Author Topic: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)  (Read 22452 times)

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2009, 02:50:57 PM »
With a little help from Yukari and her transportation-be-damned boundary manipulation, we all met up on top of a skyscraper. The architecture of the busy city below, filled with cars and people on foot, indicates that we are still in Japan, but whether this is the same city we were in or not, I don?t know, nor is it relevant. Next to our building, there is a slightly taller skyscraper blocking the sun. By ?we all,? I?m referring to Alice, Reimu, who is standing by my side, Sakuya, Youmu, Yukari, Reisen, Eirin, Cirno, and yours truly.

?Well, we?re all here,? I say, ?So what?s next, Yukari? You said you needed both me and Reimu here to open that boundary where Kaguya and Mokou are??

?Yes,? answers Yukari, ?I do require the presence of both of you?? Reisen walks around, circling around to the backs of Reimu and me ?? however, one more condition is needed.?

?What is it?? asks Reimu.

?For this to work, both of you need to be more in tune with the dream world. In other words, I need both of you to be asleep.?

?Then why the hell are we here?? I ask, ?It?s hot and humid out, and the surface is rough and hard. You can?t expect us to fall asleep with these conditions!?

?There are certain other ways of inducing sleep in individuals,? informs Eirin.

?Like a tranquilizer gun?? asks Cirno.

?There is that,? answers Eirin, ?but there is also? ? DO IT, REISEN!?

?Okay!?

?Ack!? Suddenly, something connects with Reimu?s neck. She staggers for a few seconds, and then collapses.

Just as I try to comprehend what just happened, I feel an impact against the side of my neck as well, ?Ugh?? I don?t know what the hell just happened, but soon after, I begin to black o_

==

Reimu and Marisa fall to the ground, unconscious.

Eirin asks, ?Is that satisfactory, Yukari??

Yukari nods in agreement, ?Very.?

?What did you just do?? yells Youmu.

Reisen answers, ?Some martial arts technique I learned at the Imperial Lunarian Military Academy. Probably one of the few things I had paid attention to??

??? Youmu stares at Reisen. During the moon incident, Youmu had caught wind that Reisen knew something about Youmu?s long-lost father. However, Reisen had since evaded telling Youmu the truth and she had been waiting for the right moment to force the truth out of her.

Cirno looks at the unconscious Reimu and Marisa, ?Will they be okay??

?Yes, will they?? asks Sakuya.

Reisen shrugs, ?They should.?

???

Yukari claps her hands together, ?Well, now that that has been taken care of, it?s time to open the boundary.? Yukari extends her arm in the direction where Reimu and Marisa are laying, and between them, a blue portal opens, ?There. That should lead to a place where Reimu and Marisa?s consciousnesses are merged. Kaguya and Mokou should be just beyond that gap.?

?All we have to do is get them out?? asks Cirno.

?Yes. That is all. No special tricks here. Just find them beyond that gap, then bring them back with you.?

?In that case,? says Eirin, ?Shall just Reisen and I go? Kaguya is our princess after all, so I feel it is only proper for her servants to save her.?

Reisen adds, ?And Mokou? well, our relationship isn?t what I?d call? you know, friendly, but she is close to us too.?

?Go ahead,? says Alice, giving a ?shoo, shoo? gesture, ?I, for one, have no objections. You just have to get them out, after all.? Everyone else decides to honor Eirin?s request.

?Thank you,? says Eirin, ?Let us go, Reisen.?

?Okay,? responds Reisen.

Eirin and Reisen walk into the portal.

On the other end, they find themselves in a room, the size of a gymnasium, dimly lit by a light blue source of light above. Reisen looks up to see a sphere emitting the light. Inside it, there is a moon rabbit, like Reisen, with short red hair, wearing a black business suit, spectacles, and is almost six feet in height. Her eyes are closed and she appears to be in a state of suspended animation, ?A moon rabbit like me, short red hair? Eirin-sama! Could she be this ?Yumei? we?ve been hearing about??

Eirin also observes Yumei, ?She really is a moon rabbit, but why would a Lunarian?? Never mind. We?ll have our answers soon enough.?

?Do you think she?s trustworthy?? asks Reisen.

?I don?t know, but we were informed that she?s a prisoner while the princess and Mokou are here. Regardless of whether we can trust her or not, we still must rescue Kaguya. Whether she?s friend or foe is irrelevant.?

?Got it.? Reisen looks ahead. On the other end of the room, there are two figures barely illuminated by the light from Yumei?s sphere. Eirin and Reisen immediately recognize them.

?Princess Kaguya!?

?Mokou!?

??? Kaguya says something, however, something is strange. Her lips are moving, but there is nothing but dead silence.

??? Mokou tries to say something also, but she too doesn?t produce a voice.

?I?m sorry, Princess Kaguya, but I can?t hear you,? says Eirin.

??? Kaguya continues to speak with a serious expression on her face, but Eirin and Reisen still can?t hear anything.

?Weird,? says Reisen, ?I can?t hear anything either.?

?I wonder if they can hear us,? wonders Eirin.

?I?ll check?? Reisen looks at Mokou, ?Um? Hey, Mokou! You suck, you bitch!?

??? Mokou says something with an irritated expression and flips Reisen the bird.

?? I think she heard me.?

?Interesting method,? says Eirin, ?but it seems our question is answered. For some reason, they can hear us, but we can?t hear them.?

?I don?t get why this is happening,? says Reisen, ?but we can at least communicate with them one-way.?

?That should be good enough,? Eirin turns her attention to Kaguya, ?Princess, we?ve come to get you and Mokou out of Reimu?s subconscious. Please come with us.?

??? Kaguya shakes her head, and then speaks to no avail, ???

??? Mokou adds some mute words, with an unusually melancholy expression.

?What? They don?t want to escape with us??

Eirin tries to read Kaguya?s lips to the best of her ability, ??I?m? sorry? Ei? rin? We? must? re? main? here???

?They want to stay,? says Reisen, ?What will we do, Eirin-sama??

Eirin pauses for several seconds, and then says, ?Regardless of Princess Kaguya?s will, I am NOT going to let her remain in Reimu?s mind for eternity!? Eirin walks over to Kaguya and forcibly grabs her arm, ?Forgive me, Princess, but I can not let you stay here, even if it is on your orders! I care too much about you to_?

A blade of rainbow energy extends from around Kaguya?s hand, which she swings at Eirin, who lets go of Kaguya and jumps away, receiving a moderately deep wound on her flank, ?Ugh!?

?Eirin-sama!? Reisen looks at Kaguya, then Mokou, ?Damn it! They REALLY want to stay!?

A bow materializes in Eirin?s right hand, ?This changes nothing! I absolutely will NOT let Kaguya spend an eternity in this place! I will drag her out, even as a corpse! Get ready for battle, Reisen!?

?I see?? Reisen pulls her handgun from its holster, ?I?m sorry, Princess? Mokou?? She turns her weapon?s safety off.

Eirin pulls back the cord of her bow, and an arrow materializes, ready to be fired, ?Reisen, I will handle the Princess. Can you take care of Mokou??

Reisen looks at Mokou?s whose body ignites, ?I? I?ll try??

?You don?t try. You just do it.?

??? Kaguya, with a sad expression, points her sword at Eirin.

Eirin says, ?I don?t know what drives you to battle your own friend, but with all due respect, Princess, you don?t stand a chance of defeating me. Still, if you are so determined, you are perfectly welcome to try.?

??? Kaguya extends her other arm at Eirin and fires a dazzling beam of light.

?En garde, then!? Eirin jumps over the beam and, as the boundary has the magic that allows flight, hovers in midair and fires an arrow down at Kaguya, who steps back to avoid the attack, then jumps up after Eirin, attacking with her sword. The Lunarian doctor blocks with her bow, then quickly counterattacks, smacking the princess across the face, stunning her. ?Forgive me,? Eirin then kicks Kaguya to the floor and declares a spellcard, ?Esoterica!? Around Kaguya, who is hunched over on the ground, several magic circles surround her in a dome-like formation. Eirin pulls back the cord on her bow, but an arrow doesn?t appear, ?I have no desire to prolong this fight with you, Princess, so I will put a swift conclusion to this bout. Astronomical Entombing!? She releases the cord, and arrows emerge from the circles, poised to bombard Kaguya from all directions. Just as they hit, though, they all bounce off of the area around Kaguya, revealing a shining shield around her. Magic circles form on the barrier and fire off volleys of lasers, which Eirin attempts to dodge, but they become so constant, one finally hits and she is knocked to the ground. Eirin observes to herself, ?A spellcard? I couldn?t hear her declare it? If I can?t tell what spell is coming, I can?t tell the nature of her technique? That is an unexpectedly effective handicap for her??

At the same time, elsewhere in the room, Reisen battles Mokou.

Reisen dashes toward Mokou, her gun extended toward the immortal, and fires two shots, which Mokou dodges by rolling to the side, followed by slamming her open palm against the ground, sending a running blaze of fire raging across the floor in the moon rabbit?s direction. Reisen jumps over the attack and takes to the air, firing her gun again, which Mokou barely dodges by jumping up after her, the bullet grazing her pant leg, but not hitting any flesh. Reisen fires again, but Mokou swings her ignited left hand in front of her, deflecting the bullet, which ricochets off one of the chamber?s walls, and then delivers a flaming punch with her right arm, which sends Reisen flying back against the wall.

?Damn?? Reisen recovers, points her weapon at Mokou again, and unloads the entire ammo clip. Mokou spreads her arms and a pillar of fire rises around her, emitting heat so intense, the bullets completely melt and vaporize before hitting the immortal. Mokou then dashes toward Reisen with intense speed, leaving a trail of fire in her wake, and wearing a grin, which says, just as well as words, ?Who sucks now, bitch??

With Mokou approaching too fast for Reisen to reload, she draws a spellcard instead, declaring, ?Force Sign: Menacing Threshold!? Several small missiles, made up of psycho energy, form around Reisen and home in on Mokou, who stops dashing as the missiles appear, but the inertia to too much for her to dodge in time.

??!? The missiles slam into Mokou and burst, sending the immortal sailing through the air, but partway, she recovers and tosses a small fireball at Reisen, as she is about to reload.

?Tch!? Reisen dodges it, but Mokou presses her assault and sends more fireballs in Reisen?s direction. Reisen ejects her empty ammo clip, then returns the gun to its holster, ?It takes more energy, but I?ll have to do this the other way!? Reisen positions the fingers on both of her hands in the shape of guns, then fires several psycho-bullets to intercept the fireballs.

They tear through Mokou?s attack, leaving clouds of smoke left over, which clears quickly enough for the moon rabbit to see Mokou declaring a spellcard with her mute voice, ?...? A bird-like aura of fire surrounds Mokou as she moves on to the actual casting of her spell, ??? Mokou stretches her arm out toward Reisen and blue flames gather into her palm. Reisen had seen this technique several times when watching Mokou duel Kaguya, remembering its name as ?Honest Man?s Death.? Mokou fires a blue laser of concentrated fire at Reisen, who moves into a continuous sidestep, as the laser follows her.

Reisen, attempting a countermeasure, looks straight at Mokou and their eyes momentarily meet, at which point, Reisen?s eyes glow red and, in Mokou?s vision, several Reisens appear. Reisen backflips over the laser and takes to the air, attempting to blend in with the illusory Reisens. Her plan works as Mokou becomes confused and moves her laser haphazardly through the false Reisens, failing to hit the real one before she loses the energy to continue her spell. At that point, Reisen draws a spellcard. However, as she is the only one out of her copies doing that, Mokou immediately realizes she?s the real one, but it?s of no consequence on the moon rabbit?s part, ?Phantasmal Rabbit!? Reisen?s copies all glow with red psycho energy, extend their arms and fingers toward Mokou, and fire off salvos of psycho-bullets, which Mokou tries to dodge, but it is not long before she get bombarded. Even though they are copies, the spell allows them to use very real attacks.

??? Mokou uses her flame pillar defense again, though in this case, they minimize the effect of Reisen?s technique instead of completely defending against it. Although Reisen?s handgun is a deadlier weapon, her psycho energy is more effective at breaking through magical defenses. After a few seconds, Reisen?s attack ends, though the copies are still present, and Mokou?s pillar disappears, both the moon rabbit and immortal breathing faster than before from loss of stamina. However, Mokou is the first one to assert herself enough to use a spellcard, ??? Her phoenix aura appears again, which then flaps it wings, releasing a swarm of flames.

?Damn?? mutters Reisen, ?I can?t dodge that!? The flames engulf all the Reisens, including the real one, who loses focus over her technique, causing the images to vanish.

Meanwhile, Eirin and Kaguya?s battle continues. Though the princess managed to put up a better fight than Eirin predicted, the doctor still gained the upper hand. Eirin looks out of the corner of her eye at Reisen?s predicament, I hope Reisen can handle this. Maybe I let my personal feelings interfere with my better judgment. Still? I may have to intervene if it gets to that point?

As Reisen is knocked to the ground, brushing off embers, Mokou?s hands ignite and she advances on Reisen. Reisen looks into Mokou?s eyes, intending to use her copying technique again, but, wising up, Mokou covers her eyes with her left arm and extends her right toward Reisen?s face, releasing a blast of smoke, which stings the moon rabbit?s eyes, causing her to squeeze her eyelids shut in reflex. After a second, she squints her eyes open and sees Mokou releasing flames in her hand, which form into the shape of a sword. Mokou charges at Reisen who manages to get to her feet in time and dodge Mokou?s first slash, which leaves a trail of fire in its wake, and barely avoid all subsequent attacks, not given enough time to deliver a counterattack.

Between dodging attacks, Reisen yells out to Eirin, ?Um? Eirin-sama? I know you?re? having fun on your end? but the only mortal here? IS IN TROUBLE! Help!?

As Reisen calls out, Eirin, who has an arrow ready and aimed at Kaguya, turns and fires it at Mokou instead. However, the immortal is prepared to defend against Eirin?s attack. However, with Mokou distracted, Reisen release a small burst of psycho energy, which stuns Mokou long enough for the arrow to pierce her through the gut and knocking her to the ground.

However, as Eirin was distracted, Kaguya charged in and ran Eirin through with her sword, ?Ugh!?

?Eirin-sama!?

?I?m? not through, Princess?? Eirin wraps her right arm around Kaguya, so she won?t get away, and she drops her bow so an arrow materializes in her left hand, which she rams through Kaguya?s throat.

??? Kaguya?s eyes widen in pain as she dies.

?The rest? is up to you, Reisen?? With that, Eirin falls dead as well.

As Mokou is on the ground, writhing in pain, Reisen takes her handgun out of her holster again and a new ammo clip materializes in her hand, which she inserts into her weapon.

??? Mokou tries to get up, but Reisen forces her down with her foot.

?It?s over! Time to get out of here, Mokou!? With those words, Reisen fires a few shots down into Mokou?s head.

A soothing noise fills the room after the gunshots. Reisen looks up and sees Yumei disappear from inside the sphere, ?Yumei? Whatever. First I should worry about everyone else?? She looks at Kaguya?s body, and then Mokou?s, ?It?s time?? She kneels down, pulls Mokou?s body onto her back, draging her toward where Kaguya and Eirin?s bodies are, blood dripping from Mokou?s head into Reisen?s hair. The moon rabbit rolls her eyes, ?How bloody annoying,? rolling her eyes again at her bad attempt at humor. Having seen all three of them die and resurrect enough times, she know they will be okay. She grabs Eirin and Kaguya around their waists, and drags all three of them toward the portal, straining from everyone?s combined weight. Finally, she makes it out of the combined boundary of Reimu and Marisa?s subconscious.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2009, 02:51:50 PM »
==

I saw everything. As if I were a spirit or a deity, I watched the battle between Eirin and Reisen and Kaguya and Mokou. After Reisen dragged everyone into the portal, though, everything became black again. I really should be pissed off at Yukari, Eirin, and Reisen for pulling that cheap-ass stunt on Reimu and me, but they got everyone out of our heads, so I can?t complain. Besides, I have that embarrassing ?bloody annoying? line under my belt to use against Reisen, as I?m sure she thought she was alone when she said it. I guess all that?s left is to wake up.

No sooner do I think that, though, when Yumei appears before me again, ?Hello Marisa! Did you enjoy the show? I know I did!?

?The only one that needed to survive survived, so I guess I can?t whine much. But more importantly, why are you still here, Yumei? Kaguya and Mokou are out now.?

Yumei says sarcastically, ?What? You mean you don?t want to have one last private conversation with your good buddy, Yumei? Besides, I can leave whenever I want.?

??Buddy.? Riiiiight. You know, Yumei, before I was reunited with Reimu, I thought you were annoying, but okay, but now that I remember, I think you?re pretty damn shady. Can we trust you with reviving Gensokyo??

Yumei laughs, ?Hahahaha! I?m sure I?m shady and mysterious to a lot of you, and I know that Sakuya doesn?t like me, at least. You can think of me however you want, but I certainly will help with reviving Gensokyo when you and Reimu are awake. On that, you have my word.?

?Talk is cheap, you know.?

?Fine, how about we pinky swear on it? If I?m lying, I will eat a thousand needles, okay?? Yumei extends her pinky finger toward me.

I roll my eyes and walk toward Yumei, ?If you are willing to go this far to prove that you are not lying, Yumei, I guess I?ll try to believe you. It?s not like we have another hope anyway.? Our pinkies interlock.

Yumei begins to vanish, ?I will keep my promise, okay? Well then, I will see you on the other side. Sleep well until then, Marisa.?

???

==

Elsewhere, 238,403 miles away from Earth and across boundaries, there exists an advanced civilization that covers the entire surface of the moon. This civilization is known, and feared, by many of Earth?s different boundaries, as the Lunarian Empire, a superpower at constant war with one of Earth?s particular realms, and conquering other realms to increase its power, as on each full moon, Lunarian facilities can shift over boundaries. Gensokyo had been one of the Lunarians? targets, though they couldn?t get an invasion underway before Reimu and Marisa?s awakening.

Tsuki no Miyako, capital of the Lunarian Empire?

While the moon is covered with various high-tech facilities, in the capital, one building stands out. It is bigger and taller than any other structure on the moon, but its design is even more unique, as it is ancient by comparison. It is made of wood, and there are no mechanical devices within it. It is an ancient Japanese-style castle, the home of Empress Lunariya Houraisan, the Lunarian Empire?s absolute ruler, and Kaguya?s mother.

Inside the castle, in one of the rooms, where the walls are covered with wallscrolls displaying martial arts fundamentals, two figures kneel on cushions in meditation.

One of the figures is a man, appearing to be in his early forties, though he is really much older. He has long silver hair braided at the end and a two-month-old moustache, wearing a green cloak over a white robe, and has two long swords sheathed at both of his hips. Nearby, a ghostly wisp floats near him.

The other figure is a girl, 20 years old in appearance, though once again, looks deceive, with long purple hair tied into a ponytail extending down to the backs of her knees. She wears a white shirt under a red vest, and baggy white pants with red flame-like designs at the edges of the legs, and has a katana sheathed at her right hip.

A door to the room slides open. The man opens his blue eyes slightly, and then says calmly, ?Defend yourself, Meira.?

A figure enters the room and tosses a knife-like envelope opener at the girl, Meira, whose dark eyes burst open as she draws her sword and blocks the projectile with her weapon, then returns it to her sheathe.

The man stands up, ?Wonderful work, Meira! I?ve taught you well!?

Meira also rises to her feet, saying, ?Thank you, Master.?

The figure that tossed the knife comes into view, a girl with yellow eyes and short blonde hair, wearing a pink and blue maid outfit, ?Um? Did I do okay, Master??

?You did perfectly, Mugetu!? says the man with a cheery smile, ?Do that every time you come to clean this room and we are present!?

?I? I?ll try??

?Well, that concludes today?s training,? announces the man to Meira, ?Do you want to come with me for a student and master drink??

?I don?t drink,? states Meira flatly.

The man smiles awkwardly, ?Oh, yes of course. I must be getting on in my years, even with all those mass-produced hourai elixirs.? He turns to the maid, ?How about you, Mugetu? If you want, later I can buy dinner for just the two_?

?Stop flirting, Master. It?s embarrassing,? states Meira again.

The man shrugs, ?Can?t blame a man for trying??

??? Mugetu stands in place, blushing and speechless.

The man says to the maid, ?You can skip this room if you want. It?s not like Meira and I make a big mess of things, so you don?t have to clean it everyday.?

?Um? I understand. Thank you, Master.? With a bow, Mugetu leaves the room.

Despite the man?s unusual and carefree attitude, he is rumored by some in the empire to be even more powerful than the empress, though no one openly states it. Meira respects him greatly, though she occasionally gets humiliated by his tendencies.

The man says, ?You?re a good student, Meira.?

?I am honored, Master? responds Meira with a bow.

The man explains, ?I?ve only had two students. You are truly skilled and talented, though you have not yet surpassed my previous student.?

Meira?s face momentarily turns to that of dismay, but she quickly regains her composure, ?How exactly am I inferior, Master??

The man asks, ?Meira, who do you dedicate your skills to??

Meira unsheathes her sword and holds it in front of her, declaring, ?Master! I swear by my sword that on my honor, I will serve Empress Lunariya, the immortal empress, and her great Lunarian Empire with the skills you have entrusted to me. I shall fight on their behalf to my final breath, risking great loss and torment. Of this, I vow.?

The man smiles, ?Well spoken, Meira. That is the vow of a true warrior. You should be proud of such a quality.?

?I am honored, Master.?

The man turns to leave the room, ?However, it is for that very reason that you will not surpass my former student.? With that, he leaves the room.

??? Meira stands, frozen and dumbfounded.


Later, in a residential complex, not far from the castle, a girl with brown eyes and brown hair, tied into two braids, wearing a white dress, sits at a computer, rapidly typing in some notes for an assignment.

There is a sudden knock on the door. ?Come in!? yells the girl.

Meira enters the room, ?Hello, Rika.?

Rika responds, her eyes focused on her monitor, ?Hi, Meira.?

?How are you doing??

?We-well, I?m just about to finish my notes about Evil Eye Sigma?s specs. I-I haven?t been given any new scientific breakthrough notifications from Professor Yumemi, though, so once this is done, I?m? I?m looking at boredom??

?Then perhaps I can provide you with something you may find? entertaining.?

?Wh-what would that be, Meira??

?I understand that you are an accomplished hacker.?

?Wh-why yes, but why are you interested in that??

?Everyone who joins the empire without being born into it is given a thorough background check. Rika, I want you to hack into the Lunarian Empire Database and get me whatever background information you can on Master.?

?You? you mean Master Konpaku??

?Yes.?

?Wh-wh-why do y-you want me to do th-that, Meira??

?Calm down. You stutter too much.?

Rika takes a deep breath, ?You?ve always obeyed the law down to the letter. This isn?t like you at all.?

?There is something I must know.?

?Even so, Meira, I could get caught! The punishment for unlawful entry into private information is death for mortals and 500 years of imprisonment for immortals!?

Meira sighs, ?If you are afraid of getting caught, then use my access code. It?s JI0I7D3R44UVCR. Good luck.?

?But what if I get caught??

?Then don?t. If you do, I?ll save you a place in Hell, where we can have a long talk about your hacking abilities.?

?Meira??

?I have absolute confidence in your skills. My life is in your hands.?

?O-okay??

Meira walks out of the room, thinking, This is out of line for me, but I must prove myself to Master. On my honor, I will prove that I am superior to his old student by defeating him in combat!

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2009, 02:52:57 PM »
I don?t know how long I had been out since my last internal chat with Yumei, but whatever. I finally do wake up, ?Ugh?? I feel the pain in my neck, though it?s not that bad. I finally sit up to look at everyone, ?Hey??

?Ah, you?re up,? says Sakuya.

?Are you okay?? asks Alice.

?I?ll be fine,? I glare at Reisen, whose clothes and hair are still bloodstained, ?Thank you for that, Reisen.?

Reisen says, ?I? I only had to get you asleep somehow, and that was the fastest way! Anyway, I succeeded.? She points at the bodies of Kaguya, Mokou, and Eirin, laying side by side, ?We ran into some? complications, but we did it!?

I wanted to tell Reisen, that I saw everything, but I ultimately decide to keep it private. I cut to the more important issue, ?Yumei visited me again while I was out. She said she?ll come out when everyone is up.?

Yukari points toward the ground next to me, ?In that case, we still have to wait a little while.?

I look where Yukari is pointing. ?Zzzzzzz?? Next to me, Reimu is still asleep.

?Sigh? Same old Reimu??

We wait about a half-hour. Eirin, Kaguya, and Mokou still hadn?t regenerated yet.

I look out at the city below; illuminated by the golden glow of the sunset, thinking about that talk I had with Reimu. Gensokyo was a good life, and in terms of the things I wished for on this side, Gensokyo seems like the more appealing choice, but? can I really leave all this behind? I stare out for several minutes.

Alice, Sakuya, and Youmu walk over to me. Alice asks, ?Marisa? Are you okay? You?ve been standing there for a while.?

I explain, ?Yumei? she promised that she would help revive Gensokyo, but? Between here and there, I don?t know what to choose??

?Right,? says Youmu, ?You may have your memories as Marisa Kirisame, but you are also Marisa Starr??

Sakuya adds, ?To choose which home? What to gain and what to lose. It certainly is not a light decision??

I ask them, already knowing what some of their answers will be, ?You have a choice too. Do you want to go back to your old lives or continue living here??

Youmu says, ?Marisa, you know I can?t just abandon my duties to Yuyuko-sama. After all this is over, I?m returning to Hakugyokurou.?

?I thought so? What about you, Sakuya? Are you going to go back to Remilia??

Sakuya answers, ?Of course. Maybe you?re right that I have a choice, but I owe the mistress for giving me my new life? the ability to make those decisions. I?m sorry, Marisa, but I absolutely cannot live here forever.?

I feel bad. I don?t want to lose my friends, but I don?t want to abandon my life here, either, ?I know. And you, Alice? You don?t have a mistress to return to. You can keep living here, right? We can continue going to school together and everything! Even if I hate all the students there, it was great to just go there with you! How about it??

Understandably, Alice seems to be just as conflicted as me, ?I? don?t know, Marisa. You?re right, it was fun, I will admit, but I don?t know if I can leave Gensokyo behind for that??

?I see?? Alice?s response is just as straightforward as Reimu?s. Go figure.

I look back at everyone, wondering what they would choose. Sure, they aren?t within my close circle of friends, but with all we?ve been through, I do care about them. Cirno? well, I dunno. She might want to stay here, but she has her youkai attributes that she has to hide, and I wonder how long she can stand to keep that up. Yukari, while she can go anywhere, she?d live in Gensokyo, no question. She?s lived there too long to want to change. Kaguya and Mokou used to live in this realm, but with things as I know them, even I would recommend they return to Gensokyo. Eirin and Reisen would likely go along with Kaguya?s choice. Part of me longs for Gensokyo, and the other part doesn?t want things to change. Everyone needs Gensokyo back, and I agree, but I regret that it had to come to this. If my curiosity never got the better of me, I would still be going to school with Alice and Cirno, not worrying about any of this. I?m not looking forward to Yumei?s arrival?

?Ugh?? Finally, Reimu starts to wake up. Everyone turns to her.

?Did you have a good sleep?? asks Yukari.

?Yeah,? answers Reimu, ?I had a dream?? She looks over at Eirin, Kaguya, and Mokou ?? or maybe it wasn?t a dream?? Heh.

Reisen?s eyes widen slightly, ?You saw that??

?Yeah,? answers Reimu, ?I saw Kaguya and Mokou?s refusal to go with you, don?t worry, I didn?t hear them either, I saw you asking Eirin for help, and I remember that embarrassing attempt at a one-liner you tried to make after the battle.?

Reisen tilts her head back as she yells, ?NOOOO! You heard that?? Looks like Reimu decided to bring it out after all?

Cirno asks Reisen, ?What did you say??

??? Reisen just stands there blushing.

Luckily for our bunny-girl friend, however, Yukari changes the subject, ?I don?t know why they wouldn?t want to come back, but I?m hopeful that when they wake up, we will be able to communicate with them.?

?Why?? asks Reisen.

?Within that boundary, you were connected with the waking world and they were connected with the dream world. When you removed them, they became one with the waking world again. But??

Reisen raises an eyebrow, ?But???

?But? something must have interfered. You should have still been able to TALK at the very least??

??? I have my suspicions, but no solid ground to base them upon, so I decide to not share what could be untrue.

Reisen raises her ears, ?Strange??

Before this gets any weirder, I change the subject again, ?Well, Yumei said she?d be here when everyone is up, so I guess we just have to wait for the immortals to wake up now??

?Oh, there is no need for that, Marisa. This should be fine!? In the middle of the rooftop, Yumei appears, ?Hello there, every one!?

?Why hello!? Yukari greets, ?So are you that Yumei everyone has been talking about??

?The very same. It?s nice to meet you face to face at last, Yukari Yakumo!?

Alice says to Yumei rather coldly, not that I blame her, ?According to Marisa, you can bring back Gensokyo! What proof do you have that you can actually do something that sounds so ludicrous as bringing back an entire dimension??

Yumei says to Alice condescendingly, ?Are you still mad about that little skirmish we had. Get over it!?

??? Sakuya and Cirno stare at Yumei, not seeming to display a lot of open trust.

Reisen says to Yumei, ?I saw you in that place where we saved Kaguya and Mokou! You?re a moon rabbit, just like me. Why are you here? Just what do you have to do with Gensokyo??

?More than you think,? answers Yumei, ?I will answer your questions in due time.?

Youmu cuts straight to the chase, ?So what needs to be done to get Gensokyo back??

?First, I will tell you everything that needs to be known about that realm you know as Gensokyo??

We all stand and listen as Yumei explains.

?As you are aware, Gensokyo is a product of the dream of?? She gestures toward me, ?Marisa Starr, and?? She gestures toward Reimu, ?Reimu Kiribayashi. They fell into a deep sleep together and their minds crossed over? but how, you ask? It was because of me.?

?What?? says Reimu, ?How the hell could YOU be behind that??

?Oh, it gets better,? says Yumei with a smirk, ?I am also the reason Gensokyo became more than a dream. An entire alternate universe governed by the slumber of two teenage girls.?

?What?? yell a lot of us in unison.

Yumei continues, ?It was a? very interesting bit of human imagination. It was the home of many beings with interesting powers, not the least of which was you, Yukari Yakumo.?

?How?? asks Yukari.

?The dream had a history that dated back through the ages of so many other realms, and you were alive throughout a lot of it. You could freely enter other dimensions and interact with them. As a result, you, Yukari, and the dream that created you, affected history itself! That is how frickin? powerful a dream it was! In fact, it was the reason Kaguya found a happy ending to the ordeal that was her exile to this place.?

?What do you mean?? asks Reisen.

?At the end of the story of Kaguya, which lives on in this realm today as folklore, she was supposed to be taken back to the moon by Lunarian emissaries. She tried to escape with Eirin, but they were caught and Kaguya?s compassion and memories of human were erased. Now, thanks to Gensokyo?s existence, Yukari showed up and spirited them out of harm?s way, where they lived happily ever after in Gensokyo. That is one such example of how Gensokyo affected history. Pretty weird, no? I told you this before, Marisa, and now all of you know it. Most of you aren?t even native to Gensokyo! Think of how it affected your lives, for better or worse, and wonder what could have happened without it.?

Yumei brought up a powerful point. Sure, maybe the accident was an inevitable mishap throughout the course of my life, but afterward, I was reunited with the friends I had in that dream. If not for that, I would still be living without anyone to call a friend.?

?That most certainly is an interesting point,? says Sakuya, ?but you still haven?t answered any questions about how you are responsible for how it broke out of being a mere dream.?

Yumei explains, ?I?m sure most of you don?t have a lot of knowledge of this. You, Sakuya, experienced it, not that you remember, Reisen, I?m sure is aware of it?? She looks at Eirin?s body, ?And the doctor here most likely knows of it intimately??

?What are you talking about?? asks Cirno.

Yumei turns to Reisen, ?Reisen Udongein Inaba? you pointed me out as a Lunarian? Well, I most certainly am!?

?Of course?? says Reisen.

?Out of the Lunarians that have resided in Gensokyo, you have the most recent knowledge of the Lunarians? activities. Tell me what you know about the experiments performed on moon beings with exception powers.?

Reisen says, ?Well, a lot of Lunarians are born with some sort of special ability. I don?t know who runs it now, but if nothing had changed, it?s Professor Yumemi that ran the Lunarians? science division and ran experiments on beings she considered to be exceptional.?

?That?s right.?

?But? what does that have to do with Gensokyo??

?EVERYTHING!? Yumei roars.

?Ah!? We flinch at her outburst.

?I was born with such an ?exceptional? power: Embodiment of Dreams. It allowed me to take a physical form of dreams other people have, if I so will it. Just by looking at people, I could tell their most influential dreams and exploit them??

???

?Well, good ol? Professor Yumemi decided to take it to the next level. She wanted to know what would happen if my spirit was separated from my body, infused with an obscene amount of energy, and sent to Earth to merge with someone? anyone?s dream.?

?You?re talking about astral projection?? asks Alice, ?I?ve only read about such an idea??

?Well, the Lunarians can do it,? says Yumei, ?It?s a civilization with a perfect mix of science, magic, and technology, all of which are utilized in more ways than you can imagine. Anyway, under those conditions, I was sent to Earth. Unfortunately, astral projection is not without its flaws. A living spirit can only roam around for a total of three earth days before becoming a dead spirit, unable to return to the body, thus killing the subject. Well, the Lunarians didn?t exactly give two shits where they shot me down into in this realm, so I ended up in the ocean and I had to keep going until I made it to land. I found a lot of animals, but trust me; I have more pride than to merge with THOSE dreams. Finally, I entered a human city. At this point, I was at my two day and twenty-two hour mark and was fading fast. Unfortunately, no one was asleep yet. I was in deep shit. However, luck found me. I saw a teenage Japanese girl get knocked out by an out-of-control truck. At that moment, she slipped into dreamland? and I felt such immense energy from her. I knew I found what I was looking for, so I merged with that dream. As that was going on, I was within the boundary between consciousness and unconsciousness, where all beings? dreams gather. I found another dream in there, which was also quite interesting, so I merged that with me and the girl?s dream, then released the excess energy I was given, creating a whole new realm. The experiment was a success. Perhaps more successful than the prof thought it would be. That was the beginning of Gensokyo.?

?That girl was me!? yells Reimu.

?The other dream was mine?? I ask.

Alice gasps at a realization, ?Impossible? you can?t mean??

?Oh, I mean it,? says Yumei, ?I AM GENSOKYO!?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #33 on: April 25, 2009, 02:53:52 PM »
??? There is nothing but silence between us. It?s hard to believe, but equally difficult to dismiss as a lie. Gensokyo was the result of a Lunarian experiment? I never would have thought, and neither could anyone else for that matter. Even Yukari looks surprised.

Yumei continues, ?In a way, you could call me a third dreamer. Sure, Gensokyo itself and its denizens were products of your imaginations, Reimu and Marisa, but the magic? accelerated healing? flight? spellcards? All those things were of the Lunarians? from my memories. In a way, Gensokyo was like the moon?s civilization in its infancy.?

?I had a feeling there was some kind of distant relation between the moon and Gensokyo,? says Reisen, ?It was for those very reasons you described, Yumei. They were too similar to be a mere coincidence? But I never would have imagined that Gensokyo was the result of one of Professor Yumemi?s experiments. Gensokyo isn?t even acknowledged as such! When moon rabbits were dispatched to search the realms for Eirin-sama, they talked like it was just another realm!?

Yumei snickers, ?Hehehe! All that power and advancements, and yet, even the Lunarians are powerless against the influence of history. How ironic...?

?Regardless of how Gensokyo came into being,? says Yukari, ?it doesn?t matter. It?s my home? our home? no matter what the facts are.?

?Yukari is most certainly right,? says Sakuya, ?and that brings us back to the main topic at hand: what can we go about bringing back Gensokyo??

Yumei explains, ?Well, Gensokyo lives on within me?? she transforms into Suika Ibuki ?? that is the reason I can do this.? Okay, along with the transformation, her voice changed to Suika?s which I had only once heard in a sober tone? That?s just wrong. To prove her point further, she transforms into Yuka, then Suwako, Meiling, Chen, Hina, Sanae, and finally reverts to Yumei. ?The way Gensokyo came into being before was a result of an excess of energy my spirit was artificially infused with. Believe it or not, I still have some to spare.?

Alice asks, ?That excess energy? was that the reason you could use those spells without a spellcard? Theoretically, it is possible, but no one, not even a powerful youkai like Yukari, has enough energy to do it in rapid succession. That must be quite a bit of energy!?

??? Yukari looks like she wants to raise an objection, but she knows Alice is right about even her.

?It is, oh it is,? says Yumei, ?Perhaps I used a little too much, though. If I tried to create Gensokyo as a realm again, it would also require my life energy, and just like in the case of a Last Word spell, it would kill me.?

Cirno looks at Yumei dreamily, ?You would die to return Gensokyo to us? I will never forget you, Yumei!?

?Do you really think I?d be released, just to die?? asks Yumei, ?No, there are things I wish to live for. However, there is a method that won?t take my life?? She walks in Yukari?s direction.

?What would that be?? asks Reimu.

?You?ll see, but there are a couple things I need to? obtain first??

?What do you need to obtain?? I ask.

?Nothing I need your help with,? says Yumei, ?Only THIS!? It took me a few seconds to comprehend what happened next. When reality catches up with me, I look at Yukari impaled by Yumei?s spear! Yumei?s spear had materialized in her hand and she attacked the boundary youkai before she had a chance to react!

Yukari?s eyes are agape in pain and shock, ?Ugh!?

Both Yumei and Yukari start to glow with golden light. Finally, the light disappears and Yumei yanks her weapon out of Yukari?s middle torso, ?I?m so sorry it had to come to this. This could have been avoided Yukari, if you had just gone down with Gensokyo and became a part of me. Instead, I had to use my spear, the Dream Eater, to absorb your powers. You see, I need boundary manipulation to make this work.?

Everyone is surprised. Yumei turned so suddenly, no one could have expected it! With the knack for theatrics I?ve seen her use in my dreams, she had planned this since before she got out! Despite my hesitation, I?m the first to snap back and yell, ?What the hell, Yumei?? My heartbeat is increasing, my body is hot all over, and I feel my tears coming.

Yumei shakes her head in a calm manner, ?What are you so upset about? You wanted Gensokyo back, right? This is a necessary step!?

?I don?t give two bits of a shit about Gensokyo! I could have been happy still going to school with my friends! Even so, why did you have to do that to Yukari??

?You look like you care about Gensokyo, now you say you don?t? Well no matter how you feel about this, Marisa, I need Gensokyo. I don?t care who needs to be sacrificed. Besides, since when did you consider Yukari a friend??

At this point, my tears are flowing, though my rage is still dominant, ?That doesn?t matter, you bitch! After all Yukari and I have been through, I care!?

Yumei raises an eyebrow, ??Bitch?? Is that what you have to say to your good buddy, Yumei??

?Go to hell!? I run toward Yumei, my anger making me forget that he has a spear. She swings her weapon and the shaft connects with my head, knocking me down. Shit! Even though I?ve had a ton of battles as Kirisame, now having a body not so accustomed to pain makes my head ring.

?Damn you, Yumei!? Reisen draws her gun and fires several shots at the other moon rabbit, who deflects a couple bullets with her spear as she squats down and leaps up several feet, over 40 feet, actually, landing on the roof of an adjacent taller skyscraper.

?Yumei!? Youmu proceeds to chase Yumei, but lacking her long and athletic legs, the gardener can?t match the rabbit?s jumping ability, so instead she leaps over the edge of our building, and dashes up the side of Yumei?s, drawing her wooden practice sword along the way. She reaches Yumei?s roof and their weapons clash, ?That was a cheap trick! Where?s your honor, Yumei??

?Honor?? yells Yumei, in an outright pissed off tone I have never seen her use. Their weapons clash again. Unsurprisingly, Youmu?s weapon doesn?t hold together and breaks from the impact. She thrusts one of her long legs forward, kicking Youmu in the gut, stunning her.

?Ack!?

?Shut up about ?honor!? I really hate that word! It?s nothing but self-righteous posing that serves no productive purpose, other than to give yourself a nice big pat on the back!? She runs Youmu through the shoulder with her spear, lifts her, and slings her down to our roof. The gardener lands next to me, her blood splattering on impact.

?Ugh? dammit! If only I had my swords??

However, just as Yumei was done with Youmu, she gets caught off-guard by several knives that appear right in front of her. She guards her vitals as they sink in, ?Ugh!"

?I most certainly won?t let you get away with this!? yells Sakuya up to Yumei.

Both Youmu and Yukari are down and Reimu and I are helpless as we are now. Even if I recalled my memories as Marisa Kirisame, my body is still that of Marisa Starr, and Reimu?s is still Reimu Kiribayashi. Two ordinary human beings who are incapable of fighting this kind of battle. Reimu is checking on Yukari to see if she?s all right, so I kneel next to Youmu. Meanwhile, Alice, Sakuya, Reisen, and Cirno are busy fighting Yumei. ?Hey! Youmu! Stupid question, but? are you feeling okay??

Youmu responds, ?I?ll be fine, actually. She missed my vitals. Worry about Yukari??

?Okay?? I kneel next to Reimu, ?Yukari??

Yukari says, ?That was unexpected? I only wish I was the judge of character Yuyuko is?? She gets up, despite her horrible injury ?? This is a crippling wound, but I won?t let Yumei get away with such a tactic??

Meanwhile, despite the start of the battle, our side is winning, but Yumei is still holding her own. For some reason, she?s holding off on her transformations. At this point, the sun has completely set, so she has the green light to transform into a vampire, but she seems insistent on battling in her own form.

?War Sign: Dolls War!?

?Silver Sign: Perfect Maid!?

?Visionary Wave: Mind Blowing!?

With Alice, Sakuya, and Reisen lacking the ability to jump up after Yumei, nor dash up the building, they use spellcards that fill the air with armed dolls, knives, and psycho-bullets, all of which aimed at Yumei?s perch.

?Vision Sign: Falling Dreams!? Yumei declares a spellcard in response, and above her, slanted down toward my friends, several magic circles appear, which fire out several bolts of pink light, which manage to intercept some of their projectiles, but not all of them. She gets showered by all kinds of pain, and while she?s staggering back, Cirno used the previous exchange of attacks as a chance to fly up to Yumei?s roof and deliver an ice-coated punch. ?Gah! Bitch!? Yumei staggers back, but as Cirno attempts to press her attack, Yumei fights back with a roundhouse kick, which knocks the ice fairy from her perch, followed by a bolt of energy, repelling her further.

?Ow! That hurt!?

Back to Yukari, the boundary youkai gets back onto her feet, her left arm over her wound, ?I?m coming, Yumei??

?That?s suicide!? protests Reimu, ?You can?t fight like that!?

Yukari smirks, ?I can and I most certainly will, Reimu. Since when have I been the type to just be the helpless victim?? She had us on that one?

Before I could add in my two cents, Yukari opens a portal below her, falls in, and emerges on Yumei?s roof, right behind the traitorous bitch. Figures that after all the trouble everyone else had to get where Yumei is, it?s child?s play to Yukari. ?Hello, Yumei!?

?The hell?? Yumei looks over her shoulder at Yukari who smacks her with her parasol.

?Fufufu~?

?Ugh!? Yumei attempts to counterattack with her spear, but Yukari steps out of her range, points her parasol at the rabbit, and around her, five balls of energy form, and slam into Yumei, delivering enough impact to knock her from her high perch, and 40 feet down to our roof. She slams into the ground, the blood from her wounds splattering on impact, and coughing up blood soon after, ?Sh? shit?? She slowly gets up to her feet, her wounds still gushing blood, using her spear as a support. Her once fine clothes are now ripped and battered, and one of her glasses? lenses is cracked. Wow? even with a wound like that, Yukari can still put up a pretty good fight!

?It?s over, Yumei!? Reisen aims her gun at Yumei?s head, and Sakuya draws a knife.

?Hold on!? calls out Yukari. She falls into a portal and emerges in front of Yumei, ?Before we relieve you of your pain by dropping you from this skyscraper rooftop, I want to know? what you were trying to? do?? Not good! Yukari lost a ton of blood, thus draining her strength away.

?I? ugh? I told you? didn?t I, Yukari? I needed your powers? to make the new Gensokyo. Of course? everyone wasn?t very happy about me stabbing you? not a big surprise??

???

Yumei continues, ?Besides? do you really want to kill me? I?m your only chance of recovering Gensokyo? in any shape or form. I?m your only hope??

?Still sounds tempting?? says Yukari, ?Too? bad I?m? not particularly fond of? people who go and? attack me with spears? out of nowhere??

?Stop talking!? Reimu tells Yukari, ?You should save your strength.?

?Don?t worry,? says Yukari, ?I?m fine? Back to you, Yumei? perhaps we won?t kill you? but you will be our prisoner.?

?Sounds fair,? says Yumei.

?I certainly hope we?re not making a mistake by doing this,? says Sakuya, withdrawing her knife. Reisen puts away her handgun.

Suddenly, though, Yumei smirks, and her eyes glow golden, ?On second thought, though, I say to hell with your mercy!?

?What?? yells Alice.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #34 on: April 25, 2009, 02:55:03 PM »
Yumei?s spear vanishes and she transforms again. Who she transformed into? Huh? What? I?m seeing double! I?m looking at TWO Yukaris! Of course, I know by condition and location who our Yukari is and who Yumei is, but? how could she transform into someone who didn?t disappear with Gensokyo?

?Hahaha!? Yukari/Yumei disappears into a gap and emerges on the taller building again? She really loves that building?

?Just what the hell is going on?? I demand.

Yukari/Yumei says, ?Why, thank you, Yukari! Thanks to that lucky break you gave me, I was still alive to gain this new power!?

?What are you talking about?? asks Reimu.

Yukari/Yumei answers, ?My spear allows me to copy the form and power of any Gensokyo resident it pierces. Unfortunately, it take a little time for those effects to take place, and during that time, I can?t transform, and, as I?m sure a lot of you found out, as plain old little Yumei, I?m not very strong. Sure, I was given all that energy, but that only works for other forms and dream-related matters. You should have dumped me overboard when you had the chance, because now that I have acquired Yukari?s powers, my plan is complete! Nothing can stop me!?

?What are you trying to do?? I demand, ?Take over the world, or some shit??

Yukari/Yumei shakes her head, ?Not precisely. The world is only a stepping stone toward achieving my ultimate goal! BEHOLD!? Yumei transforms again into? something. She?s still Yukari, but? she?s something different also. She has Yukari?s face, body, and hairstyle, but Yumei?s attire and ears. Her hair is also a bright pink.

Cirno?s eyes widen, ?You?re Yukari, but you?re also Yumei? Why did you turn into that, Yukarumei??

The Yukari/Yumei mutant raises an eyebrow, and then laughs. Her voice is a unison of both Yumei?s and Yukari?s, ?I like it! It?s perfect! ?Yukarumei? will do fine! Now then, on to my next phase?? A gap opens up below Eirin?s body, and then another below Kaguya?s.

?Eirin-sama! Princess Kaguya!? yells Reisen, ?What are you doing??

?Yukarumei? says, ?I require Eirin for my goals, and Kaguya could come in handy too. Frankly, I suggest you worry about yourselves for my next trick! Now? I shall obliterate this realm?s boundary of dreams and reality!? Yukarumei spreads her arms dramatically, and there is a bright flash of light? Wait? I remember this! There are more flashes and I feel all the more nostalgic. From the city below, many people scream in unison.

?What?s going on?? asks Reimu.

Youmu looks at me, then Reimu, ?You? should look at yourselves??

?Huh?? I look at Reimu. She?s starting to fade into thin air. I then fearfully look at myself and the same thing is happening. I remember! The flashes! People fading away! This is what happened when Gensokyo started to disappear! Sure enough, everyone else not of this world, which is to say, everyone present here, except Reimu and me, are fine. ?Oh shit! This is what happened before, only? it?s happening to Reimu and me!?

Yukarumei smiles, ?This world is now on its way to becoming my dominion. Well, I?ll leave you to enjoy the events to follow. I bid you adieu.? With that, Yukarumei disappears into a gap.

?Damn you, Yumei! Get back here!? I yell.

Down below, and presumably all around the world, countless people are disappearing, just like Reimu and me.

?Dammit!? yells Reimu, ?It can?t end like this!?

?Yukari!? yells Alice, ?We have to save Marisa and Reimu! We?ve been in this situation! We know what to do!?

I turn to Yukari, ?Open a gap and send us to another realm where we will be unaffected by this!?

Yukari says, now slumped down to one knee, due to her weakened body, ?I can do something else, actually. Hold out your hands.? I don?t know what Yukari is talking about, but in about thirty or so seconds, Reimu and I won?t exist anymore, so we do what we are told. Yukari brings her hand close to ours?, closes her eyes, and I suddenly feel different, like I have been reborn! I feel powerful! I feel a rush of energy that I had forgotten, even after regaining my memories! Not only that, but our clothes are transforming too! Around my waist, an apron appears, and below that, a black skirt. My shirt turns black as well, with a white shirt underneath. A large black pointed hat appears on my head, and finally, a broom materializes in my hand! At the same time, Reimu transforms too! A red skirt appears around her waist, a sleeveless red shirt appears, two white detached sleeves appear around her arms, a red bow and a couple braids form in her hair, and finally, a long gohei appears in her hand.

I look at myself, ?I?m??

Reimu is also surprised, ?How did you???

Yukari explains, ?The border between dreams and reality doesn?t only exist for boundaries, but also individuals? I reversed yours and brought out your ?other selves.? I?m sure you?ve noticed something else too.? Well, I did. Reimu and I aren?t disappearing anymore.

Alice smiles, ?You?re back? Kirisame.?

?Yeah??

There are still more flashes and the screams of people below are becoming less and less frequent. It sucks we couldn?t do anything for them, but what could we have done? DAMMIT! Yumei! She?s gonna pay for this! All of a sudden, however, another reminder of the thought?s end comes along! The ground shakes violently!

?Ah-ah-ah-ah?? We all struggle to maintain our balance. No sooner than that, however, the taller adjacent skyscraper that Yumei loves so much starts to fall over in our direction! Luckily, our building is a lot sturdier and not falling, but we?re about to be crushed by the other! It hits the edge of our building and the top portion falls off, about to crush all of us like mom?s pancakes!

Sakuya quickly declares a spellcard, ?Time Sign!? She thrusts her hand up at the falling tower, ?Sakuya?s Special Stopwatch!? A field appears around the tower, and then suddenly, the whole thing turns to monochrome colors and freezes in midair, stopped in time while time everyplace else moves onward. ?If we?re going to do something, hurry!? says Sakuya with a strained voice, ?I can?t hold this for too long!?

I pull a spellcard from my pocket. I have as many as I did when I woke up, ?Leave this to me!? Well, it looks like my renewed powers will be put to the test, ?Magicannon!? I direct both of my arms toward the tower, ?FINAL MASTER SPARK!? I fire my massive laser up at the threatening object. My beam connects and it gets blasted into pieces, which disperse all over the place. I wobble a bit, fatigued by the immense amount of energy I just released.

?Looks like you haven?t gotten rusty,? says Reimu.

?I doubt you have.?

All around us, the city is falling apart. Buildings are collapsing and toppling over, streets are getting cracked and broken, cars are getting tossed all over the place like toys. It?s like watching a disaster movie. Even distant mountains are starting to fall apart!

?I see what Yumei was trying to accomplish?? says Yukari.

?What is it?? asks Cirno.

?She wanted my powers to break the border between dreams and reality, and establish Gensokyo, which she embodies??

Alice flinches, ?Wait! Does that mean???

?Yes,? answers Yukari, ?Yumei is turning THIS world INTO Gensokyo!?

I step back in reaction, ?No way! NO WAY! THIS is what she meant when she said she would ?revive? Gensokyo??

?Apparently.?

?Damn it!?

The ground continues to shake. Actually, I?m beginning to hear some of the foundations of our building begin to give way. Ocean water begins to rush in and flood the streets.

Yukari says, ?These are not earthquakes. This is a result of the shift. The land is reforming itself to match Gensokyo?s geography. I?m also beginning to feel the magic of Gensokyo flow in.?

Cirno sums it up, ?This is going to become Yumei?s Gensokyo??

?Yes.?

Reimu looks out at the ruining world, ?Damn! We have to find Yumei and stop her!?

?We also have to save Eirin-sama and the princess!? adds Reisen.

?What do you think she would possibly want with them?? asks Sakuya.

Reisen says, ?Princess Kaguya, I?m not so sure, but Eirin-sama? the Hourai Elixir! That HAS to be it!?

?Dammit!? I yell, ?We have to get a move on!?

?Hold it!? yells Yukari, ?This world is becoming too dangerous! If we stay here any longer, we will be killed! We should escape for now. We can come back and deal with Yumei another day!?

?But?? I can?t say anymore. I want to go out there, find Yumei, and kick her ass, but my rational side agrees with Yukari. With all the destruction, there?s no way we?ll survive before things settle down.

?Okay?? We all nod in agreement.

Yukari opens a gap, ?This will take us to Hakugyokurou! Get in!?

?Okay!?

Sakuya picks up Youmu and enters the portal; Cirno drags Mokou?s body in; Reisen and Alice also rush ahead. Reimu and I are about to enter, but we notice that Yukari isn?t following us.

?C?mon, Yukari!? I yell, ?Move your ass!?

Yukari is still on one knee, but she begins to wobble a little, ?I?m sorry. I?m afraid I?ve used too much energy. I can no longer move.?

?You idiot!? Reimu snaps, ?You weren?t alright at all! You were just putting on an act so we wouldn?t worry about you!? She sticks out her hand to Yukari, ?Hold my hand! We?ll get outta here together!?

?No we won?t,? says Yukari, ?There?s no time??

I look at the portal. Slowly, but surely, it?s shrinking. In only a matter of seconds, we won?t fit! ?Dammit! She?s right! We don?t have much time!?

?How can we get back?? explodes Reimu.

Yukari holds out her hand to Reimu, and a green ball appears. It looks like the one I got before, which took us to Makai, ?Take this. If you throw it against something, a gap will open, that will lead back here.?

Reimu takes the ball, but still insists on finding a way to save Yukari, ?If we hurry, we can?? More shaking. Now this building?s supports are snapping wildly. The place will break at any moment.

?Reimu, I don?t like it either, but we have no choice!? The portal is shrinking more and more.

Yukari imparts one last thing, ?Reimu and Marisa? Remember, even though Yumei has taken control of Gensokyo? it was still your dream. Never forget that??

Reimu observes the situation, and the harsh reality downs on her, ?Damn it? DAMN IT! I?m sorry, Yukari!? She runs ahead and dives into the portal.

?Yukari?? I dive in after Reimu. Our tears strained the ground behind us. It?s just like that time I thought I lost Sakuya, someone close to me putting herself in a hopeless situation, and me powerless to do anything? only? it?s actually happening? I will lose this person?

Damn Yumei! Not only have we lost our world and everything we hold dear upon it, but we also lost Yukari. I don?t know what Yumei?s big plan is, but she won?t live long enough to achieve it if I have anything to say about it!

Goodbye, Yukari?

==

The gap closes and Yukari finally drops from her knee and to the ground, ?Reimu? Marisa? Don?t die?? With that, Yukari falls lifelessly limp, and at the same time, the building collapses into the raging flood below.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #35 on: April 25, 2009, 02:56:15 PM »
Lunarian capital, Tsuki no Miyako?

The Imperial Lunarian Academy, a massive institute of many dome-shaped buildings, dedicated to passing on the near-limitless knowledge the Lunarians had gained over their many-millennia history and discoveries. Inside one of the domes, a class is being held. The students, almost seventy in number, sit in ring-shaped balconies that circle around the building?s higher ground, and listen to their professor at the ground level, a girl appearing to be an older teen, though she had lived for hundreds of years. She has dark red hair and red eyes, and wears a red dress over a white shirt. She is Yumemi Okazaki, one of the Lunarian?s top researchers, and also, little to her knowledge, was the one behind the experiment that resulted in the existence of Gensokyo. ?? and that is the result of mixing the sub atomic composition of mysterium with mithril. Next, class, I will tell you_?

?PROFESSOR!? A girl, fifteen years old in appearance, frantically rushes into the building. She has brown eyes and blonde hair tied into two small ponytails and wears a white sailor uniform.

Yumemi leers at the girl, expressing her discontent at having her class interrupted, ?Whatever you have to tell me, Chiyuri, can it wait another twenty minutes? I?m trying to teach a class!?

?But professor?? says the girl, Chiyuri, ?We just found out about something incredible!?

??Incredible,? hm? Do tell, and be quick about it!?

?Okay, well? um? how can I put this??

?Just tell me.?

?Um? you know about Earthly Realm #0756: Gensokyo and how it disappeared, right??

?Yes. Quite strange. Well, if that is what this is about, then you have my interest, Chiyuri. Tell me more.?

?Well, you see, just a few minutes ago, Earthly Realm #0578: Terra had stopped emitting its? um? ?energies,? and started giving off Gensokyo?s? er? ?signature.??

Yumemi finds the information very interesting, ?I see. Well, then, do show me??

?Okay!?

Yumemi addresses her class, ?Class, for the last twenty minutes, I want you to review chapters 14 through 24. There will be a quiz on them. Study hard.? She leaves the building with Chiyuri.

Minutes later, they arrive at an establishment dedicated to monitoring the status of Earth?s boundaries. It?s a dark building, only lit by the monitors of many computers. Yumemi looks at one of the monitors, and, as Chiyuri had claimed, the energy signature of our realm had been replaced by that of Gensokyo.

The professor is intrigued by the latest discovery, ?Most curious. This is quite a find, Chiyuri. This hadn?t happened in over 800 years!?

?What might have caused this?? asks Chiyuri.

Yumemi takes a few seconds to think, ?A shift in boundaries, but? where could Gensokyo have been during the period between its disappearance and reappearance? That is an answer I don?t know, but as a scientist, I simply cannot let these reasons go undiscovered. We will monitor this newly-established boundary. We might even go down to Earth if need be.?

Chiyuri shutters, ?You mean actually SET FOOT of Earth?s soil? How can you even consider doing something so? disgraceful??

Yumemi smirks at Chiyuri, ?Sometimes, scientific prowess requires sacrifices, don?t you think so, my dear assistant??

?Perhaps??

Yumemi glances at a monitor, showing the moon?s current phase: first quarter, ?Still, we have to wait for a little while??

==

Three days have passed since escaping to Hakugyokurou, and along with that, Yukari?s death. Since then, it has been the most depressing downward spiral of emotion I?ve ever experienced from everyone else. I, for one, say we go back, find Yumei, and avenge Yukari, along with our world, but it seems I?m one of the only ones moving forward. If it?s not Yukari, it?s something else.

Yuyuko, ever since hearing of what happened to Yukari, has holed herself up in her palace and not come out, Reimu is moping around for the same reason, Youmu is trying to figure out how to make Yuyuko happy, Reisen seems to be ready to go like, me, but she?s been in her own world, more and more, Mokou, now revived? well, who knows what she?s thinking, Sakuya seems to have stuff on her mind as well, Alice seems to be avoiding me for some reason,  and Cirno is just plain depressed. It seems we have some things to sort out before we go after Yumei?

==

Youmu leaves the palace, and into the gardens, after another attempt at trying to cheer up Yuyuko, which failed, ?Dammit? I?ve never seen Yuyuko-sama like this. I can protect her from any threat, but not her own emotions. Even with my swords and skill, I?m powerless to fight it??

She spends several hours aimlessly wandering the gardens of Hakugyokurou, eventually finding Reisen, ?Reisen??

Reisen glances at Youmu, ?Oh. Youmu. Hi.? She is still concerned about Eirin and Kaguya.

However, for that moment, Youmu recalls her unfinished business with Reisen. She unsheathes the Roukanken, which she had recently regained her possession of after returning to the Netherworld, ?Reisen, you won?t escape this time! You will tell me about my father!?

Reisen says, ?Give it up, Youmu! You won?t overcome my illusion before I make my escape. Besides, I don?t feel like dealing with you!?

Youmu says, ?Eirin and Kaguya, right? They?ll be fine. They are immortal, after all. You don?t need to worry about them as much as you have to worry about me!?

?Just leave me alone!? yells Reisen. Her eyes glow red and she looks into Youmu?s eyes. Youmu begins to see a large group of illusory Reisens. A couple Reisens run toward her. The gardener attempts to attack them with her sword, but the Roukanken just passes through them.

?You can?t beat this technique, no matter how many times you try!? taunts Reisen, ?Just leave me be!?

Youmu?s eyes narrow, ?Is that it? I?ve been waiting for you to do that, Reisen! I figured out a way to overcome it!?

?What??

Youmu runs toward the group of Reisens as her ghost-half radiates an intense light. Reisen reacts and covers her eyes in reflex, while her illusions are unaffected. Youmu, having found the real Reisen, positions her sword inches away from the Lunarian rabbit?s neck, ?I win, Reisen.?

?Not bad?? Reisen?s illusions vanish.

?Talk!? orders Youmu, ?Why have you been keeping this a secret from me? More importantly, where is my father now??

Reisen, instead of giving a straight answer, says, ?Can you move your sword? You?re making me uncomfortable.?

?Fine.? Youmu returns her blade to its sheathe.

Reisen explains, ?It?s not like I didn?t want to tell you, Youmu, it?s just? I was told not to.?

?By who??

?Who else? Master Konpaku, of course.?

??Master? Konpaku??

?Your father. Duh! Where I come from, he is referred to as ?Master.??

??Where you come from?? You can?t mean??

?It?s exactly what you think, Youmu. Your father is an honorary Lunarian.?

Youmu steps away from Reisen in disbelief, ?I? I can?t believe it? You?re lying!?

Reisen shrugs, ?It figures. Master Konpaku knew you couldn?t handle the truth, so that?s why he wanted me to keep it a secret.?

Youmu says, ?Okay, assuming you are telling the truth, what exactly is your relationship to my father??

Reisen pauses and answers ?? He?s my father too??

Youmu jumps away from Reisen, ?Wh-WHAT? You?re? my half-sister, then? That?s ridiculous!? Youmu thinks again, ?Or is it? He always has been a ladies? man??

?Whoa, whoa, whoa!? calls out Reisen, ?I didn?t mean it like he?s my actual father. It?s just that I?ve thought of him as the dad I?ve never had.?

?Huh??

Reisen leans against a cherry blossom tree and slumps down, ?We moon rabbits? compared to Lunarian humans, we have very few rights. Our ability to telepathically communicate, our vision in the dark? we are seen as naturally born scouts. As a result, we are given military training from a young age, and expected to serve the empire. I was no exception? and I had always been at the bottom of my class. No matter what I did, all my classmates had done better. As a result, I was an outcast. One day, I was kicked out of a self-defense class. That?s when I first met him. At this point, he had risen through the ranks, and had become the leader of the royal guard. I was intimidated by someone of such a rank, but he was very kind. He didn?t look down on me as an inferior moon rabbit. He treated me as an equal, and? in fact, he seemed particularly sympathetic toward us. He told me that one day, if he had anything to say about it, moon rabbits would have the rights of humans. We became close, like father and daughter, and he always encouraged me and took care of me. However, that fateful full moon night came when I, and hundreds of other rabbits, were dispatched across Earth?s boundaries to find Eirin-sama, and possibly Kaguya. I was worried, but he came to me with his final words of comfort: To not worry about anything, and use this chance to live as I want, not worrying about the Lunarians? rules. Needless to say, I was sent to Gensokyo, where I did find the targets, but never parted with the truth. I was living as the Master told me, and I couldn?t have been happier.?

Youmu responds, ?I see. Is that the last you saw of him??

Reisen shakes her head, ?No. I met Master Konpaku one last time. He found out where I was sent, found me, and appeared before me. He told me Gensokyo was connected to this realm? his old home, and that he had a daughter. He told me that if I ever met her, not to tell her anything about him.?

Youmu sits on the grass, ?I see. You were just honoring my father?s wishes??

?Yes??

?Well, I now know what became of him. That is all I need to know. There is just one last thing??

?What??

?Reisen, do you know why he joined the Lunarians? He just disappeared with some woman the last time I saw him, telling me that serving Yuyuko-sama was now my responsibility. He must have had a big reason for doing what he did.?

Reisen says, ?Perhaps that?s true, but not even I know. I?m sorry, Youmu.?

?I see?? Youmu rises to her feet.

?Now that you know, what are you gonna do?? asks Reisen.

Youmu answers, ?I?ll address that issue someday, but right now, I need to find a way to cheer up Yuyuko-sama, and I also want to help Reimu and the others get back at Yumei. I may not have been very friendly with Yukari, but I won?t let what happened to her go unanswered.?

Reisen also rises to her feet, ?I see. Well, there are some things I need to take care of too.? With that, she walks away.

==

I sit on the stairs leading up to the palace, wondering what the new Gensokyo is like. Something tells me it?s not going to be the bright and beautiful place it once was. As much as I hate Yumei right now, I guess I have to give her credit for delaying my decision, because right now, between Gensokyo and our world, I have neither to choose from, and I sure as hell can?t live here, surrounded by the dead.

?Oh! Hello, Marisa! It?s been a long time!? my thoughts are interrupted by a male voice. Walking up the stairs, with a friendly smile is Rinnosuke Morichika, or as I affectionately nickname him, Kourin, after his store, Kourindou.

?Huh? Kourin? Is that you? I thought you disappeared with Gensokyo!?

Kourin rubs the back of his head, ?I guess I would have if Yukari didn?t take some time to rescue me? and I just heard from Reimu that she unintentionally saved me again, when I requested she send me here just as a vacation from my house in the middle of nowhere. You?re all here because that ?Yumei? character destroyed your world, right??

?That?s right? and now, Yukari is dead.?

Crestfallen, Kourin turns his eyes away from me, ?Yes, I heard too. I can?t believe it? Yukari is the strongest youkai I know??

?She died saving all of us??

There is a long pause between us. Finally, Kourin says, ?Reimu is at a bench on a cliff, not far to the west of here, looking out at acres of sakura trees. She?s very depressed. Maybe you can cheer her up??

I rise to my feet, ?Maybe I will, Kourin.?

==

Elsewhere in the expansive gardens, Cirno wanders around, thinking of the past events. Ahead, she sees Mokou lying on her back at the base of a tree, grabbing a petal out of the air and incinerating it.

Cirno rushes over to Mokou, ?Hello!?

???

?What was your name again? Fuzzy-wora no Mocha??

Mokou glares at Cirno, ?It?s ?Fujiwara no Mokou.? So, who the hell are you??

Cirno gladly introduces herself, ?I am the great ice fairy, Cirno! Next to Alice, I am the strongest remaining youkai from Gensokyo!?

?Like I give a shit.?

?But you asked for my name!?

?Shut the hell up!?

?No, YOU shut up!?

Mokou smirks, ?Hmph. You?re pretty brave, considering I can reduce you to ashes with little trouble??

?Try it!? challenges Cirno.

?Nah. Don?t feel like it?? Mokou takes a breath, ?So, what did you want with me??

Cirno takes a few seconds to find the right words, ?Well? um? Aren?t you from the world Reimu and Marisa come from??

?That?s right,? says Mokou, ?What about it??

?You? know that it disappeared, right??

?Yeah,? says Mokou, her confrontational demeanor weakening, ?Alice told me.?

?Well, if that was your home, why did only Reimu and Marisa start to disappear? Only people that are born there disappear, right? But you didn?t fade at all!?

?Wh? what??

?You were just like us, not fading away, but if that was where you came from??

Mokou says, ?I don?t know. My earliest memory was being found and adopted by a nobleman. I knew I wasn?t his biological daughter, and that my ability to create flames wasn?t considered natural? but now I find out that I?m not even from within that boundary? Damn! Just what the hell am I?? Mokou focuses her gaze on the sky, ?Of course, ?Fujiwara no Mokou? isn?t my real name. It was just the name dad gave me??

?Mokou??

Mokou looks at Cirno?s sympathetic expression, ?Don?t give me that look, fairy girl. All that shit I just said, it doesn?t matter anyway. With all that?s happened, that?s the least of my worries.?

?Um? okay?? Cirno turns to walk away.

?Hey.?

?Um? yes??

Mokou gives Cirno a reassuring smile, ?Thanks for listening. You know, you?re not half bad, fairy girl.?

?Yay!? Cirno walks away, feeling better.

Mokou continues laying back, her mood improving since she had a rare chance to talk about herself to someone.

?? Kaguya??

Not long after Cirno left, Mokou receives another visitor, Reisen, ?Oh! Mokou! You?re back! Are you feeling better??

Sarcastically, Mokou answers, ?Oh yeah, I totally am! Especially after spending 14 months of hanging with Kaguya 24/7 and occasionally Reimu, and getting shot in the head by you. It was nice.?

Reisen says, ?Mokou? Why did you and Kaguya attack me and Eirin-sama. You realize you could have spent an eternity there rather than just 14 months??

?That?s just it,? says Mokou, ?we WOULDN?T have spent an eternity there.?

?What are you talking about?? asks Reisen.

?Okay?? Mokou explains, ?After princess and I fell into the void, we were we encountered by Yumei. She told us a whole bunch of crazy shit, like how she was going to erase that world I used to live in, and that if Reimu died while we were still there, we would be phased out of existence. Do you get it? REAL death! Not even immortality can stop that!?

?What the hell?? says Reisen, ?You want to die??

?Why not?? says Mokou, ?I?ve lived for hundreds of years, burdened with an unending desire to kill Kaguya, and having to live as an outsider. With all that, you start to get a little tired of living, yet you know you can?t. Anyway, even though that world was a part of our lives that princess and I left behind, we sure as hell wouldn?t let that psycho, Yumei erase it, along with the things that represent our dearest memories. You see, the presence of outsiders like me and princess in the remains of Reimu?s dream caused an interference that prevented Yumei from leaving. That?s the reason why she couldn?t leave while we were there. We would save the world and perish for good. It was all too good to be true. However, before Yumei was separated from us to join with Marisa, she did? something. It might have had something to do with the fact that we couldn?t clearly communicate with Reimu all those times we told her to not free us, or the reason you and your egghead doctor couldn?t hear us.?

?I see? So, Mokou? What are you going to do now? Kaguya was captured by Yumei.?

??? Mokou gives Reisen a ?why should I care?? look.

?A-anyway? I just thought you should know?? Reisen walks away.

???


Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #36 on: April 25, 2009, 02:57:05 PM »
==

Partway through the gardens, on my way to finding Reimu, I happen across Alice. Instinctively, I call out to my friend, ?Heeeey~ Alice!?

??? Alice glances at me, but suddenly turns her head away, ?Hmph!?

She starts to walk away. Seriously, what the hell is her problem? She started being pissed off at me again ever since we got here. Well, I found her, so why not get to the bottom of things while the chance presents itself? I chase after her, ?Hey! Alice! Stop! What?s the matter with you?? I catch up to her and grab her arm. She struggles to break free of my grip, but I hold on tightly. Finally, she stops and turns toward me. I let go of her. ?C?mon, Alice??

SLAP!

I feel a sudden impact across my face. Alice slapped me? again. This is the second time since all this crazy shit started that I got slapped by Alice. I knew I deserved the first one, but what the heck did I do this time?

?Wh-what the hell, Alice? What was that for??

Alice glares at me, ?So the truth comes out, Marisa??

?What are you talking about??

?About what you said to Yumei? About ?not giving a shit about Gensokyo???

?Erk!? Yeah, I said that didn?t I?

?Hmph. It must be very nice to just live in your own world and not care about the plight of anyone else.?

?What??

?Marisa, you said before that you would be happy just going to school with us and not worrying about Gensokyo? but the rest of us don?t want that! We want to go home!?

I can?t exactly say that Alice?s reasoning put me in a good, or even a humble mood, ?Yeah, go home and leave me behind! I can?t just say goodbye to my old life and join you! As great as Gensokyo sounds, I can?t just leave the people that raised me, even if my day-to-day life was putting up with those stupid elitist hussies!?

?Marisa??

?All I wanted when I got into that accident was friends? Thanks to Gensokyo, I made friends that followed me back to my normal life? and now you want to go back, and leave me alone? I don?t want to lose any of you, but I love my family and can?t stand the thought of just abandoning them. Don?t you get it, Alice? I can?t just pick a place to live out my life in! No matter which I choose, I will be miserable because of what I had left behind! To me, it?s better for there just to be one choice! Don?t you DARE treat me like I?m the bad guy here!?

?Marisa? I??

?I?ll admit, what I said back there was stupid and selfish, but don?t pretend to know me, because you don?t! What we all want is to be happy, but with the way things were, that?s impossible! Someone is gonna get hurt! Can you blame me if I?m someone who doesn?t wanna deal with that kinda pain??

Alice takes my point, ?I see. I?m sorry, Marisa. You?re right, I thought what you said was truly insensitive, but I never considered your side of the whole ordeal??

?Just as long as you know that??

???

I look toward the sky, ?Besides? None of that is an issue anymore. Now it?s Yumei?s Gensokyo, built on the ruins of my home and family. I will not let Yumei get away with that!?

Alice looks at me sympathetically, ?I will help you, Marisa.?

I start to walk away, ?You don?t have to. It?s not your fight.?

?What do you mean it?s not?? asks Alice, ?Yumei is using Gensokyo for her own ends, and I?m not going to let the land that I loved be used like that! Don?t think you?re alone here, Marisa!?

?Yeah? sorry, Alice. We?re in this together??

==

In a washroom inside the palace, Sakuya cuts her hair short again with a knife, braids the two longer strands extending from the sides of her face, and finally, changes back into her old maid outfit, which she left in Yuyuko?s care, muttering to herself, ?Vacation is over. Gensokyo has returned? just not in the way I?d have thought?? She thinks about what Yumei had said, ?Gensokyo? the mistress? Patchouli? Meiling? Flandre? They were all a result of a Lunarian experiment? And? I am a Lunarian?? Sakuya laughs for a few seconds, ?A Lunarian serving a product of a Lunarian experiment. How ironic! Still?? She walks toward the washroom door, ?I most certainly can?t let Yumei get away with Yukari?s death or using Gensokyo? and my mistress, as she pleases.?


Meanwhile, behind the palace, at the base of the Saigyou Ayakashi, Yuyuko looks blankly up at the tree, ?Yukari? Yuko??

Youmu approaches Yuyuko, not knowing how to react to her mistress?s unusual mood, ?Um? Yuyuko-sama? I prepared a five-course meal for you!?

Yuyuko blankly responds, ?Give it to someone else. I?m not hungry.?

Youmu says, ?I know that Yukari?s death was a hard thing for you, but you will see her again, right? This is the Netherworld, after all! This is where the dead go! Plus, she?ll be a ghost like you!?

Yuyuko says, ?I never told you this, Youmu, but this is not THE Netherworld, it?s A Netherworld.?

?What??

?There are as many Netherworlds as there are Yama, and unfortunately, the souls from the world you were in are not assigned to come here. Yukari is going to go to another Netherworld.?

?Oh??

?This? is an eternal parting??

?Yuyuko-sama??

?Youmu? Did Yukari say anything about me before???

Youmu answers, ?She said she wished she was the judge of character you are so she could know of Yumei?s true motives??

Despite finding out, however, Yuyuko feels even worse, ?I could have been there!? Tears rapidly emerge from her eyes, ?If I were there, Yukari wouldn?t have? If not for my position here, I could have?? Her gaze fixes on the Saigyou Ayakashi, ?I?m sorry, Yuko? I failed to take care of Yukari??

Youmu tries to find some comforting words for her mistress, ?Yuyuko-sama? um??

Staring at the ground, Yuyuko tells Youmu, ?Please? just leave me alone, Youmu. I want to be alone??

??? Youmu walks away, takes a brief glance back at her anguished mistress, and then keeps walking.

==

I finally find Reimu in the place Kourin told me she was, sitting on the edge of a cliff, looking over acres of a beautiful sea of pink petals and green grass. Of course, that sight is a paradox to the mood hanging over us all.

?Hey! Reimu!?

Reimu glances back at me, saying unenergetically, ?Oh. Hello, Marisa.?

I want to ask how she?s doing, but I already know the answer to that question, so I pick another topic, ?Well, that was pretty strange, huh? Having a dream, which was used in some alien experiment. Pretty unusual stuff, doncha think??

?Marisa?? says Reimu, ?Shut up! Don?t you get it? It was BECAUSE of our dream that our world had been destroyed!?

?Then what could have been done about it, Reimu? Avoid getting into that accident? We don?t know where and when shit like that happens. Hell, we could be dead five minutes from now! We had a dream, we had many adventures is Gensokyo, it happened. It was a good dream, but sooner or later, we had to wake up, and we did. We had some friends trapped in your head, so we had to get them out. What were we gonna do instead? Ignore them? We had the means to help them, and so we did. So it led to the destruction of our world. That sucks, but did we know it was gonna happen? No.?

?What?s your point, Marisa??

?It was inevitable, Reimu. It happened, and right now, you?re here, wondering what we could have done, lamenting something you had no control over.?

???

?Reimu, instead of thinking about how our dream may have been part of what destroyed the world, think of all the good things! If not for it, we never would have met, we learned things about the universe most people never would have learned, we made friends that even I would take a blast for if I had to, we went on exciting adventures, and this? could just be another one. We?ve always found a way to pull through, right? Let?s keep doing that.?

My little pep talk seems to have brightened Reimu?s mood a little, ?So, how do you think we can pull through this time??

I grin, ?Just join us for dinner, alright? I?ll talk about everything, then.?

==

Lunarian Imperial Palace, throne room?

The throne room is a large chamber, though, like the rest of the building, its floor, walls, and ceiling are all made of wood. Sitting on the throne is a woman who appears to be in her mid to late twenties, though in actuality, she is older than any other Lunarian alive. She has long flowing shiny black hair and dark red eyes, and wears a silver robe over several layers of regal clothing, and a silver tiara.

Another person enters the room. She has the appearance of a mid to older teen, has light-blue hair tied into a ponytail with a yellow ribbon, brown eyes, and wears a red dress and white blouse. She stops short or stairs leading up to the woman, and kneels respectfully, ?Mother, I have a report.?

The woman says, resting her head against her hand, ?Yorihime, how many times have I told you not to refer to me as ?mother? when you are conducting official business??

?But, mothe? Your Imperial Majesty Lunariya? We are alone.?

?Third Princess, Watatsuki no Yorihime? As a leader of the defense corps, you must set an example by composing yourself properly, no matter what the situation.?

?I understand.?

?Your report??

?Yes. We received word recently from the Science Division, specifically Professor Yumemi, that the Earthly Realm, Terra, had vanished, and was replaced by a realm that had mysteriously vanished over a year past.?

Lunariya looks at Yorihime with a stern expression, ?What does this have to do with the war with Earth??

Yorihime responds, ?Nothing, Your Majesty, but if knowledge serves, that was the realm where you exiled First Princess Kaguya. Of course, my sister and I weren?t adopted by you yet, but I do believe it was there. Are you not worried about her? She is your only biological daughter, out of her, my sister, Toyohime, Kotohime, and myself, after all.?

Lunariya coldly responds, ?She broke our laws, and she received her punishment accordingly.?

?But? that law is no longer in effect, and what about my mentor, Eirin Yagokoro??

?Yes, that was rather unfortunate. I?m honestly surprised she evaded us for as long as she has, but these things happen. After all, we did suspect that they somehow escaped to another boundary, did we not? It?s too early to assume that they are gone.?

?Understood. I?m sorry to have bothered you.? Yorihime turns to exit the chamber.

?Do not waste my time again.?

==

Inside the palace, we meet up in the dining hall: Me, Alice, Reimu, Sakuya, Youmu, and Reisen. Yuyuko?s not here, surprisingly, neither is Mokou, unsurprisingly, but Cirno just came briefly and left with some food. Hell, if I know what that was about.

We all look at the food spread across the table, stuff from all food groups and the aroma fills the air. Reimu and Reisen are awed by all the food. Reimu asks, ?Youmu, did you cook all this??

?Half of it,? answers Youmu, ?Sakuya did the rest. The share I made was all originally meant for Yuyuko-sama.?

HALF? That?s still too much for one person, but I was already aware of Yuyuko?s monstrous eating habits, so there?s no point in acting surprised. Anyway, we sit down and chow down.

As we eat, Reimu says, ?So, Marisa, what did you want to share with us??

?Yeah?? I stop eating so I can talk to everyone, ?Right, so? uh? It?s been three days since all that depressing shit happened. How long are we gonna mope around??

?It?s about time someone said that,? says Reisen, ?I want to save the princess and Eirin-sama as soon as possible, but I can?t do it alone.?

Sakuya adds, ?I?ve honestly wanted to see the new Gensokyo for myself. I? have some fears that I want to confirm??

?But what?s the point?? asks Reimu, ?Even if we get back at Yumei, it won?t change the fact that our world is gone.?

?Or will it?? I ask.

?What do you mean?? asks Alice, ?What are you thinking??

?Think about it,? I say, ?Yumei did that by erasing the boundary between dreams and reality. Well, what would happen if it was put back up? Do you think it might reverse what happened? I don?t know if the result will bring everything back to the way they were, but it?s worth the try, right? Besides, we know that she has the power to make Gensokyo its own boundary again.?

?Indeed,? says Sakuya, ?At the cost of her life. Honestly, I doubt she would be willing to do that.?

?Well, it?s not like I thought of everything, so we?ll cross that proverbial bridge when we come to it.?

??? Silence in the anticipation of what I?m going to add.

?Look, I had some time to think things over. I?m not the kind to give into despair for long, you know. We have to look ahead, right? The issue here is not whether or not we get back at Yumei for what she did, but to convince her somehow to undo what she had done,? I turn to Alice, ?What do you think, Alice? You?re the smart one here.?

?Fair enough,? says Alice, ?We?d might as well. It?s not like anything is getting accomplished, neither for the sake of Gensokyo nor of your world, if we just stay here.?

?Well, there you have it,? I say, ?I say we savor this moment, because this will be our last decent meal in awhile, get a good night?s sleep, and finally, head out tomorrow morning. How does that sound??

?I?d say you have a decent idea,? says Reimu, ?Count me in.?

?I most certainly have a desire to,? answers Sakuya.

?I gave my answer,? says Reisen.

?I?ll go along,? says Alice, ?I can?t call this place my home, can I? At least not yet.?

Youmu pauses on her response, ?Um? We?ll see. I?ll have my answer by the time you have to go.?

?Okay,? I respond, ?That thing Yukari gave us is a one-way ticket. There?s no turning back after we use it, so think carefully.?

?I will.? With our next course of action confirmed, we eat the rest of our dinner.

==

In the gardens, Cirno finds Mokou lying in the same place she was at before, still staring blankly at the evening sky.

Mokou is broken out of her trance at Cirno?s words, ?Hey!?

Mokou sits up and looks at the ice fairy, ?Hello again, fairy girl. What?s up??

Cirno holds out a small tray of food from the palace?s dining hall, ?I brought you some food! I didn?t see you at the palace, so I thought you may be hungry.? She places the tray next to Mokou.

The immortal eats a handful of wasabi peas. Completely unaffected by the intensity of the spicy flavor, she says, ?You didn?t have to go through all that trouble for me. Even if I starve to death, I?ll wake up, feeling like I had a four-course meal.?

Cirno protests, ?But? food! What about tasting good stuff??

Mokou takes another handful of peas, ?Well, I can?t argue with you there.?

They eat until the tray is completely cleared.

Cirno pats her gut, ?I?m sooooo full!?

Mokou sighs, ?You should have brought more, fairy girl. It?s not often I get to eat decent homemade goodness.?

?You don?t eat often?? asks Cirno, ?Or do you do that ?starve and come back full? thing??

?Both,? answers Mokou, ?I lived in some remote area of the bamboo forest, hunting for youkai.?

Cirno flinches, ?EEK!?

?Not like you. Unintelligent, un-humanoid youkai. Sometimes I eat with an? acquaintance from the Human Village, but her cooking sucks.?

?That sounds horrible,? says Cirno.

?Nah,? responds Mokou, ?It wasn?t so bad? at least compared to being inside Reimu?s subconscious. No food at all. Kaguya and I died from starvation and regenerated more times than I can count. Believe me, dying from no food? is not very pleasant.?

Cirno changes the subject, ?We?ll probably have to go to Yumei?s Gensokyo, and stop her.?

?Tell me,? says Mokou, ?Do YOU want to go and risk your life? You?re not like me. When you die, that?s it.?

Cirno says, ?Well? um? I liked Marisa?s home. It was a great place. Sure, some people were really mean, but I don?t want Yumei to just get away with what she did to it. Um? what about you? I mean, you said you weren?t? well, born there, but it?s where you lived, right??

Mokou responds, ?What should I care? That?s a part of my life I left behind a LONG time ago.?

?Okay? just wondering? So? are you gonna stay here??

?Why not? This is the Netherworld, the home I?ll never have, after all.?

Cirno begins to walk away, ?Okay? Marisa seemed ready to go back? and I?m gonna go with everyone. I won?t see you again for a while??

??? Mokou looks blankly at Cirno.


At the Saigyou Ayakashi, Yuyuko is also unmoved from her spot. Youmu approaches her, ?Yuyuko-sama? Reimu and the others are going to return tomorrow. I was wondering if I could have your permission to accompany them. I?ll understand if you want me to remain by your side. I don?t know when, or even if, I will be able to return??

???

?Yuyuko-sama??

?? ? ? Do as you wish, Youmu.?

?? Understood. I wish you well.? Youmu leaves.

Despite her outwardly underwhelming reaction, Yuyuko?s contemplation takes another path, ?Hm??

A few minutes later, Mima approaches, ?Yuyuko, are you feeling better??

Yuyuko says, ?Mima, I have a job for you??

==

Well, it was a long night, and it?s a good thing too, as I doubt I?m gonna sleep that well for a while. After breakfast, me, Alice, Reimu, Sakuya, Youmu, and Reisen meet up at the foot of the Saigyou Ayakashi.

?Are we ready?? I ask, ?There?s no turning back after this. Reimu, you have the ball, right??

Reimu pulls Yukari?s gap-ball out of her pocket, ?Right here.?

?Youmu?? I ask, ?Are you sure you want to do this? What about Yuyuko??

Youmu responds, ?Yuyuko-sama gave me permission. It?s alright.?

?Let us go, then,? says Sakuya.

?It?s about time,? says Reisen.

?We might as well get this over with,? adds Alice.

?Okay,? I say, ?Throw it, Rei_?

?WAIIIIIIIIIT!? A high-pitched yell comes from above. Cirno flies down.

?Cirno!?

Cirno complains, ?You?re mean! I wanted to come too!?

?Are you sure?? I ask, ?It could be dangerous.?

?Are you saying I?m weak??

?No. No. Welcome aboard.?

We hear another voice approach, ?Well, if she?s going, I?ll go to. I?d feel bad if she didn?t have someone like me backing her up.? Mokou comes into sight.

Cirno asks, ?Mokou, you?re coming too??

?I didn?t expect that,? says Reisen, ?Are you sure that you want to help rescue Kaguya??

?Better me than anyone else,? says Mokou, ?If anything, she?ll be embarrassed that I, of all people, came to rescue her.?

?Well, whatever,? says Reisen, ?glad to see you?re with us.?

?Do you have room for one more?? Another volunteering voice comes from above.

?Yuyuko-sama? You want to come too?? Youmu asks her mistress, who just volunteered.

?Well, it?s not like I?m helping much by just moping around, am I?? remarks Yuyuko, ?Besides, I wasn?t there for Yukari when I could have saved her. The least I can do is seeing this through.?

?But what about the Netherworld?? asks Reimu.

?That has been taken care of,? says Yuyuko, ?Shall we go??

?Okay!? Reimu tosses the ball. Halfway through midair, it turns into a gap. The nine of us proceed to enter it.

LET?S GO!

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #37 on: April 25, 2009, 02:57:51 PM »
We emerge from the gap. The nine of us find ourselves on the top of a mountain, just one among a mountain range. It?s pretty chilly, but there is green grass growing among the boulders.

Reimu looks around. Compared to the hell around us the last time we were here, the sky is blue and the sun is shining. It almost feels hard to believe that this is the same place, ?Well, we?re here??

?So this is Yumei?s Gensokyo,? says Alice, trying to pass judgment on the situation, ?It?s not as bleak as I would have imagined.?

?Um? You might be coming to an early conclusion on that, Alice!? Reisen points out to one side of the mountain range, ?Look!? Everyone looks out in the direction Reisen pointed out.

?Oh my!? exclaims Yuyuko.

Before us, we see the ruins of a city, extending out as far as we can see. I don?t know which city it was, nor does it matter. Some office buildings are tipped slightly, and others are standing, but in rough shape. A complex highway runs throughout it, and there are cars scattered all over the place. Despite the ugly sight before us, it looks like this city came out fairly well, at least compared to the one we were in when we escaped.

?Actually, I was looking at the other side,? says Alice, as she points out to the other side of the mountain range. On that side, it looks like a world completely different that the one we just saw: At the foot of the range is a small length of field, followed by a massive forest, stretching out as wide as we can see, and a large mountain in the hazy distance. It looks more like the Gensokyo we know, but overall, the layout doesn?t match up.

?Now THAT looks MORE familiar,? I say.

Sakuya points out, ?If memory serves correctly, I believe Yukari said that the world was rearranging into an identical image of Gensokyo?s geography.?

Reimu guesses, ?Well, she has control over the boundary and Gensokyo. Maybe she just did things to suit her own taste??

?I suppose??

?Looking at these two places, it really does look like the two worlds were combined,? says Youmu, ?Strange to see both in the same place??

Cirno looks at one side of the mountain range, and then the other, ?So? um? where do we go??

??? There is silence between us. That was a pretty good question. There isn?t a whole lot of indication of where Yumei is hiding out?

Reimu says, ?I think Yumei is on the forested side. I mean, she tried to make her own Gensokyo, so I?d say she?d want to be on the side that most resembles the original.?

?Sounds too obvious,? says Reisen, ?I say she?s trying to trick us, and is somewhere in the ruined city.?

?And what about Kaguya?? asks Mokou, ?She could be held anywhere too.?

?Not to mention,? says Youmu, ?She DID acquire Yukari?s powers, right? That means she could be in one area, but then instantly go to another.?

Yuyuko closes her eyes in focus, ?I?ll try to find the greatest concentration of energy. The largest should be an indication of this ?Yumei?s? location?? Yuyuko takes a few seconds. Finally, she opens her eyes, ?Oh dear??

?Have you found anything, Yuyuko-sama?? asks Youmu.

Yuyuko shakes her head, ?No. It appears the energies emanating from each side are near equal. I would have thought someone who controls Gensokyo would have a seemingly unreal degree of energy.?

?She said something about having been granted an enormous amount of energy for the experiment,? I recall.

?Ah!? Alice gasps upon a realization, ?Maybe she used most of it up to change this realm??

Reimu adds, ?She said it only had something to do with dreams, so that may be it. Besides, she wasn?t so strong when she fought us? well, all of you anyway??

?I guess?? I guess it?s possible you don?t have to be a go_ er? deity to possess the power of one?

?Regardless,? says Sakuya, ?Our question remains unanswered. Our only remaining option is to decide on which side we shall explore.?

?I vote for the forest,? I blurt out.

?I choose the city!? shouts Reisen.

?I don?t give a damn either way,? says Mokou with an ?I don?t care? pose.

?I wanna go to the city!? votes Cirno, ?It looks cooler!?

Sakuya looks on one side, then the other, ?It doesn?t matter to me??

?I don?t know about all of you, but I?m choosing the forest,? says Reimu.

?Hold on,? yells Alice. The way she just spoke, she?s likely gonna come up with a compromise, ?Let?s look at this logically. Instead of simply choosing one side, which may possibly be the wrong choice, we should split up and cover more ground. Besides, a large group can?t move as fast anyway?? OH! Who called it? ?? not to mention, Yumei has Yukari?s powers, so she can go anywhere, so we?d put ourselves at a disadvantage by all going together. We should split into halves and explore both sides, thus covering more ground.? Wasn?t THAT obvious? Yup, there?s a reason Alice is my superior at chess?

?That sounds reasonable,? says Yuyuko.

Counting her fingers, Cirno says, ?Um? halves? But? there are nine of us??

Rolling her eyes, Alice says, ?Four of us will go down one side, and five of us will choose the other.?

Decision time! Reimu and I claimed the forest, and Reisen and Cirno claimed the city. Now for everyone else?

Mokou lazily steps in the city?s direction, ?I?ll go to the big town. Fairy girl?ll need all the help she can get.?

?HEY! I can take care of myself!? protests Cirno.

?I will go to the forest, then,? votes Sakuya.

This leaves Alice, Youmu, and Yuyuko.

Alice says, ?I will go to the forest too. That makes it three to four. One more for each team.?

?HOLD ON!? shouts Youmu, ?Can one of you please change your choice? Yuyuko-sama is my mistress! I must_?

?Oh, don?t worry about it, Youmu,? interrupts Yuyuko.

?Yuyuko-sama??

Yuyuko gestures in the direction of me, Alice, Reimu, and Sakuya, ?You asked me if you could accompany them because you consider them your friends and you wanted to help them, am I correct? Well, you may do that?? She then gestures toward Reisen, Cirno, and Mokou, ?I will go with them. Don?t worry about me. I?m sure these three will provide adequate assistance.?

Youmu briefly strikes an uneasy glance in Cirno?s direction, and then responds, ?If? you say so, Yuyuko-sama?? I think I can tell what Youmu is feeling. On one hand, she wants to be there for her mistress, but on the other hand, Yuyuko IS an excellent judge of character, so if she says she will be okay traveling with three people she barely even knows, that should still be good enough.

Of course, if I can take a guess at Youmu?s feelings, it should be as clear as the light of day to Yuyuko, ?Really, don?t worry, Youmu. I consider you a servant, but you should know a role of protector is unnecessary.?

Youmu looks at Yuyuko with a puzzled expression, ?What??

 Yuyuko explains, ?I AM a ghost, after all. I live off of pure spirit energy, not life energy, so whatever happens, I can only be weakened, not harmed, and certainly not destroyed. You have nothing to worry about.?

Youmu responds, still seemingly uneasy, ?Understood.?

Yuyuko says to Reisen, Cirno, and Mokou, ?Okay, my companions! Let us be off!?

?Well, THAT took long enough,? says the impatient Mokou.

Youmu approaches in my team?s direction, ?It looks like I?m with you again.?

?You shouldn?t worry TOO much,? I try to reassure the gardener; ?She?s with a flame-controlling immortal, a Lunarian with some nifty powers, and an ice fairy who is, let?s be honest, NOT completely useless. She?ll be fine!?

?I heard that!? calls out Cirno.

?You really should give Cirno more credit,? says Alice proudly, ?She used to be under my flawless guidance, after all.?

??Flawless??? asks Reimu. Seriously; that fairy can fight alright, but she is still dim in the intellect department.

?Well, let?s go!? I say as I run toward the edge of the summit in the forest?s direction.

?Wait! Marisa!? yells Alice.

I jump up, positioning my broom under me, and fly away? until gravity kicks in and I start to fall, ?Ah! Oh, shit!? I reflexively reach up trying to grab the cliff?s edge.

?Damn it, Marisa!? Someone grabs my arm and I crash into the rocky mountainside. I look up to see that Reimu had grabbed me.

?What? But? but this is Gensokyo? right? Why can?t I fly??

Alice reaches down to grab Reimu?s arm to help me up, ?Don?t be so hasty!?

Sakuya also helps, ?Ugh! Don?t forget that? this is not the same Gensokyo! Don?t? jump to conclusions!?

Finally, Youmu pitches in and they get me back on solid ground. How much do I love my friends? Quite a bit; especially at times like this.

?Well, that was quite a display of what this Gensokyo?s magic lacks. So we can?t fly?? notes Reisen. She looks down the edge of the mountain leading to the city. I previously noticed that it starts with a cliff with no good footholds, ?This is going to be tough??

?Oh, only when you don?t have other ways of flying. Let me show you, bunny girl!? A pairs of flaming wings sprout from Mokou?s back. She dashes toward the edge of the cliff, grabbing Reisen by the arm along the way, and she jumps off, taking the rabbit with her. They float down with Reisen?s scream echoing.

?Wait for me!? Cirno runs after Mokou, glancing back toward us, ?Bye-bye!? She flies off the cliff, quickly flapping her wings.

?Well, I?m off. I will be seeing you.? Yuyuko jumps off the cliff and floats down using some? ghost thing.

?Well, it looks like we?ve lucked out,? says Reimu, looking over the edge. Sure enough, there is a narrow trail meandering down to the bottom. Well, no use hanging up here, so we make our way down.

==

Meanwhile, in an unknown location, Kaguya and Eirin are trapped in two spherical green fields, emanating the only light in the room. They had been trapped there ever since they awoke from their deaths. Their ability to use magic and materialize objects are sealed for as long as they are within the barriers.

Kaguya asks Eirin, ?Are you sure you can?t find a way out of these prisons??

?There?s nothing I can do, Princess,? says Eirin, ?I would think a spellcard could break through this, but I can?t use mine, and?? The doctor kicks the wall of her prison, but there is no effect, ?? obviously, physical force is out of the question. Even my superior intellect is challenged in the face of a cautious mind??

??Cautious mind?? Honestly, doc. Can you blame me for being too careful when I know one of my enemies is a genius with an IQ of 540?? Yukarumei steps out of a gap.

?Who are you?? asks Kaguya, ?Your ears? You are a Lunarian, aren?t you??

Yukarumei says, ?We have met before, dear princess. Allow me to assume the form you remember?? Yukarumei reverts to Yumei.

?You?re? Yumei?? says Kaguya.

?Glad you remember our little encounter after you entered the void. You also have me to thank for placing that little seal on your ability to communicate across the boundary between dreams and reality. It would have been troublesome if you actually warned Reimu of my intentions,? says Yumei.

?So that?s why??

?Just what happened?? asks Eirin, ?What have you done? Where are we??

Yumei answers, ?We are in Gensokyo.?

?What??

?I?ll tell you what happened?? Yumei explains to Eirin what had happened while she had been in her regeneration.

?So you destroyed Reimu and Marisa?s home, and created your new twisted version of Gensokyo in its place??

?That?s right,? says Yumei, ?This is a new world that I control. All of its residents are outside me now? well, except Yukari, since she?s technically me now, but they now all serve me! Allow me to demonstrate?? Yumei claps her hands. In mere seconds, Suika enters the room.

?Aneeting yoo need, Yoomay??

?Yes, Suika. Allow me to drink from your gourd.?

?Ooookay!? Suika holds out her gourd to Yumei, who takes a quick swig from it.

?Ah, delicious. Be on your way, now.?

?Bai-bai!? Suika turns and leaves.

Kaguya and Eirin watched in awe as one of Gensokyo?s most powerful youkai followed Yumei?s instructions without question.

Eirin, who was not alive to witness the events that led to the creation of Yumei?s Gensokyo, asks, ?How did you acquire Yukari?s powers? She was outside the dream??

?Oh, I have my ways,? says Yumei, ?Besides, I?m the only ?Yukari? still alive now.?

Kaguya eyes widen, ?No? That?s impossible!?

Yumei says with a sly grin, ?You?d be surprised how a well-placed plan can even bring down the mightiest of foes.?

?Curse you!?

Eirin demands, ?What are you trying to accomplish by doing this? What do you need your own Gensokyo for??

?Revenge,? answers the rabbit.

?What??

Yumei looks at Eirin, ?Surely, you, Doctor Yagokoro, know of the Lunarian science division?s test samples? Well, I am such a sample, sent to Earth to do what I was ?customized? to do??

?Yumei??

Yumei?s fist tightens, ?I never had a chance to have a life of my own. I was only an object to be experimented on. Hell, ?Yumei? isn?t even my name. Professor Yumemi simply decided to call me ?dream? in order to keep things simple. They did what they wanted with me, and just discarded me. They didn?t give two shits about me. Thanks to Gensokyo altering history, I doubt they even REMEMBER me! Well, I will wield the results of that experiment against them and show how ?successful? they were! My goal? is revenge against the Lunarians!?

Eirin says, ?I?m sorry about what happened to you, Yumei? I?ll admit that I may have played a part in starting the experiments taking place now? but do you honestly believe doing this will allow you to defeat an empire that has conquered countless realms? Your goal is nothing but an unrealistic fantasy!?

Yumei smirks, ?And here I thought you were supposed to be smart, doc. Of course, I alone stand no chance, but I will form alliances across realms, thanks to my new boundary manipulation. I will ally with the realm of the Lunarians? arch rivals, among others, and with them, I will crush them all!?

Kaguya says, ?You destroyed Reimu and Marisa?s home? the land Mokou and I loved? all for THAT selfish reason??

Yumei brings her face closer to Kaguya?s ??Selfish?? Tell me, do you know how many realms fell under the Lunarians? control? More than you can imagine. Besides, I sure as hell ain?t the only one whose life was ruined, thanks to the Lunarians? stupid desire for endless knowledge! With my victory, all those enslaved realms will be freed!?

?A decent side-benefit,? says Eirin, ?but in the end, this is all about your revenge.?

?Hey, I gotta start somewhere. Eirin, I think you know what I want you for.?

?The hourai elixir??

?Yes. With that, I can be just like Lunariya, the Immortal Empress! Nothing will stop me!?

Eirin says calmly, ?Don?t count on me helping you. I may agree with some of your motives, but that doesn?t change the fact that you destroyed the place where the princess? most precious memories lie.?

Yumei storms out of the room, ?Dammit! I knew this wouldn?t be easy! Just you wait! I have time. I will convince you, in one way or another, to help me!?

Once Yumei?s footsteps are too far away to hear, Kaguya looks at Eirin, ?Thank you, Eirin.?

?For what, princess??

?For refusing Yumei?s desire? just to not help the destroyer of the place I loved the most. I?m sure she will make things rougher??

?I know, princess. Just be brave?? Eirin pauses, ?I did that because you were the very first person I could consider a friend??

?Eirin? Did you make the elixir for me, because it was like you said? because you thought of me as a friend? or because I was your princess??

?As a friend. In fact, I was told not to let anyone else drink it? but I was immortal and you weren?t? I didn?t want to lose you someday??

?? But? I was exiled??

?I knew we would be together again, princess. Wounds heal with time. So do relationships??

?Eirin? you can call me Kaguya??

Eirin rubs the back of her head, ?Force of habit, my apologies??

Kaguya smiles warmly, ?It?s okay? but someday? will you call by my name and not my discarded social status??

?I will try princ_?

?Haha!? Despite the situation, Kaguya still finds interacting with Eirin to be something to take her mind off her grim situation, even if only temporary.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #38 on: April 25, 2009, 02:58:38 PM »
The five of us make our way down the mountain, toward the forest area of Yumei?s Gensokyo.

There?s yours truly, a fellow dreamer-slash-shrine maiden who happened to be among the strongest beings in the dream, despite being a tad laid back, my neighbor-slash-puppeteer-slash-fellow magician-slash-sole youkai in our crew-slash-only ?imagined character? among us, a forsaken Lunarian-slash-former servant of a being less existent than herself, and a half-ghost who is either too grown up or too childish.

The mountainside trails are very narrow, to the point where we?re walking single-file, with Reimu at point, then me behind her, then Youmu behind me, then Sakuya, and finally Alice in the far back.

?Dammit!? complains Youmu, ?Why can?t we fly? This IS Gensokyo, isn?t it? We should be floating down to the bottom!?

?Well this IS Yumei?s Gensokyo,? I say with a slight shrug, ?She had control over this place, and if someone? say? us, were to invade, I?d disable the ability to fly too. It makes it harder for intruders to get around.?

?Dammit?? says Youmu, still bitching about our predicament.

?So flying is out of the question,? says Reimu, ?That?s inconvenient, but what about healing??

?Already covered,? says Sakuya, ?I gave myself a small cut about a half-hour ago to test it, and my marred skin is now completely mended, so we still have that benefit.?

?You cut yourself?? asks Alice, who quickly goes back to her somewhat indifferent demeanor, ?Well, whatever works for you??

?And spellcards?? asks Reimu.

?I?d imagine we can,? says Alice, ?Think about it. What could benefit Yumei? Of course, the healing and spellcard creation, but flying? She has Yukari?s powers and can go anywhere she wants in a way far more efficient than flight, thus she can disable flight with little personal impact to herself.?

I nod in agreement, ?Eh, makes sense.?

A few more minutes pass as we make our way down, the bottom still not seeming to get any closer.

Youmu says, ?I hope Yuyuko-sama will be okay with those three??

?I told you before, she?ll be fine!? I try to assure Youmu again.

Alice picks up by stating the facts, ?As a ghost, her susceptibility to death is even lower than Mokou?s? in fact, death doesn?t even apply, as she already IS dead. It?s like she told you, Youmu, she simply had you as a servant, not as a protector. She doesn?t need one.?

Youmu glances at Alice out the corner of her eye, ?Was that supposed to make me feel better??

?Well, I tried,? says Alice, dismissing the issue.

Reimu cuts to the point, ?Bottom line, your mistress will be fine? I think. What, Youmu? Do you not like being with us?? She said it in a teasing manner.

?It?s not that,? says Youmu, ?It?s just that it?s my sworn duty to_?

?Be by your mistress? side, right? Wow, your life?s a total bore!? A voice cuts in, interrupting Youmu.

?Who?s there?? yells Sakuya.

It came from a ledge above us, which we had already traveled on. It?s an awkward view, due to our limited space, but we can see a little of who just spoke: A blue-haired girl with dark red eyes, wearing a pink blouse, a long blue skirt, and a small black hat with a peach-like ornament on it. She isn?t anyone I recognize, though?

However, Reimu seems to know her, and not in a good way by her tone of voice, ?It?s you! Tenshi!? Alice, Youmu, and Sakuya also seem to recognize her, based on their facial expressions. Now I remember, Tenshi was that heavenly being that trashed Reimu?s shrine during the Mountain of Faith incident. However, I was knocked out for most of that time, so I never met her face to face. I only know what I do about her, based on what my friends told me, but I hear that, despite supposedly representing all that is good, she LOVES fighting, and thus, would help out with any cause, as long as she gets her much-wanted adrenaline. All in all, she?s a bitch.

?What are YOU doing here?? demands Youmu.

Tenshi answers, ?Oh, I just noticed that Gensokyo had come back after a long absence, so I wanted to take a look. I met with the one what was at the middle of it all, Miss Yumei, and she said I would get some action if any on you came along, so I went and found you, and I am SO bored right now!?

Reimu says, ?Dammit! I should have known if you showed up!?

Apparently, Tenshi is aware of our mobility disadvantage, as she points it out, ?Well, it doesn?t seem you can move much, but I know you?ve been in tight places before, so I doubt you?ll disappoint. That said, let?s get ready to rumble, shall we?? She jumps down from her perch. In midair, two angel-like wings sprout from her back, and she hovers in front of us, over the abyss below. In her hand, a straight-bladed sword, with a rainbow-colored blade, appears. She takes some practice swings? or what I THINK are practice swings, as with each swing, a fissure opens up along the mountain or ground, following the blade?s path, ?Attack me.?

Well, if it?s a fight she wants, then it?s time to kick some ass! ?You asked for it!? I draw a spellcard, ?Love Sign!? Energy flows into me as I aim my hand in her direction, ?Master Spark!? I fire my big beam. However, Tenshi doesn?t even make an effort to dodge! The beam slams into her, forcing her back by several feet before my spell ends. She flies back toward us.

Reimu follows up, ?Spirit Sign: Fantasy Orb!?

Reimu sends several balls of holy energy toward, Tenshi, but this time, she barrel rolls around the attack and stops right in front of us, ?Ah, I needed that! After 14 months of sitting around in?? Tenshi shutters ?? Heaven, I needed a good reminder of what it REALLY means to be alive! Well then, enough fooling!?

?We haven?t the time to deal with you!? Sakuya tosses a few knives at Tenshi, who swats them to the side with her sword. However, a few more appear in front of her, no doubt due to Sakuya?s time manipulation, and sink in when her guard is down.

?UGGH! Not bad??

?My turn!? Alice summons two dolls, which appear in front of her, which fire a barrage of colorful magical blasts. I back them up with my own attack, by extending my arm in the celestial?s direction and firing off some green shots of magic. However, she recovers in just enough time to dodge and ascends over our attacks. However, Reimu intercepts her by throwing a handful of needles, which sink in the same area Sakuya?s knives hit, intensifying the bleeding quite a bit.

Youmu draws a spellcard, ?Human Sign!? Energy flows into her as she unsheathes her larger sword, the Roukanken, ?Slash of Present!? She disappears from sight for a second, and around the same time, Tenshi staggers back from a large scar that just appeared across her chest and split-second later, Youmu reappears in her original location. As Tenshi recovers, I draw a spellcard, Reimu has a bunch of needles in one hand and ofuda in the other, Youmu has both of her swords drawn, Sakuya has a bunch of knives ready, and a few dolls materialize around Alice.

Tenshi, clutching the wound she received from Youmu, looks at us with one eye tightly shut, ?Damn? looks like I?m at quite a disadvantage??

?Just get out of here!? yells Reimu, ?What fun is there in this??

?How could you ask that?? asks Tenshi.

?Do you know what Yumei had done?? says Reimu, ?She destroyed our homeworld, and replaced it with the place we are now! In doing so, she rendered hundred of millions of people inexistent! How can you, a celestial, help someone like that??

Tenshi shrugs, ?Eh, it happens. If you ask me, I don?t really care. It?s moments like this where I get my thrills. I don?t care about Yumei or what she did. All I want is my fun. I?m in this for myself and no one else.?

?Looks like you won?t listen to reason no matter what?? mutters Reimu.

?Reason is boring,? says Tenshi, ?If you want me to take ANYTHING seriously, force is the only voice I wanna hear!?

?Fine by me,? I respond.

Sakuya follows up my words, ?Tenshi, do you honestly believe you have a chance. Yes, we certainly are at a mobility disadvantage, but that doesn?t change the fact that this battle has the five of us against just you, and you obviously aren?t powerful enough to deal with that. If you value your life, and from what I gathered from what I heard about your battle with Youmu during the Mountain of Faith incident, you do, you would admit your defeat and leave us alone.? Yeah, back then, Youmu fought a one-on-one battle against Tenshi, which my half-human friend barely winning. As much as that celestial bitch likes to fight, I heard that when she was seriously threatened with death, she, rather pathetically, broke down (or so I?ve heard). It?s kind of funny when I think about it?

Tenshi takes the ex-maid?s words to heart, ?Yes, I can?t argue with you about that? I don?t stand a chance against these odds? SO LET?S EVEN IT, SHALL WE?? Tenshi swings her sword in Alice and Sakuya?s general direction. The ground Alice is standing on starts to crumble away.

?AHH! Help!? Alice cries out as she falls with her arm outstretched upward.

?Alice!? Shit! I can?t maneuver around Youmu in enough time to save her. Youmu also tries to make an effort, but Sakuya manages to dive and grab Alice?s arm just in time, just her legs still hanging on the ledge.

?Hold on!? Youmu sheathes her swords and proceeds to help Sakuya and Alice back up.

?Ah-ah-ah~? heckles Tenshi as she swings her blade, causing a vibration, which throws off the footing of me, Reimu, and Youmu.

However, it causes Sakuya to lose her grasp on the ledge, ?Damn!? Both she and Alice start to plummet.

?ALICE!? I cry out. ?Dammit!?

?SAKUYA!? yells Reimu.

?Time for a picturesque finish!? Tenshi raises her sword. At that moment, a bunch of rocks protrude out of the mountainside below where Alice and Sakuya are about to fall. The rocks shift to form spikes pointing upward.

?Dammit!? I curse as I try to think of a plan to save them in the very few seconds I have.

However, just above the spikes, a gap appears, not unlike what Yukari is capable of, only this gap is pitch-black instead of purple. The gap swallows Alice and Sakuya, and then disappears. Okay? what the hell was THAT? ? And more importantly, what happened to Alice and Sakuya?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #39 on: April 25, 2009, 02:59:39 PM »
While Reimu and Youmu are no doubt wondering the same thing, Tenshi says, ?Oooookay? that was a little weird?? (She doesn?t know either?) ?? but still, there are now just three of you. That went better than I had hoped!?

Dammit all! There will be plenty of time to come up with ideas of what happened to Alice and Sakuya, but for now, we have that bitch, Tenshi, to deal with!

Tenshi fires a red laser from her sword at Reimu who evades to the side, then tosses an ofuda back at the celestial, who cuts through it with her sword.

Soon the battle escalates into a crossfire sequence with lasers, blasts of holy energy, magical energy, spirit energy, needles, and ofuda flying back and forth between us. Reimu, Youmu, and I make our best efforts to dodge Tenshi?s attacks, but from where we are, it?s easy to lose our balance, which the celestial likes to use to her advantage. After a few minutes, which really felt longer, Tenshi lets up on her assault, breathing fast and heavily, ?You?re? pretty good??

?We can still hold up quite a bit longer, Tenshi!? declares Youmu, ?Give up! You?ve lost!?

However, through her pained expression, Tenshi?s lips curl into a smirk, ?I?ve lost?? Don?t get any wrong ideas??

?What?? says Youmu.

Tenshi says confidently, yet still between deep breathes, ?My power? is the ability? to control the land? I can do whatever I want? with the very ground you stand on? I could finish you at any time??

Reimu grits her teeth, ?Tch??

?Hahaha? it?s a win-win situation for me? I just wanted my entertainment? now? TO END THIS!? Tenshi swings her sword one more time, causing our entire perch to crumble, causing us to fall. Crap!

?Let?s see? if something will save YOU!? Tenshi again summons a bunch a jagged rocks, this time on OUR falling course. However, all three of us have an effective means of dealing with it, as we all draw a spellcard.

Youmu declares, ?Edge Sign: Rolling Slash!? Red energy flows into the Roukanken. She swings it downward at the spikes, releasing a blade of spirit energy, which cuts through the spikes.

At the same time, Reimu declares, ?Dream Sign: Evil Sealing Circle!? Her entire body glows and releases a small pillar of white holy energy, which completely obliterates the spikes under her.

As for me, I declare, ?Love Sign: Master Spark!? and use my good old spell to blast myself out of harm?s way?

? However, right below the spikes, there is still a fissure, and we can?t fly, so? yeah, we?re still pretty screwed. We fall into the big crack in the ground, with a bunch of chunks of the mountainside falling behind us, which Tenshi probably decided to add for good measure. One big rock catches up with us, but Youmu slashes it to pieces.

Dammit, there?s no point! Even if we can avoid getting crushed, the fall will still kill us! ?Shit! Dammit! We?re done for, since we can?t fly!? I wanted to know what happened to Alice and Sakuya, but something tells me they?re in a better situation than us! I sure wanted to know what happened to them?

Youmu also starts to despair, ?Yuyuko-sama??

The fall continues deeper and deeper into the earth, and that feeling of vertigo becomes worse and worse.

Suddenly, however, Reimu lets out a surprised ?WHAT??

I ask, ?What is it, Reim_? Before I can complete my sentence, a simple look in her direction answered my question. Reimu is falling SLOWER than Youmu and I.

Reimu yells, ?Marisa! Youmu! We can fly! I don?t know why, but the magic to do that is here!?

Youmu starts to also fall slowly, ?You?re right!?

I position my broom under me and do the same, ?Well shit, that?s a relief? now let?s get the hell outta here,? I say as I prepare a spellcard, ?Light Blast: Shoot the Moon!? A magic circle appears above us and below the falling rocks and fires up a large beam of magic energy, destroying the rocks? but not all, or enough, of them, as more rocks fall to take their place.

?Shit!? I yell, ?No good!?

Reimu says, ?I?ll help! We can do this!?

?Yeah?? I respond, noticing that it?s becoming increasingly hot.

?Look! Below!? calls out Youmu, looking down. Below us, at the bottom of the earthly shaft we had been falling through, there is a large sea of magma (I guess one mountain, among the range, was a volcano). We each summon a shield of our respective energies, which protects us from the heat, but not enough to stop our uncontrollable sweating. We hover over the lava, getting out of the way of the rocks, which crash and pile up on a small island.

?Damn! It?s too hot!? bitches Youmu? though I agree.

?Yeah? we need to get out of here. FAST!?

Reimu, being amazingly useful during these last few minutes, notices something, ?That island! There!? Sure enough, on another small island, there is a large magic circle. By now, we know that things like that are not JUST there, so we decide to examine it. After all, this is a weird place to find one, and if there is something like that around, there must be another presence responsible for it. Despite our reluctance to get any closer to the magma, we drop into the magic circle.

?Hot?? Youmu continues to whine.

?Well, this is weird,? I say.

?I wonder why this is here?? says Reimu.

However, before Youmu or I can respond, silver pillars of light form around us. Before another word can be said, Reimu vanishes, then Youmu, and finally_

==

As Reimu, Marisa, and Youmu disappear, unbeknownst to them, they were being watched through a small gap in the boundary. On the other end of the gap, reclined in a large armchair, Yukarumei says, ?An aspect of the dream you have not yet encountered. This will prove pretty damn entertaining!?


Reimu appears in another magic circle, in the middle of a room appearing to be part of a large cave. She notices that during the warp, she had been separated from Marisa and Youmu. The room is hot, though not nearly as hot as the sea of magma. ?Where am I?? As Reimu inquires herself about her whereabouts, several fairy youkai appear and surround her. ?Damn? looks like I?m not alone here??

?Welcome, nya!? a voice comes from the shadows in the back of the room.

?Who?s there? Wait?? Reimu recognizes the mannerism the voice just used, ?You?re? Chen? No, wait?? While she recalls the mannerism belonging to the nekomata, Chen Yakumo, the shikigami of Yukari?s shikigami, Ran Yakumo, the voice using it is distinctly different.

??Chen?? Don?t know who that is, nya. I was ordered by Miss Satori to entertain you, nya? so I will!?

Reimu rolls her eyes, ?Please don?t use the word, ?entertain.? I think I?ve heard enough of that concept in one hour??


Youmu finds herself warped into a large purple corridor, lined with stain glass windows. ?What is this place??

?Hello,? A low female voice greets, accompanied by the sounds of approaching footsteps.

Youmu draws the Roukanken in the direction of the voice, ?Who?s there? Answer me! Where are Reimu and Marisa??

?Oh, my? ?pets? are dealing with them?? The owner of the voice walks out of the shadows and into plain sight: A girl with short violet hair, wearing a blue shirt and pink skirt, with a few golden heart-shaped ornaments all around.

?Hello, Youmu Mari Konpaku, gardener, servant, and? self-proclaimed protector of Netherworld Hakugyokurou?s appointed sovereign, ?Princess? Yuyuko Saigyouji, referred to by you as ?Yuyuko-sama,? formerly known in life as Yuko Saigyou, only human friend of one Yukari Yakumo? who is recently deceased. That?s too bad. Daughter and student of Youki Konpaku, whom you recently found out was appointed as a Lunarian, and? well, this is interesting, you don?t know who your mother is. Skilled in the art of the sword, half of your teachings being from your father, and the other half being self-taught. Physical age: 15, mental age: ? either 8 or 20, depending on the situation, chronological age: 39? how embarrassing. Your coworkers go by the names, Lunasa, Merlin, and Lyrica Prismriver, as well as one Mima, who recently joined. The ones you consider to be your best friends, as well as companions, go by the names Marisa Kirisame, Sakuya Izayoi, and Alice Margatroid, oh? and it looks like little Youmu is growing up: The one you have romantic feelings for goes by the name_?

?DAMMIT! SHUT UP!? snaps the freaked out Youmu, who takes a few second to catch her breath, ?How? do you know all that? I never met you!?

The girl smiles at Youmu like she?s looking at a plaything, ?If you find that to be a bother to you, I wonder how you will react when I delve deeper into your heart. There are things you have kept hidden inside yourself from the world? and I, Satori Komeiji, am going to bare it all.?

?Stay away!? yells Youmu, threatening Satori with her sword.

Satori, however, keeps approaching Youmu, ?If you plan to attack me, go ahead.?

?RRaaaarrrgggghhhh!? Youmu charges at Satori, who keeps walking with a relaxed composure. Youmu draws the Hakurouken and swings it at the mysterious girl, who tilts her head back, dodging the slash by mere millimeters. Youmu follows up by swinging the Roukanken downward, putting all her weight into the attack. Satori, however, rotates her body to the side, causing the gardener to stumble forward.

?You are powerful, Youmu, yet your skills remain unrefined. I see you never completed your training before your father left for the moon.?

?Damn you!? snarls Youmu, ?Don?t talk to me like you know me!?

Satori chuckles, ?Youmu dear, I know you better than you know yourself.?

?Shut up!? Youmu sheathes the Hakurouken and draws a spellcard, ?Human Sign_?

??Slash of Present,?? Satori cuts off Youmu?s words, ?Your favorite spell, much like how Master Spark is Marisa?s spell of choice.? The mysterious girl explains the nature of Youmu?s attack as if she were reading a paragraph from a textbook, ?The energy of the spell manipulates your body?s spirit energy, allowing you to move at an extreme speed, beyond your normal capability, over a short distance. At the same time, within that tenth of a second, the manipulated spirit energy moves into and manipulates your arms, allowing you to accurately slash, as under normal circumstances, your mind cannot react that quickly. Its overall energy expenditure is roughly 8% to 12% of your overall 100%. Almost 18% at its best: an effective and energy-efficient spell. You have good taste.?

Youmu drops her offensive posture in surprise, ?No??

?I know more,? says Satori, ?Shall I explain the nature of its more-powerful cousin: ?Slash of Eternity?? or its refined counterpart: ?Angel Dance?. Or how about a different spell altogether, like the land-splitting ?Delusion of Enlightenment? or ?Karmic Punishment of the Idle and Unfocused,? which makes good use of your ghost-half?s doppelganger ability.?

Youmu drops to her knees in mental defeat, ?No? What? WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU? HOW DO YOU KNOW SO MUCH ABOUT ME??

Satori smirks, ?I don?t need to know you to ?know? you. Like I said before, I will reveal all that is hidden within your heart. You are a very interesting? and very naughty girl, Miss Konpaku. I wonder if you can handle the truth??

==

I find myself appearing inside a magic circle in another location. I look around and realize that I?m alone. Reimu and Youmu disappeared ?? Damn it??

I examine my surroundings: A corridor made up entirely of metal. It?s hot, but going from that magma pool to this is like going from the flying pan to the freezer? if you?ll pardon the clich? and slight exaggeration.

I stand in the magic circle for a few seconds, but nothing?s happening. Looks like it was a one way trip.

I walk through the corridor, which has only one direction. It isn?t long until I reach a door with a VERY uninviting insignia on it: A circle made up of six triangles, three yellow and three black. I know what it represents, and it?s usually NOT a good thing. Still, I never thought Gensokyo had something like this? or maybe this place is ruins of a power plant or WMD facility?

Still, the magic circle I arrived through is not doing anything, and there is no other way.

?This is such a mistake?? I mutter to myself as I press a panel next to the door, which responds by sliding open. I hesitantly step inside?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #40 on: April 25, 2009, 03:00:34 PM »
On the other side of the mountain range, in the ruins of a city, the group consisting of Reisen, Cirno, Mokou, and Yuyuko, were soon ambushed by waves of fairies not long after landing. Fighting through the seemingly endless swarm, they made it into the city, on the streets below the highway area, trying to find cover among the ruins.

Reisen glares straight at a small group of fairies, and fires two beams of psycho energy out of her eyes, destroying all but one. She draws her handgun and takes out the last with a bullet. All the fairies burst and vanish upon being destroyed.

Three more fairies appear right ahead of them. Cirno extends her hand toward them yelling, ?Go away! Leave us alone, dammit!? She fires three freezing beams, which pierce through the youkai, causing them to turn to ice, fall to the ground, and shatter.

Another fairy attempts to tackle Reisen from behind, but Mokou notices it, twirls quickly around to face it, her hair swishing around her, and tears through it with a flaming punch, ?You might as well just kill yourself, ya damn fairy, and save us both the effort!?

However, the small amount of fairies they had just destroyed were only a vanguard for a much larger group, which surrounds them.

Mokou puts her hands into her pockets and glances around calmly at the surrounding swarm, ?Well, shit.?

?More of them?? complains Cirno.

Reisen looks at the swarm frantically, ?Shoot! If we take too long with them, that will buy them time for reinforcements to appear??

Yuyuko, not even bothering to observe the situation, says, as she pulls a spellcard from out of her kimono, ?Oh? Is that all?? She raises the card and declares, ?Death Sign: Ghastly Dream!? From all around the four of them, butterflies, made up of spirit energy, materialize, quickly outnumbering the fairies, and fly out, cutting through them with their blade-like wings. Almost all at the same time, the fairies burst.

Mokou lets out an impressed whistle, ?Da-amn! Glad you?re on our side, ghost girl.?

Reisen looks around. Her eyes are glowing as they are in a state of infrared vision, as she looks for heat signatures from fairies. Finally, her eyes return to normal, ?I didn?t see anyone else. It looks like we got everyone??

?? For now,? says Mokou, completing Reisen?s statement.

?For now,? confirms Yuyuko, ?We mustn?t lower our guard. With all the fairies we?ve had to fight through, there are bound to be more before too terribly long.?

?Dammit!? whines Cirno, ?I?m hungry and tired and I need to go pee! No more fairies! I hate fairies!?

?I won?t even point out the irony in what fairy girl just said,? remarks Mokou.

Reisen says, ?Well, regardless, what Cirno said probably holds true for all of us. I?m hungry and I could use some rest. How about you, Mokou??

With a lighthearted laugh, Mokou says, ?Aw, what do you take me for, bunny girl? You haven?t seen a tenth of what I can do!? However, Mokou?s bravado is undermined by her stomach growling, ?Er? heh??

?I want food too,? says Yuyuko, ?Let?s find a place to eat.?

?Do you even NEED food?? asks Cirno.

?? In a manner of speaking??

?Anyway,? begins Reisen, ?we should find a place where we can hide out and eat. Let?s get going.?

?You make it sound like it is no daunting task,? says Yuyuko, ?but are you sure we can find nourishment among these ruins??

?Of course!? answers Reisen, ?Don?t forget, these ?ruins? came to be only a few days ago! That and it IS a city. There are more places with ?rations? than we can count! Houses, restaurants, anything!?

Cirno?s face lights up, ?Ah! Reisen is so smart!?

Reisen rolls her eyes, ?Not really. It?s just basic knowledge??

Having eliminated their opposition for the time being, they focus on finding a place for nourishment and rest. As good fortune would have it, they find the remains of a supermarket within a half-hour of searching. Even though the exterior is as drab and broken as the rest of the city, the only thing unsightly about the interior are that the power, and thus, the lighting, is out, with the only way to see are the chunks of the ceiling that had collapsed into it, in turn allowing the sunlight to shine in.

Upon seeing the hundreds of packaged foods before her, Yuyuko?s expression becomes cheery in a childish way, ?Ahh! So much food! I?ve never seen so much in one place! Reimu?s world is so amazing!?

?Well, treat yourself to whatever you want,? offers Reisen, who glances at the unoccupied cash register terminals, ?I?m sure it?s all the same to whoever owns this place??

?Yay!? Yuyuko runs deeper into the store, like a child who had gone to the fair for the first time.

Mokou studies the store attentively, ?What to eat???

Reisen says, based on assumption, ?There is no power here, so there is no cooling? I guess frozen foods, produce, and all that are out of the question??

?Whatever,? says Mokou, ?There is meat here, right? I can heat one up??

Around the market, Yuyuko eats a wide variety of foods, Cirno freezes, and then treats herself to the frozen inventory, and finally, Mokou heats a steak, which she and Reisen share.

As Reisen eats her portion of the steak, she says to Mokou, who is sitting right next to her, their backs leaning against the wall, ?You?re being surprisingly generous, Mokou??

Mokou takes a bite out of her portion and says, ?Yeah? What of it??

?I?m only saying. Normally, I?d expect you to keep the whole steak to yourself, and not share it with anyone, especially not some follower of ?that bitch Kaguya,? as you put it.?

?Don?t overanalyze,? advises Mokou, ?I can?t do this alone, and arguing with all of you is a pain in the ass that I can avoid, so I can do you favors every now and then??

?It?s strange to hear that from a loner??

?I know something of working as a team, y?know. I?d just rather? not.?

?Are you sure?? asks Reisen, ?If I remember correctly, you were watching my back, back there. Could it be that you?re? fond of us??

?Hell no!? protests Mokou, ?I? um? It was a fairy, and we had to kill fairies, right? It was just another to take care of??

?Hmhmhm?? chuckles Reisen, noticing the unconvincing tone of Mokou?s voice.

Mokou is aware that Reisen hadn?t bought in, so she decides to come clean, ?Okay, you win, dammit! I?ve known you for so long. How about that? I have no quarrels with you, like I do with Kaguya, and I know you won?t live forever, so you should live as long as you can??

Reisen blinks, ?What??

Mokou wildly chomps a few bites out of her steak, and states, ?I used to be mortal, y?know. I remember what it was like. My life was the most precious thing I had, and I did all I could to hang onto it. Sure, I drank the elixir, and my life? is not worth so much anymore, but people like you still treasure it, right??

?Um? right.?

?Then live, alright? When you die, you won?t get any more chances like me. Do your best to make the most of it. Don?t?? Mokou freezes, ?Don?t make the mistake I made??

?Do you regret it?? asks Reisen.

?That won?t change shit. I just accept it and live accordingly. An eternal life of angst? I might as well be in Hell if that were the case??

?Mokou??

Mokou tries to smile to the best of her ability, ?Don?t look at me like that!? Her expression turns solemn again and she leans back further, her body sliding away from the wall, ?Still? If I could change things, I would. That elixir should have burned. I was just so focused on getting revenge on Princess that I hadn?t given a thought to the future?? Mokou lets out a depressed laugh, ?Haha? ha? I?m such a fool??

Reisen tries to find the right words to console Mokou, ?Mokou? I?m sorry? you??

?Not another word, bunny girl. It?s just the way things are. Besides, there are ways to die that not even immortality can override. Hell, Princess and I had that chance inside miko girl?s head. Thanks for ruining that, by the way.?

??? Reisen pouts.

?Oh well, it may be another few thousand years, but time will tell, and time is all I have now. At least I can ?share? it with another unfortunate victim of the hourai elixir??

Reisen raises her ears, ?Mokou??

?Well, let?s find Princess and doctor girl, Leader.?

Reisen?s eyes widen, ??L-LEADER???

?Who else can play that role? I won?t, I have my doubts about ghost girl, and fairy girl sure as hell can?t call the shots. I?d say you?re the most dependable to keep us together.?

?You?re joking??

?I totally am.?

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #41 on: April 25, 2009, 03:02:23 PM »
Elsewhere, across boundaries, a large wooden ship skims across a seemingly endless body of water toward its destination: A place with tall buildings and roads decorated with occasional cherry blossom trees, with many people wandering about. Overall, a place much like a city. Many white wisps fly around the ship until it docks at the city?s harbor.

Standing at the ship?s bow, a girl with dark hair, dark eyes, and dark clothes, holding a scythe, announces, ?We have arrived!?

The wisps fly away from the ship and approach the ground, each assuming a humanoid appearance in the process. Finally, one of those wisps assumes the form of Yukari Yakumo, who now has the characteristics of a ghost, namely small spiritual wisps circling around her body.

Yukari lets out a sigh, ?That was a long trip? Still, it was a? unique experience and that shinigami was so diligent? unlike a certain other I know?? Yukari looks at the city, still mumbling her thoughts, ?So this is THEIR Netherworld? but something is odd. I?m sure I was here years ago, but there were no large buildings. I remember it looking almost exactly like Hakugyokurou?? Suddenly, something catches Yukari?s attention: A large banner hanging from the roof of one of the buildings. On it, there is an insignia she finds vaguely familiar: A circle with part of it as a golden crescent, and the rest black. She remembers seeing the same thing as a pin on Reisen?s jacket, ?I wonder??

Yukari walks further forward. She gets an idea she can?t believe she hadn?t thought of seconds earlier, ?My powers! Let?s see?? Yukari opens a gap in front of her, its destination set for Yumei?s Gensokyo. Yukari proceeds to enter the portal, but an invisible force repels her from entering. Yukari lets out a depressed moan, ?As I feared? As a ghost I?m bound to the Netherworld. I can?t leave, even if I had a means to. Yuko and Mima both received special permission from Sikieiki, which is why?? She closes the gap and performs another experiment by opening a gap, the exit of which, is another gap to her left. She sticks her arm into it, and it emerges from the other. ?It looks like I still have control within this boundary. That?s good?? Yukari suddenly gets an idea, ?Wait! If I can only be within the Netherworld, then? Fufufu~?

CRACK! As Yukari is about to open another gap, however, her focus is sharply diverted by the loud noise of a whip cracking. Yukari and all the other ghosts that had arrived stop in their tracks. In front of them, a young-looking girl with long red hair tied by a yellow bow, wearing a purple kimono, and holding a leather whip, approaches. At her back and sides, there is a large group of girls in blue uniforms, each with rabbit ears extending from their heads and red eyes, much like Reisen. None of them have ghostly characteristics. Also among the group, there is a black-haired girl with a timid expression, dressed exactly like Sikieiki Yamaxanadu. Yukari and all the other ghosts focus their attention on the girl.

The girl announces, ?Welcome to the afterlife, everyone!?

??? There is absolute silence among the crowd.

The girl pouts, but continues to speak, ?My name is Kotohime. I am the fourth princess of the Lunarian Empire. For the ignorant masses that don?t know us, all you need to know is that we are the future sovereigns of all creation??

Yukari mutters, puzzled, ?The Lunarians control a Netherworld? How is that possible??

Kotohime continues to speak, ?While you are here, there is one thing you must be perfectly aware of: I am your god. To cross me means to have your soul sent straight to Hell?? She glances back at the black-haired girl, ?Isn?t that right? Yama??

The girl, thoroughly intimidated, struggled to speak, ?Um? you? you see??

?Spineless fool,? mumbles Yukari.

Kotohime cracks her whip, ?TALK!?

?Ye-yes? Um? Please do as Princess Kotohime says? please??

?Hmph?? Kotohime?s expression turns to a satisfied smirk.

Kotohime focuses on the ghosts again, ?Pay close attention. While I am present in this place, a resort designed by yours truly, you are expected to work. Yes, as of today, you can consider yourselves my slav? er? ?loyal vassels!??

A lot of commotion arises among the crowd. ?What a bitch,? says one of the ghosts.

Kotohime lashes her whip wildly, ?Who said that? I heard someone call me the B-word! I HATE being called the B-word! Talk! I will see to it that all of you get sent to Hell if one of you doesn?t own up!?

??? The Yama looks at the ghosts worriedly.

A lot of the ghosts look at the one who said it, shortly forming a path for Kotohime and her bodyguards to walk through. She stops and looks at the ghost condescendingly, ?Was it you??

The ghost, now shaking, says, ?Y-yes??

?You shall be disciplined!? Kotohime prepares to strike the ghost with her whip.

Yukari thinks, So this is my afterlife, huh? Being bullied and enslaved by an outside force? Well, not if I have anything to say about it. Yes, time to teach that spoiled twit a lesson! Yukari enters a gap, and then emerges from another in the whip?s path. Yukari holds out her parasol in front of her, and the whip twirls around it.

?HEY! Where did you come from?? demands Kotohime.

??? Without a word, Yukari pulls her parasol back, yanking the whip out of the Lunarian princess? grip, then slings it off her makeshift weapon. Yukari opens another gap, enters it, and emerges a few feet in front of her original position, right in front of Kotohime. Yukari swings her parasol down hard over the princess? head, causing her to fall to the ground. Thunderous cheer comes from among the ghosts.

Yukari says coldly, ?I believe a new Netherworld order is needed.?

?Eep!? Kotohime sits up, and then crawls backward away from Yukari, saying to her bodyguards, ?What are all of you standing there for? Attack her!?

?Yes, your highness,? respond the moon rabbits in unison as the reach for their handguns. However, Yukari is faster on the draw, and she sends orbs of energy slamming into each of the rabbits, knocking them to the ground, all of them unconscious.

Kotohime grits her teeth, ?You monster! We?re not done! Special forces! Protect me!?

Suddenly, out of the shadows of the tall buildings, a few black blurs fly out and stop in front of Kotohime, revealing six figures in black jumpsuits, with dark red scarves wrapped around the lower parts of their faces. However, each has rabbit ears and red eyes, making them identifiable as moon rabbits. Each has a short sword sheathed at the hip opposite of their dominant arms, and small blades tucked under their belts.

?Tch?? Yukari prepares for more action.

One of the rabbits bolts forward, quick-drawing her sword at Yukari, who leaps back, narrowly avoiding the blade. However, another rabbit follows up her partner, thrusting her sword forward, impaling Yukari through her gut.

?Huh?? However, Yukari doesn?t feel any pain from the strike, but does feel an acute decrease in her ghostly body?s spirit energy, though the coming fatigue might as well be pain, though not enough to render her incapacitated. There is no blood emerging from her wound, but rather, white smoke. Yukari extends her hand in front of the rabbit?s face and releases a powerful burst of energy, knocking her out. The remaining five rabbits draw their swords.

Kotohime rises her to feet, ?Not bad, monster, but you were just lucky!?

?How original,? says Yukari, drawing a spellcard, ?Boundary Field: Mesh of Light and Darkness!? Portals open up around Yukari and they begin to fire volleys of lasers. However, Kotohime?s protectors disperse quickly to avoid the attack. Fortunately for Yukari, however, Kotohime lacks such agility, and the lasers home in on her.

Kotohime, her hands in front of her in futile defense, screams, ?You idiots! Protect me!?

?Damn! Protect Princess Kotohime!? orders one of the rabbits. Two of the dark rabbits, their arms spread, appear in front of Kotohime as a living shield.

?Hmph!? Yukari smirks as she sees her plan work. The rabbits get bombarded by Yukari?s lasers. Yukari?s attack ends and the rabbits drop to the ground, unconscious.

?Grr? Useless fools!? growls Kotohime.

?Hah? hah?? pants Yukari, beginning to tire, ?I still? need to get accustomed? to this body? Heh? So this is what it?s like to be Yuko??

The remaining three rabbits surround Yukari. ?She is wearing down! Now is the time to finish her!? announces one of the rabbits. They run circles around her in unison, their speed rapidly increasing to the point Yukari, nor Kotohime, nor the ghosts can follow their movements.

While Yukari has little power left, mostly due to the sword strike before, she doesn?t need to use much of her power at all under the current circumstances. The rabbits pause a second before they perform their intended action of narrowing in on Yukari, skewering her from different directions. However, Yukari open a gap below her and drops in, causing the rabbits to accidentally skewer each other. The ghosts cheer and whistle for Yukari. The Yama lets out a relieved sigh.

Yukari emerges from a gap in front of Kotohime, ?Do you have anymore minions??

Kotohime futilely tries to hide her fear, ?Grr? C-curse you, monster!?

?I?m not monster, I?m Yukari Yakumo, a ?ghost,? just like everyone else here. Now, you Lunarian have no right to be here. If you hold your life dearly enough, you and your alien friends will return to the moon.?

Kotohime slowly walks backward as Yukari advances on her, ?How dare you? I?m Princess Kotohime! Empress Lunariya?s fourth daughter! You?re nothing but garbage! What gives you the right to tell ME what to do??

Yukari smugly replies, ?Because in ?Yukariland,? your title is meaningless.?

Kotohime loses her royal composure and yells, ?How dare you! You're nothing but a stupid insect compared to me! What the hell are you??

Yukari smiles with satisfaction, enjoying the moment, ?So you show your true colors.?

As Yukari advances on Kotohime, however, she fails to notice one of Kotohime?s bodyguards regain consciousness. She gets up and charges toward Yukari?s back.

?Look out!? yells one of the ghosts.

?Huh?? It?s too late. The bodyguard pulls a taser out of her uniform?s front pocket, activates it, and presses it against the back of Yukari?s head.

?UG-H-H-H-H!? Yukari?s spirit energy rapidly drops, due to the strong electric jolt, to the point where she can no longer stand. She slumps to the ground, and then lays on her front, unable to move.

??? Kotohime walks toward the ghosts, who are now stunned into silence, picks her whip off the ground, walks back to Yukari, and then lashes her back repeatedly. CRACK! CRACK! CRACK!

?Ughhh!? groans the boundary ghost.

The lashing continues for a half-minute. Kotohime walks over to the Yama, her temper still uncontrolled, ?You! Send her to Hell! Immediately!?

Despite her limited courage, the Yama explains, ?That?s impossible to do right away, princess.?

?WHAT??

?Um? there are? certain? proceedings, you see. Her sins must be looked at, and? well? It can take up to a month??

?RAAGGGHHH!? Kotohime slaps the Yama so hard, she falls to the ground, ?You?re useless! I?ll come up with an appropriate?? Suddenly, Kotohime?s lips curl into a smirk, ?Wait? Hmhmhm?? She kneels in front of Yukari and lifts her head up by her hair, ?I have a use for you~ That is a? rather interesting power you possess??

?Wh?? Yukari is barely capable of speech in her current condition.

Kotohime slams Yukari?s head against the ground, stands, and turns toward her bodyguard, ?You! Take her in for some? ?conditioning.? Afterward, throw her in the dungeon, along with that Yama who was foolish enough to lecture me and her stupid shinigami friend.?

?Understood,? responds the bodyguard obediently.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #42 on: April 25, 2009, 03:03:05 PM »
In the underground cavern, the girl, still unseen by Reimu, taunts, ?You are outnumbered, nya. Just give up, nya!?

Reimu shakes her head and sighs, ?That?s an amazingly simpleminded boast. In fact, I?d ask the same of you?? Reimu positions her hand in her pocket casually, ?Come on! I dare you to order your fairy friends to attack!?

?Fine! Fairies, attack, nya!? The fairies start to close in on Reimu, all at the same time. At that moment, Reimu pulls a spellcard out of her pocket, declaring, ?Dream Sign: Evil Sealing Circle!? A pillar of white light surrounds the miko and expands, engulfing and destroying most of the fairies. Two, who were further back in the group, avoided getting hit by the spell, but Reimu materializes two needles between her fingers and throws them, piercing and destroying the remaining fairies.

?NYA??

?There goes the ?outnumbered,? aspect,? says Reimu, ?Care to take this matter upon yourself, ?Not-Chen???

??? The hidden girl does not answer.

Reimu smiles victoriously, ?What?s the matter? Too intimidated to talk now? In that case, I?ll take my leave. I have no intention to waste time here anyway.? Reimu walks in the direction of the passage on the other end of the large room. However, out of that passage, something zooms across the floor, leaps up toward and past Reimu. At that time, Reimu feels an acute pain in the side of her face and realizes she had just been cut.

The thing stops and stares at the miko. It is a black cat with red eyes, ?Hsssss!?

?Ugh. Damn? A cat...? But? who was talking??

?REAOW!? The cat springs toward, Reimu, who positions her gohei defensively, stopping the cat from going any further. However, the cat clings to her gohei, and bites Reimu?s hand.

?AGH!? The cat then leaps onto Reimu?s head, then straight into the air above her. Reimu recovers and looks up. In midair, the cat begins to shapeshift. It transforms into a girl with red hair tied in two braids, dark red eyes, and wearing a green dress with black highlights. As expected, she has catlike ears and a tail. Also, in her hand, she has a large object, but it?s so unexpected, Reimu can?t properly identify it in the time she currently has. The girl drops back down, swinging the large object downward. The miko leaps back, but the girl follows up her attack, swinging again, this time delivering a direct and heavy blow, which sends Reimu sailing back and slamming back-first into the room?s stone wall.

Reimu take a couple steps and finally gets back upright, ?Who? are you?? She finally identifies the weapon: It is a wheelbarrow.

The girl proudly introduces herself, ?I?m Rin, nya. Rin Kaenbyou. But you can call me Orin, nya. I serve the mistress of this underground complex, Satori Komeiji, and under the orders of the world?s absolute mistress, Yumei, she told me to take care of you, nya. Nothing personal, nya.?

?Yumei, huh? Where are Marisa and Youmu??

?Your friends, nya? Somewhere else in the complex, nya. Miss Satori and Utsuho are taking care of them.?

?I see??

?But why am I telling you, nya? This is where you will die, nya!?

Reimu?s eyes narrow, ?Somehow, I fail to find that intimidating. I will defeat you and find my friends.?

?Let?s do this, nya!? Orin turns back into a cat for the sole purpose of covering the ground between herself and Reimu quicker, transforms back, and swings her cart, which Reimu manages to block with her gohei, who then counterattacks with a kick, which sends the cat youkai staggering back.

Reimu uses a spellcard, ?Spirit Sign: Fantasy Orb!? She sends six orbs of holy energy flying toward Orin.

Orin positions her cart vertically in front of her, hiding behind it. The orbs slam into it. The force of the attack pushes the cat youkai back, but causes no harm. Orin goes out of hiding with a spellcard prepared, ?No good, nya! Atonement, nya: Needle Mountain of a Former Hell!?

?Wh?? Reimu notices a magic circle appear below her. She leaps up just as several long spikes shoot out from it. Breaking into flight, she dives toward Orin.

Orin readies another spellcard, ?Malicious Spirit, nya: Spleen Eater!? Suddenly, around Reimu, several wisps, not unlike the spirits found in the Netherworld, appear and quickly close in. Orin, with her open palm directed in Reimu?s direction, makes a fist, and all the spirits clash together and cause an explosion of spirit energy, which creates a force which sends Reimu crashing against the wall again, and falling to the ground.

?Ugh? Damn it??

?Nyahaha! NOW are you scared, nya?? Orin leaps into the air with her cart raised and sails toward the downed Reimu.

?Tch?? Reimu raises her gohei and blocks the cart. Orin tries swinging her unconventional, but effective, weapon a few more times, but the miko continues to guard, despite being at the cat youkai?s mercy. Finally, Orin rears back to deliver and extra powerful attack with her cart, intending to break Reimu?s defenses, but the miko takes the opportunity to slap an ofuda on the cat?s chest. The ofuda creates a burst of holy energy, which sends Orin staggering back, and also dropping her cart in surprise.

?Nyaaooo!?

?Take this!? Reimu draws a spellcard and attempts the spell that failed before, now that Orin had lost her defensive measure, ?Spirit Sign: Fantasy Orb!? The orbs slam into Orin and send her tumbling and sliding across the ground until she stops, almost at the other end of the room.

Orin gets back to her feet, though she stumbles a bit before regaining her proper footing, ?You?re? good, nya??

?You?ve lost,? says Reimu, walking toward the cat youkai.

However, Orin simply chuckles, ?Nyehehehnyahaha!?

Reimu stops, ?What?s so funny??

Orin says, ?Thank you for helping me back there, nya! Now you?ll see my real power!?

Reimu raises an eyebrow, ??Helping you?? ?Real power?? What are you talking about??

Orin responds with actions, ?Cursed Sprite, nya!?

?Huh??

?Zombie Fairy!? Suddenly, the fairies that Reimu had destroyed before reappear. They have the signs of the injuries they had received before, many of them singed by holy energy, and two penetrated by needles.

Reimu?s eyes widen, ?This is? necromancy??

Orin smirks, ?Let?s see you beat them this time, nya!?

Reimu rolls her eyes, ?They?re still fairies. No match for me.? She whirls around, tossing needles in rapid succession. However, while the needles hit home, the fairies don?t burst; they simply keep approaching her like nothing happened. The fairies retaliate by charging at the miko, who jumps out of the way, but then they turn and fire blast of energy, which Reimu blacks a couple of with her gohei, but the rest get past her defenses and bombard her.  Reimu gets forced back with her arm over her torso, ?Damn?? A couple more fairies body slam her, knocking her to the ground. However, Reimu notices something strange: Orin isn?t using one of the taunts she uses when the battle starts to flow in her favor. Reimu momentarily glances through the group of fairy zombies and notices that Orin?s eyes are closed in concentration. ?I see?? She realizes that it is the same case when Alice is controlling an abundance of dolls and she has to devote a lot of her concentration to controlling them, leaving her open.

The fairy zombies fire another volley of energy bullets, which Reimu rolls to the side of, narrowly avoiding harm. Still on the ground, she tosses a needle, which goes very low, under the fairies, and finally, pierces through the fabric of Orin?s dress and sinks into her right shin. Orin?s eyes burst open as she feels the pain, ?MEOWCH!? The fairy corpses drop to the ground like ragdolls.

Reimu springs back to her feet and dashes toward Orin. The cat youkai fights back by extending her arm toward the miko and firing a blast of spirit energy, which Reimu deflects by swinging her gohei. Orin attempts to deliver a kick, but Reimu outmaneuvers her by dodging to the side, then stunning the cat youkai by thrusting her staff into her gut, ?ACK!?

?It?s? OVER!? Reimu dashes to Orin?s front, and jumps away in a backflip, her foot connecting with the cat youkai?s jaw, launching her several feet upward. The miko finally finishes her combo with a spellcard, ?Border World: Hakurei Danmaku Bounded Field!? Several portals open around Orin, and each fire out lasers of holy energy, riddling to cat youkai. After the spell ends, Orin falls to the ground, exhausted and unconscious.

?Whew?? Reimu takes a few seconds to catch her breath, and then runs ahead.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #43 on: April 25, 2009, 03:04:06 PM »
==

I enter the door. Beyond it is a large room. It is round and goes up quite a ways, so it?s almost like being inside a large cylinder. It actually reminds me a lot of the room where I fought Kaguya during the moon incident, except the walls are white, as opposed to the light blue walls, and it stings my eyes a little. Looking at the floor, there is a small hole in the middle of it, and around it, the floor is painted black and yellow, looking like a ?nuclear? symbol. I still have a bad feeling about this. However, at the other end of the room, there is another door. I decide to make a move for it.

However, before I?m even halfway across the room, I notice a ball of orange energy shooting down at me from in front and above, I jump back, dodging it, then jump again to dodge another. I look at where they came from.

?Crap! I missed! You?re really annoying you know. You are going to die anyway, but you always pulls some fancy tricks under some lameass idea that you?ll live somehow. It?s so stupid?? I look up at the person who bitched to unreasonable lengths about targets that naturally try to avoid harm: A girl with unkempt long black hair and black eyes, wearing a white shirt with some red eye-like design on it, a short green skirt, and a green hair ribbon? but that?s not all. She also has black wings, reminding me a lot of Aya Shameimaru?s, which she wears a white cape over, and on her right arm, there is an orange? cylinder-shaped? thing? Seriously, what the hell is that thing? It looks like something a robot would have. Her right foot also seems to be encased in something gray, but who cares about that? What?s on her arm?

?Who the hell are you?? I demand.

The girl poses proudly in midair, ?My name is Utsuho Reiuji. I am in possession of ultimate power. A power which_?

?Okay, okay!? Damn, this girl is full of herself, ?Where is Reimu and Youmu??

?Utsuho? answers, ?Oh, they?re somewhere down here, dealing with beings worth less than myself. I hope you said goodbye, because you?re gonna die here! You?ll never see them again!?

?Shut the hell up. I will see them again if I have anything to say about it!?

?Do you know who you?re dealing with?? demands Utsuho, ?I have the power of nuclear fusion! There is nothing greater! That is why your life ends here! Whatever power you have can?t compare!? Well, that does sound pretty intimidating, not that I was unprepared, what with all the ?nuclear? symbols I?ve been seeing around here. Of course, I was afraid because of the effect it?s had on society in my ?other? life. Nuclear energy has proved beneficial to everyday life, but has also been the cause of countless deaths? but whatever. So has water.

I pull a spellcard out of my pocket, ?You obviously don?t know me. I?ve seen some pretty impressive powers, and the way I see it, yours is just another for me to overcome. Come and get some!?

?Yahoo! The moment I?ve been waiting for! Taste nuclear death, bitch! Hrahaha!? Utsuho points her ?arm thing? at me and begins firing blasts of fire from it. I continuously dodge to the side, ?Hold still, dammit! Die with some dignity!? How the hell is standing there and letting myself be killed dignified? She?s weird?

However, it seems like she can only fire off a few shots at a time. There is a break in her attacks, and I declare my spellcard, ?Magic Sign: Milky Way!? I fire flurry of magical energy at Utsuho, who tires to dodge, but is too slow (good thing she isn?t as fast as Aya, despite sharing some attributes?)

?UGH!? She gets hit by the magical blasts and crashes into the far wall. She gets back to her feet pretty fast, though, ?Ow! That hurt, dammit! How dare you hit me, Utsuho, with such a cheap shot!?

I shrug, ?This is a battle and I fought back.?

?Shut up!? Utsuho takes to the air, firing her ?cannon? like crazy. I hop on my broom and take to the air as well. We circle around, exchanging blasts of nuclear fire and magical energy. I dodge everything Utsuho sent at me, but the bird youkai get hit by a couple of my attacks, ?Shit! Stop dodging! This isn?t fair!?

?It?s not my fault your aim sucks.?

?YOU BITCH! I?m the one with ultimate power, not you! I won?t lose to trash like you! RRAAAGGHHHH!? With a desperate look in her eyes, Utsuho flies straight at me. I hit her with a few magical blasts, but she only winces slightly to them. She swings at me with her ?cannon?, but I tilt back and dodge it, but the bird presses her melee assault and gets me across the face with a second strike. The impact knocks me off my broom, sailing through the air, slamming against the wall, and falling to the ground, feeling sore and my head ringing? Holy shit? She has some serious pride in her powers? She?s like Cirno, except the fairy has her head on right?

?Ugh. Dammit??

?Hahaha! You like that?? Utsuho draws a spellcard, ?Atomic Fire!? A large ball of energy starts to build at the tip of her ?cannon,? ?Nuclear Fusion!? She fires the ball at me. I rise to my feet and try to dodge to the side. However, when it hits the corner I was in, a force pulls me in momentarily, and then sends my flying as it creates a somewhat sizable dome-shaped explosion. I hit another wall, near where I dropped my broom.

Utsuho, looking proud of the fact that she messed me up a little, draws another spellcard, ?Try this! Explosion Sign!? More energy gathers at the tip of her cannon. This time, she?s trembling a little, so the next one has to be something big.

I decide to counter with a spell of my own and hope something good comes of it, ?Love Sign!?

We both fire off our spells, ?Mega Flare!?

?Master Spark!?

We both fire large beams at each other, only mine is a golden beam of magical energy and hers is an orange beam of nuclear energy. Our attacks cancel each other out, one not proving to be any more potent than the other.

Well, both of us prove our stubbornness for the next couple rounds of spells, ?Magicannon: Final Spark!?

?Explosion Sign: Giga Flare!?

We do the same thing again, only with larger beams, but the result is no different. Finally, I go for my top tier magic beam. Beat this, Utsuho, ?Magicannon: Final Master Spark!?

?Explosion Sign: Peta Flare!? One more time, our spells clash. Dammit! Utsuho has one to match my Final Master Spark? Before, when our spells proved ineffective against each other, we stopped and moved up to a higher spell, but this time, we keep going, trying to overpower the other. It looks like Utsuho is on her most powerful beam as well, otherwise she?d just upgrade again? either that, or she?s running out of stamina. I know I am?

We keep pouring more and more energy into our spells. Whenever I try to one-up on Utsuho?s spell, she increases her power, and vice versa. Finally, after one of the longest minutes of my life, we both reach our limit and end our attacks. We?d be out cold of we kept rapidly losing energy like that.

Frankly, it?s time to give up, but Utsuho?s pride, naturally, gets the better of her, ?Dammit? I have? ultimate power? I will? not? LOSE!? Utsuho points her ?cannon? at me and fires off more shots. However, she is so weak at this point, they are just small bursts of fire, which I intercept and dispel easily with basic magical shots. At this point, the bird youkai looks like she?s on the verge of tears, ?No! NO! You don?t have ultimate power? I DO! How can you??

I force a grin, ?It?s not about ?ultimate power,? dumbass. I?m just better than you.?

?ARGH! You?re not better than me! I?ll show you!? She pulls a spellcard from her pocket. What? How can she?? ?Blazing Star? RRAGH!? Utsuho falls to the ground. She tries to get up, but it seems that her legs are now so weak, they can?t support her weight. She coughs out some blood. She tried using a spellcard when she has too little strength to do so? She?s so proud, it?s stupid?

I let out a long sigh, ?It?s over. You?ve lost.?

Apparently, I didn?t choose the right words, because she attempts a REALLY stupid move in retaliation, ?I?. have? not? lost? yet?? She moves her hand slowly across the floor to her pocket and pulls out a spellcard, ?Die? Last??

?Last?? as in ?Last Word?? I extend my arm toward her spellcard, ?Oh no, you don?t!? I fire off a very small magical laser, which couldn?t hurt a fairy, but is enough to burn a spellcard.

?No?? Utsuho doesn?t even have the energy to look angry now. She just gives a whimpering expression, then closes her eyes and passes out. I walk toward the exit. Damn, I don?t think I?ve ever seen anyone so desperate, just to win. I enter the doorway, using my broom as a support for my walking, since I feel like shit, due to the energy I expended, though it?s probably nothing compared to Utsuho?s situation. Beyond the door is a corridor of showers and brushes, which I totally welcome. I?m no expert at nuclear physics, but since Utsuho has that kind of power, I wouldn?t be surprised if my body had become irradiated at some point, so this is good. I want to sleep, but right now, I gotta find Reimu and Youmu, wherever they are?

==

In Satori?s chamber, Youmu continuously attempts to attack the mysterious girl, but she keeps dodging with perfect precision, as if she were reading the gardener?s mind, and all other things considered, she just might.

Youmu delivers a horizontal slash, which Satori ducks. She then places her hand on the gardener?s chest and releases a moderately powerful blast of energy, which sends the gardener sailing back, letting go of the Roukanken in surprise, and landing hard on her back, ?Ugh? Dammit?? She looks at Satori, ?How can you dodge me for so long? No one has ever done that! It?s not fair!?

Satori?s eyes narrow, ?I just did, so obviously, someone can. Stop complaining.?

?Gr??

?Tell me, Youmu. How much do you love your mistress??

?Why are you asking me this??

?Answer the question. How much do you love Yuyuko??

?? With everything I?m worth. I would gladly give my life for her.?

Satori smiles mysteriously, ?I see. So that is your answer, is it? Are you truly positive about it??

?I am!?

?Then let us explore that, shall we??

Youmu rises to her feet, ?What are you talking about??

??? Suddenly, Youmu feels a slight draft. A breeze, seemingly coming from Satori?s forehead, lifts her bangs us, revealing a slit.

?Wh???

The slit opens, revealing an eye. Satori says, ?Let us explore the deeper reaches of your heart?? The eye glows as Youmu looks at it. Suddenly, everything blacks out.

?

Youmu finds herself surrounded by grass and cherry blossom trees, and at the foot of a long flight of stone steps leading up to a palace. She immediately recognizes the location, ?The Netherworld? Hakugyokurou? I?m back? What happened to Satori?? Youmu glances at two statues at the bottom of the stairs, which bear a close resemblance to Yuyuko, whom they represent. Youmu briefly recalls her father telling her that he sculpted them himself not long before she was born.

However, no sooner does Youmu have her recollection when there is a bright white flash. Soon after, the heads of the statues fly off and hit the ground with a thud. Youmu?s eyes widen, ?What??

Between the statues, a figure Youmu least expects appears: someone who looks exactly like Youmu, except her dress is blue and her hair is shiny pink. She stands with her own version of the Roukanken drawn.

Youmu is speechless at the sight of the other Youmu, ?Wh? who? why??

The other Youmu smiles, ?Just the reaction I?d expect. It?s not everyday something like this happens. Tell me, how did you feel when I cut through those statues??

Youmu recovers from her shock and her eyes narrow, ?How dare you? How could you disrespect Yuyuko-sama in such a way? Especially when you LOOK exactly like me? Are you some evil fake created by Satori? Answer me!?

The other Youmu sighs, ?I was going to answer you anyway. You didn?t have to tell me to. As for me being fake? well, it takes one to know one, doesn?t it? Admit it, you actually LIKED what I did, didn?t you??

?WHAT??

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #44 on: April 25, 2009, 03:06:04 PM »
Meanwhile, at the same time as all other events unfold, Alice and Sakuya emerge from the other side of the portal they fell into during the battle with Tenshi. On the other side, they are surrounded by snow and icy mountains, but the temperature is surprisingly lukewarm.

?Is this??? Sakuya feels a slight sense of familiarity regarding the place.

However, Alice remembers it immediately, ?We?re in Makai!?

?Just as I thought?? Sakuya had only previously spent a few minutes in Makai, but with Alice?s revelation, it all comes back to her.

Alice yells, ?Marisa! Reimu! Youmu! They were still fighting! We must find a way back!?

?Do you happen to know a way?? asks Sakuya.

Alice says, ?Shinki? You are there, aren?t you??

Out of thin air, Shinki materializes in front of Alice and Sakuya, ?My dearest Alice, I am relieved beyond words to see you unharmed. It looks like I acted in time. Words fail to express my happiness.?

Alice smiles, ?It?s nice to see you again, Shinki. I appreciate that you saved us. Otherwise we would have been dead for sure.?

Shinki responds, ?Do not forget, Alice, that I see you as a daughter, despite the fact that you were not born from me. I always do everything in my power to see to it that my children remain unharmed.?

Alice bows with gratitude, ?I thank you? from the bottom of my heart. May I please ask that you please return us to where you retrieved us from? Our friends are battling a strong opponent. They need us.?

Shinki slowly shakes her head, ?That, I cannot do.?

?Why?? demands Sakuya.

Shinki gazes at Alice with a serious expression, ?Alice, you did receive my warning about events I foresaw, did you not??

Alice nods, ?Yes. You sent Yuki to relay that message to me.?

?Who is Yuki?? asks Sakuya, ?When did that happen??

?You saw her,? says Alice, ?It was soon after we arrived in Japan. We were on the bench with Marisa waiting for Reimu and Youmu. She walked by and I followed her.?

Sakuya vaguely recalls the event, ?Oh yes??

Shinki says to Alice, ?Surely you are aware, then, that if the threat of death threatened you, I would try to save you.?

?And you did,? responds Alice, ?That disaster was prevented. I am not in danger anymore. Please send us back.?

Shinki shakes her head, ?No. While it is true your life had been saved, the prophecy still remains. If you go back there, sooner or later, you will surely die. Your death can only be prevented if you remain here. I will not let you go back to meet your unfortunate fate.?

?Then what about our friends?? yells Alice, ?What if they die because we weren?t there to do something to save them??

??? Shinki stands in silence, and then chuckles, ?Hmhmhm??

?What?s so funny?? asks Sakuya.

Shinki smiles warmly, ?You?ve changed, Alice. Before, you would care not about such matters. You would keep to yourself and disregard the world around you. This is indeed a startling change in attitude. You?ve most certainly grown up.?

?Then you understand me?? asks Alice, ?Please, send Sakuya and I back to where we were! I?ll be careful, I promise.?

Shinki closes her eyes and shakes her head, ?I am afraid that changes nothing, however. I cannot permit it.?

?Please!? yells Alice desperately.

?Your friends may live, or they may not,? says Shinki, ?But your death is a certainty if you choose to persist along that path. I know it?s difficult, but leave all your worldly troubles behind and live your life with us again. I will also welcome your companion as one among the sisterhood.?

?There are things I must do too,? says Sakuya, ?I will not turn away from them.?

Shinki pauses ?? ? ? I see. Perhaps you need some time to yourselves to grasp the situation. She points in the distance, toward a castle that looks small from where they are, but would be immense up close. It has several towers and spires protruding from it, ?I will await your arrival there. Please take your time and sort out whatever issues you may have. I bid you farewell for now.? Shinki opens a black gap and disappears into it.

?Wait!? cries Alice.

?She?s gone,? says Sakuya.

???

?So what do you propose we do?? asks the maid, ?Shall we meet her again at that castle??

With one fist clenched, Alice says, ?The others are still fighting as we speak. With the way things are, we won?t make it back in time??

?Don?t talk like they will be doomed without us,? says Sakuya, ?We?ll just have to hope they find a way. It wouldn?t be the first time??

?True??

Sakuya takes a couple steps in the castle?s direction, ?Our destination is rather obvious. If we want to go back, we must talk to Shinki again, correct? We might as well do that.?

?Yes?? Alice follows the maid.


In the city area, Cirno finds Mokou sitting on the edge of the supermarket?s roof, looking out at the sunset.

?Hey! Mokou!?

Mokou glances back over her shoulder at the ice fairy, ?Oh. Fairy girl.?

?The sunset is cool, isn?t it??

Mokou shrugs, ?Whatever. What?s the point in pointing it out? You?re acting like you?ve never seen a sunset before.?

?But? Isn?t there anything that you like, no matter how many times you?ve seen it??

Mokou leans back, ?Dunno. Seeing how Princess ends up after I give her a good ass-kicking? Lightens my mood every time.?

?By ?Princess,? you mean Kaguya??

?No shit. What other princesses are there??

?Why do you have to talk like that?? asks Cirno, ?You?re so mean! I just wanted to talk to you!?

Mokou sighs and responds, ?Sorry. It?s just my personality, I guess. No wonder I don?t have a lot of friends? Heh?? Mokou pats the ledge next to her, ?Come here. Sit next to me.?

?What??

Mokou does her best to smile, ?I?m not upset with you, okay? Let?s just sit and talk. I don?t bite.?

?Okay?? Cirno sits next to Mokou. Their legs dangle over the edge of the roof and they gaze at the sunset together.

Mokou pulls a box out of her pocket, which happens to be a pack of cigarettes. She pulls a cigarette out of the pack, ignites one of her fingers, and lights it. She holds the pack out to Cirno, ?Want one??

?Okay!? Cirno pulls a cigarette out and puts it in her mouth. Mokou lights it.

Cirno observes the way Mokou smokes, then inhales, ?ACK!? and then gags, causing her to drop the cigarette.

Mokou chuckles, ?Hmhm? Not your thing, huh??

?Wait?? Cirno examines the pack, ?Ah!? She pulls the cigarette out of Mokou?s mouth and throws it over the side of the building.

?Aw, what the hell??

Cirno exclaims, ?I just remembered! Reisen taught me about these earlier! She said they can cause ?lung cancer.? I have no idea what that is, but it sounds bad.?

Mokou leans back, ?Good advice.?

?Why are you using those??

?Dunno. Felt like it.?

?Do you know what ?lung cancer? is??

Mokou gives her best possible explanation, ?I just heard about it somewhere. Basically, it makes someone?s lungs all shitty, and kills them.?

?You knew that? It could have happened to you?? Cirno realizes something else, ?Ah! It could have happened to me! You just tried to kill me, didn?t you??

?Relax,? says Mokou, ?One won?t do that. Besides, it?s not like I have a reason to care what it does to me.?

?Why??

?You know damn well why. Because I?m immortal. I can just die and come back, damage 100% repaired.?

Cirno sighs with relief, ?Whew. You?re really lucky??

?No I?m not,? says Mokou, ?YOU?RE the lucky one.?

?Why?? asks the ice fairy, ?You can?t die, but I can...?

?It?s BECAUSE you can die that you?re lucky.?

?What???

Mokou focuses her gaze on the sunset, ?It means you can appreciate your existence. You can only do a finite amount of things in your lifetime, and that is what makes it precious. You make friends and form relationships, and someday, you can look back on all that, say you?ve loved life, and go out with a smile. Life is one?s story, and everyone hopes it has an exciting middle and a happy ending?? Mokou sighs and directs her melancholy expression toward the ruined cityscape ?? but not me. There is a beginning and an eternal middle, but no ending? And I can?t say that I?m proud of what I?ve done so far.?

?B-but?? Cirno stutters, ?Um? er? That doesn?t mean you can?t? y?know, fix things. Also, you can do things you like and remember them.?

?Remember them?? Mokou scoffs, ?Yeah right. Getting trapped in Reimu?s mind? Learning Gensokyo was a dream? Fighting constantly with an alien princess? Hell, the conversation I?m having with you right now? It may be thousands of years, but eventually, I?ll forget everything. That?s what the flow of time does. It makes you forget. The longer you live, the more blurry and distant the things you?ve done become, until that memory becomes nothing but inexistence. Most of the time, I forget why I?m fighting with Kaguya. Her very existence reminds me, but who knows how long it?s going to be until I lose my memory and motivation to do so? After that, then what? I just keep on living! THAT?S why you?re lucky, fairy girl. You can go out with those memories. You don?t keep going and lose what?s important!?

?Then why do you care?? asks Cirno.

?What??

?You came along with us, and you?re helping us. You talk as if you shouldn?t care about anything, because you?re afraid you?ll forget, but you are here? I don?t get it??

?Ah!? To Mokou?s surprise, Cirno?s comment caught her off guard, ?I? don?t know? I?m trying to rescue Kaguya? I know I want to? but why? What?s the point??? Mokou shakes her head, ?Dammit! I wish I had an answer, fairy girl??


Back in Makai, Alice and Sakuya fly over the fields of snow, gradually getting closer to the castle.

Along the way, Sakuya asks, ?Alice, what exactly is your relation to Shinki? I?m aware you have something like that of a daughter and mother, but how, may I ask, did you come to know her??

Alice responds, ?She is the reason I became a youkai??

?What??

?Well, I used to be human. A powerful human mage, disgusted with fellow humans. As an outcast, I traveled, and was eventually found by Shinki. She made me a youkai? a demon to be exact, so I could become distant from the humans I used to hate so much??

?I see. It?s no wonder she was so surprised to find out that you wanted to go back to help our friends? humans??

Alice smiles, ?Yes, it is quite ironic, now that I think about it??

?But she said that you?ll die if you do. Are you sure? I mean, I could go back alone, and you could remain here, where she claims you?ll be safe. I think she?d agree to that.?

?I imagine she would,? says Alice, quickening her pace to keep up with Sakuya, ?But? despite my past, I will return to help those I?ve come to care about. Whatever is supposed to kill me, I?ll be careful. I know about it, so I won?t be done in so easily! If you leave here, you won?t be alone.?

?Something tells me Shinki won?t have that??

?We?ll just have to be more persuasive??

?I can do that,? says Sakuya, ?If my words can?t convince her, my knives will!?

?Ah!? Alice zooms ahead so she can run in front of the maid and look her in the eye, ?That is ABSOLUTELY out of the question! Shinki is immensely powerful.?

?It wouldn?t be the first time we?ve had a powerful opponent??

?The answer is still no! Yukari? Yuka? Suika? Yuyuko? Kanako? I imagine even Yumei when she fused Yukari?s powers with her own? Shinki is more powerful than ANY of them!?

Sakuya?s eyes widen, ?She?s that strong? What makes you say that??

Alice looks out at the landscape, ?Shinki is the sole being responsible for all of this. She created Makai and everyone who lives here. It was all her doing. Unlike Yumei, she created it from nothing.?

?Unreal?? says Sakuya.

?We?ll just have to find some other way to convince her??

They continue walking. A half-hour slowly goes by.

?A demon?? Sakuya recalls Alice?s previous words, ?So that?s the kind of youkai you are??

?It isn?t much different from most kinds of youkai.

?Well, I can understand why you weren?t specific about the type of youaki you were. If I recall correctly, based on something Patchouli told me some time ago, demons are generally viewed as terrible things in Gensokyo.?

?You are right?? Alice says one more thing under her breath ?It?s appropriate for someone like me, though??

?Did you say something??

?No??

Sakuya looks ahead toward the castle, which is now very close, ?It appeared that Shinki is capable of manipulating boundaries.?

?She can,? says Alice, ?However, she is bound to Makai, so she can?t leave. She can send others to and from, though. However, she doesn?t have that ability naturally, so it requires a lot of her power to link this realm to another. She can use it pretty freely within Makai?s boundary, though...?

?I see?? says Sakuya, ?Yet, she used it to help us. She really loves you if she?s willing to go that far??

Alice sighs, ?Yes, she views me like a daughter. She?s a mother in every sense of the word??

Sakuya?s eyes narrow, ?I see. This is going to be difficult??

They finally reach the castle. They enter an entryway where they are greeted by two girls, one of whom being Yuki, the girl Alice had a brief encounter with in Japan. The other girl has light blue eyes and hair, and wears a white dress and hair ribbon.

Yuki gives a cheerful wave, ?Alice! We meet again! Welcome back to Makai, dear sister!?

The other girl glances at Sakuya, and then Alice, giving the latter a very brief dirty look ???

?Hm?? Sakuya is the only one who notices the other girl?s passing expression.

?It?s? good to see you again, Yuki,? Alice returns the greeting. She looks at the other girl, ?And you too, Mai.?

??? The girl, identified as Mai, stands silently.

Yuki looks at Sakuya, ?Hey! I remember you! Your hair was a little longer and you were dressed differently, but you were with Alice when I went to visit her. What?s your name??

?Sakuya,? answers the maid.

Yuki slowly approaches Sakuya, ?It?s nice to meet you, Sakuya!? She quickly hugs the maid and kisses her on the cheek.

Sakuya pushes Yuki off her, blushing heavily, ?Wh??

Alice shakes her head with a wry smile, ?Don?t let it get to you. That?s how she greets everyone?? She becomes serious again, ?At any rate, we can?t talk for long. We must see Shinki.?

?Sure thing!? says Yuki, ?Just follow us, ?kay? We?ll take you to Mother.? She turns and walks down a corridor behind her.

??? Mai does the same as Yuki.

Alice and Sakuya follow the two girls. The castle, while warm like most interiors, gives off a beautiful, yet chilling atmosphere. The tiles on the floor are silver, while the walls and ceiling are blue. Overall, it doesn?t feel much different from the snowy terrain outside.

As they walk, Sakuya whispers to Alice, so Yuki and Mai can?t hear, ?That Yuki seems friendly and energetic, but the other one, Mai? I don?t know. She doesn?t seem to like you??

?I?m aware of that,? Alice whispers back, ?I don?t know why, though??

Yuki and Mai lead them through the castle?s maze-like complex of corridors. Finally, they enter a large room, big enough to be a ball room, with a dome-like ceiling. Shinki stands in the middle of the room, with a subtle smile.

?We?re here!? announces Yuki.

??? Mai says the same thing as Yuki in body language.

?Thank you, Yuki,? says Shinki, turning her attention toward Alice and Sakuya, ?Welcome. I take it I provided adequate time for the two of you to decide on what to do??

?Our answer remains the same, Shinki? says Alice, ?Please send us back.?

Shinki looks at Alice questioningly, ?I told you that death awaits you if you do so? They? must mean quite a lot to you.?

??? Alice nods silently.

?No! I don?t want you to die!? cries Yuki.

?Silence, Yuki,? commands Shinki.

Yuki kneels respectfully, ?Sorry, Mother??

Shinki says, ?Still, I cannot allow it. If I send the two of you back, I will lack the power to control the boundary outside of Makai for quite some time, thus when the time comes, I won?t be able to save you again.?

?Then send me back alone!? exclaims Sakuya, ?You don?t have a problem with that, do you, Shinki? Alice will be safe.?

?No,? says Alice, ?I already told you that if you go back, I will too.? She looks at Shinki, ?Just tell me what is supposed to kill me! If I know, then maybe I can avoid it!?

?It is fate,? says Shinki, ?It cannot be evaded. I?m sorry about your friends, Alice, but this is for your own good.?

?I have no choice, then?? Sakuya quickly draws a knife and tosses it at Shinki. The weapon bounces off an invisible wall in front of Makai?s creator.

?Ah! What are you doing?? screams Yuki.

??? Mai dashes over to Sakuya and a sword of ice appears in her hand, which she positions inches away from the maid?s neck. However, Sakuya just stands, composed, and awaits Shinki?s reaction.

Shinki pauses for a few seconds, and then smiles, ?You would challenge me? Hahaha!? She laughs a little.

??? Mai looks at Shinki questioningly.

Alice stammers, ?I-I?m sorry about my friend, Shinki! I told her before that fighting you is futile!?

?So you did?? asks Shinki, ?And yet she still chose to attack me? You really wish to go back that badly??

?I do,? answers Sakuya, ?There are things in Gensokyo I must do and a life I wish to return to. I can?t just stay here. Also, Alice made a choice??

?Sakuya,? says Alice, wide-eyed.

?I insist you respect that choice. She?s aware of the risks, has she not shown that? You would still interfere??

?I see,? says Makai?s creator, ?Perhaps you can show me your words are not just show? You see, in this demon world, strength is what expresses resolve. I shall arrange an opponent for you. Should you win, I will understand the power of your words and take them under serious consideration. Do you accept??

?I accept your challenge,? responds Sakuya.

?Very well, then,? says Shinki with a smile, ?I have a very special opponent arranged for you. Yumeko!?

A girl appears from thin air. She has long wavy blonde hair and golden eyes. She is dressed as a maid, in almost the same way Sakuya is, only her clothes have a red and white color scheme as opposed to Sakuya?s blue and white, ?You called, Mother??

?Yumeko,? says Alice.

The other maid, Yumeko, glances at Alice, ?Welcome back, Alice. It has been some time.?

Shinki says, as she, Alice, Yuki, and Mai move to a far wall, ?That maid is your opponent. Fight to your fullest.?

?Another maid?? notes Sakuya.

Yumeko smiles tauntingly, ?It?s been awhile since I last fought. Do go easy on me.?

Sakuya draws a knife, ?Don?t count on it. I trust you are prepared to feel the pain of my knives??

Yumeko draws a knife, ?You are quite interesting. Don?t let me down??

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #45 on: April 25, 2009, 03:06:47 PM »
Inside the supermarket, now dimly lit by the sunset?s light through the holes in the ceiling, Reisen finds Yuyuko in one of the aisles, eating out of a cereal box.

?That stuff tastes better with milk,? Reisen informs Yuyuko as she approaches.

?With milk?? Yuyuko smiles, ?Capital idea! I should try that!?

Reisen sits across from the ghost, ?Are you sure you did the right thing??

Yuyuko stops eating and asks through a mouthful of cereal, ?Hm? Right thing about what, now??

?About Youmu. I mean, she IS your servant, and it?s only natural she?d want to be by your side. However, you sent her off with the others. I know that the splitting up conflicted that, but even though I chose this side, I would have gone with the others and let Youmu go with you, you know??

Yuyuko smiles, albeit a sad smile, ?You have a kind heart, Reisen. However, Youmu is better off spending time with her friends than with me??

?Why? You are her mistress, I mean, why would she want to be with anyone else??

Yuyuko leans back, ?Trust me? I know??


Youmu yells, ?How the hell could I possibly LIKE that? How could you even imply that I liked my mistress being dishonored in the way you just did??

?Well, didn?t you?? asks the other Youmu.

?Absolutely not!?

?There you go again,? says the other Youmu, gesturing an indication that she knew the answer she was going to hear, ?Lying to yourself again. Not that I blame you. After all, it?s what you do best.?

??To myself??? explodes Youmu, ?You may LOOK like me, but you and I aren?t the same person at all! There is no way? No possible way that you and I are the same. You are just an illusion trying to trick me! It?s not going to work?? Youmu takes a couple deep breaths, ?You hear me, Satori! This cheap trick is not going to work!?

Youmu hears Satori?s voice come from an unspecified location, ?So you believe that is an illusion? Hmhmhm? You are welcome to go ahead and think that??

?So you are there! Show yourself, you three-eyed freak!?

?Satori?? says the other Youmu, ?We share a mutual adversary. It?s a shame I have to rely on a fake like you to confront her rather than do it myself!?

?Why are you calling me a fake??

?Because you are me?? says the other Youmu, ?You and I are one of the same, sister. The only difference is that you go around masking yourself with lies. ?I will fight to the death for Yuyuko-sama!? ?Yuyuko-sama is my reason for living.? You know, lies like those. If you want a truth, then here?s one: You HATE that bitch, Yuyuko.?

?Ridiculous!? yells Youmu, ?You?re just trying to fool me! I would never think that! How dare you say such a thing about Yuyuko-sama, and say that you are me?? Youmu draws the Hakurouken, ?Enough talking. I am not going to lose to an imposter like you!?

The other Youmu strikes a defensive stance, ?Go ahead and try.?

?Yaaaa!? Youmu leaps up and swings the Hakurouken down at her other self. Their swords clash.

?Hmph.?

?Ah!? Youmu?s eyes widen. As the Hakurouken is made to cut through confusion, it had cut through illusions with no effort, but as it had not cut through the other Youmu?s blade, Youmu realizes something is not right.

The other Youmu kicks Youmu away, then draws a spellcard, ?Recollection: Slash of Present!? She disappears with a blur, and then appears in front of Youmu, delivering a fast and powerful slash.

?Ugh!? Youmu staggers back. Strangely, no blood was drawn, but she does feel the pain, ?Ah! Damn it!?

The other Youmu sheathes her sword, ?Just what I?d expect from a fake??

?You? bastard??

?Here is something we can agree on, ?me?: Our father, Youki Konpaku was? or should I say, is, a truly great man. Powerful, wise, clever, handsome, devoted, kind? Truly a man amongst men. Sure, he had that little weakness to beautiful women, but if you put that aside, he?s perfect??

???

?So why the hell should he serve someone like Yuyuko? Someone who doesn?t come close to matching his supremacy? It?s a question that has been on your? or should I say, OUR, mind. After all, all that ghost ever did was constantly nag him for food, to tell her stories, to investigate things that sparked her curiosity? and he did as he was told without question. That kinda pissed us off.?

???

?One day, we asked him why he serves her, and spoke badly of her, saying that you wished she would just disappear. At that moment? he slapped us. That?s right, the one and only time he ever did something like that outside of training. Let?s just say that didn?t help much with Yuyuko?s credibility in our eyes.?

???

?Of course, father just HAD to leave that fateful night? to join the Lunarians, apparently, and left us to fill his role. Now how can someone who despises Yuyuko be a loyal servant? We couldn?t just run away, and father did trust us with that duty, and we respected him enough not to disobey. That?s when YOU were born? and I ceased to exist. In your mind, you created another self that mirrored father?s devotion to Yuyuko, and assumed that identity to cope with the situation. I don?t blame you. After all, if you didn?t, you just might have gone insane. You became a new person who was totally devoted to Yuyuko, and it got to the point where it took over your identity entirely. That?s why I had said those things. You are not your own person? not anymore. You are just a character you created and assumed. That?s why you are a fake!?

?I?? Youmu can no longer find the will to object to her other self?s words. She wants to continue writing off her words as lies, but cannot as part of her realizes the truth in them, ?AAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!?

==

I slowly make my way through the tunnels of the underground maze. There are some glowing crystals that provide just enough illumination for me to see, but the path had branched off many times, so I?ve just had to trust my instincts on where to go. If I ended up at some place after entering that circle, then Reimu and Youmu must also be down here somewhere? but I don?t know if I?m getting warmer or colder on the trail to finding them?

I had recovered a bit of my strength since that power struggle with Miss Meltdown, so I?m no longer using my broom to stay upright, but I sure s hell can?t run as I am, and I can?t take another fight?

Also, now that I have a chance, I wonder what happened to Alice and Sakuya. They vanished into a dark gap and vanished. I can?t have been Yukari. I mean? she?s dead, and her gaps don?t look like that. Could it have been Yumei?? Nah! Still, if a gap did appear, I assume it was to save them, so I guess I shouldn?t worry too much. I wonder if they?ll make it back here?

Of course, just as I think about my current predicament, a gap opens and that Yumei/Yukari hybrid, who Cirno called ?Yukarumei,? emerges, ?Hello there, Marisa! Good job winning that battle?? She reverts to Yumei?s form.

Dammit! I can?t very well fight her with the stamina I have right now, ?What the hell do you want, Yumei? You have some nerve showing up after what you did??

?Oh, I?m only here to talk,? says the damn rabbit, ?I want to make you an offer??

I force a smug look, ?What could YOU offer me? We?re well past the point of talking this shit over??

Yumei grins, ?Even if I could make you the most powerful woman in the universe??

?What are you TALKING about??

?My goal,? says Yumei, ?is to use Gensokyo to defeat the Lunarian Empire. However, defeating it is my only goal. Once that is done, I?d be happy with giving you the throne. Think about it! I can make you empress! I did have to live in your mind, and you were pretty nice to me.?

?That was because I thought you could bring Gensokyo back? not like this. As for your offer, the answer is hell no.?

?Why not?? asks Yumei, ?Together, we can find a way to kill the immortal empress! All her power can be yours! Does that not interest you??

I shake my head, ?All I wanted was friends. Whether I?d be saving Gensokyo or going to school with them, it doesn?t matter because I was with them. That?s all I want. You can worry about that stupid empire by yourself.?

Yumei takes a step back, ?Damn? I don?t understand. How could you pick something so trivial over obtaining all the power someone could possibly desire??

?Because I DO understand, that?s why.?

?I see. In that case?? Yumei turns back into Yukarumei and opens a gap and turns to enter it.

I blurt out, ?So are you going to finish me??

She looks back at me, ?Finish you??

?Yeah, I thought it was pretty obvious! I?m weak from that battle with Utsuho; I can only use about two Master Sparks, though the second one would probably be pretty weak. My only chance of winning is to use a Last Word, but that would kill me. You?re skipping out on a great opportunity!? You may think I?m crazy for saying this, but I?m visibly weakened and I know Yumei isn?t that stupid.

Yukarumei responds, ?That would be too easy. I?d rather test my? minions against you.?

??Minions???

?Yes. Gensokyo?s denizens are no longer a part of me. Instead, they live around this world and serve my desires. I?ll leave it to them.?

?So you are just going to leave me be? You do know I?ll make damn sure this comes back to bite you in the ass later, right??

?Hmph. You?re on, Marisa.?

???

?Also, I?ll tell you where your friends are. Go to the end of this tunnel and where it forks off, go right. In that tunnel, take the second left, and Youmu is in the fifth room to the right. Reimu is pretty close to that location, so she?ll be there before you. Ciao.? She enters the portal.

??? I stand there, stunned. Yumei just? HELPED me? Damn, I don?t get her at all! She might be lying, but for all I know at the moment, it?s just as good a lead as any, so I proceed to follow her directions.

==

?AAAAAAAGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!? A scream echoes through the underground tunnels. It catches Reimu off guard.

The miko takes a second to recall the voice, ?That was? Youmu! It wasn?t far from here!? She heads in the general direction the scream came from and it isn?t long before she finds the room where Youmu and Satori are. Youmu is slumped on the ground with her eyes blank and lifeless.

?Youmu!? yells Reimu.

Satori looks at Reimu, ?You? It seems my servant was unable to stop you.?

?Who are you?? demands Reimu, ?What have you done to Youmu? Did you just???

Satori shakes her head, ?No. Your friend is undergoing a trial? and trial that requires a strong heart to overcome. Failure to do so results in the destruction of one?s mind. Her heart is very weak??

?Youmu!? yells Reimu, ?Can you hear me? Youmu!?


?Youmu! Can you hear me? Youmu!?

Within Youmu?s subconscious, Youmu hears Reimu?s voice from the outside, ?Re? i? mu??


?Re? i? mu?? Youmu?s words are relayed through her body.

Reimu finds the nature of the response unusual, but she knows she got through to wherever Youmu?s consciousness is, ?Yes! It?s me, Reimu! What?s going on??

Even though Youmu?s body?s face has a blank expression, she speaks with the emotion she is feeling within, ?I?m? so sorry, Reimu??

??? Satori watches the exchange between Reimu and Youmu silently.

?What are you sorry for?? asks the miko.

Youmu answers, ?I?ve lied to you? I?ve lied to everyone, including myself! All I?ve done? is lie. I?m not the person you think I am, Reimu. I?m not the real Youmu. I?m just a personality made from a necessity??

?What have you DONE to her?? demands Reimu to Satori.

Satori plainly answers, ?I have done nothing. This girl cannot face the truth of her own being.?

?Stop this now!? Reimu tosses a handful of needles at Satori, who dodges them with little effort, and then charges in, swinging her gohei, which Satori leaps away from, well before the attack can connect.

?It?s useless,? says Satori, ?You can keep trying, but your attacks will never hit me.?

?Damn??

?Besides, since Youmu had started undergoing her trial, nothing can stop it now. Not even me. I?d advise you not to waste your time, Reimu.?

?How did you know my??? Reimu shakes her head and shifts her attention toward the more important matter at hand. She kneels and looks straight at Youmu blank face, ?So there is some truth you had been keeping from everyone??

?I?m sorry?? Despite the unchanging expression, Youmu?s eyes well up and tears start to flow.

?So what??

?H-huh??

?You have secrets, right? We all do. In fact, I?d be worried if you didn?t,? says Reimu, ?I?m sure it?s something that?s hard to accept, and really, I don?t want to know what that secret is, but regardless, you are still Youmu, right? I don?t care what you had been hiding. The fact remains that we had been on many adventures together and we had even lived together. THAT was no lie, and can you say that our friendship is a lie too??

?N-no??

?No matter what, you are Youmu, and nothing can change that!?


?No matter what, you are Youmu, and nothing can change that!? Reimu?s words echo from above.

Inspired, Youmu looks her other self in the eye, ?You? You?re right? about everything.?

???

?I did find it hard to accept, but it?s true what you said. I had felt angry at Yuyuko-sama because I felt she had enervated father?s greatness. I?ll admit? that I was you at one point, and that we are the same. I recall something. That time, when you said that father hit you?us? do you remember what he said, afterward??

The other Youmu?s eyes widen, ?What??

?He said that we half-ghosts are not accepted by worlds of the living, nor the dead; That we are cursed beings. However, Yuyuko-sama was benevolent enough to give us a home, even if it meant our servitude to her. Isn?t that the real reason we didn?t run away? Not just because father told us to??

The other Youmu is taken aback, ?I see? good point, other me??

Youmu approaches her other self, ?Regardless of how I really feel, my honor can?t allow me to reject that kindness, and I don?t think you were able to do that either. I?m no fake self. Aren?t we both the same person??

The other Youmu closes her eyes and smiles, ?I was meaning to teach you, but in the end, you taught me. Well played??

Youmu shakes her head, ?Oh no. I think we both learned more about me. It?s funny how little we both knew about ourselves...?

?So what will you do??

?Do you need to ask? I will keep living as I have been. Hopefully someday, I?ll meet father again and we can be a family. Until then, however, I will fulfill the duty he entrusted with me? with us.?

The other Youmu starts to shine brightly and Youmu begins to white out?


? and she finds herself back where she was fighting Satori with Reimu kneeling in front of her, ?Reimu!?

Reimu?s face lights up, ?Youmu! You?re back!?

Satori?s eyes narrow, ?That girl?s words? They gave her courage; strengthened what was such a weak heart. Fascinating??

Reimu and Youmu rise and glare at Satori. ?Shall we get back at who did that to you?? asks Reimu.

?Be careful,? says Youmu, ?This girl, Satori, can read our minds. Maybe if we attack her together??

?There is no need,? Satori cuts in.

?What??

?My powers do have a limit,? says Satori, ?I can only read one mind at a time. I can?t read another when I?m reading one. Also, my combative powers are insufficient for fighting multiple opponents and I am not one to fight a battle I no longer have any hope of winning. Therefore, I admit defeat.?

Reimu shrugs, ?Fine. Sure. I wish they would all know when to give up??

??? Youmu picks up the Roukanken, which she had previously dropped.

Satori says to Reimu, ?So you?re the one who fought against Rin. Seeing your memories of that battle, she?s still alive. Very good.?

?Yeah,? says Reimu, ?She did mention someone named Satori. So you?re that person, huh??

?Yes,? answers Satori, ?Rin is like a pet to me. Hm? I wonder about my other pet??

==

Following Yumei?s directions, I arrive in a room illuminated by light shining through stained glass windows. There, I find Reimu, Youmu, and some purple-haired chick I don?t know, ?Reimu! Youmu! You?re alright!?

?Marisa!? call out Reimu and Youmu.

The purple-haired chick looks at me, ?Well, speak of the devil. It seems Utsuho is still alive too.?

I glare at the purple girl, ?Utsuho? What relationship do you have with Miss Meltdown??

The girl puts her hand over her mouth to hold back a laugh, ??Miss Meltdown?? Good nickname. You?re a funny girl Marisa Kirisame? or should I say, Starr. Anyway, to answer your question, she?s my pet.?

?Well then, you should keep your ?pet? on a frickin? leash? Huh? Wait a minute! When the hell did I tell you my name??

?There?s no need to,? says Youmu, ?It?s her power.?

I blink a couple times, ?What? What power? Can she read my mind or something??

The girl looks straight at me, ?Good guess.? Ugh? Figures.

Reimu says, ??Miss Meltdown?? What exactly did you FIGHT, Marisa??

?I?ll leave that to your imagination. How about you??

?A cat that can raise the dead??

Shutter? She didn?t get it that much better? ?I see. What were you up to, Youmu??

Youmu answers, ?I was the first to meet Satori, here. In fact, we were fighting her until about a minute ago.?

I draw a spellcard, ?So she?s our enemy??

?Don?t worry,? says Reimu, ?She admitted her defeat to us.?

I raise an eyebrow and look at ?Satori,? ??Admitted defeat?? Your damn pet should learn to take after you, then??

Satori nods, ?Yes, Utsuho has always been a problem??

?I take it your opponent didn?t know when to give up?? asks Youmu.

?Well, ain?t THAT the understatement,? I respond. I bring up another point, ?Oh, by the way, guess who I ran into on my way here.?

?It was Yumei,? says Satori.

?YOU shut up.?

?What?? say Reimu and Youmu at the same time.

?Yeah,? I say, ?But something was weird. I was feeling like shit from fighting Satori?s radioactive canary and she showed up, but all she did was give me directions to find this room and a stupid offer I turned down. If she was seriously trying to kill us, that would have been the perfect chance. In fact, she has Yukari?s powers, so she could come and pick us off anytime she wants! Something doesn?t add up here??

?Weird,? says Reimu, ?Did she say anything else??

?Yeah. She said she?d leave it to her minions?? an idea crosses my mind. I look at Satori, ?YOU are one such minion, right??

?I am,? says Satori, ?In this Gensokyo under Yumei?s control, all denizens directly born of it must follow her commands. We were told to deal with the outsiders??

Youmu offers a guess, ?Maybe she just wants to sit back and watch our struggles? Maybe she like a good challenge and wants us to fight through her Gensokyo and become stronger and then challenge her? That?s how I would do it??

?Yeah, that?s how YOU would do it,? I say to Youmu, ?But she said her aim is to defeat the Lunarians using this Gensokyo, not to mention I heard her express her distaste for ?honor? to you before. We are an obstacle for her. Frankly, I?d want to get rid of interferences without delay, but if she really is as arrogant as you described, Youmu, well then, more power to us??

?Sounds to me like it?s a game to her?? notes Reimu, ?Either that, or we?re missing something here. Maybe her intentions are more complex than we thought??

?Maybe?? I turn my attention to Satori, ?How about you?? I ask, ?Have you ever met her before? Could you read her mind??

Satori responds, ?If we are defeated, we are allowed to let you go, but we can never disclose anything that would work against Yumei. Ever. It?s like a new sixth sense to us. Plus, I?ve never met her before, personally, so I couldn?t say anyway.?

?I see,? I acknowledge, ?Well, we might as well keep going. If we meet her again, shit SHOULD start to come together??

Reimu says to Satori, ?Well, we beat you, and you said you?d let us go. I?m wondering if you could_?

?To get back to the surface,? interrupts Satori, ?take a right from this chamber, and then another right when the corridor branches off. Keep going straight and you will eventually make it back to the surface. It will go on for several miles, though.?

?Okay! Thanks.? Reimu, Youmu, and I turn to leave the chamber.

?Wait!? shouts Satori.

We turn around. ?What is it?? asks Reimu.

Satori says, ?Reimu and Marisa? I sense a great confusion in the two of you. Before the end of your journey, that confusion may obstruct the path you travel. When that happens, please look to me for guidance. This underground complex extends all over Gensokyo and I will follow your progress. When you are ready to see me? please dig a hole to come here.?

I turn and continue walking, ?Thank you for your abstract advice. Didn?t you say you weren?t allowed to work against Yumei.?

?Yumei has nothing to do with this,? says Satori.

?We?ll keep it in mind,? says Reimu.

The three of us leave Satori?s chamber and begin to follow her directions out of the complex.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #46 on: April 25, 2009, 03:07:45 PM »
Yukari wakes up. Despite being a ghost who can?t feel pain, the loss of her body?s spirit energy is just as hard on her. She opens her eyes and sees a grey ceiling. The first words that come out of her mouth express the perfectly natural reaction to her predicament: ?Where? am I??

However, Yukari was not expecting someone to answer, ?Inside a dungeon. I see you?re finally with us.?

?Zzzzzzz?? Another voice is also present, in spite of being just snoring. However, Yukari recognizes the voice that spoke to her, as well as having a vague remembrance to the sound of the snoring.

?Yama??? Yukari sits up, and sure enough, inside the typical-looking cell of the dungeon she is in, with stone walls, floor, and ceiling, and metal bars, with her is Sikieiki Yamaxanadu and Komachi Onozuka, who is sitting in the corner, sleeping.

Sikieiki points out the irony, ?Fancy our reunion being like this. Out of many Netherworlds, we find ourselves in the same one, in the same place, in the same predicament??

???

?And you?re a ghost now, I see. I never thought that would happen.?

?A while ago, neither would I. You see?? Yukari tells Sikieiki everything that happened to her, up until her confrontation with Kotohime.

?I see?? says Sikieiki, ?You?ve had quite an adventure? and the end serves you right! You see, Yukari, even though you have the ability to alter the space between realms, it doesn?t mean you should have used it so freely. It is a crime against the natural order of things, and doing so excessively, like you had, is most certainly a way to find oneself condemned to Hell. What you should have done was_?

?Yama,? Yukari interrupts, ?I know you are doing your job and all, but, frankly, it?s rather difficult to take your words seriously when we are sharing a prison cell. It? undermines the authority you are supposed to have. Even then, manipulating boundaries is what I do. I?d go so far as to say it?s my? raison d?etre.?

??? Sikieiki understands, but doesn?t want to admit it outright.

?So, how did you and Komachi end up here??

Sikieiki leans back, ?As you are no doubt aware, the Lunarian Empire had taken control of this Netherworld. The Yama who governs this one is? how shall I put this? a coward. She surrendered rather easily. Accompanied by Komachi, I took it on myself to convince the leader of the occupation, this? ?Kotohime,? that it is in her, and the empire?s, best interests to leave the realms of the afterlife alone. She refused to listen, had her troops ambush us, and we were tossed in here.?

?Sounds like her?? Yukari stands up and looks at the metal bars of the cell, ?You actually let these hold you? Are you even trying??

Sikieiki says, unusually smug, ?Try to escape yourself.?

?I will!? Yukari extends her arm and fires a blast of energy. However, it comes out much weaker than she intended. The small blast slams into an invisible field of energy in front of the bars and gets absorbed.

?See??

Yukari stares at the bars, ?What happened? Why am I so weak??

?This is why.? Sikieiki raises up her hands into plan view, revealing two gray rings wrapped around the index fingers of both of her hands. Yukari looks at her hands and finally notices that she is wearing the same thing. Looking at Komachi, the shinigami is in the same situation.

?What are these?? asks Yukari.

?I can only assume that they suppress our ability to use energy attacks,? says Sikieiki, ?Komachi and I tried to do the same thing, but to no such avail.?

Yukari smirks, ?Hmph. They forgot one thing! Watch and learn, Yama!? Yukari tries to open a gap, but nothing happens, ?What? These rings do that too??

?There is actually a different reason for that?? A girl with sandy blonde hair and golden eyes, wearing a blue uniform with a Lunarian emblem pinned on it, comes into view.

?Who are you?? asks Yukari.

?A Lunarian, obviously,? adds Sikieiki, ?What do you want with us? Wasn?t conquering this Netherworld enough??

?Relax,? says the girl, ?I don?t get my kicks the same way as my ?sister.??

?Your sister?? asks Yukari.

?Kotohime, I mean?? The girl introduces herself, ?My name is Watatsuki no Toyohime. I am the second princess of the Lunarian Empire. I?m terribly sorry about Koto?s treatment of you.?

?If you really are sorry,? says Yukari, ?You will release us!?

?That, I cannot do,? says Toyohime, ?You see, Koto had been granted absolute control of this realm. Even I can?t disobey the rules she had set. The least I could do is apologize to you for how you were treated.?

?I see your sister?s behavior doesn?t run in the family,? says Yukari.

?We Lunarians are living things? human and youkai, too,? says Toyohime, ?We are all different, just like you.?

?So what?s going on? If these? rings didn?t take away my powers, then what exactly happened??

Toyohime explains, ?First, I will explain those rings to you. As you had discovered, I?m sure, they suppress your ability to use whatever energy you use as a weapon. They also disable your ability to materialize things in your space, greatly diminishing your combative ability. They cannot be removed through sheer force? that is unless you mutilate yourselves. A machine in this complex controls them and by deactivating it, the rings just slip off. As for your powers, golden-haired youkai, while you were out, Kotohime put you through a process she likes to call ?conditioning.? In that process, one?s innate powers are extracted into a crystallized form. The resulting crystal is then surgically implanted into another?s body, thus allowing that person to use those powers. I wouldn?t be surprised is Koto ?stole? your ability for herself.?

Yukari?s hands curl into fists, ?What? I?ll kill her! In one way or another, her life will be mine to take!?

Toyohime smiles awkwardly, ?Well, if you can find a way out of here somehow, you can try??

Yukari takes a few deep breaths, knowing that getting angry in this situation will not help. ?When I first met this ?Kotohime,?? says Yukari, ?She introduced herself as the empire?s fourth princess. Just how many princes and princesses are there??

?You do realize it?s the enemy you are making small talk with?? whispers Sikieiki to Yukari.

Yukari shrugs, ?She doesn?t seem like a? you know? BAD Lunarian??

?I heard that,? says Toyohime, ?No trouble, though. I find you interesting and reasonable. To answer your question, there are no princes and there are four princesses: Myself, my real sister, Yorihime, Kotohime? and one I?ve never met??

?Care to tell us what you mean by ?real? sister?? asks Sikieiki.

Toyohime explains, ?Yori is my blood related sister. Really, only the exiled first princess is the empress? biological daughter. The rest of us were taken in. ?Mother? truly loves Koto, but she adopted Yori and I for our? convenience??

??Convenience???

?Yori and I are the last surviving students of the moon?s former greatest mind, Miss Yagokoro. With her wisdom passed on to us, mother figured that princess status would be a great asset for the empire?s chain of command, thus, our adoption.?

?Ah!? Yukari knows Eirin came from the moon, but also that she was escaping from there, along with Kaguya. She decided to say nothing and give the Lunarians no leads.

?Huh?? There is a yawn, ?By ?Miss Yagokoro,? do you mean Eirin Yagokoro??

Yukari whirls around to see that Komachi had just woken up. ?You idiot!?

Komachi picks the sleep out of her eyes, ?What did I do??

Toyohime?s face lights up, ?You KNOW her? Where is she??

???

Toyohime?s expression softens, she slumps to her knees, and she clasps her hands together, as she begs, ?Please tell me! I really want to know! Is she okay??

Yukari sighs and pauses for several seconds, ?Alright. I?m sure you?ll go to whatever means to find out. I guess the cat?s out of the proverbial bag?? Yukari explains everything she knows about what became of Eirin after she left the moon with the emissaries to retrieve Kaguya, to how she took them to Gensokyo, to the moon incident, and finally? ?? she and Kaguya were taken away. I don?t know what Yumei?s plans are with them, though??

Toyohime tenses up, ?I see. I wish I could do something with that information, but unfortunately, our forces can only operate within other boundaries on nights of a full moon??

?So, now that you know, what do you plan to do?? asks Komachi.

Toyohime pauses, ?I would like to find her and bring her home, but I respect her too much to dishonor her wishes. For now, the information I had gained will not leave these walls?? Toyohime walks toward the dungeon?s entrance, ?I?ll be sure to visit you again, and? thank you? for being there for Miss Yagokoro when she and Kaguya needed you, golden-haired youkai.?

?It?s Yukari. Yukari Yakumo.?

?Yukari? I will remember that name?? Toyohime leaves the dungeon.

Komachi remarks, ?Looks like you made a new friend, Yukari.?

?I hope so,? says Yukari, her lips curling into a smirk, ?Hopefully through that, I can manipulate her into releasing us. It will happen, mark my words! I will make Kotohime PAY for what she did to me!?


Meanwhile, in Makai, the immortal maid, Sakuya and the demon maid, Yumeko?s battle begins with Alice, Shinki, Yuki, and Mai watching on.

Sakuya begins the duel by throwing a single knife at Yumeko to see how she will react and gauge her skill.

?Hmph.? Yumeko swings her knife upward, deflecting Sakuya?s knife, causing it to spin into the air. The demon maid then whirls around to toss her knife, which Sakuya narrowly sidesteps out of the way of. However, Yumeko then jumps up, grabs Sakuya?s previously thrown knife out of the air, and tosses it down at the immortal maid, who is momentarily immobile from the momentum of dodging the first knife.

?Damn!? With no time to dodge, Sakuya raises her arms in defense and the knife sinks into her arm, ?AAGGH!?

?Sakuya!? yells Alice.

?That?s our Yumeko,? says Yuki.

Yumeko says with a deceptively sweet smile, ?That wasn?t bad, fellow housekeeper, but it looks like I have the advantage here. You might want to give up, you know. The sight of other people?s blood excites me and sometimes I lose control. When that gets to be the case, accidents happen.?

Sakuya pulls the knife out of her arm, ?UGH! I assure you, I?ve been through worse. We?ve only gotten started.?

?That?s the spirit! Let?s continue, then!? Yumeko draws another knife and charges toward Sakuya, the distance between them closing faster than the immortal maid anticipated. Sakuya barely blocks Yumeko?s attack in time and then jumps away to put distance between them again, as she knows Yumeko has the speed advantage. Knives materialize between Sakuya?s fingers, and she tosses one handful, and then the other at Yumeko, who twists to one side to avoid the first throw, and then swings her knife, deflecting the second. Yumeko gets in close for another close-range knife attack, which the immortal maid sways back to dodge, but the demon maid follows her attack with a kick, which sends Sakuya slamming back-first into the wall.

Yumeko rushes forward to thrust a knife into Sakuya, who quickly sidesteps and avoids the attack, and then dashes back toward the middle of the room, again for distance, and draws a spellcard, ?Time Sign: Private Square!? A pillar of area, with Yumeko in the center, becomes monochrome, as the time within it stands still.

?What just happened?? asks Yuki.

Alice answers, ?That?s Sakuya?s power. She can control time.?

Yuki?s eyes widen, ?Really? Wow, the outside world has some interesting things??

??? Mai attentively watches to see what will happen.

Shinki folds her arms in front of her, ?Quite a talent your friend has, Alice, but we will see if that?s what?s needed to defeat Yumeko??

Sakuya dashes frantically around the frozen Yumeko, materializing and tossing knives, which stop short upon reaching the outside of the pillar. Finally, the spell reaches its limit and time resumes. Yumeko notices the knives as they start to advance on her, gradually becoming faster. Quickly and instinctively, she leaps up, avoiding any major damage, though a few of the knives nick her ankles, and lands outside the danger zone.

?I did not expect that,? says Yumeko, ?Quite a power.?

??? Sakuya says nothing, dissatisfied over the utter lack of success her spell had.

Yumeko guesses at the nature of Sakuya?s technique, ?They just appeared, and you suddenly went from one location to another, so I suspect you did something along the lines of freezing time??

?Ah!? Sakuya is surprised at how fast Yumeko figured it out.

?It seems the knives need a little time to move, thus the time window, and there was only so much space you could affect, which is why the knives were not closer. Plus, there were no knives above me to cut off my escape, so it seems there is something to prevent you from covering that area. I hope that?s not your best. How boring. At any rate, let us resume, shall we?? Yumeko tosses three knives at Sakuya, who tosses three of her own in retaliation. The knives collide and deflect off each other. Yumeko summons a group of magic circles that fire out knives. To stay on the same level of power as the demon maid, Sakuya does the same, and soon, there is a large crossfire sequence between the two maids. Both manage to dodge most of the knives, though some get through their defenses and inflict minor damage.

As the battle rages, Alice says to Shinki, ?This needs to end soon! I do recall how Yumeko can get when a battle goes on for too long. Sakuya could end up in serious danger!?

Shinki says, calmly, ?Oh, I?ll worry about that when the time comes.?

?It could be too late by then??

?It won?t. Trust me, dear Alice.?

?Time to end this!? yells Sakuya, drawing a spellcard, ?Silver Sign!? Her magic circles multiply in number. Sakuya thrusts her open palm in Yumeko?s direction, ?Perfect Maid!? All at the same time, the magic circles fire out a swarm of knives.

Two knives materialize in Yumeko?s hands, ?Is that it? I imagined you had a challenge coming my way!? The demon maid charges into Sakuya?s attack, quickly swinging her knives and deflecting Sakuya?s until she gets all the way through with only some minor nicks.

Sakuya bites her lip, ?Damn??

Yumeko says triumphantly, ?My reflexes are the best in Makai. It?s insulting to think such a feeble attack would beat me! Now then?? Yumeko draws a spellcard, ?I?ve seen what a couple of your cards can do. Now allow me mine!? Yumeko raises her spellcard, ?Demon Sign: Hell Mirror!? To her left and right, two identical Yumekos appear.

?Tch.?

All three Yumekos jump away and toss knives at the maid at the same time. Sakuya narrowly dodges, but then the three Yumekos separate, and she loses track of the original.

One Yumeko dashes in close to deliver a close range knife attack that Sakuya leaps away from. Out the corner of her eye, she notices another Yumeko toss a knife at her, which Sakuya reacts to at the right moment, sidesteps, catches out of the air, and tosses back at its original thrower. The knife sinks into her lower chest, and the Yumeko bursts into black flames and vanishes. Sakuya acknowledges it as a fake, but also realizes something that differed from the original.

?Your friend has skills,? says Yuki to Alice.

Alice folds her arms in front of her, ?The real Yumeko would not be caught off-guard like that. I assume the copies lack the ability of the original??

Sakuya declares a spellcard, ?Time Sign!? Energy fills her, but she doesn?t cast her spell right away.

?Haa!? One Yumeko attempts another melee attack on Sakuya, who again dodges, but the other jumps over its copy, lands, and prepares to strike.

?Private Square!? Sakuya again casts the spell where she freezes time in a small area, in which both Yumekos get caught. She dashes around the monochrome pillar, tossing knives, which stop and surround the Yumekos. Time resumes and the knives fly. One Yumeko jumps out of the danger zone, while the other gets stabbed from all direction as she tries to confirm the situation. Naturally, that Yumeko bursts into flames, revealing itself as the fake.

?Not a bad trick,? compliments Sakuya, ?But it wasn?t hard to find its flaw.?

?I figured as much,? says Yumeko, ?My copies lack my unparalleled reflexes. However, I figured you?d make it through that spell?? Yumeko readies another spellcard, ?I wonder how you will deal with this one?? She raises the card, ?Flash Sign: Shining Blaze!? Suddenly, Yumeko vanishes with a blur.

Sakuya raises her knife in defense, ?Where did you go, Yumeko??

?Oh, I?m here, I assure you?? Sakuya notices Yumeko?s voice is constantly on the move, coming from various directions and distances ?? but it?s obvious you can?t keep up with me??

?Tch??

?Surprise~? Yumeko momentarily appears in front of Sakuya, quickly jabs her knife into Sakuya?s left eye, and then disappears. It all happened before the immortal maid could react.

?AAAAAAGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHH!? Sakuya slumps to the floor in pain, her left hand over her blinded eye, blood seeping between her fingers, ?Ugghhhh??

Yuki winces at Yumeko?s action, ?Ouchie! Sucks to be her!?

Alice grits her teeth, ?Gr??

??? Shinki and Mai watch with unchanging expressions.

?Well, it looks like Yumeko?s getting into this,? says Yuki with a slight shrug, ?When she gets excited, along comes her inner sadist.?

?End this!? Alice tells Shinki, ?At this rate, Sakuya will lose? or worse! It?s over??

??? Mai briefly glares at Alice.

?Hmhmhm?? Shinki chuckles.

?What?s so funny? This is serious!?

?It?s nothing,? says Shinki, ?It?s just unusual to see you care so much about someone. Still, it?s too early to call a winner.?

?What??

?Your friend hasn?t yet given up. She?s determined??

Sakuya rises up, still with her left hand over her eye, and tightly grasping a knife in her right. Yumeko had slashed her back and shoulder, but compared to the pain in her eye, the rest is trivial.

?You are so stubborn,? says Yumeko, on the move, ?Are you REALLY that serious about getting Alice out of here, only for her to die? Think about how meaningless all of this is!?

??? Not saying anything, Sakuya focuses. All the colors around her become lighter, but time continues to move, albeit at a slower pace. With time slowed, Sakuya can see Yumeko?s movements, though they are still amazingly fast. Yumeko tries to perform more hit-and-run attacks, though Sakuya can now defend against them, but little else. She continues defending until the effects of Yumeko?s spell wear off.

Time resumes its normal pace and worn out from the time manipulation, Sakuya?s breathing becomes heavy. Yumeko smiles, ?Another time thing, I take it? It seems those abilities take a lot out of you.?

???

?Plenty of blood. I?m quite satisfied?? Yumeko readies a third spellcard, ?Are you ready for the coup de grace? Maid Secret Skill: Persistence!? In front of Yumeko, five magic circles appear, and each fires out a knife.

In spite of the pain, as well as the heavy loss of energy due to spellcards, time manipulation, and loss of blood, Sakuya still barely musters the energy to jump over the knives as she runs toward Yumeko, ?Ugh? That?s? a rather underwhelming spell??

Yumeko places a hand on her hip, ?Perhaps you should turn around??

?Hm?? Sakuya glances behind her. The knives she had previous dodged make a U-turn in midair and fly back toward her. ?Ah!? Sakuya dodges to the side, but the knives stay in the air and continue flying toward her. She runs and flies, despite her body?s protests to stay ahead of them.

Yumeko says calmly, ?It?s no use. Those knives will stay on your trail until they hit you.?

?Tch.? Sakuya tries to consider her options. She could attack Yumeko and hurt her enough to shatter her concentration on the spell, but in her current condition, it?s doubtful she?d succeed in the attempt. Spellcards are out of the question, since Sakuya no longer has the energy to use one without harming herself.

?Please! Just give up!? yells Alice to Sakuya, ?It?s not worth this!?

Sakuya groans, ?I never give up... The only people... I?ve ever lost to are my mistress? Reimu? and Eirin? the longer that list? the greater my weakness? This? is not just about you, Alice??

Yumeko pouts, ?You are so stubborn, it?s sad. Fine then, that will be your epitaph.? Yumeko charges at Sakuya. The immortal maid attempts to guard with her knife, but Yumeko?s swing is so strong, it knocks the weapon from Sakuya?s hand. Yumeko then thrusts her knife in Sakuya?s gut.

?ACK!? Sakuya coughs out blood. At the same time, Yumeko?s homing knives sink into her back.

Yumeko smirks, ?Fighting to the death, eh??

?Sounds good,? groans Sakuya, ?Nothing to hold me? back? now?? Sakuya slowly pulls a spellcard out of her pocket, ?Last? Wo_? Suddenly, Sakuya?s spellcard is cut in half. She and Yumeko glance at what caused it: A doll armed with a sword, which then vanishes.

They look at the obvious source. ?That?s enough!? yells Alice, running over to Sakuya.

?Heh?? Sakuya slumps to the ground.

?Crap?? says Yuki, shaking her head, ?So much for a good finish??

?You didn?t need to do that?? says Sakuya, ?I?m finished anyway??

?Shinki!? yells Alice, ?Is there any way we can save her? There isn?t a lot of time!?

Shinki walks over to them, arms folded, ?Of course, there is. Sara!?

In front of Shinki, a girl with pink hair, wearing a red dress over a short-sleeved white shirt appears, ?What?s up, Mothe_? she sees Sakuya, ?Oh my GOD! I guess I see what you need me for??

Alice stares at the girl, ?Sara? I forgot about you??

Sara glances at Alice and says sarcastically, ?Oh, gee, thank you for thinking about me all these years, Alice, especially when I was constantly wondering about you? Ah, whatever, there are other issues right now?? Sara kneels next to Sakuya and pulls the knives out of her body.

?AHH!? Sakuya screams and winces in pain.

Sara rolls her eyes, ?You?re not making this any more pleasant for me, y?know? Now hold still?? Sara holds her hands out and they glow white.

Alice glances at Shinki, ?Um? What is she doing??

The creator explains, ?I granted Sara healing powers not too long ago. I thought it could come in handy someday??

?Alice?? moans Sakuya.

?Sakuya??

?It looks like I?ve failed to prove myself to Shinki??

?No, I think you have done enough,? says Shinki.

?What??

?You didn?t give in, and you even tried to use a Last Word. Sometimes winning isn?t what?s important. Your resolve is indeed strong?? Shinki turns her attention to Alice, ?It?s not too late, Alice. Are you sure you want to return to Gensokyo? You are aware that death awaits you there.?

?I won?t say that until it happens,? says Alice, ?Besides, I have friends. They can help me against whatever is supposed to end me.?

Shinki closes her eyes in resignation, ?I see. It is your choice, and I won?t stop you, though I insist against it to the end.?

?Thank you,? says Alice gratefully.

?However,? says Shinki, ?Night is about to fall. I suggest you remain here for the night. I will return you tomorrow.?

?But??

?We should,? says Sakuya, ?You know as well as anyone that it?s not a good idea to explore an unknown area at night.?

?Okay. Sure.?

Sara?s hands stop glowing, ?There. You should be good.?

Sakuya turns her attention toward her body?s condition. She is still blind in her left eye, and most of her cuts remain, ?How am I ?good?? Nothing is different.?

?Well, exCUSE me for being weak,? growls Sara, ?I can?t heal ALL that! I just got you out of the danger zone. For the rest, you should just get patched up.?

?Good work, Sara,? says Shinki.

?Well, at least I got a chance to use that power?? Sara vanishes.

Shinki says to Yumeko, ?Yumeko, I have some tasks for you,?

?What is needed, Mother?? asks Yumeko obediently.

?Take Alice?s friend and bandage her injures and your own. After that, prepare a futon in Alice?s room for her friend and make Alice?s bed. Then, I want you to cook dinner. Also, at some point,? Shinki points at the floor, where blood is smeared all over, and discarded knives laying around, ?clean, wash, and disinfect this floor.?

Yumeko stares at the floor, wide-eyed, realizing the mess she was partially responsible for making, ?Um? Yes, Mother. I shall get to work right away?? She helps Sakuya to her feet, and they leave the room, with Alice following. Shniki vanishes, leaving only Yuki and Mai.

?This is bad!? cries Yuki, ?Alice is going to leave us again, and Mother says she?s going to die, so? SHE?S GOING TO DIE!?

???

Yuki clenches a determined fist, ?Well, I, for one, will not let that happen. Mother may punish us for this, but I have a plan. Mai, wake up at midnight, because your help will be much appreciated.?

???

?Okay!? Yuki leaves the room with a mix of tension and resolve.

Mai stares straight ahead blankly ?? ? ? ? Luize??

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #47 on: April 25, 2009, 03:09:05 PM »
==

Well, I really gotta hand it to Satori. However the hell this underground complex was made, it really is BIG. Reimu, Youmu, and I had been following her directions, and are now walking down a long corridor. She said it would go on for several miles, but that seems like an understatement. We?ve walked, we?ve ran, and we don?t seem to be getting any closer! It was noon when Alice and Sakuya disappeared and Tenshi sent us down here, and quite a bit of time has passed. Sunset has probably passed already, and that means it?s dark out. It had occurred to me to fire a ?spark? spell upward, and make a tunnel to the surface, but we don?t know how deep we are right now, and if we are too deep, we?d end up being buried alive, so screw THAT!

?Dammit! I?m hungry!? Youmu?s bitching about yet another inconvenience, not that I blame her. It reminds me that we hadn?t eaten since before leaving the netherworld.

An apple materializes in Reimu?s hand, and she tosses it to Youmu, ?Eat up.? Good old Reimu. At least SHE was conscious about rations?

Youmu?s face light?s up, ?Reimu? Thank you so much!? Youmu prepares to take a bite, but then she hesitates, ?But? what about you??

?I?m not hungry,? says Reimu, mere seconds before her stomach rumbles. Liar.

??? There is a long pause between the three of us. Finally, Youmu tosses the apple into the air, draws, and swings around the Hakurouken, splitting it into thirds, carving out the core at the same time. She could totally make the cut at one of those Japanese restaurants where the cooks cut the food up with a fancy knife show. We each grab a piece out of the air. Youmu returns the sword to its sheathe, an almost smug look on her face. I guess she likes to show off like this, not that Reimu or I bother to comment. I don?t know about the others, but that apple slice managed to tide me over. Of course, like Reimu, and UNLIKE Youmu, I?m taking my time eating it.

The endless walk continues. Good thing those crystals light the place, otherwise, I?d be freaking out from pitch blackness.

?I wonder how Alice and Sakuya are doing,? says Reimu.

Youmu states her thoughts, ?Well, they were about to get seriously harmed, and there was nothing any of us could do to save them in time. That gap, whatever its source was, saved them from that fate. If it wanted them dead, it shouldn?t have appeared. I imagine they are fine right now??

I still can?t help but worry about Alice and Sakuya, but Youmu has a point.

??? Reimu looks at me suspiciously.

?What?s with that look, Reimu??

?You?ve been awful quiet since Sakuya and Alice disappeared.?

What the hell? ?I?m worried, dammit! Why aren?t YOU being more quiet??

Reimu smiles wryly, ?Good point??

We keep going. Reimu and I finished our apple slice and Youmu starts bitching about her hunger AGAIN. However, Reimu insists on saving what food we have. While I gave the miko props for worrying about food, she sure didn?t take enough of it?

Finally, we reach a large room. How large? Almost big enough to fit a VILLAGE in it, but it?s mostly empty (Okay, maybe I?m exaggerating, but really, it?s huge). Something catches Reimu?s eye off in the distance to the left. It?s a red gateway with stairs beyond it; The entrance to a shrine. Something else catches Youmu?s eye, a large creature with long claws, beady eyes, and elongated nose, and lotsa fur. A mole youkai! Non-humanoid; no intelligence; basically a wild animal.

Youmu approaches the creature, drawing her swords. The mole youkai runs away, sensing the danger. Youmu cases after it, ?Get back here! You?re gonna be our dinner!? She glances back at me and Reimu, ?I?ll get it and cook it!? That THING?S gonna be our food for the night. Sigh? Looking forward to it?

Reimu walks toward the shrine and I follow. Is it the Hakurei Shrine? Guess I?ll find out?

We get close enough to read the sign on the gate. It doesn?t say ?Hakurei;? It says ?change.? However, Reimu reacts to it just as strongly, if not stronger if it were the Hakurei Shrine, ?No way! It can?t be!? Reimu runs up the stairs. I again follow to find out what her messed-up reaction is all about. We reach the top aaand? ? ? it?s a shrine. Nothing outta the ordinary here (besides it being underground). However, Reimu is still looking at it as if we had reached the realm of infinite wisdom, or something equally melodramatic. Okay, maybe I?m exaggerating, but seriously, she is happy. REALLY. REALLY. HAPPY.

?This is it?? says Reimu, wide-eyed, ?This is the place??

?Yeah?? I say, ?It?s a shrine? this is not your shrine??

Reimu shakes her head, ?No. For me, this is where it all began.?

?THIS is where your accident happened??

?No, Marisa. This was before the accident. You see, I was bored with my life. Everything was the same. I was afraid? afraid that I was doomed to the fate that society expects of us all. I wanted something exciting to happen. To change my perspective? I prayed? hoping that something in my life would change forever!?

?Reimu??

?Marisa, that accident was godsend! It was through that that Gensokyo came to be, and I couldn?t be happier with that life?? She looks at the shrine?s donation box, ?Before? I only paid 200 yen?? 200 yen? If I recall the current exchange rate correctly? she got her prayers answered in THIS way? for just two bucks? Sweet deal?

Reimu searches her pockets, ?It?s only right I make a donation to repay the kami of change?s benevolence? ? ? Here!? She pulls 4000 yen out of her pocket, walks to the box, and donates her repayment. Ironically, thanks to Reimu herself, this shrine had instantly become more successful than her own. That?s sad?

Reimu had calmed down a bit, though I can?t get over the fact that a few minutes prior, she was acting like a borderline psycho. We sit on the steps leading up to the shrine. ?I can?t believe it,? says Reimu, ?I found this place again? underground? and yet, it still looks the same way it did when I made that donation. I remember it clearly. I was just out with an? unwanted friend of mine, and we stopped by the place on a random whim. No one seemed to understand me, but the miko attending the shrine? she was just telling me the nature of the shrine?s god, but in that moment, it was like she got me. Like she understood that I wanted some kind of alteration in my life. It was because of her? that I ended up becoming a miko myself on the other side. Our dream had become reality, thanks to Yumei, but it was still the two of us that shaped Gensokyo into what it was??

?Yeah,? I respond, ?Remember that battle we had? the one to settle our rivalry before we woke up and forgot everything? At that time, you said that a ?God? exists in all of us, in the sense that we have our own worlds and we can do anything we want with them. Let?s say that two other people were sent into comas, and that Yumei used them as a means of creating a new universe. Wouldn?t those people accomplish the same feat we had? Really, this power isn?t just ours?. Absolutely ANYONE would be capable of doing this??

We both pause, and then start laughing. We try to get the crazy ideas out of our heads, because, seriously, if we go any further, we?d start to question the origins of our reality, and I?m in no mood for that.

Reimu gets back to the circumstances of her accident, ?When I was knocked out, it was by a truck that couldn?t slow down. It reached the top of a hill and lifted off the ground. I thought it flew. I was so mesmerized that I failed to dodge in time. It was a twisted answer to my prayers? but an answer, nonetheless? What about you, Marisa??

Reimu wants to know how I got into an accident? Well, she just did, so I?ll make it fair, ?It wasn?t much. I was on my way to school. I reached an intersection and started across the street. Suddenly, some asshole in a red car came rocketing toward me. I also heard police sirens. I guess that person was trying to get away. He didn?t really seem to care who got in his way, and bulldozed through an ?innocent? teenage girl. End of story.?

?That was unlucky for you,? says Reimu, ?But aren?t you now happy it happened? Thanks to that, we got to meet and made many more friends. You were willing to even fight me to defend it.?

?I guess?? The only reason I fought Reimu as she was awakening was because I had no memory of my life as Marisa Starr and I couldn?t comprehend otherwise?

To be honest, it?s only a matter of time until Reimu starts asking the difficult questions about the situation, like which life I prefer more. Luckily, I?m saved by Youmu, who is walking up the stairs, carrying a giant furry monster on her back, saying in between breaths, ?I have dinner? The two of you? could have? helped me catch? this thing, you know? I?m the one? who has to cook it!?

I heard from Alice that during the Mountain of Faith incident, Youmu put some outdoor survival tricks to use. I never saw her do things like that, but now, I can see that Youmu really is skilled at cooking, even without a kitchen (something she learned from her old man, I guess). Using some chunks of root that extend all the way down here, she makes a fire and a rack to hang our future meal above. Within a half-hour, dinner is ready. Well, meat is meat, and even through these primitive conditions, the food tastes pretty good. I eat casually, while Youmu wolfs down her food, but Reimu isn?t eating very quickly, in spite of her good mood not so long ago? I wonder what?s up with her all of a sudden?

Afterward, we find some futons inside the shrine, and use those to sleep. Not a bad find, especially when I thought we were going to be sleeping on rocks. Well, our journey continues tomorrow?

==

Tsuki no Miyako, Lunarian capital?

At the Lunarian Imperial Academy, Yumemi sits in her office, looking over some notes of recent experimental results, when Chiyuri rushes into the room with an expression of mixed urgency and excitement, ?Professor!?

?What is it, Chiyuri? This had better be worth disturbing me.?

?Professor, I?m sorry I did it without your permission, but I looked through your files at former projects??

??? Yumemi?s eyes narrow, she gets out of her chair, and she slaps Chiyuri over the head.

?Owww??

?You know I hate it when you do that. The results of your failure to follow instructions had better intrigue me.?

?Yeah, well, you see, there was one experiment from over a year ago. It was just a small ?do something and see what happens? experiment; easily overlooked in favor of larger projects, but the fact remains, nothing came of it. Hope was lost after a week of no results??

?? And??

?Well, it?s not so much the experiment itself, but where the subject was sent to??

?Where, may I ask??

?Earthly Realm #0578: Terra. The place that? kinda? ?transformed? into the previously eliminated realm, Gensokyo.?

Yumemi raises an eyebrow, ?Fascinating. Which test subject was sent??

Chiyuri scratches her head as she recall the information she gathered, ?Um, it was? A7P02-YUMEI. Sent after astral projection and an artificial infusion of 3.2 teravams of energy.?

?Sounds vaguely familiar. On the next full moon, we shall check for ourselves what happened. After all, this might have something to do with us now?? Yumemi?s face lights up, ?Just think of it, Chiyuri! OUR experiment might have caused something like that!?

Chiyuri steps back, ?That?s a heckuva result, then!?

?Indeed. Still we do not know for sure? but not much longer. After all, tomorrow night is the night; the full moon!?


In a dark room, four figures, shrouded by darkness, look at an image shown in a small pool of water at the center of the room. The image is the supermarket in the ruined city, where Reisen, Mokou, Cirno, and Yuyuko had decided to spend the night.

The first figures says, ?Well, it looks like they are well on their way to finding our ?guests.? It?s up to us to make sure they don?t make it that far.?

The second figure, with a drunken slurred voice says, ?Ya. Yoomay told uz too.?

The third figure laughs manically, ?HYAHAHA! I don?t care about what Yumei wants. All I want is to get back at that stupid fairy! It?s about damn time I got her back for that indignity!?

?But it?s not like you can disobey Yumei either, flowergirl,? says the first figure, ?Regardless of your reasoning, you ARE doing what she says.?

The third figure growls, ?Tch. It?s annoying to take orders from that weakling!?

?Well, that ?weakling? is who we owe our rebirth to. If it makes you feel better, you can call it a debt of honor? or something like that.?

?Screw you, gearhead! I do as I want, now and always.?

?Heh. Believe what you want.?

?You can do whatever you want with the others, but that fairy is MINE! Got it??

The forth figure, also with a drunken voice, says, ?Fyne. Yoo can wayst yer en?gy on dem. Dee o?hers will be moar fun.?

The first figure says, ?Well, tomorrow morning, I?ll give them QUITE a wakeup present! I shall try out my new Super-duper Mega All-powerful Great Kappa Mk.18 on them!?


On the supermarket?s roof, Mokou finds Cirno practicing with a spellcard. The sky is dark and the almost full moon gives ample lighting.

Cirno raises her spellcard, ?Last Word!? Suddenly, cold mist spirals around her, concealing her form. Finally, she yells, ?Disengage!? And she returns to normal, ?Hey, I think I?m catching on!?

?What the hell do you think you?re doing?? asks Mokou.

Cirno turns to the immortal in surprise, ?Oh! Hi Mokou! I was just practicing my Last Word! I?m going to be the ultimate youkai, so it?s only right I know how to do it, right? I think I?m getting better!?

?You IDIOT!? yells Mokou, causing the ice fairy to flinch.

?Wh-what??

?You DO realize what happens when you seriously do that, right? You die! It doesn?t mean much to immortals like me, but you? you would be willingly sacrificing your own life!?

?I? I know that!?

?Do you? I already told you how precious your mortal life is, and now I see you practicing THAT? You won?t get another chance; you DO know that, right? Does living really mean so little to you??

Speechless, Cirno says, ?Well? I just want to know it? I don?t want to ever use it? but? um??

Mokou takes a deep breath, ?Sorry. I didn?t mean to flip out at you like that. It just gets to me when I see mortals doing something that potentially endangers their lives.?

?Something gets to you?? asks Cirno.

Mokou blushes, ?Sh-shut up, fairy girl. Anyway, you don?t need to know a Last Word to be strong??

?? Okay. Sorry.?

?It?s pretty late,? says Mokou, ?You couldn?t sleep??

?I just have too much energy,? answers Cirno, ?Alice used to tell me that I should do something more? um? what?s the word?? Prod? ucta??

?Productive??

?Yeah, that?s it! She said I should do something more ?productive? with all my energy, like train.?

?Good advice.?

?What about you, Mokou? Why are you up??

Mokou taps the roof with her foot, ?Because I?d get nightmares if I sleep in that rundown shithole. Rabbit girl and ghost girl can sleep wherever they want, but not me. I like to sleep under the stars.?

Cirno?s face lights up, ??Sleep under the stars?? Hey, I like that! Can I sleep under the stars with you??

?Be my guest, fairy girl.? Mokou slumps down, and then lies on her back.

?? I have a name, you know!? Cirno does the same as Mokou and they lay side by side.

???

Minutes pass. Finally, Cirno complains, ?The ground?s too hard! How can we sleep??

?Don?t think about it. That?s what I do.?

Another minute passes. Cirno says, breaking the brief silence, ?Mokou??

?What? Just because you can?t sleep doesn?t mean it?s okay to keep me up.?

?The stars. Do you know what?s up there??

?Who knows,? says Mokou, ?Maybe someday, I?ll find that out for myself. It?s funny. I?ve lived for thousands of years and I thought I had leaned lots, but it?s questions like that which make me realize how little I know.?

?Mokou??

?I?ve spend so many years trying to exact a futile revenge on Kaguya, but in the end, I?ve never made the most of my immortality. What a waste. Remember, fairy girl, don?t make my mistakes.?

?It?s Cirno.?

???

Tengukami

  • Breaking news. Any season.
  • *
  • I said, with a posed look.
Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #48 on: April 25, 2009, 04:28:40 PM »
I'm happy to see Cirno getting some love.

"Human history and growth are both linked closely to strife. Without conflict, humanity would have no impetus for growth. When humans are satisfied with their present condition, they may as well give up on life."

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #49 on: April 25, 2009, 04:53:03 PM »
[And now a brand new installment! Enjoy!]
---

At the Netherworld prison, Sikieiki glances at Yukari, ?Yukari??

?Yes??

?You told us the basic gist of how you ended up in this situation, but something is bothering me. You see, your standing among Gensokyo?s denizens has always been a subject of admiration for me? Therefore, I am rather confounded by the fact that you ended up how you did.?

???

?Be specific, Yukari. How were you killed? How were you captured? How did you end up dead and powerless??

?Erk!? Yukari flinches. It was an excellent question. Something the mistress of boundaries had wondered herself, reevaluating her self-image in the process, ?You see, I already told you about what Yumei said. It was that while she said it, a spear suddenly appeared in her hand and she attacked me. It was fast and without warning. After I got here, one of Kotohime?s thugs attacked me from behind, draining my spirit energy.?

Sikieiki ponders Yukari?s answer for a moment, ?It sounds like you are easily caught off guard.?

Yukari pouts at the judge, ?You know that?s untrue.?

?RRRAAAWWWRRR!? A terrifying sound comes from behind Yukari.

?AAH!? The boundary ghost flinches, and then turns to look at a grinning Komachi.

?Gotcha! It looks like the yama hit the nail on the head, Miss Blindside! Nice reflexes, by the way.?

?Hmph.? Yukari blushes at the fact that her secret weakness had been so thoroughly exploited on numerous occasions.

Sikieiki leans back, ?At any rate, let?s say this ?Yumei? had been watching everything that had gone on in Gensokyo since it came into being. That would mean that she had plenty of time, more than many other things, to study YOU, Yukari, including your personal flaws. It would seem like simple knowledge of one?s adversary is a dangerous weapon in itself, regardless of how powerful one?s opponent is??

??? Yukari wants to object, but cannot deny the truth of Sikieiki?s statement, ?W-well how about you, yama? Your kind?s powers are universally known. How did you end up here??

?I already told you we were ambushed.?

?Not good enough, yama. Now it?s YOUR turn to be specific.?

?Very well, then. My intentions to go to this Netherworld to convince the Lunarians to leave were not exactly a secret. Just as I was about to lecture her, however, Kotohime summoned a great number of her guards? there were quite a few? about??

?The upper hundreds, perhaps?? comments Komachi.

?That is an exaggeration, but there were definitely a lot. We managed to fend off a few, but they overwhelmed us very quickly. Afterward, we were sent here. At least you had the luxury of being underestimated, Yukari, before you got captured.?

?If anything, we were OVERestimated,? adds Komachi.

?I see?? Yukari stares at the rings on her index fingers that suppress her ability to use materialization and energy attacks, ?This may very well be the first time I?ve ever felt? weak? helpless, even??

?This isn?t just your first time,? says Sikieiki, ?But I suppose if there is a little justice in the universe, we are being taught a valuable lesson. We?ve had the luxury of being in power and having authority over thousands? millions, even, for as long as we can remember. We?ve tried to be fair to those beneath us, but we never truly understood them? that feeling of being helpless, almost like pray. As we speak now, we are experiencing what the weak feel like, and there are those in a lower position still??

Yukari glances at Sikieiki, ?Did you spend the last couple hours preparing that statement in your head??

Sikieiki?s eyes widen, ?How did you?? Er? Of course not. It?s something all three of us should have realized.?

?It pisses me off, but the lady has a point,? remarks Komachi, ?We always looked down on others, and now, we are the ones being looked down on. Power sure does icky things to people??

?Whatever,? says Yukari, ?We still have to find a way out of here, somehow. I?ll just work my magic on ?Her Royal Majesty Toyohime? and she?ll let us out. You?ll see.?

Outside the dungeon, Toyohime had been listening to their conversation, and had been deep in thought, ?They could come in handy for the ?plan.? Still, Do I really want to go through with this?? Koto? Mother? Master Konpaku??


In the underground complex, a faint noise awakens Reimu from her sleep while Marisa and Youmu continue to sleep soundly. She notices a faint light shining from the outside. She exits the shrine and sees a dim orb of yellow light slowly floating away.

?What is that?? She follows the orb, which speeds up and flies down the shrine?s steps. She follows it to the foot of the stairs, and suddenly, in its place, Yumei appears.

?Hello, Reimu!? greets the moon rabbit with a cheery smile, ?I?ve come to_?

?It?s you!? Reimu leaps toward Yumei and delivers an aerial kick, which sends her reeling.

?GUH!? Yumei slides across the ground. Reimu runs after her, materializing her gohei in her hand.

Yumei rolls onto her back and positions her hands into the shape of a T, ?Time out! I?m not here to fight you! Do you see my lance with me? Hell no! I come in peace, dammit!?

Reimu stops, ?Okay. What do want, Yumei??

Yumei gets to her feet and dusts off her ruined business suit, ?I?ve just come here to tell you something you might want to be aware of.?

?What is it??

---
[Yeah, a short one, and that's probably how I'm going to do things from now on. Not much to say here, the part with Yukari, Sikieiki, and Komachi was mostly there to make their defeat and imprisonment a little easier to swallow.

Stay tuned. Hopefully, the next part will come along soon.]

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #50 on: April 26, 2009, 03:08:41 PM »
[Next part!]
---

In the chamber where Kaguya and Eirin are imprisoned inside round green fields, Kaguya asks, ?Eirin, have you thought of any ways to get out of this yet??

?No ways that will get us out and guarantee our escape, especially considering we don?t know where we are??

?There HAS to be a way, though! You?re way smarter than Yumei, Eirin! She can?t hold us for long??

?Perhaps, princess, but I?m convinced that she thought of this prison for us, with my intelligence quotient in mind. History has proven that even the most brilliant minds can potentially fall before the power of well-planned trap or overwhelming odds.?

?No??

?Look, I?ll continue thinking for both your sake and mine, but I?m not reaching any logical conclusions in the near future at this rate. The best thing we can do right now is have faith in the others. Reisen will most certainly try to find us. I?d say there is also a chance Mokou would want to save you too??

?Mokou? Why her??

?Please think about it, princess. She views you as her greatest adversary. I?ve had a lot of opportunities to examine her mindset, and I doubt she will let you be defeated by any force besides her own. In a way, you could even say she cares about you, roundabout as though it may seem??

Kaguya starts to giggle, ?Teehee? Mokou? I never would have thought??

?The best plan I can come up with at the moment is to have faith that they will find us.?

There is a long pause, which is eventually broken by Kaguya?s voice, ?Eirin? um? I never asked you this before, but? well? If I asked you for a potion that would do away with my immortality, could make one??

?It?s impossible,? answers Eirin so immediately that Kaguya gets caught off guard, ?Why this all of a sudden? You are the one who asked me for the hourai elixir in the first place.?

?Hypothetically speaking.?

?Hmph. Just like immortality renders a person unable to truly die, immortality, too, is immortal it and of itself.?

?I see. It?s just that? I?ve been wondering about everyone, like mother and father??

??Mother? and ?father???

?I meant my parents when I was exiled here, not Empress Lunariya. Rather, the woodcutter and his wife, as well as the emperor. Also, after hearing about her father from Mokou, I want to apologize to him too. However, they have all been dead for a very long time now, and I?ve lived on ever since. Immortality has its advantages, of course, but anything living can never journey to what lies beyond the Netherworld, and I?ll never be able to see them again. I feel despair when I think of that??

?Princess? Do you regret your request to me now??

?Maybe a little. An eternal life with eternal regrets may very well be what Hell is like. Perhaps someone like me deserves as much for rejecting something that seems so scary? but may also be one of the most precious gifts living things are given??


Alice?s old bedroom in Makai is a room essentially untouched for decades, but kept in good shape by Yumeko. Around it are old dolls Alice had collected over her years as a human. At the back of the room is Alice?s bed, at the foot of which is a futon prepared for Sakuya. After a hearty and delicious dinner, Alice and Sakuya decide to retire for the night. In the dimly lit room, Sakuya, in her futon, whose arms and legs are now completely wrapped in bandages and who also has a white patch over her left eye, directs her attention to a large picture hanging one the wall over the far end of Alice?s bed. In it, there are five figures. Sakuya immediately recognizes three of them as Yuki, Mai, and Sara. In spite of the recognition, she also finds something bizarre, specifically about Mai, as all five girls are smiling as if they don?t have a care in the world, whereas the only expressions Sakuya saw from Mai, personally, were either with bitterness or blankness. She also recognizes Alice, although, unlike the former three, Alice looks considerably younger than her present self, as well as wearing a blue hair ribbon and a dark blue dress over a white blouse. However, she has absolutely no recollection of the fifth girl in the picture, a girl, looking slightly older than the others, with short blonde hair and wearing a white dress and a large white brimmed hat.

?Who is that?? asks Sakuya in regards to the picture.

Alice, who had been having trouble getting to sleep, groans, ?Who?s who??

?That girl in the picture. I recognize Yuki, Mai, Sara, and even the younger you, but I don?t believe I met the remaining girl since we arrived here??

Alice rolls over in her bed and glances up at the picture. ?It?s no one? just? no one?? answers Alice in a suddenly melancholy voice.

??? With Alice?s response, Sakuya realizes she may have touched on something Alice would rather not talk about and abandons her line of questioning.

They eventually fall asleep, though was hard, considering their worries regarding Marisa, Reimu, and Youmu.

However, only a few hours pass before Alice feels someone rubbing her shoulder, gradually disrupting her sleep, ?Mm?hmmm???

?Alice, wake up!? A voice whispers.

Alice looks at her awakener with squinted eyes: Yuki, with Mai standing nearby, whose gaze is cast on the picture Sakuya inquired about earlier.

?Yuki?? What is it??

Yuki instructs Alice, ?Get dressed and meet us in the room where your maid friend and Yumeko fought earlier. Please be there.? With that, Yuki turns and leaves the room.

??? Mai follows Yuki, but briefly looks back at Alice and gives her a sinister expression.

Alice sits for a minute, trying to figure out what Mai?s expression meant before following Yuki?s instructions.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #51 on: May 04, 2009, 12:17:56 AM »
Heeding what Yuki told her, Alice gets dressed out of her nightgown and into her everyday clothes, and heads to the location she was instructed to go to. Sure enough, Yuki and Mai are there, waiting for her.

?What is the meaning of this?? Alice asks Yuki, ?Why did you wake me up??

Yuki says, after a few seconds of hesitation ?? Mother may have given you permission to return to the world you came from?? Suddenly, a ball of white fire materializes in Yuki?s hand, which she throws at Alice, who narrowly dodges, her arm getting slightly singed in the process, ?But I have not!?

?Y-Yuki??

?I?m sorry, Alice, but you heard Mother! If you go back, you WILL die! You lived here, and you heard her predictions MANY times! Name ONE time she?s been wrong, Alice. Just one! What I am doing is stopping you from making a grave mistake!?

??? Mai stands next to Yuki with her deadpan expression focused on Alice.

?So you?re going to attack me??

?I?m going to put you in a condition where you won?t be able to return. Danger awaits you there, and if you are in no condition to fight, let alone move, you cannot face the danger that will end you!?

?What you are doing, Yuki, is disobeying Shinki!?

?No arguments there. We will most likely get in trouble for this? but it is worth it to keep my dear ?sister? from inevitably losing her life! I could have just incapacitated you in your sleep, but Mother would truly be furious in that case, hence the reason I am giving you a formal challenge and a chance to defend yourself. Besides, it doesn?t make sense for that maid to decide what will happen to you. You?re not going back there unless you prove you got what it takes, and under my rules, mere effort is not enough. You will have to beat both me AND Mai!?

Alice pauses for a few seconds, and then materializes two dolls at her flanks, ?Okay. Fine. Whatever is supposed to kill me, I?m sure the two of you will be good practice.?

Yuki smiles gleefully, ?That?s the spirit!? Then her expression turns to something more menacing, yet sad, ?Now let us begin!? Yuki immediately uses a spellcard, ?Shining Flame: Cremator!? Yuki sends a large white fireball at Alice, who reacts by having tower shields materialize in the arms of her two dolls, and has them fly in front of her, blocking her from the fire, though the sheer heat causes her to sweat. The effect of the spell expires as the shields are reduced to molten metal, destroying the dolls. Alice jumps in Yuki?s direction and summons five dolls armed with lances. Yuki suddenly engulfs herself in white fire and vanishes into a pillar of flame as the dolls fly into it and get burned. An identical pillar erupts in front of Alice, and Yuki dashes out of it, attempting to attack the puppeteer with a flaming punch, which Alice jumps out of the range of and counterattacks with a blast of magic energy that hits the demon?s face, knocking her off her feet and to the ground.

Yuki rubs her face, ?Ouch! You?re as good as I remember??

Alice says with a shrug, ?Excuse me if I was under the impression that you were serious.?

?You should know I?m not THROUGH!? Yuki shoots a fireball at Alice, who dodges, and then jumps away to put more distance between herself and the demon. Yuki follows up with a spellcard, ?Flame Sign: Demon Blaze!? Yuki?s body becomes engulfed in fire and she dashes at Alice, flames erupting from the ground in her wake, at an increased speed that the puppeteer fails to react in time. Yuki slams into Alice, sending her flying and crashing back-first into the wall.

?Guh!? Alice coughs out a small drop of blood, and falls to the ground, clutching her lightly burned torso. She slowly rises to her feet, recovering, ?Tch. That stung a little??

?THIS will end it, Alice. No hard feeling, alright? It?s for your own good!? Yuki raises yet another spellcard, ?Purgatory: Platinum Inferno!? Around Yuki, several fireballs appear. They approach Alice slowly at first, but gradually increasing in speed.

Alice raises a retaliatory spellcard, ?Puppeteer Sign: Dolls in Sea!? Several blue dolls appear around Alice and fly spirals around her, leaving trails of water in their wake, altogether creating a shield of water around Alice, who calmly walks in Yuki?s direction as the demon?s fireballs get extinguished.

?Darn it?? Yuki becomes short of breath.

Alice smirks, ?Feeling under the weather already, Yuki, and you?ve only used three spellcards thus far? I see you are as diligent in your training as ever.?

?Ah??

Alice?s dolls cease creating water and become normal dolls. The puppeteer draws another spellcard, ?You?ll see that I?ve been quite busy since I left Makai. Now feel the fruits of my trials. Corps Command!? Various melee weapons, primarily lances, materialize in the hands of Alice?s dolls. ?Shanghai Battalion!? The dolls fly toward Yuki one by one. The demon dodges the first few dolls, but then gets bombarded by the rest. As Alice?s attack ends, Yuki lands short of Mai, and gets back to her feet fatigued.

?Sheesh, she?s tough. You gotta back me up on this, Mai! It?s gonna take both of us!?

??? The previously idle Mai extends her hand in front of her in Alice?s direction.

Yuki give a satisfied nod, ?Okay! Let?s do this, comrade!? Yuki?s hands ignite and she charges in Alice?s direction. A few more dolls materialize around Alice as she assumes a defensive stance, anticipating the demons? moves? however, she is shocked by what happens next. A lance of ice materializes in front of Mai, but instead of being fired at Alice, it flies in Yuki?s direction and impales the fire demon through her right shoulder.

?OUUUUCH!? Yuki slumps to the floor in pain, ?Mai? why???

??? Mai walks over to Yuki and kicks her to the side, causing the fire demon to slide across the floor and into the wall.

Alice stares at Mai, ?Mai? What do you think you?re???

At the edge of the room, Shinki appears, ?What??

Around the same time, Sakuya enters, ?What is? going on??

Mai glances back at Shinki, ?? Glad you could make it to the festivities, Mother.?

?She speaks?? says the dumbfounded Sakuya.

?What is the meaning of this?? demands Shinki.

Mai answers, ??The meaning of this,? Mother, is that justice, a long time coming, is about to be served. I?m going to do something that your worthless ?love? prevented you from carrying out yourself?? Mai?s attention shifts toward Yuki, ?Accept my apologies, dear sister. The thing is, I have my own reasons for wanting to DO Alice. Besides, you?re useless and you?d only get in my way.?

Alice raises an eyebrow, ??Justice???

?That?s right,? answers Mai, ?Your day of reckoning has come? murderer!?

Alice clenches her teeth, ?I see. I should have known that would catch up with me here??

??? Shinki and Yuki hesitate, knowing the meaning in Mai?s words.

Sakuya?s remaining eye blinks a couple times, ?What?s? going on??

Gpop

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #52 on: May 04, 2009, 01:04:57 AM »
Oh god reading right now!

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #53 on: May 30, 2009, 05:23:17 AM »
Many silent hours pass in the Netherworld prison. Komachi drifts off to sleep while Yukari and Sikieiki pass the time without a word exchanged between them.

Finally, Sikieiki breaks the bleak silence, ?Yukari??

?What??

?I was thinking back to the story you told regarding the circumstances that led to your death, and thus, your arrival here.?
 
?What about it??

?We have known each other awhile. Many years ago, I recall you telling me about the boundary that exists between dreams and reality. Shortly before your death, you used it to convert Reimu and Marisa to their ?dream? selves.?

?That?s right. What about it??

?You told me that the boundary between dreams and reality requires tremendous energy to manipulate??

?? And??

?Well, Yukari, you WERE wounded at the time if I recall correctly. Logically, you could have saved your energy and healed, but instead, you took a course that resulted in your death. Why didn?t you do things that way? Why choose death instead? It?s not like you??

Yukari pauses for a few seconds, ?Who says death is eternal??

Sikieiki is taken aback, ?What a ridiculous question! That?s an absolute decree of the powers that be.?

Yukari smirks, ?Well, those ?powers that be,? as you put it, might have to second-guess some circumstances. The way I see it, this is only a minor and temporary inconvenience to me.?

?What makes you say that? Death is the absolute end of life!?

?Are you sure??

?Wh-what??

?Think about it, Yama. I am a product of a dream Reimu and Marisa had. Sure, Yumei had taken the reins for the time being, but what if they regain control? They would return Gensokyo to what it used to be? and the last time I checked, I was ALIVE before Gensokyo vanished, so I imagine, I would be back, resurrected, should such a thing take place.?

Sikieiki takes a moment to consider Yukari?s words, ?Well, you might be right??

?Fufufu~ The power to overcome even death. A dreamer?s power is indeed remarkable. Before the power of Reimu and Marisa, even I am powerless by comparison.?

?Do you believe that it will all go as you think??

?My honest answer? I don?t. However, good things come to those who are not afraid to roll the dice. If I had insisted on living, my energy would have continued to drain, and Reimu?s original world does not have regenerative magic, nor Yuyuko?s netherworld. I decided to give them a solid fighting chance against Yumei instead. That rabbit may believe that she had gotten rid of me, but this is all going according to my plan. Maybe if they defeat Yumei, they will control the dream again, and it would all be worthwhile? ? ? ? ? I just hope they take their time enough so I can teach that Kotohime a lesson and get my boundary manipulation back before my resurrection.?

?Looks like you have things figured out,? says Sikieiki, ?For now, however, we should rest. There are no windows, but I imagine it is nighttime. We will decide our next course of action tomorrow. Hopefully Toyohime will lend us a hand? with a little luck, granted.?

---

Yeah, this one is rather short (just good old Yukari being a mastermind in spite of her prediciment), but hopefully it will get things moving again, as I was having trouble figuring out how to continue.

Thank you Kilga, for the words of support during AB09. You helped me get back some of my motivation.
« Last Edit: May 31, 2009, 04:25:31 PM by Valesta »

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #54 on: May 30, 2009, 05:58:09 AM »
Short, but it's a nice little installment. I'm glad to see you got your motivation back for this, you've put so much into it and it'd be a shame for it to be dropped. Good job on getting all the way here.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #55 on: May 31, 2009, 11:12:37 PM »
Lunarian capital, Tsuki no Miyako?

Many feet below the surface of the moon, Yumemi Okazaki rides an elevator down to the lowest basement of her research complex. She steps out into a room filled with large cylinders, each giving off a light blue glow, the only thing illuminating the room. Within a few of the cylinders, people, human and moon rabbit alike, float naked in suspended animation; Research subjects under the effect of astral projection.

Yumemi walks through aisles lined with cylinders on both sides to one cylinder in particular, marked with the serial number, A7P02. Within it floats a tall moon rabbit with red hair that had extended down past her feet, a result of the flow of time.

Yumemi stares at the subject within, ?So this is her? the subject that may have warped reality itself?? Yumemi suppresses a laugh, ?Hmhmhm? I can?t wait to meet the spirit I released. To think it would be a result of MY experiment! To think I let something so? extraordinary escape my notice. Tomorrow night, the night of a full moon, I will have my answers?? She releases a sigh, ?Too bad I still have the remainder of today. It?s going to be a loooooong day??


Back above the surface, in one of the lunar city?s residential complexes, Rika, busy at her computer, hears a knock on her room?s door, ?Come in.?

Meira enters the room with her arms crossed in front of her, ?Hello, Rika. Have you found what I?m after??

?Um? Hi, Meira,? greets Rika shyly, ?This is about that? um? background information regarding Master Konpaku, right??

?Indeed. Have you found it??

Rika nods her head, ?Yes! I found it. Um? I have some good news and bad news??

?Hm?? Meira cocks an eyebrow.

?Um? The good news is that I wasn?t caught, so you can keep your head? But? um? the bad news is that? to avoid being caught? I had to log out while I was gathering the information, so I only got bits and pieces??

?That?s fine,? says Meira, ?Just as long as I have enough to work with.?

??? Rika hands Meira a few sheets of paper with the information she gathered.

Meira takes the papers and reads through them, ?Hm? So his first student goes by the name, Youmu Konpaku. ?Konpaku,? huh? Must be a relative? ? Eh? His DAUGHTER??

Rika smiles, ?He doesn?t seem like the type that would have children??

Meira ignores Rika?s comment and continues reading ?? ? ? ? ? ? ? Okay. This is good. Nice work, Rika.?

?Thanks!? responds Rika happily.

Meira tucks the papers into her pocket and leaves the room.


In the imperial palace throne room, Yorihime reports the results of a previous battle with Earth?s forces to the empress, ?? In conclusion, Mo_ Er, Your Imperial Majesty, our ambush was a complete success. The enemy force was completely annihilated and we suffered no losses.?

?Very well done,? says Lunariya, ?I was right to place you in charge of that force. I expect nothing less from a former student of Dr. Yagokoro. Keep going as you were and I will be most pleased.?

Yorihime?s otherwise deadpanned expression slightly lightens, ?Of? of course, Your Majesty!?

?Keep me informed. You are dismissed.?

However, before Yorihime can respond to the empress? words, a gap opens between them and Kotohime steps out, ?Mother! It?s me!?

??? There is a long silence between the three of them.

Finally, the empress speaks, ?Koto? What did you just do? How are you here? The moon is not full yet??

Kotohime explains excitedly, ?I got an AWESOME power! It allows me to go from one realm to the next, full moon or not! I got it from this really mean old lady, who tried to beat me up, but I beat her up instead and threw her in the dungeon!?

?Um? I? I see??

?Koto, how is Toyo doing?? asks Yorihime, only to be completely ignored.

?I?m going to go back to that Netherworld, but I thought I?d come and visit you. Thank you for giving me control of that place! It was the BEST birthday present EVER!?

?Anything for you, Koto. Also? it doesn?t have to be right away, but do you think you could have our researchers look into that power you obtained? It would be a great boon indeed if every Lunarian citizen were to have that power.?

?Okay? But not now. Well, I?m going back. Thanks again, Mother!? Kotohime and the empress share a brief hug, and then the princess opens a gap and leaves.

??? Yorihime watched the entire exchange.

Lunariya glances at Yorihime, ?Third Princess, Watatsuki no Yorihime. I believe I had dismissed you.?

?Um? I?m sor_ I mean, my apologies, Your Majesty. I shall take my leave.? Yorihime walks toward the room?s entrance, her fist tightly clenched.


?Just what is going on?? demands Sakuya to Mai, as she and Alice face off, ?You?re supposed to be like sisters? aren?t you??

Alice says, ?Mai, if you were so distressed over what happened, why didn?t you do something sooner??

Mai?s eyes narrow at Alice, ?I must have seriously overestimated your intellect if you are asking such a stupid question. It was because you were still human at the time. It was back when you possessed the ultimate power of magic, not that pathetic ?doll manipulation? you have now. Like everyone, save Mother, I was afraid of you.?

??? Shinki and Yuki stand silently.

Mai continues, ?However, now you are a demon, and you had lost your old powers. Those powers and your humanity are now confined to your grimoire, am I right? You are not the threat you once were? but that doesn?t erase your crime, Alice! It?s time for you to face justice!? Mai extends her arm and a sword of ice materializes. At the same time, two large demonic wings extend from Mai?s back.

?I understand you,? responds Alice, ?But don?t think I am just going to let you take me without a fight. Human or demon, that has not changed about me!?

Mai smiles deviously, ?I wouldn?t have it any other way. Get ready, Alice!?

?I suppose you are set on this?? A couple dolls, armed with two lances each, materialize in front of Alice.

?Yaaaaaaaa!? Mai charges at Alice, the distance between them quickly closing.

In response, Alice sends the dolls flying toward Mai, like missiles. The demon twists her body to dodge one, then cuts through the other. A third doll, armed with a large shield, appears in front of Alice at the last second and blocks Mai?s sword, shattering it. The doll flies out of the way as Alice delivers an unrefined kick to the vulnerable Mai, which still manages to be effective, due to the momentum. Mai is sent reeling, but she quickly regains her balance and holds her ground as three small daggers of ice appear in her hand, which she quickly throws one by one. Alice dodges the first, but Mai throws the second while the puppeteer is off-balance, which catches her in the thigh. Mai throws the third, aimed at Alice?s head, but she manages to move to the side in time, the dagger grazing her cheek. Blood trickles down, which Alice then wipes off.

Mai smiles, ?It looks like the new and anti-improved Alice still has enough fight in her??

Alice responds, ?I?m not as powerful as I used to be, but be assured that you will not get the better of me.?

?Don?t take me lightly,? says Mai, ?Just because you hang out with that weak and retarded ice user, don?t go thinking we all are that pathetic.?

?She is not weak and reta_? Alice gasps, ?Wait! How did you know about_?

??Cirno,? was it?? interrupts Mai, ?You never realized, in all your years in Gensokyo, that we kept a secretive eye on you? I guess we did our job well, then. Even after what you did, apparently, we still consider you a sister, and we, myself excluded, worry about you. We know what you eat, who you like, who you hate, what you?ve done. Mother often tells us these things as bedtime stories.?

??? Alice, now feeling like prey, is at a loss for words.

The battle continues as Yuki, a contemplative Shinki, and a perplexed Sakuya watch on.

Four dolls appear in front of Alice, which fire off a rainbow-colored barrage of magical bullets. However, it proves ineffective as Mai uses her wide wingspan to shield herself from the attack. Mai counters with a spellcard, ?Cocytus: Frozen Wave!? Mai releases a blast of freezing air in the direction of Alice and the dolls. Alice shields herself with magic and holds her ground, resulting in just her arms being covered by a thin coat of frost. However, the dolls become encased in ice and fall to the ground. One of the fallen dolls levitates off the ground and flies into Mai?s hand.

?How about a little experiment?? asks Mai. She examines the dolls characteristics, ?This is well-made! Something every girl would want as a childhood toy. Now? how would you respond if I did THIS?? Mai snaps one of the arms off of the doll, and then the other.

??? Alice?s eyes narrow at Mai.

Mai then drops the doll on the ground and crushes it under her foot.

?You??

Mai takes a brief glance at Alice?s demeanor, ?I see I made you kinda upset, yet you still seem to be in control. That?s a step up from the Alice that killed Luize.?

Sakuya asks Yuki, ?Who is she talking about??

After a brief hesitation, Yuki explains, ?Luize was another member of this sisterhood.?

??? Sakuya listens, briefly recalling the picture in Alice?s room.

?She and Mai were very close. She had a particular love for hiding peoples? belongings as practical jokes. Eventually, we took in Alice, she was human at the time and possessed unimaginable magical power. She was only eight at the time we took her in, and she could level an entire village with a spellcard??

?Alice? used to be THAT powerful?? Sakuya remembers the story Alice told Medicine Melancholy at the end of the Flower Incident.

?She was abandoned and homeless, so we took pity on her. As powerful as Alice used to be, Mother was stronger, still. However, her love of dolls was? abnormal. Unfortunately, Luize didn?t realize this until it was too late. She tried to take one of Alice?s dolls without asking. This greatly upset Alice, and? ? ?? Yuki hesitates for a long time, which is enough for Sakuya to figure out what she was trying to say.

Yuki continues, ?Alice was young and could not control her power very well. We understood this and forgave her? all of us, except Mai, as it turns out. I should have known, too. She hardly ever spoke since then. In fact, this is the most I?ve ever heard Mai talk since then??

?So that?s why Mai is calling Alice a murderer??

?Still?? begins Mai to Alice, ?My wrath continues! I will destroy you, Alice, and avenge Luize??

Yuki calls over to Shinki, ?Mother! Are you just going to let them do this? They could kill each other!?

?I? don?t know what to do?? says Shinki, ?It?s true it was an accident, but even so, it still destroyed Mai?s spirit. If I step in, Mai will continue to suffer, but??

Mai readies a spellcard, ?I?m done sizing you up, Alice! It?s time for you to feel the power I saved just for you!?

---

Happy 200 pages, EoD!

Well, I hope this was an enjoyable addition.

I was a little hesitent over the third moon scene in the throne room, as it was part of that installment that I deleted on the old forums, due to the poor reception, though I hope the different circumstances fixed things up. However, Lunariya will only have one more scene in the entire story.

I hope you liked the background I set up for Alice.
« Last Edit: June 01, 2009, 01:11:52 AM by Valesta »

Gpop

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #56 on: June 01, 2009, 12:56:46 AM »
Nice to see you continue this! You have my full support!

That was interesting. The Alice background you set up reminds me Flandre, which I like quite a bit.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #57 on: June 01, 2009, 05:01:48 PM »
You compare EVERYTHING to Flandre, Gpop :P

Anyway, Valesta, I'd like to comment on how much this story has improved from when you first started writing. Let's not mince words: it was kind of badly written. Still, though, you kept me up until 5 reading it last night (once it got to Embodiment of Dreams). Really interesting Gensokyo you got there. I think another mental improvement I made was when I stopped thinking of it as being based on Concealed the Conclusion. Also, "
Spoiler:
I AM GENSOKYO!
" is the most badass line in the series.

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #58 on: June 30, 2009, 04:24:24 PM »
Hey there.

It's almost been a full month since I last updated. I've been busy with other stuff lately and I don't have quite a lot of interest in Touhou nowadays. Obviously, it's hard to keep at a fanfic like that. Plus, my mind has been more geared toward a novel I started recently.

I figured it's only fair to those that follow this story to know what's going on. I'm going to be putting this on hold for the time being. No, I'm not giving up on this, but I don't have a lot of motivation right now. I'm sorry about this.

I'd like to thank everyone who had given their support up to this point. You guys are awesome.

Gpop

Re: Thought's End & Embodiement of Dreams (2nd Ignition)
« Reply #59 on: June 30, 2009, 04:27:52 PM »
Ah no worries. Take your time. It's not like you're being rushed to finish this.

Good luck on the novel!