The Misadventures of Yukari Yakumo- Episode One
Yukari appeared in the Netherworld, her expression more than a little irate at the fact she had not only lost her latest Shikigami, but also her prestige- a word which means 'her unsoiled, perfect reputation of getting her own way in absolutely everything'. It was as if her melancholy had grounded her, as, instead of taking the logical step of hovering over the flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights and flights of stairs, she simply shuffled up the stairs in a somewhat humdrum- a word which here means 'not really motivated to do much at all'- manner, an act that somewhat disturbed me, as my experience of Yukari had always been one that suggested she was a being of infinite confidence and success. However, this histrionic- a word which here means 'overly dramatic and somewhat unrealistic'- display of defeat and misery almost made me want to close my third eye to avoid taking up the dolour emanating- a word which here means 'transmitting itself from the sharp brain of Yukari Yakumo to the pained and wincing eye situated on my chest'- from the seemingly defeated Border Youkai.
Upon reaching the top of the excessively large- a phrase which here means 'worthy of repeating the same two words forty-eight times'- flight of stairs, Yukari walked up to her Netherworldly haunt- a word which here means 'the only place she'd really go'- and knocked on Yuyuko's house door. Naturally, the one who answered was not Yuyuko herself, but her much more diligent, easier-to-read- a term which here refers only to human and other non-Satori perception- half-ghost compatriot- a word which here means 'gardener, sword-instructor and general waitress or maid'- Youmu Konpaku. And, with minimum narrative interruption, I can say to you simply that Yukari sat down under Yuyuko's Kotatsu, despite Yuyuko not indicating such an action was permissible beyond, "Hello, Yukari? What brings you here on such a day?"
Yukari supported her head with her hands briefly, before cupping it in the aforementioned hands. Yuyuko proceeded to stare at the bleary- a word which can mean 'fuzzy and hard to distinguish' but in this case means 'exhausted of all will'- Border Youkai blankly until Youmu finally asked the question in both of the ghost's hearts- a word which here means 'will' due to the lack of blood existing in the deceased, "What's wrong, Yukari?"
"I... I don't want to talk about it." Yukari mumbled despite her thoughts showing otherwise.
Yuyuko giggled surreptitiously- a word which means 'often used incorrectly'- as if she had a third eye of her own, "Oh. In that case, I would like to tell you of a ghost I knew... as a human, she used to love eating..."
Yukari groaned beleagueredly- a word which means 'in a way that indicated she was not in the mood for mind games courtesy of her eccentrically dead friend', "...how did I know you'd have something food-related to say?"
"...because I like to eat." Yuyuko stated the obvious- a phrase which means 'a practice associated only with the foolish or those pretending to be foolish'- and continued with her story regardless of her friend's disinterest, "...anyway, this human enjoyed Chocolate Cake. She enjoyed it more than life itself... and one day, she went to the shop to buy a chocolate cake. However, the merchant there didn't have any Chocolate cake, and so instead, she bought a wonderful carrot cake. But, no matter how much she ate of the carrot cake, it didn't have the satisfaction of the Chocolate cake she so desperately desired..."
Yukari knew her friend was trying to make a metaphor- a word which means 'a thing that doesn't actually mean that thing, but in fact means a deep and hidden, different thing'- and so resisted the urge to discontinue Yuyuko's enthusiastic- a word which means 'an adjective rarely applied to cake'- telling of her no doubt overweight acquaintance and her cake tragedy.
"...so, in spite of the carrot cake's deliciousness, she did nothing but despise it due to it not being her ideal of chocolate cake. So, one day, this woman took her carrot cake to her cake vendor, and asked if she could return her partially eaten cake. Surprisingly the vendor said yes, on one condition- that she would swap it for a cake that would soon go stale, but was most likely still delicious. Upon the woman asking him to show her the cake she had to take, the vendor got out a wonderful, butter-cream-filled chocolate cake with a sweet, but slightly crusted over icing topping..." Yuyuko began to salivate- a word which means 'begin to secrete the initial digestive enzymes required to metabolise starch-based carbohydrates, namely amylose' as Yukari lost her patience.
"Okay, can we please get to the point of the story?" Yukari asked.
"Ah! Well, the woman took her chocolate cake home, and she lived happily ever after until her death." Yuyuko said with a serene- a word which here means 'at odds with the idea that this story actually had a meaning beyond cakes being delicious'- smile.
Disappointed at the story having no hidden meaning, Yukari asked, "Oh... that was it? How did she die?"
"Oh, you want to know about that? The cake was poisoned by the vendor, and she died." Yuyuko answered promptly, maintaining her serene smile as if she was discussing the weather, not an overweight and no doubt idiotic woman's death.
Yukari sighed. She knew the meaning, but, in a moment of patronisation- a word which means 'an action that undermines the intelligence of the hyper-intelligent Border Youkai, but not necessarily the reader of this book'- Yuyuko continued her story, "Once her ghost arrived here, she mentioned her one regret being that she hadn't just settled with carrot cake. Oh, and she also regretted not searching any other shops for cake, but I think she misses the carrot cake more than anything... some people just put too much emphasis on food, am I right, Yukari?"
Yukari smirked, "Yes, you're right, Yuyuko..."
Of course, I, as well as Yuyuko knew that Yukari was answering a different question to the one said. Although the question was still 'Am I right, Yukari?', the truthfulness of Yuyuko was referring, not to people's obsession with food, but something altogether different. A secret that Yuyuko, Yukari, and I would keep within ourselves... assuming that you are no more intelligent than Youmu, who was unable to figure a head or tail- a phrase which means 'understand the logistics of cake'- of what Yukari meant with that response...
Author's Notes: If you're wondering what all this is about, Yuyuko told me that this parable is what she told Yukari, and... surprisingly, I got what she was talking about. Heh heh... yes, it's about how you should never eat chocolate cake ever, isn't it, Momiji? Thank you for reading this through to the end, whoever you may be! I hope you haven't found this at all boring, or felt like punching the overly snarky narrator... although I did write her to be gratingly cynical and patronising, but I hope I didn't... you know, overdo it. Please tell me what you thought, guys! Oh, I can't believe this is it! My first book... published!
Typist's Notes: Okay, okay, admittedly it took me a few tries to get the meaning of Yuyuko's cake analogy, but now I know it's so glaringly obvious that I wonder how I didn't get it the first time... ooh, there's a lot of people here, isn't there?
Reviews for the Epilogue:
Mateyuu Dawitsu: Hmm. That's a good way to end this. I love your characterisation of Yuyuko in this! She's so smart and so whimsical that it makes me want to visit her every day just to give my brain a workout... I wonder if she's any good at Perudo...
Yuyuko Saigyouji: I am good at Perudo. I can count very well, you see. The hard part is trying to convince the others into thinking wrongly. Oh, I don't hide my ineptitude very well, do I?
Yutaka Hadekawa: Ah... reverse psychology. Unfortunately for Yuyuko's guise, I think Hebiko's right about Yuyuko. There's far more than the surface. If Yukari really does have trouble reading her... she must be good at what she does. I just want to give my thanks, Hebiko... you've made this book a wonderful trip down Memory Lane... and for that, I'm grateful. I would also like to thank you for fixing up Yukari and I's relationship... thanks to this book, Yukari seems to be on good terms with the Boss, something she wasn't before... although that may be in part due to how much fun they're having creatively destroying copies of Tokage's book together... regardless, I think you've done a wonderful job. Thank you, Hebiko...
Patchouli Knowledge: To add to Yutaka's review, I'd like to say I have greatly enjoyed your writing style. Being well-read, I know the definitions of most of words you 'defined' during this book, and thus had a good laugh at the deliberately incorrect or overly-specific definitions of the words. You remind me an awful lot of Daniel Handler in your writing style, and I can certainly say that's a good thing. Oh... now I'm remembering the Holiday that Yutaka took me on when I first read Daniel Handler's books...
Yukari Yakumo: I can certainly say Hebiko is correct. Yuyuko can be very vague at times. Most humans give away at least slight clues that show either denial of opposing characteristics of what they have just said or slight hints towards further aspects of the characteristics they have mentioned. I can honestly say Yuyuko can, at times, leave little to none of either. Although, she wasn't much different to that even when she was a human... except she was ever so serious, back then... sometimes I miss that part of her...
Marisa Kirisame: Hi. Sorry for... you know, saying this book sucks before. I was just being a stupid fan of Tokage's... I've given up now. In fact, from what I hear, Tokage's been visited by a mysterious man with reality warping powers! You don't think he could be a threat, do you? If he causes an incident, be sure that I'll be there to kick both his and Tokage's asses! I bet Tokage will be the fifth boss while he will be the final boss! I know it!