Author Topic: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)  (Read 22363 times)

Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« on: April 25, 2009, 01:40:17 PM »
Yep, I'm still around. As one may have guessed, I'm reposting/continuing Thought's End and Embodiement of Dreams here. This may be a good thing, because if the better portion of the story is all in one place, it may be easier for those new to the story to get into it. I payed a little attention to the Terms of Agreement, and "Profane" was one of the big no-nos when it comes to posting here, so for this reposting, I'll replace all the F-bombs from the original with other words (actually, part of me felt like doing this from the start). If there are other words that are unacceptable, just say the word and I'll see what I can do about fixing those too. One final thing, since it's going to be just story for awhile, any posts I make that are non-story in this thread will be in brackets [like this,] so it will be easier to tell, though that won't be for awhile. Only with new installments.

At any rate, enjoy!
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At an initial glance, everything appears simple, but behind all that, there is a much deeper meaning.

What is the true nature of ?life?? What is the true nature of ?death?? What is the true nature of ?existence??

Are we who we think we are? Do you know who you are?

Do the things we believe we see, hear, taste, feel, and smell truly are what we believe? Are they what we think they are? Is there a grander meaning behind all the things we take for granted?

What is the universe? What are the possibilities?


               
TOUHOU PROJECT Episode ?: THOUGHT'S END


I?m flying on my broomstick at roughly 45 miles per hour across a lake to an island; an island I have visited many times before, all for the same reason, save the very first time, and this time is no different.

My blonde hair blows in the wind and I keep my large black pointed hat from flying off by holding it down with my left hand.

My name is Marisa Kirisame, magician extraordinaire! The world I live in is known as Gensokyo. It is a land that was originally inhabited by youkai until humans started living in it as well. Youkai come in many forms. Most of them are unintelligent creatures that try to live by eating humans, but there are others that are very intelligent and sometimes can?t be told apart from humans in any easy sense. My best friend Reimu, a miko, and I used to live by hunting youkai that endanger human lives, but since then, we?ve befriended quite a few of the stronger youkai in Gensokyo.

I am on my way to Scarlet Devil Mansion, a castle-like building, which is the home of one of those said youkai, a vampire named Remilia Scarlet. Besides Remilia, however, there are also a number of other residents that live there: Aside from its staff of maids, composed purely of low-level youkai, there is Flandre Scarlet, Remilia?s younger sister, who is insane and can cause horrifying amounts of destruction when she gets angry or wants to have some sadistic fun. However, she is usually spoiled, and thus, docile. She also seems to have a crazed crush on me, much to my dismay. Another resident is Hong Meiling, who guards the mansion?s front gate, who is an expert martial artist and can control her chi. There is also Patchouli Knowledge, who lives in the mansion?s library and spends most of her time reading, which makes sense, considering she?s not in the best of health. She can cast powerful elemental spells, however. Lastly, there is Sakuya Izayoi, the sole human in Scarlet Devil Mansion, who works as the head maid. She?s good with knives and can control time to a degree. Even though she?s generally viewed as Remilia?s loyal dog, Reimu and I have a better relationship with her than anyone else in the mansion. Remilia once tried to cover Gensokyo in a red mist, blocking out the sun, which is fatal to vampires like her and Flandre. Of course, this caused crops to stop growing and everything to become cold. Reimu and I fought through the mansion and convinced Remilia to recall her mist. Later, Flandre escaped the mansion and attacked a village. After a rough battle, Reimu and I stopped her and brought her home. Since then, Sakuya had been an ally of ours in stopping subsequent disasters that befell Gensokyo.

While I?m on generally friendly terms with Scarlet Devil Mansion?s residents, Patchouli doesn?t like me stealing books from her library. She?s very protective of them, so it?s probably useless to ask to borrow them. Well, that?s what I plan to do. Sneak into the library and steal some books without getting caught. No big deal. After all, she?s a youkai and I?m a human, so between us, I?ll probably die first, at which point, no one is going to stop her from taking her things back? Of course, considering Patchouli?s resistance to diseases, or lack thereof, I just might outlast her, at which point, her books will be all mine!

The island shortly comes into sight, along with the mansion, which always surprises me by how big it is, even though I?ve been here many times before. Within minutes, I?m close to the front gate. Standing in front of it is a red-headed girl wearing a green Chinese dress, the door guard, Hong Meiling. She?s a youkai, even though she looks exactly like a human. In fact, there are quite a few youkai that are hard to tell from humans. Even though she?s pretty tough as youkai go, she?s pretty easy to get past. From a distance, I observe Meiling?s posture. She?s leaning against the wall next to the gate. I pause for a few seconds and I hear her snore. Bingo! She tends to take naps on the job, which makes things easier for me. I fly over the gate and slowly open the front door. I sneak across the vacant lobby, which is the closest location leading to the library. I made it this far. It would be bad if I get caught now?

?EEEK! You?re?!? A fairy maid comes out of one of the guest rooms to the side. Shit!

?Sorry,? I say as I extend my hand toward the maid and fire a small blast of magical energy from my hand, knocking the fairy out cold. I hope her scream didn?t alert others in the mansion. I run to the door leading down to the library.

After descending a long flight of spiral stairs, I?m in the mansion?s basement, where all the books are kept. It has a ton of tall bookcases, making the place feel like a maze. Without them, however, you could make an underground gymnasium out of the place. I tiptoe around, trying to remain silent. Patchouli rarely leaves this room, so she?s here? somewhere? I just have to get what I?m after and split. After a few minutes, I find what I?m looking for: a book entitled ?Elemental Spells.? I?ve wanted that one for a while, but it?s so deep in the library, that there?s a high risk of getting caught. I must be lucky today. I remove the book, which is about 1,638 pages thick, from the shelf, but suddenly, I hear a high pitched noise, which makes me flinch upon hearing it. Suddenly, all the bookshelves lower into the ground, completely blowing my cover. In front of me, beyond where the bookshelf was, there is a girl with long purple hair and pale skin, wearing something that looks like a nightgown: Patchouli Knowledge herself. Behind her, there is a red-haired girl with bat-like wings extending from her head, wearing a black dress: Patchouli?s assistant, Koakuma.

Aware of my situation, I mutter, ?Oh shit??

Patchouli says, in her one-tone voice, ?Marisa Kirisame. That alarm indicates one thing: you tried to steal my book on elemental spells.?

I shrug and say, ?Yes. Why is there an alarm for that one??

Patchouli?s eyes narrow, ?I?m sure even you can figure out that book, which I read seventy years ago, taught me the magic I wield today. I take it you had the goal in mind to mimic my spells??

I answer, ?Well, yeah. That was kinda what I was planning??

Patchouli says, ?I may be a sickly girl who spends 95.8% of her time in this basement, but even I have pride in my abilities and I intend to be the only one in Gensokyo who wields elemental magic. I shall keep that book from entering the outside world? through force if needed. Koakuma.?

Koakuma steps up, ?Yes, Miss Knowledge??

?Stop Marisa.?

?Understood,? Koakuma pulls a piece of paper with a complex character painted on it out of her pocket. It?s a spell card. Among Gensokyo?s higher-level residents, those are a common tool in combat. There is only so much someone can do on their own, so spell cards are used to extend that limit. They provide their users with extra energy, so they can cast high-level spells or techniques. They require a degree of the user?s energy too, however, so overusing them can be disastrous. ?Cold Sign!? She makes her initial declaration. The spell card turns into blue energy, which fills Koakuma, which indicates that?s she can make the actual casting of her spell at any time. She extends her hand toward me, ?Icicle Mist!? Several tiny blades of ice form around Koakuma out of thin air and fly toward me.

I jump back, throwing the book to the side and pulling out a spell card of my own, ?Magic Sign!? My card turns into gold and violet energy, which flows into me. I feel more powerful and energized. The first time, it was the greatest sensation in the world, but it became a regular feeling every subsequent time. I extend my hand toward Koakuma, ?Stardust Reverie!? The energy in my body converts into a flurry of blasts of magic in the shape of stars. I feel a split second of dizziness, but recover instantly, with only a slight decrease in my physical stamina. My stars intercept Koakuma?s icicles. I jump to the side, dodging the icy blades that got through my counterattack, but Koakuma isn?t as fast and she gets bombarded by my attack. She gets knocked off her feet and hits the floor back-first, defeated. Well, since I?ve been caught and I?m being fought by two librarians, I might as well enjoy this. I look at Patchouli, ?C?mon, Patch! Are you gonna have your little bitch fight your battles for you??

Patchouli responds, ?I was merely trying to wear you down so I can defeat you easily.?

I grin, ?Well it didn?t work very well. I?m good to go for several more rounds.?

?We shall see?? Patchouli draws a spell card, ?Metal & Water Sign.? Gray and blue energy fills Patchouli, ?Mercury Poison.? A terrible smell fills the room as a shiny green blob of liquid metal appears in front of the librarian. A spiked tentacle shoots out of the blob and toward me. I roll to the side and take to the air on my broomstick. It will be bad of that thing touches me! ?There is no escape, Marisa.? Patchouli?s blob sends several tentacles lashing at me. I stay ahead of most of them, but one intercepts me, knocking my broomstick out from under me. I plummet down toward the blob.

Shit! Not good! Not good at all! In a ditch effort, I thrust my hand toward Patchouli?s face and fire a white laser. The librarian staggers back and her blob vanishes as I distracted her enough to break her focus on her spell. With the spell broken, I hit the wooden floor with a thud. ?Owwww?? Damn! That still really hurt!

?Ahh! Marisa?? Patchouli covers her face with her hands, trying to regain her proper vision. I take advantage of her stunned state and draw another spell card.

?Love Sign!? Golden energy flows into me. I jump toward Patchouli and thrust my hand toward her at point-blank, ?Master Spark!? I fire a large beam of magical energy, which sends Patchouli flying toward the back of the library.

?AHHHHHH!? She hits one of the large bookshelves on the edge of the room (those didn?t lower into the floor) and become buried in books.

?Miss Knowledge?? mutters the weakened Koakuma.

I grab my broomstick and Patchouli?s book, saying, ?Well, I?m gonna get going now! Better luck next time, Patch!?

Patchouli?s voice, muffled from her burial under the books declares, ?Metal Sign: Metal Fatigue.? A few metal blades shoot out of Patchouli?s pile and toward me. Luckily, there is enough distance between us for me to see them coming, so I turn my body and dodge them with ease.

With a victorious smile, I turn toward the exit. However, from my destination?s general direction, I hear a voice asking, ?What is all the commotion down here?? Oh shit! That voice belongs to Sakuya! While we are generally friends, she doesn?t take kindly to uninvited visitors. I?m predicting one hell of an escape?

A girl with semi-long silver hair, braided down the side of her face, wearing a maid?s uniform arrives. As you probably figured, this is Sakuya. She is the head maid of the mansion and Remilia Scarlet?s closest servant, even though there had been some rivalry between them recently, ?Marisa??

Another figure enters the library beside Sakuya. She has semi-long light-blue hair and wears a pink dress and hat. Most noticeably, however, are the two bat-like wings extending out of her back, her blood-red eyes, and the fangs among her teeth. She is Remilia Scarlet, the mistress of this mansion. Remilia glares at me, ?What the hell are YOU doing here uninvited??

I take a couple steps backward, ?Well??

Behind me, Koakuma slowly gets back on her feet and Patchouli pushes some books out of her way and gets out from under the pile. Four against one. I don?t stand a chance. I close my eyes in defeat .

?Did someone say ?Marisa???  I hear a very cute voice coming from the upper floor and upon hearing it, defeat is probably the better thing I'm feeling! Within seconds, another girl, with similar youkai attributes to Remilia?s, only with steel wings with prism-like shards dangling from them, blonde hair tied in a ponytail, wearing a red dress comes running toward me excitedly. She?s Remilia?s vampire sister, Flandre: the last person I wanted to run into here. My mission has officially become an utter failure? She leaps to hug me and probably suck the blood out of my arm, because that?s her twisted way of expressing affection.

?Shit?? I close my eyes, preparing for the impact? but I don?t feel anything. I open my eyes and look ahead, but Flandre isn?t there. I turn around and see her on the floor. Did she pass through me or something? Out of nowhere and for no reason I can figure out, her form starts to become transparent. "Huh?"
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 05:06:55 PM by Valesta »

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #1 on: April 25, 2009, 01:41:19 PM »
Apparently, Flandre realizes this and she looks toward Remilia fearfully, ?Onee-sama? What?s going on? What?s happening to me??

?Well?? As Remilia is trying to figure out Flandre?s predicament, she notices the same thing is happening to her.

?Remilia-sama? Remilia-sama! What is happening to you?? Sakuya tries to grab her mistress? arm, but her hand passes through.

?I don?t know?? growls Remilia ?? I?m fading? I can?t touch anything??

I look at Koakuma, who is also fading, who asks Patchouli, ?Miss Knowledge! What is happening??

Beyond her, Patchouli is also fading, ?I? I? I don?t know!? Okay? if Patchouli doesn?t know, then we are all completely stumped. She?s oftentimes had an answer to every question that?s arisen in the past.

I yell, ?Just what the hell is happening to everyone?? I look at myself, but I?m as opaque as I always have been. I turn toward Sakuya, who is the only one in the room who isn?t crying out at the sudden and unknown occurrence. Sure enough, she isn?t disappearing either. What is happening all the sudden and why are Sakuya and I not affected by this?

Sakuya looks toward Patchouli intensely, ?Are you sure you don?t know??

Patchouli, now practically blending in with the background, says, looking like she?s about to cry, ?I really don?t know? I?ve never heard of anything like this before? I?m scared? What?s happening to us? Why aren?t you or Marisa vanishing like the rest of us??

??? Neither of us have an answer for that question.

A terrifying minute passes as Remilia, Patchouli, Flandre, and Koakuma continue to cry out at their situation as they continue to fade more and more as Sakuya and I are helpless to do anything. Finally, they completely vanish, their voices gone with their bodies. ?REMILIA-SAMA!? Sakuya and I are left with eerie silence, which makes sense. Neither of us knows what the hell just happened. Remilia and the others just disappeared. It?s like they don?t exist anymore. Sakuya breaks the silence, ?Marisa? What_? FLASH! There is a sudden flash of white light. It didn?t seem to come from a particular source, but rather it came from everywhere. Both Sakuya and I cover our eyes to the unexpected happening. This whole situation is messed up! As my eyes adjust, there are a couple more flashes, followed by shaking, like an earthquake. The ground shakes violently, especially since we are in a basement. I open one of my eyes, squinting as a result of the flashes, just in time to see an overhead beam of wood fall down toward Sakuya.

?SAKUYA!? Wasting no time, I toss the book to the side, as it is now a moot concern and hop on my broomstick, approaching the maid as quickly as it can take me. Within mere seconds, I reach her and tackle her out of the way of the beam.

There is a long pause and we both sigh with relief. ?Thank you, Marisa,? says Sakuya gratefully.

I say, ?We gotta get out of here! If the earthquake continues, we?ll be in big trouble.?

We both want to try to make heads or tails of why everyone disappeared and the sudden flashes, but it?s dangerous here. ?Yes,? nods Sakuya in agreement.

We move to the spiral stairs as the earthquake continues. The quake had already knocked some steps from the staircase, so Sakuya and I fly up through the middle, dodging chunks falling from the ceiling. I can fly using my broomstick as a flight tool, but a lot of people in Gensokyo, like Sakuya, can fly using a basic form of magic to carry them.

Finally, we reach the top and enter the lobby. All around us, there are fairy maids in the process of vanishing, just like Remilia and the others had and chunks of rubble from the crumbling mansion. A chandelier (which is unlit. It?s just there for show) loses its grip on the ceiling high above and plunges toward one of the maids. I doubt it would harm her, as she?s vanishing, but it doesn?t feel right just to let it fall on her either. However a sudden blast shatters the chandelier to pieces, which fly everywhere, forcing me and Sakuya to shield ourselves with our arms. Meiling had fired a blast of chi, ?saving? the fairy maid. She too, is in the process of vanishing.

Sakuya rushes over to Meiling, ?Meiling! You?re disappearing too!?

Meiling says, trying to make the situation seem less serious than it really is, ?Looks that way. So are the fairy maids, but it looks like you and Marisa, however the heck she got in here past me, are alright.?

I point out, ?Remilia, Flandre, Patch, and Koakuma have all disappeared.?

Meiling?s eyes widen, ?All of them??

??? I nod without a word.

?I see?? mutters Meiling, her form becoming more transparent as the maids vanish completely. ?I don?t know what the hell?s going on, but it looks like it?s not much longer for me, either??

Sakuya slumps to her knees, ?Meiling? not you too??

Meiling instructs, ?Get out of here. Both of you. I saw the mansion from the outside and it?s worse than it seems from here. The clock tower had completely crumbled and? I just have a bad feeling??

?You have to escape with us!? Sakuya tires to grab Meiling?s arm, but, like with Remilia, her hand just passes through.

Meiling smiles nervously, ?I don?t think I?ll be worth worrying about in a few seconds. Just escape. Please?? With that, Meiling?s form vanishes completely.

?Meiling?? Sakuya sobs.

The ground shakes again and several more chunks of debris fall from the ceiling. I tightly grab Sakuya?s arm, ?Sakuya, we gotta get out of here NOW! If what Meiling said was true, there?s no telling when this whole building will become rubble!?

The two of us run out the front door and away from Scarlet Devil Mansion as fast as possible. Behind us, there are loud noises of the mansion?s foundations breaking. We run past the gate and to the outer wall, which is a far enough distance away. We turn around and see the mansion collapse to the ground, reduced to a massive pile of debris. Sakuya slumps to the ground, her eyes agape with disbelief. I can understand. Her mistress? her friends? her home? all in a matter of minutes, all those things disappeared from her life. Honestly, I feel like crying too. Scarlet Devil Mansion, the place where Reimu and I had so many adventures, is now destroyed, and the friends we made there, save Sakuya, have vanished mysteriously. Are they gone? Are they dead? Will we ever see them again? With these thoughts plaguing my mind, I slump to the ground as well. We stay this way for a half-hour. The earthquake stops, but the flashes become more consistent.

?Marisa! Sakuya!? A familiar voice comes from in front of us. A ?portal? opens and inside, there is a girl with golden hair, wearing a white and purple dress and a white hat with a red ribbon. She?s Yukari Yakumo, a youkai, also hard to tell apart from a human, with a WEIRD power. She has the ability to control boundaries. That means she can freely venture through the dimensional fabric of Gensokyo and other places. Thanks to her, we learned about parallel worlds that exist alongside this one. She once tried to trap Gensokyo in an eternal winter and revive her long-lost best friend. Don?t ask. It?s a long story. Anyway, my friends and I defeated her and she learned the folly of her ways. Now she?s a friend whose powers have come in very handy to us.

??? Sakuya doesn?t respond.

I ask, ?Hey, Yukari? Do you know what?s going on? There are these flashes? these earthquakes? and people are disappearing??

?Disappearing? like this?? Yukari extends her arm to the outside of her portal and it starts to become transparent. I try to touch it, but, as expected, my hand just passes through, like it was nothing but air. She withdraws her hand back into her portal, where it solidifies once again.

?Yeah?? I answer, ?It?s so weird? It all happened so fast, but? it?s almost like it?s the end of the world, or something??

?It just might be?? says Yukari softly.

?Huh? Do you know what?s going on?? I ask.

Yukari closes her eyes, ?I?m not 100% sure, but I might. Could the two of you do me a favor? Find Reimu.?

Sakuya breaks her silence, ?Reimu? What might she have to do with this??

Yukari says solemnly, ?It?s possible she is a central figure in these occurrences.?

I demand, ?What the hell are you talking about, Yukari? Why would Reimu do this? HOW would Reimu do this??

Yukari answers, ?If it?s what I think, then I?ll tell you. For now, I want the two of you to go to the Hakurei Shrine. I?m going to investigate something else that might be connected to this.?

I shrug and say, ?I don?t know what you?re talking about, but I guess I?ll do it. What the hell??

Yukari throws something at me, which I catch. It is something that looks like a blue ball. ?This will open a portal to a ?safe place? for five seconds. Just drop it on the ground when you're ready.?

?What is the meaning of this?? I ask.

Yukari answers, ?Gensokyo is becoming a dangerous place. I don?t know how much longer it will last, so if things get bad, escape to that ?safe place.? I?ll meet you there later.?

?Wait! Yukar_? Yukari disappears into her portal before I can ask any more questions.

Sakuya whispers, ?The end of the world???

There are a few seconds of silence. I put a reassuring hand on Sakuya?s shoulder, ?C?mon, Sakuya. Let?s go to Reimu?s. I don?t understand what?s happening, but maybe we can reverse this whole thing. Maybe we can stop what?s happening. Maybe we can get everyone back??

Sakuya smiles slightly, ?Yes, you may be right??

We take to the sky and fly in the direction of Reimu?s shrine. Along the way, we see wild youkai disappearing and villages crumbled to the ground, along with cries from people who are vanishing. Both Sakuya and I are helpless to do anything, and along with the mysterious flashes and the sky that had suddenly turned dark and the temperature around us becoming uncomfortably cold, it feels like a horrible nightmare. It has that apocalyptic feeling in many ways I can imagine.

Along the way, Sakuya points out, ?Yukari? when she reached out of her portal, her hand became transparent, but when she withdrew it, it became normal. Obviously, Yukari is subject to the things that are happening to everyone else, but perhaps it only affects things that are inside Gensokyo??
   
?But why aren?t we disappearing?? I ask, ?We?re still here, we aren?t fading, and I feel fine. Why the hell are we exempt from this??

Sakuya points out, ?Well, we are both human. Might that be it, perhaps??

I sigh, ?Maybe. This is weird??

After a half-hour, we arrive at the stairs leading up to Reimu?s shrine and we dash up to its front walkway, hearing a very creepy laugh, ?Tee hee hee!? Ugh! That laugh gives me the creeps!

We reach the top of the stairs and find out who that laugh belongs to: A girl with long black hair and brown eyes, wearing a red dress with white sleeves separate from the main portion of the outfit, and a red hair ribbon, namely, my long-time best friend, Reimu? or at least that?s what she LOOKS like. The thing is, she?s not acting like herself. She is skipping around, laughing that spine-chilling giggle. Normally, she is fairly unenergetic and lazy, despite being a talented miko. But here, she is the opposite from how I know her. She looks like she?s having the time of her life as Gensokyo is crumbling around her.

Nearby, Reimu?s student (more or less), a short girl with orange hair, with long horns extending out of her head, wearing a purple dress with chains, and carrying a large purple gourd around, Suika Ibuki, is disappearing, and seems to be just as surprised by Reimu?s behavior as Sakuya and I are. Suika is an oni, a top-level youkai, who LOVES having wild and drunken parties. Her gourd contains a limitless amount of sake, which she CONSTANTLY drinks out of. As a result, she is usually drunk. In spite of that, however, she is a powerful youkai, who can turn into mist, alter her size, and split into several smaller versions of herself. She once tried to make Gensokyo into a big endless party zone, but me, Reimu, and my friend-slash-neighbor, Alice Margatroid managed to stop her. Afterward, Reimu took her under her wing as a student.

Suika cries, in her drunkenly slurred voice, ?Raymoo! Wye ar yoo aktin? dat way? Whut?s hapnin? ta Gensohkeeyoh??

Reimu looks at the fading Suika with a smile you?d expect a pedophiliac rapist to have, ?Silence, child! You are but a mere figment! Now begone to the fiction that you are!?

?RAYMOOooooo!? Suika vanishes from existence, just like so many before her.

?REIMU! Just what the hell is going on? What?s happened to you?? I yell, outraged.

Reimu laughs, ?HahahahaHAHAHAHA! It?s happening at last, Marisa! It?s time! It?s time to leave!? She looks straight at me. Her eyes are void and empty, like she?s missing her soul.

?What are you talking about?? asks Sakuya.

?It?s time!? yells Reimu, ?It?s almost here! Our goodbyes draw nigh!?

I run over to Reimu, grab her by the shoulders, and shake her, ?What are you talking about? Snap out of it!? Suddenly, there are several flashes of light and a pulse erupts from Reimu?s body, knocking me back. When my eyes adjust, I see that Reimu?s clothes had transformed into a completely white outfit. The sight makes me depressed somehow.?

Reimu smiles creepily, ?My friends and family await! Enjoy this while you still can! Teehehehehehehehe!? With that, Reimu vanishes into thin air.

Sakuya and I are left to the hell that surrounds us. Sakuya says, ?Yukari was right! Reimu does seem to have some involvement in this??

?But what?? I ask, ?She wasn?t herself! She didn?t speak the slightest iota of sense!?

Sakuya sighs and says, ?I hope Yukari can fill in the blanks. At least we now have a lead??

I whisper, ?Reimu? what?s happened to you? Why have you become so? deranged?? My train of thought is derailed by a loud noise right in front of me. I look at the Hakurei Shrine and realize it had just burst into flames. However, that is secondary to something else I?m seeing.

A figure materializes in front of the burning shrine. It?s a girl with long green hair and green eyes, wearing a blue dress and blue hat with blue ribbons, holding a staff with a shape that looks like a crescent moon at the end of it, ?The time has arrived, it seems??

I glare at the mystery girl, ?Just who the hell are you? What?s going on??

The girl answers, ?My name is Mima. You can think of me as a harbinger of the mere thought that is Gensokyo is about to end.?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #2 on: April 25, 2009, 01:42:09 PM »
Behind Mima, the Hakurei Shrine, the home of my best friend, who had fought to save Gensokyo on numerous occasions, burns down, as to symbolize that all will be ruination. The girl who was once a savior appears to have become a destroyer for reasons that are still beyond my understanding. As the shrine casts a large flame, other disasters occur all around. Besides the flashes, the dark sky, casting a depressing shadow over the once happy and beautiful land, the acute decrease in temperature, and all, but a few vanishing, all the plants start to whither too. Having seen at one point first-hand where the souls of the dead go and what happens, I thought the idea of death wasn?t so bad for awhile, but for everything to end like this reconfirms the fear. However, I try to maintain a strong front in front of Mima, so I can get some answers and possibly find Reimu and end this disaster, ?What do you mean ?thought???

Mima says flatly, ?That?s a way of describing what Gensokyo is. Something temporary. Something that ends. Something that disappears. This is the thought?s end.?

Sakuya asks, ?Why did Remilia-sama and the others disappear??

Mima answers, ?As befits this ?thought,? there are ?figments? of imagination. That?s all the residents of Gensokyo are: figments. They never truly existed and they faded into the inexistence that they are.? Just a couple minutes ago, Reimu referred to Suika as a ?figment.? Now Mima is doing the same. Just what does it mean?

Sakuya yells, ?That?s not true! Remilia-sama? Flandre? Meiling? Patchouli? They were real living people!?

Mima chuckles, ?To you, it sure seemed that way, didn?t it. But they were actually figments of the fleeting imagination. Pure fiction.?

Sakuya persists with her position in the argument, ?No! My mistress was real! When I was confused and depressed, approaching a dead-end in life, Remilia-sama gave me a new purpose! She changed my life! What she taught me, what she gave me, how I felt! It was real! Remilia-sama was a real person!?

Mima pauses, then throws her head back, laughing, ?HAHAHAHAHA!?

?Gr?? Sakuya?s eyes narrow. I have a feeling this is not going to go over well, but I understand why Sakuya is so pissed. I find it hard to accept that my friends, like Alice and Cirno didn?t really exist. I spoke to them, I laughed with them, I cried with them, they gave me encouragement when I felt down, and in return, I cheered them up. Cirno trying so hard to become a powerful youkai and Alice trying so hard to teach Cirno! It was real! I can?t accept what Mima is telling us! Sure enough, I silently share Sakuya?s feelings.

Mima says, as if she had just heard the funniest one-liner ever, ?Oh, this is TOO good! ?Remilia-sama taught me!? ?Remilia-sama gave me a purpose!? Sorry, maid, but ?Remilia-sama? was nothing but a character. You might as well mourn a cartoon!?

?Damn you!? snarls Sakuya, as she tosses a couple knives at Mima.

?Vengeance from inexistence. How absurd.? Mima swings her arm, causing an invisible force to deflect the knives.

I could debate all day, but I doubt Mima will change her position. Instead, I ask, ?Just what the hell are you, Mima? What are you doing here at this time??

Mima smiles, ?Finally, an intelligent statement. I?m here? only for THIS?? Mima extends her hand toward me and fires a thin laser.

?Marisa!? At the last second, Sakuya shoves me out of the way, though the laser still manages to graze my cheek. There is a slight burning pain and blood trickles down, but no major damage was inflicted.

I glare at Mima, ?What? the? hell??

Mima says, ?THAT?S why I?m here: to take your lives.?

?Why?? asks Sakuya.

Mima spreads her arms, ?Look around you! This thought is ending! It?s horrible! Eventually, all that will remain is a black void. Everyone left over will be damned to float in that hellish solitude? and even then, there is no relief. The void has no boundaries. It is nothing but inexistence. Even after death, the souls can?t leave the void. All that remains is the despair? the impending insanity that will be heard by no one. My mission is one of mercy: to ensure that those who can?t vanish, like the two of you, will depart this realm, to the afterlife, before the thought completely ends. Once my mission is finished, I too will find my eternal rest. Now hold still and let me kill you. Do you want to be lost for eternity, even after your death??

Sakuya says, ?It?s fairly irrelevant to me?? One thing I forgot to mention: Sakuya is immortal. Yup, a long time ago, she drank an elixir that gave her eternal life, or so I was told, according to what she was told. She will stay young forever, and if she dies, she will shortly return to life. However, she drank another potion that would erase her memories if she died again. She would return to life, of course, but she?d be nothing more than a vegetable? for eternity. That sounds like a fate worse than death, although it seems to beat what Mima said. At least Sakuya wouldn?t be consciously aware of it ?? However, do you know why Marisa and I didn?t disappear like everyone else??

Mima says, ?You don?t need to know. Now just surrender your lives. Time is running out, and I have a steep workload ahead of me!?

I say, ?Normally, I?d accept your offer, Mima, but I feel like all this can be reversed. All I need to do is find Reimu and get shit straightened out.?

?I won?t accept that,? says Mima, ?I have a duty I?ve been entrusted with by Princess Yuyuko Saigyouji of the Netherworld. I?ve waited patiently, and the time has arrived. I will complete my mission and go home!?

?Yuyuko?? Yes, I know her. She?s a ghost princess that rules over the gardens of the Netherworld, Hakugyokurou. She has power over death? and she?s had that, even in life? at which point, she went by the name, Yuko Saigyou. According to her best friend, Yukari Yakumo, people feared and rejected her because of that. Eventually, there was a youkai tree called the Saigyou Ayakashi, which sucked the life from Gensokyo. Yuko sacrificed her soul to seal the tree, and moved on to the Netherworld, as a spirit without a soul, thus she wasn?t subject to being sent to Heaven, Hell, or reincarnation. As a result, she became an eternal resident of the Netherworld and she was given her position by the Yama, Sikieiki Yamaxanadu. Yukari once gathered spring essence, which makes seasons possible in Gensokyo (without it, there is only winter), in order to unseal the Saigyou Ayakashi, (which she moved to Hakugyokurou) and become reunited with her friend, Yuko, trapping humans who rejected her in an eternal winter at the same time. Luckily, I, Reimu, Sakuya, with a little help from Yuyuko and her gardener-slash-protector, Youmu Konpaku, fought back, but it was Yuko?s soul which convinced Yukari of the folly of her ways.

Sakuya says, ?With people like me, your efforts will be in vain. Even so, I?d have no intention of dying when I can set things right.?

Mima?s eyes narrow, ?I will kill you whether you like it or not. It?s largely a matter of the time it takes and the pain you?ll feel. En garde!? Mima points her staff at me and fires a blast of magic, which I duck under while running toward her. I attempt to hit her, using my broomstick as a staff, but she blocks with her own staff.

Sakuya backs me up by tossing a couple knives at the ghost, but she repels me and deflects them with her staff. Mima draws a spell card, ?Magic Sign!? Rainbow-colored energy flows into her staff, ?Twinkle Star Wave!? She points the staff at us and a flurry of star-shaped magic blasts (like the ones I used against Koakuma) flies toward us.

Sakuya jumps back, as do I, as she readies a spell card of her own, ?Blade Sign!? Several knives materialize around Sakuya and fly toward the blasts, cutting through and dispelling them. Sakuya directs her arm in Mima?s direction, ?Beginning of Trembling!? The knives left over suddenly home in on the surprised Mima. They cut through her, her wounds producing silver smoke. She loses her focus and the remaining blasts vanish.

I draw a spell card to take advantage of Mima?s weakening, ?Magicannon!? Rainbow-colored energy flows into me. The surge is exhilarating! ?Final Spark!? I fire a massive beam of magic, of various colors, at Mima, larger than the Master Spark. Final Spark is my second strongest ?spark? spell, surpassed only by Magicannon: Final Master Spark.

However, Mima recovers faster than I expected, and draws another spell card, ?Magic?s Might!? A ton of golden energy flows into her staff, ?Twilight Spark!? Huh? Before I can comprehend, she points her staff at my beam and fires a magical beam of magic of her own, as big as, or maybe even larger, as mine.

Our two ?sparks? clash. Even though I got the initiative, Mima?s attack is holding out quite well. We both pour some extra energy into our attacks. Sakuya tries to provide me with backup and tosses a knife at Mima, but the force of our spells release energy, which knocks it away.

Our power struggle lasts for about a minute, but my stamina starts to reach its limit and Mima overpowers me. I?m knocked back, feeling like I was hit by a flying boulder, and fly back so far, I land on the middle of the staircase.

I slowly rise back to my feet, feeling like shit. Up above, I hear Sakuya picking up where I was beaten. I slowly run up the stairs and reach the top. Sakuya and Mima are about even, but Mima is breathing faster. I guess her struggle with me took a lot out of her too.

Mima draws a spell card, pauses to catch her breath, and then declares, ?Flash Sign!? She?s using a spell card in her condition? She?s got to be getting there? Several magic circles appear above, pointing downward. Magic circles are like portals: they are two-dimensional and they are like a gateway for things to go through. They are white circles with a star-shape in the middle. Almost everyone in Gensokyo can use them. Everyone has a personal ?subspace? in which energy (like the case with me) or objects (in Sakuya?s case, for example) are stored, and they are released through the magic circles. ?Earth Light Nova!? The magic circles fire a number of large lasers downward at Sakuya, who dives forward, though the force of them hitting the ground seemed to have knocked her a bit. Another magic circle forms while Sakuya is on her belly after dodging the first attack and fires its laser, scoring a direct hit.

However, Sakuya manages to endure the blast and draws a spell card while she is on her hands and knees, ?Illusion Existence!? Several magic circles materialize around Sakuya, ?Clock Corpse!? The circles fire out knives, which home in on Mima. However, she sidesteps the knives without breaking her focus. Several more magic circles appear above Sakuya.

Mima yells, ?This is_ Huh??

A voice from out of nowhere declares, ?Immortal: Fire Bird ?Flying Phoenix-!? Suddenly, a flame in the shape of a bird swoops down and tears through Mima, breaking her focus, causing her magic circles to vanish. Sakuya and I turn around to see our sudden ally hovering in the air, a girl with aqua hair, extending down to the back of her knees, and red eyes (though not as bright as Remilia and Flandre?s), wearing a brown shirt and red overalls. She?s Fujiwara no Mokou. Like Sakuya, she drank the immortality elixir, so she is also immortal, though she won?t lose her memory if she dies. She also has the ability to control fire. Mokou lives in a bamboo forest, close to a village populated by humans. She has a fairly antisocial lifestyle. She once tried to erase the moon to prevent an alien invasion, but me and my friends defeated her. We?ve been? neutral since then. It seems like she hadn?t disappeared, nor is she in the process of vanishing, so I guess she?s like me and Sakuya.

?Mokou!? Sakuya yells out, relieved.

Mokou shrugs and says, ?I don?t know what the hell?s going on around here all the sudden. Keine, Akyu, and all the human villagers disappear mysteriously. Gensokyo becomes weird in general. I go to ask Reimu what?s going on, only to see her shrine burning down and the two of you fighting some weirdo. What an unusual day. Oh well, at least I did my good deed.?

Mima, who has probably reached her limit, rises into the air, ?Ugh? Looks like I can?t do much more. Very well, I shall leave you to whatever business you are trying to conduct, but remember that you brought this on yourselves, and for what? Beings that don?t exist. Don?t regret this later!? With that, Mima flies into the distance.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #3 on: April 25, 2009, 01:42:44 PM »
Sakuya says to Mokou, ?Thank you. She would have had me if you didn?t show up when you did??

Mokou folds her arms in front of her as she descends to ground level, ?If you guys really want to thank me, you?ll tell me just what the hell is going on around here. What is this, the apocalypse or something??

??? Sakuya and I silently nod.

Mokou puts her hand over her mouth as she gasps in surprise, ?Oh my god!?

I explain to Mokou what we?ve learned. About the occurrences around Gensokyo, about Reimu, and about what Mima said about Gensokyo being a ?thought? and everyone being ?figments.?

Before Mokou can respond, however, another voice comes from the general direction of the stairs, ?So it really is the end of Gensokyo, huh? Funny, I always thought I would be the cause of it. Not that damned miko?? The owner of the voice comes into sight: a girl with short green hair, wearing a red dress and white blouse. She?s Yuka Kazami, a mad youkai that can control flowers. She once covered Gensokyo with poisonous flowers. She calls herself Gensokyo?s strongest youkai. While I don?t know if she?s really the most powerful, she?s definitely up there. She?s half-faded.

I say solemnly, ?Yuka? It seems not even you could resist what?s happening to everyone??

Yuka looks at the ground, depressed, an emotion I didn?t even think she was capable of, ?So I don?t really exist, huh? Right now, my whole definition of ?existing? has gone straight to hell. Everything that I?ve done and worked for? in the end, I?m regulated to the status of inexistence. What a way to live? and end??

Even though Yuka?s an enemy to me, and even Gensokyo at times, I can?t help but feel a little bad for her right now. I take a few seconds to find the right words, ?Yuka, no matter what you are, you are real to me. I refuse to acknowledge you as anything less than that.?

Yuka blushes slightly, ?I? I don?t want or need your pity, witch. After all? I? I am? the strongest?? She tries to act tough, but she?s scared, just like everyone else. I wonder what happens to the consciousness of those that vanished. I find it hard to imagine they just disappear like they never existed in the first place. Yuka vanishes? there goes another one?

There are several minutes of silence between myself, Sakuya, and Mokou. Mokou asks, ?So what are we gonna do? How are we going to get Gensokyo out of THIS situation?? She points at the area at the bottom of the hill we are standing on. Dead plants and ruined buildings as far as the eye can see. Yeah, I can understand why she?s so skeptical.

I answer, ?Well? Yukari said she would meet with us. I guess that?s the first thing to do. The thing is, Reimu just disappeared. I don?t know where the hell she went, but wherever she is, we gotta get there. Hopefully Yukari knows, because I don?t know shit right now??

?Huh? You haven?t disappeared either?? Three more people approach.

One of them has very long black hair and wears a pink shirt with many white bows down the front and a dark red skirt. She?s Kaguya Houraisan. Believe it or not, she used to be a princess from the moon, but she was exiled to our world, where she eventually found her way to Gensokyo.  She drank the same elixir that Sakuya and Mokou drank, thus she?s immortal as well. She has power over eternity and has a past history with Mokou, which had caused the two of them to become bitter rivals. They patched up some of their differences, but they keep on fighting. I guess it?s just their nature?

The second person has long silver hair tied into a large braid in the back and wears a dress which is half red and half blue, split down through the middle, and wears a blue cap. She?s Eirin Yagokoro, one of Kaguya?s servants, and she also came from the moon. She has a genius IQ and can make any kind of potion? including the immortality elixir. In fact, she was its original creator, so naturally, she?s immortal as well.

Lastly, there is a girl with long lavender hair and red eyes, wearing a black business suit over a white shirt and red tie, and a pink skirt. More noticeably, though, are the two rabbit-like ears extending from her head. Her name is Reisen Udongein Inaba. Like Kaguya and Eirin, she?s also from the moon and came to Gensokyo looking for them. She?s a moon rabbit, a type of youkai from the moon, of course. She can inflict mental stress on someone, just by looking into their eyes and create illusions through a similar nature.

Being from the moon, Kaguya, Eirin, and Reisen are called Lunarians? and one more fun fact about Sakuya: so is she, although she didn?t find that out until recently. They are hiding in Gensokyo, in the bamboo forest, in a castle they built, called Eientei, in order to escape from their fellow moon people. They don?t want to return to the moon, which is apparently locked in an unending war with one of Gensokyo?s parallel realms. We learned that the Lunarians are planning on invading Gensokyo as well, so we?ve been trying to prepare for them, although under these current circumstances, that?s the least of our problems. Kaguya tried to delay their arrival by replacing the moon with one that will never become full, since Lunarians can only plane-walk when it?s full, which also emitted a light, causing almost everyone to obey her wishes, all as a means to prepare for war. Me, Reimu, Sakuya, and Youmu managed to stop her though, and since then, we?ve decided to prepare without disrupting Gensokyo?s way of life.

Mokou looks at Kaguya, ?It seems that whole disappearing thing didn?t erase you, princess. Joy.?

Kaguya smiles slightly, ?I should say the same to you, Fujiwara no Mokou.?

I ask, ?What brings the three of you here??

?I think it?s rather obvious,? states Reisen, ?Gensokyo is falling apart, the bamboo forest is withering, Tewi and all the other earth rabbits have just?? Reisen snaps her fingers, ?? vanished into thin air, and finally, there were some violent earthquakes, which reduced Eientei to a pile of broken wood. We were wondering if Reimu knew anything about what?s going on, hoping she didn?t disappear either??

?Welcome to the apocalypse!? says Mokou sarcastically.

Eirin?s eyes widen, ?The apocalypse? It?s the end of Gensokyo??

?Apparently,? answers Mokou, nodding her head slowly.

?How could this happen?? asks Kaguya.

Mokou explains the situation in a nutshell, ?Well, we were told that Gensokyo is a ?thought? and everyone is not real, so they disappeared. Apparently, Reimu is in the middle of all this and she acted weird, or so I was told. Everyone left over, namely us, are doomed to be a part of this crumbling world and float for eternity in a black void. To prevent that, some weirdo came and tried to kill us, but we sent her packing, so here we are now, the six of us standing in a disappearing world. This dream world has officially become a nightmare, people.?

Kaguya looks at me and Sakuya, ?Is this true.?

I nod and answer, ?Yeah. It?s the end of the world. I think we might have a chance of undoing this if we can find where Reimu went. Unfortunately, I don?t have a clue right now. Yukari might, though, so we should wait for her, after she?s done doing her investigating.?

We wait. I look out at the land from the hill. Under the dark shadow, everything is brown. Nothing but a wasteland. I look in the direction of the bamboo forest, where Eientei was barely visible on the horizon, but of course, it?s gone, just like Reisen said. Looking in another direction, a number of distant mountains had crumbed, including the Mountain of Faith, formerly known as Youkai Mountain, which had a massive shrine built into it. The world which held so many memories is facing complete destruction. Yukari, where are you?? Suddenly, I notice something else at the foot of the hill: the ground is starting to cave into itself, forming a dark hole, which rapidly spreads. A frigid wind blows through, which hits me like several needles.

?AHHH!? The patch of ground Kaguya is standing on suddenly caves in. She manages to grab the ledge, however.

?Kaguya!? all of us yell.

Sakuya asks, ?Can you fly back up??

?I can?t!? yells Kaguya in a strained voice, ?It?s sucking me i_ Ah!? The ledge Kaguya was holding onto crumbles and the princess starts to get sucked into the void. Before any of us can react, however, Kaguya?s arm is grabbed by the most unlikely savior: Mokou.

Kaguya?s eyes widen, ?Mokou! Why???

Mokou answers, ?If anything?s gonna do you in, princess, it will be me, not the freaking apocalypse! It doesn?t end here!? Mokou pulls Kaguya out of the hole.

I realize the hazardousness of the situation has now reached a whole new level. Is this what Yukari meant by ?Gensokyo becoming a dangerous place?? I recall that ball-thing she gave me. It definitely looks like we?ll need a ?safe place? now, especially that Gensokyo is crumbling in many different places. I pull it out of my pocket and tell everyone, ?Yukari gave me this. It will take us to a ?safe place.? However, there?s six of us and she said the portal will be open for five seconds, so we?d better be fast!?

Sakuya, Mokou, Kaguya, Eirin, and Reisen come closer to me as I drop the ball. As expected, a portal, blue in color, just wide enough for a person to fit through, opens. Wasting no time, I drop in first, followed by Kaguya, then Mokou, then Sakuya, then Eirin, and finally Reisen, as I imagine it closes. We all made it through and that?s what important.

I look around where we are now: We?re in the middle of a field, which is covered in snow. There are several icy mountains in the distance. In spite of this, however, the temperature is about 50 degrees. Pretty pleasant. Up above, it is nighttime, with the sky completely clear with a crescent moon and enough stars visible to see the various constellations.

?What is this place?? asks Kaguya.

Eirin adds, ?It seems so cold, yet it?s so nice. Beautiful, even??

Mokou says, ?Well, the important thing is that it?s not a mess like Gensokyo? and that?s IF there?s anything left of it...?

I mention, ?Yukari said she?d meet us here? but I wonder what ?here? is??

?Marisa?? Behind me, I hear a familiar voice saying my name. I turn around and see two familiar faces in this unknown land.

The first one has semi-long blonde hair, managed with a red headband and blue eyes, wearing a blue dress with white highlights. She is accompanied by a doll with yellow hair, wearing a blue dress. She?s Alice Margatroid, she was the only other resident in the area of Gensokyo I called home: the Forest of Magic. She is a magician like me, but also a youkai. She has the ability to control dolls, like the one with her, Shanghai. She?s intelligent and had taken five other youkai under her wing as students. We used to be rivals, but we?ve gotten to be very close friends.

With Alice is a much shorter girl with short light-blue hair with a blue ribbon, wearing a blue dress. She has two light-blue wings extending out of her back. She?s Cirno, one of those five students of Alice I mentioned, the first one, in fact. She?s not very bright, but she has potential to be elite among youkai, which is Alice?s goal with this girl. Ironically, Alice considers Cirno her star pupil. However, lately, she has shown improvement and even some surprising smarts.

Surprised, I say, ?Alice? Is that really you? How did you get here? What is this place??

Alice answers, ?I?ve had some past connection with this particular realm, and I?ve managed to escape here with Cirno when it was clear that Gensokyo won?t survive, not to mention that we were starting to fade. This is Makai, the demon world.?

Cirno smiles cheerfully and says, ?Isn?t it pretty? I like it here!?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #4 on: April 25, 2009, 01:43:27 PM »
I take a few steps back, ??De-demon world?? Aren?t demons merciless killers that destroy things for fun? kinda like Yuka??

Alice shakes her head, ?You shouldn?t think like that, Marisa. Demons are greatly misunderstood. They are a lot like you and me, except they live here. That?s the only difference between us and them.?

Sakuya asks, ?You said you have a connection to this place. May I ask what??

A soothing voice with a slight accent, which I can?t identify, comes from a distance and draws closer, ?Alice Margatroid used to study this realm and its inhabitants for about seven months. During that time, she practically became one of us. She?s special to me?? A figure materializes out of thin air behind Alice, a woman with long silver hair, partly braided into a small pigtail, gray eyes, and wears a flowing red robe. She wraps her arms around Alice from behind as a hug ?? like a daughter??

?Who are you?? I ask the mystery woman.

She introduces herself, ?My name is Shinki. I am the queen? no? the goddess of the demon world that surrounds you. All born here are my children??

Cirno?s eyes widen, ?She?s your mother, Alice? You didn?t tell me that!?

Alice says, ?No, you got it all wrong. Shinki-sama is not my mother. She had just been a mother figure to me!?

Shinki lets go of Alice and laughs, ?Don?t be so modest, Alice. You can call me your mother. I accept you as one of my own.?

?If you want? mother?? Alice quickly changes the subject as if she?s embarrassed, ?So? um? Marisa? Sakuya? Mokou? Lunarians? How did you get here??

Mokou starts off, ?Marisa used something, like a ball, to open a portal, which led us here.?

I pick up, explaining in a more specific fashion, ?Yukari gave me that ?ball.? She said it would open a portal to a ?safe place,? which just happens to be here. Now, Alice, let me ask you the same question: how did YOU get here??

?It was? rather sudden,? explains Alice, ?All kinds of disasters occurred around Gensokyo and people were disappearing. My students vanished one by one. Wriggle, Rumia, Medicine, and finally Mystia. Cirno was about to disappear and I started to fade myself??

Shinki picks up, ?Makai has a boundary link to Gensokyo, and I can open a gateway here as I see fit. I managed to get Alice and her remaining student here just in time.?

Alice looks at the ground, ?Just what is happening to Gensokyo? and everyone??

Sakuya explains what we learned from Mima, ?We learned that Gensokyo is coming to an end. The one we learned this from compared Gensokyo to a ?thought? and everyone within it as ?fragments? that didn?t truly exist, fading away. This had happened to everyone: Remilia-sama, Meiling, Patchouli, Koakuma, Flandre, Yuka? However, Marisa, Eirin, Mokou, Kaguya, Reisen, and I didn?t disappear at all for some reason??

Shinki suggests, ?Perhaps there is something all six of you hold in common??

We take a few seconds to think.

?We?re all human?? guesses Sakuya.

?I?m not,? says Reisen.

Mokou adds, ?The people of the human village disappeared too.?

Sakuya puts on an embarrassed smile, ?My mistake??

Mokou makes another guess, ?We?re immortal??

?I?m not immortal,? I respond.

?Neither am I,? says Reisen again.


?Um? um?? Kaguya tries hard to come up with an idea, ?We?re all Lunarians??

Another wrong idea, as I point out, ?I?m not a Lunarian.?

?Neither am I,? says Mokou.

Eirin, who was silent the whole time, takes a shot, ?We?re not from Gensokyo??

There?s a long silence between us.

?Let?s see,? says Alice, ?Kaguya, Eirin, Reisen, and Sakuya were all from the moon in a different realm??

Mokou adds, ?I wasn?t, but I came from another realm too.?

?But I lived in Gensokyo my whole life!? I say, ?That can?t be it!?

Shinki says to me, ?Even if that?s so, it seems like the most logical conclusion. If Gensokyo and the residents born there are all part of the same thought, then outside elements may have a different set of rules.?

I?m getting confused. Just where do I fit in? ?That makes sense, but I?ve lived in Gensokyo for as long as I can remember. How did I not disappear??

Shinki closes her eyes, ?That I do not know??

Sakuya mentions, ?And just WHAT exactly is Reimu? How could she cause all this? Sure, she saved Gensokyo on many different occasions, but she was just as human as all the others! Why that change??

?What are you talking about?? asks Cirno.

Alice?s eyes widen, ?Reimu? What do you mean she ?caused? this??

I explain, ?Yukari asked us to go to the Hakurei Shrine and see Reimu. Apparently, she had some suspicions about her? and while I didn?t want to believe it, those suspicions were right on. She said some weird things, and then disappeared.?

?I can?t believe it,? says Alice in disbelief.

?So everything was confirmed on your end?? Suddenly, Yukari appears from out of a portal.

Relieved, I say, ?Yukari! You made it, just like you said!

?Hello, Yukari,? greets Shinki, ?What brings you here??

Yukari greets back, ?It?s been a long time Shinki?? I guess when you go from one realm to the next, you meet plenty of people ?? I?ve come to speak to the individuals that have come here.? She turns her attention back to me, ?From what you just said, Reimu was acting strangely??

?Yeah,? I answer, ?What about you investigation??

?It?s just as I thought,? answers Yukari.

?You know something,? says Sakuya, ?So what?s going on? Why did Reimu act the way she did? What did you research??

Yukari opens a portal, ?I will show you. Follow me.?

?Certainly,? responds Alice as she walks toward the portal.

Cirno cries, ?But I wanna stay here! And I want to be with someone from Gensokyo!?

Reisen says to Cirno, ?I?ll stay with you. I know little about what?s going on and I agree, this is a pretty nice place.?

?I?ll stay too,? volunteers Eirin, ?I?m curious about the materials I can find here to make potions with, but I want to know what you?ll find out.?

Kaguya and Mokou stare at the portal. Kaguya says, ?I?m? curious? All this time, Gensokyo was not what it seemed. I want to know more??

Mokou responds, ?Strangely enough, this is something I want to look further into??

?Okay,? says Yukari, ?Beyond this portal awaits the absolute truth; the reason behind Gensokyo?s existence. The reason it began and there reason for its impending end.?

I step forward, ?It could be the key to saving Gensokyo. Count me in!?

Alice turns to Shinki, ?I?ll be back again. I just really want to know the truth behind what I?ve known for so long. Please take care of Cirno for me.?

?I understand,? acknowledges Shinki, ?I?ll see you again. I?m happy to have seen you again, Alice.?

?Let?s go!? Sakuya, Alice, Kaguya, Mokou, Yukari, and I jump into the portal.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2009, 01:44:11 PM »
On the other end of the portal, we emerge in a room. The walls and ceiling are white and the floor is made up of white and blue tiles. In the back of the room, there is a large rectangle-shaped window with blue curtains spread open, allowing the sunlight from the outside in. Outside, there are several tower-like structures and below, there are gray roads with several metal and glass contraptions moving around on wheels. There is not a lot of furniture in the room, except for a table with a green vase of flowers, with some bouquets leaning against it and some paper cranes. There is another table with another contraption on it (Rinnosuke would like this place), with something on it that looks like zigzags and a wire leading to a bed, which lays parallel to the window. I notice there?s someone lying in the bed: It?s a girl, probably in her late teens, with long black hair. I can?t tell the color of her eyes, since they?re closed. Even so, I recognize this girl! Sure, she?s wearing a sailor suit type of school uniform and she has some bandages wrapped around her head, but she is definitely? Reimu!

?Reimu!? I cry out, ?How is this possible? She?s in Gensokyo, acting all weird and stuff! How can she be here, in this strange place??

?Quite the turn,? comments Alice.

Yukari explains, ?The girl you are looking at is not Reimu Hakurei. Her name is Reimu Kiribayashi. Hakurei is nothing more than a persona.?

?A persona?? asks Sakuya.

?Just what is this girl?? asks Kaguya.

Yukari says, ?You know how Gensokyo is known as a dream world, right??

??? We all nod.

Yukari smiles slightly, ?Well, it most certainly is a dream world? in every sense of the word.?

?Huh??

?Gensokyo, in all its form and splendor, originated right?? Yukari points at Reimu?s forehead ?? here.?

Alice confirms, ?So you?re saying Gensokyo was this girl?s dream? People born there, like me, were all a part of that dream?? What Mima said is starting to make sense! If it was all a dream, then Gensokyo really was a thought and everyone a figment, but there is still so much that doesn?t add up?

Kaguya states, ?But those of us that hadn?t disappeared? we all got to Gensokyo, but if it was just a dream, how can that be possible? It should all be a thought, which no one can physically enter.?

Yukari says, ?Even though I have control over boundaries, even I don?t know their nature? what triggers them into being??

Mokou looks at Reimu ?Kiribayashi?s? bandages, ?So what happened to her? Why is she like this??

Yukari answers, ?An accident, apparently. I did some research: 7 months ago, Reimu got into that accident, which knocked her into a coma; a deep sleep. In that period, Gensokyo was born. Gensokyo is like this girl?s dream. As Reimu Hakurei, she was like the central character of a story taking place in a world of her creation.?

??? There is a long silence between us.

Kaguya looks out at the futuristic cityscape beyond the room?s window, ?What is this place? Another realm apparently, but??

Yukari answers, ?We are in a hospital in a country called Japan? Ah!? Yukari realizes something, looking at Kaguya and Mokou.

Mokou?s eyes widen, ?THIS is Japan? I can?t believe it!?

?What about it?? asks Alice.

Kaguya answers, ?Mokou and I used to live here. Of course, it looked nothing like what it does now. It was back in a feudal era, where?? Kaguya realizes something herself, ?Yukari, what you said about Gensokyo coming into being because of this girl?s dream can?t be true! You took me and Eirin to Gensokyo way back then, and Mokou sometime after that. I imagine that was long before ?Reimu Kiribayashi? was even born!?

Yukari closes her eyes, ?The nature of dreams is a mysterious thing. When you?ve dreamt, have you ever felt like an eternity had passed in an instant in real time, or a dream instant had lasted for many real hours? Dreams defy all logic? and even time itself when Gensokyo came into being.?

?What do you mean?? asks Sakuya.

?Gensokyo had existed for many of thousands of years. During the early stages of that time, people like me were born. However, to Reimu, it was all setting the stage for her time in the spotlight. To her consciousness, I imagine the time before her existence in Gensokyo was all fast-forwarded, but to all other beings, that time moved naturally. The boundary created by her dream created another line of history to exist alongside other realms??

I?m shocked, ?You?re saying SHE created history through a dream? That?s crazy!?

Yukari states, ?The creation of boundaries, in all of its mystery, even history is a trivial thing that becomes easily changed. What one believes one day can be warped and twisted for the next.? Is everything I believe really what it used to be? Could it have been, changed without me consciously being aware of it?

Thankfully, Mokou cuts into the sci-fi twist that whole situation had just taken, ?Okay, so this Reimu had created Gensokyo through a dream, and with that, a history that me and Kaguya joined into at one point. Am I right so far??

?Yes,? answers Yukari.

?Princess here, Eirin, Reisen, Sakuya, and I were not a part of the ?dream,? so we weren?t affected by what is happening in Gensokyo??

?You?re still right,? says Yukari.

?So WHY is Gensokyo ending? Why is everyone disappearing??

I have a guess to Mokou?s question, but I decide to let Yukari answer. She points at the machine with the zigzags that form. They are long lines and sharp curves, ?That?s why. This Reimu is recovering; waking up from the coma? and the dream that is Gensokyo. The moment she wakes up is the moment Gensokyo ends. Right now, she?s beginning to regain her consciousness, which is why Gensokyo is slowly, but surely, falling apart.?

Sakuya says, ?So if she doesn?t wake up, Gensokyo will be revived and everyone, including Remilia-sama, will return??

?I would imagine so,? answers Yukari.

?It could be done right now, then?? Sakuya draws a knife and points it down at the sleeping Reimu.

Shocked, I yell, ?Sakuya, what the hell are you doing??

Sakuya answers, ?If I do this, she won?t awaken. Remilia-sama and my friends will return and Reimu, as I know and love her, will return as well.?

Mokou protests, ?What you?re doing is trying to kill an injured comatose girl! There has to be another way!?

?But this is?? Sakuya?s arm trembles, then she stops, ?I can?t, even if she isn?t the Reimu I know. Even though she threatens to end everything and everyone, she still created Gensokyo as well!? Sakuya slumps to the floor sobbing, ?Reimu? if only I knew what you really wanted??

Yukari states, ?Killing this Reimu won?t solve anything. She needs a consciously living mind to sustain Gensokyo.?

I ask, ?Hey, Yukari. Do you know why Reimu was acting weird before? She wasn?t herself at all. It was creepy??

Yukari guesses, ?I believe that?s Reimu Kiribayashi?s will upon awakening leaking through her persona, Reimu Hakurei. Her true presence is reemerging, but I don?t know why she would act as unusual as you say. I?d estimate she?s was speaking out of pure confusion??

Sakuya dries her tears and asks, ?Is there anything we can do to keep this Reimu from waking up, without killing her??

Yukari answers, ?Well? there is the boundary between Dreams and Awakening. However, I can only access that from the Netherworld??

?Then we should go there!? I announce, ?That?s the key to saving Gensokyo and everyone!?

Yukari?s eyes turn to the side, as if she?s conflicted by something, ?I? I suppose.?

Alice asks Yukari, ?Something I?m curious about? Do all dreams create realms? Are there other places like Gensokyo??

Yukari answers, ?No, actually. Gensokyo was a? unique case??

?How so?? asks Kaguya.

?Concentrated energies,? answers Yukari. ?A dream so great that it broke beyond the boundaries of the individual mind. Of course, that?s well beyond the power of a single person??

I ask, ?Are you saying someone else is also responsible for this??

Yukari answers, ?Yes and no. Reimu was the original dreamer, and thus, created and had power over Gensokyo, but there is another, through whom enough thought energy was generated to create a realm from the dream.?

?Who would that be?? asks Alice.

?I will show you?? Yukari opens another portal.

We step through and end up in another white room. However, while the room Reimu is in was somewhat homey, this one is a lot more depressing. There are no windows and the room itself is lit only by a few dim lights from the ceiling. A side of the room is occupied by a counter covered with needles, bottles of stuff, bandages, and a lot of other stuff with a purpose beyond my understanding.

Yukari explains, ?This is another hospital located in another part of this realm called ?Los Angeles.??

In the middle of the room, though, there is a bed with white sheets and there is another girl in that bed. We look over and we simultaneously gasp. She has wavy blonde hair and is wearing a white gown. The girl in that bed is? me! She has injuries similar to Reimu?s.

?It?s another Marisa!? yells Alice.

?Yeah,? says Mokou, ?This is getting weirder??

?What the hell IS this?? I demand of Yukari.

Yukari answers, ?You?re a lot like Reimu. You too have been living in the dream world that is Gensokyo, while your true self has been sleeping here. This is Marisa Starr. ?Marisa Kirisame? is also a persona.?

I look at my hands, saying, ?I?m? just a product of THIS girl?s thoughts??

Yukari?s eyes turn to the side ?? Yes??

?I can?t believe it!? says the wide-eyed Alice.

I can?t believe it either! I want to think this is a joke, but looking at the other Marisa is like looking into a mirror and it?s hard to deny a possible connection, ?But? I don?t remember being this person? I remember living my entire life in Gensokyo??

Yukari says, ?Of course you don?t. You are the same, and yet you are different. This girl?s life, upon experiencing an accident, at almost the same exact time as Reimu, had been put on hold? and began anew in the dream world of Gensokyo.?

?But it was Reimu?s dream, wasn?t it?? asks Kaguya.

?Yes,? answers Yukari, ?and as a result of that, Gensokyo?s very foundations revolve around her, but Marisa, as I said, got injured and went into a deep coma at virtually the same exact time as Reimu did on the other side of this world. In fact, the time difference was only a few seconds. It took me some time to gather that information. Now I don?t know what happened exactly, but it seems apparent to me that somehow, Marisa?s mind crossed with Reimu?s. She became a part of Reimu?s dream and that focusing of two minds broke the boundary of the dream and created something that was more than a mere dream: Gensokyo.?

I?m a little confused, but I think I understand what Yukari?s point is: ?You?re saying that I?m like Gensokyo?s other creator??

Yukari answers, ?It was Reimu that shaped the world, but it was you who unknowingly helped her in creating a whole new realm.?

I put my hand over my forehead, ?Wow??

Everything we learned is hard to accept and just as hard to absorb. An eerie silence fills the room.

Yukari asks, after a few minutes, ?What are you going to do, Marisa? Reimu and you are dreaming at the same time and I?ve heard you? Marisa Starr, that is, is starting to show signs of recovery. I?d imagine that the end of Reimu?s dream will also be the end of your dream. You will both return to this world, and like so many other dreams, forget about or have very vague memories of Gensokyo and everything you did, as you return to life in this realm.?

I close my eyes, ?If it?s as you say, then awakening is the way it should be??

Sakuya gives me a sympathetic look, ?Marisa??

I open my eyes, ?But as far as I?m concerned, Gensokyo is the one and only world I?ve ever known and I have precious memories and made friends that I care about? that I want back! I have no desire for this world! I want to continue living as Marisa Kirisame and I will stop Reimu to keep the only life I understand!? Perhaps I?m only speaking through the fact that I can?t understand the perspective of the other me, but I feel I should stick with what I believe in.

Yukari sighs and responds, ?Very well, Marisa. You can certainly try to accomplish your task.?

Sakuya says, ?Well then, let?s go to the Netherworld. If the situation is truly getting there, it won?t be long until Reimu awakens. You said the boundary between Dreams and Awakening is only accessible from there.?

?Yes,? says Yukari, ?We should get going?? Yukari opens a portal, which she, Sakuya, Alice, Mokou, and Kaguya enter. I look back at Marisa Starr, my other self in a deep sleep. It doesn?t feel fair that I can only exist if she never wakes up. I enter the portal myself.

We emerge from the portal. Around us, there are small chunks of land floating above a black void. Below us is a large crater, which I imagine was filled with water, but was drained dry. Up above, there are clouds swirling toward one round point in the sky. I realize that this is not the Netherworld. To confirm my suspicions, I look in Yukari and Alice?s direction. Sure enough, they are fading. We?re back in Gensokyo? but how?

Yukari realizes the situation and opens a portal, which she enters, but doesn?t leave through, ?Alice! Get in here! I don?t know how, but we?re back in Gensokyo! This will keep you from disappearing!?

?Y-yes!? Alice enters the portal with Yukari, becoming opaque again.

Mokou looks around, ?What the hell??

Kaguya comments, ?Gensokyo looks worse than ever! We don?t have much time left??

Sakuya asks, ?But how did Yukari?s portal take us here? I thought we were going to the Netherworld??

The point that the clouds are swirling around up above is Gensokyo?s gate, which leads to the Netherworld. Below, there used to be a lake, which I once fought Alice above.

?Teehehehehe!? We hear a creepy laugh, which I remember very well. We look up and see Reimu, with her empty eyes and white outfit, saying, ?I merely manipulated Gensokyo?s boundary to redirect you here. I want to have some fun before I go!?

?Reimu!?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #6 on: April 25, 2009, 01:45:02 PM »
?Teehehe!? Reimu extends her arm and fires several blasts of white energy at us, which we dodge.

?Reimu!? I yell, ?I know who you are? what Gensokyo is!?

Reimu?s eyes narrow, ?Oh??

?You?re a mental product of a girl named Reimu Kiribayashi! She was knocked into a coma and dreamt of Gensokyo. So was, I, making this place into an actual realm!?

Reimu claps her hands slowly, ?Very good, Marisa... My ?co-creator.? You?ve done your homework, I see. Yes, I am the persona of Reimu Kiribayashi, age 17, from Japan, only daughter of an ordinary working-class family, and student at Yumakura High School, senior class. Soon, all those things shall be mine once again. Soon this lie that I?ve been living will be erased forever.? Reimu glances at Yukari, ?I take it you revealed that to them, Yukari. You certainly are an unusual figment. One in an infinite, I?d say. I?m amazed I created you.?

?Lie?? yells Sakuya, ?Is that truly what you think of all you?ve gone through here? What do you think of me??

Reimu answers, ?A foreign element.? She glances at Kaguya and Mokou, ?You two as well. You never should have come and lived here. Everything you?ve loved about this place was nothing more than a result of an active imagination. You shall be condemned for performing such unnatural acts.?

?Even if I am,? yells Sakuya, ?I won?t just write off everything about this place I love off as an untruth! Even if Remilia-sama and the others were figments of Kiribayashi?s imagination, they were precious to me! What I felt with them? what I experienced! It was real! The feeling I had could not be faked! And you, Reimu! For you? I?ve felt no different? no? you were special to me in a different way? Reimu Hakurei was a kind person who didn?t take herself too seriously, wanted to live life her own way, easygoing, yet genuinely caring for her friends, was compassionate enough to understand what others were going through, and was powerful, yet endlessly forgiving, even becoming friends with those that were her mortal enemies! Before I met her, I was considered to be Remilia?s mindless follower, and before that, a cold-blooded hunter, but she were the first to acknowledge me as a real person! She was also the only other person I?ve felt so strongly about, other than Remilia-sama?? Sakuya looks intensely at Reimu, blushing slightly, ?I? I really like you, Reimu! You may act different now, but behind all of that, I know there is the one??

Reimu stares at Sakuya for a few seconds. Even though Sakuya was always obedient to Remilia, Reimu was the one subject where the two of them had differences regarding. Remilia had an adorable crush on Reimu since we defeated her when she unleashed the mist. Apparently, Sakuya, in spite of knowing how her mistress felt, also developed feeling for Reimu herself, causing the normally inseparable pair to clash on occasions.

A smirk crosses Reimu?s lips, ?How moving, Sakuya. You?ve clearly poured out your heart and feelings. However, that doesn?t change the fact that? Reimu Hakurei was never a real person. Your feelings are directed toward nothing more than an illusion. Something inexistent. Still, those were rather entertaining sentiments. Teehehe!?

?Ugh!? Tears pour out of Sakuya?s eyes as she grips her chest tightly. I glare at Reimu. Even if what she said was true, she had gone too far and Sakuya?s affections were truly pure. How could she look down on us to such a degree? I can?t believe she was once the kind girl Sakuya described.

Apparently, my disbelief was not just my own. Mokou yells, ?Damn you, Reimu! How could you say that? Do you even understand what you are doing??

Reimu smiles, ?Of course. I?m having fun with a part of my dream world. Even if she is not of my world, she became a part of it and I can do what I want with my ?toys.? That includes you too, Mokou.?

?ARGH!? In her rage, Mokou sends a wave of fire at Reimu, who forms an invisible shield around her protecting her. Mokou?s fist ignites and she flies toward Reimu, preparing to throw a punch, ?Go to hell!?

?Hmph.? Reimu warps a foot to the side, dodging Mokou?s attack, then grabs the immortal?s arm.

Reimu smiles, ?My toy. So easy to break?? Energy flows through Reimu?s arm into Mokou?s.

?AAARRRGGGHHHHHH!? Mokou howls in agony as the energy flows through her right arm. Reimu lets go and warps a few feet away. In that instant, Mokou?s arm explodes in a gruesome explosion of flesh, bone, and blood. ?UUUGGHH?? Mokou clutches the place where her right arm used to be with her left hand.

?Mokou!? yells Kaguya.

I float in place, completely appalled. Sakuya, in her own despair, didn?t even notice. Alice covers her mouth, retching in disgust. Yukari?s eyes narrow at Reimu.

Reimu floats in place with a guiltless smile, ?That will show you your place.? An invisible force pushes Mokou back.

?D-damn?? whimpers Mokou.

I float over to Yukari, whispering, ?Yukari, take Alice and Mokou and go ahead to Hakugyokurou. The rest of us will keep Reimu distracted so she can?t control the boundary at the same time.?

?What about you?? asks Alice.

I answer, ?We?ll go the long way. With luck, maybe we can get Reimu to revive Gensokyo. We may have a chance.?

?Okay,? says Yukari.

I tell Mokou, ?Mokou, you?re hurt! Go with Yukari. The rest of us can handle this!?

Mokou responds, ?No way, Marisa! I?m still fighting! I can deal with it. I?ve lost my arm before and I?ve still beaten Kaguya.?

?That?s a lie,? says Kaguya with a pout.

?Well I?m sure I came close?? responds the exposed Mokou.

?True??

I yell to Reimu, ?Reimu! We?ll do whatever it takes to save Gensokyo, even if it means forcing you from leaving!?

Reimu spreads her arms, ?Try it! Know that I am Gensokyo and Gensokyo is me! If you cross me, you cross every force Gensokyo has to offer!? Reimu draws a spell card, declaring, ?Remilia Sign!? An aura shaped like Remilia Scarlet?s silhouette surrounds Reimu.

Sakuya snaps out of her trance, ?What? Remilia-sama?? The rest of us are surprised as well.

Reimu, appearing to be amused by our reactions, smirks and draws a second spell card, ?Scarlet Sign: Scarlet Shoot!? Reimu extends her right arm and fires a volley of blood-red orbs at us. We barely dodge. I counterattack by firing a large blast of green magic, but Reimu fires one last orb, intercepting my attack. During that time, Yukari closes her portal, escaping with Alice.

Sakuya looks at Reimu, wide-eyed, ?What was that, Reimu? That was one of Remilia-sama?s techniques!?

Reimu says, like she?s proud of herself, ?I told you, didn?t I? I have every force Gensokyo has to offer! Everyone, who had vanished, returning to my mind, have powers that I now wield! I would have loved to have added Yukari and Alice to that repertoire, but oh well, I have more than enough to render all of you powerless against the might I wield.?

Mokou draws a spell card, yelling, ?Screw you! I can handle anything you can deal!?

Reimu says calmly, ?If that?s so, Mokou, then why did you foolishly attack me, losing your arm in the process??

Mokou stammers, ?Sh-shut up! You won?t catch me off guard again! Immortal!? A fiery aura, in the shape of a bird forms around Mokou, ?Fire Bird -Flying Phoenix-!? Several flames, in the shape of birds, materialize around Mokou and fly toward Reimu, who pulls two spell cards from her pocket.

?Nitori Sign!? the shape of Reimu?s Remilia-aura shifts into that of Nitori Kawashiro, a kappa engineer responsible for building a massive shrine into Youkai Mountain, who can control water. ?Water Sign: Hydro Camouflage!? Using one of Nitori?s techniques, several magic circles appear around Reimu and each fires out a sizable jet of water, extinguishing Mokou?s firebirds. At the same time, Reimu blends in with her surroundings.

?Dammit!? growls Mokou.

Kaguya provides support for her rival and prepares a spell card of her own, ?New Impossible Request: Shining Trapezohedron!? Several blades of light appear in front of the princess and fly all around, searching for the hidden Reimu. Finally, one hits Reimu?s shield, revealing her location. ?There!? The other blades change course and home in on where the first blade hit.

At the same time, Sakuya and I back up Kaguya?s attack.

?Love Sign: Master Spark!? I fire my massive magical laser at Reimu?s location.

?Illusion Sign: Killing Doll!? Several knives materialize around Sakuya and fly toward Reimu?s location in a concentrated formation.

Our attacks hit, blocked by Reimu?s shield, which soon shatters, revealing her form at the same time. Her aura vanishes and she rears back, stunned.

Mokou grins, ?Got you now, bitch!? Her entire body ignites (probably to make sure there are no accidents this time) and she flies straight at Reimu, delivering a flaming left-handed punch to the side of her face.

However, Reimu?s reaction to the attack was minimal and as Mokou?s fist presses against her face, her eyes turn toward her attacker, indicating no signs of pain. After a few seconds, she laughs, ?Teehehehe! You?re so weak, Mokou? all of you! You?re fighting Gensokyo itself!? Reimu?s body pulses with energy and sends Mokou flying back again. She prepares another two spell cards, ?Suwako Sign!? Reimu?s aura appears again, this time in the form of Suwako Moriya, a goddess from the other side of Gensokyo, who was sealed until recently. ?Divine Tool: Moreya's Iron Ring!? Disks of red energy materialize in Reimu?s hands and she tosses them at us.

Kaguya draws another spell card, ?Divine Treasure!? Five small objects materialize around the princess as she flies in front of us, each glowing with silver energy: A stone bowl, a jeweled branch, a red cloak, a rainbow-colored shell, and a necklace of many valuable stones, ?Buddhist Diamond!? A massive clear shield forms in front of Kaguya, which the disks harmlessly bounce off of. Magic circles appear on the shield and fire lasers at Reimu, who dodges to the side, drawing two more spell cards.

?Meiling Sign!? The Suwako-aura takes Meiling?s shape, ?Colorful Flower: Rainbow Taijiquan!? Colorful chi gathers in Reimu?s hands and legs as she flies around Kaguya?s counterattack, with enhanced speed, preventing the rest of us from backing Kaguya up, and toward the shield. She delivers a series of powerful punches, then kicks, creating large cracks in the shield, and finally finishes her combo with a final punch, breaking through the shield and sinking into Kaguya?s gut.

?ACK!? Kaguya coughs out blood, as she slowly backs away from Reimu.

?Princess!? yells Mokou.

Sakuya says, ?Forgive me,? then tosses several knives, but Reimu, still under the effects of Meiling?s spell card, skillfully deflects each knife.

Reimu draws another spell card, ?Colorful Sign: Colorful Rain!? Reimu fires a blast of chi upward, which bursts above us can comes raining down as small blades. While we try our best to dodge, a few still manage to hit all of us, leaving us somewhat weakened as a result.

Sakuya admits, ?She?s too powerful! She?s not the same Reimu at all??

?Yeah,? agrees Mokou, ?She?s nothing like the one we?ve come to know, personality OR ability??

Kaguya says, ?We are completely within Reimu?s clutches while we are here. Reimu has complete control over this realm! THIS is the power of an awakening dreamer within her mind??

Reimu draws two more spell cards, ?Keine Sign!? Reimu?s Meiling-aura shifts into that of Keine, a school teacher who lived in a human-populated village, who transformed into a monster on full moons. A friend of Mokou?s. ?Shroud Sign: Rain in Showa!? Reimu follows through on her aerial attack and several magic circles appear high above and many laser pour down.

I draw a spell card, intending to counter Reimu?s attack, ?Light Blast!? Several magic circles appear around and below me, ?Shoot the Moon!? The magic circles fires lasers upward as an attack that is similar to Reimu?s technique, but goes up instead of down. The lasers clash with one another, canceling each other out. Only a few of Reimu?s lasers pass through, but we dodge them with ease.

Sakuya follows up with a spell card, ?Silver Sign!? Several knives materialize around the maid, aimed at Reimu, ?Perfect Maid!? The knives fly toward Reimu, who teleports through the swarm.

Mokou readies a spell card of her own as Sakuya?s attack was in progress, ?Exalted Personage!? Mokou?s bird-like aura appears, ?Advice of St. Germain!? Several wisps of fire fly from Mokou?s hand and home in on Reimu, who takes evasive action. However, Mokou?s flames are too numerous and Reimu gets hit and stunned by one, then bombarded by the rest. ?Gotcha!?

?Ugh!?

Kaguya fires several blasts of silver energy at Reimu as she?s stunned by Mokou?s attack.

The smoke clears, however, only Reimu?s clothes show signs of harm. Her expression and posture show no signs of wear. She laughs, ?Teehehehe! It?s no good. I have all the energy of Gensokyo in and around me! My wounds only take mere seconds to heal from those tenth-rate spells?? She?s right. Whatever damage we had inflicted on her had shortly disappeared. Hell, even as she?s talking, her clothes start to mend themselves ?? and my stamina is unlimited! I can use all the spell cards I please, but not get tired. As for the rest of you?? Reimu notices how worn out the rest of us have become. Between the battle, getting damaged, and using spell card, we?ve started to become pretty weary. Is Reimu really invincible?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #7 on: April 25, 2009, 01:45:38 PM »
?Damn it?? whispers Mokou under her breath, ?No matter what we do, we?re completely outclassed??

?Within one?s own mind?? observes Kaguya, ?It?s like confronting a god??

Sakuya says, ?We have to get OUR Reimu back somehow! Is this solving anything??

I point out, ?Well, if we knock her out, Gensokyo?s crumbling may stop. Or we could weaken her somehow. She?s too caught up with her awakening to listen to us??

Kaguya asks, ?But how do we weaken her? We?ve used so many of our best techniques? and?? Kaguya seemed to realize something. ?Hold on, we have one last shot: Our most powerful techniques, surpassing everything else we?re capable of. It?s a long shot, but it?s worth a try.? Kaguya nods at Mokou and Mokou nods back, both with solemn expressions on their faces. They both pull spell cards out of their pocket. I have a guess on what they?re planning.

Reimu says, arrogantly, ?So what futile attempt should I expect this time? Have you not realized that it?s worthless the way I am right now? After all, you?re only my toys while you?re here!?

Kaguya retorts, ?Well each ?toy? is known to have a share of hazards to children, Reimu!?

Reimu raises an eyebrow, ?Hm??

Kaguya and Mokou both raises their spell cards at the same time, declaring, ?Last Word!? Last Words are the coup de grace of spell cards, vastly surpassing all other spells and techniques a person can cast or execute. The difference is noticeable right away as the casters? appearances change slightly after the initial declaration. Two flaming wings emerge from Mokou?s back, spanning several feet. Kaguya glows with brilliant golden light. When the light disappears, her clothes change to a white gown with blue and silver highlights, long sleeves, and complete with a silver tiara, making Kaguya look more like a princess than she normally does. Last Word was originally a mystery, but after its discovery, many of us sought to master these spells in order to counter the invasion of the Lunarians, who didn?t know of such powers. While these spells represent the ultimate power of their respective wielders, there is a major trade-off: the caster dies. It makes little difference to people like Kaguya, Mokou, and Eirin, who are immortal and only come back to life an hour after using their Last Words, but everyone else needs to drink a potion, created by Eirin, prior to casting the spell, which barely preserves the person?s life, leaving them temporarily unconscious afterward. Considering Last Words operate on a person?s life force, rather than their physical energy, like with all other spell cards, they are strictly a last resort.

Mokou declares, ?Phoenix Rebirth!? Intense flames envelop Mokou, taking the shape of a large firebird with long blue feathers extending from its head and glowing white eyes, potentially becoming like a phoenix..

Kaguya declares her spell too, ?Rainbow Facet!? A bright stone materializes in Kaguya?s hand her body radiates rainbow-colored energy.

Mokou, as a phoenix flies toward Reimu as Kaguya hold her hand out and sends fires a salvo of massive energy bursts, leaving trails of multi-colored light in their wake.

Reimu raises two spell cards as Mokou closes in on her, ?Yuka Sign!? Reimu?s aura takes the shape of Yuka Kazami, which, by now, we know indicates she?s about to use one of Yuka?s spell cards, ?Duel Spell: Twin Spark!? Reimu suddenly splits into two images of herself, one being fake. Mokou, during her pass, breathes a stream of intense fire at one image, which only passes through it, making it the fake. Kaguya?s attack also passes through. The two Reimus turn toward Mokou and extend their arms, releasing two massive lasers, slamming into the phoenix.

?Ugh!? Mokou reels as the attack hits.

?Gr?? Kaguya sends another flurry of bursts at the other Reimu, who dodges the first few, but gets hit hard by the subsequent attacks.

?Ugh!?

As Reimu is stunned, Mokou takes advantage of her state and prepares a second attack. She wraps her wings around Reimu and her body flares up, burning her all over.

?AHHHHH!?

Mokou completes the attack by kicking Reimu in Kaguya?s direction and breathing another stream of flame into her back.

Kaguya powers up for one final attack, as Mokou follows through, charging at the reeling Reimu. Kaguya?s body becomes completely energized with rainbow-energy and she charges as well at an immense speed. Sakuya and I watch on in awe. C?mon, this HAS to do it! I?m not expecting them to destroy her or anything, but at least knock her unconscious! The two attacks connect and there is a large explosion, leaving a cloud of smoke too thick for me to see what?s happening in there.

Suddenly, at the bottom, I see Kaguya and Mokou falling, too weak to even fly at this point.

?Kaguya!? I ride down after them. They?re done for if they fall into the dark void below.

?Mokou!? Sakuya chases after them as well.

How could I have been so stupid? I should have known they wouldn?t have any power left to fly above the void, and I was ignorant of that fact until it was too late! They?re too close to the void for me to make it in time now! Sakuya can freeze time, but she?s never done anything that involved moving anyone or anything, so I don?t know if she?s capable of helping them, even with that ability. Even though it is futile, I continue to chase them and Sakuya prepares a spell card, even though it?s questionable if she could help, as they?re too close to the void at this point.

?Don?t bother?? says Mokou weakly.

?What?? yell Sakuya and I at the same time.

Kaguya says, ?We?ll only slow you down at this point. If you want to help us, get Gensokyo back to normal! I?d imagine it would revive around us. We?ll be okay if you do that!?

Mokou says, somewhat unsure of herself, ?Um? That?s right! Just get Reimu back to normal! Don?t worry about us!?

I don?t want to admit it, but they?re right. Their best chance is Gensokyo?s revival. Both Sakuya and I stop as both rivals disappear into the blackness.

I grit my teeth as we turn back in Reimu?s direction. Well, it seems their attacks worked. She?s bleeding in several areas and is breathing faster.

Reimu forces a smirk, ?Heh. They should have known that wouldn?t defeat me? and now they are doomed to float in a non-existent space. What a pitiful waste of life!?

Kaguya! Mokou! I promise I?ll find a way to return Reimu and Gensokyo back to normal! Your sacrifices won?t be for nothing!

Sakuya attacks Reimu by charging at her, tossing several knives as Reimu prepares another spell card, ?Aya Sign!? An aura forms around Reimu in the shape of Aya Shameimaru, a tengu reporter with power over wind. Her reports often poked fun at Reimu, so there had been a lot of enmity between them. It?s weird to see Reimu using her powers. I guess it?s clear who ultimately came up on top in their rivalry. Instead of using one of Aya?s spell cards in particular, however, Reimu simply sends a strong gust of wind at Sakuya?s knives, reflecting them back at the maid.

?AH!? Sakuya attempts to guard herself, but she still gets cut a number of times by her own weapons, and is left bleeding in several places, blood dripping into the void below.

I draw a spell card, ?Comet!? Blue energy flows into my broom, ?Blazing Star!? Moving rapidly, I fly toward Reimu, intending to ram her.

However, Reimu reacts very fast and has enough time to declare a spell card, ?Wind Sign: Wind God?s Fan!? Reimu releases a powerful gust of wind, which I manage to break through, though it still severely minimizes the power of my attack. I crash into her, sends her reeling, but she recovers very fast and knocks me back, near Sakuya, with a blast of wind.

Reimu prepares another spell card, ?Wind God: Storm Day!? Chilly wind starts to spiral around, soon to result in a tornado. I grab Sakuya?s hand and try to get us to the outside of the wind?s zone, when suddenly, the wind stops.

?Huh??

We look toward Reimu, who has a serene expression on her face, ?It?s? almost time??

I ask, ?What are you talking about, Reimu.?

Reimu says, ?The time is not far off, Marisa. I?m recovering. My awakening is mere hours away. It?s the end for Gensokyo, and Marisa, no matter where you go, you will wake up the moment I do. You may believe in who you are right now, but it?s not your true self. Do accept that fact in the time you have remaining. Farewell.? With that, Reimu disappears into thin air. Frigid winds blow around in the now-desolate Gensokyo. The piece of land we were above starts to crumble.

Sakuya says, ?We can think about this later! She said this is the end for Gensokyo! If that?s true, we have to get to the Netherworld NOW!?

I reluctantly nod as the suction from the void starts to strengthen. We fly up toward the sky into the point the clouds swirl around, entering a dark tunnel of clouds. At the end, we reach four pillars with a gate beyond them and a barrier in front of the gate. We fly up and over the barrier and through the gateway. At the other side of the gateway, the scenery is greatly different and improved from that of Gensokyo, like it has ?stability,? as we are now at the edge of the Netherworld, but we are not in the clear yet. Before us lies a very long stone staircase, which is the point where Gensokyo and the Netherworld connect, meaning this area is partly Gensokyo?s. We fly up the stairs as fast as we can, not knowing how much time we have before this area starts disappearing.

Along the way, Sakuya, sweating heavily from her injuries inflicted by Reimu, asks, ?Marisa? Reimu said? she only had a few hours left? until awakening???

?Yes,? I answer with a nod.

?Where she disappeared to? could it be? that boundary between Dreams and Awakening? Yukari mentioned??

?That would be a safe bet, I imagine. We gotta get to Hakugyokurou very soon and find Yukari.? Suddenly, we see something gaining on us from behind: a wave of darkness swallowing the area behind us, ?Shit! This area is starting to vanish as well! We gotta hurry!?

Sakuya wearily pulls a spell card from her pocket, which has a slightly different characters than her others, ?You go ahead, Marisa, I can?t handle this much longer. I?m fading fast??

I grab Sakuya?s arm, ?C?mon, Sakuya! Just hop on! I?ll take us up!?

?No, I?ll slow you down and we?ll get caught by that void for sure. Listen to me carefully, Marisa. You have to get to Hakugyokurou, find Yukari, and get Reimu back. We?ve lost too many to fail now. I?ll give you one last helping of my energy. You have 45 minutes! Please go!?

?Sakuya, you can?t_?

Before I can finish my sentence, Sakuya breaks free of my grip and declares, ?Chrono Sign!? Silver energy swirls around her, which she then sends over to me, ?Silence Elongate!? The world around me becomes monochrome and eerily silent. Everything had stopped in their tracks, except me. I realize what Sakuya had done: she passed the energy of her spell card to me, so I get the benefits of it. I?ve seen her use that particular spell before. According to her, it freezes time for a period of 45 minutes of the user?s time, an effective way to get ahead when under a time limit. So this is what it?s like when Sakuya freezes time, huh? That means she gave me 45 minutes to go ahead to Hakugyokurou. Even so, I refuse to leave Sakuya behind.

I put my arm around the frozen Sakuya and say, ?C?mon, even though you want me to go alone, I?ll just take you with me anyway! We have time!? I try to move, but Sakuya won?t budge a millimeter, even though she?s flying like me. On top of that, her entire body is harder than steel. I realize why she can?t move anything, other than herself, when freezing time and why she didn?t just stab someone in their suspended animation during a battle. With no options at all, I can only do what Sakuya asked me to do. ?? Thank you, Sakuya?? I fly ahead, my tears staining the stairs behind me, like Sakuya?s blood had been before. I can?t fail! I won?t fail! It?s like Sakuya said: We?ve lost too many to fail now? and now I?ve lost another.

It?s my most dramatic loss yet. Next to Reimu and Alice, Sakuya is one of my closest friends. It was two years ago, but it doesn?t feel that long. When Sakuya and I had entered this place for the first time, Sakuya was completely focused on her mission, which was to get spring back at the time, and the solution was in Hakugyokurou. She apparently felt Reimu and I were slowing her down, so she used the spell, which I am currently under, to go ahead and ditch us. I was pissed off about that. Yet now, Sakuya did something noble and used that same spell so I could get ahead. She had changed since then, and even acknowledged Reimu, Alice, Youmu, and me as her ?friends? after we defeated Mokou. I didn?t fully appreciate that change until now.

I zoom ahead, making the best of Sakuya?s final act. Goodbye, Sakuya?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #8 on: April 25, 2009, 01:46:21 PM »
When time resumes, I am several miles ahead of the wave of darkness. Behind me, it doesn?t look as frightening as it did up close. It won?t catch up to me anytime soon and, as I?ve ascended these stairs quite a few times before, I should be pretty close to the gardens?

And I?m right! I reach Hakugyokurou in no more than 15 minutes after Sakuya?s spell ends. Before me, there is a massive sea of pink, with some brown and green. That?s always the most noticeable feature about Hakugyokurou: Its gardens. There are countless cherry blossom trees, the air and ground filled with pink petals. Among all that, there are ghosts, some as transparent beings, and others as wisps (I guess they choose what form they take). This is where people go and stay for one hundred some odd years after their lives end, before their final judgment of going to Heaven, Hell, or being reincarnated back into the cycle of life. As few people are pure enough to go to Heaven, or evil enough to go to Hell, reincarnation is the most common outcome, or so I?m told. Beyond the sea of trees, there is a large palace, which just has a traditional look to it, but nothing outstanding, other than its size. It?s where Yuyuko Saigyouji resides. Compared to Kaguya?s palace, Eientei, it has less height, but more width. Behind the palace, however, towering over it, there is a withered tree. I only saw it bloomed a couple times, and both times meant disaster for Gensokyo. The first time, Yuyuko, set up by Yukari, had Youmu steal spring essence to bloom it, but Reimu, Sakuya, and I stopped them. The second time, Yukari herself was stealing the essence, and almost succeeded, before she was convinced that what she was doing was wrong. That tree is the Saigyou Ayakashi, a tree that Yuyuko?s soul is confined to.

I fly over the gardens, headed in the general direction of the palace. Hopefully Yukari and Alice are over there. Along the way, I hear a familiar voice, yelling from behind, ?Hey! You! Wait!?

I stop and turn, seeing Mima approach. I demand, ?What? YOU? What do you want?

Mima says, ?Don?t worry. I?m not going to try to kill you this time. In fact, I want to thank you.?

?For what??

?You took the only people left over in Gensokyo to another realm, didn?t you? I didn?t sense anyone else after that. You completed my mission for me.?

I rub the back of my head at my unintended favor, ?Um? you?re welcome??

Mima looks around, ?What happened to the others? Where is that girl in the maid outfit and that tomboyish one with the flames??

??? I explain what happened to Sakuya, Mokou, and the others.

?I see?? says Mima ?? I didn?t think you?d return to Gensokyo. I should have stayed longer??

?There?s nothing you could have done,? I tell Mima, ?Everyone I was with when confronting Reimu was immortal. You couldn?t kill them in any permanent sense??

Mima?s eyes turn to the side, ?I see? It?s unfortunate? I don?t want to imagine what horrors they are facing right now??

I declare, ?Whatever they are, it won?t be for long. I intend to find Reimu and return Gensokyo to normal, getting them back too.?

Mima sighs, ?I told you, what you are fighting for is a thought? but it?s none of my business anymore. Do what you must. I guess what you believe in is what matters??

??? Without a word, I nod and continue in the direction of the palace.

I land at a series of stone steps, with cherry blossom trees lined at the sides, leading up to the front door of the palace. At a small walkway at the top of one flight of stairs and at the bottom of another, I see Yukari standing in wait.

?You made it,? says Yukari ?? Where are the others??

?They didn?t make it?? I answer.

Yukari looks at the ground, ?I see??

I explain, ?They were swallowed by the void. Reimu disappeared, saying that her awakening is only hours away. Might she have gone to the boundary between Dreams and Awakening??

?Yes,? answers Yukari.

I say, ?If I stop her, she may bring Gensokyo back? and it might revive around Sakuya, Kaguya, and Mokou. Please open it, Yukari.?

?Okay,? responds Yukari with a nod, ?However, it?s a very restricted boundary and will take me some time to open. It will take me a little over an hour to do. Come back here by then.?

I?m a little irked that I?ll have to wait for Yukari when there is so little time remaining, but there?s nothing I can do to help it. I simply respond, ?I understand, Yukari. Please hurry.? With that, I head out to the gardens, intending to come back in an hour.

Fatigued, both emotionally and physically from the battle and recent events, I find a tree in the garden to rest under. I look at the Netherworld residents wandering around, like they don?t have a care in the world? and they probably don?t. It looks nice? and it reminds me that so many people, who had disappeared in Gensokyo don?t even have that chance. Now the sense of urgency is more apparent than before. Compassion is not a particularly strong point of mine, but it?s depressing to think of what they?d miss out on.

?Marisa?? I turn in the direction of the voice that just called my name and see two girls.

The first one has red eyes and semi-long pink hair, wearing a blue and white kimono and hat, with a swirl-like insignia on it, and has a few small ghostly wisps circling her. She?s Yuyuko Saigyouji, the ghost princess of the Netherworld.

The other girl has blue eyes and semi-short platinum hair, who wears a green and white dress, and has two sheathed swords with her, and is accompanied by a large ghostly wisp. She?s Youmu Konpaku, Hakugyokurou?s gardener and Yuyuko?s sworn protector. She was the one who originally stole Gensokyo?s spring essence in order to bloom the Saigyou Ayakashi, and tried to stop Reimu, Sakuya, and me from reaching it, but at the same time, helped us to a small extent. Since then, she?s fought alongside us when Yukari stole spring, when Kaguya made a fake moon, when Mokou tried to erase the moon, and when Yuka covered Gensokyo with poisonous flowers. As one might guess, she?s handy with a sword and carries around the Roukanken and Hakurouken, two powerful blades. She also is capable of putting acute focus into her attack and the wisp with her is a part of her. She?s probably the fourth most important person in my life.

?Hey,? I greet half-heartedly, ?How?s it going??

?I?m fine,? answers Youmu.

Yuyuko says, cutting to the point, ?I?m sorry about Gensokyo, Marisa, but are you really sure you want to go after Reimu??

?Of course!? I answer, ?She?s strong, but I?ll find a way.?

Yuyuko shakes her head, ?It?s not that, Marisa.?

?Then what?? I ask.

Yuyuko explains, ?Don?t take this defensively, Marisa, but Gensokyo?s creation was an accident. I heard about everything from Yukari before you arrived here.?

??Accident??? I ask.

?Gensokyo came into being because of injuries Reimu?s real self and yours received, putting you into deep sleeps, thus dreaming of Gensokyo, right??

?Yeah. So what??

?Neither of your true selves planned to create Gensokyo in the first place. It was all a result of an unfortunate circumstance. None of it was planned, and, even if you don?t feel that way, having no knowledge of your other self, Marisa, none of it was desired.?

Getting somewhat fed up by that revelation, I respond, ?Whatever. Gensokyo was created, and I?m happy. I don?t want to go back to being ?Marisa Starr,? or whoever I am. As far as I?m concerned, I?m Marisa Kirisame, now, then, and forever.?

?Then what about Reimu Kiribayashi??

?Huh? What about her??

?Keeping her from awakening and reviving Gensokyo means taking away everything that poor sleeping girl has. Her future? her family??

Yuyuko caught me off guard, but my concern for Sakuya, Kaguya, and Mokou outweighs whatever concern I have for our other selves, ?Reimu was happy being here. I?m sure she will be.?

?That?s not what?s important.?

I?m starting to get angry. I have a chance to get back everyone I lost, and now, someone is trying to talk me out of it. I sort of understand what Yuyuko is talking about, but I?ve made up my mind, ?Then what the hell do you want me to do, huh? Abandon Gensokyo? Sakuya, Kaguya, and Mokou are stuck in the void that remains of it! It?s because of Gensokyo that Yukari exists. Hell, it?s because of Gensokyo that YOU? Yuko existed!?

Yuyuko?s eyes turn to the side, ?Well? that is true. I?m not saying that I like the idea of its disappearance, but it?s something that has to happen. It was only a dream, and it has to end??

I look away from Yuyuko, ?Think of it however the hell you want. It?s my reality and I?m not giving it up.?

?I see?? Yuyuko walks away.

??? Youmu gives me a somewhat sympathetic look, and then follows her mistress.

Maybe I am being selfish. I don?t know what Reimu?s other life is like. Hell, I don?t even know about my own. But the way we were in Gensokyo, we had done so much, made so many friends, and have been very happy. No matter what it really was, they were good times and precious memories. If Reimu wakes up, and in turn, me, I will lose all those memories and what I know about myself now. It would have been a fleeting dream? and I don?t want all of our experiences to be reduced to something like that! It?s too precious to just let go of?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #9 on: April 25, 2009, 01:47:06 PM »
Several minutes pass as I try to rest a little. I suddenly hear another voice, which is deeper than Yuyuko?s and has a slight accent, ?Marisa Kirisame. Are you truly sure you want to go through with the sin you?ve chosen?? Damn? Just who I need right now? I look up at who?s talking: A girl with blue eyes and semi-long green hair, wearing a blue and black dress with gold highlights, and a blue hat with white ribbons and a gold emblem in the front. She?s Sikieiki Yamaxanadu, the Yama of Gensokyo, who judges the souls of the dead, after their ?waiting period? in the Netherworld, and decides whether salvation, damnation, or reincarnation awaits them. I guess she doesn?t like damning people or reincarnating them, because whenever she has the time, she lectures people about their sins, usually to the point where they break down and start crying. All in all, I dislike being spoken to by her.

I sigh and ask, ?I?m just going to bring Reimu back, get Gensokyo back, and save everyone. How the hell is that a sin??

Sikieiki answers, ?In doing so, Marisa, you are going to take the life away from Reimu?s true self in another realm, Reimu Kiribayashi.? Shit! Not this again? ?The actions you currently intend on are on the same level of sinfulness as that of murder. Kiribayashi wasn?t prepared to have her life changed in such a way and it?s only right she continues with what she was naturally born with, not an artificial existence within her mind. Mankind shouldn?t be allowed to rely on something so perfect in any permanent sense. If you deny Kiribayashi of her real self, you will most certainly fall into Hell. Please reconsider before it?s too late, Marisa Kirisame. Now listen closely, for the first instant of the sin before you occurred over a thousand years ago, when??

Dammit, if I let her continue, she?ll go on for hours! I cut in, ?Okay! Okay! I get it! Just shut up already! I still refuse to atone. Besides, you were still gonna send me to Hell without this, right??

Sikieiki flinches, but then calmly responds, ?That is correct, Marisa, and that?s all the more reason for Reimu to wake up, as you will be Marisa Starr again, who has a mostly clean slate.?

I hold out my hand in front of me, ?Hold on! Let me get this straight: Are you saying you would judge me on whomever I am when I die??

Sikieiki responds, ?Marisa, all living things are complex. You are a persona of Marisa Starr, existing within a dream world, yet you have dreams as you are right now, am I correct??

Sikieiki brought up an interesting point. Even if I am a dream, I have dreams, ?Ye-yeah??

?Every living thing has endless depth? multiple souls. It?s the soul that?s alive that faces judgment, while all the others are permanently dormant. Thus, it to one?s best advantage to exist within the best soul they have when judgment comes.?

?I understand, Sikieiki. But I refuse to abandon those who got trapped in the leftover void.?

?So be it,? says Sikieiki, ?You got my warning. It?s your choice whether or not you choose to heed it.? She starts to walk away.

?Sikieiki,? I call out.

Sikieiki pauses, ?What is it??

?You are the Yama for Gensokyo, but without Gensokyo, what is gonna happen to you??

Sikieiki answers, sounding a little saddened, ?I?ll be assigned to a new realm. So will Komachi?? Komachi is a shinigami, who harvests the souls from Gensokyo and sends them to the Netherworld. She?s not a very diligent worker, but she somehow manages to get her job done.

?I see. Would you rather Gensokyo remain, then??

?To tell you the personal truth, yes?? It?s rare that Sikieiki actually talks about herself ?? but from a moral standpoint, I?m asking you to do the right thing. Gensokyo was never meant to last, so let the cycle of dreams naturally take its course. I can handle whatever changes my job provides?? With that, Sikieiki takes to the air and leaves. Everyone is against me. First Yuyuko, and now Sikieiki. Also, I remember Yukari acting strangely in the idea of preventing Reimu?s awakening as well, but she?s gone along with it. What is bothering her?

A few more minutes pass. Eventually, I get a third visitor. Alice walks up to me, ?Marisa? you made it. I?m so glad!?

I turn my eyes to the side, ?Yeah? Unfortunately, Sakuya, Kaguya, and Mokou didn?t??

Alice closes her eyes, ?I?m sorry??

?It?s no problem. All I gotta do is stop Reimu, right? That might work??

?Perhaps??

There is a long pause between us. Alice sits down next to me and we watch the cherry blossoms fall from the tree branches above us, looking out at the bright and beautiful landscape. It?s hard to believe we were in the nightmarish remains of Gensokyo not too long ago.

Alice asks, ?Marisa, is it true that none of us? except for Sakuya, Mokou, Kaguya, Eirin, Reisen? and you, actually exist??

I answer, ?Well, you are a part of Reimu?s dream. Basically characters in a mental world? but I don?t think of you that way. Gensokyo was a realm in itself, right? There must be some degree of realism, if that?s the case. Besides, Yuyuko was born of Gensokyo, and she came here, not to mention, Gensokyo had a Yama and shinigami assigned to it, so you obviously have spirits, souls, and afterlives too. Right now, you may be seen as figments in Gensokyo, but you are real anyplace else??

?I see,? says Alice, ?I just refuse to accept everything that I am to be a fantasy. I feel things. I cry, I laugh, I feel happy, I feel pain?? Shanghai, possibly responding to Alice?s will, pricks a small needle into Alice?s finger. A drop of blood trickles down her hand, ?My heart pumps blood, I breath when I need air, I blink when my eyes need to be moist, I yawn and sleep when I feel tired, I scratch when I have an itch. I may not be you, Marisa, but you are ?real,? so do you feel all those things??

?Everything you said,? I respond, ?You and everyone else is real to me. Even if it is a dream, it?s too realistic to be thought of as fantasy. If you simply came off as mere thoughts, I don?t think I?d care for you as much as I do. No matter what others say, you exist. You and the others are real breathing people. You shouldn?t consider yourself to be anything other than that.?

I reach out and gently grab Alice?s hand. She blushes slightly, ?M-Marisa??

?I can touch you. That can?t be done with something that doesn?t exist. It isn?t the nature of your origins that?s important. It?s what you believe in. That?s what I?ve learned from this. Even if Gensokyo is a dream, I, myself, can?t accept it as anything other than a reality, so it, and everyone in it, are real to me... and should be to you too.?

?Marisa?? Suddenly, before I could predict what is going to happen next, Alice moves in front of me, presses her lips against mine, then pulls away a split second later.

I was caught by surprise, ?Um? Alice??

Alice gets up to her feet and says, trying to hide her embarrassment, ?I just? wanted to? confirm our existence? Thank you, Marisa.? With that, Alice frantically runs away. What the hell? Well THAT certainly felt real. It's hard to believe people like her are thought of as inexistant beings by Reimu and Mima...

A few more minutes pass. At this point, I guess I should go back to Yukari, see if she has that portal open, and go finish this! I hop on my broom and fly toward the walkway leading up to the palace at a low altitude, but fast pace.

Suddenly, I hear a familiar voice declaring, ?Celestial Star Sword: Silent Nirvana!? I can?t see her from beyond several cherry blossom trees, but the voice and spell card name indicates that it?s Youmu. Several blasts of white spirit energy, resembling small meteors, fly toward me. I take evasive action, performing numerous barrel rolls, dodging through the storm and continuing forward? at least until the next declaration, ?Human Era Sword: Approaching Disillusion!? A silver and green streak dashes by, several feet in front of me, followed by a fissure in the ground, which geysers silver spirit energy out of it. I come to a sudden stop and fall to the ground. The geyser subsides and Youmu stands at the other side of the fissure, with both the Roukanken and Hakurouken drawn.

I get to my feet, demanding, ?What the hell are you doing, Youmu? Get out of my way!?

Youmu says, ?I?m sorry, Marisa. I was ordered by Yuyuko-sama to keep you from reaching Yukari?s portal. She wants Reimu to wake up, and it?s my duty to honor her wishes.?

?I understand where she?s coming from,? I say, ?but I intend to keep Reimu from awakening! Time?s running out, so step aside!?

?Only if you defeat me in this duel,? responds Youmu, striking a ?ready? stance.

Youmu and I are friends, but when it comes down to it, her orders from Yuyuko get first priority. When spring was stolen, I fought Youmu, and she?s pretty tough, but I?m more familiar with her capabilities by this point, and I?m more powerful than I was back then.

I draw a spell card, ?Light Sign: Earth Light Ray!? A magic circle appears under Youmu. However, she notices and leaps back as a laser shoots out of it. More magic circles appear, but she dodges each of the attacks. I prepare another spell card, ?Magic Sign: Milky Way!? I extend my arm toward Youmu and fire out a focused flurry of star-shaped blasts of magic, which she manages to defend against by deflecting them with her two swords. Eventually, however, one of my blasts manages to get past Youmu defenses and strikes her in the face.

?AHHHHH!? Youmu puts her arms over her eyes and staggers backward, as her ghost-half blindly fires out numerous shots of spirit energy, which I dodge by jumping to the side as I approach.

I jump over the fissure and draw one last spell card, ?Love Sign!? It?s for Master Spark, but I decide to use a little trick I recently taught myself. Instead of firing my laser, I focus the spell?s energy into my right hand and deliver a powered-up punch to the stunned Youmu?s gut. It?s the spell I have the most control over, so it?s the only one with which I can perform it. It rarely comes in handy, but at least it saves quite a bit of energy.

?ACK! Mar? i? sa?? Youmu doubles over, coughing out blood.

With no more use for my latest spell card, I yell, ?Disengage!? The energy inside me returns to its card form. I walk past Youmu and say, ?Sorry about that, Youmu. I hope we?re still friends after this?? I hop on my broom and fly ahead to the walkway. Damn! Yuyuko sure is serious about Kiribayashi?s awakening if she sent Youmu to stop me?

I arrive at the spot where Yukari was, but there is only a black portal. Yukari isn?t around anywhere. Oh well, at least it?s open. Time to find Reimu and put an end to this! I jump into the portal.

On the other side, it is? dark. The bright stars above make the area visible, though. I?m flying above a sea of clouds, though the air feels normal. A few dead trees poke up from under the clouds. A fairly depressing place, though the sky is beautiful. So this is Reimu?s boundary between Dream and Awakening, huh? At any rate, Reimu must be around here somewhere?

I fly ahead in search of Reimu, ?Reimu! Where are you??

A familiar voice, belonging to Yukari, says, ?She?s up ahead??

Another voice, belonging to Yuyuko adds, ?? however, we won?t let you get that far??

From above, Yukari and Yuyuko descend.

?What are you two doing?? I ask.

Yukari says, ?I?m sorry, Marisa? but we?re going to try to stop you right here.?

?You too, Yukari? Just what the hell?s going on?? I demand.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #10 on: April 25, 2009, 01:48:01 PM »
?You too, Yukari? Just what the hell?s going on?? I demand.

Yukari answers, ?I didn?t tell you before, but there was something I witnessed after confirming the coming awakening of Kiribayashi: Hiding inside one of my portals, keeping a miniscule rip open, I heard one of the doctors talking to her parents. They were tearful and relieved to know that their daughter was going to be with them again. It was? heartwarming? and it seems cruel to let you take her away from them! On the other hand, Gensokyo is my home and I want it back. Of course, I can?t have both. It?s one or the other. I want you to fail, but I want you to succeed. That?s my conflict, Marisa. Here?s the deal, Yuyuko and I will try to stop you. If you can get past us, we?ll leave you alone. You can go ahead and perform your business with Reimu.?

?There?s one other thing,? adds Yuyuko.

?What??

Yukari answers, ?See how it?s night here? Well, the sunrise of this boundary is also the sunrise of Reimu?s life, and yours. You need to stop her before dawn arrives.?

I grab the shaft of my broom tightly, ?Damn it!?

Yukari spreads her arms, challenging me, ?So come on, Marisa! Give us all you got!?

Shit! Looks like I gotta get them out of my way before I can go ahead to Reimu. What a pain in the ass this is gonna be!

Yuyuko extends her arm in my direction and fires a white laser of spiritual energy, which closes in on me fast, but I fly to the side at the last second and it grazes my arm.

I?m under a freakin? time limit and these two are in my way. It may affect my chances against Reimu slightly, but at least I should get to her. Not intending to pull any punches, I draw a spell card right away, ?Black Magic: Event Horizon!? Magic circles appear around me, and then spread out, spraying star-shaped blast of magic everywhere.

Yuyuko reacts to my attack by materializing a circular formation of butterflies, made from her spirit energy, in front of her, with an invisible barrier in the middle, acting as a shield to defend herself against my attack, while Yukari enters a portal, getting out of the way of my spell. Yukari will probably use this chance to reappear nearby, catching me off-guard, but since I?m predicting that, I?m already a step ahead of her. I quickly whirl around, just in time to see her emerge from her portal, with a stunned expression.

??Know thy enemy,? Yukari!? I fly at Yukari and unleash a sharp kick, sending her rocketing into the swarm of stars my spell created. At the same time, Yuyuko?s defenses became overwhelmed by the numerous blasts and, her shield broken, she gets hit by numerous stars as well. ?I?m not screwing around,? I growl, ?Get the hell outta my way before I use something that will REALLY leave a mark!? The effects of my spell end.

Yukari dusts herself off, ?I?d like to, Marisa, but I honestly don?t know what?s right at this point. If you believe preventing Reimu?s awakening is the right thing, then prove your resolve here and now. Convince me, Marisa!? Yukari declares a spell card, ?Bounded Field: Mesh of Light and Darkness!? Several portals open around Yukari and fire lasers. I take evasive action and fly as the storm of lasers follows behind me, occasionally grazing the bristles of my broom.

Meanwhile, Yuyuko, obviously planning to aid Yukari, readies a spell card of her own, ?Ghostly Elegance!? Energy flows into Yuyuko?s body and a large purple ?fan? opens behind her, ?Fatal Light Trap!? A massive swarm of butterflies flies out of the fan, with no distinguishable point of origin, in edition to red blasts of energy. This had just become much busier, as I dodge around Yuyuko?s butterflies and blasts, while still staying ahead of Yukari?s lasers, a few of both attacks nicking me, gradually wearing me down.

Shit! I need to get these two bitches outta my way, while still having enough energy to confront Reimu with. Of course, Yuyuko and Yukari are no pushovers themselves, and I need a degree of potential to take care of them. This situation is really bad. If this gets me, there will be no confronting Reimu, however. With some reluctance, I draw another spell card, intending to use one of my more energy-costly spells, ?Loving Heart!? Golden energy gathers into both of my arms. I?m intending to use Double Spark, which allows me to fire off two Master Spark-level beams. Concerned with getting past Yukari and Yuyuko as soon as possible, I fly straight toward Yuyuko, barrel-rolling around her butterflies. However, she fires a large ball of energy at me, which slams into me head on, shaking me quite a bit. Damn! Must stay? focused! I barely manage to maintain control over my spell, as I get very close to the ghost princess and extend my left arm, firing my first laser.

?EEK!? Yuyuko lets out a cute scream as my spell slams into her, breaking her focus on her spell card. I start to inch in Yukari?s direction. I have my broom catapult me upward, above Yukari and I aim my right arm down at her.

?Double Spark!? I fire my second laser. However, Yukari has her lasers merge, forming a giant laser, rivaling the size and power of my own. Our spells clash and try to overpower one another. Luckily, my spell has the advantage, being fired off first, but, unlike me, Yukari has nothing to lose by focusing more of her power into hers? and she knows it.

?Hmhmhm?? Yukari chuckles as she boosts the power of her spell, which quickly starts to overpower mine.

?I?ll help, Yukari!? Yuyuko, who recovered from my last attack, decides to back Yukari up again, and fires a thin white laser at me.

Tch. I weaken and store the flow of my spell and dive down the side of Yukari?s laser, narrowly dodging Yuyuko?s attack. I fall down and past Yukari, landing on my broom, which swooped down and direct my arm up at her, as she notices and gasps. I shoot off the final burst of my spell at the now-vulnerable boundary youkai. ?UGH!? Yukari staggers as her spell breaks.

?Yukari!? yells Yuyuko.

Yukari recovers, ?That? was pretty good, Marisa? ? ? ? Just maybe??

Yuyuko interrupts, ?Yukari, shall we use THAT??

I ask, ?What the hell is ?THAT???

Yuyuko draws a spell card. Yukari shrugs, enters a portal and emerges next to Yuyuko, and then draws one too. At the same time, they declare, ?Fantasy!?

?Huh?? I move backward a few feet. A combined spell? Between those two? The only instance of something like that I?ve only HEARD about was some of the techniques the Prismriver Sisters, three poltergeist musicians serving Yuyuko. Reimu fought them during the winter incident. Looks like I?m about to witness something of a similar nature.

Several ghostly wisps appear in front of Yuyuko and several of Yukari?s portals open all over the general area. They then declare, ?Beauties of Nature!? Yuyuko?s wisps fires off a number of pink lasers, similar to the spell card Yukari previously used, only with less frequency and fewer sources, and sward of butterflies fly continuously out of Yukari?s portal. I move to avoid the lasers, but the butterflies are obstructing my view! I can?t even see the ghost and youkai anymore, there are so many! Shit! My back?s against the wall! I fire several blast of magic, but the cloud of butterflies is so dense, I don?t even know if Yukari is in my line of fire. I can tell Yuyuko?s location by the lasers shooting out. I?m no longer being aimed at, which means she can?t see me either, and she?s now firing her beams at random, but regardless, the butterflies break up my shots. The cloud expands, with me on the outside, being forced back, as the swarm will cut me to shreds if I get caught up in it.

Out loud, I express my bitter dismay, ?Dammit! DAMMIT!? I reach into my pocket and pull out a spell card crumpled in my fist. I was going for potency, but still holding back enough for Reimu, but now I?m forced into a tight situation. Time to friggin? end this! Reimu will no doubt have a major advantage over me, but at least I can face her! ?Comet!? A transparent blue barrier surrounds me. ?BLAZING STAR!? Focusing more energy into my spell than usual, I fly into the cloud at a blinding speed. My barrier protects me from the butterflies and lasers, though it gradually wears down. I zero in on where I know Yuyuko is. I break through the other end of the cloud and zoom toward the shocked Yuyuko, as Yukari watches on, equally surprised. ?DAMN YOU!? I break into a series of barrel rolls, giving the shaft of my broom a ?drill? effect, and slam into the ghost princess, broom shaft first. White smoke pours out of her, the ghostly equivalent to blood, and behind me, the cloud instantly vanishes, indicating that the spell broke. Yuyuko falls, unconscious. Yukari emerges from a portal, catching her fallen friend.

Yukari says, ?You win, Marisa. Go ahead and decide Gensokyo?s fate with Reimu.?

Breathing fast, I say, ?It?s rather? obvious who has? the advantage now??

Yukari give me an unsure smile, ?Well? you?ll think of something. If the sun rises, you two wake up and Gensokyo completely fades into nonexistence. If you convince Reimu to not wake up, or knock her out and bring her back, you stay in this dram realm, and hopefully, continue your lives as you know it.?

?We?ll? see? When is? the sun supposed to rise??

Yukari says, ?Don?t know. Could be anytime. Well, I?ll bring Yuyuko back home, and then? watch you two or something. Have fun! Fufufu~? With her trademark giggle, Yukari disappears into a portal.

Tch. The odds are stacked against me now. I fly ahead. Gradually, my breathing regulates, but I?m still significantly worn down from the battle. I take a couple deep breaths, then yell, ?SHOW YOURSELF, REIMU!? My words echo for what seems like endlessly.

Suddenly, red mist, resembling what Remilia covered Gensokyo with, fills the air. Above, a pink incomplete moon, resembling the fake Kaguya used to control Gensokyo appears. Apparently, it has the same effects, but I?m resistant to the mind control. White flowers, unbloomed suzuran to be exact, grow on the previously dead trees, resembling Yuka?s previous actions. In the distance, to my left, the Mountain of Faith appears. To my distant right, a fully bloomed Saigyou Ayakashi appears. All around, various other sights, reminding me of former crisis? Gensokyo faced, materialize. Reimu appears, the lunatic moon appearing to emphasize her presence, ?Isn?t it nostalgic, Marisa??

?Reimu!?

?Our dream is almost over. Soon, we will return to our everyday lives. For now, however, let us reminisce on our adventures together.?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #11 on: April 25, 2009, 01:49:33 PM »
Suddenly, red mist, resembling what Remilia covered Gensokyo with, fills the air. Above, a pink incomplete moon, resembling the fake Kaguya used to control Gensokyo appears. Apparently, it has the same effects, but I?m resistant to the mind control. White flowers, unbloomed suzuran to be exact, grow on the previously dead trees, resembling Yuka?s previous actions. In the distance, to my left, the Mountain of Faith appears. To my distant right, a fully bloomed Saigyou Ayakashi appears. All around, various other sights, reminding me of former crisis? Gensokyo faced, materialize. Reimu appears, the lunatic moon appearing to emphasize her presence, ?Isn?t it nostalgic, Marisa??

?Reimu!?

?Our dream is almost over. Soon, we will return to our everyday lives. For now, however, let us reminisce on our adventures together.?

?Reminisce? We could have many more adventures together! Just come back with me!?

Reimu shakes her head, ?I?m afraid not. Gensokyo was fun, but it was just a way of keeping myself entertained until I got my life back. At the end, the true form of my existence awaits me. You should want to get your life back too.?

I turn my head to the side, ?Reimu? will nothing I say convince you to come back and revive Gensokyo? We have friends trapped in the void that remains of it. Are you just gonna leave them??

Reimu sighs, ?It?s unfortunate, but that?s just the way it?s going to have to be. There is no stopping the natural course of dreams.?

Shit. I guess reason is not going to affect Reimu. Her position is not budging at all, ?Will nothing I say convince you to come back with me? To continue the dream??

?I?m sorry, Marisa, but no.?

I make a fist, ?You must, Reimu! Sakuya? Kaguya? Mokou? You are their only hope? and everyone else in Gensokyo!?

Reimu responds, ?How many times do you have to be reminded, Marisa? Those that disappeared? they are not real. They do not exist. They are pure fiction. Having any lasting emotional attachment to them is childish and silly.?

I grit my teeth, ?Damn it, Reimu! I WILL take you back with me, even if it means dragging your unconscious body back with me! I?ll do whatever it takes!?

Reimu sighs, ?It?s the last moment we?ll spend together and you want the situation to be a violent one??

?I?ll make sure we?ll spend MANY peaceful moments together after this!?

?Marisa, do you truly believe you are in the right??

?I do!?

?I see. Then we?ll let this battle be a contest of who is right and who is wrong. If you defeat me by any chance, I will return Gensokyo.?

?Fine by me.?

?Then let?s do this.? Reimu descends and lands on an invisible surface. I follow her. Sure enough, we are standing on solid ground, although it?s invisible. Reimu opens her hand, and her 5-foot-long gohei staff materializes. I grab my broom, intending to use it as a weapon too. Although Reimu?s gohei and my broom are wooden, they were imbued with powerful magic, so they are as durable as steel, although they still weigh as much as wood.

?REIMU!? I charge at Reimu and swing my broom. However, she turns her body, narrow evading my attack.

?Teehee! Your attacks are still as predictable as ever, Marisa.? Reimu ducks down and knocks me to the ground with a sweep kick.

?Ah!? Even though I hit the ground rather hard, I recover fast enough and extend my left hand toward Reimu and fire off a green burst of magical energy. Reimu jumps away, remaining inches in front of the blast and deflects it with her gohei. She lands then jumps again, with several ofuda appearing in her left hand she tosses them at me. I quickly get my right foot firmly on the ground a spring away as the ofuda close in. Upon hitting the ground where I was, they explode in a blast of white holy energy. The force of the explosion pushes me back, and the brightness of the light stings my eyes. Luckily, I manage to adjust my eyes just in time as Reimu jumps at me and swings her gohei. I raise my broom and block her attack. She attempts a low attack, but I block that too, and she follows it with a second high attack, in which our weapons clash again and press together as we try to overpower each other. I?m the first to wise up to the circumstances, however. I grin as I step to the side and lower my weapon as Reimu?s suddenly wasted strength causes her to stumble forward, dropping her defenses. I attempt a quick counterattack; however, Reimu uses her right foot to spring upward and, using her flying ability as a means of performing an otherwise physically ineffective attack, launches a midair reverse-roundhouse kick. Her heel connects with my cheek and I?m sent flying several feet, the motion blowing my hat off in midair. I hit the ground, back-first. Reimu jumps up and above me with her right leg raised, intending to hit me with an axe-kick. At the last second, I roll out of the way as her heel hits the ground. I thrust my broom?s shaft up at her and it connects with her jaw.

?Ah?? Reimu stagger back as I return to my feet. I swing my broom at her like a baseball bat, but she quickly ducks below my attack then springs up, performing a back flip, the tip of her foot connecting with my chin, launching me upward. I aim my hand toward the ground while the rest of me is stunned and blindly fires off a laser. ?UGH!? Reimu grunts, which indicates to me that my attack hit. I recover in midair and land on my feet. Reimu recovers as well. A needle materializes in her hand which she tosses at me, but I deflect it with my broom.

?YAAAAA!? We both charge at each other. Our makeshift staves clash. Out left hand both let go and glow with magical energy and holy energy respectively. We both throw a punch, which connects with the side of each other?s faces, the force sending us both flying several feet. We both hit the ground, recover, and rise back to our feet at the exact same time, panting.

?Not? bad?? says Reimu, in between breaths.

?Just what? I was? expecting?? I say. With both take a few seconds for our breathes to catch up.

Reimu pulls a spell card from her pocket, ?That was quite fun, Marisa, but I think it?s time to take this up another level.?

?What are you gonna do?? I ask, ?Use the spell cards of people like Remilia, Meiling, Suwako, and Aya??

Reimu shakes her head, ?We aren?t in Gensokyo anymore. I lost that power with my departure from that world. We are no longer in a world specifically of my mind?s creation. As a result, I?m somewhat weaker that I was when I fought you, Sakuya, Kaguya, and Mokou. However, as long as I?m like this, I have one more power to draw out with my spell cards.?

?What?s that?? I ask.

?My memories,? answers Reimu, ?Time to reminisce.? She raises her spell card, declaring, ?Scarlet Dream: Cogwheels of Fate!?

The red mist around us vanishes, making the view of the area a great deal clearer. A red aura emanates from Reimu. Just what does she have going??

?L?vatein!? A red beam, about 7 feet in length, extends from the tip of Reimu?s gohei and she swings it as me, catching me off-guard, as I wasn?t expecting it. ?Hailstorm!? Several blades of ice start to rain down from the sky diagonally.

I recover and use a spell card, ?Ritualic Space: Orreries Solar System!? Six shining orbs materialize around me. I jump toward the hail of blades and my orbs smash through them. I then launch them at Reimu, but she suddenly fades into the darkness, and then reappears after my attack flies by, unscathed.

?Killing Doll!? Several knives materialize around Reimu then launch toward me in a concentrated fashion. I step to the side, though the series of knives grazes my right arm. Reimu?s red aura vanishes, ?What do you think??

?What? the? hell?? What was that? Those attacks were??

?? From my memories? If that was what you were thinking, then you?re absolutely right. My past battles play a part in this present battle.?

I was actually thinking that those attacks weren?t actually hers, but she had a point about the past battles. During the mist incident, Reimu fought Sakuya, Flandre, Cirno, and Rumia, a darkness youkai that recently became one of Alice?s students more recently. She used spell card techniques belonging to Flandre, Cirno, and Sakuya, and Rumia?s ability to fade into darkness. She can take on the abilities of opponents she fought during specific incidents?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #12 on: April 25, 2009, 01:50:05 PM »
Reimu pulls out another spell card, ?Let?s move onto the next memory of our adventures, Marisa. Ghostly Dream: Wakeless Spring Slumber!? In the distance, the fully bloomed Saigyou Ayakashi, the Perfect Cherry Blossom vanishes and a pink aura emanates from Reimu.

Time to think? Whose abilities will Reimu use? She fought Lunasa, Merlin, and Lyrica Prismriver, poltergeist musicians of Yuyuko, Chen, a nekomata shikigami belonging to Yukari?s kitsune shikigami, Ran, and Yukari herself.

Reimu smiles and declares, ?Prism Concerto!? Two Reimu clones appear at her side, one in red clothes, more so than her usual outfit, and the other in black clothes, and with the original Reimu?s white clothes, the three clones sort of resemble the Prismrivers. A bow of light appears in one black Reimu?s hand and a sword with a curved blade appears in the hand of the red Reimu. All three of them draw spell cards, ?Flight of Idaten!? They suddenly vanish? or rather take off at an intense speed, as I have to really concentrate to follow their movement. As if their speed wasn?t enough, however, they are also using Yukari?s boundary manipulation skills to open portals, disappearing an emerging from another portal in varying locations. I can?t predict them at all!

I try to keep my distance, firing bolts of my magic, but always missing. Finally, the Reimus decide to stop confusing me with their movement and go on the offensive. The red Reimu emerges from a portal that opens in front of me and swings her sword. I jump back, barely avoiding the attack. However, from a portal above ?Red,? ?Black? emerges and fires an arrow of bright light at me, which pierces me clean through the left shoulder. ?Errghhh!? Okay, it didn?t hurt as much as I thought it would, but it was still somewhat painful. ?Red? and ?Black? vanish into their portals and, floating behind them, Reimu (the original) materializes a large number of rainbow-colored blades around her and sends them at me. I deflect as many as I can with my broom and magic, buts finally, one breaks through my defenses and the others tear through. After the attack, ?Red? and ?Black? appear in front of me again, their weapons readied at point-black range. This is not good?

?Okay! Now then? huh?? As the original Reimu is about to give an order to the two duplicates, she notices something in the air above and behind me.

?Marisa! Hold on!? A familiar voice yells as a red laser shoots down at the black Reimu, piercing her through the chest, causing her to fade into thin air. A doll armed with a sword dives down at the red Reimu, who jumps up and cuts through it, but another ?sword doll? backs up its fallen comrade and also pierces her through the chest, causing her to vanish.

Although I know who just came to my aid, I look back anyway, ?Whew! Thank you, Alice! I was in sort of a tight spot there?? Alice descends to my side.

Reimu sighs and says, ?Alice Margatroid. Do you know what you are doing? I am the reason you are here. I am like a mother to you.?

Alice responds, ?Even if I am a part of your dream, Reimu, I cannot think of you as my mother. After all, you lived as an equal with the rest of us for a long time. I fail to see you as anything different, even now. Even if it is as you say, I will protect and help Marisa and the rest of my friends, and take you back with us.?

Reimu chuckles, ?It?s strange? how the figments of my own dream are trying to prevent ME from awakening. Very well, Alice. You can try to stop me. After all, there are only a few more minutes and the sun rises and this all ends.? I won?t doubt what she?s saying, but the sky hadn?t gotten any brighter since I got here. I find it hard to believe?

I glance at Alice, ?We?d better not waste any time??

?Yes,? responds Alice with a nod.

Reimu readies her next spell card, ?Imperishable Dream: Nocturne at Two o'clock!? The pink glow of the lunatic moon vanishes and it expands into a full moon. At the same time, the sky turns from black to a dull blue. Shit, NOW it?s easy to believe that our time is almost up. Kaguya?s moon made sure that it was always night! Reimu turns toward Alice, extends her arm, and cracks a mysterious smile, ?Master Spark!?

?Wh_?? Before Alice could figure out what was happening, Reimu engulfs her with a massive laser, with the same name and appearance as mine. Oh yeah, she DID fight ME during the moon incident, while I was under Reisen?s mind control? When Reimu?s attack ends, Alice is on the ground, several feet away from her original location, ?Ugh??

I ready a spell card, preparing to counterattack, but Reimu glances at me and snaps her fingers, ?Force Crisis!? A purple meteor-thing rockets down from the sky and toward me. I jumps back, but an explosion follows, with enough force to knock me away. I land next to where Alice was knocked to, landing on my feet, just as she is getting back on hers?.

Alice declares a spell card, ?Corps Command!? Alice?s doll, which is always around her, Shanghai, multiplies into tens of duplicates. ?Shanghai Battalion!? Spears, rapiers, axes, bows, scythes, old-style firearms, and various other weapons materialize in the hands of the many Shanghai dolls. All at once, the charge at Reimu or prepare to shoot at her from a distance.

Reimu smirks slightly, ?Impressive, Alice. If I hadn?t the appropriate countermeasures, I might even be intimidated. Butterfly Storm!? Several glowing butterflies materialize around Reimu and charge at Alice?s incoming army. Both forces clash. However, Reimu?s butterflies gain the upper hand by guarding against the dolls? attacks by blocking with the razor-sharp edges of their wings, then crashing into the dolls and exploding. Reimu picks off the dolls that broke through her counterattack by throwing ofuda at them, which detonate on contact. The result is a large cloud of gray and pink smoke.

In an attempt to catch Reimu off guard, I declare a spell card, ?Magic Sign: Milky Way!? I send a flurry of star-shaped magical blasts into the cloud. On the other end, I hear some light bursting sounds and some grunts from Reimu?s voice. The smoke clears and Reimu is down on one knee, supporting herself with her gohei.

Reimu return to her feet, ?Not bad, Marisa. I figured you might do that, but it was before I could properly prepare. However, that was not good enough. Now get ready for the next memory! View Dream: Revolving Lantern of the Tenth Year!? Reimu declares her next spell card. The unbloomed suzuran on the trees whither away. Coins, each with holes in the middle, materialize in Reimu?s hand. They are afterlife currency, called karma, but Komachi, back when we fought her, has the ability to infuse them with energy and use them as powerful weapons. ?Storm Day!? There is suddenly a cool breeze around us? which quickly picks up and becomes a tornado, sucking me and Alice in. We both grab my broom to keep us from getting separated and to move in this windstorm? at least a little. Reimu appears at the middle of the cyclone, seemingly unaffected by it, as Alice and I spiral around her. Alice summons a doll, which appears in front of Reimu and fires a red laser before getting swept up as well. However, Reimu extends her hand and blocks it. ?Higan Retour!? Reimu throws the coins at us, which multiply along the way, which also get caught up in the whirlwind, making the going very hazardous. Both me and Alice get hit and burned several times by the energy-infused coins.

A coin hits my shoulder, ?Agh! Damn it! We gotta end this soon, or?? I grab a spell card with my free hand and declare, ?Magicannon!? Intense magical energy flows into me as I instruct Alice, ?Alice, don?t let go of the broom!? I pull myself up, kick off the broom?s shaft, and dive toward Reimu, who suddenly has six beams extending from her back. ?FINAL MASTER SPARK!? I cast my ultimate ?spark? spell. My massive laser flies toward Reimu. I summon my broom over to me to keep myself in place, barely resisting the tornado?s wind.

However, Reimu was not unprepared this time. ?Last Judgment!? Reimu fires a large purple laser at me, of equal size, a technique belonging to Sikieiki. Our beams clash and the magical and divine energy from our respective attacks goes crazy, flying outward, causing the coins to explode. I?m barely holding on, but Reimu doesn?t seem to be having much trouble, ?Oh, Marisa. I may be weaker than I was when you fought me with Sakuya, Mokou, and Kaguya, but my power still outclasses yours!? Reimu?s laser gradually overpowers mine. Damn it, this is not good to say the least.

?Arcane Craft: Magical Marisa Dolls ?Master Spark-!? Alice declares a spell card I?ve never heard of. I look out the corners of my eyes. In one direction, then the other. Alice had summoned two dolls, which look just like ME! They even have the hat ribbons and aprons! Both dolls extend a hand in Reimu?s direction and fire slightly smaller versions of my Master Spark. They join with my Final Master Spark, making the laser even more powerful! The status of the power struggle becomes neutral, with either side gaining the advantage. I glance at Alice with a serious expression. Alice nods in return. We both focus all the power we can into the attack, making our beam quickly overpower Reimu?s.

?WHAT?? Reimu?s eyes widen in awe and dismay as the laser completely engulfs her. The spell is broken. The tornado stops and the three of us are sent flying in various directions. We all hit the ground hard. The taste of blood is in my mouth as I crawl in the fallen Reimu?s direction. Reimu looks at me and smiles wearily, ?That was pretty good, Marisa. I guess I shouldn?t have underestimated Alice?s power.

Alice recovers slowly, ?When I have such an important goal in mind, not even you can stop me, Reimu.?

?I see,? responds Reimu.

I say, ?Come back with us, Reimu. Please. Is the life that awaits you on the other side really that important??

Reimu slowly rises to her feet, ?Of course. It?s my family? my friends? my life? Dreams like this are fine, but in the end, that?s all they are: dreams. We all have to wake up sometime. Even you, Marisa. You may lack the memories of you other self, so you fail to realize the significance of what you have.?

?I don?t??

?Ah! Marisa! L-look?? Alice gets to her feet and points at the sky. I get back to my feet as well. Up above, the sun appears over the horizon.

?It?s time,? says Reimu.

Suddenly, there is an acute pain through my head, like the kind of headache that makes it suck to be alive at the moment. I feel the information in my brain rearrange in ways I can?t describe. I close my eyes tightly and slump to my knees as I hold my head with my hands. I remember things? that are not of my life as Marisa Kirisame. My parents, my friends, my school, my experiences, both good and bad, my ambitions, my desires, my passions? my life! I?m?

?Marisa, your clothes!? Alice shouts out.

I look and see that my clothes had changed color. Instead of black, they turned white, like Reimu?s.

More memories come flowing back to me. I was staying at school late to complete an important project. As such, I missed the bus home. As my house was not within walking distance, I decided to take the subway instead. As I was crossing the last crosswalk, a truck ran a red light and? ? ? ? Wow? Life bites you in the ass when you're not expecting it at all. I guess that's a... unfortunate, yet charming aspect of it? Still, it?s not like all bad came of it?

Reimu looks at me with a welcoming smile, ?I see you are now with us? Marisa Starr.?

A portal opens up nearby. Yukari emerges from it, saying, ?So it?s too late. Things couldn?t be changed??

?Shoot. I was rather aware of this possibility, but? Reimu and Marisa? up until now, they had always found a way of turning things around?? A second figure emerges from the portal. A figure I was not expecting at all.

?What? Sakuya? But? but how did you???

Sakuya says solemnly, ?Honestly, Marisa, I think we have more pressing matters at hand at the moment??

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #13 on: April 25, 2009, 01:50:46 PM »
Yukari points out, ?Your appearance had taken a turn similar to Reimu?s. Is there anything else different? You know? in your mind??

I nod, ?Yes, actually. I remember everything! My life before this dream started!?

Yukari asks, ?Now that you remember who you really are, Marisa, what do you want to do? Wake up and resume your life, or keep dreaming??

?I don?t know? I now realize the significance of what I lost? but Kaguya and Mokou. I don?t want them to continue being trapped in the non-existent Gensokyo. That hasn?t changed??

Yukari sighs, ?Just thought I?d bring it up. The truth is, now that the sun had risen here, there is no turning back??

?What??

?You two are on the verge of awakening. Gensokyo is gone. Not a speck exists in that space anymore? except for our two favorite immortals. I can no longer access it. Nothing can get in and nothing can get out??

I tighten my fist, ?Damn it! After all that, I couldn?t save them? I?ve always found a way to win in the past, no matter what the odds. I felt that as long as I was there to do something, everything would turn out alright in the end? but this is different. I promised myself and others that I would return it to normal? and after all that, I failed in the end! Damn it? DAMN IT!? I grit my teeth as tears pour out of my eyes. I can only think of what Kaguya and Mokou are feeling right now? Alice, Sakuya, and Yukari can?t find the right words.

I suddenly feel a reassuring hand on my shoulder. Reimu looks at my face with a kind smile, but I?m not feeling any better, ?Marisa??

?What do you want, Reimu? It?s because of you that Gensokyo is gone, everyone there is gone, save a few, and Kaguya and Mokou are trapped there!?

Reimu responds, ?Every dream must end, and this is no exception. However, just like they end, they also begin. Gensokyo is our creation. Yours and mine. As long as we exist, new dreams are made? and even dreamt all over again. As long as we dream, there may still be hope!?

I stop crying, ?Really? Is that true, Yukari??

Yukari shrugs, ?You tell me. It?s your dream. I?m just something you two thought up. Reimu has a reasonable point, however.?

I ask Yukari, ?Can?t you just? you know? open a boundary into our dreams, or something, so we can get Kaguya and Mokou out??

Yukari closes her eyes for a few seconds ?? I might, as a matter of fact, but I?m not entirely sure. That could be a problem, though, as I will need both of you together??

?We?re here,? says Reimu, ?We?re together.?

?I mean your OTHER selves,? says Yukari, ?your physical selves sleeping, awaiting awakening.?

Reimu points out the difficulty behind that, ?We aren?t even aware of each others? existence on the other side? and we?ll likely forget about everyone? and everything??

As odd as it is, I can now fully grasp the things that Reimu is talking about. In fact, at absolutely any moment, I could wake up and end this dream? but I know that Kaguya and Mokou weren?t dreamt up and we gotta figure out a way to save them somehow, so I?m trying as hard as possible to remain asleep. I?m sure Reimu is the same way right now.

Sakuya guesses, ?Even after Reimu and Marisa awaken, you, Yukari, Alice, Reisen, Eirin, Cirno, and I will continue to exist??

?Yes,? answers Yukari, ?provided you, me, and Alice are out of this dimension by the time they wake up.?

?Then perhaps we can find a way to reunite them on the other side??

?They won?t know us anymore, so it will be more complicated than that? but you may be onto something, Sakuya??

I let out a relieved sigh, ?So there?s hope after all. That?s great.?

Reimu claps her hands together, ?Well, there?s our solution? hopefully. We?ll just meet again on the other side, Marisa, and get the two of them out!?

?I hope it works,? I look at Yukari, ?I?m counting on you.?

Yukari says, ?You can depend on us. We?ll find a way to bring you two together. Well, the only way left to go is forward. We?ll leave the two of you to awaken and return to your day-to-day lives.? Yukari opens a portal and takes a few steps toward it before looking back at us, ?We will be watching!? With those final words and a wink, she disappears into the portal.

Alice approaches the portal and looks back at me, ?Marisa? you? won?t forget me? will you??

I have no truthful answer to Alice?s question that may not hurt her feelings. All I can say is, ?Well, no matter what happens, we?ll see each other again, I?m sure? so? um? don?t worry, okay??

Alice?s sadness seems to be rising. She escapes into the portal as if to hide her weakness.

??? Sakuya turns toward the portal.

I call out, ?Sakuya! Wait!?

Sakuya looks back at me, ?Yes, Marisa??

?How did you do it? How did you escape? I thought you were going to get swallowed by the void!?

Sakuya answers, ?Yukari went to check on us after you went on ahead. She took me to the Netherworld before you arrived there.?

?But? If you were okay, why didn?t you come and tell me??

Sakuya smiles somewhat mischievously, ?I figured the shock treatment might work to your advantage.?

I yell out, ?Damn it! You bitch! How could you leave me like that??

Sakuya chuckles, ?Heh? You shouldn?t let yourself continue to worry about it. It turned out okay for us in the end, didn?t it??

?I guess??

?Well, goodbye for now. Our parting will only be temporary. We shall reveal ourselves when the time is right.? Sakuya disappears into the portal, which shortly vanishes after.

?I suppose it?s that time,? says Reimu.

?Reimu??

?Yes??

?I don?t get you. Before you were all happy about Gensokyo disappearing and stuff, not caring about anything, but now you care about saving Kaguya and Mokou by more or less, returning to it. Why the sudden change of heart??

Reimu looks to the bright sky, ?Before, I guess I was just excited. I gained so much power over something I was among an equal in before. I was happy that I was going to see my parents and friends again. I guess I felt that Gensokyo was keeping me from them, so I lashed out against it. But as time went on, I began to see a little more clearly. I?m aware that Kaguya and Mokou aren?t of my dream and are now trapped because of my haste and selfishness. I? want to make it right. I may forget about them soon, but I hope to eventually get them out of whatever they are trapped within. I?m? happy that Yukari is a product of my dream, otherwise it wouldn?t be possible??

?I see. Well, I?m glad you came around in the end. Well, we should move on to the next step and wake up. Everyone is waiting for us!?

?Not just yet,? says Reimu.

?Huh??

?There is one thing, Marisa?? Reimu?s clothes suddenly transform into the red and white clothes she wore as her in-dream persona, Reimu Hakurei ?? I want to resolve one thing before closing our book?? She points her gohei at me, ?Our rivalry. As Reimu Hakurei and Marisa Kirisame, let us determine once and for all which one of us is strongest. Sure, the victory will be less than fleeting, but let?s make this the last memory of ourselves as we were in Gensokyo, Marisa.?

?? Fine.? On a mere whim, my clothes turn back to the white and black clothes I wore as Kirisame. Something amazing is the power I suddenly gained over my other self. Even though she was worn out from fighting Reimu before, thanks to my will, she is now back at full strength. It?s almost funny that we are basically downgrading from our actual selves for our final duel, but hey, this is between Kirisame and Hakurei, settling one final conflict before we leave the dream behind us. Our true selves have no such rivalry, as in actuality, we don?t even know each other.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #14 on: April 25, 2009, 01:51:30 PM »
Our surroundings become brighter and brighter, eventually becoming a white void. Soon after, a lot of brown and green starts to appear. When the void completely vanishes, we are in a grassy clearing surrounded by forest. It bears a remarkable resemblance to the Forest of Magic. In fact, as our surrounding are at our command, it just might as well be. I quickly hop on my broom, ascend, and glance around. On the outer edges of the forest, there is the Hakurei Shrine to the north, Scarlet Devil Mansion to the west, Eientei to the south, and the Mountain of Faith to the east. The forest we are in is diamond-shaped with each point corresponding to each location and we are in the very center of all of it.

From each location, there are spectators from the dream, who I just know are there, despite being such a distance away. From the steps leading up to the Hakurei Shrine, Suika Ibuki, Ran Yakumo, Minoriko Aki, Shizuha Aki, Keine Kamishirasawa, Chen, Letty Whiterock, and Lily White are watching. From a balcony on Eientei, Tewi Inaba and many of the other rabbit youkai are viewing us. From the clock tower of Scarlet Devil Mansion, we are being watched by Remilia Scarlet, Flandre Scarlet, Hong Meiling, Patchouli Knowledge, and Koakuma. Aya Shameimaru, Kanako Yasaka, Suwako Moriya, Sanae Kotiya, Hina Kagiyama, and Nitori Kawashiro are watching from the summit of the Mountain of Faith. Hovering in various points in the air, not from any specific locations, Yuka Kazami, Mystia Lorelei, Medicine Melancholy, Wriggle Nightbug, and Rumia watch us. It?s like all the major locations and people in Gensokyo being brought together into one place! I descend back down to Reimu.

Reimu says, ?This should be a fitting location. Appropriate for our final memory!?

I nod my head, ?I agree.?

?Then let the final resolution begin!? Reimu jumps away, tossing a handful of needles down at me. I jump over the needles and toward Reimu, who then throws an ofuda, which I intercept with a blast of magic, both attacks canceling each other out in a burst of smoke. I dive through the smoke and toward Reimu, delivering a punch to the side of her face, however, she just as quickly attacks back with a quick slap, followed by a kick, launching me away from her. We both land on the ground on our feet. Reimu tosses another handful of needles at me as I charge straight at her, which I narrowly dodge by sliding under them. Just as I?m about to deliver a low kick to her legs, Reimu leaps up, tossing an ofuda down at the place where she was standing.

?Oh sh_? The ofuda bursts in an explosion of light sending me sliding across the ground. Reimu flies above me and dives down foot-first. I dodge her kick at just the right moment. She gets ready to counter by tossing a needle down at me, but I swing my broom, striking her leg, stunning Reimu long enough to get back to my feet. She thrusts her gohei at me, but I quickly dodge to the side and deliver a kick, knocking her back a few feet and putting some distance between us.

Our onlookers cheer with excitement. Reimu smiles as she says, ?Very good, Marisa. It?s a decent start anyway?? Reimu draws a spell card from her pocket, ?Spirit Sign: Fantasy Orb!? Four balls of holy energy of various colors materialize above Reimu. One shoots down toward me, which I dodge by jumping back as it slams into the ground where I was standing. The second and third also attack me in the same way, which I dodge in the same way. I prepare a spell card, intending to counterattack after the last one. Reimu launches her last orb and I jump back to dodge it like I did with the other three, but this time, instead of crashing into the ground, it arcs straight toward me. No good! I?m wide open!

?Eeeuugghh!? The last orb slams into me and sends me reeling. Reimu dashes straight at me. Despite being a little dizzy from the attack, I manage to declare my spell card, ?Magic Sign: Milky Way!? I extend my arm and send a storm of star-shaped magic blasts at Reimu, who dodges my complicated attack, by jumping, sliding, or turning to the sides, all without losing any speed. For someone who isn?t very diligent in her studies, she still manages to fight like the best of them, whereas I?m the polar opposite, hence the rivalry that we are settling right now. Even though the fight is only going to escalate from here, there is no malice in our attacks. Despite the intensity, in the end, it?s really just a friendly duel.

I hop on my broom and jet toward the miko, who dodges by jumping over me and tossing a needle at my blind side, which I quickly wise up to, look back, and intercept with a tiny blast of blue magic, causing it to spin into the air away from me. I fly upward and fire several large blasts of blue magic at Reimu. She dodges and my attacks hit the ground, bursting into small explosions. She flies up at me, narrowing the distance between us rapidly? and make both of us an easier target for each other. I fire one last blast of explosive magic, which scores a direct hit, knocking the miko back to the ground? but around the same time, I feel something hit me lightly. I look at my body and see one of Reimu?s ofuda attached on. Oh shit! I was so focused with attacking her that I didn?t notice! The ofuda bursts and I?m send tumbling back to the ground, which I hit hard, but don?t break anything. I slowly return to my feet, the two of us separated by several meters. Unfortunately for me, Reimu is quicker to declare a spell card, ?Border World: Hakurei Danmaku Bounded Field!? Several ofuda materialize around Reimu and fly into portals. Portals appear all over the place, ofuda emerge from on and disappearing into another. The nature of this attack is very confusing. Sometime after we defeated Yukari, Reimu learned a little about border manipulation from her, thus she has space-manipulating spell like this? I fire a magical laser toward Reimu, but a portal opens and swallows it and comes out of a portal facing me. I move to the side, avoiding my own attack. Several portals open around me and the ofuda fly out. I dodge the first few, but I finally get mercilessly bombarded by tons of ofuda, each bursting upon contact. They are all used until there are no more, but Reimu, appearing to use an extra ounce of energy to keep this attack going, materializes another wave of ofuda to attack me with.

Here?s my chance to get outta this! ?Star Sign!? After declaring a spell card, a white ball of magical energy appears in my hand. I toss it up and above Reimu, and then declare, ?DRAGON METEO!? The ball turns into a large laser, about as big as my Master Spark, which fires directly down toward the ground? and Reimu. She gets hit from above and loses her focus over her spell.

?Ow?? The power of my attack, along with the presumably substantial amount of energy Reimu put into her spell, leaves her dazed.

I take advantage of the situation and declare another spell card, ?Light Blast!? A magic circle appears below Reimu, ?Shoot the Moon!? Another giant laser, like the one before fires up from below Reimu (the opposite of my last spell), blasting her into the sky. There is a pause of a few second after my spell ends and I wait for her to come down? ? ? ? ? Suddenly, there is an acute pain in my lower chest and notice a needle sunk in! I yank it out and focus seeing Reimu slowly descending from the sky, about to toss more needles. I roll to the side several times, avoiding her barrage.

Reimu lands and catches her breath, ?That was good, Marisa? Very good? Now then?? Reimu declares a spell card, ?Divine Skill: Four-Handed Yin-Yang Performance!? Four large yin-yang orbs appear above Reimu and being firing countless lasers down at me.

?Shit!? I run to the edge of the clearing and take cover behind a tree as the lasers slowly whittle away at it.

Reimu asks, ?Don?t you think it?s funny? and a little strange, Marisa? No matter where you go, everyone looks up to an absolute power? a supreme being? a deity? However, as the two of us have recently witnessed, within our own personal world, we hold the absolute power over it? just like the very deities that people worship.?

?Huh??

?When you manage to master your own world, you are the absolute power! What?s so strange? yet interesting? is that a ?God? exists in each and every being in existence.?

Reimu?s lasers cut through the tree I was using for cover. ?Tch.? A couple hit me, but I manage to get behind another tree.

?That?s no fun!? yells Reimu, ?You should find another tactic!? Suddenly, I hear a humming sound from the yin-yang orbs firing the lasers. I peek out from my hiding place and see that the four orbs stopped firing and came closer together. Below, Reimu is performing some hand seals. With her fingers interlocked in unusual ways, she thrusts her hand out. The four orbs, all at once, fire a larger, more powerful laser, not unlike my Master Spark.

?AH!? I dive out from my hiding place as the laser hits and the tree falls. Luckily, they aren?t firing the rapid barrage from before, so I take the momentary peace to ready a spell card, ?Light Sign!? I summon a group of small magic circles to the ground below Reimu and her yin-yang orbs, ?Earth Light Ray!? My magic circles start shooting MY laser barrage from below. Reimu back dashes out of the way, but her yin-yang orbs get bombarded and destroyed. I hop on my broomstick and declare another spell card, ?Comet: Blazing Star!? A blue field surrounds me and I fly toward Reimu rapidly, intending to ram her.

Reimu declares a countermeasure spell card, ?Divine Arts!? A giant magic circle expands below Reimu, ?Omnidirectional Demon Binding Circle!? A massive pillar of orange light surrounds Reimu and I crash headlong into it. It overwhelms my field, breaking it and my spell and I feel the force of her attack. ?HA!? Reimu?s pillar flashes and a force sends me flying up and through the air, clean out of the clearing where we were fighting.

As I?m helplessly flying in the direction of Scarlet Devil Mansion, I see that I?m on a crash course with Wriggle Nightbug! I brace for impact, but nothing happens. I see that I just flew right through her like she wasn?t even there. After a few more seconds, I crash into the wall of the clock tower, where Remilia and company are, and fall to the floor. Meiling walks over and offers me a helping hand. I try to grab her hand, but mine just passes through, just like I just did with Wriggle. Nearby, Remilia is saying something to me? or at least I THINK she is. Her mouth is moving, but I?m not hearing a voice. Judging by her expression, however, I guess she?s just upset that I?m trying to hurt Reimu, even if our battle is on non-hostile terms. Well, this is a stage that Reimu created for our final duel? but, despite how much this place tries to look like it, this is not Gensokyo? not at all. Everyone watching us is just an illusion. Still, it?s good to see them?

I get back to my feet. Reimu is flying right at me. I get back on my broom, take to the air, and fly back into the fray. Reimu and I fly alongside each other, exchanging needles and magical blasts. One of my blasts hits Reimu in the side of the face as one of her needles sinks into my arm. We descend and land in front of the Hakurei Shrine. I quickly draw a spell card and direct my arms toward Reimu, ?Love Sign: Master Spark!? I fire my giant magical laser at Reimu.

Again, Reimu draws a spell card as a countermeasure, ?Barrier!? Several small yin-yang orbs materialize in front of her, ?Danmaku Kaleidoscope!? My laser clashes with an invisible shield formed between the orbs. Also, energy from my laser seems to get reflected back at me. Luckily, I notice that Reimu?s barrier is showing some strain from my attack.

Even though it?s going to hurt, I pour extra energy into my spell. Reimu?s shield looks dangerously close to breaking.

?Neggrrh?? Reimu seems to be feeling under the weather as I slowly overwhelm her.

?YAAA!? The barrier shatters and my laser breaks through, slamming into Reimu, knocking her back.

With both of us severely weakened, we breathe heavily. Still, as this is the battle to infinitely determine which of us is truly superior, I?m not going to give up and neither is she. I reach into my pocket to pull out another spell card, but? I don?t feel any others in there! This is the last one! Reimu pulls out a spell card, and says, ?Well, This is my last one??

?What a coincidence,? I respond.

Reimu smiles and says, ?Well? shall we put an end to this? The one this truly deserves??

?Fine!?

We both raise our final spell cards and simultaneously declare, ?Last Word!? Both of our bodies undergo a transformation. Black wings emerge out of my back as white wings emerge out of Reimu?s.

The power in me explodes as we take to the sky. As I now have wings, I no longer need my broom to fly. We both move around at blinding speeds. Reimu?s gohei and my broom clash numerous times as we move about. Anyone watching us probably wouldn?t be able to detect our movement and only see the bursts of energy as our weapons clash.

?YYYAAAHHHHHHH!? Reimu and I charge at each other one last time and our weapons clash again, this time so hard that they snap in two. We discard our broken weapons and move on to using our energy attacks. Many large orbs of golden holy energy materialize around Reimu and fly toward me. I avoid some and others hit me rather hard, but I?m not weakened by much. I fire a magical laser at Reimu, though with the enormous increase in power, it?s now about as big and powerful as a Final Spark. My attack scores an indirect hit and we keep fighting, neither of us showing any signs of wearing down. Our battle continues for several minutes.

Finally, Reimu yells, ?This is it, Marisa! Time to end this battle? and this dream! FANTASY HEAVEN!? Reimu spreads her arms and hundreds, literally, HUNDREDS (maybe approaching a thousand) of orbs of holy energy appear. It?s similar in nature to her Fantasy Orb spell, only with several times more orbs and each one is exponentially more powerful than normal! They fly toward me at such a speed I can?t even dodge! I?m bombarded mercilessly all over and the attack last for minutes with me unable to fight back. Reimu?s attack finally ends and she breathes quickly from such a heavy energy loss. ?Can you perform your move? after that??

That?s quite a dare. It?s not easy, as I was harmed pretty badly by that? but I can manage. I have the willpower for it! ?Of course? I can!? I spread my arms and declare, ?APOCALYPSE SPARK!? Several magic circles materialize around Reimu and each fires out a massive laser, all slightly more powerful than a Final Master Spark. Like I just was, Reimu get ruthlessly assaulted by numerous lasers from me, roughly 30 to 60 in number. Dark magical energy gathers into my hands and I finish the spell with a giant dark purple laser, stronger than the ones that were previously fired.

It hits and the world around us turns into a white void once again, but only for a few seconds. When it clears, we are back in our original forms, our lives steadily draining away, back in the clearing. After many deep breaths, we charge at each other one last time. ?AHHHH!? We both throw a punch at the exact same time and both of our fists hit each other in the side of the face. There is a short pause, and then, in such perfect unison that it?s like looking into a mirror, we both slump to the ground. The world around us becomes a white void again, this time for good. We both revert to Starr and Kiribayashi, the weaknesses and injuries we sustained as Kirisame and Hakurei disappearing completely.

Reimu smiles cheerfully, ?That was really fun, Marisa! I guess in the end, neither of us could surpass the other.?

After a brief chuckle, I say, ?That?s the way it should be. I?m sure neither of us wanted a defeat that would last forever??

?You have a point?? Reimu sighs, ?So this is it, huh, Marisa? The end of the dream??

?It?s no dream,? I say, ?Gensokyo was an actual dimension. Some that were born of imagination became reality. In the end, it?s not just another fleeting fantasy.?

?True. So? we will meet again??

?Well, as long as Yukari and the others have something to say about it, I?m sure.?

Reimu chuckles a little, ?At first, I was so excited? but now I?m hesitant? I want to return to my life? but I don?t want to forget you and everyone else??

?Even if you do, I?m sure we?ll remember at some point or another. Look at me, Reimu, remember all you did with me. Let my face be a reminder of me to you and all we?ve done, all our adventures!?

?? Marisa!? Reimu hugs, me, which I soon return.

?Let us move on, Reimu. We still have unfinished business where Gensokyo once was. This is not the end.?

?Yeah??

With that, Reimu fades from my sight. My head feels like it?s spinning. My memories start slipping away. Where was I? Who was I just talking to?? WAS I just talking to someone? Just what the hell just happened?

?

?

?

?

?

I open my eyes. I find myself in an unfamiliar room in an uncomfortable bed. I try to sit up? Damn! I?m suddenly overcome by a horrible headache. What just happened?

? ? ? ? Oh yeah? I was hit by a truck that ran through a red light, and? Ah, so is this a hospital room? I feel my forehead, which is wrapped in bandages. Just how long was I out? However, something feels like it?s missing?

Suddenly, a tear rolls down my face? but why? I survived the accident! I should be happy? but somehow, it feels like I forgot something important. Oh well, at least I?ll have time to think about it?

I hear voices on the other end of the door. An unfamiliar deep male voice says, ?Mr. and Mrs. Starr, your daughter?s condition is stabilizing. She was out for awhile, but in the end, she was able to pull through. She is truly fortunate.?

I hear my relieved mother?s voice say, ?Thank God! I was so worried!?

Looks like thing will be alright for me? but still, something feels? unfinished. Could it be my imagination, or?

===

In the Netherworld, Yukari explains the events that had transpired to Yuyuko and Youmu.

?I see,? says Yuyuko, ?It?s great to see that those poor girls managed to recover? but even so, I can?t help but feel that we?ve abandoned Kaguya and Mokou??

?Don?t worry,? says Yukari, ?I have an idea. It may take a little time and there are no guarantees, but there may still be hope left for them.?

?I see?? Yuyuko turns to Youmu, ?Youmu, will you help Yukari out??

Youmu asks, ?But what about you, Yuyuko-sama? I must be by your side to protect you!?

Yuyuko says, ?Gensokyo is gone. Any threat that may befall me would be from there, but the Netherworld is now a standalone realm. I should be quite safe from now on. Besides, I also have the Prismrivers and Mima to protect me.?

Youmu bows to her mistress, ?That is true. Very well, I shall assist Yukari in her goal.?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #15 on: April 25, 2009, 02:11:55 PM »
===

I?m in a dark hallway made of gray bricks, lit with torches. Up ahead, there is nothing but darkness. How did I get here? The whole atmosphere is so gloomy; the feeling of fear over me can?t go away. My legs are shaking uncontrollably and anything that comes out of my mouth sounds like a whimper. I probably look as pathetic as I feel! Dang it! Snap out of it, Reimu!

?RRRRAAARRRGGGGHHHHHHHH!? I hear a loud roar behind me. It hits me so suddenly, I come very close to ruining a clean pair of undies. I turn around to face the noise as soon as I hear it. From the darkness, a giant creature comes into view. It looks like a hybrid of various animals: It has a long tail with a stinger, like a scorpion, it has forearms with long sharp claws, like a grizzly bear, it has large dark wings, like a bat, it walks on six legs, like an insect, and its head looks like it belong to some weird bug too, although its feet are orange and webbed, like a duck. It is about 20 feet in length, and it fills almost the entire height and width of the hallway. It lets out another fearsome roar.

?AHHHH!? I turn and run away as fast as I can. Not surprisingly, it flaps is wings, hovering off the ground, and then starts chasing me. I glance back and see it quickly gain on me. I look to the sides of the hall for doors to escape into, but there are none. Ahead, there is still darkness without an end. I?m trapped! The monster is gonna kill me!

I stop, accept fate, and tightly close my eyes as the creature thrusts its poisonous tail at me? but I feel nothing. I open my eyes and see its tail cut in half, orange goo spurting out. Just what happened? I suddenly feel a reassuring hand on my back. I look to my side and see a girl with long black hair, wearing a pink and red dress. A transparent blade is formed around her other hand, dripping with the orange goo, which soon disappears.

She says, ?Don? rry? imu? we got it u? ontrol?? Her voice is broken up, not unlike the way static interferes with a message.

The creature lets out an anguished roar and gets ready to resume its assault.

?Mokou,? calls the girl calmly.

Another voice responds, ?Yea? eah? I got it? incess?? Suddenly, the monster bursts into flames and vanishes. Another girl, with long aqua hair and red eyes, wearing a brown shirt and red overalls, a little scruffier in appearance compared to the first girl, shows up. With a casual pose and an expression looking only halfway concerned, she asks me, ?Ya ok? eimu??

I guess she was asking if I?m okay. I nod my head and say, ?Thank you so much! I thought I was doomed for sure!?

The second girl looks away, ?Hones? ly I? ember you being? re powerf? imu??

The first girl says with a serious expression, ?? sten, Reim? u mus? t? leas? us? ou und? and?? Their words are becoming more unintelligible, but it looks like she just told me something important.

All around us, there is a sudden high pitched voice calling, ?Reimu-chan! Reimu-chan! Reimu-chan! Reimu-chan! Reimu-chan! Reimu-chan!?

The two girls and everything around me whites out.

?

?

?

?

I open my eyes. I?m in my homeroom in school, leaning on my desk, one of many, right next to a window. Around the room, there are fellow high school students: the girls wearing light-blue colored uniforms with mid-length purple skirts, like what I?m wearing, and the boys wearing dark blue uniforms with button up shirts.

Shoot, I must have dozed off again. What was with those two girls that I saw in my sleep? I?ve forgotten everything, except being saved, but those girls have shown up so frequently in my dreams since I got out of my coma five months ago, due to an accident, that they?ve left a permanent impression on me. What were their names? I heard one? it started with an M? or was it a G?

?Ah! You?re finally up!? I lazily look up and see a girl with short dark hair and blue eyes, Ayuki, my friend and classmate. She sent me a lot of flowers while I was out.

?Ayuki-chan??

?Class is just about over,? a boy standing next to Ayuki speaks up. He has somewhat shaggy brown hair and dark eyes, aided by glasses. His name is Hiroji. He?s a friend and classmate like Ayuki. He used to muse about how I share a similar appearance and same first name as a heroine from a doujin series of shooting games he plays (what the hell is that about?)

?Hiroji-kun??

Ayuki takes a closer look at my face, ?It doesn?t look like you had completely woken up yet??

?Ah, Kiribayashi. It seems you had been sleeping during class again?? A woman with long silver hair, tied into a large braid, wearing a pair of glasses and a professional-looking suit approaches.

I sit up quickly, ?Oh! I?m so sorry, Yagokoro-sensei! I didn?t mean?? Yagokoro-sensei (I don?t know her first name) is my class? homeroom teacher. She only started teaching at my school a couple months ago, at the start of the new semester.

Contrary to my expectations, Yagokoro-sensei just smiles and asks, ?So do you remember what kind of dream you had??

?Not a lot of it. All I remember is being rescued by? two strange girls. It was a really odd dream??

?I see?? Yagokoro-sensei walks away. This isn?t the first time she?s asked me this. Every time, she?s been interested in knowing what I?ve dreamt about and never scolded me for sleeping. I honestly don?t get that teacher.

?I honestly don?t get that teacher,? says Hiroji, just as I?m thinking those exact same words, ?I was sleeping just a few days ago during class, and she had someone wake me up, then made me the first to answer every question for the rest of the class that day, but she has no problem with you sleeping??

?Yeah,? agrees Ayuki, ?She?s a very unusual teacher? maybe she?s playing favorites? You?re pretty lucky, Reimu-chan??

?I guess??

?Aw man?? whines Hiroji, ?Don?t tell me you?ve become a teacher?s pet!?

?It?s not like that, Hiroji-kun! It?s??

DING-DONG DING-DONG? ? ? DING-DONG DING-DONG

The school bell rings, ending the period.

A few hours later, school is dismissed for the day. I go my separate ways with Ayuki and Hiroji and head home, the sunset creating a golden glow among the cityscape.

As I head home, I hear someone call me from behind, ?Heeey! Reimu!? I turn around and see a girl wearing the same kind of school uniform as me run toward me. She has platinum hair, which reflects the sunset?s light, with a black hair ribbon, and blue eyes. With her, she?s carrying a kendo weapon wrapped in blue cloth and a blue gym bag, which she NEVER parts with and is very protective of. Her name is Youmu Konpaku. She?s a fellow student at my school, who also joined at the start of the new semester. Word about her spread fast when she joined the school?s kendo team and practically destroyed everyone there to such a degree that they are afraid of her, despite her being shorter than most other students. She seems antisocial, as she isn?t interested in talking to anyone, but she seems to have taken a shine to me the second she saw me. One thing that?s annoying, though, is that she never adds an honorific when referring to me by name. ?Um? How was school today? did you learn lots??

?Not really,? I answer, ?I mostly slept during class today. I don?t know what?s wrong. I?ve just feel sleepy nowadays...?

Youmu responds, sounding as if she?s out of her element, ?Um? well, that sucks. So? did you have any interesting dreams?? Again! A student and teacher, both of whom joined my school at the same time and both are interested in what I?ve dreamt about. I haven?t seen them together, but I?m practically convinced that they are mother and daughter. Heck, I can even see the resemblance? sorta?

?Nothing interesting??

?I see??

I might as well take this moment to ask why she?s so interested in what I dream about, ?Why do you want to know what I dream about when I sleep? People usually don?t care.?

Youmu flinches like she was caught on the spot, ?We-well? I?m just? interested in dreams people have??

?Why??

Youmu sits in a nearby bench, her kendo sword leaning against her shoulder, ?Dreams are like an extension of our reality. Here, we go to school, hang out with friends, and do all those normal things. Dreams, however, offer us a temporary chance to live a life that exceeds the limitations of everyday life in this world. It offers us to create a world of our own, one that goes beyond anything here. I guess I?m just wondering how far your own world goes beyond this one??

I sit next to Youmu, ?That?s an interesting way of looking at it??

?Are there any other dreams you can recall??

?I often don?t remember my dreams,? I answer, ?However??

?Hm??

?Until five months ago, I was in a coma, due to a traffic accident??

?? I?m? uh? sorry to hear that??

?? When I woke up, things became weird. Since then, I?ve been frequently seeing two girls in my dreams, saving me from danger and telling me something I can?t make out??

?Kaguya and Mokou?"

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #16 on: April 25, 2009, 02:14:57 PM »
I?m in a dark hallway made of gray bricks, lit with torches. Up ahead, there is nothing but darkness. How did I get here? The whole atmosphere is so gloomy; the feeling of fear over me can?t go away. My legs are shaking uncontrollably and anything that comes out of my mouth sounds like a whimper. I probably look as pathetic as I feel! Dang it! Snap out of it, Reimu!

?RRRRAAARRRGGGGHHHHHHHH!? I hear a loud roar behind me. It hits me so suddenly, I come very close to ruining a clean pair of undies. I turn around to face the noise as soon as I hear it. From the darkness, a giant creature comes into view. It looks like a hybrid of various animals: It has a long tail with a stinger, like a scorpion, it has forearms with long sharp claws, like a grizzly bear, it has large dark wings, like a bat, it walks on six legs, like an insect, and its head looks like it belong to some weird bug too, although its feet are orange and webbed, like a duck. It is about 20 feet in length, and it fills almost the entire height and width of the hallway. It lets out another fearsome roar.

?AHHHH!? I turn and run away as fast as I can. Not surprisingly, it flaps is wings, hovering off the ground, and then starts chasing me. I glance back and see it quickly gain on me. I look to the sides of the hall for doors to escape into, but there are none. Ahead, there is still darkness without an end. I?m trapped! The monster is gonna kill me!

I stop, accept fate, and tightly close my eyes as the creature thrusts its poisonous tail at me? but I feel nothing. I open my eyes and see its tail cut in half, orange goo spurting out. Just what happened? I suddenly feel a reassuring hand on my back. I look to my side and see a girl with long black hair, wearing a pink and red dress. A transparent blade is formed around her other hand, dripping with the orange goo, which soon disappears.

She says, ?Don? rry? imu? we got it u? ontrol?? Her voice is broken up, not unlike the way static interferes with a message.

The creature lets out an anguished roar and gets ready to resume its assault.

?Mokou,? calls the girl calmly.

Another voice responds, ?Yea? eah? I got it? incess?? Suddenly, the monster bursts into flames and vanishes. Another girl, with long aqua hair and red eyes, wearing a brown shirt and red overalls, a little scruffier in appearance compared to the first girl, shows up. With a casual pose and an expression looking only halfway concerned, she asks me, ?Ya ok? eimu??

I guess she was asking if I?m okay. I nod my head and say, ?Thank you so much! I thought I was doomed for sure!?

The second girl looks away, ?Hones? ly I? ember you being? re powerf? imu??

The first girl says with a serious expression, ?? sten, Reim? u mus? t? leas? us? ou und? and?? Their words are becoming more unintelligible, but it looks like she just told me something important.

All around us, there is a sudden high pitched voice calling, ?Reimu-chan! Reimu-chan! Reimu-chan! Reimu-chan! Reimu-chan! Reimu-chan!?

The two girls and everything around me whites out.

?

?

?

?

I open my eyes. I?m in my homeroom in school, leaning on my desk, one of many, right next to a window. Around the room, there are fellow high school students: the girls wearing light-blue colored uniforms with mid-length purple skirts, like what I?m wearing, and the boys wearing dark blue uniforms with button up shirts.

Shoot, I must have dozed off again. What was with those two girls that I saw in my sleep? I?ve forgotten everything, except being saved, but those girls have shown up so frequently in my dreams since I got out of my coma five months ago, due to an accident, that they?ve left a permanent impression on me. What were their names? I heard one? it started with an M? or was it a G?

?Ah! You?re finally up!? I lazily look up and see a girl with short dark hair and blue eyes, Ayuki, my friend and classmate. She sent me a lot of flowers while I was out.

?Ayuki-chan??

?Class is just about over,? a boy standing next to Ayuki speaks up. He has somewhat shaggy brown hair and dark eyes, aided by glasses. His name is Hiroji. He?s a friend and classmate like Ayuki. He used to muse about how I share a similar appearance and same first name as a heroine from a doujin series of shooting games he plays (what the hell is that about?)

?Hiroji-kun??

Ayuki takes a closer look at my face, ?It doesn?t look like you had completely woken up yet??

?Ah, Kiribayashi. It seems you had been sleeping during class again?? A woman with long silver hair, tied into a large braid, wearing a pair of glasses and a professional-looking suit approaches.

I sit up quickly, ?Oh! I?m so sorry, Yagokoro-sensei! I didn?t mean?? Yagokoro-sensei (I don?t know her first name) is my class? homeroom teacher. She only started teaching at my school a couple months ago, at the start of the new semester.

Contrary to my expectations, Yagokoro-sensei just smiles and asks, ?So do you remember what kind of dream you had??

?Not a lot of it. All I remember is being rescued by? two strange girls. It was a really odd dream??

?I see?? Yagokoro-sensei walks away. This isn?t the first time she?s asked me this. Every time, she?s been interested in knowing what I?ve dreamt about and never scolded me for sleeping. I honestly don?t get that teacher.

?I honestly don?t get that teacher,? says Hiroji, just as I?m thinking those exact same words, ?I was sleeping just a few days ago during class, and she had someone wake me up, then made me the first to answer every question for the rest of the class that day, but she has no problem with you sleeping??

?Yeah,? agrees Ayuki, ?She?s a very unusual teacher? maybe she?s playing favorites? You?re pretty lucky, Reimu-chan??

?I guess??

?Aw man?? whines Hiroji, ?Don?t tell me you?ve become a teacher?s pet!?

?It?s not like that, Hiroji-kun! It?s??

DING-DONG DING-DONG? ? ? DING-DONG DING-DONG

The school bell rings, ending the period.

A few hours later, school is dismissed for the day. I go my separate ways with Ayuki and Hiroji and head home, the sunset creating a golden glow among the cityscape.

As I head home, I hear someone call me from behind, ?Heeey! Reimu!? I turn around and see a girl wearing the same kind of school uniform as me run toward me. She has platinum hair, which reflects the sunset?s light, with a black hair ribbon, and blue eyes. With her, she?s carrying a kendo weapon wrapped in blue cloth and a blue gym bag, which she NEVER parts with and is very protective of. Her name is Youmu Konpaku. She?s a fellow student at my school, who also joined at the start of the new semester. Word about her spread fast when she joined the school?s kendo team and practically destroyed everyone there to such a degree that they are afraid of her, despite her being shorter than most other students. She seems antisocial, as she isn?t interested in talking to anyone, but she seems to have taken a shine to me the second she saw me. One thing that?s annoying, though, is that she never adds an honorific when referring to me by name. ?Um? How was school today? did you learn lots??

?Not really,? I answer, ?I mostly slept during class today. I don?t know what?s wrong. I?ve just feel sleepy nowadays...?

Youmu responds, sounding as if she?s out of her element, ?Um? well, that sucks. So? did you have any interesting dreams?? Again! A student and teacher, both of whom joined my school at the same time and both are interested in what I?ve dreamt about. I haven?t seen them together, but I?m practically convinced that they are mother and daughter. Heck, I can even see the resemblance? sorta?

?Nothing interesting??

?I see??

I might as well take this moment to ask why she?s so interested in what I dream about, ?Why do you want to know what I dream about when I sleep? People usually don?t care.?

Youmu flinches like she was caught on the spot, ?We-well? I?m just? interested in dreams people have??

?Why??

Youmu sits in a nearby bench, her kendo sword leaning against her shoulder, ?Dreams are like an extension of our reality. Here, we go to school, hang out with friends, and do all those normal things. Dreams, however, offer us a temporary chance to live a life that exceeds the limitations of everyday life in this world. It offers us to create a world of our own, one that goes beyond anything here. I guess I?m just wondering how far your own world goes beyond this one??

I sit next to Youmu, ?That?s an interesting way of looking at it??

?Are there any other dreams you can recall??

?I often don?t remember my dreams,? I answer, ?However??

?Hm??

?Until five months ago, I was in a coma, due to a traffic accident??

?? I?m? uh? sorry to hear that??

?? When I woke up, things became weird. Since then, I?ve been frequently seeing two girls in my dreams, saving me from danger and telling me something I can?t make out??

?Kaguya and Mokou?? mutters Youmu under her breath.

?Huh? Did you say something, Youmu-chan??

?Uh? er? It?s nothing, Reimu??

?Anyway, there is also something else? It?s hard to explain. It?s like I?m? longing for someone? someone important. Someone without a name, face, voice, or gender, but someone close to me? someone I?m waiting for? someone I might recognize all the sudden if I saw him or her? Pretty weird, huh??

?Maybe, but it might mean something. I hope you find that someone??

?Yeah? I guess so??

Youmu gets up, ?Well, I?ll see you tomorrow. Take care, okay? I gotta study for an English test??

?Okay. Oh!?

?Yes??

I point at Youmu gym bag, ?Um? if you don?t mind, could you tell me what?s in your bag??

?Ah!? Youmu tenses up. At the same time, I see that bag move slightly, like there something alive inside of it.

?Oh! It moved??

?Er?? Youmu is getting more nervous.

?Are you? keeping a pet in there??

Youmu?s eyes turn away from me, ?Um? Yeah. Something like that. Please don?t tell anyone.?

?I won?t. Your secret is safe with me, Youmu-chan.?

?Thanks. I owe you. Well, see you tomorrow?? With that, Youmu walks away. Strange girl. Still, I feel like I met her somewhere before? Nah.

Those girls? the unknown person I?m seeking? Could Youmu be right? Could they mean anything?? Damn, I?m confused? I?ll try to make sense of it some other time?

---

In a park in Reimu?s hometown, at midnight, lit dimly by lamps, Yukari emerges from a portal. Alice and Reisen meet up with her after a couple minutes.

Reisen sits on the ground and takes some deep breaths, ?? ? ? It?s not easy living here? I gotta keep my ears hidden? And it doesn?t have the magic in the air the way Gensokyo and the Moon does. I can?t fly or make new spell cards? I gotta WALK everywhere??

Alice glances at Reisen, ?The Moon has magic similar to Gensokyo??

?Not just similar? Almost identical!?

?Wow! That?s an amazing coincidence.?

?Yeah, it kinda is??

Yukari speaks up, ?What a strange place Gensokyo was? Still, I wonder how it came to be??

Alice asks, ?Huh? Didn?t you say that Gensokyo became a realm due to combined energy from Reimu and Marisa?s dreams??

Yukari closes her eyes, ?That was my? uneducated guess, but that?s impossible? it?s not even logical. Coincidental accidents occur all the time across realms, and no new realms get created...?

?Then what could have created Gensokyo?? asks Reisen.

?Yukari?s eyes open slightly, ?It was Reimu and Marisa? dream. Not doubts there, but how it managed to gain such a status? I don?t know! Could it be some other power I don?t know about??

??? There is silence between all three of them to the creepy revelation regarding Gensokyo?s existence.

Reisen breaks the silence and changed the subject, ?A-anyway? We?ll find some way to get Reimu and Marisa together, right? Eirin-sama and Youmu are keeping an eye on Reimu and, at the other side of the world, Sakuya and Cirno are keeping watch of Marisa. Sooner or later, we can bring them together??

?If only this world were that simple,? says Yukari? ?But yes? sooner or later??

As Alice and Reisen express a positive outlook to the future, Yukari starts to think about what the unknown force behind Gensokyo?s existence is.





One year later?

TO BE CONTINUED?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #17 on: April 25, 2009, 02:18:13 PM »
In-between 1: Prequel

Reimu Hakurei? A 19-year-old miko residing in Gensokyo, a position she excels at, but hardly ever takes seriously, and certainly doesn?t act the part. With the help of her friends, she had managed to save the land from a number of threats. She often has a string of bad luck, usually gets the short end of the stick, is quite lazy, and is easily annoyed, but is also among the most powerful beings in Gensokyo, with exceptional prowess in combat, but above all, a heart which easily forgives, embraces the good in everyone, and has great love for her friends.

However, that is only one part of the entity that is ?Reimu.? Hakurei is a part of her that exists in her dreams, while her true self, living among us, in the waking world is known as Reimu Kiribayashi, a 17-year-old high school student residing in Japan. Before she conceived the land of Gensokyo in her mind, she was living an ordinary life of hanging out with her friends, attending school, and just taking one day after another, rarely remembering the events that occurred a week ago, as they are of little relevance and are easy to guess. Yes, a life that can be classified as ?ordinary? is also a life that can be classified as ?redundant.?

She, and her classmates, sit through the last class of the day, as the teacher performs a boring lecture, surrounded by white walls and a white ceiling, the school?s dress code adding on to the monotonous overtone, the same thing they had gone through the day before, and the day before the day before, a situation that has repeated itself indefinitely. Reimu glances outside at the sunset. Lucky for her and a few other students, at least, she gets the privilege to look at scenery besides the mono-colored room. The fading light spreads over the cityscape, coloring it in gold. Even though it is still the same old scene, it gives off a soothing serenity, so it?s not all bad.

She then looks at her classmates, who are either listening attentively, as model students should, or are just sitting through it, like she is. She wonders what the point of school is. Yes, of course it?s to prepare them for their jobs of the future; to prepare them to perform their upcoming function in society. Looking at it that way, she feels that she, and her fellow students, are incomplete tools on the assembly line; tools of society, and she starts to wonder what the big point of life is. Everyone is born, raised, schooled and worked for 30 to 50 years, retired, and finally, dead. From such a standpoint, they paths their lives take feel to be primarily in the service of other people and not for themselves. Only the second to last aspect presents any real appeal, but what?s the point? Their better years had ended a long time ago and are no longer able to do the fun things they were once capable of. As for death? well, it could be interesting? if the mystery surrounding it wasn?t such an unsettling thought.

?Tch?? Reimu snaps back to reality and shakes the thoughts out of her head. Of course, she could TRY to do something to break the monotony, but therein lays another problem: the fear of change. She knows she dislikes the redundancy of her life, but, at the same time, she safeguards it: one of life?s greatest paradoxes. The funny thing about her situation is that almost two hours ago, she wasn?t thinking such thoughts. Earlier in the day was her mythology class, the only class where she gives her undivided attention. In that class, she reads and hears stories of concepts that spread far beyond reality?s offerings, things that can only be imagined, stories of interesting lives that seem to have any real purpose, the kind of world she would rather live in. Even though some of the things described in it are rather absurd in theory, mostly creatures with multiple body parts, such as two-tailed cats, eight-headed serpents, and nine-tailed foxes, actually meeting one would still be intriguing? but what are the odds of that?

Finally class ends. It could have been worse, at least it?s Saturday, the short day. The next day is Sunday, which there is no school, the one day Reimu can actually, all-too-briefly break out from her days of monotony. As she rises from her desk, she is approached by a girl from her class with short black hair, her friend and classmate, Ayuki, ?Hey, Reimu-chan! Did you get through class okay??

Reimu answers, ?About as well as I usually do??

?I see. Anyways, I was wondering if you wanted to go out tomorrow.?

Reimu usually spends her Sundays watching movies or catching up with a manga series that she had been following, or doing anything else that breaks her from her boring reality, but she sees no problem in hanging out outside of school with her friend for a little while, ?Sure. Don?t see why not. So? where are we going??

Ayuki pauses for a few seconds, ?Just? around? doing this and that??

It figures. Reimu just hopes that it doesn?t involve keeping up with the latest trends, trying to appeal to boys, or doing anything else she has little interest in.

She goes home, eats dinner, takes a shower, lazes around the house for an hour or two, then goes to sleep, another redundant grind. The next day, she meets up with Ayuki in front of their school, the place where they usually see each other for whatever reason. Reimu is dressed in a casual, somewhat boyish, outfit, consisting of a red t-shirt and blue shorts, a style that used to be trendy, but is now far behind, while Ayuki wears a green hat with a visor, a pink top, and a red miniskirt, much up to date with the present trends, highlighting the difference of how interested they are in the subject. Reimu wonders how she became friends with someone she has virtually nothing in common with.

Reimu asks Ayuki, ?So, where are we going??

Ayuki answers, ?Just around. You know, shopping and stuff??

They take a bus to an adjacent town, filled mostly with shops. Naturally, Ayuki buys so much clothes, Reimu wonders how she can afford all of it, almost as much as she wonders why she agreed to come along with Ayuki in the first place. After a morning of shopping involving a one-sided interest, noon comes along and they pass a large red archway, believed to separate the world of humans from the world of spirits, beyond which, there is a long series of stone stairs leading up to a wooden shrine. Ayuki looks up the stairs, ?Hm? I haven?t visited this shrine before. I wonder what this one is for??

Shinto: Japan?s indigenous belief. A polytheistic religion with as many spirits, or kami, as there are aspects of life. Shinto is practiced all over Japan and people, both native of the nation and not, not necessarily because everyone believes in a higher power, but because of its ties to the culture. It?s not unusual for students to pray to a kami of tests to possibly get lucky on an upcoming exam. Reimu wonders which kami this particular shrine was built for. Probably nothing that has any relevance to her personal life.

Reimu and Ayuki ascend the long set of stone steps. Looking at it, it didn?t seem so long, but actually going up it makes it feel almost endless. After a minute or two of climbing, they reach the top and stand on a stone path, leading to the shrine, which has a donation box in front of its entrance. Between them and the shrine, there is a dark-haired girl, not much older than them, dressed with a white shirt with large sleeves and a long red skirt, sweeping dust off the path with a bamboo broom: a miko, whose duties include taking care of the shrine and performing rituals.

Reimu calls out to the miko, ?Um? hello? I was wondering if you could tell us which spirit this shrine is for??

The miko calmly answers, ?This shrine exists for the kami of change; for those who wish for a better life? for an alteration of life?s progress. Do you desire such a thing??

Her words take Reimu aback. The way she said it, it was like the miko understood Reimu?s dissatisfaction with life. It?s nothing she spoke to anyone about it and it?s not like anyone knows what Reimu is feeling, but at that moment, the miko, who Reimu had just met, seemed to get her, leaving an impression lasting more than a few seconds. Reimu answers, ?Um? Well, I?ll give it a shot??

Reimu walks over to the shrine?s donation box, pulls 200 yen, which she had picked up earlier that day, out of her pocket, and prays in her mind, Alright, spirit of change. To be honest, I?m skeptical as to whether you really exist, and I just might be talking to myself right now, but if someone really is listening, know that my life is boring? but of course you know that, right? I mean, why else am I bothering with this? Anyways, I just want something out of the ordinary to happen. Not randomly finding a hundred-million yen somewhere, not something that will completely warp life as I know it, but something? exciting, if only temporary. That?s all I ask, so please do that small favor for this lowly mortal, alright? With that, Reimu tosses the money into the donation box and walks away from the shrine.

?Thank you,? says the miko with a bow.

Ayuki looks at Reimu with a sly look, ?So? what did you pray for, Reimu-chan? Did you ask for a life-changing encounter with some handsome guy??

Reimu scoffs, ?That?s something YOU would pray for, not me.?

?Yeah?? They walk down the stone steps. Ayuki says, changing the subject, ?Well, just a few more months until we become seniors. After we get through that, we may go to college? or go straight to work. Either way, things will change soon??

??Change??? asks Reimu, ?Only for a little while maybe, but then, everything goes back into a repetitive grind. Everything in life today is done through a long sequence of the same things.?

Ayuki shrugs, ?Whatever, Reimu-chan. I?m just saying that things won?t be the same as they are now.?

??? It figures. Whenever Reimu tries to open up to her friends, they never seem interested. Of course, why should they? It?s not a problem that concerns them, and it makes her all the more depressed about it. Reimu has no interest in Ayuki?s interests, so Ayuki shouldn?t have an interest in Reimu?s problems. Is what they have really considered ?friendship? or is it just doing things together?

The day of shopping continues into the twilight hours. They grab some ramen for dinner and eat close to the restaurant?s window. As they are about to finish their meal, something catches Ayuki?s eye: a shop across the street with a sale on clothes within the latest trends, ?Oh? I have to check that out! I?m sorry, Reimu, but can you pay for the food? That shop could close any minute!? Ayuki throws a handful of money onto the table to pay for her food, and then runs out of the restaurant.

Reimu shakes her head in disapproval. Deep down, she wants to reach out and have someone understand her, but when she doesn?t even understand what drives her friend?s interests, how can she hope for the same?

Reimu pays for her food, and Ayuki?s, then walks out of the restaurant and over to the curb and looks both ways for traffic. The area is at the top of a steep hill, so it?s hard to see anything coming from the left, but the right is clear, so she decides to cross the road.

As she is halfway across the street, she hears two men yelling, ?Slow down! Someone could be at the top of this hill!?

?I can?t! I can?t slow this thing down! The breaks aren?t responding at all! Maybe they just broke??

?WHAT??

Reimu looks in the direction the screams are coming from. At that moment, she sees a large truck reach the top of the slope at a high enough speed that it lifts off the ground. Reimu looks in bewilderment; a flying truck! An out of the ordinary sight! Had her prayer been answered? The sight causes her to lose touch with reality.

One of the men suddenly notices Reimu standing in front of their out-of-control truck, and yells, ?You! Quick! Get outta the way!?

Ayuki walks out of the shop on the other side of the street and yells, ?Ah! Reimu-chan! REIMU-CHAN!?

?Huh?? Reimu snaps back to reality, but it is too late for anyone to save her, nor for her to save herself. SMASH! The airborne truck crashes into her, sends her sailing through the air, ?ARGHHHH!? The pain is excruciating as her body gets damaged in hideous ways. On the outside, she screams and cries, expressing her agony, but deep down, she is still bewildered at what just happened. She knows a terrible thing just occurred, but at the same time, in a sick way, it?s the kind of rush that breaks the everyday monotony. Before hitting the ground, she sees the truck land, lose control, and tip on its side, everyone nearby shocked by the current incident. She hits the ground, her head slamming against the pavement. She begins to black out, the only thing in her sight is the setting sun, bathing her with its serene rays, Am I? going to die? I should be scared? but I feel so at peace? I feel?. as if something good is going to happen? Spirit of change, you have a twisted sense of humor. I?ll give you that? Reality drifts away, the last thing she hears are the sound of distant sirens and Ayuki, among other people, screaming in panic?

?

Reimu finds herself, alone and unclothed, surrounded by a void of black. There is a sudden flash of light and when the light clears, there is another girl, with long wavy blonde hair and golden eyes, in front of her. The mysterious girl reaches out toward Reimu. Reimu, not knowing what else to do, reaches out as well. As they feel each other?s warmth, and deep female voice booms around them, ?Finally! It?s about to begin! Sleep well, my two dreamers!?

?Wh-what?? As Reimu tries to grasp the situation, everything around her begins to change. She finds herself in a blue sky, plunging toward a mysterious land of green, blue, and pink below. Everything she knew prior to her circumstances flows out of her head and she begins to fade. After that? a new life begins within? a life of danger? a life of intrigue? a life of excitement!

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #18 on: April 25, 2009, 02:19:21 PM »
In-between 2:

At 1:30PM, one the top of a clock tower, two girls fight a tense battle. Both of them wear blue dresses, but one has silver hair and is dressed like a maid, and the other has short blonde hair with a red headband.

The maid delivers a powerful slash with a knife, but the other girl leaps out of the attack?s range and, in front of her, a doll materializes out of thin air and fires a volley of colorful shots of magic, which score a direct hit. As the maid is staggering from the attack, the girl then sends a doll armed with a small lance shooting toward the maid, which also hits, sending her flying back and slamming against the tower?s clock.

Exhausted, but not ready to surrender, the maid pulls a white card from her pocket and declares, ?Scarred Soul!? She feels a rush of energy, which makes her feel slightly revitalized. The girl keeps her distance, but the maid advances, throwing countless knives. A doll armed with a shield appears in front of the girl, blocking the knives, but the onslaught begins to become too overwhelming. Finally, the maid rushes forward and delivers a powerful kick, breaking through the doll, breaking the defensive, and leaving the girl wide open for the powerful attack to come, ?SOUL SCULPTURE!? The maid, empowered by powerful magic, draws two knives and furiously slashes at the girl, inflicting several cuts.

The attack ends, but the girl manages to hang on. She releases a pulse of blue energy from her body, knocking the maid several feet away, giving the girl enough time to declare a card of her own, ?War Sign!? The rush of energy revitalizes her as well.

The battle rages on. The girl sends out several dolls, which overwhelm the maid with shots, and then, she finally unleashes her coup de grace, ?LITTLE LEGION!? Dolls armed with swords appear around the maid and mercilessly slash at her, until she loses her will to continue fighting.

?

On the computer?s monitor, the words, ?SPELL BREAK? appear.

A girl with long wavy blonde hair and golden eyes, wearing a black sweater and blue jeans throws her controller to the side in frustration, ?Dammit! I just can?t win this stupid game!?

Another girl sitting at the computer?s keyboard, wearing a blue and white dress over a white shirt and a white backpack, with light blue eyes and aqua hair with a green ribbon, says, trying to pick her words carefully to avoid infuriating her friend further, ?Um? I was just lucky? I think. I thought you played well. You might win next time??

?Yeah, yeah?? The blonde girl takes a few breaths, ?Still, it?s nice to play with you, Cirno. Watch out, ?cause I?m gonna win next time!?

Cirno smirks, ?MAYbe? but I?m still gonna be the champ! I?m gonna be Genso_ um, the world?s ultimate youk_ er, player, Marisa!?

Marisa turns around, ?Whatever you say. Well, I have school tomorrow, so I guess we?ll continue some other time. Thank you for bringing the game.?

Cirno ejects the game disk from Marisa?s CPU, ?Sure thing! See you next time!?

Cirno leaves the room and heads toward the houses front door. Nearby, a woman with short blonde hair and brown eyes, dressed as casually as Marisa, says to Cirno, ?Ah, it?s you again, Cirno Izayoi! You?ve been coming here quite often.?

Cirno tilts her head to the side, ?Oh, um? Hi, Mrs. Kiris_ I mean, Mrs. Starr. Is that bad??

?Oh no, not at all,? says Marisa?s mother reassuringly, ?It?s just nice that you?ve been keeping our daughter so much company? Ever since her unfortunate accident and coma, she?s been so much less outgoing, like something has been weighing heavily on her mind. I?m glad you see her so often. You?ve only just met a few months ago, but you?ve been such a good friend.?

Cirno rubs the back of her head, smiling, ?Well, she?s fun to be with??

?Well, I hope you keep visiting,? says Marisa?s mother.

?Will do! Bye!? Cirno leaves the house.

Cirno steps out to a quiet and tranquil neighborhood of houses, each with green lawns and a thin network o tree?s branches overhead, leaving a wide enough opening for the sunset?s light to shine through. An area of a small town in southern California. However, this was not a scene Cirno had been completely familiar with all her life. She was born elsewhere, and Marisa was technically one of her mothers, though the girl herself never would have thought it in her current state.

Marisa and another girl in the world, named Reimu, got into coinciding accidents, and both went into comas? and dreams. Together, they dreamt of a world called Gensokyo, in which Cirno was born. However, it was more than just a mere dream. Through reasons unknown, Gensokyo established itself as a parallel universe, even connecting to the Netherworld. Gensokyo existed for as long as the two girls slept, but both of them started to recover, which spelt Armageddon for Gensokyo. Many of its denizens vanished with the world, but one of Gensokyo?s residents, Yukari Yakumo, who could manipulate the boundary between dimensions, managed to transport a small handful with her to Earth. They now keep watch over Marisa and Reimu, hoping to one day reunite the dreamers in order to save two denizens, not native to Gensokyo, who are now trapped in their respective subconscious.

In Gensokyo, Cirno was youkai, a non-human being, with dreams of becoming the strongest, but her lack of intelligence and power made that a hard goal, though she has learned and become stronger. On Earth, she approached Marisa rather directly, and even though she was greatly annoyed by the youkai at first, they soon became friends. In her free time, Cirno enjoys playing video games, usually at a local arcade, a practice she quickly mastered.

?Ah, I thought I?d find you here, Cirno?? Cirno turns around to a voice behind her. Standing there is a girl with somewhat messy silver hair, down to her mid-back, blue eyes, wearing a white t-shirt and blue jeans. Her name is Sakuya Izayoi. Her hair used to be shorter and kept in two braids, and she wore a blue maid outfit before, as she was a servant to a youkai from Gensokyo, named Remilia Scarlet, but since Remilia vanished, along with Gensokyo, Sakuya decided to take on an appearance to distance herself from the servant she saw herself as, and thus, feel more comfortable with the new lifestyle she had been forced into. Sakuya currently works as a cleaner at the high school, where 16-year-old Marisa (18 years old as her Gensokyo counterpart) is currently attending. She and Cirno live together in an apartment as mother and daughter, thus Cirno is adopting her last name. ?So how is Marisa doing? What did you two do today??

?Not much,? answers Cirno, ?we played some game, and that?s about it.?

?I see??

Cirno fixes her gaze on Sakuya, ?Hey Sakuya? Do you think Gensokyo will ever come back??

Sakuya sighs, ?I don?t know, Cirno. The first thing we must do is reunite Reimu and Marisa. Youmu and Eirin are watching Reimu, but unfortunately, this world isn?t so simple. We can?t just pick them up and bring them to each other. Getting around this world? is very challenging and complicated?? In Gensokyo, there was magic in the air, which allowed most people to fly through the air, but as Earth lacks such a power, they can?t fly anymore? except Cirno, who has wings folded up and hidden inside her white backpack.

Cirno kicks a pebble on the ground, ?Stupid place. I wish it were as simple as Gensokyo??

Sakuya smiles unassumingly, ?I guess this is what happens when humans and only humans control everything??

Cirno looks at the ground. Of course, Earth has nothing but humans controlling the world, and apparently, they don?t want things to be simple. Being one of the four and a half youkai currently on Earth, Cirno has to pretend to be human, thus she has to hide her wings and anything else about her that indicates that she?s not human.

Sakuya decides to try to take Cirno?s mood away from the depressing topic they are getting into, and asks in a motherly fashion, ?So, Cirno, shall we head home? I?ll cook us a good dinner. I?ll make your favorite if you want.?

Cirno shakes her head, ?Nah. I?m gonna go off on my own somewhere??

?Very well. Just make sure no one sees you flying. If people see one thing out of the ordinary, they will go utterly nuts and things will get much harder for us. Remember that.?

Having gone through the same topic before, Cirno says in an annoyed voice, ?Yes, ?mom.?? The two of them part ways. Cirno finds an area free of the gazes of others, takes off her backpack, freeing her wings, and takes to the sky, sticking to the rural areas, where she is less likely to be seen. After a half-hour of flying, she descends to a patch of forest located in a massive grassy field. Cirno visits this place often because it reminds her of the Forest of Magic, a location in Gensokyo, where she spent a lot of her time. In this place, she feels like she?s back in Gensokyo; the place she often visits when she?s feeling homesick. Cold air radiates from her body, releasing her icy powers, which she had to suppress up to that point. While Cirno doesn?t necessarily dislike Earth, there are just some things that cannot replace her true home.

Cirno decides to take a walk across the field for a change. A full moon shines overhead. At one point for Cirno, it was just a beautiful sight, but an alien threat made it more fearful, but no longer being in Gensokyo, she feels a little safer. One plus to being on Earth. She walks and occasionally flies for several miles, trying to relax and organize her feelings. Her journey into nowhere continues well into midnight. Finally, at the edge of another patch of forest, she sees a blue and white house. The setup of the building is exactly identical to someplace she had seen before? in Gensokyo.

Cirno take a couple steps away from the house, ?What? No way!? Cirno starts to feel like her homesickness is causing her to hallucinate. Still, she goes around to the entrance door. Up above the entrance, there is a sign with the word, ?Kourin.? ?Impossible! HE?S here too? No? It may be some other ?Kourin,? but?? Out of curiosity, Cirno decides to check the inside of the house. Sure enough, the inside structure, right down to the furniture, is exactly as she remembers. Further in, inside another room, she hears the sound of fingers typing on a keyboard. An unfamiliar sound for the location, but enough had already triggered the ice fairy?s curiosity.

She goes into the room where the noise is coming from, which is lit up only be the light of a computer?s monitor. She glances at an IM conversation in progress:

Kourin: oh yeah. Around the same time, some celestial caused an earthquake and made the shrine collapse. She was pretty mad. Oh, and the weather was all screwy too. It was crazy!

ZUNtsa: wow tht sux stll I thnk tht wood mayk a good stry? maybe anuthr fyter peepl had been wantin 1 I tink lol

Kourin: Sounds good! Can Reisen and Komachi be playable in that?

ZUNtsa: shur Il se wut I can do

Kourin: Oh! And maybe Sanae?

ZUNtsa: dunt poosh ur luk

Kourin: Darn. Oh well! I look forward to playing it!

ZUNtsa: bai

?? Who are you talking to?? asks Cirno, now confident that she knows who she is talking to.

The man sitting in a small chair at the computer, with silver hair, glasses, and wearing blue, white, and black clothes answers, ?Well, Cirno, I was speaking with an online friend, who?? He pauses for a few seconds, ?Hold on?? He turns around to face the ice fairy, ?What? I can?t believe it! Is that you, Cirno??

?Rinnosuke!? cries out Cirno as she leaps over to give the man a tight hug.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #19 on: April 25, 2009, 02:20:32 PM »
Rinnosuke returns Cirno?s embrace, ?Wow? I had a feeling other would escape Gensokyo, but I didn?t think it would be to this realm or that you would even find me??

?How did you get here?? asks Cirno, getting off Rinnosuke.

Rinnosuke explains, ?Well, all around my home, Gensokyo was crumbling. It was rather frightening, and I was also beginning to fade away. However, at that time, Yukari appeared. Having been long-time friends with her, she lent me her powers and warped this house to this location of this world. She didn?t explain anything else. She said she had to go ?find some information on Marisa,? whatever that meant??

?I know what she was talking about!? announces Cirno. She explains about Reimu and Marisa and their involvement with Gensokyo?s existence.

?No way!? exclaims Rinnosuke, ?Me, you, all of Gensokyo. It was all because of Reimu?s??

?It?s hard to believe, but it?s true??

Rinnosuke leans back in his chair, putting his hand over his forehead, ?Unbelievable??

?I know, right? We?re parts of her dream??

?Just something that someone thought up, huh? I wonder if that has something to do with all worlds. Still, I?d rather not think about it??

?Anyway, right now, we need to find a way for Reimu and Marisa to be reunited, so Yukari can free Kaguya and Mokou. Too bad this stupid place can?t just let us take them to one another! If one of them sees Yukari open a portal, they?ll probably start running, because THOSE sides of them have never seen something like that, and they live on opposite sides of the world! Either Marisa goes to Japan, or Reimu comes here, but even then, how can they meet up??

?That?s? rather troubling? Hey, Cirno??

?What??

?Might it be possible to get Gensokyo back? Did Yukari say anything??

?Dunno. Yukari doesn?t even KNOW how Gensokyo went from being some girls? dream to another universe!?

?She doesn?t??

?No. At first she guessed that it had something to do with Reimu and Marisa dreaming the same thing, but she said that couldn?t be it, and that it is ?something else???

Rinnosuke pushes his glasses back to the top of his nose, ?That?s a little vague. I thought Yukari knew everything about this stuff.?

?It looks like there?s one thing she doesn?t??

Rinnosuke pauses for a few seconds, ?Still, this could be a good thing to know??

?What do you mean??

Rinnosuke answers, ?Whatever that ?something else? is, it has something to do with how Gensokyo became more than just a mere comatose thought. If we can find out what caused it, we may be able to resurrect Gensokyo!?

Rinnosuke?s observation makes sense to Cirno and she again hugs him, ?You may be right! You?re so smart! I love you, Rinnosuke!?

Rinnosuke blushes, ?Um? thanks? can you let go of me please??

??? Cirno gets off Rinnosuke.

?Just because I guessed it, doesn?t mean we?re in the clear. We still have no idea what caused it. What could? rather literally? make a dream into a reality? Without that answer, we are stuck here, or anyplace other than Gensokyo, forever??

?Damn it? and just when I thought we had hope??

?Hey, it better than nothing, right??

???


Meanwhile, in the middle of another wide-open space, well away from civilization, Sakuya walks around, reflecting on her past across dimensions out-loud, ?Remilia-sama? you may have yelled at me on quite a few occasions, but I really do miss you. Some people may feel relieved to have been free of servitude, but without you, I just feel out of place. I just can?t feel like I fit in anymore. Not just you, but everyone else who had meant something to me? I only have a few friends remaining, but I rarely see them now. Meiling? Patchouli? Miss Flandre? I?m the only one left??

Sakuya reflects on her past adventures in Gensokyo.

?

Sakuya, back in her days as a vampire hunter, stands over the corpses of two vampire nobles, ?That eliminates the bloodlines of the Redd and Crimson families. With this, only the Scarlets remain. My mission is almost complete? but why do I feel so unhappy??

?

?And now for a name?? She paces around the room in deep thought for several more seconds, then stops and looks at the girl, ?Your name is? ? ? ? ? Sakuya? Izayoi.?

?Sa? ku? ya? I? za? yo? i??

?That?s right! Your name from here on will be Sakuya!?

The girl, now christened Sakuya Izayoi, says, ?Sakuya? I like that name? What about that new life you talked about??

Remilia walks over to a nearby closet and pulls out a blue dress with an apron and maid?s head gear, ?I think this sums it up fairly well. From now on, you will be a maid of this mansion, serving me, Remilia Scarlet.?

?

Reimu charges at Sakuya with her gohei in front of her in a defensive position, ?Just why the hell are you serving someone who would endanger the world, just to carry out some selfish belief??

Sakuya leaps away from Reimu and tosses a couple knives, which Reimu manages to deflect with her weapon, ?Hmph. Your rage is quite understandable, but the well-being of this world means nothing to me. My mistress? wishes are all I serve now!?

Reimu jumps at Sakuya and the maid attempts a counterattack with a knife. Both weapons clash, ?What?s so special about her??

?Nothing really. However, I owe her much. THAT is the reason why I will continue serving her. Personally, I fail to share her vision of a ?perfect vampire world,? but that doesn?t matter at all.?

?

Marisa dodges a swipe from Remilia?s claws, then rides her broom shaft-first into her gut, stunning her, ?ACK!? She follows it up by firing a blast of magic, which sends the vampire flying several feet away and slamming against the outer wall of the mansion?s clock tower.

Marisa raises a spell card, ?Love Sign!? She thrusts her arm in Remilia?s direction, ?It?s over, Scarlet! Master Spark!?

Remilia?s eyes widen in shock, ?Oh? damn!?

?REMILIA-SAMA!? Suddenly, Sakuya flies into the path of the Master Spark, and it slams into her, shielding Remilia, ?Ahgh? ah??

Marisa yells, ?Hey! Where did YOU come from??

?Sakuya??

?

With a smile, Yuyuko says, ?I see? Not something I?d expect from the average maid? How would you like to be MY maid??

?I?ll pass,? responds Sakuya, ?Remilia-sama is the only being worthy of my service.?

?Don?t be that way,? says Yuyuko, holding out her hand, ?What I am about to offer you cannot be refused. I?m sure you?ll be proud to serve the princess of the Netherworld.? White wisps form around Yuyuko?s hand and surround Sakuya, in the form of ghastly blue flames, ?Invoke Death.? The flames close in on Sakuya. Suddenly, she feels all the energy leave her body and she drops down on to the palace roof.

On her hands and knees, Sakuya weakly demands, ?Wh-what did you just do to me???

Yuyuko tilts her head in confusion, then answers, ?This will end your life. After that, you will work alongside Youmu as my servant for all eternity! This is the greatest honor I give.?

?Damn? it?? curses Sakuya with her teeth clenched.

?

Eirin makes a creepy smile, ?Tell me, Sakuya. What is your definition of ?immortal???

?H-huh??

?You see, I mixed your drink earlier with a potion I made, which erases an immortal?s memories upon death. An empty mind is easy to manipulate, after all. Might you agree that the concept of ?life? is purely based on consciousness and memory? Without those, a body is nothing but meat and bone. The point is that the next time you die, though your body will regenerate, the identity known as ?Sakuya Izayoi? will cease to exist.?

Sakuya takes a step back, ?So I am? technically mortal??

?You are now. I propose a challenge: You and me, Sakuya. A fight to the death. If I win, you will be my tool to prepare for the Lunarian invasion. If you win, then you will continue with the life of your choosing and I won?t interfere again. Does this sound fair??

A knife appears in Sakuya?s hand, ?Sure enough. I guess I should thank you, Eirin. Up till a month ago, I thought that when I died, everything ended. Now that fact is true for me. You brought me a step closer to true humanity.?

?You?re welcome?? Eirin prepares an arrow, ?Let?s see if you have the skills to enjoy that newly found humanity??

?

?What changed you? What taught you the value of your existance??

?At first, I was what you said. I wandered around Gensokyo, slaying one vampire after another, but around me, there were people who were concerned about many things, leading ordinary lives, and I wondered how I was so different. Remilia-sama gave a new reason for my life, and since then? Reimu? Marisa? Meiling? Patchouli? Youmu? All my friends? have taught me the value of my existance.

?

?It all feels so long ago?? Sakuya casts her gaze on the ground, ?Is it truly all over now??

?I dunno. Is it??

?Huh?? Sakuya looks ahead of her and sees a familiar figure. She has long purple hair maintained by ribbons of various colors and wears a nightcap and nightgown. Sakuya immediately recognizes this person, ?You?re? Patchouli??

Pachouli smirks, a facial expression uncharacteristic of the way Sakuya remembers her, ?Appears that way, eh? Losing me, the mistress, Flandre, hell, even that Meiling. Pretty damn taxing, huh??

?How are you here? I saw you vanish before my eyes, along with the mistress, Koakuma, and Miss Flandre!? Something?s not right? She looks like Patchouli, no doubt about it, but the way she?s talking and the way she is looking at me? She?s like a different person altogether!

?Wouldn?t you like to know? However, my time here is short, so I mustn?t dawdle.?

?What are you talking about, Patchouli??

?THIS!? Patchouli directs her hand in Sakuya?s direction, ?Metal Fatigue!? A metal blade materializes in front of her and flies toward Sakuya, who was not expecting Patchouli to attack her so suddenly, who dodges to the side, the blade cutting through a few strands of her hair.

?What are you doing?? How did she use that attack without a spell card? She should barely be conscious in that case, but she?s doesn?t even look tired after that!

?I wanna try this out in battle! Fight me, Sakuya! I have little time!?

A knife materializes in Sakuya?s hand, ?Fine, if only because you are the one that attacked me. I will get to the bottom of this!?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #20 on: April 25, 2009, 02:21:18 PM »
A knife quickly materializes in Sakuya?s hand and she tosses it at Patchouli?s head. Patchouli just stands in place as she opens her mouth. Just as the knife is mere millimeters away from making contact, Patchouli chomps down, catching the weapon between her teeth.

Sakuya is taken aback, ?Wh-what the???

Patchouli spits the knife out, ?You idiot, Sakuya. I?m not the Patchouli you knew. Expect me to pull some pretty crazy shit every now and then, alright??

?Tch.? Thanks to the lack of magical energy in this realm, I can?t make new spell cards! Thanks to the battle with Reimu almost a year ago, I have only four left! I?d better not waste them?

?Now it?s time for me to go on the offensive! Agni Shine!? Patchouli extends her hand toward Sakuya and several fireballs materialize, which merge into one large ball of flame, which comes flying toward Sakuya.

?Far too easy!? Sakuya leaps up and takes to the sky, certain to fly over Patchouli?s attack? at least until gravity kicks in and drags her back to the ground. ?Damn!? This battle made me feel so much like I was back in Gensokyo that I forgot a major basic of this realm: I can?t fly! Sakuya lands short of going headlong into the fireball. She freezes time, allowing her just enough time to intentionally fall on her back to avoid the fireball. It flies over her, lightly singing her torso. However, her avoidance maneuver allows Patchouli to get in a free attack.

Patchouli smirks as she raises her hand into the air, ?Princess Undine!? A blast of highly pressurized water burst below Sakuya, launching her into the air. Still smirking, Patchouli directs her open palm up in the former maid?s direction and many fireballs materializes around her and fly toward the helpless Sakuya.

?AARRggGGHH!? Sakuya screams as Patchouli?s fireballs engulf her, the temperature rising to an almost unbearable heat.

?Agni Radiance!? Patchouli?s open palm curls into a fist and the fireballs around Sakuya burst in a moderate explosion. Sakuya falls to the ground with severe burns and some parts of her clothes on fire.

?Rughh?? Sakuya tries to douse the flames.

?Hahahaahaa!? Patchouli laughs as she sees the nearly-defeated Sakuya try to endure her pain, ?Was that too much. I?ll make it better! Princess Undine High Level!? A magic circle opens in front of Patchouli and a power stream of water flies out, slamming into the ex-maid, knocking her to the ground.

Sakuya feels relieved from the previous burning, but knows that she can?t take much more, Damn it! Whoever this Patchouli is, she?s not fighting me seriously. I must use some cards of my own if I want to survive and get to the bottom of this? Sakuya rises to her feet, drawing a wet spell card.

Patchouli folds her arms in front of her, ?Now the big guns, eh? It?s about damn time.?

Sakuya raises her spell card, ?Maid Secret Skill!? A small group of knives materialize around Sakuya and fly toward Patchouli.

?WEAK! Rage Trilithon!? A wall of stone rises in front of Patchouli to defend her from the knives.

Sakuya thrusts her hand in the librarian?s direction, ?Marionette!?

Suddenly, responding to Sakuya?s will, the knives arch around Patchouli?s shield and sink into her flesh, ?AhhhhhhSHIT!? The shield vanishes and Sakuya charges at Patchouli, knife drawn, sinking it into her lower chest, avoiding her vitals, ?AUGH!?

?Who are you,? demands Sakuya, ?You don?t act like the Patchouli I know. What?s going on?? TELL ME!?

Instead of answering the ex-maid?s question, Patchouli moans in a voice different than her own, ?How could you? Sakuya??

?What?? Sakuya remembers the voice Patchouli just used as belonging to someone else. Before her eyes, Patchouli transforms into Remilia Scarlet, her former mistress.

Sakuya withdraws her knife and stammers, ?Wh-what? Mistress? I?m? I?m so sorry! I? I??

?Sucker!? Remilia snatches Sakuya knife away from her, turns it toward her ?former servant,? then transforms again, into Iku Nagae, an atmosphere reading youkai who Sakuya fought during the Mountain of Faith incident.

?What??

?HA!? Iku stabs the knife into Sakuya?s shoulder.

?ERK!? Iku then, using her power over lightning, sends an electrical surge through the knife's blade and into Sakuya?s body, ?Arg-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h-h!? Sakuya falls to the ground, paralyzed by the shock.

?Hahaha! Surprised you, didn?t I??

Sakuya forces herself to speak, ?What? are you???

Iku responds, ?Funny you ask that. You know me better than you think.?

?What? Just? what do you want???

Iku paces around the defeated ex-maid, ?Nothing, really. At least not for right now. I just thought I?d give my powers a spin?? She transforms into various Gensokyo residents, starting with Ran Yakumo ?? Don?t worry; I have no intensions of killing you?? She transforms into Yuka Kazami ?? In fact, I need you.?

?What? are you? talking about???

The figure with no certain identity turns into Aya Shameimaru, ?It's nothing I need to inform you of?? She transforms into Keine Kamishirasawa ?? because my desire and your overall plan just happens to coincide??

?What??

Finally, the figure transforms into Tewi Inaba, ?Look, just free Princess Kaguya and that stupid tomboy rival of hers?, okay??

?What?s in it for you? exactly??

?None of your business, maid-girl?? She transforms into someone Sakuya had never seen before: A girl with red eyes and bunny-ears extending out of her head, wearing a black blazer, like Sakuya?s friend, Reisen Udongein Inaba, a moon rabbit. The differences are that this rabbit has short red hair and wears black dress pants instead of a skirt, as well as being slightly taller. ?Well, time?s up. I?ll see you around. We?ll meet again if you continue to dawdle, y?hear? Bye!? With that, the figure vanishes into thin air.

The paralysis wears off after a few minutes and Sakuya slowly gets back to her feet, thinking out loud, ?Who was she?? And why does she want Kaguya and Mokou to be freed?? Sakuya takes a few seconds to think, but doesn?t come up with any reasonable motives regarding the mystery girl, ?No matter? We still have to free our friends? but??

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #21 on: April 25, 2009, 02:41:30 PM »
A few weeks following Sakuya?s encounter with the mysterious entity that had the ability to assume the forms and powers of the Gensokyo residents that vanished along with the dream, the ex-maid meets up with Yukari to discuss the matter.

That night, the two of them stand on the roof of a skyscraper and look out at the illuminated cityscape.

?Indeed a far cry from our former home,? notes Yukari, referring to the city, ?If Gensokyo lived on, would it look like this someday? I can only imagine??

Sakuya asks, ?Yukari, what do you think of that figure that attacked me? She seems interested in reuniting Reimu and Marisa and setting Kaguya and Mokou free. I don?t know why. It just seems that she has something to gain out of that??

?Anything else worth noting? I never met that person, but I find her fascinating. From what you described, she most certainly is a link to the non-existent Gensokyo??

Sakuya recalls, ?Before she left, she turned into a rabbit youkai. Not the kind that Tei and the other Gensokian rabbits are, but more like Reisen. She also referred to Kaguya with a tone of familiarity??

?Sounds like a Lunarian,? says Yukari, ?But what do they have to do with Gensokyo. Sure, they wanted to invade it, but??

?At any rate, our objectives seem to coincide, so I doubt we?re enemies. She really wants us to hurry in reuniting them??

?We?re in no rush, Sakuya. Kaguya and Mokou are immortal. They can stand to wait??

?Are you sure we can?t just take them to you and reuniting them by going through the boundary??

Yukari shakes her head, ?Theoretically, we could, but humans of this realm are shallow things. They are terrified of the unknown. As they are, I doubt they will cooperate that way, plus they don?t remember who they once were??

?Whoever the rabbit was, though, something tells me she may have different ideas??

?Just keep watching over Marisa, along with Alice and Cirno. The time will come. You?ll see.?

?Understood??

==

CONCEALED THE CONCLUSION, part 2: Embodiment of Dreams


I rush out my house and head en route to school. Yeah, I am late! It hadn?t happened before moving, when I could just wake up, get dressed, and head to school, eating breakfast there. Now it?s waking up, getting dressed into a school uniform, which has more pieces of clothing than casual clothes do, eat breakfast, because my new school doesn?t serve it there, then head on over! Damn it! I run as fast as I can, my wavy blonde hair riding the wind my speed produces.

My name is Marisa Starr. I recently turned 17 and my life is pretty typical? well, from anyone else?s viewpoint, that is. About a year ago, I was in an accident, which caused me to fall into a coma for a few months. Not too long after, my dad, who I don?t see often as it is, got a new higher-paying job, which caused us to move. I used to attend a public school, but because I don?t fit in well with anyone, mostly due to my tomboyish nature, they decided to transfer me to an all-girls private school, hoping that I?d be able to make some friends, which is even worse, because most of those girls are stuck-up bitches, not to mention that, and this is between us, I tend to be attracted to girls, rather than guys, which makes me all the more awkward! I guess you could say that I?m a lesbian, not that I outright announced that to the world. It?s my secret, and now yours too.

The town I live in? well, there is not much to say about it. It?s pretty typical. There is a LOT of green. Green grass on the ground, green leaves on the trees, green bushes seem to be a popular decoration around buildings. All in all, it?s a pretty secluded place, peaceful even, not that I?m complaining. At least I prefer it to the big city, so it?s all good, despite being a little boring.

I rush up to the front gate of the school after dashing through a few blocks. The outer walls of the main building are white, and the roof is blue. It was built only a few years ago, so it?s pretty tidy, as opposed to my old public school, which was basically a hellhole from a cleanness standpoint, so even if I?m awkward around all the other snobs that attend this place, it?s still a fresh environment. All the students there wear the same kind of uniform: A white collared button-up shirt under a blue wool vest with a pocket on the front of it, a medium-length skirt, which is blue and green with a checker-like design, black dress shoes with blue socks that come up just below the knees. Finally, a gold badge (or shiny yellow plastic that is supposed to pass as gold) with the school?s insignia on it.

In front of the gate, my two friends wait for me: Cirno Izayoi and Alice Margatroid. I was half-lying when I said that I didn?t fit in the private school. Not long after I attended, those two joined at the same time. They instantly wanted to be friends with me for some strange reason. Unlike all the other girls at the school, they are actually pretty nice. The three of us always stick together, plus we have all the same classes. With my personality, it?s not easy to make friends, so I treasure the ones I do make.

?Heeeeey!? Cirno is 12 years old and has blue eyes and short blue hair complimented by a green ribbon. While my school is high school level, Cirno was allowed in because she?s some kinda ?child prodigy.? The school board can believe whatever the hell they want about her, but I think they screwed up. Cirno isn?t really all that bright. In fact, one would say that she?s a little? stupid. Most of the time, she has to peek at Alice?s or my test papers to pass. She also wears a large backpack ALL the time, even when she?s sitting at her desk. She sometimes gets bullied by the other girls because of that. Still, we often play games together and that?s always a good time.

?Good morning, Marisa!? Alice is 18 years old and has bright blue eyes and short blonde hair with a red headband. She?s a bright girl, but she really doesn?t talk to anyone besides me and Cirno. During class, she?s usually off in her own little world. She likes dolls; probably too much for someone her age; something she gets made fun of sometimes by the other students, but she usually ignores those bitches. She?s really cute when she smiles, seldom as that is.

?What?s up?? I ask, ?You two didn?t have to wait for me. I?m late and if you?re waiting for me here, you?ll be late too!?

?Whatever,? says Cirno, ?We?re always together! If you?re late, then we?ll be late too.?

I turn to Alice, ?Are you okay with that??

Alice says with a slight shrug, ?I really don?t care??

?Anyways, let?s get to class.?

We enter the school building. While there is a lot of green on the outside, there is a lot of blue and white on the inside. As this is a new school, there are empty racks reserved for whatever prizes this school is bound to win. All there is so far are some plaques for academic achievement and a few chess championships, as well as a couple trophies for ranking in some fencing tournaments.

On our way to our homeroom, one student passes going the opposite direction and sneers, ?The loser trio is late again. You?re so pathetic!?

Alice pretends to ignore her, Cirno gives her a mean look, and I extend my arm in the bitch?s direction, and extend my middle finger, ?Screw you, Ashley.?

?My name is Melissa!?

?Whatever. Your name is Shitbitch for all I care.? We get bullshit like this a lot. This is why I hate my schoolmates outside of Alice and Cirno: Everyone acts like we?re inferior because our families aren?t quite as distinguished. In fact, the three of us are probably the only students here that don?t act that way, which is all the better that we hang around each other all the time: We can always reassure one another.

Cirno smiles at me, as if to say, ?Yeah, you sure told her off!?

Alice says, ?Honestly, Marisa. You could have picked a better way to resolve that scenario??

I respond, ?Sometimes, you just have to do what I just did. If you don?t stand up for yourself, they will just pick on you some more. You have to prove that you?re not the kind of person to just stand there and take that kind of crap.?

Another student passes by, saying to Alice condescendingly, ?Nice headband, bitch! Did you get that out of a dumpster??

??? Alice grits her teeth in annoyance, but says nothing.

I stand up for Alice, ?No, she didn?t. Is that where you got your face??

?Ah!? The girl looks at me, genuinely insulted, and stomps off in a rage.

?And don?t come back!? yells Cirno in a way that, honestly, makes me look less cool.

Alice pauses, smiles, and then giggles a little. She?s so cute like that! ?Hahaha!?

?What?s so funny??

?Nothing! You are just exactly how I remembered you.?

??Remembered???

?Oh? It?s nothing. Forget I said anything.?

?Anyway, you should have said something like I just did. People like her pride themselves on their appearance and look down on others in that regard. You have to hit them where it hurts!?

Alice responds, ?Garbage like her is not worth wasting my words on.?

?Ouch!? exclaim me and Cirno at the same time, impressed by Alice?s logic.

We arrive at class and promptly receive our third tardy in a row. One more and it?s detention. Damn. We sit at our desks, in the back of the class, me sitting in the far right corner, facing from the front of the room, Alice in front of me and Cirno to my left. Every class is the same: a lecture where I sit bored, Cirno, being the smart one for once, reading comics, hiding them from the teacher?s sight with a textbook, and Alice daydreaming or asleep. She usually has to ask the teacher to repeat herself when asked a question. That is how each class goes.

Before long, it?s lunchtime. As expected from our ?mindblowing? popularity, we get a cafeteria table all to ourselves. After each of us eats a meager mid-day meal, Cirno?s food of choice being ice cream, Alice lifts her book bag onto the table and pulls out a miniature chess set. We decide to play a game. We only have 20 minutes left to play, and most people would probably not be able to finish a game in that time, but not Alice. Either she?s too good or I suck that badly, probably both, but she always beats me in a timely fashion. The game ends in 17 minutes with my king?s escape route cut off by two of my own pawns and opposed by one of Alice?s rooks.

?Checkmate.?

?Dammit! I lose again!? I?ve never beaten Alice at chess. To make matters worse, I always lose to Cirno at VIDEO GAMES!

Cirno gives me a reassuring pat on the back, ?You did good, Marisa.?

?Do you even know HOW to play this game, Cirno??

?No??

?Then don?t say anything.?

Alice puts the chess set away, ?Well, class will be starting again soon.?

Shit! I lost to Cirno at IaMP over the weekend and I lost to Alice at chess today! The score will not go unsettled! ?Alice! Fencing! After school! Be there!?

There is a few seconds of silence between us. Finally, Cirno asks, ?So? um? what will we do when we graduate?? She gives Alice the sort of glance that indicates something that is just between two people, but whatever.

Alice says, ?Personally, I want to study abroad in Japan.?

?Me too! It?s like you read my mind!? says Cirno.

Alice and Cirno both look at me longingly. I respond, ?Wh-what??

?I want you to come too,? says Alice, somewhat direct.

?We won?t take ?no? for an answer,? adds Cirno.

?Well?? Going abroad with my friends? It doesn?t sound like a bad plan at all, still? ?I?ll think about it??

Before anymore words can be added, the bell rings.

A couple more hours pass. At long last, the final bell rings. Cirno decides to head straight home, while Alice, who accepted my challenge, and I head to the gym, then to the locker room to change into white fencing clothes and masks.

The school prides itself on two things: chess and fencing, so obviously, the team is practicing, the sounds of their clashing blades echoing through the gymnasium. Still, Alice and I get our own strip to play on, as no one wants to be anywhere near ?losers like Marisa Starr and Alice Margatroid.?

We decide to do epee, the ?anything goes? style. Without anyone to referee the match, we?re left to our own devices, but we stay as close to the rules as possible, though the team members occasionally mock the way we play.

?En garde!? The ?battle? begins! I take the initiative and advance toward Alice, who attempts to counterattack, but I feint my move, retreating out of her range, then quickly advancing again and performing a lunge, twirling my blade so it connects with Alice?s left thigh, ?Touche!?

?I won?t fall for that twice!? A new round begins and Alice goes on the offensive. She attempts a straight on attack, which I parry, then attempts to strike at my right knee. She?s using her strategy, but unfortunately for her, I?m faster. I quickly step back and riposte, my blade connecting with her mask, around the right eye area. Good thing fencing has this equipment.

We keep playing well past when the team leaves. Needless to say, I won. Alice may kick ass at chess, and Cirno may kick ass at video games, but I kick ass at fencing. After my two previous losses, I feel pretty good to have won a round, even if it is within my area of expertise. Also, Cirno never played us at chess or fencing, probably because she?s too dim to win at chess and too short to win at fencing. I like fencing. It emulates a fight and that?s always a good way to let off steam. I?ve probably only been in real fights twice in my lifetime (surprisingly not against other students here), but part of me felt good at those times.

We change back into our school uniforms. Alice wipes the sweat off her forehead, ?Good game. Are you satisfied??

?Hell yeah,? I respond, wiping off some sweat of my own. That was quite a workout.

We head home. We walk out of the school and it?s already dark out, the full moon shining down from above. We walk toward the school gates. There aren?t any homes around for quite a ways, but the street lamps give off plenty of light. The coolness of the night and the gentle breeze refreshes us after those furious hours of swordfighting.

We walk out the gate and turn left onto the main road, which passes in front of the school.

We walk a few steps, when suddenly, a figure appears before us. Huh? Where did it come from? I didn?t even see it. It?s like it came out of nowhere.

Alice?s eyes widen and she steps backward, ?It can?t be???

I look at the figure: It?s a girl, about 14, with blue hair, and wearing an elegant pink dress and a pink hat that no one around here would be caught dead wearing? But screw that! On her back, there is a pair of bat-like wings, and it?s more than a costume, because she?s slightly hovering off the ground, and red claws extending from her fingers. She also has eyes that are a red as blood. She smirks slightly, giving me a view of her teeth, which have fangs like those of a cat.

I say to the girl what is on my mind, ?What the hell are???

Alice cuts me off, saying, ?You?re? Remilia Scarlet!?
« Last Edit: April 25, 2009, 03:11:03 PM by Valesta »

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #22 on: April 25, 2009, 02:43:02 PM »
?Do you know her?? I ask Alice.

???

The weird girl, ?Remilia? says, looking at me, ?We meet at last, Marisa Starr.?

?Wh-who are you? WHAT are you??

Remilia smirks deviously, ?I?m a vampire and I vant to suck your blood. BLAH!? As she makes her clich? reference, she flies at me. However, Alice steps between us and a few things that look like dolls appear around her. That?s right, APPEAR, as in materialize out of thin air! As if that wasn?t weird enough, the dolls, moving on their own, hold out their arms and circles that seem to be made completely of light appear in front of them. From those circles, multicolored ?shots? pour out toward Remilia, who deflects a few with her claws, then backs off, putting some distance between herself and Alice.

I back away from Alice, shocked and scared of what I just witnessed. My heart starts to pound so hard, I can hear it. Tears stream from my eyes. Just what the hell is going on? ?Alice, just what ARE you??

Alice says after a long hesitation, ?Stay back, Marisa?? She pulls something that looks like a piece of paper with a weird symbol on it out of her uniform?s front pocket ?? I?ll handle her.?

Remilia smirks at me, ?Funny, Marisa. I recall you having more bravado than this?? Her eyes turn to Alice, ?Alright, Alice Margatroid, entertain me!?

?Recall?? What the hell? I never saw her before in my life!

Remilia lunges at Alice and strikes with her claws, which my now-mysterious ?friend? dodges to the right, jumps backward, raises her piece of paper, and declares, ?Magipulation!? The slip disappears, and in its place, a doll radiating some kind of blue light appears. ?Return Inanimateness!? She tosses the doll at Remilia; it connects and explodes in a large blue burst. The weird winged girl is sent reeling backward and crashes into the school?s outer wall, leaving a sizable dent. Damn! I didn?t think Alice could fight like that!

Even though I?d imagine the blow Remilia just received would hurt like a bitch, she just grins, not showing much pain, ?Pretty good, Alice! Now?? She stretches her hand out in Alice?s direction, ?Red Magic!? From her hand, several round ?shots? fly out, quickly escalating from a volley to an outright salvo.

Alice won?t dodge in time. Hell, I have faster reflexes and I couldn?t. In defense, Alice raises her arms in front of her upper body and face. She gets hit by several of the blasts, each one appearing to impact her like getting hit by a baseball flying from a pitching machine, also, even from where I am, on the side, it felt pretty hot when Remilia started using that attack. The shots that fly past Alice keep going into the woods behind her, either crashing into trees or knocking off branches.

Remilia?s attack ends, then, as the weirdness can?t possibly end where it is now, SPLITS into a swarm of bats, which disperses. I guess she really IS a vampire!

Alice, appearing to be in a bit of pain, and small amounts of smoke emerging from the places where she had been hit, lowers her defensive stance, looks where Remilia was, ?Where???

The bats gather again behind the unsuspecting Alice and Remilia completely reappears and prepares to slash with her claws.

?Alice! Behind you!? I cry out.

?Ah!? Alice glances behind her, and, noticing Remilia about to attack, ducks down and avoids the attack, then jumping back, putting some distance between them.

?Haha!? However, Remilia presses her assault, and dashes toward Alice, slashing her across her upper chest.

?Ah!? Alice staggers backward, holding where she was just struck, blood streaming down the front of her school uniform and dripping onto the ground, making this whole thing look even more intense. I think I?m going to be sick?

Remilia delivers a kick to Alice, knocking her off her feet, and then turns her attention toward me. I?m shivering in fear and thus, I don?t have the reflexes I usually do, which explains why I didn?t react when Remilia leaps toward me, tackles me, and pins me to the ground. She tries to wrestle me down and she?s succeeding. For someone who looks to be 14, damn she?s strong! ?Stay out of this! I?m going to shut you up!?

My fear is reaching such a point that I?m starting to feel dizzy. I whimper, rather pathetically, ?Alice? help me??

?Zero Sign!? A familiar juvenile voice cries out from behind.

?Hm?? Remilia stops wrestling me down and sits up on top of me.

?Ice Vulcan!? Suddenly, several small sharp crystals, which look like ice fly into Remilia?s chest, the force knocking her off me and onto her back.

Alice returns to her feet, ?Whew. You made it!?

I look behind me and see Cirno standing with her right arm stretched out, light blue smoke rising from her palm.

?Cirno??

Cirno calls out happily, ?Heeeey! Marisa? Are you okay??

I get back up, ?Ye-yeah?? I never thought that my life would be saved by CIRNO, of all people!

Alice says, ?She has to be the one that_?

Suddenly, Alice?s words are cut off as Remilia returns to her feet. Blood is running down her front, but she?s alive. No way! No one could have survived that (although I?m a little relieved, as I thought I was going to faint if she was killed before my eyes)! She looks over me shoulder at Cirno, ?Another annoyance! Die!? She dashes past me and toward Cirno.

Cirno, who seems to be almost as scared as I am, not that I feel she has a right to, raises her arms in front of her reflexively, ?EEK!?

SWIP! Suddenly, an object shoots down in front of the vampire, stopping her in her tracks. I look at the ground. It?s a knife, which has to be pretty damn sharp as it just pierced through concrete. I look beyond to who I assume had thrown it. Past Cirno, standing on a branch extending out from a tree is a girl with mid-back length silver hair and blue eyes, wearing a pretty standard baggy white t-shirt and blue jeans, holding a few knives between her fingers. She?s Sakuya Izayoi, Cirno?s mom? or at least that?s what Cirno CLAIMS she is, although I call bullshit on that, as that?s just wrong on too many levels. She and Cirno live in a cheap apartment and I visited a couple times. She has fantastic cooking and she?s equally skilled at keeping the place tidy. I swear she could easily become someone?s maid.

With a rather dynamic pose, Sakuya says, ?Hold it right there!?

Remilia responds, ?Sakuya? you dare attack your own mistress??

?My mistress disappeared with Gensokyo! You are nothing but an imposter!?

Remilia makes a fist, ?You may be right, but my powers are very damned real!?

Alice runs past, stopping by Cirno?s side. Sakuya jumps down from her perch and lands next to Cirno and Alice. Cirno throws off her backpack, revealing a pair of crystalline WINGS! Well, hell. Why not? There isn?t much left to be surprised about.

?Remain at a safe distance, Marisa,? advises Sakuya.

?Okay?? I take a few steps back.

?Try me?? Remilia raises her arm into the air, ?Spear the Gungnir!? A large spear-shaped object, made completely out of red ?energy,? for lack of a better term, appears in her hand.

?You were right, Sakuya,? says Alice, ?She can use spells without a spellcard. She did the same thing before you arrived too.?

?We can discuss this later,? says Sakuya, ?Get ready!?

?HAAAAA!? Remilia charges at Alice, Cirno, and Sakuya. Alice nod at Cirno and both of them retreat several feet while Sakuya holds her ground. Remilia gets within range to attack ?Cirno?s mom? and swings her spear. However, Sakuya dodges the attack by jumping away and ascending so high off the ground, she puts pro basketball players to shame! She performs half a midair back flip to the point where she?s upside-down and twirls 180 degrees so she?s facing Remilia, and tosses two handfuls of knives (which just seemed to come out of nowhere, like Alice?s dolls) down at the vampire, who parries all of them with her spear. ?Hm?? Around the same time, though, a knife materializes in front of Remilia and flies toward her (where the hell did THAT come from?) Remilia sidesteps at the last possible second, the blade just grazing her hip.

Sakuya flips back upright and lands on her feet at the same time that Alice draws another slip of weird paper, ?War Sign!? About five dolls armed with swords and two dolls armed with lances appear, ?Doll?s War!? As Remilia?s guard is lowered by Sakuya?s attack, Alice?s attack flies in and the sword dolls spin and pass the vampire, cutting her several times. Finally, the lance dolls shoot at her like rockets and skewer her at the same time, then disappearing.

?Ugh!" Remilia staggers back.

?It?s my turn!? Cirno charges at Remilia and draws her own piece of paper. I guess Alice isn?t the only one who can use those. ?Cryo Si_? However, Remilia recovers amazingly fast and swings her spear, knocking Cirno to the side and headfirst against the school?s outer wall, ?Whaaa! Why am I the odd one out?? The impact caused Cirno to let go of her paper and a passing breeze causes it to flutter to my feet.

I kneel down and pick it up, ?How do these??? Somehow, I feel stronger by holding it.

The battle rages on. No matter what kind of punishment Remilia receives, she always recovers like nothing happened. The vampire lifts off the ground and into the air. Cirno, being the one with wings, follows her up, but is promptly kicked back to the ground. Moving like lightning, Remilia strikes at the nearby streetlamps, causing everything to go pitch-black.

?I can?t see anything!? screams Cirno.

?But I can see you with my vampire eyes,? taunts Remilia.

I hear a sound like a blade tearing through flesh, followed by a yell from Sakuya, ?ARGGGH!?

The scream is followed by the noise of a blade cutting through empty air. Remilia?s voice, now a considerable distance away from where Sakuya screamed says, ?Nice try, Sakuya, but face it, you can?t win against what you can?t see.?

Alice says, confidently, ?You really think that beat us? Think again, vampire!?

?What??

?Flame Sign: Luminous Candle Dolls!? Suddenly, several dolls holding candles appear all over the place, providing light. Granted, it?s not as good as the lamps, but whatever. We can see again.

?Gr?? Remilia swings her spear at one of the dolls, but it moves back, avoiding the attack.

Alice yells, ?Sakuya! Cirno! I need to focus to make this spell last! I?m sorry, but it?s up to the two of you now!?

The battle continues, now with Alice having about as much physical participation in the battle as I am.

Before, it seemed like they had a good shot at defeating Remilia, but now with Alice out of action, it look even, with the odds tipped slightly in Remilia?s favor. I tremble again. Shit! If they die, will I be next? However, my pessimism is interrupted but some weird? visions. They feel spontaneous, but also? somewhat nostalgic: Battles, not unlike the one I?m witnessing. From the point of view I?m in, I?m also a part of them. A lot of them have people I haven?t seen, but also some I have seen. I see Alice, though she is wearing a long blue dress with red ribbons, Sakuya, though she?s dressed like a maid. How appropriate. There is also a platinum-haired girl with swords I see several times in the visions, but who I?ve never seen before, and? a girl in white and red, though her face is blurred. Who IS she? What the hell am I seeing?

The battle rages on. I look at the piece of paper Cirno dropped, focus, and suddenly, two words spontaneously escape my lips: ?Love? Sign?? The card disappears and suddenly, I feel intense energy inside me. It feels like it?s pressing against the inside my right palm, begging to be unleashed. More illogical visions. I look at Remilia right ahead, not suspecting anything from me. I direct my open right hand in her direction, with my left hand around the arm to control my trembling. Finally, I utter two more words: ?MASTER SPARK!? Out of my palm, a massive beam flies out.

Remilia instantly turns her head in my direction, wide-eyed, ?WHAT THE HELL?? The beam slams into her, knocking her head-first through the outer wall.

My attack ends with scentless smoke rising from my hand. Despite the power I felt before, I suddenly feel weak. I slump down, ?What?? What did I just???

Alice looks at me, the candles flickering slightly, ?Marisa! You just???

Sakuya asks a question I don?t get, ?Are you starting to remember??

Cirno also look impressed, ?Is Kirisame back??

?What the hell are you talking about? You know something, right? What did I just do??

Before anyone can say anything, Remilia emerges from the hole in the wall, ?Heh? heh? Well done, Marisa. Looks like you?re starting to recall some things?? Suddenly, her form changes, her injuries as Remilia disappearing: She turns into a girl, who looks about 25, with red eyes and short red hair, who wears a black business suit, black slacks, and a small pair of glasses. However, like her previous form, something isn?t entirely human about her: She also has a pair of rabbit ears extending from her head ?? I hope you reunite with HER soon.?

?It really is you again!? yells Sakuya, ?Just what do you hope to gain from this??

?Do you need to know? What the hell could you do with that information anyway? Our objectives are the same. Quit screwing around and see for yourself.?

Cirno charges at the rabbit-girl, ?I?ll beat what you know outta you!?

Suddenly, a spear materializes in the rabbit?s hand. It?s not made of ?energy,? like Remilia?s, but rather, more like a plain metal spear, though with a somewhat large blade. She points the weapon mere millimeters away from Cirno?s throat, ?Touch me, and you?ll be breathing from THREE places, fairy. Comprende??

?Uh huh?? Cirno backs away.

?At any rate, I?ve done what I came here to do. Looks like all is well. Ciao!?

?Wait!? Alice calls out, ?Just who are you? WHAT are you??

The girl answers, ?You can call me Yumei. That is all. Remember, Marisa. This is not a dream? not anymore.? With that, she vanishes into thin air.

??Yumei???

 I get back up and walk over to Alice. I would have grabbed her by the collar if I didn?t know that she is capable of cutting me down with an army of armed dolls, ?Okay, just what the HELL was all that about?  I almost got killed! Out with it!?

Sakuya hesitantly says, ?You?ve seen everything. There?s no use in hiding it anymore??

?Just tell me, dammit!? I?m not angry. Not really. I?m just frightened and confused. However, those feelings are intense enough right now to be interpreted as anger.

Alice explains, ?Marisa? a year ago, when you were in a coma, you were leading a very different life than you are now.?

?What? What life? The only life I was leading was ?being asleep and depressing.?? I don?t know why I?m saying this. I just feel the need to joke, usually in a vain attempt to keep me from going overboard with emotion.

?You were dreaming,? says Cirno.

?What??

Sakuya picks up, ?You? and a certain other girl who met an identical mishap were dreaming the same dream. However, it was no ordinary dream.?

?How so??

?It was more than a dream world. It was a dimension. I don?t know how that got to be the case, but it was. A lot of people? including Alice and Cirno, were born from that dream. Also, there have been some outsiders that became a part of it? like me.?

Cirno gives another small tidbit, ?That dream world was called Gensokyo.?

?Gen? so? kyo???

Alice says, ?Right. It was a dream that transcended time, and had thousands of years of history. You lived there for 18 years as a witch named Marisa Kirisame.?

?What? You?re shitting me, right??

Alice answers, ?I?m not ?shitting? you, Marisa. I know it?s a farfetched story, but it?s true. When you woke up, Gensokyo was no more. Only a few of us escaped.?

I want to protest more, but after what I?ve seen, can I argue? Right in front of me, there is a girl that controls battle dolls, a girl with wings, and a girl? well, I don?t even know?

Alice explains, approaching me, ?Marisa, we need your help. Two of our friends are trapped in_?

 ?Stay away from me!? I shove Alice away.

?Marisa?? says Cirno.

?My coma is done and over with and I want to forget that ever happened! It was just a dream and its over! This is a dream too! It HAS to be! None of this is possible! Nothing is realistic about it!?

Sakuya speaks up, ?I know it?s hard to_?

?SHUT UP! You?re nothing but fictional characters! You shouldn?t even exist!? Alice and Cirno both look deeply hurt by my words, but I?m more concerned about myself right now ?? Just stay the hell away from me! I never want to see you again!? I run away, frightened and thoroughly freaked out.

==

Cirno starts to chase after Marisa, ?Wait! Marisa!?

Sakuya puts her hand on the ice fairy?s shoulder, ?Let her go for now. Yukari was right, humans in this realm are terrified of the unknown. I think what we should do right now is let her be for awhile, let her calm down, and confirm that all of this is not a dream.?

Alice looks crestfallen, ?Marisa??

==

I run home. I pass by some people out for a late night stroll, asking me what the matter is. I don?t answer. Why should I? This is nothing but a dream! A fantasy!

I return home. I don?t even eat dinner, brush my teeth, or get changed. I just jump into bed. When I wake up, it will be a brand new day. Alice and Cirno are just ordinary classmates and we will have fun as always!

? Right?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #23 on: April 25, 2009, 02:44:10 PM »
I wake up and I feel like shit. I had trouble getting to sleep, but, after hours of trying, I finally did. However, I probably only got in four hours of slumber at best. I?m still wearing my school uniform. Did those event really happen?? Nah! It was a dream. I mean, in today?s world, how can something so weird happen?

I put on a new uniform, and then eat a breakfast that does little to satisfy my hunger. Finally, I?m out the door, headed for a new school day. I?m actually looking forward to getting to school. I can see the area where Alice, Cirno, and Sakuya supposedly fought the vampire, and confirm that nothing happened and it was all a result of my active imagination.

A few minutes pass. I?m actually on time today! I follow the outer wall of the school, and turn the corner to the side where the front gate is. To my horror, however, there were tons of yellow tape up and police teams were investigating an area where it looks like a war had been fought. There were cracks and dents along the wall, the streetlamps were damaged beyond repair, and trees had shown signs of damage. I look to my right and notice a large hole in the wall? the one that I had made!

What the hell? It dawns on me all so fast: It was no dream? All that crazy shit actually happened? I look at the scene a little more. There is dried blood all over the ground; Puddles of Alice and Sakuya?s blood, small splatters of Cirno?s blood, and trails of Remilia?s? or Yumei?s blood. Good luck finding DNA matches for THOSE samples. I?m lucky I didn?t end up bleeding at all, otherwise I?d be hounded with questions which they wouldn?t believe the answers to.

Not surprisingly, school was canceled because of this. Makes sense, as to anyone else, it looks like a brutal murder had taken place here. Well, it looks like not only was my life saved, but also a day of putting up with elitist bitches. Of course, I?m not going to enjoy my day off very much with all I have on my mind.

I return home, preparing for a day of deep thought. As I walk through the door, my mom says, ?I know why you?re home early. I heard about it on the news. There was a murder right outside your school.?

Not even my mom would believe me if I told the truth, so I play along, ?It seems that way. There was blood everywhere. Pretty gross. Heheheh??

?They said that no body was found, though. Anyway, that was surprising news. I didn?t think anything like that could happen in a small town like this. The world is becoming a dangerous place.?

?I guess so??

As I figured, I had spent my entire day off thinking about nothing except all the shit that had transpired last night. What else can I think about? I saw a bunch of stuff that should only happen in Japanese cartoons, and all of it seems to relate to me and a dream I had, which I don?t remember at all! As I think about it, I feel horrible about what I said to Alice and the others about saying that they shouldn?t exist and that I don?t want to see them again. Right now, they are the only ones who can lend an ear to me about this. They fought to save my life and I repaid them by saying horrible things. I constantly look down to my schoolmates as bitches, but I gradually realize that I am one myself, and that makes me feel like shit.

The hours fly by as the events from last night mercilessly invade my mind, even during my delicious dinner. Mom seems to notice something?s bothering me, but I just deny it. Even when I try to think of something else, it?s always back to that vampire! With how much I?m worked up over this, I need to calm down.

I enter my home?s upstairs bathroom, strip naked, and take a warm shower. As it turns out, it helps. I feel a lot more relaxed and I start to think on the positive side of those events. I was confused and scared when the battle was going on, but now, looking back on it as a memory, it was kinda? fun. Seriously! My friends, who I thought of as somewhat normal people, suddenly started using all kinds of strange powers like superheroes with secret identities, and fought against a vampire. Not to mention, I was the one who used that big laser! Me! I felt tired afterward, but it was so cool, and I find out that it really happened! As I think about it, my expression turns into a smile and ?? ? Hehe? Hmhm? HAHAHA!? I start laughing.

I must have showered for about 45 minutes. Finally, I reluctantly step out of the shower, put on a pair of PJs, and head to bed much earlier than normal. All that one-track thinking has made me tired, and I fall asleep pretty quickly.

?

I?m surrounded by nothing but blackness. However, my body seems to be emitting its own light, so I have no problem seeing myself. Everything around me is all the same color, but I feel like I?m standing on solid ground.

All around me, a familiar voice says, ?Welcome, Marisa!?

In front of me, that red-haired, four-eyed, bunny-eared girl from the previous night appears, ?You!?

The girl reintroduces herself, ?My name is Yumei. So, we finally meet inside your head.?

??Inside???

?This is a dream, Marisa.?

?What the hell are you doing here??

?Funny question. I?ve lived here for the past 14 months? since you got out of your coma. Unfortunately, I couldn?t show myself to you in here until you became aware of my existence. Luckily, on full moon nights, I can step out briefly and get some fresh air. Still, it took some time for my powers to grow enough to do that. In the meantime, I feed on your dreams.?

??Feed on my dreams,? huh? I hope you choke on that giant scorpion that appeared in a nightmare I had when I was four.?

Instead of reacting in an insulted or angry way, she just laughs, ?HAHAHA! Oh shit, that?s hilarious! You remember a dream like that, yet you forgot the single most important dream you?ve ever had.?

?That again??

Yumei continues, ?But that?s not unusual. You forget plenty of good dreams. While I?m here, I?ve learned about every dream you?ve ever had, even the ones you didn?t commit to memory. For example, when you were in the seventh grade, you had a dream where you made out with a freshman girl, who helped you pick up some books you dropped, and you thought she was really cute.?

???

?Oh! It gets better, Marisa! Three weeks ago, you dreamt you? well, I won?t be specific, but it was with Alice Margatroid. You need to keep your naughty, naughty imagination under control. Good thing children aren?t here.?

?Screw you!? In a humiliated rage, I charge at Yumei, attempting to tackle her, but she quickly jumps several feet into the air and over my head. I whirl around to face her again.

Yumei places her hands in her pockets, ?Tsk. Tsk. No need to act that way with me. I?m your friend, and friends like to mess around with one another.?

?Bullshit! Why did you try to kill me??

Yumei?s ears raise slightly, ??Kill you???

?You mean you?ve forgotten? When you were a vampire and you tackled me, saying that you would ?shut me up!??

Yumei?s eyes widen, ?I?m impressed. You have quite a vivid memory. I simply knew your friends would save you. I figured Alice would recover and attack me, but Cirno showed up instead. It went well.?

?I?m not convinced. Why did you attack us at all??

?So you would remember your other self. The psyche that existed in the mystical world of Gensokyo, which fought countless battles against the youkai that threatened it. I intended to create an image of such a battle that took place there to jog your subconscious memory a little.?

A mirror rises in front of me. I?m wearing my white pajamas, but the reflection looking back at me is wearing a black dress, a white apron, and an oversized black witch hat, not to mention that she looks slightly older, ?That?s? me??

?It is. Marisa Kirisame, your other self. The identity you took on in your dream as the body of Marisa Starr was fast asleep in her coma.? The mirror disappears and Yumei continues to talk, ?I understand that you saw some visions, as well as remembering how to use one of your persona?s spells. You?re remembering, Marisa, and that?s exactly what Alice, Cirno and Sakuya wanted too.?

I should still be creeped out by all this, but with all I don?t understand, I can?t help but want some answers, ?They were just? things. I don?t vividly remember anything, assuming what you say is true.?

Yumei pushes her glasses up the bridge of her nose, ?True. What you need is something to stimulate your memories enough to remember EVERYTHING. You? saw something unusual in your ?visions,? haven?t you??

?What the hell are you talking about? EVERY SINGLE ONE was messed up!?

?Something out of the ordinary with the visions themselves, not their content. Hm? Might it be THIS by any chance?? Next to Yumei, another figure appears. It?s one of the girls that appeared in the visions, wearing a red dress and detached white sleeves, and black hair. However, her face is still a blur to me, ?This is your counterpart. Like you, she dreamt, and together, you created Gensokyo. Perhaps if you find that face, you?ll find the missing piece of the puzzle that is your memory.?

?I just need to find out who that is, and I?ll know??

?Perhaps.?

My eyes narrow at Yumei, ?Why are you doing this? What in it for you??

Yumei paces around with her arms folded in front of her, ?Aren?t you curious as to why your ?friends? are so interested in you, that they would follow you to the extent they have? It?s because two? ?foreign elements? were left in Gensokyo when you two woke up, are trapped in the subconscious of the other girl?s mind, and they want to retrieve them, and they need to reunite you and that girl to make it happen. Likewise, I am trapped in your subconscious, so freeing them will free me. If you?re sick of me being here, I?d suggest you go along with them.?

??? That is some weird information, and I don?t know what the hell to make of it.

Yumei stops pacing and shrugs, ?But hey, it?s your decision. I just figured you wouldn?t want someone else sharing your mind, and I don?t think you?re not the least bit curious as to why all these things are happening.?

???

?Well, sweet dreams, Marisa.? With that, Yumei disappears.

She?s right. I?m curious, I want answers, and I sure as hell don?t want her finding out what I dream about. Despite all that had happened, I make up my mind pretty fast. After school tomorrow, I will speak with Alice and find out what to do, assuming she and Cirno decided not to do what I said about me never wanting to see them again.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #24 on: April 25, 2009, 02:44:51 PM »
==

As the moon shines on one side of the world, the sun shines on the other.

After hours off tossing and turning in her sleep, Reimu Kiribayashi is awakened by the sunlight shining into the room and the sound of wood cutting through the air multiple times, along with a voice counting with each swish, ?379? 380? 381? 382??

She wakes up in a small bed in a small room with two beds. Next to her bed, there is the ordinary desk with a computer and TV nearby, and next to the other, there is hardly anything except kendo equipment and various objects wrapped in cloth. After a few second, she remembers where she is: She had graduated from high school, after having to do a ton of makeup work, due to her coma, and, after an all-too-short summer vacation, she enrolled in a Japanese university and is now living in a dorm. She looks in the direction of the swishing sounds and notices Youmu Konpaku, her former classmate from high school, who enrolled in the same university, and is now her roommate. Little does she know, however, that Youmu was a close friend of hers in a life she has no vivid memories of, where she was the protector of the ghost princess of the Netherworld and a master swordsman.

?Youmu??? Reimu wakes up to Youmu practicing her kendo, a sport which, needless to say, she is very skilled in. Despite wearing a blue t-shirt and a mid-length brown skirt, both of which were recently washed, she is already working up a sweat.

Youmu smiles unusually cheerily, ?Ah, good morning, Reimu! Did you sleep well?? Even though Youmu used to ask her what dreams she had, she had learned to keep asking that question under control.

Reimu says, ?I slept okay, I guess. I had a weird dream??

Youmu raises an eyebrow, ?About what??

?I was in a bamboo forest, and I was attacked by a horned monster with silvery-green hair. It said polite things, but it kept attacking with lasers and stuff. You were there too??

This description has a familiar ring to Youmu, but she feigns ignorance, ?That?s a weird dream! I was also being attacked by the monster??

?Yeah??

?Well, it was just a dream! Don?t worry about it!?

?True, but something felt so? real. So familiar. So? nostalgic??

?You?re just imagining things. Don?t worry about it.?

?Yeah? You?re right??

?? ? ? Today is a new day of class. Let?s not be late?? Youmu puts down her wooden sword, puts on a green hooded sweater, and picks up a blue gym bag, which she never once parted with.

?Right.?

Youmu runs for the door, ?I?ll go on ahead and leave you to get changed! See you later!? Youmu leaves the room.

Reimu changes out of her night clothes and into a casual white t-shirt and blue slacks. She grabs a piece of bread from a nearby refrigerator, which she and Youmu share, spreads butter over its surface, and rushes out of the room, eating it, a meager breakfast, as she woke up very late.

She rushes across campus, an action that makes her stand out, as everyone else has either finished a class or is on time.

Finally, after climbing three floors of stairs in the campus? largest building, she reaches her class: psychology, taught by Professor Yagokoro, who the previous year, taught at Reimu?s high school. Reimu can?t help but wonder if it?s a startling coincidence or she?s stalking her for some reason. However, Reimu once knew her as much more than a teacher, as she is a being from the moon, a Lunarian, Eirin Yagokoro, who escaped to Gensokyo. At that time, she was the best friend of the moon?s exiled princess, Kaguya Horaisan, and was known for having a genius IQ and skilled in making potions. Kaguya, and her rival, Mokou, were trapped in Gensokyo when it vanished.

Reimu rushes into the classroom, where all the other students had already arrived, ?Sorry I?m late!?

Eirin, wearing an official-looking white suit and a pair of eyeglasses, says, ?Thank you for coming today, Reimu. Don?t worry, you haven?t missed much.?

Reimu sits at her assigned desk.

Eirin begins the day?s lecture, ?The human mind is known for being the mechanism which governs everything that defines us: Actions, emotions, opinions, beliefs, feelings? You would believe that mankind has figured out every aspect of it? but to this day, it is still a mysterious thing. When we sleep, we live lives very different from our realities; Temporary existences that are manifestations of our endless imaginations. Class, today we are going to talk about dreams??

Reimu lays her head on her desk, noticing the strange theme of her day so far, or even her life since awakening from her coma. 

?Everything that we?ve ever felt and experienced determine the lives we live during our times of slumber??

A couple hours pass. Finally, class ends and Reimu and the other students leave the classroom. Soon after, a female security guard, with red eyes and long lavender hair, wearing a blue uniform, with a handgun holstered at her hip and a hat which fits her awkwardly, enters the room.

?Hello, Reisen,? greets Eirin, ?What brings you here??

Reisen takes her hat off, revealing her ears, which were coiled underneath. They stretch and straighten out, ?I have some news, Eirin-sama.?

?What is it??

?I got word from Sakuya that a battle against some mysterious entity caused Marisa to regain some of her memories.?

?Really??

?Really! I was told that she got her hands on a spellcard and ended up using one of her spells.?

?Interesting. Any word from Youmu about Reimu??

Reisen pauses for a few seconds, ?Yes, about her? Well, it seems Reimu actually remembers things from Gensokyo, but she is just having trouble comprehending it. She shares a bunch of dreams with Youmu, which were familiar experiences from back then.?

?I see. Perhaps that time has come? It?s much earlier than we planned, but the stage appears to have set itself??


The day passes quickly. That evening, Reimu and Youmu eat dinner at a ramen stand not far from the university. They sit shoulder to shoulder at the counter, but while Youmu quickly eats her food, Reimu is deep in thought and only occasionally touches her dinner. Youmu soon notices Reimu?s behavior, ?What?s wrong??

?It?s just? the dreams. I?ve been having them more and more lately. I?m remembering too many and a lot of them have the same things? it?s making me uneasy??

?They?re just dreams,? says Youmu.

???

?What same things keep appearing??

?I told you about this before. Every once in awhile, two girls appear.?

Youmu tries to let out a friendly chuckle, ?? Heh? They keep appearing, huh??

?Yes. They try to talk to me, but? their words get broken up. I can?t understand them. From their expressions, it appears to be something important.?

Youmu raises an eyebrow in interest, but continues the same line of assurance, ?You?re only imagining it...? Dammit! How much longer can I keep up this charade? I can?t just keep lying to her?

?I guess? and there is something else??

?What??

"I dream of battle and I dream of peaceful times, but a lot of them have me alongside the same people: you, Youmu, or someone that LOOKS like you, a silver-haired girl dressed as a maid, a blonde girl in blue, and??

?Hm??

?Another blonde girl in black, but there is something different about her. Her face? it?s a blur??

?I? see??

Reisen, dressed as a security guard, enters the stand and speaks to Youmu, ?Excuse me, Miss Youmu Konpaku. I need to speak with you.?

Reimu looks at Youmu with mock-suspicion, ?What did you do~??

?Beat me. I?ll be right back.?

Youmu and Reisen leave the stand and head behind it, speaking softly so no one nearby can hear them.

?So, what is it, Reisen??

?We are going to tell Reimu the truth.?

?Really??

?Yeah. Eirin-sama and I will be waiting for the two of you in your room after class tomorrow.?

?Okay, although it only seems like it will be a matter of time when she recalls everything on her own.?

Reisen shrugs, ?Well, whatever comes first. We?ll be waiting.?

==

The next day, I head to school. Of course, Alice and Cirno aren?t waiting by the gate for me. They won?t be here. Not with the injuries they got fighting Remilia. I?ll have to pay a visit after school, as I planned. I just want to get through classes today, so I can get my answers later, so I end up arriving on time again. When I get to class, however, I?m surprised to notice that Alice and Cirno actually DID come. However, they are seated in the middle of the class. They glance my way. Alice simply turns her head back to the front of the room in a ?Hmph!? fashion. Cirno gives me a dirty look, and then does the same. It figures. They?re pissed off, not that I blame them after what I said. I sit in my usual seat in the back of the class, the adjacent girls looking at me like I?d diseased. The girls of this school, being the preppy bitches they are, may constantly look down on me as some kind of lowborn, but a couple nights ago, I treated Alice, Cirno, and Sakuya the same for being figments of my imagination. It dawns on me all too clearly: I?m a hypocrite.

The classes go by with me lost in my own thoughts and self-inflicted despair. Finally, lunch arrives. Alice and Cirno are sitting at the usual cafeteria table. Well, here goes nothing. I won?t get very friendly reception, but I will set things right!

I walk over to the table, ?Um? Hey, how?s it going??

??? They?re pretending to ignore me, I just know it.

?Is it alright if I sit here??

???

?I?ll take that as a ?yes?,? I sit down next to Alice. After several seconds of silence between us, Alice finally speaks up, ?What do you want, Marisa? You said that you don?t want to see us again.?

?And that we shouldn?t exist,? adds Cirno.

?I know I said those things and I?m sorry.?

??? My apology isn?t getting through.

?Look, I was just frightened at the time. I was attacked and thought I was going to die and I was scared of what you did and what you said. I honestly didn?t mean what I said, and if I could relive that event, I?d have handled it differently. Please forgive me.?

Alice and Cirno pause for a long time. Finally, both of them start laughing.

?What?s so funny?? I ask.

?Haha! Nothing,? says Alice, ?It?s just that we?re not used to you making that kind of apology. Putting it that way? from YOU, then I guess I?d HAVE to forgive you?? The laughter stops after a few seconds. Alice rises from her seat, ?However, I just want to so one thing to call it even??

?What?s that??

SLAP! Alice strikes me across the face fast and hard. I didn?t even see it coming, so I didn?t brace myself. She hit me so hard, I fall out of my seat and onto the floor.?

No teachers were around to witness this, much to Alice?s luck, but it made enough of a scene with the other students, that they were all stunned into silence? followed by a thunderous cheer. Dammit! This is probably karmic backlash from the horrible things I said, but I still can?t help but privately tell all those girls that they can go straight to Hell.

?Now we?re even,? says Alice, gripping her hand. I guess she hurt herself as much as she hurt me.

I get up off the floor, rubbing my cheek, ?I deserved that??

One of the girls walks over to our table and says to Alice, ?You know, Alice, I thought you were just a lowly student here, but seeing as you went and hit that piece of human trash, I want you to join our clique.?

?SHUT UP AND GO AWAY!? yell me, Alice, and Cirno at the same time.

The girl flinches and walks away, ?Whatever. My bad for thinking you were cool.? With us acting together like that, I guess we?re friends again.

With everything settled, I ask the first question on my mind, ?What are the two of you doing here? I thought the wounds you got from that battle would have kept you from coming.?

?About that,? says Cirno, ?Under our clothes, we look like mummies.?

Alice leans over the table, ?We had to force ourselves to come. It would look suspicious if we weren?t here after the scene we created. Anyway, tending to our wounds is not something we?re used to.?

?How is that??

?Gensokyo had this kind of? magic in the air. All its inhabitants benefited from it in various ways: We could fly, our wounds, provided they?re non-fatal, would completely heal in a matter of hours, and we could infuse specially marked paper with that magic, thus creating spellcards.?

?Spellcards??

?During that battle, you used one to fire that large beam. All intelligent beings possess a great power, but using it puts a great strain on the body. Spellcards are a crutch we must rely on to draw that power out. They give us extra energy and regulate our flow of power so we can more easily use the power in the way we desire. Of course, we still use our stamina, so using them too much is not a good thing??

?Is that why I felt a little woozy after using it??

?Yes. As you are now, Marisa, the energy you possess is strong, but limited. Your alter ego, Marisa Kirisame, however, could use that attack repeatedly with ease.?

Cirno shares a piece of her limited knowledge, ?This world doesn?t have that magic, so nobody without wings can fly, our wounds heal very slowly, and we can only use the spellcards we had when Gensokyo disappeared. We can?t make new ones??

?Spellcards we attempt to create here are just scraps of paper,? adds Alice.

?It sounds like an amazing place,? I say.

?To you, I?m sure it does,? says Alice, with a smile.

?I mean, seriously! I could do crazy shit like I did a couple nights ago; I wouldn?t be hurt for long, and I could fly.?

?Not without a broomstick,? says Alice, ?You sacrificed your ability to fly on your own for more magical power.?

?Whatever? Oh yeah, I met that ?Yumei? chick in my sleep last night.?

?Really?? says Cirno.

?Did you find anything out about her?? asks Alice, ?Sakuya was attacked by her on the full moon night before the one where we were attacked. She?s quite enigmatic.?

I recount what I was told, ?Well, she said she simply picked a fight with you guys to create an image of my Gensokyo memories, whatever they may be. It apparently worked. She can only come out on full moons; she says that she is trapped inside my subconscious and wants me to help with freeing two ?foreign elements? from my counterpart, a brunette whose face I can?t see, because doing that would free her from my mind too??

?Interesting,? says Alice, ?I can only assume that the ?brunette? she mentioned is Reimu??

?Whatever her name is, Yumei said that I need to see her face, and I?ll SOMEHOW remember everything about Gensokyo clearly as crystal.?

?I see??

I say solemnly, ?Alice, I want to resolve this. What are those ?foreign elements???

Cirno answers instead, ?Two friends of ours, who were still in Gensokyo when it disappeared. We heard that they are living in Reimu?s head. One of our friends says that if we get you and Reimu together, we can rescue them.?

?? And get Yumei out of my head too.?

?We don?t know much about Yumei, so we?ll take your word for it. To be honest, I don?t know where she came from, but she may be a part of the answer we?re looking for??

?Hm??

?Gensokyo was more than a dream of you and Reimu. While it lasted, it was an entire dimension. Sakuya, a few of our other friends, and the two in Reimu?s head, were not natively born of Gensokyo. They came from the outside. We don?t know how, but Yumei might know something as to how that is.?

I lean back, ?At any rate, I?m interested, and I have to admit, this is kinda fun. I will help you out. I take it I need to meet this Reimu chick, right??

?Yes,? answers Alice, ?She lives in Japan.?

I nearly fall out of my seat from leaning back too much, ?JAPAN? How the hell are we gonna get there? I don?t have enough money to afford a trip like that!?

Alice smiles, ?Don?t worry, Marisa. We have someone who can get us from one side of this world to the other in a heartbeat.? 

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #25 on: April 25, 2009, 02:46:00 PM »
Japan?

The next day passes all too fast. During the day, Youmu is quiet in her anticipation of telling Reimu the truth.

Youmu leaves a class and returns to the dorm room to drop off some textbooks and just wait until it is almost time for her next class. She opens her blue gym bag and her ghost-half flies out. She sits on the edge of her bed and thinks out loud, ?How will she react to this? Deep down she knows??

?BOO!? Suddenly, Youmu feels something touch her from behind.

?Ahhhhhh!? She jumps from her bed and across the room on top of Reimu?s bed.

Where Youmu was, a portal opens up and Yukari Yakumo steps out, ?Fufufu~ Glad to see you haven?t changed, Youmu.?

Youmu, who hadn?t gotten over the shock, says, trying to sound intimidating, though to no avail, ?Don?t? e-ever do th-that again, Yukari!?

Yukari opens a portal halfway, horizontally, and reclines in it like a seat, ?I just find it amusing that you hang around ghosts, and are half of one yourself, yet you are terrified of the idea of ghosts.?

?Whatever. Just what brings you here, Yukari??

?Oh, I?ve merely come on Yuyuko?s behalf to make sure you?re doing all right. Among the things she wants to know: Are you eating healthy??

?So-so.?

?Are you getting good marks??

?Mostly C?s.?

?Are you making new friends??

?Not since I came to college. At least in high school, Reimu and I spent time with her friends, Ayuki and Hiroji. But, I only just got here. It hasn?t even been a month.?

Yukari smiles, ?I see. It looks like you?re a pretty average student.?

?Yeah?? Youmu says, ?Tonight, we are going to tell Reimu the truth.?

?I figured it was a matter of time. I relayed your messages back and forth, and I was surprised to know that Reimu actually still has a trace of knowledge remaining about Gensokyo??

?Well, it makes our job easier.?

Yukari looks at Youmu solemnly, ?Doesn?t it bother you, Youmu??

?What??

?You?ve never been separated from Yuyuko for this long. It?s your duty to be by her side.?

?And follow her orders, which is what I?m doing. That?s why I?m here right now.?

?But don?t you feel sad??

?A little? but? it?s not that bad? Even if only temporarily, I?m living like an ordinary girl. I get to live a carefree life with my friends, I don?t have to worry about risking my life.?

Yukari leans back, ?You?ve changed, Youmu. There was once a time when Yuyuko was your entire world. You may be here as she instructed, but you?re? happy, aren?t you??

?I guess so??

?This isn?t going to last, Youmu. Savor whatever time you have left.?

?I will. How is Yuyuko-sama doing??

?Very well. She misses you and your fear of imaginary ghosts. I startled you on her behalf.?

Youmu smiles, ?Haha! I see. I thought you were her for a second.?

?But, she?s happy for you. She always wanted you to experience life outside of servitude. Part of her felt bad when you were always so steadfast to her.? 

?Well, she is always my mistress, no matter what happens. I?d never abandon the duty my father entrusted to me.?

?You?ll be seeing everyone else soon. Marisa is starting to remember. She has a vacation coming up, and that is when she will be coming here.?

?I see. I?d sure like to see her, Alice, and Sakuya again. It?s been over a year now??

?I?ll be here when the time comes to explain things to Reimu. I will see you then.?

?Okay.?

The portal Yukari is sitting on widens and she falls in, the rip closing soon after.

Youmu walks over to her dresser, removes several pairs of clothing, finally finding her green dress neatly folded at the bottom, ?It looks like these days will be ending soon??


A few hors later, Yukari emerges from a portal inside Rinnosuke?s remote home. ?Rinnosuke? Are you here??

Rinnosuke enters from another room, ?Hello there, Yukari! What brings you here??

?I just came to say that the time is coming. Tonight, we are going to tell Reimu the truth.?

?Really? It sure took awhile??

?Fufufu~ True.?

?Do you know if we will be able to revive Gensokyo??

?I don?t know. I suppose Marisa?s little ?friend? might know something??

==

I find myself on a large stone balcony over looking the ocean. Spread out across it, there are many round tables with large umbrellas sticking up from out of the middles. It?s a beautiful sight, but how the heck did I get here?

?Hello again, Marisa.? I see a familiar face sitting at one of the tables.

?Yumei! This must be??

?A dream? Well, of course.? Yumei takes a sip out of a small cup sitting in front of her. Along with the scenery, she?s coming off as more sophisticated than she really is. She pushes out a chair across from her side of the table out with her foot, ?Have a seat.?

?Okay?? I sit across the table from Yumei.

?I see things are going well. You?ll be traveling to Japan to meet Reimu, I take it??

?That?s the plan.?

?Good. I like your mind, Marisa. I can enjoy sights like this and such, but nothing compares to the real thing. I?m looking forward to leaving.?

?I guess it won?t be much longer??

?Seems so. Damn, it?s been a long time since I saw the outside??

I remember something Alice requested of me, ?Oh yeah! Alice wanted me to ask you what your connection to Gensokyo was.?

Yumei raises an eyebrow, ?They want to know, hm? Well, I?m sure they?re thinking of a whole bunch of things about me. How about I save that information for when I can tell you AND your friends??

?I guess so. Can you at least answer the bigger question, though??

?And what?s that??

?Might you know of some way to bring Gensokyo back??

Yumei grins at me and says in a low voice, ?As a matter of fact, I do.?

?Really??

?Yes. I promise I will explain everything when I am out. Until then, I will be waiting.? Yumei vanishes into thin air.

So she does know of some way to return Gensokyo to Alice and the others? It sounds too good to be true, but if so, everyone will be happy by that news. I only wish I could share such enthusiasm over such a thing. Perhaps I will too when I regain all my memories?

==

After another day of school comes to pass, Reimu returns to her dorm room for the day. However, she is surprised when she arrives to see Youmu, as well as Eirin and Reisen waiting for her. Youmu sits on her bed on the left side, Reisen sits on Reimu?s bed on the right, and Eirin sits in a chair between them, in the back of the room. Youmu is wearing the green dress she typically wore before Gensokyo?s end, Eirin is wearing her blue and red split down the middle dress, and Reisen is wearing her black business-like suit, a belt with a holstered handgun, and pink skirt, but still her hat, concealing her ears.

?What?s going on here?? Reimu asks Youmu.

Youmu says, ?Reimu, there is something we need to tell you.?

Reimu looks at Eirin, ?Professor Yagokoro? Um? Does this have something to do with psychology class??

Eirin smiles and says half-jestingly, ?Well, it?s not too terribly far off from yesterday?s lesson.?

?Dreams?? She looks at Reisen for several seconds, ?Aren?t you that security guard that I?ve seen around campus??

Reisen responds, ?I?m glad you remembered. I didn?t think I left that much of a last impression, pretending I?m human. You can call me Reisen; Reisen Udongein Inaba.?

??Human?? What are you talking about??

Eirin sits with her fingers interlocked in front of her, ?Miss Kiribayashi, I understand that you have been having some unusual? experiences when you sleep.?

Reimu says, ?I have? but they?re dreams. Realistic dreams, I guess, but dreams. How is that your business? Are you here to give me advice to keep those dreams under control, Professor Yagokoro??

?Call me Eirin; Eirin Yagokoro. As for those dreams? did one of them have someone who looks like me kill a dear friend of yours, after which, you flew into a rage? Did another have you facing off against a blonde girl in black, who fell under another?s control??

Reisen picks up, ?Did one have you? and Youmu here, battling a pig-tailed girl with a scythe? How about a girl that could fly and create powerful gusts of wind??

Youmu adds one, ?Did you once fight a trio with musical instruments?? She looks over Reimu?s shoulder, ?Or someone who looks like??

?? me??

?Ah!? Reimu hears another voice behind her and whirls around to face Yukari, who just emerged from a portal.

Yukari smiles cheerily, ?Hello, Reimu!?

Reimu, now freaked out, asks, ?Who the hell are you?"

"Yukari Yakumo. Don't worry, I'm you friend."

"Right. Sure. Now, how does everyone know about those dreams?? She glances back at Youmu, ?I never even told you about those ones!?

Eirin says, ?I also understand that two girls frequently appear in your other dreams.?

?You know about them? How? Did you say anything, Youmu??

??? Youmu shakes her head.

Eirin states, ?One of those girls happens to be a princess? and my friend.?

Reimu snaps, ?Enough of this! How the hell do you know about all that? Just what the hell is going on??

Youmu states, straightforwardly, ?Those ?dreams? actually happened. They are memories you?ve had of another life you?ve had when you were in a coma.?

Reisen adds, ?And we?ve lived it alongside you.? She takes off her hat, revealing her rabbit ears. Youmu, following suit, opens her gym bag, releasing her ghost half.

Reimu recounts all the strange things she had seen so far, ?A strange ?wisp? thing, a girl with bunny ears, and a girl that just came in from out of nowhere? This is a dream, isn?t it??

?Let?s see if it is?? Yukari lightly bops Reimu over the head with her parasol.

?Owww! What the hell? You didn?t need to do that!?

Yukari poses proudly, ?It looks like you?re still awake, Reimu. This is not a dream and all the ?weird? things you are seeing are completely authentic.?

Eirin sits calmly, ?Please settle down, Reimu. We are your friends. Of that, you have our complete assurance.?

Reimu pauses, and then says, ?? Okay. Please tell me. Make me understand just what is going on. About the dreams? about you guys? about? well? everything.?

Yukari explains, ?When you were knocked out and in a coma, you had a dream? Well, technically a dream, but it was more than that. It was a whole new boundary!?

Reimu raises an eyebrow, ??Boundary???

?Or dimension, realm, alternate universe, any other term along those lines. Anyway, it was the creation of you and one other girl. There, you lived for 19 years as a shrine maiden named Reimu Hakurei.?

??Hakurei???

?Yes. The land was known as Gensokyo, a mystical land of magic and youkai, such as myself, and 99% female populated.?

??Gensokyo???

?Yep! You know what that means, Reimu??

?What??

Yukari brings her face close to Reimu?s, ?You are my mother.?

Reimu backs away from the boundary youkai, wide-eyed, muttering in horror, ?No? That can?t be? When? when did I?? But? I?m not even? attracted to guys??

Yukari laughs heartily, ?Fufufu~ Don?t look so shocked, Reimu. You are my mother and I am your BRAINchild.?

Reimu pouts at Yukari, ?I hate you.?

Youmu sighs, ?Get serious, Yukari.?

Eirin says, ?But she IS right. Born from your mind, everyone in Gensokyo is like a child of yours.?

Reimu says, ?Okay, if what you are saying is true_?

?You believe us?? interrupts Reisen.

Reimu says, ?With all the weird things and the stuff you know about me that I don?t even know myself, I don?t think I?m in a position to write this off as some elaborate joke.?

Yukari nods in approval, ?Good response.?

Reimu tries to ask her question again, ?What I was trying to say was, if what you are saying is true?? she looks at Youmu, then Eirin, and finally Reisen, ?are you three my ?children? also??

All three of them shake their heads at the same time. ?No,? answers Reisen, ?The three of us came from outside your dream. Eirin-sama and I are from the moon? er? an alternate universe of it.?

?And I?m from the Netherworld,? says Youmu.

??? Reimu finds their explanations to be unusual, but just counts them among all the other weird things she had gathered up to that point.

Eirin continues the explanation, ?You and the other dreamer were powerful warriors, and, often with the help of other friends you?ve made, you?ve protected Gensokyo from countless disasters. In fact, we used to all be your enemies at one point or another.?

?Really?? Reimu looks at Youmu, ?Even you, Youmu??

?Yes?? Youmu answers with a nod.

Eirin says reassuringly, ?Don?t worry! We?re your friends now! In fact, every enemy you had one day became your friend on the next. You were quite easygoing and never held onto a grudge once you taught someone a lesson.?

?I wouldn?t quite say that,? says Youmu, recalling Reimu?s relationship with Aya Shameimaru, ?but for the most part, yes.?

Yukari picks up the story again, ?As you and your friends went on all kinds of adventures, ?you? were in the hospital, sleeping, and ever so slowly recovering? and finally, it happened. You started to awaken and Gensokyo ended along with it. We and a few others managed to escape??

?I?m? sorry???

?It was inevitable, so there is no need to apologize. Normally, we?d leave you alone and let bygones be bygones, but there is something important still living in your head.?

?What??

Reisen says, ?The two girls in your dreams: One with long black hair, wearing a pink and red dress, and another with aqua-colored hair, who wears red overalls.?

Eirin says, ?They are outsiders who were trapped when your dream completely ended. One of them is Kaguya, the exiled first princess of the moon?s Lunarian Empire.?

Reimu raises an eyebrow, ??Kaguya?? I?ve heard about her! She?s that girl from the fairy tale who had all those suitors who she told to do impossible things.?

Reisen raises her ears, ?Oh yeah! This was the realm she was originally banished to, wasn?t it??

Eirin grins, ?That was no fairy tale, Reimu. I?ve heard it myself, though the ending had been altered. She WAS going to go back to the moon, but she didn?t want to. I helped her escape, and we ended up going to Gensokyo.?

?Which was my doing,? adds Yukari.

?Hold on,? says Reimu, ?I?ll believe you in that the fairy tale was, in fact, not a fairy tale, but that was hundreds of years ago! If you played a part in that, how are you still alive now??

Eirin answers, ?I was the one who made the immortality elixir that was given to the emperor in that tale. Of course, I tested it? on myself, and? well, here I am.?

Yukari says, ?The dream of Gensokyo created a history dating back by thousands of years, at the beginning of which, I came into existence. Of course, that history ran alongside the feudal era of this realm.?

Reimu, starting to find the information she had been given increasingly easier to accept, asks Yukari, ?So? are you immortal too??

Yukari shakes her head, ?No. I?ve just lived for that long? though my life doesn?t have that much time remaining. About 700 years at best??

Eirin adds, ?And that part of the fairy tale where the elixir got burned in the flames of Mt. Fuji? That didn?t happen either. Princess Kaguya?s nemesis, Fujiwara no Mokou got a hold of it and drank it. She is the other prisoner of your subconscious.?

Reimu folds her arms in front of her, ??Nemesis?? Well, that would explain why I catch them fighting sometimes??

Reisen laughs, ?Haha! They?re still at it, huh??

?At any rate, that is where we stand.?

?So what do you want with me??

Yukari explains, ?I can open the boundary to your subconscious and allow us to enter and leave with Kaguya and Mokou. However, you will need the other dreamer together with you. We were hoping to arrange it so she comes here as an exchange student and prepare a ?chance? meeting, hoping the two of you would regain your memories that way??

Eirin picks up, ?But she regained tiny bits of her memory of Gensokyo through? ?shock? treatment, and you mentioned your dreams to Youmu, which were your memories of those days, so it seems we?ve run into some fortunate circumstances. We plan to bring the other dreamer here and allow you two to meet and see what happens. Would you mind cooperating with us, Reimu??

Reimu stands still for a long time, but then laughs, ?Hahahahaha!?

?What?s so funny?? asks Youmu.

Reimu says, ?Before I fell into that coma, I thought my life was typical and boring, and after the moment of excitement that caused that coma, I thought I was back on the same boring track? but all this time, it has been anything but typical!? she calms down, ?Okay. I?ll go along with this and see what happens. It?s hard to believe, but at the same time, this is so? real.?

?Okay.? Yukari disappears into a portal and Eirin and Reisen prepare to follow Yukari in.

?Wait!? calls out Reimu.

Eirin looks closely at Reimu?s face ?? It looks like there is still something on your mind??

?There are plenty of things, but??

?Yes??

?Um? If Gensokyo is 99% female? how are babies born??

Eirin tries to sounds smart as she gives an ironic answer, ?Well? it?s best not to think about it. Not even I have figured that out?? With that, Eirin and Reisen disappear into the portal, leaving Reimu and Youmu alone in the dorm room.

?Wow?? Reimu jumps onto and lies on her bed with the almost overwhelming amount of information she had gathered.

?Are you feeling okay about this?? asks Youmu.

?Yeah,? answers Reimu, ?It?s all so unreal? but it?s like an adventure. I feel so weirded out, but so excited? It?s like my life had become some sort of exciting adventure and I can?t wait to know what happens next!?

Youmu lies back in her bed also, ?You?re not the only one, Reimu. Ever since you came into my life, things have been more exciting to me, more than just a mere gardener. I?m sure you?ve forgotten a lot of things, but you have my thanks? for everything.?

Reimu recounts her dreams, as well as the present, ?I can?t say I can recall everything clearly? but thank you for being there for me, Youmu??

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #26 on: April 25, 2009, 02:47:01 PM »
Spring Break is right around the corner, and it?s a good thing too, because I don?t know how long I?m going to be on the other side of the world. Of course, I tell my mom that I?m going on a camping trip with Alice and Cirno, which she was all too happy to hear about. You see, before coming to my new school, I didn?t have a lot of friends, so when Alice and Cirno came into the picture, my mom was overjoyed that I finally have someone to hang out with. I feel bad about lying to her, but I think she?d probably freak if she found out I was attacked by a vampire? and that?s IF she believes me, which she won?t, but no matter how she looks at it, a trip to Japan is not bullshit, so she?d likely get on my case if she knew. Sorry, mom.

I?ve never left this country? at least not in a way I remember, so being able to experience a whole new culture sounds both intimidating and exciting. Of course, Spring Break isn?t here yet, and when you are anticipating something, days go by much more slowly.

Finally, after a couple slow weeks, it?s Friday, with the weekend coming up, followed by Spring Break! Tomorrow is the big day! For now, though, I?m at school, and at the lunch table with Alice and Cirno once again. After another small lunch, Alice beats me again in a swift and sound game of chess.

?Checkmate.?

?Dammit!?

As Alice picks up the chess set, Cirno mentions, ?Um? Maybe you should have moved that horse-piece instead of that castle-piece??

?What good would that have done?? ask me and Alice at the same time.

?I dunno,? says Cirno with a shrug.

After a few minutes, I ask, ?Hey? what was I like in Gensokyo? Was I any different than I am now??

Alice says, ?As Marisa Kirisame, you were quite into books. So much so, that you constantly raided Gensokyo?s largest archive.?

?Really?? Seriously, I can?t picture myself doing that. I don?t even read that much?

?Really.?

?So I was a bookworm? Did I know all kinds of stuff? A walking, talking encyclopedia??

?You absolutely weren?t,? answers Alice, ?You were only interested in books about magic, and I occasionally saw books laying around your home about staff fighting. In other words, anything that could make you more powerful. Despite what that tendency may imply, you were a seeker of strength.?

?Wow!?

?Other than that area, Marisa, your intelligence was pretty average. You acted pretty much the same way you do now. You had a rivalry going with Reimu since your childhood, and you were often the one left behind.?

?I see?? I think of another aspect within the topic at hand, ?Did I have a lot of friends??

Alice hesitates a little, ?Not for a while? Reimu was your only friend for most of your life. When you were little, you wanted to be friends with me, but at the time, I didn?t want anything to do with anyone, other than my dolls. It took me some time to realize that I really did care. Ultimately, though, we did become friends, and went on a number of journeys together. You accompanied Reimu on a number of quests, and who were once your enemies became acquaintances to you, like Cirno here.?

?Mm hm!? responds Cirno with a jolly smile.

?You didn?t really have a lot of people you had a particularly strong friendship with, outside of mere acquaintanceship. Just four, to the best of my knowledge: Reimu, of course, me, though what we used to have was a love-hate rivalry, Sakuya, who was a maid of one of your earliest adversaries, and another girl named Youmu Konpaku, who, like Sakuya, was a servant of a former enemy.?

I lean over the edge of the table, saying softly and dreamily, ?I see? Sounds nice??

Cirno glances at me. I guess it?s so obvious that I was deeply touched that even she can tell, ?Marisa??

Alice also looks curious, so I figured I might as well tell them, ?I?m no good with people. I know I can be a hardass sometimes, and I hardly ever pick the most peaceful solution to a problem, but I never could help it. It was like a part of who I am? and I never could fit in because of it??

?Marisa?? says Alice.

?Thanks to my personality and other things, no one wanted me close to them. It?s been that way all my life. I know I?ve had trouble expressing it, but I was touched to know that you two wanted to be my friends. It seems I didn?t have a lot of friends in my other life, according to you, but even with just a few? it sounds great. I? want to know what it was like. Maybe I will if I meet that Reimu and regain my memories like I was told??

Cirno looks at me sympathetically, ?You didn?t have any friends before coming to Gensokyo??

?No. I wonder? if I was a happier person in that life than I am here??

?I think you were,? says Alice, ?You?ve always been rough around the edges, whether it were here or there, but even if you never showed it, I?m sure you were happy whenever we were together, no matter what happened.?

?Alice, you said you used to not have any friends??

?Yes??

?I guess we?re pretty much the same, then. Friendship is not a concept that comes easily to us, and it?s the most valuable thing we can have.?

?I guess??

Cirno changes the subject, ?Well, tomorrow we go to Japan!?

I say to Alice, ?You said someone can get us there instantly? How is that possible??

?You?ll see, Marisa. She is capable of much more than that.? Dammit, Alice! Stop beating around the bush!


Well, it?s nighttime. When I wake up, the big day will arrive! As with times of anticipation, it takes me awhile to get to sleep, but it eventually does happen.

?

I find myself in a classroom; a kindergarten classroom to be exact. The walls are painted a bright yellow, the alphabet is lined up just below the ceiling, there a few desks and some juvenile toys laying around, and most of the floor is covered with a carpet with a picture of a simplified map of the US of A, which I happen to be sitting on? as a high-schooler? in my nightclothes. Right in front of me, Yumei is sitting on a chair with a hard-cover book in her hand, ?Good morning, class (?class? being just me). Today I?m going to read you a story.?

I roll my eyes, ?Did you really have to go for this set-up??

Yumei says smugly, ?You?re the one who?s dreaming it, not me, so you only have yourself to blame. Anyways, ?class,? I?m going to read an ages-old oriental classic known as the Tale of the Bamboo Cutter.?

?I know this story,? I say, ?I was told it in 8th grade lit.?

?Well now, you are going to hear it again.?

?Whatever.?

?AHEM!? Yumei clears her throat, ?Once upon a time, in a bamboo forest, lived a bamboo cutter and his wife. They were poor and weren?t blessed with children? or cursed. They probably didn?t know how good they had it?? Okay? Yumei is looking in her book, but it?s obvious she?s telling this story in her own words ?? ANYways, one day, the cutter found this teenage girl named Kaguya Houraisan lying unconscious in the forest, so he brought her home??

I raise my hand, ?Um? wasn?t Kaguya an infant at that time?? And I don?t think she had a last name.?

?Shut up and let me tell the damn story.?

???

?She was brought home and she said she didn?t have any parents, so she became their daughter, and the three of them lived happily. Apparently, people thought she was super-hot and, eventually, five young nobles wanted to marry her. Well, she wasn?t ready for marriage? or didn?t WANT to, and decide to have them prove their worth by giving them requests; IMPOSSIBLE requests. They were all asked to find and bring back a bunch of shit that didn?t exist. Some of them knew damn well that the items in question were nonsense, and tried to forge bogus replicas, trying to pass them off as the real thing. Kaguya didn?t fall for it. One of them made an honest effort and traveled to a faraway land, where he lost his life. Nice guys finish last, it seems. To sum it up, they messed up. Moving on, Kaguya turns out to be the princess of them moon, and she was exiled for drinking an immortality elixir, thus she didn?t age at all while her foster folks withered more and more. Finally, for some reason, they, the moon that is, wanted her back and sent some emissaries down to pick her up. She loved her home, so much though, that she didn?t want to go back??

I cut in, ?She was taken back anyway and the emperor was given the immortality elixir, which he burned, right??

?WRONG! I?m continuing into Tale of the Bamboo Cutter: Based on a True Story.?

?What the hell??

?She wasn?t taken back to the moon. One of the emissaries, an old friend of hers, named Eirin Yagokoro, honored her wishes and killed the others.?

?Eh??

?However, the other Lunarians? or moon people if you will, got wind of this and went to hunt them down. They ran away and made it to another world, where they hid. Kaguya loved this new world very much. However, the moon?s forces wanted to invade it, so she trie to counter it, but to no avail. Luckily, they never came before the dreamers responsible for the new world woke up, and our poor heroine got stuck inside the cranium of one of them? Now, Marisa, the legend continues, and YOU determine the fate of Kaguya!?

I get it, ?That world was Gensokyo, wasn?t it??

?Correct. It was thanks to your dream, that this old story got its alternate ending. You?re indirectly responsible for altering a story passed down through generations. Good job.?

?Well? um? wow!? Really, this information has me speechless. I had learned before that the history of the dream world extended back alongside the histories of other realms, but Yumei?s words put a new type of significance on it. My dream had that much power? Enough to change history?

Yumei slams the book shut, ?Well, I just thought I?d let you know about that. In a couple days, you will help in freeing Kaguya, and in turn, me.?

I rise to my feet, ?Then you will help bring back Gensokyo back, right??

Yumei smiles, almost menacingly, ?Absolutely.?

?Hey? might I? be able to live in it??

?If you want to. It?s your choice. It will be my reward to you for helping free me.?

?Okay! Hey Yumei??

?What??

?Thank you. I don?t say this often, but thanks to you, I?ve been able to recall a few things about a past I?ve forgotten and have grown closer to my? friends.?

?It?s not a problem, Marisa. I want to help you so you can help me. A new day is about to begin and, if you want to be dramatic about it, your? no? OUR destiny awaits?? The classroom starts to fade around us, ?Class dismissed!?

?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #27 on: April 25, 2009, 02:48:02 PM »
I wake up with my encounter with Yumei clear in the back of my mind. I look around my room to the window and see daylight shining in. I look at a clock on the wall, which says it is 9:45AM. No sooner do I notice that when I hear my mom calling up from downstairs, ?Marisa! Are you up? Alice and Cirno are here!?

?Y-yeah? Just give me a few! I?ll be right down!? I leap from bed, only feeling half like shit from waking up after only about five hours of genuine sleep. I change out of my PJs and into a plain yellow long sleeved t-shirt, blue jeans, and white sneakers, give my hair a quick brushing, then thunder downstairs, where my mom is waiting in the living room with Alice and Cirno.

?Good morning!? greets my friends at the same time.

Mom holds up a plate with a couple pancakes, ?I made some breakfast for your friends. Would you like some before your big day??

?No need to ask.? I accept breakfast and am left in the living room with my friends.

?So? what are we going to do now?? I ask before I take a bite from one of my patties.

Alice answers, ?Our friend is going to come here shortly and pick us up. From there? you?ll see!? Shit. Alice seems to enjoy provoking my curiosity. Well, when I meet this Reimu chick and supposedly remember everything, there will probably be little left to shock me about, so I guess I can?t complain much about a few extra surprises?

I finish eating my breakfast and ask, ?What is Reimu like exactly??

Alice answers, ?She?s usually a pleasant person, but she?s pretty laid-back, though she is excitable. She?s the kind of person who is quick to forgive, probably because it?s simply unpleasant to be always harboring a grudge? though there has been one exception to that, but that?s generally how she is??

?I see. She sounds nice.?

?You?ll see her yourself soon enough.?

Just as Alice speaks, however, the doorbell rings. ?Could it be her?? asks Cirno.

We get up, but before we reach the door, my mom answers it. We hear a female voice, not belonging to Sakuya, who I was expecting, ask, ?Hello, might this be the Starr residence??

?? ? Um? It is.? Huh? It?s not like mom to make such a hesitant greeting?

?I have come to pick up Marisa, Alice, and Cirno for their? camping trip.?

We reach the door. Standing on the front mat is a girl who totally stands out! Besides having purple eyes, saying her hair is blonde would be an understatement! It?s outright golden! Her clothes are even more surprising! It?s a dress, which looks like its maker couldn?t decide whether it should be Chinese-style or European-style, so she went for both. It has a purple strip down the front, with some vague oriental designs, but the rest of it is white and many layers of frilly edges. All in all, she?s an outrageous sight. No wonder my mom hesitated when she greeted our ?guest.?

?I see. I? like your clothes. They?re so? unique. May I ask who you are??

The weird girl glances toward Alice, ?I?m Alice?s Aunt Yukari. Isn?t that right, my dearest niece?? ?Yukari? reaches over and playfully runs her hand through Alice?s hair. Judging by her reaction, Alice is less than happy.

?Er? Yes.?

Yukari says, ?We have all the camping supplies we need in my car, so you don?t need to worry.? She points toward a car parked along the side of the road: A red convertible that looks like it?s fresh out of the car dealership. Overall, it?s a damn nice car and I?m surprised. Judging by Alice and Cirno?s reactions upon seeing it, I?m not alone on this. ?Well, we shall be off!?

?Okay,? says mom, ?Have fun on your camping trip!?

?Will do!? respond me, Alice, and Cirno in unison.

Yukari walks in the direction of the car. Alice notices this too and mutters, only I nearby am able to hear it, ?Is she seriously???

Well, Alice?s inquiry is answered as Yukari open the driver?s door and scoots behind the wheel, ?Hop in!?

?Okay!? Cirno runs ahead of Alice and me, and around to the other side of the car so she can claim the front passenger?s seat, not that I care. Alice and I just walk over and get in the back and we all buckle our seat belts.

Yukari inserts the key into the ignition and starts the car, ?Well, let us be off!?

?Goodbye, Marisa!? calls out mom.

I hold up my hand and wave goodbye, ?Goodbye, m_? I?m cut off by a sudden burst of G-force pressing me back against my seat. Along with squealing tires, the car takes off with a blast of speed.

I only catch a momentary glimpse of my mom?s shocked expression before all the other houses in the neighborhood start to blur by. Yukari makes a violent turn off my street and onto the main road, saying, ?It?s nice to see you again, Marisa. You have a good mother.?

?Whatever! Why are you driving like this??

?I always wanted to drive one of these. I know it?s my first time, but you don?t need to be like that.?

?Just open a gap!? yells Alice, ?It?s faster!?

?And boring. First, we are going to pick up Sakuya, and then we will make a brief detour before heading to Japan.?

Not a lot of traffic comes through this part of town, so there aren?t a lot of cars. However, it isn?t long before Yukari heads onto the highway. She dodges around a car, and ends up in the left lane, where the opposing traffic approaches. ?Yukari, or whatever your name is, you can?t be on this side!?

Yukari calmly asks, looking back toward me, ?Really? It?s quite the opposite in Japan.?

?It?s different in this country? AND DON?T LOOK AT ME! WATCH THE ROAD!?

Cirno screams, ?AHHHHHHH! INCOMING!? Right ahead of us, there is a large truck approaching. We?re going too fast and that truck is too big to corner worth a shit! No way around it, we?re going to crash! The truck?s driver honks repeatedly.

?We?re gonna die!? I yell. My body is shaking, my stomach feels weird, my heart is racing, and I?m tense all over!

Suddenly, Yukari holds her hand in front of her and a large purple ?hole? opens right in front of us. We drive in, and in the next instant, we?re driving on the highway again, no trucks, alive and well. I look around, and behind us, there is that truck getting smaller and smaller.

I ask the very words that are on my mind, ?What the hell was THAT?? Seriously, it?s like there was some kind of rip that suddenly appeared in the time-space in front of us. A two-dimensional hole!

?My power. Pretty nifty, no? Fufufu~? Yukari giggles. What a weird laugh? She swerves back to the right lane, ?There. Are you satisfied?? At that moment, however, we caught the attention of a police car, which chases after us. We?re going too fast, even for the highway!

?Um? You have to pull over??

?Why??

?Because bad things will happen if you don?t.?

Alice puts her hand on my shoulder, ?Don?t worry, Marisa. With Yukari?s powers, everything is under control? I think?? Oh, gee whiz. Thanks, Alice?

I really want to ask what Yukari did back when we were going to crash into that truck, but right now, I?m worried about other things? like getting arrested?

Despite what I told Yukari, we?re not slowing down and stopping for the police. Instead, we keep going faster. We?re about 20-30MPH over the limit, and dodging around all the other cars, which go by fast. Alice and I duck down because the wind is starting to get too strong. After about three minutes of this, two more police cars joined the pursuit. Yukari is unfazed, despite the constant reminders from the cops? loudspeakers to ?pull over.? After a while, I guess they decided to say the hell with it, and moved on to, ?YOU?RE UNDER ARREST!?

I slump down. Oh god, I can?t believe this is my life?

Finally, Yukari swerves off to the next exit, the road winding down, and the centrifugal force reminding me all too well of that. We enter the downtown area, and Yukari slows down a little, but still nowhere within reason. The roads are now narrower and the area is more densely filled with cars, so our situation just turned worse. All the while, the police, now up to about seven cars, are after us, sirens blaring. Once again, Yukari uses that weird ?hole? thing to go ?through? vehicles that she can?t avoid. Suddenly, I feel a lot better about the situation. We reach a major traffic backup, due to an accident ahead. Yukari simply opens a ?hole? and completely bypasses it, losing the cops in the process. Well, I?m sure we just made a whole bunch of days for people... At least I?m pretty sure no one saw my face, though I?m sure mom will have some questions?

We turn into a side road, and approach the apartment complex where Cirno and Sakuya live. In the road ahead, with no cars, other than ours, Sakuya is standing as we blast forward at an unbelievable speed.

?Slow down!? I yell, ?Sakuya?s ahead!?

Yukari, still unfazed, says, ?She?ll be fine. Relax, Marisa.?

Sakuya runs toward us, and? she?s moving almost as fast as the car. It?s difficult to follow her movement, but I do somehow. She arcs around to my side of the car, jumps up, over me, twists in midair so she?s facing the same direction as all of us, and lands in the middle back passenger seat, between Alice and me.

?Good morning,? greets Sakuya calmly.

?Heeey~? yells Cirno.

?Holy shit, you?re fast,? I compliment.

Sakuya shakes her head in objection, ?No. It was because you were slow. I was as fast as I normally am??

?Eh??

?Well, in your eyes, I?m sure the contrary applies? Whew?? Sakuya lets out a fatigued sigh, sweating a little.

?Are you feeling okay?? asks Alice.

?I?m fine. It?s just that the technique I used is excruciatingly tiring, just like any time manipulation technique I use without a spellcard??

??Time manipulation???

?Hm? Alice and Cirno didn?t tell you??

?No,? respond Alice and Cirno at the same time.

Yukari slams on the brakes, bringing us to a violent and noisy stop, ?Well, THAT was fun! Don?t you think??

Since I?m in the back, I can?t tell how Cirno responded, Alice just sits there, as does Sakuya, and I nod slowly. No joke. It was just like that battle with Yumei/Remilia: once you get over that feeling of dread and impending death, there really is an element of excitement to be found in the aftermath.

There is a long moment of silence between us. Echoing in the distance, there are police sirens. I don?t know how many there are going in unison, but it?s probably more than fifteen? Out in force and they are getting closer, not that I?m surprised, with the shit Yukari pulled?

Yukari sighs, ?More of those annoying sirens. Honestly, can?t the authorities of this world announce their presence in a more subtle manner? Well, we mustn?t stay here; otherwise there could be some problems??

There is a slight vibration from under the car. I look over the edge and see another one of those 2D ?holes? open below the car. Within seconds, it becomes wide enough and we drop in, ?Ahh!?


? ? ? The drop was a lot shorter than I thought it was going to be, but more importantly, where the hell are we? We?re at the foot of a grassy hill with stone stairs, lined at the sides with trees with pink petals raining from them, leading up to a Japanese style palace. My guess would be that this was Japan, except there are a bunch of white wisps flying around. Looking out, there are miles of field with more of those pink trees spread all around, the petals carried all over the place by a gentle breeze. It?s really quite a beautiful place?

?Where is this?? I ask, ?Is this? Japan??

Yukari answers, ?You?re close? but no. Where we are is Hakugyokurou, the garden of the Netherworld.?

??Netherworld???

?The land of the dead,? interprets Alice flatly.

My heart sinks, ?The land of the dead? Why are we here? Don?t tell me we were actually found by the police and went down in a shower of gunfire, and I just imagined we fell into a hole to come here??

Sakuya smiles in amusement, ?Interesting imagination, but no. We are perfectly alive, yet we are here. This place used to be connected to Gensokyo.?

?Really??

We step out of the car. A group of wisps come down and gather to form a figure: a girl with ruby-red eyes and semi-long pink hair, wearing traditional blue Japanese clothing and a strange-looking hat with a red swirl on it. She bows at me respectfully, which really doesn?t make me feel good. It makes me feel like I?ve been put on a pedestal I shouldn?t be on, ?It?s been a long time, Marisa.?

?Um? Yeah. So like, who are you, exactly??

The girl awkwardly smiles, ?I guess it really is true. You don?t remember me? or anyone. You are Marisa, but at the same time, you?re a completely different person, aren?t you??

?Something like that? When I meet Reimu, maybe I?ll remember you too??

?I hope so. However, I will reintroduce myself. I am Yuyuko Saigyouji, ghost princess of the Netherworld.?

?Ghost??? I try to touch her arm. Much to my surprise, she?s as solid as anyone.

However, Yuyuko didn?t even look at me funny when I touched her. She just tells me, ?Real ghosts are very different than your image of them, Marisa.? What the hell? She totally has me figured out. She doesn?t LOOK smart, but? Well, pardoning the clich?, you can?t judge a book by its cover. Still, I can?t say I?m scared. For a ghost, she seems human enough?

Yuyuko looks over my shoulder at Yukari, ?You said you?d bring me back a present from Marisa and Reimu?s world. What is it??

Yukari taps the car?s hood, ?This. It?s something people use to get around.?

Yuyuko?s face lights up, ?Really? Something that beautiful? Do they get used a lot??

Yukari nods, ?They do. In any significantly populated area, you are sure to see these things a lot.?

?Wow! It must be a gorgeous place! These things all over the place? I wonder what everything else looks like??

I take back the good things I said about her intellect, ?She?s just sugar-coating it. It?s not that great.?

?Oh??

Yukari says, ?Well, we need to be on our way. See you later, Yuyuko.?

?See you?? I turn to leave.

?Wait,? Yuyuko calls out.

?What??

Yuyuko?s face turns completely solemn, ?I?m sure you?ll remember soon, and that would be the more opportune time to tell you this, but I?ve wanted to say it for a long time now, so here it goes? I?m sorry??

?What??

?Back when Gensokyo was ending as a result of Reimu?s awakening, you wanted to do anything it took to stop it; to preserve Gensokyo.?

?I? did??

?You didn?t have any knowledge of you as you are now? as Marisa Starr. In the dream, the only identity you were aware of? or rather, could comprehend, was that of Marisa Kirisame. I? took Reimu?s side and tried to stop you, buying her time to recover. Ultimately, Reimu awakened, and so did you, in part because of me. I was part of the reason Gensokyo disappeared, so that?s what I apologize for.?

??? I turn away from Yuyuko and walk away, ?I have no memory of that, so I have no choice but to forgive you. There was once a time when I couldn?t comprehend being Marisa Starr? Well, now I can?t comprehend being Marisa Kirisame. If the right Marisa comes back to you somehow, give her that apology, not me.?

?Marisa??

I walk back over to Alice, Cirno, Sakuya, and Yukari, who opens another ?hole,? ?Are we set? Beyond this gap awaits Japan!?

Alice says after a short pause, ?Well, that was an? interesting distraction, but it looks like we?re on our way now!?

Cirno says cheerfully, ?I get to see Reimu and the others again!?

?Let?s go,? I say, ?Time to resolve this, free your friends, and get Gensokyo back for you!?

With that, we enter the gap.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #28 on: April 25, 2009, 02:48:48 PM »
In Japan, Saturday morning rolls in. For both Reimu and Youmu, there are no classes for either of them on this day. However, for Reimu, there are more important things than education that await her.

Youmu rises out of bed and gets dressed into her mid-length skirt and green sweater. However, Reimu is less that diligent in that regard and continues to sleep.

Youmu nudges Reimu?s shoulder, ?Wake up.?

?Gghhh? Go away, Youmu??

?But today is the day you meet Marisa. She should be in this city right now??

?She?ll still be there later. Lemmie sleep??

?Kaguya and Mokou are waiting!?

?And they can wait a couple more hours??

?C?mon, Reimu! Rise and shine!?

?Zzzz??

Youmu turns away from Reimu?s bed, ?Oh? kay? We?ll be waiting in the park. Be there later, okay??

?Mm? Zzzz??

?Sigh? I?ll take it you heard me. Don?t forget, alright?? Youmu leaves the dorm room.

Reimu drifts off into another dream?

?

?LAST WORD!? White wings sprout out of Reimu?s back and black wings sprout from the faceless Marisa?s. They take to the sky. Their gohei and broom clash repeatedly before breaking. Afterward, they exchange blasts of energy.

Finally, Reimu yells, ?This is it, Marisa! Time to end this battle? and this dream! FANTASY HEAVEN!? Many orbs of holy energy appear around Reimu, which bombard Marisa? leaving her hurt, ?Can you perform your move? after that??

Reimu can?t see Marisa?s face, but her voice indicates that she?s under pressure, ?Of course? I can! APLOCALYPSE SPARK!?

?Wh??? Reimu is surrounded by large magic circles, which bombard her with many large magical lasers, followed by a coup de grace beam from Marisa herself. After that, the world around them begins to fade and the injuries they both had taken disappear. Despite the intensity, no enmity is remaining between them.

Smiling cheerfully, Reimu says, ?That was really fun, Marisa! I guess in the end, one of us couldn?t surpass the other.?

Marisa chuckles, ?That?s the way it should be. I?m sure neither of us wanted a defeat that would last forever.?

?You have a point? So this is it, huh, Marisa? The end of the dream??

?It?s no dream. Gensokyo was an actual dimension. Some that were born of imagination became reality. In the end, it?s not just another fleeting fantasy.?

?True. So? will we meet again??

?

Reimu wakes up from a brief vision, her sense of curiosity and urgency returning, ?... Ugh... Maybe I should get to the bottom of this after all..."

==

Well, this had been an interesting development. We entered Japan? only to find out that it was the dead of night on this side of the world, and we shouldn?t do anything until Reimu is awake, so Yukari warped us back to Sakuya and Cirno?s apartment, where I got some extra sleep. Finally, night falls in the US, which means morning in Japan, so we were taken back. Alice was right. That whole car trip was just a meaningless waste of time. At least it made for a believable image to my mom that I?m going out camping. She is probably thinking I?m sitting around a campfire and roasting marshmallows right now.

I had just been sitting in a park the whole time, on a bench, at the foot of another one of those pink petal trees, like the ones in the Netherworld, with Alice and Sakuya, watching a stone walkway in front of us. Yukari and Cirno went off to do their own thing. Honestly, I?m nervous about going out and about. I knew what to expect, but when it?s time to actually face it, DAMN! Anyone walking by in the park notices that I?m different in appearance, not to mention that I can?t speak Japanese, so I typically get an unusual gaze. Not that I blame them. Whenever I see someone of a different race walk by in the states, I tend to look at them, so it?s the reverse situation here. Luckily, Alice and Sakuya look out of the norm as well, so I can share the being-put-on-the-spot-ness. I was told that Reimu was going to come to this park later, which is why we are just sitting idle.

To make the time go by, I decide to make a little small-talk, ?Hey, Sakuya? What was that thing you did back there? The thing where you were moving really fast??

Sakuya answers, ?As I said, Time Manipulation. I have a? degree of control over the flow of time.?

I?m sure it sounds normal to my ?other self,? but right now, ?That?s really cool! I mean, really! You?re totally awesome, Sakuya!?

Sakuya blushes to my comment, ?Um? Much thanks. I?ve never received a compliment like that before??

Alice strikes me a jealous gaze, ?What did you think of my Doll Manipulation??

?Oh? um? That was really great too??

?Agh??

Dammit, she?s getting angry. I decide to elaborate a little, ?It was a real surprise when I saw it, I mean. They just appeared out of nowhere and could do all kinds of things, like shoot? er? energy? show up with candles? that kind of thing. There?s a lot you can do with that power, right? How many do you have? Dolls, I mean??

Alice looks content from my feedback. Phew. ?I have hundreds of dolls of varying designs and operations existing in my space??

I raise an eyebrow, ?Your ?space???

Sakuya answers, ?Each of us have a certain? magic where we can store objects in a? ?personal subspace,? if you will. We can summon those objects at any time with a miniscule amount of stamina and they appear near us. That is where my knives come from, as well as Alice?s dolls.?

?I see?? Well, that explains that weird materialization concept, though I still don?t quite get it.

Alice continues, ?I can only summon five dolls at max without a spellcard. With a spellcard, I can summon an entire squad... more with a greater deal of energy.?

?I see??

Sakuya says, ?It?s a similar case with my Time Manipulation, ?Without a spellcard, I can only freeze time for about three seconds tops, or slow it for seven. However, it puts a great deal of strain on me either way, so I can?t abuse that power??

?And with a spellcard??

?I can extend the limit and it doesn?t have quite as much of an effect, though it is still more taxing than summoning a storm of knives??

?I see. Haha! I?d think you were invincible with a power like that, but Remilia did seem to be a challenge for you, so I didn?t know what was up with that. That explains it??

?Mistress??

?Hm??

Suddenly, another out-of-the-ordinary-like-us girl walks by in front of us. She has short yellow hair, golden eyes, wears a black dress, and a little on the diminutive side, though she?s not quite a midget. She looks at us, smiles, and then continues walking.

?Who was that?? I ask, ?Strange girl??

Alice stares in her direction, ?Was that???

?What?s up??

Alice rises from the bench, ?I?ll be right back?? She walks away in the direction that weird girl went.

?Do you know what that was just about?? I ask Sakuya.

Sakuya seems perplexed as well, ?I don?t know. That?s the first I?ve seen of that girl??

I slouch back a little, ?Well, whatever. By the way, when I mentioned Remilia, you said mistress. Also she? I mean Yumei, asked you before if you would attack your own mistress. I heard that you used to be a maid. Does that mean???

?Yes, it?s what you think,? answers Sakuya, ?Remilia Scarlet was my mistress back in Gensokyo and I was her loyal servant.?

?I see. It?s a little hard for me to believe right now, but I have no memory of that time, and the only time since was seeing the two of you fighting.?

?I suppose from your point of view, that would most certainly be the case.?

I mention, ?I saw some? visions during that battle. You were in a lot of them and dressed like a maid. I always though you?d made the cut with you cooking and cleaning skills, so that was one case where I was not surprised.?

?Really? I thought I was passing as a normal person fairly well.?

?You may be a lot of things, Sakuya, but I wouldn?t say ?normal? counts among them.?

We both laugh. For a while, I only thought of her as Cirno?s mom, but now we?re sitting around and talking like best friends.

After I finish giggling, I mention what just crossed my mind, ?Sakuya? you?re? not Cirno?s mother, right??

Sakuya asks, ?Was it that apparent??

?As a matter of fact, yes. What are you? Twenty-something? I?d say, based on appearance, that Cirno is twelve, which means, if you WERE her mom, you?d have to be eight or something when you had her. Of course, that?s bullshit if you ask me.?

Sakuya bends forward, resting her arms on her legs, ?I suppose we didn?t make a good cover story for that. Oh well, it?s beside the point now??

?How old are you, exactly??

?I don?t know.?

?What??

?A long time ago, I was given an elixir which gave me eternal life. I haven?t aged or anything.?

I pause and ask, ?Something like that elixir Kaguya drank??

?Yes. Exactly.?

?Yumei told me some things in a dream last night.?

Sakuya glances at me, ?Yumei? What did she have to say??

?She said that she would help us regain Gensokyo. She says she?s trapped there because Kaguya and another girl are, so I guess that?s how she?ll repay us.?

?I see? Do you trust her, Marisa??

?Well, Yumei comes off as irritable and rough around the edges, but she seems okay.?

?I hope so.?

==

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #29 on: April 25, 2009, 02:50:06 PM »
Meanwhile, behind a large tree in the park, out of everyone?s sight, Alice catches up with the mysterious blonde haired girl, who happily greets Alice by jumping up and roughly hugging her, ?Alice! I?m happy to see you again, sister!?

Alice forces the girl off her and says, ?I?m not your sister. At any rate, it?s been a long time, Yuki.?

Yuki pouts, ?It has! I heard a year ago, you visited Makai, but didn?t even pay me or my sisters a visit! That was mean!?

Alice?s eyes turn to the side, ?Sorry? I had some other things going on??

??? Yuki is not yet satisfied with Alice?s apology.

?I really am sorry. How are Mai and Yumeko doing??

?They?re fine. They are as unhappy as I am that you haven?t paid us a visit in five years! Sure, you?re not really one of Mother?s children, but we still consider you part of our sisterhood, so you should be like a sister every now and then, okay??

?I?ll keep that in mind. Well, what brings you all the way from Makai to the human world, Yuki? I doubt Shinki would go through the trouble of using her powers to open a boundary here, just so you can catch up with the good times.?

?That?s right?? Yuki stares at Alice solemnly, ?Alice, Mother wants you to return to Makai with me.?

?What? Why??

?Mother? she said that she has had a bad premonition and it involves you. She tends to foresee the misfortune of those she loves, and she?s usually been right. She wants you to live in Makai again and avoid that fate.?

?Just what happened? Did Shinki tell you??

?She just had a bad feeling and said it was about you. That something terrible would happen. That is all. She doesn?t want the premonition to become worse and then come true.?

Alice responds, ?I have things I want to take care of here. Tell me when things become more specific. Maybe she?s just having some kind of mood.?

Yuki sighs, ?Well, Mother told me not to force you if you said no, so I?ll leave you be? but we might have to get forceful if she keeps having those feelings.?

?Fair enough. Tell Shinki, Yumeko, and Mai I said ?hi,? okay??

?Will do. Here?s hoping you?re not making a mistake, Alice.? With that, a portal, not unlike one of Yukari?s, except pitch black in color, opens below Yuki and she drops in.

?Shinki??

==

Alice returns, saying, ?Sorry about that.?

?Who was that?? asks Sakuya.

?Just? someone,? answers Alice ?? It seems Reimu still hasn?t come yet. I wonder what?s keeping her??

?She decided to sleep in. We might be waiting a little while?? A new voice came from the walkway in front of us, belonging to a girl in a green hooded sweater, carrying a blue gym bag and a long object wrapped in blue cloth. She has blue eyes and short platinum hair, and is short, though not as short as that girl Alice went after. She smiles, ?Alice, Sakuya? and you, Marisa. It?s been a long time!?

I?ve seen her before in those visions I got during that battle, though she was dressed differently. Alice had told me about four friends I had the strongest bond with, that appeared in the visions. She isn?t Alice or Sakuya, of course, and she isn?t that Reimu chick (body doesn?t match up), so I recall the last name I was given, ?? ? Youmu? right??

The girl?s eyes widen, ?Marisa? You remembered me??

?Wh??? Alice and Sakuya also look surprised.

?No. Not really. I just made a lucky guess based on what I was told.?

?I see.?

I stand up from the bench, ?Well, hopefully, assuming all the stuff I?ve been told wasn?t bullshit, I will remember everything.?

Youmu lets out a small laugh, ?Haha! Well, you may be a different Marisa, but you still sound the same as always!?

?I?ll take your word of it.?

Alice sighs, ?Reimu?s sleeping in, huh? Looks like Marisa?s not the only one who hasn?t changed??

Youmu says, ?Well, we might be waiting awhile for my roommate. Have you eaten breakfast yet??

Still operating on the time on the other side of the world ?breakfast? here would mean ?dinner? there, but regardless, I haven?t eaten anything since breakfast one. Practically responding to Youmu?s question, my stomach growls, ?? ? Um? no??

Alice and Sakuya respond the same way.

Youmu nods in understanding, ?I see. Shall we head to the restaurant across the street? My treat.?

?Okay,? we respond.

We head to a shop across the street from the park. The place is mostly empty. We look up at the menu?s selection, but I sure as hell can?t read what it says, so I just tell Youmu to get me whatever the heck they?d think I?d like. After Alice, Sakuya, and Youmu order up their meals, and mine, in Japanese, we sit at a booth next to a large window looking out in the parks direction, just in case Reimu arrives while we?re eating. They got me a cup of noodles, which is just as well. Despite the amount of time since I last ate, I don?t really feel like food anyway.

I decide to ask everyone some questions, not that there is a point, since I?ll regain my memories before long anyway, but I figured I?d might as well make the most of my final moments of curiosity. After all, it won?t be so much fun anymore when there is nothing left to surprise me, ?How do all of you know Japanese??

Alice says, ?It might be more appropriate to ask how we know English. Japanese is our first language.?

?What??

Youmu says, ?In Gensokyo and close-by realms, Japanese is the norm. My mistress, Lady Yuyuko made me learn English a while ago, so that?s how I learned it.?

?Yuyuko is your mistress??

Youmu raises an eyebrow, ?You met her already??

Her perplex is understandable as I did go through the Netherworld to meet her, ?Yukari took us by? what was the name?? Hakugyokurou, on our way here, and that?s how I met her. So you?re her servant??

?I am,? says Youmu.

?I see.?

Sakuya mentions to me, ?You know, Marisa, in Gensokyo, as Kirisame, Japanese was your language too.?

?What??

?It?s true,? says Alice, ?Maybe you?ll recall Japanese as well as other things when you meet Reimu.?

?Er? Oooookay?? Before I let this topic get any weirder, I decide to change it, ?So? um? Youmu? Have you been watching over Reimu like Alice, Sakuya, and Cirno had been watching me??

Youmu slurps up some noodles of her own, ?Yes, I have. So have Reisen and Eirin.?

?Eirin? I heard that name somewhere??

Youmu says, ?She?s a servant of Kaguya, one of those girls you have to rescue.?

?Oh? yeah.?

We finish up breakfast and return to waiting in the park.

I bend down as I sit on the bench and stare at the ground as I try to organize all that had happened. Will simply seeing some girl?s face really cause me to recall my memories? Yumei said so, but I wonder?

We hear a new voice, ?Youmu?? Youmu??? The rest of her words are in Japanese, but it seems like whoever is talking is looking for Youmu.

Youmu responds to the words with some Japanese of her own.

From behind a small group of people a girl runs toward us. She has long black hair and brown eyes, and is wearing a red t-shirt and a white mid-length skirt. She looks at me, then Sakuya, and finally Alice, ?Who? are you??

Something snaps in my mind. I just understood this girl?s words! She?s speaking Japanese, but I understood her as if she were speaking English! I look at her face for a long time and she looks at mine, and another thing snaps! That blurred face becomes clearer! Reimu! And, with that, a chain reaction I can?t even describe happens. Many buried memories become uncovered! I clutch my head as everything comes back to me in waves. The same thing appears to be happening to Reimu.

Alice, Sakuya, and Youmu watch as we react strangely to one another. It also grabs the attention of a few passersby.

?

?Reimu, ze? How come you are always better, ze??

?

?Just you wait, ze! I?ll work hard and become better than you, ze!?

?

?Alice, ze? Do you want to be friends, ze??

?

?I won?t let you hurt her, ze! MASTER SPARK!?

?

?It?s over Scarlet!?

?

?I will destroy that thing along with the damned tree! FINAL SPARK!?

?

?Screw talent! I?ve worked hard and studied hard and I?m not going to be beaten by something that just ?came? to someone! RRRRAAAGGGHHHH!?

?

Reimu Hakurei, Hakurei Shrine, Alice Margatroid, Forest of Magic, Magic, Youkai, Spellcard, Kourindou, Rinnosuke Morichika, Sakuya Izayoi, Remilia Scarlet, Patchouli Knowledge, Hong Meiling, Flandre Scarlet, Scarlet Devil Mansion, Youmu Konpaku, Yuyuko Saigyouji, Yukari Yakumo, Boundary, Ran Yakumo, Chen, Netherworld, Hakugyokurou, Saigyou Ayakashi, Spring Essence, Lunasa Prismriver, Merlin Prismriver, Lyrica Prismriver, Suika Ibuki, Cirno, Rumia, Wriggle Nightbug, Mysita Lorelei, Kaguya Horaisan, Fujiwara no Mokou, Reisen Udongein Inaba, Eirin Yagokoro, Hourai Elixir, Immortality, Tei Inaba, Eientei, Keine Kamishirasawa, Imperishable Night, Human Village, Moon, Lunarian, Bamboo Forest, Suzuran, Medicine Mealancholy, Nameless Hill, Yuka Kazami, Komachi Onozuka, Sikieiki Yamaxanadu, Higan, Aya Shameimaru, Bunbunmaru Newspaper, Tengu Mountain,  Momizi Inubashiri, Youkai Mountain, Mountain of Faith, Kanako Yasaka, Suwako Moriya, Iku Nagae, Nitori Kawashiro, Sanae Kotiya, Tenshi Hinanai, God, Deity, the world is round, Faith, Dream, Mima, Thought?s End, Awakening, Shinki, Makai, Demon? ? ? GENSOKYO!

I want? excitement.

I want? friends.

?

Dozens of things rush by in my mind at a time. Everything begins to come together to the point where it?s like it happened yesterday. Finally, the countless memories establish themselves and my head clears. I look at Reimu, ?Reimu??

Reimu looks back at me, ?Marisa??

Finally, both of us announce at the same time, ?I REMEMBER!?

I recount events that had transpired in the life I had forgotten, ?When we first met, Reimu, our practice, our sparring matches, that time I protected you from a boar youkai, when I first went to live in the forest of magic, my speech I had as a little girl! I can recall everything!?

Reimu recalls our adventures, ?Remilia using her red mist to block the sun and revive the vampire race, Flandre escaping, Yukari?s revenge on Gensokyo, Suika?s parties, Kaguya?s mind controlling moon to battle the Lunarians, Mokou and Keine trying to erase the moon to prevent an invasion, Yuka covering Gensokyo with suzuran, Kanako looking for enough love and faith from everyone to become powerful enough to influence everyone into creating her utopia? I know all of it!?

Reimu says with a half-tearful smile, ?Marisa? I know I?m just starting to remember you, but? I missed you.?

?Reimu? Me too, strange as it feels?? It felt a little weird to talk just then. It?s like English and Japanese had just blended together. In fact, I had a little trouble figuring out what language I just used, but since Reimu seemed to understand what I said, I guess I just spoke Japanese, the language that I didn?t know a word of one minute ago.

Sakuya observes, ?They know each other?s name without an introduction, Marisa?s speaking our language now? I?d say they have their memories back, strange as it turned out??

The crowd that was watching our mild mind-attacks turns and walks away, some probably intending to inform the nearest mental institution that Reimu and I are on the loose. I turn to Alice, Sakuya, and Youmu, ?Could the three of you leave Reimu and me alone for a bit??

Reimu seems to agree, ?Yes, could you??

Youmu says, ?I?d say you have some things to catch up on. Sure.? Alice, Sakuya, and Youmu walk away.

Reimu and I walk through the park, side by side. It hasn?t even been five minutes since our reunion, and yet, we feel so familiar with one another. Yumei wasn?t kidding when she said my memories would return upon seeing Reimu?s face, because? well? they did. She was my childhood friend in my ?dream life,? but this the first time I?ve met her outside of it. I start the conversation with a typical starting line, ?It?s been a long time, Reimu??

?Yeah, it has??

?Honestly, if everyone hadn?t told me as much as they did about Gensokyo, I?d have been skeptical as to whether or not you actually existed? but here you are.?

?Heh? I felt the same way, Marisa. Still, I?ve seen memories of my Gensokyo days in my dreams. In a way, I?d never forgotten, although only now does it all make sense.?

?It?s better than me. I forgot completely! I had to see an out-of-this-world battle to come closer to grips with what was my other life. I was told that you?ve seen Kaguya and Mokou in your dreams.?

?Yeah. It was the strangest thing back when I didn?t know much. Now I know them completely... and of their predicament.?

?I?m sure Yukari told you that she could help get them out.?

?She did. It sounds pretty good too. They have been waiting a long time. I was told there is? someone else inside you head.?

?Yes. Someone named Yumei. But it?s a little strange. I?ve never seen her during my time in Gensokyo. She has straight rabbit ears, just like Reisen, so? maybe she?s a Lunarian, now that I can recall these kinds of things.?

Reimu?s eyes widen, ?A Lunarian? That?s? strange. Might she have something to do with the Lunarians planning to invade Gensokyo??

?I seriously doubt it. She?s as trapped in my mind as Kaguya and Mokou are in yours and she says freeing them would be freeing her. What?s more, she KNOWS a way of how we can recover Gensokyo!?

?Are you serious??

?She said so and she says she?d help when she?s out.?

Reimu says, ?A couple days ago, Yukari visited me and said that not even she knows what caused our dream to become a realm in itself. Perhaps this ?Yumei? has an idea??

I respond, ?She seems to know what she?s talking about, so I doubt her claims are bullshit. If we free her, we just might know for sure about the nature of Gensokyo as a separate realm.?

?Regaining Gensokyo? that would be nice?? whispers Reimu.

I stop walking, ?Reimu? something that?s now bothering me? if we get Gensokyo back, where would you live??

?Huh??

?Well, it?s either here or there, right? Well, you did seem rather eager to return to this side, so I guess I know your answer.?

?I don?t know.?

?What??

?My biggest desire when I was put into my coma was excitement. I wanted a life that was not redundant. Something with action? interest? not just to be another person who was being prepped for the real world. Gensokyo gave me that kind of life, so it seems more appealing? but I do have a family here, and I couldn?t leave them behind, so I don?t know??

?What about when the dream was ending? What the hell was that about, Reimu??

Reimu turns her head to the side, ?I?m not quite sure myself. I guess I was disillusioned to find out that the life I knew was just a fantasy, so I lashed out. At that point, my memories of this life were returning, and I found what was real to be far more interesting? You have to understand that I was curious of a life that existed beyond what I understood as Reimu Hakurei, so I just couldn?t appreciate a false life as I was? but things are different. Both this life and the other may become a reality? and Gensokyo appeals to me more. Marisa, what do you want??

Her question causes me to contemplate my own feelings regarding the matter. This choice could very well influence the rest of my life? whether my existence would be that of Marisa Starr? or Marisa Kirisame. As I am now, I?m both, ?Well, I?m not sure myself? Before Gensokyo, I had no friends. During my time there, I had you, Alice, Sakuya, and Youmu? and I don?t want to lose any of you. Youmu would return to the Netherworld when all this is over, and Sakuya would most likely return to Scarlet Devil Mansion? but you and Alice? Even so, I also have a family I?d miss??

??? This situation is hopeless. It?s an impossible decision to make.

I try to reassure Reimu, ?Well? it?s not like we?ll have to make our choice right away, even when Gensokyo is back, we?ll still have Yukari, right??

Reimu smiles, ?True enough.?

?Well, should we return to everyone? We shouldn?t keep Kaguya and Mokou? and Yumei? and Gensokyo waiting, right??

Reimu nods in agreement, ?Of course not. Let?s go!?