Author Topic: Immortality  (Read 4382 times)


« on: July 08, 2009, 01:40:57 PM »
The topiaries of the Imperial Palace are always stunning, no matter how often you visit. The trees and shrubs are guided carefully by hand and shear, ensuring that the plant grows the way the gardener wants it naturally. Recently, I had taken a liking to the royal gardens, and ordered my servants to let me be while I was in the gardens. It was the only time when I felt free and happy.

The easily most interesting plant in the royal gardens is the udonge plant. I've seen them, twisted and pitiful, growing in the fields outside the capital, but I never had a chance to examine them closely. The plant is a strange one. Have you heard its story?

The udonge plant spends most of its time barren. Every thousand years or so, it would bloom, bearing multicoloured fruit, each shining brightly like the purest of jewels. A sprig of a flowered udonge plant was preserved in the royal gardens, and I would admire its beauty. I would sit under the yew trees, listening to the soft bubbling of the ponds. It was a change from the stuffiness of palace life, where protocol and etiquette was hammered into the brain.

The gardens are also special for a reason: it is where I first met my dearest friend, Eirin Yagokoro.

I was in the gardens again by myself when I had spotted someone else in the gardens. Typically, when I visited the gardens, the commoners were nowhere to be seen. Curious, I went over to see who the person was.

The person was a silver haired woman, with her long braid ending near her posterior. Her clothing was a curious one, being split into red and blue on her blouse, which were also decorated with constellations and the position of the colours flipped on her skirt. There were some trigrams on the hem of her skirt, although I never paid much attention to their shape. She was examining some potted plants and taking notes on them.

"Hey, who're you?" I demanded.

The woman was surprised, although she did not show it physically. She simply spun towards me and then knelt before me.

"Pardon me for not noticing you, princess Kaguya." she said. "I head the health department in the palace."

"I mean, what's your name." I would have let her carry on with her duties if it was another person, but something about her intrigued me greatly. There was something really special about her, and I wanted to find out what it was.

Now her surprise really did show on her face, though for the briefest of seconds. "My Eirin Yagokoro, princess."

The Yagokoros? I had heard of them - they were a famous family of medicinal geniuses who had served the royal family for as long as history can be recorded. I had even heard that the Eirin Yagokoro, the woman kneeling before me, was instrumental in the establishment of the Lunar Capital!

But I was young and proud. I did not realise the importance of the person before me - I just thought that she was below me. So I asked her what she did in the health department, and she answered me honestly, that she oversaw the operations of the health department, and would also take care of the more mundane affairs of the department such as inspecting the quality of the medicinal herbs that grew in the royal gardens, as the condition of the plants was very important when using them as ingredients for medicine. Even the slightest change in its quality could dramatically change its effect.

The talk about medicine reminded me of something. An elixir of immortality, something only the best of alchemists could create that granted eternal life.

The Hourai Elixir.

On a whim, I asked her. "Can you make the Hourai Elixir?"

Startled by the question, she nevertheless replied. "Yes...I can, but it is very difficult to make, even with the apparatus that I have at hand."

"I don't wanna hear that. Can you make it or not?" I folded my arms.

"Well, the udonge plant has borne fruit, so yes, I will be able to brew it."

"Then, make the Hourai Elixir for me. I want to drink it."

Eirin did. She did so unquestioningly, and in the end the Elixir was produced. But that's a really boring way of putting it, don't you think?

"How is it?" I asked her. It had been a few weeks since I had first told her to make the Hourai Elixir for me, and I was growing impatient. Still, what was a few weeks of waiting compared to an infinite lifetime?

"It's nearly done, princess. The potion only needs a few more hours to stew, then it would be matured." She said, closing the lid of the bubbling cauldron. I hadn't seen the insides of the cauldron, but since it was the elixir of life, it should be impressive!

"That's good. Call me when you're done." I was already heading out of the room when she asked me this question.

"Princess Kaguya...why do you want the Hourai Elixir?"

I turned to face her. "Hn? Is immortality not a good enough answer for you?"

"That's not it, princess. We Lunarians do not die of natural causes as the impurity that has tainted the land under us has not extended here. What's more, the punishment for consuming the Hourai Elixir is severe...not even you will be let off easily."

"You've thought it over, huh. Well, then, I'll indulge you. There has been a spate of murders in the royal palace, hasn't there?"

"Yes, princess..."

"I know that we cannot die of natural causes. However, it looks like dagger and poison affects us just as much...the assailants have not attacked the royal family directly yet, but it's best to be safe than sorry."

"Besides, nothing is worse than dying, right?"

Re: Immortality
« Reply #1 on: July 08, 2009, 03:30:10 PM »
Looks good so far. I'll probably have to keep track of this one.

You're obviously going to make her eat those words in that last line, though. :P