Author Topic: A Celestial Rhapsody  (Read 8080 times)

nintendonut888

  • So those that live now, pledge on your fists and souls
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A Celestial Rhapsody
« on: May 16, 2012, 11:56:04 PM »
Hello, it's Donut. To show just how good and responsible of a writer I am, I have started a new story completely on a whim. Don't worry; if you read The Cool Samurai Girl Meira, I'm steadily working on it. It's just...this is a story I've had on my mind for years, and only now got the inspiration to put down.

Well, to cut to the chase, this is an experiment, and more of a "for fun" thing than anything. Please listen to the linked music as you read the story.

---

A Forest of Dolls

It was a big deal, for heaven. In a place filled with boredom, where every day consists of drinking and getting fat off the land, an ascension was a huge affair. And if the loopy drunkards and the monotone layabouts were diligent enough to attend, I had no excuse.

These ascensions weren't even that interesting, really. To rise into Bhava-agra meant one of two things: You either lived the life of a saint down on Earth, or you freed your mind of all earthly thought after centuries of pursuing enlightenment. Either way, by the time you became a celestial, you were a pure being, free of all anger, strife, and desire. In other words, you were not a very interesting person.

These ceremonies would usually start with some light dancing, a bit of drinking, and some food. After introductions and speeches were all taken care of, the party would progress with food, some drink, and dancing. After a time passed, people began growing loopy from the booze, and things would wind down with some drinking, drunken dancing, and more food. Although everyone had fun, it was always the same tune. After living this way for so long, it's become harder and harder to maintain my old tempo.

So naturally, when I arrived, I was listless as usual. Even the dazzling colors of the setting sun had trouble stimulating me. As I lulled near the back, I picked up some gossip from an elderly couple.

"Did you hear, did you hear? The Hinanawi here haven't even achieved enlightenment!"

"Yes, quite! They're here only because they served the Nawi. They're only here as celestials because of their service to the gods."

"I know, isn't it distasteful? Bhava-agra has no place for their kind."

"Yes, it's all such a dreadful state of affairs. What has become of our precious..."

Ah yes, that too was a path into Bhava-agra. Despite being the highest of the heavens, where only the most noble and saintly of beings reside, they were not above handing out cheap favors.

So, the newcomers are that kind of celestial, huh? No matter. Enlightened or no, they'll adapt to the feel of this place. It won't take long for their melodies to stiffen.

I let out a sigh, and waited for the festivities to begin.

---

"...And so, it came to pass that the Nawi passed on from the world to become gods. In return for their tireless devotion to protecting the Hinanawi keystone and for their service to the Nawi-no-kami, we the celestial council saw fit to reward the Hinanawis with the blessing of eternal..."

I yawned. The elder's scratchy voice was not making this any easier.

I looked to the newly-made celestials, standing with stiff bodies on the stage erected for this occasion.  There was a man and a woman, and those four next to them must be their children. It was a large family, ranging from that little toddler to that blue-haired one, who looked to be almost grown up herself. Despite having such a diverse range though, their faces all had the same muted tone as they stared at us with pursed lips and folded hands. It was almost laughable, how serious they were. Did they think Bhava-Agra required such airs? Well, no matter. Once the party gets underway, they'll see such things aren't necessary. Not ever again...

I turned my gaze to the bright hues of the evening sky and relaxed my eyes. At least this never gets old.  Maybe I can sneak away once I've had my fill and go stargazing.

"...With the formalities all taken care of, let us properly welcome the Hinanawis into Bhava-agra in full!"

*clap clap clap clap clap*

I didn't bother joining in - at least that way I could remain sincere. The steady and unwavering rhythm of the claps told me just how enthusiastic everyone really was. Soon the party would begin and our "honored guests" would be forgotten.

I yawned, stretched my neck, and let my mind wander...
« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 01:16:20 AM by nintendonut888 »
nintendonut888: Hey Baity. I beat the high score for Sanae B hard on the score.dat you sent me. X3
Baity: For a moment, I thought you broke 1.1billion. Upon looking at my score.dat, I can assume that you destroyed the score that is my failed (first!) 1cc attempt on my first day of playing. Congratulations.

[19:42] <Sapz> I think that's the only time I've ever seen a suicide bullet shoot its own suicide bullet

nintendonut888

  • So those that live now, pledge on your fists and souls
  • Leave a sign of your life, no matter how small...
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #1 on: May 17, 2012, 12:06:10 AM »
Sky of Scarlet Perception

!

Such a soft tune...

I snapped up from my reverie. What was this song I was hearing? Quiet chimes... A tender violin... 

I looked around myself. The party was in full swing, and couples danced jovially as the brightest stars came out to play. But more importantly, this melody...whose is this?

I sifted restlessly through the thick crowd, doing my best to drown out the usual instruments as I listened closer. It was hard to put into words... the repeating chimes had a definite feminine feel - one sheltered from the harsh realities of the world. The violin carried with it a quiet strength. Strong, yet held back...

I brought a fist to my chest. Who? Who has this?

In my years in Bhava-agra, I have seen many people. But no matter where I've gone, they've all had the same forced song, their candor distorted by their long path to ascension.

As the song grew louder, I peeled my eyes. No...this couldn't possibly be anyone from Bhava-agra. No celestial would ever be filled with such quiet wonder, for a celestial naturally knows all there is to know. But, then, who...

Finally, off in the corner of the party, I saw her. A young girl was sitting on a rock, her face partially obscured by a long head of blue hair. She held a red sake dish in her left hand, a peach in her right. There was a strange tension in her posture, and she appeared pensive - she was looking up at the sky. Squinting for a better look, her eyes seemed to betray the same anxiety and uncertainty I felt in the melody, as though she knew not what the next day would bring for her.

I stood mesmerized. How long had it been since I heard a song this emotional? I instantly felt myself drawn to this girl, my thoughts brimming with curiosity. But, if she had feelings such as these, then...

Wait, she must be...!

Yes, there was no doubt! This was one of the celestials who stood up at the beginning of the party, the...Hinanawi! I struggled to recall. There were two older priests - a male and a female - and several younger ones. Now that I thought about it, she was surely that one older daughter, standing so tense in her kimono. She seemed nothing like the girl sitting before me now.

Slowly, she dropped her gaze and took a sip of the sake. She didn't look old enough to drink, but such a distinction would quickly became lost in the ageless land of Bhava-agra. I stroked my chin. How bold she must -

Suddenly, she turned her head and locked eyes with me. I felt my heart leap and I looked away, my face hot with embarrassment.

I-I can't believe I stared at her like that...!

I tried to occupy myself with the party, doing my best to ignore how loud my heart was. I let a breath out and shuffled over to a table to grab some refreshments.

---

Though it was unbecoming of a celestial, I continued to observe her from a distance, taking care not to draw attention to myself. As I suspected, nobody came to talk to the newcomer, and she wandered the outskirts of the party slowly, seemingly not looking at anything in particular. She must feel lonely...

As more audible music began playing, her song began to be drowned out. At this rate, I'll lose track of her. Before that happens...

"Excuse me." I approached a tipsy-looking celestial. She turned with a wide-eyed look.

"Yaah? What is it?"

"That girl over there, the one with blue hair - isn't she one of the Hinanawi?" I pointed at the girl.

She leaned forward and squinted her eyes.

"Ohyeaaah, she is. Chiko, it was. Chiko, pfeh! It's so hard to believe a girl as young as her could get into Bhava-agra, isn't it?"

"Ah...yeah." I chose not to press that issue. The tipsy girl cocked her head briefly before turning her attention back to her drink, swirling it around.

"Sheh, just look at her, slopping around like that. She looks all proper, but there's no way she will fit in, ya know? You can just feel her impurities. Even the children born here are more fit for Bhavagra than her. It's almost pitiful. She'll probably jush..."

Chiko...so that's her name. Chiko... I closed my eyes and felt a smile creep across my face. Things might just get interesting around here after all.

---

As usual, updates to come as my writer's block deems fit.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 01:25:29 AM by nintendonut888 »
nintendonut888: Hey Baity. I beat the high score for Sanae B hard on the score.dat you sent me. X3
Baity: For a moment, I thought you broke 1.1billion. Upon looking at my score.dat, I can assume that you destroyed the score that is my failed (first!) 1cc attempt on my first day of playing. Congratulations.

[19:42] <Sapz> I think that's the only time I've ever seen a suicide bullet shoot its own suicide bullet

Iced Fairy

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Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #2 on: May 17, 2012, 12:12:59 AM »
Quote
As usual, updates to come as my writer's block deems fit.
I've placed a bomb in your keyboard.  If it drops below 55 words per day it'll explode.

Seriously though it's an interesting intro.  I hope it goes somewhere.

nintendonut888

  • So those that live now, pledge on your fists and souls
  • Leave a sign of your life, no matter how small...
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #3 on: May 20, 2012, 12:22:30 AM »
Swinging a Fish to Drive Away Flies

"...Come on sister, can't we take a break?"

?

Whose instruments are these? I looked over the mountain cliff edge, and spotted several figures on a lower level. Dressed in plain white celestial robes, there seemed to be some tension between them. I moved to get a better look at them. This sounded exciting.

"Come on, look around you! Can't you see there's a whole world to explore here?" A blue-haired girl waved her hand off towards the distance. "If we rest, it'll be that much less we can see today!"

"But sister, they told us today is a day of rest." A small boy looked up with a pout.

"They're just saying that, I promise. It's not as if we haven't done enough sleeping."

"But...!" The boy hung his head.

"No buts! Not like there's anything to do back at home except pick peaches."

Hmm, what a lively girl. A rare thing to see.

The girl turned right and grabbed her sleepy-eyed sister's hand. "Now come on Maiko, let's go see what flowers grow here on this mountain!"

Wait, that face. That's...!

"Mmm, Chiko, we already explored the premises of our land yesterday. I'm still exhausted..." She shook the older girl's hand off and gazed longingly at the path behind her.

So that's why. Hah, I thought this melody sounded familiar. And yet, it sounds completely different from what I heard the other week. While that song sounded feminine and soft-spoken, this one sounded...boyish. Childish, even. Seems like Chiko's the kind of girl who wants to lead a gang. I chuckled.

"Our property may be big, but...geez!" Chiko put her hand on her hip.

"Come on, have you already forgotten what it's like down below? Wide open fields, nothing but the youkai to fear...we all had so much fun exploring the area around the shrine, searching the unknown..." She looked up with her hand on her cheek.

"You're the only one who enjoyed that, Chiko!" An older boy glared at Chiko. "We all just played along 'cause you're the oldest!"

I narrowed my eyes. This one's rhythmic tune was already losing its feeling.

Chiko seemed disarmed. "You...can't be serious."

The boy huffed. "I'm sorry, but that's how it is. Chiko, we love you, but you've always been way too much, especially for a girl. But now, we're celestials. Those filthy youkai can't touch us. We just wanna relax now. Right Maiko, Ichiro?" Chiko looked at each of her siblings in turn. Neither looked her in the eye. She scowled.

The youngest boy mumbled off to the side. "Sorry sis..." Suddenly, his eyes lit up, and he looked up at me.

Aah, have I been spotted? I stepped backwards to hide. I perked up my ears to listen.

...

"Nngh...so, what? You all want to go back that badly?"

"Please don't get upset, Chiko..."

"Oh, I'm not upset. Not at all! If you want to go home, then go! GO! If I have to have fun on my own, then I will!"

After a period of quiet, I slowly peered over the edge. Her siblings had taken off, flying down to the base of the mountain. For how tired they sounded, they certainly move fast.

Chiko let out a large sigh and crossed her arms. "Aah, this bites. It's no fun with just one." She kicked the ground and looked off  into the distance.

Along with the energy of youth, I heard a sense of impatience in this song. It was astonishing how such a beauty could be so impetuous. It was strange, yet so...engaging. I felt my heart beating again. Should I hop down and chat?

...

No, that wouldn't be very proper. And besides, if you talked to her now, you'd look like a stalker, since you're so much older. I grinned wryly.

"Gah, I gotta get some friends. Maybe I oughta head to that party. There's bound to be someone I can hang out with." She stretched out, then took off down the mountain.

Poor girl. All the celestials in Bhava-agra have cast off their desires. Not a one wants to put any effort into such "commoner" hobbies like exploring, even if it's a splendorous place like heaven. By surrounding herself with celestials, she'll only be adding to her troubles. I rubbed my neck and sighed.

Still... I closed my eyes and recalled that energetic melody, which still rang so clearly in my ears.

It's unlikely a girl like this will let herself get down so easily.

"Chiko Hinanawi...what shape will your song take next?" I giggled. It's been a long time since I've gotten this excited.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 05:22:55 AM by nintendonut888 »
nintendonut888: Hey Baity. I beat the high score for Sanae B hard on the score.dat you sent me. X3
Baity: For a moment, I thought you broke 1.1billion. Upon looking at my score.dat, I can assume that you destroyed the score that is my failed (first!) 1cc attempt on my first day of playing. Congratulations.

[19:42] <Sapz> I think that's the only time I've ever seen a suicide bullet shoot its own suicide bullet

nintendonut888

  • So those that live now, pledge on your fists and souls
  • Leave a sign of your life, no matter how small...
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2012, 10:09:44 PM »
So much for a constant update schedule. Oh well, so it goes. :V

---

Argue For And Against

I smiled as I picked up that energetic tune once again. I knew if I wandered this forest enough times, sooner or later she'd come to explore. But what is she doing to evoke this spirit, I wonder~?

I stepped lightly across the forest, taking care not to get my feet tangled in the growth. As the celestials believed in a life of enlightenment, free from any worries or responsibilities, such trivialities like "making a forest path" was beyond them. Ah well, it was more fun this way.

Let's see, I recall there's a pond around here. I wonder if that's where she is? I hopped over a log. The instruments were becoming more distinct, so it looks like my hunch was right. Chiko was surely close by, and I had made up my mind to follow her a little longer.

W-well, maybe this time I'll properly introduce myself. I can't just tail her like this forever. Maybe that would make my intentions seem more honorable. Maybe.

I let out a sigh. What has gotten into me?

But anyway, what a splendid arrangement this is~

This time, there was a counter-melody consisting of a piano, conveying to me the sense of promise only found in young people. Not only that, but the xylophones carrying the melody felt light and carefree; they reminded me of my own childhood, chasing after bugs in the tall grass back in the old home. Whatever Chiko's after, it must surely be that sort of activity. My power doesn't lie.

Pushing my way through some tall weeds, I emerged at the pond. Scanning the area, I quickly found that familiar blue-haired girl on the left bank. She was dressed in an elegant sun dress, completely barefoot. She was holding up her dress, stepping on the smooth rocks lining the pond. What could she be up to...? I decided to stay hidden a bit longer. I hate to disturb a maestro while they're composing.

She's looking into the pond...

Chiko hopped from stone to stone, never taking her eyes off the water. Did she drop something? 

Suddenly, her eyes lit up. She let go of the hem of her dress and...took flight above the lake? What the heck?

What is this silly girl up to? The melody's playful atmosphere contrasted with her serious movements. As she hovered forward, her eyes remained trained on something in the water. Her dangling feet were so close to the water's surface, a more distant observer would think she was walking on it. It would be majestic if it weren't so weird.

Finally, she arrived above what she was looking at, whatever it was. Chiko slowly shifted her balance to horizontal and reared back her right arm. I leaned forward in anticipation.

...

*SPLASH*

"Pffft-!" I stifled my laughter. Was that really an attempt to grab something? Her thrust was so forceful she threw in her entire arm. Worse yet, the sudden gravity of the water must have thrown her off balance, as she fell face-first into the water with a yelp. Concentration broken, the rest - oh god, ha ha, the rest of her fell in!

Oh god...this...I couldn't hold it in any longer...!

"Haahahahahahaha!" I held my sides and stumbled out of hiding. This seemed like a good time.

"Eeh-?!" *cough cough cough*

Chiko surfaced, shaking her head and sputtering. After she caught her breath, she turned my way. For the first time since the party, our eyes met.

"The hell, were you watching me?"

I should have felt ashamed, but this was too cute. Her long hair was sticking to her face. It completely clashed with the look she was giving and - and-

"Ha ha...ha...haha...what were you...!"

"Geez, how rude. It was just one mistake..." She swam to the bank and climbed out, facing away from me as she straightened out her dress. Oh dear, I think I made the wrong impression. I calmed myself down and regained my composure.

...

"So, what is it?"

I startled. "Eh?"

"You found me, so there must be something you want. I can't imagine why anyone'd be here otherwise." She tilted her head and squeezed her hair.

Something...oh. It only just dawned on me how awkward this situation must be for her.

Guess I may as well start being honest.

"Well, I, you have a beautiful song."

Just for a second, I heard the piano miss a note. That wasn't right, was it.

"Uuuuuh huh. You're weird." She stood up and faced me. I resisted laughing again at her messy face. She put her hand on her hip.

"No really, why are you here? No celestial I know would come this way."

I smirked. "Not all of us are lazy bums. You're quite a specimen yourself." I pointed my head at the water.

Chiko huffed. "Aww geez. If I tell you, will you forget about that?"

"Sure."

She sighed and scratched the back of her head. "Well, I was trying to catch one of those stupid fish in the water. They wouldn't bite, and it was annoying." I followed her gaze to an abandoned fishing pole. Aah, I get it.

"Ha ha, you're the first person I know of who'd actually try to grab a fish. How nice it must be to be young."

She was not impressed. The xylophones disappeared.

I sighed and looked down.

"I saw you at the party when your family were made celestials. You looked so serene, and so I wanted to know more about you. That's it, really." I looked up, biting my lip. She looked surprised, to say the least. To my relief, her expression broke into a wry smile.

"Aren't you a bit old to be chasing girls like me?"

"Wh-wha-?!" I blushed.

"N-no, you got it all wrong! (Though maybe it isn't inaccurate...) You seem interesting, is what I'm saying. Surely by now you know how little there is to do here in Bhava-agra."

Another missed beat. Her eyes widened.

...All of a sudden, her melody dulled. She stiffened and turned away from me, walking over to retrieve her fishing pole.

"I don't need any of you telling me that. I already know, that there's no helping it. There's nothing here to do, or to do about it; I just have to accept it already..." She hoisted the pole over her shoulder and stared at the pond.

...Wait, what? The girl I had seen last week was so tomboyish. Why was she...?

"H-hey, Chiko, right? If you get bored, I'll be glad to entertain you. It'll be no good if you lose your spirit - "

"My name is not Chiko! Don't call me by such a common, earthly name!" I jumped a bit as she glared at me.

Huh...?

"But, at the introduction ceremony, you-"

"I am Tenshi Hinanawi, eldest daughter of the Hinanawi clan. Don't you forget it." With that, she kicked off and flew out of the forest without a second glance.

As her song faded into the distance, I felt a sense of dread. Before, the song was so clean, fresh. But as soon as she started talking, it began quieting...and what's with her calling herself "Tenshi?"

I can't just leave this alone. If it were solely about me, she would have just blown me off, and I'd be okay with it. No, I think she's starting to be affected by this poisonous peace.

I decided to learn more about this girl. This time, from a distance.
« Last Edit: June 16, 2015, 05:43:01 PM by nintendonut888 »
nintendonut888: Hey Baity. I beat the high score for Sanae B hard on the score.dat you sent me. X3
Baity: For a moment, I thought you broke 1.1billion. Upon looking at my score.dat, I can assume that you destroyed the score that is my failed (first!) 1cc attempt on my first day of playing. Congratulations.

[19:42] <Sapz> I think that's the only time I've ever seen a suicide bullet shoot its own suicide bullet

FinnKaenbyou

  • Formerly Roukanken
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Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2012, 10:20:27 PM »
This is starting to get interesting. Reading avidly.

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
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  • I will set you on fire k'?
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Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2012, 10:24:10 PM »
Apparently this is "publish your fic" day.  And yeah, my interest is piqued, even if poor Meira is still lost on the forest. :P

I'm curious to see if my character guesses will bear fruit later too.

Affinity

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  • ... but I have promises to keep.
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2012, 08:15:00 AM »
Pretty interesting fic, especially regarding the music metaphors.  They are certainly great at expressing situations and the main character's feelings towards them (such as the scene where the celestial are clapping monotonously and where the main character discovers Tenshi).  You have to be careful not to make them feel gimmicky through repeated use, however; xylophones and myriad instruments can only fade in and out so many times.  There are also some parts which feel slightly funny, such as...

Quote
Another missed beat. Her eyes widened.

...All of a sudden, her melody dulled. She stiffened and turned away from me, walking over to retrieve her fishing pole.

... which wasn't really sudden, given what came before.  But these are small nitpicks.  Other than that, the themes presented and the character of Tenshi here are really interesting, and I'll be following this closely too.

BT

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Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #8 on: June 11, 2012, 12:32:58 PM »
Oh, hey, this is really cool. I like your first person narrative.

nintendonut888

  • So those that live now, pledge on your fists and souls
  • Leave a sign of your life, no matter how small...
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #9 on: June 11, 2012, 08:45:39 PM »
Thank you for your kind comments. I hope I can continue to tell an enjoyable story.

---

Legend of Aokigahara

"So anyway, have you heard the latest on the bad celestials?"

"Ooh ooh, you mean the Hinanawi?"

I perked up my ears.

"Yes, them! I hear the head of the family tried to go drinking with an elder!"

"No way! How rude!"

"It's repugnant. Do they think they can just join us after they licked the Nawi's boots for a few generations?"

"I know. In comparison, all us hermits had to go through hell before we reached heaven, right?"

They laughed.

---

Another day, another lunch. More sunny days, without a cloud to break up the monotony...

---

 "Ha ha, no way! He really snapped like that?" *drink*

"Yeah. Seems he really has trouble with his daughter,"

I leaned against the wall and looked up.

"Ooh, Tenshi, right? That explains it, then. She's so weird."

"I know! Just the other day, she tried to conduct a treasure hunt. Treasure! As though some filthy pirates could reach this plane and bury something."

"Aah, but there is treasure! Our peaches!"

"With their taste, I wouldn't call them treasure..."

---

I sighed and watched the pond's fish swim around listlessly. I had seen her in passing a few times since then, but never in a time or place where I could talk to her. There was so much I wanted to know, but so few ways to learn it...

---

"...Is quite a handful, isn't she?"

I heard two elderly voices from a nearby path. I tried to look interested in the azure sky instead.

"Aah, the eldest daughter of the Hinanawi? I hear her father has tried to learn her some respect, but it is slow to take. She still starts these ridiculous pursuits, never finishing them."

"Hoh hoh, to be expected from her kind. I recall hearing she changed her name to Tenshi."

"Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, they say. She must wish to be seen as a true celestial."

"Such impudence. It's almost charming..."

...

I guess the sky's not so bad...

---

Even though they were the social scapegoats, talk of them was few and far between. I had nothing better to do though, so I went every day with my ears tuned to listen.

---

"Hah, and then, she offered one of her peaches to him."

"What an uncultured brat. To think she still knows nothing of our customs..."

"What do you expect from the bad celestials? Well, at least they're trying."

"The head seems to finally learning some manners, but he's having a ball passing it on to his children."

"Hah. That'll be the day..."

---

We crossed paths again today, walking in opposite directions down a dirt road. She was surrounded by her family, walking with her hands held in front. The head seemed to be in the middle of a speech.

"...and so, you are all to be good and obedient throughout this engagement. Are we clear?"

Each child sounded "Yes, father" in turn, like it was a dirge.

I frowned. I tried to pick up her song, but it was so indistinct, I could barely pick it out among the noise.

The head fidgeted his hands as he walked with measured steps. I stepped to their right so I wouldn't get in their way.

The head continued, still facing forward. "Chiko, this goes especially for you. No rowdy behavior this time. Understand, young lady?"

His eldest daughter sighed. "Yes, father. I understand." As I passed the group, me and Tenshi exchanged glances. I attempted a smile, but she quickly looked away. Once they all passed, I turned to watch the procession. The father seemed like he still had more to say.

...

*sigh*

This isn't good. If a bird becomes caged, it will be unable to compose. If a bird is isolated from its kind, it won't hear the chirps of others. And if a bird is not fed, its song will grow weak. Soon, all that will remain is a docile animal, not even knowing it desires freedom.

I want to help her. If I let this go, I don't think I could ever forgive myself. But, without some way to get close, I'll only make a fool of myself and push her away.

I shifted my hat up and looked to the sky.

What I needed, more than anything, was an opportunity...
« Last Edit: September 14, 2012, 09:41:36 PM by nintendonut888 »
nintendonut888: Hey Baity. I beat the high score for Sanae B hard on the score.dat you sent me. X3
Baity: For a moment, I thought you broke 1.1billion. Upon looking at my score.dat, I can assume that you destroyed the score that is my failed (first!) 1cc attempt on my first day of playing. Congratulations.

[19:42] <Sapz> I think that's the only time I've ever seen a suicide bullet shoot its own suicide bullet

FinnKaenbyou

  • Formerly Roukanken
  • *
  • blub blub nya
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #10 on: June 11, 2012, 08:49:50 PM »
I know this is gonna end poorly for both of them but I can't stop reading ;_;

nintendonut888

  • So those that live now, pledge on your fists and souls
  • Leave a sign of your life, no matter how small...
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #11 on: June 23, 2012, 10:32:38 PM »
Fragrant Plants

I breathed in the scent of tree sap and smiled. We need to have parties in the forest more often.

I surveyed the party as I filled my sake dish. All around me were the usual trimmings of celestial life: Modest food, modest drink, and immodest people. But this wasn't just any party, and this wasn't just any day. Not to mention, this song...it goes to show that even these heavenly beings have some lingering attachment to the world below.

I walked at a leisurely pace, balancing my dish in my right hand. There was something different in the air today, more than just the pollen. While the drunkards lay against the peach trees and the gossips clustered around the refreshments as normal, there was a certain something about this party that kept my steps light, like an undetectable instrument whose presence improves the song regardless.

A metallic clang reached to me from the right. I turned to see a man and woman engaged in a duel, their swords locked tight. I paused to watch.

The man leaned forward and smirked. "Come now, Talya, I know you can put in more effort than that."

The woman pushed back and leaned her head in as well. "Speak for yourself, Ikuma. I'll have you for dessert if you don't put your back into it!!"

The woman sliced upwards, pushing the man's blade into the air. She thrust forward with a cry, which he parried with a sidestep. They circled around each other and repeated the same phrase, clashing together in a horribly exaggerated way.

"Tell you what. When I win, you must fix dinner for the next month!"

"As if! It'll taste the same no matter who does it! What, are you stupid or something?"

"Haa?!" The man kicked the woman in the stomach, knocking her back into a tree. She shook her head and pointed her sword at the man. He raised his in kind, and they took turns snarling at each other. Each crying for blood, they charged again, grinning like buffoons.

I giggled. It was an artless duet, but that's the kind of party this is. I took a sip from my dish and continued forward.

It wasn't just those two who were fighting - crowds of excitable celestials gathered in several pockets throughout the forest clearing, cheering combatants on with an uncharacteristic fervor. Like most aspects of Bhava-agra, this all had an ulterior motive, but that didn't bother me much. For just one day a year, the heavens were alive.

I ran my finger down my scabbard and chuckled. A girl like her wouldn't miss this for the world.

---

I held my head. "Oh my, I must be getting tipsy..."

I sighed and leaned against a wide tree. The sunlight streaming through the leaves was so warm~. It was beautiful, but I felt a little dizzy looking at it. I listened to the symphony of duels in the distance and relaxed.

...A harpsichord? What an old-fashioned sound to mix with a trumpet.

I looked around, and spotted a small crowd over to the left. I hobbled over, setting my sake dish down on a nearby table. My sixth sense told me this would be a special performance.

I pushed through the crowd, and sobered up immediately. It was her...!

Tenshi stood in the center, her long hair tied back into a ponytail. With a regal pose and a stoic expression, she held her scabbard with one hand and the hilt in the other. She looked positively stunning. I felt my cheeks warm a bit as I took in her appearance.

A bulky man swaggered up to Tenshi, waving his broadsword at her arrogantly. His cheeks were rosy and he looked more than a little drunk.

"Haw haw, one of the fake celestials come t'play? This'll be fun!"

She drew her blade and held it forward. Her expression remained calm. It was almost chilling - there wasn't a hint of tension in her song. I leaned forward and stroked my chin.

Come, Tenshi. Show me your spirit...

The man made the first move, running forward and giving a firm downward slice. Tenshi stepped back and turned her sword horizontal to block it. The two locked together. After a few moments, the man started to push her down with his superior strength. I raised an eyebrow. Her song remained calm and measured even as her knees began buckling.

With a graceful movement, Tenshi swerved right and drew back her sword, letting her opponent's weight carry him down.

"Wh-what the-!" He stumbled forward. Tenshi grabbed the hilt with both hands and drove it into his back. The drunkard fell to the ground with a crash.

"Ooh...~" I smiled as Tenshi hopped and flew backwards, landing gracefully.

The celestial scrambled for his sword and got back up. He turned to Tenshi with a snarl.

"Haw, cheap move. Come try that again, missy!" He arched his finger backwards. Tenshi lowered her stance.

They stood in a stalemate for a few moments. The tipsy celestial let out a laugh.

"What, waiting me out now? You won't get anywhere in heaven with an amateur move like that!"

A twinge from the background harpsichord. Her eyes narrowed.

The burly celestial rose his arms up and leered.

"C'mon, I'll even let you get a free hit! That's what you want, right? A shot at the big time?" The trumpet began swelling.

Keep your tempo Tenshi. Don't let him overwhelm you.

I thought this, but at the same time, I was waiting for her to lose her temper and lash out at him. This song was fine, but it was far too restrained, too held back for my tastes...

"Well? C'mon. Are you afraid? Is that it?"

The trumpet reached the peak of its ascension, and Tenshi charged. The celestial laughed and swung his sword down as Tenshi approached. Sparks flew as their swords clashed overhead.

"Nngh-!" She stepped back and pushed forward, pushing her opponent back. They stepped forward and clashed. A splendid duet unfolded, with evenly matched combatants trading blows, a chorus of cheers backing them up.

I tried to hide the silly grin on my face as I watched Tenshi move. The grace with which she blocked every strike made my heart quiver. Such skill is rare for one so young.

And yet...

No matter how hard her opponent struck, she never lost her composure. Keeping calm is one thing, but not even gritting your teeth in a heated duel is another matter entirely. For all her natural talent, there was no energy in this song; it was nothing more than practiced movements. I fiddled with my hands anxiously.

Tenshi cut forward, and once more he blocked her effortlessly. She withdrew her blade into a defensive position and stepped back, panting. Her opponent grinned.

"Haw haw!" He strode forward and crashed his sword down. Tenshi gasped and rose her sword to block. Her arms were quivering, but that wouldn't last long. I noted the shift in her stance - she was going to pull him to the ground again.

Unfortunately, even the most beautiful move is only new once. Right as Tenshi began to swerve, the burly celestial swept his foot in the direction Tenshi was moving. She tripped, and her facade finally broke.

"Wh-wha-?!" She hopped on one foot, shocked. She quickly regained her footing, but it was too late. Her opponent reared back his broadsword. I grimaced and turned away.

An ear-piercing chord signaled the end of the duel.

I tentatively opened my eyes to see Tenshi on her knees. The sword had pierced her shoulder. The young girl stared at the wound, her mouth open in horror. Her opponent looked down at her with a blood-boiling smile.

"Not bad, missy. With that skill, you could probably even stand up to a youkai. But you have not reached enlightenment. Until you cast off your earthly feelings, you will never match up to us! Remember that!" He pulled the sword out of her shoulder, and she fell forward with a thud, tears streaming down her face.

I clenched my fist and shoved my way out of the cheering crowd. It's time for another drink...
« Last Edit: December 19, 2012, 05:15:48 AM by nintendonut888 »
nintendonut888: Hey Baity. I beat the high score for Sanae B hard on the score.dat you sent me. X3
Baity: For a moment, I thought you broke 1.1billion. Upon looking at my score.dat, I can assume that you destroyed the score that is my failed (first!) 1cc attempt on my first day of playing. Congratulations.

[19:42] <Sapz> I think that's the only time I've ever seen a suicide bullet shoot its own suicide bullet

nintendonut888

  • So those that live now, pledge on your fists and souls
  • Leave a sign of your life, no matter how small...
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #12 on: June 23, 2012, 10:34:08 PM »
Fragrant Plants - Arrange

A promising young lady, trapped in an unwinnable scenario...

I exhaled loudly and slammed my empty sake dish onto the table. I can hold my alcohol pretty well, but I'd better stop now. Any more, and I won't be able to move as planned.

I held my head. Ugh, this melody... Ever since that duel, the tune felt sour to my ears. I pushed it to the background and turned my sights to a nearby table. There was Tenshi, who leaned lightly against the white table. Her face was twisted in pain as she clutched her shoulder.

Poor girl, this is probably her first time being stabbed.

I took a small breath and started forward, grabbing a peach off the table as I did so.

Tenshi startled as I came into view.

"Oh, it's you..." She looked down.

I smiled. "It's me." I sat down to her right. Despite her greeting, she didn't seem to mind. We sat in silence for a few moments.

I gently slipped the peach into her free hand.

"Here, eat this. You'll feel better." Tenshi lifted the peach and stared in contempt.

"I'm so sick of peaches..." She took a bite regardless. I gazed up at the forest canopy.

"The peaches of Bhava-agra are what give a celestial their strength. As long as you eat them, your wounds will heal quickly. Look - there's not a drop of blood where that sword got you." She followed my finger to her shoulder.

"So you did see that..." She looked away and took another bite.

I chuckled softly. "I just happened to pass by. I was cheering you on, I promise."

"Ugh..." She hung her head.

...

I opened my mouth to speak, then closed it. Then I opened it again.

"You weren't bad at all, you know. You should be proud of your skill."

She sighed and removed the band keeping her hair in a ponytail. "No, I sucked...I can't believe I let myself get tricked like that."

"You just made a mistake."

"Oh come off it. There's no way I could have won..."

"I mean it, you have amazing technique!" I shifted closer. "You absolutely could have won! With time, I'm sure you'll become a master swordswoman!" She gave me a funny look. I cleared my throat and scooched back.

I gathered my determination and looked at Tenshi.

"It's just... Your only flaw, Tenshi, is that you lack passion." A twinge in the background.

"Let me guess... because I 'haven't reached enlightenment,' right?" She rightened herself.

I shook my head. "That's not what I meant. I was watching you during that fight. You were holding yourself back, weren't you?"

Tenshi gulped the peach loudly. "What? What are you talking about? How do you know...?"

I shook my head. "That's not important. I'm not wrong, am I? You weren't fighting that man with everything you had."

Tenshi looked away uncomfortably. "I don't know what you're talking about."

"Hmph. I'll have you know I know a thing or two about form. For example, you didn't take advantage of openings, even when you knocked that man down."

Tenshi strained her eyes. "Well, that...I didn't know if he would counterattack or not. It's not as though I knew his fighting style yet or anything." I snorted.

"Then explain how stiff your movements were. Not once did you strike with the force needed to break his guard. You were more focused on keeping your stance than actually moving efficiently."

Tenshi winced and rubbed her wound. "Was I really...?"

I pointed at her. "You were. And I could tell just from seeing your technique that you're better than that, and that you were holding back." I took care not to mention the other reason I knew this.

"Aah...but still, I..." Tenshi didn't meet my eyes. This was starting to get on my nerves. 

"Quit dodging the point, girl. An unfocused fighter will never be able to defeat a serious opponent; that's why you lost."

"Nngh. You don't have a right to say things like that to me..." She dug out the peach pit and tossed it to the ground.

I snorted. "See? You're getting angry, but you're still deferring to me. Where is the spunk of the person who told me off in the forest that one time?" Tenshi tensed. "I'd say you're missing something very important right now. Now, what could that be, I wonder...?" I cocked my eyebrow.

Tenshi chomped the remainder of the peach and swallowed. Her weakened trumpet soared. "What is it with you? Why would I do any of that? It makes no sense! What - reason...would I have...?" She knit her brow.

I flickered my eyes away from her. "...Because you feel inferior?"

!!!

Tenshi stood with a start. It was as if someone slammed their palm onto the harpsichord's keys. She turned to me, her mouth hanging open.

"I...you...! WHY DON'T YOU JUST MIND YOUR OWN BUSINESS?!!"

I folded my arms and looked up at her. "This is my business, Tenshi. You and me are more alike than you realize."

"Enough of this...I'm leaving...!" She turned to walk away.

"Grr...!" I slammed my fist on the table. I ran in front of her and blocked her way forward. She pushed at me.

"Get out of my way! I'm sick of -"

I shoved her back and drew my sword.

"No! I will not stand by idly and watch you destroy yourself, Tenshi!" I aimed the sword at her neck. Her eyes fell to the tip and widened, and the song muted immediately. She looked uncomfortable. Good.

"Y-you... Now everyone's looking at us..." She stepped back. I glanced side to side - a number of celestials showed concerned looks.

I can't back down now... I growled and kept the tip trained on her throat.

"From the moment I laid eyes on you, Tenshi, I knew you weren't like the others. I can tell you desire so much more than what Bhava-agra has to offer. Your song was once so vibrant, so full of life... But now, you're bowing your head, trying to conform to their impossible standards!"

Tenshi shook her head half-heartedly. "Y-you're wrong..."

I stepped forward. "You might think things will get better, that you'll eventually get used to it. But trust me, you won't. Every day will be the same, and you will repeat the same actions. Over and over again, forever..." I gritted my teeth.

Tenshi's lips trembled. "What do you want from me...?"

"You're trapped Tenshi, you hear me? TRAPPED! And I want to set you free!! I can't watch as a brilliant lady is beaten down by these impotent celestials. Not again..."

I lowered my sword and turned to my side. A bunch of people were murmuring and pointing at us.

I sighed and tried to compose myself.

"If you truly want to give up your dreams for these people...then I misjudged you. I'll leave now, and you'll never have to deal with me again."

I turned slightly and locked eyes with her.

"But, if even an ounce of hope still lies with you, if even a small part of you desires freedom...then follow me!" I raised my sword to her forehead and she stiffened.

"I'll be waiting."

I sheathed my sword and walked away, nearly running down one of the celestials in my way. I headed out of the party grounds, deeper into the forest.

...

...

Did I overdo it? I wasn't expecting to get so gung-ho. Perhaps I did drink too much after all...

Well, the die is cast, as they say.

I walked in silence. The grass crunched beneath my feet as the brush grew thicker.






Then, I heard it: The pattering of footsteps behind me. I smiled and cast my eyes back. Tenshi responded with a hot glare as she strode quickly to keep up.

I turned my gaze forward and walked with confidence. Now, we shall head to a place where no one will bother us; a place where we can begin a whole new movement...
« Last Edit: June 17, 2015, 12:08:12 AM by nintendonut888 »
nintendonut888: Hey Baity. I beat the high score for Sanae B hard on the score.dat you sent me. X3
Baity: For a moment, I thought you broke 1.1billion. Upon looking at my score.dat, I can assume that you destroyed the score that is my failed (first!) 1cc attempt on my first day of playing. Congratulations.

[19:42] <Sapz> I think that's the only time I've ever seen a suicide bullet shoot its own suicide bullet

Iced Fairy

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Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2012, 05:16:44 AM »
Well.  A sword through the arm is irksome.

I'm looking forward to some movement yes.  A sword duel will do nicely.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2012, 05:28:28 AM by Iced Fairy »

nintendonut888

  • So those that live now, pledge on your fists and souls
  • Leave a sign of your life, no matter how small...
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #14 on: July 12, 2012, 10:36:45 PM »
Tenshi walked behind me in silence. On occasion I gazed back to check on her, but she had little to say. The only sound in the air was our footsteps, and Tenshi's song. While still carrying the tune of the party, the background was filled with anxiety; nothing much worth listening to. Oh well, a little apprehension is good before a duel.

I smiled inwardly as I warmed up my hands. Imperfect as it was, Tenshi's form in battle back then was truly beautiful. Just thinking about what could happen if she could become more earthly...it made my head tingle. What would her unfettered body feel like as we danced? What values would she hold onto when civility faded away into the heat of battle...~?

I picked up the pace - it wouldn't be long now.

---

At last, we emerged from the forest into the late afternoon sun. Tall, healthy grass covered a vast plain. The sound of running water met my ears - good, I hadn't gotten lost.

I raised my hand. "We're here."

"Eeh?" Tenshi looked around in confusion. "What's so special about this place?"

I pointed in the direction of the water. "There's a small brook here that runs through the forest. Now that we're out of the forest, there's no trees in our way. It's the perfect place for a duel, don't you think?"

The footsteps behind me stopped.

"What. You...you took me on a sightseeing tour?"

"Hmm? What is wrong?" I turned to Tenshi, whose mouth hung open.

"I-I can't believe you! You had the nerve to say all those horrible lies to my face, put me on the spot in front of everyone, a-and now...all this way for some stupid pool?!" She swung her arms at me.

I tilted my head. "What, not in the mood?"

She bared her teeth at me. "You wanted a fight, right? Why couldn't we just fight at the party, like everyone else?!"

I stood calmly as Tenshi shot death glared at me. I turned and started towards the bank.

"I'm sure you saw how the celestials back there fought. To them, a duel is nothing more than a game; a bit of fun to remind them of their power. Surely you agree that a real fight is not something done for mere entertainment?"

"Aa-aah...yeah, but..."

"And what better place for a real battle than a splendid view like this?" I flicked my hat up and smiled. She growled and clenched her fists.

Heh, it's so easy to press her buttons. Gotta keep the energy level high~

I came up to the bank and looked in. Though it was three meters wide, the brook was quite shallow - only about knee-deep. Definitely, I had picked the perfect spot.

Tenshi came up to me and put her hand on her hip. "Well? Are we going to do this, or are you going to spout more of your claptrap?"

I clasped my hands together. "Hehe, that all depends on you, Tenshi. You came here because you wanted to know what you were missing, and I am here to teach you. Show me what you can truly do, and I will respond in kind."

...

I glanced over at Tenshi, and noticed the wound from earlier.

"By the way, is your shoulder better yet?"

She swung her shoulder. "Hah, don't worry about me. It's still a little painful, but I have more than enough strength to bash in that smarmy grin of yours."

I chuckled and turned to the stream. "Good. Then it is settled!"

I lurched forward and jumped. The river seemed to shrink as I rose two, three meters into the air. Upon my descent, I spread out my legs and landed gracefully on the far end of the stream.

Aah, that felt nice~ I rose and slowly turned to a wide-eyed Tenshi.

"What...the..." She shook her head.

I unsheathed my blade and pointed it at her. "We fight by the bank! The first one to fall into the water loses. Are you ready?"

Tenshi nodded and drew her own sword. "Fair enough. Come and get me!" She crouched into a defensive stance.

I took a deep breath and released the tension in my body. I focused on Tenshi's melody, the proof of her spirit.

Fragrant Plants

 "Now, my little bird, sing for me! Break the cage of Bhava-agra, or I will have to break you!

I reared back my sword arm and dashed, the grass blowing against me. I leaped over the stream and rose my sword.

?!

Tenshi rose her sword up as I came down. She blocked, but the force of impact sent her tumbling back. She soon regained her footing, and readied herself. I charged forward, and she met me with a slash.

"Well? Come at me seriously!" I pushed forward, trapping her in place. I circled around Tenshi and broke contact with a backwards hop. Now her back was to the water.

Tenshi rose her blade diagonally and took a step back.

"Going on the defensive so soon? Where has your spine gone, girl?!" I pressed my legs down and sprung forward, releasing a slash as I did so. Tenshi gasped and fell back, shifting her blade to defend herself. She succeeded, but I quickly came at her again. Unable to counter me, she could do nothing but retreat as I lay attack after attack into her, the stream approaching with every clash.

Tenshi glanced back and saw the position she was in. She grit her teeth and did a graceful hop to the left, out of my reach. She begun sidestepping away from the river, keeping her sword raised.

"You think you can outrun me?" I crouched and rushed where she was moving to, catching up to her within a second. I stopped her in her tracks, but I misjudged my momentum and fell past her.

Shoot-! Tenshi whipped around and slashed, and I just barely turned in time to block.

"How are you so fast...?" Tenshi gritted her teeth and swung at my side.

I locked with her and smirked. "Nothing more than centuries of exercise and boredom, my dear."

"Oh come on, don't give me that - I mean, that's unnatural!" Tenshi hopped back, rose her sword, and charged. She pressed me, attacking down, left, diagonal, and then from the right. Finally, some energy! It was missing something...but so alluring...

"Hah! The celestial body can do amazing things when you don't just lay about all day. Like this!"

I countered Tenshi's next swing with a downward strike and leapt backwards. I crouched and sprung forward, aiming to stab. She cried out and turned to her side, and I just barely grazed her shirt. I landed on the ground and slid a ways before stopping. I rose and faced Tenshi with a smile.

"Good reflexes! I'm impressed you dodged that!"

"No problem! Stuff like this is nothing!" Tenshi smiled - she looked pleased at the compliment.

...Then, the smile faded, and she backed off. We stood in a stalemate.

...

I narrowed my eyes - this was definitely off. Just like when she fought that other celestial, the climax tapered off just as it was getting good. And now she's on the defensive again, even though she could have taken advantage of my clumsy recovery...

Tenshi cocked her head. "W-what? Is there something on my face?"

I clenched the hilt. I think I'm getting a little angry.

I hardened my gaze. "How insulting of you, Tenshi! To think you would hold back even when your opponent gives it their all!"

Tenshi flashed a puzzled look. "Holding back? What are you-?"

"Yaaaaa!" I bolted at her. She took a step back and brought up her sword to block, but the speed at which I hit her knocked her back. While she was stunned, I quickly dashed to her right. Tenshi spun and raised her sword to block my diagonal cut. Once more we locked.

I leaned forward and snarled. "Block, block, block, is that all you can do? You're so skilled, so why do you not attack me?!" I pushed her back.

Tenshi faltered. "How am I supposed to fight when you move like that? That speed, it's not fair at all!"

"And what about you?!" I broke and slashed down. "You can fly, right? You can fire danmaku! There's so much you are capable of, and yet you bow your head, going on the defensive!"

Tenshi strained her eyes as she struggled against me. "It wouldn't be right to use those... A duel is graceful and sophisticated. A duel is -"

"A duel is a fight to the death! Have you already forgotten what it's like down below, in the land you call Gensokyo?!" I raised my foot and kicked Tenshi in the stomach. She gasped and stumbled back, the stream only a few meters away. I decided to hold back and let her recover.

Tenshi held her chest and gasped.

I stepped forward. "It hurts to hold back, doesn't it? Hiding yourself for the sake of others, it makes you feel like you've already lost. It's no wonder you look so miserable."

"Grr...!" Tenshi raised a few feet into the air and swung her sword.

"There, are you happy now? Now die!" She flew forward and slashed.

"Not good enough!" I parried and watched as she tried to stop her forward momentum. I jumped forward and slashed at her open back.

"Aah-!" Tenshi cried in pain and crashed to the ground. I jumped over her and trained my sword on her heart.

"A thoughtless and forced assault. Going at things half-heartedly is why you keep losing. To me, and to everyone else!"

Tenshi's eyes flared. "Shut up!!" She flew backwards and regained her footing. She barreled forward with her sword at the ready. Could she telegraph it any more?!

I knocked her sword aside. "Pathetic!! At this rate, you'll be easy prey when the shinigami come for you!"

Tenshi yelled and slashed down again. "Shinigami?? Don't give me that crap. Celestials don't die!"

I raised an eyebrow. "Oh? If that's what you think, then you're sorely mistaken, my dear." I broke contact and jumped back.

Tenshi dropped her guard. "W-wait, what...do you mean? Isn't heaven the end of the line?" I heard something stir in her heart. Was this...fear? Hoh, perhaps there's a way into her heart after all. I swung my sword down and began pacing.

"Celestial-hood grants eternal youth, that much is true. But every living thing will one day die - we are no exception. As you continue to outlive normal humans, the death gods will seek retribution. Unless you have the mental and physical fortitude to resist them..." I snapped my finger.

The tempo quickened a bit. "Q-quit your bluffing."

I sighed. "Did you ever wonder what today's party was really about? It's certainly not because celestials like dirtying their hands. It's an outright necessity to keep their skills sharp!"

"Wha- ...So that's why...!" The harpsichord was becoming steadily out of tune.

I glanced at the brook in the background and quit pacing.

"Have you heard of the signs of the dying deva? They're quite relevant to you now." 

"...!"

Looks like she has.

"Your fruit will wither, your body will sweat..." I crouched.

"And you will not enjoy your lot in life!!" I lunged. Tenshi startled and jumped out of the way. After gaining my footing, I turned and charged, unleashing a series of blows.

"Can you honestly say that you enjoy things as they are now, Tenshi? Crowded by all these small minds, looking down on you?" She grunted as she tried in vain to head off my assault. The trumpet began getting ahead of itself.

"I...nngh!" Tenshi flew backwards, but distance was nothing to me. I dashed under her and struck from behind, and she barely turned around in time to block.

"No, you can't!" I pushed her forward, working her towards the stream once more. "Scared, beaten into submission...at this rate, you will welcome death!"

Tenshi pushed against me. "That's not true!! When the shinigami come, I will just beat them down like -"

"Like you're doing now?!" I stepped forward and put my legs into it. "You can't even bring yourself to be enthusiastic against a normal opponent! With so little drive, the death gods will crack you like a walnut!"

"No...stop...!" Tenshi's breath quickened as her legs gave way to mine. We were now but a few feet from the bank.

Tenshi looked back and saw her plight. I pushed down even harder, strumming the cacophony along. "I brought you here so that doesn't happen!! Do you see now?! If you do not change-!" I stepped forward and pushed her feet to the edge. Tenshi gasped.

"If you cannot unchain your heart from these shackles-!" I kicked her forward, and she cried out. Tenshi's sword fell from her hand as she fell over the edge. She caught herself mid-air, and soared up high. I bounded upwards. Tenshi's eyes widened as I rose above her.

"- Then you shall fall into the depths, AND BE KILLED!!!" I yelled and slammed my heel down on her head. Tenshi screamed and careened downwards. As I performed a backwards somersault, I heard a loud crash from the water, and everything became silent.
« Last Edit: September 10, 2012, 06:55:56 AM by nintendonut888 »
nintendonut888: Hey Baity. I beat the high score for Sanae B hard on the score.dat you sent me. X3
Baity: For a moment, I thought you broke 1.1billion. Upon looking at my score.dat, I can assume that you destroyed the score that is my failed (first!) 1cc attempt on my first day of playing. Congratulations.

[19:42] <Sapz> I think that's the only time I've ever seen a suicide bullet shoot its own suicide bullet

nintendonut888

  • So those that live now, pledge on your fists and souls
  • Leave a sign of your life, no matter how small...
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #15 on: July 12, 2012, 10:39:56 PM »
*pant* *pant*

I crouched on the side of the bank, my breath punctuating the silence.

I did it. I beat her...

...Wait.


...That wasn't what I meant to do. I was supposed to help her...oh no...

I brought my face to my hand.

"Ooh, I'm such a fool..."

I had tried to make my point, but I screwed up. I must have completely broken the poor girl. How can I honestly expect her to pick herself up now...?

...

"Don't give me that shit...!"

?!

I snapped up and looked at the river. Standing in the water was Tenshi, breathing raggedly with her head downward. Her clothes were soaked, and her legs were quaking, as though they could give out at any moment. Even so, she kept her footing, and there was no evidence she had actually fallen in. Then, our match was not...

"I'll die? Fuck that. No, I will not! I will not lose!!" She lifted her head, and I gasped. Those tiny pupils, those gnashing teeth...it was almost bestial.

"I don't give a damn what you say to me. I will show you here and now who's afraid!!" She rose to her feet, sword in hand. I stepped back in shock.

This feeling...it's...!

Dancing Water Spray

She raised herself out of the water and hovered, leveling her sword at my head.

"I am the keeper of earthquakes, the eldest daughter of the Hinanawi clan! And now, I shall bury you far deeper than any keystone!!! AAAAAH!" She dived forward with a charging pierce.

!

I dodged right, and Tenshi touched down and skid along the grass. I turned and dashed forward, but Tenshi predicted my strike and hopped left, striking at me midair. I blocked it and countered, but she ducked and leapt to my side. Planting my feet, I rushed her and stabbed, but she parried and flew left.

"Gck-!" I changed directions as quickly as I could, and lunged forward. Tenshi flew into the air and took off, leaving me to slide along the ground.

Hah, these violins...! I whipped around and looked up at Tenshi. She brought her feet back and threw her hand forward. With a flash, several red spears rained down.

"Danmaku?!" I ducked between them and leapt high in the air. I met her at the apex and we both attacked at once. Sparks flew as I fell to the ground, our swords grinding together.

I laughed as I backpedaled. "Not bad! Now why didn't you do this from -"

"SHUT UP!" I startled as Tenshi shot down at me and - a kick-?!

"Oof-!" Her boot cracked against my ribs, and I stumbled back. I caught my footing quickly, and got ready to - wait, now she's charging-?! I brought up my sword in desperation.

*clash*

I stopped Tenshi's momentum and her hair flew forward, spraying me with water. Our blades shook between us.

"Impressive! But you will never beat me in a standoff!!" I planted my feet and pushed.

...?

She's not moving...!

Tenshi's red eyes flared. She pushed forward and - and - slowly, my arms began to fall back.

Th-this can't be happening! I gasped.

I broke contact with a backwards hop, and she stumbled forward. Not skipping a beat, she caught herself and propelled forward with a pierce.

"Guh-!" I bent right and barely avoided the tip. I teetered back and prepared to counter, but she was too quick. We clashed, and she righted herself.

I grinned as I pressed her. Though I unleashed attack after attack, Tenshi continued to block them effortlessly. Each twist of her wrist was carefully calculated, her arms dancing in the air like a conductor with her baton! Such grace, such beauty!

Tenshi ducked my next swing, and I lost balance. She ducked right, spun, and slashed at my side.

"AAH!" I propelled myself forward on one foot and landed a good distance away. I pivoted and growled.

Tenshi bolted towards me and unleashed a powerful horizontal slash. I raised my sword just in time, and our swords deflected. Her arm fell back, and I realized she was open.

"YAAAH!" I buried my sword into her exposed shoulder.

She screamed. "That shoulder still hurts you bastard!!!" She lunged straight at my eyes and headbutted.

"UNN-!" My vision swam; my feet tumbled beneath me as my eyes rolled to the sky. Aaaaaa-

I felt a violent impact as her arm dug into my chest.

?!

Tenshi screamed in my ear as I was whipped around and released with incredible speed.

"AIIIIIIIEEE-!" My scream died in my throat as I crashed along the ground.

"Ooh..." I held my head and gazed up at Tenshi - at least, a Tenshi-like shape.

Hah, is it just me, or is she smiling...?

If she was smiling though, it had disappeared by the time my vision cleared. Her chest heaved in and out, and this time she was the one pointing the sword.

"Hah...how's that? I win; you lose. Feel free to grovel." She chuckled haphazardly.

My heart fluttered. This violin, dictating a strong, feminine identity, was finally back in the forefront. The background was now filled with a lively guitar...

"Yes...I like this much better."

Tenshi blinked. "What...?"

I felt my lips crease into a true smile. "Yes, show me more, MORE!" I drove my foot into Tenshi's femur.

"AAH, son of a-" I scrambled to my feet and retrieved my sword. I shook my head and readied myself for the next round.

Tenshi steadied herself and stared with a perturbed look. "You want more...?"

I swung my blade. "I have dreamt of this day for centuries. You think I would give up now? Besides, we agreed this fight wouldn't end until one of us fell into the water. THIS FIGHT'S NOT OVER!" I rushed towards her and we clashed.

Tenshi broke my hold and aimed for my side. "I don't get you! If you came to put me in my place, why are you still fighting? You can't win!"

I twirled to her side and struck back. "You don't get it, do you? I brought you here to test you! I've been waiting for this!"

Tenshi dodged my next slice and took to the air. "You...were waiting? I don't understand...you..." Her eyes strained.

I shook my head. "You don't have to understand. Let's just have some fun..."

The trumpet stopped up for a second, and then began to soar. Tenshi's mouth twisted into a crooked grin.

She raised her sword. "Very well. If that's what you want, I'll show you no mercy!!" She dived down at me.

I hopped backwards, and Tenshi landed in a crouch. She leapt forward with a stab. I sprung up and over her, and we both landed and locked eyes.

I glanced from Tenshi to the brook; our duel had shifted some distance away from the battlefield. I grinned at Tenshi and bolted towards it.

"Hey, get back here!!"

The grass and wind blew against my body as I approached the water. God, this feels great!

*CRASH*

?! I looked left and caught a red pillar dispersing. I craned my neck and saw Tenshi flying in hot pursuit, with more danmaku on the way.

"Ha ha, catch me if you can!" I strafed right, then left, and the ground shook as each pillar missed. Now at the bank, I jumped with all my might, and another crash resounded behind me.

"Haaaa!" I landed on the other side and turned around. Tenshi was right on top of me, and brought her sword down. I raised my own in defense. This should force her to land-

"Take THIS!" She reared back her dangling foot and swung it forward.

"OO-" I staggered back. Tenshi landed and charged me. Damn, I can't block in time -

*STAB*

I screamed. My ribcage stopped the tip, but ow, OWW!

I brought my fist down on the sword and smashed the blunt end of my blade into Tenshi's head. The girl recoiled in pain, and I took that time to gain some distance. She shook her head and charged. I dashed to Tenshi's side and flanked her. Changing directions, I leapt and slashed her backside.

"AAH!" Tenshi crashed to her knees. I brought my legs to a halt and rushed her. Her eyes widened and she brought up her sword to defend herself.

"Take this!" I kicked upwards into her elbow.

Tenshi screamed as her elbow shot up high. I focused on the raised sword and slashed at the base, knocking it out of her hand.

"No!" She reached out in vain as the sword tumbled through the air and fell into the stream.

"Nngh-!"

Tenshi gritted her teeth as she exchanged glances between me and her empty hand. I laughed and raised my sword.

"It's over!" I swung right, but Tenshi dropped to the ground and I missed.

Gah, gotta - AAH?! The ground disappeared beneath my feet and I fell to the ground. She kicked them out?!

I twisted to my back, but Tenshi had already risen to her feet. She tackled me back down and threw herself on my sword hand.

"Gimme that sword!!"

That's her plan?! I can't allow that!

"Gnk, get off me-!" Tenshi clenched her fist and punched my cheek. I groaned, but the pain only tightened my grip.

Finally getting a knee loose, I slammed it into Tenshi's back. She gasped and fell to my side, and I scrambled to my feet. Damn, she's getting serious!

Tenshi flew up from the ground and glared at me with her hands poised.

"What have you got now, huh? Let's see!!" I charged at her. She flew over me, and I realized just how close she had been to the stream. I slammed my feet down and skidded to a halt at the last second.

Whew, that was close. I turned to Tenshi and - danmaku?!

*pock pock pock*

"Aaaaaah!" My body teetered over the water. Summoning all my leg strength, I managed to keep my balance. I lurched forward and charged Tenshi, ignoring the rainbow of danmaku peppering my chest.

"Tch!" Tenshi flew left, and my strike missed. She touched down a few meters from the bank, and we faced each other. She stared at my legs in contempt. Is she jealous? I twirled my sword and smiled back. Heh heh, I knew all that mountain climbing would pay off someday.

Tenshi stood motionless for a few moments, then looked back to me and...charged?! With no weapon, is she mad?! I raised my sword in warning, but she showed no signs of stopping.

"HAAAAH!" I swung with both hands just as Tenshi got into range and - she ducked! Oh, shoo-

*CRACK*

My chin whipped to the sky as Tenshi uppercut me. My ears rang in agony. Oow, damn i-

A sharp pain to my sword hand. My fingers twitched, and another blow - oh god - my sword!!

I watched in horror as my sword clanged to the ground. But with Tenshi right here, I can't - I darted back to Tenshi, just as she finished rearing back her head.

!!!

*BAM*

I screamed, and again my head pounded against me.

Wh-wh-what do I do-

Suddenly I felt a massive impact against my thighs and fell forward. I was raised up and my nose slammed into something. This is...her back? She's grabbing my legs-?! A-and now we're flying?!

I stared down.

"AAAAAH!" The blood rushed to my head as the ground fell further and further away! No, no!

"T-tenshi, let go! I-I can't fly!"

"Good! Into the stream you go!!!"

?!

I dangled helplessly. Shit, I hate being this high...!

"THIS IS IT!!" Tenshi reared back her arms.

Without thinking, I threw my hands around Tenshi's back.

"TAAAAKE THI-GUH?!" Tenshi gasped as she threw me forward. I tightened my grip, and she fell forward with me.

"L-let go of-a-Ahh?!"

We're falling!!

"AAAUUUUUUG-" "AIIIIIIIIIII!"

My head throbbed as we tumbled through the air, entangled. Upright, downright, upright, downright, UPRIGHT, DOWNRI-

*CRASH*

An ear-shattering splash, pain, and silence.
« Last Edit: October 02, 2015, 05:54:15 PM by nintendonut888 »
nintendonut888: Hey Baity. I beat the high score for Sanae B hard on the score.dat you sent me. X3
Baity: For a moment, I thought you broke 1.1billion. Upon looking at my score.dat, I can assume that you destroyed the score that is my failed (first!) 1cc attempt on my first day of playing. Congratulations.

[19:42] <Sapz> I think that's the only time I've ever seen a suicide bullet shoot its own suicide bullet

nintendonut888

  • So those that live now, pledge on your fists and souls
  • Leave a sign of your life, no matter how small...
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #16 on: July 12, 2012, 10:46:00 PM »
*cough cough cough*

I lifted my head from the water and spat. Head...pounding. Water...freezing...! I slipped and fell back underwater for a moment. I propped my arms under me and breathed heavily.

A loud splash from the right. Up from the water came Tenshi with a gasp, her hair completely covering her face.

*Cough cough coughhhhh* She threw her hair over her shoulder.

*gasp* *gasp*

Sputtering, she clawed her way to the bank in front of us.

"Y-you crazy bitch... You could have killed us both...!" Her face contorted in pain. I felt a cold chill in my heart.

"T-tenshi..." I coughed and tried to find my feet.

She threw her face to the edge and buried it into the grass.

"You're nuts... From the moment I met you I knew you were a loony, but...this..." I heard quiet sobs.

No...I...was I wrong? Did I truly overdo it? Oh god...

"Tenshi...I..." I crawled forward. I couldn't think of the words to say.

"That fight...you...I...ha...haha...! She curled up.

...?

"Hhhhhhahahahhahahaha. AHAHAHAHAHA!!"

She lifted herself on her hands. She was shaking.

"The way you grabbed me...th-tha-pfffthehehehpffffff-!" She turned to me, tears in her eyes. She doubled over in laughter.

"HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!! WE COULD HAVE DIED, OH MY GOD! HA HA HA HA HAAAA!!!"

I was dumbstruck. What was this, this, this beauty? Her laughter rang in my ears louder than any song I had ever heard.

"And what was up with that speech back then anyway?! How long did you rehearse thaaaahaha...!" She wiped her tears away.

It was spectacular. It was musical all on its...I mean, it was as though a genius had been...it...it...

Who the hell cares, it's beautiful.

"...Hm...!" I brought a hand up to my lip.

"Hmm hmm hmm...!" I bent over.

I started chuckling...no I giggled...n-no, I...

"PFFFFT-!"

I laughed. I laughed and I laughed and I laughed. I laughed so hard I fell over and had to gasp for more air, after which I immediately began laughing again.

Tenshi giggled and extended a hand, and I took it. As she lifted me out I fell forward, and our heads touched.

"Hahahaha..." "Hehehehe..."

Together, we crawled away from the bank and onto the moist grass. We looked at each other, then to the sky, and held our sides as the plain echoed with our laughter.

"HAHAHAHAHAAAAAA...!"
"HEHEHEHEHEEHEHEEE...!"

When we returned to the party, the celestials would no doubt bombard us with questions. "Where did we go?" "What were we doing?" But that didn't matter. No look of disapproval, nothing they said could take away this pleasure, this rapturous feeling we shared. No...nothing, ever again...

---

"By the way... I've been meaning to ask you for a while now..."

"Hmm?"

"Who are you?"

"Eeh?"

"Your name! You never once gave me your name!"

"You never asked."

"Wha-! ...You really are rude, you know that?"

*giggle*

...

"Miyo. Miyo Kusunoki. It's a pleasure to meet you, Tenshi."

"...Yeah. It's a pleasure to meet you, too."






"Hey, Miyo? You'll come back tomorrow, right? It's so boring here; you'll come and keep me company, won't you?"

"Eheh, of course, for as long as you want! It's no fun with only one person, after all."

"...Heh. Right."

---

This concludes the first arc of A Celestial Rhapsody. I thank you for reading up until now, and I hope you enjoyed the fruits of my labor. I will be taking a small break from writing, so the next chapter may not be for a while. Nonetheless, I hope you will come back again.
« Last Edit: September 21, 2012, 07:51:51 PM by nintendonut888 »
nintendonut888: Hey Baity. I beat the high score for Sanae B hard on the score.dat you sent me. X3
Baity: For a moment, I thought you broke 1.1billion. Upon looking at my score.dat, I can assume that you destroyed the score that is my failed (first!) 1cc attempt on my first day of playing. Congratulations.

[19:42] <Sapz> I think that's the only time I've ever seen a suicide bullet shoot its own suicide bullet

Iced Fairy

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Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #17 on: July 16, 2012, 01:53:54 AM »
My brain doesn't work so I'll post some intelligent and meaningful commentary here later.  For now I simply want to say I enjoyed the violence and am looking forward to your further work when you get the time.  As is though it stands nicely on it's own.

ninryu

  • Ordinary Magician
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Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #18 on: August 03, 2012, 07:14:16 PM »
That's a nice story. I'm looking forward to the rest. BTW, is Miyo a guy or a girl?

nintendonut888

  • So those that live now, pledge on your fists and souls
  • Leave a sign of your life, no matter how small...
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #19 on: August 26, 2012, 09:46:38 PM »
Miyo is female. Physically, she is at least ten years older than Tenshi, though that only reflects how old she was when she became a celestial. With any luck, a full physical description will be made available in the near future.

Anyway, thank you for your patience. The second arc of A Celestial Rhapsody will now begin.

---

Beautiful Nature Sight

The grass crunched beneath our feet as we stepped lightly between the forest brush. The uniquely thick canopy let patterned light stream down upon us, giving the forest a brilliant turquoise hue.

"...So that's my power in a nutshell: The ability to hear other people's songs."

Tenshi tilted her head and smiled. "Heee, that's so weird. I still can't wrap my head around it."

I giggled. "That's why I kept it secret. It's a chore to explain something only you can sense."

Tenshi looked up. "Man though, a new song for every person, for every situation? You must never be bored." She held her hands behind her back and hummed wistfully.

"Hmm, I wouldn't say that. The bums of Bhava-agra never change. It's only once in a blue moon that I get to hear anything nice. That's why I was drawn to..."

-!

I caught myself and trailed off, embarrassed to admit my feelings. Tenshi looked at me puzzled for a second, before adopting a sneaky grin.

"Hooh, I see." She trotted ahead of me, stopping under a patch of light. She turned to me in a girlish pose and bounced on her heels.

"In that case, what are you listening to now?"

I softened my eyes. "I hear a vibrant and playful tune, led by a flute. A sweet violin tells of a girl who has rediscovered her reason to live. Her melody which had begun to lose its direction has returned in full form, and a new chapter is ready to be written."

...

*snrk*

"Eh?" I opened my eyes. Tenshi was covering her mouth and suppressing laughter.

"What the heck? Who do you think you are, a master poet?"

I felt my face grow hot.

"Y-you're the one who asked!"

"Indeed I did~" Tenshi replied in a sing-song voice and smirked. I clenched my sweating palms and stormed past her laughing figure.

I'm like this, but admittedly I'm having trouble hiding my smile. Who would have guessed I would ever be going on a picnic with someone who feels the same as me?

Tenshi caught up to me and smiled serenely. I stole a few glances at her as we neared our destination - it's amazing how much she's changed. With animated gestures, a wide smile, and this beautiful song, it's hard to believe she's the same withdrawn girl I met at that party a mere week ago.

I have a good feeling about the future. And once I show her that, there will be no limits to this wonderful feeling.
---

Not too long after, we came to our destination. The untamed forest abruptly opened into a large clearing, and we soon reached...

"This is your house? It's very, uh..." Tenshi raised an eyebrow at the two-room building as though it were the punchline of a bad joke.

"I must seem like a hermit living in a hovel like this, huh?" I smiled. "Don't worry, I won't ask you to come inside."

Tenshi waved her hands. "N-no, that's not it. It's just, you know..." She looked away awkwardly.

I stepped to the door and waved away the concerns behind me. "It's fine, it's fine. I'm just a crazy old lady who lives in the forest, right? Just find a good spot in the garden; I'll get things set up on my end.

"Garden? Ooh..." She trailed off, so she must have noticed. Fu fu, it makes me proud to have someone else appreciate it.

Well anyway, let's get things ready. I slid open the shoji and entered. Tenshi brought the cloth and fish, so I merely need to make the tea and serve peaches. Well, and that.

Going through the mindless task of heating the water and filling the pot with tea leaves, I found myself humming the now-familiar tune. I closed my eyes and let my head sway to the xylophones.

Aah, this is true heaven~ And there are surely so many more ways this song can manifest, too... I smiled.

...

But still, there are only so many experiences I can show Tenshi in Bhava-agra...even though we're happy now, we'll eventually get bored. I exhaled and gathered my nerve. Leaving the pot to boil, I walked into the bedroom and opened the dusty clothes closet.

"If the two of us are truly to outsmart the system, we'll need something special..." I rummaged through the (mostly white) dresses and reached toward the back. "Something like...-"

My heart jumped as I picked out the bright red of the cloth. I reached into the pile of old clothes and pulled out that, running its silky texture through my hands.

Yes, in my hands was a large shawl, dyed a brilliant scarlet. An enchanted object, it allows even someone with no spiritual power like me the ability of flight. Though many celestials wear something like this, I've never been one for the fashion. But this...

I felt my heart well up as old memories returned to me.

An old man on the ground, eyes filled with regret...a young woman, hearing things she knew she shouldn't know...going forth, heedless of the strings of doubt...

"Nngh-!" I snapped up and shook my head. No, now's not the time.

I took a deep breath and listened to the distant melody from outside.

Yes, that's all in the past now...think about what's truly important.

After a minute, my heartbeat finally returned to normal. Wrapping the shawl lightly around my shoulders, I sat on my bed.

Get a hold of yourself Miyo. If those memories still weigh on your mind, we'll simply use this opportunity to make new ones. I breathed out and relaxed.

...

Strange, it feels like I forgot something...

*bubble bubble bubble*

"Oh shoot, the teapot-!" I sprung up and rushed back into the living room.

---

"Whew..." I wiped the sweat from my brow. It took a bit longer than expected, but everything's ready. I set the steaming tea on the platter, next to the peaches I picked.

Mmm, I hope I didn't keep Tenshi waiting. I'd better go check on her. I tightened the shawl and exited. I started down the stone path to the garden, and before long...

"Aah." I found her. Amongst the peach trees, sunflowers, and countless species I never figured out, Tenshi stood beneath a shining tree. This tree, standing three meters tall, reached outward with perfectly formed branches, each covered with glistening, multi-colored gems. I stroked my chin and decided to watch for a bit.

"Wow...it's so beautiful..." Tenshi pulled down a branch and ran her fingers over one of the many rainbow-like jewels. Even though I couldn't see her face, the delicate motion of her hands indicated a quiet sense of respect and awe.

Tenshi let go and looked up, letting her arms drop limply. She murmured softly to herself.

"If she owns something like this, maybe I oughta give her more credit. Golly..."

It was such a simple sight, but for some reason I couldn't help but giggle. I stepped forward to announce my presence.

"Do you know what kind of tree this is, Tenshi?"

She didn't turn around. "No, what is this, Miyo? I've never seen anything like it..."

"This is the crown jewel of my collection: The udonge tree."

Tenshi lowered her head. "Udonge...? Isn't that the tree that only blooms every thousand years or so?"

I walked to her side. "Three thousand, I believe. But no, this is something far more rare - oh, feel free to pick one."

Tenshi snapped off one of the jewels and cupped it in her hands. "Rare...?"

"Yes. This tree hails from the Lunarian capital, a land of purity far above our own Bhava-agra."

Her eyes widened. "This is from the moon? Wow...it must be dazzling, if such things grow there."

I frowned slightly.

"Actually, this tree was never meant to bloom. You see, the udonge thrives in an environment of impurity. In its natural habitat, what you see now would be nothing but a withered branch."

"What, really? So even heaven is impure to this tree? ...Well, I suppose we all came from Earth originally, huh." She shrugged.

I chuckled. "You catch on quick. To those that live on the moon, even we are uncultured swine, unable to comprehend their pure existence. To them, this beautiful udonge here is but a reminder of our inferiority." I leaned forward slightly. "What do you make of that, Tenshi?"

She turned to me without hesitation.

"That's stupid. If being impure means living in a world where something like this can exist, I'd take that over purity any day."

Even though I was expecting that answer, I felt my heart jump. My lips curled into a smile, and I felt my hands grip the ends of my shawl.

"That makes me very happy, Tenshi. Truly, to hear that from a fellow celestial, it makes my heart feel light..." I closed my eyes and concentrated. The frilled edges of the shawl began to glow. Taking in the feeling of weightlessness, I let the magic of the shawl carry me off the ground.

"Miyo...?"

Floating under the glistening branches, I looked down upon the awestruck Tenshi and extended my hand.

"Now, my dear, shall we taste the miracles of our world, under this monument to our sins?"
« Last Edit: April 27, 2016, 04:03:07 AM by nintendonut888 »
nintendonut888: Hey Baity. I beat the high score for Sanae B hard on the score.dat you sent me. X3
Baity: For a moment, I thought you broke 1.1billion. Upon looking at my score.dat, I can assume that you destroyed the score that is my failed (first!) 1cc attempt on my first day of playing. Congratulations.

[19:42] <Sapz> I think that's the only time I've ever seen a suicide bullet shoot its own suicide bullet

nintendonut888

  • So those that live now, pledge on your fists and souls
  • Leave a sign of your life, no matter how small...
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #20 on: August 26, 2012, 09:47:38 PM »
"Hey Tenshi. What do you think of the world below?"

"Hmm? You mean Earth...?" Tenshi sipped her after-meal tea slowly.

I nodded. Tenshi stymied a laugh.

"What kind of a question is that?" She shook her head. "Well, let's see... I was always been tied to the shrine, so everything I know outside of Gensokyo, I've only read in books. But life on Earth was pretty neat, you know? There's always something to do, and people to see. So, obviously, I love it..." Her eyes softened, and a small smile creased her lips.

"Hmm, I see. Have you ever wanted to see the world outside Japan, though?"

"Eh? The rest of it...?" The pitch shifted up slightly. "W-well, it's not as though I've never wanted to see it, but that's impossible, you know? The shogunate forbids travel outside the country."

I startled. "That's still happening? Oh..." I felt my shoulders slump.

"Yeah, I don't really get it." Tenshi scratched her cheek thoughtfully. "But still, the world outside always did sound fascinating. Different skin colors, different landscapes, ideas...I mean, the books always criticized them, but it sounded so...exciting." She sighed softly.

I nodded. "So you think the same, huh."

She looked at me with a sad smile.

"Doesn't it suck that we're stuck up here? It would have been so nice to get out and see it all, just once..."

"Indeed. So, would you like to see it with me?"

"I... ...." I tried to hide my grin as her lively song ground to a halt, as though a long fermata had been penned in.

...

"...Excuse me?" Starting with the xylophones, she slowly found her footing.

*snrk* I covered my mouth. "Hehehe, that was great Tenshi. Your face, it's priceless...!" Evidently, I failed to hide it.

Tenshi reddened a bit. "Whaat? So that was a joke?"

"No, no, forgive me..." I took a small breath. "No, I am very serious, Tenshi. This may come as a surprise to you, but I have the means to travel the world and leave heaven whenever I want.

She jumped. "W-what? Seriously?!" Her eyes widened.

I beamed. "Yes, and I have those means right...here." I opened my palms toward the folded shawl at my side.

...

Tenshi crawled forward slowly and inspected the cloth.

"This? But it's just a shawl. And a pretty old one too, by the looks of it." She ran her fingers across it.

I pressed my hand to my chest. "That just means it has class! I'll have you know I take very good care of it!"

Tenshi murmured, then sat back. "So what is this, then? It looks very well-used."

I cleared my throat. "This is one of the legendary shawls bestowed unto the emissaries of the dragon palace. Anyone who wears one of these is gifted with the power of flight."

Tenshi nodded. "Haah, I see. But what good does that d-Eh?! What?" She looked at me in shock.

"W-wait, DRAGON PALACE?!"

I waved the end of the shawl at Tenshi. "What, don't I look the part~?"

"C--c-cut the crap Miyo! If that's true, then how did...I mean, you...what...?" She pointed at the shawl, dumbfounded. I chuckled.

"It's the truth. If you must know, this was given to me as a gift, a very, very long time ago." I felt a small pit in my chest, but I shook it off.

"Anyway, it's not really important how I got it. I assure you this is the real deal."

Tenshi babbled in a hushed tone. "Huh, now that I look at it, it does remind me of what the oarfish wear... Huh...wow. I guess I underestimated you, again." Tenshi regained her composure and gave me a proud smile.

"So, what makes it special? I'm not really familiar with the emissaries, but even if it's through clothing, flight is just flight, isn't it?"

"Mm mm mmm~" I waggled my finger. "It is a bit more than just 'flight.' The domain of the dragons covers the entire world; in order to oversee it, the emissaries are granted power appropriately." I wrapped the long shawl around my arms.

"Though this shawl does grant anyone who wears it the ability to fly, its true power allows its bearer to sift through the fabric of the world, letting them warp to any place on Earth.  Perhaps it'd be better to call it "flying through reality?"

Tenshi looked up in thought. "...That doesn't make any sense."

I gave a wry smile. "You're right, it doesn't. I don't claim to know how it works, but the fact remains that with this, there is no place in this world I cannot visit."

"Huh..." Tenshi knit her brow, then looked at me intently.

"I don't understand. Why are you telling me this, so suddenly?"

"Didn't I say that already? I'm asking you to come with me."

"N-no, that's not what I mean. I mean, we've only just met..."

I gave a small sigh. "Don't get me wrong. I greatly value the time we've spent together this past week, and it has been a pleasure to get to know you better. But, Tenshi, surely you know what will happen if you stay in Bhava-agra too long."

At this, Tenshi's face stiffened slightly.

"You've seen it all already, haven't you? No matter where you go, you will see the same dull people, the same scenery, and hear the same sounds. Even if you're having fun now, eternal life is a long time to live. In a place like this, eventually I too will just be another face in the crowd. You understand, don't you?"

"I...yeah..." Tenshi's fingers dug into her skirt.

"So please think about it. I've shown my hand; the rest is up to you."   

I stood up and paused, to let the information sink in. As I observed Tenshi, her face passed through several complex expressions. Surprise, sadness, jealousy, maybe there was even a bit of anger. But throughout the disharmony, her melody remained steady and firm. She will certainly not turn me away now.

Finally, she stood to meet me. "...But why? I-I mean, it's quite an offer, and I'm certainly interested, but...why do you care about me so much? What are you after?"

I lifted my arm. "This shawl is too big for one person to wear. I have visited the world many times in the past, but no matter where I went, I never felt anything. Understand, Tenshi, that the moment you enter heaven, the world of humans becomes something you can never be a part of again." I frowned.

"I see..." Her eyes strained.

I approached her. "It's frustrated me, Tenshi. There was no one in heaven who could understand my desire...nobody I could share the world with."

I removed the shawl partially and brought it over my head. It's no metaphor; this shawl is so long, two people can be wrapped in it, if it is done lightly.

"But recently, something has changed. I've met someone I can call a friend. You."

Now at arm's length, Tenshi bit her lip. "M-Miyo, this is too much..."

I gave a small sigh. "I don't expect you to give me an answer right away. I realize I'm being mighty forward right now. But Tenshi, I have listened long and hard. It may sound improper to say this so soon after we've met, but I believe in you. If you could believe in me..." I tentatively held the removed portion of the shawl towards her.

Our eyes locked. Even though I said that, I don't think I could bear to wait even another minute to hear her answer.

...

...

...

Tenshi gazed away with a conflicted look. Facing away from me, she slowly walked to the udonge tree. She ran her hand down its aged bark, and lowered her head.

I tensed up. At this point, it's impossible to read her mood. Will she, or won't she...? What if she doesn't? I hadn't planned on that. What if I scared her away? What will I...

"Miyo."

I snapped up. "Yes??"

"We're going to have fun, right?"

"Yes, of course! We can escape from this place and go anywhere, do anything!"

She raised her head. "No limits?"

"None at all. We are celestials, after all."

A laugh. "Well, then..."

She faced me with fiery eyes.

"Let's do it."

"Tenshi..." I smiled.

---

The next hour was a blur. Though she seemed reluctant when I posed the offer, once she agreed, she really got into the planning. The details quickly fell into place. In a few months, her father is planning a procession, so we would wait until then. Tenshi could slip out part-way, and make an excuse later.  In the mean time, I will gather information on the world below in my own style, and share my knowledge with her when we're together. It's been decades since I last descended, but I'm sure the world is bustling as usual; we'll have no trouble finding places we want to go. There's all sorts of undecided stuff like how long we can be gone and how to cover our tracks, but we can work those out later. This is all crazy and I can't believe this went as well as I planned, but Tenshi became so enthusiastic and it made me happy too and I am so excited.

---

"Well, I'm off. See you tomorrow Miyo!" Tenshi waved to me at the entrance to the forest and started home. Is it just my imagination, or has her tone gotten sweeter?

"Take care. Watch out for strangers~!" I chuckled and waved.

...

I lowered my hand and placed it over my heart, where this warm feeling was building. I feel so blessed...so blessed to have met this wonderful girl. As usual, my judgment is never wrong. I'm not sure what the future will bring, but merely being able to look forward to something again is so satisfying.

"Hmm hmm. Everything will begin tomorrow. ...A new beginning, huh...?"

I lay down on the grass and gazed up at the evening sky. There's no need to return home just yet...
« Last Edit: September 06, 2012, 04:08:50 PM by nintendonut888 »
nintendonut888: Hey Baity. I beat the high score for Sanae B hard on the score.dat you sent me. X3
Baity: For a moment, I thought you broke 1.1billion. Upon looking at my score.dat, I can assume that you destroyed the score that is my failed (first!) 1cc attempt on my first day of playing. Congratulations.

[19:42] <Sapz> I think that's the only time I've ever seen a suicide bullet shoot its own suicide bullet

ninryu

  • Ordinary Magician
  • Magus Night
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #21 on: August 27, 2012, 05:49:14 PM »
My yuri senses are tingling.

And let me guess,
Spoiler:
Miyo is Iku?

Zengar Zombolt

  • Space-Time Tuning Circle - Wd/Fr
  • Green-Red Divine Clock
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #22 on: August 31, 2012, 06:37:29 AM »
Even more important: Was that a "believe in me who believes in you"?

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batall?n Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #23 on: September 11, 2012, 02:15:59 PM »
I read this all last night! I'm intrigued by this story you've got set up. I can't wait to see what happens to Chiko and Miyo next. :3c

Forsaken by all

  • "Here, this is for you." Hands you a german 'Gift'
Re: A Celestial Rhapsody
« Reply #24 on: September 12, 2012, 07:13:43 PM »
This is getting better, better and better. Honestly, this story got me totally, I can't wait to see what happens next. :D
The only difference between good and bad is, that good feels more comfortable for all, while bad focuses on the individual's desires. Thus, good is widely spread badness. Every good person is also a bad person, but not vice-versa. Do you still want to be a good person?