me know about this trouble they're brewing.

Remember, rumours are dangerous things." She then changes her tone back to her

light, airy voice. "So, this will make an interesting next issue for you, I'm

sure of it. All the better when I meet you at the hotsprings one day. After all,

that's what friends are for~." She brings the rest of the tea, and the cups with

her, and returns once again suddenly. Eientei sometimes can do that to you sense

of space, once you realize how big it truly is. "I suspect you'll be off on your

business, then. Oh, and by the way, I don't suppose that you've met Miss Utsuho

Reuiji, have you? She dropped in with a few of her friends some time ago, and I

wondered what became of her." She remembers when they investigated the last fire at Bamboo forest. That evening was an odd one, for sure, but she was happy to meet that odd band of youkai for a chat.

 

"It sounds like a fun day off. I'll look forward to it, Kaguya." Aya grins,

shutting her notepad. Sounds like that nymph was just trying to cause a hoax.

"I can hang around for a couple minutes more." She's actually enjoying this bit

of conversation. "Utsuho Reiuji? Funny you should mention her. She was

actually the one who crashed into the forest. I was just trying to ask her

about the Youkai Mountain attack. She closed the case on it. She's nice, and I

think she doesn't quite deserve to be punished cruelly for that."

 

Laughing once again behind her sleeve, she says "Don't be absurd. Why would I be

angry at her? I might advise her to stop doing that, but that doesn't sto

someone as headstrong as her. I agree, she's quite a nice girl. She apparently

helps run the hotspring as well, so my rabbits have told me." She noticed

flashes coming from the mountain as well. It must've been the same raven, up to

some silliness of some kind. "Now, I have one last request for you, and it's not

an impossible one at that. If you those little slacking rabbits around, please

tell those two to hurry back here. It gets lonely in my manor all alone, and it

helps to have somone around to talk to every once in a while. Thank you, Aya,

and hope you can write wonderful stories about me in that newspaper of yours~.

 

"It's not you that is angry at her. The tengu and the kappa are the main ones

who are upset. And, I'm guessing that the people of the Moriya shrine are not

happy, either." Aya smiles, sitting down her teacup before standing and

stretches. "I'll watch for your rabbits. I'll send them home. And maybe I can

swing by once the next issue comes out. You seem fun to talk to." And there's

going to be a party, so yay to that. "Thanks again for the tea. This has been

fun."

 

Kaguya gave a little wave to Aya, and strolled along with her, seeing her out of

the confusing interior of her abode. "Thank you for coming here, and spending

your valuable time. If you want to visit again, just let me know. I'm sure we

can speak more about this later, though. Until we meet again, Shameimaru. Keep

the newspapers coming, and i'll always read them. I have all the time in the

world." She joked to the tengu, as she opened the door for her. It had gotten

dark by now, but Kaguya hadn't noticed the passage of time for quite a while

now. It never mattered anyway.

What mattered was that she knew somone out there could be a friend, out in the

strange world beyond the bamboo forest.

 

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