Story: Mundane Musings of the New Generation: Introductions (chapter 18)

Authors: dragonfire5000

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Chapter 18

Title: Sweet Scent

[Author's notes: I am taking some creative liberties in this one; I am assuming that it is not strange to see some modern technology in Gensokyo.]

Hijiri Madoka caught a whiff of several scents coming from the kitchen of the Myouren Temple and, upon investigating, saw her mother cooking something as well as several food items at the kitchen counter. "Where did you get those, mom?" she asked curiously, hurrying over to get a closer look and picking up a jar.

"Several people were kind enough to give those to us, so I thought I'd try several new recipes," Byakuren said. "That jar you're holding came from the Kazamis. I heard that they recently set up some beehives and they were kind enough to give us some honeycombs. I used some of those to bake some cookies."

"Ooh..." Madoka could already feel some drool to form at the corner of her mouth. She could smell a hint of flour coming from her mother and the sink was already full of utensils coated with scraps of dough. "What about those?" She pointed at a basket of peaches close to where Byakuren was cooking.

"Those are from the Hinanawis. I was thinking of maybe candying a few for the party at the Hakurei Shrine next week. I haven't candied fruits before, so it should be quite an experience!" She plucked out one of the peaches and handed it to Madoka. "Try it; it's really juicy." The young tiger youkai accepted it and sank her teeth in, relishing the sweet juices pouring into her mouth.

"What else do you have?" Madoka asked after pulling out the peach pit with her teeth.

"Let's see...we got some potatoes from the Moriya Shrine which I'm using for the stew, some cucumbers from the Kawashiros, tea leaves from the Scarlet Devil Mansion, and some manjuu from the Hakurei the way, don't eat those yet, you'll spoil your appetite."

"Aw..." Madoka pouted.

"Besides, we still have some cookies for after dessert," Byakuren said as she turned off the stove and washed her hands at the sink. Pulling on some mitts, she opened up the oven and released a cloud of sweet aromas that nearly caused the young tiger youkai to nearly swoon with pleasure. "It looks like the cookies are done!"

She pulled out the cookie tray from inside, revealing several golden brown cookies. She had barely placed the tray down on the table when Madoka heard several thundering footsteps getting closer and closer. She leaped to the side as the kitchen doors were flung open, revealing the other members of the Myouren Temple, including her father Shou.

"Something smells sweet in here!" Nazrin cried out as her eyes darted around the kitchen.

"Ooh! Cookies!" Minamitsu said with child-like glee when she caught sight of the tray.

"They smell really good!" Ichirin sighed with bliss. "What did you put inside of them?"

"Can we have a bite?" Nue asked eagerly, her eyes sparkling with delight.

"Not right now," Byakuren said gently but firmly. "It's time to eat dinner right now and these are meant for dessert."

"You won't even give your wife a sneak bite?" Shou asked, the look on her face very similar to that of a wounded kitten.

"No," Byakuren repeated. "All of you will get a chance to eat it after dinner. All of you, please get ready for dinner, alright?"

The inhabitants of the Myouren Temple gave disappointed groans, but perked up when the smell of the stew finally penetrated the smell of the cookies. They hurried to wash their hands and set up the tables as Byakuren removed the pot of stew from the stove and set it on the kitchen table.

It was moments like these that Madoka loved the most, when everyone she knew and loved where together and happy.

[End notes:

"Madoka" uses a kanji that means "circle." The circle is quite prominent in Hindu and Buddhist sacred art, often referred to as "mandala" which is the Sanskrit word for "circle."

Madoka has long yellow hair with black streaks and light brown eyes. She is very compassionate like her mother and, overall, is very kind to others.


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