Heady Brew
by Rana Eros

Written for the 100_roadtrips challenge of "Moonshine." I decided to go with the backwoods definition in honor of some distant relations. I would not recommend trying this at home. There's a teeny crossover cameo, iffen you're inclined to look. Betaed by Eliza.

Jiroushin hurried toward the sacred courtyard where Nataku enforced his own exile. The summons from Kanzeon Bosatsu had been typically succinct and terrifying: "I have an idea."

The pool that reflected the mortal world was already drained, and the Bosatsu stood beside Nataku's throne, discussing the placement of arcane metal coils, pots, and valves with a servant whose rank meant she should not be in the courtyard at all. Jiroushin made a sputtering sound, and the Bosatsu turned to him.

"There you are," se said.

"Bosatsu.... What are you doing?"

"They finally finished cataloguing Tenpou's library, and found this." Se held out a book to him, the title of which read, "Li Kao's Home Remedies." It was open to a page marked by an ancient pressed flower. Jiroushin stared as the meaning of the words sunk in. "Well?"

"This," he managed at last. "This...!" Words failed him.

"Exactly," the Bosatsu said with satisfaction. "Nataku's been watching the world for five centuries now. I thought a new approach was in order."

"Bosatsu," Jiroushin tried for reason, "surely there's a more appropriate cure--"

"You're welcome to look for it." The Bosatsu turned away from him, back to hir project. "Where's that yeast?"


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