Topic: The spiriting away of Gensokyo -- Chapter 3  (Read 1350 times)

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Sahuaro

  • Nickname: Loki
The spiriting away of Gensokyo -- Chapter 3
« on: September 01, 2015, 06:31:22 am »


Arc #1.- The awakening
Chapter 1.- A sudden awakening
Chapter 2.- Of youkai and humans
Chapter 3.- In a world like this
Chapter 4.- In body and mind
Chapter 5.- The ancient city

Click in any of the chapters to go straight to it.
Special thanks to Doll_7 (Psln) for her incredible and continuous work to provide this fic with her awesome drawings!





Hello MoTK, Sahuaro here. I got to admit... I'm rather nervous of starting this story here, heh. I've been writing this story for about 4, 5 years now but the catch is that I've done it in another language. English has never been my forte, yet I think it's about time I give it a shot and what better place to do so but here with you fellas, at

The story so far is 20 chapters long, all of them already done in Spanish and published on another site, however after much struggle and self-debate I´ve finally decided to take this crucial step and expand my short-sighted boundaries to new horizons. I will keep translating the chapters to the best of my capacity with as less delay between them as possible. Because of this, I really encourage all kind of critics and suggestions you might have towards the story, whoever they are good or bad, harsh or soft.

When it comes to Touhou and specially fanfics I know some fans are specially critic about a specific point... OC. Well, I´ll cut straight to the point, this fanfic protagonist is a male OC and his adventures and misadventures. I invite everyone to give my humble fic and my OC a chance, however if it´s not of your liking at all, then, well... this disclaimer is to save you some time and thanks before-hand for reading me at least up to this point, heh.

Without further ado, I hope you like this story of mine or that at least it becomes worth of your time. Thanks a lot to all of you before-hand.
« Last Edit: September 02, 2015, 06:59:41 pm by Sahuaro »

Sahuaro

  • Nickname: Loki
Re: The spiriting away of Gensokyo -- Chapter 1
« Reply #1 on: September 01, 2015, 06:39:03 am »
CHAPTER 1. - A SUDDEN AWAKENING

My whole being is at pain…everything is dark and hollow… I feel as if I am dead… dead?... maybe, yeah… only the sweet methodical back and forth swinging of my body relaxes me. Feels like if I were being taken to heaven…

However, by some reason every second more and more heat engulfs me… each second makes that sweet rocking movement more wild and bumpy. From being pleasing, it quickly becomes annoying and painful, practically making me hop into the air. At times the sheer blind pain mi body goes through turns into a second plane as I hit against whatever is at my back. This… this isn't heaven… this feels more like… like

- Like hell!

- By the gods!.. Now this is something new…

Something is wrong here. My body hurts but I still can move around, even if clumsily. I look around me while asking myself if I am dreaming or really dead because of what I see. In my surroundings there nothing but darkness and fire, strange combination. The heat is so dry and suffocating that my lungs start to burn from the inside. The picture is so empty and shattering that the thought of having died looks more and more fact than joke, not even the cat-eared girl that's next to me can distract me from this sad view, it's like… wait… cat-eared girl?.

There, standing like if nothing is going on, was a girl portraying a curious long dark-green dress and hair as red as the fire around with to pig-tails to each side. Aside from that there would be pretty much nothing remarkable about her, could as well be describing a normal random person that you can see at any minute on the street, however there were another details to remark… her ears… not her normal ears which by the way where pointy, but what seemed to be an extra set of ears above her head, cat ears blooming with black fur, black as the ribbons that supported her braids.

- Hey… The dead are supposed to be mute… - The strange girl talks to me as she watches like if I were something curious to spectate.

- Then that should mean I am not dead, don't you think? – I retort rather annoyed but strangely confused. What is she talking about?

- That can't be… - The girl answers back with confusion of her own, however, unlike mine, in her's there's no annoyance but disappointment. – What a bum! And we were so close to the hell of blazing fires. Geez, I bet you would have made a beautiful pyre.

- I'm sorry but… the hell you just said?

I can't believe what I just Heard, did she really just said that her intention was to throw me to a fire?. No sir, oh no… no one cooks me alive. As I try to get up to get away from the crazy woman I find out that it is incredibly hard to do so… Whatever I am laying on makes it really hard for me to even use my arms to properly balance myself.

- What the hell?

- Hey! Don't shake up, you'll tilt my cart!
- Your cart? Do I really look like a lifeless body you can simply dispose at a common pit!?

- Well, you did a few moments ago, yeah. And please, it's not a common pit, it's an oven, it's very different.

- …

I don't know what's going on here and to be sincere, that smile the girl is giving me is only driving me more anxious. Despite the huge (and mysterious) pain that my body feels, I somehow manage to get down from that hellish cart. I turn back to the girl and noticed something I couldn't before because of how uncomfortable I was while in the cart. Tails…

- Ok, I want to know what business a weird cosplayer like you has carrying me around this place, babbling nonsense about dropping me into an oven.

- Cosplayer? What's that?... and I told you already, I thought you were dead so the only logical thing to do was to drop your body on the flames. Am I not clear or what?

- Hah, come on… a cosplayer is what you are with those cat tails and ears. And no, of course I don't understand!... who on his sane judgment drops a body within an incinerator… unless… unless you wanted to murder me!?

- I am not a cosplayer, I'm a Kasha. And why in blazes would I want to kill someone who I thought already had 4 days "dead"?

4 days?... that somehow rings a bell… wait a moment, now I remember. There was an accident and… and I was there. As I dig into my brain memories start to overflow. I remember the road that leads to the hot-springs resort, quite popular in my town, and the day before it had rained. We were going to the resort to… wait, we?... whose we? Agh, I can't remember, it's so frustrating!... however this girl might know something. As I observe her more and more I can't help but think that this is only a dream. Did she said Kasha?, the demon cats that carry corpses?, hah, yeah right.

- Sure, a cosplayer dressed as a Kasha, I'll give you that much, lass – I said sarcastically.

- You sure are stubborn. Maybe I should really kill you, that way we can both act as if nothing happened – She smiles as she tells me that…

- Good jo… ke?...

My surprise is big as I notice both her ears and tails begin to move in unison and in different directions regarding the movement of her own body. Also, several strange spheres appear from the dark and start to fly around her… I could notice small skulls inside those ghastly flames.

- What's the matter human?.. Did the cat got your tounge? – She smirks at me menacingly.

There was no reply from my part… while looking around me once again, I notice nothing that could explain such an effect and, being honest, everything looks rather real.

- Where am I? – I simply ask…

- Huh? You really don't know?... We are at the border between the hell of blazing fires and the Palace of Earth spirits.

- So… I am dead…

- I don't think so… You look rather lively to me.

- But you said this is hell…

- Yes, the hell of blazing fires, in Gensokyo… by the gods, will I really have to repeat every single thing I say again and again?

- Genso… kyo? W-what happened to me during these 4 days?

- How am I supposed to know? I found you at the entrance of the ancient city. For the whole duration you remained still so I decided you were dead.

- I see… you decided it, huh?

This doesn't makes any sense. I remember being at a car accident… how could I have ended here after such a thing? Something must have happened, but what? The heat of this place is starting to suffocate me more and more with every second I spend idle here… it truly feels like we are at a cavern, hundreds of kilometers underground… I need to get out, but how?

- Well, if you´re not dead then there´s no point in going down… guess I´ll go back – The girl places her hand behind her neck as she grabs the cart with the other one. With a firm step despite the perpetuity of the darkness, the girl starts to leave me behind. The hell?

- H-hey, wait for me!

- What?

- Do you intend to leave me here?

- Umm… well, yeah. I mean, you are not dead, no point taking you to the hell.

- You brought me here in the first place!

- Ok, ok, heh. Follow me then – The girl replies in a rather intrigued fashion. I can't tell if it's benign or malign. – But I tell you right now, I´m not carrying you again in my cart! I only transport corpses in here, you got it?

- Believe me… I hope to never ever again find myself in that cart – I answer with total honesty.

- Very well… oh, by the way, I am Kaenbyou Rin, but you can call me Orin, I don't really like long names, they are quite a pain in the tail, heh. – She tells me with a smile, literally "from ear to ear".

- Eh?... my name… my name is Makoto… Ichiharu Makoto.

- Maru it is!

- Maru?

- Yush. Didn't I just told you? I dislike long names, heh.

- Can you please call me by my name?

- What was that Maru? Said something?

- Damn… - Incapable of anything, I only sigh in defeat… - No, I didn't…

As I followed Orin, my doubts about where we were slowly dissipated. At moments the spheres were close enough for me to feel the strange and ghostly cold heat that emanated from them while these very flames faintly illuminated our path as dwelling torches. In a moment or two I could feel how her two tails rubbed against my leg and sense how real they felt. They were warm, like if they were indeed an extension to her body. I could also feel the warmth from the stone walls that shrunk around us with every step we took. Grabbing from it was painful thanks to its edged and sharp rocks, yet it was necessary as the path became more and more unforgiving and abrupt. The worst was without a doubt to look back… It felt as if thousands of eyes watched me from the shadows… thousands of evil spirits, all waiting for me to misstep and fall back into the abyss. I felt really relieved of having a return path.

- Where are we?

After all I have seen today, I can no longer trust my eyes. Where they once again trying to play tricks with me? From a cavern to a mansion? Seriously, what's going on?

The place was gigantic, it possessed windows just as big that, despite having blinding light from into them, wasn't enough to completely illuminate the vast hall. Pillars after pillars received us, all of them supporting what seemed to be pure dark… I couldn't see the ceiling at all. Anyways, these facts didn't really caught up my attention as the hundreds of animals that suddenly surrounded us. Cats, dogs, all kind of birds and even fairies were… wait, seriously? Fairies?

This place… it kind of rubbed me the wrong way. I followed Orin all the way to this place but was now wondering if it had been a good idea. The place was eerie and full of critters… it looked like the perfect home for an old and crazy animal-lover.

- Old and crazy animal-lover?.. Well, I do admit that I love my pets but… old and crazy? I got to say that I feel rather offended by that comment.

A voice echoed from behind us, a not even remotely familiar voice. Orin and I turned in the direction the voice came from. She looked relaxed… I on the other hand…

- Looks like you had quite an unpleasant awakening… In name of my pet I apologize. After all she was just doing her job…

Every time that person speaks, the great hall finds itself surrounded on its echo. My confusion and worry only increased with every word that person spouted. This person nor Orin seemed to care about what was going on. From the shadows before us, on an aisle a figure began to take form.

- Do not worry, all those questions and worries have an answer, I'll personally help put an ease to such fears. It's the least I can do after what happened.

As the person stepped into the light, her attires became the prelude for who was to follow them. A long light-blue dress with pink frills on its arms and a skirt just as pink, with a strange purple-ish looking hair and fluffy slippers at her feet. Sooner than later the figure revealed herself… a woman as mysterious or even more than the one that stood right next to me. She carried an aura or respect and fear around her, like if for some reason she knew all and every secret of mine… even the deepest and darkest ones within my heart. It was like if that strange accessory that hanged from her chest, a bizarre looking eye-ball that hanged from several strings could look straight into my very soul as if my body was nothing but crystal clear water.

- I know it can be quite overwhelming for a human like you to wake up in a place like this, especially when you are not even from Gensokyo. Let me reassure you by saying that I wasn't eavesdropping on you two… as a matter of fact I just recently noticed your presence…

What's this? I haven't even uttered a single word yet I was receiving the answers to each and every question that crossed trough my head. It almost seemed like if she…

- As if I could read your mind, indeed. It is just like that. You'll see, the power to read minds is a rather scary power, but now and then it was its uses.

It was impossible… it had to be impossible… there should be no way that that could be true. But… but what if…

- What if it's true… well, that certainly seems to be the case. It seems you do rather comprehend to a degree what's going on, that's good… it will make it way easier to explain. You see… Gensokyo is a land of opportunities, where both humans and youkai can live in harmony the one with the other.

Gensokyo… that name once again. Something tells me that this place is like no other I've ever heard of from before.

- Heh, I see you're still with me. Very well. Then, I welcome you my friend to my place… to the palace of the earth spirits. Come, I'll have you some tea while we talk at ease… Ichiharu Makoto.

The Palace of the Earth spirits… Gensokyo… just in what mess have I gotten myself into?


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I owe you guys chapter 2 and 3... the server I have them on is currently having connectivity issues so I cant access them just yet... as soon as they are available I´ll edit this post with them on.

Sahuaro

  • Nickname: Loki
Re: The spiriting away of Gensokyo -- Chapter 1
« Reply #2 on: September 02, 2015, 06:57:33 pm »
CHAPTER 2.- OF YOUKAI AND HUMANS


- Here´s your tea, I hope it´s of your liking.

- Umm… tha-

- You´re welcome Makoto, and please, call me Satori. Komeiji-san is way too formal.

No doubt now… there was nothing she couldn't know about me. As soon as the thought crossed my mind she already knew about it and had me all read up like a book. She called her power frightening… no surprise there given it´s an ability worth of deserving lots of respect and prudence. But even so, an interesting ability nevertheless. I mean, who hasn´t ever desired to know what others are thinking? It couldn't be that bad. The only annoyance would be (and is) the issue of not being able to at least finish the sentences on my own head before she had them all deciphered and called from her mouth instead of mine. It was rather frustrating and infuriating.

- I am sorry, I tend to get carried away. As you know I am a Satori youkai, it's in my nature to say out loud what other people have in their mind – Satori quickly answers to a matter I haven't even asked about, once again reading what's inside my head.

- I see… well, I once heard that the Satori youkai really hate it when they are ignored. Is that true?

- …

- …

- Lets do this, I'll do as if you never called me a crazy old animal-lover and you as if it doesn't bothers that I read your mind.

- Deal…

Not only quick to read but also quick to think and speak. Clearly, I was in a place completely different from what I'm used to, to what I know as normal. It wouldn't be wise to get myself into trouble, much less against someone that can read minds. Satori gives me a small sneer that only lasts for a second, I bet she knows what I am pondering right now but I ignore the reason why she does it so mysteriously.

- Let me be honest with you Makoto… not many come here, not even the other youkai that roam around Gensokyo. It's pretty uncommon to find someone with whom I can even start to establish a conversation.

- I'm sorry but… I think we have completely different views on what a conversation is.

- Hahaha, indeed!

- hehehe…

- It's weird… she complements everything I think to the degree that if someone were to watch us from the sidelines, that person would most likely think she is the only one doing the talking. But for some reason I can feel as if I really were having a conversation with her. Despite our obvious sarcasm and satires for each other, no real hostility could be felt in our words. Even so, and I insist, the fact of having my words stolen is exasperating as hell.

However her remark leaves me wondering… I mean, what is a conversation for someone like Satori? Leaving the jokes and the sarcasm aside, is someone like Satori able to hold a true conversation, a pleasing, long-lasting talk with someone that knows the stunts she can pull off?

- Don't worry about such details. Not many come here but it isn't much of a problem for me.

She answers again with a smile to my unasked interrogation. We both know what I am talking about in my mind but she still, with her own words tries to hide the facts, not because they are obvious, but rather because they are painful.

- Really, let's leave those small details behind, ok? I think there's much more important things to talk about, like where you currently are at and above all, how you ended up here.

Straight to the point it seems. Satori is not only capable of reading my mind as I start to give shape to the letters and words in my head, but is also able to dig in deeper within my memories. For the next couple of hours Satori explains to me the actual state of affairs. Gensokyo, a land of wonders where humans and youkai can live in "harmony". Its impressive… hard to believe… normally I wouldn't bother giving it a thought but given the proof I've received so far, I don't have the power to call it nonsense. All in all it would be a cool story to tell my friends or to make a comic out of it if I were in a much more casual situation.

- And that's how you ended up here…

- So… under us there's the "hell of blazing fires" where Orin works disposing corpses.

- That's right.

- Good. Then, above us there's Gensokyo

- Exactly. Seems like you catch on rather fast.

- The issue is not understanding it – my attention divagates towards one of the far away windows that surround us - the problem is accepting it…

- I know it might be overwhelming at first, but with given time you will be able to.

- …

What can I say? Words are not needed at this moment… in more than one sense. I sigh deeply, as if trying to swallow all the information in a single go. It is overwhelming indeed… however I need to relax my thoughts, think of other things and assimilate the information in little bits before my head blows up.

- And Orin? She's been gone for quite a while now. – I ask trying to start my plan of distracting myself.

- Oh, she right here with us… as a matter of fact she never left our side.

- Excuse me?

At first I didn't understood her words but soon enough I realize that, next to her, a beautiful black cat lies. What's peculiar of said cat are it´s red-trailed twin tails…

- Please… don't tell me that that is… - I point towards the cat

- Ok, I will not tell you – she quickly answers with closed eyes and a sarcastic smile

- You respect my thoughts when it's of your best interest, eh?

It was so obvious yet so hard to accept. It was like if my brain was still to some degree in denial of what was going on around me. The feeling of having to grip the last inches of rationality within me made it hard to face the fact that I was no longer in a rational place. For my amusement, the cat moves from her comfortable resting place next to her master and jumps towards me. She climbs trough my shoulder and finds another good spot over my head, all while looking at Satori with her big, yellow eyes. Satori giggles at the scene and I can't help but shake my head in complain. All I manage is having Orin claw my poor head to avoid falling down.

- Ah! Hey!

- Heh, looks like she likes you Makoto

- Hard to believe…

- Please, do you want me to say out loud what you really think? – She retorts with a devious grin.

- No… - I can't seem to win here. I deny her suggestion with a slight blush.

- There, there… Teehee. Why don't we address some more interesting subjects?... like the accident you had.

My eyes widen at the mere mention of that. If someone knows something about the accident, that should be me, and if someone knows what hidden within my myself, that should be Satori. Once again my annoyance and frustration turn into interest and complete attention.

Night falls over Gensokyo… or at least that's what Satori told me once we were finished talking. At this moment I find it easier to believe in the existence of youkai than her claim about it being nighttime. Plenty of light was still filtering through the windows and, being honest… aren't we on a cavern!?, what difference does it make if its day or night!?... Ah, whatever… guess I´m still quite shaken up because of what Satori told me…

- You were in an accident on what you know as a "car". You skid trough the road and fell at the edge of mountain, down-cliff. What happened after that, however, I cannot tell you what it is…

- What? Why not?

- Because not even you know what happened…

- W-what is that supposed to mean?

- When you fell, you most likely lost consciousness. The images on your head are so blurry that even I can´t distinguish what happened amidst the chaos.

"Not even you know what happened."… How can that be? I am sure something occurred and that I was conscious at the moment, however Satori is right about something. The memories on my mind are at such disarray, all mixed up… nothing is clear, even to me.

- Maybe some sleep is what I need…

I try to talk myself out of this frustration, however the truth is that it scares me. To close my eyes is what scares me the most; the tought of closing them and then waking up in another completely strange place is horrible. It kills me inside way more than having my mind read by Satori. The worry corrodes me, the confusion blinds me… and finally, the tiredness and beats me.

I can't sleep… no, I should say that I can´t sleep anymore. I find myself sweating cold at the bed that Satori so kindly facilitated to me for the night. By some reason I can't stop breathing heavily while my heart beats with a thousand bumps per minute. I had a dream… better said, a nightmare that awoke me, stopping me cold as I was being dragged into it. It was so sudden I wasn´t able to properly catch up to my body. I heard voices that were terribly familiar, they were all screaming and calling my name as they fell into the dark abyss. Dammit! I can´t deal with this anymore, I need to find the answers I´m looking for. I need to know why and how did I end up here.

Without hesitation, by softly jumping out of the bed and slowly sneaking trough the long aisles, I manage to leave the manor. By raising my eyes I can discern lights in the distance. The view was quite the reminder of the cavern I awoke on… it was empty, dry and seemed perpetual, however it was much, much more wide and tall, having room to even fit the huge mansion that was at my back. The path is clear for me. Like a lone road in the middle of the forest were everything else has been claimed by nature, my only path is to walk forward. I know well where it leads to…

- The ancient city… and beyond of that, Gensokyo´s surface.

She asked me to stay for a while, to take things calmly so I can fully come to grasp what is going on and what happened with my life. She wanted me to get used to this place but I can´t wait, not with these doubts and nightmares tormenting me. I look back and contemplate the palace of Satori Komeiji one last time…

- Thanks a lot for the tea…

A small whisper leaves my lips as I give her a little, furtive smile. I felt that at the very least I should say that with my very own voice… thank the youkai that really didn't needed to hear voices at all.

A couple of hours must have gone by since I left the mansion and ventured into this dark cavern. As Satori told me, my next destination should be the ancient city and once there I should be able to find some kind of tunnel that takes me to the surface. Not so far I could see the lights of what seemed to be the city. It had to be the city… that amount of light wasn't the kind of illumination a simple bonfire could make.

Making haste, the necessity of doing this as fast as I could overwhelm me. The sooner I can get my answers, the better. I was kind of excited to tell the truth… wondering what kind of new people I would meet here made my heart race a tad faster. Hopefully they will be able to help me out in this odd journey of mine.

As I get closer to the main gates, three men appear and put a stop to my advance. Their stares are fixated in me, it's a rather ominous feeling… instead of curiosity as Orin and Satori, these guys' glares are filled with a sense of menace. Unlike the girls, I don't felt like I can trust them. As I stop I take chance to take a good look at them, putting special care in the details… they all seemed human on body constitution, however I knew that was most likely not the case.

- Well, well… would ya´ look at this, bro? – One of those thugs takes the initiative, taking the first step.

- A human it seems, what an unusual find – replies another one, following the example of his friend.

- Hey… - I finally speak for myself, trying my best to not look too strange or misplaced. I guess that's just me having false hopes. It seems youkai have special ways to notice people out… who's what. I could try to pass as someone I am not... – would you excuse me, I´m sorry but I´m on a hurry…

- Oi, oi…where do you think you are going?… human. – One of them stops me on my track by placing a sword right in front.

- Into the city? – I reply a little annoyed – I really am on a hurry…

- You don't say… would you mind us telling what for? You see… it's been ages since a human came down here. Makes me wonder what´s the next lie you have in store for us.

- … - Busted

- Ya´ know… it's bad enough that we allow a human to roam freely within our territory, but lying to us?... man… that's just no good. What will be next? Let me guess… you will tell us that you´ve come from the palace of earth spirits.

- Umm… yeah. – A little hesitant about their threats, the best I can do right now is being honest.

- …

Suddenly a huge grin appears on their faces, followed by a burst of laugther. All three don't believe my story.

- I mean it! You can talk to Satori and she will give you corroboration of my word!

In anger I yelled out those words. As soon as I finished they shutted their mouths up. Their laughter gets muted as soon as I uttered the name of Satori. Now they glare at me once again… with way more intensity than before… I screwed up big time, isn't?

- Hey, boss… might as well be the truth… he came from the path that leads to the palace after all. What if he is friend of Komeiji Satori?, messing with him could mean fat trouble for us if she finds out!

- Don't worry, you wuzz… I bet that monster can't read the minds of someone dead, specially of someone she'll never finds again.

As they start to mumble between themselves, I step back at every chance. I didn't realized Satori was this feared… "The ability to read minds is a terrifying power". Her words echoed within my head with the speed of light, and at the same speed I came to understand… she is feared by the youkai that reside here in the ancient city and that's why she lives in solitude. She lives alone to avoid the pain of being hated, of having to read the minds of people that would think of nothing but death threats, insults and curses. But above all, I also realize why she asked me to stay… I´m such a fool.

- Nothing personal human, heheh – The leader of the small gang said as he raised his sword high in the air – Well… to tell the truth, it is. I hate humans and anyone that has anything to do with the palace of earth spirits, hahahahah.

Is this how it will end?, with me screwing up?. No, I refuse to let it end like this. I am far from having the answers I need, but above all, I wouldn´t allow such senseless hatred be aimed to Satori because of me. Gathering all my will and energy, I jump to the right, avoiding the lethal attack.

- You´re retarded if you believe I will die under such selfish reasoning!

Easier said than done… but hey, lets count. One, two… three big fellows, each and every one of them with a katana on hand and most likely way stronger than I am. I wonder who´s talking big now… anyways, I can´t die here and I don't want to die here. Like hell I will allow these thugs to have their way with me. I don't have a weapon so the best thing I can do is grab a rock from the floor.

- Oh my, so scary! The human wants to up a fight, hahahaha!
- I´ll do more than just putting up a fight…

- We´ll see then! Die!

Both of us jump forward, facing each other with anger in our eyes. He has a sword, I have a rock… a rock as strong as my wish to live. It's only a couple of meters more before we both find close enough to deliver the fatal blow that will put an end to our battle… just a little more!... but before I could swing my arm, a sudden heat invades me from behind. The heat is intense… suffocating… it feels the same or worse than when Orin and I were close to the so called "hell of blazing fires". It also surprises me that my opponent face starts to shine quite brightly… just as his expression of terror.

- Stop right there!

A loud shout reverberates over our heads. He stops first, I second it while noticing his shocked stare. As I turned my head, I felt like asking them a question… Has anyone ever been pursued by what seemed to be a small sun? Most likely their answers would be no. Or at least not until today. Honestly, I had no other way I could explain what was going on just now…

- What in the actual… dammit, dammit! – No thought whatsoever… the only thing I wanted to do was but to get away of the gigantic fireball that looked to home right at us.

*Boom!*

The explosion shakes the whole cavern, making hundreds of sharp rocks to fall over our heads. The floor I am at offers little to no protection just as the cold sweat that covers my whole body. The wide red-hot hole that lies in front of me does little to nothing to ease my surprise. That fireball just left, literally, a crater in hardbedrock without much effort. I was pretty much horrified by the scene… however those other three youkai where way more shocked than I was.

- Good, now that I have your attention…

That voice once again… and most likely the author of such horrorific mess. I raise my eyes and there, floating in the air while indirectly making fun of Newton laws, was a jet-black long haired girl dressed in both a green skirt and a white blouse. Both her cape and her black wings weaved softly because of the left-over wind produced by the explosion. Wings..?

The girl swiftly turns towards me and the youkai, who look back at her with fearful eyes.

- Ok, now… how was it? Wait… Ugh, I can't remember the name Satori-sama told me…

Satori? did she really just said Satori?, I can't believe the luck I have. Once again I owe Satori a deep thanks, and now, my life.

- Hey, you! – She says pointing at me – Those are really strange clothes you have there… therefore… you must not be the one Satori-sama told me to look for. Or was it?... I don't think so… I remember her telling me something about strange looking clothes but… most likely she warned me about you!

- Say again!?

- Yes, you must be one of the bad guys!, hah!, you almost got me fooled there… but you failed!

Oh no…

- Take this and leave Makoto Ichiharu in peace! - The girl extends her arm and points towards me with… what is that?, a huge pencil?... a giant pencil that dispenses fireballs! Slowly, as omens of doom, small balls of fire start to form at the base of her arm, all of which are aimed directly at me. Does she seriously think that I am the bad guy!? – Spellcard declaration, Atomic Fire "Nuclear Excursion"!

Oh no, oh no, no, no, no! – All I can do is yell in panic as I run for my life, avoiding to the best of my capacities burst after burst of homicidal fireballs. – Satori, you are a goddamned idiot!



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CHAPTER 3.- IN A WORLD LIKE THIS

It is curious how moments ago I was giving my thanks to the "benevolent" Satori for sending what seemed to be an angel to my rescue yet now I find myself running for my life. Not from the thugs that intercepted me as I arrived to the city's gates but from the very same "angel" Satori sent to rescue me… a black winged angel of destruction more like it… Now that reminds me of a certain game. How fitting…

As I fled from the fire-spouting lass, I could feel the floor behind me turn into molten magma or at the very least into something very similar because of the heat and the force those attacks packed in. Who in the name of all that's good did Satori send to me!?

- Hey! You're attacking the wrong guy, you bird-brain! – I yelled desperately, trying to make her realize the error she was committing. Was Satori truly so dense as to not give her a proper description of me or is it that this person just didn't paid attention and forgot? Whatever the reason might be, my only hope in this situation is to keep on pressing, to try making her reassess who she is firing at.

- Damn!

It's impressive the sheer amount of energy and destructive power this woman wields. I could feel each and every distinctive shaking made on the floor by the impacts and I am not pushing it by saying that if I were to stop even for a single second, it would be all over for me.

Meanwhile in the distance, I can see the youkai gang stare at me with big, shocked eyes. All three paralyzed in fear. Judging by their faces, the sole fact that I am still alive is a miracle…

- B-boss! What do we do?

- Isn't it obvious? Scram!

- And what about the human?

- What about him? Just look at that! – It wasn't necessary but even so he pointed out towards the tragic scene that unfolds before them in which I am its tragic protagonist. – He will not last long. And besides you heard what she said, Satori sent her from the palace… staying is the same as committing suicide!

- Lets flee then!

- It's about time!

Funny youkai these bastards ended up being… opportunistic scavengers that attack unaware preys, however at the first sight of someone strong, no trace of them is to be found. Nevertheless… I have more big and urgent issues to address than to be worrying about cowards. Heh… but to be honest, it's rather ironic how I call those three cowards when all I've done myself is run away.

The cave trembles and starts to make strange cracking noises around us as the attack continues relentless. I fear to think that at any moment now the whole structure will fall over our heads, killing all of us in the spot… this has to stop now.

- I am Makoto! Ichiharu Makoto! Stop this madness before you get us both killed! – I shouted with all my left-over breath, hoping my voice was loud enough so to not overshadow by the loud blasts. However, despite all my efforts and almost going hoarse, my voice falls short and seems to fail at reaching her damned ears!

- Gah, stop struggling! – That girl complains as she finally puts an end to her deadly frenzy. Finally! A chance to recover my breath… - Very well, you've forced my hand. I'll go all out! – Excuse me? So that was just the friggin entrée!? for crying out loud! Now I'm seriously missing the youkai thugs!

- Spell card declaration! "Subterranean sun"!

There was something that Satori didn't went into detail when explaining me what kind of place this was, and that something were spell cards. Even so, one doesn't needs to be a genius to realize that every time someone yells "spell card!" something really bad is about to happen… something, really, really bad, at least for me.

As expected, the woman raised that strange arm of hers and from it a humongous amount of energy and heat began to gather up. The force was so mighty I was now being pulled towards it. I could feel the air being sucked away into the vortex of everything that girl was creating above. At the top of her weapon a small fireball began to form, however unlike past ones, this one kept growing more and more with every second that went by. What started as a small sphere quickly became a huge monster, literally a small star of flames and rage. Its sucking power… its increasing wrath… this was pretty much a star in growth.

As the small star kept on growing in both strength and size, the pressure it exerted over anything around it increased as well. I could feel myself losing traction with the floor and the thought of ending being consumed by that round sea of flames was bad enough to make me realize I had to move. As I turn, small pebbles start to bash my face and body, ultimately finding their demise in the core of the blazing star. I knew I was next…

Filled with desperation I cling to a stalagmite. Running away was out of question now, seeing how even huge boulders were being dragged into the fiery grave. All I ask for is to not be smashed by one of them… either the blow kills me on the act or the flames finish me up. As things developed now, I would soon enough follow… I need to put an end to this now.

- By the love of… Stop it! It's me, I am Makoto! Those dangerous youai are long gone, stop it now!

- You will not fool me! All it takes is to look at you to know you're not from the underground. Most likely you come with the same intentions as that witch and miko that came over time ago!

- What the hell are you babbling about!? I have no idea what are you talking about!

My words fell on empty ears, managing to do absolutely nothing about this precarious situation. Desperate, I try to find an escape route, any possible option against this hopeless situation. As my sight travels from left to right as fast as it can, I can feel the stalagmite I am on slowly succumb to the sheer wind pressure. It shakes violently as if it was being hit by dozens of hammers. My chances of surviving slim out so much with every second now, and to add insult to the injury I notice that, as if the star alone wasn't bad enough, several smaller fireballs start to be fired at the stalagmite, weakening it even more…

This is it… this is as far as I go. This spike of rock will not last much longer and with it, me. The vacuum the star creates and the small but ferocious fireballs will make my last beacon of hope crumble into its own weight, making me meet demise. Ah… I wish I had listened to Satori and spared myself from all these worries. I guess this only proves how foolish I am and how hopeless I was… Oh, look at that… my shirt is catching fire too…

- Okuu! There's big trouble!

From nowhere, a voice echoed with strength from the distance. It was a familiar voice and to a degree it restored my hopes of making out from this precarious spot. It was the first voice I heard since I recovered consciousness and found myself at this land. Orin

- Satori-sama is in a big pinch, we need to assist her! – Orin yelled pretty loudly to Okuu, which seemed to be the name of my executioner. As if they were magic words, the star slowly began to die until it completely banished in thin air. Without losing an instant more, Okuu turned towards Orin and asked filled with worry:

- What? Satori-sama is in trouble? Let's go help her fast then! – Okuu seemed really shaken up by the news.

- Indeed, but first there's something I need you to see… - Orin calmed her a little, pointing at her right.

- What? – Okuu quickly took a peek at whatever Orin was referring to.

- This! – Instantly, Orin pulled out her cart from her left and dropped over Okuu's head a cold and wet surprise.

*Splash!*

From a single moment to another, Okuu went from being a hellish girl to a wet bird. Water dripped from her black hair and just as black wings. Her whole body was now under the effect of the water… with the exception of her mechanical-looking arm… as soon as water touched that, it evaporated in the act.

- What's wrong with you!? – Okuu complained immediately.

- And you dare to ask… Look around you! – The Kasha quickly retorts, scolding her without second thoughts.

Okuu turns and watches the mess she made. The cavern was now a magnificent monument to Swiss cheese. Luckily for Okuu the entrance to the ancient city was unscratched, although to be fair, more than luck that was thanks to me… If I hadn't run in the opposite direction, who knows what would have happened to it…

- Umm… oops?

- Don't "oops" me! You almost got us all in serious trouble with the inhabitants of the city. That includes Satori-sama, you bird-brain!

- Ah! Satori-sama! Where is she?

- Idiot… Satori-sama is fine. I only said that to catch your attention

- What? She's ok then?

- Of course she is! She sent me here in the first place.

I overheard the talk from afar, although more than a talk it was a lecture. Such scene was rather bizarre I'll admit… a demon cat scolding a… well, a bird capable of turning anything into ash. The only missing thing was a youkai dog, heh. As I skipp trough the multiple holes left behind by Okuu's frenzy, I can listen to both pets discuss the mess that just took place.

- Orin… H-hey, nice you see you again… really… - I express my relief as soon as I am within range. Unlike Satori and Okuu, Orin seemed to be the most normal person of this place.

- Hey Maru – she replies back – Glad to see you still alive and kickin'

- Where you expecting me dead?

- Well, knowing Okuu…

- Don't say it!

- Teehee

Really… it is indeed a miracle the fact I am still alive. Not even Orin expected me to be still in one piece. All it takes is to look behind me and see the battlefield to wonder how in the actual damn did I managed to not end as a bunch of cinders.

- Lets go back to the palace before the inhabitants of the city come and make things harder to explain – Orin hurries both Okuu and me. It seems to be the best course of action; seeing how the ancient city is "youkai territory" it would be troublesome if I were to step-in right now. It's hard to accept but… I've learned my lesson. I nod my head in agreement to Orin's, hiding my frustration from the girls. I feel worried about meeting Satori again… I don't have the nerve to see her after what I did. Despite all she did for me, explaining my situation, providing me with a bed and a place to rest… all I did was leave without even saying "thanks" or "goodbye"… I hope she's not mad at me.

I turn towards Okuu, who also nods with her head, and I wonder… could it be that Satori is indeed mad and thus sent Okuu instead of Orin to give me trouble?

- How scary… - I shake on my spot at the mere notion.

- Something the matter, Maru? – Orin notices me chill and asks about it.

- No, no, no… Everything is fine, heh… let's get moving – I answer back with a rather forced smile. Luckily both buy it and drop the subject.

- Ok then. Okuu, would you help Maru, please?

- Sure!

- Eh?

At first I didn't understand what they were referring to with "helping" me, but once I see Orin turn into a cat and Okuu unfolding her wings, I feel another cruel shiver travel down my spine. Without warning whatsoever, Okuu grabs my arm and with great might she pulls me straight into the air.

- Holy damn!

- Something's the matter? – Okuu asks

- W-w-we… we… we are flying!

- Duh, of course we are. Is there something weird about that?

- The simple fact that we ARE flying IS weird! – I don't know how this detail escaped me before. Okuu was flying back when she introduced herself. I dare say both the confusion and the adrenaline, product of the battle, are the ones at fault here… or maybe it was because as soon as I saw her I had to run for my life.

- I don't follow you… isn't it the most common thing on the surface?

- I am not from this place! From Gensokyo! – I yell once again at her. Did Satori really told her nothing about me outside my name? I somehow refuse to believe it.

- Oh, I see, I see – She looks rather annoying with that know-it-all face of hers. Its definitive, Satori kept this poor girl completely in the dark. – Maru-kun… you see… I want to apologize…

- Ah, I-it's ok now… don't worry about it – I reply recalling I need a new change of underwear thanks our first explosive greeting.

- If you need to get mad at someone, please get mad with me, not with Satori-sama… - Her tone denotes true guilt. I close my eyes to think if I am really that obvious. True, I was blaming Satori for sending Okuu instead of Orin, however… - It's because I am a bit scatter-brained and~~

- Just a bit?

- Ok… quite a lot… point is I didn't do it with the intention of~~

- You didn't?

- Aah... Ok, I did!...

- Its cool, I forgive you.

- I swear I will redeem myse… what?, really?

- Yeah, it's fine… umm…

- Utsuho! Reiuji Utsuho! – She smiles brightly. I could notice the joy that overflowed from her the moment I forgave her. – How great!

As she celebrated in joy, Okuu began to fly faster and faster with a great deal of turbulence. I am not someone that has many fears or worries, however there's just something I can't tolerate and that is… my sheer fear of heights. I simply freeze at the mere sight. So far I resisted the fear and the vertigo because Okuu was flying low, however as she began to increase her speed and shake all over the place, I started to lose my coolness.

- Oh my… Shi~!… Careful! – I shriek at her as I raise my legs to avoid the fast-phased stalagmites that rise from the floor. – Go up, go up!... Go down, go down! – This is worse than a roller-coaster. First the panic of getting rammed against the stalagmites… then the lightheadedness and fear of flying high… I will not make it through this wild ride!

- There you go!, hahaha! – Okuu lets go of me as she rose and haves me make a parabolic trip, finally catching me again on the falling portion of the arch.

- Goddamit, Okuu!

- Hahaha, you're fine, you're fine! Worry not; I am one of the best fliers here in the underground! – Okuu pays no mind to my shouts and fright as she once again dives with me on her hands. I don't give a rat-ass if she is the best flier of the whole world; all I care about is that not even the best therapist will be able to cure me from this trauma now!

Unlike the several hours I spent walking, reaching the manor by flying took us around half an hour. Its impressive how practical and fast flying is, it's also sad and embarrassing how much I desire to never ever again unglue my feet from the ground.

Once again I find myself in front of the palace of earth spirits, this time around with the tail between my legs. I could contemplate one more time those huge and awe-inspiring stained-glass windows and the seemingly infinite pillars that stood mighty in front of me. After a while we found her there, seating idly in a small couch within the main hall. Expectantly, there was the master of the palace of earth spirits, that youkai that could read the deepest reaches of my mind. Komeiji Satori.

- Ah, Makoto. It's nice to see you safe and sound

- Why do I feel a slight tone of sarcasm when everyone says that?

- Teehee, simple appearances my friend. But tell me… how was your first trip?

- I thought Gensokyo was a place where humans and youkai could live in harmony, as you said…

- Harmony and peace are two totally different things Makoto, besides not every youkai in Gensokyo shares our same ideal. Even so I can assure you that Gensokyo is a paradise when you compare it to where you come from… wouldn't you agree? - Touché… If I recall Japan's history, it is full of stories about how youkai are evil and that they have to be exterminated. – Although not every human or youkai of Gensokyo accept each other as individuals, you will not find another place on earth where both coexist on the same land. Just as you think, how could youkai live in a place where even humans hate each other? How could youkai live in a place where "fantastic beings" like us would be seen as threats towards humanity? You'll see, Gensokyo's youkai and humans can live without the constant fear of each other. I mean, sure, there's still an incident now and then regarding both races, yet these conflicts don't reach the levels they could if they were to happen in your world.

I don't know what to say against such true and insightful words. Most likely Satori could see in my mind all those news about murders, wars and other cruel things we humans do to each other every day. The consideration of what us humans could do to the youkai if they lived out in the open was horrific. Then, at that very moment a quite special contemplation crossed my mind. What about those youkai that are not accepted even in Gensokyo? Youkai like-

- Very well. What matters now is that you're safe and with us. You're most likely exhausted by all that's happened, so why don't you rest? I'd love to talk with you again once you're refreshed. Okuu, Orin, thanks a lot for your assistance.

- You're welcome, Satori-sama! – Both replied in unison. All I could do was watch her with melancholic eyes. I accepted her suggestion, not really having the rights to diss her off. I ignored her offer once and all I did was bring trouble to everyone.

I returned to my assigned room in defeat, yet overwhelmed by thoughts. I think of those who can't find happiness or approval, not even in Gensokyo. Youkai like Satori. She knows better than anyone else the pain that lies behind such realization, being different, hated and feared. I couldn't understand it until I met those thugs, the simple mention of her name induced fear and rage in their hearts… it's not crazy to think that just as those three, others can react the same way, both human and youkai alike.

That night I had again a dream related to my memories, to the accident. I was in a car, chatting idly about life. I could hear several voices and a distant laughter as I enjoyed the trip through the mountain range. It was then when it happened… the car skid once more trough the road, first to the left, then to the right… we couldn't control it… no!, we're getting closer to the edge!

- Makoto-nii-san!

- Kanon! – My own scream wakes me up. My eyes are open wide and my arm is raised high in the air as if I tried to reach for something… or someone. The heavy panting leaves me breathless and I can feel as If my heart was about to skip so hard, it would jump out trough my mouth. Agitated, I step out of the bed but quickly fall back towards its edge. All I can do is pant some more and try my very best to recover my breath. As the calm embraces me, I finally realize that I am not alone right now… there, next to my door is her. The gravity on her eyes quickly denounces her reason for being here.

- Satori…

- Good morning, Makoto.

- … - I hesitate for a moment. – Good morning…

- Come, we need to talk.
- Talk? Do you mean…

- Yes, your dream. We need to talk about your sister…


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There ya go people... chapter 2 and 3. I was having issues accesing them, so I apologize. I'll upload chapter 4 as soon as I finish translating it. See ya all soon!
 

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