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- Return to Fiction by Valesta
The next day passes all too fast. During the day, Youmu is quiet in her anticipation of telling Reimu the truth.
Youmu leaves a class and returns to the dorm room to drop off some textbooks and just wait until it is almost time for her next class. She opens her blue gym bag and her ghost-half flies out. She sits on the edge of her bed and thinks out loud, “How will she react to this? Deep down she knows…”
“BOO!” Suddenly, Youmu feels something touch her from behind.
“Ahhhhhh!” She jumps from her bed and across the room on top of Reimu’s bed.
Where Youmu was, a portal opens up and Yukari Yakumo steps out, “Fufufu~ Glad to see you haven’t changed, Youmu.”
Youmu, who hadn’t gotten over the shock, says, trying to sound intimidating, though to no avail, “Don’t… e-ever do th-that again, Yukari!”
Yukari opens a portal halfway, horizontally, and reclines in it like a seat, “I just find it amusing that you hang around ghosts, and are half of one yourself, yet you are terrified of the idea of ghosts.”
“Whatever. Just what brings you here, Yukari?”
“Oh, I’ve merely come on Yuyuko’s behalf to make sure you’re doing all right. Among the things she wants to know: Are you eating healthy?”
“Are you getting good marks?”
“Are you making new friends?”
“Not since I came to college. At least in high school, Reimu and I spent time with her friends, Ayuki and Hiroji. But, I only just got here. It hasn’t even been a month.”
Yukari smiles, “I see. It looks like you’re a pretty average student.”
“Yeah…” Youmu says, “Tonight, we are going to tell Reimu the truth.”
“I figured it was a matter of time. I relayed your messages back and forth, and I was surprised to know that Reimu actually still has a trace of knowledge remaining about Gensokyo…”
“Well, it makes our job easier.”
Yukari looks at Youmu solemnly, “Doesn’t it bother you, Youmu?”
“You’ve never been separated from Yuyuko for this long. It’s your duty to be by her side.”
“And follow her orders, which is what I’m doing. That’s why I’m here right now.”
“But don’t you feel sad?”
“A little… but… it’s not that bad… Even if only temporarily, I’m living like an ordinary girl. I get to live a carefree life with my friends, I don’t have to worry about risking my life.”
Yukari leans back, “You’ve changed, Youmu. There was once a time when Yuyuko was your entire world. You may be here as she instructed, but you’re… happy, aren’t you?”
“I guess so…”
“This isn’t going to last, Youmu. Savor whatever time you have left.”
“I will. How is Yuyuko-sama doing?”
“Very well. She misses you and your fear of imaginary ghosts. I startled you on her behalf.”
Youmu smiles, “Haha! I see. I thought you were her for a second.”
“But, she’s happy for you. She always wanted you to experience life outside of servitude. Part of her felt bad when you were always so steadfast to her.”
“Well, she is always my mistress, no matter what happens. I’d never abandon the duty my father entrusted to me.”
“You’ll be seeing everyone else soon. Marisa is starting to remember. She has a vacation coming up, and that is when she will be coming here.”
“I see. I’d sure like to see her, Alice, and Sakuya again. It’s been over a year now…”
“I’ll be here when the time comes to explain things to Reimu. I will see you then.”
The portal Yukari is sitting on widens and she falls in, the rip closing soon after.
Youmu walks over to her dresser, removes several pairs of clothing, finally finding her green dress neatly folded at the bottom, “It looks like these days will be ending soon…”
A few hors later, Yukari emerges from a portal inside Rinnosuke’s remote home. “Rinnosuke? Are you here?”
Rinnosuke enters from another room, “Hello there, Yukari! What brings you here?”
“I just came to say that the time is coming. Tonight, we are going to tell Reimu the truth.”
“Really? It sure took awhile…”
“Do you know if we will be able to revive Gensokyo?”
“I don’t know. I suppose Marisa’s little ‘friend’ might know something…”
I find myself on a large stone balcony over looking the ocean. Spread out across it, there are many round tables with large umbrellas sticking up from out of the middles. It’s a beautiful sight, but how the heck did I get here?
“Hello again, Marisa.” I see a familiar face sitting at one of the tables.
“Yumei! This must be…”
“A dream? Well, of course.” Yumei takes a sip out of a small cup sitting in front of her. Along with the scenery, she’s coming off as more sophisticated than she really is. She pushes out a chair across from her side of the table out with her foot, “Have a seat.”
“Okay…” I sit across the table from Yumei.
“I see things are going well. You’ll be traveling to Japan to meet Reimu, I take it?”
“That’s the plan.”
“Good. I like your mind, Marisa. I can enjoy sights like this and such, but nothing compares to the real thing. I’m looking forward to leaving.”
“I guess it won’t be much longer…”
“Seems so. Damn, it’s been a long time since I saw the outside…”
I remember something Alice requested of me, “Oh yeah! Alice wanted me to ask you what your connection to Gensokyo was.”
Yumei raises an eyebrow, “They want to know, hm? Well, I’m sure they’re thinking of a whole bunch of things about me. How about I save that information for when I can tell you AND your friends?”
“I guess so. Can you at least answer the bigger question, though?”
“And what’s that?”
“Might you know of some way to bring Gensokyo back?”
Yumei grins at me and says in a low voice, “As a matter of fact, I do.”
“Yes. I promise I will explain everything when I am out. Until then, I will be waiting.” Yumei vanishes into thin air.
So she does know of some way to return Gensokyo to Alice and the others? It sounds too good to be true, but if so, everyone will be happy by that news. I only wish I could share such enthusiasm over such a thing. Perhaps I will too when I regain all my memories…
After another day of school comes to pass, Reimu returns to her dorm room for the day. However, she is surprised when she arrives to see Youmu, as well as Eirin and Reisen waiting for her. Youmu sits on her bed on the left side, Reisen sits on Reimu’s bed on the right, and Eirin sits in a chair between them, in the back of the room. Youmu is wearing the green dress she typically wore before Gensokyo’s end, Eirin is wearing her blue and red split down the middle dress, and Reisen is wearing her black business-like suit, a belt with a holstered handgun, and pink skirt, but still her hat, concealing her ears.
“What’s going on here?” Reimu asks Youmu.
Youmu says, “Reimu, there is something we need to tell you.”
Reimu looks at Eirin, “Professor Yagokoro? Um… Does this have something to do with psychology class?”
Eirin smiles and says half-jestingly, “Well, it’s not too terribly far off from yesterday’s lesson.”
“Dreams?” She looks at Reisen for several seconds, “Aren’t you that security guard that I’ve seen around campus?”
Reisen responds, “I’m glad you remembered. I didn’t think I left that much of a last impression, pretending I’m human. You can call me Reisen; Reisen Udongein Inaba.”
“’Human?’ What are you talking about?”
Eirin sits with her fingers interlocked in front of her, “Miss Kiribayashi, I understand that you have been having some unusual… experiences when you sleep.”
Reimu says, “I have… but they’re dreams. Realistic dreams, I guess, but dreams. How is that your business? Are you here to give me advice to keep those dreams under control, Professor Yagokoro?”
“Call me Eirin; Eirin Yagokoro. As for those dreams… did one of them have someone who looks like me kill a dear friend of yours, after which, you flew into a rage? Did another have you facing off against a blonde girl in black, who fell under another’s control?”
Reisen picks up, “Did one have you… and Youmu here, battling a pig-tailed girl with a scythe? How about a girl that could fly and create powerful gusts of wind?”
Youmu adds one, “Did you once fight a trio with musical instruments?” She looks over Reimu’s shoulder, “Or someone who looks like…”
“Ah!” Reimu hears another voice behind her and whirls around to face Yukari, who just emerged from a portal.
Yukari smiles cheerily, “Hello, Reimu!”
Reimu, now freaked out, asks, “Who the hell are you?"
"Yukari Yakumo. Don't worry, I'm you friend."
"Right. Sure. Now, how does everyone know about those dreams?” She glances back at Youmu, “I never even told you about those ones!”
Eirin says, “I also understand that two girls frequently appear in your other dreams.”
“You know about them? How? Did you say anything, Youmu?”
“…” Youmu shakes her head.
Eirin states, “One of those girls happens to be a princess… and my friend.”
Reimu snaps, “Enough of this! How the hell do you know about all that? Just what the hell is going on?”
Youmu states, straightforwardly, “Those ‘dreams’ actually happened. They are memories you’ve had of another life you’ve had when you were in a coma.”
Reisen adds, “And we’ve lived it alongside you.” She takes off her hat, revealing her rabbit ears. Youmu, following suit, opens her gym bag, releasing her ghost half.
Reimu recounts all the strange things she had seen so far, “A strange ‘wisp’ thing, a girl with bunny ears, and a girl that just came in from out of nowhere… This is a dream, isn’t it?”
“Let’s see if it is…” Yukari lightly bops Reimu over the head with her parasol.
“Owww! What the hell? You didn’t need to do that!”
Yukari poses proudly, “It looks like you’re still awake, Reimu. This is not a dream and all the ‘weird’ things you are seeing are completely authentic.”
Eirin sits calmly, “Please settle down, Reimu. We are your friends. Of that, you have our complete assurance.”
Reimu pauses, and then says, “… Okay. Please tell me. Make me understand just what is going on. About the dreams… about you guys… about… well… everything.”
Yukari explains, “When you were knocked out and in a coma, you had a dream… Well, technically a dream, but it was more than that. It was a whole new boundary!”
Reimu raises an eyebrow, “’Boundary?’”
“Or dimension, realm, alternate universe, any other term along those lines. Anyway, it was the creation of you and one other girl. There, you lived for 19 years as a shrine maiden named Reimu Hakurei.”
“Yes. The land was known as Gensokyo, a mystical land of magic and youkai, such as myself, and 99% female populated.”
“Yep! You know what that means, Reimu?”
Yukari brings her face close to Reimu’s, “You are my mother.”
Reimu backs away from the boundary youkai, wide-eyed, muttering in horror, “No… That can’t be… When… when did I…? But… I’m not even… attracted to guys…”
Yukari laughs heartily, “Fufufu~ Don’t look so shocked, Reimu. You are my mother and I am your BRAINchild.”
Reimu pouts at Yukari, “I hate you.”
Youmu sighs, “Get serious, Yukari.”
Eirin says, “But she IS right. Born from your mind, everyone in Gensokyo is like a child of yours.”
Reimu says, “Okay, if what you are saying is true_”
“You believe us?” interrupts Reisen.
Reimu says, “With all the weird things and the stuff you know about me that I don’t even know myself, I don’t think I’m in a position to write this off as some elaborate joke.”
Yukari nods in approval, “Good response.”
Reimu tries to ask her question again, “What I was trying to say was, if what you are saying is true…” she looks at Youmu, then Eirin, and finally Reisen, “are you three my ‘children’ also?”
All three of them shake their heads at the same time. “No,” answers Reisen, “The three of us came from outside your dream. Eirin-sama and I are from the moon… er… an alternate universe of it.”
“And I’m from the Netherworld,” says Youmu.
“…” Reimu finds their explanations to be unusual, but just counts them among all the other weird things she had gathered up to that point.
Eirin continues the explanation, “You and the other dreamer were powerful warriors, and, often with the help of other friends you’ve made, you’ve protected Gensokyo from countless disasters. In fact, we used to all be your enemies at one point or another.”
“Really?” Reimu looks at Youmu, “Even you, Youmu?”
“Yes…” Youmu answers with a nod.
Eirin says reassuringly, “Don’t worry! We’re your friends now! In fact, every enemy you had one day became your friend on the next. You were quite easygoing and never held onto a grudge once you taught someone a lesson.”
“I wouldn’t quite say that,” says Youmu, recalling Reimu’s relationship with Aya Shameimaru, “but for the most part, yes.”
Yukari picks up the story again, “As you and your friends went on all kinds of adventures, ‘you’ were in the hospital, sleeping, and ever so slowly recovering… and finally, it happened. You started to awaken and Gensokyo ended along with it. We and a few others managed to escape…”
“It was inevitable, so there is no need to apologize. Normally, we’d leave you alone and let bygones be bygones, but there is something important still living in your head.”
Reisen says, “The two girls in your dreams: One with long black hair, wearing a pink and red dress, and another with aqua-colored hair, who wears red overalls.”
Eirin says, “They are outsiders who were trapped when your dream completely ended. One of them is Kaguya, the exiled first princess of the moon’s Lunarian Empire.”
Reimu raises an eyebrow, “’Kaguya?’ I’ve heard about her! She’s that girl from the fairy tale who had all those suitors who she told to do impossible things.”
Reisen raises her ears, “Oh yeah! This was the realm she was originally banished to, wasn’t it?”
Eirin grins, “That was no fairy tale, Reimu. I’ve heard it myself, though the ending had been altered. She WAS going to go back to the moon, but she didn’t want to. I helped her escape, and we ended up going to Gensokyo.”
“Which was my doing,” adds Yukari.
“Hold on,” says Reimu, “I’ll believe you in that the fairy tale was, in fact, not a fairy tale, but that was hundreds of years ago! If you played a part in that, how are you still alive now?”
Eirin answers, “I was the one who made the immortality elixir that was given to the emperor in that tale. Of course, I tested it… on myself, and… well, here I am.”
Yukari says, “The dream of Gensokyo created a history dating back by thousands of years, at the beginning of which, I came into existence. Of course, that history ran alongside the feudal era of this realm.”
Reimu, starting to find the information she had been given increasingly easier to accept, asks Yukari, “So… are you immortal too?”
Yukari shakes her head, “No. I’ve just lived for that long… though my life doesn’t have that much time remaining. About 700 years at best…”
Eirin adds, “And that part of the fairy tale where the elixir got burned in the flames of Mt. Fuji? That didn’t happen either. Princess Kaguya’s nemesis, Fujiwara no Mokou got a hold of it and drank it. She is the other prisoner of your subconscious.”
Reimu folds her arms in front of her, “’Nemesis?’ Well, that would explain why I catch them fighting sometimes…”
Reisen laughs, “Haha! They’re still at it, huh?”
“At any rate, that is where we stand.”
“So what do you want with me?”
Yukari explains, “I can open the boundary to your subconscious and allow us to enter and leave with Kaguya and Mokou. However, you will need the other dreamer together with you. We were hoping to arrange it so she comes here as an exchange student and prepare a ‘chance’ meeting, hoping the two of you would regain your memories that way…”
Eirin picks up, “But she regained tiny bits of her memory of Gensokyo through… ‘shock’ treatment, and you mentioned your dreams to Youmu, which were your memories of those days, so it seems we’ve run into some fortunate circumstances. We plan to bring the other dreamer here and allow you two to meet and see what happens. Would you mind cooperating with us, Reimu?”
Reimu stands still for a long time, but then laughs, “Hahahahaha!”
“What’s so funny?” asks Youmu.
Reimu says, “Before I fell into that coma, I thought my life was typical and boring, and after the moment of excitement that caused that coma, I thought I was back on the same boring track… but all this time, it has been anything but typical!” she calms down, “Okay. I’ll go along with this and see what happens. It’s hard to believe, but at the same time, this is so… real.”
“Okay.” Yukari disappears into a portal and Eirin and Reisen prepare to follow Yukari in.
“Wait!” calls out Reimu.
Eirin looks closely at Reimu’s face “… It looks like there is still something on your mind…”
“There are plenty of things, but…”
“Um… If Gensokyo is 99% female… how are babies born?”
Eirin tries to sounds smart as she gives an ironic answer, “Well… it’s best not to think about it. Not even I have figured that out…” With that, Eirin and Reisen disappear into the portal, leaving Reimu and Youmu alone in the dorm room.
“Wow…” Reimu jumps onto and lies on her bed with the almost overwhelming amount of information she had gathered.
“Are you feeling okay about this?” asks Youmu.
“Yeah,” answers Reimu, “It’s all so unreal… but it’s like an adventure. I feel so weirded out, but so excited… It’s like my life had become some sort of exciting adventure and I can’t wait to know what happens next!”
Youmu lies back in her bed also, “You’re not the only one, Reimu. Ever since you came into my life, things have been more exciting to me, more than just a mere gardener. I’m sure you’ve forgotten a lot of things, but you have my thanks… for everything.”
Reimu recounts her dreams, as well as the present, “I can’t say I can recall everything clearly… but thank you for being there for me, Youmu…”
- Return to Fiction by Valesta