Return to Fiction by Valesta
One month later, a springtime festival is started in Miyohiga Village. Among those invited are Reimu and Marisa. They land at the outskirts of the village on the night of a full moon. Throughout the village, there are many paper lanterns lighting the place up and a number of booths for eating and games.
“This place is supposed to be abandoned,” says Marisa, “and who the hell invited us here anyway?”
“I don’t know,” says Reimu, “but I did fight Chen here, who was protecting the village. If it’s who I’m guessing it is, I’d totally be surprised…”
“You don’t mean…” Before Marisa can complete her sentence, a strong gust of wind blows through, lifting up their skirts. Marisa is quick enough to hold hers down, but Reimu isn’t and her panties are exposed.
“Ah!” CLICK! As Reimu reacts, she hears the sound of a camera’s shutter, Wind… the sound of a camera… Damn it, it’s…!
“This should make for an interesting article…” Standing nearby is a black haired girl wearing a small red hat, a white blouse, and a black skirt, holding a small camera in her right hand and a yellow fan in her left. She is the tengu, Aya Shameimaru, known throughout Gensokyo as the reporter who writes articles in the daily newspaper, Bunbunmaru Newspaper, with the power to manipulate wind, who often enjoys poking fun at Reimu in her articles, much to Reimu’s bitter dismay.
Reimu furiously glares at Aya, “Damn you! What the hell kinda article would something like THAT be?”
Aya arrogantly grins, “I don’t know yet, but I’m sure I’ll think of something in time for tomorrow’s news.” She turns to Marisa, “Have anything for me to report, witch?”
“Report THIS!” Marisa, standing up for Reimu, glares at Aya and extends her middle finger.
Aya snaps a shot of Marisa’s obscene hand gesture, “I certainly will. Thank you!”
Marisa, caught completely off guard by Aya’s reaction, stutters, “Wh-what?”
Aya looks in the direction of the festival, “Well, Gensokyo will have something to look forward to, but for now, I have a festival to enjoy. Later!”
“You bitch!” Reimu charges at Aya with her hands curled into fists. However, Aya completely ignores Reimu. Two black wings extend out of her back, and she creates a gust of wind, propelling her away in a black streak. Reimu kicks a nearby rock in frustration, “Damn it!”
Marisa pats Reimu on the shoulder, “Don’t worry, you’ll get her someday. If anyone gives you shit for that picture she took, I’ll introduce them to my Master Spark, okay?”
Marisa’s words calm down Reimu a little, “Yeah. Thank you, Marisa…”
“C’mon, Reimu. Let’s enjoy this party for now.”
Reimu nods her head, “Yeah!”
They enter the village. For a place that had been abandoned for 1,000 years, the attention it got is surprisingly good. Everywhere, there are people, mostly youkai, enjoying food or playing games for small prizes. At one of the food booths, they see a crowd of people gathered up. Out of curiosity, Reimu and Marisa decide to check what the big attraction is. It is a stand that sells kabobs and the first thing they notice is at least twenty already-eaten-off sticks spread across the table. They instantly notice who the big eater is: Yuyuko Saigyouji.
Reimu greets, “Hey, Yuyuko! How’s it going?”
“…” Yuyuko completely ignores Reimu as she eats another kabob.
Among the crowd, standing nearby is Youmu Konpaku, who says, “Forget it, Reimu. When Yuyuko-sama is dining, she’s in her own little world. I’d give her at least another half-hour until she’s done.”
“Hey, Youmu,” greets Marisa, “How are things?”
“Pretty good,” answers Youmu, “Things have gotten back to normal. Yuyuko-sama and Yukari are now closer friends than they were before.”
“Pretty good news,” says Reimu.
31 minutes pass. Finally, Yuyuko has had her fill, and with that, the crowd disperses, “Ah! Good stuff, that. I should remember it. So how are you, Reimu and Marisa?”
“Not much to say,” answers Marisa, “Spring is back and the crazy shit that had gone on before feels like a dream now…”
“REIIIIMUUUUU!” Suddenly, something tugs down hard at Reimu’s left arm, she looks and sees that that ‘something’ is Remilia Scarlet tightly clinging to her arm, with an expression she means to look like an innocent smile, but looks more like a sinister smirk, “It’s been such a long time! I missed you so much!”
Reimu, not knowing how to react to her current predicament, especially with random passersby glancing at her and Remilia, says, “It’s only been a few months…”
“But it felt SOOOOO much longer than that! That’s really cruel of you, Reimu, not even letting me look at you… In fact…” Remilia grabs Reimu’s hand and presses it against her virtually non-existent breast, “Can’t you feel my heart beat fast?”
“Ah! Er…” Various passersby give Reimu dirty looks. She comes up with the best excuse she can make: “This… isn’t what it looks like…” The dirty looks continue.
Remilia figures out what everyone is angry for, and then announces, “I’m five-hundred years old!”
“Oh…” Everyone returns to their respective businesses.
One passerby gives Reimu a friendly pat on the back, “Good for you!”
“…” Nearby, Sakuya Izayoi stands, with an expression indicating that she doesn’t know what to make of her mistress’ current behavior.
“Let me go!” Reimu breaks free of Remilia’s grip.
Marisa yells at Remilia, “Hey! What the hell are you doing? You shouldn’t go around making advances like that!”
Remilia glances at Marisa with a grin, “What? Are you… jealous?”
Marisa blushes slightly and stutters, “Buh-BULLSHIT!”
Suddenly, Reimu notices Aya, among the crowd, disappearing around a nearby corner, “Ah! Aya!”
Remilia asks, “Is anything wrong?”
“Hell yeah, something’s wrong!” exclaims Reimu, “I just saw this bit_ er, girl who took an embarrassing picture of me earlier!”
Remilia’s eyes widen, “What? Where is she? If you agree to go on a date with me, Reimu, I’ll go and drain ALL her blood!”
“Well…” Reimu is tempted by Remilia’s offer, but unsure as to whether it’s worth spending time with Remilia.
Suddenly, a portal opens up nearby and Yukari Yakumo emerges from it. Ran and Chen materialize nearby. She holds out a camera, “Fufufu~ Did she take that picture with this?”
“Yeah!” answers Reimu, “How did you…?”
“Oh, I just happened to catch that tengu girl taking that picture as I was secretly watching and I just stole her camera.”
Among the commotion of the festival, they hear Aya’s voice yell, “SHIT! WHERE’S MY CAMERA?”
Reimu smiles, relieved, “Thank you, Yukari, you’re the best.”
“Damn…” sighs Remilia in dismay.
Marisa asks, “Hey, Yukari, you… didn’t happen to invite us here, did you?”
Yukari laughs, “Fufufu~ Actually, I did! I assure you, I’ve learned my lesson and I invited you to this celebration to express my thanks.” She brings herself close to Reimu’s ear and whispers, “And to show my thanks even more, I’ll be happy to teach you some things about boundary manipulation.”
“Really?” exclaims Reimu.
Remilia snatches the camera from Yukari, “Hey, I always wanted to try one of these doohickeys. I press a button and it records a photograph, right?”
“I think so…” says Ran.
“Beats me, nya,” says Chen.
“I KNOW so,” says Yukari, “I know where these devices come from also.”
“Where?” asks Sakuya.
Yukari smugly says, “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you. It’s far beyond your comprehension.”
“At any rate,” says Remilia, “I wanna take a group picture! Everyone gather up!”
Reimu, Marisa, Youmu, Yuyuko, Yukari, Ran, and Chen gather for the picture. Remilia glances at Sakuya, “I want YOU in that picture too, Sakuya.”
Sakuya protests, “But it won’t look right if you aren’t in it with me…”
Remilia, venting her frustration from not being able to go on a date with Reimu, snaps, “Hey! I’m your mistress and you’re my bitch! Do as I say!”
Sakuya sighs, “Yes, Remilia-sama.”
Sakuya joins the others and stands in a relaxed pose with her arms crossed. Ran and Chen stand neutrally by their respective masters. Youmu stands in a somewhat elegant pose, with the Roukanken unsheathed with its blade to the ground. Yukari grins, with her arm around the cheerily smiling Yuyuko’s shoulder. Reimu stands at the center with Marisa’s arm around hers, who is giving the ‘peace’ sign.
“Say ‘bloody cheese!” Remilia snaps the group picture. Behind them, beyond a long stretch of booths and structures shines the full moon. A wonderful photo.
(See you Next Phantasm...)
However, under the light of the same full moon, far more ominous events are set into motion.
Within a large forest, filled with tall bamboo trees, in the middle of a clearing, two girls intensely face off. One has very long black hair and brown eyes, wearing a pink shirt and a long dark-red skirt. The other has aqua hair extending down to her ankles and red eyes, wearing a brown shirt and baggy red overalls, which are covered with talismans, as well as some in her hair, tied like ribbons.
Nearby, four other girls watch anxiously. The first has gray eyes and long silver hair, tied into a large braid, wearing short-sleeved clothes, which are red and blue, as well as a hat, resembling a nurse’s cap. The second has red eyes and long lavender hair, wearing a black business suit over a white shirt with a red tie, and a beige skirt. More noticeable than that, however, is the pair of rabbit ears extending out of her head. The third girl, like the second, also has rabbit ears, though hers are much floppier. She has semi-long black hair, red eyes, wears pink clothes, and is quite short. Finally, the fourth girl, standing a fair distance away from the other three spectators, has long light-green hair and red eyes, wearing a frilly green dress. Other than that, though, she has two horns extending out of her head and long, sharp claws.
A few seconds of silence pass as the two girls face off finally, the shout each other’s name as they begin their attacks.
“FUJIWARA NO MOKOU!” The black-haired girl reaches up toward the full moon and her hand is engulfed in silver light. The light extends outward, then solidifies in the form of a sword. She leaps at her opponent.
“KAGUYA HOURAISAN!” The aqua-haired girl, identified by her nemesis as Fujiwara no Mokou, curls her hands into fists, which erupt, engulfed by intense fire, and jumps toward Kaguya.
Kaguya’s blade and Mokou’s right fist connect, canceling each other out. Mokou attempts to counterattack with her left fist, but Kaguya narrowly jumps away, though her clothes gets slightly singed by the flame. However, Mokou had anticipated that move and extends her left hand, unleashing the fire in a small stream.
“Ah!” Kaguya, off-balance from her last action, is unable to react in time and the stream slams into her, knocking her off her feet, leaving a bad burn, “Ah… ahhhhh! Damn you, Mokou…”
“Kaguya-hime!” The rabbit-girl in the business suit runs toward her injured master.
The other rabbit-girl yells, “Ah! Reisen!”
“Please! This is between Mokou-sama and Kaguya. Do not interfere...” In the blink of an eye, the horned girl zips in front of Reisen and knocks her back to her original position.
The silver-haired girl sighs, “I’m sorry, Reisen, but Keine is right. Please just watch.”
Reisen says, “Yeah, I’m sorry, Eirin-sama. I just tend to get concerned. Mokou is growing stronger every time…”
Eirin says, “That’s true, but Kaguya-hime insisted on taking this on alone this time…” She looks up at the full moon, “… and I have a guess as to why…”
Back to the battle, Mokou smugly asks, “What’s wrong, princess? Don’t tell me that weak shot has got you down already!”
Kaguya struggles to her feet, clutching her burn tightly, “Sh-shut up! That was luck!” Using her free hand, she raises a spell card, “Impossible Request!” Five small objects materialize around Kaguya: A beaded necklace, a bowl made of jade, a red cloak, a shell of various colors, and a jeweled branch. “Robe of the Fire Rat!” All the objects vanish, except for the red cloak, which increases in size and puts itself around Kaguya’s back. She spreads her arms, releasing a small wave of heat, which causes a small bead of sweat to roll down the side of Mokou’s face.
Mokou nods, like she had predicted Kaguya’s action, “’Fight fire with fire,’ huh? Your reasoning is sound, princess. Too bad you’ve done this hundreds of times before (literally). You sure don’t bore easily, I’ll give you that.” Robe of the Fire Rat… The task that…
“Tch!” Kaguya raises her arms and a massive fireball forms above her, which she shortly tosses toward Mokou. It slowly descends and rips through the ground, leaving an upturned trail of scorched earth. Mokou jumps over the fireball and toward Kaguya, who retaliates by sending a swarm of smaller fireballs at her.
“Ha! Same move, same result!” Mokou’s entire body ignites and she deflects the fireballs with slaps or kicks as she descends toward Kaguya. Finally, Mokou lands right in front of her nemesis and delivers a powerful punch to the gut.
“ACK!” Kaguya doubles over, coughing up blood. She loses concentration on her spell card and the cloak vanishes.
Mokou attacks again while Kaguya is stunned, throwing a right hook, which sends her reeling backward. Finally, Mokou raises a spell card, preparing to complete her combo, “Game over, princess! Forgiveness!” An aura, resembling a large red bird, spreads around Mokou, “Honest Man's Death!” A blue flame gathers into Mokou’s right hand, and she releases it as a concentrated blast, resembling a thin laser. The beam pierces through Kaguya’s heart, killing her instantly.
Mokou whirls around with a swish of her hair and looks toward Keine, “And this round is mine. Let’s go, Keine.” Mokou walks away.
“Yes, Mokou-sama.” Keine follows Mokou.
Mokou glances back at Kaguya’s corpse and recalls an old conversation she had:
“Mokou… Would you like to have a mother?”
“Huh? What do you mean by that?”
“There is… someone I fancy. If all goes well, I’ll be able to have her hand in marriage…”
“I dunno. I like things the way they are now. Just you and me, father.”
“Hahaha! I understand, but I’m sure she is a wonderful person!”
Mokou, snapping back to the present, sighs, “Like fucking hell she is…” Still, I wonder what it would have been like if things were different. A mother, huh? Mokou shakes her head to the thought she just had, Dammit! Don’t tell me I’m starting to feel sentimental about that bitch now… Mokou focuses on what’s in front of her and walks.
“Kaguya-hime!” Reisen rushes over to Kaguya, followed by Eirin and other rabbit, “Damn… It’s a full moon tonight! Kaguya-hime should have been at her strongest… so what the hell just happened?”
The other rabbit guesses, “Maybe it’s like you said, Reisen-sama? About Mokou growing more powerful with each fight?”
“Hm…” Eirin kneels down by Kaguya’s body and examines her injuries.
“So how long this time?” asks Reisen.
Eirin observes, “Judging from her burns, the damage to her organs, due to Mokou’s melee techniques, and the final attack, which pierced clean through her heart, I’d estimate it will take 2.197 hours for her body to regenerate, plus the obligatory one hour, regardless of damages, so I’d say her recovery and resurrection will take place over the next three or so hours. Not bad, considering past lost duels, where Mokou had a tendency to char Kaguya-hime beyond recognition.”
Reisen shrugs, “That’s good, I guess.”
Eirin lifts Kaguya’s body, “Well, let’s head back to Eientei. There’s no point in remaining here.”
Tewi nods, “Yeah.”
The three of them walk through the bamboo forest, on their way back to a massive castle in the distance.
Suddenly, halfway back, a message runs through Reisen’s mind, “Reisen Udongein Inaba!” She stops in her tracks, and so do Eirin and Tewi soon after.
“What’s wrong?” asks Tewi.
Reisen, being careful not to draw any thoughts into her head that would make her contactor suspicious, points toward the moon, then toward her head. Tewi and Eirin both understand what she is trying to say. Reisen focuses her thoughts and responds, "Yes? What’s up? It’s been a while!”
The person telepathically contacting Reisen asks, “Have you happened to find our princess, Kaguya Houraisan, or the traitor, Eirin Yagokoro where you are?”
Reisen looks at Eirin, holding Kaguya’s body, then answers, “Nope. Not a single trace or clue.”
“I see. The other operatives in other Earthly realms are having no such luck either…”
Reisen crosses her fingers behind her back, “Well, I shall let you know if I find anything out. Talk to you later!”
“Yes? Is there anything else?”
“It’s about the realm where you are… Gensokyo, was it? There is something about it…” The contactor explains something to Reisen, which she doesn’t like.
Finally, when the explanation is finished, Reisen, on reflex, yells, “OH SHIT!” which can be heard both inside and out of her head.
The contactor asks, in a somewhat suspicious tone, “Is something that matter?”
“Nuh-no! Not at all! I just… um… tripped over a root. Anyways, that’s… um… great. Bye!” the message ends. Reisen pauses for a few seconds, and then yells “God-dammit!” She kicks a nearby pebble.
“What’s the matter?” asks Eirin.
Reisen takes a few deep breaths and waits for her heart to beat regularly again, “Well, Eirin-sama, you wanna hear some of the worst news you’ll probably ever hear in your infinite lifetime?”
“Oh… kay…” answers Eirin, anxious as to what Reisen had learned.
“Well, you see…” Reisen explains what she had learned.
“Whaaaaaaaaaaaaat?” yells Tewi.
Eirin clicks her tongue in dismay, “Tch. Not good news…”
Reisen looks at the ground, “This is a disaster. What are we gonna do? Do YOU have any ideas, Eirin-sama? You’re the brains here!”
Eirin thinks for a few minutes. She looks toward Kaguya, then Reisen, then answers, “Yes. I think I know of something that will work…”
Tewi’s eyes widen, “Doctor Yagokoro has a plan? We’re saved!”
“Most likely,” says Eirin, “If we can combine the fullest extent of Kaguya-hime’s ability, your powers, Reisen, and my ingenuity, we’d be saved. However, in spite of that, some of Gensokyo’s residents may be able to resist the effects and find their way to us. That would be a problem…”
“No it won’t~” sings Tewi with a wink, “I know three youkai that will be willing to help as long as we promise them a home in Eientei.”
Eirin sighs, “With its quarters as dense as it is? Still, we may have little choice. Do it!”
“Yes, ma’am!” responds Tewi with a mock salute.
Eirin continues, “I’ll inform Kaguya when she’s back with us of what we just learned and what we are planning. Time is of the essence. For the fate of Gensokyo, an Imperishable Night will soon begin…”
(To be continued...)