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“Yuugi, I want to help Kisume distract the birthday kid, so you can concentrate on the preparations in the bar.”
“Oh, Leon, you really don’t have to, I’m sure Kisume will manage somehow.”
Straightening my posture, I try to appear serious, reliable and determined to help her with this critical task. If Kisume fails, then the party will be only half as enjoyable.
“I insist. The birthday party will fail if she knows about it in advance.”
“But you must know that this might be a difficult task, right?”
“I promise I’ll do my best.”
“Can I help, too? I’m sure we’ll be able to distract her!”
“Thanks, Koishi, but I think she will get suspicious if there are three people following her.”
Yuugi is right, two aren’t that suspicious, but three people following her and trying to divert her attention are very suspicious. I think I have the plan how we’ll buy some time… since I’m an outsider and I have only seen half the city, she, as the border guard and high official around here could tell me more about it… with such a tour we could succeed, but then I’d be all exhausted from walking.
“I’ll call Kisume and tell her to come over with her vehicle.”
“Vehicle? What vehicle does she possess?”
“You aren’t used to the underground city yet, so you won’t believe me if I told you.”
“Well, she probably hasn’t got a huge flying bowl or something like that?”
Huh? Did I say something wrong? Yuugi with her jaw slightly dropped, Koishi with wide open eyes, Satori with a comical frown – everyone is gazing at me in surprise and… fear? No, this can’t be right. The blonde demon then remembers to call Kisume. They speak over the phone like old buddies… Satori stopped gazing at me and is sipping her tea again while Koishi… she is still slightly freaked out. I lean towards her and whisper…
“Did I say something wrong?”
Koishi leans even closer to me and whispers, so she doesn’t disturb Yuugi’s and Kisume’s conversation.
“Leon, are you, by chance, a psychic?”
“You nearly guessed it right.”
Closing her clamshell phone with a loud clap sound, the blonde demon ends the conversation with her friend, Kisume. She turns to us with a slight grin.
“Kisume is coming over and she is eager to meet you, Leon.”
“Likewise. If she is really riding a huge flying bowl, then she must be interesting!”
“How did you guess that right, Leon? She used to have a flying bowl.”
“Koishi asked me the same question… no, I don’t. You said I wouldn’t believe you if you told, so I made up the first thing that came to my mind and it was a flying saucer, but I made it even more ridiculous by imagining a flying bowl. To be honest, I still don’t believe that she is riding anything related to a flying bowl.”
“Good one, Leon, but she does. Yuugi, we’ll be leaving when Kisume picks Leon up.”
“You can stay as long as you want; there is no need to hurry now that special agent Leon is distracting Parsee!”
Smiling cheerfully, it is apparent that the oni is joking, but special agent Leon does have a nice sound to it, right? Maybe if I change it to special agent Leo… sounds cool!
“What was that?”
Golden sparkling dust appears for a brief moment as I subconsciously brushed my hair back while filled with thoughts how to act cool and all… and I feel a very subtle pain in my ear, where my earring is… somehow I didn’t feel or notice it before.
Okay, I need a good excuse for this. Should I say it is magic? No, generating such fine particles takes great control over earth, metal or related magic. Actually, I have no other excuse than ‘’it is magic I ain’t gonna explain it’’. Or maybe…
“Oh, just an illusionist trick I learned back at home.”
That was a solid excuse, but not even this excuse is foolproof – there is still Satori that is fully aware what I am thinking right now. As far as I know she has no off switch, so she constantly reads minds in her proximity…
“Nice one, you’ve got to show it at the party!”
About three minutes of tea sipping and listening to the ladies talking, I hear the door ring. It must be Kisume… and I still don’t believe that she used a huge flying bowl or saucer. I’m not sure if it is even possible to fly with such a thing, so many theories I studied speak against it.
“Oh! That must be Kisume!”
Everyone stands up and follows Yuugi to the front door… I guess I should follow them.
As the door opens, I see the girl we were expecting. Kisume is wearing a light beige Eskimo jacket. As she removes her hood she reveals her green hair and two lovely ponytails, in other words, she has twintails. She is about Koishi’s height, who is slightly shorter than me.
“Hello people! What’s up?”
“Hey Kisume, wow, you got here fast!”
“I tuned the baby last night and fixed the boosters, I just had to try them out on the way here!’’
“Alright, Kisume! Hey, this is Leon, he’ll help you distract the birthday kid.”
“Nice to meet ‘cha, Leon. So you’re an outsider?”
“Yes, I’m from the outside. It is nice to meet you, too!”
“Cool! Hey, want to go stake Parsee out? She finishes with work… in about one hour.”
“Sure! Um, there is just one thing I have to ask Satori-”
The two sisters just got ready to leave. Once Satori spots Kisume her expression turns to a slight frown… Koishi stays neutral towards her, but she isn’t too happy. Kisume seems slightly scared or embarrassed when she sees Satori.
“Hello S-Satori, hello Koishi!”
“Greetings, Kisume. What did you want to ask me, Leon?”
“Oh, um, I have a small request. Can you bring the red shirt I bought to the party? I don’t want to celebrate dressed completely in black.”
“Why yes, certainly. I’ll do that. Farewell now!”
“Goodbye all! See you at the party!”
As the two sisters leave Yuugi’s apartment, Kisume takes a long step to the side to get out of the way. It seems that Satori and Kisume don’t like each other for some reason. I wonder what happened.
“Hey Kisume, step inside!”
“Actually, I wanted to go see Parsee right away. She could finish with work earlier… it is her birthday after all. If not, I can still stake her out with Leon.”
“Good idea. Fine, see you later at the party!”
“See you later.”
I grab my great coat and put it on as I head downstairs with Kisume. Her step is quick; I can barely follow the lively girl. Since I stand behind her I get a good view of her backside . It nearly makes me bite my lower lip, but I resist the urge.
Outside, I see the flying thing they have been talking about. Goodness gracious, the things that are happening to me are getting ridiculous. But that is one heavily modified bucket. No, bucket is not the right word for this thing, this thing is a small jet plane! It looks like those Harrier VTOL jump jets, using a huge metal bucket as its base frame! It has short wings, four jet engines at the back, rotatable small jet engines for vertical lift at the side… and it has enough space for seven people, three seats in the front and four seats in the back…
“What do you think?”
“This is the most awesome bucket I laid eyes upon.”
“Thanks! It technically is no longer a bucket, but an ‘’airplane’’. That is what outsiders call it, right?”
“Yes, that is what we call this.”
“Shall we fly, Leon? You will be the first passenger to experience the powerful boosters I fixed!”
The green-haired girl simply flies on top while I struggle with the tiny ladder… no way, I’m not strong enough to pull myself up on this tiny ladder.
“Sorry man, Yuugi mentioned that you can’t fly by yourself yet and I forgot.”
Kisume gets on the ground, hugs me tightly from behind and puts me on the airplane. That was… my first hug in many years. She then opens the cockpit and I sit down in the front passenger seat, next to the pilot, where Kisume sits. Closing the cockpit, Kisume activates the jet engines…
“Tighten your seatbelt, Leon. We’ll make a little spritztuor thought the cave.”
“What about Parsee?”
“We’ll distract her by flying through the city border! The guards will call her, they will describe what happened and she will send a SMS to me if it was me crossing the border. I’ll take my time to answer it. Next thing we’ll return and cross the border again… this will keep her busy for extra thirty minutes.”
“You are a genius, Kisume.”
“Thanks, I’m smart, but I’m a genius. People say I’m a genius for building this demon fire jet airplane, but they have no idea what the Moriya Corporation is hiding in their hangar!”
Steadily, the demon fire jets lift us into the air, above the wide road… slowly, the city becomes smaller and the miniature Sun grows larger… oh my goodness, look at that thing!
“I know why you are scared and there is no reason to be frightened, the sun is powered by a cold fusion reactor and has little to no gravitational pull, it won’t incinerate us.”
Now we are far above the city… steadily, the bucket creeps forward as the tiny jet engines rotate for ninety degrees. Kisume hits four switches and… hits the pedal? This thing has a car’s pedal-
Holy crap, THIS is what I call ACCELERATION !
In about ten seconds we are outside the demon city and are entering the suburban area. This part is drastically different from the city and the old city center… some buildings aren’t even finished.
As we approach the border Kisume hits the airbrakes – many plates spring out and slow us down. Then she dives down, as if she was going to stop by the border and show them her ID. I don’t really get it – if she has this jump jet, why doesn’t she have a special permission?
Just the border guard steps outside, the dives up and hits the pedal hard, accelerating us to NECK-BREAKING SPEEDS! Now we are flying through the cave! THIS IS AWESOME!
“My phone will ring any minute now, any minute…”
And it indeed rings.
“Leon, you answer it, it will add to the confusion.”
Taking the clamshell phone into my hand, I answer it immediately.
“Hello, you are speaking to Leon.”
“Hello… Leon? Did I get the wrong number?”
She pause for a moment…
“Umm… what is that loud noise in the background?”
“That is nothing, just a few jet engines!”
“Oh, okay. Sorry for taking your time-
She pauses once again.
“Hhey did you say jet engines?
“Yes, I said jet engines.”
“Put kiss-u-me on the phone!”
Due the bad signal I heard ‘’kiss-u-me’’ instead of Kisume.
“Sorry, did you just say something about kissing?”
The green-haired pilot next to me giggles pretty loudly, then does a barrel roll the moment we leave the cave, the underground… so this is Gensokyo looks like… such beauty-
“No, I didn’t. Put Kisume on the phone, I can hear her giggle!”
“Alright, lady. Here you are, Kisume.”
I hand her the phone… now I think this wasn’t the best idea, now she has only one arm on the steering wheel and she isn’t fully focused on the road, I mean, the sky… Kisume fortunately hits the airbrakes and now we travel slowly… wow, Gensokyo is a wonderful world. The trees have no leaves and the hills look monotone, but the landscape itself is so perfectly shaped…
“Hey Parsee~! --- Hmm, are you sure it was me crossing the border? --- Well yes, I am the only person to have such a vehicle. --- Those jet engines could me working on the prototype in my garage. --- Why are you so sure it was me? --- Oh, you don’t think nobody else could pilot it… --- Well, that isn’t true. Leon was piloting it!”
“No, it wasn’t me. Leon crossed the border. --- Yes, I know he hasn’t got the permission, but can’t you turn a blind eye? --- Why not? --- Hey, can’t you say I am his flying teacher and he is my student? --- Why not, Parsee~? --- Okay, I’ll be honest, it was me piloting it, I wouldn’t allow Leon fly that fast. --- Okay, I’ll return right now. --- Sorry that I made you fill out unnecessary forms. --- Sure, I’ll register on the way back~.”
She turns to me and gives me a suggestive wink. In any other situation I would think this wink means something… different, if you know what I mean.
“Bye, Parsee baby~!”
I could hear a loud, surprised ‘’eh’’ from the poor Parsee before Kisume hung up.
“High five, Leon!”
“Can’t touch this!”
Kisume bursts into laughter, uncontrollable laughter, that is. She then turns the Harrier bucket sharply around and hits the pedal a little… now we are heading back to the cave.
“Huh? Where did you learn this?”
“I saw it on outsider TV during my stay at the Moriya Corporation.”
“I see… so, did we distract her?”
“She’ll have to fill out ten pages, sure we did! Now we’ll return and apologize and invite her to some tea! We’ll buy enough time, don’t worry!”
“I hope I didn’t make a bad impression on her.”
“No way, she never takes grudges for jokes. Hold tight, I’m going to use the boosters to wake up the border patrol! Three… two… one… boost!”
SWEET MOTHER OF JESUS CHRIST- that was hell of a boost, good thing it lasts only three seconds!
I was glued to the leather seat when he hit it… it was like jumping into cold water…
The border and the suburban area blow pass us in mere seconds… Kisume then uses the airbrakes to comfortably slow down, with little to no pull forward. Steadily, we reach the place where took off… my green-haired pilot steadily flies above the streets and then slowly descends into the city center.
“Was the ride enjoyable, Leon?”
“It sure was a spritztuor .”
“I am glad you liked it!”
“Say, why doesn’t the bucket lose altitude at such low speeds?”
“I got some technology from the Yakumo Corp. that levitates stuff. It is powered by demon fire and I am supposed to test if it works properly. At low power the fire is redirected from the jet engine to the levitation machine, so it automatically stabilizes the plane if I release the gas.”
“Uh-huh. So, where is Parsee’s office?”
Landing vertically, Kisume deactivates the engine and opens the cockpit. Without notice she hugs me again, this time tighter than before and descents to the ground slowly. My, that was quite something that pressed against my back…
“Hey Leon, do you have any plans how we could distract her after the tea?”
“Well… I’m an outsider and I’m new in the city, right? So how about a slow tour with your flying bucket? Parsee will show me all the important districts!”
“Simple, brilliant and we kill two birds with one stone. Deal!”
Entering the office’s lounge, I can feel the pleasant warm air against my body… it is much warmer inside. I remove my great coat and Kisume removes her Eskimo jacket… underneath she is wearing exactly what I thought – a white sweater matching her pants.
“What are you looking at, Leon?”
“N-Nothing! I just noticed that your top and Yuugi’s are quite similar.”
“Oh, yes, it is! We both like sporty clothes.”
Kisume smirks… well, I can’t deny, she is as pretty as all the other girls I met. Youkai are known to be handsome since they have a better metabolism and powerful hormones…
“Let’s wait for Parsee… she should finish with work in about… 50 minutes.”
I am sitting here for about 53 minutes… good thing Kisume is here, so I have someone to talk to. Suddenly a young woman with short blonde hair, dressed in a elegant women’s suit, comes down the spiral stairs. She immediately spots Kisume and me. It must Parsee… oh man, she must be angry, just look at her green eyes! They are GLOWING!
“Hello Parsee~! What’s up?”
“Oh, there are you are! You are nothing but trouble, Kisume! I had to explain why you blew past the border the second time…”
Her serious, stern expression, combined with her glowing green eyes is truly frightening… and now, she lightens up. A smirk appears on her face and the glow in her eyes disappears.
“Oh, you must be Leon. I am Parsee Mizuhashi, nice to meet you!”
She offers her hand and I promptly shake it.
“Nice to meet you, Parsee. I want to apologize for-”
“No need, I understand jokes. So, shall we go to Yamame’s bar and have some tea?”
No, we aren’t supposed to go to Yamame’s bar!
“Kisume, didn’t you promise me something?”
“Oh, certainly! Parsee, I thought we would get some take-away tea… Leon would love to have you show him the most important buildings in town.”
“Certainly, but don’t you think we should do that another day? I’m somewhat tired.”
“No, we won’t walk! We’ll take my bucket, of course!”
“Hmm. I am not sure.”
Kisume does the most convincing sad puppy eyes, ever. Aw, she is so cute like that! It even makes Parsee blush from sheer cuteness!
“Alright then, let’s go!”
And thus I was introduced to the concept of hot take-away tea… in Gensokyo coffee is unpopular with youkai, so they invented take-away tea. When you don’t have the time to sit down and have tea properly, which occurs often if you are employed in modern industry.
Parsee sat in the front passenger seat while I sat behind her, on the back seats. Kisume was flying slowly and steadily, she didn’t want the sugary tea to spill on her leather seats. The ‘’jealous’’ girl showed me all important buildings in the demon city, for example the police station, the two largest hospitals, the shopping districts, places where I can get the best ingredients and much more. Parsee also told many stories about some buildings.
After Kisume landed by her garage and parked the bucket jet fighter plane thing. We went inside and waited for Kisume to get changed before we continue our plans.
“That was an excellent tour, thank you again, Parsee.”
“You are welcome, Leon. You know, I’m jealous.”
“You simply appeared in this city and you are already quite famous. People speak about a blonde, handsome outside, a mysterious wizard who bypassed the barrier on his own.”
“Oh, those are rumors must be so exaggerated…”
“I think they aren’t. Rumors are a great thing in Gensokyo, don’t forget that-”
“I’ve got changed! Yuugi also sent me a message that we should see her at Yamame’s bar.”
Kisume, who is now wearing a pretty white winter dress, winks suggestively, indicating that all the preparations were successfully finished and the party should begin as soon as the birthday kid gets here.
“Alright, let’s go!”
Again, we get into the flying bucket and Kisume again lifts me up with a tight bear hug… this one was a little too tight, it makes my sides hurt… and this time we are all sitting with the pilot in the front seats. Off we go!
We arrive at the Mysterious Spider. Kisume gently lands on the empty platform lot in front of the bar. I bet this platform is covered in umbrellas and tables during summer.
As we exit the bucket jet fighter, Kisume again helps me out… I thank her, but for her such a hug is something completely ordinary… nothing unusual, one would say.
The bar is barely lit inside… everyone is waiting in the darkness. Kisume runs in front of us and waits for Parsee to get close. She then rushes inside and as Parsee steps inside…
“SURPRISE! HAPPY BIRTHDAY PARSEE!”
The lights go on and reveal- wow, how many friends does Parsee have? I see Satori, Koishi, Utsuho, Orin, Yuugi and many, many other guests and if I am not mistaken, then all are females… even the personnel is female, too.
And look at Parsee, she is red in the face. I bet she didn’t expect this.
While Parsee is receiving gifts from the many guests, I get changed in the restrooms. This black turtleneck may be comfortable, but I can’t be dressed in black at a birthday party, right?
After I personally hand her the six bottles of spiced rum and wish her happy birthday and best luck in future endeavors, I join the party… which just got started!
This is the plan:
Have something to eat first.
[ ] Those canapés look absolutely delicious!
[ ] Is that by chance Frutti di Mare pizza with extra shrimps?
[ ] You need sugar to party. The cake is the only option.
Sit down at the bar, have something to drink.
[ ] Start with a cola and talk to the strangers at the bar.
[ ] Have a cocktail and chat with the bartender, Yamame.
[ ] Secure your seat and get drunk with Yuugi and her friend.
There will be karaoke.
[ ] I’m not singing, no way!
[ ] If they have outsider songs… <write-in>
[ ] You know some anime opening and ending songs… <write-in>
Do you feel like dancing?
[ ] No, just no!
[ ] If there is something techno, count me in.
[ ] Wait till they have something slow-paced.
Approach some ladies, try your luck!
[ ] Approach strangers, meet new people!
[ ] Stick with your buddies… <write-in who first>
Take your time, anons, take your time.