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You briefly consider getting out of there as fast as you can, but you remain grounded, staring up at the sky. There’s no reason for you to flee; you have a duty to act as a messenger for both the shrine and your own clan, after all. Nervously, you raise your hand and wave to them as they approach.
The three of them land on the shrine grounds, and Sanae runs up to her god. Their clothes all look pretty beat up, but they all seem to be in a pretty good mood. A little hesitantly, you follow after Sanae and walk up to them.
“Oh, perfect timing,” Lady Kanako says as she spots you, beckoning you closer, “Come, come inside the shrine, all of you. There’s something I need to talk to you about.”
She heads for the shrine, Marisa and Hakurei following after her. You exchange confused looks with Sanae before going after them. Taking off your geta, you step up the porch and wait for the others to head inside, and then walk in after them.
“Sanae, ready some tea for our guests,” Lady Kanako commands.
The wind priestess nods immediately, albeit still a little confused about the situation, and heads into the kitchen. Meanwhile, the four of you take a seat around the square table in the living room, on top of which rests an unlit candle, and with a flick of the god’s finger, the candle lights itself, lighting the darkened room.
“Um…” you begin first, looking around the table, “So… what happened?” you finally voice your confusion.
“We won, that’s what!” Marisa says excitedly, looking proud of herself, “’nother incident resolved!”
“Indeed,” Lady Kanako says, smirking, “I thought I’d scold them for forgetting the power of a god, but it seems I was guilty of underestimating humans myself.”
Sanae returns, carrying a tray. Carefully, she sets down a cup of tea for everyone. Marisa and Hakurei thank her before taking a sip of it.
“This tastes… different,” Hakurei remarks, raising a brow as she examines the cup.
“It’s tea from the outside world,” Sanae helpfully says. You scoot over a little to the side to give her some space to sit, and she takes a seat between you and Lady Kanako. “So… um, what happens now?” she asks.
“That’s what we came here to discuss,” her god replies, crossing her arms together, “It seems there was miscommunication somewhere, and the youkai of this mountain think we mean them harm.”
“I think that was inevitable considering your choice of words, Lady Kanako,” Sanae says with a nervous laugh.
“Really now?” the god cocks her head to the side, clueless.
“The tengu interpreted it as a declaration of war,” you add.
“Miscommunication indeed,” she says gravely, furrowing her brows.
“What did you say to them?” Hakurei asks, curious.
“Hm? Ah, only that I’d come to subjugate the mountain’s youkai and to make it my place of worship,” Lady Kanako replies with a completely straight face.
“That sounds like an invasion no matter which way you look at it,” Marisa points out.
“Is that so?” Lady Kanako places a hand on her chin, apparently running the words through her head, “…Well, I suppose I’m just a little too used to doing it that way.”
“Then, let’s make it up to the youkai,” Sanae says brightly. Turning to the Hakurei shrine maiden, she asks, “How do you think we should go about doing that, Miss Reimu?”
“Eh? Umm… hmm…” She pauses to think her response over before replying, “Well, whenever I resolve a conflict, what usually happens is… well, the ones who started it come to my shrine, and we just have a cup of tea or two, and then everything’s good again.”
“That is usually how things go down,” Marisa says, shrugging.
“I see!” Lady Kanako says, pounding the top of her palm with the bottom of her fist, “It’s easier to win over followers with a friendly face than an imposing stature these days.”
“So… maybe something like a party?” Sanae suggests, raising the tip of her index finger to her lips, “Maybe if we invite the tengu and the kappa to our shrine to have fun, they’ll see that we’re not bad gods.”
“That sounds like a good idea,” you say, nodding.
“No, not at our shrine,” Lady Kanako says firmly, “The tengu are a suspicious bunch. They may think we’re setting them up for something if it’s on our own conditions. What we need is an unrelated third-party to invite both factions, acting as a mediator.”
Everyone’s heads turn to look at Reimu, who’s drinking deeply from her cup. At first, she pretends not to notice, but after a few seconds of silence, she finally sets down her cup and takes a look around. “…Oh, alright,” she says, shrugging, “I guess it’s part of my duties as an incident resolver.”
“Excellent,” Lady Kanako says with an eager grin, “Now, I’ll be trusting you to deliver the invitation to the tengu,” she says, briefly turning to you. You quickly nod in response. “And I’ll need someone to extend it to the kappa as well.”
“Ah, I ran into one back when I was climbing up here,” Marisa says, raising her hand, “If I see her on the way back, I’ll let her know.”
“Thank you,” the god says with a nod, “Now then, the time of arrival should be…”
After deciding on the time of the party, Marisa and Hakurei say their goodbyes and fly off, leaving the three of you. Immediately afterwards, Lady Kanako returns to the lake, mumbling something about not losing to humans again.
“Whew, that was an eventful day,” Sanae says with a heavy sigh as she steps out of the house with you, “It’s gotten so late now,” she says, looking up at the sky.
“Yeah,” you say, following her gaze as you step down from the porch. The sun’s fully set, and now the myriads of stars are visible in the dark night sky.
“Gensokyo’s sky is so beautiful,” she says with a gentle smile as she continues to watch the stars, “I thought there were a lot of stars back in the outside world, but it’s incomparable to this.”
“There’s less stars in the outside world?” you ask, confused.
“No, that’s not it,” she says with a giggle, shaking her head, “They’re there, but they’re not as visible because of something called ‘light pollution’.”
“Anyway, I’m just glad that it looks like everything’s going to work out okay now,” she says energetically, though physically she seems a little drained, “It’s thanks to you.”
“Eh? No, I didn’t really do anything,” you say, feeling a little embarrassed. Really, all the things that happened, it was all just dumb luck…
She giggles, “We’re going to be neighbors of sorts now, probably,” she continues, extending a hand toward you, “So, let’s get along, Mister Kirita.”
“Haha… right, Miss Sanae,” you say.
“Miss Sanae sounds a bit…” she says, withdrawing her hand and laughing awkwardly a little, “I dunno, but it seems weird. Can you drop the ‘Miss’?”
“Then… Sanae,” you say. Actually, it’s been bothering you, too. Not that you’re trying to be rude or anything, but it just feels wrong to address her as ‘Miss Sanae’ or ‘Miss Kochiya’.
“That’s better,” she smiles, extending her hand once more.
You return the smile and take her hand.
“Then, I’ll see you later,” you say as you let go of her hand. Waving goodbye, you trot around the back of the shrine and toward the stairs leading down, jumping off the top and lifting yourself up into the air. Right, it’s almost time for dinner.
[ ] Head back to the base at once.
[ ] Check on the kappa. Make sure Nitori knows about the news.