Divine Inspiration

"That's unusual," said Doku.

It was. Nii Jieni usually paid enough attention to what was going on around him that he didn't walk into walls. One would have thought that his preoccupation with sarcastic remarks, perverse comments, and general air of louche plotting would have been sufficient to ensure any number of collisions, but alas, that was not the case, even with the efforts of a number of people to arrange walls, let alone precipices.

But as matters stood, Nii Jieni had just walked into a wall. He stood there, staring at the ornately decorated stonework, one hand adjusting his glasses. The other hand was cupped over the eyes of his bunny rabbit doll, as though attempting to spare it some soul-shattering vision.

"Do you suppose he might do it again?" asked Yaone hopefully.

Nii Jieni appeared to be talking to himself. "Must . . . recalibrate . . . need to recalibrate . . ." Bouncing off a couple more walls, his eyes glazed, he meandered past the two of them and wandered off down the corridor.

Doku sighed happily. "You know -- despite the fact that our prince is still brainwashed, that we've got a certifiable power-hungry nymphomaniac megalomaniac in charge, and that Lirin keeps on vanishing off down to the cellars -- I felt good there for a moment." He opened the door to Kou's quarters.

And stopped dead.

Kou was busy styling his hair into long strings of curls, and had already applied the eye-makeup and lipstick. The gauzy gown left nothing of his chest to the imagination, and showed his muscular legs as well as could possibly be demanded. The gilded toenails were the perfect finishing touch.

There was a smothered gasp. Doku stuck his arm out just in time to catch Yaone before she hit the ground in a dead faint.

"Do you think it will work?" Kou inquired, monotone.

"Er. With all due respect, my prince, will what work?" Doku was inclined to go and beat Nii Jieni's head to a pulp. Then he recollected the man's behaviour. Perhaps he hadn't been to blame for this. On the other hand, who needed an excuse?

"This." Kougaiji flexed an elegant leg. "We must recover the sutra. Lirin found a book for me which describes a similar situation. If I masquerade as Kanzeon Bosatsu, we can fool Genjou Sanzou and the others into handing over the sutra."

Doku lowered Yaone to the ground, taking care not to let her bump her head. He'd never seen her achieve quite this degree of board-like rigidity before. "Actually, my prince, I have another idea."

"You do?" Kougaiji asked, still with the same brainwashed flatness.

"Oh yes." Doku crossed his fingers behind his back. "We can have mad passionate sex instead. That will distract them and we can easily steal the sutra."

Kougaiji pondered. One could almost see the mental gears ticking over behind the dark eyes. "Really?"

"It's at least as good a plan as you dressing up as Kanzeon Bosatsu." Doku sauntered across. "Of course, we should practice first."

"You are absolutely sure," Kougaiji continued, "that seeing us engaging in rampant congress will distract them?"

"I take full responsibility if it doesn't," Doku said firmly. "Now how does this girdle undo?"

---

Yaone woke to the accompaniment of odd noises, such as she had certainly never heard before, knew nothing about, and would definitely never read smuggled doujinshi about. Lirin was sitting next to her.

"Lirin?" Yaone said vaguely. "I just had a really strange dream. I think I must have been getting too close to the mercury fumes again."

The noises were still continuing.

"I dreamed that I came in and found Kougaiji-sama dressed as a woman, and then I dreamed that Dokugakuji started doing unspeakable things to him on the bed." She blushed delicately.

"They're still doing it," Lirin reported flatly.

"Oh," Yaone murmured, and closed her eyes again. Perhaps if she just stayed very still the hallucinations would go away.

---

Lirin wandered off. Grown-ups acted funny sometimes. Still, at least her brother had really enjoyed the book she found in the old box marked Property of T.G., Western Army, Heaven.

She'd show him the one about the Science Fiction Double Feature next. Perhaps he could explain that to her.

---

Author's note : in the original Journey to the West, when our heroes encounter the original Kougaiji (and Tripitaka is, as usual, captured) Pigsy has to go to fetch help from the Bodhisattva Kuanyin. Kougaiji turns himself into a replica of Kuanyin, intercepts Pigsy, fools him, captures him, and hangs him up on the wall in a bag. Oops.

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