This is probably the funniest chapter so far. Oddly, most of it takes place in Club Ibuki rather than the Hakurei Shrine, but maybe a bar is a better comedy setting than a Hakurei Shrine without a Hakurei miko complaining all the time. There's also a few bits in Yukari's residence.
Gappy's sappin' mah fourth wall…
Reimu applauded herself for resolving this incident, taking one big look at the outside world again. She had seen so many interesting things while she was here, many of which were deemed impossible in Gensokyo. Likewise, many things that were commonplace in Gensokyo were considered nothing more than fantasy in the outside world. It had been a bizarre few days, but the job was done at long last, and Reimu could go home and make sure Suika didn't wreck the place. Waiting for the gap back into Gensokyo, Reimu kept looking at this city in the outside world. She didn't want to forget this…
Hakurei Shrine, Gensokyo…
Reimu never got used to gap travel. She always landed flat on her ass, and on the stone path in front of the Hakurei Shrine, it hurt. Still, her shrine was in one piece. Stepping toward her shrine, Reimu noticed a piece of paper tacked to the door. She would recognize the handwriting anywhere. It was probably the only handwriting in Gensokyo worse than Cirno's, but who can blame a drunk for bad handwriting?
Went to my bar for the big opening. Yukari said you would come back tonight, so I left you this note to tell you that, so that you wouldn't be all "OH MY GOD WHY IS THE SHRINE EMPTY?" and stuff when you got home. I kept it all nice and tidy, too, just like you said :D
P.S. Mima said to check your donation box. Doctor Eirin gave us a little red button you can push if you have a heart attack, and they'll come pick you up super-fast! It's inside the box.
P.P.S. If you're not Reimu, then don't read this note, cuz the shrine's empty.
"Same old Suika…" Was Mima serious about the donations box? Reimu would have to find out about this one! Running over to the donation box, Reimu opened it up, and…
Click. Reimu had to push the little red button Eirin gave them.
Meanwhile, at Club Ibuki…
BEEP! BEEP! That was Suika's phone going off. "Oh! It's -hic- for me!" Fishing her phone out of her clothes and flipping it open, Suika drunkenly answered "Hello~"
"It's Eirin. Reimu's back."
"Really? Cool! How is she?"
"Well, I hate to give a drunken oni credit, but she did have a heart attack when she saw the contents of your donation box."
"That excited about the money, huh?"
"Ah, about that…"
"Hey, I'm -hic- gonna put Mima on the phone, kay? I have to -hic- tend my new bar!" Separating her head from the phone, the small oni shouted "Mima! I need ya -hic- over here, like now please!" It was good to have a bar. Now if Suika ever got kicked out of the Hakurei Shrine for too much freeloading, she would have a bar to sleep in all the time, which was actually even better! Until then, however, she'd stick with the shrine.
"Yes?" Mima seemed glad to be called over. Everybody else in the bar was too drunk (not that Suika was sober herself or anything) and they all were acting like idiots, which Mima couldn't stand. Even Marisa, who was so strong, couldn't resist the power of alcohol. "What seems to be the problem?"
"Phone -hic- for ya."
"Oh, alright." Putting it up to her ear, the ghostly goddess said "This is Mima. Who am I speaking to?"
"Doctor Eirin Yagokoro, over at the Eientei Clinic. We've got Reimu over here because of a heart attack; she had it after seeing the contents of her donations box."
"Ha. That worked up over the money, eh?"
"Well, you see, she did have a heart attack over the donations box, only…"
"…you've gotta be kidding!" Was this how Reimu felt all the time? The news Eirin gave wasn't good news at all. Instead, there was a note. According to Eirin, it read…
Last time this box was opened (before I put this note in, of course) there was precisely 1,003,487 yen inside the donations box. I'm just borrowing your small fortune for a little bit, but I'll be sure to pay you back…
P.S. Just because I'm the one borrowing your money doesn't mean it's for me~
"The rest of us discussed it over already," Eirin said. "I can imagine Yukari will lose a few friends until she pays you guys back."
"Wait, who is us?"
"Myself, Kanako, and Byakuren. Us three and Yukari get together on Friday nights for poker, but Yukari's not allowed in until she pays your shrine back. Even if she created Gensokyo, and is the oldest one in the bunch, she-"
Buzzzzzzzzzzzz… Connection to Eirin's phone was lost. Eirin shouldn't have called her old. Especially on the same day that somebody else talked about her age, though Mima wasn't quite sure why she got away with it. Or, perhaps taking the money was Yukari's way of punishing the goddess for bringing up the true age of the gap ha-
"No," Yukari said. "Just no. I won't become a gag character! I, Yukari Yakumo, refuse to be belittled in this way!"
"Okay," a green-eyed human promised. He didn't know Yukari too well, but the two did know each other. The human had a bit of a reputation as a writer in the outside world, detailing events in Gensokyo over a wide span of possible space-time scenarios. "I'll stop making you a gag character, but can I please get back to the story?"
"Very well. You should also poke around about that whole Yuyuko and Mima theory of yours. You know, the one that you mentioned but once and never returned to?"
"You should return the money you took from the Hakurei Shrine. Don't expect much screen time until you do."
Club Ibuki; back to the story…
Eirin shouldn't have called her old. Especially on the same day that somebody else talked about her age, though Mima wasn't quite sure why she got away with it. Or, perhaps taking the money was Yukari's way of punishing the goddess for certain rash statements she'd made earlier. After all, how old could Yukari possibly be? Even youkai died at certain ages, so Yukari must not have been that old.
"Suika," Mima said. "We've got a problem." Handing the oni back her phone, she said "Yukari took our donations."
"Whaaat? I was gonna buy stuff with that!"
"As was I. Worst of all, Reimu had a heart attack because Yukari counted the yen and actually told Reimu how much she took. Looks like you get to be miko for a couple more days while she recuperates."
"Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to see a certain somebody of something that may or may not be of a level of importance to you. It is, however, important to me." With that, the scourge god of the Hakurei Shrine made her way out the door.
"Buh-bye~" Yukari struck again, eh? She'd abducted the oni for a short moment and had a word with her in Mayohiga. It was kind of scary, but Yukari made her point perfectly clear, perfectly fast…
Not long ago; Mayohiga…
"I presume you understand why you're here?" Yukari, looking as young as ever, held out a tray of sweets for the oni to enjoy. Food was a good way to keep her attention, this she knew. Thus, little sugary cakes from the outside world to satisfy Suika's sweet tooth and even give her energy to run the bar all night.
"Cuz I -hic- called ya a really really old bear?"
"Just old bear will do. Now then, watch this…" Yukari focused, and began to change borders on her face. Wrinkles started appearing, and her skin started getting all saggy and gross. In a few seconds, Yukari appeared just as old as she truly-
"No," Yukari said.
"It already happened! Deal with it!"
Back to the story (again)…
In a few seconds, Yukari appeared just as old as she truly was, and looked nothing at all like the usual gap youkai.
"WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH! IT'S -hic- HORRIBLE!" Suika started throwing the little sugary cakes at Yukari in a full-blown fear-induced panic. "MAKE IT STOP!"
"Now then," Yukari said, looking young again in the blink of an eye. "Call me old again, and I'll follow you around looking like that all day long. Understand?"
"Y-Y-Yes…-hic- ma'am!" Suika didn't ever want to see that again.
Back at the club; now…
Suika shuddered at the thought. Even through drunkenness, that memory would probably stick around for years to come, so Suika made certain to never bring up Yukari's age again, ever. When she noticed a green-haired youkai stepping up to the bar. Perfect, something to get her mind off of Yukari. "Hey there. Welcome to -hic- Club Ibuki, where the liquor is strong and the barkeep -hic- is stronger. What can I get ya?"
"A glass of water, if you will," the youkai answered, setting a pink umbrella on the floor next to her. "Put it on Mima-sama's tab."
"Mima? Then -hic- it's on the house!" Pouring the requested glass of water, the oni couldn't help but ask. "So, how do -hic- you know Mima?"
Suika freaking out was probably the funniest scene in the whole thing, and I laughed just imagining how it would play out, then laughed some more when it became words. I'd like to nominate this for "Best Suika Moment in All of " if I may, unless somebody can find a funnier one.
Certainly my funniest yet. Although, even if she doesn't like it, Yukari's no doubt becoming the Yukari that becomes a gag character for her-
"I thought we had an agreement."
Screw you, I'm the writer. Go troll somebody or something. Quit breaking my fourth wall already!
Is this how Reimu feels when Yukari pops in?