Tezuka finds out what Ryouma’s been up to. Humor, I-2

Tezuka Kunimitsu decided that he was having a bad day when Echizen walked
up to him with that look in his eye; the one that Echizen had picked up from
Fuji. Tezuka had seriously begun wondering whether he should go to his mother’s
cousin…or even his mother’s old relative, for that matter. However,
his recollections of his mother’s old relative included the fact that
Hiiragizawa-san had a sense of humor about on a level with Fuji’s,
and more than enough power to make things complicated for the rest of the
world. Tezuka therefore resigned himself to dealing with Echizen now and
worrying later.

“I spoke with one of them,” said Echizen obliquely. “Not
about a deal, though. I wanted to see what was going on in heaven and hell,”
Echizen added virtuously.

Tezuka gave him a Look, and hoped that the information Echizen gave him wouldn’t
be that unnerving, this time.

Echizen shrugged. “Well, I’ve heard that there’s political
instability. And there’s fighting. And even with the people who have
stable groups, there’s a lot of rivalry between them. And, well, there
might be temporary alliances against common enemies, but it’s still
really tense.”

Tezuka crossed his arms and quirked an eyebrow at Echizen.

Echizen shifted and actually looked slightly guilty. “So I made a suggestion,
since Rikkai is going to be there and maybe Fudoumine. And since they’re
grabbing other human souls.” Echizen paused. “Because competition
is good for getting out impulses that might turn to violence, and as long
as a lot of souls would be hanging out in heaven anyway…”

“Echizen.” Tezuka pressed a hand to his face.

“He didn’t say ‘no,’” Echizen added, grinning.

Tezuka decided that he just might need to go talk to his relatives after