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"You know what the dumbest thing of all this is?"
"Well, yes." Satori, of course, did know.
"Shut it." Snorting, Reimu continued, "It's that I'm getting more donations in the last month than I've gotten in the past, well..."
Satori helpfully boomed, "Ever?"
"Y'know, if you didn't literally know, I'd ram this gohei some place painful."
Looking amused, she teased,"Yes, I realize. Not that you truly need a reason, yes?" Satori let out more of a chuckle than any other chuckle could dream of being.
Letting out a long sigh, Reimu sipped at the tea, mulling over that particular happening in an especially exposition-friendly manner. She never expected her shrine (as well as a considerably larger area behind it) to be half-obliterated what felt like yesterday. The past month had gone by in a blur after all was said and done. Of course, she wasn't expecting someone to actually make up for destroying the shrine. Or, well... someone in their stead, anyways.
"Utsuho is a daughter to me; it is only right that I make amends for her transgressions."
"You say that, but I'm pretty sure you didn't bother the first time."
"The first time you received a free spring, even if by chance. I deemed that recompense enough for what little she actually ended up doing."
Of course, that they are building the new shrine at the bottom of the crater, on top of the now inert... thing was all the more surprising. However, with the newly installed skylight letting the sun into the underground, Reimu was just happy to not have to worry about having a place to live. In the meantime, they have been living together, as the shrine is still less complete than the one left behind. Only reason she cared enough to leave was that Reimu understood the power of the elements, after all.
"Unyuu!" Satori's pet Okuu chose that time to announce her presence in her unique way. "I'm home~ And I have eggs!" Always eggs around this place, it felt like. Reimu swore that the birdbrain was more chicken than hell raven sometimes, not that it mattered.
Satori sent that smile of hers to her favorite bird, getting Reimu to avert from it and Okuu to grin nice and wide. "Good girl, Okuu. The shrine should be done within the month at the pace you've made." Reimu wasn't in what she'd call a rush, so Okuu building it more or less by herself was fine. Living in a palace was, unsurprisingly, like living in a palace.
It had rooves that didn't leak!
Floors that didn't creak like a growl and bite like a splintery wolf!
Walls that weren't layered in the battle scars of her daily life!
A bathroom that wasn't a shrub; in fact, several such not-shrubs!
Room enough to not have to listen to the Inchling's snoring!
Rooves that didn't leak!
"You thought that twice." Satori was obvious in her amusement at the inwards gushing of her wife-to-be. After all, Reimu maintained that stony glare the whole time.
"It bears repeating."
"Unyuu?" Not long after Okuu turned those two red eyes dripping with innocence on Reimu did the shrine maiden's hand suction to the bird's scalp. "Ehe~" Of course, her weird chest eye was in Satori now, leading to the bird apparently needing an eyepatch. Well, until the glass eye was finished, anyways. The bird missed her eyeball for some reason, apparently. Reimu figured it probably had something to do with it being shiny, as otherwise it'd be odd that a bird would want a giant eyeball glowering at them.
"Good girl." Okuu's grin turned all the brighter. The void that Aun had left in her regular absence had largely been filled in by the bird of late. As such, the maiden was deprived of any source of adorability for a time.
For all of a day, that is.
With half a shrine, it wasn't as if Reimu could simply stay there, after all. She had to find a place to stay, and Satori offered. Reimu wasn't one to turn down genuine generosity, so she accepted with only token resistance.
"That was by no means token resistance. You were positively jumping for joy."
This got Okuu to pout, not to mention join the conversation. "Master is nice. You should be nice to Master."
Satori took to gently ruffling the bird's softer feathers. "Do not worry for me, Utsuho; Reimu is as cute as you if one peels back the grumpier layers. Why, at least 10% of her is half as sweet as you."
"How much is that?"
"She's like a jawbreaker with a licorice center. Hardest on the outside, but once one bites through the hard candy coating, she is soft—" Okuu's stomach rumbled, to which Satori could only let out a sigh. "No, I am not saying that she is tasty." Satori fixed her pet with a pout, smacking her on the forehead with a finger.
"Owie!" The bird rubbed her forehead, her eyes moistening as they looked down at her master.
"How many times must I tell you that eating people simply will not do? If you must, at least do not choose someone still alive. She may be soft in that center, but that coating likewise menaces with spikes.
Reimu let out a snort. "I do not menace with spikes."
"Those needles say otherwise." Her words earned a second snort, as well as a roll of the eyes. "[/b]Now, allow me to work on breakfast. We've a big day today, and a nice meal would do us a world of good.[/b]" With that, Satori rose from her chair, Orin crawling out from under the table with a yawn. If not for what Reimu knew of their relationship, she might draw completely wrong conclusions.
It did help that Satori had cheated on her with the Mountain Goddess and the Amanojaku. Sure, there were more than one of each, but there were only one of each deserving. And, honestly, Reimu didn't mind watching, either; she honestly enjoyed watching Satori ram that third leg of hers into them both. Of course, she knew she was supposed to be upset, but why bother trying when the other party was a mind reader anyways? The both of them got what they deserved, what with all the headaches of late basically being one long series of Moriya Shrine stupidity.
And, beyond that, Reimu knew full well the way Satori felt on the matter of that particular incident.
Smirking, Satori teased, "Goodness, a mind reader? Here in the bowels of the earth? How dreadful a power..." She chuckled at the way Reimu rolled her eyes, before saying, "Not that you are wrong. It is no secret that I do not like that woman."
Satori retrieved a giant egg larger than her head from the basket large enough for just the one, and then placed it in a bowl. That done, she reached for a cleaver and swung across its uppermost tip, severing it with relative ease. Trying to crack an egg of this size would be a difficult task, so she next swung down on the hole in the egg, leaving only a modest slice in the sides of the shell. Its job over, she set the cleaver aside and stuck her thumbs in the gooey egg-hole, now easily able to tear it clean in half, thus allowing the egg's contents to spill into the bowl. With that done, she set the shell aside and retrieved cooking chopsticks to start whisking it up.
She added a fair few mushrooms, already chopped, and a bit of meat as well. The eggs mixed into a yellow slime, she added a bit of salt and pepper, and then looked at it funny.
It burst into flame on the spot, for Satori's gaze matched the intensity of the sun itself.
Reimu only jumped the slightest bit, as it was no small flame. That said, she was growing used to it by this point, though the abruptness still got her every time. That said, Satori was equally amused each and every time; a kindly youkai is still a youkai, after all.
Picking up the egg bowl, she placed a platter on top of it, followed by flipping it. Next, she slammed the platter and bowl onto the counter, then picked up the bowl-turned-lid, setting it aside. What was left was more egg than the lot of them could eat. Well, if not for Okuu. Okuu would eat more than her fair share if there were eggs involved. It was simply what that bird did when she saw the oval things.
With that, their meal was served. It had enough egg to it for four and, if Satori's prayers were to be answered, a fifth as well. Well, so long as Okuu were among that count, anyways.
"I still don't see why you have a wedding dress shop." Reimu was thankful for it being a thing, but why it was one was another question entirely.
The spider huffed her best, clearly taking offense. "Well, who else would do it down here?"
"I mean, I could easily just fly through the big hole in—" Reimu found herself cut short.
Yamame leaned towards Reimu with narrowed eyes. "Well, who else would do it down here?" Even Reimu didn't want to pressure that apparent sore spot.
Satori let out her battlecry of a chuckle, being far more willing to do so. "I see you've still a trauma there."
"What trauma." It wasn't a question, for the spider wanted no answers. She left out the mark denoting it to be the case, as such.
Satori released a great wind more often referred to as a sigh. "A question is still a question, in the end."
Completely ignoring the mindreader, much to her amusement, she continued, "So, wedding dresses!" She motioned to her wide selection, full to the brim with as many dresses as she could imagine. Very wide, indeed, and very much so a lovely distraction from the itchy wounds she had suffered more or less a month ago.
Rolling her eyes, Reimu got to looking through the less gaudy, less webby, less sheer wedding dresses. The ones of more traditional Eastern design, in particular. "...Why are there nothing but Western dresses?" Of which there were none.
Yamame echoed, "Eastern dresses?"
"Eastern dresses, yeah."
"Didn't know that was a thing." Reimu just stared at the spider flatly. "Well, I didn't! What, do you expect me to find some sort of time manipulating pocket watch and travel back in time to tell myself?"
Satori chimed in with the force of a gong, "That exists, actually."
"Well, I'm not going to use it. That would just be stupid."
Reimu let out a snort, heading for the door. "I'm going to Alice's place."
"Whoa, hey, hey, don't rush off!" The spider flipped through the air, slipping between threads of silk as only a spider could, and landed directly in Reimu's way. "Just tell me what you need and I'll I'll I'll I'll I'll I'll I'll..." Her mouth hung open, her eyes blank.
Reimu stared a moment, before following a red artery that had been jammed in the spider's skull, finding the heart of the problem not far off. "You know, I could have just told her."
"...I'll I'll I'll..."
Satori chuckled, causing small debris to fall from the rock above. "Yes, but this is not only easier, but more amusing."
"...I'll I'll I'll..."
"You're starting to sound like a goddess, y'know." Reimu was more than a little amused over it.
"...I'll I'll I'll..."
Satori scoffed at the claim. "I'm nothing like her."
"...I'll I'll I'll..."
"Not that particular one, just your average one, really. Still, shouldn't you be pulling that thing out? She's getting annoying with all that 'I'll'ing."
"...I'll I'll I'll—" Reimu smacked her to get her to finally stop droning on.
"Ohh, right." Satori proceeded to pull the artery free of Yamame with a concerningly wet pop.
"—get to work!" Yamame smiled as if nothing had happened. Certainly not another thing that may traumatize one in more ways than one.
Reimu let out a sigh, and proceeded to slap a seal over the hole in Yamame's head, as she was clearly ignoring the bleeding. "Right. Go do that."
Yamame blinked, her golden 'buttons' blinking as well. Normally she was good about avoiding such things, but today was not one of those days. "...Right! Yeah!" That said, she did a backflip, shooting a thick harpoon of web out from under her dress, and began climbing upwards between more than one web-worth of strands. "Ohh, and take her measurements while I get my juices flowing!"
With the two of them now alone, Reimu let out a sigh. Satori had other ideas, however, and started tugging Reimu's neckerchief loose. Reimu paused, before looking to her mind reading husband-to-be as if she were crazy. Satori, on the other hand, was busy pulling Reimu's top over her head.
Reimu had enough, pulling out her gohei and striking the mind reader's head. "Qu-quit that, you." It wasn't often that someone could ek a blush out of the Hakurei Maiden, but Satori had succeeded where others might cause it for different reasons entirely.
Rubbing her head, Satori apologized, "My apologies. I shall strip you with warning next time." She got another lump for her troubles.
"Why the hell are you even stripping me?"
"Why, to measure you, of course."
"Why must I be stripped to be measured??"
"For accuracy's sake. What else?"
Reimu grumbled, though did eventually see some reason. "...Fine."
With consent given, Satori began to gingerly untie the ribbon keeping Reimu's left sleeve aloft, and then let it fall. The other sleeve fell on its own.
Reimu was slightly worried who might have untied the other, but decided not to bother, as she knew she'd rather not know.
Untying binding for the skirt, Satori appreciated the sight as that, too, fell. Reimu then hit her again, earning another chuckle from the mind reader, who was trying very hard to not nurse her injury and keep about her business.
And then her bloomers and fundoshi fell, followed by the sarashi binding her chest.
And then she found herself faceplanting as her shoes were taken off from under her by
"Alright! You have those meas—?" The spider stared at the bottom pointed her way a moment, before asking, "That's a lovely bottom, but why are you presenti—" She didn't get the chance to finish the question, as she got a needle thrown into her neck at that very moment. She then dropped from her web like a lead weight, all but dead.
Reimu swung her gohei about, followed by fixing Satori with a look. She opened her mouth, but Satori was quicker, scolding, "Stop that, Koishi."
Koishi more or less bounced into being out of what passes for surprise for her. "But I was just helping, sis! You don't have to yell!" She had that same fake grin plastered on her face she often had. Or was it a pout? Staring at her was difficult to a degree, as it was like trying to look at a blind spot in your vision.
Satori couldn't help but feel a pang in her heart, as that reminded her of what once was. Her voice went softer, and she said, "You needn't help with such things, sister. I wasn't intending her to be so thoroughly exposed, but was instead merely teasing her a bit."
"Fiiiine!" With that, vanished again.
Reimu just grumbled, tugging up her bloomers up, and then placed her foot on Yamame's forehead.
She yanked the spike free with as much a spidery grunt as her own human one. Yamame was left a bit dazed, not to mention a bit cross-eyed up until she managed to blink it away. "Ohh. I'm alive again?"
"You're alive again."
"Well, good. I'd like to not die today. Now, as for the measurements..." The spider lifted her skirt, and in a flash of yellow, black, itchy and scratchy, Reimu was wrapped in a dozen thin strands of silk. Not that wrapped described the sight well, as they were all but invisible if not for the indentations in the skin. "There we go!" She dropped her skirt and gathered up the handful of strands of silk, before heading up and off.
Satori looked to her wife-to-be, whose smile was gone by this point. Well, her Reimu smile. Reimu's smiles and frowns were very much akin to one another, not to mention the former were liable to become the latter at a moments notice.
And so, she did the simple gesture of pushing her heart into the shrine maiden's hand. The one without the sharp needle, at least. Satori like her third and fourth eyes to wildly differing degrees after all, so she hardly wished for a needle in either.
Reimu didn't look towards her forced lover, and in fact looked further away, what with averting her gaze. Her cheeks reddened just a little, and she gave the heart a gentle squeeze.
Some day Satori might dare tell her how uncomfortable squeezing an eyeball or heart feels, but that day was not today. Today, she simply smiled through the pain.
That, and traded the heart for a hand, now that she was less grumpy.
End Part 1