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Long light blue hair with a large red bow, whitish shirt, red overalls, and a crapload of red and white charms tied all over her hair and clothes. It was Huziwara no Mokou without a doubt. Was that a good thing or a bad thing though? Despite my nervousness in being the presence of an immortal and powerful person, I managed to stammer out a sort of greeting, "H-hi...?"
Mokou looked amused at my stutter, but Keine looked disapprovingly at me and scolded me, "Well, don't just stand there. Come here, we'll talk about your problem while keeping Mokou company."
Hesitantly, I approached the two and sat down, closer to Keine than to her friend. She sat down too.
"So you want me to change your history so that you never came to Gensokyo, correct?"
"Haha, that's almost just like how I wanted you to change my history so that I never touched the Hourai elixer. But it was much too late then. Perhaps you will have the good fortune of knowing what needs knowing for Keine's power to work."
I tried to figure out what Mokou was saying. Too late for Keine's ability to work? Knowing what needs knowing? I realized that I didn't even know how the power to change history worked. So I asked.
"What are you talking about?"
"Oh, I thought you said you knew everything about me and my abilities. Well perhaps Mokou would like to explain how she learned how I couldn't help?"
"If you wish. About 1200 years ago, with the foolish designs of the moon princess, I happened to acquire a certain medicine. When I drank it, I stopped aging. People no longer even considered me human and, with my endless existence, other people grew to fear me. I chose to leave the people and live a life of solitude. About 1180 years after that event, I heard of a person, a person who could manipulate history. I found her on a full moon, but she was unable to help me. For her power to work, she needed to know all the important events that has happened to the person in the past up until the point that needs to be changed for she can only remove history that is known. I, of course, couldn't remember what had happened in those 1180 years. Since then, she has visited me every full moon to keep me company. It is her way of... apologizing in a sense."
"I only have a few days to remember though. I've been in Gensokyo for maybe only a week."
"Well we shall see if this will work. Try to recount, backwards, what has happened since you arrived."
I tried. Getting saved by Keine, encountering the prank of the three fairies, staying at Marisa's house, getting interviewed by Aya about fireworks, going to Kourindou, meeting Alice, getting saved by Marisa from Sakuya, being forced by Marisa to carry books, staying at Remilia's mansion, watching Reimu fight Remilia, sleeping over at the Hakurei shrine, getting saved by Reimu from fairies, getting saved by Yuyuko from Youmu, waking up in Gensokyo...
"That's it I think."
"But, you stopped when you were still in Gensokyo."
"Well, when I don't really know how I got there. One minute I was in my room, the next I trip and wake up in the middle of a forest. Is that... bad?"
"...Yes, that's a vital piece of information. I'm afraid I can't help you either. I'm sorry..."
I stood up and said much more loudly than I meant to, "Well, why not? That's a stupid rule!"
Keine didn't even flinch at my rather sudden outburst. I, however, was surprised by how angry - no not angry, frustrated - I was. I didn't realize how much hope I was putting on her until she told me that what I requested was impossible. Still sitting she replied, "I understand why you might be angry with this, but it's not a rule more as a limitation in my ability. I cannot simply remove your existence from Gensokyo without changing the histories of all the people you have affected as well. Of the many people you have influenced, all but one are accounted for, the one who brought you here."
I sighed and sat back down, wondering what I was going to do now. If Keine couldn't help, and if I couldn't find Reimu again, what was I going to do? And then I realized just how drowsy I was. The full moon had already reached its peak in the sky and was descending down already to let the sun dominate again in a few hours. Apparently, the other two also felt that it was time to part again before the night ended. They stood up and exchanged farewells.
"It was good to see you again, Mokou. I'm sorry that we can't speak to each other more."
"Likewise. I'll look forward to the next full moon. And it was nice to meet another human as well, though we most likely will never meet again."
I didn't quite know how to reply so I kept my silence and just nodded. I probably would've said something stupid anyway. Mokou turned her back on the two of us and walked off into the forest. The darkness quickly engulfed her and soon enough I couldn't even see her outline.
"Well, I guess we should get back to the village."
I nodded and walked off with her.
Something was wrong. I'm not sure how I knew, but I definately knew it. I stopped walking and my sense of unease grew. Keine glanced back and, seeing that I halted, stopped as well. Not a word had been spoken the whole walk back so far, but now...
"I... I think we should get back to the village. Now."
"What are you talking about?"
"I don't know. I think something is happening, or is going to happen."
Without pursuing the issue further, she turned around and took flight. From somewhere above the tree canopies, I heard her shout, "It's not too much farther to the village! I'm going to check ahead!"
It was deathly silent afterwards as I started running towards the village. Bt the time I caught up to her, Keine had landed back on the ground still quite far from the village gates. As I walked up, she said, "There's nothing here."
And just as soon as those words escaped her lips, the village lit up with an uncountable amount of magic bolts. Both of us were shocked by the sudden appearance of the attack and stared for a few seconds before realizing what was happening. The village was under attack.
I turned to Keine who still hadn't moved. A few seconds later, more blasts of light appeared in the village; Keine still didn't do anything.
"Aren't you going to do anything? They're going to die!"
"I... I can't..."
"Are you still worrying about hiding your transformed state? Now isn't the time for that!"
"No buts! Every moment we're losing may cost someone's life!"
"Argh, fine! I'll go myself."
I ran off towards the village, though I wasn't sure how I was going to help. Looking back, Keine was still standing in the same spot like a statue. Great. Looking where I was running again, I saw the already ruined houses and people running to get shelter from the assault. Another wave of red energy appeared as I just passed the first houses. The bolts were sparsely spread around with human sized gaps in between. I found a larger than normal gap and ran through without slowing down. The magic seemed to be coming from the center of the village so I headed toward there, still not knowing what that would accomplish, not even knowing what I would find there. As I ran towards the center, I saw people hiding behind trees, ruined house walls, and rocks. So far, no one I saw looked hurt at all. Almost at the place where I suspected the attackers to be, another wave of light blasted towards me, this time blue. Closer to the source, there were almost no gaps in the assault and I had no other choice. I used my momentum to dive forward, right at the solid wall of energy, and braced myself.
As I went through, every part of my body that touched the light felt like it was on fire right down to my nerves. My body tensed up and I hit the ground, rolling to a stop at my goal, the center of the village. Too distracted by the pain of hitting the wall of magic bolts, I didn't even notice that I had rolled right next to the very thing I was trying to find. That is, until I heard a voice demand, "You, where is Keine Kamishirasawa?"
Forcing myself to ignore the pain, I looked up to see a woman with long black hair wearing something that seemed to be traditional Japanese clothing. As if in answer to this person's question, another voice replied, "Right here."
I looked in the direction of the voice and there stood Keine. Finally.
"What are you doing, Kaguya?"
Keine seemed different somehow. She spoke differently and her attitude was too relaxed for what was happening. On top of that, she didn't seem to mind, or notice, that the people of the village were looking and muttering at her transformed body. I was still on the ground, but the pain was ebbing and it seemed that Kaguya didn't care much for me anymore. I tried to be stealthy as I backed away on all fours, but ended up making a lot of noise anyway. She ignored me and instead replied to Keine as I made my way well away from her.
"Oh, nothing really. Just drawing you out so that you could tell me where a certain immortal being was."
"You won't get a word of that out of me!"
"Oh? Perhaps I didn't destroy enough. As you may know, there's a full moon tonight and that gives Lunarians back their full power as if they were still on the moon."
I looked up at the moon and saw that it was very low in the sky already. There was perhaps another half hour before the night would end. Keine smiled wickedly.
"Oh really? The full moon happens to be the time where I'm at my best too."
Kaguya smiled back, her hand glowing white with magical energy.
"Then prepare yourself, this will be a fun fight!"
Both jumped away from each other and flew up to a great height, casting and dodging spells along the way. The battle was extremely fast-paced (as expected from a fight between a final boss and an extra mid-boss) and within the first minute I had already lost track of the movements of the two; all I saw were the deadly points of light that were forming intricate designs in the sky. They were so high up that the energy dispersed long before they would have hit the ground.
A small child, the same little boy whom I had seen when I had woken up the previous day, gasped beside me. Had he seen something I hadn't? Perhaps his eyes were sharper than mine.
"Weird-looking Keine is falling!"
I looked up again and saw that, indeed, something was falling towards the ground. As I watched, however, it slowed down and stopped. Immediately afterwards, a sort of radiance burst out briefly and I heard a faint female voice declare, "Origin Sign 'Ephemerality 137'!"
A split second later, several glowing white familiars materialized in front of Keine and launched themselves at Kaguya. They exploded in quick succession and created thick, lingering fields of magic, but Kaguya seemed not to have been hit. However, the attack seemed ferocious enough to worry her as she, too, activated a spellcard.
"Impossible Request 'Robe of Fire Rat'!"
Giant waves of fire formed around Kaguya and expanded outward. The exploding familiars that Keine was spawning nullified the fireballs, but they couldn't be summoned quickly enough. If it went on, Kaguya's spellcard would overtake Keine's. She seemed to realize this and abandaned her spell. Flying back down to the ground, she landed a few feet from me and winked.
"Isn't there a saying that one should 'fight fire with fire'? Immortal 'Fire Bird -Flying Phoenix-'!"
What!? That's Mokou's--
A phoenix engulfed Keine's body in fire before seperating from her and flying straight up towards Kaguya. It absorbed the fire from the impossible request, growing brighter as it flew towards its target. At the same time, the last of the moon dipped below the horizon and the night ended. I looked to Keine just as she collapsed to the ground. Running up to her, I saw that her horns and tail had already disappeared.
"Hey! Are you alright?!"
The townspeople gathered around as she opened her eyes again.
"What's going on?"
"What do you mean? You were just fighting Kaguya. Look..."
I looked and pointed up at the sky where I had last seen the Lunarian, and saw something quite astonishing. Kaguya stopped her spellcard, dodged the firebird, and proceeded to fly down with the obvious intent of finishing off Keine, but as the phoenix flew past, it changed shape and color. In a moment, what was a bright red phoenix had become a human. This human created another phoenix and launched it at Kaguya's back. It connected and Kaguya fell down to the earth. Stupidly, my mind made the most inappropriate comment, Owned...
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