Strangely, you get used to Mokou and Kaguya pretty quickly. Sure, a disembodied head rolls by every once in a while, but on the whole it's a good show. Besides, they have such short tempers that they'll get angry at anything; but they're more willing to take it out on each other, rather than on whoever was actually irritating them.

And I learned all this in no less than a single day after I met them.

I haven't visited Myouren yet, so I figure I should do that now. The question, of course, is how much I should aggravate my 'neighbors' before I do.

Shingetsu got up from his little bamboo nest and stretched; it was misty today, but the sun was bright. A good combination, in his opinion. And so, as he walked through the bamboo in the general direction of Myouren, he was slightly disappointed that it was interrupted by Kaguya's burning figure flying across the sky like a meteor. Only slightly, though.

"You can make a wish on a shooting star." Mused Shingetsu to himself, as Mokou shot past in full flames, following Kaguya. "I wonder if a shooting maniac counts."

Although it does kind of rob me of the chance to aggravate them myself… I suppose I'll just have to make up for it later.

Shingetsu chuckled to himself as he walked on. Eventually he gave the task of finding Myouren to the back of his brain and became lost in his thoughts. He wondered what Myouren would be like. Perhaps a grand cathedral with many priests wandering about? Perhaps a modest shrine with statues? Perhaps one of those weird places that you can't really define with flattering words, but that always smells vaguely of mayonnaise?

Shingetsu stopped suddenly, as his brain was trying to tell him something.

…Perhaps a tiger youkai chasing a mouse youkai in a frantic and ungraceful fashion, egged on by a sailor in front of what looked like a converted boat, with a rather amused tanuki watching from atop the entrance?

Nobody around here was nearly as elegant as they were supposed to be. Maniac princesses, experimenting doctors, prankster servants… At least Mokou had an excuse.

Or at least I think she does. It's hard to tell.

Shingetsu chose to avoid the shenanigans; he converted himself into mist and silently entered the boat temple thing. No one noticed, which immediately put him on edge. Normally there was at least a murmur of some occult rumor regarding some long-dead myth about sudden mist. Every other time his mist form was greeted with silence, it was because there were hunters waiting for him to reform.

That wasn't exactly a bad thing, though. Hunters didn't taste very good, kind of gamey really, but it was better than nothing. Regardless, Shingetsu snuck along the corridors in gaseous form, waiting to see if he could find someone who might conceivably be important. Almost certainly this would be the person sensible enough to realize that magic was all around them, and would be wearing something that was either very or hardly revealing. Possibly with a second set of, or no, underwear.

Unfortunately, he'd found two people who fit those descriptions. One was wearing a skirt so short that it only really qualified as a frilly extension to the shirt. It was black, with a red bit on it. She had red bladey wings… Curved, and edged on one side, unlike Shingetsu's wings… And blue spade tail things placed like wings on her back. Her hair was black, eyes, red, with little black shoes and a black trident with a green snake on her arm, and a black armband. Black black black, except for the underwear.

The other had a lot of clothing on. White underrobe, white robe, purpleish overrobe thing. She was holding two purple sticks in one hand, and had hazel-ish eyes. Very long socks with white things on them, a sort of strange two-colored hair, A nice robe with a red on the inside, a sort of pervanding calm that she wore like clothes. And thick underwear.

Mist floats along the floor. This is not necessarily a disadvantageous viewpoint.

It sounded (and looked) like Blacky was being admonished for eating something. This meant that the calm one was probably in charge, which was almost certainly preferable. Not for any particular reason, just on general principle.

One of Shingetsu's favorite tricks was vanishing via mist. It took second place compared to the reverse of this, for reasons that should be obvious. These reasons become considerably more obvious given a selection of the most common reactions. In THIS case, however, Shingetsu had to consider that perhaps a rare reaction was not necessarily better. When you pop out of nowhere, you expect a good scream, maybe someone fainting, at least someone spazzing out. You don't expect one to look at you as if you walked in like a normal person.

Blacky spazzed, though, which made him feel better. It made him feel less better when her immediate response was to pin him against a wall with a lot little circular floaty colorful things. And it made him feel much better when he realized that, in her rush, she'd torn her shoe and some of the wood of the floor of when she jerked because she hadn't put the trident down. And it made him feel not quite better that, in doing so, the shoe had been whipped up and shot at his head.

All in all, he'd had better. But at least it was… New.

Showing either a nonexistent self of preservation that was often possessed by religious types, an overconfidence that bordered on insanity*, or a love that extended to ignoring that other people didn't think like that**, the calm one turned around and introduced herself.

"My name is Byakuren Hijiri. This is Myouren Temple; is there something we can do for you, stranger?"

And of course, "Stranger" was said in that way that suggests one ought to tell one's name.

Shingetsu smiled, storing away in his memory that it, that is the memory in question, was really bloody useless.

"Give me a moment to remember. I'm sure it will come to me sometime before the turn of the century."

Blacky's eyes glowed. "Let's hope for sooner rather than later." Her tone was that kind of sinister yet sarcastic tone owned by waiters who always ended up waiting the people who gave low tips and found at least four things to complain about, and had a one in three chance of wanting the manager, who was generally asleep or clipping his toenails… But the waiter that knew very well there was a portion of the kitchen in which they could walk alone, and no one would see them spit in the food, and it would feel wonderful to do that or at least threaten the annoying people in question.

There are possibly ways to shorten that description, but dictionaries are never around when you really need them.***

(*Also possessed by religious types.)

(**Also possessed by religious types, except for older nuns, who are more concerned with your sin and the removal thereof.)

(***Like when you need to throw them at other people.)