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“Oh, hi… I’m, well I don’t know.” I stuttered.
Akyu looked at Keine and then back at me, “Memory loss?”
Keine shook her head, “No, I believe its a little more then that.”
Akyu looked at me again and I noticed her eyes matched her purple hair. “I can see where you’re coming from. Where did you find him?” Akyu took a sip of her tea.
“He turned up in the village with Yuka Kazami, who’s elsewhere in the village.” Keine’s voice sounded more worried as she remembered Yuka was still around.
“He’s done well not to get himself killed then.”
I interrupted the conversation slightly, “Is she really all that dangerous? She told me she’s the most powerful… youkai in Gensokyo.”
“She’s not too far off, though…” Keine lowered her voice slightly, “There’s are a few more powerful, but don’t tell her, she won’t take it nicely.”
“Have a look at those books behind you.” When I noticed Akyu was talking to me I spun around I saw a large collection of books, which looked the same only with different numbers on at the bottom. “Take one and bring it over here.”
Following Akyu’s orders I took the book over to her and she immediately flicked through the pages opening the book fully on a page titled ‘Yuka Kazami’. I looked down at the page where there was a drawing capturing her menacing smile. “This book has information about her?”
“Yes, have a look.” I picked up the book and began reading it. Straight away my heart jumped when I saw the lines ‘Threat Level: Extremely High, Human Friendship level: Very Poor.’ I started to read the more detailed section.
“Those books can be best described as an encyclopedia of Gensokyo, everyone and everything of note is in there, so it might do you well to have a read.” Keine began talking as I read more about Yuka. ‘Manipulation of flowers, not advised to confront her…’
After reading a moment I said out loud the question in my head, “How am I still alive?”
“That’s a question I’m not too sure on, though the most likely thing is that she got bored.”
“What do you mean, bored?”
“Some youkai have been known to do some… unusual things when bored, such as a Night Sparrow youkai named Mystia Lorelei, instead of attacking humans she opened up a food stand selling Lamprey. I can only guess that Yuka got bored and decided to take you.”
Was that meant to make me feel safer or something? It wasn’t working much. I cleared my throat a little before adding, “But that doesn’t explain why I ended up there, or in Gensokyo at that.”
“About that.” Keine began talking, “Looking at the clues, I think it’s safe to say you’re an outsider.”
Keine continued, “Your memory loss and your clothing are signs that you’re not from Gensokyo, but from the outside world.”
“You’ve lost me.”
“Let’s start from the beginning, Gensokyo is, at its core, a dream land. Completely separated from what you may call the real world. Though to us, this world is real.”
And I’m lost again.
“In short, you’re not from this world, however your presence here is like a dream. In other words, you’re most likely unconscious in the real world, so your soul ventured here to Gensokyo and that’s why you’re in this situation.”
Suffering from a slight information overload I paused for a moment to gather my thoughts.
“However, due to the fact you’re human it means your stay is only temporary.” She’s saying more! “When your real body wakes up, you’ll disappear from here, back to your world.”
I paused for a moment longer, “Doesn’t that mean all humans here will?”
“No, humans actually born here remain here, it’s also why they’re slightly magical and you’re not.”
I tried to work things out further, “So surely that means I might be here for years?”
“However long your real body is unconscious for, it could be days, and it could be years.”
My mind searched for a response to that lesson, “Oh.” I’m starting to think I would be better off not knowing that, I really shouldn’t have asked.
“You still have plenty of time before Yuka’s expecting you, so feel free to stay here and ask questions, or just learn about Gensokyo, it might be helpful to you.”
“So you think I should continue going with her?” I said, rather surprised.
Keine frowned, “Well, however much I fear for your safety, it would be best for you to continue to go with Yuka, to prevent her putting anyone else’s lives at risk. I’m sorry.”
“I see, well, if I did… die... here, what would happen to me?” I looked away fearing the worst.
“I’m not completely sure, but I’m fairly certain your soul would return to your real body and do nothing and the next thing you’d know you, you’d have woke up there.”
So I’m fairly expendable.
Without another word I sat down at the table Akyu was at and stared at the book, thinking about things. So it doesn’t matter if I die, that’s a little more comforting. But what’s the “real world” by the sounds of it it’s nothing like here.
I focused my eyes and out of the corner of my eye I caught sight of Yuka’s name in the book Akyu was writing in, it struck me that all through Keine’s explanation, Akyu was writing something, probably about me.
On a further inspection noticed that “Addition of Yuka Kazami section” was wrote at the top of the page, I began to read the first paragraph, which started “In one Summer, Yuka took in a human…” At that point Akyu looked up and noticed me reading her work in progress.
“So… what are you writing about me?”
“Just a general article, outsiders are fairly rare now, since they disappear so quickly, or a youkai finds them. Plus, befriending a youkai such as Yuka Kazami is unusual.”
I chuckled a little, “I hardly call it befriending, she threatens me and leaves me behind all the time.”
“Compared to her normal behaviour to humans, it’s like you are friends.”
Once again the helpful reply appeared, “Oh.” Akyu waited a few seconds before going back to her article.
I began thinking about the lecture again, and that of the real world, I wonder if it’s safer then here, whether youkai are there. I cursed my memory loss, but then thought of something. “Hold on, if outsiders don’t remember the ‘real world’ then how do you know about it? Is this all one potentially false theory?”
Keine smiled at me, “No, it’s true. Youkai can remember it.”
“What, so now you’re saying youkai are from the ‘real world’?”
“No, they used to be, before they died.” I braced myself for another lecture. “Youkai are the free souls of those who died in the real world, and ended up here rather then reincarnating. Since the souls are free and immortal, they become youkai.”
“Oh.” I sighed in my mind at my response again.
“Have a think about it, it’ll make sense soon enough.”
“I don’t really have a choice now, do I?” I sighed before opening the encyclopedia and beginning to read.
My head hurt.
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