(A/N: This chapter brought to you by Rain Dance, by Odyssey. Also, Prayer, by C-Clays.)


The day started like any other day, really. I suppose everyone else was busy running around and doing extraordinary things, but for me it was unremarkable. If anyone ever tells you that god and goddesses live glamorous lives, you should humiliate them. If we live such great lives, then why would we bother taking interest in mortals?

Some mortals understand this. Warlords and kings, mainly. Those who have it all and realize, "What do I do now?"

I woke up and wandered blindly around my bedroom for a minute or two. Contrary to popular belief, I'm really not a morning person; the earth wakes slowly. I eventually figured out where my clothing is, and staggered into the kitchen where dear Sanae would have something for me to eat, sweet and caring as she is. I couldn't be prouder of my descendant.

My first clue that something was up was when I found that there was salt in the coffee and sugar on the meat.

"Sanae, are you alright? You seem… Distracted." I said this as I carefully shifted the meat on my plate.

"Mm? Oh, it's… Nothing, I suppose. I just feel out of it today. I was thinking I could travel around Gensokyo a bit, maybe take my mind off of whatever's nagging me."

My second clue came later that morning, when instead of Aya's newspaper was a note saying she was going to the Bamboo Forest of the Lost. Now, I'll be the first to admit that I'm not the quickest when it comes to figuring things out, but not noticing it then was a little slow even for me; Sanae had been staring in that direction all morning.

Just a half-hour later, Kanako woke up (Late as always) and started rambling about opportunities. I should have listened but, honestly, the last time I did that I ended up getting punished by the red-white for not stopping her. So if I don't know, it's not my fault, whatever it is. She then took Sanae along and marched out, literally off to do gods-know-what.

I'd count that as my third clue, but it was pretty routine. No, my third clue was Nitori, Hina, and a few others all leaving the mountain. And just like Aya, a few left notes. Their destination? The bamboo forest.

I spent some time thinking on my favorite lilypad after that. I was, and am, the oldest and most powerful goddess currently existing within Gensokyo. Yukari might be older than me, but she's a youkai, so she doesn't count.

I figured I'd look into it for Sanae's sake, but first I wanted to check on Shizuha. But guess where she and her sister had gone? Needless to say, I made haste. At that point in time, the one thing going through my mind was that, the last time something gathered everyone, there had been earthquakes. And unless I'm the one causing it, I don't like earthquakes.

Besides, you don't need anything more than a little tremor to get the flies off the food, accidentally doing it just as a certain snake goddess takes a mouthful, usually making her eat the utensil in question. If I'm lucky, it'll be soup, and it'll splash her face to boot.

We fight just as much as Mokou and Kaguya. We just do it differently. Besides, it passes the time.

It didn't take me very long to find what I was looking for; after all, something was intentionally drawing people here.

I ignored the floating palanquin. The youkai and humans together. Kanako getting drunk. Yuuka with a hakkero. The big red tank. Remilia glaring daggers at the big red tank. The black-white whatshername getting obliterated. The Taoists coming in behind me.

I'd spotted Komachi. She had a spirit with her, looked nervous, and was definitely the center.

…And yet not. It seemed the center of this attraction was somewhere between her and… Mokou? Interesting. I really didn't know what to make of it.

At least, not until the maniacal laughter and the fight started. I saw who was doing the laughing; some strawberry-colored girl in a cape. That was worrying.

The fight, on the other hand…

It was time I considered taking a form a little less short.