The great festival of Bon starts tonight. I can hear a whisk smack the inside of a china bowl filled with a mixture of beet sugar and dough for a sweet cake. On top of the castle's main Buddhist altar, a miniature straw oxen-pulled cart is being displayed. And the smell of freshly-cut grass padding the new tatami mats announces the arrival of an important visitor.
I hate it.
Cale and Sekhmet are planning to have a good time, but I want tonight's celebrations to be more solemn and reflective. You see, Anubis will be coming for a visit, and having fun just doesn't seem appropriate.
However, if I'm not at Festival Square, the main plaza outside the castle, everyone will wonder why I'm not doing my duties. You see, Bon in the Nether Realm is different than in the human world. While the festival is filled with private remembrance, there are also parades, fireworks, and large bonfires.
This is also the City of Desire's first Bon Festival since Talpa's demise. The residents are wary about the change in government, and my job as ex-warlord-turned-politician demands that I reassure the public by being seen at the social aspects of the festival. Again, I'm not looking forward to it.
Maybe it's because Anubis' funeral was this past March and we're now celebrating his return in August. These three nights are the zenith of summertime events, but I just don't feel...ready...to celebrate.
Then again, there's no point in locking myself up in my room with the shoji screens closed and burying my face in my pillow. As you can tell, I'm irritated by the political and cultural strings jerking me around.
Now a newly-formed politician, I have to help take on the burdens of governing. Those same obligations include putting you down, getting up from my desk, combing my hair, and dressing in my yukata. Apparently privacy is different for a government official than a former warlord.
I haven't told Cale or Sekhmet, but it's better that they don't know. Hopefully, and I'll be damned a second time around if I don't, I'll find a way to confide in Anubis the feelings and doubts I've had since his death.