Topic: Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant  (Read 4532 times)

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Jett

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Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
« on: December 19, 2011, 02:49:27 pm »
Phew, finally, I finished the first chapter of FHGE. This is my first fanfiction, so bare with me if I get some facts wrong. So, without further adieu...



Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
Chapter One: Descending


Every morning I stare at the ceiling.

I have done so every day since I first arrived. It has already been a month of the same routine. A month of waking up, and lying still in my bed, staring at the plain white ceiling. Every morning, I would lie there for a half-hour, without any motivation to rise up. It was as if I was waiting for someone to come into my room and greet me, to brighten my day with a smile, to give me the motivation to begin my day.

Of course, I knew that would never happen.
   
   Sitting up, I observed the emptiness of my room, and then half-heartily removed the bed sheet from my person. A few minutes later, I was dressed in my school’s uniform, and making my way out the door. Along the way I passed the opening to the apartment’s kitchen, which was gathering dust, as well as the main room, it being as empty as the kitchen. I didn’t stop to say good-bye to anyone. There was no one to say it to.

   I was alone. My parents were both successful American business people, the two completely dedicated to their work. A month ago, I, their son, was becoming a distraction to them. To remedy that, they sent me across the ocean to Japan, to complete my studies there. Me, an American teenager who did not know anything about Japanese, language or culture. All a month ago.

   Locking the door to the one-room apartment my parents paid for, I lifted my school bag and began to walk down the stairs, aiming for the convenience store next door. As I proceeded down the steps, I went by a single crow that was sitting peacefully on the railing. It did not react at all when I walked near it. I just looked at it once and continued on my way.

   When I arrived on Japanese soil, I was met by a man in a black suit who explained to me where I would be living from there on and what school I would be attending. He also told me the essentials of living in the country and gave me all the stuff I needed; a credit card, cell phone, school uniform, and etc. After all that, he drove me to the small and simple apartment complex I was to stay at, handed me the keys, and drove off, wishing me luck. He never gave me his name, and I have not seen him since.

   Entering the convenience store, I casually walked into the snack aisle, ignoring the wide selection of trans fats and grabbing two onigri from the shelf. Making sure they were the ones filled with synthetic pickled plums, I then went over to the register counter, where an elderly Japanese woman greeted me with a blank look, a muted TV behind her broadcasting the local news. It appeared that there would be clear skies that night.

   “That will be 200 yen, please.” The old lady said to me without any emotion, her words hollow. She did not even look at what I had picked out. Makes one wonder how many items had left the store for only 200 yen.

   “Here you go.” I responded back simply, pulling out the bills from my pants’ pocket and placing them on the fingerprint-covered glass countertop, along with my assumptions.

   “Thank you… have a good day.” The old lady recited to me before waving me off, returning to her state of stillness. As I walked away, I looked at the TV one last time, catching a glimpse of what appeared to be a reporter at the scene of a crime.

   I know what you must be thinking: how did I communicate with the locals when I did not know any Japanese? And why were they speaking perfect English?

Well, this may sound absurd, but ever since I was a kid, I was always able to understand other people’s words despite language. 

It’s nothing special. If someone were to talk to me in another language, my mind would automatically translate his or her words to English. It was only recently that I found out that when I spoke back, they would know what I was saying, too. I don’t know how or why I have this ability, but frankly, I don’t give much thought about it. It was helping me survive in that country, so why ask questions?

Walking out of the convenience store, I proceeded to the train station, where I soon found myself standing in an overcrowded train after a few minutes of waiting on the platform with multiple irritated business people, workers, and students: all wanting to reach their destinations in peace. As the steel vehicle sped along the tracks, I let out a small yawn and slumped back into the wall, closing my eyes and lowering my head to rest for a bit.

Why was I even making the effort to attend school? I had no obligation to. It was not like I was learning anything. Everything they were teaching me I had already learned, except for the topics in history class. I was not in any clubs or after school activities, and no one at school seemed to remember me long enough to nominate me for clean-up duty. I was just scenery. Why should I waste my time doing something worthless?

 Suddenly, a yelp removed me from my thoughts and caused me raise my head back up, wondering what was going on. In front of me, there was a girl who looked flushed, her eyes shut with tears threatening to fall from the corners. She was shaking slightly, making it obvious that something was not right. Looking over her, I saw a middle age man in a suit staring off to his far right, his face also red. However, his eyes told me what was really going on.

"Sir, I would stop that if I were you." I said to the man after talking a step forward, causing both the girl and him to look at me in surprise.

"What are you talking about?" the man asked in false confusion after hesitating a moment, acting as if he was doing nothing wrong. The girl blinked a few times, amazed that someone had come to her rescue. Of course, I wasn't saving her because I was this defender of justice or some crap like that. Actually, I did not even know why I was stepping in.

"Sir, you wouldn't want me to announce to everyone here what you are doing, do you?" I whispered to the man as I took another step forward, causing the girl to move aside. Despite being surrounded by people, no one seemed to be paying attention to us. That was the reality of the world. No one seemed to care anymore.

“Listen boy. I have no idea what you are talking about, but don’t you go accusing me of something I didn’t do.” The man said to me with malice now leaking from his eyes. He was trying to use the authority he automatically had by being older than me. I, however, did not back down. I was from America; I was used to that type of thing. So I only looked back at him with a determined expression.

“Really? So you were not feeling this girl up just now?” I responded back a little louder, jerking my thumb over in the girl’s direction.

“Of course not! She can even say I wasn’t! Ask her!”

Glancing over to the girl, I did just what the man requested.

“Hey, you. Was this man touching you in any weird way?” I asked the flushed girl next to me, who jumped a little when I spoke to her. Gazing at me with embarrassment, she did not say anything. That gave the man some confidence.

“See! I told you! I’m innocent!” the man shouted to me with a look of relief, unaware that he had spoken too loudly that time. All around us, people began to pay attention to the conversation, curiosity influencing their thoughts. Realizing what had occurred, I decided to take advantage.

“But sir! The girl is clearly uncomfortable! You can tell just by looking at her face! How can you say that you are innocent when it is obvious that you were molesting her!” I cried out, acting the part of a concerned citizen. The minute I finished speaking, the man’s face grew pale, reality catching up to him. At the same time, the people around us in the train cart changed drastically. The women near the man quickly backed away, looks of disgust and fear painted on their faces. The men, somewhat humiliated that one of their own was uncovered as depraved, suddenly grew hostile: all glaring at him. However, the only group of people who did not react seriously were the teenagers on board, each one of them with their cell phone at hand, texting the person next to them about what was happening. All I did was take a step back, and watched on as the flood came crashing down on the man.

“How could you do that to a poor innocent girl?”

“W-wait! I-!”

“You should be ashamed of yourself!”

“N-no, that’s no-!”

“Pervert!”

“Someone call the Police!”

“Quick! Grab him!”

The mob did not even give the man any chance to defend himself. Immediately, they had begun to yell out insults and orders against him, their minds riled up. Soon enough, the man was detained by a group of angry males, and could not do anything more. By then I had stopped paying attention and was back to leaning on the wall of the train, since the matter was now resolved. A few minutes later, the train came to a smooth stop at the next station, causing a single crow to fly past my window from the platform.

Stepping out of the cart before anyone else, I calmly commenced my usual route to the school, not bothering to check what time it was. Proceeding through the waiting platform, I ignored the shouts of the humiliated man as he was basically dragged to the nearest police officer. I had already placed the whole situation behind me. As I walked away, I came into believing that no one from the mob would to be interested in the piece of scenery that stood up for the victim, which was fine by me. Unfortunately, I was wrong, for one person was.

“Umm… excuse me.”

Already outside the train station building, I looked remotely over my shoulder to see who had spoken out. It was the girl from the train, the one the man had abused. At first, I thought that she was calling out to someone else, but after looking around quickly, I found that I was the only one in front of her at the time. I did not know why she wanted to speak to me again. I was an object in the background, someone unimportant. So why…

“Yeah?” I answered as I turned a little to glance at the girl better.

“Oh! W-well, I just… wanted to thank you for what you did back there.” The girl timidly said back to me as she slightly bowed her head, her loose blonde hair swaying forward beneath her white mobcap as she did.

“It was nothing. Really.” I replied back truthfully, not at all sure on how to react to a bow. It was then that an uncomfortable feeling appeared in my chest, causing me to observe the girl more. Though she had blonde hair, she did not seem to be a foreigner like I was. She appeared around my age, but she was not wearing any school uniform. A university student, perhaps? Telling myself that it was pointless to think about that, I turned around fully to leave.

“Wait!”

Having taken a step forward, the girl’s voice stopped me again.

“Yeah?” I said again simply, growing more and more uncomfortable by the second. I was not one for conversations. The girl, as if sensing my discomfort, hesitated a little before speaking again.

“Your uniform. You’re a student at Gaidai Nishi High, right?” she asked quickly, referring to the black school clothes I was wearing.

“Is that all?” I answered back, looking at her over my shoulder again, this time noticing her plum-colored dress, which had a white folded collar with a crimson bow hanging gingerly from it.

   “Well… yes.” The girl said in a puzzled tone. I kept on observing her for a second, wondering why she would ask that of me. Seeing nothing that screamed wicked intentions, I decided to go ahead and answer.

   “Yes. I’m a student there,” I told the girl stoically, continuing as I began to walk away, “I’m also going to be late… Are you okay? I mean, that guy was abusing you, right?” I asked the girl as I stopped, wondering how she was handling the whole situation. It had to be somewhat dramatic, right?

“Oh! Well, you see… that man kinda just bumped into me, and his hand only grabbed my hip, but for all we know he could’ve done that on purpose, right?” the girl answered with a puzzled frown, bringing her hand up to her mouth to think.

As she contemplated her question, I stood there dazed. I may have just condemned an innocent man to a reputation of a pervert. Great.


“Uh… yeah. Anyways, I have to go. Don’t let anyone take advantage of you again, okay?” With that, I left, not even giving her a chance to respond back. For some reason, I noticed another crow near me as I strolled away, this one eyeing me from on top of a streetlamp.

   Ignoring the bird and reflecting over the whole matter as I proceeded down the busy sidewalk, I realized that the girl was the first person who had spoken to me with genuine kindness since I first moved there. In fact, she was probably the first person to hold a conversation with me in a long time. What was her name again?

Stopping in my tracks, I found that I kept referring back to the girl. Attempting to push any thought of her to the back of my mind, I continued on my way to school, but slowly those same thoughts resurfaced. Becoming more and more frustrated, I looked around for something to distract myself with, and found that I was at the main entrance of a park. I paused and stared at the entrance for a few moments, the people on the sidewalk just sidestepping around me, as if I was not even there. Slowly, I began walking into the public area, avoiding bumping into anyone.

   That was not my first time there. I had discovered Maruyama Park on the fourth day after I had arrived in Japan. I was just exploring the city then, and had accidentally stumbled upon it. It was a beautiful place, especially now that it was spring and the cherry blossoms were in full bloom. Though there were many cherry trees in the park, there was one tree, a massive one that stood over the others in the center of the park that I really grew fond of. Whenever I sat at its base, my mind would become blank, and all of my worries would fade away so long as I remained there. The tree turned into my haven, and I visited it every afternoon. Without it, I do not believe that I would have survived as long as I have in this world where everyone shared the same strand of dejection.   

   I set my bag against the wood of my haven before placing myself down among its roots; unaware and uncaring of the time. There were no rules against being on the grass, so I knew I would not be bothered. Instantly, my body relaxed as well as my mind as I fell into the base’s calming embrace. However, the thoughts of the girl remained.

   “I guess she must’ve made a bigger impression on me than I thought.” I muttered to myself before feeling my eyelids grow heavy; sleep threatening to overtake me. After a weak effort to maintain awareness, I shut my eyes from the world, fading into the depths of subconscious.

   The next thing I knew, I was awake. Or at least I thought I was. I found myself standing in an open field with tall blades of grey grass all around me, a cloud-ridden melancholic sky overhead. I didn’t know where I was, nor did I know why I was there. All I knew was that I was alone again, but this time in a cold and desolate world. There was no one to see me, no one to care for me, no one to call for me. That was my reality, and I had to accept it.
   
   “Are you sure?”

   The words were said by a minute, childlike voice from behind me. For whatever reason, I did not bother to turn around to see who was speaking. I was sure that I had recognized my current world, a world where I was invisible.

   “But that girl talked to you.”

   So what if the girl had talked to me? I was nothing to her. I was nothing to everyone, including my parents.

   “You defended her.”

   I was… bored, and the man may have not intended to touch her in the first place.

   “Are you sure?”

   About the man, no, but about why I did it, yes.

   “She seemed really grateful.”

   I do not care.

   “Are you sure?”

   …

   “Are you sure?”
   
   “Are you sure?”

   “Are you sure?”

   “Are you sure?”
   
   “Are you su-?”

   “No, I’m not sure! Stop asking me that! I don’t know why I helped her out! I don’t know why she would even thank me! I don’t know and I don’t care!” I exploded at the voice behind me, frustration taking the best of me. After snapping, I quickly turned around to see who I was yelling at. There was no one there.

   Confused beyond belief, my knees suddenly felt weak, and I dropped down onto the dark-grey ground, panting. Around me, the world remained the same. The grass, the sky, the dirt. Everything remained grey. Trying to recover, a chill ran down my spine right as the voice returned to speak to me again, inches from my ear.

   “Are you sure?”

   Thrashing, I came out of my dream and returned to reality, detaching myself quickly from the cherry tree. Sweat covering my forehead, I gasped for air, suddenly feeling like I had ran miles without stopping once. Immediately, questions about what had occurred began to manifest in my head, overcoming any other thought. Grasping my face desperately, I felt back into the tree, trying to maintain my fading sanity. No one seemed to notice. Even in angst, I was alone.

   And then, my mind went blank.

   I remained how I was, frozen, for some time. After minutes passed, I looked up at the cherry tree, a single blossom landing on my forehead. Empty of emotion, I sighed, and got up. There was another crow there, staring down at me from one of the tree’s branches, studying me like the last one. I did not bother wondering why.



I had arrived at school an hour late, and was given an appropriate punishment, since it was not my first tardy. As the school day went by, I allowed everything to blur past me, not paying attention to anything around me. Though some thoughts about my bizarre dream surfaced during that time, I would just remember the cherry tree, and then I would go back to being vacant. Before I knew it, the day was done.

While my fellow classmates rushed out the door towards their homes, clubs, or part-time jobs, I remained seated at my desk, my homework spread out in front of me unfinished. Though I had my pencil in my hand, I did not even bother to lift it to write. I was too busy staring out of the window at the students in the main courtyard below, making use of my window-side seat, watching how they met up with their friends and left. Witnessing that, I felt myself slipping into melancholy again. Even back in America, the only people who would wait for me afterschool were the drivers my parents hired when I was young. Never any friends.

Tilting back into my seat, I continued to watch from the second floor, observing how two students were laughing with one another, probably from an inside joke. As they passed the main gate, my eyes caught sight of something odd, instinct making me look to see what it was. There, standing in the same violet dress and wearing the same white mobcap, was the girl from the train. This time, she had a companion; a girl of almost equal height who had a white-collared button-up shirt on with a black skirt, a black hat hiding her facial features from my eye’s perspective.

What was she doing there? By the looks of it, it seemed as if they were waiting for someone. Who would they hang around for? As I tried to come up with a reason for why they were there, the girl in the violet dress just so happened to look up in my direction, and was able to somehow see that I was on the other side of the panel of glass. Almost instantly, a smile formed on her face, which made me feel uncomfortable again. Raising her arm up, she waved at me, a greeting that I returned by just lifting my hand up to shoulder-height before realizing what I was doing. By then, the other girl realized what her companion was looking at, but kept her arms crossed. Just by looking at both of them, I knew that they wanted me to go down to them. To tell the truth, I did feel a warm feeling in my chest along with the uncomfortable sensation at that moment, but I quickly suppressed it. There was no telling what the reason was for the girl to come looking for me. Gathering my homework, I kept glancing back at the girls, wondering what they wanted. A minute later, I was already out of the classroom.

Once I reached the two in the courtyard, it was the girl with the black hat who spoke first.

“Hey! Are you the one who helped out my friend here?” stated the girl with an expression that made me wonder whether she was furious or not. When she spoke I stopped, my mind yelling at me to run away, leaving me speechless. Before I could do anything, the girl in the purple dress stepped forward, placing her hand on her companion’s shoulder.

“Renko, relax. That’s him.” The girl muttered calmly before approaching me again. Pausing in front of me, she continued to talk, her blonde hair flowing slightly in the breeze.

“Sorry about that. My friend is just angry that she wasn’t there to help me on the train. Anyways, you must be wondering why we are even here, huh?” Looking at me after asking the question, I discovered that she had serene eyes, colored a light shade of lavender by the sunlight. Once again the uncomfortable feeling from before gripped my chest, causing my idea to flee to spread throughout my mind. What was happening to me? Becoming aware of the fact that I was creating an awkward moment of silence, I quickly cleared my throat, replying back to the girl.

“Um… yeah. What are you here for?” I responded plainly, adding a distant tone to my voice in hopes to bore her and make them walk away. I did not want them to waste their time talking to someone as unimportant as me.

“Well, I felt bad after you left the station for not introducing myself, so I talked my friend into helping me find you. Thankfully we knew about this school, and when classes would be finished for the day. So we came in hopes of catching you before you left. And here you are! So without further adieu…” blushing slightly, the girl bowed her head to me for the second time that day, her eyes looking down at the weather-beaten stone the courtyard path was made of. Taking a deep breath, she jerked her face back up, saying her name with determination.

“My name is Han Maribel. Pleased to meet you!” she exclaimed, still a little flustered. Overhead, a single raven flew through the clear blue skies.

An awkward silence did manifest this time, no one knowing how to continue the conversation after the girl’s self-introduction. However, knowing her name lessened the uncomfortable feeling, but only by a small margin. As I stood there like an idiot, Maribel’s friend sighed loudly before stepping forward, standing in the space next to the purple-dressed girl, breaking the silence.

“And I’m Usami Renko, university student and Maribel’s best friend. Now, aren’t you going to tell us your name, oh great hero?” the tie-wearing girl named Renko stated calmly, including the question with a tone that was faintly lined with irritation. As she talked, a single strand of dark hair landed over her face, and she casually moved it behind her ear. Blinking once, I managed to maintain a stoic persona, but it took me a few moments to reply back.

“My name? My name is… Emil. Emil Blanc.” I mumbled hesitantly and quietly under my breath, hoping that the two girls would not hear it fully.  I hated my name, since Emil meant ‘emulating’ and Blanc translated to ‘white’ in French. If you put the two words together, you get a phrase that did not define me at all. Thankfully the girls, who heard me despite my mild attempts, were more interested in another fact other than the meaning of my name.

“Blan-k? Your first name is Blank?” Maribel asked me with a puzzled expression, which served only to confuse me as well along with her question. Opening my mouth to correct the girl, I was interrupted by Renko, who seemed to already know the answer.

“No, Mary. Can’t you see that he is a foreigner? People like him say their surnames after their first names, unlike us, who say it the other way around. Isn’t that right, Emil-kun?” the girl with the black hat stated before turning to me, a stoic demeanor now over her face.

“Uh… right, and it’s Blanc, with a ‘c’. You pronounce it with more emphasis on the last part.” I said carefully, the look on Renko’s face creating suspicion in my mind. And why did she address me as Emil-kun? I had just met her, and such a casual greeting was distrustful. Taking a step back, I decided it was time to leave. “Sorry, but it’s getting late. I should be headin-…“ I began to say as I took another step back, before the blonde-haired girl cut me off.

“Would you like to help us out with something, Blanc-san?” she asked swiftly, the question appearing out of nowhere. In fact, it was so sudden that I was rendered speechless once more, and Renko (again) beat me to saying anything.

“Mary, what are you doing? I thought you only wanted to introduce yourself, not-…”

“Renko, don’t you see? He’s perfect for the Occult Studies Club! He would be a great addition, I just know it!” Maribel smiled to her friend, eagerness radiating off of her.

“But Mary, I don-…”

“Come on, Renko! It will be fun! Trust me!”

“Mary, we don’t even know him well enou-…”

“He stopped that man on that train, and that says a lot about his character, right?”

“Mary… Oh, alright. Go ahead. Don’t cry if he refuses.”

“Renko!” Maribel shouted to her friend before returning her attention to me, a little flushed from being teased. “Sorry about that. So what do you say? Wanna help us out?” she smiled at me, her hands now behind her as she leaned forward a little, expecting an answer. During the whole conversation she was having with Renko, I only stood there as silent as a pole. I had even amazed myself for not trying to run away as they were discussing with each other. Now placed on the spot, I looked at Maribel, then at Renko, and then back to Maribel, not knowing how to answer her. I could have just told her a lie. I could have made some excuse about being overloaded with homework, or having to go to a part-time job. I could have done that, and I should have done that, but…

“Sure.” I answered quietly, making Maribel smile greater and Renko frown more. If someone were to ask me now why I had agreed to help them, I would not know how to answer. The only possible way to explain it was as if my body was reacting on its own, without my consciousness, but even that explanation is sketchy. However, that one word would come to change my life. Forever.



Walking down the familiar sidewalk, I turned and walked into the entrance of Maruyama Park once again that day, the two tall lampposts on each side of the gate illuminating the kanji on the sign that hung overhead. Stopping to check my wristwatch, I noted that I was ten minutes early, and continued to walk to the nearest bench to wait. Reaching it, I placed my school bag in the spot next to me before actually sitting down myself, checking my watch again. Nine minutes. As I waited, I once again went over what Renko and Maribel had told me to do in my mind, and wondered why I was even following their orders at all.

After I had agreed, Maribel went on to explain what it was that I would be helping them out in. Apparently, she and Renko were the creators and the only members of the Occult Studies Club at their university, and their main goal was to discover another world, one that was hidden inside this one. To find that world, they searched many places in and around Kyoto, but did not encounter any evidence of its existence. Maruyama Park was the only place in that part of the city that they had not searched, so they planned to look around it that night. It was Renko’s idea originally, since Maribel said that she was the person that initiated most of their activities, but thinking that three set of eyes were better than two, the girl in the white mobcap had thought about inviting me to assist them after we had talked to each other outside of the train station. However, she had not told Renko about her intentions, which explained her behavior in the school courtyard. Or at least I think.

That was how I became an honorary member of the Occult Studies Club.

Resting back into the polished brown wood of the bench, I looked up at the night sky, gazing at the heavy clouds that were visible even in the darkness. What was I doing? I was to look for another world. Why did I agree to do something that was impossible? I should have refused them on the spot. Instead, I was alone at the park at 8:51 PM, waiting for two girls who may in fact be insane, to look for a fairy tale world. I could have been at home, doing… nothing. I guess that was my reason. I wanted to do something for a change, to be known. I was trying to become something more than just scenery, even though I did not realize it at that time.

Checking my watch again, I took note that it was still seven minutes till the time Renko and Maribel had told me to meet up with them. Looking up once more, I opened my mouth to say something, and ended up standing up, grabbing my school bag seconds later. I was still dressed in my school clothes, only with the top two buttons of my jacket unbuttoned. Normally, I had them all fastened during classes. Walking off in a familiar direction, I passed a hand through my short black hair, and looked forward as I approached my favorite cherry tree, expecting to see its base empty, like always.

However, this time, there was already someone among the blossom-covered bark roots.

Stopping in my tracks, I felt my bag fall only the grass, and a sense of invasion grip my body. Who was that person, and why were they sitting there? As I stood there, I felt a raindrop fall onto my head, and before I knew it, it began to downpour everywhere. I did not care about the rain. There was something else more important to me at the time than being drenched. Approaching the person and leaving my bag behind, I noticed that they were holding a parasol over their person, keeping me from seeing their face and the rain away. As I got closer still, I realized that the person was wearing a dress that looked like it was from China, but at the same time looked as if it came from some country in Europe, which led me to believe that the person was a woman. Or, a cross-dressing man. All my hopes were with the former.

Before I knew it, I stood right in front of the lady, my clothes wet from the falling rain and my hair matted to my head. Oddly enough, I did not know what to say to the woman, and I remained there, planted for a good minute trying to think of something to declare. Suddenly, I felt my mouth open, and two words left it quickly before I could stop them.

“Excuse me.” I uttered softly to the woman, not knowing how she would react. A moment after I spoke, the parasol tilted a little, and the woman’s hand moved up underneath it, a yawn appearing a second later. It was then that the parasol was raised, and I finally caught sight of the woman’s face.
“Maribel-san?” I whispered under my breath, my eyes pools of puzzlement. However, somehow I knew that the woman in front of me was not the white mobcap-wearing girl. Though their faces looked familiar, there was something about that woman that set her apart. Her face seemed more mature, and her eyes, which were the same lavender shade as Maribel’s, appeared to be less innocent, and more cunning, almost… manipulative. I could not help but stare at the woman. She was beautiful.

As I gazed at the woman in the rain, she rubbed her eye sleepily before noticing that I was even there, her eyes widening at the sight of me looking at her. Recognizing that fact that staring was both rude and slightly unnerving, I quickly looked away, spurring out multiple statements at the same time.

“Ah! I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to… I mean, I was just curious as to why… You shouldn’t be sitting there in the rain like that, you could… I’m sorry if I woke you… Ummmm….” I stuttered on, embarrassed, my first notion of telling her off forever gone from the moment on. As I spoke, the woman seemed to be observing me with interest, before smiling coyly and standing up, elegant even at that. She seemed to be around my height, if not an inch taller. The action caused me to stop stammering, and made me aware of the same uncomfortable feeling from before being present in my chest. Taking a step towards me, the woman continued to smile, and she moved her parasol over me, keeping any more rain from falling on me.

“H-hey! You’ll get we-!” I began to say before realizing something about the woman that was oddly peculiar. Despite being in the rain, she seemed completely dry, not a drop landing on her. Trying to make sense on how that was possible, my train of thought was broken up by the woman’s voice, as she spoke to me in a friendly manner.

“Well now, you seem interesting enough. I guess you will do.” She said plainly, taking another step forward, which landed her to be under the parasol with me. My face heating up, I was rendered speechless, as I stared into the woman’s eyes, which were narrowed slightly as she placed a hand on my chest, bringing her face closer to mine. Entering a state of shock, I remained still, confused beyond comprehension. Once her lips were centimeters from mine, she stopped, and muttered something to me quietly, the heat of her breath adding onto the increasing warmth my face was radiating.

“Become something greater for me, okay?”

Before I could even think about replying, the woman pushed me away from her, and I fell back, losing my balance on the wet grass. As I fell, I caught a glimpse of the woman again, and saw that she was still smiling. Feeling the blood rushing from my head, I braced myself for the impact with the drenched ground.

The impact never came.

Instead, I continued to fall, right through an eye-shaped opening in the ground. As I descended into what appeared to be eternity, I was greeted by an infinite number of red eyes, all of them staring at me as I went deeper and deeper into their world of crimson. The last thing I saw, before entering that hole into which I had presumed to be Hell, was the same crow from before, sitting on the same branch as before, watching me as I fell to my fate.

Every morning I stare at the ceiling. That night, I did not think I would have ever had another morning again.



End of Chapter One. Feel free to comment.  :)
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 01:28:48 am by Jett »

"If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we shall see." - Spanish Proverb
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Jett

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Re: Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2011, 02:50:59 pm »
Edit: Changed the font. Figured that it would be easier right the default.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 01:32:10 am by Jett »

"If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we shall see." - Spanish Proverb
  • Remnant Jett

Jett

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Re: Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
« Reply #2 on: December 19, 2011, 02:53:42 pm »
Edit: Chapter Two is almost done!
« Last Edit: December 28, 2011, 01:33:39 am by Jett »

"If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we shall see." - Spanish Proverb
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Jett

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Re: Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
« Reply #3 on: December 28, 2011, 01:40:50 am »
Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
Chapter Two: Accepting

When I opened my eyes, I was met by a crimson sky.

   Too dazed to notice it at first, I let out a quiet groan as I lifted myself up from the spot where I laid, my entire body protesting against the action. Once upright, I rubbed my eyes sleepily, as if I had just woken up from an uneasy nap. Removing my hand from my face and letting it fall onto my lap, I sat there for at least a minute before falling back, my mind giving in to my body’s pleas. Laid out on the ground again, I stared up at the sky once more. It remained crimson.

   “This must be a dream.” I remember saying at that time, spread out on the warm grass of a clearing, surrounded by a garrison of tall trees, whose dark leaves held the light from above at bay. There was not a noise present, only the pulsing in my head and the sound of the wind passing through the leaves of the trees. My body had become numb, which was probably the reason why I was not able to stay upright at the time. Somehow managing to turn my head to the left, I stared at my curled fingers, admiring the way each fingerprint looked. However, I could not move them. I did not have the energy or strength left to even attempt to. As I gazed at my digits, a movement in the corner of my eye distracted me, and naturally I glanced to observe it, out of curiosity. There, on one of the dark tree branches, among darker leaves, sat a single crow, which stared at me as I was staring at it. For a while, nothing happened, but then my brain hit a trigger.

   I had seen a crow like that before, I told myself without spoken words. One outside of my apartment, another flying past the train window, a third looking on from a streetlamp, and a last one on a branch of the cherry tree twice; once during the day, a second time at night, when I met the-….

   It was then that I was reminded about what had happened to me. It was also when the panic hit.

   Suddenly full of energy, I quickly sat up and twisted my head side-to-side, hastily checking out my surroundings.

   “Where am I?” I muttered out loud, sweat beginning to form on my forehead, “What is this place?”

   As if a spell was broken with those words, a wave of noises came crashing down on me, jamming my head with a resonance of insect screeches, birdcalls, and other unknown hums. Cringing at the sudden change in volume, I somehow got up to my feet and began to stumble in a random direction, covering my ears with my hands, my eyes shut. It was probably the adrenaline gained from the panic that permitted me to do all of those actions.  Not at all aware of what I was running through, I just kept going forward, my stumble slowly evolving into a full sprint. For some odd reason, I could feel my body becoming weaker, despite the adrenaline, and my breathing become irregular. Before I knew it, I had stopped in my tracks, and was already on my knees, breathless and drenched in my own sweat. However, I could not feel myself recovering. In fact, I only experienced the opposite effect. Despite my lack of ordinary breathing, I continued on with the notion of getting out of that area, crawling that time slowly towards nowhere.

   It did not take long for me to find myself sprawled on the ground, unmoving.

   On my side, I tried to get up and get going, but my muscles and limps finally gave up on me. Stranded within myself, I gazed off towards the distance, my vision blurring and refocusing multiple times.

   What was happening to me? Why was I so weak? Can this be what happens when a person dies? What did I do to deserve this? Those questions tormented my fleeting mind as my eyelids gradually began to shut, darkness leisurely invading my brain.

   Before I descended into mental blackness, I felt two strong hands raise my limp body up from the reddish warm grass, a bizarre feeling for a dying person. After that, my consciousness collapsed.



“…hope that the remedy works. It would be a shame if this boy perished. The death of one is never a joyous event.”

   Hearing the voices speaking somewhere behind me made me realize that I was awake again, and still alive, or at least dreaming. Opening up my eyes only slightly, I clenched my teeth tightly as my head exploded into sheering pain, a migraine wrecking havoc inside my skull. That massive discomfort shot down my dream theory instantly.

   Rising up to a sitting position while holding my head, I found that I was on an old-looking bedroll covered by a raggedy blanket, my school jacket and shoes laid out on the dirt next to me.

   “Sensei, I’ll go get some more firewood. I’ll be back shortly.” said a voice off to my far-right. Turning around as fast as I could in that position, I was too late to actually see the person who spoke. The only thing I caught sight of was flowing amethyst-colored hair leaving through a doorway.

   “Well now, I am glad to see that you have recovered.” A sagely voice said to me from further in the room. There, sitting with his legs underneath him in a proper pose as he sipped from a small and plain wooden cup, rested an elderly man wearing a white Japanese kimono with an aqua vest next to a simple fireplace.

   “Come join me by the fire now that you are awake. I have many questions to ask, as I believe that you must have also.” The man continued before taking another sip, his eyes shut as he did. Blinking twice, I removed the blanket from me and stood up slowly, realizing that I was no longer too weak to do so. Though my head still hurt from the migraine and a faint soreness made itself known in my joints, I walked over and flopped down on the ground adjacent to the man, crossing my legs in front of me instead of following the elder’s example. As I did so, the man put the cup back down to his lap and remained silent, the fire illuminating the left side of his face along with his short silver beard. He seemed to be one of those seniors who remained in shape despite their age, since his shoulders did not snoop forward like most. There was an air of dignity radiating off him, one that gave the impression that he could be trusted.

   Catching myself staring, I quickly brought my glance down to my feet. After a few seconds went by without any words spoken, I raised up my head again to say something, but nothing came to mind, or rather, I could not pick what question to ask first. My indecision left me with my mouth open, and looking like a complete moron. More time passed, and I lowered my head, still striving to pick something to say.

   “Do not force yourself. This must be hard for you. Take your time.” the old man said finally, keeping his eyes closed. My head snapping back up, I once again experience the same sensation I had every time I talked to someone in another language, when I heard the words in my head rather than in my ear. That was the best I could explain it. Grateful that he began the conversation, I cleared my throat to speak. However, he went first.

   “I assume that you are a human, correct?” the man asked me, bringing the cup up to his lips again.

   “Uh… yeah, um….” I stuttered quickly, my mind in too much of a disarray to say anything further.

   “Well, you are a long way from the human village. Tell me, how was it that you came to this place?” he continued, slowly moving the cup from his mouth to the floor in front of him, neither his posture nor his expression ever changing.

   “I don’t know.” I answered, clearly for once. This seemed to catch the man off-guard, since he allowed his eyes to open up in unmasked surprise.

   “You do not know? Did you not come through the cave from Gensokyo?” the man asked me with some suspicion in his voice. Hearing that, my mind suddenly and finally arranged itself.

   “Cave? Gensokyo? What is that? Where am I? What is this place anyways?” I stated frantically, wanting answers. The man seemed taken aback from my statement, but soon he regained his composure.

   “I see. So you are from that world. I should have seen it sooner, with your clothing and all. This changes everything. Greatly.” He muttered before rising up, something white moving along with him as he did. As I watched, he brought himself up to full height and stood there gazing down at me, a white cloudlike thing appearing from behind him, hanging over his head. The fire gave him an ominous glow, one that made him more intimidating.

   “You are in the world of Makai. You may also think of it as the world where demons dwell.” He announced solemnly, the specter of white moving slightly as he spoke. Left with my mouth hanging open, I tried to make sense of what the man had said, but could not get even close.

   “What?” I stammered with shock, sweat once again forming on my forehead, “What are you talking about? Who are you?”

   Looking up to the white being over him, the old man ran his knuckle over it once, answering my last question.

   “You may call me Youki. I am a half-human, half-ghost hermit. No, half-phantom is more accurate. I am a resident here in Makai.” He responded simply, dropping his eyes to me once more. The statement only served to confound me more. Half-ghost? That could not be possible. That man was insane.

   “No… you’re lying. This can’t be true. This must be a dream.” I said desperately as I fell back onto my elbows, my migraine growing more and more painful with the seconds that went by. Seeing this, the man took a step forward, reaching out with one of his hands.

   “You must calm yourself. You are in no condition to-…”

   “Stay away from me!”

   Getting to my feet, I ran past the man and out through the doorway, finding myself in a world of crimson once again. Looking up, my eyes widened as my mind brought up an image of multiple red eyes staring at me, unblinking, in a similar scarlet sky. Gripping my head tightly, I ran for only a second, but then stopped to let out a scream of agony. The migraine had grown unbearable, and I felt like I wanted to die. All that time I thought to myself that it could not be true. It was all a dream, like the world of grey. Where was that world? How I would have given anything to be in that cold and desolate world of grey, instead of that agonizing world of crimson. How I would have preferred to be alone than in pain. What did I do to deserve that? What did I…

Bending over suddenly, I let out the contents of my stomach all over the ground in front of me, and fell back, my head hitting the dirt hard. Dazed, I stared up at the sky a third time, my mind rattled beyond belief.

   “This… a dream…” I muttered despairingly before blacking out again.



   The next thing I knew, I was in a dimly lit room, one that seemed familiar to me. Standing by the door, I did not say or do anything. I only watched a little boy fold a paper crane in the middle of the room, his back to me. As he finished, he tested the crane by moving the tail before setting it aside, letting it join a large pile of other cranes of different colors right next to him. He then reached for another piece of colored paper, once again starting with the first fold. As he began, someone behind me shouted something that I could not make out.

The boy did not respond.

Turning around to see who had yelled, I found myself face to face with a being consisting of all black, its face absent. As it came at me, I flinched, but to my surprise, the being passed through me, as if I wasn’t there. Turning back, I saw the black being approach the boy from behind, standing over him menacingly and grimly. For some reason, I knew that it spoke to the child, even though I did not hear words or see its mouth move, for it did not have one.

Again, the boy did not respond.

This seemed to anger the being, and with a quick kick, it sent all the paper cranes in the pile flying in all directions. That made the boy jump, and stop with the folding of the crane in his hands. The black being then proceeded to stomp every crane flat, silently barking at the mute boy. Once it was done, it stood away from the boy, its foot crushing a single unfortunate scarlet crane.

The boy, not even looking up at the being, continued to fold the piece of paper in his hand into another crane. Soon, he finished the last fold, tested it once, placed it next to him, reached for another sheet, and started again.

The black being erupted into a rage, and it began to strike at the wall, knocking blank frames onto the ground. As each frame hit, the glass shattered, sending small shards flying everywhere. One of thoseshards flew at the boy, and cut his hand, making him stop briefly due to the pain. In spite of the cut, it was only a brief pause, and with a bleeding hand, the boy continued folding. Now furious beyond comprehension, the black being lashed out with his foot, aiming for the only paper crane that was not flattened, the one next to the boy.

However, the boy was in the kick’s trajectory.

“Wait! Sto-!” I began to yell as I jumped forward, trying to stop the boy from getting hurt.

At that point, Time seemed to have slowed down completely. With my hand outstretched to the boy and my body plummeting to the ground, I cried out to the boy once more, telling him to move from there.

The boy did not respond.

As the foot of the black being hit the paper crane and continued towards the boy, my eyes widened in despair as inches turned into centimeters, and then into millimeters. As the kick was about to hit the boy, everything froze; everything save the boy. Turning his head halfway towards me, I saw that his hair hid his eyes, and soon became aware of the fact that the boy opened his mouth. With no fear towards the paused black being, the boy said one thing to me, his mouth growing into a smile.

“Become something greater for me, okay?”

Time then unfroze, and the world turned black all over again. 



Snapping awake, I looked around in a panic, the nightmare still fresh on my mind. Trying to rise up, I felt hands retraining me by my shoulders, and I could hear sounds of effort coming from someone over me as I struggled. Gradually, I calmed down, and once I was back in control of myself I felt the hands let go.

“Oh good. You are awake.” I heard the old man Youki say from somewhere off to my right, though I did not bother to look at him when he said that. Instead, I glanced up and was looking eye to eye with the person who had held me down, a person with amethyst hair and burgundy eye.

“I was not given the chance to mention that the atmosphere in Makai is physically harmful, even lethal, to humans unless they hold a certain decree of power within them. Your extreme reaction to the air only confirms my suspicions about you.” Youki continued as he approached to where I lay, standing behind the person who was kneeling next to me in a similar white kimono as the old man, only with a simple cherry-colored vest on instead of an aqua-colored one. That person must have been the one who had gone out to get more wood for the fire when I woke up the first time. In my state, I could not determine if the person was a man or a woman. All I could tell was that they were a lot younger than the old man, perhaps as old as I was or a little older. Eyeing the old man, I turned my head away from the two people, a single thought floating in my exhausted mind.

I was not dreaming that time. It was all real, whether I liked it or not.

“You are not from this world, are you?” Youki asked me seriously, from which the person with the burgundy eyes looked to him, probably in surprise. Bringing my head back to glance at him, I nodded, accepting my reality the best I could.

“No. I’m not.” I said plainly, causing the cherry-vested person to back away.

“Can you tell us how you came to be in this world?” the old man continued to ask, bringing himself to the same seating position as before next to the bedroll I was laying on. Looking at him, I nodded and began to tell my story, or at least attempted to, since there was so much that I was still confused about.

I started with the train. As I illustrated the normal world both Youki and the other person listened intently, apparently fascinated with any detail from it. By then I had just assumed that the person who was next to Youki was also a man, despite his slightly feminine face. It seemed more likely, since the person acted as a student to the old man. Once I got around to Maribel and Renko, I realized that I had completed the main goal of their club: to find another world inside of the normal one. Grasping that fact and the irony around it, I began to laugh out loud sadly, causing my two listeners, even Youki, to jump a little. Recovering, I kept going, finding myself describing my favorite cherry tree in Maruyama Park. Oddly enough, Youki seemed to tense up at the mention of a cherry tree, but at the time I only thought it was my imagination. Leaving out the dream I had about the world of grey, I reached the point where I was in the park the second and last time.

“There, sitting in the spot where I usually sat at, was a blonde woman in a strange dress, holding a parasol. When I got close to her, I thought that she was Maribel, but after I looked at her face, I knew it wasn’t her. She woke up then, and looked at me for a bit before standing up and pushing me into some kind of eye-ridden hole. I blacked out when I fell through, and the next thing I knew, I was laying in some dark forest. That’s… how I got here.” I finished, keeping what the woman said to me a secret for some reason. It was not as if I did not want to tell them, but something in me told me not to. Maybe it was my latest dream’s fault.

When I was done retelling my story, Youki was once again silent with his eyes closed. It was then that I guessed that it was his way of stopping to think. Suddenly, the person behind him finally spoke again.

“Sensei, I want to duel him.” He said with determination, standing up a second later. I only stared at him, wondering if I heard him right.

“Very well. Go prepare.” Youki said plainly, rising up also.

“Wait… what?” I said, puzzled about the sudden turn of events.

“You shall face my student Meira in a duel. I assume that you now have recovered enough to stand, correct?” Youki said bluntly, walking over to a chest next to the fireplace as the person named Meira stepped outside. I had gotten myself into a sitting position once again halfway through my story, since talking to someone while lying down was rather bizarre. If I knew that it would lead up to that, I would have remained sickly.

Before I could answer, Youki tossed something towards me, which landed on the ground next to me. It was the typical bamboo sword used by kendo martial artists. How did he have one?

“Come now. You cannot have my student wait for you.” The old man said as he approached me and grabbed my arm, pulling me up effortlessly. Amazed at the man’s strength, I was left speechless as he basically dragged me outside, the sword in my hand.
 
Once out of the small cabin, I quickly understood what was happening.

“Wait! Why do I have to fight?” I shouted at the old man, who let me go then.

“You desire to return to your own world, correct?” he asked me seriously, the white specter behind him still present.

“Of course.” I blurted out, thinking it was the obvious answer.

“Then you must learn how to survive in this one. This duel will allow you to see if you are able to stay alive until you discover a method to go back.” The old man said before taking a few steps back, leaving me on one side of a dirt clearing. He had his hand up in the air, as if intending to chop something with it.

“Hold o-!”

“Begin.” Youki interrupted, bringing his hand down. Quickly turning to Meira, I found him already in front of me with his bamboo sword raised, having been on the other side of the clearing when I was still speaking with the old man. My eyes widening, I tried to move back to dodge the strike, but my body did not respond quick enough. A flash of white later, I was on the ground with a wave of agony passing through me. Dots danced in front of my eyes, and the migraine from earlier resurfaced.

“Point.” Youki announced calmly, the white specter hanging over him moving closer to his shoulder. Coughing as I got up to my hands and knees, I shook my head to get rid of the blood-rushing feeling, my temple pulsing from the blow.

“Come on! I was holding back with that swing! Don’t tell me that you are already done!”

Twisting my head towards Meira, I glared at him as I slowly got back up to my feet, the bamboo sword still in my hand. Coughing some more, I felt sick again, and instantly remembered what the old man had said about the air in that place. If it was really harmful for humans, why wasn’t Meira affected? Was he even human?

“Begin.” Youki declared again, making me hesitant. Meira beat me. Why did the old man start another match? Quickly I tried to bring my sword up to defend myself, but again Meira was there in front of me, his weapon beginning its arch towards my unguarded body. Another moment passed, with another blow connecting.

Dropping to one knee, it took everything I had just not to scream out in pain, holding the spot on my right shoulder that was hit.

“Point.” Youki repeated, his face not showing any reaction to my distress. In front of me, Meira laughed confidently as he leaned forward so that his face was inches from mine, which was sweating from the physical anguish I was experiencing.

“If we were using real swords you would’ve died twice. You call yourself a man? You’re weak. Stay down if you know what is good for you.” Meira laughed as he walked away, his amethyst hair, which was tied up in a ponytail, flowing in the poisonous wind. With his words, I found my mind blank again, as if I had just relaxed underneath my favorite cherry tree back in the normal world. However, unlike those instances, where I felt nothing, there was one single emotion remaining in me, one that I had not expressed in a long while.

“Youki … please start another match.” I hissed through my teeth, letting out a cough shortly afterwards. Hearing me, Meira quickly turned around, looking both surprised and annoyed of my unexpected enthusiasm. The old man, however, seemed to be intrigued, and lifted his hand up in the air, ready to signal the start of a third match.

Switching the bamboo sword I had in my right hand to my left due to the blow to the shoulder I had received, I stared angrily at Meira, clenching my teeth as I suppressed another cough. The longer I stood there, the more and more sicker I got, which meant that I had to beat the old man’s student quickly. I did not know how I was going to do it, but I was not going to let Meira win and make fun at me again. I had too much experience being teased back in America. Looking to Youki quickly to signal that I was ready, I saw him nod once before letting his hand fall, his mouth opening to shout that one word. As his hand dropped, everything slowed down around me, and suddenly the blonde woman’s last words to me rang through my head once again.

“Become something greater for me, okay?”

“Begin.”

Returning to reality, I did the first thing that came to my mind: I threw my sword in front of me. I did not know then nor now the reason why I did that, but it provided results. Seeing my discarded sword flying at him, Meira had just enough time to stop and dodge it, which gave me a window of opportunity for only a few seconds. Seeing it, I did something that I learned to do in my native country.

I charged and tackled Meira.

We both landed hard on the ground, with me landing on top of him. Ignoring the dizziness in my head along with the pain in my body, I snatched his sword from his hand and toss it aside, keeping a hand on his chest to keep him down. Breathing hard, I looked up at the crimson sky, Meira still dazed under me.

“Ha! Finally!” I yelled, something I rarely did. That amount of relief that ran through my body at that time was overwhelming, but was kept in check by the increasing sense of nausea. Turning my head to look at Youki and to see him declare ‘Point’ one last time, I saw him instead slowly shake his head as he covered his eyes with his hand, obviously disappointed about something. Confused, I was about to say something before I felt something soft in my right hand, which was the one that was keeping Meira down. Looking back to the fallen student, I did not see anything under my hand that could be soft on his chest. The kimono itself was made of rough material, which I could tell from feeling it, so what could it….

It was then that Meira recovered enough to realize that I was on top of him, letting out a quiet moan before looking up at me. When he saw my hand on his chest, immediately his face turned as crimson as the sky, and he glared at me, tears threatening to fall from the corners of his eyes, his mouth hanging open in shock. Trying to make sense of why he was suddenly embarrassed, I grabbed his kimono and opened it on a whim, trying to see if there was anything he was hiding underneath it.

Realization drove a burning sword into my chest a second later, causing my eyes to widen insanely as I stared down at what I had uncovered. A second after that, Meira’s fist came crashing down into my left cheek, introducing me to a world of white.



   “I do say, you continue to surprise me.” Youki laughed, the specter over him remaining motionless in the air.

   “I could say that about this world as well.”

   Covered in bandages, I weakly drank from a small and plain wooden cup, one that the old man said had a liquid that helped people cope with the crimson world’s harmful atmosphere. Cringing as my bruised cheek pulsed suddenly, I placed the cup down and laid back on the same bedroll as before, my entire body in pain. Off in the corner sat Meira, who remained flustered and furious as hell. Once more in front of the fireplace, Youki relaxed with a wooden cup of tea in his hands, his posture as straight as ever as he sat on his legs.

“Meira, he is not to blame for not knowing. You are more at fault, since you never formally introduced yourself.” Youki said calmly with a wise tone, taking another sip of tea from his cup. Even with his eyes closed, the old man seemed to know that Meira was still sulking. However, his statement only served to unleash a storm of anger and hellfire.

“Not knowing? It should’ve been obvious! How can someone be so stupid as to not see it?!” Meira shouted from the corner, pointing a finger towards me with a still crimson face.

“Well, you didn’t act the part, that’s for sure.” I muttered under my breath, looking away after adding in my input to the conversation, rubbing the side of my head as I did. Unfortunately, Meira heard me.

“What did you say?! Say that again, you otherworldly scum!” Meira roared before getting up, drawing an actual blade with the intent of driving it into me.

“Meira, sit. He is our guest.” Youki coolly commanded, probably still with his eyes shut.

“A depraved guest! What type of person goes around groping and disrobing people?!” Meira snarled in a furious rage, taking another step towards me.

“I didn’t know, okay? You weren’t the only one who was embarrassed, you know.” I said to the angry student, my face heating up a little also. After I said that, I remembered the man who I condemned as a pervert despite the off chance that he could have been innocent on the train. How karma was cruel sometimes.

“You think you were embarrassed! I was the one you humiliated! How did you not figure out that I’m a woman?!” Meira shouted at me, throwing the sheath of her sword at me. The piece of polished black wood hit me square on my back, sending another wave of pain coursing through my body. However, I did not yell out. Rather, I forced myself to speak calmly after the strike.

“You’re right. I shouldn’t have humiliated you like that. I’m sorry.” I said sincerely without turning back around, the pain from the hit already adding onto the overall discomfort in my body that I could at least tolerate. I was to blame after all, so I deserved whatever punishment she had for me.

My apology brought forth an awkward silence, and shortly afterwards I heard the distinct sound of footsteps move away from me. Spinning my body over to see what had happened, I saw Meira back in her corner, her face still a little red but quiet for once. Studying her face for a bit, I noticed that she was a lot more feminine than I had first guessed. How was it that I mistook her for a guy?

“May we now have your name?” Youki suddenly said to me, opening his eyes for once in doing so. Moving my glance to look at him with a confused expression, I realized that in all that time I had never said my name. Sitting up quickly, I twitched a little from the headache I had before answering.

“My name is Emil. Emil Blanc.” I revealed finally, a little hesitant but clear. The recent events had not made me a fan of my own name just yet. Hearing it, the old man allowed himself a small smile, and stood up, walking over to me.

“Excellent. Now, Emil-kun, would you like to be taught the way of the sword?”

Looking up at the man with silver hair and a white specter roaming over him, I did not know what say. Off to the side, I noticed that Meira looked surprised about the offer, but made no motion against it.

“I…” I began to say, but my words trailed off, indecision plaguing my mind once more.

“Though you did best Meira in your last duel, it was only in the third attempt that you managed to do so. The demons of Makai will not give you two more chances to fight if you fail the first. Should you lose that first time, you will be killed,” Youki explained as he took a knee alongside me, his white specter following him down, “and you stated earlier that you wished to return to your own world, correct?”

It was only when he asked me that question then that I began to think about my answer from earlier. Common sense told me that I wanted to go back, but something else in me made a counterargument. Why should I go back? I was nothing in that world. No one paid attention to me. I was alone there, and because of that I could not see a reason to want to go back. Maybe in that world known as Makai I could become something, something other than background scenery. Maybe… No. I was not alone when I was forced out of the normal world. I was waiting for both Maribel and Renko, who were the only two people who seemed to treat me like a person, not like scenery.

Going over the events involving the two members of the Occult Studies Club, I soon understood why I had agreed to help them. I had said ‘yes’ that day because I had hope. Hope that with them, I would no longer be alone, that I would be able to enjoy my life for once. That reason alone suppressed the counterargument, but did not destroy it.

“Yes.”

   Aware that I had taken my time before answering, the old man nodded and offered his hand, a smile appearing on his face.

   “Then will you allow me to give you the necessary skills to survive until then?”

   Eyeing his hand, I returned.

   “Yes.” Was all I said as I placed my hand in his, shaking it once, confirming our agreement. As I did so, my eye caught something moving in the doorway, and as I twisted my head to investigate, I only caught sight of black feathers slowly floating to the ground. On the back of my hand was a faint scar that ran horizontally across it, so aged that it was no longer noticeable.

   When I opened my eyes that day, I was met by a crimson sky. As I let go of the old man’s hand, I began to worry on how many days I would go seeing that same sky.



End of Chapter Two.

"If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we shall see." - Spanish Proverb
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Re: Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
« Reply #4 on: February 08, 2012, 08:23:24 pm »
Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
Chapter Three: Wishing

   My body sodden, I closed my eyes, and took a deep breath.

Though the red-tinted water I bathed in seemed uninviting, it was only because of the reflection of Makai’s crimson sky on the surface, which lingered over my head. Opening my eyelids slowly, I stared up at the dark clouds slowly drifting by; a habit I had developed during the short breaks old man Youki gave me after training. Hanging next to the empty bank were my drying school clothes on a low branch. I had washed them before stepping into the large stream in an attempt to keep them clean. Youki had recommended me to do so, since he did not have any other clothes to give me other than his own. Thankfully, the current was fairly weak that day, allowing me to finally relax in one place. It was hard to believe that only six days had gone by then.

Six days since the day I first awoke in that dark forest.

Six days since Youki agreed to teach me as a student.

Six days since I met that woman with the parasol underneath the cherry tree.

Remembering the memory, I was brought out of my thoughts when my right arm suddenly protested in pain, causing me to wince a little as I lifted it out from under the water, eyeing the massive bruise that had manifested just above my elbow. Ever since the incident in where I mistook her for a man, Meira had found multiple ways to pay me back for the humiliation, despite me having already apologized to her. After that unfortunate event, she would always demand that I spar with her whenever I had free time from Youki’s harsh training regimen. Whenever she challenged me, I was never able to refuse, since the old man would always say that I would benefit from the ‘friendly’ match.

Not to mention that it was hard to say no to a stubborn girl holding a Japanese katana five centimeters from your neck.

With every match I was able to block more and more strikes, but the ending would always be the same; with me laying face-down in the dirt and Meira standing over me triumphantly as if I was a slain villain. After a while, I gotten used to being beat up everyday, and strived to make sure that the beating I got the next day was less than the one I got the one before.

   It was, unfortunately, a painful resolve, but it was one nonetheless.

Frowning slightly at the thought, I eased my injured arm back into the water and took another deep breath. A second later, I let myself fall through the surface, enveloping my body completely with water. Despite the red-tint it had on the surface, the water itself was a realm of grey haze, slowly drifting along in a journey it had made over multiple decades and generations. Accustoming to the pressure, I closed my eyes once more, letting my body sway in the soft current. The sensation of being weightless, of just floating along the current, placed my mind at ease. As the seconds passed, the pressure in my chest grew and grew; growing almost intolerable, but I ignored it. Finally, I kicked the sand and burst from underneath the languid stream, gasping for tainted air. Reaching for the bank, I coughed for what felt like hours, my body slowly recovering as I hugged dry land.

“Damn it…” I choked under my breath, resting my head on the bank.

For some reason, back then I still held on to the idea that it was all a dream, a long hallucination that only appeared real. The water helped me get by at that time, serving as the temporary cherry tree, a momentary haven in that world. Yet, I could not escape the then-current situation.

Easing myself out of the water, I walked over to where my clothes hung and grabbed my underwear, quickly slipping it on. Being naked in a stream some yards behind the hut was not a wonderful experience, especially with the possibility of Meira being around. The idea of giving her another reason to beat the life out of me did not sound attractive at all. Shaking my head to get the water out of my hair, I then reached for my pants, which were still a little humid when I touched them.

Then suddenly, a twig snapped behind me.

Stopping immediately, I quickly turned around, only to find no one there. My eyebrows furrowed, I looked down to the ground and spotted a broken branch. Assuming that it was the source of the noise, I checked the surroundings to my right and left, inspecting for any small animals that may have snapped it.

In this world, being human is a constant endangerment, especially if you do not know how to defend yourself. That being so, it is essential that you never let your guard down, Emil-kun.

Remembering what the old man had told me days before, I reached back to grab the wooden sword Youki had lent me for training and protection, which I had left leaning on the same tree my clothes hung on.

Instead of wood, however, I felt my fingers grab onto flesh.

“My, aren’t you a bold one.”

Spinning around instantly to the voice, I found two golden eyes staring at me uninterestedly, long blonde wavy hair complementing a stoic pale face. There, standing properly and elegantly, was a woman. She wore a type of orange maid uniform, complete with the white headpiece resting on top of her head and an apron of the same color. She seemed to be in her early twenties.  Hesitating, my mind hit a wall, not at all sure on how it should have had me react. The scenario was too sudden, and my mind was still unfocused from being in the stream. A moment of silence followed after, and a cool breeze reminded me of an unpleasant fact. 

I was holding the woman’s wrist with nothing but boxers on.

Crap.

“Ah! S-sorry!” I shouted out loud as I let go of her arm, trying to hide myself behind my own two limps at the same time. When that did not work, I swiftly retrieved my damp shirt and held it over my lower body. As I did all that, my heart raced intensely, sending all of the blood inside me to my face. The golden-eyed woman only continued with her lack of expression, not at all affected by the fact that I was standing in front of her almost naked.

“No need to be. I seem to have found you at an… inappropriate time. Are you the one they call Emil?” the woman asked in a professional tone, which somehow calmed me down a bit. Looking at her, I noticed that her hair flowed in the breeze almost like Maribel’s… Catching myself staring, I hurriedly directed all of my attention to her question.

“Umm… Yes. That’s me.” I muttered uneasily, taking a step away from the maid.

“Splendid. My name is Yumeko. I have been searching for you. Please, I must ask for you to come with me.” She said in the same tone as before, bowing slightly as she did. She had been searching for me? What for? Better yet, what was a maid doing there, in a world of demons? Was she one herself?

Realizing what kind of danger I might have been in, I glanced over to where the wooden sword was. Spotting it, I bent my knees slightly; ready to lunge for it in case the woman did anything suspicious. I must have been a little too obvious, since the maid held up a hand and spoke.

“There will be no need for that either. I hold no wish to harm you. My mistress desires your audience, and she cannot have that if you are heavily injured… or dead.”

The way she finished her sentence only made me more cautious.

“Sorry, but I would feel a lot better if I just had it on me.” I replied back carefully. That caused the woman to regard me for a moment, and before I knew it, she sighed and turned around. 

“Very well. Just please get dressed. I do not believe my mistress would want to speak to a naked boy.” The woman named Yumeko said to me while facing away, reminding me of the fact that I was still standing in my underwear. Losing my cautious demeanor, I frantically put on my clothes, ignoring the slight moisture they had. Leaving my blazer off, I at last grabbed the wooden sword, keeping an eye on the blonde maid.

“I have to go talk to someone.” I said to Yumeko, watching as she turned back to face me once more.

“No time. We must not keep the mistress waiting.”

“I never said I would go.”

“Do you intend to go against my mistress’ wishes?”

“Well, I was told that demons do eat humans. So yes.”
   
“She will not. She only desires to speak with you.”

“And how can I trust you about that?”

Silence followed that question, leaving both the maid and I to glare at each other. I did not care whether she was frustrated with me or not. Thanks to my denial back then, I obtained a sense of false confidence in myself. It was not real, I would always tell myself at that time. No need to be afraid of something not real.

I was an idiot back then.

After a minute or so, the maid finally broke the silence.

“My mistress is only curious about you. We have never had a human from the outside world here in Makai. She wishes to know how you managed to arrive here. Perhaps she may even have a method to send you back if you ask her kindly.” The maid stated, once again with no emotion on her face. I, however, had my heart skip a beat when she mentioned a way back to my world, the world I knew. I would no longer have had to endure Youki’s training or Meira’s beatings. I would be home.

Taking a step forward, I felt determination grip my chest, hope arising in my mind.

“Fine. I’ll go with yo-.”

“Blanc-kun!”

Before I knew it, a flash of white and violet flew over my head, and stopped in front of Yumeko, katana already heading down towards her head. Although she was also taken by surprise, the maid suddenly brought out two short swords from under her skirt with almost inhuman speed, bringing them up just in time to block the strike. In front of her stood a woman with amethyst hair, and a red vest over her white kimono.

“Meira?” I exclaimed, confused as hell, wondering where she had come from.

“Blanc-kun, run! I’ll take care of this!” the female samurai shouted before detaching her blade from Yumeko’s and dashing forward, swinging at the blonde maid’s stomach. Yumeko, in response, jumped back, growling at her attacker.

“Meira, wait! She wasn’t going to hu-!”

“I said go!” Meira interrupted again, turning back to the blonde maid with a smirk.

“You messed with the wrong person now, demon. I will not let you devour him, at least not until I get to beat the crap out of him at least ten more times!”

My eye twitching, I let my head drop, crushed. Of course, that would be the only reason for Meira to protect me.

Running towards Yumeko again, the amethyst-haired girl swung her sword at the maid, who only countered each blow. I could barely see the swords, each moving faster than I could have ever imagined. I did not even think to try to stop the fight again. How could I?

Thankfully, the matter was soon resolved with two fingers.

As Meira brought her katana up to unleash a downward slash onto Yumeko, a hand suddenly shot out and stopped the blade between its index and middle finger.

“Hey, what are you doin-?!” Meira shouted at the person behind her before turning around, becoming deathly pale the minute she saw who it was.

It was our teacher, Youki. Floating ghost-half and all.

“Meira, what is the meaning of this?” he asked sternly, lifting the sword from his female student’s hands with the same two fingers. Meira began to say her answer, but she only succeeded in making unknown mouth noises in a sequence. The old man could be overwhelming when he wanted to.

“Hermit Konpaku Youki. I thank you for stopping this insane girl.” Yumeko said all of a sudden, returning her two shortswords back under her skirt. Realizing that I was watching her as she was doing so, I quickly adverted my eyes towards the crimson sky.

“This insane girl is my student, so her insanity is my responsibility. I apologize for the trouble.” The old man said back to the maid, bringing Meira out of her state of shock with the insult.

“Hey!” She yelled, but Youki ignored her.

“Miss Yumeko, may I ask why you are here?” Youki asked Yumeko, who was fixing her apron.

“Of course. I am on an errand from my mistress. My lady requests the audience of the human named Blanc Emil, who is rumored to be from the outside world. He was in the process of agreeing before that girl assaulted me.” The maid answered after adjusting a fold on her dress. Youki then looked at me, an eyebrow raised.

“Is that so…” the old man muttered out loud, giving Meira the chance to speak.

“Sensei! What’s going on? Why did you stop me?” the female samurai shouted with confusion as she reached for her katana, only to have it be held away from her hand by Youki.

“I would rather not anger the ruler of Makai by allowing you to cause harm to her servant, Meira.” The old man said, that time leaving me confounded.

“What?” It was me that time, purely out of instinct.

Turning over to look at me, Yumeko unexpectedly let a small smile form on her lips, though it did not look genuine at all.

“Did I forget to mention that? I serve the lady Shinki.” She revealed, a spark of pride lining her voice.

"Who is that?" I asked the maid, whose face deadpanned with the question.

"You will discover that soon enough." Youki assumed me before turning to Yumeko, handing the sword back to Meira as he did.

"I will allow my student to leave with you, on the condition that Meira and I accompany him. Of course it will be purely for his safety, for he is still inexperienced." the old man asked the maid sternly, continuing a second afterwards.

“Do we have an agreement?”

Yumeko, in response, glared at my teacher for only a second, before turning around.

"Very well. You may come with us. Now, if you do not mind, let us depart. My lady awaits." was all she said, before beginning to walk ahead. As she walked by me a thought manifested in my head, one that alarmed me immediately.

How did they know about me? The only people I had come into contact with in Makai were the old man and Meira. So how…

Blinking once, I felt unsure about following her suddenly, but then Youki appeared behind me and spoke, a small smile under his silver beard.

"Let us make haste, Emil-kun. Everything will be fine." He assured me calmly, his white-ghost half almost seeming to nod at me in accordance to my teacher’s words.

Looking up to him, I once again felt the odd determination from before, and I nodded, tagging along after Yumeko; blazer and wooden sword at hand. From behind, Meira’s voice called out to us.

“H-Hey! Wait for me!”

The next thing I knew, the amethyst-haired samurai appeared at my side, her mouth inches from my ear. Consequentially, my face heated up with the sudden closeness.

“Blanc-kun, do not even dare think that I came to protect you for any reason other than the one I said, got it?” Meira hissed at me in a soft voice, her eyes alternating from me to the maid leading us.

“Alright, I get it. I won’t get the wrong idea. Though I wasn’t in any danger to begin with… but thanks anyways. For the concern.” I mumbled back, causing Meira to jerk her head away from me, her eyes wide for some reason. A second after, she marched ahead of me quickly, not saying another word. Not knowing why she had suddenly played the mute, I continued to tread forward, hearing a chuckle coming from the old man behind me. Glancing back up at the sky, I took in a deep breath, my body already accustomed to the poisonous air of Makai.

‘Hopefully, this Shinki lady who everyone seemed to know about had a way to return me back to my world,’ I thought to myself as I gazed at the crimson sky, spotting a single black bird flying overhead.

‘Hopefully.’



   “Huh?”

   That was the best sentence I could come up with at that moment, amazement restricting me from saying anything more. When we entered a forest that seemed to be completely made of crystal, I was shocked, yes, but I quickly accepted it as part of that world (and unconsciously, as part of my dream). Yet once we finally got to our intended destination, Meira and I were completely dumbfounded, while both Yumeko and Youki only looked on as if it was a common scene.

   Before me roomed a fortress completely out of the same crystal material the forest consisted of, a castle that was hidden by the clear canopies of the crystalline trees. How we had not spotted it in the distance was beyond me.

Noticing that the female samurai and I both stopped in our tracks, Yumeko turned around and once again brandished a prideful, yet empty smirk.

   “Welcome to Pandemonium, the home of my mistress Shinki.” The blonde maid said before continuing to lead the way. Brought out from my awe-struck state, I went over to Youki, who was about to follow after Yumeko.

   “Who is Shinki anyways? A queen?” I asked the old man, who observed me for a minute before answering.

   “A Queen? No, Emil-kun. Shinki is what you may call a god. At least in this world.”

   With that, he strolled away, leaving me with my eyes wide again.

   Sure, a god that lived in a palace made of crystal. Why not? By the description of that world I was already in Hell.

   “Please do not fall behind. We must not be late.” Yumeko shouted back to Meira and me, the two of us jumping slightly in place when she did. Looking at each other, Meira shrugged and went ahead, leaving me in the rear of the group. Slipping on my school jacket, I followed suit.

   Before I knew it, we were inside the fortress, navigating through the dark corridors it held. Despite being made of crystal, the halls themselves seemed to be constructed completely from stone. On each wall hung a silver torch with greenish flames along with multiple well-made tapestries, providing the light necessary to walk about. Every so often, a girl in a maid outfit would pass us in the halls, and by Meira’s glares, I could guess that each girl that appeared was a demon. Though, it was only a guess. Thankfully, none seemed hostile towards us; rather they did not even acknowledge our presence at all. Oddly enough, the old man actually seemed more at ease there than back in the hut.

   “We are here.” Yumeko stated, facing us after stopping.

   Being brought out from my thoughts, I finally saw the giant crystalline door in front of us, heavily decorated with markings and runes. It left me breathless.

   “Emil-kun, straighten up. You will be in the presence of a powerful being. It is recommended to show the utmost respect. You too, Meira.” My teacher lectured to his students as the blonde maid went to the door, placing her palm over its decorated surface. Almost instantly, the massive door began to gradually open, revealing a magnificent chamber on the other side, complete with six bonfires of emerald flames that lined the long, burgundy carpet leading to a tall crystalline throne. Around the throne were a squadron of maids lined up on either side, each one waiting for an order. On that gem-like seat sat a white-haired youthful woman, who wore some simple ruby robes over what appeared to be a cherry undershirt. Her hair had a single ponytail sprouting from the top of her head, tied by a single balled hair band.

   “May I present you to my mistress, Shinki. The Goddess of Devil’s World and creator of Makai.”



End of Chapter Three.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 08:29:00 pm by Jett »

"If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we shall see." - Spanish Proverb
  • Remnant Jett

Jett

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Re: Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
« Reply #5 on: February 08, 2012, 08:25:51 pm »
Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
Chapter Four: Departing


“May I present you to my mistress, Shinki. The Goddess of Devil’s World and creator of Makai.”

Yumeko announced, standing next to the crystalline throne before bowing. Staring at the woman the maid called a goddess, I felt a strong hand grip my shoulder and pull me down to the ground. Veering to see the owner of the hand, I saw Youki also on one knee, his other hand holding Meira in a similar position.

   “Lady Shinki, it is an honor to see you once more.” Youki said with his face focused on the floor he kneeled on. Next to him, his ghost-half just floated lazily.

   “Ah, Hermit Konpaku, it is always a pleasure to have you visit me. You look well. I see that you now have a student.” The goddess spoke composedly to the old man, placing her cheek on her fist as she observed us. Since that was the first time I was in the presence of a deity, I temporary forgot why we had even gone there in the first place, and ended up as the mute.

   “I have acquired two, milady. One is this girl who hails from Gensokyo… and the other is this boy from the other world.” Youki announced before turning to look at me, his glance pointing me out.

   “Ah, so that is the outsider? I was led to believe that he was a bit older.” Shinki smiled down at me, standing up soon after.

   “Milady?” Yumeko blurted out as she watched her mistress approach me, standing a foot away from my person. Paused and hushed, she stared down at me with a small smile, but when I gazed back up into her sky-blue eyes, I saw something else in her expression, something more… distressing. What was it? Back then, I could not tell.

   Due to me being focused on the discovery of her hidden emotion, I also remained still in front of Shinki, my stare oblivious to distractions. After a while, the Goddess of Makai giggled, causing mostly everyone to jump in their place.

   “Well, Hermit Konpaku, you have certainly found a strong-willed pupil.” She told my half-ghost teacher, finally breaking the chains that locked our eyes together. Blinking once, I was greeted by confusion from the white-haired woman’s comment, and I was not the only one.

   “Was that a test, milady?” the blonde maid asked as she arrived next to her employer with an eyebrow raised.

   “Why of course.” Shinki replied simply to her maid, her smile growing a little wider.

   ‘A test? A test for what?’ I asked myself in my head, not bothering to say the question out loud. Detaching myself from Youki’s grip, I rose up before the Goddess, my false confidence playing another part once more.

   “Didn’t you want to ask me something?” I said to Shinki, a gasp coming from maids around the giant chamber, the loudest from Yumeko. Before I knew it, a short sword emerged inches from my neck, the blonde maid holding it there with a glare at me.

   “How dare you address my mistress with such boldness! As her vassal, I demand that you show the proper respect!” Yumeko roared at me, her blade gaining an inch towards my flesh.

   “Blanc-kun!” I heard Meira shout from somewhere off to my right, but I did not even make an attempt to glance at her. It was hard to do so with a lethal weapon at my throat.

   “Stand down, Yumeko. He is our guest. We do not treat them in such a manner.” Shinki stated coolly to her maid, placing a hand on her shoulder.

   “But Mistress! He is a human! Insolence like that from his kind…”

   “…Is accepted in my presence. Now, sheath your sword, Yumeko.” Shinki interrupted, finishing Yumeko’s sentence. The maid only stared at the Goddess with disbelief before submitting, retracting the blade away from me. Finding that I was holding my breath, I began to take in air again, right as Yumeko stashed her weapon away guiltily.

“Please, excuse my servant. She is very dedicated to her work.” The white-haired goddess said to me, causing Yumeko to look away.

‘That was dedication?’ I asked no one in my mind, though not bothering to say it out loud also.

“Now, let us get on with business. Hermit Konpaku, I must ask that you and your other student step out for a little while, if you may.” Hearing Shinki’s command, Youki’s head snapped up quickly, his eyes slightly wider than usual.

“Milady, since you have allowed me to live here in Makai, I will gladly complete any task you place before me. However, after what I have just witnessed, I am forced to reconsider your request.” The old man pleaded back as he prepared to stand up. That was the first time I ever saw my teacher like that, without his usual calm demeanor. 

“Konpaku Youki, do not worry so. It will only be for a short while. I will keep this boy safe. I give you my word as the ruler of this realm.” She countered, making my teacher stop with just one motion of her hand. Without a solid argument against it, Youki bowed his head once, finally standing up.

“Very well. As you wish, lady Shinki. Meira, come along.” The old man spoke quietly that time, grabbing the scruff of the female samurai’s red vest to basically drag her out.

“H-Hey! Sensei! Are you really going to leave him here alone? Sensei!” Meira shouted at the old man as they passed through the massive entrance, the colossal doors closing on their own a few moments later. It was then that it dawned on me. I was alone in a room with the goddess of a demon world; an army of her subjects waiting for her orders. Thankfully, Shinki must have had noticed my wariness.

“Yumeko, take the maids out as well and stay with them. I believe that they are making our guest uncomfortable.” The Goddess ordered the blonde maid, who only nodded her head once silently before going off to complete her order. In spite of having threatened me with her sword, I did feel a bit of sympathy to Yumeko. Whenever Youki scolded me, I felt like crap afterwards, too.

In a minute, the chamber was rid of all cleaning staff, leaving only Shinki and me in the massive crystalline chamber.

“Well, now that me are alone, may I have your name?” the white-haired deity smiled to me, staying a certain distance away. I remained still, but I did reply.

“I thought you already knew my name.” I said, my false confidence acting up again. “I mean, miss Yumeko went looking for me with it.”

“Ah yes, but I would rather have you formally introduce yourself. Is that acceptable?” Shinki asked serenely, making me remember an event six days ago, outside of a certain train station. When I first met a girl named Maribel Han, and how she wanted to introduce herself. I pushed the thought to the side then, but not so far away that I would forget it.

“My name is Emil Blanc. From America.” I announced, the uncomfortable feeling materializing again in my chest after days of disappearance. I doubted then that the goddess would know what America was. I was right, too.

“Ah-meh… -rika? What world is that?” Shinki asked, tilting her head slightly to the right in thought.

“America is not a world. It’s a country in the world I come from.” I explained, the uncomfortable feeling growing in me with the mention of my world. Figuring that she probably still having difficulty understanding what I was talking about, I continued on.

“A country is… How do I put this…? A country is like a section of the world, each one with a different culture and ruled by different people.”

“Oh, I see. So they are like kingdoms. That would also be a explanation behind your name and odd clothing, correct?” The white-haired goddess said to me, her smile still present.

“Yes.” I confirmed, looking at my raggedy school clothes. They were the only proof that I was from the outside world, but they were also beginning to rip in places.

“Mister Emil, may I ask you something else?” Shinki inquired, making me glance back up.

“Uh. Yeah. Go ahead.” I replied back, caught a little off guard.

“You are not a native to this world, yet you somehow managed to speak your words perfectly. How is that?”

My mind registering the question, I realized that even though I had figured out that another language was spoken in that world the day I woke up in it, I did not think about it the slightest afterwards. It was the same back in my world, with me not questioning my ability to translate and speak other tongues. However, after six days in a realm with a crimson sky, I found myself asking; ‘how can I do this?’

“I’m not sure. Back in my world, I was living in another country, and when I arrived there I instantly knew how to talk to everyone there, even though they were using another language. To me, everyone talks in English, and to everyone, I talk in whatever they speak.” I said to the Goddess, though explaining more to myself than to her.

“Hmm… Well, I must say you are certainly an interesting human. You did not submit when Yumeko held that blade against you, you seem to hold a power to understand any person’s words, and let us not forget how you have already become accustomed to the air here. I think you will do.” Shinki remarked before taking a step forward, which made me subconsciously take a step back.

“What are you talking about?” I asked hesitantly, being brought out of my thoughts. How was I interesting? The only way for me to have moved when Yumeko held that sword to my neck was if I had wanted to be impaled through the throat. I had only gotten used to the poisonous air thanks to Youki’s tonic, and the so-called ‘power’ I had I did not understand the slightest.

“Let us not worry about that right now. Instead, may I hear how you came into this world?” Shinki responded, avoiding my question altogether. Puzzled, I regarded the Goddess with caution, but answered nonetheless.

“I… don’t know much about that either, but I do know that I was sent into some sort of hole or portal-thing by a… by a blonde woman holding a parasol.” I muttered as I brought my head down, not able to escape the memories that were triggered.

I was not angry with the woman or anything. I was just… confused. Why did she send me into Makai? Why me? Was it because I was in the wrong place at the wrong time? Probably. I mean, why else would someone pick a piece of scenery like me?

“As I thought. Mister Emil, I know who sent you into my world.”

My eyes enlarging, I stared back at the white-haired goddess, astonished.

“W-what?” I stuttered to Shinki, the uncomfortable feeling vanishing completely. She knew who the woman was?

“You know who she is? Please, tell me!” I exclaimed, my normally passive curiosity taking the best of me the second time in my life. Seeing my face, Shinki stared at me for a moment, and then spoke once more.

“The blonde woman you encountered goes by the name of Yukari. She is a youkai who has the power to manipulate borders. From what I have heard, this is not the first time she has abducted a human from the outside world. In fact, I hear that it is a common habit for her. However, you may be the first one to land in Makai. Most appear in Gensokyo.” Shinki revealed; her smile replaced by a serious frown. As she spoke, my mind ran rampant.

I was not the first one? There were others? So the reason I was taken out of the world I knew was because of some habit?!

“Why are you telling me this now?” I asked Shinki with a pained expression, my left hand over my eye on the same side. The goddess only looked at me with a somber face, her eyes being the same way they were back when she was testing me.

“Because I have a task for you, and I wanted to be sure that you would to your best to complete it.” Shinki answered, taking another step forward. I, however, did not move back.

“I wish to send a message to a girl named Hakurei Reimu. Unfortunately, she resides in Gensokyo, and I hold too many responsibilities here in Makai to leave for a time. I would have had Yumeko or one of my maids deliver it, but I wish for this matter to be kept hidden from others. Thankfully, word of your arrival came to me at the most proper time. Since I wanted to see if you would be able to complete this task, I asked my maid to retrieve you under the excuse that I was curious about you. Seeing you before my eyes, I can safely conclude that you are indeed capable. I do not desire to impose on you anything that you would not do, but this matter is far too important, so I hope I have given you a goal. Do you understand what I am telling you?” the white-haired goddess continued, ending up two feet away from where I was.

“I don’t underst-.” I muttered; my eyes focused on the ground. I was still thinking about the plausible reason I was there.

Then the facts in my mind connected.

The woman Shinki referred to as Yukari, who she said was the woman who sent me to that world. All of the other humans that were abducted, and how they all ended up in Gensokyo. The girl named Hakurei Reimu, who the Goddess wanted to contact, who lived in Gensokyo…

“You want me to go to Gensokyo, with me hoping that I might find the woman who brought me here to Makai, all the while doing what you asked.” I declared, bringing my face back up to meet Shinki’s, ridding my mind of most of the confusion I had. The white-haired deity’s eyes widened a bit when I spoke, but then they returned to normal, the smile returning to her face.

“Yes. That is what I intended.” Shinki asked as she tilted her head a bit to the right again, her smile remaining on her face.

“Will you accept it?”

Opening my mouth to respond, a thought came to my mind, and I decided to answer back with a question.

“What about Youki and Meira? What will happen to them?”

“They may go with you if you wish. However, they must not know about the task, so it is recommended that you leave without them.” Shinki frowned a little, the harmful air around me growing a lot colder with the statement.

Despite the daily beatings, despite the harsh training, despite the inability to comprehend my situation, I found that the thought of leaving the old man and the headstrong girl was not something I wanted to come true. Unknowingly, I had grown to like old man Youki, and even Meira. I was grateful to them for tolerating me for those six days, and I was not sure I could survive without their help.

“I can keep it a secret from them. I don’t know how, but I will find a way. I still need their help.” I said to the goddess, though I needed them more for moral reasons than assistance.

“Very well. I take it that you will accept my selfish request then?” Shinki asked, her light-blue eyes staring into my own dark-grey ones. Taking a moment to think, I nodded, rare determination in my eye.

“Yes.”

“Excellent.”

Smiling wider, Shinki took two more steps to me; reaching the point where our bodies were so close they almost touched. My face heated up as a result, growing warmer still as the Goddess talked into my ear in a whisper.

“Remember my words carefully, mister Emil. A misinterpreted message is at times more dangerous than the sharpest sword. I will speak to you as if I were speaking as you to Miss Hakurei herself. I want you to repeat what I say in the message to her exactly. Are you ready to receive my words?” Shinki mumbled into my ear, her breath causing shivers down my spine. First the blonde woman with the parasol, then Meira, and now the goddess of Makai was talking into my ear. How was it that I somehow ended up in situations like that?

Swallowing my insecurities, I only nodded again, which the goddess seemed to take as confirmation.

“Splendid. Let us begin.” Remarked Shinki before clearing her throat to commence reciting.

“Miss Hakurei, I come bearing a warning from the Lady Shinki of Makai, whom you have visited some time ago. Word has reached her that there has been some turmoil occurring in Jingoku, turmoil that may spread into Gensokyo. Since the Lady has heard that you have become the primary incident solver of that land, she feels that you are the most appropriate being to handle this information. It is hoped that you would act upon this news as you see fit, for Gensokyo’s sake and for Makai’s as well.” The white-haired Goddess muttered to me, my face growing warmer with every word.

“That is all, mister Emil. Please repeat it to me so that I may feel assure that you have memorized it.” She said, not moving at all. Clearing my throat, I tried my best to recite the whole message. After I was done, Shinki clapped twice before stepping away, the smile still present on her lips.

“Close enough. Now, you should depart for Gensokyo immediately. The faster the message arrives to Miss Reimu, the better.” The crimson-robed deity declared as she pointed me to the door, walking over to her throne.

“Um… yeah…” I said back, turning halfway to leave. However, a question arose in my mind that I just had to ask.

“Miss Shinki?”

“Yes, Mister Emil?”

“In my world, we never really meet gods. I was just wondering… are you a god?” I asked sincerely to the now-seated white-haired woman in red robes, who stared at me, probably thinking how stupid the question was. After she looked at me for a good solid minute, her shoulders began to move slightly up and down, and her mouth twitched up a bit, as if she was trying to hold something back. Suddenly, without warning, the ruler of Makai unleashed a fit of soft laughter, causing my heart to drop to my foot. I honestly thought that she was laughing at me for asking the question. Bringing my glance down to the crystalline floor, I took a step to leave before being stopped.

“Mister Emil.”

Turning back around, I found Shinki standing, her serene light-blue eyes smiling along with her mouth. As I watched, she brought her hands slightly up in the air, closing her eyes as she did so. Puzzled by the action, I faced the white-haired woman completely, wondering what she was trying to accomplish. Waiting for whatever was to happen, I blinked once…

…And saw Shinki with six sharp, scarlet wings behind her, each with a set of ominous glowing runes.

“Does this provide a suitable answer to your question?”

Dumbfounded, I almost fell back, but caught myself before I lost my balance. Seeing my surprise, Shinki giggled, and continued to speak.

“You will find many unusual beings in Gensokyo, some of them with abilities as great as mine. However, do not be dissuaded by that minor fact. You yourself hold a great power, one that equals mine in an unknown way. I wish you a safe journey, and… may you be blessed by good fortune… Emil-kun.”

It took me a moment to realize that the warmth had returned to my face, but I ignored it. I had a power that matched hers? I did not see how my ability to understand other languages could rival that of a god’s. Though… the compliment felt…

Nice.

“Thank you.” I said to Shinki before walking away, overlooking the white-haired goddess’ resemblance to a certain diabolic deity acknowledged back in my world. As I left the decorated crystal throne room, I became conscious of the fact that I was smiling.




“You want to go to Gensokyo?” Meira said with a chest-fallen expression as we left Pandemonium, Youki’s ghost-half remaining next to her while its human-half walked ahead.

“Yeah. Shink- I mean Lady Shinki told me that I might be able to find a way home if I go there.” I replied back, avoiding the amethyst-haired girl’s gaze as I walked. I did not want to lie to them, but Shinki had asked me to keep the true reason a secret.

“She did now? Are you sure you can trust her? She could be leading you on to get you killed!” warned the female samurai, who leaned towards me to get her point across, making me subconsciously face her. Her dark eyes looking intently into mine, I proved myself the weakest by looking away.

“Emil-kun should not need to be concerned about the wishes of Lady Shinki. Am I right, Emil-kun?” The old man plainly shot back to Meira and me without even turning back, setting off an alarm in my head. ‘He knows. He knows.’ I repeated in my mind, trying not to display my thoughts on my face. The act was a lot harder than I had first thought.

“Um… yeah.” I answered quietly, staying at the same pace as Meira, who looked at me with confusion. Walking through the crystalline forest once more in the opposite direction, I looked down to the ground, watching my steps. I felt a drop of water fall on my head, but that I disregarded. How did he know? I never said anything. I only mentioned wanting to go to Gensokyo. Did he assume that Shinki had given me a mission to do? Wait, why was I panicking? Youki had agreed to train me until I found a way back to my world. Why would he stop me? Why did he care?

Lost in an abyss of questions, I closed my eyes, unaware of a presence looming behind me.

“Blanc-kun!”

Snapping my eyes open, I felt myself being violently shoved to the side, landing on hard dirt. Blinking a few times, I looked back to Meira to yell at her, but found my words frozen with the sight I saw.

In the space I had been in a moment ago stood Meira, her katana interlocked with another weapon, an axe. Its wielder was a tall, young looking man with lengthy dark-blue hair.

“Tsk. You are fast for a pupil. You taught her well, Konpaku.” The man shouted to my teacher, causing Meira to look away for a minute. Capitalizing, the man quickly lashed out with his foot, connecting with Meira’s mid-riff. As she doubled-over in pain, the man then turned his focus to me, his eyes a shade of yellow.

“Now, for you.” The attacker muttered behind a black mouth cover, charging at me with his weapon raised high. Since everything was happening so fast, my mind could not register the charge, and I sat there staring like the idiot. However, once more the assault was deflected.

“What do you want with my student, youkai?” the stern voice of the old man demanded as he suddenly appeared under the path of the axe, stopping it in between his palms. Crawling back a few feet without taking my eyes off Youki or the man, I could not say anything, my words stuck in my throat.

“Nothing to concern you with, hermit. My business is only with that human. So move out of the way.” the man taunted as he removed his axe from the old man’s hands, quickly bringing it down for another strike. Rolling to the side, Youki landed on his knee and extended a hand out, his face bearing a solemn glare.

“The affairs of my students are also my responsibility. Therefore, I shall show you the proper punishment for harming my students!” my teacher yelled as his ghost-half flew to his hand, its shape suddenly altering in shape. Before I knew it, the white specter had formed an almost transparent katana sword, resting firmly in the old man’s hand.

“Impressive trick there, Konpaku. However, I do not need to fight yo-!”

“I will kill you!”

Had Meira not screamed her threat, she might have landed her blow from behind. Instead, the blue-haired attacker effortlessly ducked under her blade and spun around, catching the female samurai by her back with his boot. The kick sent the girl staggering towards me, and I managed to catch her as she fell.

“Ow…” was all she said, her face clenched in pain. Her sword had remained next to the man.

“What a nuisance…” the man growled, looking at Youki a second after.

“You are both in the way of my operation. So prepare to be pushed aside, hermit.” The attacker hissed as he rushed towards the old man, who stood with his blade parallel to his face. As the two began their bout, I felt Meira’s fist clench my shirt, causing me to look back down to her.

 “Meira?” I asked before hearing a foot fall behind me. Without a second thought, I held onto the female samurai and rolled with her over to the left, just in time to avoid being impaled by two spears. The attacker was not alone.

“Get him!” one of the spear-wielders cried as she tried to stab Meira and me once more, the other following suit. Once again, I avoided the strikes by rolling, my heart almost bursting my chest as I found myself over the female samurai, staring with disbelief at the two spearmen.

That was an actual life-or-death situation. Adrenaline had already taken complete control over my body. Beneath me, I did not feel Meira move, and assumed that she was still hurt from the kick she had received. The man must have had godly strength to be able to damage the amethyst-haired girl so badly. Gulping, I managed to stand up, grabbing the wooden sword strapped to my belt, feeling my legs shaking as I drew it. By then, the rain had picked up to a downpour. What was I planning to do? Fight them off with a slab of polished wood? Holding it the way the old man taught me, I could feel sweat begin to form on my forehead, which fused with the falling water that landed on my face.

What was I planning to do?

“Die, human scum!” the male-half of the two yelled as he lunged at me, his helmet hiding his face. Seeing the strike approaching, I gritted my teeth and held the sword at both ends in front of me, catching the trident-shaped spear by the space in-between its blades. Unfortunately, I had miscalculated about the spearman’s strength, and an overwhelming wave of agony attacked my body as the point of his weapon penetrated skin.

Despite the pain, I kept holding the sword strong, keeping the spear from entering my chest completely. However, I could not stop the blood from oozing out.

“Emil-kun!”

My arms straining against the spearman’s strength, I did not respond to Meira behind me. Rather, I saw the reason why she called out to me before she did.

To my left, the other spear wielder came at me to finish the job.

At that point, time slowed down.

As I stood there, with the tip of a spear centimeters from my heart, its counterpart rushed towards my head, aimed for my face. The point approaching me, my eyes widened, the doom coming at me splitting a raindrop along the way to me.

At that moment, I truly believed I was going to die.

Yet, I was proved wrong.

“PIERCING WIDE WAVE!”

A split second before my life was about to end, several crescent-shaped projectiles collided with the spearwoman who had charged at me, sending her flying away with weapon and all.

“By the Lady, what was that?!” her companion exclaimed as he jumped back, taking his spear with him and allowing me to fall to the ground clutching my chest. Panting, I quickly looked back, finding the person who had sent the attack that saved my life.

“Get up. You only have a flesh wound.” A green-haired woman said to me as she walked, or rather floated, next to me, a staff headed by a white crescent and a knife in her hands. I just gaped at her, shell-shocked.

“What do you think you are doing!? The Lady will hear of your betrayal!” the spearman yelled at the purple-dressed woman, who had large bluish-purple wings emerging from her back. To me, she seemed almost like a dark angel.

“I’m sorry, but the Lady is not my master. Tell her that once I send you back to Jingoku the hard way.” The woman jeered as she aimed her knife forward. A second later, a laser was suddenly shot out towards the spearman. Dodging it, the spearman quickly pulled out a horn from behind him and blew into it, the sound ringing throughout the crystalline forest. As he did so, however, he could not dodge the second shot the woman sent him. Falling to the ground after taking a laser to the chest, the spearman did not move afterwards, joining his partner in the moist dirt.

“Hey, what did I tell you? I said get up.” The woman shouted at me as she grabbed my arm, pulling me up from the muddy ground. Still clutching the bleeding wound on my chest, I held onto my wooden sword with my free hand, gripping it with wet and dirty white knuckles.

“Listen, you have to run. Now. That man called for reinforcements. Go and deliver Shinki’s message. Hurry!” The woman commanded me, turning away to check up on Meira. Hearing Shinki’s name, I was brought out of my state of shock.

“Wait, how do you kno-…”

“There is no time for an explanation! Keep going west. Eventually, you will reach a cave. Go through it. It will get you to Gensokyo. Now go! We will keep them away!” the green-haired woman yelled to me, helping the female samurai up to her feet. As the water continued to fall from the crimson sky, I could hear Youki and the blue-haired attacker still fighting, but I could not see them. However, above everything else, I heard the sound of metal clanking nearby.

“But…”

“Don’t you see that we are doing this for you?! Or do I have to force you to move?!” Pointing her knife at me, I hesitated for a moment, and then brought my head down, physical and emotional agony mixing together.

“Meira… Youki… I’m sorry.”

Spinning around, I tripped on the wet reddish grass, but quickly recovered.

Standing up, I began to run towards where the woman had pointed, still holding my hand over my wound.

As I got farther away, I could hear people yelling and more explosions, but I just kept running.

I do not know how long I ran for, or if I was still heading in the right direction. I just continued to sprint away, ignoring my pain, my fatigue, and my thoughts.

However, the blood loss I could not ignore.

Falling down to my knees, I slid a little before falling forward, the rain pelting me in the back. Out of breath, I laid there in the soaked grass, my head spinning from exhaustion.

Just go to sleep, I told myself, as my eyelids grew heavy. Just go to sleep, and wake up from this nightmare. Just go to…

“Become something greater for me, okay?”

My eyes snapping open, I sat up and looked around frantically, my hair matted to my forehead. I could have sworn I heard the woman Shinki called Yukari. Was she there? Where was she?

Not finding anything but crystalline trees and falling rain, I fell back down to the ground, staring up at the crimson sky, the bleeding in my chest only getting worse.

I could not stay there.

I had to get help.

I had to go to Gensokyo.

Gritting my teeth, I got up once more, swaying a little before I managed to regain my balance. Staring ahead, I could see a dark stationary form in the distance. Pressing my hand against the cut over my heart, I fought against the wave of nausea, and looked up at the sky again.

My body sodden, I closed my eyes, and took a deep breath.

Then, I took a step forward, opening them instantly.

Finally, I began to run.



End of Chapter Four.
« Last Edit: February 08, 2012, 08:29:27 pm by Jett »

"If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we shall see." - Spanish Proverb
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Re: Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2012, 07:30:09 pm »
Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
Chapter Five: Renewing

As I fell, my mind traveled in and out of consciousness, and the world around me collapsed into grey.

I was unaware of where I was, or why I was falling, how far I had fallen, or to where I was plummeting. At that time, it mattered little to me.

As I plunged down into nothing, a single memory arose in my mind. It was one that I had almost forgotten.

One that I wished I had.

It took place several years ago, when I was a child, on a rainy day, a day when I first became aware of the enigma that was my ability.
My parents and I were visiting an Indian reservation, one called the Fond de Lac, to meet my great-grandfather, who was on his deathbed at the time. As a four-year old boy, I did not know nor understand the purpose of the trip. I was just glad to be on the road, away from the normality of my home. I was like that back then; I got excited over the smallest, most insignificant things, from building forts out of pillows to just eating something new. It was before I found out how the world really was.

A world where even the children did not smile.

Once we had arrived there, I can still recall how when the car stopped I instantly leaped out from my seat and through the car door into a puddle of mud, laughing gleefully as droplets of russet strained the clothes on my body. Spring had just begun; the cherry trees had started to bloom and the rainclouds had begun to dominate the sky. As I enjoyed myself in my new primitive playpen, my father quickly grabbed me, pulled me away, and along with my mother began to yell at me for being loud and for getting myself dirty. As the boy that I was then, I only bowed my head, my moment of joy abruptly ended.

Staring ahead into grey, I continued to be unresponsive, my airless descent showing no signs of ending. Accepting the lack of change in my situation, I continued reminiscing.

As we entered the house that the government had bestowed on my grandfather’s father, I looked around curiously, clinging onto my mother’s black dress in order to keep up with the two of them. Though my parents seemed very hurried back then, I, by contrast, took the opportunity to observe and stare at every object around me, amazed and astounded by how strange each one looked. A small totem pole about my height caught my attention particularly, since it was in the shape of a horned serpent. When I was a kid, snakes fascinated me. Though now not so much, I remembered how cool I thought it was how snakes could move without arms or legs.

The perks of childhood; everything was always fascinating.

Pulled away from the totem pole, my mother brought me into a small, dark but decorated room; a single small window illuminating the end of a single bed in the center. It took me a few seconds to realize that my father was already in the room, and was sitting next to the bed on a simple wooden stool. It took a few more to hear the ragged breathing coming from the dark end of the bed. Interested but mildly afraid as to what was making that noise, I looked up to my mother for an answer, but she did not pay any attention to me. Even in the dim light of the room, I could make out a solemn expression on my mother’s face. Confused, I pulled on her skirt for a reaction, but one only came when a man emerged in the doorway behind us, asking to speak with my mother. Leaving the room without a word, she left me alone with my father and the breathing bed. With nothing else to do, I approached my father carefully and stood next to him, my head reaching up to his shoulder. Pulling on his sleeve, I asked about the breathing bed. My father only looked at me blankly, and then turned back to the dark part of the bed, and spoke. For some reason, I remembered his words perfectly. Perhaps it was because I was right next to him. Maybe it was due to the fact that it was the first time I had ever heard my father genuinely in dismay.

No, I know the reason why. It was because the words he spoke were the only words I could never understand.

Mishomis,” said my father, “aniish na?”

At his bizarre words, the bed stirred, making me jump. As I recovered, a withered hand suddenly reached out from the darkness, slowly heading towards me. I only flinched as it fell gently on my head.

Neegoosis…” said a weak voice from the darkness, a small cough following afterwards.

Scared frozen by the hand, I looked to my father for help. However, he just sat there, his eyes wide with surprise.

Neegoosis…” the voice said again, the thumb of the hand gently stroking my ebony hair.

By then I could feel tears forming in my eyes. A strange sensation was taking over my body. I could not move, but it felt as if a pit had formed in my gut. It was a nauseous feeling, and I still wonder how I managed to stay on my feet then. Again I pleaded silently to my father to save me from the hand, and from the uncomfortable sensation. He only remained rooted to the stool, his expression sober.

Neegoosi… my son…

At the first instance of English words I caught my breath. The feeling had stopped then. The hand on me began to lower down onto my face.

My son... please…

As the hand went over my eyes, the darkness took over my vision, and I stood there silent, tears finally falling from my eyes. However, they were no longer from fear.

My son… please… protect your… soul…

With those final words, the hand fell from my face, and hung off the bed, lifeless.

The rest happened so fast. Seeing the hand drop, my father suddenly stood up and loomed over the bed, yelling out something towards the door. Two men then came charging into the room and went to where my father was, tearing off a blanket from the bed.

The blanket landed at my feet.

After a few moments, I remembered how they forced my father away from the bed, his shouts so loud that they caused my ears to hurt. I remembered the sobbing afterwards, and my mother’s hand in mine, pulling me away. I remembered how silent I was then, and how the warmth of the withered hand still lingered over my eyes. In my hand, I held the discarded blanket.

That day introduced me to one of the cruelest realities the world had to offer, and though it took me some time to acknowledge it, it taught me how to accept the other worldly cruelties I would soon experience.

   However, that was in the past. I did not care for those memories up till then.

   “Are you sure?

   In front of me, the image of a small boy manifested out of the grey, his knees hiding his face from my eyes. In spite of the fact that I was falling, he stayed suspended in place. At first I thought that he was falling too, but his clothes, a simple white gown, and his hair were still.

   “Who are you?” I asked the boy before me, despite no indication in my mind that my lips had moved.

   The boy did not respond. Instead, he suddenly appeared closer to me, the distance between him and me only a few feet. That strange detail did not faze me the least. I was in a world of grey, a world where nothing mattered to me. Yet, the identity of the child seemed to challenge that idea.

   “Who are you?” I inquired again, only to be met with no reply once more.

   “Who are y-?” I began to shout before the identity of the boy came to mind. He was the same boy from the past few….

What would you call a dream within a dream?

When I recognized him, I obtained a response. However, it was not one with words.

   The boy slowly lifted his head from his knees, the black hair matting his head allowing the white that was the child’s forehead to appear. As his eyes finally emerged into view, my own widened. I knew those eyes all too well.

   They were my own.

   The boy in front of me was a perfect likeness of me as a child; down to the melancholic expression I had acquired after the Fond de Lac visit. However, there was something off about him. At that time, I could not place my finger on what it was. After the revelation of his face, the boy, or rather the younger me, stared at me with indifference, his small mouth opening slightly.

   “Who am I?” the younger me asked in a manner that seemed as if he was just imitating me, blinking once as I gazed at him dumbfounded. After several moments of silence, the boy lowered his head again, shutting himself off from me once more. Realizing what was happening, I blurted out an answer.

   “Hold o-!” I began, only to stop when surprise rendered me silent.

   The boy had appeared inches from my face, dark-grey eyes veering into dark-grey eyes.
 
   “Who am I? It is not time for you to find out.” The younger me remarked, his voice deeper than the last time he spoke. After he said those words, I felt a nauseous feeling go over my body, and I was abruptly shot upwards, away from the boy, away from the world of grey.

   As I was sped along, I extended my arm out to the child version of myself desperately, as if to grab the answer to my question that I knew was out of my reach.

It was then that I was introduced to a world of white once more.



I woke up to find a wave of agony traveling throughout my body, causing me to gasp out in shock. In fact, the pain was so great that it prevented me from opening my eyes. As I laid there helpless, I gradually remembered what had happened to me, and of the situation I was in.

Shinki’s message, the blue-haired attacker, the fight that occurred after he appeared, the spear almost impaling me clean through the heart, the other that was centimeters from entering my head, the green-haired woman who saved me and told me to run. Recalling everything, I clenched my teeth not in pain, but in anger, anger of how useless I was then. I could have helped them. I could have stay back to fight with them, but I had to go and get stabbed. Youki’s training was not enough to stop me from being injured.

Why did that all happen? I asked myself that question as the agony continued throughout my body. All of my joints, muscles, even bones, were beyond sore. Who was the Lady the spearmen were talking about? Could they have meant Shinki? No, why would she send men out to kill me after giving me a task to complete? My right hand still felt wet, probably with blood, even though I could not see it. Who were those men? Why did Youki call the blue-haired one a youkai?

What was a youkai?

My mind fleeting, I figured that it was best that I held back any questions until I found out where I had fallen. Attempting to pry open my eyelids, I found that the pain was still acting as the glue that kept them shut. With a massive effort, I was finally able to slightly open my right eye.

After a flash of light, I was met with a perfect azure sky.

My heart skipped a beat. The sight of a blue sky and white clouds caused a wonderful feeling to arise in me. Despite the vertigo that was playing on my mind and the pain I felt in my chest, right then and there I smiled like an idiot. Only one word left my grinning mouth, one magnificent word.

“Home…”

I muttered that word to no one in-between gasps, my right arm numb from clutching my bleeding chest. The dream forgotten, the dizziness and pain pushed aside, I let go of my wooden sword that was in my left hand and reached up to the clouds, my vision blurring and refocusing over and over again. My eyesight did not matter to me at that time.

I was home, I told myself. Somehow I had managed to go back to my world. Somehow, I had escaped my horrid dream world. Somehow I was back in Kyoto, back to my everyday life, back to…

It was then during my inner ranting that a face appeared looming over mine.

At that moment everything went quiet, my vertigo stopped, and my agony stayed away. Staring into two curious jade eyes, I found myself… entranced.

Those eyes, whose were they?

How could eyes seem so innocent, and yet still look so empty? Where had they come from? Was it a delusion? A trick from my strained mind? As I gazed into them, they seemed to gaze back into mine, and for some time we remained there, without saying one single word. In that time, I felt the gentle touch of a cold hand on my cheek. Strangely, I felt calm in the presence of that unknown being.
Unfortunately, it did not stay that way for long.

Suddenly I heard voices in the distance, and as if a switch was pulled the pain from my wound returned back with a fury, causing me to shut my eye as a reflex. Fighting back a cry of pain, I remembered the enchanting eyes over me, and I strained to open my own again, only to catch grey hair and green cloth rush past when I succeeded.

Opening my mouth to shout out for the person to wait, I found that I had used too much energy in opening my eyes, and had gotten too weak to speak. So I remained there, unable to even mutter. Gritting my teeth, I tried to move my head to see, but even that was too much. I only remain conscious long enough to see several shadows block the sky from my sight before falling under.

When I awoke once again, I found myself staring up at an unfamiliar ceiling. I stayed there, staring, lacking any emotion or feeling. My mind was empty at that moment, but soon, reality came crashing back down to me.

"He's awake!" a voice to my right suddenly shouted, causing several other voices to sound off as well. Cringing at the noise, I tried to move my hands up to my ears, but the protest from my body forced me to stop.

"Oh! Please stay still! We wouldn't want your wounds to open up.” the voice from before said to me, two hands gently holding me down at the same time. Turning my head slightly, I saw the smiling face of a thinly bearded Japanese man, the beard the only hair on his head. Blinking once, I opened my mouth to say something, but somehow someone managed to speak earlier than me.

"Is the man awake?" a voice to my left asked.

"Yes, he is! Go inform Kosuke that the man who exterminated a youkai has awakened!" the thinly bearded man replied excitedly to the voice, his smile growing wider.

Catching what he said, I moved my eyes to look at the man. At that moment, I uttered one word, one word that had manifested in my mind from the sudden change of events.

"What?"

That one word was heard. However, its intention was completely ignored by the chaos that erupted afterwards.

"He spoke!"

"The Youkai Fighter is alive!"

"Tell Kosuke!”

"He lives!"

"All of you calm down."

The last statement was said by a deep voice to my left, followed by footsteps that sounded as if they were approaching me. Soon, a new man stood over me, donning a dark green and brown kimono.
 
"Can you move?" he asked me with overwhelming authority, making me take a moment to allow my mind to register his words.

"Ah! I-I think so..." I stammered as I tried to sit up. Despite the weakness in my body as well as the pain, I managed to rise up to a crude sitting position, which was strange, since moments before I was too weak to move my head. Upright for the most part, I was finally allowed to survey my surroundings properly.

I was in a room of, what seemed to be, a traditional Japanese paper-house, with several futons piled up in the corner. To my right, the thinly bearded man looked at me and bowed. To my left stood the man in the dark green kimono and behind him several people peeking in from an opening in the wall. They all appeared to be Japanese, though their clothing did not seem to be modern.

"Good. I am glad to see that you have recovered enough to move. My men found you laying in the dirt, your chest a bloody mess,” the man continued before clearing his throat. "Now, may I ask who you are, stranger? You do not seem to be from this Vil..."

"Where am I?" I interrupted, ignoring the man’s question completely. I had read once that there were some parts of Japan that remained in a traditional way of life, even though almost all of the country was modernized. At the time, I was trying to convince myself that I was in one of those places; that I was just among people who could not accept the present.

Unfortunately, I could not escape my 'dream' that easily and suddenly.

"This is Gensokyo. What other place would this be?" the man replied, his face showing no reaction towards my disregard to his question.

At his words, I could feel my eyes widen as a feeling of despair took over my body, rendering me silent. Looking away from the man, I stared at the paper wall facing me, a sinking feeling growing in my stomach among all the other discomforts I was experiencing at the time.

'But the sky was blue...' I repeated in my mind, ‘The sky was blue...’

My mind, in response, tried to write off the whole situation as a dream again, but that time I rejected the notion of it all being figments of my imagination. The people, the events, the pain… I knew that my brain could not come up with an entire world, one that was filled with such magnificent and bizarre concepts like a red-skied world inhabited by demons and beings just as half-ghosts and living goddesses. It was all real. Everything from the woman with the parasol to Makai, Youki, Meira, and Shinki. It was all real.

It had taken a week for me to fully accept my reality.

Lost in thought, I did not realize that I was being spoken to, not until a hand grabbed my shoulder.

“I will ask again. Who are you?” the man in the dark-green kimono said to me sternly, his hand the one on me. His face was at level with mine when he spoke, for he had knelt down. Turning completely to the man, I looked at him blankly, not sure how to respond. Since the man was real, I was reluctant to give out my name. However, he had a similar air around him as Youki did, one that seemed to announce that he was a wise man. Gulping, I gave him his answer.

“My name is Emil Blanc. I came from Makai, and…”

A silence fell over the room almost instantly after I mentioned Makai, causing me to pause mid-sentence to look around and wonder why. The thinly bearded man slowly inched away from me while the man in the dark-green kimono seemed unfazed. It was him who broke the silence.

“Everyone, please return to your duties. Dojin, that includes you also. I wish to speak to this man alone.” The man said to the crowd outside the opening and to the thinly bearded man. Both did as they were told, with the man named Dojin closing the opening with sliding doors. A few moments later, the man and I were alone. Once everyone had departed, the man cleared his throat before speaking.

“Normally, I would have been honored to welcome you to this village… were you not a danger to my people.” 
With that statement, the man stood up, leaving me where I was sitting confused.

“What?” I asked, puzzled by the man. Looking at me, he continued.

“In all of my years, I never expected to see a demon from Makai so up close. Now I am in the presence of one, I must say I am not impressed. Nevertheless, you are a threat, and it is my duty to eliminate threats.” The man said calmly before reaching into his kimono, pulling out the sheath of a Japanese katana, complete with the sword. I only stared at him with bewilderment before the realization hit me.

“W-What? Wait! I’m not a demon!” I stuttered in panic, flinching from an ache in my chest when I leaned back involuntarily.

“Then what are you? A stray youkai from the world of demons? Are you foolish enough to believe that we will offer you sanctuary in this village?” the man in the kimono shouted, drawing his sword slightly to reveal the blade. Upon seeing the steel of the sword, I suddenly felt a little nauseous, but that sickly feeling took a back seat to the sight of the weapon that going to be used to kill me.

“I’m human! Human! I am from the outside world! I just ended up in Makai!” I cried out desperately as I crawled a bit away from the man, holding out my arm to him as if just my hand alone could stop him. By then, the need to stay away from the sword outweighed the irritating pain in my body. Though he hesitated, he continued to slowly draw his katana.

“A outsider who landed in Makai… Now that is unlikely and uncommon. However… there is always a first time for anything. Despite that, you must understand that I cannot just take your word for it. Dojin!” the man stated coldly before shouting towards the sliding doors in the room, the thinly bearded man opening them seconds later on his knees.

“Yes, master Kosuke? What is it that you need?” the man called Dojin asked obediently, bowing his head despite the fact that the man had his weapon out.

“Bring me the most recent artifact we found from the Outside World. Quickly.” The man ordered sternly, having stopped the unsheathing of his sword. However, he made no motion to place it back.

“Yes, master. Right away.” Dojin answered unquestioningly, departing to get whatever ‘artifact’ they had, closing the doors once again. As the footsteps from his servant, or at least I assumed that it was his servant, grew fainter and fainter, the man named Kosuke sat down in front of me, his weapon still in his hands. Despite the fact that he had stated that he was going to kill me, I found myself studying him for some odd reason.

Call it a need to know the person who was about ready to slice you up.

The man, who seemed in his late twenties or early thirties, had lengthy slate hair that was tied up in a ponytail in the back of his head, and his eyes were a light shade of auburn. However, there was something about his eyes that did not seem natural. They were almost like…

“A man feels uneasy when he is gazed upon for a period of time.” Kosuke suddenly announced, breaking me out of my train of thought while also making me aware that he had noticed me staring. Caught red-handed, I looked away, inching back some more. Not offering any form of apology, since asking for forgiveness from a man who was about to exterminate you was an effort wasted, the two of us sat there in silence for what seemed like hours. Realizing that I did not even know the extent of my wounds, I moved my eyes to my own person, checking myself over to see what the damage was.

I was no longer wearing the black shirt I always wore underneath my school blazer. In fact, I was not dress in my original clothing at all. Instead, I was donning a plain white kimono, one that looked similar to what Youki used to put on before going to sleep. Lifting up the collar a little to peek at my body, two things instantly gave me some relief. One was the fact that the injury I had gotten on my chest was wrapped, though the bandages covered quite a bit of my upper body.

 The second thing was that I was still wearing the same underwear.

Becoming aware of the fact that I was looking away from my potential killer, I quickly looked back at Kosuke, who seemed unfazed by my actions. Glaring at him, a single thought began to run through my mind.

‘I need to get out of here.’

Trying to be discreet, I looked around for anything I could use to defend myself. Unfortunately, the room, apart from the futons in the corner, was unbelievably bare. Thinking of multiple curses in my mind, I then turned my attention towards the sliding doors, trying to calculate how long it would take me to reach them.

It was then that some noises became evident outside the room, near the sliding doors. A series of thumps that grew louder as they approached the room.

Footsteps.

I saw my opportunity then and there.

Looking back at Kosuke, I glare at him some more, waiting for the proper moment.

When it came, I took it.

The moment the footsteps stopped, I quickly shot up from the futon I was laying on, throwing the blanket that was over me at Kosuke. Adrenaline dulling the pain in my body, I made a mad dash towards the doors, reaching them just as Dojin finished opening them. Letting out a mad shout, I knocked into the thinly bearded man with my shoulder, sending him tumbling back as a result. As he fell, something he had been holding flew in the air in front of me, and I, quickly regaining my balance, caught it out of instinct. Not even bothering in checking what it was, I began to run again. Unfortunately, the sudden reintroduction to sunlight blinded me temporarily, and I was not given the chance to realize one small but important fact.

Traditional Japanese Houses were built elevated from the ground, which meant that there was a slight drop from the floor to the dirt.
Blinded by the sun, I ran right off that drop.
 
Suddenly finding nothing but air, I flailed my arms in panic. When my body impacted into the ground seconds later, I bounced a little before rolling from the momentum. The blood rushing to my rattled head, I winced and coughed as pain erupted within me once more. However, that was not enough to stop me. Recovering from the shock, I gritted my teeth and tried to get up again, but even adrenaline could not stop the fact that my legs had stopped working.

Breathing heavily and fighting back tears, I began to drag myself until a sound stopped me.
 
The sound of two feet landing on dirt.

Dread entering my mind once more, I looked around frantically for… anything. Anything to stop the man behind me from getting to me. As I searched desperately, the footsteps behind me grew louder. A cold sweat breaking upon my brow, I felt a warm wetness on my chest, but I ignored it. My wound must have opened up. Behind me, the footsteps got closer and closer and closer…

At that moment, I saw the object I had caught when I crashed into Dojin. It must have been the artifact they were talking about, the one from the Outside World, because it took me an instant to recognize it.

It was a switchblade.

Quickly grabbing it, I fumbled it in my hand, looking for the way to uncover the blade.

The footsteps only continued to grow louder.

Somehow, my finger found a knob on the side of my last hope.

The footsteps then stopped.

Without a second thought, I turned over, flicking the knob down with my finger. The blade shot out a second later, just in time for Kosuke to see before bringing down his sword.

There I was, laid out on the ground with one elbow holding me up, pointing a black switchblade at a man with a katana that was a slash away from decapitating me.

Shaking like crazy, I glared at the man, daring him to move. I knew that I could not stop him if he brought his sword down, but still I remained defiant. I was not going to let my life end with me being cowardly. I was a world away from home. I knew nothing about the world I was in, nor of the reasons why I was there. Yet, if I was to die, I was going to face my death head-on. I had nothing to lose.

Nothing.

Kosuke, looking down on me, regarded me with cold eyes as he finally swung his sword.

Having closed my eyes involuntarily, I fully expected to feel steel penetrate my body once again. Hell, I thought I was already dead.
 
However, my story did not end there.

It was the sound of a blade entering a sheath that caused me to open my eyes again.

“It seems that you are an Outsider. Forgive me for my rashness.” I heard Kosuke say as he knelt down in front of my fallen form and bowed. Baffled at what I was looking at, I dropped the switchblade in my hand onto the ground.

“We were told that the artifact was a weapon with a hidden blade. However, we were not able to find a method to uncover the blade. We assumed only an Outsider could unsheathe it. It seems that we were right.” Kosuke explained further as he brought himself up to a sitting position, taking the switchblade from the ground. “I must say, you continue to impress me. First we found you next to the body of a slain youkai, and now we discover that you are from the Outside World. You truly are an interesting person to…”

By then I had stopped listening. The combination of my adrenaline running out, puzzlement, and relief caused my mind to begin shutting down. Since I was propped up on my elbow, the lack of brain activity allowed me to fall back onto the ground. The last thing I was able to see was the azure sky.

The beautiful azure sky…

As I fell, my mind traveled out of consciousness, and the world around me collapsed into black.



End of Chapter Five.
« Last Edit: July 15, 2012, 07:49:30 pm by Jett »

"If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we shall see." - Spanish Proverb
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Jett

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Re: Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2012, 07:50:47 pm »
Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
Interlude: Reached

A gentle breeze touched a little boy’s cheeks as he wandered through the stacks of sunflowers, marveled of their height and beauty. In that quiet field of sunflowers, the boy passed his hands on the stems of the tall sunflowers, and reached up to touch one. However, he, being a little boy, could not quite touch the sun-colored petals of the flowers. Growing frustrated, the boy took hold of one of the green stems with the intent of tear it down, but then stopped. The flower was too beautiful. He could not bring himself to bring it down to his level. A flower like that deserved to be next to the sky, free of the dirty earth.

Behind him, a tall woman stopped, her burgundy summer dress flowing in the wind. The parasol in her hand blocking out the sunlight, she spoke to the boy, a smile on her face.

“You see the beauty too, young one?” she said to the boy as she crouched down next to him. Looking at his face, the woman’s eyes widened in mild surprise. The little boy was crying.

“Why do you cry, young one?” the woman asked, placing a perfectly delicate hand on the boy’s messy slate hair. As she spoke, the breeze in a graceful display lifted her flawless emerald strands of hair, adding onto the reality of her elegant splendor. Rubbing his eyes of the tears, the boy stated his reason.

“I-I… w-wanted to… r-reach it.”

Hearing those words, the woman’s smile became warmer and more genuine. Without another word, she carefully placed her perfectly delicate hands on the little boy’s sides and lifted him up slowly, much to his surprise. Not displaying one sign of strain, the elegant woman brought the boy up to the shinning face of a sunflower, pausing once he met it face to face.

“There. Now you can reach the beauty, young one.” The woman whispered softly. The little boy looked blankly at the sunflower for a second before a toothy grin appeared on his tear-stained expression. Resting his hands on the sunflower, the boy laughed in such glee and excitement that the woman felt a tender heat arise in her chest. For the woman, who was regard by others with fear and seclusion, the boy’s laughter could rival all the gold and silver in the world to her. She would even go as far as to think that it was as precious to her as her magnificent flowers.

Remembering her original reason for following the little boy, the elegant woman brought the child closer to her, holding him up with her perfectly delicate left hand. With her right, she retrieved the massive flower that was her parasol, and began to walk out of the field. Holding onto her shoulder, the boy fell solemn as they passed rows and rows of the tall, gorgeous sunflowers. He never took his eyes off them, not even when the woman spoke once more.

“Do not worry. You can come back whenever you like, young one. But we must first continue hearing his story.”

"If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we shall see." - Spanish Proverb
  • Remnant Jett

Nihilanth

  • Nyaa~ like no tomorrow.
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Re: Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
« Reply #8 on: July 16, 2012, 01:10:42 am »
Great story so far! I really find myself entranced by the work you did. The word choice and content is really good. Although I might have to look back if there were any mistakes at all.  :3

I hope you keep writing, this is a good story with a lot of potential.

Just to ask, is this your first time writing, or have you been writing stories a lot before?

Jett

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Re: Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
« Reply #9 on: July 24, 2012, 07:30:11 am »
Great story so far! I really find myself entranced by the work you did. The word choice and content is really good. Although I might have to look back if there were any mistakes at all.  :3

I hope you keep writing, this is a good story with a lot of potential.

Just to ask, is this your first time writing, or have you been writing stories a lot before?
My god, someone actually read my story.
Thank you for the comment. Though this is my first fanfiction, I have written other stories in the past. I have also written and drawn up (badly) a complete comic series a few years ago on my own.  Plus I role-play in forums frequently.

"If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we shall see." - Spanish Proverb
  • Remnant Jett

Jett

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Re: Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
« Reply #10 on: June 26, 2013, 03:47:23 pm »
I am currently working on a narration of "Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant".
Here is the teaser:

http://youtu.be/vrNxxJRyb6E

"If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we shall see." - Spanish Proverb
  • Remnant Jett

Jett

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Re: Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
« Reply #11 on: June 26, 2013, 04:07:14 pm »
Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
Chapter Six: Visioning

Overhead, the sight of ebony wings flapping wildly greeted me.

The bird was just flying by, without a care in the world. Observing every dark feather on the bird as it soared through the sky, I felt a small bang of envy.

“Become something greater for me, okay?”

At that point, I did not even know if I had a choice.

Not bothering to glance away from the grey sky, or to even check my surroundings, I let my mind wander, indifferent. The bird was free, but due to recent events, I felt as if I was bound to a predetermined path, one set before me by a higher being. One that I had no say in. I had realized that back when I was in Makai, training under the old man Youki, and had even accepted it as reality then. Yet, my mind still managed to persuade the rest of me that it was all a dream; that I could not have that much lack of control.

But that was no dream. I really was so pathetic that I could not even step out of the path.

If only I had found the exit that time, at that moment. Then, I would have avoided what was to come to me.

No. If I had found the exit then, I would have never become what I am now, and would have never met that girl again.

As the bird glided without restraint in the grey sky, a sudden hunger came over me as I kept watching it and watching it and watching it… For some time, I gazed at it, an odd and sick thought in my mind.

What if…

What if I killed the bird?

A sudden bump in the road brought me out of my thoughts.

As whatever I was on hit some random rock or heap of dirt, my body flew up in the air for a short second. Just as soon as I was airborne, I plummeted down onto the back of my head. Hard.

Feeling pressure taking hold of my head, I cupped the back of my head and squirmed a little from the pain and discomfort. Now that I think about it, that bump was one hell of a wake-up call. The unpleasant sensations fading away, I sat up, only one of my hands remaining on my scalp.

“Looks like someone’s finally awake.” A voice to my right jeered loudly, the mocking tone almost too obvious. Turning to look, I saw a Japanese man in his thirties, donning an all brown kimono and lengthy hair.

“Good. Another pair of eyes will be helpful.” Another voice replied from my left, sounding quite familiar to my bruised mind. Gulping, I slowly twisted my head the other way to confirm a suspicion on the source of the voice.

Sure enough, it was Kosuke.
   
“AAHHHHH!!!!!”

After screaming, I quickly inched away from the man who had previously threatened to kill me. When my back collided with a leg, I reflexively looked back. The leg belonged to a man with a scar on his lip, and a katana in hand.

“I think you scared him, Master Kosuke.” The man said, or more specifically, growled. Seeing the cold, merciless steel of the blade in his hands, I quickly detached myself from his leg and dove away from them. My escape would have worked too…

…Had I not dived off the cart we were all on.

Airborne, I was once again reacquainted with the experience of sudden free falling. For an instant, my breath left me, and I was subject to nothing but the wind and gravity. An instant later, I came to remember the taste of dirt in my mouth.

“He seems to have jumped off, Master Kosuke.” I managed to catch one of the men say as I was coughing and groaning on the ground.

“So it seems. Dojin, stop the cart.”

Still a bit stunned, I rolled over onto my back to get off my hurt front. After doing so, Kosuke appeared next to me, blocking the light from sun overhead.

“Mister Emil, I must really ask that you discontinue this habit of throwing yourself to the ground. It will not heal your injury any quicker.” The man said, offering a hand of assistance. I made no motion to take that hand.

“I’m sure you can understand why I have that habit in the first place.” I growled at Kosuke before placing my hand on my bandages. Moist. Not good.

“Do you not remember what I said before you fell unconscious last time? I made it clear that I was not going to harm you.” Kosuke replied. Retracting his hand, he then crossed his arms, the authority I had felt before resurfacing at that moment. Somehow, it did not affect me that time.

“Sorry, I was too busy worrying about having steel cut through me.” I shot back, knowing that I was acquiring a bit of an attitude towards the man. I did not care then. The fall had made me bitter and forgetful of the status quo.

“You have no need to be concerned about getting killed on a trip to get you healed.” The man said calmly, keeping in place.

“A trip to get me healed?”

“Yes. I’m afraid that the wound on your chest is only getting worse. Though we do have the medicine to cure you…”

“The medicine doesn’t work?”

“Unfortunately, it does not. However, we do know of a doctor that can help you. She has served the people of the Village for some time, and her servant often sells us medications and tonics. In fact, this trip is to restock our medical supplies as well.” Kosuke revealed; stepping back towards the cart the other men were on.

“You were going to kill me a while back. Why act so worried now?” I asked, getting up to one knee. Oddly enough, it wasn’t as hard as it used to be.

“Consider it a form of apology for last time’s… misunderstanding. Also, we cannot have another Youkai hunter injured. We need all men that can fight healthy to defend the Village.”

Again with the Youkai hunter thing, I thought to myself as I glanced at the cart, noting the two men sitting in it with swords in hand.

“Then why the armed guard?” I questioned as I strained my body to get up completely. Again, strangely little to no effort.

“The times call for them. Many Youkai would love to ambush a defenseless cart and its driver. Especially if it has supplies that would benefit them... and the driver being injured himself.” Kosuke answered, lifting his body up to get into the cart once more. Puzzled by what he said, I moved my eyes to the driver in question, and then allowed them to widen.

There sat Dojin, bald, grinning… and covered in bandages.

“What happened to him?” I questioned Kosuke as I point at Dojin, who was attending to the single bull that was pulling the cart.

“Some impulsive man who saw an opportunity to get away took it, and then proceeded to slam into the poor man. I would have kept Dojin at home and punished the impulsive man myself, but honor forces me to aid them both. Also, Mausu is the Village’s best bull, and only Dojin can make him move.” Kosuke answered as he took his seat next to the man with the scarred lip, a small smirk barely noticeable on his lips. I fell silent, because I knew full well who the ‘impulsive man’ Kosuke was talking about was. What could I say to that? Right, I could have said ‘well, you were about to slice me up like a carrot’. In fact now that I remember I was going to say just that, but he beat me to the punch.

“Now, let us keep moving. Some youkai are still active even in the early hours of the day. Mister Emil, I suggest you take a seat.”

Staring daggers at Kosuke, I reluctantly followed his orders. Yes, he did try to kill me. Yes, he could have been lying about going to get me medical aid. So what? I was in an unknown world injured. The man said that they were going to take me to get healed. If he wanted to kill me, he would have already done it. 

Minutes later, the cart was in motion again; the only sounds around us the creaks of the turning wheels and the crack of Dojin’s whip. I kept silent as we moved along, suffering through the aches of my previous fall. Resting a hand on my bandages, I soon discovered that I was dressed in a faded-blue kimono, complete with bits of dirt and leaf. Glancing up, a wonderful azure sky was on full display overhead.

“How is that possible?” I muttered to myself under my breath.

I had honestly thought that when I opened my eyes I was in my world of grey, just lying in some forgotten field of ashen grass. Though the bird was a little off from the typical dreams, I could have betted my life that I was in that world. However, I also knew that I had not woken up again after opening up my eyes for the first time. Sure, the bump was painful, but I was awake during it, not slumbering. Gazing down at my hand, I tried to make sense of what had happened.

Had I somehow accessed the world of grey while I was awake?

“What are you staring at, boy?”

Realizing that I was spacing out, I quickly recovered and looked to the person who spoke to me. It was the man in the brown kimono.

“Nothing… just the landscape.” I lied, though I did take in the scenery soon after. It turned out that we were on a modest dirt road alongside a calm and small river, with woods on the other side. The river was clean, the sun was out, and the sky was littered with full white clouds… I soon realized that the land of Gensokyo was much different than that of Makai. For one, I could breath easier, since I was out of the toxic atmosphere Makai had. Second, the place looked far more pleasant to be in than the dark woods and eerily crimson water in the world of demons. Finally, I found that I was able to hear and see more clearly in Gensokyo. I could identify most of the noises in the woods next to us, and make out every splash in the river. I was even able to make out some of the fishes underwater!

Entertained by my seemingly improved senses, I looked around like a curious kid, fascinated by every little thing. The more I heard and saw, the less I fought the smile forming on my face.

“Master Kosuke, I think he landed on his head too hard.” I heard the man in the brown kimono say in a mocking manner, which transferred my budding smile onto his face, leaving me with a bitter frown.

“Toshiyuki, you must remember that Mister Emil here was previously in the world of demons, and he has probably not seen the beauty of this land,” Kosuke lectured the man before turning his head to look at me, “but then again, his childlike behavior is rather… perturbing.”

Toshiyuki laughed loudly after that, smacking a hand on his knee.

“Oh, Master Kosuke! No wonder you are so popular in the Village! You are a riot! Don’t you think so, Iwao?” Toshiyuki guffawed to the stoic man next to me, who only grunted before closing his eyes, his arms folded in front of him. I kept silent and brought my head down, somewhat humiliated.

“Anyways Master Kosuke, why didn’t we just take Emil-chan here to old man Unshuo? Wasn’t he famous for curing any injuries in the village?”

Though I managed to hear the whole question, I suddenly felt a sharp pain in my head when he said ‘chan’. I soon forgot about it when I remembered that ‘chan’ was often used to address little girls.

“You do not recall mister Unshuo declaring that he could and would no longer act as healer? The entire Village was deeply saddened by his decision. How was it that it slipped your mind?” Kosuke inquired back to Toshiyuki without any reaction towards him calling me Emil-chan. I, however, provided the necessary reaction of burning a hole through the man in the brown kimono with my glare.

“It was shadowed by the Water Pillar incident, Master Kosuke.” I jumped at the sudden revelation from the man next to me, the stoic named Iwao. Kosuke nodded his head in understanding, while Toshiyuki grinned.

“I remember that! The whole Village was almost flooded because of that!”

“If I am not mistaken, the Pillar was at the base of Youkai Mountain…”

Completely lost in the conversation, the mention of a Youkai Mountain sent a chill down my spine. I could still remember the fight I was in right before I left Makai, and the creatures that attacked Youki, Meira and I. If there was an entire mountain of beings like the blue-haired man…

Gulping, I looked up on an impulse, and caught sight of a mountain in the distance. Was that the Youkai Mountain Kosuke referred to?

“…-fore we went into this war. You okay there, Emil-chan?”

Another bang of pain hit my head as Toshiyuki spoke to me, but thankfully it was weaker than the first one.

“I’m fine. Um…. What can you tell me about Gensokyo?” I asked the men around me, attempting to start the conversation for once. If I was to be in the world, the least I could do was learn more about it.

“Of course! Why not? It’s best to acquaint tourists with the basic information of the land, like the landmarks, best restaurants, best fishing spot, best…”

“The land you see now once belonged to a great country known as Japan. You may have heard of it, Mister Emil, since you are an outsider, but I do not know if it is still referred to by that name. In the past, this land was a grim and desolate place where Youkai ran amok and without restraints, terrorizing nearby villages and abducting the people in them.” Kosuke lectured, interrupting Toshiyuki mid-sentence. As he spoke, I found myself listening closely. So Gensokyo used to be a part of Japan? That explained the culture of that land.

“Of course, youkai hunters existed then too, and many would travel to Gensokyo to brave through the hordes of man-eaters. Many were unsuccessful, and many more lost their lives.” Kosuke continued; his eyes turned to the sky.

“It was not until over a hundred years ago that the tide went against the youkai. As more and more fell to human hunters, a single being rose up to act as their Sage, and to request for the sealing of Gensokyo from the rest of the country.  Taking it as an opportunity to rid Japan forever of the night creatures, the human onmyoji and priests at the time approved the Sage of the Youkai’s plan, and with her they called forth the great Dragon God Itself, Ryuujin, for permission and assistance.”

“Wait, Dragon God?” I asked, once again bringing in the bewildered stares of the people around me… except Kosuke.

“Yes, the Great Dragon God. We consider him to be the God of Gensokyo. We have a statue dedicated sorely to him back in the Village.” He answered, seemingly unaffected by my question.

“Oh, I see. So did he help them?” Having already seen the unreal and magnificent creatures and places that were in Makai, a Dragon God did not seem any different than a Demon God. At least I had met the former.

“He did so.” Kosuke said as he looked back to me, “Considering the plight of the youkai and the benefits for the humans, the Dragon God granted them Its blessing and power in exchange for the guarantee of Its place as highest-god of Gensokyo.”

“Which explains the statue.” Toshiyuki added in quickly.

“And so, the Sage of the Youkai and the human onmyodji and priests established the Great Hakurei Barrier, named after the human family whose descendants would act as the new border’s guardians. Before it was raised however, several humans entered Gensokyo to leave past troubles or to continue the hunt for youkai. It was from those humans that the Village was established so long ago. They were thei- I mean, our- ancestors.” Correcting himself, Kosuke kept on speaking as if nothing had happened. Yet, I would later remember that mishap.

“Since then, the bouts between humans and youkai have decreased, and every incident that has occurred has been dealt with by the Hakurei… the newest descendant having even set up a form of dueling that prevents the full use of one’s abilities.” Once he said that, Kosuke allowed a proud smile to play upon his face.

“Because of her ‘Spell Card system’, we humans are stronger than ever. Even a mere fisherman could successfully fight off a minor youkai alone. We grow more and more in strength while the youkai only turn softer with the limitations, many of them even halting the consumption of humans. Soon, we hunters of the Village will be able to rid the land of the creatures, and claim it all for our own!” Kosuke announced with pride, lifting his sheathed katana over his head dramatically. As he did so, the grin returned on Toshiyuki’s face, and even Iwao allowed himself a small smirk.

“But why?”

Now that I think about it, it was amazing how none of them snapped their own necks by how fast they turned to stare at me.

Realizing that I had to make my case, I nervously cleared my throat and explained my position.

“Well, you said that the youkai stopped eating humans. Isn’t that a good thing? Why kill them all?” I asked timidly while suffering through the men’s looks. Though my past experience with youkai was not at all pleasant, the story Kosuke told had made me begin to wonder. What if Gensokyo youkai were different than Makai youkai?

“Why? It is because it is our duty to eradicate any threat to the Village. Do you not know the sensation that is to protect yourself at all costs? Every hunter has felt it before. We merely extend that sentiment towards our home as well. That is why we must exterminate the youkai. To ensure that our home is never threatened again.” Kosuke declared with a hint of passion towards the subject, causing me to back down. I never really had a home, so I could not understand what the man was referring to, but I did experience the urge to protect someone. Only, it was not myself.

For the rest of the trip, the four of us stayed silent, once again allowing the creaks and the whip to overwhelm any other noise. Soon, we made it to an aged wooden bridge that connected both banks of the gentle river. Crossing it, I checked my bandages. They were stained, but fortunately dry.

“Master Kosuke, we are about to enter the Bamboo Forest.”

Moving my eyes to Dojin when the other injured man spoke, I suddenly became aware of the nearly endless cluster of bamboo shoots in front of us. There only appeared to be one opening in the entire forest, seemingly as wide as the typical human.

“Here’s our stop. Iwao, don’t forget Emil-chan now.” Toshiyuki grinned as he stood up and hopped out of the cart, the word ‘chan’ sparking yet another headache and forcing me to cringe and close my eyes. Unfortunately, that same headache along with the resulting reactions prevented me from stopping what was to come next. Feeling two strong hands grab my sides, I quickly opened my eyes to find that I was no longer sitting in the cart, but rather high in the air.
“What the-?!” I blurted out in fright and shock before finding myself with my stomach on Iwao’s shoulder, being carried like a sack.

“Relax, Emil-chan! Iwao not going to… heheh… to drop you! H-He’s the strongest man in the v-villag- HAHAHAHAHAHA!!!” Toshiyuki explained to me after seeing me with the back of the stoic man’s kimono in a death grip, succumbing to the chuckles he was failing to hide.

“WHY AM I BEING CARRIED!?” I screamed at that hooting man, losing whatever self-control I had left. The headache did not help either.

“Mister Emil, allow me to inform you of the situation. This location is called the Bamboo Forest of the Lost. It is home to many youkai, and as the name dictates, it is very simple to become disoriented once inside. They are only securing a method to not lose track of you.” Kosuke answered coolly to me, having not left his seat in the cart nor making any motion to do so.

“Still, this is a bit extreme, don’t you think?!” I shot back, but then gave up fighting it. I figured then that if I struggled any more, Iwao would drop me if not by accident.

“Toshiyuki, you know what supplies we need. Iwao, keep Mister Emil safe and be cautious of his wound. Dojin, remain here with me. Mausu only obeys you, and we can remedy your bruises with the medicine from the healer. I will stay to defend the cart until your return. Understood?” Kosuke ordered; each command followed up by only two words from everyone except me.

“Yes, Master!”

A moment later, Toshiyuki, Iwao, and myself entered the Bamboo Forest of the Lost. If only I had asked why Kosuke had stayed behind then.



After several minutes of walking down the trail, I was ready to release the contents in my stomach all over the back of Iwao.

   “ You okay there, Emil-chan? You look a bit green, my friend.” Toshiyuki grinned at me as we continued to pass through the bamboo, Iwao leading the way.

   “Hanging like this isn’t exactly the best thing in the world, and can you stop calling me that? I get a headache every time you say it.” I grumbled to the grinning man as I shut my eyes in an attempt to relax my mind. However, my plea for the death of the nickname only rewarded Toshiyuki with a new tool of mass destruction.

   “Oh really, Emil-chan? That’s a bit hard to believe, Emil-chan. Why don’t you like the name Emil-chan, Emil-chan? Perhaps if I saw it more and more, then maybe you will like the way it sounds, Emil-chan. So, let’s start! Emil-chan! Emil-chan! Emil-chan! Emil-chan…”

   With every time he sang the name, I gripped my head tighter, and it even got to the point where the mental agony overcame my previous urge to vomit. Opening my eyes to glare at the man, I began to imagine a bizarre scenario that at the time seemed like a proper idea.

   I thought of myself taking hold of Toshiyuki’s head just to see how many times I could make it turn.

   “Toshiyuki.”

   Hearing Iwao call his name, Toshiyuki stopped tormenting me, and I realized what I was thinking about. In a way, the stoic man carrying me saved me from two things then: the headache that I seemed to experience every time Toshiyuki called me by the nickname he gave me, and my own desperate mind.

   “What is it, Iwao?” Toshiyuki asked the stoic man, suddenly sober. There was more to what he said, but I did not hear him after that. I was too busy trying to comprehend the thoughts my mind had come up with a few moments ago.

   What was wrong with me? Was I going insane? I had never wished to kill anyone like that in the past. Why did I think about that? How could I?

   Why did I still feel like it would have been a great idea?

   Confused beyond reason, the noise of rustling to my left brought me out of my delusional mind.

   “…say this about as lost as we can possibly get. She should be here in any minu-”

   “Shut up.”

   Turning back to me with his mouth open, Toshiyuki soon let out a cold chuckle, as if he did not believe what I had just said.

   “Say agai-”

   “Shut up. I heard something move over there.” I interrupt again, that time giving the stunned man a reason for wanting his silence as well as pointing in the direction of the rustling. Looking at me closely, Toshiyuki then reached for the hilt of his katana, which was strapped to his side. In the corner of my eye, I saw the end of Iwao’s sheath rise up slightly, meaning he had done the same as well.

   “I didn’t hear anything. How far away was the noise?” Toshiyuki asked me in a whisper, surveying the immediate area around us. However, due to the multiple bamboo shoots, there was little visibility in the forest.

   “I’m not sure. It sounded like something moving through some plants. How much more till we make it to this doctor?” I whisper back to the man, straining my ears to hear anything else.

   “I’m not sure. We got lost sometime ago.” Toshiyuki said simply. It was then my turn to stare at him with my jaw on the ground.

   “What do you mean, we got lost?”

   “They don’t call this the Bamboo Forest of the Lost for nothing.”

   “How were you going to find the doctor, then?”

   “Well, if that noise belongs to what I’m thinking it belongs to, you will see.”

   “And if it doesn’t belong to what you are thinking of?”

   “Then the fun begins.”

   Once Toshiyuki finished his sentence, I once again heard the rustling noise from before. Only that time it was much, much louder. Out of nowhere, I felt Iwao tense up, and then caught the sound of steel leaving a sheath.

   “What’s wrong, Iwao? What do you see?” Drawing his own katana, the man went back-to-back with the stoic warrior, glancing quickly at everything. Iwao stayed quiet for a moment, before uttering one word that caused my body to go cold.

   “Youkai.”

   At that moment, I heard a low growl coming from my left. Glancing quickly, I saw an animal of some kind dash through the bamboo towards us.

   “Over there!” I yell out, aiming my finger towards the approaching creature. By that time, the animal lunged for me, and as time slowed down, I realized I could not do anything to protect myself. I was defenseless.

   “Ancient ancestors, grant me your will! Touwarai!”

   In a flash, Toshiyuki appeared in-between the animal and I, his katana already in the air. As it began to fall, I noticed that the blade itself was glowing slightly.

   A slash and a yelp later, the animal fell right under me, twitching as its life escape from its sliced neck. I only watched as it glared at me with dangling crimson eyes, its whimpers growing fainter and fainter.

   When it finally perished, I almost vomited. Shaking uncontrollably, I kept a hand to my mouth, not at all able to remove my eyes from the dead body before me. It was a humanoid, but with unnaturally dark skin and eyes that hung out of their sockets grossly. Suddenly, a flashback of when I was visiting my great-grandfather took over my mind, right at the moment when his hand went limp.

   It was the second time I had seen a living thing die.

   “Damn, it’s a Nuribotoke. Iwao, stay alert! There may be more in the area!” Toshiyuki’s warning to Iwao brought me back to reality, and to the sight of two more of the creatures approaching from behind.

   “Iwao, turn around!” I shouted, almost falling off as the stoic man followed my instructions.

   “Miyasuraka!”

   Hearing Iwao declare out an unfamiliar word in the same manner that Toshiyuki had done before, I ignored the sounds of steel cutting flesh as I saw more and more of the nuribotoke appear from the bamboo, discovering that they had surrounded us.

   “What the-?! This is impossible! How can there be this many nuribotokes?” Toshiyuki exclaimed as he kicked away an attacking creature, keeping his blade at ready. I was about to ask what he meant by that statement until I suddenly felt Iwao’s hand leave the back of my knees, sending me falling forward.

   “AHH- Uff!” I screamed as I landed onto my back, having fortunately flipped a little too much forward during the fall. Coughing from the impact, I looked back to see Iwao grappling with two more of the zombie-like beings, his sword lying next to his legs. Already sensing the adrenaline taking over my body, I quickly shook off the impact shock and dove for the sword, my hand gripping the hilt tightly. Standing up, I raise the weapon over my head with no technique, aiming for the creature that ready to gnaw into Iwao’s throat.

   “Move!” I bark as I slash down into the disgusting youkai, careful to avoid the stoic man’s arms. The only problem was that the sword went right through the creature… as if it was just a ghost.

   “What?!” Muttering that single word, I found myself tipping forward due to the momentum of the slash, and soon I collided with the inugami, sending it a good distance away.

   Left with only one demonic humanoid, Iwao threw it off and took the sword from my unsteady hands. The minute he touched it, a faint glow surrounded the blade, just like Toshiyuki’s sword.

   “Miyasuraka!”

   Roaring out the word, Iwao cut into the inugami he had thrown off, severing its head from its body. With the slash, dark liquid flew up and fell on my face, freezing me on the spot. I knew that both Toshiyuki and Iwao were still fighting off the nuribotoke around me, but I could not for the life in me move. Gritting my teeth, I shut my eyes tight, trying to escape the situation, trying to find shelter within my own mind. Again, I was pathetic.

   A vision of the woman with the parasol appeared in front of me.

   “Become something greater for me, okay?

   How could I when I kept getting ill at the sight of death and becoming paralyzed by a few mere drops of blood?

   A moment later, another vision replaced the woman. It was of my great-grandfather’s hand on the head of a younger version of me.

   “Neegoosi… my son…

   Shut up.

   “My son... please…

   Shut up.

   “My son… please… protect your… soul…

   SHUT UP!

   “Emil-chan!”

   My eyes snapping open, I managed to see one of the many nuribotoke jump at me, its yellowed teeth bearing closer and closer to my throat. Yet even with the danger, I could no longer will myself to move. Tears in the corners of my eyes, I brace myself, for the pain and for death.

   However, my story does not end there.

   Suddenly I was hit with a wave of intense heat, which finally granted me control of my own body once again. Bringing my arms up to protect my head from the heat, I squinted my eyes and looked forward, trying to find the source of it.

   The ‘source’ stood on top of the smoldering body of the nuribotoke that would have taken my life seconds ago. Fire surrounded the legs of the ‘source’, while two massive wings flowed behind it; each made out a crimson aura. Entranced by the flames, I let my arms fall to my sides, as the ‘source’ turned around slowly. As the ‘source’ turned, a divine fire began to surround us, burning away at only the feral youkai, leaving human and bamboo intact.

   Pallid hair with a tint of violet flowing among the flames, the ‘source’ gazed at me with indifferent hale eyes, her hands stuffed into her pockets casually. Her scarlet pants, or rather overalls, were littered with some type of paper charms, some of which were tied into her hair. She did not say anything to the others, or to me but that did not matter at all.

    When I had awakened that day, ebony wings greeted me. Now, I was saved by another type of winged being. An angel with blazing wings.



Hello Everyone, my name is Jett, and I am glad to say I am out of my hiatus!

Expect some more chapters in the near-future.

"If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we shall see." - Spanish Proverb
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Jett

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Re: Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
« Reply #12 on: July 11, 2013, 08:31:19 am »
Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
Chapter Seven: Wondering

As the flames died down, silence soon overcame us. On my knees, I could not take my eyes off the angel with blazing wings in front of me.

The air around the woman was filled with flames and burgundy wisps, waves of heat crashing against my face every second. For a few moments, I forgot everything; my predicament, the assault, my wound. I was truly captivated by the display, and it left me awe-struck.

"No more Youkai nearby." I heard Iwao announce in his usual stoic voice. I did not even acknowledge the statement.

I had witnessed the bizarre anomaly that many called 'Magic' in a physical form for the first time in my life.

"Wooo! That was some save, Lady of the Bamboo! As always, you came right on time." Iwao laughed somewhere near me. I did not turn for him either, but his words brought the memories and reality of my situation back into my mind.

Despite being spoken to, the woman with the blazing wings only remained on top of the smoldering body of the formerly hostile Nuribotoke without uttering even a whisper, allowing only the crackling of decomposing flesh to sound. Gradually, her wings began to fade away, until finally disappearing completely into the air, ending the magnificent spectacle. Once the red aura was gone, she moved her eyes slightly to each side, probably observing the two men behind me. Her elegant pale face did not betray any emotion other than silent indifference. Nevertheless, evidence of a permanent scowl was hidden in her detached expression, as if she had witnessed the cruelties of life for far too long.

She then looked down at me, or rather, the mesmerized statue that I had become.

I watched as her mouth open slightly and her eyebrows knit closer together, as if trying to remember or recognize something. She even leaned in slightly to get a closer look. In less than a second after she had done so, her face became the epitome of shock, and she dove towards me, falling onto her knees in the process. The action happened so fast that I could not react properly, not until her hands were gripping both of my shoulders, and even then I did nothing but stare. Her face pausing inches from mine, I felt the familiar sensation of blood rushing to my face as well as an uncomfortable feeling in my chest, rendering me the silent idiot. That was, until she finally spoke.

"Iwakasa?!"

Looking into her hale red eyes, I could only gawk stupidly. The sensation in my chest and face decreased somewhat as I tried to make sense of what she had said.

"E-Excuse me?"

Ignoring my words completely, the woman studied me for a minute or so before muttering something under her breath that I could not catch. Then, just as fast as she fell before me, the woman's eyes fell unresponsive once more, and she released my shoulders slowly. She then inched back a bit, her head lowered so slightly as to let her pallid-violet bangs hide her face.

Once she backed off, I began to wonder about the word she had gasped. It had sounded like a name, but one I did not recognize. Why had she called me that? Puzzled, I reached out to place a hand on her shoulder, seeking for answers.

"Hey, what did you mea-?"

Before my fingers even touched the yellowed fabric of her shirt, the woman in front of me stood up suddenly, and then walked past me without uttering another word. Following her with my eyes, I saw that she had also regarded Iwao and Toshiyuki in a similar manner, and had paused a few feet away from them. I could have sworn that one of the men had asked her something once she got close to them, yet I did not perceive it. Instead, I remained contemplating what the woman said. I was so immersed in thought that I rooted myself to the ground staring at her until I heard Toshiyuki's voice next to me.

"Do you know her?" the man in the brown kimono asked me in a whisper, having crouched down next to me. Opposite to him on my other side, Iwao did the same.

"No" I stated several moments later to the two in a hushed tone for some reason, before asking the obvious question. "Who is she?"

Both Toshiyuki and Iwao just stared at me puzzled, before seemingly reminding themselves that I was from what they called the Outside World. Out of the two, Toshiyuki took the honors of explaining.

"She is what you might call a guide. Every time we get lost in the Bamboo Forest, she leads us down the right path to our destination… if we ask her to, of course. She never really speaks to us, so everyone in the Village just calls her the Lady of the Bamboo since we don't know her true name. It is an odd name, but we are an unimaginative lot. Anyways, she's probably a magician of some kind, so don't mess with her, okay Emil-chan?" Toshiyuki explained while also granting me a well-known pain in my head.

"Magician?" I wondered, the first thought coming to my distressed mind at the time was of a man pulling a rabbit out of a top hat… and then throwing it onto the floor with a twisted grin. I grimaced at the result.

"Yes. Typically they are humans who learn how to use magic properly either to protect themselves or to extend their lives. Since most of them were or are humans, we consider them allies, though we avoid consorting with the ones that have turned into youkai. We even had two that visited the Village on a regular basis, a young one with a broom and a Buddhist nun who set up a temple nearby. Unfortunately, the young one never stops by anymore, and we had to exile the Buddhist nun for being friendly towards youkai." The man in the brown kimono added on to his explanation, seemingly unaware of my facial expression.

"I… see…"

I paid half-attention back then, since at the same time I was trying to grasp the meaning of my recent thought, and how I had even come up with it.

"It was really a shame, too. The nun was pretty enchanting, if you know what I-"

"Toshiyuki."

Saving me from what seemed to be the making of a terrible double entendre, both the man with the brown kimono and I turned to look at Iwao, who pointed at the waiting woman. Though she just stood there with her hands once again in the pockets of her crimson overalls, I could see her foot tapping slightly on the ground. The message was clear: we needed to get moving.

"…Right then. Let's make dust."

As Toshiyuki sobered up and straighten up, I caught Iwao's hand approaching me in the corner of my eye. Knowing what was to come, I followed Toshiyuki's example.

"I can walk. Thanks anyways, mister Iwao." I stopped. Something from that sentence did not sound sensible. I had meant to say Iwao-san, but instead said mister Iwao. Something prevented me from saying it.

Back in the normal world, one of the first things I was taught about Japanese culture was how to use the honorifics. I had been able to address people with honorifics perfectly back then, too. For one reason or another, those set of words did not translate in my mind in that world. While I was contemplating that thought, I also became aware of the fact that in that world I was capable of being addressed with an honorific without acquiring a headache. Even in Makai I heard the honorifics and remained healthy. Why was it that in Gensokyo, I was unable to use words like 'san' or 'sama' with a person's name, or bear hearing one said?

Was it my ability? It had to be. I should have been able to understand any language spoken to me. Perhaps… perhaps the translations were not perfect. Perhaps words that could not be converted to English somehow cause a reaction in me. If that was so, then why had I been unaware of the reactions until in Gensokyo?

Because back in that world, I was asleep.

I froze.

That thought was foreign, yet familiar. I was sure of it. The feeling I had gotten when it had appeared… it felt as if a gust of frigid air shot right into the back of my neck. I could not move my body again, out of… what? Fear? Shock? I did not know. I just could not will my body to do anything. However, it was not the alien thought that had me incapable of commanding my own being.

It has been the vision of the desolate world of grey that had appeared right as the thought did. With a younger me grinning among the dull grass, a crazed air surrounding my adolescent person.

"…an! Emil-chan! Hey!"

The headache granted me mobility once more.

Blinking, I quickly place a hand on my head in an attempt to ease the discomfort. Through my fingers, I could see Toshiyuki and Iwao both staring at me: one with a confused look, the other with no emotion. A distance behind them, I made out the pallid-haired woman walking away slowly.

"What?"

"What do you mean 'what'? We start moving, and you suddenly stop with a look that made me think you saw a horde of Oni. We've been waiting for you to come to for about five minutes now." Toshiyuki exclaimed, crossing his arms.

"Five minutes." Iwao repeated before looking away.

"Five minutes?" I was just taken aback. How was that possible? The thought and vision only lasted for an instant…

"No. No spacing out again. Iwao, grab him and let's go. The Lady of the Bamboo is leaving us behind." I heard Toshiyuki say to the stoic man before two hands grab my sides once more. Before I knew it, I was staring down Iwao's back again.

"H-Hey, wai-!"

"Quiet! Come on, Iwao!"



We walked for what seemed to be hours.

I just hung there, literally looking back at the progress we made. In all that time, no one muttered a word, and the only sound around us was the symphony of cicadas playing through the cool spring air. Looking up, I could see that the sky had turned a shade of auburn, signifying the coming of the night. The tint of red in the sky made me remember of Makai, and set me off to wonder about the people I had left behind in the world of Demons.

Had Youki and Meira survived the attack? If they did, Meira probably could not wait to make my existence something more horrid than Hell itself for leaving them. Although, what choice did I have? The woman who had saved me back then threatened me to go, and Shinki had trusted me with her messa-…

A sense of dismay took grip of me at that moment.

Shinki's message! How could I have forgotten about it? During all of what happened when I came to Gensokyo, the task given to me by the Goddess of Makai had slipped my mind. Recalling how close she had gotten to me to whisper it, I felt my face heat up once more.

"Damn it, Emil! Snap out of it!" I hissed to myself as I tried to remember what the message was. I found that I still had it in my latent memory, but I could not tell if it was correct or not. Thinking it over, I decided to go over it at least once, just to make sure.

However, right as I drew in the breath to begin reciting, I spotted something lying next to a large bamboo stalk.

It was a cell phone. A simple, black cell phone laying harmlessly on the dark soil at the base of a bamboo stalk.

What the hell?

"Here we are." After Toshiyuki spoke, Iwao came to a stop, and I felt myself being lifted again from his shoulder. As I was placed gently on the ground, I kept staring at the phone, too focused on the sheer randomness of its placement to care about anything around me. I knew that people were talking around me, and probably to me, but whatever words were told I ignored as I moved towards the phone. Before I knew it, I had it in my hands.

Instinctively, I flipped it open, the two ends of the folded device separating and stopping at a 135-degree angle. Once the keyboard became visible, the screen lit up immediately, revealing an open text message.

DO NOT TELL ANYONE ABOUT THIS.

Those words were the first to greet me.

"Hey, Emil-chan! What are you doing?"

In a flash, the phone was closed and hidden in my clenched fist before I could even read the rest of the text. Turning around quickly to answer Toshiyuki, I swiftly brought my hands together behind me, keeping the device unseen.

"Nothing. Absolutely nothing." I implied falsely, trying to maintain a casual tone. Though I was positive it would not be believable, the man with the long hair only shrugged.

"Alright. Well, our destination is right there." Toshiyuki revealed as he pointed down the path we had been walking on. A few yards ahead two wooden walls stood erect along the trail, ending at what seemed to be a gate of sorts. There seemed to be movement farther in, past the opening of the gate, but we stood too far away to see clearly.

"That's the place?" I asked, more as a thought than a question.

"Yes. We have arrived." A voice stated with a noble tang in each word.

Even now, I am sure that Iwao, Toshiyuki and I all turned to stare at the 'Lady of the Bamboo' in unison when she finally spoke again. The woman did not seem deterred by the cohesive display of surprise whatsoever.

"Just head towards that mansion. You will get there in a few minutes."

Having said that, she turned around and began to walk in the direction we had arrived from without even uttering a goodbye. Watching as she left, I realized that I had zoned out, and still retained questions for the woman involving the name she had called me by. Wanting answers, I shouted to the departing woman, reaching out with my hand as if that was all it took to stop her.

"Hey wait! I have to ask you something!"

By then, it was too late. The woman had disappeared among the bamboo, leaving me alone with Toshiyuki and Iwao. My hand lingering in the air, I half-heartedly let it fall to my side.

Just like that, the angel with blazing wings was gone, leaving my curiosity unsated.

"Look here, Iwao. Someone looks pretty flustered. Lighten up, Emil-chan! We'll see her on the way back. You can then confess your undying devotion to her!" Toshiyuki guffawed as he slapped my back several times. Ignoring the pain in my head and back, I looked at Toshiyuki seriously, opening my mouth to inquire something to him. However, I remained silent, deciding against it. The man nevertheless noticed the action.

"What's wrong? Why so serious, Emil-chan?" He queried, Iwao coming up behind him. Suffering through the dulling pain in my head, I responded plainly.

"Forget it. Shouldn't we keep going?" Dodging the question for some reason, I looked away. I was a moment of weakness away from asking Toshiyuki if he knew anyone by the name of Iwakasa. Oddly enough, something in me told me that I should keep the name a secret. Perhaps it was the way the woman looked when she called me by it. She seemed almost… relieved.

"Oh ho! Look who is taking charge! Don't worry so much. You seem fine at the moment, and Kosuke can handle anything that gets in his way. We chose him to be a Village leader for a reason, you know."

With that, both Toshiyuki and Iwao began to proceed forward, leaving me in the rear. Lingering behind, I glanced one last time towards the direction where the woman had left before recalling the device from my world still concealed in my fist. My thumb ready to open it once more, I froze for a moment as I stared at it blankly.

Moving to at last follow after Toshiyuki and Iwao, I hid the phone in the sash that held my kimono together, leaving it for another time. Checking the rest of the contents of the text message was almost too overwhelming an urge, but a sudden glance back from either of the two men would have exposed it. I felt somewhat inclined to follow the instruction given to me upon reading the beginning of the message, so for the time I told myself to bear with the curiosity.

As we drew closer to the gate, my thoughts flew back to Kosuke and Dojin. In all honesty I had not thought of how they were handling themselves. Considering what had occurred some time ago to us with the nuribotoke attack, I finally recognized the danger they were in.

Wherever I ended up, it looked as if safe havens were non-existent.

Strolling behind my two self-appointed guardians and alongside one of the wooden walls, I carelessly ran my hand on the structure; the crisp old lumber a melancholic impression underneath my hands. So many things were going on all at once and I struggled to grasp it all. I felt as if my mind was being tossed from one subject to the next, never settling on one single thought process for long. While I was back in the Normal World, I would spend hours not thinking about anything; here, I could not stop contemplating everything. Even the damn wood of the wall next to me was creating a discussion about what kind of tree it came from.

Resting my hand from the old cedar and halting briefly, I closed my eyes, trying to empty my head. If only… If only I still had the cherry tree near me… Hell, even that crimson stream back in Makai would have been a welcomed escape. I needed to clear my mind, to become vacant again. I was content with being just a part of scenery, just another random face in the crowd. I was content with no one speaking to me, and no danger appearing before me. I was content with my old life.

Right?

Allowing my eyelids to slowly open, the sight of two pasty-colored nubs received me instead of the backs of the two men ahead. Taking a moment to catalog the view, a slow glance downwards landed me face to face with a smiling girl with two mischievous, cherry red eyes. For an instant, I stood there, unsure of what to make of the girl. What I had previously considered nubs actually seemed to be a peculiar hairpiece, resembling two rabbit ears hanging idly inches from her murky-colored bangs.

"Hi." She said simply, hopping slightly in place. A carrot-shape pendant flew up slightly to her face when she did, but fell back down to her peach-collared nape.

"Hello."

Though the encounter was unexpected, I reacted as if I had known she had been there all along, and had thus responded in a casual way. I think that with all of my mental uncertainties, having someone abruptly show up in front of me did not frighten me the least.

"Are you here to visit Eirin? You look hurt." She pointed out, figuratively and literally, her finger rising up to be at level with my bandaged chest wound. Reflexively, I lean away slightly.

"Eirin? Is that the doctor that lives here?" I ask the girl, noting at the same time that both Iwao and Toshiyuki had stopped into their tracks en route to the gate. Both seemed to be suddenly agitated for some reason.

"Yup. Here, I'll take you." She replied as easily as her greeting. Without warning, the odd girl took her of my hand, and began to run towards the entrance to what seemed to be the Doctor's estate. I would have been forced to stumble and attempt to run at the same speed as the girl…

…Had I not been completely swept off my feet by the girl's grip.

Letting out a sharp shout of surprise, I rolled onto my back as an enormous amount of pressure set around my wrist, pulling me across the ground. Gritting my teeth as dirt and pebbles scraped against my skin, I did not even have to make sense of what was occurring.

Before I knew it, I was airborne.

"Excuse me!"

That was the only thing I heard as I was shot upwards unwillingly by the wrist. The girl had jumped over both Toshiyuki and Iwao with me in toll, shock painted on the faces of the two men. Still held captive by the girl, I could do nothing to cushion the fall back to earth.

I assume that the girl with incredible strength had hit the ground running, because the moment the wave of pain passed throughout my body as it impacted onto hard soil, the grind of the ground against my person began once more. That time I managed to let out a sharp yell of agony, however weak. The sensation of my arm being torn off becoming more and more evident, I tried to detach my hand from the girl's grip. In spite of my action, it held. Yet, the attempt had also caused me to look up from the ground, and to apprehend where the girl had taken me.

I was just passing the gate at the end of the two wooden walls, entering the large decorated yard of an Oriental mansion. Once we came about a few feet away from the unique building, the girl stopped, though I kept rolling due to momentum. Scrapped, cut, and bruised, I laid out on my back staring at the sky, no longer grasping anything mentally. Breathing heavily from the sudden rush and aching everywhere, especially my arm, I was the definition of impassiveness until the girl's face blocked out the azure sky overhead from my sight.

"Opps. May have overdone that a bit." She muttered, a pondering look residing on her face. Speechless, I felt anger synthesizing within me. I yearned to yell at her intensely, to discover her reason for creating my agony.

Yet, my mind neared to shut down once the other faces appeared around her.

They were all girls, each seeming about the same age. All of the girls wore peach colored dresses, and the same pairs of hairpieces the first girl had. However, I doubted hairpieces moved when the person wearing them was not in motion.

"Tewi, who is this?"

"Why is a human here?"

"Is he someone we can play with?"

"No, he's here for Eirin."

"Oh darn. They always come for her."

"We are never popular."

"I wonder why? We are nice youkai, right?"

Hearing the symphony of voice over me, my entire body ran cold at the word 'Youkai'. Glancing at each girl, I finally understood my situation completely.

I was surrounded by youkai. Youkai who all looked like bunny girls.



Afterword:

This is perhaps the strangest way I have ended a chapter so far. No worries, this story will not turn into a Harem  :X.

I know, I did take Mokou out a bit suddenly, but she will return in future chapters. After all, we have to find out why she called Emil 'Iwakasa', right? As for anyone who is unaware of what significance that name has, I recommend reading Chapter 4 of Cage of Lunatic Runagate (can be found on the Touhou wiki).

That all said, I thank you all for reading Chapter 7 of Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant. Please stay tuned for Chapter 8 (Now with bunny girls!).


"If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we shall see." - Spanish Proverb
  • Remnant Jett

Jett

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Re: Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
« Reply #13 on: July 11, 2013, 08:32:46 am »
Here is the second teaser trailer for FHGE: The Narration - 

http://youtu.be/oft6FlZ9KWg

"If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we shall see." - Spanish Proverb
  • Remnant Jett

Jett

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Re: Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2015, 11:54:52 am »
Forgotten Harmony of Germane Errant
Chapter Eight: Questioning

   Being surrounded by multiple bunny girls would have been a dream come true for some men. However, it was my present nightmare.

   Having been lifted up over their rabbit-eared heads, multiple hands easily held me high as I was carried quickly towards the Oriental Mansion. Struggling, I let out a shout of genuine fear, no longer remaining subtle about the ordeal. My cry only seemed to entertain my captors, being met with a chorus of giggling. Before I knew it, we had already entered the building and reached a small room that would have seemed cozy in any other occasion, except for abduction by youkai.

   “Let go of me!” I yelled out in desperation.

   “Sure thing! Ready girls?” was the reply I received before feeling all hands supporting me suddenly vanish. In a split-second of shock and panic, I flailed my arms like a madman as gravity ran its course. Another desperate yell escaping my lips, my descent was broken abruptly by a hard cushion. Almost at the verge of what felt like a heart attack, I groped the surface I had landed on almost frantically, discovering that it was a sort of medical bed.

   After obtaining an awareness of what I was on, I looked up to see that the mob of rabbits had gone and left just as suddenly as they had appeared, save the girl who had dragged me through the gate in the first place. The fact that she was a youkai remained fresh in my mind. Scrambling backwards on the bed, I did not stop until my back was pressed firmly against the wooden wall. 

   I was at her mercy, the mercy of a supernatural creature. Staring into her seemingly innocent eyes, I feared of what she had planned for me, and whether or not I would live to see the night. The girl's silence did not help to reassure me at all. She just quietly observed me, the amusement plain on her mischievous face. Never would I have ever imagined that such a cute-looking face would strike so much terror in me. I will admit, I may have been overreacting a bit at the time.

   Then again, not many people can say that they were lifted through the air by a girl with rabbit ears. Not that many people could even imagine that.

   For a long minute, nothing happened, besides an involuntary staring contest. She must've been enjoying the sheer horror that I so blatantly displayed through my expression. Once the rabbit girl's mouth slowly began to open, I grew rigid. Figuring it was my death sentence, I braced myself for a cruel and agonizing end.

   What she said, however, threw me completely off-guard.

   “Want a meat bun, mister human?”

   I stared blankly at the girl with the carrot pendant, my mind registering what she had asked. The question was so random that it almost begged for a very overused response.

   “What?”

   “Want a me-…”

   “I heard you. It’s just... what?”

   “Reisen was cooking some meat buns a little bit before you and your friends got here. She spent all morning making them, but I’m sure she won’t miss a couple of them.” The girl grinned in an impish, if not sadistic, smile, making her way towards the only doorway in the room.

   “Uh… um… Sure. I’ll take one.” I was lost at that point.

   “Great! I’ll be back in a second!”

   With that, she ran out, leaving me confused and alone. For some odd reason that I would later come to realize, I felt sincerely sorry for the person the girl had talked about, that Reisen fellow. Hopefully they were not inconvenienced by the offer…

   I stopped myself. Moments ago, I had been imagining all of the worse possible tortures those youkai had in store for me. Yet with the offering of a mere meat bun, I had relaxed tremendously, though I remained cautious of my surroundings. Taking a deep breath in, I rested my head against the wall behind me. Thanks to this and the ordeal back in the Bamboo Forest, I was spent.

   Regaining some composure, I took the opportunity to check myself over, searching for any injuries that may have appeared while I was being transferred roughly into the room. Besides my chest wound staining my bandages with crimson again, I seemed to be relatively unharmed. Grateful for the now-dampen bindings, I arose from the bed, and took the opportunity to inspect the room I was left in. I searched for anything useful; be it fresh bandages or a weapon to defend with.

   Eyeing the cabinet case in the corner, I gazed at the spotless wooden shelves to find a variety of what appeared to be medicine bottles placed neatly in pre-assigned rows. It was when I began to read some of the labels that I was crudely reminded in what world I was in. As if I had forgotten at all.

   “What the…” was all I could say in the face of ‘Curse Distiller’ and ‘Leap Enhancer’. Moving closer to examine the unique concoctions further, I reached forward and took hold of the nearest one. Reading the medicine’s name, I found myself contemplating over what the effects could be.

   It was called ‘Butterfly Dream Pill". A rather elaborate name for a drug.

   The bottle still in my hand, I tore my gaze away to observe the papers hanging on the wall next to an Eastern-looking circle window. Among the array of pinned notes were different recipes with strange ingredients, simple to-do lists, random reminders, and a few inspirational sayings.

   A large wooden desk resided directly beneath the circle window and hung papers. Like the wall, it too had several small documents lounging on it, but with the difference being a number of vials lining the edge of the surface touching the wall. Sitting in a small black pot was a long pallid feather, adding a sense of antiquity to the entire room. Subconsciously I ran my finger on the strands of the improvised writing utensil, relaxing further in the calming sensation that the white 'pen' inflicted upon my hand. This room, despite the medicines and outdated utilities, seemed so normal; a welcomed sight in a bizarre world. Withdrawing my hand, I looked out the circle window and stared blankly at the bamboo scenery visible through the opening.

   I wanted to go back. Back to a world where everything made sense. It did not matter if it was a world that did not care for me. It did not matter if it was a melancholic world filled with sadness and hate. It was a world I knew. A world I would be left alone in. A world wher-

   Hold on.

   I was missing something.

   The cellphone.

   Where was the cellphone I had found in the Bamboo Forest?

   At once noticing the lack of weight on the small sash around my waist, I reached into the cloth holding my kimono together with my free hand; the other still grasped onto the pill bottle. Feeling no device, I undid the sash and held it before me, as if hoping that action would make the cellphone turn up. By consequence, my kimono came undone, allowing my bare body to become visible to the world.

   Or rather, regrettably, just one person.

   "My, my. I was not aware that you were seeking THAT type of examination."

   At that moment, my heart stopped cold and then fell down to my heel, shattering upon impact. Slowly looking up, I locked eyes with a smirking white-haired woman holding a simple wooden clipboard. No, I must correct myself. I was the only one making eye contact. She was, in a mockingly shocked manner, glanced at something else entirely.

   I will forever be grateful to the Villagers for not removing my boxers where they changed my clothes.

   "AHHHH!!! I'm sorry!"

   In the split second I blurted out those words, my arms went into action, plastering the two loose folds of my robe back to their rightful places at my sides. Once again decent, I continued to eye the sudden newcomer while the room abruptly increased 100 degrees in temperature.

   The woman donned a cap that resembled that of a nurse's with a blouse decorated with what appeared to be constellations; complete with a skirt that matched the other two articles of clothing by their blue and red color scheme. She did not seem disturbed or even affected by the whole display. In fact, she even walked closer.

   "Now, now. It is completely fine. Why did you cover up?" the woman reassured casually as the distance between us became less and less; her eyes, the same shade of grey as mine if not lighter, finally meeting my own.

   "W-What?" I stuttered, backing away by instinct (and unfortunately trauma from past experiences involving certain hot-blooded samurai and devil goddesses).

   "Do not worry. I just want to have a little look." The blue-red nurse cooed as she drew within arm's reach of me.

   "W-W-What?! W-Wait!" My entire person was burning up. Feeling dizzy, I placed a hand on the cushioned bench to steady myself, and to lean back as the woman stopped inches in front of me. My robe remained in place thanks to my other hand, which held the Butterfly Dream Pills, but it did loosen up regardless.

   "Hold still now. I will try not to hurt you." With that, she lightly touched one of the loose seams of my kimono. Disoriented and now frozen, I could only stare and brace myself for what she had in store for me, no matter how wrong it could be.

   The woes of having a young teen mind.

   "Hmmm... Oh my. This wound... How are you still alive?"

   Hearing those words, I immediately sobered up, a new gravity setting in as I took a moment to comprehend the question.

   "How am I... what?"

   The blue-red woman drew back slightly, although still holding my kimono open where my bandage was. Lost was her initial teasing approach, replaced instead by a concerned stare.

   “This wound is infected with the venom of a Tsuchinoko. Any human would have perished within hours of exposure. Yet...”

   Letting go of my clothing, the woman reached up and gently placed her hands on my face, cradling it carefully as she veered into me. Despite the close proximity, I stayed unusually calm; and remained so, even after I felt the complete weight of the woman's next question for me.

   “Are you truly human?”

"If I die, I forgive you. If I live, we shall see." - Spanish Proverb
  • Remnant Jett
 

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