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The Manipulator/Traitor/Sinner Quintessence

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Yuyuko flew through the skies of the Netherworld with one destination in sight.

It was a feeling that to this day, she couldn't decipher, which left it like an itch within her skull that she couldn't quite reach.

After the Cherry Blossom incident those many years ago, her intrigue with the Saigyou Ayakashi hadn't necessarily diminished, floating in the back of her mind but not enough to want to repeat the incident.

Yukari hadn't delved into the history of the tree beyond the bear basics no matter how often Yuyuko tried to cajole the sage into telling her.

With the forlorn expression that braced Yukari's face for the fleeting second when the questions were asked, it was enough for Yuyuko to drop the subject.

Which led to these occasional visits to the desolate location where the tree stood.

Vacuous, eerie, derelict.

Similar feelings buried deep within Yuyuko's mind but never knowing why.

She zipped through the skyline with ease as she saw the approaching landscape of the deceased tree, stood in all of its foreboding glory.

Yuyuko truly did believe that the tree would look prepossessing if it was allowed to bloom nobly.

Approaching the landing, the woman slowly hovered down with an elegance she managed before walking up to the looming tree, feeling its ominous presence but still, never knowing why it emitted such a malevolent vibe. She tucked a strand of her pink hair back, adjusting her cap as she looked up, assessing the remarkable ornament.

That's all it was now, a natural ornament in the land of the dead with no signs of it ever attaining a state of efflorescence. 

"Befitting" she mused to herself, raking her pink orbs over it whilst stepping closer.

The deathly silence lingered around her, a silence so mute that it was disorienting at first.

Slowly, her light footfalls made its way up the path till she was adjacent to its monstrous bark. Her hand loitered over it, as if wandering on its own accord, if it was worth touching.

But Yuyuko needed to touch it, to feel its empty presence slide up her arm, into the heart that once used to beat.

She felt a synchronicity to it that she couldn't explain, a link to whatever was buried beneath it.

Whomever was buried beneath it.

That girl.

A morose sigh escaped the woman's lips as the fragments of her memories from the past littered all over her mind, like a tarnished puzzle that made no sense nor rhyme. It was confusing, frustrating to not put this sensation to rest, to know why she came here like she had a goal.

Why she felt imbued to want to perform this ritual.

From the obi wrapped around her waist, Yuyuko pulled out a dagger.

The item glimmered ominously against the hollow sunlight that permeated the rest of the Netherworld when she bought it up to her face, investigating the blade like she hadn't seen it before.

Its edge so finite, sharp, like it could slice through the particles of the air.

Youmu truly did a marvellous job of looking after the manor.

She smiled at that thought, wondering what Youmu would think of the bizarre scene about to unfurl.

She had insisted for her guard to remain at the mansion and though Youmu was dyslogistic about it, she knew better than to deny Yuyuko’s request.

For this particular one, Yuyuko tended to take a stand for as long as she had been dong it.

So she knew she wouldn't be disturbed as her body magnetically started a procession that Yuyuko didn't know the source of.

Running a finger down the length of the blade, Yuyuko then trailed her finger to her sleeves, gently lifting it up to reveal the pale skin of her left wrist. She exhaled slightly, her body acting on its own accord, lifting the weapon merely inches over her skin when a familiar voice called out her name.

"Yuyuko".

She wanted to tut at the interruption but if there was one woman's company she could never refute or tire of, it was Yukari's.

Yuyuko sheathed the blade back in its holder, tucking it into her obi again before turning to face Yukari.

If Yukari knew what Yuyuko had been in the process of doing, she did not mention it.

That and the subtle expression of sadness fluttered over her face again and Yuyuko caught it, wondering why, why Yukari looked so crestfallen whenever the tree behind her was mentioned, or what was buried beneath it.

This detail in itself was fuel for Yuyuko not to mention it but curiosity would forever be her downfall. 

She smiled a fleeting version, running her eyes over the blonde's tall form, "Yukari, to what do I owe the pleasure?".

"Does there have to be a reason for me to visit you?" Yukari answered, walking closer to her evanescent lover, placing her hands on her shoulders. 

Yuyuko moved up nearer to her, resting her hands over Yukari's chest, toying with the soft material of Yukari's tabard, "Hmm, who knows."

The sage smiled, an abstruse one before lowering her face to Yuyuko's, capturing her lips that were eager to meet hers.

Yuyuko's vague answer would have to wait as she trailed her hands down Yuyuko's arms, gliding down the material slowly till she could encircle her arms around the woman's hips, tugging her in as their lips danced along each other's. She had the intent of making Yuyuko forget about her earlier scheme of things with every swipe of her tongue against the cool lips, parting softly, allowing her in. 

Just like she always did.

Yuyuko murmured lightly whilst gripping the blonde's clothes, clutching onto them the deeper she felt her lover sweep her tongue within her mouth, making her knees tremble at the provocative action.

She knew Yukari's games just as well as the sage knew hers.

It was the reason why they were so in tune despite Yuyuko's forgotten past and memories of their time together.

She'd always felt this irrefutable connection to the woman in her arms. 

Their kiss came to a steady halt, hazy violet orbs looking down into ardent fuchsia, the rest of their untold messages being carried by that glance alone.

Yuyuko fiddled with the blonde strands over the woman's chest, smiling in an enigmatic way, "Was that to cushion the blow of an upcoming request?".

The blonde's tell-tale smirk made itself present, "I don't believe I'll have to provide such a cushion. Eirin came by to visit".

"Oh, is that so?".

The obvious delight couldn't be masked by Yuyuko's coy tone and Yukari wondered what her reaction would entail with the next part of the message.

"As did some other guests that have accompanied her. That being said..".

Yukari's right hand swept over the obi over Yuyuko's kimono, brushing against the hidden danger, pressing over it which made Yuyuko squirm in her arms slightly.

"Yukari..".

"It's fine, I won't ask" she stated when her look of curiosity was making its presence, so she divulged as to the other women which had come by to see her, "Your other guests include the Watatsuki sisters".

That detail did catch Yuyuko off guard, noticing that she could feel the dagger against her pelvic bone disappearing into a gap and replaced by Yukari's hips against hers. She didn't need to look down but could feel the loss of its warmth, though that was quickly replaced by Yukari's fingers running over the area to fill the emptiness she was feeling, aiding in assuaging her lover. 

She chuckled under her breath, "Now that is a surprise" she noted, "Was this per chance, your doing? Along with Eirin's suggestion?". 

"That isn't the case for a change" Yukari laughed, "No, this was by their own accord. They were at Eientei already and apparently, the discussions of old times came to light and well, let's just say curiosity can be both deadly and intriguing".

"Hmm, that I believe" she smiled and tilted her head to the side, "Well, let's not keep our guest waiting, Yukari".

"Indeed, however.." Yukari said, holding onto Yuyuko tighter, "Sometimes the truth is better left buried, for one's piece of mind".

The indications were not subtle and Yuyuko knew that Yukari wasn't intending to be coy or masked given that the sadness was visible again. 

The crinkle between her blonde brows, her lips plump, eyes inquisitive; Yukari's serious countenance could either melt one or make their blood run cold.

Yuyuko wasn't sure which she felt at the moment but she wasn't deterred. 

"For your mind or mine, I wonder" Yuyuko replied just as airy after cupping one of the sage's cheeks with one hand, "But I believe that that will be a discussion for another day, my love" she smiled warmly, undoing Yukari's tautness a tad at the initial statement.

It was a reminder as to why Yuyuko was so instrumental to her plans regarding both lunar invasions and why she was a force to be reckoned with.

Yukari nodded and opened a gap to consume them, "Of course, Yuyuko".

A force that the curious lunarian sisters wanted to know more about and Yukari wondered how they'd react to such a being like Yuyuko pulling her own set of strings regarding that incident.

To such a being exitsting. 

***

The one word Yuyuko would use to describe the sight of the sisters and their demeanour would be uncomfortable.

She giggled beneath her sleeve at the way even Toyohime, whom was known to be shrouded in confidence seemed at unease.

It was to be expected in a sense.

The Netherworld was a completely different territory for them.

Pure lifeforms, untouchable, unobtainable without going through the process of death, a trait lunarians were unfamiliar with.

Even Eirin's presence there was a paradox as she was immortal, how did she even begin to fit into this place.

Those were the thoughts that plagued the minds of the two women as Youmu served them some sake and Yukari took the opportunity to mess with them a tad.

What was a visit from the Watatsuki sisters without Yukari trying to goad them, after all.

"You both seem out of sorts" Yukari remarked nonchalantly, "Would you have preferred to meet at Eientei. I could have brought Yuyuko along".

Yorihime rolled her eyes, not exactly denying the comment, "It is a new space, one does need some time to adjust to it". 

"Well, if you die, you would have plenty of time to do that".

Eirin stifled a laugh as Yuyuko did the same at their playful blonde. 

The princess of the Netherworld was seated between the two sages as Yorihime and Toyohime sat opposite them at the table. Youmu was done serving them, making herself scarce at her own request as she already had an idea as to what Yukari was most likely planning. 

That and she found Yorihime's presence remarkable as a fellow swordswoman. 

Given the way this conversation was going to go, Youmu didn't want to relive her experience in the Lunar Capital, not being aware of what Yuyuko's obscure plan was, or Yukari's after it became evinced. 

Even Ran wasn't aware of the extent of her master's oleaginous personality. 

So Youmu disappeared once she had arranged everything and Yuyuko gave her a pleasant smile to excuse herself.

Toyohime and Yorihime thanked her before the former turned her eyes to the blonde opposite her, "Which really does beg the question of whether you are truly alive, Yukari, you seem to have so much time on your hands".

"Well, my means of travel make life so much easier, you should understand that".

Toyohime smirked, sharing a sense of companionship with her fellow boundary breaking being.

"They are one in the same, in that sense, given their capricious ways" Eirin commented whilst watching the two, "Though you do have a point, Toyohime".

"Eirin, that was cold". 

The sisters grinned at the retort from their master as Yukari's feigned look of betrayal furthered the jibe before Yuyuko spoke up. 

"Though I'm sure that isn't the entirety of the reason as to why you are here, is it?" Yuyuko smiled and leaned forward slightly, watching the two women flinch almost.

The subtle action was amusing to say the least.

It was with things one couldn't understand which often perplexed the mind of those that attempted to decipher it, regardless of how much mathesis was acquired. 

Eirin had her own taste of that with Yukari after the invasion.

And now Toyohime and Yorihime were seated with the silent sinner in blue, Yukari's hidden gem. 

Saigyouji Yuyuko. 

"Fragments of that time have been circulating within our conversations" Yorihime stated and placed her hands on her lap after sipping her sake, "Yukari's elaborate scheme hasn't really left our minds. I'm sure even master had her queries as to how she instigated certain events, all the while fooling most of the inhabitants of Gensokyo".

"That isn't a difficult feat to accomplish. Competition, power and the need to stay alive is quite the useful catalyst to utilise and get others to do things for you. Being less than veracious works in my favour".

"A trait she is clearly so proud of" Eirin added and glanced at her lover, glaring slightly in a feigned manner, some of it feigned at least.

The sisters understood the direction of their mentor's mind at just how much capability the youkai sage bellied and it was unnerving.

"It was necessary for the time" Yuyuko said, "A slip of any calculation on Yukari's part could have ended the plan drastically".

"Such as leaving you in the Lunar Capital" Toyohime enquired, golden eyes taking in the ghost princess. 

"Well, that was inevitable" Yukari chuckled, "Even the cycles of the moon are things I cannot control". 

Yorihime nodded, "Something that master can do and did so in the past I believe".

"Surprisingly" said Yukari, not wanting to confirm if that was a particular loss, begging the question of whether that was Yukari's intention to begin with.

This was something that nobody knew, perhaps not even Yuyuko.

"We all have limitations, don't we, Eirin?" she smiled innocuously at the other sage who shook her head. 

"I believe you could do with some more". 

Yukari shrugged, bringing her fan to her face, an action Yuyuko and Eirin had deduced to be an act of kittenish ignorance. 

Still, it was interesting for the sisters to see the dynamics amongst all three women considering their expanse of history.

The introduction of Yuyuko to the multifarious plans regarding the invasion begged several questions from the duo as they sought to understand what they were missing, why they had miscalculated the extent of Yukari's craftiness.

Yuyuko didn't appear to be the type to think beyond the now, living her deathly life as a ghost that watched over the grounds of the Netherworld.

The mistress noticed the observational gaze from the lunarians, "I trust Yukari, so it was quite typical of me to know and be on board with her plans".

Both sisters paled a tad, wondering if Yuyuko had something more beyond her powers of the dead.

Eirin and Yukari chuckled at the reaction as the former answered, "She is an inquisitive woman by nature despite her laid back demeanour".

"I have to be when it comes to these two" Yuyuko smiled with a sigh, "They are difficult to handle otherwise".

"Handle?" Yorihime asked, "Why would you need to handle master?".

Toyohime, being far more well versed in matters such as that, grinned at her sister's innocence, "C’mon sis, it isn't that difficult to figure out why Yuyuko would have her hands filled with master and Yukari".

"Hmm" Yorihime hummed, her eyes peering at the trio before glancing down to see that Eirin's hand was resting on Yuyuko's hips whilst Yukari's left hand was already in Yuyuko's hand on the table, "O-oh, I see" she cleared her throat.

"How strange to see the headstrong lunarian princess crumble at the sight of our relationship" Yukari grinned as Eirin gave a sympathetic glance at the younger woman.

"Gensokyo works in wondrous and mysterious ways" is all Eirin could say, then glanced at Yukari, "Much like the one who crafted it. After the debacle of the invasion, time did allow everyone a brief break from hasty actions and scheming. More so since apparently, this one was satisfied with what she had done". 

"Which was to ultimately prove a point" Toyohime stated, "It was a stroke of genius, I will give you that". 

"Why thank you, Toyohime" Yukari replied unabashedly, tipping her head which made the blonde chuckle.

"Haughty as ever".

"Only when there is a reason to be" the youkai answered and smiled at Eirin, "And reminded of when not to be, darling".

Eirin frowned, just a flicker of her lips going down which signalled to Yukari that that was a jab which wasn't needed and Yuyuko could feel the tension brewing between her consorts.

As much as they had a solid relationship between them now, the remnants of their rivalry still reared its head and since Yukari had indeed bested Eirin in said incident, it did irate Eirin that much more when it was mentioned like this.

She had accepted defeat, accepted that there were aspects that even she couldn't understand, not when she was living as a human in Gensokyo.

Yukari made it her point to hammer that warning home.

Yuyuko was quick to diffuse the build up as she realigned the conversation to the two women whom were watching on with intrigue. It would be since this was their mentor, the woman whom had taught them what they knew so reputation was on the lines. 

But Yorihime and Toyohime knew that the doctor before them was a different person, now having had relinquished her role as the sage of the moon.

She bared no responsibility to their home anymore and yet was always looking out for them despite this. 

So they truly wanted their mentor to be content with her life, even if that meant infusing herself into a relationship with the moon's antagonists.

Clearly there were pitfalls in their relationship but that didn't surprise the sisters as such a complex dynamic and concoction of personalities was bound to have its drawbacks. Eirin was as latitnant as Yukari in the ways she functioned, more often from behind the shadows. 

Yuyuko was evidently the buffer between the two as she broke the tension, "As you can see, given the way these two can clash, it is a necessity for me to be perspective" she smiled, "But were you perhaps leaning towards my involvement in the grand scheme of things whilst I was in the Lunar Capital? Which was delightful, I have to add".

"Thank you" Toyohime grinned, "We try. With our technology, we are continuously building on our architecture and so on".

"It isn't as different from the settlements of earth, in terms of the designs of the architecture" Eirin added "I suppose that was the original plan of creating the foundations to inhabit the moon. Simplistic yet innovative, the erudition the scholars were imbued in aiding the success".

"Also aspects embedded into the lunarian personality I believe, though that may be declining" Yukari quipped after taking a bite of her dango, feeling Eirin's gaze on her again.

Even she knew she was dipping her toes into the water of an argument since it was easy to designate her frustrations towards her lunarian lover. 

The jabs were not entirely innocuous Yuyuko realised but at that point, she couldn't do much as they were still skirting around each other. 

"Simple is best" she offered. 

"Even though there was nothing remotely simple in terms of how you ended up in the Lunar Capital given Yukari's means" Yorihime said with a thoughtful look, "This was during when Yukari was apprehended by sis, right?". 

"Hm I believe so" Toyohime said, "That could have been the only moment Yuyuko managed to gain entrance to begin with. You were busy with Reimu and the others whilst I was with you" she pointed at Yukari with her fan, "Clever!" she again remarked.

"I can't take all the credit. Besides, Eirin's sharp wit was enough to alert you. That itself could have been disastrous if she knew the ins and outs of my planning. She saw through the quotidian aspects of most of those recruited by me".

"You concealed them rather well, Yukari. Yuyuko's involvement hadn't crossed my mind after I found out she had rejected your offer".

Even knowing the truth of that detail still stumped the sisters.

It was ingenuity at its finest.

Yuyuko being the conduit to a grand plan. 

Toyohime laughed, "Reimu enjoyed the finer points of the Lunar Capital, did you, Yuyuko?". 

"I cannot deny that it was nice to get out of the house" Yuyuko giggled at the understatement, "The lunarian population are indeed intriguing".

"When they are not trying to kill us".

"When you are not riling them up" Eirin countered Yukari's jab with a roll of her eyes, "The consequences of your actions and egoism towards the Lunar Capital have been detrimental for the sisters".

The younger princess grimaced, "Even now we are still on thin ice amongst the capital". 

Yukari hummed in slight regret, "All the more reason to keep you on your toes?" she reasoned.

"That's one way to look at it" Toyohime shook her head, "The protocols and security measures have been increased vastly. That and the training of the rabbits". 

"When you get around to that, should I add". 

"Hey, Yori, I do train them!" 

Eirin opted to sit back after that comment from her lover as the conversation continued to flow, reliving the moments of that entire debacle, wondering where Yukari's mind was now. She knew there was something more dire pressing on her lover's mind as she could sense that something was out of place. It wasn't her scathing commentary per say, it was more what she wasn't saying about Yuyuko. 

Her past, her rebirth as a ghost, her purity. 

 

The lunar sage excused herself to replenish the food, declining Youmu's offer to do so kindly as she made her way to the kitchen. 

She already knew Yukari was going to excuse herself once she caught wind of Youmu leaving, a confused look on her face. 

The woman busied herself with the task at hand and could feel the youkai in the kitchen with her. She didn't say anything as she tried to gauge the blonde's temperament. 

Years later and it was still difficult to process Yukari's mind, especially when it came to Yuyuko.

Yukari kept her eyes on the sage, noticing the tautness of her back while she continued preparing the tea, making her sigh out as she realised she may have overstepped the boundaries a tad.

"Eirin?".

"Yes?" she responded, curtly.

"I may have overstepped my mark".

"Well, you are known for doing as you please so that isn't shocking".

Yukari sighed, "Eirin".

"I'm not quite sure what you want me to say, Yukari" Eirin exhaled and turned to face her lover, "You want to go out of your way to humiliate me in front of Yorihime and Toyohime? Go ahead. But please don't use that as an excuse to mask what it is that has you in an irksome mood".

"I'm sorry" Yukari stated softly, lifting her hands up in a surrendering gesture, "That wasn't my intent".

"To what, manipulate? No, Yukari, that is your MO".

"Clearly I'm not the only who appears to be harbouring such spiteful feelings" Yukari tutted.

"At least I had the courtesy to not bring it up in front of Yuyuko" Eirin retorted, "Which is what this is about, isn’t it?". 

"You're wrong". 

Yukari glanced away immediately, a tell Eirin knew when she was trying deflect, "It was enough to stir up some bitterness inside you to hurt me. What happened now?". 

"It is not relevant".

"I beg to differ" Eirin replied, "Don't take it out on me, not in front of them".

"That was in bad taste, I apologise" Yukari said as Eirin approached her, backing her up against the countertop.

Eirin gazed down into Yukari's eyes, trying to suss out what the woman was thinking and the slight slither of vulnerability made her deflate. Yukari was a guarded woman, even with Yuyuko so witnessing the remnants of said vulnerability always took them by surprise.

As irritated as she was at the way the woman went about this, she wanted to get to the truth of what was pulling at the strings against Yukari's heart.

"What happened, Yukari?".

"She..went there again, Eirin" Yukari exhaled and leaned back against the counter, allowing Eirin's looming form to take over her, "With a blade".

The admission took the lunarian by shock, understanding why Yukari was behaving the way she was.

It was a story that was often said whilst walking around eggshells.

Eirin knew enough to understand why seeing Yuyuko in front of the Saigyou Ayakashi like that was enough to make a figure like Yukari fall into an abyss. Regardless of how powerful one being was, watching the one they loved take their life for the sake of humanity was a sight that nobody could undo.

She sighed and leaned forward, embracing the youkai who gratefully appreciated the loving gesture.

"I'm sorry" she whispered into Yukari's ear, "We could have postponed this".

Yukari shook her head as her arms wound behind Eirin's back, "No, it'll be good for Yuyuko. I don't want her to remember that, anything but that".

Eirin's blue orbs closed as she felt Yukari's hands clutch the material of her dress, a slight tremor in the grip which prompted her to hold the woman tighter.

Yuyuko's mind was difficult to decipher, even now given the amalgamation of her past life and current life. 

Fragments of both would always come and go but the extent of the recent memories to come to light was disconcerting. It was the one thing Yukari hoped Yuyuko would forget, only because she was happy now, at peace.

So seeing Yuyuko stood there, brandishing a knife struck Yukari in ways no other foe could.

"It won't come to that again, it isn't possible, Yukari".

"Perhaps, but the action, the fact that it is in her mind to ruminate means she is recalling things that should have been long gone" the blonde murmured into Eirin's chest, "The memories themselves can be disastrous".

That was true enough, it often was the remnants of past tragedies that left the deepest scars.

"All the more reason to lead her away from that place.." Eirin spoke softly against the soft material of Yukari's mob cap while trailing her fingers around Yukari's waist, "We all have demons that we need help straying away from, we become tractable to".

"Yours just happen to be sat in the living room" Yukari managed to jibe and earned a light tug to her hair, prompting her look up into Eirin's deep eyes. 

"Play nice" she chided with a small chuckle.

Yukari's eyes drifted close at the ministrations of Eirin cradling her, fingers caressing her hair as her other arm remained firmly around her waist, keeping her steady, grounded, away from the potential what if. They’d come this far from the events of that period, to a point where they could function together.

Yuyuko's involvement only bridged the connection between Eirin and Yukari.

As a being that was as pure as could be, unscathed, untainted, floating with the air around them.

"I understand where you are coming from" Yukari answered, "Even for me, there are things unknown, things that I fear". 

A rare admission as that was, they cropped up now and then, especially in terms of Yuyuko," I know, darling. You are not as immovable as you make out but, that is what we are here for, right? Support". 

"You are" Yukari replied, "We need to keep her away from drifting there, Eirin" she reiterated.

"I understand and we will" the sage replied, leaning down to brush her lips over Yukari's, a delicate action which made the blonde shiver at the soft touch as opposed to the rapid thoughts in her head, "We'll figure it out".

Yukari nodded, allowing the remnants of her lover's lips to meet her own again as she rerouted her mind, bringing her defences back up to go back into the living room.

It was one thing Yuyuko and Eirin seeing her like this, she couldn't allow the Watatsuki sisters to do the same.

Out of sheer pride if anything.

She pulled away and watched Eirin smile at her, adjusting the red ribbon around her neck, "Are you okay to return there?". 

Yukari gulped at the way the lunarian's strong fingers trailed over the column of her throat before those dextrous hands cupped the sides of her neck. 

"Depends on where your wandering thoughts are going considering the way you are touching me" she grinned and with another tender kiss to her lover's lips, Yukari nodded, "I do wonder what tall tales our beloved is telling your students".

Eirin chuckled at the possibilities of that and led the youkai back in to see Yorihime and Toyohime engrossed in the story Yuyuko was telling them.

"To be fair, Eirin had already deduced that the tea was poisonous before clarifying her immortality. She's a sharp woman that mentor of yours" Yuyuko winked at Eirin. 

"Ah that story" Eirin smiled to herself, recounting the events after their incident when she came to Hakugyokurou to treat Youmu for her eyes.

"Well, one cannot blame Yuyuko. Who wouldn't want to keep Eirin in their lives forever".

Yukari's point was valid, "Ah don't remind us, we do not get to take her back with us" Toyohime sighed dejectedly as the two sages took a seat and wrap their arms around Yuyuko, "Not fair.

"Indeed, I am inclined to agree with my sister" Yorihime chimed in, "But there isn't anything that can be done".

"We are grateful to get the chance to visit so it isn't too bad".

"And you are more than welcome to visit whenever" Yukari offered with a grin at the other blonde, hoping it'll pester the younger sister, "Yorihime, no need to be shy about it either". 

"Oh how very conscientious of you, Yukari" she smiled sweetly as Yuyuko and Eirin laughed at the badinage, "How else are we to keep our surveillance of you?".

"You hear that, Eirin? That is their only reason as to why they come to Earth, not to see their dearest master".

"Well, it beats sleeping with master as a means of surveillance, right Yukari?" Toyohime was quick to retort with a wolfish smirk, catching the youkai off guard, "Hm, not a bad idea though, have you seen master?". 

"Excuse you" Yukari scoffed, "You're mistaken about the first point".

Eirin rubbed her back to assuage her as Yuyuko was delighted in the dig, winking at the older lunarian princess, "A means to an end, I believe". 

"The denizens of Gensokyo are always imbued in those, you should know" Eirin laughed. 

To a certain degree, it was accurate.

At least for Yukari herself, her plans and endeavours were not always for the benefit of herself.

But in terms of the lunar invasions, it certainly was and neither she or Eirin regretted the way things had panned out despite the confabulations taken place. 

Something which Yorihime and Toyohime could see amongst the two sages and their ghostly lover.

With night falling over Hakugyokurou, the inhabitants had continued to enjoy their unusual encounter with the two moon princesses.

Yukari was in the midst of discussing something fan related with Toyohime, the duo seated against the cherry blossom trees. 

Yorihime and Youmu were engaged in a sparring sessions, the half ghost's expression one of pure delight. 

Eirin and Yuyuko were sat on the veranda, the latter resting against Eirin's shoulder as they watched on with amusement. 

"Who do you think is having more fun?". 

Yuyuko pondered it for a moment, gaze switching from the two groups and laughed, "Honestly, I would say it's even. I'm quite sure Toyohime and Yukari would talk each others ears off if they could".

"And Youmu would happily continue practicing for as long as she could keep up with Yorihime by the looks of it". 

The duo were quick on their feet, swords colliding as they practically floated off the ground whilst running at each other. Yorihime was impressed by the woman's skills and how efficiently she handled her sword. She would certainly be intrigued in going against Youmu with both of the ghost's swords. They danced around the ground with elegance, clashes and swishes of air when blades collided painting a picturesque scenery that one could easily immerse themselves into. 

"Without a doubt" Yuyuko replied before she asked something that had been on her mind, sinking into Eirin's embrace, "Eirin?". 

"What is it?". 

"Is Yukari angry at me?". 

The soft and enervate voice clenched at Eirin's heart as she looked to the side slightly so that she could look at the woman. Her face was etched with worry and again, Eirin marvelled at how Yuyuko's controlled emotions could be unnerving. 

She shook her head, "Not in the slightest, honey" she reassured and held Yuyuko's open gaze, "You know she could never be angry at you. Me? Of course" she chuckled, "But you, no". 

Yuyuko appreciated her lover's reassurances, "Eirin, please be honest with me". 

"I am" Eirin answered, "Yukari is worried, yes. But not angry. That tree..it harbours such a malevolent history for you both so any involvement with it brings up a dredge of uncertainties for you both. Neither of us want anymore harm to come to you, that's all". 

"I..understand. Maybe not as much I want to but I know she doesn't like it when I find myself there" Yuyuko answered with a sigh, "I cannot help myself, it's like a magnetism". 

Eirin resented that she knew more about Yuyuko's past than the woman before her did. Yukari had had to divulge certain details in lieu of their relationship and even that amount was more than Yuyuko would ever be knowledgeable about. But she knew why Yukari redacted certain details, knew why revealing these details to Yuyuko would be detrimental in the long run. 

But she also understood Yuyuko's link to the tree, it resembled her own link to the moon. 

Yuyuko had to die because of the Saigyou Ayakashi and her abilities. 

Eirin couldn't die because of the moon, though it kept calling her back. 

Both women trapped by a presence that defined who they were. 

Both linked to a woman who despised the existence of its formation. 

Gently, Eirin placed her palm against Yuyuko's cheek, stroking her thumb over the pale skin, "Like a link you can't severe..".

Yuyuko's eyes fluttered, a warmth embedding her at having Eirin understand her dilemma. 

"Just like that". 

"Yuyuko.." the sage murmured the woman's ethereal name to get her to open those beguiling eyes, "A link will always remain but it doesn't have to dictate your mind, sweetheart. It is fine to wander into the past, to relive it, to follow it but.." she continued gently, moving her face closer, "Never unpack there and make your home in those memories. You have a present and a future with me and Yukari. She cannot lose you, not again".

Not again

Yukari had had to experience her death once, Yuyuko sometimes forgot about that. 

"So that is why she is concerned whenever you end up back there" Eirin soothed, "Memories can be bittersweet. But you being here, is what reminds her that it wasn't all in vain because you are here".

Yuyuko's lips trembled at the impassioned pleas of her lunarian lover as her hands crawled up Eirin's body to rest behind her shoulders. 

"We love you". 

Breathless as she was, Yuyuko nodded before leaning in to kiss Eirin, letting the sweet words that had escaped her lips blossom inside of her. 

As impossible as it would be to not be in the know of her maudlin past, Yuyuko was frequently reminded as to what she had now, in her arms, in her heart. 

Two women that would go to any means to ensure her safety and happiness. 

She could feel it in the way Eirin's tender lips pressed against her own, the steady feeling of her rising chest hitting her own. The woman's arms were anchored around her, keeping her safe and grounded as the scent of the spring air nestled over them. 

Pulling back slightly, Yuyuko licked her lips, eyes gazing into brilliant blues, "Thank you, Eirin. I love you" she whispered before feeling Yukari join them, her hand on Yuyuko's shoulder, "And I love you, Yukari" she said whilst looking up into violet eyes. 

Yukari seemed at ease as she smiled at her two lovers, relieved that Eirin could assuage Yuyuko in different ways. 

That was how their relationship worked despite their scuppered past. 

One that lied. 

One that betrayed. 

One that sinned. 

It didn't have to be it for them as there was more to their existence than the actions they carried out in an effort to exist, to please, to flee. 


The night went on as more humorous anecdotes of their lives came to fruition till the time arrived for the two princesses to return home.

They dropped by Eientei first to bid goodbye to Kaguya and Reisen before leaving.

Eirin and Yukari returned to Hakugyokurou, the need to stay with Yuyuko taking priority. 

The history and nostalgia were bought back, both by the visit from the Watatsuki sisters and Yuyuko's trip to the Saigyou Ayakashi. 

A peaceful night had settled over the mansion as Yuyuko retreated to her quarters with Eirin and Yukari in tow, gravitating between the two women as they lavished her with an abundance of adoration and affection, erasing the disturbing events of the day.

Yuyuko was aware, maybe not fully of the pieces and details of her former life.

She knew it was saddening enough to render a youkai like Yukari to a state of vulnerability.

It was enough for a lunarian like Eirin to gaze at her with such a sympathetic glance.

That in itself spoke wonders as to why bringing up the past should sometimes be left alone.

So as she lay between her loves, her hands stroking through Eirin's silver locks as she rested on her chest with Yukari buried against her shoulder, lips grazing her skin, Yuyuko let the past be. 

The knife in her hand, the voice calling to her, the intensity.

Maybe one day, Yuyuko would find out why the voices in her dreams sounded so much like her own.

Maybe then she could tell her that she was happy now.