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[x] Ask Lady Tewi to tell a story.
-[x] The story with Lady Yakumo.
-[x] Her involvement with Yakuza (maybe)
Hearing that bit about not in the history books, I decide to ask for clarification. "May I ask what you mean by that? While we don't have as many books since the sealing, there's still plenty covering the bulk of Japan's past. My father in particular is a fan of both the warring states era and the Meiji Revolution."
Lady Tewi merely claps. "I should have known better, but this makes it simpler; ever wonder why Mitsuhide Akechi betrayed Nobunaga? I know that's a big question among historians." Shinobu leaves the room, likely to prepare lunch for Lady Tewi since she arrived late.
"Please tell us, Lady Inaba!" Lady Akyuu asks. She looks just as interested as I am.
Tewi leans back and starts talking. "It’s a well-kept secret that during the warring states era a number of youkai were involved in minor roles, mostly to ensure a favorable outcome for themselves or the area that would ultimately become Gensokyo. Yukari in particular was taken with Shigen Takeda, though he never ended up relying on her, preferring to win things with his own abilities. He would have accomplished a lot, if he hadn’t been killed. Yes, killed! Ieyasu Tokugawa's ninja did him in, and so I decided to throw in with them, figuring he would be the one to win. He wasn't terribly happy about following that order from Nobunaga; quite the contrast as he actually hated working with youkai. I heard he even affiliated himself with the Jesuits to gain better insight on fighting them.
"Shigen's son wasn't exactly as bright, even going so far as to disregard Yukari's advice. Things did not end well, which leads me back to Mitsuhide Akechi: everyone wonders why he turned against Nobunaga. It’s true that all the suggested reasons played their part, but what pushed him over the line was an encounter with Yukari. I was there to see what he was up to, and Yukari had disguised herself as a misfortunate yet attractive woman. She pleaded with Mitsuhide to do something about Nobunaga, even going so far as to offer herself to him. He didn't accept the offer; always was a virtuous sort, but he still began to plot the overthrow of Oda Nobunaga. He accomplished it with his own abilities, but he wasn't able to sway the rest of Nobunaga's forces. I admit that I told Tokugawa to not do that, but on the basis that Yukari was using him. I was able to set up a nice little act between Ieyasu and Mitsuhide in Osaka, though the latter admits an actual escape was plausible."
It’s amazing to hear Tewi claim that she and Yukari were so involved during that period in history. She continues, "Before you ask, there was a reason we let Nobunaga die. He had to, for youkai to have a future. I found out later that though Yukari had planned on leaving Mitsuhide to die as well, she was touched by his kindness and instead made him a new identity, Tenkai." The name is familiar, he was a samurai who defended various villages from Youkai. I'd wondered how a samurai would be able to gain such holy power, and now I know.
There’s a muffled clink as Shinobu returns and sets Lady Tewi's food and drink before her. "Were youkai involved much in the dwindling days of the era?" Lady Akyuu asks.
Lady Tewi answers, "Not so much, most ultimately wound up preparing for the creation of Gensokyo and I had very little more to teach Ieyasu. I did advise him to treat Hideyoshi's family well when he won even though some of his advisors didn't quite appreciate that. I believe everyone didn't want a second Nobunaga, even if he ruled in peace. I found out later that Yukari tried to help Yukimura Sanada, but he refused. Even when I told Yukari to bring whoever she favored away with her, she didn't have much luck persuading him. In the end, we negotiated things for Gensokyo while he was allowed to rule without any interference. I do remember those times rather nicely as Ieyasu was like an uncle. Oh, one last thing about the era: the various armies had to deal with a particular youkai claiming remote areas as her turf. After she annihilated a few units, they tried their best to avoid her instead. That's how she got the title 'Sleeping Terror'" Wait, I’ve heard that before; it refers to- My gods, Lady Yuuka! I'm not going to worry myself over it now as I'd imagine I'd find out eventually.
Lady Tewi pauses to start eating, and takes a drink as well. "Hmmm~ Nice of you to pour me some of your warmed sake, Akyuu! The salad’s as well made as always, too," she remarks. I’m not surprised; it sounds like Lady Akyuu invites her over fairly often.
After Tewi finishes eating, she begins the next story. "All that actually leads nicely into the other story I mentioned. After Ieyasu started ruling and putting things in place, I noticed that some areas had trouble brewing for the citizens. I made use of some of the ronin and gamblers in the area, figuring that it would stop some from making trouble while creating a force that could oppose others. Recruiting went easy after I demonstrated my ability; rigging dice games isn't the nicest option but it sure beats squeezing money from people trying to make a living. Instead we only asked for food or some other service, offsetting expenses. I never did expect such a policy to result in people giving more than that out of gratitude."
Lady Akyuu takes advantage of the pause to ask, "What about how modern Yakuza are more self-serving, or force new members to cut off their pinkies?" I think I'll have to look that up as that goes farther than the stories I'd read about.
Lady Tewi shrugs and responds, "Well, it started when one of the guys blundered but he resolved most of it before the group got involved. He was so distraught he did it to himself, citing he'd be less able to strike out on his own. But word of our deeds and fortune spread throughout Japan and some other groups started to get ideas of their own to do something similar, some of which were more selfish and underhanded. From what I gathered before Gensokyo was sealed, both sorts of groups were present, including my own. One thing that the various groups agreed on is never to wage a gang war as even the winner ends up in bad shape. Of course there’s still indirect combat like tipping off the police - it's similar to how I command the rabbits; when the other side is absolutely stronger, trickery is the way to go."
"With all due respect, I heard the mix of colors you're wearing isn't normal for modern Yakuza," Lady Akyuu remarks.
Lady Tewi shrugs, responding, "This is what I like and my group is a bit unconventional; where else would you see rabbit tattoos?"
"This is proving to be pretty interesting. Thanks again for stopping by today Yuki. This was your day off though, so you can go enjoy yourself now. There’ll be enough work to do tomorrow!"
I nod and thank Lady Akyuu and Tewi, leaving after giving my farewells.
Going home, I think about getting some lunch before planning what to do next when I notice Wriggle and her friends are all seated in the dining room, having a meeting of some kind. Mystia, Lady Shizuha, Yumemi, and Rika are all here – it's surprising to see Rika since I don't think she knew Wriggle that well, but I should leave them to their business. I turn to leave when Wriggle calls my name.
I go over surprised, curious what she wanted. "It's good you came by as Shizuha's planning on doing something for her boyfriend and wasn't sure about his feelings." I’m not sure what I could do to help as I have no idea what sort of relationship she has. Although… wait, since she's a goddess, couldn’t she determine if he had faith in her? and if she can sense faith, then his feelings should be easy as it'd be particularly strong faith coming in. Sort of like how the Moriya shrine goddess took a human husband.
"When you're with him, do you feel any faith coming in? I believe if his feelings are true you'd be able to sense his feelings," I respond. Shizuha seems to stares at me a bit before nodding slightly, causing Mystia to groan and bury her forehead in her arms.
Shizuha blushes, replying, "Thank you for reminding me of that. With this I feel more confident about what I'm planning!" I'm a bit curious, but I know better than to pry into someone else's love life.
Soon after that the conversation wound down, and everyone starts leaving. I take the chance to remark, "I wasn't expecting to see Rika with the group."
Shizuha replies, "She invited herself, and I figured someone with her confidence wouldn't hurt. But where did you get the idea to try and sense his faith? I was actually hoping for something like advice on how to deal with guys, coming from someone who likes a… slender girl," she replies.
I sit down before replying, "I doubted that I could've said anything useful, so I tried to remember something that could be useful pertaining to gods. Sometimes there's that to consider when solving a problem." Shizuha nods and thanks me again before leaving.
Once everyone leaves, Wriggle comes over and sits beside me. "What are you planning to do?"
I answer, "I was thinking of getting some reading in now since I have a bunch of work tomorrow. It's inescapable, despite how lax Lady Akyuu's been. It's important to get some things done before winter rolls in. Most days aren't so bad but sometimes it gets real cold or snowy."
"It'd be my first time seeing the village in the winter. I've seen it snow from mother's place before, but it just doesn't feel the same. Could I read with you?" She asks.
I answer, "Sure, just let me get the books," and I head upstairs.
That was a blur between that night and today, mainly relaxing and cuddling… followed by work in the morning. I make enough headway that I have time to eat a nice lunch outside with Wriggle. Wished today was sunnier, though.
"Are you sure it's okay to eat on the roof?" Wriggle asks.
I answer, "Yeah, the roof of the Heida residence is pretty tough. Lady Akyuu mentioned something about Lady Yakumo using it a few times." I open up the prepared lunch for the both of us while Wriggle stares at the village spread around us.
"The harvest festival's gonna be so fun. Look, you can see Shizuha's handy work already!" Wriggle smiles as she points out some of the color changed leaves, with thickest concentration around the mountain. I can only assume the Tengu are fans of hers.
I respond, "We should tell her how nice it looks next time we see her." I manage to balance the box carefully so it doesn't go sliding down the tiles. Shinobu’s meals are delicious as usual, and we end up eating without saying too much. I start to pack everything back up - after the last bit of work, I'll res-
My chest seizes. What was that!? It's the same tightness I feel when using magic, but for me to feel it from something else… this must be strong enough to get the attention of anyone with even a marginal sense of power.
Wriggle shakes me out of my stun shouting, "Yuki, look!" Off in the distance, a glaring pillar of light is shooting into the sky. That must be the source, but I can tell little else. I once read a book on legendary weapons that described something similar, but I'm too far away to know for sure.
I can barely make out a purple figure flying nearby – maybe Lady Yakumo. Soon after a crow darts through the air into Lady Akyuu's room. Seeing the bird, I'm reminded that Arthur relied on them for sending messages, and that he's been looking for something in the forest for the past few days. That blast must signal Arthur's struggle has met another turn, and with it will come major changes to the village and everyone around him.
Chapter 3 End.
Yeah, I wish I could have a great excuse but all sorts of stuff happened, including some game stuff. I'm going to try to put together a follow-up update far quicker than this, and I'm confident in saying this as there's no summer nuttiness or such.
I'll also admit that I added the yakuza thing because I wanted to show that sometimes other characters had their own ideas and actions. I also undersold the option, and I'll try to do better on that front in the future.
Hopefully I still have readers after all this, but as I figure, every misstep is a new lesson… mostly.
I'm also going to get started on the next /at/ short with Lunasa as well.