[Ask first!] Teatime Theories

Locations: Village School, Hieda House

[Ask first!] Teatime Theories

Postby Yukari Yakumo » 02 Jun 2013 23:21

Perhaps it might have been odd, then, to see an illustrious youkai as Yukari Yakumo sipping tea in the cornershop cafe in a little side road of the human village.

Perhaps stranger still that the owner had not seen her come in, simply sitting at a table to order a drink nondescriptly, with a happy little wave. Though the shopkeeper didn't seem to mind - or at least, was too worried to complain.

Putting down the teacup, she opened up the newspaper she had brought with her; a tengu article noting several items of note; specifically the events of the taoists and religious upsurge that had been brought about in their wake. It brought a nod from her, as she tracked down the page, tapping one article in particular - "Buddhist response to the newcomers".

It seemed there was something to look forward to, after all.
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Re: [Ask first!] Teatime Theories

Postby Byakuren Hijiri » 14 Jun 2013 07:19

And on the other side of the table, another particularly peculiar person is sipping at her tea gently. Despite being sort of a celebrity by now in the village, though, nobody seems to be paying her the slightest mind. In fact, she needed to leave the money in the counter before, as the owner seemed to have entirely overlooked that these was a huge woman with multicolored hair sitting right there.

Byakuren notices the border youkai tapping the article, and smiles. She finishes her sip and leaves the cup on the table, smiling at her friend. "Come on, you can ask what you're thinking about" she says gently. She knows full well that the youkai sage in front of her is a nosy person, and she doesn't mind in the slightest.

She's with a friend, after all.
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Re: [Ask first!] Teatime Theories

Postby Yukari Yakumo » 21 Jun 2013 19:37

A stunning smile completes the most subtle of communiques - after all, how else might such a sage youkai communicate?
"Oh, just wondering. Religion seems to have grown over four hundred percent over the last couple of years. Shintoism gains new gods and new shrines, then a sect of buddhism that is at peace with youkai makes a revival, and then Taoism of all things-! Even though both of those are blooming in the outside world, hmm?"

There's a pause as Yukari turns the page, looking over the in-depth editorial. "And it appears that there's been 'intense friendly rivalry', especially over the last few weeks. I wonder, is that how you see the taoists and the other religious folk of Gensokyo?"

It's a friendly talk, after all. Smiles and all.
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Re: [Ask first!] Teatime Theories

Postby Byakuren Hijiri » 24 Jun 2013 09:36

Byakuren takes another sip her tea, elegant as always. "Indeed. After all they are all valid faiths and there is no reason to feel any animosity towards any of them. We are all fellows searching for a truth..."

She then "heh"s, and looks at Yukari straight with those deep golden eyes of hers. "Or at least that is the official line. I will be honest with you, Yukari. I do not like these taoists. Not because of any religious reasons, but because they seem set to set back human-youkai relations back decades within months. The crown prince's followers seem set in treating the world like it was in their time, before I was even born, fanning the flames and urging people to rekindle the animosity that seemed to be slowly dying down. Failing to understand that a world in which one of the sides - any of the sides - truly won would not have any more place for them than it would for me" the reference to the outside world Yukari has showed her, where humans well and truly won, and how a shikaisen would be every bit as completely shunned and disbelieved as a magician youkai, is clear.

She sighs slightly, and leaves the cup on the table.

"I had not intended to proselytize. In truth, I do not believe religious proselytizing is useful at all - you cannot be made to find the Buddha. You have to search for him. But the crown prince and her followers have made this a matter of belief and faith, and in such matters you know I can no longer rely on rational arguments. Faith talks to a human's deepest sense of purpose. I am forced to do the same if I wish to counteract them. If I want to, in a few years, keep seeing youkai purchasing in the market while vampire and human children play together, instead of returning to the complete distrust that was the norm not fifty years ago, my hand is forced into this rivalry" There's an edge to Byakuren's voice. The monk is not someone that rolls over. Miko and company are not going to have an easy time here.
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Re: [Ask first!] Teatime Theories

Postby Yukari Yakumo » 04 Jul 2013 21:37

"Well, now. That's certainly a forceful approach, isn't it?" The golden-eyed youkai hmms for a second, lacquered nails tapping against the varnished table edge. "Though, have you met her in person, yet? I had heard that there was some sort of... general meeting of faiths to be undertaken, but I wasn't sure if it had happened or not already."

Contacts in the tengu were easy to come by - ravens and crows and familiars are talkative lot - and the fact that Akyuu had been rather evasive about such things had been rather suspicious. Then again, things were bound to reveal themselves at some point. News was nothing to rush, at any point.

"But, it does look like she's obeying the danmaku rules, it looks like. Right out of the coffin and into shrine maiden firing sights... I wouldn't say she handled herself badly. No-one seems to have been - ah - targeted outside the spellcard rules so far. Which is rather interesting considering her views, isn't it?"

This last remark was make with a poised breath, watching the other's expression for a reaction, gauging, judging.

"Someone so taken with wishing to exterminate youkai, would not play by those rules, would they? If the Taoists keep to those, it's just another game for us youkai, is it not?"

Another pause.
"Unless they wished for a cat's paw, the human population, to rise up against it... that would be quite the problem. Well, that might be something disastrous, I'd expect. Well. Someone might have to keep their influence in line, no doubt."

A bit of transparent text between friends was all right, surely enough, was it not? And, this was the easiest type to go ahead with; suggestions that were just what the other wanted to do already.

"But, then again, humans and youkai do need to have some tensions between them. Simply creating a permanent peace between the two would likely have it's own problems, if you think about it, hmm?"

The topic changes again. Perhaps a little too flighty, this train of thought of Yukari?
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Re: [Ask first!] Teatime Theories

Postby Byakuren Hijiri » 15 Jul 2013 08:50

"We have not spent much time talking. Her followers do not seem very inclined to talk things out with those of my faith, I'm afraid" Byakuren chuckles.

"But yes. She is following the rules for now. The problem is, as you say, that she doesn't need to not follow them." the monk adds. "If she begins any kind of offensive out of the spellcard rules, she will simply be... removed from the equation" She doesn't need to elaborate here - chances are Reimu and Yukari themselves would fall on anyone breaching the agreement like a ton of bricks, and they both know it. "And in such a conflict, I believe I would have the upper hand in any case, despite the crown prince being more powerful than I am. She is not a combatant. Not really." Byakuren isn't boasting. That's what makes it a bit scary.

"But if she simply makes the climate untenable..." she doesn't need to explain to Yukari of all people. Another Youkai-Human war in Gensokyo would not be good. "So I will bring this to everyone, and let them know how much there is to be gained by coexistence, and hope that this will be enough to balance it out and at least keep the current state of affairs for the time being. a little conflict to keep the wheels turning, but never enough pride and tribalism on either side that unified fronts emerge"

She smiles mischievously. "Which is exactly what you expected me to do in any case, of course. Dear me, I am getting predictable in my old age" Byakuren takes another sip of her tea contentedly.
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Re: [Ask first!] Teatime Theories

Postby Yukari Yakumo » 27 Jul 2013 16:05

"Too busy breaking plates and reading people's wishes, is it not?" This was more of a sardonic laugh. "-Not that many hobbies in Gensokyo are seen as savoury by anyone else." A pause, as Yukari looks round the shop. Two or three avid listeners, trying not to show their interest in the conversation.

"Of course, physical strength isn't what's beautiful about the fights here, but it's still impressive to some, ne? So, it could go either way in the eyes of the public. That's right, they-" and here she looks entirely away from Byakuren, to their unseen audience. "are likely to be the ones to see who's most persuasive. Not that I've any doubts to you keeping things in check, of course, or to act like you always have. After all, a good heart is predictable like that, and there's nothing wrong with that at all!"

"-Though, that doesn't mean that it's good to repeat some things so everyone knows about them, right?"

The papers would likely have a rather good time with this set of stories, as well as people who were interested in the conflict between the buddhists and the tao. Including the taoists themselves, of course. Knowing that going outside the spellcard rules would have particularly specific consequences, and knowing what wouldn't be good ideas... some pieces of information useful to know for them, without having their pride directly challenged. Something of a simple ploy, but easily enough done.

"I'm sure it'll turn out quite interesting, don't you think?" Another polite smile. Things were bound to heat up in the village, it seemed.
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Re: [Ask first!] Teatime Theories

Postby Byakuren Hijiri » 03 Aug 2013 09:58

Byakuren smiles. Of course, both of them know that what the listeners would remember from this might not be quite exactly what was said. Byakuren would never speak so candidly in front of an audience, after all. But the main thrust of what should reach other people would be there.

She chuckles, though. "Careful, Yukari. All too many wise people have believed a good heart is easily predicted and found their dooms for it" It's clear it's not a threat, though. More of a warning - Byaku would never harm Yukari, but there might be other good people that would.

Then the monk takes a calm sip of her tea, before answering to the sage's last question with a smile.

"To be honest, I find the entire thing rather tiresome rather than interesting. I have much more pressing matters to handle than the crown prince's desire to show off. But it is said that one must create joy in the world as it comes, and I will endeavour to do so"
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Re: [Ask first!] Teatime Theories

Postby Yukari Yakumo » 17 Aug 2013 18:08

A smile. a light chuckle.
"Just a little game. Looking at it like that, it's not so bad, is it? But, then again, I can see it getting tiring."

"Well, then." Placing both hands on the table before her, palms up. "Shall we speak without that silliness, then? How have you been settling back into Gensokyo? I hear you've picked up quite the number of stray youkai in your temple - nues, yamikibo and even a tanuki-! Though, I'm not too surprised at the middle of those two - echo spirits are somewhat useful for reciting the sutras, after all. Though, taming some of the more fearsome youkai is something of a feat."

Her hand rises as she calls over the waiter. "Ran was a tad put out by this.. Futatsuiwa, I believe. I can't imagine why, you would have thought she'd be beyond such petty things. Oh, would you like anything else?"
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Re: [Ask first!] Teatime Theories

Postby Byakuren Hijiri » 24 Aug 2013 10:34

"I have nothing against games, believe me. It is just I can think of a great many playmates I would rather have when playing games than the crown prince, Yukari. Starting with the entire fairy population of Gensokyo" Byakuren winks.

She then puts her own open hands on Yukari's smiling.

"Thank you for your concern. I have been doing well. The humans at the village seem to be accepting us there for the most part, and many youkai come over out of curiosity. I like to think we are making a difference, bit by bit.

I wouldn't really call Nue tamed, though" Byakuren sighs with a smile. "I have a long way to go with her. She enjoys causing suffering too much. Miss Futatsuiwa is far more accommodating - she's a prankster, not mean-spirited. Though with how straight laced Ran tends to be, I could definitely see her getting on her nerves even without the rivalry"
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Re: [Ask first!] Teatime Theories

Postby Yukari Yakumo » 31 Aug 2013 20:37

"Ha-!" A thought of her shikigami - all straightlaced and prim and proper and secure in her position. A far thought from a once wild fox. "Perhaps even in her younger, wilder days. She wasn't always as strictly trained as she is now -" gesticulating, as she tells Byakuren of one particular tale of how Ran had managed to sneak away to gather the parts of a prank upon a local god - something she'd later approved of as independent action, but done all under her own power.

"But, I'm sure you've your own stories to tell of your own... those monks and disciples who you've had come to your aid... I've not heard much of them." Ghosts and watchers of disciples and all in between. A flick of the hair, as Yukari sat back.

"-Tales of the village, too, and of other youkai, and of many things that have happened in the last thousand years or so... have you any queries that you'd wish to know, do you think?" And a gift of words.
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Re: [Ask first!] Teatime Theories

Postby Byakuren Hijiri » 07 Sep 2013 18:02

Byakuren laughs her soft, crystalline laugh at the shikigami's stories. "I would so have loved to see that" the monk says, before taking another sip of her tea.

"As for my own stories... well, I have been a bit away, but I could share some, perhaps" she smiles. Then, she starts narrating, in the tones of a practiced narrator, about many things.

About how the shrine that started this Temple was set up, and of how Nazrin thought she was being sneaky about being a Bishamonten spy ("I had to let her, of course. She had to see with her own eyes the suitability of Shou, or Lord Bishamon wouldn't have given so much trust to Shou. But it was so hard not to laugh").

About that time Shinki came by in Makai and they got so distracted talking about flowers that she forgot she had left the primordial furnace on and didn't remember until Pandemonium more or less exploded, and how badly her daughters scolded her.

About that time Byakuren spent the afternoon playing detective's secretary with some fairies so the little dears didn't get themselves into terrible trouble.

And so on. It's not frequent to see Byakuren talking in such a honest, non-reserved way - but while the way she speaks is tempered by her soft demeanour, right now she's just a woman talking to her friend about all the things that happened, and not the head monk of the Myouren Temple.
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Re: [Ask first!] Teatime Theories

Postby Yukari Yakumo » 14 Sep 2013 20:44

Ah, a break from the fighting, the intricate dance of plots and small schemes; even once in a while it was good to take a break, to hear just the unfettered words of a friend and her tale. As their chatters drifted through the day. Yukari listening with care, only now and again adding interjections or questions in the tales of Byakuren's own adventures.

"Ah, always such busy lives when one has many underlings to order and look after..." Not that Byakuren herself was always leading, of course. It was somewhat refreshing to see someone so easily providing help to even fairies.

And so it's with regret that the gap youkai finds the tea has gone cold, and the snacks run out quite some time ago.

"It does sound like you've been enjoying yourself freely," she murmers, as Yukari leans back, relaxing in her seat. "Even with your responsibilities back on you." Flashing the other a wry smile. "Want to trade places, some time~?"
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Re: [Ask first!] Teatime Theories

Postby Byakuren Hijiri » 21 Sep 2013 07:50

"I would be only happy to, if it gave you a brief respite, Yukari" Byakuren smiles. And she's entirely genuine. That's sort of what ends up flooring people when dealing with Byakuren. Yes, she's a double-dealing schemer and perfectly willing to do all sorts of shady shit to help keep the peace, and yet at the same time she will stand in front of a bullet for someone she cares for without even thinking about it. The contradiction tends to make people somewhat crosseyed.

"But part of my responsibilities is bringing peace and contentment to the world. I can do that much more easily by sharing the lives of the people of Gensokyo, down to the smallest fairy, than I can simply staying inside my Temple's walls. And it is far more amusing and satisfying" the monk chuckles. "And it is the children and the young youkai I should focus on, because the future of this haven is in their hands"
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