Topic: [Oneshot] This Strange Box, What Is It?  (Read 1007 times)

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UnendingEmpire

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[Oneshot] This Strange Box, What Is It?
« on: August 02, 2013, 10:36:24 pm »
Hello there for the first time, or if you've seen me before, it's nice to see you again.  I'm UnendingEmpire, also known as Unending or UE :)
For this story, I wanted to just sit at my computer for an hour and improvise a senseless story starring Kyouko, who I don't write for often.  I decided she should find an odd box while cleaning up the Myouren Temple, so here we go~
I hope you enjoy this odd tale.


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The Myouren Temple was a very fine establishment.  It used to be a boat, many people knew, and its residents were all youkai.  Some people called it "Youkai Temple" as opposed to Myouren because of it, but the people living there were pretty harmless.  If you wanted a dangerous youkai, you went into the Forest of Magic, or pranced about with a sign that said "Youkai Exterminator" in big rainbow letters for all to see.  No, if you wanted youkai of a more peaceful demeanor, the temple was a good place to look.  Even the janitor - a petite yamabiko with the power to reflect sound - was pretty harmless.  On the other hand, the people living around the temple didn't like her insistence on waking up the temple's residents at 6AM sharp, every morning, without fail.

With that schedule in mind, the residents of the Myouren Temple would have now been awake for twelve hours.  Things went as things tended to.  Byakuren did her thing out and about in the village to try and get people to convert to Buddhism, Ichirin defended the temple alongside her companion Unzan, and Shou...

"You haven't seen my pagoda, have you?"  Shou lost it.  Again.  You'd think that somebody with the power to gather treasures using her pagoda wouldn't lose the source of her power so frequently, and it was rapidly becoming an in-joke around the temple that her power was actually to lose treasures, which complimented Nazrin's powers quite well.  Since Kyouko was the one who did the cleaning around the temple, it stood to reason that a lot of missing object questions go through her before anybody else.  At the sight of Kyouko's soundless response - a shaking of her head to indicate she indeed hadn't seen the jeweled pagoda - Shou turned in dejection to commence her search.  But not before stopping suddenly, and reaching into her sleeves to pull out a box.  "Mamizou said to give you this," Shou explained, turning and holding out the box.  The box itself was - to Kyouko's observations - pink and green with bits and pieces of many different sutras written along it.  "She said there's a prize if you can open it."

"A prize?"  Kyouko wasn't the kind to seek out prizes often, but it was a box!  A box of pure mystery, with who-knew-what kind of prize inside!  Compelled more to find out what was inside than actually win it, Kyouko nodded in understanding.  She then promptly set her broom down on the wall, and held the box in her hands.  It was rather light, but shaking it told her something was certainly inside.  Maybe if it was so light, she could just run the end of her broom through it?  Even if she broke the contents, she really just wanted to know what they were.  Deciding upon that course of action, Kyouko set the box down in front of her, and picked up her trusty cleaning tool once more.  With a powerful slam down and an awkward screech vaguely resembling some kind of battle cry, Kyouko's broom end flew down toward the box.  Instead of the expected result, the broom broke, and the force of the hit sent Kyouko reeling back until she hit the wall, half a broom in her hand.  She'd have to dispose of the broom pieces, then tell Byakuren that a new broom was required as soon as possible.  Getting up to her feet, the yamabiko said "I'll go get the box open.  I won't come back until I do!"  With that, she gathered up the tiny wood pieces and the half-broom in her hand, picked up the surprisingly sturdy box, and started making her way toward the exit.

The scenery of the Human Village exploded before her eyes as she did so.  The fine architecture, the cozy dirt roads lined with sakura trees freshly blooming in the spring of Gensokyo, the pink-haired menreiki youkai some people were still getting used to, and - of course - the many humans buzzing about their busy little lives.  None of them would be able to open the box, most likely.  Something that smashed a broom was more for a youkai to open.  She'd start with the menreiki, whatever her name was.  What was it, again?  Kyouko remembered that the first two syllables sounded like her own name, but forgot since her stay at the Myouren Temple was rather short.  She just called her "Mask-chan" since all those masks around her stood out.

"Mask-chan!" Kyouko called.  "I have a question for you!"  That got her attention.  With a somewhat goofy smile on her face, Kyouko made her merry way down, carrying the box whose size was about equal to her head.  The so-called Mask-chan didn't really need those masks - her stay at the Myouren Temple saw to that - but she kept them around for some reason.  Maybe because she was a youkai made from exactly those?  Kyouko didn't mind the reason any, instead simply holding the box out in front of her, letting Mask-chan take it into her own hands.

"It's a very fine box," she observed, turning it from one face to the next.  "I like the people painted on it.  Hey, there's Shoutoku-sama!  Oh, and that underground thief.  She still hasn't given my mask back, you know."

"Nothing I'd know about," Kyouko stated at the mention of a thief, completely waving off the issue.  "Can you get this open?  I tried opening it with my broom, but it broke.  Nue says there's a nice prize in there.  If it's money, I'll split it if you open it up, Mask-chan."

"I've already told you plenty of times," the menreiki angrily stated.  "My name is Kokoro.  As far as I can tell, though, this box just has faces painted on it."

"Huh?  No no, it's got bits of sutras painted on it."  Putting her finger on one such piece, she said "See?  It's a piece of a sutra."

"Nope.  I'm pretty sure that's Hijiri-san's left eye."  Handing the box back to Kyouko, Kokoro said "It sure is a strange box.  I hope you can get it open."

"Thanks for trying anyway," Kyouko happily stated, making her merry way down the road with a box in her hand.  She made a mental note to get Mask-chan's eyes checked in the near future, since sutras were obviously not portraits of people.  So where should she go next?  Maybe listening to the chatter of the humans would help.  They talked about so many things, not the least of which were werewolves, beer, a police officer, and - much to Kyouko's interest - faith.  It wasn't really the topic of faith that got her interested.  Oh no, it was who she heard talking about it.  She recognized the voice from the incident when those Taoists first showed up.  Turning her face to match the direction of her ears, a smile proved she was right.  That weird human from the mountain.  She had the power to do miracles, so Kyouko was interested.  Surely, she told herself as she approached, she can make my box open!  A miraculous box-opening!  I sure hope I don't get in trouble for asking a Shinto miko for help, though.  Kyouko was the most likely child of the Myouren crew, but she was like the good child who followed all the rules.

"...our branch shrine near the Hakurei Shrine, if the climb up Youkai Mountain is too dangerous," the green-haired miko continued, speaking to a small crowd of folks in front of her.  "Kanako-sama and Suwako-sama take very good care of their followers, so I'm sure you'll find something to gain by converting your faith to us~!  So, does anybody have any questions?  Yes, you with the..."  Sanae's eyes locked immediately to Kyouko.  Not because of the ears, but the box.  She saw something she liked; something she'd been checking Kourindou for over the last few months.  Rushing over to Kyouko, she whispered "I need to buy that box."

"Huh?  What's so special about it?"

"That's a collector's edition!  All the copies were supposed to have been sold before I even had the chance to want one!  I'll pay you 6,000 yen for it!"

"I don't know what you're on about, but this isn't any edition.  It's just a box with sutras written on it, see?"  Kyouko would let the miko hold the box, but unlike Mask-chan, this new potntial box-opener looked ready to snatch it and run as it was.  That meant she'd take the prize, which meant Kyouko would never find out what it was.  "I just wanted to see if you could get it open.  There's supposed to be a prize--"

"Oh, there's many prizes in that box.  If I open it, can I have it?"

"Sure."

"It's a deal!"  Sanae took the precious box into her hands, and set it down on the ground between the two, the wind priestess who was often mistaken for a miko getting down to her knees to have a better view of the box.  She then proceeded to take her hands to where she thought she saw an opening...only to fail at opening it like that.  Then it was time to use the big guns.  Miracles.  Holding out her hands, a faint visual of white stars began to fly around those hands, growing brighter and brighter.  When it was difficult to even look straight at the stars around Sanae's hands, she shot forth those stars - the pieces of a miracle - and watched them collide with the box.  Nothing happened.  The look of failure on Sanae's face was - if asked by the right parties - absolutely priceless.  If a miracle couldn't open the box, nothing would, she figured.  "Sorry I couldn't open it," she said sadly.

"That's okay.  I'll see if Hijiri-sama can't open it.  She's very wise and strong, after all," Kyouko happily said, picking up the box and making the short walk back to the Myouren Temple.  So Kyouko saw a green and pink box with sutras written on it.  Kokoro saw a box with different people painted on it.  Sanae saw the collector's edition for something.  Suspicion was setting in her mind.  Was it really Mamizou who gave Shou that box?  Or was it somebody else pretending to be Mamizou?  Nue was at it again, Kyouko told herself once the temple was in sight.  She would definitely have to talk to Byakuren about this box.  And, as though the great holy Youchrist's wisdom truly did know no limits, she was standing right there, at the temple doors.

"That's quite the box Mamizou gave you," she calmly said.  Even though the title was technically Toyosatomimi no Miko's, Byakuren was certainly Gensokyo's resident saint.  The woman's patience and understanding seemed to know no limit, and just hearing her voice calmed Kyouko down.  Holding out a hand and smiling, she said "I'll get it open for you, if that's quite alright."

"Yes, please," Kyouko responded, holding out the box for her kind and loving master to--

SLAM!!!

Kyouko flinched when Byakuren slammed it against the ground.  She was rather expecting some kind of magic to open the box, not sheer brute force.  But, the box was broken in half, and a bright light was indeed glowing from the inside.  So Kyouko's prize was something shiny?  She really loved shiny things.  Pulling apart the box halves, Kyouko looked with triumph to find...

"Oh."  The jeweled pagoda.  "So that's where it was?"

"Indeed.  Nue and Mamizou came to me just recently and confessed about everything.  Apparently, they were overheard snickering about a box, so Ichirin promptly brought them to me.  I'm sure Shou will want this prize~"

"W-Wait!  Is that my prize?"

"Your prize," Byakuren said, turning to face the yamabiko janitor, "is the good deed of helping a friend in need.  I think that's far more valuable than any pagoda."  With that lesson in her janitor's heart, and the jeweled pagoda in her hand, Byakuren turned and entered the Myouren Temple.  Yes, today was turning out to be fine indeed.

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Ah, what a cheesy ending, lol
I hope it wasn't too long ^_^; I spent an hour doing it all just now, so I'm not sure how long it is.  I hope you enjoyed reading this odd one-shot as much as I enjoyed writing it~
 

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