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Kanako's ropething / Sanae's hair ornaments / Youkai Mountain (by A Hamster, 2008-03-30)
TOUHOU BAD END THEATRE
feat: Kanako's ropething/Sanae's hair ornaments/Youkai Mountain
You are a man whose perversions are better left to the imaginations of Nasu Kinoko. I mean, mollusks weren't enough for you, flowers bored you, nooses barely got your soldier up, and for no good reason, you weren't interested in any of the females (or males, for that matter).
Bored and sexually frustrated, you make the trek to the Youkai Mountain. Along the way, you passed up sweet potatoes, leaves, strange sex toys made by an obviously 'innocent' kappa, swords, shields, cameras, and you briefly considered doing a chess set. Chess, while not really your cup of tea, was really more of a crazy option should you have lost your mind before you made it to the Youkai Mountain.
So you finally make it to the Youkai Mountain. You could stop here and rest, or continue up to the shrine you have heard so much about.
Choice: Rest here
GET: BAD END 1
You're tired, really horny, and extremely impatient. That bare patch of earth looks rather еrotic in your opinion. You drop your pants and for reasons that are obviously not of pure thoughts, you engage in freaky mountain sex.
The Kappa and the tengus you passed by are wondering what the heck are you doing. Curiosity getting the better of them, they looked. They screamed. They didn't make it further than 5 feet before dying of spontaneous heart attacks. The white one landed on you, breaking your back just as you climaxed.
Sikieiki almost had a massive heart attack from hearing your story. And then she was unable to work for the next 500 years because of what she saw in the mirror. Komachi needed therapy for weeks. All the yamas decided that you should be fed to the river spirits of the Sanzu no Kawa, but even the river spirits refused to eat you.
Geez, seriously, screwing the mountain? What was your major malfunction you numbnut?
Choice: Go up the mountain
Thinking better of resting here (your mind filled with the horrors of what would have happened if you did), you walk up the stairs to reached the famed shrine that the red-white was fuming about (you actually had the decency to NOT grab her sleeve, or do her box, or rape her sarashi). The green-haired shrine maiden treated you cordially, even inviting you over for dinner seeing as you were a pilgrim and all. Of course, your focus was on the pretty shrine maiden, but her hair accessories.
After a rather tasteful repast, the shrine maiden excused herself, to prepare the bath. Long story short you had the nicest bath you ever had. You came out fresh, and ready to do your evil, perverted deed.
Waiting for her to undress and enter the bath, you riffle through her clothes and found her hair accessories. You take one of them and begin to express years of pent-up sexual frustration.
Choice: The frog accessory
GET: BAD END 2A
Freaky hair accessory sex happens.
Just as you were about to climax, you hear a cute voice. Shit, it must be the shrine maiden. But you were so close...
No wait, it's one of the goddesses. It's the loli frog goddess. She accidently walks into your horrendous act, and then it happens.
You climaxed. The semen flew an incredible 500 feet and became danmaku. You didn't know sperm was danmaku. It flew into her face, strangely enough not killing her. What happens after that, though, let's just say the last thing you saw was the goddess' hat flying at you at terminal velocity with rape in it's eyes...
Choice: The snake accessory
GET: BAD END 2B
You thought you made a good call when you filched her snake hair accessory. It fitted you penis rather well. Freaky hair accessory sex happens.
The accessory turned into a snake. Yukari pops out of nowhere, calls you a yiffer, and poofs out. Oh, and you just violated a male snake, and the shrine maiden was watching with horror, together with the shrine's patron goddess.
The last thing you heard was the Monty Python's Flying Circus theme song being played while the shrine maiden and her patron goddess proceeded to blast you to bits.
Somewhere in Britain, John Cleese had a terrible nightmare about being violated by a pervert being blasted to bits by a hair accessory.
Choice: Wander the grounds
GET: BAD END 3
Having no urge to peep at the beautiful shrine maiden bathing (or her clothes and hair accessories), you walk around the shrine grounds.
Halfway through your walk, you discover a giant length of rope lying in the middle of nowhere. Rape burned in your eyes. The rope was harmless if a but big. You dropped your pants, and coiled the rope to your penis.
Unfortunately for you, the owner of the rope was not too far off. She noticed you even before you dropped your pants but for reasons only known to her, she let you coil her rope on your reproductive organ before appearing.
"Hi there, big boy. I see you are in need of help. Aren't you sexually frustrated, being forced to hump a length of rope?" The words stunned you, but you didn't care. The rope must be deflowered, husky voluptious babe in front of you or not!
"Sanae! Suwako! We have a patron for the special treatment!" Oh shit. That was the last thing you needed. More females.
You had a wild night of foursome sex. To most people, getting banged by two goddesses and a shrine maiden would be the carnal equivalent of bliss. But to you, it was a nightmare come true. And for what? Getting your sick kicks off a giant piece of rope. For that alone, you paid the ultimate price: Permanent psychological scarring.
Not even the Lunarians could fix this mess. And they tried so hard, too.
Keine (by "Project Mars", 2008-03-30)
It's been a few months since the day you walked into Gensokyo simply by opening and walking out of the Hakurei shrine door in Japan, running into Reimu, and starting a relationship with Keine. However, the relationship hasn't been going as you had hoped... a few months and she still seems kind of withdrawn, still refusing to see anyone on the day of a full moon. However things change when she invites you to come with her to a private drinking party in the bamboo forest and ask that you bring some sake and a glass. That evening, you and Keine walk through the bamboo forest together, smiling and talking more freely than it seems you've ever been able to talk. Eventually you come to a clearing where a blue haired girl with a gray shirt and red pants is sitting on a rock. "Hey Mokou, hope you don't mind me bringing my boyfriend tonight." Keine says to the girl warmly. "Eh, he brought the drinks, right?" Mokou asks indifferently. "Yup." "Then of course it is, let's get started, the moon's gonna rise soon." Mokou says, giving you a curious look. "He knows, right?" "Not yet." Keine says, taking off her hat and opening a bottle of sake to serve to everyone. "Knows about what?" You ask as the moon peeks over the trees. Then, right before your eyes, Keine transforms, her blue highlights turning green while a pair of horns sprout out from her head and a gray hakutaku tail sprouts out from under her dress, which has, strangely, turned from blue to green. "You don't mind dating a monster like me, do you?" Keine asks you hesitantly. "Of course not." you respond, which makes her happy. "K, well, let's get hammered!" Mokou shouts, and the three of you sit down to enjoy the sake and look at the moon.
Eventually you run out of sake, and wanting something to drink, hold up the bottle and ask keine for some milk. she turns red and starts to shake a little... uh-oh.  Apologize [X] Too late. You turn to say something, only to be impaled on her horns and tossed aside. "I AM NOT A DAMN MILK COW YOU BASHTARD!!" she shouts, slurring slightly as you lie bleeding on the ground. The last thing you hear is her and mokou swearing off men forever.
Sanae Kotiya (by S.Ruro, 2008-04-02)
The welcoming sun rose over Youkai Mountain today, and, seeing this, you decided to make a short pilgrimage up the mountain to the Moriya Shrine, where you worship. You've been intending to go to the shrine for some time, as you've heard a rumour about the shrine maiden there. You take some lunch with you, including a loaf of bread and an apple, as well as some money to donate to the shrine in a new and interesting way.
Since your cottage is at the base of Youkai Mountain, you make your way past the Minoriko sisters' immense orchard and head straight for the river. You then pay a Kappa attendant a few yen to ride their new elevator up the mountain. Kanako had had it comissioned to get more worshippers up the mountain, and it was a good idea, even if the elevator was made of bamboo and didn't inspire much confidence. But after Suwako herself had blessed it, it had never even creaked, and so you managed to get up to the Moriya Shrine without incident.
The shrine's donation box is full of small change, you notice after peeking over the edge. Well, that will all change soon enough. You see, last week, you had had a rowdy night at the latest Hakurei-shrine-sponsored festival, and you had gotten hammered with that black-white witch from the forest of magic. In her drunken stupor, she had told you an interesting secret about the shrine maidens of Gensokyo...
"Yes? Are you here to make a donation?"
The pleasant, youthful voice cuts through your wild fantasies. Kotiya Sanae is standing before you, in a relaxed position. You blink, and realize that it's the perfect opportunity.
"Actually, yes, I am," you say in what you think is a sexy voice (but in fact sounds like you're a pedophile). You then take out a crisp, fresh ten thousand yen bill from your wallet, snap it, and place it in the donation box.
"Well!" you declare, clapping your hands together. "Let's head on in together, Sanae. Don't worry, I'll be gentle."
Sanae blinks slowly. "... huh?"
You gesture to the donation box. "I made a ten thousand yen donation!"
The green-haired shrine maiden nods, still looking at you oddly.
"So, that means I get the ten thousand yen treatment!" you exclaim. "Come on, I'll take care of everything. It may be your first time, but I have no problem at all..."
Sanae's eyes suddenly narrow. "What?"
"You know, Sanae! The secret of the ten thousand yen amongst shrine maidens! If you donate upwards of ten thousand yen to the shrine, the shrine maiden hops into bed with you!"
You're digging yourself into your grave, but you don't notice as Sanae advances slowly on you, her gohei in her left hand and a strange white-red ball in her right one. Instead, you keep on going. "I mean, the Hakurei Miko just loves to give out that treatment! And I mean, who wouldn't want to get laid by a miko? But she doesn't get very much at the shrine, of either one. But anyways, let's fulfill our night of passion, Sana--"
I'm a terrible person. ヽ(゜▽゜ヽ)
Reimu's cup (by Nameless Fairy, 2008-04-02
Keine had had enough of your drunkenness and physical abuse as she flew your sorry drunken arse to a forest many miles from the human village.
After releasing her hold on you, she yelled angrily, "I take care of the house and I pay the bills. You always complain your food is cold, yet you never come home on time when dinner is ready. You, you just get your ass drunk all the time and getting frisky with that whore Reisen. I don't want to see your drunken ass again!"
She then turned into a werecow and 'caved' you as a last goodbye. But in your drunken state, you thought the caving was Reisen doing her usual 'carrot massage'.
You stumbled around a while in the dark forest, but eventually the alcohol took over making you collapse into a heap. You quickly fell asleep in your own vomit.
At sunrise you woke up with a terrible hangover which made your head feel as heavy as Reisen's breasts. As an Irish man, your cure for a hangover was more alcohol. So you pulled your pants down and grabbed the flask of whiskey which was strapped to your inner thigh off your leg. Thankfully Keine's horns missed the flask. You quickly gulped down the whiskey while relieving your bladder. Why waste time finding a bush when you can drink and piss at the same time?
"Fuck's sake!" you yelled, as you realized you had no idea where you were at.
You then surveyed the surrounding area. You were deep in a forest where very little sunlight managed to break through the tree tops.
You pulled your pants up and started your journey to somewhere. You had no idea what direction to go, so you just went in whatever direction you felt like going.
Midday three days later you finally came out of the forest hungry, thirsty, and sadly sober. In the distance you spotted a small building. It turned out to be the Hakurei Shrine.
You stepped onto the shrine's steps expecting Reimu to greet you, but all was quiet. The doors of the shrine were shut.
"The bitch isn't here," you swore, the donation box making a clinking sound as you kicked it in anger.
You approached the main door and opened it. Nothing inside was moving. Reimu's futon was still set up in the middle of the floor with the blankets scattered around the futon. It appeared Reimu had left in a hurry.
After letting out another stream of cursing, you decided to look for something to drink.
Entering the tiny kitchen you quickly found a half empty bottle of sake on the stove. You took a gulp of the sake and immediately spat it out in disgust.
"Fuck it, the bitch can't be arsed to get the good stuff," you said in anger, as you tossed the bottle onto the hard floor.
Ignoring the now broken bottle, you started opening the cabinets looking for a better drink, but after a few minutes of searching, you came up empty.
"Ah, I git it, the bitch keeps the good stuff hidden," you said to yourself, as you grabbed a hard biscuit off the kitchen counter.
You started eating the biscuit, as you thought of where Reimu would keep her hidden stash of good alcohol. The good stuff is obviously not in the kitchen, so where is it?
As you continue to chew on the meager meal, you find Reimu's clothing closet, thinking she might keep the alcohol hidden with her clothes. Opening the closet's doors you find a few miko clothes hanging up on hangers and a large box sitting on the floor.
"The dog's bollocks is in the box," you said happily, thinking you have found the drink you desired.
Inside the box were the sleeves Reimu's wore. You tossed the sleeves behind you expecting to find the stash at the bottom of the box. Instead, you found an unopened package of black thongs you had given Reimu years earlier as a gift of your love for her.
Reimu rejected your proposal of marriage back then saying you were 'not her type'. At first you were angry that she didn't want to be married to, what you believed, the best man in Gensokyo, but eventually the whiskey cooled your temper. You ended up marrying Keine because she felt a bit sorry for you.
Having found the box empty of drink, you angrily tossed the box across the room.
Then you remembered the donation box. What if Reimu kept her best alcohol in it? Nobody would think of looking inside since nobody ever donated anything. You quickly ran outside to where the donation box stood and quickly tore the lid off. At the bottom of the box wrapped in a thin clothe was the unmistakable shape of a very large bottle. You quickly ripped the clothe off the bottle to reveal the drink you craved for.
"Ah, a drop from Minoriko's snatch," you proclaimed as you swallowed a gulp of the sake.
After that it didn't take long before you had finished the sake and were drunk.
"Oh, that hit the spot," you declared to nobody, as you wobbled back inside the shrine.
"My loins need exercise," you said drunkenly. "Hey, Reisen, Lucky Charms wants some ear fuck!"
"Fuck's sake!" you yelled, as you remembered you weren't in the human village any more.
"She's gotta have some here," you said, as you started searching for sex toys Reimu might have laying around. "That virgin snatch of hers has got to be itching for pleasure."
Reimu, of course, didn't own any sex toys, because sex toys were beneath the dignity of the Hakurei miko.
Pissed off at the fact your loins needed exercise, and the fact the Reimu viewed herself to be above needing a random roll in the hay, you stormed into the kitchen and grabbed Reimu's drinking cup. This cup was the only cup she used, and her name was etched onto the side of it so nobody would dare use it without fear of feeling her wrath.
It only took a minute before your miniature Irish navy conquered the inside of Reimu's cup.
"Hail to the bravest seamen," you said in satisfaction, as you removed your penis,'Lucky Charms', from the cup.
At that moment Reimu appeared in the doorway of the shrine and saw you half naked and holding her cup just below your erect penis.
Genjii enjoyed his Irish flavored meals over the next several days.
Keine was haunted psychologically from your abuse. Two years later Reisen was caved to death in a bar room brawl. Keine was convicted of murdering Reisen and sold as steak at Mystia's Lamprey Stand.
Reimu bought a new cup, and the old cup was gapped out of existence. She still doesn't own any sex toys nor has she lost her virginity.
Hong Meiling (by Raiyt, 2008-04-02)
After a few particularly stressful days of tormenting the damned in Hell, you decide it's about time to take some time off and drop in on some relatives. Time to visit "The Devil", as everyone in the family calls little Remilia. Of course, humans are pretty bad about distinguishing demons, they "all look alike", so they say. Sure, Uncle Beelzebub with his giant horns, purple-red skin, and six-meter tall frame looks just like Grandpa Belial, with his leathery wings, yellowish-brown skin, and pointed teeth. Racist humans. Bah. This is why you need a break!
Well, no matter. You arrive at the Scarlet Devil Mansion in a towering column of flame, only to be greeted by a vision of unparalleled beauty. Her flame-red hair in braids wave softly in the wind, and you can't help but notice her perfectly toned body. Luckily, she seems a bit oblivious as she asks who you are. Smooth devil that you are, you reply in Cantonese that you picked up from Hong Kong action flicks. "I am Satan. Is cousin Remilia in?" The gate guard's expression immediately softens from steel to starry-eyed at the idea of a visitor who speaks even passable Chinese. She opens the gate to let you in, something you gather is quite a rarity given the loud complaint from the gate's hinges.
You enter, and meet with Remilia. The two of you spend most of the night discussing all manner of devilish amusement. After a few gin-and-bloods, you work up the nerve to ask about the delightful temptress who guards the mansion. "You mean... oh, what's her name... China? Sakuya, what was her name again?" "Hong Meiling, my lady." The elegant maid says these words with repressed disgust, clearly less than fond of the woman in question. "Oh, yes. Meiling. What, going to steal my guard's soul away? You always were bad about that." You apologize, expressing a bashful interest in her. Somehow, eons of tormenting the damned are still not enough to give you courage around women. "Well, I'll have Sakuya introduce you tomorrow night. It's nearly daylight, and perhaps time for us to turn in." Not that you stick to a particular day schedule, what with Hell not having day or night, but it's only polite that you respect Remilia's schedule.
The next evening, Sakuya introduces you to Meiling, although her manner is very standoffish and "Meiling" fades into "China" more often than not. The two of you talk through the night, finding that you both are huge fans of Chow Yun-Fat, and she seems quite amused at how you managed to convince the entirety of America that there was a "General Tso", and he had a lot of chickens. She's particularly amused at how this dish is somehow an agreement to sell one's soul, although you're not entirely sure if it's a morbid sense of humor or if your Cantonese is just really bad in a fortunate way.
After that night, you visit Meiling on a regular basis. While Sakuya seems quite cold to Meiling, she remains cordial in your presence, as a relative of her mistress. Remilia seems quite amused both that someone would take interest in Meiling, and that you are the one to do so. As time passes, you and Meiling grow closer, until you finally propose. However, you explain to her that if she marries you, she will have to move to Hell with you. She quickly replies that she won't really be able to tell the difference.
The ceremony is grand and demonic, with many goat sacrifices and unholy prayers, interrupted only briefly by a shrine maiden complaining that the rituals were giving her the creeps. Probably not as much as the subsequent forced armpit copulation on the part of your pubescent nephew, Mephistopheles Jr. A lack of self-control and giving in to the sin of lust just like his old man. Speaking of lust, your honeymoon is wonderful in itself. Meiling's martial arts training leaves her capable of acts that succubi would (and often do) kill in order to try. Truly, this is a match made in, well... Hell!
Shortly thereafter, Sakuya pays a visit. As she sees Meiling, she begins to tear up and smile. Sakuya quickly embraces Meiling and in between sobs of joy, expresses her joy at seeing Meiling finally find happiness, and asking forgiveness for her coldness in the past. Meiling, taken a bit aback, regains her composure quickly enough and forgives Sakuya, willing to look past old quarrels.
All is well in Hell, so it seems. However, things aren't quite so hot lately. In fact, it's started to cool off noticeably. Amongst the damned, the fortune tellers and TV weathermen start to forecast snow. Time soon proves them correct, and the blizzard becomes worse and worse.
It seems that ever since Sakuya was nice to Meiling, Hell has frozen over.
Cirno (by AnonDesu, 2008-04-04)
You are a powerful warrior from the Human Village. Highly and equally skilled with the blade, the bow, and even mid-level danmaku. Well, were. It's been many years since you've passed your prime, and your services are no longer needed. Now you are nothing. You are an old man of no use to society, with no family to enjoy the last of your days with.
Tired of a meaningless existence in a thankless land, you take leave of society to live out your autumn years in the peaceful wild.
Many days and nights you journeyed, ofttimes returning over your own tracks, as you were unable to find a single place that could provide you with the inner peace you had been searching for.
That is, until one fateful day. The sun hung directly overhead, shining its rays of unbearable heat down across the countryside. Still unable to find a place far removed from the trifles and troubles of man, you mutter something about how you would end up dying of frustration at this rate. At which point you notice a lake in the distance.
Upon reaching it, you prepare to take a drink when you notice something much more important. This lakeside was exactly what you were looking for. Quiet, still. Surveying the vast expanse of water, you couldn't help but feel the utmost serenity. And cold. Very cold. Unnaturally cold.
Instinct took over as you slid out of the way right before a little winged girl lunged head first through your shadow and into the lake.
You laughed to yourself as you watched the child splash frantically, trying to regain her footing in the loose sand.
"Need any help there, little lady?" You manage to ask between chuckles.
The splashing came to a stop as she fished herself out with a "Hmph," followed by a distinct, "Not from you."
"Are you sure about that?"
"Yes," she responded, very matter-of-factly as she wrung out her dress. "Because..."
"Because," she continued, "Eye'm the strongest!"
The ice blue flash flew right past you again.
You tap her on the back with your staff as you slip aside.
This goes on for several hours, the whole while she continues to attempt to convince you (or herself), that she is, in fact, the strongest being in Gensokyo.
She soon tires out, though, and accepts the title of second strongest, much to her dismay. It was dark by now, though, and you'd have to find a suitable location to set up camp. You give the girl, Cirno it was, a pat on the head as you take your leave.
Not five minutes later, you hear a familiar voice.
You turn around to find the same little girl struggling to find the right words.
"C-could you..." she stammered, still looking, "walk me home?"
You pat her on the head again as you smile, "Sure thing."
Two minutes later, freaky interspecies sex.
No, not really.
A bit more than two minutes later, Cirno finishes up another one of her stories as the two of you arrive at a small cottage.
"Parents out?" You ask, noting it was still dark inside.
Her smile vanished.
"I...I (eye?)" she started looking again, "don't have parents." Her gaze ran across the ground.
"I'm sorry to hear that," you reply, meaning it entirely.
You stayed with her that night. Eating dinner together, reading her a bedtime story, tucking her in after she fell asleep. You gave her a kiss on the forehead before heading off to bed yourself. It was the first night she had with a family in a long time. It was the first night you had with a family in a long time.
You'd found what you were looking for.
It went on for a few weeks, this makeshift little family of yours. Neither of you could be happier. That is, until one day...
It was beginning to get cold, and that horrible red fog wasn't making things any better. You headed out to get firewood that day, reminding Cirno to "be a good girl, now," to which she responded with a, "I will."
Not more than five minutes later did you notice the mist was giving off much more light than usual. You almost paid it no mind when a much brighter flash lit up the sky with a resounding boom. Unmistakably the black-white youkai hunter's well-known Master Spark (she used it so often, it would be difficult not to recognize it). Exactly what she could be doing over here, you didn't know. But you did know that it most probably wasn't very safe. Or Cirno-friendly, for that matter.
Rushing back, you find the little cottage empty. But you did notice the lake was a lot redder than usual.
The blast hit her hard. A miracle she even survived.
You took care of her those long days and nights. Though, there was little you could do beyond giving her water when seldom she did wake.
Winter arrived. Logic would have it that the cold would make her better. It didn't.
You gave her a kiss on the forehead before heading to town to pick up some medicine for her. Trudging all the way back through the snow was not the best of ideas, but it was the only thing you could do.
Cirno slowly got better. You, on the other hand, slowly got worse.
Had winter not lasted so long, you probably would have recovered. But winter had lasted far too long this year.
By this time, the two of you had switched places. She took care of you those long days and nights. You were beyond help, though, and as the days passed, you grew worse still.
One day, while tending to you best she could, Cirno noticed something out the corner of her eye. An unmistakable black-white blur flying across the sky.
She gave you a kiss on the forehead before heading out to teach the witch a lesson.
"You be a good girl, now." came your weak voice.
"I will," she answered, stepping out.
Not five minutes later, a bright flash and a resounding boom.
And then it got dark.
Hong Meiling (by Flandrenonymous, 2008-04-05)
You were but a simple basket maker from the human village. It was a common but respectable job. After all, who doesn't need baskets around here? Even the odder humans and half-breeds come to buy necessities like that....at least, that's what your teacher tells you. To be honest, it's not like you're not aware of the oddities and dangerous individuals about. This is Gensokyo after all. When even mikos fly, what need are there for mundane things like baskets?
Still, it's your profession, and still too green to make it on your own, you wade through your apprenticeship. One day, your master informs you that you have to take the latest wares to the village for sale. Why they have to be made so far from the village if they're to be sold there, you'll never understand why, especially considering the dangers...maybe the old man was growing senile. Either way, you had little choice.
Of course, by chance and curiousity, your path takes you near one of those hotbeds of activity, the odd Western-styled mansion near the lake. Of course, idle interest helped steer your course that way. You were always a bit too curious for your own good, as the numerous scars along your arms and legs from childhood attest.
And it was again by this same chance that you saw her. That curious door guard, dressed in mainland garb and shocking red hair. You wonder if she's the scarlet devil they talk about...before dismissing the thought. Why would the namesake of the place be doing such a boring job? Boring indeed, as the Chinese-looking woman yawns...and spots you, your path coming a little too close to the edge of the lake that surrounds the mansion. Hurriedly, you turn away, realizing the dangers of getting near such an odd and dangerous place...as well as raising the ire of your master.
Still, you have to admit...the Door Guard was cute.
It was a good thing that the fishing season was here. The amount you sold would do well for rice and plenty of supplies. Which is good, considering the stingy old man would probably devote as little as possible toward food.
It was dusk at this point. You needed to hurry back, lest night fall on you. You didn't want to get caught by night blindness after all and all the possible deaths that could lead from it that you've heard of....
Of course, without realizing it, your path had crossed near the lake and mansion once more. Seeing a few boats along with the flying figures heading toward the manion, your curiousity gets to you...not to mention that you have a couple baskets that still needed selling. Maybe the masters of the house could use a little Japanese touch to the Western mansion. So against better judgment again, you sneak a ride there, 'borrowing' one of the boats nearby to cross the lake under the veil of this odd celebration.
Once across, you see many people, mostly of the supernatural sort, filtering in. Wondering if you've gotten in over your head, you spot a familiar sight of green and red. Bowing politely, the door guard seems to be demoted to greeter tonight for the party of the house it seems. A futile thing since most seem to ignore her as they filter in. Walking warily up, sticking out like a sore thum, you approach her. Politely, you ask if there was any interest in a basket for the house...before you think better of it and ask if this is the wrong time.
"Ahh...n-no, I don't think we need any....are you human? I...think perhaps you should leave. Nights are especially dangerous for humans around here." YOu wonder what she's talking about, considerings he seems human enough herself...but then again, this is Gensokyo....still, before you take off, you do one last thing: ask her name (after giving yours, of course, being the 'salesmen' you're supposed to be). After all, as you explain to her, it's only polite to know the name of a potential buyer. She seems flustered as you ask her, for whatever reason.
"Ah...Hong Meiling." The odd name doesn't roll off your tongue very well...but you still say it as you depart and bid her an evening. She seems a bit brighter in spirits as you say it and depart. Why such a fuss over a name anyways? Oh well...
You finally get back to your master's little hut. After a few heated words over your promptness, you finally get to sleep...visions of a redhead crossing your dreams as you seem struck with new found infatuation...
Later that week, not but a few days afterward, you find yourself making the trek to the village again, this time for the very food you were hoping would be paid for by the sold baskets. Of course, you didn't gamble on having to haul it all back by your lonesome, much to your annoyance.
Oddly enough, though, as you make your way to the village, you near the Scarlet lake again...and find a certain object of interest crossing your path as....Hon....Hong....the door guard seems to mill about the bank of the lake, much further out than she usually was from the mansion.
"Oh...hello, Mr. Basket Weaver," she says sheepishly as you catch her eyes. Your curiousity hits you again, asking her why she's out this far... "...I'm scouting the lakeside. Ojou-sama wants to expand the gating to around the lake, after the library was broken into....again...." Her voice wavers a bit, an odd fretting...before you realize that this means she's probably got more ground to cover as sole door guard.
You briefly sympathize with her, telling her anecdotes of your strict master, garnering a small laugh that's stifled as soon as it comes out. "Ahh....you should go, before Ojou-sama or Sakuya-san think I'm slacking!" she says, shooing you off. You smile and bow your parting politely, vowing to bring some wares for her next time you see her...or perhaps more stories. She smiles back, waving as you head back to the village.
Too bad you'll have to take the short route back once you get the food. No sense in killing yourself on your detours this time, right?
Soon enough, this became regular routine. On your regular trips to the human village, as well as the more...eccentric buyers, you would stop by the lake, Meiling close enough on your path now that the borders of the mansion were expanded. You even learned how to say her name correctly without stumbling over it!
STories of your grievances against your master improved her humor, and you learned more about her as well. What it's like to work for such an odd mistress, the culture shock of being relocated to Gensokyo (even if was less so for her than some), and even the suspicious origins of the head maid and the rumors the other maids told behind her back (much to bladed consternation).
You also learned one important thing about her as well: she was Youkai. That explains the whole warning about humans being near the mansion. Oddly enough, you were less shocked than you should have been really. Perhaps because you had to deal with odd customers on a regular basis anyways, and because...well, you knew her enough to overlook it.
Two people, bound together by the paths of their thankless jobs...could it really be a path to romance? Human and youkai?....stranger things have probably happened before....
Soon enough, that romance did indeed flourish. While you never could tear Meiling away from her post, you made it a habit of visiting as often as you could. Between exchanged stories and mutual outlooks, the odd friendship became something more...consumated by a timely admission, punctuated by a special basket made in the style of a red bell, bearing her name both by branding and by shape.
It didn't hurt that her sobbing voice as she reciprocated your admission of love sounded just as musical to your ears. It was a miracle that you managed to lure her away from her post to prove your love for her. It's a small wonder someone at the mansion didn't get suspicious, especially that head maid that always seems to be so harsh on poor Meiling.
Of course, it was ironic fate that so soon afterwards, your master would drag you off on a training journey of sorts, to re-find his inspiration as a craftsman. And as apprentice, it was your duty to accompany him (so he said).
"As long as you come back safely," Meiling said with a worried smile as you tell her of the trip, promising to do exactly that. "Don't worry about me. Things have been thankfully quiet lately. I think they've mostly gotten used to the Black-White enough that Ojou-sama told me to just let her through when she comes." You dare not say that it's probably because she never beats the witch when she does do her guard duty, even if it's by her own admission. Now's not the time for that kind of stuff..
You promised her you'd come back, and she'd promised she'd wait, and things wouldn't change. That set your heart at ease enough that you were satisified...
Weeks went by, until your master, inspired by a leaf falling onto his nose during meditation, out of all things, called an end to the trip, absorbing himself in his craft enough that you could finally make do on that promise to Meiling.
Bringing a basket of various flowers and snackable fruits with you to the lake, you call out for her name. You look around, noting the odd absence of your love. That's when you notice the odd etchings in the ground near the small shelter she holed up in during her watch duty. It almost looks like hash marks. But for what? You rack your brain for possibilities...before sharp, blinding pain overcomes you.
A wild howl pierces the dusky sky, your pain-blurred vision clearing up despite the overwhelming agony you find yourself in. You almost wish it didn't, as you look up to find yourself staring at a creature you never saw before, striking in similarity, but wholly unknown to you. Despite the green tunic and dress, and the braided red hair, this was NOT the Hong Meiling you knew. It was feral, eyes like a starved beast's, even if the howl it gave out was human sounding enough.
The strength in which you find yourself thrown into agony once more is beyond human though. You don't even dare open your eyes, tears welling up in them...and you don't need to. You know what happened, and even if you can't see, you can just imagine it: the stump that used to be your right arm, shorn away just below the shoulder. The disgusting sound of rending flesh chewed away barely hits your ears as you start to black out....
The last thing you hear before you drift into shock-induced unconsciousness is a voice...one calling your name, followed by a shriek of "Kami-sama....NOOOOO!!!"
Perhaps that was Meiling after all....
Despite the protests of your body and common sense, you slowly open your eyes. It's day...though you don't know what day. You have no idea how long you've been out. What you do know is the insane, hardly dulled pain you feel in what used to be your right arm. It's almost too easy to miss the towel on your forehead, as well as the hasty wrappings that staunch the bleeding, even if the green fabric will likely be useless for more than bandages, as soaked as it is in blood now.
You summon enough strength to look to your side...and see Meiling, eyes red as she looks down at you. "I'm sorry..." she whispers raspily, looking like she's stayed up all night and then some standing watch over you as diligently as she stood watch by the gate of the mansion.
Soon enough, the explanation all comes pouring out like a raging waterfall. The discovery of your liasons with Meiling. The convenient timing of punishment for indulging in such distractions, waiting for your 'training trip'. The withholding of meals. The strict watch and further punishment of trying to sneak in or beg food from passerbys. Soon, all she had to rely on for sustinence was her own two hands.
Youkai eat many things. Human isn't the only animal they eat, just one of the favorites. Unfortunately, human is the only animal without the sense enough to stay away from the mansion grounds for the most part. Meiling, for all her seeming humanity, was still very much youkai, as much as her tear-streaked cheeks attest her wish that she wasn't right now.
And all you can choke out after this sobbing confession? You ask her if it was enough to fill her stomach, smiling weakly. The morbid joke only serves to make her collapse, arms folded on your chest, head slumped against them as she begs for your forgiveness....
Days pass...despite sufficient knowledge to at least stop the worst, unfortunately, Meiling is hardly a doctor. Infection was a given. And delerium soon follow as your fever reaches the worst its ever been, despite her frantic fretting. Of course, no sane human doctor would come here to treat you. And even if the rumors of great medicine in the bamboo forest were true...it probably would be too late to get it now.
And then...of all people, Sakuya Izayoi stops by Meiling's little hut, giving you a look over. "Sakuya-san...I don't know what to do..." Meiling sobs. Anger boils in your heart as you look up to the maid, and Meiling's continued deference toward her. She was the one, after all, that continued to pile abuse onto the door guard. Barely able to raise your voice, you raspily, but angrily, ask her what she's doing here.
"....the mistress would like to see you." There's an odd tinge of regret in her voice, despite her hard eyes. Blinking, Meiling looks up to Sakuya, the unasked question of 'Why?' in her eyes, likely echoing your own. The question never goes voiced, however, as you're soon taken into the mansion, laid out carefully on a table. After all, no sense in staining good bed sheets with old blood, right? You barely have the sense to realize that this is your first time actually in the Mansion...and soon to be your first time meeting the Mistress herself.
"So you're the one that charmed by door guard?" a small girl, looking no older than 12, asked as she sat in a far chair, hands folded. You can only assume, from the conspicious wings, that she is the one they called Scarlet Devil, Remilia Scarlet. You don't dare speak though, too confused, too feverish, and too scared to speak anyways.
"Don't bother," she says, almost amused by your state. "And don't worry. It's not like I'd eat you myself or anything. I require healthy blood, after all. I asked you to be brought here for a good reason. You know, despite being the best maid possible, Sakuya has...interesting concepts of discipline. Starving China to that point was her idea...and an ill thought out one at that. "I saw it coming though...do you know what I can do, as a vampire?" she asks you rhetorically, your eyes looking toward her unfocusedly. "I can manipulate fate. This means I can change the path a person's life takes, youkai or human, but more importantly, I see exactly where it goes. Why am I telling you this? I'm doing you a favor by letting you know something important about your fate:"
"You will not live to see Hong Meiling again." Under most situations, you would take that as a threat...but you knew better...your body could feel it. The fever and the infection were making it hard to simply stay conscious. "That is the sad truth....but that's not all of it. More importantly, I want you to know about her fate as well, so you realize something important as well: she won't forget you."
You blink, trying to process this, even as Remilia continues to talk. "I should be mad at you. Your actions will leave me without a proper door guard for nearly 9 months." Wait...'will'? 9 months? You feel tears bubbling up, realizing what she's getting at. "...but truth be told...Meiling was a better door guard after you. Perhaps being able to have something to look forward to through her duty than simply testing her strength against intruders."
Remilia swirls a thick red liquid around in her wine glass, a scoffing laugh as she looks into it. "Humanity is an odd creature like that. Despite our noble lineage....vampires and youkai still have much to learn from you. It took that Black-White to teach that to me and to Flan. Teach me I need to be a better sister perhaps." Standing, she looks down at you, laid out, your consciousness drifting again. "Do you still love her?"
You make the barest of nods, before things start to fade, the dead weight that is your body soon overcome with lightness, as Remilia's voice starts to sound distant. "Then you have done your job as a servant. Be proud and remember you won't be forgotten."
You have no time for regrets as you sleep for the final time.
And even if you did...you would have none to make use of that time.
Meiling was called in after your passing. Despite the brutal breaking of your death to her, there were no tears. She had used them up in her vigil. There was no wail of despair either, as her voice gave out before she could. Remilia watched her door guard with a bit of sadness, before placing a hand on Meiling's head. "He was as devoted to you as you to me. Make sure that it's not wasted," she instructs, leaving Meiling to mourn.
Months pass...Meiling spent more time in the Mansion at this point. After all, it's no good to carry a child in the uncomfortable conditions she usually stood in. Sakuya tended to her well, silently asking Meiling for forgiveness through her watch over the guard, never quite realizing how unnecessary it was until Meiling confronted her, hugging the maid despite her advanced state, silently telling her that forgiveness was never needed.
Soon enough, a beautiful daughter was born, Meiling's spitting image despite her more natural hair color, obviously taken from you.
Years would pass. Your master, no idea of your final fate, simply moved on, finding a new apprentice to berate in your stead. Your daughter would grow, half-youkai a spitting image of her mother in beauty and strength. And Meiling....
"Mama!! Hurry! We'll be late!"
"Right, right, hold on." It's not as if they had to go far. The small shrine built next to her guard hut was right there after all. Still, it was good that she was so enthusiastic about paying respects to her father, despite never knowing him in life.
As Meiling prayed at the shrine, she looked beside the shrine...
The red bell basket was worn with age, but tended to well enough to keep it as intact as possible. A reminder not only of her love, but that, even if she and her daughter would have long outlived you, her memories would remain, as clear as the ringing of a bell...
Aya Shameimaru (by AnonDesu, 2008-04-06)
"I-I-I," Aya stammered, unable to find the right words. Quite unlike her, really.
"Need me to answer for you?" you ask, half-joking.
"Figured it out then?" you returned, flashing a shit-eating grin. Quite unlike you, really.
"No, n-no," she re-replied, "I mean yes! Yes! No!"
"So which is it?" still smiling.
"I-I...Uh. No. No. I-I can't. I'm sorry, I can't."
"Great!" you answer, listening to your mental version of the conversation instead. That soon changes into a half-panicked, "Wait, what?"
"I-I just can't do it," she muttered, looking away, "I can't. Just can't."
You think you said something to the effect of, "Fdsfgsiaiacthulhufhtagn."
"I-I'm sorry." she spat out, "I just can't. You-I, ah!"
You remained silent this time, completely thrown off. "Just as planned" could not be more wrong.
"I-I-Sorry!" she mutter-yelled, taking off at a speed only the fastest in Gensokyo could achieve.
Left with your mouth half-open, you could but only wonder as to what exactly went wrong.
She didn't show up for work the next day. Nor the next. Nor the next. And when she finally did show up, she fired you. No explanation given, though you had a pretty good idea.
It wasn't supposed to happen this way. No, it was supposed to be a simple, straight-forward, storybook romance. Certainly seemed that way at first. Certainly seemed that way when it all started.
Spirited away, was it? You just disappeared. Disappeared to wake up one day in a strange land.
It was hell adapting. To be honest, you didn't really think you could survive in a land without internet, much less all the other technology you've taken for granted so many years.
And to be honest once again, you probably wouldn't have survived had you not met Aya. And I most definitely do not mean that in any overly cliched way.
You see, Gensokyo had no need for a journalist, and you were really never very good at adapting.
Really! Godly luck, or perhaps fate (cruel, cruel fate, isn't it?), had you run into her one day, carrying the most recent issue of the Bunbunmaru Newspaper, no doubt.
Oh, how well you remembered that day. You were just flipping through, really. Much more concerned about the existence of a newspaper, rather than the content. You noted three very important things.
Number one: There really wasn't much "news" in this here "newspaper." Much more a National Inquirer than a New York Times. But, you were in no position to complain.
Number two: There was only one writer on the paper. Which means they just might need some help. Just might.
Number three: The only one writer was pretty cute. Yes, you really did make sure that this thought was forever enshrined as its own point.
Lowering your paper as your order came in, you noticed that in the place of the only one writer's picture was something even better - the only one writer herself.
Oh Godly luck!
"Is this seat taken?" running a hand through your hair.
"Hm?" an eye glanced up at you. "No, not really."
"It is now," you note, holding back a snicker as you sat.
A quick pause before starting again.
"Miss Shameimaru, is it?" running an eye over her. Very nice. Much moreso in person than on film.
"Yep." she lifted her eyes from the menu for a second, but they dart back down again as they meet yours. A hint of red flashes across her face. Or so you think. She lifted the menu just enough, and just fast enough to make you wonder if you could really believe what you saw. "What do you want?"
"First," smile, "I'd like to apply for a job at the paper."
The menu lowered, a bit of a puzzled look washed across her face. Isn't that cute?
You turn back (you were sitting sideways, remember? Right leg swinging a bit as it rested on your knee), catching her eyes again, "Second," smile again, "I'd like to ask you out to dinner tonight."
The menu was nailed to the table with inhuman speed as the shy girl in front of you but thirty seconds ago melted into something much different.
Anger? Shouldn't have been so straight-forward there. Aren't you just one gigantic faggot? Wait, no, not anger.
"...professionalism," Miss Shameimaru almost whispered. Should've been paying attention instead of-
"Are you even listening to me?" now that was anger. "Or are you too busy staring at my chest?" no wait, this was anger.
Then again, you could figure out what real anger was, if you so dared, by saying, "Kinda hard when there's not much to stare at, isn't it?"
Which you did.
Watch those eyes. Dear Lord, they're pretty. Even when they're right about to tear you limb from limb.
Much to your pleasant surprise, though, that wasn't the look of unparalleled rage.
She laughed. Not just laughed, but really laughed.
Wiping a tear from her eye with an "Oh, wow," she slid back a, "I like you. I really do." Another chuckle. "You are so hired."
Such a great feeling, pleasant surprise.
"W-what? Really?" genuinely, too. "Don't you need a resume at least?"
"Hey, you look qualified enough."
"Anyway, I really need to get going," throwing you a business card. "Directions are on the back."
"I'll see you tomorrow at 9, then, uh..."
"________," you reply. Faggot. Remember to introduce yourself earlier next time.
"Aya," she returned. "But you knew that already."
"Doesn't make it any less beautiful."
"Well aren't you quite the charmer?" she noted, turning. "Don't be late," a small wave.
You wave back, but she turned before she could've noticed. All the better, though, since you got a nice view of that deliciously short skirt as she half-skipped away.
You were soon pulled out of your indecent daydream by a voice beside you, though.
The most expensive dish. Great.
As you finished and paid with the precious little local currency you had left, another realization hit you.
Clever little girl, wasn't she? Made you completely forget about the dinner part.
Try again tomorrow?
[X] Yes [ ] No
"Well good morning, good morning," glancing at your watch. 9:32. "Whatever happened to 'don't be late?'"
"I was practicing my sultry voice," Aya grinned. "A," sliding closer, "Little," closer, "Like," she was hanging on to you at this point, arms wrapped around your neck. Leaning in, ever-so-softly, "This," came the whisper.
She let out another laugh as she skipped back a few steps.
Your heart was pounding. Not the "Oh Lawdie, I'm in love," kind, but the "I'm both very scared and very turned on right now," kind. Pleasant surprise, pleasant surprise.
"Come on!" Aya yelled back, running off.
You could imagine you shook your head as you followed.
Night had fallen.
About half-way through the day, you noticed she dodge yet another bullet. Damn that clever little succubus!
But, what was done, was done. Besides, there was a much more pressing issue on mind.
"You never answered my question, you know." you mentioned as the two of you walked back into town.
"Hm? Oh! Right! You see, Miss Yukari takes ca-"
"No, not that." trying not to sound annoyed. She knew damn well which question you were talking about. "The other one."
"Which one?" she looked away, just before you could confirm that blush.
She was a horrible actor.
"Need me to ask again?" don't sigh, don't sigh.
Go ahead, sigh.
You let out a long sigh before trying again.
"How would you like to go out to dinner with me tonight?"
Aya stopped walking. In the growing darkness, you could make out a pained look in her face.
"Hm..." she turned away again.
You could swear you heard a sniffle as a hand reached up and wiped at the face turned away from you.
"No!" came the playful, almost mocking response.
"What? What's that supposed to mean?" really, you had no idea what it was with this girl.
"No means no," she responded, just as cheery as she skipped away. "But, ask again later. I just might change my mind."
"How would you li-"
She was right beside you again. "No."
Disheartened? Very. Discouraged? Most definitely.
Really. You were used to being turned down, of course. Your jokes apparently aren't as funny as you thought they were. But this was the first time you ever care so much about it.
A smile came across her face again.
"Try again tomorrow."
She kissed you lightly, then pulled away and flew off before you could even figure out what was going on.
It went on for a while,this same routine.
You'd ask her again each night, she'd say no, but give you a reason to try again the next day.
As time went by, you noticed yourself glancing over at her more than you actually worked. Occasionally, you caught her glancing back. Or, at least you thought you did. She'd turn away so fast you could never really be sure.
You noticed that you followed her more closely in the field. You noticed that she slowed down enough to let you get that close.
You notice that days at the office grew longer, and days in the field always ended overlooking some beautiful view, right at sunset. ("Beautiful view, isn't it?" "Not as much as you." "Aw. Isn't that sweet?" "It is. Now how about dinner?" "Nope. Try again tomorrow.")
You noticed that you absolutely loved her little quirks. You loved her dismayed "Ayayayaya!" whenever subscriptions dropped, or when you lost an "important" lead. You loved her self-confidence, her selfishness, her unabashed narcissism. Really, she reminded you so very much of yourself.
You noticed that the two of you grew awful close for something that never was really official. And that's what bothered you the most. Every time you asked, she still said no.
Not this time, though. This time, you'd get her for sure.
You had it all planned out, you did. Right at sunset, by the lake, a dozen roses, a band hiding in the woods. Might as well have up and proposed at this rate.
"Hey, we should head down to the lake," you note, a bit nervous. Quite unlike you, really. "I think Cirno's up to something again."
"You're probably right."
"But she's always up to something."
"N-no! Really! Something big!" Come on...Come on...
"Since when did she get smart enough to do something big?"
"Just come on!" you yell, grabbing her arm as you run off.
By the time you got there, you were out of breath.
"I don't even see her anywhere," Aya mumbled, as if she really believed your Cirno story.
You were about to say something, but decided it was best to catch your breath first.
"Why did you bring me here?" she asked, annoyed by now. "And where is that music coming from?"
She turned around to catch a dozen roses in her face.
"Aya," (Will you marry me?) "Would you be so kind as to accompany me to dinner tonight?"
"I-I-I," Aya stammered, unable to find the right words. Quite unlike her, really.
"Need me to answer for you?" you ask, half-joking.
"Figured it out then?" you returned, flashing a shit-eating grin. Quite unlike you, really.
"No, n-no," she re-replied, "I mean yes! Yes! No!"
"So which is it?" still smiling.
"I-I...Uh. No. No. I-I can't. I'm sorry, I can't."
"Great!" you answer, listening to your mental version of the conversation instead. That soon changes into a half-panicked, "Wait, what?"
"I-I just can't do it," she muttered, looking away, "I can't. Just can't."
You think you said something to the effect of, "Fdsfgsiaiacthulhufhtagn."
"I-I'm sorry." she spat out, "I just can't. You-I, ah!"
You remained silent this time, completely thrown off. "Just as planned" could not be more wrong.
"I-I-Sorry!" she mutter-yelled, taking off at a speed only the fastest in Gensokyo could achieve.
Left with your mouth half-open, you could but only wonder as to what exactly went wrong.
She wasn't at home that night. She didn't show up for work the next day. Nor the next. Nor the next. And when she finally did show up, she fired you. No explanation given, though you had a pretty good idea.
It wasn't supposed to happen this way. No, it was supposed to be a simple, straight-forward, storybook romance. Well, as storybook as this could have been.
You started your own newspaper not long after that.
Not quite as popular as the Bunbunmaru, no, but enough for a decent income.
You married a nice girl from the village, had a few kids, etc, etc. But to be entirely honest, you were never really happy. You never really loved her.
No, you still loved Aya. Still dreamt of her, dreamt of all the things the two of you did, all the things the two of you didn't do, would never do.
Many years passed. Exactly how many, you really weren't sure.
You were sure that you were far too old by now, though.
Stumbling across the restaurant you sat at all those years ago, you buy an issue of the Bunbunmaru, flipping through as you ordered.
Finishing, you looked at the picture of the only one writer on the back. Exactly the same as it was back then.
Lowering your paper as your order came in, you noticed that in the place of the only one writer's picture was something even better - the only one writer herself.
"Is this seat taken?"
"No, not really."
Aya gave you a smile. A sad smile, but a smile nonetheless. She was still as beautiful as the day by the lake, as the first day of work, as the day you stumbled across her in this very restaurant. And even then, just as young.
"It is now," the smile widened, covering any trace of sadness, though it was still there.
"What do you want?"
The paper was nailed to the table with inhuman speed as the too-friendly man you once were many years ago melted into something much different.
Anger? Oh yes, this was anger, true and unparalleled.
"I'm sorry," Aya started, turning away as tears welled in her eyes. "I'm sorry."
"You very damn well should be," you scowl, crushing the newspaper in your hand as you did.
"Just what? Just too much fun? Toying with somebody, like they weren't...like they weren't..." you couldn't finish. Rather, your train of thought derailed as tears began to build up in your eyes as well. "Just tell me why."
"You can see, can't you?" she muttered, wiping the drops from her face. "After all these years, I haven't aged a bit. And you...You..."
"I did," you finish, pensively.
"I didn't want to outlive another husband," Aya almost whispered. "I didn't want to get hurt again. Watching you slowly fall apart while I stayed the same. Taking care of you in your last days, even though I'd keep living..."
"I know! I know it was selfish! I know it was wrong!" she didn't even bother to wipe the tears away any more. Neither did you. "I had no right. I had no right to deny you happiness, even if it was fleeting. Even if it would have brought me sorrow."
"I'm sorry. I really am."
"I know I shouldn't have-"
Wiping a tear from your eye, you slid back a "I love you. I really do." Pause. "I still do."
Such a great feeling, pleasant surprise.
"W-what? Really?" genuinely, too. "Even after, even after I-I..."
"Yes, Aya. Even after that."
"I really have to get going," you note, getting up.
You could hear her sobbing quietly as you left. Of course, that might have been just you. Because you realized something.
You would have done the exact same thing in her place.
Alice Margatroid (by Serial ATA, 2008-04-07)
You never felt so betrayed until now. First, your brother and his family were assassinated on his 40th birthday celebration. Second, you were ousted after you violated you clan’s code of conduct and attacked the rivalling the clan that carried out the assassination. Third, and perhaps the most bitter to swallow, was the truth about your identity. Days before the assassination, your brother came up with shocking news that you were not related to him by blood but adopted after your biological parents were killed in a fierce gunfight between your clan and another rival clan. Despite your brother’s sincere apology, you could not forgive him for murdering your parents and held a grudge that would take a long time to heal.
Now you’re on your own. With nothing more than White Fang, a katana entrusted by your brother on your 15th birthday, your only hope was to let everything go in this aimless trip you were embarking. You’re a wounded lone wolf, outcast of the society and a sinned man who had lost everything. If you could not stop your journey, you doubted anyone could.
“You puppeteer magic won’t work against the flower power!”
There was a battle just across the path you were taking. Piqued by the chaos, you investigated the commotion and were astounded to see a young female fending off a parasol lady without any assistance apart from a puppet that stayed by her side. You kept yourself out of sight because you were unsure of helping the girl or not.
“You are dead! Take this!!”
The girl was under heavy barrage of –- you guessed it, flowers -- from the parasol lady and was knocked out. Impulsively, and without any second thought, you jumped into the scene and confronted the fairy, shouting at her to back off. She laughed and told you to die, but you persisted and cleaved one of the many flowers she threw at you with White Fang. She was taken by surprise, and in the new confusion, you pounced at her and punched her on the lower torso. It must have been a powerful hit because she was instantly knocked out cold. Taking no chance of further confrontation, you picked up the unconscious girl and fled.
You were out of the forest. You looked down at the girl you were carrying, and became smitten by the natural complexity of her beauty. Yet you also had to question her bravery in facing the unlimited numbers of insects back then. You did not know what you were supposed to do next until she woke up.
And she was startled to know she was carried in a man’s arms.
“Let go off me!!”
You let her go and apologized for your behavioural misconduct. You explained that you had saved her from the “insect tamer” as you described the weird fairy you encountered. Dumbfounded, she looked at you and, with her emerald eyes glittering under the afternoon sun, said “you defeated Yuka Kazami? With a punch? How on earth you pulled out that feat?”
You scratched your head. “It was only a punch, nothing special about that.”
“Then you must be pretty strong. Who are you?”
“Lone Wolf,” you told her. “It’s what people at my place used to call me.” You noticed how strange the way she was looking at you and you explained it was a moniker your late brother gave since no one ever learned your real name. “In any case, I must continue my journey. May our path cross sometimes.”
You settled in at a village inhabited by human. Your presence, although creating quite a stirrup among the inhabitants, was warmly welcomed by the village guardian Keine Kamishirasawa. You learned from the elegant-looking lady that you were in Gensokyo and had somehow traversed the boundary that separated Gensokyo from the outside world. You were also told that the village was the only safe haven for human since they would not survive Gensokyo’s dangerous environment. You were less interested in Gensokyo’s history and instead asked Keine about the “puppeteer girl” you met at the forest.
“You must be talking about Alice,” Keine replied with a smile. “I can arrange a meeting with her tomorrow, if you like.” You declined the offer and insisted that you only wanted to know her name. “Oh? Surely a human who had beaten the Four Season Youkai couldn’t resist the temptation of meeting an attractive lady, no?” she continued.
“I only want to make sure she’s safe. That is all you need to know.” Keine merely smiled at the answer, and you started to wonder whether she had something else in mind.
That night, you were invited by the villagers to a social gathering. The invitation was out of the blue, since you just arrived in Touhou and had not even decided to permanently reside. Nevertheless you accepted the invitation and learned more of Gensokyo and its interesting people. For example, there were the ghost princess Yuyuko Saigyouji and her swordswoman-gardener Youmu Konpaku. Then there were also the shrine maiden Reimu Hakurei and the drunken oni Suika Ibuki, whom you described as a “happy-go-lucky partygoer who has nothing to lose”. You could not help noticing some of the people looking at you in the strangest way you could ever imagine particularly how you strived to keep yourself away from them and looked at them from faraway (the origin of your antisocial trait can be traced back to your childhood years where you were scarred by your experience with bullies).
You felt your shoulder lightly tapped. You turned around and saw Keine smiling at you while gesturing at a girl to sit next to you. It was the puppeteer girl, and the feeling of uneasiness blanketed you as she positioned herself closer.
“I guess our path did cross again, although earlier than I previously thought.”
The girl giggled. “First of all, I must thank you for saving me back there. Surely you don’t mind if I repay your deed, Mister Lone Wolf?”
You shrugged. “I just happened to walk by. Don’t mind it.”
“But at least let me give you something in return,” she beamed. You beamed at her, and she giggled in response. “Is there something on my face, Mister Lone Wolf?”
“First, drop that suffix. Second, I find it rude for a girl to not introduce herself,” you spoke. “And third: give me a bit of space. I’m not used to physical contact.”
She apologized for her lack of manners and moved a couple of inches away from you. “But isn’t it unfair when you were the one who did the physical contact?” she suggested. “I mean, you did carry me in your arms-”
In an instant the crowd exploded in uproars. “He actually lifted Alice in his arms? Impossible!” Ran the kitsune lady exclaimed.
“I couldn’t imagine how it feels like to have a man carrying me around,” Yuyuko said.
“Well, one of Patchouli’s books suggests it’s how a man shows his affection to someone he likes,” Remilia Scarlet suggested. “Her knowledge can be useful sometimes, right Sakuya?”
“You have to be kidding me!” Marisa Kirisame snorted. “I mean, come on! He already did the impossible by punching the heck out of Yuka! He must be a youkai or something!”
Things became out of control, as each individual stood up to defend their opinion. You found yourself trapped in the middle of a violent verbal war, which would have escalated into an all-out danmaku battle of it wasn’t for Reimu “reminding” them. The situation cooled down and you used the chance to clear the confusion.
“All I did was simply gave that… Yuka a punch and brought Miss Alice out of danger. That is all.” The people were now suspiciously staring at you. It seemed your statement was creating more confusions than it was supposed to clear up. “Alright. What did I miss this time?”
“A good-looking gentleman like you wouldn’t let the opportunity slip away from his hand,” Yukari said. “He should say something like “you’re such a lovely lady. Why don’t I take you for dinner tonight”, right?”
“Isn’t that the other way around, Lady Yukari?” Ran corrected.
“Oh, shut up. I know what I’m saying,” Yukari scolded.
You palmed your face. “This is getting more complicated than ever…” Alice laughed at your complaint and you turned to look at her in sheer curiosity. “What’s that supposed to be?”
“I never thought you’re a funny person,” she answered.
The gathering ended without anything special or extravagant as finale. Everybody was enjoying themselves throughout the night and they also had much fun in teasing you. You were not pleased with the treatment you got, and yet you were not in the best position to protest. In the end you had to accept whatever things people threw at you.
“So I take it that you’re now ready to live in Gensokyo, yes?” Keine asked as she led you to a lodge one of the villagers generously let you stay in.
You shook your head. “I’m afraid I have to continue my journey tomorrow,” you told her. “Though I don’t really know where I’ll be heading to.”
“Don’t be so ridiculous,” Keine answered. “Everybody likes you already. Even Alice; she seems to have a deep interest towards you.”
“If it’s because she owed me for saving her, then no thanks,” you said. “I don’t have any interest in having a serious relationship with anyone. Not at this time.”
“Is that so?” Keine replied in teasing tone. “I’m sure you won’t mind changing your opinion.” You said nothing and immediately entered the lodge, locked the door shut and left Keine to giggle at your cold reception. “I’m sure you will. Good night, and have a sweet dream.”
You were dumbfounded. Whether it was an act of self will or because someone had compelled you to do it you could not tell, because as soon as the first sunray broke through the dawn sky you already left the Human Village and headed to Alice’s residence. Guided by your “wolf sense” you followed the trail that led you to a mansion, and you froze. What the hell am I doing here, you asked. This isn’t the best time to visit someone. You sighed and left the mansion when a familiar voice greeted you.
“If it isn’t Lone Wolf,” Alice spoke as she invited you in. “I thought I heard someone at the outside. Please come on. I’ve just prepared the breakfast.”
You had to decline. It was rude to visit someone in early morning, you told her, but she persisted to have breakfast with you. Dejectedly you accepted the invitation and entered the mansion.
Alice giggled. “I’m sorry if it’s a bit cluttered. I forgot to clean up the mess last night,” she said. “Well, I can do it after we’re done with the meal. You don’t mind, do you?”
You shrugged. “As long as I don’t stand in your way.”
The morning was spent with you and Alice properly introducing to each other while having tea and muffins for breakfast. You also used the time explaining your background as a swordsman, which you had to painstakingly make up since you were prohibited from revealing to other people the secret of your clan, and it worked since she took the words and believed everything you said. Then she took turn in sharing her story with you, especially her fascination towards dolls and her plans of filling her mansion with as much dolls as she could afford to have.
You finished the breakfast. “Thanks. It was unexpected to have breakfast with someone else, but I appreciated it,” you said and excused yourself to head back to the Human Village. Your steps paused, however, when one of Alice’s dolls jumped onto your head and perched upon it. “Nice trick, but I really have to go.”
“Oh, my. I think Shanghai wants you to stay a bit longer,” Alice said.
“Great. What does this supposed to mean?”
The rest of the day was spent helping Alice cleaning her mansion. You never thought you’d end up doing this kind of work, and you continually cussed at yourself for your inability to resist somebody else’s invitation. Yet you could not help feeling comfortable with her and you never doubted her intention on befriending you – whatever it was.
You finally got to return to the Human Village by dusk. Keine had already stood by the gate greeting your arrival with a very cynical smile. “I hope you’ve enjoyed your day to the fullest.”
“I have no idea what you’re talking of,” you snorted.
“Well, well. Our lone wolf’s starting to play ignorant,” Keine continued. “I wonder if he should change that as soon as possible.”
“Choose your words carefully, Miss Keine, if you still value your life,” you warned.
Keine merely giggled. “Really? I wonder if I should do that sometimes,” she said and snickered as you rubbed your shoulder with hers. “Right, Lone Wolf?” You said nothing and headed straight to your lodge, once again calling it day.
Maybe you should leave Gensokyo…
Six weeks had passed. What first started as a two-night stopover became a long-term home-stay, and you never imagined you would be living in Gensokyo for this long. Thinking it would not be wise to continue living without anything valuable to do, you decided to open a roadside café, an idea inspired by your late brother’s dream to open a café once he retired from the crime world. At first, it was strongly opposed by another ‘entrepreneur’ Mystia Lorelei who stated it would threaten her grilled lamprey business, but you convinced the night sparrow it would not affect her business in any way. It would have been a personal project had Aya not publicize it in the Bunbunmaru Newspapers’ hot topic, and before you knew it happened you were overwhelmed by people’s voluntary offers to realize it.
“And so, with my power as the guardian of the Human Village, I, Keine Kamishirasawa, officially announce the opening of the Lupus Café.”
Applauds roared in the sky, and whistles echoed through the corner, as Keine cut the ribbons that stretched across the entrance door. Your café now officially opened, and it would not take long before you received your customers. On the very first day alone, your business boomed, all thanks to Yukari’s joke that the “special Lupus coffee” was among the best in Gensokyo, and profit reached the level you earned enough money to purchase all the furniture in the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Not bad for a former Yakuza member.
It was well over midnight. You were just done with your last customers and were preparing to close down your business when someone came in. “Sorry, but we’re closing,” you told the latecomer. “Would you kindly come again tomorrow?”
“Oh, my. Is that you, Lone Wolf?”
You were astounded. It was Alice! Good grief! How could you not notice her presence? Panicked, you asked her to wait while you prepared her the menu. “I’m so sorry. I didn’t know the shop’s almost closing. I should be going now-”
You stopped her. “Would you? Coming late or not, you’re my customer. It’s my obligatory to serve my customers well,” you said, not knowing that you were tightly holding her hand. “Please. Can’t you at least stay for a while?”
Alice blinked. She looked at you, and then at your hand. You did the same, and instantly let go off her hand. “Sorry. I was reckless I didn’t know what I just did,” you apologized, while your inner self said: “she’s got warm hand. And it’s soft, too. Nice try, wolf boy.”
“N-no! I’m fine with it,” the equally embarrassed Alice replied.
You invited Alice to have espresso with you. You asked her what had brought her to the café so late in the night and why she didn’t come during the opening ceremony. With a silly-sounding giggle that could melt even the most stubborn of hearts, Alice apologized and explained that she was at the Voile Library to return books she had borrowed. She also apologized for coming very late since the café had been full with customers throughout the day.
“I never thought to see you opening a café someday,” Alice spoke.
“It was my late brother’s dream, but it never came true,” you answered. “I just helped realizing the dream.”
“That’s so sweet of you,” Alice cooed. “Not many people I know are as noble as you are. You’re one of a kind.”
You forced yourself to laugh. “You’re the first person who actually said that.”
Alice smiled, even as she rested her chin upon her hands (it caused your heart to skip a bit, because you knew any girl will look cute if she does this gesture). “You know what? Both of us have a lot of things to share,” she spoke. “Wouldn’t it be great if we could become close friends?”
You were about to answer when Shanghai did her antic and jumped onto your head again. “Wouldn’t it be great if you could ask your doll to stop doing it?”
Alice chuckled. “I wish I could, but Shanghai’s been asking me if you really want to stay here,” she said and started laughing when Shanghai squealed in protest after you picked her off your head. “See? She really wants you to stay.”
“This is more like cries of protest,” you mumbled.
You walked Alice home. Grateful for the help, she told you she would repay the deed in anyway she could, and although you said she shouldn’t go that far she persisted. You told her she could do so if you she could help him with spreading the news of your café around Gensokyo and look for several people to work at your café as volunteers. She agreed and gave you a quick kiss on the cheek as to seal the promise. It left you stunned and in the state of disbelief, because it was the first time you had ever been kissed by a girl.
“It’s been fun chatting with you,” Alice said as she entered her mansion. “Goodnight, Lone Wolf.”
You bade Alice farewell and headed back to the Human Village. A thousand and one questions were now bombarding your mind box; was the act of affection the sign of things to come? Was it the signal that you should forsake your “ignorance is bliss” attitude?
“Oh, what the hell…!”
Your business flourished. With the help of volunteers Alice had promised to find, you managed to handle the endless flows of customers and kept everything under your control. Some of the familiar faces in Gensokyo also ended up becoming your regular customers, and even Mystia regularly paid your café her regular visit. Alice herself showed at the café from time to time to help you with the promotion and the kitchen works.
Often during break time, you invited Alice for another espresso session, and often your friendly conversations would be sidetracked as Yuyuko broke into the kitchen and ate all the breads you had painstakingly prepared for days. Occasionally Keine would show up with the schoolchildren and ask you to do quick bread-making demonstrations, all while Alice watched at your prowess from sideline.
All in all, you gradually forgot your past and became absorbed in your new Gensokyo life.
Business closed down earlier than usual. You had been invited by the villagers for midsummer social gathering. It was an opportunity you should never miss, since outdoor activities are very rare, and you yourself were tired by the same kitchen chores. Besides, you thought, you could use the time to further promote your café to the visitors.
As you arrived you were immediately invited by Suika to enjoy rice wine with her. Despite being non-alcoholic you joined her since you didn’t want to turn down your host. Throughout the drinking session that became heated as Youmu, Yuyuko, Yukari and Keine joined the table, you also learned the true nature of Gensokyo as a land separated from the outside world and full of endless turmoil, where there would not be a single day without at least one danmaku battle. You also took note of the history of Gensokyo that spanned well over a thousand years and how its inhabitants had adapted to the strange and intriguing world. It was no different from the crime world you had been living in for over 20 years, where brothers fight brothers, sons kill fathers and uncles assassinate nephews, all in the name of “survival of the fittest”. Such things would not be too dissimilar in Gensokyo.
There was still one problem.
“How come you people are so lax? Dangers lurk around the corner, you know.”
Everybody laughed. “You’re worried too much, Lone Wolf,” Yukari said and drank another cup of rice wine. “We battle when we want to battle, and we party when we want to party.”
“Yeah, that’s right!” Suika bolstered. “Y’know when it’s party time we’ve gotta party hard!” She drank a full gulp of rice wine from her gourd and sighed in delight. “Y’heard of the saying “enjoy life while you still can”, doncha?”
You were dissatisfied. True, life should be enjoyed while there is still time, but it doesn’t mean one should drop his or her guard and submit to the danger. You argued that while they could party as hard as they wanted, their negligence to their safety would be disastrous, and you even came up with convincing evidences to support your statement.
“Y’know what? Lone Wolf’s busy talking about dangers but he forgets about his girlfriend,” Suika suggested.
Yukari snickered. “Oh, yes. That reminds me: why didn’t you bring Alice? No wonder why our conversation’s a bit… less lively.”
You beamed at the parasol lady. “Say whatever you want, but there is nothing -- and I repeat, NOTHING -- between us. We’re just friends.”
Yukari, instead, batted an eyebrow upwards. “Really? Then tell me, how come you never resist whenever Alice wipes off the sweats on your face?” You were struck in horror, and further became distressed when Yukari mentioned the “act of nobility” you did to her on that night. “Oh, look. He’s already sweating. I wonder if he really has something for Alice.”
You almost yelled at Yukari in protest when Suika shouted Alice’s name and pointed to her. You turned to that direction only to realize you had been fooled and left alone at the table. “Sneaky bastard.” You shrugged and met up with Alice who had just arrived with Marisa. “Let me guess. You were looking for me at the café before you headed here. Right?”
“I thought you’d shut down your business for good!” Marisa moaned. “When I thought I could enjoy a cup before bedtime…”
“I should’ve put a notice on the door,” you sighed and turned to Alice. “I guess you’ve come all over here to look for me, huh?”
Alice smiled. “Can’t I pay my friend a visit?” she replied. “Besides, you aren’t hard to find in that waiter uniform.”
You shrugged. “Whatever you want to say.”
After saying a word or two to Marisa, Alice invited you to sit under a cherry blossom tree where she began talking on the usual stuffs. You boringly lent her an ear, pretending to listen to all her tireless speeches that seemed to go on for eternity, while your eyes were observing the venue for any suspicious reception.
Then it was your turn to speak, and since you had no idea of what to talk of, thanks to Yukari and Co., you began with your plan to relocate the café to a more suitable location and start employing regular workers. To your surprise, Alice opposed the plan and stated that everybody liked your café the way it was and wanted its uniqueness to retain. You explained it was the only way business could progress, and you could care less of her opinions.
Things heated up when you and Alice started arguing, and neither of you wanted to give up your opinion on the café. The argument came to an end only after you realized it had attracted lots of attentions at the venue, and you fumed in embarrassment to hear people’s suppressed giggles at the antics.
“Talk about business argument,” Yuyuko commented.
“Aren’t they so cute when they argue?” Ran suggested.
“Looks like the lone wolf already likes the riding hood as his prey,” metaphorically Sakuya said.
“Mattaku. Don’t both of you have better things to quarrel?” Reimu asked.
“It’s the sign they have feelings for each other,” Yukari said with a giggle.
“Go for it, Lone Wolf!” Suika cheered.
You lost your temper. In rage you chased after the people but were outrun as they flew out of reach. “Next time you come to my face I’ll triple-charge you, you hear me?!” You returned to Alice, only to find her laughing uncontrollably at your fruitless pursue. “Alright. What’s so funny about?”
“I’m so sorry! I shouldn’t laugh at you,” Alice apologized. “But… but it was quite fun arguing with you over the café. Maybe… maybe we should do it sometimes,” she said between her laughs.
You palmed your face. “You have to be kidding me…”
It’s now two years into life in Gensokyo. Business still went on strong. You had employed a small troupe of workers from among the villagers, and you also had expanded the small building to accommodate the increment of customers. You even opened candy corner for young visitors and those with sweet tooth. More interestingly, Alice was also employed and worked as one of the Lupus Café waitresses. This had led people to suspect the extent of your relationship, and despite your clear statement that it was nothing more but worker/employer they began smelling a more intriguing meaning of the relationship. You cared less of whatever people wanted to say. Business is business, you kept reminding yourself, and as long as the café gained profits you would pay no attention of anything.
Or so you might think.
Because ever since becoming a member of the Lupus Café, it was not you but Alice who developed deep feelings for you. At first you treated it as a worker’s sense of respect towards her employer, but as time passed you, too, began to feel the same. Your professionalism and commitment towards the business prohibited you from taking further advances, and you tried very hard not to be troubled by the minor stuff. For many times, you were reminded by your colleagues not to ignore your emotions and asked you to view it from outside perspective. Not only that, even Marisa, who was not very friendly towards you, told you to consider Alice’s feelings that had been developing for some time. You disregarded the advices and preferred to handle things your own way.
It would take an event to forever change that…
You returned from the Scarlet Devil Mansion after paying Remilia a quick visit. You headed to the café, thinking of giving your workers a day’s off for their efforts of keeping the business running. Your expectation was, however, tampered when you saw people surrounding where your café once stood.
“What happened? What the hell is going on?!” One of the villagers explained an unknown visitor attacked the café while your employees were preparing to open the business. You asked the villager who really did it but he told you he knew nothing more. “What do you mean you don’t know?! What the hell do you mean?!”
Keine arrived with Erin, her face showing the sign of distress. You asked her if she knew what had happened to the café. “Alice was inside the kitchen when Yuka attacked…” her voice was choked as she answered. “It happened too fast for me to react… she just…”
“Alice?!” Disregarding the mess, you pillaged the remains for Alice’s whereabouts. God, no! Not this, your head screamed as you threw the debris out of the way. Not this!
“Damn it! Can’t anybody help me?!”
You continued digging through the debris, calling Alice’s name out loud. Your vision was already filled with the heart-wrenching scene of the assassination, and your memory flew back to the final moments your brother had as he lay dying in your arms. You could not believe it would happen again.
You tossed the last piece of debris. There, lying on the ground, unconscious underneath the trolley, was Alice. The waitress uniform was torn all over the place, a memento of a fierce battle she had gone through. Next to her was Shanghai, pushing against her face in an attempt to wake her. You had a major halt in your heart at the sight, and you cried out her name as you picked her in your arms.
“Hey! Alice! Don’t scare me! Alice! Alice!!!!”
Night in the Human Village was solemn. Works on cleaning the site were postponed, and everybody was returning to their home. Keine had also tightened the security and strengthened the barrier that surrounded the village. Everybody else was put in alert in case of a follow-up attack, since there were strong hints that the attacker might return.
You were inside your lodge. Shanghai was nestling in Alice’s arms, comfortably tucked beneath her embrace as she was deeply in sleep. Eirin, who had helped you with the treatment, told you Alice only suffered mild injuries on the head and should recover in quickest time. You were relieved to know she would be alright. Yet you were concerned. What if the injury was worse? What if you weren’t there when it happened?
Marisa approached you. “I have something to do after this. You can look after her for me, can’t you?”
You did not answer. Your mind was, instead, full of anger. You could not believe someone would cowardly attack Alice when she was at the least prepared state. You could not forgive whoever who harmed Alice in such a way. “Who could have done this?”
Marisa sighed. “Look, Lone Wolf. I don’t know what makes you attracted to Alice, but if you keep hiding your feeling from her, you won’t go very far,” she spoke.
You frowned. “How am I supposed to tell her?” you murmured. “How am I supposed to tell her how I feel?”
“Then are you just going to play the ignorant game forever?” Marisa hissed. “Lone Wolf, listen to me! Alice has full believes on you! You aren’t going to disappoint her by telling her you can’t continue the relationship, are you?”
“How am I supposed to do that, when I’m actually a runaway?!” you barked and jumped onto your feet. “Look into my eyes, Marisa! What do you expect from the eyes of a murderer? What do you expect from someone whose hands are tainted in bloods of other people?! What does she expect from me?!”
“Then why didn’t you just tell her the truth, instead?” Marisa asked in surprise.
“Because a criminal like me does not have the right to love her!”
You must have yelled very loud, because not only it sent the village into an abrupt rouse, Alice was awakened by the scream. “Lone Wolf… is it true?” weakly she asked.
Marisa slowly walked out of the room, leaving you and Alice under the silvery ray of the moonlight. You did not turn to her as you apologized for not telling her the truth. “I knew I should have not met you in the first place, but somehow-”
You were silenced. Alice had already jumped off the bed and gave you a very tight embrace from behind. You tried to say a word, but it was useless to express how badly you needed her. So in slow motion you turned around and returned the embrace, holding her as close as you possibly can, refusing to lose her. Your only wish was to have time slow down to a halt so you could treasure this very moment.
“I’m sorry, Alice…” you whispered into her ear. “I’m sorry for everything I have said and done to you… please forgive me for my mistakes…”
“So that’s what happened…”
You could only nod, even as you and Alice were sitting in front of the window, looking at the full moon. “I’m sorry for all the lies I had to tell you,” your spoke. “But I had to, because I wasn’t sure if anyone would even listen.”
“But we’ve been together for more than two years. You know we have nothing to hide from each other, right?” Alice asked.
You shook your head. “How am I supposed to share it with you, when the only thing I know is that my life’s been tainted with too many sins?” You covered half your face with your palm. “I’ve killed so many people. I’ve taken so many lives. I’ve… orphaned countless children… but I never learned from it because all I know was to live to the name of my clan.”
You cried. The heartbreaking memory of your family’s death had come back, and you were too weak to even avoid it. “The only thing I cherished in this world was my family. They were the only one who accepted me despite what I had done to the society,” you continued in choked voice. “That’s why… that’s why when my brother lay dying in my arms, I apologized for never trusting him along the time he took care of me… and…”
“…and he simply smiled…” you sobbed. “Can you imagine? After all the years of hatred and vendetta, and after all the years of mistreat and paranoids, he still managed to smile even when he was dying? Can you imagine how unfair life was when he forgave me for everything? I couldn’t forgive myself ever since…”
Alice dried your tears, softly massaging your scarred cheeks with her hands. “Do you need to cry some more?” You could only nod to answer yes. “Then let me accompany you. Let me take care of you until your tears dry. Okay?”
You stared at her. She gazed into your eyes. Murmuring her name in low voice, you took the initiative and claimed her lips in a kiss, which she ardently returned. Your hands moved out to hold her close, while her arms crawled up your chest to encircle your arms. Neither of you wanted to let go off each other, as your souls began tying their mutual bond, and your feelings reached out for one another.
She looked up and gazed into your eyes. “Yes, Lone Wolf?”
You held her tightly, very close to your heart. “If possible, please let me be your sword… let me protect you from everything…”
She smiled and closed her eyes, resting her head upon your chest. “…thank you, Lone Wolf…”
You never let everybody know your dark history, feeling that telling Alice alone was enough for you. With business resuming and customers returning to give you profit, your only concern was of the possibility of another attack, and because of it you had prepared yourself for the worst. You did not tell your colleagues on what you were going to do, so they had no ideas of your failsafe plan.
It would take you seven years before the fateful day arrived.
You received an unnamed letter telling you to come to the Forest of Magic by afternoon. Suspecting something amiss, you told Alice to look after the Lupus Café while you investigated the letter’s origin. You arrived at the forest and waited for the letter sender to appear.
You dodged the attack. You looked at the direction of the attack and saw a green-haired person coming out of thin air with the most demonic smile you ever saw. You recognized her as the parasol lady who had fought Alice at the forest many years ago.
“I can’t believe we’d actually meet again.”
The girl laughed. “Why, yes! I have been looking for you all over Gensokyo!” she bolstered.
You threw the letter to the ground. “I can safely say that you were responsible for attacking my café, weren’t you?”
The girl laughed again. “Correct! Why? Accepting the humiliating defeat to a mere human is not acceptable! I am Yuka Kazami, the Four Season Youkai, strongest being in Gensokyo! How am I supposed to lose to a pathetic human being?!”
A youkai. And you were defenceless. You knew you couldn’t win a fight against youkai without proper preparations, but it was too late to turn back. A man has to take a fight like a man.
“Now bow before me or die!!”
Yuka really did not give you a chance to prepare as she fired a barrage of magical bullets. You rolled out of danger and made haste to a safe cover, wincing in pain after one of the bullets scratched your arms. She continued firing the magical bullets, which turned out to comprise of flowers, maniacally laughing all the way.
“Where is that strength, human?!” Yuka shouted. “Hit me with the very same punch that had defeated me seven years ago!” She, then, intensified the frequency of the attacks that almost destroyed the hideout. “Come on! I know you can do it!”
The attack stopped. You glanced over the boulder and could not believe what you’re seeing. Alice, using Shanghai as a magical shield, was fighting hard to endure the barrage. You did not know when Alice arrived or how she found out about this battle, but she looks adamant in protecting you.
“Oh-ho? So you finally come to be defeated again, Alice?” Yuka sneered.
“I can’t let you hurt Lone Wolf,” Alice answered in a fortitude she never displayed before. “I’ll kill you if you ever put a finger upon him.”
Yuka laughed. “What’s this I just heard? Protecting someone you love so much? Then I’ll crush both of you instead!” She fired another danmaku salvo that was swiftly blocked by Marisa’s barrier spell. “What’s this? Someone is willing to help?”
“I don’t think you can hurt Alice that easily,” Marisa spoke and armed the Hakkero. “Fight me instead!”
Yuka laughed. “I like that kind of determination! Come! Entertain me!”
“Lone Wolf! Please leave this battle to us!” Alice shouted.
“How are you supposed to do it?!” you shouted back.
“Don’t worry! We’re experts in this kind of battle!” Marisa charged up the Hakkero and shot an energy beam at Yuka, helped by Alice at the same time. “Just go!!!”
Dejectedly you complied and leave. Yuka was too absorbed in attacking Alice and Marisa to notice the escape, but of course you could allow any harm to descend upon Alice, so as soon as you reached the outskirt of the Forest of Magic you rush back to the Human Village and headed to your lodge where White Fang was kept. It was the failsafe plan you had drawn out, and you knew it was the only way you could fight off any threat. You only hoped that your skill did not rust.
“Forgive me, Brother…”
You returned to the forest, running too fast for either Keine or the villagers to stop. Upon your arrival, things have gone from bad to worse on the Magic Team’s side. They were not given any chance to catch a breath and were continually bombarded by Yuka’s fierce flower danmaku. You tried approaching them but the ferocity of battle prevents you from getting in any closer.
With a powerful blow, Alice was blown away by a rippling strike and was sent towards you. Marisa retaliated by firing her own variation of Master Spark that missed Yuka by great measure. You caught Alice before she reached the ground, and you shouted out her name to no avail. The explosion from Yuka’s Master Spark had knocked her out cold, and she did not respond to your call.
“Damn it…” Trembling in both agony and rage you looked up at Yuka. Your eyes were burning in the animalistic fury of a wounded wolf as you shouted “BITCH! I’LL SHRED YOUR FLESH UNTIL THERE’S NOTHING LEFT FROM YOU ANYMORE!!!”
Ignoring Marisa who told you to back off, you pounced at her and delivered a roundhouse that not only caught her by surprise but also hit her on the kidney. “You hit me hard…” she grumbled as she was sent many feet away from her. “Human! State out your name so I can engrave it on your tombstone!”
You landed. “Remember this, Yuka Kazami,” you speak and withdraw White Fang from its sheath. “I am Lone Wolf, member of the honoured Black Wolf Clan. Challenge the wolves, and you shall regret your decision for the rest of your existence.”
“What the hell are you doing, Lone Wolf? Back off! You can’t win this fight!” Marisa barked.
You ignored the ordinary magician and attacked. What you lack in magical abilities you make up in combination of superior swordsmanship and barehanded techniques. Yuka was in shock to see this superhuman feat and was unprepared to receive the onslaught of the wounded wolf, and so was Marisa who had never seen a human’s fighting level that high. Viciously you hacked, slashed, kicked and punched the Four Season Youkai, howling bloodlust along the way. You did not care whether your attacks are parried, or whether they cannot touch her, but you knew only one thing:
Devour your enemy.
Amidst the confusion Yuka managed to find an opening in your attacks. She knocked you away from her with an explosive energy ball on your torso, and you were sent tens of feet across the battlefield. You had totally forgotten your defence, and you’re shaking your dizzied head as blood is spurting out of your mouth.
“Lone Wolf!” Marisa screamed.
“Bow before me, Lone Wolf,” Yuka commanded and armed her parasol, “and I shall spare you your life. Refuse to accept my offer, and prepare to meet your demise.”
You, instead, grinned. With the remaining strength you had, you rose on your feet, stammering as you slightly lost your balance. You lifted White Fang to shoulder’s height and channelled energy into the shining blade until it glowed in bright blow. It was a secret technique you had learned from Youmu along your five years of apprenticeship with the half-ghost, half-human swordswoman but you never had the chance to perform it.
“Even if this will kill me, I am prepared to gamble everything. My body. My heart. My soul. My destiny. I will put everything I have into this blade.”
Yuka was in shock. “You… you can’t be serious! Defeating me with your life energy!?”
Alice had regained consciousness. She looked at you, shocked to see your deteriorating condition (made worse after you transferred your life energy into White Fang). She called out your name, but you are too focused at finishing the battle to even notice her. Not even Marisa’s yell was audible to your ears.
“Do you have enough petals, queen of flowers?”
“Do you have enough petals, queen of flowers?”
“You… said what?” Yuka demanded.
You snickered. “I said do you have enough petals, queen of flowers?”
“You dare mocking me?! THEN DIE!!!” Yuka shoot the overpowered Master Spark. It headed towards you and you appeared to be suicidal as you did not bulge, when in fact…
You ducked. The Master Spark missed and it pierced through the forest before it shot into sky. You seized the opportunity from the situation and dashed towards the stunted Yuka.
White Fang was driven into Yuka’s chest, directly penetrating her heart. The concentrated energy inside White Fang’s blade accumulated inside her body, trembling as it started going out of control.
“Heed my word, Yuka Kazami. A wounded wolf will still bite.”
The Four Season Youkai gagged in utmost shock, overcome by the impossible feat. “You… you…”
You twisted White Fang. The energy was released in form of a gigantic beam that completely destroyed her heart. Yuka howled in absolute agony, unable to understand how she could lose to a human for the second time. The pain was so crippling her flowers were unable to even grow under control.
“Impossible! I… lost?!”
She fell unconscious on the ground. You looked down at her, now surrounded by flowers of all seasons that were sprouting everywhere. You had done it. You had achieved the impossible, and you have overcome all odds.
“I… I did it…”
You wavered, stammering for a few seconds before your legs finally gave in. Like maple leafs falling down in autumn, you collapsed onto the ground and landed on your back. White Fang was released off your hand and stood erect as it plunged into the ground.
“Lone Wolf!” Alice ran towards you, holding your weakening body as she knelt next to you. “Keep hold of yourself, Lone Wolf! Please!”
You turned to her. “Hey, Alice…” Weakly you lifted your battered hand, which was caught by Alice’s hands. “I guess I had livened up my vow… hadn’t I?”
“No, Lone Wolf!” Alice’s voice was chocked in tears, and she repeatedly shook her head in protest. “Don’t leave me! I can’t live without you!”
“Who says you can’t?” you replied and coughed when blood garrotted your windpipe. “You’ve become strong along this time. I know you can…”
“No, I can’t!” she objected. “How am I supposed to live without you?! I love you, Lone Wolf! Don’t leave me alone!”
You had to chuckle. If she said it out of her sincerity, then it would be the first confessional of love you ever have. You were grateful to hear the sincere words but alas, you ponder, fate is always cruel to those whose hearts are united by one true feeling.
“Oh, what the hell… at time like this…”
“I love you with all my heart, Lone Wolf,” Alice spoke in sombre voice. “Ever since we met, I knew I’d finally found someone who could fill in the emptiness of my heart. I… I want both of us to live together… I want to be with you forever…”
“I know, Alice… I, too, share the same feeling. It’s just that…” You coughed again, and this time you wheezed in agony as your lungs were drowned in blood. Yet you pressed on. “…criminals like me never have the chance to redeem for his sins. I guess this is how a wounded wolf’s life should end…”
“Lone Wolf! You can’t die! Please!” Alice continued pleading. “I’ll ask for help! Please hold on! Please!” You signalled at her to stop crying; you did not want her to weep over your death, and you did not want her to suffer after your demise. “But… but…”
“Alice, do me one last favour…” you spoke in waning voice. “Whatever happens, you must continue living without me… you know you can… you have to believe in you…” She kept shaking her head, saying “no” all over again. “Please, Alice… I need to hear it… I don’t have much time left…”
“I… I…” She gulped and stared deeply into your eyes. It took a considerable effort before she blurted the answer, which you desperately need to hear. “…yes, Lone Wolf… I will… and…” She paused. Then she continues. “…and I’ll keep you inside my heart forever…”
You sighed in relief. “Thank you, Alice… it’s just what I need…” You gently wipe off her tears with your thumb. “Alice, I…”
You fought for the last time. Just to say it. Just to express it. Just to let her know your feelings along this time. “I…” Your strength has reached its limit, but you ignore it and press on. “…I love you… always…”
She smiled, and tightly clenched your hand in response. “I love you too, Lone Wolf…” she murmured between tears. “I will always love you…”
Your hand fell. Your eyes were shut tight. Your breath halted. Your heart slowed down, and then came to a complete stop. You could no longer hear anything. You could no longer feel anything. You could no longer experience anything. Not even Alice’s sorrowful cries as she called out your name could be heard. Not even her anguish sobs as she cradled your lifeless body could be noticed.
At last silence enveloped you.
And you carved your last smile…
Cirno...Maybe (by Kriegsaffe No.9, 2008-04-07)
You are Human Tennis.
One day you have ventured beyond the tiny hovel-huddle of Twice Baked Potato in search of sustenance, for your parents would rather spend the weekend hungry than work up the effort to catch a deer, gut it, clean it, cook it, and so on and so forth. You do not blame them, so you are in search of far easier prey: fairies.
You hunt by Damn It's Cold Lake. That's not its true name, mayhap, but Twice Baked Potato is not known for its adherence to Gensokyo traditions. It is mainly known for exporting grains and dried peas, as well as its bright and colorful smocks and sweaters. But really, you're there for the Twice Baked Potato ladies. Oh, those song-hearted Twice Baked Potato ladies...
You knock an arrow and loose it, and a small fairy with a stupid name (this is a rule: a fairy's name is stupid) now has an arrow through the skull. You collect the fairy and see, to your delight, it was a mother! Little bitty kitten-eyed fairylings look up at you, wondering what you've done to their mother. You crush them like ants beneath your bootheel, for you have no love of fairies.
Is it you, or is it even damn colder than normal?
As you scrape the fairy-girl-gunk off your ominous bootheel, you hear something behind you. Clearly it is another fairy--you are armed and ready before you see her, and send an arrow her way.
You succeed in somehow managing to send the arrow through her skirt, between her legs, and out the other side while missing her soft and fleshy bits entirely. She is a hovering idiot. You can smell the idiocy, raw and pungent as fresh-fallen snow. The sensory contradiction resolves itself as you see her spiral about in place trying to pull out the arrow and failing in a fashion best described as miserable.
What idiot is this? This giant tree...
Human Tennis, have you ever seen a fairy too stupid to breathe? You have now; it is the Ninefey. Somehow she manages to get the arrow lodged in her throat, and only an emergency Longshoreman's Heimlich restores her health and vigor.
You ask her what that was all about.
She shrugs and loses interest, and flutters off.
Then she flutters back.
She forgets, again, and wanders off.
You ignore the idiot and work more on cleaning the fairy you've captured. It is too late that you hear the whistling, as if from a great arrow nocked by one of the gods... and it lodges deep in you, and a sinister cold peels through your veins.
The idiot returns, and says, "Oh yeah! Hey, Hunt Person, don't--oh, nevermind." She tsks at the sight of you trying to pull the great, sickly-yellow barb from your body; tiny hooks and scoops along its length bury themselves in your flesh. Tearing it out would be fatal, the ensuing injury too huge and irregular to stem or heal. You keel over, trying to breathe, wondering what horrible thing you've walked into.
"So... does it suck pretty bad?" the idiot asks.
You nod, slightly.
"I was gonna say that some big sluggy guy was giving me guff and shooting spines and stuff at people and turning them into mindless zombies, but, well, you kinda beat me there."
Zombies? you ask.
You can feel the frost spread through your limbs, replacing breathing, replacing eating, shutting down organs bit by bit, enough for you to take inventory of your innards as they warp and change.
"Uh... wan' some tea or something?"
"No thanks," you say, "I think my stomach went--"
And these are your last words, for Eihort, the Taker, has taken residence in Damn It's Cold Lake, home of Cirno, the Ninefey, the Idiot, and so it happens, your company in your last moments alive and sapient. The Green takes your body, your memory. In a sense, Cirno does you a great deal of good: she wipes you out in one frost-searing blast, giving you barely a moment in your new and terrible form before slipping into the sweet oblivion of nothingness.
Such is the story of Human Tennis, who distracted Cirno briefly and died to no real end hunting for fairies to eat at dinner.
Koakuma (by VIVIT, 2008-04-07)
It's been three weeks to the day since you started working in the Scarlet Devil Mansion. If you had known there was a human village back then, you would have pressed on, but when you first arrived in this world, you were simply concerned with finding food and shelter. Convincing the gate guard that you were harmless, and sweet talking your way out of becoming the mistress's next meal, you managed to get a job as the lone butler of the Scarlet residence. You're not exactly comfortable being surrounded by people who consider human flesh a delicacy, especially for no pay, but the perks are good. And besides, you have something to look forward to everyday.
On your first day, you were assigned to the library on cleaning duty. It didn't last long; after about thirty seconds, a witch came flying down the aisle, knocking you unconscious with her broom. When you came to, there was a stunningly beautiful girl worriedly staring down with you. Surely, an illusion; you found the head maid attractive, but this girl was ten times that. After rubbing your eyes in an attempt to dispel the hallucination, you take another look. "Thank y..."
You're left speechless. The girl, now helping you sit up, had golden eyes and long red hair. Batlike wings extended from her back and head. She wore a black, yet modest, dress, unlike anything the maids are given.
Regaining your composure, you finish your sentence. "Thank you."
She didn't say anything, but rather simply nodded and helped lift you off the ground. You were completely entranced by her beauty; in fact, you couldn't take your eyes off her. Of course, she noticed, and began fidgeting uncomfortably. Realizing your rudeness, you quickly glanced to the side.
"I-I'm ______, and you are?"
She opened here mouth, but no words came out. Blushing, she made a few frenzied gestures with her hands before running off, stumbling over a pile of books in the process.
You later asked Patchouli who she had been. "Oh, her. She's my familiar. A devil, but only good for a cup of tea. Call her whatever you want."
A beautiful little devil, Koakuma.
After that, you asked Sakuya for permission to make the library your permanent workplace. Brushing you off, she mumbled that you were free to do as you pleased so long as you didn't interfere with the real work. You'd respond to what you knew was a thinly veiled insult, but the whispers of the fairies told you it was best to leave it.
You spent all your time in the library, cleaning the bookcases and helping Patchouli carry books and prepare rituals. Really, though, your point of interest was always Koakuma. She looked surprised when she first heard her new name, but quickly smiled. Even in her silence, you could recognize her happiness and excitement. From that moment onward, the two of you were nearly inseparable, parting only when you returned to your quarters or Patchouli gave you conflicting tasks. The witch initially eyed your relationship with suspicion, but eventually dismissed it with a sigh and left you to your own devices.
Koakuma, on the other hand, was more than happy to be around you. It's painfully apparent why Patchouli had said she was only good for a cup of tea; the girl is a tremendous klutz, flying into bookcases and dropping tomes from the topmost shelves. You still have to wonder how Patchouli managed until now without a dedicated member of the Maid Brigade at her disposal. Still, her accidents are always followed by what you've learned to interpret as a flustered apology; she's never spoken, but her expressions are easier to read than the notices posted for the fairies, who are so simpleminded they make the ice fairy outside look like Garry Kasparov.
Still, as of right now, the two of you are friends and close companions, but nothing more. Sensing that the stars are right, you've decided to make your move.
You've stayed in the library far longer than usual; you intentionally saved an ambitious reshelfing project for today so you would have an excuse. You're still working when Koakuma escorts Patchouli back to her bedroom. Patiently waiting, you go over things mentally one more time.
Koakuma returns to your side and places a book back in the shelf. In one swift motion, you grab her arm and embrace her. Mustering your courage, you whisper your confession into her ear, and draw back.
She looks rather surprised. Not in a bad way; she simply wasn't expecting this. You bring your face closer to hers. She struggles slightly, as if fighting against her conscience. You hesitate for a second to make sure you didn't misinterpret her response before making a second advance. This time, she meets you in liplock. Lifting her petite body, you stare into her eyes. Wordlessly, she returns your love.
Koakuma is well-treated for a familiar. Her bedroom is every bit as elaborate as Patchouli's, and her bed far more comfortable than yours. You take great care to control your primal urges; you want tonight to be enjoyable for both of you. Keeling before the bashful devil, you begin, gently and passionately.
Finally, when you can no longer restrain yourself, you climb on top of her. She's shy, and still a bit hesitant, but you reassure her that it'll be fine. Her mouth opens in a silent cry of pain as you enter, but she wraps her arms around you, not letting you go. As you progress, she begins to contribute more, eventually rolling you over and getting on top.
Maybe it's your love. Maybe it's her race. Whatever it is, tonight is like nothing you have ever experienced. It's beyond anything you've ever imagined; a feeling of pure bliss.
But, why do you feel so sleepy?
Keine (by "Project Mars", 2008-04-03)
You are an adventerous young man living in Japan. Having overheard a couple of fantastic stories about a dilapidated old shrine being the gateway to some fantastical land from a couple of young ladies in a cafe one day, you decide to go explore around it, after all, you have had a minor intrest in the occult. However, as you wander around inside the shrine building, it becomes increasingly apparent that there appears to be no hidden gateway to another world, and start heading out. Your not paying attention as you open the door, and walk right into a young brown haired miko. "Hey, What..." she starts angrily picking herself off of the ground, which seems more weed free than when you walked in, before stopping and looking at you with a puzzled expression "You aren't from around here, are you?" she finishes, slightly concerned. "Yeah I am, I live in Tokyo." you respond, not sure what she's getting at. "Tokyo? ... I thought I knew it... Damnit Yukari!" she says, "Well, I guess it can't be helped. Welcome to Gensokyo." "Gensokyo? What on earth are you talking about? Is that what this run down shr-" You say, wheeling around to look at the decrepit shrine... Only to notice that it no longer looks like it's gone through ages of disrepair. You're even more surprised at the pristine surroundings. You defentally were not in Japan anymore. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN RUN DOWN?!" The miko yells furiously. Just then a gaggle of children walk up, accompanied by two ladies, one is a short blonde in a black dress with a white apron and a black witch hat carrying a broom, and the other is a taller, silver haired woman in a blue and white dress wearing an absurd looking blue and red hat. "Yo Reimu, whatcha yelling about now?" The blonde calls out with a grin a mile wide. "Another person stumbled through the boarder, although this one has bad manners." the miko, Reimu, explains with an exaspirated look on her face. "Oh? I'm inclined to agree with him though, the shrine is looking a little shabby." the blond says, the grin growing even wider. "MARISA YOU LITTLE -" Reimu starts, glaring daggers at the blonde, and brandishing her gohei threateningly. "Hey! Don't fight in front of my students you two!" The silver haired teacher shouts, cutting off the explicitive before the kids could hear it. "Okay Keine. Would you like me to guide your students by myself? Reimu asked, all former traces of antagonism gone in a rather creepy smile considering her sudden mood change. "Eh? Really? Are you sure? This year's kind of a handful." Keine said, suspicious of the miko's generosity. "Well, I figured it would be a good chance for someone calmer to talk to the new arrival about life here in Gensokyo." Reimu said, wait... what did she mean by that? "You mean someone that isn't you..." "Of course. Well, come along children, I'll tell you about the history behind this shrine." Reimu left, hearding the children along with her as Keine sighed. "Well, I'm gonna go make some tea, would you two like some?" The witch, probably Marisa, said walking over to the shrine door. "I guess, would you like some too?" Keine asked you, snapping you out of your mulling... something seems up. "Alright, I'll be back with the tea." Marisa said, dissappearing inside the shrine and leaving you alone with Keine.
She wasn't that bad looking, you thought, her looks have a down to earth charm... wait, what were you thinking about exactly? You needed to get to more pressing matters, such as how to get back to your world. "Umm, what exactly did the miko mean by 'talking to me about life here'?" You asked Keine hesitantly, not sure you would like the answer. "Well..." She began, also hesitating with an air of not wanting to break bad news "Once you cross the Hakurei Border, you can never return." The words slammed into you like a large truck. "I'm... stuck here?" you said lowly, as if your mouth even disbelieved what it was saying. "Yes." Keine said, quickly adding "But it's okay, really! Gensokyo's a beautiful place full of wonderful people. Most people who wander through never really want to go back to be honest. Everyone finds something they appreciate and enjoy their life here." She gives you a soothing smile, as if to try to convince you every thing is going to be alright. God, that's a beautiful smile you think. "Ah! Forgive my manners, I'm -" You start, but are instantly interrupted by an enthusiastic "Tea's Ready!" coming from the shrine doorway. Damnit Marisa, you think as Keine gives a short laugh. "You were saying?" Keine said, walking over to get her glass from Marisa and sit down on the porch next to Marisa, who was eying you curiously. "My name is Takeshi Akumoto" you say, following suit and sitting next to Keine "I'm Marisa Kirasame, a humble witch," Marisa said, introducing herself as Keine snorted into her glass of tea "and the grumpy Miko is Reimu Hakurei." "I'm Keine Kamishirasawa. I teach school at the Human village." Keine said with a smile. That smile, you thought as you sipped your tea, has got to be one of the most gorgeous sight you have seen. And to top it off, she's not bad looking. I think, you decide, that i've found my reason to stay. "By the way," you ask, "What's life like here?" "Well..." Keine begins, and launches into a summery of what life is like, detailing what the village is like, where you could probably find work, dealings with mythical creatures known as youkai (to which Marisa adds a few, fantastical narrations on battles in the sky with magical bullets), and as you sit listening, time passes into the late afternoon rather quickly, and while Keine is talking about a place called the Scarlet Devil Mansion, Reimu and Keine's students walk up, done with the field trip.
"Ah, so I take it he's okay with staying here?" Reimu asked while Keine began a quick headcount. "Yup, I was giving him a brief outline of what it's like to live here." Keine responded while still mentally noting what students were there. "Wait, I thought I was stuck here forever." You asked, not sure if you were just lied to. "Well, you pretty much are, it's just I know a girl who could probably take you back... Trouble is, she asks for favors, which can kinda be hellish to fufill." Reimu said, quickly adding "So, I do kind of hope you don't want to go back." "No," you said quickly, "I think I can enjoy living here." "Good. Keine do you have any idea on what you are going to do with him?" "What do you mean? Isn't he your responsibility?" Keine asked confused, while your mind was wishing to go back with Keine, to have the opportunity to talk some more with her, get to know her better, perhaps even ask her out. "Well, It probably wouldn't be right for a male to stay at the Hakurei Shrine. Especially since that damn tengu buzzes around here every so often." Reimu said annoyedly. "That's true..." "Just get him a room at the local bar and ask the bartender to put it on my tab." "For how long?" "I'll work on getting people together to get a house for him first thing tommorow. "Is that so?" "Who are you, Rumia? Yes it is, don't belive that stupid crow, I actually DO work." Reimu said with the air of someone who had just be insulted. "Alright, Well, I guess we better go before it gets dark, say goodbye to Miss Hakurei children." Keine said with a motherly air. "Good bye Miss Reimu." The children chimed in Unison. "Bye kids! Stop drinking tea and go escort them Marisa." "Aww, alright." Marisa said dissapointed, and walking into step behind as you, Keine, and the group of kids decend the stairway in front of the Hakurei Shrine.
"So..."You ask, trying to break the ice with Keine, "What made you decide to teach history?" "Well, I've always had a deep intrest in history, and found out that the local school didn't have a history teacher, so I decided to pass on my knowledge to the kids there." "Oh? That's pretty nice. Empowering the next generation with the power of knowledge, eh?" "Pretty much. What about you? What did you do before coming to Gensokyo?" "Well..." You tell her about your life before Gensokyo, and the two of you continue to talk to each other until you reach a quaint little village, where Keine's students say their goodbyes and walk to their houses. "Another successful field trip, eh Keine?" Marisa asks, mounting her broom as though it were a horse. "Yes, I'm sure the kids enjoyed not having to worry about school work for today. Heading off Marisa?" Keine asked, releaved that a big day was over with. "Yup, I'm flying home. See you two around." Marisa said, before flying off on her broom. Somehow her stories didn't seem so fantastical. "Well, I guess now I should show you to the bar." "Hmm? Okay." You said, slightly disappointed that your time with her was about to be over. "Hey, Keine?" "Yes?" "This may sound crazy, but when I get the money, would you mind me buying you dinner some place?" You ask hesitantly. Hopefully she wouldn't think of you as some creep for asking her out after having just met her. "Uhhh..." she said, blushing deeply. "I guess that will be okay." she said after a couple of moments silence. "Okay then, umm, where should I meet you at?" You ask, relieved that you hadn't yet blew it with the girl of your dreams. "Over there at the school." She said, and pointed at what appeared to be a three room building. "Here's the bar." She said, the two of you arriving at your new temporary home. "So it is... Well, good night Keine." you say, a little bit of dismay creeping into your voice. "Good night Takeshi," Keine says with one of her beautiful smiles, "And welcome to Gensokyo."
Over the next few weeks, you get a job as a farmhand at a local farm while Reimu keeps to her word, and progress starts on a new house for you. When asking about how you would pay for it, Reimu tells you that the builders make homes for newcomers to Gensokyo for free as a way to sooth the sting of losing everything. Meanwhile, you visit the School every few days to chat to Keine, who at first seems rather suspicious, but later warms up and starts to enjoy your company. At the promised meal, you ask if she wouldn't mind going out with you, and she replies that she doesn't, and thus your relationship with Keine begins happily as you two commonly meet up after you finish work and she finishes classes and enjoy a meal together. This progresses for a few months, but a few things seem kind of odd to you. First off, she still seems kind of distant, as though she was hiding a major secret. Perhaps it had something to do with the fact that she was never available during the full moon. You ask her about it a few times, but she quickly changes the subject each time. And then one night before the full moon... "Hey Takeshi, do you want to come with me to meet a friend?" Keine asks hesitantly while the two of you are enjoying a nice meal you prepared. "Sure, what are we going to be doing?" You ask, wondering what it's about. It seems you would finally get to know what happens each month. "Drink Sake and watch the moon. So you'll have to bring a bottle of Sake and your own glass, okay?" "Sure, can't wait." you say, happy that it's a party, and not a simple chat while Keine smiles.
The next evening you and Keine made your way through the bamboo forest, each of you carrying a couple of bottles of sake and a glass. As you are talking with Keine, you notice she seems a little apprehensive. As you muse what could be making her seem that way, you arrive in a clearing where a girl with long blue hair and red suspenders is sitting on a rock. "Ah Keine, you're here on time. Hey, who's the guy?" The girl greets Keine while casting a suspicious look on you. "Oh, this is Takeshi, my boyfriend." Keine responds. "Really. Did he bring any booze?" "Yes." "Well, if he's not from Kaguya, and he is willing to share, he's welcome here. Let's get started." "Okay, but there is one thing I have to take care of first." Keine said, taking off her hat and producing a red ribbon from... somewhere. "What do... Oh. Blimey Keine, you mean you haven't told him yet?" Mokou said surprised. "Tell me what?" You ask her directly as the full moon peeks over the top of the bamboo forest. "About this." Keine said. You turn to face Keine and see that she is different. The blue highlights in her hair have turned green, along with, inexplicitly enough, her dress. But the most surprsing things was that she had a long, bushy tail and a pair of horns, one of which she was tying the red ribbon to. "I'm a Were-Hakutaku." "Oh..." You say, completely dumbfounded. "I didn't want to tell you because I was afraid you would abandon me..." Keine's voice trailed off. She looked like she was about to cry. "I... wow..." You said, still unsure what to think as your mind was getting over the shock. How could this change anything though? Apparently you looked more shocked than you thought or something, as Keine began to sob out "I hope you aren't scared, or mad, or... oh gods... please don't be upset." "I... I'm not. Really, I'm not. Keine, this doesn't really change anything. I still love you." You say, drawing close to Keine and puting an arm around her "You do?" She looks at you hopefully, eyes still watering. "Yes." And you kiss her. "Well, now that that's taken care of... Let's Get Smashed!" Mokou said, trying to not be forgotten and to break up the two of you from your embrace. "uhh, hello? Oy! Didn't you two come to drink?" "I think that sounds like a plan," You say after you stop kissing, "Right Keine?" "Sure." "Okay then... Let's get to drinking! I feel like getting good and drunk after watching you two love birds." Mokou said, pouring herself a glass of sake and gulping it down. And you party like this the rest of the night.
Over the next month your relationship with Keine dramatically improves. She no longer seems as withdrawn as she used to, and the two of you spend more time making out. The most annoying thing, however, is that the news of your going out with Keine apparently is newsworthy, according to a black winged lady that Keine seemed to not like too much. Having thought long and hard about it, you figure the time is just about right and decide to propose to Keine on the night of the next full moon. You go out and buy a wedding ring, and reherse asking the question, and when the night of the full moon comes, you walk along side Keine to Mokou's clearing carrying a few bottles of sake, your glass, and fully confident that you were headed to lifelong bliss with Keine. After you exchange greetings with Mokou and set your bottles and glasses down, you turn to Keine, who had just transformed. "Keine?" you ask, nervous about what you are going to say. "Yes Takeshi?" She says, still tying her horn ribbon. "Will you..." You say hesitantly, bending down on one knee and taking the ring out of your pocket, "Will you marry me?" Keine's hands fly up to her face as she gasps and turns three shades of red. Mokou looks at you as well, a shocked look on her face as her mouth is slightly agape. "... Yes." Keine says when she regains her composure, and the two of you embrace each other deeply and share a deep kiss. This is the happiest moment of your life, you think. "YOU!" You hear Mokou gasp, as something wizzes past your ear. You stop kissing Keine and look at the ground. It was an Arrow, with blue and red fletching. "I'm sorry to interrupt such a tender scene... but there's something that has been a long time coming." A cold sinister female voice said. You turn around to see who the voice belongs to. Floating in mid air are two women, one is a purple haired bunny girl in a surprisingly modern outfit, and the other one is a silver haired lady garbed in a blue and red nurse outfit holding a bow with a quiver strapped to her back that contained... one arrow? "It's finally time..." The silver haired lady begins with a sneer, "For you to die, Mokou."
"Eirin," Mokou bit out, "You Bitch! You and Kaguya know perfectly well I can't Die! Why the Bloody Hell do you keep coming out here? What the Bloody Hell do you think you can Prove? YOU JUST FUCKING INTERRUPTED SOMETHING IMPORTANT TO MY BEST FRIEND YOU DAMN COW!" "So I see," The nurse said, "But you are wrong about your inability to die... This time at least." "What the do you mean?" Mokou seemed confused. Like she was disbelieving what Eirin was getting at, like she was suspecting that the nurse had come up with something impossible. "I'm talking about a very special antidote I have created. A "cure", so to say, of the Hourai Elixer." "Your lying." "No, never. Eventually Kaguya and I will grow tired of being immoral, so a way to reverse the Hourai Elixer would have had to been made eventually. However I grow tired of being sent out to kill you repeatedly, So I figured I would make the next time I kill you more Permanent." Keine stepped in between Eirin and Mokou, "You will NOT harm Mokou," She said coldly, "Leave. Now." "Tut tut, I'm afraid I can't do that just yet," Eirin said with a sneer, "After all, I don't want to disappoint Lady Kaguya." "Keine, just go. I can handle the two of them. If not... well, enjoy your life with Takeshi." Mokou said wearly, trying to calm Keine down and get her to see reason. "No. There is no way I can let them kill you." Keine said, starting to float up. "Oh? Not abandoning the brat again? Very well, I leave her to you Reisen." Eirin said, before launching a series of brightly colored balls of magic at Mokou... Or at least the spot she was a moment before they hit. "Yes master." The bunny girl said before engaging in a similar battle with Keine. Unreal, you thought as the sky lit up in a dazziling display that would put some of the best fireworks shows to shame. Unfortuantly, as the fight wears on for a few minutes, you can see that Keine is slightly outclassed, while Mokou and Eirin are just about dead even in skill. Wondering what you could do, your spot something sticking out of the ground. The Arrow! Rushing over you carefully pull it out of the ground, hoping that no one notices you and brush off some of the dirt before testing it. Good, still sharp you think as you slowly creep around to get a better shot at Reisen. It's a bit harder than you would have thought, but eventually she stands still for a few moments and your brain screams out 'THROW IT!' as you aim and throw the arrow using all the strength you could muster. The arrow flies up, and hits Reisen in the leg, Yes! Distracted by the pain shooting up through her body, Reisen doesn't notice the bullet aimed for her face, which promptly smacks into her and blows up, sending her unconscience body flying to the ground.
"Nice going you-ARRGH!" Mokou begins, turning to congratulate you both when series of bullets slam into her legs, producing a loud cracking noise that you can only guess is bones breaking. Mokou falls to the ground, crying out in pain as Eirin, a triumphant look on her face, pulls out the arrow in her quiver. "Mokou!" Keine cried out. "You got distracted and made a fatal mistake Mokou," Eirin said tauntingly getting ready to draw the envenomed arrow back, "It's been a few long centuries, but it's about to all be over." Eirin drew back the bow, and before releasing the arrow offered her quary these last words. "Sayonara, Mokou. Give my regards to hell." And she fired the arrow. However, at that moment, you noticed something that shocked you. Keine rushed forward to block the arrow's path. Eirin noticed it too, as the arrow seemed to travel in slow motion, you could tell her triumphant look gave way to one of pure horror. And then, the arrow struck her just below her chest, sinking in to a lung. A fatal wound. "You... Will not... Harm her." Keine gasped out, and fell. "KEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINNNNNNNNNNNNNEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!" You yelled, rushing over to the fallen body of your fiancee, tears steaming down your face. No, no no no no. Not Keine... anything but... your mind races. you drop down and pick her head up in your lap as the life fades from her eyes. "Take...shi?" Keine asks weakly. "I'm here Keine... I love you, please don't..." you start before your throat seems to close up, choaking out your plea. "I... I... lo..." Keine starts, but can't finish as the light in her eyes fades, and her body goes limp. Keine is dead. You break down and sob uncontrollably as Eirin and Mokou silently look on in great sorrow.
"Mokou?" Eirin asks after an indetermenant amount of time after you had cried yourself asleep. "Hmm?" Mokou asks, her powers having mended her legs, she had grabbed a blanket from a box near the rock and layed it over you. "If you stay hidden, I'll lie to Kaguya and say you are dead." "Why? You killed my best friend, and you don't want me to come after you? What the bloody hell are you smoking?!" Mokou said in a quiet roar, trying not to wake you up, "Shit, I'll burn the whole ruddy mansion down for this." "That's not what she would have wanted. She gave your life to protect you, you know. Don't waste that by taking your rage out and killing a few hundred helpless rabbits, and possibly end up dying in the process, We still have more, you know." Eirin said coldly. Mokou was speechless. "What about her? and Him?" she said after awhile. "What are we going to do? How are we going to break the news to everyone?" "By telling the truth. That I killed her in an attempt to kill you. Some control would have to be taken to keep Kaguya in the dark, mind you, perhaps making sure the Bunbunmaru doesn't report this particular incident. But perhaps I can arrange for some kind of reparations..." "... But it won't be enough, no matter what... I mean, losing one's fiancee right before your eyes... and having just proposed..." "I know. But I can't think of a way to take back my actions. I'm sure she's already seen Shiki for judgement or perhaps is living with Yuyuko by now. I don't think even Yukari could have the ability to bring her back now." "hmm..." Mokou thought pensively, "It still doesn't seem right..." "I doubt it will ever. My only wish is that when he passes on he'll get to meet her again. But for now, I need to get back. Lady Kaguya might be worrying by now. And I might have to let Reisen know what to say when she wakes up." "True... one thing's for sure, Keine really did a number on knocking her out." "Yup. They made a wonderful pair. I regret this night, it's probably going to give me bad dreams. Well, Sayonara Mokou, please make sure Keine's life wasn't spent in vain." Eirin said as she walked over to Reisen's still limp form, picked her up, and flew off into the night. Mokou leaned back on the rock, looked at you sleeping serenely on Keine, and then to the moon. What a bloody hell of a night. She thought as she tried to sort out what to do next.
You are just another youkai hunter, with a grudge against all of them. You have a special poison that you yourself made that could kill any kind of youkai permanently. You relish the thought of hearing their dying screams, their pleas for mercy.
In other words, you are a sadist.
It was just another night, out in the forest. You were looking for some powerful youkai to murder, or just to fight. You had just had a cake with an overdose of sugar, so you were hyper and had to fight SOMETHING.
You noticed a small black ball following you. Wonder what it could be, you pulled out your gun and fired a bullet into it. The thing yelped, and red liquid started to form a trail as it flew away. You wondered what you had just hit, so you started to follow it. The thing was groaning in pain, and the darkness around it was fading.
As the darkness diminished, you saw a young girl, crying and moaning in pain. She cradled her arm, which had been hit. She was wearing a white blouse under a black vest, and she wore a frilly black skirt. She had a red ribbon in her hair. Her hair was the color of sunflowers, and her eyes were red, obvious evidence that she was a youkai.
You knew that she was a lot older than you, but maybe it was her childish appearance, or maybe the sad sound of her cries, but you couldn’t help feeling sorry for her. You HAD to help her.
“Shh… It’s okay, I’m going to help you,” you say.
“Is that so~? It hurts so badly…” she moans.
“Oh… Well, it’s only a graze. It didn’t go in.”
“Oh? That’s good.”
You tear off your shirt and put it on top of the wound. You put pressure on the wound, causing the bleeding to stop. Then, you rip the shirt to make a bandage. “Where are your parents? Where do they live?” you ask.
“Oh, I don’t have any. And I also don’t have a home~,” she replies.
“Oh. Do you have any friends that you usually stay with?”
“Yeah, I’ll show you. They probably would be worried sick.”
She led you to the large lake that surrounded the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Her friends gawk at you. You see a fairy in a blue dress, a winged sparrow youkai, and an androgynous looking firefly youkai. “Oh, you must be the one that Rumia keeps talking about. She likes to watch you,” says the fairy. “Shut UP, Cirno!” the girl squeals.
“Oh, your name is Rumia? What a lovely name,” you say.
The girl turns a deep pink, which you think is just adorable. You feel kind of strange, but you are beginning to like this girl. And this is the first time you’ve ever loved a youkai.
The one called Cirno begins to taunt, “I think that Rumia has a thing for you. It’s pretty cute.”
“I SAID, shut UP!”
Rumia pounced on the little fairy. “Be careful, you don’t want to hurt your arm again,” you say, gently lifting her off the fairy.
“What? Rumia got hurt??” the birdlike youkai asked.
“Some jerk back there shot me in the arm. But this nice guy rescued me,” Rumia explained.
‘Heh, yeah, that was a close call,” you say nervously, not letting them know that you were the jerk who shot her.
“Well anyway, I have to go home. I’ll see you guys later. Bye!” you say, heading home.
You wonder why a strange new feeling was growing in your chest. Why did you take pity on Rumia? Why didn’t you shoot her down and her weird little friends?
You decide to sleep on it.
The next few days, you see a lot more of Rumia and occasionally her buddies would accompany her. You begin to look forward to her company. You begin to learn more about her, and slowly fall in love with the strange, night-loving girl.
One day, she’s attacked by a random mob of youkai hunters. You run to her defense as they try to tear her to pieces. You defeat her then run to her side to ask if she’s ok. Then, she does something unexpected.
She leans in to kiss you, and you lean back. You enjoy every second of her kiss, and her embrace, and you know that you want to spend the rest of your life with her.
You start to form a relationship, and you love each other more as time goes by. One day, you meet her in the forest, holding a black box.
She comes out from behind her usual hiding spot, and you kneel down in front of her, opening the black box. She gasps as she sees what’s inside. “Rumia, I love you. I always will love you. I want to be with you forever and start a family with you. Will you be my wife?”
“Is that so~?”
“Yes it is so.”
“Then yes! I always want to be together with you!”
She gives you a kiss for what seems like the longest time ever. After you get married, you are happily kissing as you lead her into your room and shut the door.
A few days later, Rumia tells you that she will be having your baby. You both are overjoyed, and trying to come up with names for your kid.
Her friends look a bit older, like teenagers now. The firefly and the sparrow have boyfriends, and Cirno is now happily married.
Life is good. Or is it?
You eventually become a magician youkai, with the help of Alice. Your friends hear this, and, sure enough, they are mad. You have to take Rumia and run off to a house near the Moriya shrine. There, your son is born. You name him Tanikichi, and he is the light of your life. Since there are no schools nearby, you home school him while Rumia does the chores.
One day, your ex friends find you. They burst into your house. Rumia tries to attack them with a butcher knife, but the attack fails. “Ah, yes, this is the one we wanted to test our new poison on, hm? We call it Kuroyuki.”
“K-kuroyuki…” you say, remembering. “No! It’s highly toxic to one with youkai blood!” You remember because it was you who made the poison, and YOU who suggested that they tested on Rumia.
But this was before you loved her.
“Oh, well, you are the inventor, <insert name>. Have you told your wife about the poison?” one of your friends says.
“You invented it?! You’re a youkai hunter??? You lied to me! You said you had no idea who they were, why they were chasing us! I’m sick of being left in the da---GAGK!”
Her sentence is interrupted as half the bottle is poured down her throat. All you can do is watch as they throw her down to the floor and snatch Tanikichi
“No! Stop, please!” you shout. You struggle and struggle and finally get free, but it is too late. They have poured half the bottle down her throat and are already trying to force Tanikichi’s mouth open. You sit on the ground beside Rumia, who is coughing up blood. “I’m sorry! Please, I love you, and I promise to take care of Tanikichi, and my enemies are liars,” you try to persuade.
Before collapsing on the ground and drawing her last breath, Rumia says three final words. “Is…that…so…?”
You hear your son crying, and screaming but the scream gets lower. Then you realize, it’s your enemy that is screaming. You turn around to a horrible sight. Tanikichi is holding the butcher knife, and he has gutted every last one of the captors. He flies off and becomes a ruthless murderer.
A few days later, you decide you can’t stand your life anymore, so you take out the vial of poison left behind so long ago among the skeletons that you never bothered to clean up. Then, you go outside, near Rumia’s grave, and drink the poison.
When you go to the great Yamaxanadu to be judged, she sends you to hell for committing suicide and killing innocent youkai. She has also set up an eternal torture for you.
You wake up in a room, with your wife. But she has changed. Her ribbon is gone, and a red halo surrounds her hair. Black wings come out of her body, and her once happy eyes are filled with hate. She ties you to a cross and tears off your clothes.
As soon as you think, A man could get used to this, Rumia pulls out a large black sword and mutters, “The murderer was crucified.”