Author Topic: A New World: Book 1 Completed  (Read 26015 times)

Iced Fairy

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A New World: Book 1 Completed
« on: May 13, 2010, 05:46:57 PM »
Yukari made me do it.

This came about from the what Maribel = Yukari thread, though my thoughts on the matter at slightly different, as will rapidly become evident.  I warn everyone though, this isn't my normal writing set, and I'm really not certain where I'm going for the middle, so this one's going to be updated... sporadically.  More sporadically then normal even for me.  And with that warning out of the way.

***

Maribel stared at the moons reflection in the pond.  The ripples in the pool seemed to flow out across her vision.  Her mind seemed to blur, pushing the boundaries of her own thoughts.  She reached out and took her friends hand.  "Well, Renko. If the Moon Tour is too expensive, shall we go there  another way?"  And then she stepped forward into the pool, towards the vision of the true moon that only her eyes could see....

There was a dark field, one that seemed to be full of red eyes.  But Maribel wasn't scared.  She knew they weren't looking at her to judge her.  They were looking at her to tell them what reality was.

Then they were outside.

Maribel could only stand in awe.  Fortunately Renko managed to pull herself together quickly.  She stared at the sky for a few seconds before turning to her friend.  ?How did you do that?  We're actually on the moon!?  Looking around she said, ?But this moon seems...?

Different was probably the word her friend was looking for.  Behind them a pure blue sea lapped at the beach.  In front of them was a grove of peach trees.  The gravity seemed to be the same, and there was no lack of air.  Yet Maribel's heart and Renko's eyes both agreed, they'd crossed over to the moon.

?I think this is the real moon Renko.  The one where the rabbits pound mochi and the celestial maidens live.?  Maribel walked towards the orchards edge looking around.  ?Though I don't see anyone here.?

Renko looked back over the ocean, then towards the sky again.  ?Hm...  I guess I wouldn't be able to know the difference between the moons without having been to both.  Still, how did we get here?  And how will we get back??

Maribel paused.  She tried to think about what had happened.  Her memory seemed to swirl around her actions.  It was like trying to think about walking, it was so natural your brain didn't remember it.  The only thing that popped into her head was, ?...the boundary of truth and lies.?

?So up to your old tricks again?? came a stern voice from between the trees.

Striding from amidst the trees was a woman is fine robes.  However unlike the celestial maidens of her boarder visions this woman was not dancing happily but frowning while carrying a sword openly.  To make the scene even more surreal there were a number of rabbit girls standing behind her armed with even stranger archaic weaponry.  It looked like they'd pulled rifles out of a museum.  It was wondrous, humorous, and terrifying all at the same time.

Still they couldn't just stand there.  They should explain who they were at least, even if they could explain why they were there.  Maribel wondered if she'd run into this woman in one of her boarder hopping dreams.  ?I'm sorry, my name is Maribel Hearn.  I don't think we've met before??

Renko moved to stand somewhat in front of Maribel.  ?And I'm Renko Usami.  We're sorry to drop in on you, but we were talking about taking a trip to the moon and...?  Renko looked at me and shrugged.

The lady frowned deeper, but lowered her blade.  ?You seem to be human.  And the old Yakumo is supposed to be dead.  Hm...?  She seemed to think a bit then sighed and shrugged.  ?A little stranger then the normal spiriting away but whatever.  I'm afraid I cannot let you stay on the moon.  I'll take you to my estate, and my sister can send you back.?

The two friends looked at each other.  It seemed strange to have their hopes dashed once again after accomplishing the impossible.  ?Excuse me, but why can't we visit here?  Is it dangerous for humans?? Renko asked cautiously.

The noble looked at them with a surprised expression.  ?Because you are impure humans.  We left the Earth because of the deadly impurities that infest it.  If you stayed here too long you would bring death to our lunar capitol.?  Maribel saw Renko's face twitch.  It was really quite annoying to hear those words said so matter of factly.  ?Besides, with your tours and colonies on the fake moon humans aren't being viewed too favorably right now.  You're lucky me and my sister Toyohime are used to sending people like you back to Earth.  Now if I could just find her quickly...?

?No need for that Yorihime.  I'm right here.?  Another well dressed woman carrying a fan walked out of the treeline.  ?Though I can't send them back just like normal.?

Yorihime raised an eyebrow.  ?Why not?  We can't keep them here.?

Maribel blinked as Toyohime pointed her fan directly at the girl.  ?Because I'm quite sure that the young lady there did get here by her own power, and because they know they've reached the moon.?  Toyohime sighed.  ?So while I'm fairly sure these two girls wouldn't be able to convince anyone they actually found our home, they do have the ability to return with more people.  And you know that we'd come under suspicion for letting them go.?

Yorihime seemed to be struck by that reasoning.  ?Hm...  So then.  Do we have to kill them??  The casual tone in the lady's voice stung Maribel.  Then she realized the lady was serious and she began to shake.  Were they really going to kill them just for accidentally stumbling onto the moon?  Perhaps they would.  There had to be something she could do?  Her eyes fell on her friend who seemed to be similarly panicking.

Maribel dropped to her knees.  ?Please.  I'm the one that has the power that worries you so much.  I brought Renko here without telling her, so she's innocent of any crime.  I beg you to let her go.?

Renko whirled on her in surprise.  ?What!  I'm not going to just leave you alone here!  Neither of us have committed any crime!?  Her friend pointed at the two Lunar nobles.  ?You're the ones plotting to kill us for something we might do!  How is that not 'impure?'?

Yorihime had the decency to look embarrassed at Renko's rant, but Toyohime just laughed.  ?You don't need to be so dramatic.  I can't return you to your world.  However dropping you in Gensoukyo should be fine.  It's borders are sealed much tighter then our own these days, and you're unlikely to make an alliance with the youkai.  That should do nicely.?

?Hm...  Some people won't be happy with that either,? Yorihime commented.

Toyohime shrugged.  ?Some people are never happy with our work these days.  Anyways if you two would like to leave this place...?  She glanced at the girls.

Maribels breath caught.  At this point the emotional roller coaster of the day finally hit her and she teared up.  She couldn't tell how much was from relief that they wouldn't be killed, anger over their helplessness, and happiness over finally reaching Gensoukyo, but she wasn't going to hesitate now.  She moved up and grabbed Renko's hand again before nodding her acceptance.  Renko looked more angry then relieved, but she nodded quickly as well. 

There was an odd feeling, like they were moving very quickly despite not moving at all, then they found themselves in front of a wrought iron fence.  In front of the gate in the center of that fence was a woman wearing chinese garb.  Her hair was silver, and her eyes green.  At their abrupt appearance she dropped into a fighting stance, but before Maribel could even worry about being violently rejected again, the woman relaxed, then bowed.

Renko and Maribel hesitated for a moment then bowed politely in return.  The woman straightened up, then said in a low, calm voice, ?Greetings honored travelers.  I am Izayoi Huian the Gatekeeper of the Scarlet Devil Mansion.  I offer you sanctuary in my lady's name.?
« Last Edit: October 10, 2010, 06:03:41 PM by IcedFairy »

Sana

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Re: A New World
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2010, 06:16:20 PM »
More fiction with Renko and Maryberry in it! YESSSSS
* Sana stamps with seal of approval

Re: A New World
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2010, 09:40:18 PM »
... heh. Oh dear, this is going to be interesting.

(So, uh ... actually, I'll head to the Wiki to bring up my "Han/Hearn" concerns.)

Alfred F. Jones

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Re: A New World
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2010, 09:16:21 PM »
I am interested in this! Yorihime and Toyohime need to show up more often in fiction, imo. I will look forward to more. :3

Iced Fairy

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Re: A New World
« Reply #4 on: June 11, 2010, 12:03:56 AM »
I said this would take a long time, and I was right!  I'm actually surprised at how long this ended up.  I was expecting to have made it to the next revelation.  This bit of confusion should be good enough though.

Quote
I am interested in this! Yorihime and Toyohime need to show up more often in fiction, imo. I will look forward to more.
Er... Well, it'll be a while before we see those two again, especially given how much time writing this eats up.  Though they do have a part to play.

Anyway, onward....

-----------------

Renko blinked.  ?Wait, Scarlet Devil Mansion?  That doesn't sound all that safe.?

Maribel had to agree with her friend at first.  However something stirred at the back of her mind.  ?Renko, I think this is the place where the maid gave me those cookies.  When I visited in my dreams.?

The gatekeeper raised an eyebrow at that.  ?I don't recall meeting you before, and if you are human there's no chance that you could have entered the mansion without me knowing.?  She then frowned.  ?However, I suppose stranger things have happened.  In any case, while the lady of the house is a vampire, she would be terribly bored without the occasional human guest.  You have my word that you will be safe from harm all this night, and you will be escorted back to the village.  A far better deal then the other youkai are likely to give you.?

Maribel looked at Renko to find her friend gazing back at her.  They nodded to each other once.  It was a better deal then the last one.  Renko stepped forward and bowed again.  ?Thanks for your hospitality.  Please take care of us.?

Huian bowed again in reply, then opened the gates.  ?Please follow me.?  The gatekeeper began walking across the gardens towards the mansion.  Meribel and Renko carefully followed after her down the path through the rose and lilac bushes.

As the trio reached the doors they swung open seemingly by themselves.  The effect was impressive, but it was ruined slightly by the distortion in Maribel's eyes.  She paused, staring at the oddity.  ?What's  wrong?? Renko asked.

Maribel peered at the distortion more.  ?The boundary of... space.  Yes.  Space is wrong in there.?

Huian blinked then gave Maribel an appraising stare.  ?Interesting.  Most humans from the outside world aren't as in tune with their powers as you seem to be.  Yes, the space within the mansion is distorted to make it larger on the inside then on the outside.  We need that to house the library.?

The sheer impossibility of that would have normally caused Maribel to start asking dozens of questions, but today seemed to be full of impossible events.  Instead she just nodded in acceptance.  Renko seemed to be pondering the matter, but she was silent as well.

Huian turned back towards the now open doors.  ?The upper floors have been increased in size as well, so please don't wander about too much.  I'll show you to the guest room.?

As the trio walked through the doors they quietly closed.  This time the girls could see two maids with fairy wings operating them.  The mansion itself was well lit, yet still dark because of the crimson wallpaper.  The two girls noted that the lights were simple freestanding globes as they followed their guide.

Eventually Huian opened one of the many doors, leading to a sitting room.  This room favored white, making it seem far brighter then the hallways.  Inside was a woman in a nightgown.  The lady had small black bat wings, strawberry blond hair and a languid expression.  In her off hand she carried a book.  She stood and nodded to the two girls at the doorway, before turning to Huian.  ?Who are our guests??

The gatekeeper's calm expression turned to dismay.  ?Whoops.  Uh...?

?You didn't ask,? the woman said with a grin.  She stepped forward towards Huian, then with a sudden move kissed the other woman on the nose.  ?You should be more careful, dearest.?

Renko coughed.  ?I'm Renko Usami,? she stated to prevent their guide from further embarrassment.

?And I'm Maribel Hearn,? Mary added.

The woman's expression evened out again.  ?A pleasure to meet you both.  I'm Dinah Margatroid, assistant librarian of the mansion.?  She looked at the gatekeeper.  ?Will you be joining us Huian??

Huian shook her head.  ?No.  I should return to my post until the mistress has finished eating dinner.?  She bowed first to Dinah, then to Mary and Renko.  ?Dinah will be able to show you to the dining room.?

Dinah sighed.  ?Oh well.  I'll be sure to tell you anything interesting that happens.?  She turned back to the waiting girls as the gate guard left.  ?I'm sure you two have had a fairly confusing journey.  Feel free to converse by yourselves or ask me questions.?

Maribel sighed and sat down on one of the sofas.  Renko sat down beside her, while their host sat back down in her chair.  There was a long pause as the two girls tried to think of what to say.

Renko acted first.  She was always good at getting her bearings even without the stars.  ?So, um, are you a vampire??

Dinah blinked, then laughed.  ?Oh, no.  I'm a magician, though I do have devil blood in me.  You'll know when you meet the mistress of the house.  She's fairly unique.?  She smiled wider.  ?So you don't need to worry about me drinking your blood or anything.?

Renko laughed nervously.  ?I wasn't worrying about that.  Promise!?

Maribel smiled and shook her head.  Turning to her host she asked, ?Is this really Gensoukyo?  I'd dreamed of this place, this mansion before, but it was slightly different.?

The magician blinked.  ?Yes this is Gensoukyo.  I'm surprised you speak of 'before' though.  The borders have been tightly bound for the last three hundred years, ever since the Yakumo died.  I doubt a dreamer would be able to pass through.  Perhaps you were displaced?  Tell me, do you have any powers related to time??

Maribel shook her head.  ?No.  I can see boundaries though.  Renko's the one who can always tell what time it is.?  She glanced at her friend.  ?Though she still manages to always be late.?

Renko shrugged.  ?I'm bad at judging how long things will take.?  She frowned.  ?But are you sure you can't do more then that now Renko?  You somehow sent us to the moon.  And not our moon either?

Dinah carefully shut her book.  ?You managed to travel to the true moon??

Maribel and Renko nodded.  ?Though we almost got killed because of it,? Maribel said sadly.

Dinah stood.  ?I see...  Forgive me, but would you mind telling me about it?  We youkai don't exactly have favorable relations with the moon, and the Scarlet Devil Mansion more so.  I would not expect them to send humans here.?

?Sure,? Renko replied.  ?There's not much to say though.?  The girl proceeded to explain their desire to visit the moon, and the disastrous success that followed.  Maribel added what she could to the tale.

?So,? Renko finished.  ?We don't really know ourselves what's going on.  At all.  We were hoping to find someone that might be able to help us.

Dinah thought for a moment.  ?I should inform my parents about this.  They'd know more about the moon, and about such powers, so they'd be better suited to answer your questions.?  She waved her hand and a pitcher and two glasses appeared.  ?Feel free to have some water while you wait.  It shouldn't be too long.?

The winged magician glided out of the room leaving Maribel and Renko to their own devices.

Now that they were alone Mary turned to her friend.  ?I'm sorry Renko.  I shouldn't have dragged...?

?You should be sorry.?  Renko said poking her friend in the chest.  Mary flinched back as Renko continued.  ?What the hell was with you trying to sacrifice yourself for me back on the moon??

Maribel gaped in confusion.  ?But... but I dragged you into that mess!  You almost got killed because of me!?

?But we didn't get killed.?  Renko said.  ?Besides, I would have jumped for this chance even if you had explained it to me beforehand.  So don't you dare try to leave me behind again.  We're in this together.  Alright??

Maribel blinked for a few moments.  Then the tears broke through, and she embraced her friend tightly.    She tried to apologize, to explain herself, but only sobs came out.  Renko simply held her close.  ?Shh... It's okay.  I understand.?

After a long while Maribel managed to recover.  ?I'm sorry.?

?It's fine.?  Renko managed a weak smile.  ?Just be there to catch me when I crash, okay.?

Maribel smiled, and wiped away a few more tears.  ?Sure.?

?Here.? Renko handed her friend a napkin from next to the water pitcher.

Maribel nodded her thanks then wiped her face and blew her nose.  She then poured two cups of water.  ?So now that I've had my breakdown for today, what should we do??

Renko thought a bit.  ?We need to find out where we can go after today, and then how we can survive.  After that we need to figure out if there's a way to get back home.?

Maribel managed a weak laugh.  ?We finally make it to Gensoukyo and the first thing we think to do is run away....  How strange.?

?We're not running away,? Renko protested.  ?We're keeping our options open.  Besides, maybe we can find a passage back and forth.  We haven't even started our explorations on this side of the border!?

?Very well then.?  Maribel said.  ?Today's sealing club mission is 'learn how to live in Gensoukyo.'?

?That's the spirit,? a voice said from the doorway.

The two girls turned to find a woman, apparently in her 20s, wearing what could only be described as a witch costume standing there.  ?Yo,? the witch said.  ?The name's Marisa Kirisame.  Dinah told us about your situation, so we're going to have a meeting to see how to help deal with it.?  Marisa smiled broadly.  ?And so you and the lady of the house don't get bored if it goes into magical esoterica, we'll have dinner too.?
« Last Edit: June 11, 2010, 05:45:21 AM by IcedFairy »

Re: A New World
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2010, 05:22:14 AM »
Hmm. "Could only be described as a witch" could mean anything given how this apparently takes place, um, I'd say around end of the fifth 60-year cycle, while PoFV takes place at the end of the second, although she still talks like she did before.

So ... shipping-daughters, huh? |3

Iced Fairy

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Re: A New World
« Reply #6 on: June 11, 2010, 05:43:48 AM »
Hmm. "Could only be described as a witch" could mean anything given how this apparently takes place, um, I'd say around end of the fifth 60-year cycle, while PoFV takes place at the end of the second, although she still talks like she did before.
Hm... You're right.  I'll alter that.  Though you're off on the number of 60 year cycles that have passed.  The text should show they've passed the seventh, though I could totally understand someone missing that line.

Quote
So ... shipping-daughters, huh? |3
I'm a terrible person.  They're minor OCs and I've got them stated out in full...

brb seppuku.

Re: A New World
« Reply #7 on: June 11, 2010, 05:54:53 AM »
Ah, gotcha, I misinterpreted the "tightly-bound" part.

Iced Fairy

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Re: A New World
« Reply #8 on: June 30, 2010, 01:36:13 AM »
Shorter then normal.  I figured posting it would keep me honest.

***

The dining room was a chaotic mess.

Not physically.  Physically everything was in it's proper place.  But the people in there were all over the place.

In addition to the ?ordinary witch? who had led them to the dining hall and Dinah, there were three other women, all who appeared to be around the same age.  The one named Koakuma was obviously related to Dinah, sharing the other girls bat wings.  The other two were apparently Alice Margetroid, who was sipping tea while a passel of dolls swarmed around her futzing with various objects, and Patchouli Knowledge, who was reading a massive tome.

As soon as Maribel and Renko had sat down the questions had started. 

?What's the status of Shintoism in Japan these days??

?How far along is the Mars program??

?Did China ever reunify?  How about Korea??

?Have they gained any further insight into the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle??

There was no pressure, but little rhyme or reasoning to the questions.  And every now and then two or three of them would break off into a side discussion.  The one thing Maribel did notice was that Dinah seemed to show deference to all the other women.  She didn't look younger, but she acted younger.

Still none of these answered the questions she had.  So finally, after all six of the other women had started talking about quantum mechanics she interrupted.  ?I'm sorry, but I really would like to know what's happening to us.  And what we're supposed to do next.?

Renko paused then nodded.  ?Yeah.  Not that I don't like talking about the stuff I learned in class, but we do have bigger issues right now.?

Patchouli set down her book and looked at them directly for the first time.  ?Hm... We're waiting for the mistress of the house to awaken before we go into why you might be here, but I suppose we can tell you what you should do next.?

Marisa nodded her approval.  ?It's not like anyone will care if they miss that part of the conversation.?  The witch returned to fiddling with her tea spoon.  ?You want to give the speech Alice??

?I suppose I could.?  The swirl of dolls around Alice slowed until only one doll was still active.  ?You are in Gensoukyo.  The illusionary world that is refuge to youkai and spiritually active humans alike.  Sadly currently Gensoukyo's boundaries are too strong.  Few humans cross over naturally, and willingly crossing the barrier is considered impossible currently.?

Renko frowned.  ?But Mary's been here in her dreams before.?

Patchouli flipped a page.  ?She's appeared in a mental state.  The barrier displaced her temporally to a time when it wasn't as strong as a way to bleed off stress.  That doesn't work with physical travelers I'm afraid.  It's far easier for the barrier to just erase your physical forms.?

?Yes.  The only way you were able to cross over physically is because the barrier between us and the true moon is far thinner.?  The puppeteer paused for a moment before continuing in a sympathetic voice.  ?I'm afraid you probably will not be able to return to your homes.?

Mary probably should have been more stunned by that announcement, but she was too tired to be severely shocked by mere words at this point.  Still, there was a dull ache at the thought of not being able to see her family again. 

Then she felt Renko's hand enveloping hers.  She turned and smiled at her friend.  She wasn't totally alone here at least.

Seeing the two recover Alice continued.  ?Fortunately you arrived here, instead of out in the wilderness where youkai hunt humans as food.?

?Probably one of the safest places outside of the temple or the village itself,? Koakuma stated.

Maribel thought for a moment.  ?I remember a village.  Faintly.  It seemed like a happy place.?

Marisa frowned for a moment.  ?I suppose.  Really depends on what kind of person you are.?

?I think they'll have an easier time of it then we would,? Patchouli stated calmly.  ?Talents are appreciated.  It's the drive to pursue magic to it's fullest that draws fear for some reason.?

?Huh, so then most of the villagers have a power like me and Mary?? Renko asked.

?Usually stronger actually,? Alice replied.  ?Though perhaps with training you could surpass the average villager.?

?In any case should you choose to go there we'll supply an escort.  You shouldn't worry about short term lodging either.  Keine will be happy to give you room and board while you settle yourselves.  Though she'll probably have you do some odd jobs here and there.?

?Should we choose to go there?? Renko asked.

Koakuma nodded.  ?That explanation we'll want to wait on the mistress of the house for.?

?And she should be arriving shortly.?

Mary and Renko turned to see another blond woman in a maid uniform enter into the room.  She was holding a tray with a large chocolate cake and two bowls of stew on it.  The maid placed the two bowls of stew in front of the girls from outside, before curtsying.  ?Juri Kirisame, head maid of the mansion.  My apologies for not meeting with you sooner, but I was busy with the cleaning.?

?Ah, don't worry about it.  And thank you for the food,? Maribel said.

Renko nodded.  ?Yeah, it's been too long since we ate.?

Marisa eyed the cake.  ?Aren't you splurging a little here??

Juri raised an eyebrow.  ?It's not like we're in poor financial straights.  You need to let your miserly ways go father.?

?I told you not to call me that.?  Marisa muttered darkly.  ?And it's not about the cake mix.  It's about the blood.?  Maribel suddenly felt less hungry.  Her appetite didn't improve as the argument continued.

Juri smiled wickedly.  ?It's not like blood keeps.  We have two new donors as well.  Besides, just because you never gained the taste for it, doesn't meant the rest of us don't enjoy it.?

?Leave me out of this, sister.? Dinah snapped.  ?Besides, you're scaring the humans.?

Alice sighed.  ?I don't need any sibling rivalry!?  She turned to Marisa.  ?Or any father daughter sniping either.?

?Yes mother,? the two girls chorused.  Marisa just snorted and looked away.

Koakuma laughed nervously and turned to the human girls.  ?Um, to explian.  Most youkai don't need to actually eat food.  So the cake is mostly just for taste.  That's why Juri prepared a separate meal for you.  As for the donor bit....?

?Ooh!  Don't steal that part from me!  That's the fun line!?

There was a tinkling from the doorway as a young girl with strange crystalline wings stepped through.  She stared at Mary and Renko with obvious interest.  At her entrance the maid curtsied again.  ?May I present the mistress of the Scarlet Devil Mansion.  Flandre Scarlet.?

MysTeariousYukari

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Re: A New World
« Reply #9 on: June 30, 2010, 02:34:51 AM »
O.O Flandre as the mistress!? Wow, what happened to Remilia?

Also, who are the parents for each of the OCs you've introduced, Huian Izayoi, Dinah Margatroid and Juri Kirisame(and anyone else I missed) because positions and last names don't add up. Huian makes me think SakuyaxMeiling but Juri makes me think SakuyaxMarisa and Dinah, as conversation indicates, AlicexMarisa

Iced Fairy

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Re: A New World
« Reply #10 on: June 30, 2010, 03:06:43 AM »
O.O Flandre as the mistress!? Wow, what happened to Remilia?
The fate of Remilia, as well as Sakuya and Meiling will soon be addressed.  :)  (For certain definitions of soon)

Quote
Also, who are the parents for each of the OCs you've introduced, Huian Izayoi, Dinah Margatroid and Juri Kirisame(and anyone else I missed) because positions and last names don't add up. Huian makes me think SakuyaxMeiling but Juri makes me think SakuyaxMarisa and Dinah, as conversation indicates, AlicexMarisa
Huizan is, as you guessed, the child of Sakuya and Meiling.  Juri is the daughter of Alice and Marisa, though Marisa doesn't particularly approve of her daughters choice of career.  Dinah is the daughter of Alice and Koakuma.  Alice's two other daughters are in Makai.  And I've now completed the promise to Koakuma I made in the Weekly Writing Challenge thread.

I'm considering putting together a Gensoukyo Chronicle that give further details, but I'm not going to burn time on that until I manage to puch myself to the time skip.

Re: A New World
« Reply #11 on: June 30, 2010, 06:18:28 AM »
Is it far enough in the future for Hieda no Ajuu to be around? (Going by the A + number thing the Children of Miare seem to be doing ...)

Iced Fairy

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Re: A New World
« Reply #12 on: June 30, 2010, 06:43:40 AM »
Is it far enough in the future for Hieda no Ajuu to be around? (Going by the A + number thing the Children of Miare seem to be doing ...)
Hm...  A quick wiki check indicates she's likely already come and gone, though all the characters involved would have been alive at the time, baring Maribel, Renko and the current shrine maidens.

Kasu

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Re: A New World
« Reply #13 on: July 01, 2010, 02:09:28 PM »
The fate of Remilia, as well as Sakuya and Meiling will soon be addressed.  :)  (For certain definitions of soon)
Oh snap.  I take it something heavy went down?

Anyway keep up the good work.

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.

Iced Fairy

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Re: A New World
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2010, 11:04:57 PM »
Ideas have struck me for some reason.  Hopefully they're good ideas.

---
Their host grinned widely as she took her seat at the head of the table.  ?I'm glad you could come visit my mansion.  It's boring only talking to the same people all the time.  And your story sounds fun!  I missed going to the moon last time.?

Maribel managed a weak laugh.  ?Well it was certainly exciting.  And we thank you for your hospitality.?

Flandre nodded, then started rocking back and forth in her chair.  ?I'd like to say that you made up for it by being here and telling me your story,? the vampire suddenly leaned forward, and her grin turned predatory ?....but unlike other youkai we vampires DO need to eat.?

Then Flandre giggled and leaned back again, ?But I think humans are more fun alive and talking then as food, and my big sister thought that way too, so we just ask for donations!  A bit of blood will cover us protecting you today.  And if you two give us a little bit of blood every month, we'll help protect you from the other youkai later as well!?

?Most of the fishermen and woodsmen are under our protection these days, which is why my Lady doesn't hunt,? Juri added.

?Just as a question, what happens if we refuse?? Renko asked.

?Nothing,? Flandre said.  ?We just don't give you an escort to town, and don't warn the other youkai off.?

There was no need to ask what no escort into town actually meant, but Maribel couldn't really argue it was unfair, and being protected from youkai for the rest of their stay seemed fair.  Maribel was just about to agree when Renko put a hand on her shoulder.  ?I can't speak for Mary, but I'll simply pay my debt for today.  I'll take my chances once we get to the village.?

Maribel blinked.  Now that Renko had said that she realized it was a little stupid to promise to give blood every month for a service that they might not need.  ?Ah yes.  Me as well.?

There was a long pause as everyone else in the room looked at the two outsiders.  Patchouli actually closed her book and stared, while the dolls behind Alice began 'chatting' with each other.

The quiet moment was shattered when Flandre giggled again.  ?Oh!  That's impressive!  Now I'm even more interested.?  She pointed at the two.  ?Why don't you two become my maids??

?The pay is good, and we can magically aid you in mastering your talents,? Patchouli added.

?Um, no offense, but I think we'll at least want to see the village before we agree to that,? Maribel stated.

?Darn.?  Flandre slumped a bit.  Then she brightened back up.  ?Oh well.  I suppose I already have the best maid anyway.?  The vampire leaned over and gave Juri a squeeze while the maid glowed with pride.  Marisa just coughed.

?Anyway, I suppose you'll want to hear about the moon, and maybe what we can guess about your powers before you retire for the night,? the magician stated while Juri served their host a large slice of the cake.  The two outside girls took that as their cue to start eating as well.  ?First the moon....?

Patchouli reopened her book.  ?The Lunarians owe their existence to an obsession with 'purity.'  By removing themselves from the earth and it's struggles they have removed themselves from time.  In effect they've created their own realm much like Gensoukyo.  Except while Gensoukyo feeds off the worlds disbelief of magical creatures, the moon feeds of the worlds disbelief of utopia.  Though that's a incredible simplification of structures.?

Renko snorted.  ?It didn't look much like a utopia to me.?

?Well that's because you're an outsider.  It's far more pleasant for the inhabitants,? Koakuma stated.

?Though I imagine it's starting to fall down around their ears now,? Marisa said with a hint of malice.

Dinah nodded.  ?In any case, as you've seen yourself 'purity' is a very vague term.  We youkai are vessels of impurity no matter how kind and nice we are, while celestials and most gods are pure no matter how terrible they act.  Lunarians are a little different in that they have to work to remain pure, but killing impure beings, like say humans or youkai, for the benefit of pure beings such as themselves is considered a pure act.?

Maribel felt a surprising surge of anger at those words.  ?That doesn't seem right,? she snapped out.  She felt Renko give her an odd look, so she took a few breaths to calm down.

Flandre finished a bite of cake then nodded.  ?Yeah.  The Lunarians are stuck up jerks.  I kinda wish I'd have gone with big sis and Marisa so I could 'pop' one to teach them manners.?  Flandre made a grasping motion and the flower piece in the center of the table exploded into petals.  ?But I suppose it's best to just let them put about the moon and worry about humans instead of bothering us.?  Juri waved her hand and a set of child sized dolls modeled after fairies began cleaning the mess.

Kokuma shrugged.  ?So in short, no one really likes them, and you'll probably never have to deal with them again.  But if you don't want to hear people complaining about 'those aliens,' don't mention you've met them.?

Maribel nodded.  ?And what about our abilities??

?You have the power to manipulate boundaries now,? Marisa said simply.  ?Same as Yukari Yakumo.  Get used to that name, you'll be hearing it a lot.?

?Who is Yukari Yakumo?? Maribel asked.

?It's said she's the one responsible for creating Gensoukyo, though even if that isn't true she was definitely the one responsible for maintaining it,? Alice replied.   ?She passed away three hundred years ago, but she's still left a big mark on Gensoukyo.  You seem to have acquired her looks and taste in fashion in addition to her powers.?

?Acquired?? Renko asked.

Patchouli responded this time.  ?There's a 55% chance she is a reincarnation, and a 30% chance she's a descendant.  Non exclusive of course.?

Flandre nodded.  ?Really it's the only way to explain the hat.  Why would you want a figure 8 bow on it??

Maribel frowned.  ?What's strange about my hat?  I like this type of bow!?

?What about me?  What's my power become?? asked Renko.

Patchouli shrugged.  ?It seems to be the same as it was in the outside world.  You know where and when you are.?

Renko drooped.  ?Uh, that's it??

?Sorry,? Marisa said sympathetically, ?not all of us get the cool powers.  Heck you're doing better then I was at that age.  Though maybe with effort you can become good at magic.?

This time it was Maribel's turn to comfort her friend.  ?Don't worry Renko, I'm sure you'll find something you can excel at here.?

?Smaller chest, lamer power, and now my degree's useless....?  Renko muttered before sighing and smiling again.  ?Oh well.  I guess we'll figure something out, right??

?Right!? Mary said.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2010, 10:31:41 PM by IcedFairy »

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Re: A New World
« Reply #15 on: July 04, 2010, 04:48:52 AM »
The talk turned to more mundane questions.  After some time, Maribel and Renko finished their dinner, then magically donated a half pint of blood each, before Juri showed them to a guest room.

Marisa looked around the room now that their guests had cleared off.  ?So what was that back there?  No one who's shown up here has been able to refuse the long term contract before.?

Flandre shrugged.  ?She just had strong willpower is all.  It happens.?

?What about Remilia?? asked Alice.

?Hmph.  You shouldn't trust big sisters power so implicitly.  She was always overestimating her abilities.  She's the weakest vampire in Gensoukyo today by far.?

?That's unlikely lady Flandre.  You know your sister's power is vastly increased now that she's lying in torpor.? Dinah said.  ?And it was her power that brought them here, I could sense that.  If you're weak enough to be affected by Remilia's power, you shouldn't be able to break free later.?

Patchouli shook her head.  ?That's not entirely true, Dinah.  If you have a good reason to resist Remi's power you can break free far more easily then if you don't.  However, resistance increases with the presence of fear, pride or other strong emotions.  Not with logic and reason.  If they were terrified of giving blood it would make sense.  But that Renko girl simply ignored Remilia's power by thinking it through.?

Marisa's eyes narrowed.  ?You lied to her about her power didn't you.  Is she one of those people that enforces scientific reality??

?Hardly.  I told the entire truth.  She only has the ability to see where and when she is,? Patchouli stated.  There was a long pause as everyone else tried to follow the logic.

?Ah!? Koakuma said.  ?And she trusts her eyes implicitly!?

Patchouli nodded.

?I get it.? Marisa said.  ?That's a pretty neat trick actually.?

Flandre frowned.  ?And they won't be my maids.  How sad....?

?Probably for the best,? Alice commented before finishing the hat for her a doll that looked suspiciously like Renko.  ?If the rest of Gensoukyo knew we'd gotten someone with Yukari Yakumo's power as a servant it would probably start a war.?

?I know.? Flandre said with a wicked smile.  ?I think that might be just the thing to make big sister wake up.?

?Leave Remi in peace!? Patchouli snapped.  ?She's still dealing with loosing those two.?

?It's been 300 years!  She needs to move on!? Flandre returned.

Marisa rubbed her eyes.  ?You two both know she's probably staying in torpor so you have enough blood to stay in adult form Flan.?  Marisa glared at the younger vampire.  ?Which you continue to refuse to do.?

?Don't you prefer it that way?? Flandre retorted.

Marisa sighed.  ?Not really.  I don't approve, but if you're going to be together I'd prefer it be less creepy.?

There was another long pause around the table.

Finally Flandre said, ?Well I guess we'll just have to keep working on getting more contracts.  If we can get enough blood without hunting she'll return.  Or else I'll smack her through the floor!?

?In the meantime,? Alice stated, ?we should keep a close eye on those two.  Right now my guess is that girl has no control, but if that ever changes, we'll want her to think of us as allies.  And since it's in our best interests to have someone like that around, I think it would be good to aid her progress.?

Everyone at the table nodded.  But it was Patchouli who raised the next point.  ?And that may bring us to war too.  Though it's less likely.?

?It doesn't matter,? Flandre stated proudly.  ?Because we are the strongest house in Gensoukyo.  In both power and allies.?

The other magicians seemed to consider the matter, but Alice returned Flandre's cold smile.  ?I suppose that's true.?

***

Renko paced back and forth across the room that she and Mary had been led to.  Much like the rest of the mansion, it was unnecessarily huge by any standard.  It contained it's own wardrobe, closet, bathroom and table set.  As well as a massive bed, which Mary was quite sensibly occupying.

Renko on the other hand couldn't sleep.

Her mind kept running over the events of today.  And whenever she managed to get those out of her head, she started worrying about what the future would bring.

She was ashamed that she couldn't actually DO anything during this whole day, as people vastly more powerful then them bounced them about from place to place.  She was excited to be here, in Gensoukyo, a land where magic was real.  And on the other hand she was disappointed in how little magic she'd actually run into.  The doll tricks were nice, but she'd expected a little more magic from a group of magicians, and she had a sneaking suspicion that the only magic she'd be seeing in this 'human village' would be little tricks to help plants grow.

And somewhere in the back of her mind she was realizing that she wasn't going to be sending a Christmas card home this year.  Or any other.

She wondered what her family was thinking.  When they'd even realize she was gone....

Two hands softly caught her by the shoulders and pulled her down to sit on the bed.  ?I guess it's time for me to help you with your breakdown, Renko.?

Renko managed a weak smile.  ?Thanks Mary.?

Renko sighed as Mary began massaging her shoulders.  She was terrible at it, but it still helped take Renko's mind off of all the uncertainty that had been dumped on her today.

After a few minuted Maribel spoke.  ?You know, your breakdown seems to be a lot less pathetic then mine.?

?Yeah but I bet it'll last a couple of weeks,? Renko said with a sigh.

Maribel just hugged her in response.  Renko sighed again and tried to think on better times.

After a while she realized Mary had fallen asleep on her.

Smiling at her friend, she very cautiously moved Mary back to the top of the bed and tucked her under the covers, before finally trying to get to sleep herself.

It took a while, and her sleep was fitful, but having Mary beside her allowed Renko to pretend this was all just another club trip.  At least enough to get some rest.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2010, 10:33:21 PM by IcedFairy »

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Re: A New World
« Reply #16 on: July 04, 2010, 01:09:42 PM »
Well I sure wasn't expecting the whole "Remilia in a coma" thing.

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.

Re: A New World
« Reply #17 on: July 04, 2010, 06:30:57 PM »
Yeah ... and I'm wondering who Flan is supposed to be "with" there ...

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Re: A New World
« Reply #18 on: July 05, 2010, 03:43:47 AM »
Flandre seemed to me to be in the "I want Big Sis back, I miss her and I'm lonely without her, but I'm going to try and be though without her, I'm not gonna cry!" situation, which seems realistic, she lost her big sis, Remi. I'm going to guess that "those two" mentioned to have been lost were Sakuya and Meiling, cause we have Patchy, Koakuma and Flandre, but no direct mention of Sakuya or Meling yet.(that, or I missed it)

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Re: A New World
« Reply #19 on: July 05, 2010, 08:05:13 PM »
These questions and more shall be answered, er mostly.  But first we have an intermission to the moon.  Also this should be the last of the OCs for a good long while.

***

Yorihime frowned as she entered Tsukiyomi's court.  If there was undeniable sign to Yorihime's mind that the moon was becoming impure, it was the increase in politics.  For the longest time kicking someone off the moon was just something she and her sister did, no questions asked.  NOW there had to be an official report.

Thus a perfectly good chunk of her time was going to be spent telling Lord Tsukiyomi in public that the humans still didn't know how to break the barrier.  Then if she was unlucky she'd have to listen to some big speeches from people who needed to feel important.  At least Lord Tsukiyomi himself would just nod and let her do her job. But the public demanded he go through the motions of an inquiry, and as a wise ruler Lord Tsukiyomi knew better then to challenge the public unless necessary.

Toyohime giggled slightly beside her.  ?You're worrying too much sister.  This is just like the other briefings.  Nothing will come of it except rumors from the rabbits.?

?Ah, lovely peach lady, I fear you may be underestimating how much worry there is in the capitol.  My glorious bride is right to look so concerned.?

Yorihime blinked and turned towards the voice.  ?Sareseno!  When did you show up??

?Just now,? her husband replied.  ?I thought it fitting to accompany my hard working wife today.  For moral support.?

?How nice of you.  If my husband isn't too busy with his experiments perhaps we could have a picnic later,? Toyohime said.

Yorihime just narrowed her eyes.  While she'd first thought that her husband was a frivolous fool, she'd rapidly learned he was actually one of the moon's finest speakers.  While he hid his manipulations behind a smile and poetry, he was always aware of the mood of the people.  That he was here indicated he thought Yorihime needed the support.

Finally she asked.  ?What's gotten everyone riled up?  It can't be those kids.  We checked to make sure they hadn't corrupted anything after we sent them out, and the rabbits are doing a full sweep to avoid any incidents like the last.?

?I'm afraid there are two things working against you today.  The first, is this.?  Her husband pulled out a beautiful jeweled branch.  The Hourai tree, which only flowered when exposed to impurity.  This one was a little duller then the ones that blossomed on earth, but it was still in bloom.

Toyohime frowned.  ?That's not from anywhere near where we were.?

Sareseno nodded.  ?Yes.  The opposite side of the lunar capitol in fact.  That makes it more frightening, since the barrier is weakening.  Fortunately this was at the outskirts, beyond our serious protective wards.  Still I expect a lot of people to be afraid.?

?And second?? Yorihime asked.

Her husband smiled sympathetically.  ?That, I'm afraid I shouldn't tell you.  Your reaction will seem more sincere if you're surprised by it's stupidity.?

?Oh wonderful.?  Yorihime finally sighed.  ?Well I suppose we should get this over with quickly then.  So we can prepare for the next dumb idea.?

?Don't worry too much.?  Yorihime relaxed slightly as her husband patted her shoulder.  ?Lord Tsukiyomi still trusts you.  And when he speaks the matter is over.?

Yorihime found some comfort in that.  Still it meant that they'd have to sit and listen to the public's stupidity beforehand.  As she entered the court and kneeled before the lord of the moon she took a moment to reflect on some of the oddities that had continued throughout the moons politics.

?We thank you for taking time from your schedule to speak with us.  We have many questions we wish to be answered.?  Lord Tsukiyomi began.  ?Perhaps you could explain what happened with the incursion today??

This was the first oddity.  She'd sent a full report in immediately, and she was sure that the rabbits had given their versions of the tale to anyone who would listen.  However it was the lords duty to ask directly, in order to make it seem like this was an actual discussion, instead of a combination forum and public announcement of policy.

?I would be a bit arrogant to call this an incursion my Lord.  Sometimes random events occur, and today one such random event brought two inhabitants of Earth to the moon.  They have no connection to the world governments, and they were sent back without bloodshed or even much fuss.?

She was a little surprised when Toyohime continued.  ?In addition because of current incidents we decided to send them to Gensoukyo instead of back to the scientific earth.  That way there is no chance of further contamination.?

There was a muttering from the crowd at that point, which caused lord Tsukiyomi to raise an eyebrow.  ?This answers my questions, especially in regards to the contamination in the other parts of the city.  However, there is perhaps something I missed lord Tenshou??

Yorihime gave the man a calculating look as he stood.  He was dressed as the head of a family, but he obviously wasn't one of the original Lunarians.  In addition his eyes had a dangerous light.  One that she hadn't seen since the last time she'd been to earth.

?While we appreciate the swift resolution of the incident of course, there are some things that seem to be missing.  Firstly we heard that one of the Earthlings in question had the ability to move between the Earth and the Moon.?  The sisters both twitched in surprise at that.  ?Second we worry about the possibility of them joining forces with the youkai to again intrude on our home.?

?What??  Yorihime stared at the man.  She couldn't believe the mans stupidity.

Toyohime laughed.  ?Then I'm sure you shall be relieved to know that there's no chance of the youkai allying with each other these days, much less putting off eating a human long enough to figure out if she's actually got special boundary powers.  Something she currently has no training or skill in.?

?Seriously,? Yorihime snorted.  ?Now that there's no supply of human corpses coming in from the outside, the great houses of Gensoukyo are more likely to eat each other then invade us again.  And it's not like they'd have a chance of success even if they tried.?

The man seemed undaunted by the sisters retorts.  ?There's one person who could accomplish such a thing.  Your old mentor and the traitor to the moon, Eirin Yagokoro!?

There was a deadly silence in the chambers.

?You idiot!? Yorihime exploded.  ?Eirin Yagakoro doesn't NEED any help to bring us to ruin.  Did you forget who created most of our technology, including our weapons?  Do you think she somehow needs a human with strange powers to get to the moon?  She knows that as soon as she tried to unify any significant group of youkai under her banner we'd have to destroy her, just like we SHOULD know that attacking her in her own home is likely a death sentence.  Hell, Eirin is our best agent on the Earth just because she knows we can cause each other irreparable harm!  I'm...?

?That is enough, Yorihime,? said Lord Tsukiyomi.

She fumed a bit more before returning to her seat.  ?Sorry my Lord.?

Lord Tsukiyomi then returned his attention to the crowd.  ?Still I feel my advisers words are correct.  Eirin Yagokoro has worked on our behalf many times since her exile.  Sometimes without us even asking for her assistance.  While this does not forgive her actions, it makes me unwilling to make a threat out of someone who seems perfectly fine living in exile.?

The crowd quieted, though the man who had spoken out seemed to still be displeased.  In the end though their Lords words were law.  He had to sit around and wait for someone to suggest what he wanted done, in order to save face if the idea failed, but when he supported a plan, that plan would be put into practice. 

Lord Tsukiyomi folded his fan shut.  ?I see no reason not to trust my chosen generals, though I do wish for the both of you to make a plan for if the barrier continues to degrade.?

The sisters bowed.  ?Yes my Lord.?

Yorihime maintained her composure until they'd exited the palace grounds.  ?Alright Saresano, who are those idiots!??

Her husband frowned eloquently.  ?A serious problem for the moon I fear.  You remember the Tachibana family??

Yorihime nodded.  The Tachibana had been the largest family on the moon for some time.  In fact, they had caused one of the few crisis on the moon.

The source of that problem was simple.  Lunarians lived forever, but they were still to some degree humans.  Thus they had human birthrates.

One of the few things keeping the moon from being totally overrun by Lunarians was the fact that, as a race entirely of nobility, they'd stuck to the tradition of arranged marriages.  Yorihime didn't hate her husband.  But she didn't live in the same building as him either.  For that matter, Toyohime's husband hadn't left his lab for over 43 years.  This was true for a lot of marriages on the moon, and everyone was politely discreet about the ways they handled it.

Of course, as luck would have it, some arranged marriages did blossom into true love.  That was always a nice thing.  However when true love was combined with a lack of family planning, things got a little out of control.

For example the Tachibana family.  The Tachibana had exploded into a huge clan within three centuries.  There were fear if this continued they'd fill the moon entirely.  ?Suggestions? on how many children were harmonious had to be loudly proclaimed.  And in order to prevent the family from becoming far too powerful it was split into several branches.

The fix had been relatively painless and accepted by all, but it had left an indelible mark on lunar society.

Toyohime sighed.  ?So they're one of the branch families.  So they're powerful, but that doesn't explain their stupidity, or hatred.?

?I'm afraid they aren't as stupid as you think.?  Sareseno shook his head sadly.  ?You see, their goal is to exterminate Gensoukyo, and possibly most of humanity as well.  So long as you two retain your positions that's... unlikely.  So anything that weakens your authority is useful.?

?Why would they want to....?  Yorihime paused as she realized the answer to her question.  ?They lost their family head during the invasion didn't they??

?Worse.  It was the old Tachibana head.?

Yorihime looked back at the court.  ?So now that we've got more reason to consider a wipe of the Earth they'll be pushing their personal agenda won't they??

?I'm afraid so.  Your plan had best include a purge of the youkai, or a very good reason not to start one.  Otherwise you'll find a lot more political maneuverings in your future,? her husband stated.

?It's worse then that.?  Yorihime and her husband looked over at Toyohime.  ?I'm afraid that this is also a sign of corruption within us as a people.  While killing youkai is the same as killing bugs, desiring such petty revenge on a species is an impure thought.?

Toyohime looked up at the starry sky.  ?I fear we may soon need to leave the moon.?

There was a long pause as the three Lunarians considered those words.

Finally Sareseno managed a smile.  ?Well we should enjoy the view while it lasts then.  Perhaps you could both join me on that picnic??
« Last Edit: September 11, 2010, 10:40:01 PM by IcedFairy »

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Re: A New World
« Reply #20 on: July 05, 2010, 08:21:55 PM »
Uh-oh.  Things are gettin' kinda messy aren't they?

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.

Re: A New World
« Reply #21 on: July 06, 2010, 12:24:35 AM »
Yeah ...

Y'know, that's basically how I imagined Lunarian marriages: arranged, perfunctory, and distant. I guess it was pretty much a reasonable, logical conclusion ...

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Re: A New World
« Reply #22 on: July 06, 2010, 01:14:41 AM »
Uh-oh.  Things are gettin' kinda messy aren't they?
Just as planned.

Quote
Y'know, that's basically how I imagined Lunarian marriages: arranged, perfunctory, and distant. I guess it was pretty much a reasonable, logical conclusion ...
Yeah, I think that crossed into my personal canon when I realized that Toyohime managed to hide the famed Urashimako in her house for three years.  Admittedly she's probably got an impressively big house, but you'd figure if she had a close relationship with her husband it would have been a little difficult.

Re: A New World
« Reply #23 on: July 06, 2010, 05:20:23 AM »
Quite so, now that you mention it! Of course, y'know, what's three years to the eternal Lunarians ...

Also, I'm imagining Sareseno as looking like Credo from Devil May Cry 4, except with short black hair.

Iced Fairy

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Re: A New World
« Reply #24 on: July 21, 2010, 01:35:40 AM »
Renko's worries had returned by the time breakfast was served.  It didn't help that the only person there was Juri, who was rather quiet.  She just brought in the food, stood aside while two dolls dressed as fairy maids served it, then bowed and returned to the corner.  Mary had attempted some small talk, but the meal was still quiet.

After they finished Juri bowed again.  ?Now that your finished I'll send for Huian.  The lady of the house wishes regrets she can't see you out herself, but she tends to sleep with the dawn.  Is there anything you need to retrieve, or anything you wish to do here??

Renko and Mary shook their heads.  ?No I think we're ready.?

Juri paused for a moment then asked, ?I don't suppose you've reconsidered my Lady's offer?  I believe you two would make a fine addition to the household.?

?Er, I think I want to see if I can get a job closer to my degree before I give up and become a maid,? Renko replied.

Mary smiled.  ?And I want to see the village in person.?

Juri sighed.  ?Very well.  If you two do change your minds please speak with me or Huian when we're at market.?

?Sure.?  Renko had no idea what could make her change her mind, but the offer was nice.

The door opened and the silver haired woman who had first greeted them entered.  ?Ah, hello again.?  She bowed.  ?I'll be escorting you to the village, so you don't need to worry about an incidents on the trip.?

?Thank you,? said Mary.

The two girls followed the gate guard to the front of the mansion.

As Renko walked out into the bright Gensoukyo day her worries began to fade to the back of her mind.  Now that she was thinking a little more clearly she could see the beautiful garden, composed entirely of natural plants.  And beyond that a real forest.  The air was heavy with bird song, none of which the two girls had heard before.

Renko looked up at the sky.  ?Is that a crested Ibis??

Huian nodded.  ?Yes.  They taste pretty good with red miso.?

?You eat them?? Mary asked in shock.  ?But there aren't any in the outside world...?

Huian shrugged.  ?They're very common here.?  The gatekeeper then turned and began walking down a very faint trail.  Renko and Maribel shrugged then moved on.

As they progressed through the woods they started trying to guess what the natural plants were.  Sometimes Huian would casually toss out an answer, but most of the plants were very similar to their genetically engineered counterparts in the outside world.  Eventually though they passed a patch of plants with spiky fruits that had them stumped.

?I think it's a western plant,? Renko finally said.

Maribel frowned.  ?Maybe.  But I have a feeling we should know it anyway.?

?It's wild cucumber silly,? said a light voice from just behind Renko.

The two girls turned to see a short girl with green hair and two gossamer wings flying in the air.  The fairy smiled at the two, then blew past them in the blink of an eye.  Renko gasped and tried to catch her dress as the blowback lifted her skirt.  Maribel was in a similar predicament.

Huian of course, who was wearing pants, simply watched the fairy leave with a slight smile.  ?How did you like your first fairy meeting??

Renko laughed.  ?She was interesting.?

Huian shrugged.  ?Yes.  That girl is fairly harmless.  Don't think all fairies are though.  And definitely remember that could have been a youkai.  It's good you're having fun, but don't get overconfident.  I'd hate to hear you got eaten.?

That brought the girls back down off their high.  They continued down the trail in silence.

After a few moments Huian looked back again.  ?Sorry for killing the mood there.  I just thought it was a good idea for you to know the ropes.  Today I'm here, so for now take it easy and enjoy the trip.  You won't get to enjoy wandering the woods like this anytime soon again.?  Huian pointed at a vine.  ?Oh right, that there is kudzu.  You misidentified it last time.?

?I thought Gensoukyo had mostly rare and extinct plants,? Renko said.

?Well they have to have some of the common plants, otherwise there would be nothing to eat,? said Mary.

Huian nodded.  ?Yep.  You'll see some more familiar types when we reach the farm lands.  Which should be pretty soon....?

Sure enough after one or two more bends in the path the woods cleared up a lot and the three girls looked down upon the human village.  It looked mostly like an archaic village, but there were a few buildings that looked like they'd escaped from France or Holland.  The grounds around the village were mostly farms, many flooded for rice cultivation.  After a few more moments the two outsiders realized the village was much bigger then they'd first thought.  It contained several large houses, and it looked like there was at least two markets.

?Hm...  How do they feed all the people?  It doesn't look like there's enough farms here for this big a village,? Renko asked.  ?Maybe if this were a modern farm, but with normal tools...?

?Well some of the houses are empty, but we mostly make do with magic to boost harvest yields,? said a laconic voice.  Renko looked over to see a woman in a workers shirt with long white hair stand from behind a rock. 

Renko was about to greet the newcomer when Maribel suddenly jumped backward in fright.  ?You!?

The next second was a garbled mess.  Renko was turning to her friend, when suddenly their guide appeared next to the woman and ran her through with a sword she produced from nowhere.  Instead of screaming or anything however the woman merely looked bored.  Then Renko was holding Mary's shoulder and they were both staring at the blood.

And then their guide and the woman started talking casually, as if nothing had happened.

?I told you this would happen.  Why do you have to stab me every time we meet out here??

?It's the only way I can be sure it's actually you Mokou.  I'm not handing over my charges just to anyone who can throw up an illusion of you.  It would anger my mistress and shame me as a guard.?

?Fine fine, but could you at least stab me in the head?  That way there's less blood on my shirt.?

Renko decided she and Mary needed to sit.  Mary didn't resist.

?Oh right.  Sorry.  I'll send money for a new one...?

?Nah, it's cool.  I'll just use this one for my next princess meeting.?

The white haired girl looked them over again and shook her head.  ?Anyway, don't worry about me.  The name's Fujiwara no Mokou.  I'm sorta one of the village guards.?

?You got stabbed,? Renko pointed out mildly.

?Yeah, I can't die.  It comes in handy sometimes.?  Mokou frowned and looked closer at Mary who was still trembling.  ?Wait, have I seen you before??

Renko looked at her friend.  ?Are you okay Mary??

Mary took a few deep breaths.  ?The bamboo forest...?

Huian flicked the blood off her sword.  ?Oh yes.  That young lady apparently was here in dreams before.?

?Aha!?  Mokou looked pleased.  ?So that was you all those years ago.  I was a little worried you'd gotten eaten.  I'm glad you made it out.?

Mary took a few more deep breaths to calm herself.  ?Um...  I'm sorry for treating you like a monster.  It's just you were terribly frightening at the time.?

?And your reaction here is kinda scary too,? Renko muttered, looking at the blood.

Mokou shrugged.  ?Sorry.  I was never really good with people.?  She made an attempt at cleaning off some of the blood but only managed to smear it around some more.  ?Er... Anyway I can take you the rest of the way down to the village.  Keine's still in class, but recess should be soon.  I'll take you there.?

?You aren't really going to walk in on a classroom full of children in that shirt, are you?? Renko asked in disbelief.

Mokou considered it for a moment before sighing.  ?Eh, true.  I guess I'll stick to guarding then.?  She waved before heading back to her sitting place.  ?If you could, tell Keine I'll be back for supper.  I imagine I'll see you then.?

Renko stood and dusted herself off before giving her escort a sheepish grin.  ?Um sorry about that.?

Huian shook her head.  ?It's alright.  Mokou can be disturbing at times, and my trick to figure out if she was in fact Mokou would be shocking to most people.  I'm more surprised at your friend's reaction.?

Renko frowned and looked over at Mary who still looked a little shaken.  Feeling the gaze of both people on her she blinked, then stood up.  ?I'm sorry.  It's my eyes.  I... can tell her life is limitless.  Without boundaries.  It's... frightening.?

?Hm...?  Huian considered the matter.  ?While I hate to be so callous, I suggest you get used to it.  There are many things in Gensoukyo that defy limitations and boundaries.  Mokou is one of the safer ones, for humans anyway.?

Huian started along the path again.  ?Anyways, we should get to the village.  Recess can't last forever.  No matter how much the kids may want it to.?
« Last Edit: September 11, 2010, 10:48:58 PM by IcedFairy »

Re: A New World
« Reply #25 on: July 21, 2010, 08:21:02 AM »
Heh, Mokou ...

So, Keine's still around too, huh? I've always wondered about her lifespan ...

Esifex

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Re: A New World
« Reply #26 on: July 21, 2010, 04:25:49 PM »
Nice, the Touhou version of the spycheck.

Am I the only one who suddenly heard 'I'm going to gut you like a cornish game hen'?

Iced Fairy

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Re: A New World
« Reply #27 on: July 28, 2010, 01:00:17 AM »
Ugh, so busy....  Well I'm behind on all my reading, but I managed to get this together.  Infodump go!
----

The trip through the village was fairly uneventful.  Mary took the time to recover from her encounter with the immortal.

She was now certain her eyes had gotten stronger.  Before, when she looked at Mokou, she'd seen something wrong with the girl.  But now her eyes had seen the vastness of the border between life and death.  It was... harrowing.

She'd have to learn how to turn her vision off.

?You feeling any better Mary?? Renko asked, from her side.

Mary manged to put on a smile for her friend.  ?Yeah.  Sorry, I'm a little better.?

?Good, because we're here.? Huian said.

The school building seemed small for a village this size, but it was still fairly respectable.  In the yard around the school there were several children playing, most between the ages of 8 and 12 Maribel guessed.  The last of her discomfort vanished as she watched the children laughing at play.  This was one of the reasons she'd tried to get to Gensoukyo.

Huian bowed to the two outsiders.  ?I'm afraid this is where our paths split.  It would be impolite for me as a youkai to wander onto school grounds these days.  But Keine should be able to help you as much or better then I could.

Maribel and Renko returned the bow.  ?Thank you for guiding us,? Mary said.  ?Will we see you again??

Huian smiled.  ?Likely.  Juri and I are the ones who do the mansion's shopping.  Which is what I should attend to now.  Good day Maribel, Renko, and may fortune favor you.?

With that the youkai gate guard turned around and wandered off down the streets.  Renko adjusted her hat then looked back towards the school building.  ?Well, shall we enter??

Mary nodded then walked straight up to the school doors.  The kids all looked at them strangely, but none of them broke away from their games to question the two girls.  Mary was about to knock on the doors when a voice inside called out, ?Come in.?  With a shrug Renko opened the door.

Inside the schoolroom was a set of desks, pillows and a chalkboard.  Each desk had a couple of books and a small calligraphy set.  At the back of the school stood a door, indicating there was probably more to the building.  And of course at the front desk, sat the teacher herself, an elegant lady probably in her thirties wearing a dress and a very, very elaborate hat.  Maribel wasn't sure whether she should be impressed or laugh.

The woman stood and motioned that they should come up and take a seat.  ?Greetings my name is Keine Kamishirasawa, and I offer you the hospitality of Gensoukyo village.?  She smiled.  ?Please feel free to sit down and tell me your story.?

As Mary approached her vision seemed to waver again.  The woman before her seemed to be on the border of something.  It wasn't scary like that Mokou girl had been, because Keine was still on one side of the boundary, but it was still disconcerting.

The teacher caught her gaze.  ?Interesting.  I see Alice's note was accurate.  In case you were wondering, your eyes are seeing my dual nature as a Were Hakutaku.?

?Were Hakutaku?? Renko asked incredulously.

?I'll be certain to explain in more detail later.? Keine replied.  ?First, your story please.  The note I got from the Scarlet Devil Mansion was short on details.?

So once again Maribel and Renko told their story.  This time both of them were well enough to fill in the details the other missed.  Keine was a quiet listener as well, only asking occasional questions.  After they finished she nodded her head.

?I'm afraid that the magicians of the mansion were correct.  There's no way I know of to exit Gensoukyo currently.  However all humans are welcome in this village.  Please, feel free to stay with me for the next month.  I'm sorry there's not normal guest housing, but with the border locking up there's not really been a need for it.?  Keine shrugged.  ?Hopefully by then you'll both have found some place to work.?

Maribel frowned.  ?Is there really a place for people like us?  I don't know if this village really needs a expert on ghost legends.?

?Or a theoretical physicist,? Renko added dryly.

Keine smiled.  ?You might be surprised.  Still, I imagine you'll both be called on more for your abilities.  Boundary manipulation is a field that commands a great deal of respect Maribel.  And astronomy is always in favor in the village Renko, as it's easy to get lost with all the trickery of youkai.  I doubt you'll need to resort to farm work.  Unless you enjoy it of course.?

?Hm... An astronomer...? Renko thought about the matter.  ?I did take courses.  And it would allow me to put my math skills to work...?

?I think it's something to look into Renko,? Maribel stated.  She then frowned.  ?I'm not sure about this boundary manipulation thing though.  Everyone keeps talking about it being an incredible power, but I can't control it at all.  The only thing that seems to have happened is my eyes have gotten better at seeing borders, which is apparently dangerous.  Will I really be able to learn how to control borders in a months time??

Keine shrugged.  ?I can't say.  I do know that many of the seals and charms the Hakurei clan provides  manage to grant similar powers to the uninitiated, so you should be able to use them better then most.  And the creation of wards and seals is something that's required these days.?

The teacher stood.  ?I'd love to speak on the matter more, but recess really should be over.  I have to cover a lot more today before I can send the children home.  Feel free to sit in on the class, or read through the history scrolls I have in the back rooms.  After class is done I'll show you around the village.?  She smiled.  ?For what you said about your knowledge of math, I'd suggest the history scrolls.  I very much doubt watching me teach the kids their times tables will be interesting.?

Renko stood then helped Maribel to her feet.  ?Thanks for taking us in.  For all the grim talk everyone in Gensoukyo's been really nice to us.?

?I hope that continues to be the case,? Keine said.

As Keine went to the front doors to call in her students Maribel followed Renko to the back door.  The room hidden there looked like a small library.  Scrolls packed the place from top to bottom.

?Well at least we won't get bored,? Renko commented, fishing around for a scroll.  ?And Keine seemed like pleasant company.  Way better then anyone at the dorms at college.?

Maribel reached for another scroll.  ?My dorm was perfectly fine.  I'm afraid you just got unlucky Renko.?

?It's not my fault the university sorted people by musical taste instead of reasonable factors,? Renko muttered.

Maribel laughed.  It was nice to hear such familiar complaining.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2010, 10:53:57 PM by IcedFairy »

Iced Fairy

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Re: A New World
« Reply #28 on: July 28, 2010, 01:04:57 AM »
A few scrolls later the frowns had returned however.  ?I hope Keine doesn't teach class like she writes,? Renko said, ?because this is terribly dry.?

Maribel nodded.  ?I think these summaries over here are better, but it's still dull unless you know what you're looking for.  This one here is on the Suwa war, so it's sort of interesting to look at the actual history.?

?Hm... Maybe I'll browse that shelf then,? Renko mused.

A few minutes later Maribel had finished the history she cared about and started browsing for another one.

?Hey Mary, look at this!? Renko said behind her.

Maribel moved over and read the line she was pointing to.  ?'Yukari Yakumo passes away.  My powers are unable to read how she died, though officially it was due to age.  Her Shikigami Ran Yakumo takes over the line.'?  She reached for the scroll.  ?May I??

Renko handed it over to her friend then looked over her shoulder as the history continued.

VI: It has become apparent that the border has solidified.  Youkai hunting parties have been unable to exit Gensoukyo, and there have been no reports of newcomers for a month.  In addition ghost sightings are down.

VII: Hong Meiling passed away, also due to age.  Thus passes the last of the original students of the Dim Mak school of martial arts.  Her daughter Huian has taken her place as gatekeeper of the Scarlet Devil Mansion and is the last living master of the style.

VIII: Several youkai have attempted to find Mayohiga to get an explanation from Ran Yakumo.  However the village that houses the Yakumo family remains lost.  Supplies of human are running low apparently.

Maribel shuddered at the thought of warehouses full of corpses.  ?I hope they just stole dead bodies before...?

Renko nodded in agreement.

IX: Ran Yakumo appeared to state that she cannot keep the Hakurei border fluctuating.  It has to be on or off.  There will be no gathering from outside the border.  We must do with what we have.  I foresee much conflict in the future over this.  Even friendly races such as the kappa enjoy human flesh too much to react well to the news.

X: Some of the more violent youkai attacked the Hakurei shrine today in an attempt to break the barrier.  Most were killed by the Hakurei maiden or Ran Yakumo, who appeared to assist.  However some fled, and the youkai in the area did nothing to stop them.  With this the era of spellcards has ended.  It seems lethal dueling will once again be the primary means of solving disputes.

XI: It seems Sakuya believed it was unseemly for a human to outlive a youkai, and thus she challenged one of the few warriors capable of matching her in battle.  With her successor chosen Youmu agreed to the match.  Both perished in the duel.  At that time the Netherworld's border sealed.  Their history is no longer available to me.


?I guess that's what happened to the maid you met before,? Renko stated solemnly.

With the death of two of her servants, Remilia Scarlet entered vampiric hibernation, or topor.  With her gone the fairy maids have mostly scattered and returned to natural living.  Most youkai believe that is the end of the Scarlet Devil Mansion as a power in Gensoukyo, though with the number of witches in the building that seems foolhardy at best.

XII: There was an assault on the human village.  I tried to stop it, but several of the outlying farms were taken.  The only thing preventing worse disaster was the arrival of the shrine maidens, and a detachment from the temple.  With their aid the youkai were scattered with heavy losses.

Sadly, Byakuren, head nun of the temple, took the loss of life on both sides poorly, possibly because she was forced to seal another youkai.  She's taken up reciting the sutras full time.  In her absence Toramaru Shou has pledged to guard the village in Bishamonten's name so long as we permit innocent youkai to still enter freely.  It's too good an offer to pass on.  There was a lot of grumbling, but in the end the village agreed.

Fujiwara no Mokou has also moved into the village for its defense.  She has decided to stay with me for the time.

XIII:  The great houses have finally all closed their doors.  The tengu and kappa, always territorial, have sealed the mountain off, despite the protests from the mountain gods.  Eientei has also disappeared into the bamboo forest, with only the occasional medicine seller appearing.  Heaven has taken to patrolling, so no mortal can find safe haven there.  The only place still open is the underground, where few youkai wish to live, and few humans can survive long.

Some however had no choice.  After the attack on the village, the lesser youkai have turned upon each other.  Some knew eradicating the humans can't be allowed.  Others are settling old grudges.  In either case several youkai species have been driven back below the earth.

Some species however were not so lucky.  Vampires, forced by nature to feed on humans, can not flee to the far reaches of the land.  For the first time I pity those creatures.  Groups of youkai have been scouring the lands to exterminate the entire vampire race.

XIV:  The vampire genocide has ended, with a high cost of life on both sides.  The roving mobs of youkai succeeded in hunting down almost all the vampires, though one ?Kurumi? fled to the realm of dreams.  In addition vampires are not easy to kill, and several bands were exterminated as well.

Finally someone remembered that the Scarlet Devil Mansion had been home to not one, but two vampires.  An massive expedition was organized and carried out.

The groups met no resistance in at the gate, or even inside the mansion.  It was when they broke into the basement that the witches acted, casting a spell of confusion over the entire house.  The basement turned into a maze, where you could lose sight of your friends forever just by turning a corner.

For the rest of the month the mansion echoed with screams.


Maribel thought back to the crimson halls and shuddered.  She moved to close the scroll but Renko stopped her.

?You're going to have to finish it,? Renko said.

Maribel frowned at her friend.  ?No I don't.  Especially not right now when I'm already primed for nightmares.  I can read it all later.?

?Mary,? Renko chided, ?you know you can never sleep if you don't finish the ghost story, no matter how bad it is.  If you don't read it now you'll be wondering what happens until you do.?

?Traitor.  Using logic against me.?

?Hey, it's your sleep schedule...?

Maribel sighed and continued reading.

Three weeks later the remaining youkai were impaled in front of the building as a message.  Those that survived the process and freed themselves delivered it well.  Flandre Scarlet was the head of the Mansion, and the magician Juri was it's new head maid.  Those who challenged her rule would be either made into examples or spell components for the magicians.

?At least it was quick.? Maribel muttered.

XV: Once again Gensoukyo is balanced, though it is a harsher balance then before.  The friendly connections between the great houses have been cut by fear and suspicion.  Each has the power to destroy the land, but none can stand against any two of the others.  The village is safe, but it is the safety of a wildlife reserve.  And with there being no real room for incidents, I fear the power of youkai will begin to fade.

I fear, if nothing changes, Gensoukyo will slowly die.
« Last Edit: September 11, 2010, 11:00:56 PM by IcedFairy »

Re: A New World
« Reply #29 on: July 28, 2010, 04:28:29 AM »
"Once again Gensoukyo is balanced, though it is a harsher balance then before.  The friendly connections between the great houses have been cut by fear and suspicion.  Each has the power to destroy the land, but none can stand against any two of the others. "
Hehe this bit made me think of 1984.

"The groups met no resistance in at the gate, or even inside the mansion.  It was when they broke into the basement that the witches acted, casting a spell of confusion over the entire house.  The basement turned into a maze, where you could lose sight of your friends forever just by turning a corner.

For the rest of the month the mansion echoed with screams.
"
Gave me chills. *shudders*

"though one ?Kurumi? fled to the realm of dreams."
:D

Also, REALLY COOL how you unveiled the events that happened to lead to this future Gensokyo.