Getting Things On Schedule

It was on the third day that Kanzeon Bosatsu emerged from hir bedroom, newspaper in hand. Se tripped over Jiroushin in the doorway.

"What are you doing there?" se asked, somewhat irritated.

"Oh great and mighty Bodhisattva . . ." Jiroushin levered himself to his feet with a groan. Sitting in meditation was one thing. Camping out outside the Bodhisattva's bedroom door was entirely different. "I wish to report that Gyumaoh has been revived and the world has been destroyed."

"What? Wait a moment." Se gestured meaningfully with hir rolled-up newspaper. "Weren't my annoying nephew and his friends supposed to be sorting that out?"

"Er, in reference to that, mighty Bodhisattva . . ." Jiroushin suppressed the reply that came immediately to mind, that of Why do you think I've been sitting out here for the past few years? and substituted, ". . . there have been a few minor little tangles in the unbroken thread of divine karma."

Kanzeon sighed, and stretched. "Very well. It seems I'll have to sort my nephew's life out for him again."

"It might be a little late, Bodhisattva," Jiroushin pointed out resignedly.

"Nothing is too late for the Bodhisattva of Mercy and Compassion!"

"Even when they're all dead?"

"Well, admittedly that makes things a little more difficult." Se frowned. "I do hate doing this. The paperwork's horrendous. Still, that's what I have you for! Let's go!"

Jiroushin gritted his teeth as the two of them vanished in a golden haze.


They appeared in a nursery much like any other nursery. A baby cooed in his cradle next to the window. His head was already covered with silky golden down, and his violet eyes were immediately recognisable. Outside, the river wound its way through fields and towards a distant temple.

"Ooza pretty little Konzen, then?" Kanzeon Bosatsu inquired, tickling the baby's tummy. "Ooza pretty little bitsy witsy . . ."

Jiroushin coughed, and checked his notebook. "According to the karmic plan, Bodhisattva, your nephew was due to be found and brought up by Koumyou Sanzou, who plucked him from the river. Unfortunately, it seems that he floated past this house first, and the kindly aristocrats living here picked him up and took him home to raise as their own child. Thus, no adoption by Koumyou Sanzou, no raising in the temple, no --"

Kanzeon picked the cradle up and tossed it out of the window. It sailed gracefully through the air, and landed with a splash in the river, rocking from side to side. "No problem," se said cheerfully. "Remind me to arrange a divine message for Koumyou Sanzou to wander down to the river bank again."

In the distance, the baby started wailing loudly.

Jiroushin blinked. "Merciful Bodhisattva, what if the child sinks before he gets there?"

"Oh, don't worry. We'll hear the screaming stop if that happens. What's next?"


They appeared in another nursery. The baby had managed to crawl out of his blankets, and was making a determined attempt to reach the wine-bottle and cigarettes left on the table.

"No need to ask which one this is," Kanzeon commented. "What's the situation?"

Jiroushin checked his notes. "General Kenren, reborn . . . mm, it seems that his father was actually having an extramarital relationship with the General's mother. Shocking. However, everything happens for the best -- he brings her home, she becomes his second wife, the two wives get on astonishingly well, the entire household lives happily together, the General grows up and gets married to the girl next door. Which is very satisfying in terms of social order, Bodhisattva, but means he isn't there with the others on schedule."

"Hm." The Bodhisattva paused for thought. "Much as I dislike interference -- do you mind not choking like that, Jiroushin? Thank you -- as I was saying, much as I hate interfering in a relationship, I think we'll have to do something about this one. Something to stop the General's mother coming to live here. If she doesn't come, things probably won't be that comfortable, and he'll leave home and meet up with his old friends. Yes, that'll do." Se brushed her hands together. "Karma will sort it out. Good. Who's next?"

"Er, merciful and compassionate Bodhisattva, when you say "something will happen" to the General's mother . . ."

"Oh, nothing serious. I'll just arrange for the actual wife to meet her under unfortunate circumstances. That should put a stop to any long-term relationships."

"Excellent," Jiroushin said, much relieved. "Next is . . ."


Kanzeon looked around the tidy kitchen with an air of approval. "Excellent. Very neat and organised. Well-stocked wine cabinet. What's the problem?"

Jiroushin flicked over several pages. "In this house, Marshal Tenpou's reincarnation lives with his sister . . ." His lips pursed.

"Always good to see families getting on," Kanzeon said serenely, "especially after the last one."

"No, you misunderstand me, Bodhisattva. He lives with his sister."

Kanzeon shrugged. "I can't imagine the Marshal doing his own darning or keeping his books dusted. Anyhow, what's wrong with this one?"

Jiroushin gave it up as a bad job. "The Marshal's reincarnation's sister is supposed to marry the son of the local youkai king, thus inaugurating a new era of peaceful human-youkai coexistance in the area. After her marriage, he goes out to look for a new direction in his life, and meets up with the others, acting as a voice of reasonable understanding and pacifism. Unfortunately, the prince and the sister just don't seem to have met."

Kanzeon frowned for a moment, then snapped hir fingers. "Got it. Let me just hook the karmic thread a little . . ." Se gestured. "There. The next girl who was due to be taken to the youkai king's castle will be diverted, oh, by a convenient acquaintance, who will find a good reason for her to go elsewhere. This should mean that the prince has to cast his net wider for companionship, and things should follow on neatly from there."

Jiroushin shook his head in admiration. Every once in a while, the Bodhisattva would manage something so elegantly deft that he was reminded of hir utter benignity and majesty. "Certainly, Bodhisattva. Next, we have another scheduling problem . . ."


They stood on a windswept seashore. Kanzeon's silks blew in the wind and were more breach than observance. Jiroushin hastily averted his eyes.

"Yes?" said Kanzeon, tapping one delicate sandalled toe.

"Presence of dragon," Jiroushin said hastily, "or rather, merciful and compassionate Bodhisattva, absence of dragon. Goujun, Dragon King of the Western Ocean, was supposed to appear to bear them across land and sea to the castle of Gyumaoh, thus greatly speeding up their journey . . ."

". . . and he isn't here," Kanzeon stated flatly.

Jiroushin coughed. "Apparently there was a clerical error about the timing of his new birth and reincarnation."


Jiroushin indicated the tiny egg on the sand in front of them. It might have come from a pigeon's nest, though the white jade shell and mysterious rays of light which it emitted would have been something of a giveaway. "His brothers recommend waiting another five hundred years."

Kanzeon picked up the egg and nestled it in hir generous cleavage. "I'm sure we can accelerate the hatching. There shouldn't be any significant effects." Se hesitated. "Well, nothing that he won't grow out of. Or into. Anything else?"


Inside the mountain cave, the chained monkey muttered restlessly and pawed at his growling stomach.

"You're sure he can't see us, Bodhisattva?" Jiroushin asked nervously.

"Of course," Kanzeon said firmly.

"Or smell us?" Jiroushin pressed.

"What's the problem?" Kanzeon Bosatsu asked, to Jiroushin's mind rather hastily changing the subject.

Jiroushin checked the final page of his notes. "Ah. Maddened by five hundred years of starvation, the Seiten Taisei eats Genjou Sanzou once released. Though it seems he's very sorry about it afterwards."

"Hm." Kanzeon smiled. "No problem. All we need to do is arrange for the Three Aspects -- it's their temple that Konzen will be operating from, isn't it? -- for them to give him some sort of credit source so that he can buy the poor child plenty of food. He can hand it in again once the kid's had enough to eat."

Jiroushin nodded. "I think that's it, Bodhisattva."

"Very well." Kanzeon yawned. "Let's go and see if it's all sorted out now."


Jiroushin knew that something was wrong at once. Perhaps it was the panicked group of messengers carrying urgent report scrolls. He checked one, then another, then began flipping through them at random in the hopes that just one of them would be good news.

"Well?" Kanzeon Bosatsu asked, exerting hir full divine majesty.

"Ah, most merciful and compassionate one, the group is currently heading west to deal with the Gyumaoh resurrection situation and the Minus Wave . . ."

"Good," Kanzeon cut him off. "I'll be in my rooms. Reading the paper."

" . . . but there are a few minor problems, such as the mounting credit situation, the mass murder problem, the drinking, the gambling, the additional drinking, the organised opposition, the citations for conduct unworthy of Sanzou, the . . ."

"Put it in a memo," Kanzeon said firmly as se shut the door behind hir.


Fanfic Page