Author Topic: The Life of a Ferrywoman  (Read 1764 times)


  • MoonScraper
The Life of a Ferrywoman
« on: June 29, 2014, 10:59:05 AM »
A short story that I came up with last month.  One who has read " Touhou - The End of the Maiden's Illusion" will quickly see that this story is inspired on it. This is obviously not a canon story. I have a feeling that a few bits might be redundant but I still thought I might as well post it.


It's been a long while since all of this started. Komachi didn't remember how long she started her duty as a ferrywoman. Even though she used to be a slacker, she still felt rather comfortable with ferrying the many spirits. Granted, she still felt concerned for some of the spirits that lingered for a long time. She would sometimes see children unable to understand what happened to them and they were not yet ready to go on and cross the Sanzu River to reach Higan. However, several millenia had passed and she got used to such a sight. Talking with ghosts and spirits was a rather pointless activity but sometimes, a few were surprisingly different, talking quite a bit. Still, she took it with a light-hearted attitude even though some were not pleasant.
However, one day, things started changing much faster than she could had possibly imagined. One day, a certain magician who used to have blonde hair casually walked to the river. Funny, Komachi felt that of all the humans she knew, Marisa was the first to come to mind about seeking a way to reach immortality and succeed about it. Yet, life showed that it's not predictable. She found someone she loved and while she kept becoming more of an amazing magician, she found satisfaction with her life. Komachi was unsure but she heard from Eiki that the magician had a child. Marisa hailed Komachi with a warm smile and said she was ready. Even though she used to be a slacker back in those days, she couldn't say no. Even though Marisa grew old, she never changed. She was still full of energy and seeing her like this surprised Komachi. She saw some people cross the river without any regrets, happy with the life they had but Marisa was someone she knew for years and to see her still unchanged was a bit of a change even though it had been her duty to carry people for so long.
This experience repeated itself within a few years when the shrine maiden came to the river. Reimu changed when she became a grown-up adult, taking care of her duty more seriously but her attitude towards people remained untouched. She treated everyone the same. Komachi used to laugh when she saw her treat her husband no differently although it was clear she loved him with all her heart. After allowing Reimu to cross the river, she came to realize what was the cause of her reacting in another way than she used to. These two humans were people she knew. While it was nothing like being best friends, they still had a positive relationship and they were on good terms.
Years kept passing and it didn't take long until all the other humans passed away. The only one that remained to the best of her knowledge were a few hermits and the immortal woman who lives in the forest. Akyuu had passed as well but by then she grew accustomed to this. The two would talk like old friends whenever she crossed the river. Even she had a child at some point, deciding that Gensokyo became different and interesting to the point she felt it was a wonderful time to bring a child in such an age. A few centuries had passed and she made new friends such as the children of her old friends and the cycle repeated but eventually, the Child of Miare came to the river once more. She sat on the ship with the same smile as usual but she then said words that shook Komachi. She had decided that it was time for her to finally rest for good, saying that she now had someone to take over her duty. She seemed so proud and happy when she said this. Komachi looked on as she saw the Child of Miare got off her little ship and waved with what might had been the largest smile she's seen on a person. She looked so happy even though an overwhelming amount of fatigue could be seen in her eyes.
Gensokyo reached a sort of "death" too to bring a new life to it. One day, Kanako's plan reached fruition and a new age was brought in Gensokyo. Her faith increased and as humans grew more fascinated with technology, it marched on to a degree no one could imagine or keep under control. Ironically, all this faith she gained would prove to be something that was useful on a temporary level. She eventually was forgotten and so were many of the gods in Gensokyo. Komachi felt at some point that there was very little difference between the human world and Gensokyo at this point. She didn't know what happened to the celestials but they were no longer there. The same could be said about the hermits that were still alive. Perhaps they went to a more quiet place? What about the lunarians and the two eternals? Did they leave as well? Where? The netherworld was of course no longer possible to access easily as it used to be. Still, youkai didn't fully vanish from existence. The many years of improved relations between humans and youkai brought many half-youkai like Rinnosuke. Humans and half-youkai living together was now an acceptable thing in life.
These are the sort of things that came to mind to Komachi at this moment as she was on her boat, crossing the Sanzu river with a spirit sitting in the back. How long had it been? How long...? She sighed, not sure what to make out of all of this. The person on the ship smiled at her and asked what was wrong. Komachi said that in a sort of way, she never believed that these sort of things would happen. More than all, she never thought that THIS would happen. To Komachi, the thought of seeing this person on her ship was something that her brain couldn't process and yet, it was happening. That elder youkai who had been taking care of Gensokyo for so long, Yukari was on her ship, enjoying this trip. As they finally reached their destination, Komachi's heart grew heavy.  She saw Yukari smiling and about to leave but this was unbearable for her. After so many years, she had to see all her friends go one by one and this trip on the Sanzu River was unlike any others.
"What's going to happen now...?" asked Komachi. Yukari seemed to feign ignorance to tease Komachi. Much like the humans she knew, youkai were often the same even after death.
"Well, I go to await my judgement, right?" She smiled at Komachi but the shinigami had a hard time finding any amusement in this. Yukari shook her head and walked to Komachi, giving a pat on her head.
"I admit I loved Gensokyo as if it was my own child. Yet, I can leave happy. I know that Gensokyo will never truly be gone. You're still here after all right? By now, I think you understand what I feel for Gensokyo. You were able to see how precious every single lives on it were, right?"
Komachi thought for a moment and a light smile appeared on her face. It had been so long since she last smiled.
"Gensokyo... it really is a nice place isn't it?" said Komachi.
"Indeed. All of this was worth it in the end, right?" these were the last words Yukari said before saying farewell and walked with a light-hearted attitude within the endless flowers fields of Higan. Something rolled down Komachi's eyes. It was the first time she shed a tear after all this time. It felt very bittersweet but she was able to take this with a positive light as her ship slowly left the shores of Higan, allowing her to see her last friend from this era she loved so much bask in the soothing warmth of Higan.
It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by Rumia.