Watching from Above: Journey III
Destination 19: Acceptance
The Merciful Goddess, who was not one bit merciful if you ask her nephew, sat in the usual place in front of the lilypad pond. She was focused on the task of reading a newspaper, which Konzen was not very happy about. He was frustrated with a certain golden eyed monkey and blamed his aunt, since she was the one who assigned him to take care of said monkey in the first place. In his current mood he didn't want to have anything in common with his aunt, not even a liking for newspapers.
Not even the Merciful Goddess herself could stay oblivious to Konzen's burning glare. With the sweetest smile that smelled of sarcasm, she looked up from her newspaper and asked, "did you want to tell me something?"
"He's annoying," as Konzen pointed his accusing finger at the previously smiling boy, the chibi's face turned sad.
"Don't you think you're being a little harsh," Tenpou petted the boy's head gently, as if to reassure him that Konzen didn't mean what he said.
"I don't now who's more annoying, the two of you, or the chibi saru!" Konzen's entire life had been turned upside down with the arrival of that boy. One thing led to another and soon he found himself in the presence of the marshal and general nearly every day. His life had gone from absolute boredom, to ultimate chaos in a matter of days.
"Someone needs to lighten up," Kenren commented, which only served to further annoy Konzen.
"He's got a point. I'm sensing a lot of tension here." The goddess got up, leaving the newspaper in her chair. "I have an idea, let's all spend the afternoon together baking cookies!" She clapped her hands together and smiled sweetly.
Konzen knew right away that something would go wrong. "No! Absolutely not!"
But the golden haired man's protests were not enough to stop the eternally hungry monkey from getting exited about the cookies. "I want cookies! Konzen let's go make cookies!"
"Right, then it's decided," with those final words, the not so Merciful Goddess started walking towards her heavenly kitchen.
Tenpou and Kenren shrugged and followed, while Goku continued to drag Konzen along despite his protests.
xoxox xox xoxox
The kitchen was heavenly indeed, with endless peaceful white and the soft scent of peaches in the air. Gold adorned the cabinet and drawer handles, as well as any other metal found in the kitchen, including the utensils. Goku was in Heaven, both literally and metaphorically. "Auntie, can I?" He pointed at a bowl filled with peaches, large peaches that looked very delicious.
"Go ahead, but don't spoil your appetite too much," the Merciful Goddess replied.
"Don't worry I'll have plenty of room left for the cookies!" Goku didn't waste a second before starting on the first sweet peach.
Tenpou seemed cheerful and Kenren was in a pretty good mood as well. Konzen however, sat with his elbows on the counter and a sour expression, glaring at his aunt who appeared to be searching for the necessary utensils. "Let's see, where did I put that?" She opened a cabinet and an avalanche of cups and plates fell out. Tenpou and Kenren rushed to catch them and managed to save at least some of them, while most of the fine glass shattered on the floor.
"It seems appearances can be deceiving," Tenpou commented, as he and Kenren set their plates on the counter in front of the scowling Konzen.
"A goddess can cook, but putting things away, that's the real challenge," Kanzeon ignored the mess and continued her search.
"I caught more," Kenren victoriously announced.
"Yes, but I caught one cup and you didn't catch any, so I must get bonus points," Tenpou replied.
Konzen became more aggravated with each passing second. Tenpou and Kenren were cheerfully discussing how to score for the glass caught, while the Merciful Goddess shuffled around in the background inspecting drawers and cabinets, occasionally pulling out random supplies that didn't belong in a kitchen. They included a red tennis racket, an orange ball, a red umbrella with a yellow line around it and a sword like handle, a small mirror with strange words engraved on the cover, a strange red gem, a red and white ball and a headband with a piece of metal attached to it, among other things that one would not expect to find in a kitchen.
All the antics were certainly annoying for Konzen, but the thing that bothered him the most was not his aunt pulling random items out of her kitchen cabinets that didn't belong in a kitchen, it was not the way the Tenpou and Kenren continued to ignore the oddball of a goddess, and it was not their quiet chatter about plates, cups and points, as if it was a game. Those things were very annoying but never as annoying as the peach pressed against his face by a monkey who insisted on sharing. "Get that thing away from me!"
After giving Konzen a sad look, Goku handed Tenpou, Kenren and the Merciful Goddess some peaches, which were accepted and eaten, then resumed his task of trying to get Konzen to eat a peach by putting it in his mouth. "Try it, it's really good and I don't want any of my friends to miss out!"
After Goku spoke, Konzen was sure he heard an 'aw' gently sound throughout the kitchen. His violet eyes met three pairs of eyes that seemed to say 'eat the peach for the chibi's sake or we'll make you eat it'. Konzen bravely stood firm on his decision not to eat the peach until he looked towards Goku. The boy had the saddest expression while holding out the peach for him, as his very life depended on weather he took it or not.
Finally, Konzen took the peach and ate it, which restored Goku to his happy hyper self. Perhaps Konzen didn't find the boy to be so annoying after all.
Destination 20: Merciful Cookies
While a certain chibi bounced around the kitchen, occasionally checking out the refrigerator, it seemed that the Merciful Goddess had finally gathered all the necessary ingredients and utensils. Konzen, Tenpou and Kenren looked at one of the utensils strangely, while Goku got a hold of some ice-cream and started to eat it and make a mess.
"What is this doing in a kitchen?" Kenren pointed at a rifle.
Konzen shook his head, while Kenren and Tenpou had been previously chatting about plates, cups and points, an argument that was finally settled as a draw, they had missed the Merciful Goddess pulling out all sorts of things from the cabinets that were in no way related to a kitchen, nor the activities expected to take place in one.
"Yesterday I was working on a recipe and book said I needed to add a shot. I followed the instructions exactly as it said, but it didn't quite work out. I thought it was strange that I had to shoot the pot, but I'm not an expert chef, so who am I to argue?" Kanzeon shrugged as the three men stared in disbelief and the boy finished his ice-cream, then moved on to eating cake. Then the little round holes in the wall suddenly became very obvious to them, even if they had been there the entire time.
"This is too dangerous in your hands," Konzen took the rifle away and examined it. It obviously came from the world below. Taking a life was forbidden in Heaven, except for the War Prince. The riffle looked strangely interesting to Konzen, but he found its size uncomfortable. He would prefer something smaller, easy to handle, but powerful.
"Let's get cooking!" The Merciful Goddess cheered.
By the time the announcement was made, Goku had finished his frosting covered cake and left sticky handprints all over the previously spotless kitchen. He was now battling it out with a chocolate syrup bottle, trying to get it to open. The chibi didn't quite understand that he needed to remove the seal under the cap, not just open the cap. His reasoning was that the syrup was stuck so he shook and squeezed the bottle until the cap flew and hit Konzen on the forehead, something that the Goku didn't see happening. The seal broke and the chocolate syrup went flying landing on the goddess's shirt.
Goku looked at the bottle with curiosity. He didn't understand what just happened. Konzen rubbed his forehead while yelling something about a "baka chibi saru!" which Goku didn't understand; Kenren and Tenpou just laughed.
"Oh, dear, this is a mess," the Merciful Goddess examined her delicate, previously white, now brown, silk shirt. Goku realized half of what he had done and stood frozen as the half empty bottle of syrup slipped out of his hands and fell on the floor. When she turned to face the chibi, the goddess noticed that not just her shirt, but her kitchen, was also a mess. "Children, what little hurricanes they are."
"I'm sorry auntie!" Goku ran to apologize to his dear aunt, the person who had introduced him to Konzen. Goku accidentally stepped on the syrup bottle and this time Konzen, Tenpou and Kenren were the victims.
The Merciful Goddess was taken by surprised when the chibi hugged her. She stood there for a few seconds before gaining a motherly smile and hugging the boy back. It's alright, accidents happen all the time in the kitchen. On the bright side, I remembered why people need to wear aprons. Everyone, aprons, now!"
It was a good thing the riffle didn't have any bullets left or Konzen would have shot his aunt when she tried to, and succeeded in, making him wear a pink apron. He vowed never to wear an apron again no matter what. Little did he know that he would break that promise in the next life.
After the awkwardness passed and the goddess settled for hiding her stained clothes under her golden apron, Tenpou and Kenren began to whisper to each other. They were clearly having too much fun discretely laughing at Konzen. They kept telling him that pink was a very manly color and that they were certain that somewhere someday a powerful warrior would go out in public wearing pink. This was not Konzen's day, not only did he end up with two red sports on his forehead instead of one, but also had to endure wearing pink.
It looked like the cookies would turn out more or less decent. The ingredients were of excellent quality and Tenpou took care of most things, so there was no reason why anything would go wrong except for the fact that a certain goddess insisted on adding pepper to the mix. Tenpou tried to explain that just because she liked pepper and liked cookies, it didn't mean that they would go well together, but she snuck the pepper in anyway.
While the cookies were in the oven Tenpou, Kenren and the Merciful Goddess discussed random occurrences of their lives, Goku bounced around impatiently and Konzen continuously complained about why he couldn't take off the apron yet. Then, when they least expected it, BOOM!
The kitchen was in ruins, there was rubble and cookie dough everywhere and the five had been thrown against a wall, with Konzen hugging Goku protectively. His reflexes had been fast when he thought he smelled something suspicious and saw sparks forming behind the oven's glass.
Though in pain and covered in cookie dough, except for Goku who was simply covered in cookie dough, they slowly stood up and looked around in confusion. Then the Merciful Goddess spoke, "I thought the pepper smelled a little like gun powder." The others looked at her horrified, except Goku who was just confused. To them this might have been a disaster, but to the Goddess of, and lack of, Mercy, it was fun.
Destination 21: Zit
Konzen was confused, he was very confused. He was simply passing by, searching for a certain monkey, though he wouldn't admit that's what he was doing, when the Merciful Goddess burst out in a fit of laughter with a long manicured nail pointing in his direction.
"What?" Konzen asked in absolute annoyance.
With a big mocking smile, between laughs the goddess replied "your face," then she continued helplessly laughing until Konzen's deadly glare silenced her. She cleared her throat and smiled. "I'm sure it's nothing, it's all a natural part of growing up." She soon started laughing again.
For a moment Konzen thought he had fallen victim to Goku's finger paints again. He thought the monkey got the message the first time he told him never to do it again.
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That time Konzen had fallen asleep on Tenpou's couch after being kept awake late one night by a hyper monkey that wouldn't go to sleep. While Tenpou, Kenren and Goku sorted the many books that flooded Tenpou's home, and didn't stay organized for too long, Konzen had unintentionally dozed off.
By the time the golden haired young man woke up, it was too late, but he did not notice the situation right away. Goku was a mess of colors after playing with finger paints and Tenpou and Kenren kept smiling as if they caught a joke Konzen didn't. The reason was because unknown to Konzen, he was the joke.
Grumbling about how messy Goku was, Konzen left with the chibi and made it clear to him that the first thing he was to do when they arrived would be to take a bath.
The streets and halls were somewhat crowded that day, as if Heaven itself wanted to mock poor Konzen. Who knows how many people saw him with that smiling sun painted on his face? That explained why they kept smiling at him so much. The girls usually did and he ignored them, but that day everyone smiled at him like Tenpou and Kenren had. It came to the point where Konzen could no longer ignore it and started to wonder why it was happening.
Sadly it wasn't until Konzen was already home that he passed by a mirror and saw the childish art that adorned his face.
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Fearing that the situation was repeating itself, although he couldn't imagine when it happened since he had not fallen asleep near a finger painting monkey that day, Konzen looked at his reflection in the lilypad pond.
Horrified as if he had seen a terrible best starring back at him, he jumped back in shock. He need a mirror, a real mirror, the pond had to be wrong.
In desperation, Konzen spotted the mirror his aunt wore around her neck and rushed to look at his reflection in it pushing the goddess back in the chair by the shoulders in the process. That effectively silenced her amused laughter as she was taken by surprise.
Konzen stared at his reflection in the mirror with disbelief, denial and lot of annoyance. He was not able to stop staring at his face, willing the red spot to disappear until suddenly his face collided with the mirror.
"Auntie loves you too!" The Merciful Goddess spoke in a sweet, yet mocking, voice as she hugged her shocked nephew.
Konzen desperately struggled and squirmed, but couldn't break free of his aunt's suffocating hug. Finally a few seconds later, which felt like an eternity to Konzen, she let him go.
By then Kenren, who was passing by, had stopped to witness the scene. "My turn," he said with a cocky smile and open arms. Konzen directed a deadly glare towards both of them, but what really caught Kenren's attention was not the glare, rather the huge zit on Konzen's face. Without a second to spare, Kenren proceeded to point and laugh.
"I'm gonna kill you!" At Konzen's threat, Kenren childishly ran away, laughing with every step. Konzen certainly wished he had something to throw at Kenren or maybe something to shoot him with, a gun would be very useful in that situation. Kenren suddenly reminded him of a laughing kappa like the one in a children's book Goku was reading the other day.
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Meanwhile, Tenpou and Goku were looking for Konzen. "Do you think he'll like it?" Goku was holding a drawing he made of Konzen as an apology for painting his face without permission the other day.
"I'm sure he'll like it very much" Tenpou assured him. That's when a laughing Kenren ran by at full speed, followed by an angry Konzen.
Seconds later, Kenren returned and jumped behind Tenpou, "help me oh mighty marshal!" As Konzen moved in circles trying to get around Tenpou, Kenren continued to make Tenpou move with him in circles as well.
"Konzen! Konzen!" Goku called while proudly holding up his art for Konzen to see.
"Stop hiding behind Tenpou!" Konzen yelled.
Kenren stuck his tongue out and didn't move from his position. "I'm not scared of you, the mighty marshal will protect me from the horrible zit monster!"
"Shut up!" Konzen yelled in absolute anger.
Tenpou's part in the argument was only a simple "oh, my."
"Konzen!" Goku called louder while tugging at his shirt.
"What?" Konzen yelled.
Goku looked sad, "don't you like it?"
Konzen blinked, a drawing of him? He took the art the chibi offered.
"I wanted to say sorry for decorating you without permission the other day," Goku apologized.
"Never mind, just don't do it again," Konzen tried to push the feeling away, but having Goku draw something for him made him feel special and he couldn't understand it.
"He forgot to draw mount zitzilla," Kenren peeked over Konzen's shoulder.
The blond stood perfectly still and when Kenren least expected it, he discretely lifted his foot and stomped on the general's foot with all his strength.
"That hurt!" Kenren hopped on one foot, holding the injured one.
Once again Tenpou exclaimed, "oh, my."
Destination 22: Insurance
"Sanzo, please open the door. This gentleman has been waiting to speak with you for quite a long time." Regardless of the annoying atmosphere that reigned supreme at the inn thanks to an insurance company representative, Hakkai's smile remained intact.
"Go away I'm busy, we're not leaving until tomorrow," Sanzo sounded angrier than usual. That day he refused to come out of his room and join the others for breakfast. The door and windows were closed and locked and no one knew exactly what was going on.
A tall skinny youkai in his early thirties looked rather annoyed. "I must insist sir, it is imperative that I speak with all the members of the Sanzo party immediately, especially Genjo Sanzo."
"I'm trying my best sir, but it seems that Sanzo is feeling a little shy today," Hakkai excused. "Sanzo please come out."
"Just kill the youkai, he'll go insane sooner or later anyway," Sanzo answered from inside the locked room.
Quite frankly the option was starting to feel very tempting for Hakkai. "Now, now, let's not jump to conclusions." Either Sanzo came out in the next five minutes or the youkai left, or Hakkai would kill him.
Sanzo ignored that last comment, leaving Hakkai with nothing but silence as a reply. That's when Goku returned from grocery shopping with a few half empty bags. He held some bread in his hand, eating it like it's nobody's business. "Gosh-jyo ish fishting wish theh gloshely stosh gilsh" the monkey spoke with his mouth full.
Hakkai was at the end of his patience, "please swallow your food before you speak." Though the statement was polite, the glare that accompanied it was deadly.
Goku froze and with his golden eyes revealing fear, he swallowed. "Gojyo is flirting with the grocery store girl," he repeated his previously incomprehensible sentence.
"I see you have consumed most of the groceries yourself," Hakkai disapprovingly eyed the bag, which carried more empty wrappers and containers than full ones. "Both of you have not been doing a very effective job."
"We'll do it over!" With that said, Goku rushed out of the inn. He didn't like it when Hakkai was in a bad mood, it rarely happened, but when it did, avoiding him was the wisest thing to do.
"Sir," the skinny youkai in a business suit started to speak, but Hakkai's glare silenced him. He gripped his suitcase's handle, as if his very life depended on it and tried to stop himself from shaking fearfully.
"Is it really necessary that Sanzo is present so hear what you must say?" Hakkai's question translated to 'do you want me to kill you?'
"It wouldn't be the Sanzo party without San-er I mean, no, of course not, I'll just give you the message." He quickly dug around his suitcase and pulled out several documents. "I'm from the Squee Elf insurance company. Dr. Nii Jianyi has placed a life insurance on each of the youkai sent to fight the Sanzo party. Under orderd from Lady Koushou, we are not allowed to deny Dr. Nii our insurance services. The result has been severe losses for our company due to the youkai's constant deaths. We tried to modify our policies to include coverage only for accidents and not murders, but at Dr. Nii's request, Lady Koushou forbade it. As you must imagine sir, this must come to an end."
"Yes you're right, it must come to an end," with those final words, Hakkai blew the insurance worker into oblivion with a powerful chi blast. "I guess you were right about your suggested solution after all Sanzo."
Of course Sanzo didn't waste a second and replied, "I told you so," it wasn't a very wise thing to say to Hakkai, but the chi user was in a much better mood after blasting that annoying insurance youkai, thus Sanzo didn't get into trouble for the remark.
"I will help Goku and Gojyo with the groceries now, I do hope you've gotten over your sudden case of stage fright by the time we return." Hakkai received an annoyed grunt as an answer, but that was enough. With a bright happy smile, he went off to find his companions and properly teach them how to shop for groceries.
Meanwhile, Sanzo looked at his reflection in the mirror trying to stare his problem away. He never thought something like that would bother him until it actually happened. That zit better be gone by the time the others returned or he was not coming out.
xoxox xox xoxox
Meanwhile, up in Heaven, the Merciful Goddess was not having a very good day either, she too was pestered by an insurance company representative. "For the millionth time I don't want nor need life insurance. There is no death in Heaven, but there will be if you don't leave me alone!"
Destination 23: Wallpaper
Goku's voice was heard calling once again, but this time the boy was actually standing next to Sanzo calling him more loudly than needed.
"What?" Sanzo accompanied his questing with a deadly glare.
"Can I use it?" Goku pointed at the computer sitting in a corner of the office.
"No," Sanzo replied.
"Why not? You let Hakkai use it!" Goku whined,
"You don't know how to use it; Hakkai was careful and figured it out." That machine was an advanced technological device recovered from the ruins of what was some kind of laboratory. It was suspected that illegal experiments were taking place there, maybe a sign of what was to come.
"I do too know how to use it, Hakkai was using it yesterday and he taught me!" Goku pouted.
"No," Sanzo repeated his reply, making it clear that it had not changed.
"But I want to play!" Those sad golden eyes were just too cute to resist.
"Fine, but only until I'm done reading the newspaper, because then I need to use it," Sanzo agreed.
Immediately after the word fine, Goku bolted towards the computer and turned it on. By the time Sanzo finished establishing the conditions for use of the rare machine, the chibi was already playing pin ball.
xoxox xox xoxox
Time passed and Sanzo was done reading the newspaper, "time's up chibi saru, I need to use it."
Though he was disappointed, Goku got up. "I drew something in Paint. I put it in the pictures folder in the documents. Look at it, okay?" After that, the boy went outside to play and maybe sneak away with few peaches from the tree.
Peace and quiet once again invaded the office and Sanzo had endless news articles at his disposal. He didn't know where the wireless signal was coming from and quite frankly, he didn't care as long as he had plenty of interesting things to read.
After a while, Sanzo could no longer hold the curiosity to see Goku's drawing. He had told himself not to look and to simply go to that amusing site with the funny articles about youkais expected to go crazy and how a powerful being was going to be revived, as if that would ever happen.
Finally, Sanzo gave in and opened up the doodle made by the chibi in that program called 'Paint'. It was a little hard to see at first, but it seemed that the less than skillful lines made by moving that thing that looked like a mouse, were supposed to be Sanzo, the chibi saru, Hakkai and Gojyo.
Sanzo didn't say anything about the drawing and Goku was wondering if he even cared enough to look at it. That is until the next time he was allowed to play a few games and he saw the drawing as the computer's main background.
Destination 24: Butterfly
"Sanzo!" Goku waited a little while and when he did not hear any footsteps approaching, he called again, "Sanzo!"
Sanzo hoped that if he kept quiet, the chibi would just spontaneously decide to follow his example and keep quiet as well, no such luck.
"Sanzo!" The chibi's voice was heard once again.
As hard as Sanzo tried to ignore him, he simply couldn't. As much as he tried to focus on his reading and block out all other sounds, he found it to be impossible.
"Sanzo!" The monkey clearly wasn't going to give up any time soon.
Sanzo folded his newspaper and placed it on the desk. Didn't the boy know he was working? Okay, so he wasn't working, he was reading the newspaper during his working hours, but that was not the point; the point was that he was occupied and didn't have time for the chibi saru's nonsense.
"What?" Maybe it was something small, something that could be answered from his desk. It made him wonder why Goku didn't just go over there instead of calling out to him.
"There's an animal in your room!" Goku's voice replied.
Sanzo bolted out of his chair. It better not be that stray dog that liked to visit the temple every now and then, or worse yet a cat. Then again the cat would probably be cleaner than that dog that liked to jump in mud puddles, except Sanzo was allergic. Whatever animal it was, Sanzo certainly didn't want it in his room. Why was the monkey there in the first place?
"San-ouch!" Goku calling was interrupted by a hit to the head from he mighty harisen.
"Baka saru! If there's an animal in my room instead of standing there calling me, get it out!" Sanzo looked around the room and found no signs of the animal. "Where is it?"
Goku rubbed his head. "Where is what?"
"The animal, baka saru, where is the animal you said was in my room?" Sanzo repeated his question impatiently.
"Oh, there it is!" Goku pointed at a little butterfly that was perched on Sanzo's lamp.
"That's not an animal, that's a bug," Sanzo was beyond annoyed.
Goku blinked and with an obvious look he replied, "bugs are animals." With that said, he proceeded to do the thing he came to do and exchanged the old flowers for new ones on the little base that was next to the lamp where the butterfly sat. The little orange butterfly then moved to stand on the fresh flowers Goku had brought. "I think the butterfly likes the flowers." There was a pause and then "ow! Why did you do that?" The harisen had unleashed its wrath again.
Sanzo walked off muttering something about a smarty baka saru and did not directly reply to Goku's question.
Destination 25: Down the Drain
When Sanzo first heard the monks freaking out, because there was really no other term to better describe their reaction, he thought they were exaggerating. Yes, it was true that Goku could somehow manage to get himself into quite a lot of trouble and he often did, but it was also true that the temple monks were a bit sensitive sometimes. By the time Sanzo actually saw Goku covered in mud playing with a dog that was also covered in mud, he knew that this time the monks were not exaggerating about the mess the boy made.
A stream of colorful words and loud orders echoed throughout the temple, leaving several of the monks wide eyed and open mouthed, with their ears ringing. The stray dog squeaked like a mouse and ran away in fear of the great Sanzo-sama, while Goku proceeded to whine because his new pet was gone. Sanzo would have hit him with the almighty harisen, but he didn't want to dirty his precious paper fan. "Take a bath, now!"
At the mention of a bath Goku got a look of pure fear reflected in his golden eyes and ran away as fast as he could, not in the direction of the bathroom, Sanzo noted. "Chibi saru!" He gave pursuit and followed the trail of muddy footprints to Goku's room. There, under the bed the bed, the boy trembled in fear. "Chibi saru, go take a bath this instant!" If Gojyo saw him at that moment he would have made a comment about daddy Sanzo, which would have earned him a hit from the Harisen.
"I don't want to!" Goku replied from his place under the bed.
"You're dirty and you need to get cleaned up." It was a logical fact, but the boy apparently couldn't quite grasp it.
"I don't want to! I'm not going!" Goku stubbornly insisted.
"Fine," Sanzo left. Goku was quite surprised; Sanzo wasn't one to give up. But this time was no different, since he really didn't give up.
xoxox xox xoxox
Minutes later, Sanzo returned after having placed the sultra safely in his room, along with his white robes, he had also removed the sleeve-globe part of his clothes and wearing all black, he stood ready to capture Goku, even if he ended up covered in mud in the process. "This is your last chance to come out." Goku stayed hidden. He couldn't say he didn't get a warning.
Without further ado, Sanzo crawled under the bed to catch the chibi saru, who immediately crawled out and ran for dear life. The chase continued for several minutes and soon Sanzo realized that catching the chibi with speed alone was not possible. He had to outsmart him and he knew exactly how.
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After a while of running and hiding from Sanzo, Goku had lost track of him, but an appetizing scent reached him. He followed the scent of the delicious meat buns to a quiet spot under the peach tree. He hid behind the tree, not realizing that his shadow gave away his location, and observed Sanzo.
"M... these meat buns are very delicious," Sanzo began his act as soon as he saw the boy's shadow. Goku could be quite obvious sometimes. "There's so many of them, I don't think I can eat them all by myself. I wish that there was someone who wanted to sit here and eat with me."
"I'll be happy to join you Sanzo-sama," a monk who happened to be passing by spoke.
"Me too Sanzo-sama!" Another monk added. They wondered why the great Sanzo-sama was not wearing his full attire, but dared not question him.
"Get lost!" Sanzo growled and the two monks ran away.
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Gasping from breath and scared senseless at Sanzo's unexpected reaction, the two monks wondered what was going on. "I know!" One of them suddenly exclaimed in realization. "Sanzo-sama was testing us to see if we gave up into the temptation of wearing more comfortable clothing in this hot weather and sitting outside in the fresh air eating delicious food instead of doing our chores."
"You're right, it was a test to see if we were tempted and we failed. We must try harder for Sanzo-sama!"
"Yes, we must! He must have gone through the trouble of sitting at the peach tree eating just to teach us this lesson."
"We must show our appreciation and try harder to accomplish our duties." With renewed determination, the two monks continued working on their assigned daily tasks.
xoxox xox xoxox
A while after the monks were gone, Goku could not take it any longer and came out of hiding. "Goku, I've been wondering were you went. I wanted to tell you that if you really don't want to take a bath, you don't have to."
"Really Sanzo?" Goku smiled happily.
"Of course, would you like some meat buns? Just sit here and relax, have a nice snack." As soon as Goku let his guard down, Sanzo picked up the mud covered chibi and carried him off to the bathroom.
"Let go! Where are you taking me? I want to eat!" Goku complained.
"You're going to take a bath!" Sanzo firmly informed him.
"No!" Goku yelled, kicked, screamed, complained and made a big fuss, but Sanzo didn't let him go.
"Why are you so afraid of taking a bath? Last week you stayed in there for two hours, splashing around in the tub and making a mess," Sanzo didn't understand this.
"I don't want to go down the drain!" Goku complained, to which Sanzo blinked.
"You're afraid of going down the drain?" The blond asked and the chibi nodded. "You can't go down the drain; it's too small for you to fit in it."
"But the boy in the movie went down the drain and was trapped and starved in there!" Goku cried.
Sanzo shook his head. He didn't think too much about Goku watching those ancient scary movies, they were so old and obviously fake, that they weren't scary in the least. "It was just a movie. You're not going down the drain."
"But I saw it!" Goku insisted.
Sanzo plugged the tub and filled it with water. "I'll prove that you can't go down the drain, don't run away, just watch." Sanzo stepped into the tub, not even caring to roll up his pants since there were dirty with mud anyway.
"No! Don't do it!" Ignoring Goku’s warning, Sanzo pulled out the plug and the water began to be drained from the tub. "Sanzo! Quick give me your hand, I can still pull you out!"
Sanzo placed his foot on the drain and the water stopped. He didn’t go down the drain. "See? It's perfectly safe."
"But the movie, the boy, he went down the drain and was trapped down there and starved and... and… I saw!" Goku flailed.
"It was just a movie. It was fiction," Sanzo tried to explain. The chibi saru better get the point fast, because he was at the end of his patience, if he had any to begin with.
"What is fiction?" Goku asked.
"A story that isn't real. It's just for entertainment," Sanzo explained.
"I thought that movie was a warning. That wasn't entertaining, it was scary!" Goku complained.
"Are you going to take a bath now?" Sanzo asked.
"Are you sure it's safe?" Goku asked still a bit unsure.
"Chibi saru, it's safe, trust me," Sanzo assured.
Feeling much better, Goku nodded and smiled. "Okay!"
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"This brings back memories," the Merciful Goddess was watching as always. The entire situation reminded her of the days when Konzen was still a small child and she was often left with the task of taking care of him.
He too was afraid of going down the drain and refused to take a bath. Her solution was to surprise the golden haired chibi, drag him to the lilypad pond and throw him in so that he could at least have some form of bath.
Destination 26: Rest in Peace
After a pleasant nap, Sanzo had woken up to the not so pleasant atmosphere of a panic. Monks were running around occasionally bumping into each other. Flowers were being collected, tears were being shed, and Goku was being criticized.
As Sanzo stepped out of his room, he overhead some monks talking. "Did you see that boy, bringing flowers with such happiness? He thinks this is all a game!"
"Terrible, horrible, that ingrate! After all Sanzo-sama did for him, the ungrateful brat can't even mourn his death."
Death? Who could they possibly be talking about? "What's going on?"
The monks slowly turned towards the sound of the voice. There they saw Sanzo. "Ghost!" Without giving Sanzo any explanation other than a scream of terror, they ran away.
Goku was happily running around outside, collecting flowers and putting them in a pile. "Sanzo! Why didn't you tell me you were having a funeral? This is fun; the monks are playing with me because it's your funeral! Hey Sanzo, what's a funeral?"
Eight words, eight little words caused a panic in the temple, eight words caused the monks to believe that Sanzo had died and returned as a ghost. Goku repeated things too literally and the monks did not take them literally enough.
While Goku innocently waited for his answer, and the monks prayed to help the 'ghost' pass on; Sanzo remembered his earlier words all too clearly. "Shut up and let me rest in peace."
Destination 27: Howling Wind
"Sanzo! Sanzo! There's a wolf outside and it wants to get in and eat me!" The first time Sanzo heard Goku say this, he actually considered the possibility and cautiously went out to check it out. He did not find a wolf or any other animal that Goku could have mistaken for one.
The second time Sanzo heard Goku yelling about a wolf, he actually managed to control his temper and sit down to have a talk with the boy. "Don't lie, I already went outside and there was no wolf," and at the first sign of Goku about to whine, Sanzo told him a very briefly summarized version of a classic story. "Listen chibi saru; there was once a boy who lied about seeing a wolf trying to eat his sheep. Then, when there actually was a wolf trying to eat his sheep, no one believed him so the wolf ate all the sheep and-"
"But I don't have any sheep!" Goku interrupted.
"That's the point, if you keep lying the wolf will eat you instead," Sanzo finished.
Goku looked scared, "so there was a wolf and it does want to eat me!"
"That's not what I said," dealing with children was not Sanzo's specialty. "Forget about it, just get it into that empty little head that there are no wolves near the temple, now go to sleep."
Sanzo thought that would be the end of it, but he should have known better. "Sanzo! There's a dog outside and I think it's angry or in pain, I don't know!"
Sanzo had not seen any animals when he checked outside before, but dogs were certainly not as rare as a wolf would be, so there was a possibility that there could really be a dog. Once again, Sanzo ventured outside into the windy night, but did not find any animals near the temple, so he went back inside.
"Did you find it?" Goku innocently asked.
Sanzo did not look happy at all. He didn't most of the time, but now he looked truly angry. "I told you not to lie!"
"I'm not lying!" Goku's eyes watered because the one he admired the most didn't trust him even if he was sure to be telling the truth.
Seeing that the boy was about to cry, and that would prolong the time Sanzo had to stay awake trying to find silence, he tried to push down his temper and be patient with the child. "What exactly did you see outside? I didn't find any wolves or dogs out there."
"At first I thought it was a wolf, but then you said it wasn't so I thought it must have been a dog," Goku explained. "I didn't really see it, I only heard it." The wind chose that moment to blow with a loud howl, which surprised Goku and caused him to cling to Sanzo. "Did you hear it just now?"
Sanzo couldn't believe it, it had been the wind all along. "Baka saru, that's just the wind!"
Goku blinked, how could the wind be that noisy. "But it doesn't sound like the wind!"
"It is the wind, strong wind sometimes makes noises like that," Sanzo tried to make Goku understand.
"Are you sure?" Goku asked.
"Yes, I'm sure," Sanzo's patience was at its end.
Goku smiled, "Okay! I wouldn't believe the wind can be so noisy if anyone else told me, but I trust you!" It appeared that Goku's worries melted away, because if Sanzo said something, then it had to be true.
Destination 28: Vegetables
Goku poked at the food with his fork, something was odd about the action. The boy was known for his active appetite, he ate anything that was placed before him on a plate, and had even sneaked into the kitchen in several occasions and eaten raw ingredients when he couldn't find something that did not require cooking.
xoxox xox xoxox
The Merciful Goddess, who made it her pastime to watch everything that went on with her nephew and his companions, observed Goku's actions and was reminded of a younger Konzen.
"Eat your vegetables Konzen, do it for aunty Mercy!" The goddess remembered all too clearly, that the golden haired boy did nothing more than throw the green food at her in response.
xoxox xox xoxox
"Is something wrong, Goku?" Hakkai asked in his characteristic gentle voice.
"I don't like vegetables," Goku frowned.
Hakkai stared into the distance in shock, but the smile never left his face. Gojyo pause mid chew, mouth half open, and stared. It was a huge shock to discover that there was food Goku didn't like.
Sanzo calmly put down his eating utensils, and took a long look at the vegetables in Goku's plate. Sanzo didn't like vegetables too much either, he sometimes ate them, thinking that a grown man shouldn't complain about eating his greens, but he still didn't like them. "You don't have to eat them if you don't want to."
"But I'm hungry!" Goku whined, and without wasting another moment he ate the vegetables, much to the amusement of his companions, and the eavesdropping goddess.
End of Journey III
Disclaimer, I don't own Saiyuki. Destination 19 is for Sarah. The random item references were to Prince of Tennis (Ryoma's racket), Dragon Ball (orange ball), Samurai Pizza Cats (Guido's umbrella), Akko-chan's Secret (magic mirror), Tenchi Muyo (Ryoko's gem), Pokémon (pokéball) and Naruto (headband), none of which I own. Destination 20 is also for Sarah and it had a reference to Dragon Ball Z, Vegeta's pink shirt. Destination 22 is for Kenihiko. The name "Squee Elf" comes from what I said when I first saw Kougaiji. Destination 23 is in memory of my computer 'Chibi' who died of mother board failure, rest in peace. I named my new computer 'Zim', but that particular story was written on my old computer 'Aoshi' before Zim was finished. Destination 25 was partly based on a scene from Chapter 24 of Saiyuki.