~Sola’s Interview 2~

Set in a similar reading format as Sola's Daring Interview!, which focuses Hijiri's spirits from Beelzebub battle 8.6.7. Please read it first for better understanding.

Alternative titles: The Grand Opening of Master Land, Dictator Mikado Trolls Everyone, Revenge Served with Spit(e), Attack of Lilac Crack, Hysteria in Wisteria

This one is supposed to revolve around Mikado Tsuchimikado's silly revenge plots, devious pranks and stuff, but it got off-track. Insert usual disclaimer/PG-13 warning here. Crack-fic written just for ships and giggles, with my comments~!

 

Operation Scar the Ministry of Defense (namely Grumpy Bear Vice-Mini) & Sakuma Family COMMENCE~!

 

{Good morning, I, Cereus the author-avatar/narrator, been called to the Bureau Chief's Office. If I don't come out alive, be sure to sing Yankee Doodle to Hijiri everyday and replace 'macaroni' with 'Hijironi' for maximum effectiveness. He'll be delighted, I swear.}

Mikado: Cereus. Do you know why I called you to my office this early?

Cereus: [shrugs] I'm freelance with no strings attached. How could I begin to fathom what thoughts run through your mind? [beat] Unless… you're giving me legal permission to terrorize your ducklings? Haha, 'bout time, Mika!

Mikado: Well, you're on good terms with Treasure Ship, right? You even went as far as helping her surpass her limits. [munches on her favorite treat, suama mochi]

Cereus: [casually breaks fourth wall] Yeah, I wasted a boatload of soulstones and magatamas to LB2 her. Man, Kokopelli sure has it easy, an increase in drop rate at level 50…

Mikado: [confused cough] Anyway, I have a task suited for her and Loki, who should be arriving at any moment. Is she free right now?

Treasure Ship: Helloo~! At your service, Mikado!

Mikado: Woah, so fast! What a waste of talent on a nutty space case.

{Well, I have an unfair advantage, even if I'm just a normal human. I just use my phone. No spirit essence needed.}

Cereus: Thank you, thank you! [bows] Anything else, Empress Mimi?

Loki: Hey, what's cooking, good-looking? I'd be happy to take over the Bureau again if you need a break. It was fun, bossing everyone around!

Empress Mimi: For revealing that, you'll pay! [purrs] Treasure Ship, this is Trixie, the ruler of tricksters who rocks a dress and heels and llllikes it. He wants to take you for a ride.

Narrator Cereus: Loki's palm meets his face so fast, he almost gives himself whiplash. He groans, "Bro, NO." Then the god curls up in fetal position, a coping mechanism common to Dictator Mikado's victims.

TS: …You shore he can take it?

Cereus: [scrolls through phone of head-canons] Just a friendly warning from Treasure Ship's description: the Seven Unlucky Gods have back and hip problems because of her. Plus, her invisibility cap is lost and her never-ending purse suffocates people with money.

Mikado: Psh, Loki's a god and therefore difficult to kill. He'll do fine.

TS: Uh… I don't know…

Mikado: [sweetens the deal] The Bureau's rising star can introduce you to Mayflower.

Prickly Cereus Cactus: [narrating] All traces of T. Ship's hesitation vanishes like milk cartons within Sola's limited reach. Her beam glows brighter than gold, and she gushes—

TS: REALLY? I can get her autograph?

Mikado: Of course. [averts eyes from Loki's puke] Remind me why gods have motion-sickness when they can choose whatever form they want? Common sense and deities mix like soy sauce and prune gelato…

Loki: [squirms] I love a good prank and all, but the travel method is going too far! T-this isn't chickening out, it's a strategic retreat, haha… ha?

TS: Bon voyage~! [drags the foaming god away]

 

~A Brief Interlude~

 

{A few hours later at the Sakuma compound, Hijiri kneels respectfully in front his older clones, the Sakuma Elders 1, 2, and 3. Hijiri's lips are pressed in a neutral line, betraying his apprehension. Two shadows drift by, unnoticed. One of them is me, the Ninja Narrator!}

Blueberry Curmudgeon: [intones] Esquire Hijiri, son of Clan Head Hisashi and Lady Shiori. Do you know why we summoned you?

Hijiri: What is your will, Honored Elders?

Prune Prude: Rise, young heir. [grimly] We received a report. A criminal attacked all of the Ministry's bases in Japan within a mere two hours. [beat] His weapons of choice were… glitter cannons, paper aconite, sardonia face masks and xeranthemum potpourri with sage. The perpetrator's recognizable features are a navy blue afro braided with animal crackers, macaroni jewelry and his rainbow jumpsuit. He had a similar body type as yours, Esquire.

Hijiri: W-what?! Am I to capture him?

Peri-Wrinkles: [stoically] At each building, he introduced himself with variations of the following: Call me cheesy Hijironi Pepperoni! I'm secret weeaboo besties with kawaii Coco-Sola-kun and ETERNAL rivals with Cookie Rookie Hiro-chi~! To all ya man-eaters and lady-killers out there: stay youthful and I luv chu~! Kiss-kiss!"

{Blueberry Curmudgeon flips through a photo album of the criminal & the crime scenes. For Hijironi Pepperoni, it's like looking into a mirror that pranks you for ships and giggles.}

Hijiri: Guh… [reddens in rage, pales in horror, and finally keels over]

{Congrats on breaking Hijiri's expressionless face with your flawless imitation of Loki's brilliant acting! Don't worry, I'll fix it with my trusty staple guns and rubber-ducky duct tape.}

{Satisfied clicks echoed from the shadows, the sweet sound of secured blackmail. Whoever guesses who they are in the comments below gets a kitten~!}

 

Hot off the press! Come & get your inky newspapers that tree gave their lives for! "How Smartphones Benefit Technologically Challenged Demons at Mount Oe"!

 

Sola: Good evening~! This is Reporter Sola at Shotty's castle. Today we'll be looking at how smartphones enrich demons' lifestyles!

Mikado: Smartphones are more than a walkie talkie or a glowing toy! You can take notes, read books and even improve your hand-to-eye coordination with games!

Shotty's Demons: [collectively] OOOOH~!

Young Gender Fluid: [playing Angry Birds] Will this improve my slingshot skills? I want to defend our castle too, just like Lord Doji!

Young Demigirl: GET OUTTA MY WAY, GOONS! MWAHAHA~! [Blades of Brim music plays epically]

{Ah, reminds me of Mikado's 'playdates' with the Ministry. Fun times. Fun, fun times. Pass the popcorn, will you?}

Sola: It's always nice to see the demon children enjoying themselves~! Let's ask the residents of Mount Oe some questions. [turns to Large Demon] How has smartphones changed your day-to-day life, Mr. Demon?

Large Demon: [complains] Otome and bishoujo games are difficult. I don't get the point of them at all.

Demon Beauty: Trying something other than the 'run away' option might work? Even though I ended up at a pity karaoke party to lament m'lord's relationship status with my friends, at least I got closure. [grin]

Large Demon: [ears turn red] I-I get the point of them now. Thanks for the advice. I'll face you —uh, them— head on from here on out!

Mikado: The introduction of dating sims didn't ruin 3D romance at Mount Oe? Wow.

Kintaro: [sets his phone to airplane mode and throws it in the air] Why isn't it working?

Aoi: Sorry to break your Transformer dreams, Taro, but phones can't turn into airplanes. [names the tortoiseshell tabby in Neko Atsume after Kintaro]

{Fun fact about Neko Atsume: the tortoiseshell tabby's default name is Tobi-san or Gozer, and its personality is listed as Sore Loser.}

{More importantly, when will Aoi realize that Kintaro has the hots for her? Please spare me from watching Kintaro's Axe the deficient, dime-a-dozen 3☆ fail spectacularly at being a wingman. Case in point—}

Aoi: [winks] By the way, stop avoiding Axe and axe him out on a date! I'm supporting your relationship!

Golden Boy: [drops nunchucks on his foot] Ow! Aoi, I-I'm telling you, that's not u-untrue!

Mikado: Your double negative revealed your true feelings. Congrats, bros before hos, yo~!

Kintaro: D-don't misunderstand!

Mikado: I was trying to lighten the mood. Goodness, why does no one appreciate my valiant efforts?

{The amateur matchmaker platonically pats his wielder on the back, only further fueling the fantasy. Then Axe says, "You're making progress! Good luck!"}

Aoi: [whispers reverently] See? The hesitant feelings of craving to be more… VERSUS the fear losing their friendship… a match made in heaven! Kya~aaa, I ship it~!

{OTP name for Kintaro & Axe: Kax? Taro-Ax, Tax… Axe-kin… asking? A-kin…? Oh, let's go with Dumb-Axe! Kintaro is dumb & Axe is an axe. Hehe, I'm a mad genius. Go me!}

Dictator Mika-Mika: [cackles] Sending Aoi on a mission near that bookstore famous for BL manga was the best idea EVER. Beautiful. [mumbles fearfully] Tsuna must never know I corrupted her disciple.

{Anyway, nothing short of Tsuna's sword or Shuten's words could tear the demons from the wonders of Candy Crush and its addicting sequels. Speaking of Tsuna, there's her boyfriend.}

Demon King Shotty: Oi, what's this?

Mikado: [wisely] One never knows how temperamental redheads will react, so better safe than sorry. [defenestrates herself]

Deputy Chief of the Bureau of Occult: Argh, pay for the window at least! Why do I even put up with that purple menace?

Tsuna: [sulks] I wonder why…

{Hmm, ship name for Yasutsuna & Shuten/Shotty… Yas-Shoe, YasuShu? TsuTen, Ten-Na, ShoTsuna… Shtty-Tuna, haha! …ShoNa? Eh, I like ShuNa best.}

 

Mikado's Misadventures: A Pie for a Pie

{It's afternoon at the local casinos. The local police and thugs are hot on Mikado's stylish heels.}

{Obnoxious Narrator Voice: This time, it wasn't because she accidently trashed the streets while fighting an invisible spirit. Nope, this time was her sweet, sweet REVENGE! How dare these lowly mortals try to arrest/shoot at Dictator Mika!}

Mika: [muses while running like a madwoman] My, my. I'm quite popular. Shall I indulge them in a song?

Vocaloid Mika: "Sing a song of sixpence, a pocket full of rye~!"

{♪ Mikado paused to take a breath, avoiding a knife at her eye~! ♪}

Vocaloid Mika: "Four and twenty blackbirds, baked in a pie~!"

{♪ Then a bullet swerved wide, but it was a nice try~! ♪}

Vocaloid Mika: "When the pie was opened, / The birds began to sing; / Wasn't that a dainty dish, / To set before the king~!"

{Chief's adoring fans seem to disagree, judging from their reactions. Oh dear.}

Mikado: It was just the classic pie-in-face! Pies are completely harmless, y'know.

{It was two dozen pies launched at the velocity of 100 mph. Harmless, indeed.}

{Lucky me, I was assigned to catch Mikado's ingredients. Bleh. It was hard, since the birds and slimes kept on flying/hopping away, screaming, "Flee on sight! I repeat, the Brute Butcher has been spotted. Flee on sight!" I wonder why?}

Young Cop: In the name of justice — HALT, villain!

Rat Clan Henchman: Shut up, ya handcuff-fetish noob! It's damn embarrassing to hear ya say that with a straight face! What're ya, a lobotomized brat with a hero complex?

Mikado: Yay, you worked together! By the way, nice touch with the sewer water to counter the brutes' invisibility~! It was so skillfully done it looked like a natural accident! [gleefully] You should be thanking me, the mediator to help foster friendly police-delinquent relations.

Rat Clan Boss: [spits out a bird brute's feather] Pah. It's nothing friendly going on, but we got a mutual enemy. You.

Mikado: [huffs] I should be showered with gifts and money, not knives and bullets!

Unibrow Officer: [drawls] You rigged the casinos to spit out money and free cocktails everywhere. Cleaning that up and replacing damaged property; that's all on you, missy.

Robin in Da Hood: Stop right there! Mikado was within her rights to lead a rebellion for the oppressed common people! [poses heroically, accidently smacking a Jamaican wannabe]

Robin Hood: Crap! Are you okay, innocent citizen?

{"Innocent citizen"? Marley's part of the Rat Clan gang, y'know. Heh, you lovely readers didn't expect an AGG crossover, did you? I didn't either.}

Marley: Everything cris and curry, my yout! Do yu ting, yu done know? [pats his rusty boom box]

Koko: [sashays, batting her silver eyelashes] Hi, I'm Koko, from Club-Q. Mind if I take this reggae idiot to the hospital? Thank you, sweetheart!

Marley: Lawd a massi! Walk good, fool-fool! [gets dragged away to his doom]

Police Captain: He's not even injured, though?

Mikado: [shakes head] Too young, too naïve. Did you see the bloodthirsty glint in her eyes?

RH: [continues his rousing speech] …And they practically fell over themselves to thank us and grab cash to support their families, too! Why? Because your system is CORRUPT and needs CHANGE!

Young Cop: [awed] Wow, Robin Hood in the flesh? Can I have your autograph and join the Merry Men?

RH: Sure! They'll be glad to have—

Boss: [butts in] How about you join the Rat Clan instead? We could use some fresh blood.

Henchman: Yeah, we tame abandoned pussies and train 'em! Kinda poetic, our cats fight against their own kind for the honor of the Rat Clan! My favorite's Cyclops, cuz she's cute as f*** and got a badass eyepatch!

Boss: [frantically] Boi, we don't talk about that! You're why our street cred is in tatters!

Unibrow Officer: Any of them up for adoption? My niece, Chiara, insists on having a cat for her future pirate ship. [beat] No, I'm not kidding. Apparently it's lucky or something… maybe a pet will curb her tendencies to clobber kids with her wooden sword. The daycare lady must be a saint to put up with that brat.

{Huh, so Cap'n Cherry Sea isn't one of Ayame's adopted pipsqueaks. That explains her awesomeness. Because let's face it: Ayame's too nice to hurt even a mosquito.}

Mikado: See? My brilliance has brought gangs and authorities together! [blows a kiss and makes a run for it]

Police Captain: Wait! …Eh, never mind. I want to take a shower to get rid of the slime and bird crap. Let's call it a day, folks.

Robin Hood: [approvingly] Mikado, great job! As expected of the Bureau Chief!

Mikado: Hehe, thanks.

 

☆☆ Is this familiar? Welcome back at Sola's Interview 2! ☆☆

 

Presenting the starters – OKITA SOJI, fantastic, idealistic, pessimistic vigilante! IBARAKI DOJI, Mikado's right-hand's right-hand! MURAMASA, pawsitively purrfect werecat blade!

 

Muramasa: Konnichi-paw~!

Sola: [shuffles papers, smiles] Hi there! Since you guys are here, let's get started with the interview!

♣ Q1 ♣ "The Bureau of Divination is rapidly approaching a long-awaited Golden Age. What's your perspective of the factors contributing to the Bureau's rise, and what measures should we take to make it better?"

Okita: A legitimate question? I didn't expect that from you, Sola.

Sola: [employing the art of patronizing BS] Oh, I know you're bitter. It can't be helped if you can't muster up the courage to be selfish with Master's time. [chortles good-naturedly] What're the depths of your feelings for Master, anyway…?

Okita: [sudden coughing fit] …Where did THAT come from? No comment.

Muramasa: Mrow~! With that careless cattitude, how can mew protect the streets and pounce on your prey? Your condition cod get worse! If it gets bad, let minnow. For meow, have a drink of water and a little catnip, mkay?

Okita: [mutters] I'm surrounded by mother-hens.

Ibaraki: [interjects] Well, I'm glad that Mikado finally stepped up her game. In comparison, the Ministry of Defense is disappointing. The key figures rely on the Sakuma's influence and cater to their whims, and other factions have no say in the government. The strict education system cuts off students with untapped potential, crippling the already tiny spirit agent population. […]Furthermore, the Vice Minister is a vindictive anti-demon conservative, while the Prime Minster has yet to do anything noteworthy. Propaganda doesn't help in that regard either. They fail to understand that Lord Shuten Doji is a good person, despite his predecessors' crimes and his own shortcomings… With the Bureau on the rise, we have a fighting chance to change things, and I look forward to it.

Sola: Wow, your explanation is extremely through! How do you know so much?

Ibaraki: [modestly] I hear stuff, here and there. Plus, I have to play the political game for us demons. So it's natural, really.

Muramasa: Oh my Clawed, mew gotta be kitten me…! Paw-don me, I fur-got he's meowre than he seems be-claws he's an a-paw-ling tomcat and a pain in the bass, nya. It's claw-some that he's a purr-gressive, though.

Okita: Muramasa, Ibaraki's connections have gotten us out of many sticky situations, so don't insult his methods. You must admit his intel-gathering skills are top-notch.

Ibaraki: [snickers at Okita] Because of your delicate looks, so you had no choice but to give up on that route, right? More cuties for me~!

Okita: [coldly] Insult my masculinity, why don't you? Forming shallow relationships and manipulating people isn't my forte, it's yours.

Muramasa: Soji, mew say one thing and then another, how con-fur-sing. Meow, this kitty thinks mew are being hy-purr-kitty-cal.

Sola: Whoa, whoa! Instead of arguing, let's move on to the next question, okay?

♦ Q2 ♦ "Would you like to see an amusement park become a reality (i.e. Master Land)? What attractions would you like to visit? What foods and souvenirs should be sold there?"

Ibaraki: Okayyy, that's off-topic. What happened to the serious stuff?

♦ Q2 cont. ♦ "Some activities will be physically or spiritually intensive (e.g. obstacle courses, spirit strength testers). Spirit agents & civilians exercise and train themselves for better awareness and self-defense. Plus: jobs, social interaction, entertainment, advertising, better health, less depression, less crime b/c more people are occupied (delinquents can do public service), etc. Economics makes the world go round and money flow~!"

Sola: That was a long one. Phew!

Muramasa: Without a trout, it's furry convincing. I didn't think there was so many paw-sibilities and oppor-tuna-ties!

Okita: Physical and spiritual training? Less crime? AND nipping juvenile delinquency in the bud? I'm in.

Ibaraki: It'll attract lots of charming young women, heh. If Shuten finally can take Tsuna out for an actual date, that's just a bonus.

Sola: Aww, you care a lot about Tsuna and Shotty's happiness~!

Ibaraki: [sputters] I d-didn't mean it like that, stupid! Ha, as if I care about that idiot-couple! Nope, never. [laughs weakly]

{An awkward, accusing silence reigns in the room. Ibaraki fidgets.}

Ibaraki: How can an airhead like you be so damn perceptive at the most unreliable times?

Sola: [puffs out her chest] It's one of my many talents, of course.

Okita: Is that really something to be proud of?

Sola: Hush, you.

♠ Q3 ♠ Any ideas to entice fresh recruits, revamp training programs and improve infrastructure in the Bureau? What're your opinions on the Support Item Development Team (SID-T) and other research departments? Should we focus on technology and sealing arts for militarist or domestic uses, and how can this benefit our citizens?

Ibaraki: Just curious… who wrote your script? They don't seem like Mikado's style. She's too lazy to come up with this.

{♫♪ ME, a name I call myself… ♪♫♩}

Sola: Her name's Cereus. Do you know her?

Okita: Ah, the fake freelancer with a bad case of hero-worship for the Bureau's Chief? So even a troublemaker like her has something resembling moderate intelligence.

{Ouch, my very first daemon betrayed me. May my pride rest in pieces.}

Muramasa: I've met her be-fur, on Thanksgiving. She's one of Meowster's fur-ends and a fur-midable ally, but her purr-derous purr-sence made me un-cat-fur-a-bell…

Ibaraki: I tried flirting with her… once. She dropped an aggressive hippo in a tutu on me.

Okita: [deadpan] Are you serious?

{Yes, indeed, I'm Cereus. Why do you ask?}

Muramasa: The look on your face was purr-iceless!

Sola: Thank goodness I have such a kind, reliable master that won't do something like that. Anyway, next question!

♥ Q10 ♥ What're your intentions towards my master? There's Ray, Toka, Mata Hari, Yuki Onna, Titania (wait she's married… where the HECK is Oberon), Nephila?, Poppy??, Kiyo???, Uyuni (for being provocative), many celebrities, and et cetera after Master. Do you think you stand a chance, huh?

Muramasa: Meow, if I didn't think highly of Meowster, why would I follow Meowster?

Ibaraki: [bluntly] I prefer cute girls, thanks. Chihiro's pretty strong – even Shuten acknowledged that, so they're really something.

Okita: We didn't even answer the third question, and you've jumped to Question Ten. Also, this is in a different, sloppier handwriting, and you clearly said my master… Can you be anymore obvious?

Sola: Ehehe~! Sorrybutnotsorry.

Okita: I'm leaving.

Muramasa: Wait a mewment! We haven't finished the inter-mew.

Ibaraki: Eh, lots of demon beauties waiting for me at home. Thanks for the interview, Sola. See ya!

Muramasa: [sighs] I suppose it's fur the best. Hope we weren't a bo-fur, Sola. Purr-haps we can continue another time. Meowt.

 

Presenting HATSUYUME, the first dream for New Year's!

 

Hatsuyume: ZzZzz…

Sola: Hello? Wakey-wakey, sleepy-head! [prods Hatsuyume] ♪ C'mon, it's time to rise and shine, dash and dine, sine and cosine, pay a fine, for a lover to pine, won't cha be MIIIINE~!

Hatsuyume: [growls] What tone-deaf songbird is ruining my sweet dreams with their awful taste in lyrics? I'll show you what it means to flip the bird, and strangle it too…

Sola: Eep! Hi…?

Hatsuyume: [kindly] Oh, welcome to my comfy pillow fort~! Have some chamomile tea~! [mood darkens] Ha, do I LOOK like a morning person? Hell NO.

Sola: [slurps tea] Actually, it's noon. May I start the interview?

Hatsuyume: And it's not New Year's. [rolls over] If you want me awake for your questions, do me a favor, home-wrecker dear.

Sola: I don't think it means what you think it means, but sure~! [deep voice] I am at your disposal forevermore, O Restless One. With your gingerbread blessing, I have nothing to fear, not even the wicked Sugary Skeleton Princess Cinna Bonne! [giggles] I've always wanted to use this line from anime~!

Hatsuyume: What kinda messed-up anime are you watching…? Anyway, an eggplant hawk dumped two amusement park tickets on me, so have fun.

Sola: Omigosh, thank you~! Hehe, so lucky!

Hatsuyume: Good riddance and g'night… ZZzz…

{Thus, the Bureau's mascot goes to newly opened Master Land in hopes of finding her master there. The extra ticket goes to Poppy, who comes along for the fun.}

{Sola buys milk-tea cotton candy and Coco-Sola. Her purchases comes with a puppy-eared headband, which is adorable on her. I should draw it someday, when I don't have homework or exams. Until summer then…}

Poppy: [wins yet ANOTHER carnival game] Haha, this is a piece of cake! [hands out her prizes to little kids]

Sola: I wonder if Master's here? They didn't answer their phone, I'm a little worried. Oh, is that them? [hops up and down to see above the crowd] MAST—

{Chihiro and Okita are wearing matching lion-ear headbands and couple bracelets. Occasionally, their fingers brush —almost subconsciously— and they lean closer together, smiling and enjoying each other's company.}

Sola: Er… Master, what a coincidence? [in catatonic shock]

Chihiro: Sola, aren't you happy that your Thanksgiving wish came true? Though, the name is a bit embarrassing… [blushes]

Okita: [chuckles] Don't worry, most people don't know the origins of the name. After all, the customer is king… or in this case, Master.

Chihiro: [ducks head] Not funny, Soji…

Poppy: Ooh, first-name basis? Ah, youth… We'll leave you two lovebirds alone. [wink, nudge]

Okita: [chokes] W-wait! The reason we're wearing couple bracelets is for the discount. Don't misunderstand!

Chihiro: Well, the ticket vendor assumed we were dating, so we went with the flow… Wow, it's already three o'clock? Time goes by fast when you're having fun with someone you like.

Okita: [blushes like a maiden in love] L-let's do this a-again sometime, Hiro. I, I… also l-l-li—

Sola: [points at Okita accusingly] YOU! What's with this rose-colored atmosphere? It looks something straight out of a shoujo manga, with bubbles and sparkles and flowers! I knew you had des arrière-pensées!

Poppy: Is that French for ulterior motives? How do you learn this stuff…?

Sola: Anime, duh~!

Okita: [straightens posture] Since this amusement park is new, they need security guards. We are here, together, to protect the peace.

Chihiro: Ah, sorry… I distracted you from your work. [flowery aura appears] Forgive me?

Poppy: Okita, stop tricking Chihiro with your bald-faced lies. Master, stop being so easily led around like a gullible little lamb. Capisce?

Okita/Chihiro: Understood.

Sola: Even their speech is synchronized! [sobs] Poppy, why're they keeping their relationship a secret? That never ends well in romance anime!

Poppy: [sagely] They're young and smitten. Let them learn in time.

Chihiro: Hey! This rumor makes Soji uncomfortable, so it's best if it's put to a stop. Don't tease him, okay?

Okita: [touched] Thank you…

Cupid: [pops out of nowhere] Mission complete! By my bow, I bless this couple's budding relationship. OTP shall always be Chihiro x Okita Soji. Always. [vanishes]

Sola: This… this is WHY there's rumors about you guys! I will never hand Master to the street scum like you! [deflates] But it's c-cute. Squee~!

Poppy: Ehhh? I thought Okita was your rival for Master's affections?

Sola: If he makes Master happy, then I'll reluctantly concede my defeat. [hiccup] "Cuteness is justice!"

Okita: What the heck?! This is weird behavior, even coming from you.

Sola: [sweetly] But if you hurt my master, I will eviscerate you and use your entrails as a jump rope. Then the rest of your corpse will be cremated and scattered in a desolate wasteland, hehe~!

Chihiro: [shivers] Sola, you're watching way too much violent anime.

Sola: [pouts cutely] What's that, Master? I didn't hear you~!

Poppy: Ah, Sola's taking intimidation lessons from Mikado and Cereus… how scary. Better keep her away from sake and sugar, or else she might follow through on her promises.

Okita: …She acts crazy when on sugar-high? How much cotton candy and soda did Sola have today?

Poppy: [beat] Screw this, I'm outta here. [sensibly escapes]

{Romantic music starts playing in the background. Defying logic and reality, the sunny skies immediately switches to a starry night, and floating candles flicker to life…}

{AHEM. One moment, please. ASDFGHJKllllll.}

[The microphone and recording devices break, because reasons. Laughing uncontrollably, I fumble for my backups and sanity. The backups turn on, and I resume my narrator duties.]

{Monotone: Rose petals fly from Divina-knows-where, blinding bystanders and smacking the more curious ones away, perhaps to give the lovers some semblance of privacy. One poor guy is choking on a petal, but no one cares. Oh no. What to do, what to do.}

Okita: [swoons] Oh, ma darlin' Hiro-chi, is this a sign for us to elope? Come and sweep meh off ma feet, ya dashin' rascal! Sola won't mind; she'll avert her eyes politely whilst we succumb to the tension between us~!

Chihiro: [totally authentic Italian] Posso essere egoista, allora? Perché voglio che tu sia mio. (Google Translate: I can be selfish, then? Because I want you to be mine.)

Sola: Eek! What's with this sudden genre shift?! I can't watch! [peeks anyway]

{Chihiro: [distantly] Sola…? Are you alright? Sola!}

{Sola is startled awake, swaddled in a cocoon of blankets in Hatsuyume's home. Chihiro is carefully cutting her free.}

Sola: [croaks] Was tha… ah drum…? D-dream?

Chihiro: Shh, you're safe now. Hatsuyume drugged your tea and gave you a bad dream. I've scolded her properly. Here's some water and headache medicine. Can you move?

Sola: [gulps down the medicine] Thank you, Master. How long…?

Chihiro: Two and a half hours. Sorry, if only I came with you, I could've prevented it… The nightmare wasn't too traumatizing?

Sola: Um, Master… are you secretly fluent in Italian?

Chihiro: Hmm, I know types of pasta and some Italian phrases from that anime you like, the one with a magical baby and his pet chameleon. Why do you ask?

Sola: [embarrassed] NOTHING! J-just a really weird dream, haha! More importantly, are you okay?

Chihiro: [frowns] Thanks for worrying about me, but you should take care of yourself too. If you need someone to talk to about what happened, I'm here.

Sola: Yep, I'll keep that in mind! Master is so kind to me. What would I do without you at my side?

Chihiro: Aaand that, right there, is a problem. [beat] Look, can we talk?

Sola: Of course, Master! [softly] Th-this isn't a breakup talk, right? Because I know I can't do much but cheer you on, and you're making a troubled expression right now…

Chihiro: No, not that! Just… before you gave up your powers for a stranger, what was life like? You must've been a talented spirit, fighting and cleansing evil, handling Q incidents and such. Now, you imply that you're not important and that your decisions will always follow mine, and that bothers me a lot. …Are you forcing yourself to conform to my opinions?

Sola: No, I'm not forcing myself. I chose you to be my master, so isn't this natural? Friends stick with friends. [smiles] I think of you as the closest thing to family.

Chihiro: [inhales sharply] I'm glad that you said that, because I do too.

Chihiro: [exhales slowly] But depending on me —one person, who has limits— isn't good. Brutes, evil-infected spirits and things like Hatsuyume's prank can happen to you when I'm not there or combat-incapable…. The research department is working on how to safely transfer spirit essence to help you and advance Spirit Tech, in hospitals especially. In the meantime, you can take self-defense classes with me. It'll be fun, don't you think?

Sola: Ooh! Will they teach me cool moves from my favorite anime shows? That sounds super exciting~!

Chihiro: [amused] Whatever you say, Sola. Whatever you say.

 

Cereus' Commentary & Head-canon Dump:

 

-SOLA mentioned she served other masters before Chihiro, the player character. It must've been a while ago, as she was fighting alone in the Tutorial and accepted Chihiro as her master with open and eager arms b/c she was lonely. Her past is quite a mystery, no?

-Sola's a spirit who has lived for a long time, as she's long-time friends with Momotaro, Poppy, Shuten Doji, Perry and many other spirits. Yet, she never encountered Echo, her enigmatic lookalike with similar pendants & birthmarks, until recently. Upon their meeting, Echo wasn't surprised at all, so maybe they avoided Sola for some reason. I spot a maybe plot!

-Furthermore, Chapter 8 Spoiler. Echo's a sneaky little fluffball who has their secrets, but tries to teach Hijiri some good lessons along the way. This is why Echo's my favorite. (Mikado & Shuten Doji are tied for a close 2nd, Titania's 3rd, the girl who hit Kintaro with her car is 4th, Poppy's 5th, Sola's 6th, etc.)

-Adding onto that, the ominous appearance of Abe-no-Seimei's Twelve Heavenly Generals, his most powerful daemons. Plot is happening, hell yeah. Hopefully another 5 star too! ❤

-HIJIRI CHARACTER ANALYSIS: Hijiri is the Sakuma Esquire & a spirit agent with a pedigree to call on the might of an army — but is sorely lacking in the friends department. He's an obsessive ramen gourmet and a sheltered brat in some aspects, like anime culture and the world's debauchery. Titania noted that he's attractive, so he likely has admirers because of his prestige & appearance. As part of the Ancient and Noble Sakuma Family, he strictly adheres to its traditions, like being chivalrous to women, respectful towards elders, disdainful of those beneath him, and so on. However, not even Mount Oe can compare with the size of his holier-than-thou attitude and hate of demons and evil. His short fuse gets him in trouble when Echo isn't there to reign his temper & control the situation. Echo's opinion is the only one he'll listen to in the field, thus why we haven't seen any of his family members working by his side. Despite his antagonistic behavior, Hijiri values respect, efficiency, safety and justice, and is a formidable ally.

Random Stuff

Hijiri uses "kisama" all the time, which is a rude way to say "you" in Japanese. Also, Chapter 8 Spoiler. Sola/Mitama's nickname for Poison S. Brew is Jin-chan, which means divine. It's often mistaken as Jii-chan, which means gramps – the English translators gave us "Poppy", which fits the criteria.

Yep, I had more to go with this, but it's incomplete & I think I'll just post what I have. So many words. XD Thank you for reading~

I dedicate this crackfic to /u/yuuswaifu , /u/CParadox , /u/palazzoducale , & /u/Xericblitz2889 for commenting, thank you all 😀 Lol I'm not a legit fanfic writer b/c of sporadic updates based on whims of my disorganized mind, but I have yet to meet anyone resembling an Otogi SSA fanfic writer. XD Thank you readers & upvoters for putting up with this randomness.

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