[x] Hug her.
Her face grew stern as she approached, bothered by my untimely presence. I waited until just before she would have stopped. I threw my arms forward, around her sides, and pulled her into a tight hug. Between the remaining distance and our relative heights, I found this pressing my face into her generous bust.
Shutting aside a growing desire to separate and play this off, I held her close. I sidled forward, pressing my gorgeous, slender body to her rather full, curving form. In doing so, I got my head to the crook of her neck, though the heavy, soft pressures now applied to my own relatively modest chest did little to ease my tension.
She was silent, of course, her desires swirling and conflicting worse than they had before. Her hands hovered near my waist, twitching in a way that made two of those desires rather clear. She wanted to embrace me back but didn’t dare make a move so bold. The incense-stained scent of her hair filled my nose as I nuzzled into her neck. I should have said something then, to embarrass her more or to produce some distance, but I found my tongue tied.
Then two of those desires resolved themselves and I found her warm hands sliding across my back. I didn’t yelp, but I did come rather close.
It was when we heard the first “D’aww” that we separated, both of us rather pink and anxious. A good quarter or more of Byakuren’s audience had stayed behind, seemingly for no purpose other than to witness our display. We had set out to sell this farce, and for once, it seemed we’d begun to succeed. I should have taken pride in that. I’d begun to worry if we even had a chance, after all.
And yet, I found my mind rather preoccupied with other things. I’d found myself suddenly grateful she was such a prude, for I worried I’d be unable to hold myself back the entire duration.
Byakuren cleared her throat. “Th-there’s a small festival being put on, in honor of our union. Shall we attend, dear?”
I chuckled, a little too shrill. “Already? Didn’t they have one just yesterday?”
She sighed. “This land seems quite fond of its celebrations.” She then turned her eyes to me. “It would be a good opportunity for us, don’t you think?”
“Was this your idea for our date?”
She glanced aside. “It is now.”
I waited a moment, holding my shaku to my lips. “Very well.” I took a sideways glance at the peanut gallery, noting the dominance of horns and odd skin colors among them. “Let’s leave this place behind.”
She nodded and strode forward. I fell in step behind her, relieved to have her taking the initiative in our ‘romantic’ affairs for a change.
We walked through the halls and out of the temple together, down the front stairs, onto the road, toward…
A mess of stalls and the growing sound of excited revelers, easily within eyesight of the temple itself. “I gave her a quizzical glance.
She shrugged. “Both our temples are essentially at the same place, so this seemed only fitting.”
I tapped my shaku against my chin, taken aback by just how fast they’d managed to get all that together. I made no comment, listening instead to the desires in the distance.
Everyone wanted either to have a good time, or to sell their wares. Many of them wanted both. The party had settled on the first intersection of the temple road, where one path went to the human village, the other to the eastern mountains and Reimu’s shrine.
I stepped forward, advancing to Byakuren’s right side, too abashed to show any further physical affection. Soon, specific people and stalls came into view.
And of course, a couple kappa had managed to snag one of the two stalls directly before us. An old human couple got the other. A purely coincidental arrangement, I was sure. And yet, an arrangement oddly fitting, too. The festive atmosphere tended to attract both humans and youkai to it, but only rarely did it truly bring any of them together, and the few exceptions tended to involve especially powerful humans, such as the Hakurei or thieving witch.
As we stepped into the festival grounds, I heard a new sound thumping beneath the commotion. Drums. They pounded in a rhythm I’d never heard before. Something slow but… wild, in a way. Undisciplined, but…
“Why, if it isn’t the lucky couple? Would y-”
“Commemorative badges! Get your badges here!”
I turned to find the kappa selling a series of small, tin circles with a yellow yin-yang in the center, surrounded by a somewhat compressed, violet dharmachakra. A Buddhist wheel, that is. I snapped one up from the booth, tossing a coin back.
The kappa scowled, then glanced up. She stared at me, then sighed, shaking her head. “You get that one, but I you’ll need to pay full price for a pair. And I’d better see you showing it off.”
I glanced to Byakuren, she shook her head. I held the ‘badge’ out in front of me. “It’s only fitting they’d make my faith the centerpiece.”
Byakuren snatched it from me. “Doesn’t it look like we’re fencing you in, though?”
I snatched it back. “Nonsense. It just symbolizes the way I spread it during my reign.”
She grew quiet at that. “That dishonesty doesn’t bother you?”
I glanced aside. “Not when I’ve got the needs of an empire on my shoulders.”
“You don’t, not anymore.”
“I’m not professing Buddhism anymore either, am I?”
“I… no, you’re right.” She sighed. “We should focus on this date, shouldn’t we?”
I chuckled. “Yes, we should.”
The beat stopped. I turned away from Byakuren to find a proud redhead in a very outsider-like white suit walking toward us with a pair of taiko drumsticks in her left hand.
She gave a full, but very short bow. “Hey there, lovers. Name’s Raiko. I’ll be your musician for the evening.”
Byakuren gave her a standard bow, I gave her a rather shallow one. Not out of disrespect, of course. “Pleased to meet you.”
I took a quick glance around the area. Beyond the various vendors, I found Ichirin, Murasa, and Shou to my left, drinking. To my right, I found Futo juggling plates before a handful of excited children. Tojiko wasn’t here.
All for the best, most likely.
Raiko cleared her throat. “So, what sorta song would you like to start with?”
I paused, something tightening in my chest. She wanted to have fun, and to see a show between us. I held my tone level as I asked my question. “What for?”
She snickered. “For your performance.”
My mouth slid open. Of course. Byakuren said we’d be dancing. Together. My mind wandered back to her…
I swallowed. Subtly, of course. A couple dozen people lingered around us, their desires and curiosities sliding our way. At least a quarter of them waited on friends or relatives, too. This crowd would grow before we finished.
[ ] Something soft. We’d give them a show.
[ ] Something exciting. I’d drag them in with us.
[ ] More ambience for a just a moment, while I…
[ ] Grabbed a drink.
[ ] Greeted the attendees.
[ ] Write-in.
Time remaining: ::
Timer ended at: 2019/08/21(Wed)19:00