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“So, where are we going, Shiwasu?” Yayoi asked cheerfully as she skipped behind the sullen wolf, who resolutely staring ahead and desperately trying to ignore Yayoi’s questions. The half-demon wouldn’t stand for it, however, and she began tugging on Shiwasu’s furred ears, asking the question again in that cute, yet annoying, voice of hers. “Come on, tell me! Pleeaaase~?”
“Aaaaagh! Fine, I’ll tell you!” Shiwasu screamed, almost ready to tear her hair off. She whirled on the demon, her eyes blazing with uncontrolled irritation. “We, unfortunately, are going to a shrine near the border of Gensokyo and the human world. There’s a person there that I’m certain would have some explanations for what is going on here. So I want to ask her what the problem is so maybe I’ll have some way of solving it. Understand? Now please don’t ask any more questions!”
“Okay, okay.” Yayoi backed off, slightly frightened at the ferocious expression on her partner’s face. Shiwasu let out a huff and continued walking towards the shrine, with Yayoi meekly following her. ‘Ooooh…Maybe I shouldn’t have gone after all. I’ve only managed to make Shiwasu even more angry. And here I said I would help.’
Acting on impulse, Yayoi leapt on the taller girl’s back, holding her tight as she cuddled up to Shiwasu’s neck. Shiwasu stumbled forward a couple of steps before managing to catch herself.
“What are you doing, Yayoi?!” Shiwasu yelled, her temper almost ready to snap. “I’ve just about had it with your stupid antics. This is serious business and I won’t put up with you acting like it’s a simple picnic!”
“I know, I know…” Yayoi murmured from atop Shiwasu’s back. “It’s just that…well, we never go out together. And I’m certain that you’re lonely.”
“I’m a wolf! I don’t get lonely!” Shiwasu retorted.
“You’re lying. But I guess I just wanted to remind you that you have a friend, even when she’s as annoying as me.” Yayoi smiled cheerfully at Shiwasu and let go of her friend, dropping down onto the ground. She cocked her head to the side slightly, trying to look as innocent and childish as possible. “We’re meant to be together!”
"You stupid demon.” Shiwasu planted an open hand on the top of Yayoi’s head and ruffled her hair. She managed to give a small, reluctant smile and nodded. “I still say I should have eaten you.”
“It looks like you’re having fun!” A young, high-pitched voice echoed from in front of them and soon a fairy appeared in front of them. The fairy had icicle-shaped wings and a bright, green ribbon tied in her light sky-blue hair. She did a little spin in the air before pointing her finger at Shiwasu. “What are you doing here?”
“I’m going to the Hakurei Shrine to ask the shrine maiden there some questions.” Shiwasu said, her arms folded.
“Ah ha! That means you’re a friend of that stupid red-white miko! I bet you’re going to try to spoil my fun! That’s just what I would expect from someone like you!” Cirno said triumphantly, still pointing at Shiwasu. Her gaze switched to Yayoi and her finger moved accordingly. “And you! No doubt you don’t want me to have any more fun either!”
“…Where does she get these accusations?” Shiwasu muttered under her breath.
“She must be stupid.” Yayoi whispered under her breath.
“I’m not stupid! You’re the ones who are stupid for crossing my path!” Cirno said. “I’m going to freeze you just like those frogs! It’ll be a perfect sculpture!”
“What…?” Shiwasu stared at the ice fairy, so unmotivated to fight that she couldn’t even rouse the simplest of her powers. ‘It’ll be like smashing an ice cube with a boulder. I honestly don’t have the heart to pound this girl into dust.’
Shiwasu had no time to think of anything else as suddenly a large icicle appeared above her head and plunged down towards her. The wolf youkai managed to roll away in time, the icicle crashing to the ground just seconds later. She rolled back on her feet, looking warily at the ice fairy. However stupid she might be, that still didn’t mean that she was weak. Shiwasu smirked. Maybe she would receive a challenge after all.
Her blood roused, Shiwasu lunged towards the ice fairy, intending to plunge her claws straight into the fairy’s body. She missed however, her lunge off by a couple of inches to the right. Cirno retaliated by launched a crystallized ball of ice straight at Shiwasu’s back. It might have done a lot of damage if it hadn’t instantly transformed into a huge fireball that dissipated the moment before it hit Shiwasu.
Cirno let out a gasp and brought her hands up to her face, amazed. “Wooooow! I never was able to create fire before! Let me try it again!”
She launched another icicle at Shiwasu, who only sighed as the icicle melted into flames a couple of seconds later. Cirno let out another gasp and smiled joyously to herself.
“This is amazing! Oooh, I wonder if I can capture fire in ice! That would be amazing, wouldn’t it?” Cirno said to herself as she began her task, waiting for her ice to transmute into flame before trying to encase them in ice. As one would expect, the ice melted the moment it came in contact with the fire, but that didn’t dull Cirno’s excitement. In fact, it only fired her up more and she began moving at a much more rapid pace. “Urgh…I’ll get this to work! I know it!”
“…She really is an idiot.” Shiwasu sighed. Out of nowhere, a giant 9 appeared and clonked Cirno on the back of the head. The ice fairy whipped around and faced Shiwasu, nursing a growing bump on the back of her head.
“Don’t call me an idiot!” Cirno yelled childishly. “I’ll make you pay for that remark!”
Cirno opened her arms wide and literal storm of ice appeared in front of her. With a confident smirk, she sent the maelstrom hurling towards Shiwasu. Shiwasu leapt to the side and watched the storm pass, shaking her head ruefully. She was getting tired of goofing around here and she wanted to end this now. Screaming out a battle cry, Shiwasu dug one of her claws into the earth and launched a huge clump of dirt at Cirno.
The fairy flew to the side, avoiding the first attack but unfortunately putting her directly in line with Shiwasu’s second lunge. Shiwasu’s fist slammed directly into Cirno’s stomach, sending the little fairy flying in the air to topple on the ground a couple of yards away.
“Owwww!” Cirno whimpered, feeling her stomach. “You’re mean! I’m telling Daiyousei! I’ll get you back later!”
With that, Cirno flew off, hurling off insults as she left. Shiwasu sighed and rubbed her forehead, feeling her previous headache beginning to return to her. Yayoi skipped up to her friend and looked at her curiously. Shiwasu looked nervously at Yayoi, wondering why she was looking at her that way.
“What is it?”
“After all your talk about eating people, why did you just punch her? I was pretty certain you would have ripped her to shreds.” Yayoi said matter-of-factly. “You threatened to do that to me.”
“She wasn’t worth it. Now you, you were worth fighting for real. Her…well, I hate to say it, but she is pretty weak. Although I kind of pitied her as well, since it didn’t seem like she had much going for her.” Shiwasu answered, folding her arms.
“I knew you had a soft spot in you!” Yayoi cheered as she wrapped Shiwasu in a tight hug. “You’re like one of those mean characters who have an inner, kinder side that they rarely show!”
“Like hell I don’t. Don’t make me eat you, Yayoi.” Shiwasu replied rather quickly. “Come on, let’s get moving. I want to reach the Hakurei Shrine before something else stupid happens.”
The first thing that greeted them as they reached the Hakurei Shrine was a paper seal flying through the air and planting itself right in the middle of Shiwasu’s forehead. After experiencing a brief jolt of pain that felt like she had been shocked by strike of lightning, Shiwasu tore off the seal angrily and stamped on it with her foot repeatedly, grinding it to the ground.
“Who did that?! Once I find out who threw that seal, I’m going to tear you in half!” Shiwasu shouted, her nails lengthening into claws. She looked around the entrance to the shrine, her eyes narrowed. Her gaze found a young girl who was sitting on the shrine steps, a small, porcelain mug filled with tea in her hands. The girl took a small sip of tea before standing and walking towards Shiwasu.
“Have you come to make a donation?”
“Y-Y-You!” Shiwasu pointed at the young shrine maiden. “You were the one who threw the seal at me and you expect me to donate to this run-down shrine?! Why would I want to do that?!”
“Well, you activated my defense barriers I set up to deter any unknown youkai in the area. Which reminds me…Why are you here? I hope you’re not here to cause any trouble. It would be too much work.” The shrine maiden sighed and took a long sip of her tea.
“You’re kidding me.” Shiwasu said in disbelief. “This is the famous Reimu Hakurei, who brought Spring back from the Netherworld? W-What kind of joke is this?”
“Oh, that? Well, it was getting annoying with it being cold all the time, so I just decided to make it warm again.” Reimu replied, taking another sip of her tea. “You still haven’t answered my question yet.”
“Arg, why should I tell such a worthless shrine maiden?! I came all the way here from Mt. Shuuyoujo for answers and I get nothing!” Shiwasu shouted.
“I don’t know what you are talking about. Anyway, if you’re done, please leave a donation in our donation box.” Reimu said calmly as she took another sip of tea.
Shiwasu let out an agonized scream and pointed a claw at Reimu’s face. “I’ve had it with your stupid attitude! I’m going to find out whether or not you’re really as good as the stories claim! You better prepare yourself or else I’m going to devour you bit by bit.”
“You know, it’s really not healthy eating a shrine maiden.”
“Enough talk!” Shiwasu charged at Reimu, bringing up a clawed fist to plunge into her stomach. Before she could even reach Reimu, however, a barrier appeared out of nowhere and Shiwasu rebounded off of it, hissing as minor currents of electricity ran through her body. She looked up at Reimu and saw that she had abandoned the teacup and was holding an array of charms and seals in her hand. Shiwasu grinned wildly and tensed her leg muscles as she got ready to spring.
With a quick push of her feet, Shiwasu charged at Reimu, intent of plunging past the barrier before it could be formed. Encountering a barrier as she charged from the front, Shiwasu quickly changed her line of attack and tried to move in through an angle. Once again, she found her way blocked, but Shiwasu only attacked again. Soon, barriers all around Reimu had been assembled and the shrine maiden looked at Shiwasu with a smile, seals still in her hands.
“Care to give up? If you’ve caused any damage to my shrine, you’ll have to pay for it.”
“Hell no!” Shiwasu retorted. Suddenly, she moved so fast that Reimu lost track of her movements. The shrine maiden looked around her, confident in her barriers but still feeling a little bit nervous. She heard the sound of twigs breaking to the left of her and she threw a pair of seals in that direction, only to find out she had been deceived.
“From above!” Reimu tossed up a barrier above her head, but it turned out to be in vain as Shiwasu plunged down from the air and ripped a bloody trail across Reimu’s arm. Reimu staggered backwards, clutching the bleeding wound as she stared at Shiwasu in consternation. Grimacing, she drew out a pair of charms and whispered a couple of words. In quick burst, the charms dissolved into flames and shining, floating orbs surrounded Reimu’s body.
“This is getting too annoying. So I might as well beat you right now.” Reimu said as she sent two of the orbs in Shiwasu’s direction.
“Stole the words right out of my mouth!” Shiwasu replied as she flipped backwards, avoiding the first orb as it exploded centimeters away from her feet. She didn’t move fast enough to avoid the second one, however, which burst at her chest and knocked her down on the tiled stones. Shiwasu struggled upwards, her eyes alight with battle lust. “Now this is the maiden of Hakurei Shrine!”
“Hey, what’s going on?” A blond-haired magician landed next to Yayoi, curiosity written all over her features. She took off the black pointed hat she wore and placed it at the end of her broomstick. Poking Yayoi roughly on the shoulder, she motioned to where Reimu and Shiwasu were fighting. “Why are they fighting?”
“I don’t know.” Yayoi shrugged, her arms folded. “Shiwasu just wanted to fight, I guess.”
“How inconvenient for me. I was hoping that Reimu would make me some tea.” Marisa said, pouting slightly. “Well, I’ll just have to resolve this issue with clever use of my Master Spark.”
One of Reimu’s ears twitched and she flung an arm out, shooting hundreds of seals in Marisa’s direction. She let out a little squeak of surprise before putting a palm out and shooting a giant, multi-colored laser out of her hand, incinerating all of the seals. When the ash settled, Reimu was in front of Marisa, hitting her repeatedly over the head with a wooden rod.
“Don’t use Master Spark here! You’ll blow up my shrine!” Reimu scolded, wagging a finger at Marisa as she continued to hit her.
“But I was just curious to see what was going on! Besides, I wanted to ask you if you noticed anything strange going on with the elements.” Marisa protested as she held up her hands to try to ward off the rod blows. Reimu looked thoughtful and nodded slowly.
“Oh yeah, that. It’s getting hard to brew good tea now, since the water turns into dirt or fire. I’ve been planning to do something about that. I’m pretty certain the people at the Scarlet Devil Mansion should know something. Especially Patchouli.”
“You could have just told me that!” Shiwasu yelled from behind Reimu, her fangs bared. “Instead of chucking a seal at my forehead!”
“Well, you didn’t tell me what you wanted to know. So how was I supposed to answer?” Reimu replied.
“She’s got you there.” Yayoi commented, looking between the two.
“Argh!” Shiwasu stamped the ground in frustration. She stalked up to Yayoi and began dragging her by the arm, heading out of the shrine. “Come on, Yayoi, we’re getting out of here!”
“Thank you for visiting and please leave a donation next time.” Reimu said as she waved farewell.
“Um…Aren’t you going to take care of that?” Marisa pointed to the large gash that was on Reimu’s right arm. Reimu looked down at the wound and shrugged.
“I forgot about that. Come inside, we’ll make some tea.” Reimu turned towards the shrine and Marisa followed her inside, cheering mentally.
“Those two were fun, weren’t they?” Yayoi said as she walked besides Shiwasu. “Yep, especially Reimu. We should go visit her again sometime. I’m sure she has a lot of interesting stories to tell.”
“Yeah, maybe. It was kind of nice meeting someone new.” Shiwasu murmured unconsciously. She clamped a hand on her mouth when she heard what she said and looked at Yayoi, who had a wide grin on her face. “Ignore that! It wasn’t fun at all! That stupid red-white miko! I’m going to eat her next time!”
“Sure, sure.” Yayoi laughed and patted her friend on the back. “I wonder who we’ll meet at this Scarlet Devil Mansion. I hope they’re as fun as Reimu and Marisa!”
“Hmph…If anyone stops me from finding out what’s going on…They’re going to regret it.” Shiwasu cracked her knuckles. “Now that I know how strong these people are…I think I’m going to enjoy the next fight even more.”
Elsewhere, in front of the gates that led to the Scarlet Devil Mansion, the red-haired gate guard let out a loud sneeze. She shivered and looked around, slightly frightened. “I just felt a really bad aura."
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