Chapter 20: How To Tame Your Cat!
"Errm how did we get lost?" Lily asked as she looks round only to feel a chill.
"We're not lost" Botanmaru said before getting kicked.
"Liar we are!" Essy said as he changed to his human form.
"But how?" Botanmaru asked as he looks up at Essy who turns his head to face towards the corridors, he bit his lip as he looks at them.
"As long as the barrier Jirou has up is strong, it will be impossible to enter further" Essy replied with a frown. Lily sighed before a thought came to mind, she grinned.
"Time to put my negation power to use" Lily giggles taking Botanmaru by surprise.
"Negation power?" he asked in awe.
"I can see what no one can see, a trick like this is nothing" Lily said before her eyes turned blue. "Just hold my hands you two, this is going to be tricky if you let go" Lily explained. Essy and Botanmaru immediately held her hands before walking, the barrier left Botanmaru and Essy slightly disorientated but kept their grips on Lily's hands.
"Master Jirou, don't be cruel to my master" a female voice caught Shinjirou and Jirou's attention. Within seconds Silver had turned himself into Lily who was wearing an open white shirt exposing her long blue short sleeved top and blue shorts. Jirou's face went pink from what he saw while Shinjirou twitched from how Silver looked like his sister.
"Why not let I Silver keep you company?" Silver asked with a Lily like smirk, "After all nothing's more interesting than to be served by a Tennyo am I right?" without warning Jirou screamed in shock.
Back to Lily and Botanmaru
Lily frowned as the barrier went down and rolled her eyes.
"Silver..." she seethed in anger from knowing exactly what he was doing. It was then that she caught a faint signal and teleported to it.
"Where are we?" Botanmaru asked before looking at a statue of someone holding a scroll.
Lily's went wide from seeing the person and touched the person's face, it was cold to the touch causing Lily to frown.
"Someone stole his soul didn't they Essy?" Lily asked crossly, she saw Essy nod leaving her angry by the turn of events before looking at the Soujoubou. "He was crying before they took his soul"
"Do you know why?" Botanmaru asked before picking up a feather, Lily frowned from it.
"That looks like Jirou's feather, Shinjirou's is much smaller than that" Lily commented before a chill entered her body. As soon as she blinked she now saw the three of them now in a dark cold room.
"These are the rats who have been giving you trouble Master Jirou" said a white haired man with a weird mask on his head, he had a bear paws resting on his front and was smiling at Jirou.
"These boys! Are the ones that got in my way?" Jirou growled "I know that Shinjirou is behind this but I didn't expect to be present when the traitors were revealed" Jirou said coldly as he saw the young tengu standing in front of Lily. "Who knew that you would be involved Botanmaru"
Just before Jirou could punch Botanmaru a barrier blocked and burned some of Jirou's hand to his shock. The one who alerted Jirou about them felt his eyes go wide at how bright the barrier was.
"Touch this child again and I'll shatter your bones you pest! How dare you raise a hand against a child you flaming coward!" Lily roared her eyes now blue slitted to the male's shock as Lily held Botanmaru in her arms. Jirou's eyes narrowed anger from the insult.
"How dare you-"
"I dare!" Lily barked "especially to one who takes the cowards way to becoming the Soujoubou!" Lily roared. Jirou's eyes went wide "I know that the Soujoubou's soul has been stolen and one of you did it! So fess up! Who would take my brother's father's soul away?!" Lily yelled. Without warning the air grew cold until ice started to form around the barrier and began to grow causing the yōkai behind Jirou to gasp in shock, Jirou however gritted his teeth from the cold.
"Do you think I'll listen to your lies?" Jirou asked before something cold sliced his cheek.
"And another thing! How dare you insult those who cannot defend themselves against you? Strong! Weak people that's the selfish perception!" Lily spat "Be them human or yōkai" Lily glared at Jirou with intense anger.
"If you can't take the pain then you should get stronger" Jirou said darkly "the weak side do not deserve to survive" Jirou's eyes narrowed at her "At the age of eight tengu children are expected to fly, this one cannot so he does not deserve to stay on this mountain" It was then that Lily looked at him with pity filled eyes.
"Says who? You?" Lily asked blankly taking him by surprise, this boy reminded him of the girl who attacked him. The one who would not challenge him but threaten to protect that weak tengu, it shocked and angered him for some reason.
"Is that your philosophy? Because if it worked for you then it's okay to enforce it on those who might not stand a chance of surviving?" Lily asked as she looked up at him "Everyone starts as weak, not everyone is good at physical strength, they can be smart and sly, some end up being good at stamina but that's how things are however they have one thing in common" Jirou's eyes narrowed from her words.
"And what's that?" he asked darkly.
"They all need help from someone and there are those who would go about their way to help those in need, whether they know them or not. Some come out unscathed but some end up losing something important to them. Your life style on the other hand is very lonely and to think that you would rather be a tyrant and hurt those around you without a single shred or remorse makes me sick" Jirou glared at her angry eyes and tied to grab her collar but was blocked from the barrier.
"What right do you have to tell me these things? Acting like you know everything!" he yelled as he narrowed his eyes at her, Lily's eyes however showed distain to his shock.
"I know one of you stole the Soujoubou's soul and hid it somewhere. That to me is a great insult and do you know why?" Lily asked darkly "Because hurting my friend like brother's friends or family is hurting my family or friends and my creed" Lily said as she stood up not knowing that white wings were appearing behind her back while her hair was back to being long even though it was ghostly started to move in a fluid motion. This took Jirou and the other yōkai by surprise from seeing her cold unforgiving appearance. Jirou was left speechless though, he didn't understand why this boy who now looked like a girl's appearance would leave such an effect on him.
"My creed is that family is everything, hurt family and you insult us. We stick together and never allow such acts to go unpunished" Lily said darkly as she glared at the yōkai behind Jirou. "And I know now exactly who did insult my family" Lily hissed.
"What are you talking about?" Jirou asked before the yōkai grabbed his arm.
"Master Jirou why don't you let me finish interrogating them? They will only sprout more lies and bewitch your mind" the demon said with glee. "We already have Master Shinjirou and the fox caught so worry not, I Yatori take care of things here" Jirou glared at him before walking out the room. Lily kept her grip on Botanmaru causing him to look up just as her wings vanished and her long hair was now reverted to being short again.
"Now..." Yatori turned to look at Lily and Botanmaru with cold eyes. "I didn't expect anyone to see through the trick of the Soujoubou's illness and to think that mere tengu could do it, very unexpect-GHAAA!" Yatori grunted as he was sent against the wall from an invisible force.
"So sorry didn't see you there" Lily said coldly as she patted dirt off of a shocked Botanmaru's shoulders. "So tell me... did Kirihito put you up to this or did you do this all on your own?" Yatori's eyes went wide from seeing her furious look.
"Judging from your reaction I'm guessing it was yours" Lily said before summoning a scythe after putting Botanmaru down. "Go and find Silver and my brother, don't stop until you get there" Lily winks before glaring at Yatori once Botanmaru left the room.
"So let's talk shall we since your mind does contain an abundant amount of information, so will you talk or" Lily pressed the scythe near his throat causing him to gulp. "Or should I pry your mind open?" Lily whispered darkly.
"You-You won't get much out of me" Yatori said shakily, Lily nodded for a bit before glaring.
"Maybe so... but I so wanted to flex my temper on someone in this sexist mountain" Lily smirked while Essy flexed his claws in warning "So... start talking, where IS the Soujoubou's soul and I might let you live?" Lily asked darkly. "After all you lied to him and gave him that fake letter along with Jirou's feather Lily pressed the scythe deeper cutting his neck.
"You tore a father's heart to shred and made him hurt before you stole his soul. That I cannot forgive so start talking Yatori or so help me I'll send you piece by piece to Kirihito and I'm sure he wouldn't care about your miserable life" Lily bit causing him to shake. "I know about you... fur ball" His eyes went wide in horror "And I know that it was you who had told Akura-ou about the location of Umi you scumbag" Lily said before taking a bit of his hair with the scythe.
Very soon screams filled the dungeon followed by a loud explosion that shook the temple.
Lily sighed as she made the scythe disappear while Essy was on her arm.
"Well he's gone back home but he did give us enough to find the Soujoubou" Lily smirked while Essy sniggered as she ran. "Care to be a dear and help expel the darkness for me?" Lily asked. Essy nodded and began to run ahead of her.
"Essy Divine light!" Lily yelled as Essy began to run faster creating a path of light in his wake. Lily followed him until all of the area had been purified by the pure light Essy had created. Lily then stopped now able to sense the Soujoubou's soul was and began to rush towards it.
Once there she shattered the statue with her powers and clicked her fingers before entering the door. Suddenly emotions of the past hit her mind leaving her very sad.
"Shinjirou..." Lily's eyes hardened from the painful memories created by Jirou.
"So you found him?" Jirou's voice caught her attention, her eyes narrowed at him.
"You did this to Shinjirou and Suirou" she snapped causing his eyes to widen. "You tormented one and caused one to lose their wings because of your selfish need to bully those who are not able to stand up for themselves, the irony now is that those who treated my brother like rubbish are now asking him to be the next chief instead of you even though he doesn't want that job" Lily said in a cold voice before walking ahead.
"I cannot permit you to go" Lily glared at him causing him to freeze.
"Says you, I'm getting my brother's father's soul back whether you want me to or not. After what you did I don't see why you would care now" Lily said sharply before continuing her walk.
Lily heard footsteps after a few minutes and almost sighed knowing that it was him. She didn't argue knowing that she did need some help and she couldn't do everything on her own.
By the time they reached a pit known as Raijiuyuu's cavern they stopped.
"Stay here and don't get any closer" Jirou said before she grabbed his arm.
"Are you stupid?" she snapped taking him by surprise "You think playing the martyr would how let you be redeemed for the cruelty you committed? As if" she said sharply causing him to be rooted to the spot
"If you are truly sorry then why not go and apologise to those you have wronged, the first step of proving that you are sorry is admitting that you have done something wrong" Lily said before looking at the pit.
"I... see" he said quietly.
"What kind of creature is this thing?"
"A thunder cat" Lily froze and looked at him, she looked at Essy before laughing taking him by surprise.
"What is so funny?" he yelled stunned that her laughing was affecting him.
Ten minutes later
Silver and Shinjirou were standing near the entrance in shock from what they were seeing.
"Who's a good boy! OOOOH Who's a good boy!" Lily cooed while scratching the back of the giant lion cat's ears, what disturbed them and Jirou was the fact that it was purring extremely loudly. "Yes you are, oh yes you are!" Lily continues to coo while the cat's guard started to go down to their shock.
"Am I seeing things?" Silver yelled in shock.
"Nu uh" Shinjirou shook his head slowly.
"There is no way that THAT thing is staying at our shrine!" Silver barked causing the cat to leer at him before it's expression melted from her scratching the back of his ear again. Jirou looked up at them with a petrified expression, not knowing what was going on which was exactly what the boys up on the ledge were thinking about as well.
Lily then took out a medium pocket mirror and started to reflect the light onto the mirror causing the cat to go nuts and chase after the light while Essy joined in immediately before anyone could process what was going on.
"Go after the light, there it is! Oh no it's over there! Oooh so close!" Lily whined as she smirked at how the cats were going crazy over catching the light.
"How are you doing this?" Jirou asked as he looked at her, Lily looked at him briefly and smirked.
"Oh simple, cat's love this kind of thing wait!" Lily grinned. "Can you get a large boulder?" Lily asked with a sly smile. Jirou blinked but did as she asked. Her eyes started to go purple to his surprise before he felt the boulder get warm for some reason. "Essy here boy!" Lily called catching the cats attention, Essy stopped and immediately dashed over to her only to get picked up by Lily.
"Okay now throw it near the lion cat" Lily said, not knowing what she was up to he threw it at the cat. "Come catch the ball of yarn!" Lily yelled causing Essy to squeak and try to get out of her grasp.
"No Essy it's a rock" she whispered causing him to give her a sour look at how he was almost tricked before looking at how the lion cat was reacting to it. The cat pawed it before seeing it bounce causing him to yowl with glee and started to climb onto the 'yarn' only that proved to be a mistake.
Lily and the others winced from hearing a loud cry from the lion cat's back was on the floor while it's stomach had been squished from the ball as he tried to balance on top of the 'yarn', very soon he started to cough up something due to how winded he was. Without warning something golden yellow touched the floor causing Lily to gag and almost throw up from seeing that.
"Oh that is disgusting!" Shinjirou whined while Silver almost gagged from what he was witnessing.
Lily walked towards the cat and removed the boulder before stroking his face with sad eyes.
"I'm sorry but that thing is important to someone special to me, I didn't know if there was anyway of getting it out of you" The lion cat got up and sniffed at her for a bit before nuzzling her causing her to smile and chuckle as she patted his face.
"You're a good boy" Lily said softly before laughing at how he was licking her face. Silver looked at Shinjirou weakly.
"You going to pick that up?" Silver asked as he pointed at the glob of yellow light, Shinjirou yelped.
"As if! That's gross!" Shinjirou cried before Lily patted the cat's head.
"OI SHINJIROU PICK UP YOUR DAD'S SPIRIT OR I'LL MAKE YOU WISH THAT YOU DID!" Lily barked causing the red haired tengu to rush and scoop his father's soul before rushing out the cavern, leaving everyone minus Lily surprised at how quick he was the moment Lily had yelled at him. Jirou looked at her with wide eyes while Lily shrugged.
"What? I always do that" Lily said blankly "Oh and by the way one of the things as punishment for what you did to everyone is to feed Raiju three times a day" Lily's words left him shell shocked before he looked at the lion cat that was looking at him with suspicious eyes and gulped in fear.
"You guys hardly feed the poor thing, I'm not surprised that he hasn't tried to break out and eat everyone" Lily shrugged as she looked at him.
"Lily!" Shinjirou came back twenty minutes later looking like he had ran most of the way.
"What is it?" Lily asked as she looked up.
"My father wants to talk to you" Shinjirou replied causing her, Jirou and Silver to blink not knowing why he would want to do that.
"Okay be right up-Oh ah ah ha ha ha Raiju cheeky cat!" Lily laughed as the lion cat whined and tried to stop her from leaving, his eyes showed that he didn't want her to go. Sensing this made her grin and pat his head.
"I'll visit once a week to make sure that THIS guy" Lily points at Jirou "Is feeding you properly" Lily pats his head lightly, Jirou was still in shock after all how do you even feed a giant cat?!
"So what's the name of this girl who is I sense in this temple?" the father asked Shinjirou who blinked in shock.
"Oh her name is Lily"
"Lily? That's a lovely name, is she someone important to you?" he asked with an amused smile that left Shinjirou yelping in shock.
"Father if you please" the Soujoubou chuckled even though Botanmaru was in shock.
"Father" Shinjirou said weakly "She's a sister to me, I would never see her as anything else" Shinjirou looked away, there was no way that Lily would be seen as anything else.
"So tell me about her"
"She's got a scary temper" This piped his father's interest.
"Oh ho ho that reminds me of someone years ago" the father commented with a smile taking Shinjirou by surprise.
"Serena had a way of always putting me into line but always gave me nothing but a need to worry about her" this took Shinjirou by surprise.
"Was her last name Hikari?" Shinjirou asked.
"How did you know that was her last name?" the father asked sounding interest, Shinjirou's eyes went wide and almost felt his jaw drop. Wait what?!
"Lily's grandmother is called Serena Hikari" Shinjirou replied causing silence to enter the room.
"Why not bring her here, I would like to talk to this Lily" said the Soujoubou sounding like he was interested in seeing Lily to Shinjirou's surprise.
And now Lily was sitting in front of the Soujoubou with a neutral expression but was in her female form since the elder tengu requested her not as a guy, beside her was Shinjirou who was asked to join in the talk.
"It has come to my attention that you the granddaughter of Serena Hikari, is that true?" the Soujoubou asked as he looked at Lily, Lily blinked for a bit before nodding.
"I see" he said before smiling "you do share her kind light so it's only natural that I would recognize that" Shinjirou's father chuckled.
"How did you know my grandmother if you don't mind me asking?" Lily asked almost sounding tense.
"There's no need to be weary of me, your grandmother and I go a long way back. In fact she is one of my dear friends" this took the pair by surprise.
"You were friends with her grandmother?" Shinjirou asked in shock.
"Yes Shinjirou, in fact she was like an older sister to me and a Marriage God called Mikage" Lily and Shinjirou's eyes widened before looking at the other in shock, not knowing what to say about that. To think that they had something in common with their elders.
"I must admit I am surprised if not happy that this bond Serena and I shared as siblings had passed on to you two, and I am more than grateful for what you and your uncle have done. Thank you for taking such good care of my son" the Soujoubou said before bowing slightly leaving them stunned.
"It's nothing" Lily smiled softly. "I just didn't want to see someone suffer for no reason, he was lost and scared so it was only natural to try and help someone in need" Lily giggled slightly while Shinjirou smiled back.
"I am in your debt-"
"Oh no, it's fine" Lily waved it off "knowing that my brother/friend is safe and happy is all that I care about, oh and by the way" the Soujoubou looked at her with confused eyes.
"You need to change your clan's way of thinking towards females, it's disgusting and I felt like I was just an outsider with no say in anything" This made him sigh.
"You're quite right Lily, forgive all my sons for what they have done" Lily looks at Shinjirou sharply making his eyes go wide.
"I'll forgive the doorbell joke" she said with a smirk causing him to blink.
"Door bell joke-?"
*Ding Dong!* Shinjirou looked at her pocket before cracking up.
"Oh come on! You stitched it to your pocket?!" Shinjirou cried while he laughing at what just happened.
"What can I say, it creates confusion and it gives me a way of escaping" Lily replied until the sound of laughter that didn't belong to Lily or Shinjirou had caught their attention.
"That reminds me of how sly your grandmother was, she always left me worrying no matter what. Even now I wonder what she is up to" Shinjirou's father said with a smile. Lily smiled.
"She's probably tormenting the Dragon King Ryuu-ou for what he did to Umi and Silver" Lily said with a grin causing the elder to shake his head.
"Typical Serena behaviour, I have also heard from these two that you turned yourself into a boy. Is that true?" he asked sounding almost like he was amused.
Lily rolled her eyes before smiling.
"I got a little too annoyed with the boys making me feel bad about being a girl, so I thought why not?" Lily said with a smile. The father shook his head.
"I do apologise for their behaviour, as for the turning into a boy did Serena teach you how to do that?" Lily smirked confirming his suspicions.
"Typical Serena/grandma" Lily, Shinjirou and the Soujoubou sighed before looking at the other, without warning they laughed loudly from what they had just said. Very soon they stopped in order to recompose themselves but still chuckled at times.
"Shinjirou, Lily" Shinjirou's father said softly "You both are more than welcome to come and visit. Do not feel like you are banished or are not worthy to visit, I do worry about you Shinjirou and there is not a day that has gone bay that I do not. Never forget that" he said with a smile before patting his son's head lightly.
"Father" Shinjirou said weakly before a sob caught his attention.
"If I had been there for you then maybe this pain you had to endure would not have taken place, I know how you wanted to be with your brothers and that you had to endure hardships that no child had to go through. But I am happy knowing that you've become a kind tengu who has not lost his way" the father said with a shaky smile "I would love to see how you grow and what you end up becoming my son" Shinjirou then started to feel tears run down his face causing Lily to cry as well. She was happy that things were starting to look up for her brother.
"Please also look after my son like you are doing" Shinjirou's father asked as he looked at Lily who smiled at him.
"You can count on it" Lily smiled and nodded in reply.
"Thank you Lily" he said with a small chuckle while Botanmaru stared in awe knowing that this was a something to remember, as it might not happen again.
"By the way" Lily's voice caught their attention "Is it true that Suirou keeps destroying your bonsai plants?" she asked with a frown causing the father to laugh while Shinjirou was left completely confused.
After scolding Suirou for destroying the bonsai, Lily had joined everyone with the celebration of Jirou and the Soujoubou's recovery.
"Lily!" Botanmaru chirped causing Lily to look and smile.
"Yo!" Lily waved while Silver was standing beside her while holding her hand.
"Lily sit here" Silver said with a smile before a he glared at Essy who decided to sit on her spot, this caused Lily to chuckle at what happened as Silver started to rant at Essy for what he did.
"Girl sit here" Lily immediately scowled at Jirou.
"The name is Lily! NOT girl" Lily said sternly causing him to blink.
"S-Sorry, Lily can you sit here?" he asked and with that she did to Silver's surprise.
"Thank you for what you did" Jirou said causing her to look up.
"I only did it because I was worried about Shinjirou's father" Lily commented blankly taking him by surprise.
"I... see..." he said softly.
"That and I knew that it would cost you your wings if you went in there guns blazing" Lily added, Jirou stared at her.
"It's an expression" Lily said hastily before getting something from the plate. She then twigged that some tengu were about to leave causing her to slam her hand on the tray
"OI! SIT YOUR ASSES BACK DOWN NOW!" Lily barked at them causing them to freeze before going back to their seats. Jirou looked at her feeling nothing but impressed that she wasn't letting the fact that she was a girl put her down, before long he picked her up.
"Come with me" he said
"Er, Jirou? Jirou!" Lily screamed before he flew up. Silver looked up sharply and was about to move before Shinjirou stopped him, his eyes narrowed but he remained still.
Once Lily was settled onto a branch did looked at the area around her. Just seeing the flowers around her left the black haired girl smiling which left Jirou feeling more warm the more he saw her smiling.
"Do you like Kurama country side?" Jirou asked as he stood beside her.
"It's okay" Lily shrugged with a smile "The air is clean which is good and the tengu children are so sweet, they are so attentive which shows that they are eager to learn about the world around them" Lily added with a grin.
"Would you consider in staying here?" Jirou asked sounding almost hesitant, Lily however went quite before smiling.
"Nah... I'm have a family back in the human world" Lily looked up and beamed at the moon.
"I have a special person that I still need to give my answer to, and I want to tell him yes but things just keep getting in the way... I'm conflicted as well" This took him by surprise. "I love him with all my heart and we've been through so much, to me it's been only about thirteen years but for him it's been longer as things pulled us apart. Maybe it's meant to happen for a good reason I don't know but I am happy to see and know that he's in my life once more" Lily said with a soft smile before looking up. "I know you like me but I can't accept any proposals from you, however there is something I want you to do for me" Lily said as she looks at him.
"And that is?" he asked with attentive eyes.
"Apologise to Shinjirou and Suirou for what you did, and then apologise to Botanmaru for the beatings you inflicted on him just like you did to Shinjirou" this left him pausing in shock as he saw her stone look.
"You hurt them deeply and showed no remorse, if you want to prove to me that you've changed and that you are grateful for what I did for you then you will do what I ask" Lily said before jumping off the branch to his surprise, without warning she floated down with wings that appeared behind her. Those who saw her were in shock that she had white wings on her back since they all had black wings.
As soon as she landed she gave Silver a hug before going to sit down by Shinjirou's father who had just joined in the festivities.
One hour twenty minutes later
Silver's jaw slackened from realizing what Lily was eating.
"L-Lily are you okay?" Silver asked weakly while Shinjirou's eyes went wide.
"Yeah why?" Lily asked as she tilted her head in confusion.
"H-How are you not drunk?!" Shinjirou cried while his father laughed causing her to look at the man oddly.
"What are you talking about?" Lily asked as she bit into her ninth bean bun.
"That bean bun has strong sake in it-"
"!!!" Lily froze and looked down at the thing in her hand before taking a tissue and began to spit the bean bun but that was in her mouth out.
"Are you telling me I have been eating strong sake filled bean buns?!" Lily cried.
"This is like the time when I gave you those special brownies! How were you not high then?!" Shinjirou cried causing her eyes to go wide while Silver flashed him a look.
"YOU DRUGGED ME WITH SPIKED BROWNIES?!" Lily cried now offended by what was going on around here. It was then that Shinjirou's father had laughed.
"I wanted to see if you would go high from them but you eat the whole thing and nothing happened!" Shinjirou replied weakly before Silver smacked him round the head, earning a cry from Shinjirou.
"Look I have a unique pallet, so stop trying to drug me!" Lily whined with a frown until his father patted her head.
"Lily's negate ability sure is effective isn't it" Lily blushed from the comment while the boys stared in shock.
"HUH?!" they both yelled
"Look my negate ability also effects my pallet so no poison, drugs or alcohol can bother me okay so stop doing that" she snapped now feeling like she wanted the ground to swallow her whole.
"It's getting late my child, I think it's time for you all to go home now" Shinjirou's father smiled as he patted her head softly. "Wouldn't you say?"
"Yeah" Lily beamed back before hugging him. "Thank you for everything" she said.
"You are most welcome" he chuckles as he hugs her back. The boys smile as they watch the pair interact, it's nice to know that at something good happened.