Author Topic: Weekly Writing Challenge Thread the First  (Read 408636 times)

Taking advantage of Iced's kindness, LIKE A BOSS.

Posting thirty minutes late, LIKE A BOSS.

Oh, also, this will be split into three parts.



Mokou found the girl while the bamboo stalks were shaking with the roars of youkai. The woman looked down at the shadow covered girl, huddled and shivering from fear, before looking up at another roar. "Pretty noisy..." she noted, posture relaxed despite the danger. "What're you doing way out here?" The girl merely squeaked, curling up tighter. Mokou sighed, and glanced where she thought the roars were coming from: it was hard to tell, with the noise echoing.

She thought about taking the girl to the edge of the bamboo forest; the few people that ended up lost in the forest, once led to the edge, should have been able to make it to that "Mayohiga" village she passed by... how many years ago was it? This girl, though... she was probably half the age of the youngest human she had to escort, and he wasn't even old enough to have a beard. Mokou wondered how she made it this far on foot, wearing the heavy looking kimono, a layered outfit that looked as fine in the dark as the outfits Mokou had worn as a child. There's no way she could've came all the way from Mayohiga, not wearing that.

Another roar made her look around again. "So noisy," she complained. What kind of youkai was this, anyways? About the only youkai she regularly saw in the forest were mostly harmless bugs or mostly aggravating rabbits. A keening sob drew her attention back to the child at her feet, and she released a sigh. "All right, get up." The girl only continued to sob into her knees: Mokou's pity for the girl clashed a bit with her irritation, but her sympathy won her over. She crouched down and presented her back to the girl. "Come on, I'll carry you."

It took some time to get her situated: Mokou guessed the girl was so terrified that she had no idea that Mokou was trying to give her a piggy back ride, but she finally got her on. The girl's arm wrapped around her neck tightly, nearly cutting off her air, and her knees dug into the woman's back. Mokou winced, and shifted her some until her arms loosened so that she could hold onto the girl's legs. She felt soft silk, better quality than any wandering child should have. "All right, let's go," she said as she took off running.

By the time she made it back to her home, more of a shack than a proper house, the roars were silenced, as was the girl on her back. Mokou slid the door open with her foot and peered into the darkness before snapping her fingers. Sparks eventually found their way to the old lantern hanging from the support beam, and the wick caught and ignited, illuminating the room. The dim light didn't even make the sleeping girl stir, nor did the motions of Mokou wriggling her off her back and onto the covers of a dusty futon. The woman contemplated undressing the girl, at least removing some of the kimono layers, but the girl rolled on her side, curling up to sleep. "Huh." She wasn't going to get that one to wake up. Mokou reached up into the lantern and snuffed out the flame with her bare fingers, the heat of the flames barely tingling, before she sat against the wall, and waited for the sun to rise.

---

Mokou looked up from her clothes washing when the door to the shack slid open. She returned the stare of the tiny girl, who shrunk back into the shadows of the shed.

"Are you gonna come out some time?" The girl hesitantly followed the woman's suggestion, wincing as though she'd never seen the sun before. Judging how pale her skin was, Mokou could believe it. She frowned when she realized how the dark of the night hid the dirt that covered the girl and her fine kimono. "Hey, there's a yukata in a chest. Go put that on, so I can clean that kimono of yours." The girl blinked owlishly at her, then looked down at herself. By her surprised expression, Mokou guessed she didn't even notice the dirt and mud that had been tracked on the garment. The girl backed away hesitantly, then scampered into the shack.

A few minutes later, Mokou found herself washing the fine kimono and all the layers that went with it while the girl fidgeted in a slightly too big and threadbare yukata. Now that she could see it in the light of day, Mokou could tell that it wasn't the clothes of a noblegirl, but instead a ceremonial kimono. Did she go to a wedding or something? Was there a religious holiday recently? Mokou glanced at the girl, who was combing dirt out of her pale hair.

"Hey kid." The girl jumped, and peeked at Mokou like a mouse. "I'm Mokou. What's your name?" It took some time for the girl to find her voice, a bit scratchy from disuse.

"K-Keine..."

---

Mokou wandered the forest a bit for the next few days, but couldn't find any sign of the beast's attack, or the people Keine said she was with. Even when she took the young girl with her, Keine couldn't help her find wherever she lived: apparantly, whenever she would make a monthly trip to some shrine with a bunch of cherry trees, she was always kept in a covered cart, never allowed to look outside. Her father never let her go outside apart from those trips, so cut off that she didn't even know that the village she lived outside of was called Mayohiga.

Mokou thought that it was overkill: she wasn't really part of the noble courts, so she was never sequestered like her sisters or cousins, but even they were allowed to travel or enjoy the outside world. As the days passed, Keine's curiosity began to trickle out, overwhelming her reservation and shyness.

"What's that bird?"

"... Swallow."

"What's that tree?"

"... Bamboo. Good for building."

"What are you doing?"

"... I'm cooking. If I don't smoke this meat, it might go bad..."

With each question Keine asked, Mokou found herself saying more and more, until she felt like she was lecturing. Keine's desire for knowledge was growing insatiable, and Mokou couldn't help but feed it. At one point, Mokou dug into the pile of junk she had until she found a foreign storybook, translated into Japanese, so Keine could read while Mokou worked on her own projects.

She was astonished to discover that Keine didn't know how to read, the simplest of symbols looking more like chicken scratches to the girl. As she read aloud the book to Keine that night, showing her pictures of knights, princesses, and dragons, Mokou wondered just what the girl's father was thinking.

As the days went on, Mokou found herself enjoying the young girl's company, and momentarily forgetting about her own problems and situation. Her problems didn't forget about her.

---

The moon was just a sliver away from being full, and Mokou chuckled as Keine walked with her eyes in the sky, even though she was carrying an armfull of bamboo shoots. The girl's eyes were wider than the moon's, as though she had never seen such a sight.

Knowing her circumstances, it was likely true. Mokou shook her head sadly, and scowled. She was already forming some sort of speech to give to the father when he finally comes around to pick her up, something to berate him about neglecting his daughter. Though, she was pretty sure she'd just throw it out the window and punch him or light him on fire, instead.

That was assuming that Keine's family ever finds them. She hadn't seen hide or hair of another human since she found Keine the week prior, something that bothered Mokou a little. Keine's father was still looking for her, right? Mayohiga was a ways off, yes, but he'd search high and low for his daughter, right? Well, no matter: Mokou was already planning for the weeks to come. She'd need to figure out where to get the materials, but she could scrounge up a new futon for Keine to sleep on, and maybe actually get around to fixing up the ventilation in the shack. No sense the girl in freezing if it suddenly gets cold, since she wasn't immortal. Hm, since she's already at it, how about-

"Mokou-chan~..." Mokou hesitated. The voice was familiar, but the tone was foreign: soft and sweet. Confused, Mokou turned her head just in time for the woman who called out for her gently and lovingly kick her in the face.

When the world decided to stop spinning, Mokou found herself ass over head, propped up by wrecked bamboo stalks. The shoots and branches she was carrying, as well as the hatchet she used to chop down the bamboo, were scattered along the path her body created through the path. Mokou's eyes searched for Keine, ignoring the person walking toward her. She saw Keine, staring at Mokou wide-eyed but unharmed as the doctor spoke to her, leading her away. Mokou closed her eyes and sighed with relief. Keine wasn't in too much danger: Mokou was almost positive that the ancient doctor wouldn't do anything to her, and she was pretty sure she had a soft side for the little o-

Wait. Doctor?

Mokou's eyes opened just in time to get a foot to the gut. "Hey, stop being rude and start paying attention," the dark haired girl complained as Mokou rolled with the blow. Mokou grimaced as she climbed to her feet. Right, Kaguya and her doctor friend. "It's been a while: I was expecting an assassination from you a week ago."

"I was busy..." Mokou grumbled, rubbing her stomach. Kaguya arched a delicate eyebrow as she fiddled with the hatchet in her hands. Mokou watched her, ready to summon flame to defend herself.

"With that little girl? I didn't know you had a daughter: when did you get around to taking off those pants for some poor boy?"

"Cut it out, I'm not in the mood." Oddly enough, Mokou's words were true: despite her animosity towards the immortal princess and irritation at the sudden attack, Mokou was having difficulty finding her rage. Mokou backed away from Kaguya's strike with the hatchet. "Huh, didn't figure you'd dirty yourself with tools."

Kaguya pointed the hatchet at Mouku with little difficulty. "That's not true at all: I pride myself with being able to complete any task my subordinates can do." Her mouth twitched into a frown. "Well, okay, most tasks. Still, more than what your nobles were capable of. Your father couldn't even cheat with any sort of dignity or skill." Mokou's heart tremored, but she couldn't dredge up any fury. Kaguya's eyes narrowed in annoyance, then she took up a contemplative pose. "Of course, he was able to lust sickenly after women half of his age or more. Hm, I suppose you take well after him."

Ah, there's the fury Mokou was looking for.

Mokou came to about an hour later, and immediately checked the condition of her clothing. They were ripped up and would need mending, but the charms worked as advertisted, preventing them from being incinerated again. Mokou glanced over at the princess, stretching smugly, and took a small bit of comfort in the fact that her top was nearly incinerated before Kaguya pulled out the Fire Rat Robe to protect herself. Mokou climbed to her feet and ignored the princess as she collected her cargo.

"So who is that girl?" Mokou heard Kaguya ask as she picked up the blood covered hatchet. Mokou ignored the question, tucking the blade of the hatchet in the pile of bamboo. "She feels off. I'd do something about her." Mokou's brows furrowed, but she continued walking away from the princess.

Mokou's expression lightened when she saw Eirin come back with Keine in tow. From Keine's thoughtful expression and glittering eyes, the doctor must've given her a lecture or something. Mokou eyed the bundle still in Keine's arms, and gave Eirin a look. 'What, not giving a little girl a hand?'

Eirin's expression clearly read, 'Why would I do that?'. As Mokou departed with the girl, Keine called out cheerful goodbyes to the doctor and her princess. Mokou was a little surprised to hear Eirin actually reply in kind, albeit with a cooler tone. "What did Eirin talk to you about?" Mokou wondered. Keine was more than happy to tell Mokou in full, not winding down until they reached Mokou's home.

Mokou was glad that Eirin decided to skip over Mokou and Kaguya's complicated relationship: she wasn't really sure how to explain centuries of hunting followed by decades of mutual homicide to a girl not even ten years old. She'd have to eventually, she figured: if her family never came to find her, then Keine would see more and more of their fights, and would wonder why Mokou would never get hurt or age.

Eh, she'd have more than enough time to figure it out.

---

The next day, Mokou met Keine's father.

Mokou had went out with Keine, looking for herbs and roots in order to make poultices for Keine. She figured that if the soreness the girl was trying to hide was alleviated, then she would be less anxious. It was while the immortal was showing the girl the difference between good herbs and poisonous leaves that they heard the men shouting out Keine's name. Keine had immediately bolted to where she heard the shouting, with Mokou keeping pace while looking out for potential youkai attacks. The men they found were guards, men wearing uniform clothing and carrying spears and daggers, surrounding a covered palanquin. The one that Mokou took note of, though, was the silver haired man with the fine clothing: everything about him pointed out to him being Keine's father.

During the flurry of activity, Mokou forgot she was going to deck him. She was relieved that Keine had found her family, but she couldn't shut down the feelings of disappointment. Even more troubling was the distance Keine's father kept from his daughter and the expression he wore, an expression that looked disturbingly familiar. As soon as he insured that his daughter was unharmed, he immediately shuffled her into the palanquin: Mokou only caught a glimpse of Keine's waving arm before the palanquin was covered, hiding her from view. Then, the interrogation from her father followed.

Yes, she found her in the forest. No, she's not from the village (Human Village? What an odd name), she lives in the bamboo forest. Yes, she knows it's dangerous in there, but she knows her way through there. Nothing happened to her in there, she- what? Well, yes, she did teach her some things, Keine's a pretty inquisitive girl... No, not alphabets or anything. No, she doesn't need money, she's fine without it. No reward necessary... Does he want her kimono back, it got dirty so she had to wash- oh, okay, you don't need it back and...

Mokou wasn't sure what to say when he told her to forget about Keine, and that she shouldn't try to make contact again. That request puzzled her as she watched the palanquin being taken away, Keine's father walking alongside it. As she walked through the forest home, thoughts circled in her head, about the questions he asked, and what she discovered through taking care of Keine for a week.

Keine's father didn't want her to see the outside world. He didn't want her to be able to read, or to discover new things. And furthermore, as she reflected, she slowly came to realize that she knew that expression on his face. It was one that she saw on her own father's face, when she had returned from the mountain with her immortality.

It was fear: fear of his own daughter.

Why would he be afraid of shy and inquisitive little Keine? She wasn't even a decade old, and he fears her enough to shut her away from the world. What was he so afraid of, that he would go to such lengths to hide her?

And should Mokou get involved in the matter? She lived apart from humans for centuries: every time she tried to re-enter society, she was cruelly reminded, one way or another, why immortals and freaks weren't welcome with humanity. Trying to pursue the matter with Keine would only end the same way it did countless times.

A heartbeat passed. Mokou turned around, and walked back to where she found Keine's father.

I originally started writing this story as a prompt to "Feral Child". Then I got lazy. :D

Also, I started using a weird writing style with this story. I'm pretty sure "Baccano!" is to blame.



Keine hated this room. There wasn't a thing about it she didn't hate. She hated how plain it was, with nothing for her eyes to focus on. She hated how unchanging it was, for all the years that she's had to be locked up in here. She hated the curves, and how weird it was to look at the walls and not see any sign that there was an actual wall. Even the door was hard to spot in this room, flush against the wall and maddeningly curved just like the rest.

She had once seen a bowl holding a fish. She didn't remember which servant it was carrying it: her father didn't permit her to speak to anyone, except for the guard that always lead her to the shrine once a month. The priestess there wouldn't even speak to her, but she guessed it was because she was just grumpy and too busy either performing the same old ritual month after month or arguing with the guard. She's jealous of those two, now: she thought they hated each other, but when she asked the doctor about Mokou and the princess and all of the loud shouts from their fighting...

"Those two are more... comrades. Companions for eternity, you might say. They're the only ones to truly understand each other, so even though they sound like they hate each other..."

The doctor had shrugged at that point and changed the subject, but Keine felt jealousy at that point. She wished that she could have a companion like that, too, but her father wouldn't allow it.

... Fishbowl... oh, right. Fishbowl. The room was like that bowl because that fish was kept alone in it. It was alone, just like she was, so unfair.

Also, the room was like a fishbowl because it got humid quickly. Keine had shed the top of her yukata, yet she still felt sticky with sweat. The humidity only managed to make the headache and backache and everywhereache worse, even though Keine was lying face down on a thin blanket, eyes hidden in the cradle of her arms. All she could do is just lay there and stare at the curved ceiling, bored because there was nothing in this room, tired because it was late in the night, grumpy because the aches were keeping her from sleeping, and angry because she'll have to do this again and again and again and it's not fair that she can't be friends with Mokou.

She wanted to stay with Mokou, even though she was so happy that her father found her and no one was hurt by the monster that attacked them on the way back from the shrine. She was nice and interesting. She taught her things. Her place was small, but it was comfy and interesting and definitely not curved. She could probably make friends at Mokou's place, too: that doctor was nice, if cold, and maybe the princess would be Keine's friend if she was Mokou's comrade or companion or whatever. But at her father's home and in this stupid room...

"It's not fair," she groused into her arms. Mokou's head blocked her view of the ceiling.

"Yeah..."

Keine blinked in confusion at the woman, who tried to keep eye contact but wasn't sure which set to make contact with. Then Keine squeaked, trying to flip over on her back to hide from Mokou. The woman stopped her, pressing down on her shoulder and pinning her gently. "Hey.... hey." Keine struggled to breath, caught up in panic. She was told that no one would see her, no one would see her like this...

"Keine, it's all right. Just breathe." The girl tried to breathe, but couldn't relax. Finally, when she thought she would suffocate from panic, her lungs loosened, and she took deep breaths. As she closed her eyes and tried to keep herself from hyperventilating, she could see Mokou staring at her eyes and looking at where tiny bumps rose from the back of her hips and shoulder blades. Warm fingers touched her head, at the base of the two small horns jutting from her skull. She saw Mokou mutter something so quietly that, if she didn't have eyes in the back, she would haven't noticed.

"Hakutaku..."

Keine swallowed, keeping her head facing away from the older woman, not that it didn't keep her from seeing the neutral expression on Mokou's face. "Wh-what's a hakutaku...?"

"It's... a legend. A creature that's supposed to give advice to emperors. Six horns," Mokou tapped the horns on Keine's head, and pressed the raised areas on her back, "and eight eyes." The six eyes on Keine's back blinked at Mokou.

Keine had never heard of such a creature. Did her father know what she was? Why did he lock her up on the nights that she started changing? She turned her head to look at Mokou, who was trying to find a comfortable seat in the awkwardly shaped room. "Uh, um... Father told you that you shouldn't see me..." Mokou nodded.

"Yeah..."

...

"Um... then why did you..."

"Because I decided I wanted to punch your father in the face." Keine guessed she made a face or something, because Mokou's mouth twitched and she suddenly wiped it. "Well, I decided to ignore him, I mean. You're a nice kid."

"A-and... and you're not scared of...?" Mokou shook her head. "So that means you want to be my...?" Mokou nodded.

"Yeah. I'm gonna talk to your dad, too. I don't know what he's thinking, but this has to stop..." Mokou's speech was stopped by the little girl burying her face in Mokou's chest, whimpering and hugging her. Mokou sighed, ignoring the pain of her horns cutting into her shoulderblade, and patted the girl's green hair.

---

Keine fell asleep after crying that night. When she was woken up by servants and dressed for breakfast, she found Mokou slouching at the breakfast table with her father. Keine briefly panicked about Mokou hitting her father before her father, tall and strong as ever, informed her of his new decision.

Servants could speak with her freely. If the children of the servants came, she could play with them in the property of the house. Mokou could come over to play with her. She was allowed more freedom to explore the house, including the garden.

Keine barely heard what he said about how she was not allowed to join classes or learn how to read. She could have friends. She could see Mokou whenever she wanted. She could see what was outside.

It was more than enough for her.

---

The next month passed swiftly. Mokou didn't come as often as Keine hoped, only returning three times. That made Keine disappointed, but the new freedoms she had more than made up for it. The servants, save for the friendly guard, were hesitant at first, but warmed up to her. They showed her the garden with the fish pond, they allowed her to watch them clean, and she even got the chance to help make a meal. The children that came by were fun as well, and she enjoyed playing with them. They complained about school, but Keine was fascinated: a place where they could learn everything about the world, and learn how to read. She wasn't allowed to learn how to read, but, considering that a large part of the world had just opened up to her, she had nothing to complain about.

Well, except one thing. If anything, her father had grown even more distant from her. Every now and then she would see him watching, but for all intents and purposes he had vanished from her life. She asked the servants why. They all excused themselves or tried to distract her or, in the case of the friendly guard, muttered curses at her father. They then told her that he was just busy, and he's happy for her happiness.

She hoped so.

The monthly trip to the shrine went by uneventfully, and even more excitingly: the guards allowed her to uncover the palanquin, letting her see the journey to the shrine. She saw vast fields of golden plants, wheat, she was told, and a man standing stock still in it. There was a village far in the distance, and she could see specks in the streets. The path wound through the fields and past forests, both bamboo and barked. Finally, they arrived at a steep staircase of stone. She stared up and up, until she saw the red archway at the top; she had never seen the entrance to the shrine, but it was immense. She asked if she could get out and climb up with them, and the friendly guard laughed and allowed her to.

She got a third of the way up before getting tired and needing to be put back in the palanquin.

After the ceremony was finished, Keine swallowed her nervousness, and approached the priestess, who was in some sort of intense conversation. 'They're close companions', she thought, and she tried to break into the conversation. When the priestess turned her head to look at her, Keine was so intimidated that she immediately apologized and fled to the cherry trees. The conversation between the "companions" intensified.

Several days later, while Keine was admiring the strange sun Mokou called "the moon", a servant told her that she would need to go into the round room again. It felt like all of the happiness that Keine felt that month emptied out of her. Back into her fishtank again. No matter what the servants did, they couldn't cheer her out of the funk she went into, not even when the friendly guard snuck her a few scrolls and some  to take into the curved room.

Hours later, locked into the room and horns and eyes giving her aches all over, Keine felt the boredom creep in again. She doodled in the corner of a scroll. She wanted someone in here again. Maybe Mokou could come in, tell her that story of the knight and the dragon, and how the knight saved the princess.

The tip of the crayon pressed against the parchment. How did that story go...?

And this is where the story got fucking weird, and turned into a buddy cop story. Plus I ended up crunching for time.

Thus why it's completely unedited. \o/



The tower was filled with the clashing of blade against blade. Foul beasts roared as they charged against their foe, a knight clad in shining armor, spears and claws bared.

"You'll not claim the princess!" cried a beastial witch, pointing a gnarled finger at the knight. The knight said nothing, beating down the monsters. The sword flashed, felling any that stood before the knight. The witch snarled, and hissed an evil spell. A ball of darkness formed in the witches hand, and she threw it at the knight!

Thankfully, the brave knight lifted the mirrored shield, reflecting the spell back at the witch. She cried out in pain as her own spell consumed her. "Noooo, what folly!" she bemoaned as she dissolved into motes of darkness and evil. The motes then coalesced until they became a writhing, smoky being, an element of pain and murder. The monsters still surviving fled from the creature, but not the knight.

The smoke creature slammed against the knight, shattering the shield into hundreds of shards. The knight was unimpeded, however, and spun around, the sword bursting into flame and slashing through the creature. The flaming blade went snicker-snack, and the formless being died. All was quiet, save for the faint sounds of battle and the faint baying of hounds. The knight rested for a moment, then continued upward, cape billowing and trailing behind.

The stairs spiraled upward for what felt like years, the knight's metal boots clanging and echoing. A few monsters went to stop the knight, but the knight dispatched them easily, sending them tumbling down the stairs. Eventually, the knight discovered the final floor of the tower, where a heavy wooden door barred passage. The knight lifted an armored foot, and fiercely kicked the door in, revealing a fantastically furnished bedroom, where a raven haired princess, dressed in the finest and fanciest of dresses, awaited her savior.

She smiled angelically and, with dignity and grace, shoved a broadsword through the knight's stomach.

Kaguya sighed as the knight writhed on the ground, clutching at the sword. "Oh, come off it already, Mokou. Also, stop bleeding all over the place." She sighed as she walked over to the thin window, looking out at the pastel landscape. "Really, this is the lamest dream I've ever had. Why do I have to be the princess? I'm already one, I know how it works, I really don't need to be one in my fantasies, either." She glanced at the twitching knight and looked back outside. "Um... I hope you really are Mokou. It would have been very awkward if I had run through some poor ma-"

Her comment was cut off by the knight's helm hitting her in the back of the head. Kaguya rubbed her head and glared. Mokou, her hair tied in braids around her head and in a bun in order to fit in the helmet, glared back. "You're an ass, princess." Kaguya stuck her tongue out at the "knight" as she rubbed her head.

Mokou dragged the sword out of her gut and tossed it at Kaguya's feet. Kaguya bent over to pick up the sword and wipe the immortal's blood off of it, giving Mokou time to catch her breath. "Why didn't you just get yourself out of the tower?" Kaguya hummed to herself as she cleaned the sword.

"I was a bit interested in the knight that would rescue me. I assure you, I was sorely disappointed to discover that it was you." Kaguya saw a confused look on Mokou's face.

"But... I was armored and wearing a helmet. How did you even know it was-"

"So what do you think is going on?" Mokou frowned at Kaguya's interruption. "Why did you come to rescue me?"

"Because I needed to rescue a princess," Mokou answered immediately. "If I knew it was you, then..." Kaguya furrowed her brows as she pushed past the armored immortal.

"That's your reason? Why didn't you just fly up to save me, then, instead of fighting whatever it was that was making all that noise?"

Mokou sighed, shaking her head. "Because knights don't go flying around and..." Mokou stopped. Kaguya watched her look down at herself, confusion dawning on her expression. The exiled princess grinned; she knew that Mokou was beginning to grasp how utterly strange the situation was.

From the moment Kaguya awoke, she knew something was off. After some reflection and confusion, she realized that something had tried to thrust new memories upon her in an attempt to change her identity. The new memories, however, were very... vague. They weren't detailed, and were sort of haphazard and blunt.

You are a princess of a far away kingdom. A knight is coming to save you from the monsters, and you will live happily ever after with the knight.

As intrusive as it was, she was quite amused at first; it wasn't every day that something other than Mokou disrupted her life. Then, she began to wonder if it was an illusion, or if more things had changed. Mokou's appearance, and revelation of the brute force brainwashing being forced on her as well, confirmed how far it was going.

Kaguya fought down the nervousness rising up. It could very well be a shared illusion with the cheater's daughter, as much as she'd prefer it not be. "Well then, my 'brave knight', shall we get going?" she asked as she slid the sword into a sheath.

"Just a minute," Mokou replied. Kaguya frowned, then felt pain in the back of her legs. Her eyes widened as her legs collapsed underneath her and bashed her head against the wall. She saw Mokou smirk as she sheathed her bloody sword.

"What was the point of that?!" the princess shouted. Mokou mock bowed to her, smirking all the while.

"The princess is always carried by the knight, right?" Mokou then hefted Kaguya over her shoulder like a sack of rice and proceeded down the stairs, making sure to bounce as much as possible, digging the plate of her armor into Kaguya's gut. Kaguya seethed, waiting for her tendons to regenerate so she could take revenge properly.

---

"Who put that many levels in this tower?" Kaguya groused as they reached the bottom floor. Mokou, seemingly unaffected by the burden, shrugged.

"It's like those fairy tales. Big tower with a princess guarded by a dragon. The knight's gotta defeat it and save her."

"Hm, I see... so, are you going to put me down?" Kaguya hated the chuckle that followed, echoing in the corpse filled lobby and drowning out the faint howls. She was probably planning on bashing her head against a few more walls again. Well, time to play dirty.

"Just as well. I like the view, anyways." Kaguya grinned as Mokou made a questioning noise. "Even covered by armor, that rear is delicious." Choking from the immortal made the grin wider. "And that bare nape... mmm~..." She had to restrain giggles as Mokou shivered in anger. "And what is that intoxicating sm-"

Mokou dropped her on her ass. Kaguya decided the pain and humiliation was worth it for the look on Mokou's face. Even the back of Mokou's neck was red. Kaguya giggled as she picked herself up, chasing after the stomping faux-knight.

Her mind was racing, though. She didn't know what kind of fairy tales Mokou was talking about, and everything, from the style of the castles to the clothing she and Mokou wore to even the corpses she saw were unfamiliar to her. The only thing she knew about this new world was what new memories were forced upon her. The fact that Mokou was more knowledgable about the dream's apparant source material made her curious about the world's true nature. And speaking of which...

"So when did you fight the dragon? I don't see a body lying around..." Red faced Mokou looked back at her.

"What dragon? I didn't fight a-"

ROAAAAAAAAAR

"... Your fairy tales are the best," Kaguya muttered as she drew her sword. Mokou followed suit, watching the gargantuan dragon with red scales land on the top of Kaguya's tower.

"Oh shut it."

---

"Your fairy tales are the best!" Kaguya grinned, sitting on top of the dragon's skull. The fight was intense, with the dragon breathing fire everywhere and them dodging frantically, trying to cut through its hide with swords. Things became much easier when they realized that they could also fly and use magic to eviscerate it.

Mokou, her armor blackened and torn, glared up at Kaguya. Her mouth opened a few times, likely to spit some blistering invective at the princess, before she looked down to catch her breath. "Oh, shut it." Kaguya giggled as she slid down the neck of the dragon, her dress nearly untouched.

"I surveyed the land while you 'bravely'," Kaguya smirked at Mokou's grumbles, "distracted the terrifying beast. There's a village over there. That might have more clues for us." The other immortal glared at Kaguya, then shoved her chipped and scorched sword back into the sheath and started tromping down the path to the village. Kaguya skipped along after her, lifting the edges of her dress to keep from tripping over them.

As they travelled, a sudden thought struck Kaguya. "So, this is a fairy tale?"

Mokou grunted an affirmation. "Just like in the book."

"What book?"

"Picked it up at a port..." Mokou's face screwed up, likely counting the years. "... a while ago." Kaguya hmmed to herself.

"You show it to anyone?"

"Nah. Just Keine." Kaguya frowned, suspicions connecting.

She had met the mysterious "Keine" only once, when she decided to ambush Mokou after a particularly boring week... month... certain number of days that she didn't exactly keep track of. Just by standing near her, Kaguya got a feeling of wrongness, like there was something that just rubbed the immortal the wrong way.

Just like when she first awoke in this new world.

"Mokou..." Kaguya said quietly. "I think your friend-"

"Shut up." Kaguya blinked, then puffed up her cheeks.

"I'm just saying that I think that girl is-" the glare Kaguya received cut her off. The walk passed awkwardly.

"... Do you hear a howling?" No answer. "Did your book say anything about the knight and princess being eaten by wolves?" Still no response. "... That hairstyle really does look good on you." Silence. "I'm serious, I like how it shows off the back of your neck. Maybe if you let me play with it after I kill you-"

"I'm going to stab you now."

---

Kaguya sadly poked the bloodstained tear in the stomach of her dress. "I was beginning to like this dress, too," she complained. "It's a bit poofy for my tastes, but it was starting to grow on me. This thing wrapped around my chest's a pain to deal with, though..."

"Good for you, we're here," Mokou muttered. Instead of heading to the strange, rustic looking village, like Kaguya expected her to, she continued following the trail past the village. Kaguya followed in confusion, looking between the village and the sour knight.

"We aren't going to the village?" Mokou shook her head, her hair free from the braids and bun and trailing behind like a second cloak.

"No, we're going to Keine's house." Kaguya blinked, then realized it was natural: Keine was a young girl, and probably the first person Mokou interacted with in... well, ever since Kaguya started murdering Mokou for sport. Of course she would want to make sure Keine was all right.

Kaguya also suspected that Mokou agreed with her suspicions, that the little girl was somehow responsible for this incident. Kaguya had learned how to read the other immortal over the years, and her hunched posture, darting eyes, and other behaviors... It all pointed at a behavior that Kaguya never seen Mokou exhibit, or even knew she still had.

She knew that Mokou was worried.

"So, where does she live?" Kaguya wondered. She was so engrossed with peering at the village that she didn't notice Mokou stop until she ran into her armored back. Mokou growled at her before pointing.

"There... I think." Kaguya followed her gaze.

"... Well, that's welcoming." She studied the well fortified castle made of black stone, with guardsmen patrolling the top. A keep stood in the middle of the fortifications, and a tower with an egg shaped top rose above the keep. "What's with the tower?" She stared, waiting for an answer. She glanced at Mokou, and saw she was already moving to the front gates, something the guards were taking note of.

"Mokou... wait, Mokou..." she muttered as she caught up to the other woman. "I think they might be actual people caught up in this mess: if we hurt them here..."

"I don't intend to hurt them," Mokou replied, still marching up to the castle despite shouts to halt, the sounds of baying hounds, and bows appearing at the ramparts.

"They're not going to let you just walk in!" Mokou scowled.

"I'm not merely going to walk in." Putting action to words, she took flight, ignoring the surprised shouts and flying arrows. Kaguya stared flatly at her back.

"Oh, yes, flying. That is a thing." She sighed, following suit. "This dress is going to have so many holes by the time we find that girl..."

---

When Mokou kicked down the heavy double doors leading into a chamber hall, a silver haired man strongly resembling Keine glared from his throne. That glare turned into a stare when Mokou and Kaguya entered in the hall, clad in bloody armor and garments, spear heads, and arrows. Mokou ignored the discomfort of so many pointy objects sticking out of her, choosing to stomp towards Keine's father. "Where's Keine?"

The man gaped at Mokou, before his eyes narrowed. "What do you demons want with my daughter! Cursed as she may be, you'll not have her!" He stood from the throne, drawing his sword. Mokou sighed.

"You know who I am. I rescued your daughter. She's my... my friend." The man hesitated, then his brows furrowed in fury.

"I know you to be a just and honorable knight, not some undying de-" Mokou shut him up with a raised hand.

"Hold on." Mokou stalked back to the entrance, where Kaguya was busy working a spearhead out from between her ribs.

"Thing's caught in that deathtrap... making it even harder to br-hey!" Kaguya yelped as Mokou nonchalantly dragged her in front of Keine's father.

"Okay, let's try that again. I saved Keine in the bamboo forest. I told you to stop being an ass. Where's Keine?" The man's expression shifted and changed, then his mouth opened and his eyes widened, as though recalling something.

Kaguya wondered why the man's face turned as pale as his hair. The sword clattered to the ground as he collapsed into the throne, hand covering his eyes. "Erm... hello? Keine's parent-dono? Eat something bad?" His mouth moved, but she could not hear the words. "Come again?"

"It's over... she's done it..." The two immortals looked at each other, then back at the man.

"Done what?" Mokou growled.

He told them what she did.

---

The Kamishirasawa clan is under a curse.

The hakutaku are said to be among the most wise of the youkai beasts. Sages all, they advise kings, emperors, and priests on many matters. They do this with vast knowledge and understanding, far beyond what any human is capable of.

But there is another reason why they are so "wise". This is an ability that no human has discovered, not until the Kamishirasawa discovered it through tragedy.

Long ago, the Kamishirasawa clan attempted to gain power. However, they were a weak clan, with little military strength, not particularly resource abundant lands, and certainly not a lot of daughters like their rivals, the Fujiwara clan (Mokou ignored the raised eyebrow from Kaguya at that). What they did have was knowledge, and the ability to use it. Their sons and daughters were among the most intelligent of nobles in that day, and had the cunning to use it.

However, some felt it weren't enough. They couldn't approach the Emperor's court with just brains, after all. They would need to be extraordinary to catch the Emperor's notice. The head of the clan at that time then struck upon an idea, inspired by tales of the emperor Koutei, of the hakutaku that gave him the encyclopedia of all eleven thousand five hundred and twenty youkai of the world.

The means used by the Kamishirasawa of the time to lure a hakutaku to them, to gain counsel, is unknown. This was purposeful: the Kamishirasawa intentionally buried all knowledge of the method used. It was not to ensure that no one follow them into glory.

It was to ensure that such a tragedy could never happen again.

The clan successfully summoned the hakutaku, the great cow with six horns and eight eyes. Before it could ask what knowledge it could offer the clan, the men acted first; they thrust spears into its sides, into its eyes.

The hakutaku did not fight back. The surviving members later supposed that the hakutaku knew what would happen, but allowed itself to be killed. In fact, as the hakutaku bled on the floor, blinded and deaf, it instructed the clan to eat its flesh, and its power would be granted to the clan's future daughters. A grand feast was had, with rice wine and hakutaku flesh. The clan felt no remorse at that time for betraying and slaying a wise youkai.

Years later, the first half human, half hakutaku daughters were born. Most days, the daughters would be normal children, but under the light of the full moon they grew the horns and eyes of the hakutaku. The leaders made sure to keep the daughters hidden, in order to ensure no onmyouji or youkai hunters were called. If the physical changes were disconcerting, the mental acuity, far surpassing their parents, delighted the clan leaders. The daughters learned quickly and at a young age. They were unparalleled geniuses.

Then, one full moon, while studying the clan conflicts over Buddhism, one of the daughters declared that she didn't like certain aspects of the conflict, particularly involving certain participants and their relationships, going so far as to cross out what she didn't like, and writing in her own revisions. Her instructor laughed, and the next day told one of his friends about the precociousness of his student.

Imagine his surprise when his friend stared at him in confusion, and told him that the daughter's revised history was the accurate history. The instructor checked, and found, to his surprise, history had changed.

And thus the hakutaku's true power was discovered. They could manipulate time itself.

This filled the Kamishirasawa with glee: they could rewrite history to put them in power! At the same time, some wondered if this was the true trap of the hakutaku. There must be some trick to it, some sort of karma to be discovered by recklessly using the power.

That's when the village where the Kamishirasawa called home disappeared. It wasn't destroyed, it didn't vanish. It was erased from history. Only the Kamishirasawa clan were aware of this, too. Not even the Emperor knew of the village's existance.

The clan was in a panic. They knew now that they were reaping what they had sewn, that the hakutaku had cursed them. They tried to get the daughters to control their powers, but the daughters grew scared. On the full moon, one girl wrote down her fears into a diary. The ability to rewrite history was activated in a subtle manner that night: the only thing that was changed was the layout of the manor they lived in.

It was enough to capture the attention of the hounds.

They heard the baying of hounds that night, but what the survivors saw were no hounds. Slipping in through the cracks, they began wreaking havoc, tearing apart man, woman, and daughter alike. No place was safe from them, not until the entire manor was destroyed. After seeing the destruction, the clan decided on a fateful course of action.

They murdered the daughters. Every hakutaku daughter was put to the knife, sacrificed to appease the slain youkai.

The next generation, more daughters were born. Some were half-hakutaku.

This continued for generations, even when the clan dwindled down to just one family. Any daughter that changed in the full moon was killed before she could cause any damage to herself, her family, and the country.

---

"Then why isn't Keine dead?" Kaguya asked. Mokou growled at Kaguya, but the princess didn't take back the question. Keine's father sighed, slouching.

"The last half hakutaku to be killed... she was my younger sister. I... I didn't want to have to murder my only child. I hoped that... that if she didn't learn how to write, that if she was kept apart from the world, maybe she could have sons..."

Kaguya rolled her eyes. "And Mokou here ruined that by reading her a bedtime story." Mokou ignored her.

"She can change it back, right?" The man looked at Mokou in confusion. "History, I mean." The man sighed.

"That's assuming that the hounds don't tear us limb from limb, first." Kaguya pursed her lips.

"Hounds? I've been hearing howls all-" a keening howl interrupted her, shocking the man. "Yes, just like that." The man's sword slid from his sheath as his eyes scanned the corners of the room.

"They're here! They're inside!" The two immortals glanced at each other.

"... There's nothing in-" a shape slid through an angle.

---

Kaguya was having a hard time formulating coherent thoughts. Part of it was due to exertion, part of it was due to her barely comprehending the creature the three of them just fought back, and a good portion of it was because her arm hadn't regenerated yet.

"Th..." she licked her lips as she eyed the corner of the room where the beast had escaped. "That..." she tried to think of what would make more sense to say in this situation.

Then she decided to hell with it all. "That wasn't a dog!"

Mokou, face as pale as her hair, stared increduously at her. "That's all you can say?!" She whipped to Keine's father, miraculously unharmed by the attack. "Where's Keine?!"

It took a few good shouts and slaps to get the man responding, who began navigating the keep's corridors. Throughout the keep, they heard more baying of the strange "hounds". Though the two were immortal, Kaguya and Mokou were disturbed by the beasts, and pushed the man to keep him moving, who muttered about watching out for the corners. They climbed stairs until they reached a bulding wooden door. Keine's father pulled it open to reveal...

... a very surprised Keine, with green hair and horns. The girl, still dressed in her sleeping yukata, blinked at her father, Mokou, and Kaguya, all dressed in fantastic outfits. Her mouth opened and closed like a fish, but she seemed so befuddled by the sight that Kaguya couldn't help but laugh. Then Keine's father pushed the two women inside, sending them sliding along the curved floor, and closed the door behind him.

The girl barely had time to say anything before her father grabbed her shoulders. "Who taught you how to write?!" he screamed in the terrified girl's face, shaking her. Mokou growled, and pulled him off of Keine before punching him in the face with her gauntleted hand. That... roughly spherical equivilant to corner of the room dissolved into chaos, with Kaguya watching in bemusement.

Then, she noticed the scroll. She reached out with her hand, cheering mentally at it being newly regenerated, and plucked it from the ground. Her eyebrows rose, and she called out to the two other adults.

After a few moments, she went over to the scuffling duo and smacked them apart. "Look at this." Mokou and Keine's father glared at each other, before looking at the scroll. His jaw dropped.

"Is this...?"

It was a crayon illustration. A pale haired knight, rescuing a black haired princess, with a dragon in the sky.

---

Keine was seated in front of her scrolls, nubs of crayon in hand. She was told she needed to change things back to "how they were", but she was scared and confused. Her father was glaring at her, Mokou was glaring at her father and Kaguya, and Kaguya looked like she was going to laugh hysterically. Her eyes stung, her palms were sweating, her horns was making everything everything ache, and the howls weren't doing anything to calm the girl. She put wax to crayon...

...

Kaguya twitched. "... Please don't tell me..."

"... I... I can't think of what to draw..." Kaguya sighed. Then blinked when a sword came out of its sheath. "Wait, what are you..."

Keine's father pointed his sword at his own daughter. Mokou grabbed his wrist, snarling. "What the hell are you-"

"It has to be done." Keine was staring at her father, staring at the tears rolling down his face. "I tried to... tried to keep this from happening..."

"It's what a father has to do: protect his daughter." Kaguya watched Mokou's furious expression slide away to something more vulnerable, a part of her she'd never seen before.

Then the hounds figured out that the door locked from the outside, and pulled it open. Without missing a beat, Mokou let go of the man's arm and charged into the unnameable beasts, screaming incoherently. As the door slammed behind her and the baying and screams began, Kaguya couldn't help but note that...

... Were it not for the fact that Mokou was immortal, that would have been incredibly brave and touching.

Keine's scream shook her out of that thought, and Kaguya looked to see the girl staring at where her first friend had... seemingly... sacrificed...

Kaguya grinned internally. "Keine!" The girl continued screaming, so the princess resorted to physical motivation. The girl's cheek now red, Kaguya whispered forcefully.

"Your friend is out there dying for you.

"She will not survive. They will then come and tear you, me, and your father apart.

"Not unless you save her."

Kaguya put a crayon in her hand. Kaguya put a scroll in front of her.

Keine's teary face hardened, her red eyes narrowed.

And she began to draw.

---

Kaguya pushed the door open and peeked outside. "Oh, hey, you're alive!" she said in an overly peppy tone. Mokou, lying on the ground and dressed in her usual shirt and pants, blinked at her in some confusion before the door slammed open and a green blur smacked into her chest. Kaguya couldn't help but smile at the scene: the young girl was bawling in Mokou's chest, while the immortal girl looked partly embarassed, partly relieved, and partly pained by the horn poking into her shoulder.

Kaguya turned from the scene to see Keine's father, clad in night clothes, sitting on the floor, looking at the scattered drawings. "Well, seems like things ended well."

"I... I really would have done it..." he murmured, staring at a picture. "I would have killed her."

Kaguya sighed. Kaguya looked around awkwardly. Kaguya then turned back to Keine's father.

"You also did it out of love." He looked up at her questioningly. "I know of fathers that ignored their daughters for personal glory, and I know of fathers that threw them away for pride." She shrugged. "Killing your daughter is a bit much, yes, but... well, I can understand why."

Kaguya checked behind her to see if Mokou heard that. No, she was still comforting the poor hakutaku child. "Well, I should head home..." She bent down to take the scrolls from the man. "Just keep your daughter away from the paints on full moons, all right?"

Kaguya managed to slip away from the house without being noticed: there were several wounded and confused people walking around, and she noted a woman dressed in priestess garb stomping into the complex looking furious. She chuckled to herself as she flipped through the scrolls under the bright moonlight. "Well, things are getting interesting around here."

She stopped at one particular drawing: stick figures with enough detail to identify the figures. A small blue child. A white haired woman with red clothes. A black haired woman. A woman in red and blue. A man with silver hair.

All together. All happy.

She scowled at the black haired woman and the white haired woman holding hands. "Yuck. I'm glad that history never came to pass."
« Last Edit: April 30, 2012, 07:35:13 AM by Religion »

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
    • Daisukima Dan Blog
Deadline

As a warning judging might be a little slow for this set.  Please wait while our expert panel considers your entries.  Or try to sneak in some last minute edits.  Whatever.

Dead Princess Sakana

  • *
  • E is for Elodie, who swims with the fishes.
>already large number of entries
>last entry split into three posts

SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECT! :colonveeplusalpha:

Well, guess I'll resign myself to my fate. Hope y'alls don't disappoint me~  :3

>already large number of entries
>last entry split into three posts

SEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEECT! :colonveeplusalpha:
Wa ha ha~

Now that I've finished my own story, I've taken a look at the other stories. There are some pretty good contenders, and Iced will be hard to beat.

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
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  • I will set you on fire k'?
    • Daisukima Dan Blog
Judgement

So it took some time to judge, but the judges have come to a conclusion.   And by conclusion I mean none of them agree, but due to the unique rules of the contest, we still have a winner.

First off Triangles is the obvious winner.  But she even more obviously deserves the title of Fresh Idiot Princess of Bell Air.  I call upon those with powers greater then mine to grant her this.

Meanwhile on the mortal realm we shall judge the other sets.  Sect!  Give thanks to that Ghouls and Ghosts speedrun distracting me, because two of the judges have claimed your story is better then mine.  This makes you the winner.  But know this!  You won't have it easy next time!

Squidtentacle!  While only one of the judges placed you above me, the judge that said I was the victory had you in second place, and were I not battling myself I'd have given you first place as well.  Thus I bestow upon you my title of King of Hearts, Wordsmith!  Train hard and prove yourself worthy of it.

Once again thanks and good job to all our entrants.  Since I wasn't a true judge this time I can't give my normal run down.  I invite the judges to comment on their own, or message me if they wish to post anonymously.

Now, next challenge.  This shouldn't take two weeks, but you're all getting it anyway. 

And that's the News from Lake Suwa.  Where all the women are strong, all the men are good looking, and all the fairies are above average.

Newspaper articles, TV broadcast or long rambling radio speech, humans and youkai need to get the news somehow.  Your mission this time is to write about a single event in Gensoukyo or the surrounding environs from the perspective of an observer.  Be it one of Hatate's lost articles, Marisa telling Reimu about something she saw, or Nitori performing the first kappa newscast, we want to hear about it.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2012, 06:45:24 PM by Master Antartica »

For all you mucklucks who aren't as derpy as me, that means that the next challenge has already started. Get writing already!

Raikaria

  • Do Tank Girls Dream...
  • *
  • Of Floating Eyeballs?
Just a small thing I felt like writing up. Probobly not that good, doubt I got Aya's exaggeration-style of writing down right, but, worth a post.
----

Bunbunmaru Special Edition:

Hello readers! I am bringing this special edition of the Bunbunmaru to you because I just had a very rare opportunity! I had the chance to interview Ran Yakumo, the shikigami of the enigmatic border youkai Yukari Yakumo! For those of you who don?t know, Ran is a Kitsune, and is strong enough to have her own shikigami, Chen.

So, naturally, the first question I asked was if Ran knew Yukari?s age. Of course, that didn?t go down well, and resulted in me having to dodge danmaku for about five minutes.

*Insert image of Ran attacking Aya here*

It seems that Yukari?s age is as rough a point for Ran as it is for Yukari. That or the kitsune is sworn to never speak of it. Anyway, wanting to get some time-based information out of her, I asked, once she had calmed down, how she and Yukari met.

Oddly enough, Ran claims to not remember their meeting, or, for that matter, anything beforehand. Maybe this is Yukari?s doing, or maybe they?ve been together so long that Ran?s forgotten. Either way, this sure is an interesting revelation! Is Ran really a brainwashed servant of Yukari? What does that make Chen?

Anyway, next I decided to ask Ran if she knew what was going on in Yukari?s head. To this, Ran responded ?More than anyone else does, but not well enough to understand?. So the Gap youkai?s mind is unfathomable to even the one closest to her? Either way, this line of questioning was not getting anywhere solid, and Ran seemed to be getting annoyed at the questions being about Yukari and not her. Maybe the Kitsune has a bit of an inferiority complex to Yukari? It would explain why their spell cards are so similar, if Ran?s just attempting to outdo her master in something.

Anyway, due to Ran?s possible inferiority complex showing, I asked about what she usually does in the day. Besides being hard-working enough to need her own Shikigami, no-one actually knows what Ran and Chen do for Yukari, or even see them often. Ran claims they fix problems behind the scenes, and occasionally cause them. You know, the little things that keep Gensokyo ticking day-to-day.  Ran also claims to have some ability to fix borders, because of her Shikigami link to Yukari, it would explain how Gensokyo doesn?t fall apart in the Winter when Yukari hibernates. She can?t manipulate them, or open gaps, but she can ?fix? them.

Next is the big one. I asked about Chen. At the mention of the nekomata?s name, the Kitsune flushed a bright red. An interesting response. Ran claims Chen has only recently been made into her Shikigami, and is still learning the role and rules. She?s nowhere near on the level of Ran and Yukari, of course, but Ran states she has untapped power that she?s not mastered yet.

Apparently, the nekomata doesn?t have the Yakumo name because she is not directly linked to Yukari, like Ran is. A Shikigami adopts the natural family name of their master, and Ran does not have one, Yakumo being the adopted family name from Yukari. Ran explained if the bond between Yukari and Ran ever broke, she would just be Ran, and would have no second name, like Chen. What is Interesting; however, why Yukari doesn?t give Chen the name anyway. Is there a reason why Yukari doesn?t consider Chen a part of her family? I mean, surely Yukari could meddle with the borders of rules or something if she wanted Chen to adopt the Yakumo name with her Shikigami contract, however, thinking about Yukari?s reasons for anything makes my head hurt.

Finally, I decided to ask about what Ran and Yukari thought of the religious newcomers, since Yukari hasn?t really been seen much recently. Apparently, Yukari doesn?t care at all about the other religions, because it?s not like Reimu gets any less donations than she got before, as it?s impossible to go below zero. Ran, on the other hand, welcomes the Shinto-style religion the Moriya Shrine brings, mainly because of Sanae?s incident-solving. However, what is interesting is that Ran admits to making regular stops at the Myouren Temple, as she is a Buddhist. While not common knowledge, since few ever face enough of her spellcards to know, Ran?s spellcards have a very Buddhist theme in their naming. As a Buddhist, she is also not too keen on the recent revival of the Taoists, although she claims to accept religious diversity in Gensokyo. I wonder if I could get more information about Ran from Byakuren? or even how close those two are. Actually, Kitsune are canines, I wonder how she and Shou get on! Not to mention that Mamizou, as a Tankuni, who hates foxes? the dynamics at the Myouren Temple need investigating!

Anyway, at this point, Ran stated she had to be elsewhere, and had no time to spare me anymore. I tried to follow to find out where Ran was going, but a gap opened up in front of me and ported me back to the Tengu Village. I wonder why Yukari didn?t want me following Ran. Is the Gap Youkai up to something? Only time will tell.


http://www.malevole.com/mv/misc/tribute/
I don't even remember who put the above in my sig. [Wasn't me] Nor do I understand why I keep it here anymore.
Those two facts sum me up pretty well.

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
    • Daisukima Dan Blog

Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - News Articles
« Reply #970 on: May 03, 2012, 12:46:27 AM »
...my day has been made. Thank you good sirs. Or madams. Or both.

Also congrats to Sect and Triangles. You both totally earned it.
All lies and all sin, all dreams and all majesty, Everything rots in this ruined hell

[The Perfect, Elegant Maid] [Pathos of the Hated People] [Music, Projects, and Art]

GuyYouMetOnline

  • Surprisingy not smart for lynch dodging
Re: Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - News Articles
« Reply #971 on: May 03, 2012, 05:07:52 AM »
*Definitely wants judge comments*

Phlegeth

  • DPS LFG
  • Time expired: 121:45
Re: Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - News Articles
« Reply #972 on: May 03, 2012, 05:26:15 AM »
*Definitely wants judge comments*

Me too.

I had a lot of fun writing this.  I hope the radio segments that aren't the news story are in the spirit of things.  I can edit it, if it's not.



?Good evening, Gensokyo and welcome to the first ever radio broadcast!?  A chipper young voice with an unmistakable since of nobility came over yinyang orbs around Gensokyo.  ?Although I wonder if radio is the right word.  As you may or may not know, the SDM?s very own Patchouli reverse engineered the very yinyang orbs that Yukari tampered with during that whole hot springs fiasco.  But I guess to keep it simple for the fairies, radio will have to do.  But I?m not why you?re listening, am I??  She chuckled softly to herself.  ?Let us have my guest introduce herself.?

?Ahm Mamima Pehamemeh!?  said a voice whose mouth was obviously full of food came on over the yinyang orbs.

The host gave another light chuckle, ?I see you have helped yourself to the kitchen.?

There was swallowing, ?I was invited this time and was pretty sure nothing was poisoned.?  The two laughed.

?Yes, our Sakuya does have a tendency to put poisons in her cooking.  But nothing harmful to me of course,? she chuckled.  ?Let us digress and get to the real reason you are here.  Listeners, if you did not understand her with her mouth full of food and did not recognize her voice, let me introduce you to Marisa Kirisame.  You were found at Ground Zero of what we are calling the Magic Scar and I know everyone is curious to know what happened.  Tell us in your own words what happened.?

?Okay, no shit, there I was walking through the Forest of Magic.  I wanted to go see what Alice was doing, but when I got to her front door, it attacked me!  It turned it was a Mimic.  At the time I didn?t think much of it, sitting her door as a mimic seemed Alice-like.  Naturally I broke it down to  see what she was doing.

When to my surprise I saw five fairies.  You know; Cirno, Sun, Star, Moon, and whatsherface.  They were wrecking up the joint.  Me, being the good Samaritan that I am, fired a warning shot at whatsherface.  They were all like, ?Oh no it?s Marisa!?  But then Star was like, ?I got this!? and said some weird poem:

    ?For hearts long lost and full of fright,
    For those alone in blackest night,
    Accept our ring and join our fight,
    Love conquers all-- with violet light!?

She was jacking my whole love thing.  I mean first she steals Kaguya?s look and now my love thing.  Where does she get off taking other peoples stuff?  So I fired my Non-Directional Laser at her.  She was like, ?Guys we have to use that!?  And they were like, ?kay.?  Cause you know fairies are dumb.  They all started grabbing on to whatsherface.  Star and Moon grabbed her legs and Cirno and Sun grabbed her arms.  And then there was a great big flash.

Standing before me was a giant fairy.  I guess it was a giant.  It was like six foot tall, that?s kind of tall for a fairy.  ?I am Super Greater Fairy Daiyousei!?  That thing yelled.  There was a flash and a sudden gust of wind.  ?BWAHAHAHAHA I, THE GREAT AND POWERFUL MIMA AM HERE!?  Can you believe it, Mima came out of being where ever the hell she was for the past few years.  So many questions going through my head like where have you been and how are you doing and does it feel good just up and ABANDONING SOMEONE AND NEVER LETTING THEM KNOW WHERE YOU?VE BEEN AND THEM NOT EVEN KNOWING IF YOU?RE ALIVE OR DEAD AND??

?Whoa oh oh, calm down, calm down,? Remilia interrupted Marisa.  There was the sound of someone breathing heard that was suddenly cut off.

?Hi, I?m Shizuha Aki and I?m here to tell you about Aki Farms.  It is a farm run by me and my sister, Minoriko, and we are two different people.  Me and my sister grow all kinds of fruits and vegetables and they are very delicious.  We sell them out of a stand near the base of Youkai Mountain so remember us when you travel up to see the Godesses.?

?And we?re back,? Remilia said.

?Okay, where was I?  Oh yea, Mima was there,? there was the sound of another deep breath.  ?She was facing the giant fairy.  ?BWAHAHAHA DO NOT WORRY FOR I HAVE GOT THIS!? she yelled.  ?I AM USE THE TWILIGHT SPARK!  TO DEFEAT THEM!  HERE I GO!  TWILIGHT SPARK?  And the rest is a blur.  There was sudden flash of light and the next thing I knew, a very angry Alice was kicking me in the shoulder yelling at me to get up.  And I reeked of alcohol for some reason and my head was killing me.  It was bright which was weird cause I was inside.  But I looked around and Alice?s house was destroyed and a lot of the trees behind her house were knocked over.

But has you just heard, it wasn?t me.  It was Mima and the fairies that destroyed her house.  So if you see the fairies just blow them out of the sky or whatever.  And if you see Mima, capture her and send her to me.  Thank you and good night.?

?There you go citizens of Gensokyo.  If you have never met Miss Kirisame before, you should know this: take everything she says with a grain of salt,? Remilia said.

?Hey what?s that supposed to mean!?? Marisa yelled.

?Hey Sakuya, go to that stand and pick me up some sweet potatoes,? Remilia said ignoring Marisa.

?Hey!? Marisa yelled.

?Your segment is done now, you can leave.  Sakuya escort her out before you go,?  There was the sound of shuffling.  ?And up next the weather.?

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
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  • I will set you on fire k'?
    • Daisukima Dan Blog
Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - News Articles
« Reply #973 on: May 12, 2012, 12:49:48 AM »
Two articles?  Come now this is easy street!

And no easy street doesn't mean "wait until the last minute."  You lot always wait until AFTER the last minute and miss the deadline.  Get to writing!   :colbert:

GuyYouMetOnline

  • Surprisingy not smart for lynch dodging
Re: Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - News Articles
« Reply #974 on: May 12, 2012, 03:28:20 AM »
*Still wants judge comments for the previous contest*

Chaore

  • Kai Ni Recipient Many Years Late
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  • You Finally Did It, Kadokawa.
Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - News Articles
« Reply #975 on: May 12, 2012, 06:10:42 AM »
JUDGE COMMENTS, YOU SAY?


WHILE I CAN NOT SPEAK FOR THE OTHERS, I AM PLEASED TO GIVE MY COMMENTS. AND SUBSEQUENT CRITIQUE.

AND MY ALL CAPS VOICE AND FACE ARE NOT LIKE THIS BECAUSE I AM DISPLEASED. IT IS SIMPLY STUCK LIKE THAT.

ZUROCHA- I WILL ADMIT THE MOMENT YOU WRITE 'OCS INSIDE BEWARE' POSSIBLY SEALED YOUR FATE. IF YOU NEED TO WARN SOMEONE ABOUT CHARACTERS, YOU HAVE AN ISSUE ALREADY. FRANKLY YOUR WRITING NEEDS MUCH WORK, CONSTANT SPELLING ERRORS SHOWS NOT MUCH TIME WAS SPENT REVIEWING IT. DIALOGUE IS STILTED AND SERIES OF EVENTS ARE POORLY PACED AND STRUCTURED. YOUR NARRATIVE IN GENERAL NEEDS HEAVY WORK, AND YOUR CHARACTERS LACK MUCH DIVERSITY OR MEMORABILITY AND FRANKLY IT SEEMS LIKE MANY COULD BE DONE WITHOUT.

AVOID CLICHE 'DRAMATIC' LIKE THE END OF THE FIRST 'PART' WITH YELLING INTO THE SKY.

GUY- I'M A SUCKER FOR TWO FRONT STORIES, BUT YOU CAN'T PULL IT OFF AT ALL. HAVING KEINE THE PRESENT GOING AND KEINE THE PAST GOING DOES NOT WORK WELL, IT JUST SEEMS LIKE YOU FOLLOWED THE LINE OF 'START WITH ACTION' AND WENT WITH THERE. THE PRESENT FRONT IS UNDERDEVELOPED, SERVING AS A DISTRACTION RATHER THAN A GOING THREAD OF EVENTS. YOUR NARRATIVE NEEDS WORK, BUT I CAN'T PIN DOWN WHY, IT JUST SEEMS LIKE YOU NEED EXPERIENCE WITH IT AND REREADING IT WITH A MORE CRITICAL EYE TO IMPROVE IT. YOUR PLOT ALSO FALLS APART WHEN IT'S 'KEINE IS AFRAID OF POWERS SHE HAS SO SHE GETS TRAPPED WITH A HAKUTAKU WHICH IS WHY HER POWERS EXIST AND' IT JUST SEEMS LIKE YOU RAN WITH ONE IDEA AFTER ANOTHER. AT THAT, IT'S LEFT HANGING AND BASICALLY IS JUST 'AND THEN THIS HAPPENED AND THEN YAYYYY MOMMY'.

PHLEGTH- FUCK, I ACTUALLY LIKED A GREAT DEAL OF WHAT YOU SET OUT HERE. SOME OF YOUR CHARACTERIZATION IS REALLY GREAT AND INTERESTING. BUT IT'S ALL OVER THE PLACE AND I CAN'T PRECISELY GET WHAT, THIS ISN'T REALLY AN ORIGIN STORY AND IT'S MORE LIKE 'THAT ONE TIME YUUGI PUNCHED A BITCH IN THE FACE'. THE THING IS ALSO MOST OF THESE CHARACTERIZATIONS REALLY AREN'T PRONOUNCED WELL EITHER, AND LIKE THE ONLY FULL CHARACTER IS YUUGI. THE FIGHT SCENE IS ALSO KINDA POOR, AND REALLY IN GENERAL IT SEEMS A BIT RUSHED AND LIKE IT SHOULD BE EXPANDED.

SQUID- YOUR PIECE IS JUST HARD TO GET INTO, IT'S NOT REALLY INTERESTING. MURASA BEING LED TO BY EVIL FORCES RATHER THAN FOCUSING ON HER OWN HATE FELT LAME, AND HOW BYAKUREN 'FREES' HER KIND OF MAKES NO DAMN SENSE. TREATING THE SHIP AS A PERSON MAKES ME WONDER IF MURASA IS AUTISTIC, NOT UNDERSTAND HER TRAIN OF THOUGHT. SERIOUSLY IT'S JUST LIKE MURASA WHAT ARE YOU DOING.

STOP SINKING SHIPS AND START THROWING ANCHORS AT MIKOS.

HIMIKO- I'M SORRY BUT REALLY, CHILD WITH SUPER POWERS MAGICALLY SHOWS UP AT X'S DOORSTEP IS NOT A GOOD PLOT MOST OF THE TIME. YOUR SARIEL SEEMS INSANELY LOL GENERIC KID TOO, AND SHINKI AND YUMEKO TAKING CENTER STAGE KIND OF RUINS MOST OF IT'S CHANCE. IT REALLY SEEMS LIKE A POOR SHOT IN GENERAL, AND ESPECIALLY AS AN ORIGIN STORY.

TRIANGLES- BEAUTIFUL. I WOULD ASK FOR YOUR HAND IN MARRIAGE AT THE SHEER MAJESTY OF THE PIECE, BUT MJP WOULD PUNCH ME.

ALSO I LOVE ANOTHER SO IT COULD NEVER BE.

Spoiler:
IN SERIOUSNESS, MADE ME GIGGLE INCESSANTLY, WOULD TROLL OPTION IF IT WASN'T FOR SECT.

ICED- GOD DAMNIT I ALREADY USED THE MARRIAGE JOKE. I DON'T KNOW ANY OTHERS.

IN SERIOUSNESS, I MAY BE INSANELY BIASED TOWARDS YOU BUT JESUS SHIT THIS WAS SPOT ON. IT WAS A SERIOUSLY COMPELLING TALE, TOOK A RELATIVELY BACKGROUND-LESS CHARACTER AND DELIVERED SOMETHING FRESH, EXCITING, AND FUN. YOU GET AN EXCELLENT SENSE OF CHARACTER FOR EVEN THE MINOR CHARACTERS, AND THE ONLY PART I REALLY DISLIKED WAS THE LITTLE KID, BECAUSE WHILE IT DID ADD SOME CHARACTER AND SHOWED YOUKI'S PERSONALITY OFF A BIT...

JESUS SHIT THAT SCENE IS OVERDONE.

CAPTH- I REMEMBER YOU BEING CAPABLE OF WRITING MUCH BETTER. I AM DISAPPOINTED. YOUR NARRATIVE HERE STUMBLES AND REPEATS A LOT, AND YOUR DIALOGUE IS REALLY STINTED AND BLAND AT TIMES. AND GIVEN THE DIALOGUE IS MUCH OF THIS PIECE, IT'S COMPLETELY AWFUL. THERES NO REAL SENSE OF URGENCY AND WHILE IT'S A DECENT PIECE BY VALUE OF NARRATIVE, IT LACKS HEART AND IT LACKS PUNCH. IT'S LIKE A STRUCTURE 100 WITH A 0 IN FLAVOR.

ALSO IT'S EPILOGUE NOT EPILOG. RUSHED SEEMING AND NOT REALLY FUN TO READ.

YOGGY- JESUS WALLS OF TEXT. FORMAT IT BETTER AND MAKE IT A BIT MORE INTERESTING TO READ TO EVEN START WITH. JUST BLOCKS OF TEXT NEVER MAKE GOOD THINGS. ON TOP OF THAT, IT SEEMS MORE LIKE A SINGLE SCENE RATHER THAN A FULL FIC. AN EXTREMELY LONG AND DRAWN OUT SCENE OF THE CLOSING, NOT WHY THINGS WENT LIKE THIS.

CHOJA- I DON'T REALLY HAVE MUCH TO SAY ABOUT YOU BECAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING. IT SEEMED BRIEF AND MORE LIKE AN ADDITION TO THE SMALL ENTRY OF 'MEDICINE WAS THROWN AWAY' THAN AN ACTUAL STORY, AND THE CHARACTERS SEEMED REALLY THROW AWAY AND QUICK. VERY GOOD, BUT NOTHING COMPARED TO STORIES WITH MORE HEART TO THEM, SORRY TO SAY.

SECT- LITERALLY THE ONLY ONE I THOUGHT WAS OUTRIGHT BETTER THAN ICED'S AND IT'S BEAUTIFUL. IT MAY BE CHEATING BECAUSE SHIT THIS THING IS HUGE AND YOU HAD A LOT OF TIME TO WORK ON IT, BUT FRANKLY THIS PIECE WAS EXCELLENT. THE FIRST PART SETS THE BACKGROUND FOR THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE INVOLVED CHARACTERS UP, THE SECOND LEADS INTO THE MAIN EVENT, AND THE THIRD IS JUST

IT'S A HILLARIOUS AND KAGUYA AND MOKOU MAKE THE BEST BUDDYCOPS OH GOD. YOU DO COMEDY AMAZINGLY.

AT THE SAME POINT YOUR PIECE TOOK ITSELF VERY SERIOUSLY AND YOUR PLOT WAS BOTH INTRIGUING AND THE RIGHT BRAND OF CRAZY OH GOD WHAT YOU SOMETIMES SEE IN HORROR FILMS, HAKUTAKU CURSES AND SUCH ETC. IT'S TAKING FEAR OF KEINE'S POWER RIGHT, AND HANDING IT ALSO TO THE RIGHT HANDS TO BE AFRAID AND DO THINGS ABOUT IT.

OVERALL EXCELLENT PIECE.

LIKE SAID, MY JUDGEMENTS WERE SECT WINS, ICED TAKES SECOND, TRIANGLES TAKES THE TRIANGULAR PRIZE.

FRANKLY MOST OF THESE ENTRIES DISAPPOINTED ME BESIDES SECT, SO YEAH. THERES MY CENTS. RABBIT OUT.

Dead Princess Sakana

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  • E is for Elodie, who swims with the fishes.
Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - News Articles
« Reply #976 on: May 12, 2012, 07:40:19 AM »
Well, I was only planning to comment on the one author that inquired,  but since Chao already went and posted a full wall I will give my thoughts from the judging for all entries too:

Zurocha - I'll say you have nice ideas, but you need to think some things through more and work on your writing. Especially the usage of your OC made me frown. It's generally not a good idea to make an OC the central part of an established character's backstory. Also, if you point out you do certain stuff for "authenticity", you should really not have blonde Japanese women in the same scene, it just makes things look silly. And I consider it highly unlikely that a cherry tree would bloom twice within nine months too. Stuff like that ruins the suspension of disbelief one needs for a story.

Guy - Since your Keine had to stand against Sect's, she had a hard time from the start. My main issue with your entry was that I found it hard to follow what was going on at many points. Stuff just happened and happened and it was easy to get lost. Part of that was the mix of present and past narrative that Chaore already pointed to. There was also at least one part where the two narratives repeated information from one another without necessity to do so, you could have saved yourself a paragraphs there.

Phlegth - What Chao said, it's a nice little story, but not an origin story. That's really all, aside from that it was an entertaining little read.

Squid - Contrary to the bunny's view, I really really liked this one. It was my choice for third place after Iced and Sect. I considered this entry to be a very well written interpretation of the events we know about from canon, and I liked the attachment of Murasa to the ship as part of her character.

Himiko - This has the same problem as Phlegth's story in that it doesn't appear to be much of an origin to the character. If anything, it's an origin as to how that character got ino Makai, but we don't learn anything about the character itself. Shinki got the most characterization in your entry, while not being the actual focus of the story.

Triangles - Well worth that IP :V

Iced - My personal favourite. I especially liked that you took the challenge to make an origin story for a character with almost no background and still made it fit in well with the rest of the world. On the other hand, it was also a clever move because that choice of character gave you a lot of freedom to work with. The knowledge of deities and mythology that was made visible in the story is also a plus-point.

Capth - In the same vein as Squid's story you took what we know from canon and tried to flesh it out a bit. The result lacked substance though, and the writing could have been better. What especially stuck out to me was that some of the things that would have been interesting to know were left completely unadressed. For example, why does there always need to be a Yatagarasu, why is it Kanako's job to ensure that and why of all ravens is Utsuho the only choice? Since Utsuho's origin is an ordinary hell raven ascending to something bigger from amongst many of her kind, that should at least have been part of the focus.

Yogg - Not much of an origin, just a little scene. Not much more to say.

Choja - The writing could use some work, but I did like your story quite a bit. It was solid, though not outstanding, so keep at it.

Sect - We can all agree that this was a very good entry, and probably the main reason it didn't come out on top for me but "just" in the top three was because you had to rush it to make the deadline. Had you had the time to write it at your own pace and polish it, this entry would have been most likely undefeatable. But since we didn't get to see it in its final state, I had to judge by what we had. That said, the ideas you used were very entertaining and original, and the characters were done nicely too. I personally found the fairytale-scene to go on for a bit too long considering it was a Keine-story and not a Mokou/Kaguya, but that's neglectable.


capt. h

  • Only sane townie
Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - News Articles
« Reply #977 on: May 12, 2012, 03:30:11 PM »
Kaguya Houraisan is Yukari Yakumo's Grandson

Earlier today, Cirno, ice fairy of the Misty Lake, shocked the world when she released previously undisclosed statements belonging to Yukari Yakumo confessing to grandmothing the well-known princess of the moon Kaguya Houraisan. We decided to go to the source to inquire about this newly discovered impurity in the lunarian capital (denizens of the moon consider youkai impure and would consider a youkai descendant in the royal line scandelous) and the princesses' previously undisclosed sex change.

"Go to hell." The princess declared when pressed for comment. "And I'm keeping the camera."

Following up on this lead, this tengu headed to the former hell, where one Satori Komeiji disclosed her prior relations with the youkai sage. "Yukari Yakumo?" she stated. "I met her right before the sealing of hell. Shifty character, could never quite trust her. I wouldn't be surprised to hear she sired a child in secret, nor that she would do so for the express purpose of interfering with lunarian politics. Still, surely you mean granddaughter?"

When pressed on the subject further, she explained, "Yukari Yakumo is someone who likes scheming for the sake of scheming. It would be shocking for her to have mixed her blood with royalty, but not entirely unexpected considering how she loves to have her hand involved in everything. Even a causal glance at her heart reveals that she's either planned the leadership of every major post in Gensokyo or was annoyed because a group she didn't expect came to power. I see no reason this wouldn't be true for politics in other realms as well. Still, mothering a child seems a tad extreme, who told you that story exactly?"

We managed to reach the Yakumo for comment. "Why yes, I did say that," Yukari Yakumo responded, taking out a script. "This is my grandson. He?s been your rival since you were a baby. ?Erm, what is his name again?... That?s right! I remember now! His *ahem* HER name is KAGUYA." When asked about how Kaguya became a girl, the Yakumo stated "Oh, that? Ufufu... you should ask her about that. It is really none of my buisness what he *ahem* she does to herself."

More on this story as it develops.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2012, 08:20:29 PM by capt. h »

GuyYouMetOnline

  • Surprisingy not smart for lynch dodging
Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - News Articles
« Reply #978 on: May 14, 2012, 01:36:32 AM »
So, news, huh? You know what that means?
 
-----------------------------------------
 
Aya stood facing the camera, which was zoomed in close. Behind her was a large screen with the letters 'AS' displayed.
 
"People of Gensokyo," Aya said, "what I am going to tell you today, I can scarcely believe. Genskoyo's greatest enemy has been right under my nose ever since her arrival. What I am about to tell you will shock you, will make you stare in dibelief. But it's all true. I'm putting my life at risk by telling you this, but it is my job to expose the truth, regardless of personal danger. So be ready, because what you are about to hear will blow your mind."
 
A simple opening graphic and an urgent-sounding theme played. When they were done, the camera had zoomed out to a more normal distance. Aya was standing in front of a pair of chalkboards. Aya stepped over beside one, which had an array of pictures on it.
 
Aya pointed to the center picture. "Kanako Yasaka. Almost everyone in Gensokyo knows who she is. Several years ago, she moved her shrine here to Gensokyo from the outside world. Faith, she claimed, was in short supply outside Gensokyo, necessitating the move. She's made no secret of the fact that she wants faith, but she's a god; she does kind of need it. So I paid it little mind.
 
"Kanako has done much since her arrival. She's unified the tengu and kappa under her, which even I thought was good, as we have indeed been far better off since she came. She gave a hell raven the power of a dead god, the power of nuclear fusion, and used it to begin a new age of technology, including the 'television' you're watching at this very moment. She's even responsible for the freeing of the followers of Byakuren Hijiri, and in turn Hijiri herself, people who are quick to help those in need. And, yes, Kanako's actions have brought her faith. But was that the only purpose behind her actions?
 
"Let's start with Byakuren." Aya drew a line between Kanako's picture and one of Byakuren. "Byakuren was sealed away as a criminal, as were her followers. They were trapped for a thousand years before Kanako's actions resulted in their freedom. They claim it was because they helped both youkai and humans and the humans didn't like that, but I think anyone with a brain knows that's a lie. No humans hate them for it now, after all. So they're hiding something."
 
Aya next drew a line between Kanako and a picture of Utsuho. "The hell-raven next. Or, more specifically, the god she was fed." Aya drew an image of the eye of the Yatagarasu. "The corpse of a dead god. But gods don't die. I'm sad to say that I only recently realized this contradiction in her story. I was interviewing one of the kappa scientists, trying to find out what they're working on now in those labs of theirs, when she let slip that she wondered how a god could die. And she's right. God's don't die; they simply fade from existence when they lack the faith necessary to sustain them. So what happened to the Yatagarasu? People, only one thing could have: Kanako Yasaka. She defeated it, depleted its energy, and fed it to Utsuho before it could recover.
 
"Now, I know what you're thinking. 'Why? Why would she do that?' And it's a good question. The Yatagarasu could easily have powered the nuclear reactor itself, so why feed it to Utsuho? Simple: Kanako needs its power for something it reused to do. But what? And why does she need all that other stuff the kappa are making, like the Hisotensoku? The truth, people, is horrifying but simple: Kanako aims to take over completely. And not just Gensokyo. Gensokyo's size limits the faith she can gather. No, she wants the outside world, too." She paused. "Or so I thought. But the truth is that everything you just heard is a lie. A lie perpetrated by one person, and one person only." She flipped the chalkboard around, pointing to the large picture in the center on the other side of the board. "The legendary 'Prince Shotoku', Toyosatomimi no Miko.
 
"People, Miko is the real threat to Gensokyo. She framed Kanako to keep attention focused away from her. That kappa who pointed out the inconsistency in the Yatagarasu story? A plant, paid of by Miko to throw me off, distract me from the true threat. But don't take my word for it. If you just take what I say as gospel, you're an idiot. Look at the facts."
 
Aya stepped over to the second board, which had pictures of Miko and her followers, as well as one of Byakuren. She pointed to Miko's picture. "Fact: Miko, a follower of Taoism, was responsible for the spread of Buddhism. Which means she's not above big-time deception and manipulation." She pointed to Byakuren's picture. "Fact: Byakuren's supposedly a Buddhist. But fact: we've already established that Byakuren's a liar. And fact: Byakuren's aiding people without any expectation of compensation. That's socialism, and we all know why that's bad."
 
She pointed to a picture of Seiga. "Fact: Seiga Kaku is a wicked hermit. Fact: She was Miko's teacher. Which means, naturally, that Miko was corrupted by Seiga during her education." Aya then indicated the picture of Yoshika, which was below Seiga's. "Fact: Seiga made and commands the jiang-shi Yoshika Miyako. Fact: jiang-shi, being dead bodies, are easily controled, even when leaving the original mind intact. Their bodies can be freely altered to whatever standard one wants. And they can't die, as they're already dead. Not only are they the perfect soldiers, they can make more simply by biting their victims when killing them. An army of jiang-shi could turn the entire world into them, into one person's ideal." She taped a picture of Hitler over the picture of Seiga.
 
"Seiga Kaku is the mastermind," Aya said, "the one behind even Miko's actions. She's working through them, and if she isn't stopped, she'll take over. And I don't want to... to see that..." She fought back tears. "I'm sorry. I promised myself I wouldn't cry, but I... I just love Gensokyo so much, and I don't want to see it lost. So please, people. Don't let Seiga win."
 
-------------------------------------------
 
More Glenn Beck Aya. And this time, there's no denying it fits the contest theme.

Re: Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - News Articles
« Reply #979 on: May 14, 2012, 02:21:24 AM »
In the middle of writing this, I had the sudden idea of Akyuu doing a "Rest of the Story" segment with somewhat skewed facts. orz



-and her decapitated head was found in the elevator shaft. Authorities are currently questioning why the princess installed an elevator in the first place, since Eientei is a two story building. GPR News will follow this story as details emerge.

Top story: The riot at last night's concert was quelled by peace keeping officials, but only after the concert was completely disrupted and property was damaged. Initial reports were confused as to the cause of the riot, but GPR News managed to construct an accurate accounting.

Last night was the first scheduled performance of the new punk rock group "Choujuu Gigaku". They had been conducting impromptu concerts late at night over the last month, disturbing the peace and rest of the Human Village. Village representative Keine Kamishirasawa headbutted the two youkai, citing that the noisiness was keeping everyone awake and riling up youkai. She then helped the two band members organize a concert further away from the village, closer to Youkai Mountain. Many youkai attended, as well as several young humans, and creatures from Youkai Mountain attended as well, attracted by the loud sounds.

It seemed that the choice of venue for the concert was poorly situated, though, since the sounds of the youkai's "singing" entered a cavern and ended up attracting the notice of many underground youkai. Many oni ended up emerging from the caves and joining the concert. An interviewed oni stated that "we heard there was a ruckus going on, so we invited ourselves!"

An hour after the oni arrived to the concert, the riot began. Reports are unsure what was the cause of the riot, though many of the witnesses blame the oni for causing the riot. The most prominent story reported as to why the oni started the riot was because concession vendors had ran out of "good" liquor and only had beers from the land known as "Rice Country". The oni, enraged by the foul tasting alcohol, ended up charging into the crowd and started a brawl. Other reports include the oni being served beans, kappa claiming that the oni were "rock humping liars", and someone casually suggesting in the presence of a group of oni that legendary figure Momotarou "was a pretty cool guy". The black dressed youkai running concessions that night denied all of the stories, though she could not offer a reason why the oni rioted due to a medical condition that caused her to giggle spontaneously.

GPR News interviewed a prominent oni at her temporary residence in Bhava-Agra to get their side of the story.

"No no no! You got it all wrong! See, what really happened - oh, your cup is empty, here ya go - what really happened is that those guys were getting real pumped by those girls, ya know? It was a real good party, really noisy and all that. So, what they did was - hey now, it's empty again, drink up - they decided they wanted to dance, but there was too many people, yanno? So, so w- I mean they - woah, you're suckin' it down, have some more! - so they decided they wanted to do this human dance that they do at parties and such. I think they called it a, uh... 'mosh pit'?"

Our GPR News correspondent was unable to continue the interview at that time, due to memory problems and headaches.

A tengu news agency had a different spin on the concert, though.

"Sure, the oni were the ones who started the mess, but it wasn't their fault! You know who was responsible? That band, 'Chou Anigakuki' or whatever it was. They were really pushing the bounds of youkai decency, much less human decency! That puppy eared girl was shouting the most vulgar and inciteful things, and then the sparrow girl joined her, gettin' all close to her and all! That's when the two of them started doing lavicious things to each other, right on stage! Dancing and rubbing and touching and even more crude things! No wonder those oni rioted, what with their blood boiling!

"That's why people have to not watch that band perform! They're a completely unwholesome duo! Not safe for work or family, not like the Prismriver Band, no sir! That there is a good, wholesome band with good music and songs, not like that trouble starting bunch of shrieking hoodlums. Just think of the children!"

"Choujuu Gigaku" band member Mystia Lorelei, who is a local shop owner, had this to say in response:

"Give me a break. So what if some girls got riled up at the concert? They had a lot of fun, didn't they? No need to lie about me and Kyouko. I mean, they're tengu, they're the biggest horndogs around! Also, the Prismrivers are a bunch of hacks."

Her partner, Buddhist nun and groundskeeper Kyouko Yasodani, echoed Miss Lorelei's sentiments.

No matter the cause of the riots, it shook the landscape until peace keeping elements came and neutralized everyone with danmaku. Even the ones not fighting. No official press release has been given thus far by the youkai exterminator responsible. Sources close to the person in question indicate that the exterminator was "irritated about the youkai causing a noise while she was trying to sleep" and that she "wanted the youkai off her lawn" so that she could "feed all the cats she had collected since she'd never get a-". The source was then pursued by a giant yin-yang orb.

Gensokyo Public Radio will return after these messages...
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 02:26:03 AM by Religion »

Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - News Articles
« Reply #980 on: May 14, 2012, 04:06:08 AM »
Eh, this topic is one of my many weak points. Still, I should get back into the habit of writing.
Aya?s news story practically writes itself.

Something Jagged This Way Comes

 

Love Spat between Witches Results in Arboreal Devastation
==
Approximately one hour after dusk two days ago, a massive explosion occurred in the Forest of Magic. Kappa observers estimate an energy release of about 50 gigajoules (about 4.5 billion jo-kan for the traditionalists out there) or 50 times the energy release of the average lightning bolt. As the source of the explosion was obscured by a bright flare, 50 concurrent bolts of lightning were an early hypothesis put forth by observers.
Heaven has remained silent on this matter, though the precedent of Iku Nagae has established the possibility of such weather manipulation. The potential for manipulation of Gensokyo?s politics through plausibly deniable weather manipulation cannot be ignored. It is the duty of every self-respecting and self-preserving Tengu to maintain a higher level of vigilance in weather observation and forecasting.

However, further investigation by yours truly has ruled out the possibility of (direct) nefarious Heavenly manipulation in this affair. Instead, the sordid (and torrid) affair can be traced directly to none other than the loose morals of two of the most infamous residents of the Forest of Magic.

A certain Kawashiro Nitori has approximated the center of the blast zone. Unsurprisingly, the explosion was centered a the home of none other than Kirisame Marisa, the mercenary ?incident solver? who, as many of you have personally witnessed, is a criminal and consummate liar, and has been charged by the authorities of the mountain with unlawful entry, blasphemy, impiety, unprovoked assault of public workers, and littering. Other jurisdictions have compiled a long list of larcenies, both covert and violent, as well as a general disregard of the well-being of others. Though the new gods of the mountain have found it within their vast generosity to permanently offer their protection to their ?guest?, it is only a matter of time before this troublemaker runs out of favor.

Anyhow, this Kirisame Marisa is also well-known for womanizing and general ribaldries. She has extended her repugnant affections towards a great number of figures, including Hakurei Reimu, Flandre Scarlet, Kazami Yuuka, Yakumo Yukari, the aforementioned Kawashiro Nitori and many others.

Among this large group, two notables, against better judgment, have taken a course of action that is not the sensible firm rejection followed by judicious application of extreme force. One is Alice Margatroid, an immigrant magician and dollmaker, the other infamous resident of the Forest of magic. The other is Patchouli Knowledge, librarian of the Scarlet Devil Manse. The case of Alice Margatroid is understandable if not forgivable; there are many rumors surrounding her specialty of dollmaking, and her close ties to Makai royalty have frightened away collaborators and suitors. Kirisame Marisa is one of the few people who, unlike the right-minded majority, are not unnerved by Miss Margatroid?s unrelenting pursuit of producing a living doll and the blasphemous experiments in the divine secrets of sapience, sentience, and soul necessary in such an endeavor. The two appear to be emotionally close, and it is conceivable that, in her desperate loneliness, Miss Margatroid has become attached to her neighbor. This attachment may have been enough to prompt violent jealousy of the magnitude witnessed.

Patchouli Knowledge, on the other hand, has no such excuse. As a resident of the Scarlet Devil Manse, this ?Librarian? likely enjoys considerable respect in mage society. The power of her sponsors, the Scarlet siblings, is near-guarantee that she will never be wanting for materials or companionship, and her employment of a succubus (insistently misidentified as a ?minor devil?) as an assistant seems to be ample assurance that she does not lack other forms of ?companionship?. Her on-off collaboration with Kirisame Marisa would be understandable if she were seeking asylum from those hostile to her work; instead, she has gone as far as to extend personal invitation to the aforementioned ?ordinary witch?, despite the fact that the library of the Scarlet Devil Mansion has been robbed multiple times by Miss Kirisame. The residents of the Scarlet Devil Manse have refused to comment on this matter. Attempts at interviewing said librarian have resulted in threats of bodily harm from the gatekeeper, maid, mistress of the house, and the librarian herself.

Within the charred remains of the forest within the blast radius, books from the library of Miss Knowledge and a number of dolls (in varying condition) of Miss Margatroid?s make have been found and conclusively identified by their owners. It appears that the explosion may have been caused by either unseen interaction between the magical constructs of these two magicians (unlikely) or ?experimentation? by Miss Kirisame (more likely), but the most plausible scenario appears to be a power struggle between the two Youkai magicians over the affections of Miss Kirisame. The myriad magical devices found in the blast radius could have been a number of surveillance and combat implements passed on to the thief in the form of gifts or intentionally unguarded items.

Miss Alice Margatroid was available for an interview yesterday. She has denied allegations of intimate relations with Miss Kirisame and maintains that she was ?not even tangentially involved? in the explosion and has advanced the opinion that ?such catastrophes are inevitable, considering that Marisa plays fast and loose with all of her magical experiments?.

Nearing the center of the explosion, strange ?stone? similar to mortar and large quantities of low-grade steel and iron have been found. The metal appears unsuitable for weaponry but is obviously artificial. Odd tubes have been identified as ?piping? by a number of Kappa, and the shrine maiden of the wind shrine has shown familiarity with these materials, mentioning ?PVC? , ?Concrete?, and ?Rebar?.

Kirisame Marisa and a sizeable number of items that were once stored in her house are nowhere to be found, to the great sorrow of her many victims.

Alice's journal excerpt (later delivered to Patchouli Knowledge, the Hakurei Shrine, and the House of Yakumo by one-use solid-fuel rocket doll)
===
Marisa's house exploded today.

I cannot sense her aura.

I believe it is safe to assume that that she is gone.

The area tastes of death; the color of magic is alternately antiseptic white and pitch black. I do not know the cause, but this appears to be some sort of magical "decay". Thankfully, it is receding.

There are artifacts scattered around the blast zone. They are wonderful. They are terrific. They are hence horrifying. The flora of the forest dies around them, but some species survive. Decay travels with little rhyme or reason.

I suggest and investigation. Whatever decay has occurred has stopped for now. I shall keep you updated.


Excerpt of Scarlet Devil Mansion Library internal report, authored by Koakuma (later delivered to Alice Matrigold and Kawashiro Nitori)
===
Anyhow, instruments caught a large magical spike this evening lasting about 1.5 seconds. There were two major anomalities:
1. The spike was not followed by ordinary dissipation, despite the fact that there was no buildup period beforehand, ruling out most dimensional travel spells. Moreover, the spike was of an absurd magnitude; instrument error was initially believed to be responsible.
2. The spike was concurrent with a fluctuation of ambient magic exactly opposite of the location of the burst. Cursory analysis shows that the pattern of fluctuations are roughly consistent with that predicted by fluid model of magic and Navier-Stokes equations, with the spike as a point source.

About half a minute afterwards, there was a flash of light, followed by a loud boom. This was likely observed by most of Gensokyo. In light of the magical anomalies, I would like to suggest further investigation.

"Reimuuu...."

Hakurei Reimu did not expect Yakumo Yukari to arrive so late. Her earlier trials have shown that said eight-clouded sage took disruptions in the Great Hakurei Border with an immediacy reminiscent of personal pain. There was more or less one reason why such a large fluctuation did not prompt an abduction and a campaign..

"What did you do to the border this time? Are you going incontinent, as it befits your age?" snapped Reimu. The comment on age might have been unwarranted, but so was Yukari's decision to "snap" the border with an intensity that left Reimu dry-retching for a terrifying five seconds before a late dinner.

"Oh? You felt it too? My, Reimu, you grow apace."

Reimu did a double take and, deciding that knowledge was power, asked incredulously, "Wait, it wasn't you?"

Yukari smiled and tittered before responding, "Why, you know I wouldn't do something that would upset your precious little stomach without telling you first, right?"

A dirty glare was the response. Yukari continued as if nothing occured.

"What happened? A little frog jumped out of its well."


Tokyo-II University Times
===
Mysterious Explosion in Residential Areas, No Injuries

Yesterday night, an explosion occurred, apparently centered on the apartment of Maribel Hearn. Despite an explosion consistent with that of military-grade plastic explosives, Miss Hearn and her guest Renko Usami were unharmed. A third person, identified as Marisa Kirisame by Miss Hearn and Usami, was found on the lawn outside the apartment. The two inside report Miss Kirisame being thrown out the window of the apartment before the explosion.

Miss Kirisame was miraculously uninjured, despite the presence of a noticeable impact crater around her. She carries with her documentation that claims that she is a  student from the United States spending a year in Tokyo-II university, but no staff recognize her despite clear records of her presence in the student information systems. Further investigation is pending.

The six adjacent apartments were damaged, but their residents were not present and hence physically unharmed. Coincidentally, the computers (laptops/desktops) of those caught in the explosion were unharmed due to their locations in the affected apartments.
« Last Edit: May 14, 2012, 09:33:43 AM by LogosOfJ »

GuyYouMetOnline

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Re: Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - News Articles
« Reply #981 on: May 14, 2012, 07:07:11 AM »
Her partner, Buddhist nun and groundskeeper Kyouko Yasodani, echoed Miss Lorelei's sentiments.

*Insert loudest groan in the world here*

Iced Fairy

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Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - News Articles
« Reply #982 on: May 14, 2012, 07:08:28 AM »
Judgement

With the reversion to simpler judging we can bring you the results quicker.  And since I'm a judge instead of a contestant I can comment on matters without pointing out how much more awesome I am, because I'm the strongest.  So let us begin!

While I am sad to not see Akyuu's news real on the "youkai menace," we had some solid entrants this time.  Still in the end the Pulitzer only goes to one Tengu.  And this time, that tengu is....

LogosOfJ you matched the douchebag Aya reporting style fairly well, but the add ons were what sealed the deal.  A very nice followup, and the differences in styles was excellent.  You deserve the wordsmith title.  Sect you had a strong second with your article.  Some of the bounces in explanations could have been smoothed a bit but all in all it was good for a chuckle.

Guy you had a perfect Glenn Beck, but satire must reach above and beyond it's source material.  It's especially hard given you don't have access to the visuals, but I think with a push in higher absurdity you could've make that a much stronger work.  Raikaria, you had a good concept, but you would have been better served by putting it in script form or straight QA interview style.  If you had quotes you could have expanded the stories personality a lot more, as it is there's not much story to it.  Similarly Santora, your ideas were weakened by a slip in writing.  Your introduction of Mima broke flow badly, and I'm afraid that really broke up your story. 

And because I know it'll be commented on if I skip it, Capth, your story had no story.

And thus the news articles are finished.  In addition, since this thread is wandering towards 1000 posts, soon it shall be finished, ready to be packed up and shipped to KGB.  Which brings me to our next topic.

Endings

Every sixty years, the purple cherry blossoms bloom then rain down, signifying the death and rebirth of the world.  This contest is about something coming to an end.  A meal, an era, a dream, a fight, a song, a life.  The tallest mountain or a single blossom.  All of these things are acceptable subjects.  Writers, tell us what happens here at the end of this thread.

Ah yes, the ending for this contest is within two weeks.  The 27th.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2012, 05:41:32 AM by Iced Fairy »

GuyYouMetOnline

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Re: Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - Endings
« Reply #983 on: May 14, 2012, 08:54:37 PM »
Guy you had a perfect Glenn Beck, but satire must reach above and beyond it's source material.  It's especially hard given you don't have access to the visuals, but I think with a push in higher absurdity you could've make that a much stronger work.

Check out the one she does in Orphan. My first Glenn Beck Aya scene, and in my opinion, easily the best. I think the one for the Facebook challenge was better than this one, too. It just gets harder every time I do it. There's no way Glenn Beck could keep coming up with all that shit unless he's genuinely that crazy.

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Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - News Articles
« Reply #984 on: May 18, 2012, 06:26:51 AM »
Similarly Santora, your ideas were weakened by a slip in writing.  Your introduction of Mima broke flow badly, and I'm afraid that really broke up your story. 

I agree, I felt a little off writing Mima's part, but I shrugged it off as paranoia xD. 




?Every sixty years there?s a great surge in flowers,? an elderly looking woman in red was speaking and beside her was another elderly woman in green and behind them were there children.  ?Last time we were caught off guard and went randomly attacking everything.  But this time we knew better.  Let?s set back and enjoy it.  May this be a start of grand tradition!?  She smiled weakly and everyone cheered.

?Take it off!? a witch yelled from the audience and everyone laughed.

?Master?? I turned and saw a lunar rabbit with long purple hair holding out a sake dish.

?Remember where these flowers came from,? Yamaxanadu was on stage and started speaking.

?Here comes a long winded lecture,? Yukari said beside me.  I shushed her.

?No long winded lecture this time.  Just a reminder, to slow down and do good.  And as long as you have those you care about near you, everything will be all right.?

I looked around at all the smiling faces surrounding me and the beautiful country side that full of life.  This is a moment I could never forget.

* * *

I?m old; I?ve lived a very long time.  I?ve watched fish crawl out of the ocean and develop and change the face of this planet to their own liking three times.  Call me nostalgic, but the first ones really were the best.  Humans they were called, and I was among them for a brief time.  They almost brought about the end of this planet many times near the end, but eventually they became bored and moved on to the far expanses of space.  Not everyone could go of course, and the few that stayed lasted a few hundred generations, but they were replaced by an even crazier species that evolved from birds.

Now those birds did some truly stupid things with this planet.  Even at their worst, the humans didn?t even come close to what those birds did in just five thousand years.  And many generations later, these lizards showed up.  The birds and lizards fought for control and there was this cataclysm.  Sad to say, we were powerless to stop it and The Earth has become uninhabitable.  Only those of us who exist outside the mortal boundaries exist.  I?m Eirin Yagokoro and this is the last day of Earth.

?It?s so hot, I could almost die,? I turned around and bubbily pink haired figure floating towards me.

?So this is it?? another voice behind her spoke up.  We turned and saw no one.  ?Boo,? a voice whispered in my ear.

?Yakamo!  Grow up!? I yelled pushing her away.

?Hehehe, after all this time, I still got it,? Yukari smirked.

?So this is where you all are,? the last survivor showed up.  She was the smallest person of our group, Yamaxanadu.  ?Why here??

?This spot is special,? Yukari said. 

It's true, all those millennia ago, on this spot there stood a shrine.  In the grand scheme of things, it didn?t last that long.  Memories are funny, no matter how much time passes I could never forget the time spent in Gensokyo.  A slight smile escaped my lips.

?Oh, what are you smiling about?? Yuyuko asked.

?Just thinking about a long time ago,? I sighed. 

?I repeat, so this is it?? Yukari said again.

?Yes, my boss said we only have three hours before he comes and reaps the planet,? Yamaxanadu said.

We all looked at each other and nodded, ?Three hours,? we all repeated.  Yukari summoned a gap and produced three large beers.

?Something I?ve been curious about,? Yuyuko said and turned her attention to me.  ?Where is your princess??

?Hm?  She made amends with the other Lunarians and left when they did,? I said.

?You didn?t go?? Yamaxanadu asked.

?And leave these two unsupervised,? I thumbed at Yuyuko and Yukari.

?Moi?? Yukari asked in an overly exaggerated voice.

?Especially you, you?re the reason the lunarians left in the first place and almost destroyed the world,? I glared at her. I looked up at the sky.  Surprisingly the moon was still there.  But it was now the barren wasteland it always looked like.  Just like the planet it orbits.

?Hey, I only knocked the moon out of orbit a little bit,? she said and held up her thumb and index finger.

?But what would it matter if she destroyed the world if you were gone?? Yuyuko asked.

?I?ve invested a lot into this planet, and why didn?t you two leave?? I asked.

?Well at the time I was still bound by the Saigyou Ayakashi,? Yuyuko said.

?And I can?t leave without my buddy,? Yukari said putting her arm around Yuyuko.

?What about now,? Yamaxanadu asked.  ?You know, my boss can easily move you anywhere you want.?

We all looked at each other and shook our heads, ?No thank you.?

?We?re going to see this through to the end,? I said.

?The end,? Yukari started, ?brought about because these two species could not cooperate and share the planet.  They were always trying to one up the other.  The one polluted the water so in turn the other polluted the sky.  When that surprisingly backfired, they attacked the only thing left.  The sun.?

?This planet could have gone another couple millions of years if not for that,? I grumbled.

?Millions of years,? Yuyuko started thinking, ?Say when was the last time we were all together in this spot?? Yuyuko asked.

?If I recall, it was at a flower viewing,? I said and closed my eyes.

?I remember that flower viewing now,? Yamaxanadu said.

?Everything is all right,? I said.

Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - Endings
« Reply #985 on: May 28, 2012, 07:26:23 AM »
Accursed school trips... This was written in less than 2 hours while ill with dysentery. Hence the drabble-ish, low key bombast as opposed to my usual sweeping, operatic bombast.

Initial concept ripped directly from inspired by A New World series by IcedFairy. Dialogue heavily influenced by Immortal Defense.


Philemon's Love
==
Two women stood at the torii of a small shrine opposite a third.

The two women could have hardly been more different in appearance. One was garbed in the robes of a shrine maiden, and stood steadily on a pair of geta. Her face and skin were wrinkled, but her hands did not tremble. One wielded a gohei with practiced ease, while the other tightly gripped an intricate tsurugi.

The other was a tangle of metal that, against expectations, retained for now vaguely human form. The few visible patches of flesh were pale and turgid, simultaneously reminiscent of infants and corpses. The metal woman was garbed in a short-sleeved shirt and pants. In one hand rested an octagonal furnace, the wielder's long-serving hakkero. The other hand grasped a weapon more exotic still, a device of a design from the Outside World, an exploitation of harsh, uncaring rules that flung bits of metal at impressive speeds.

The third woman was outwardly young, and carried herself almost carelessly. She was garbed in white and purple, and her only armament was a folding fan of cloth and wood. Her eldritch nature was heralded by her seat, a toothless mouth teeming with eyes and arms. As she spoke, she made sweeping gestures, finally deciding to point to the sky.

"My dear friends, do not you see? The age of humans has ended."

The third woman pointed, first at the geriatric shrine maiden, then at the clockwork woman, who hissed and clicked as she first crumbled and then burrowed into the ground, growing and churning.

The shrine maiden glowed, and screamed as she became a god.
==
Disgusting.

Such creatures are only disgusting.

They are less than chattel, little more than belief-fodder, incapable of questioning, incapable of invention, incapable of anything other than prostration. Agriculture is a miracle to be preserved; writing has become little more than another ritual carried out by the priesthood. Only after a century of their slow, stubborn decline did I realize the importance of renewal, of the loud and destructive but novel stirrings.

The potential to achieve godhood is, as far as ascertainable, intrinsic to aspects fundamental to humanity.

These beings are less than pathetic, strange proto-monsters.

And I must rule them.

I am imprisoned here, doomed to jump from vessel to vessel as some Great Ghost, to ordain the birth of another human from the wombs of fettered grotesques. My sentence for attempting to die for my people is to live on, witnessing their shells mime them.

Once, just once, for a few short decades, one maid turned back the clock, and granted to me some degree of hope. And yet I was still a god, and I did not die before the end.

Other gods whisper to me, but their time as objects of worship to these inferior beings has made them crass and simple.

One fellow, whom I dare not call a god, is perhaps the only unconquered pillar of humanity. What irony that she is least human of us all. A grave-tree, if you will, a memorial that already looms vast and ineffable above what it commemorates. She is my light, the last shining beacon outside my barren dominion, the last star that a god of light can dare to embrace.

Why..... Am I alone?

Why..... Is this not an attractor?.... Why.... do not others..... achieve the same.....

Did she really..... have..... Did she really.... want..... Stillness and Movement?
==

The Sage of Eight Clouds sighed as she sipped her tea, attended by her three servants. She smiled at her two guests and the entourage of spirits that floated behind them.

The newer spirits were of considerably lower quality, and were so similar to each other that they might have been shavings of one great ghost, scattered through space and time. The second of her guests, servant of the first, would, as a hobby, form artificial spirits from incoming ones. A menagerie of her creations followed her, ranging from those in the mold of the Old Dead to shapes that would have been fantastic to anyone but the mistress of boundaries.

Looking at those shapes, the Sage recalled the past, where soulless beings strove unerringly to create their own magic, create life beyond the limits of soul and will. She recalled the ardor with which they coveted possibilities, sprouting new branches with alarming frequency.

Isolation is not enough for a garden. Good grooming is also necessary. A few snips, a few grafts, and an unruly bush is revealed as the hedge it is willed to be. Small grains of sand and the proper concoctions produce cysts and knots and other features that interrupt monotony in bonsai, producing pleasing whorls at the cost of the occasional canker.

Perhaps it did not have to be this way. It is certainly less exciting, even though the same motions are made. Victory without struggle is hardly entertaining.
« Last Edit: June 03, 2012, 02:48:24 PM by LogosOfJ »

Iced Fairy

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Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - Endings
« Reply #986 on: May 28, 2012, 04:03:13 PM »
Well I was going to do this anyway, but I got called away until very very early, so I'm a little late on the announcement.

Deadline extension: One week.

Thanks to our two entrants who were on time, and know you two that you may edit and alter your works in the extra week.

Nobu

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Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - Endings
« Reply #987 on: June 01, 2012, 07:51:35 AM »

Foreword:
In my headcanon I always envisioned Suwako as the least na?ve of the Moriya shrine group, on account of having ruled a thriving kingdom for so long. Sure, Kanako is taller and has larger endowment, but what is physical form to goddesses aside from personal preference? Using one?s eyes to measure maturity in goddesses is a fickle science. Which is probably why I also have the tendency to like the ?wizened loli? types, haha. If a god chose to walk amongst humans, wouldn?t a form like Suwako?s be the humbler of the two? Those big breasted immortals have something to prove! P:

This is probably also why my headcanon places Suwako as the dominant submissive of the pair. She enjoys being along for the ride, but only lets someone she trusts behind the wheel. But now maybe I?m saying too much.

This is a short short story. I tried making this chock full of complexities (or perhaps better put, I was in the mood for a complex piece), but it might just be disjointed and confusing. I?m not quite sure. It looks good in my head I guess! Haha.

This is also a love story. Probably.




Aurora of Perspective


?Are you sure about this, Moriya-sama??

?Not at all, but I see no other option. Does your foresight see beyond my own??

**************************************

The aged sun blanketed the fields of gold with warmth. The rivers, once sapphires, glittered as rubies under the dazzling light of midday.

Today was a day like any other, a day like no other. Gone were the hands that tilled the soil, reduced to warm bodies that scattered the landscape like a hailstorm moments passed. This scene was brought about by natural causes. Earth, wind, and rain had buffeted the landscape moments prior, the sky and heavens lit ablaze in the cataclysm of war.

Yet at the vantage point of Suwa of Moriya, the lightly upturned soil that filled her vision seemed almost peaceful. Fat trickles of sweat beaded down her neck and rolled down to splat on the earth in front of her. While a goddess had no need to sweat, Suwa had grown accustomed to human nature and relished such small reminders of a shared humanity. The sting of sweat in her eyes served as a passive reminder not to forget the lives that had been lost that day.

Or was it weeks? This was the first time since the war started that Suwa no Hime, god of earth and mountains, had stopped to consider time. For an immortal, time is what she has found to separate god from mortal the most. Any stretch of time was a drop in the bucket to her celestial timeline, and in that stretch thousands of drops were lost into the great river and contributed to its crimson hue. Blood was the mortal sign that she chose not to shed. Sweat, to her, was an acceptable humble feature to don. Souls can be taxed, regardless of the vessel.

But what do immortals know about death?

In a moment?s eternity, Suwa-no-hime lifted her head skyward. Taking hold of the outstretched hand, she meekly accepted her fate.

**********************

Today, the sky grew restless. The sun burned high in the sky like any other day. The teeming lake was the color of emeralds.

Kanako cleared her throat. ?Hey, Suwako.?

Suwako turned away from the lake?s reflection to address the fellow goddess, curious at the hint of tension in Kanako?s voice. ?What?s up? Something bothering you??

?I?ve been thinking.?

?Uh-oh. Are you planning on raising rent again? I thought I made last month?s payment on time..? Suwako feigned genuine distress.

 ?No, it?s nothing like that! I was thinking about.. before.?

?Yes?? Suwako swiveled to face Kanako, feet and palm squarely placed on the earth. The mountain goddess leaned forward in full attention, gaze directed upward through the wisps of bangs into the sky goddess?s downturned face. She could taste the rivulets of tension in the air on her tongue, a familiar taste reminiscent of an older time.

Kanako stared into her eyes, and her soul fell right in.

**********

The gaze of an infinite being is not to be taken lightly. Eyes are a window into the soul, and a god?s pupil the window to a cosmos. To a mortal?s limited perspective, a deity?s eyes are iridescent displays of ever-changing color. Suwako?s eyes were typically a rolling cascade of earthy hues, but this time distinct red regions roiled at the edges and flecked the outskirts of her blue irises. Then purple. When Kanako saw her own face staring down at her reflected in the abyss, she finally broke her gaze.

******

The sun bore low in the horizon. The sound of wind chimes drifted in the slow breeze to Kanako?s ears, signaling evening.

Suwako was the first to speak.

?I do not blame you any more than I blame the stars and sky, the wind and earth, nor the lakes and streams. When we bear the trappings of mortals, we participate vicariously in their cycles.? Suwa began to trace a circle in the air with an index finger, outlining the onibashira on Kanako?s back.

?Life and death. Rise and fall. We are infinite beings, but we choose to perch on the same vistas that humans do, do we not?? Suwako looked to Kanako for an answer.

?Well, yes.. but..? Before Kanako could finish her thought, Suwako pressed on.

?What can we do aside from live on? Where does blame enter the picture? You come to me with a heavy heart, Yasaka Kanako. And a heavy chest to boot.? Suwako piped. 

Kanako twitched visibly at that remark, but was not in the mood to retort in her usual fashion. Her head drooped.

?Aww, did I go too far there? Cheer up Kana-chan, It?s almost dinner! Sanae will be coming around clanging that infernal triangle she scavenged any minute now! Who taught her that, anyway?? Suwako rose to her feet and brushed her knees off, and stretched a hand out to the fellow goddess.

Kanako took the outstretched hand in her own. This time, it was Suwako who gave the reassuring squeeze.

The gesture was not lost on Kanako, her mind still caught in the throes of millennia past.

Her heart stirred. A seed planted.

With every end, there is a new beginning.

*
« Last Edit: June 01, 2012, 08:53:25 PM by Nobu~ko »
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Iced Fairy

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Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - Endings
« Reply #988 on: June 01, 2012, 09:25:33 PM »
Come on you lot, there's 8 posts left in this thread and I want them to be filled with fics!

Those of you who are already done can have complementary strawberry ice cream.

capt. h

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Re: Weekly Writing Challenge! - Endings
« Reply #989 on: June 03, 2012, 02:07:18 AM »
It?s dark. I can?t see anything at all, so I make to get up and *bump* my head on something hard. I tap the ground ? wood. I tap the awfully low ceiling ? wood. I make to roll over and find wood again. So I?m stuck in a stuffy little wooden box. I summon a flame. No exits. Great. I?m stuck in a coffin, aren?t I?

How? How the hell did I get buried alive? Let?s see? Battle with neet, she smack talks me, I smack talk back, we kill each other, towards the end I get jabbed with a needle, rip it out, stab her with it, get my heart blasted out? then? nothing. Then I wake up in here.

Goddamn it. She poisoned me, didn?t she. Damn moon princess. Though I gotta say, I've never seen a poison this strong.

Well, time to get out of here. I blast through the top of the coffin, and get rewarded with a mouth full of dirt. Dirt, for the uninitiated, tastes like rocks mixed with an itty bit of feces, not something pleasant to have in your mouth. I?m six feet down, aren?t I? I wind up half clawing, half blasting my way through the grime. I swear I must have choked to death twice on the filth before I felt my hand break through. I pull myself up to my shoulders, and who do I find but the damn neet?s doctor.

She stares at me for a full minute before she decides to help me up.  As we both worked on getting me out I had to ask, ?What the hell did you cook up??

?I believed it was a cure to immortality,? The nurse explains. ?It seems my hypothesis was mistaken.?

?Thanks for helping me up doc.? I say. Then I deck her. ?Don?t make any more dangerous crap like that. You could have killed me. So tell me doc, what brings you out to this?? I glance around. Tombstones. Lots of tombstones. ?cemetery.?

?Well, you pricked the princess in your battle, and you see...? Eirin trails off. I glance at the tombstone next to mine.

HERE LIES KAGUYA HOURAISAN

I buckle over laughing. ?You better start digging. The neet must be furious.?
« Last Edit: June 03, 2012, 04:23:20 AM by capt. h »