Topic: A New World (book 2) Complete  (Read 13076 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
  • LOOK AT ME
A New World (book 2) Complete
« on: December 11, 2010, 10:30:31 pm »
In Xanadu did Kublai Khan
A stately Pleasure-Dome decree,
Where Alph, the sacred river ran
Through caverns measureless to man
Down to a sunless sea.

Toyohime could not let herself feel pity for the two men staring at her arrival amid the peach trees.  She couldn't let herself think about what this meant for her, her home and the poor souls before her.  That would only make things worse.

It helped that their spacesuits made them featureless and kept them from talking.

As the lead figure raised his hand in greeting Toyohime called upon her powers to summon the god of calamities.  With the tiniest amount of the gods power the violent materials the humans used for their crafts fuel went out of control.  There were a lot of fail safes of course, but against divine intervention even a minuscule chance became near certainty.

The craft began blaring warning signals, and the two intruders turned towards it, probably in shock.  Toyohime couldn't be certain, but she imagined they were even more surprised when their surroundings vanished and they appeared somewhere else, on the 'scientific moon.'

She turned to her sister.  “Is it taken care of Yorihime?”

Yorihime closed her eyes then shook her head sadly.  “Sorry.  The humans are gone, but this area's border is too weak, and it's been contaminated.  We'll need to cleanse the area and pull back.”

Toyohime looked at the beautiful orchard and shook her head again.  “We can't keep this up.  We're losing too much ground.”

Yorihime simply nodded.  Toyohime had noticed that her sister hadn't been smiling as much recently.  Then again there hadn't been much to smile about. 

Sighing Toyohime ran her hand along the trunk of one of the trees, as a wordless apology, before calling on her power again.  “Kagazuchi.”

The trees all burst into flames, as the god of fire was unleashed upon the garden.  Soon there was nothing but ashes that blew away as the atmosphere began to leak.

Yorihime waved over Reisen, her emissary.  “Eliminate everything else then return to the city and pack for a meeting with Eirin.”

“Um, sure.”  The moon rabbit replied.  She began pulling out the artifices that would make this former part of the lunar capitol indistinguishable from the dead moon surrounding it.

“Let's take the quick route home,” Yorihime said waving her fan.

“Sure thing,” Toyohime stated.  She was tired, and there was a lot of work to be done before she could rest again.

Still she looked back at the tracks in the dirt that the human's lunar rover had made.  “I didn't think we'd have to use that plan this soon,” she muttered.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2011, 03:16:35 am by IcedFairy »
  • Daisukima Dan Blog

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
  • LOOK AT ME
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2010, 10:31:35 pm »
Only the phoenix rises, and does not descend...

“Thanks again for helping me Miss Renko.  This probability stuff could be useful for my father's business,” the young man said with a bow.

“No problem, Shirou.  I'm glad I remembered that course myself.  Never thought I'd use it,” Renko said with a laugh.

The elderly woman in the hallway smiled at the two.  “It's good to see you two young ones getting along.  Are you sure you wouldn't like to stay for dinner young Renko?  I think the whole family will be here....”

Renko fought very hard to keep from rolling her eyes at the woman's unsubtle hint.  It helped that Shirou was rolling his own.  “Sorry grandmother, my ride'll be here soon, and I wouldn't want to ditch her.”

The older woman blinked at the outside world terms Renko used, but managed to keep her pleasant smile.  “That's too bad.  Well perhaps another time young lady.”

Shirou waited until the elderly lady was out of earshot before saying, “Sorry, she's kinda old fashioned.”

Renko smiled, “Nah, don't worry about it.  My parents can get like that too.  Anyway I'll see you next week, and good luck with the herbalist's daughter.”

“Uh, thanks.”  The young man blushed and waved as Renko stepped outside.

Renko waited a few seconds in the street before Maribel wandered out of an alleyway.  “Ah, you got out early Renko?”

“Yeah.  No reason to start teaching him something new with only a few minutes left,” Renko frowned.  “Though it sadly did give his grandma time to suggest I settle down with him.”

Mary shook her head and laughed.  “Still the most eligible bachelorette in the village despite your age, eh Renko?”

Renko tapped Maribel upside the head.  “You of all people should know I'm hardly a bachelorette.  And you're older then me Mary.”  She frowned.  “And really, the only boys that age who are interested in me are those white knight wannabe's, that are more interested in looking cool saving me from 'that witch' then the real me.”

Maribel frowned as well.  “They're still calling me that?”

“Yeah, sorry.”  Renko said giving Mary a hug to ease the sting.  “Even though I'm twice the witch you are....”

“You've got a better cover story,” Maribel said.  “Oh well.”  She began walking back towards the alleyway.  “We'd better get going or we'll be late to our classes.”

Renko smiled ruefully.  “Yeah.  Three years in college, four years here and we're still in class.”

Mary sighed.  “Too bad I can't cut classes anymore.  Today's going to suck.”

“Huh?”

“Ran, wonderful person that she is, is giving me combat training again.”  Mary said with narrowed eyes.  “And it's against Youmi apparently, since I 'need training against armed opponents.'”

Renko shrugged.  “At least you know in advance when your combat training is.  My combat training still usually happens whenever Marisa busts into the library and fires lasers at me.  'Tradition' they say.”  She frowned.  “Though Juri said she wanted a match today.  I wonder if our tutors have been passing notes.”

Mary considered the matter.  “Probably not.  Something must have happened that reminded them about physical combat.  Maybe that dust up in front of the mansion.”  She waved her hands and a gap appeared in the alley.  “Anyways we'd best be off.”

Renko took her friend's hand and followed her into the darkness, like she had so many times over the years.

---

Renko scrambled away from the sword.  “This can't possibly be safe!”

“It should be fine so long as you've been practicing your physical wards Renko,” Alice said calmly.

For some reason, this didn't comfort Renko.

It didn't help that Juri was obviously toying with her.  The maid had produced a life sized doll that looked exactly like her, and had assumed a twisted grin to match the doll's face.  The two figures had been circling, and darting in and out with sword attacks ever since.

It was creepy as all hell.

For the last ten minutes Renko had been forced on the defensive.  She'd been either dodging Juri's strikes, flying to gain range and occasionally tossing out star bullets to try to regain momentum.  Nothing had worked.

Finally Juri and her doll (whichever was which) moved close to each other.  Renko sprang into action.  “Stardust Memory!” she called out, tossing out one of the cards she'd designed.  Several streams of star bullets formed and streaked towards her foes, followed by a massive star shot, that while slow and comical looking, had a very confusing hit radius.

There was a massive crash and Renko saw Juri falling backwards.  “Yes!” she cried out...

Right as the real Juri dropped down and slashed her across the chest.

There was a hard impact and Renko went flying right into a bookcase, which proceeded to shower her with books.  She cursed as one particularly heavy grimoire bounced off her head.

“Pretty good Renko.  Your wards obviously survived the hit,” Dinah said as she and Alice floated down.

“Your dodging wasn't bad either,” Juri said as she sent her duplicate back to its dimensional pocket.  “My accuracy is pretty good, even if most of my opponents simply collapse weeping.”

“Now, now Juri.  You shouldn't brag too much,” the mistress of the house said with a giggle as she flew down from the rafters.

“Of course my mistress,” replied the maid with a smile, as she sheathed her blade.  Flandre proceeded to latch on to Juri's back in a completely unladylike manner.

Renko shook the rest of the books off, then dusted herself.  “Thanks for the compliments, but I still got slashed.”  She checked the tear in her dress where the blade had hit.  “Fatally too if you'd bothered to charge the blade.”

“Don't be too hard on yourself,” Alice stated.  “Most melee masters in Gensoukyo actually can't magically enhance their blades as well as Juri can.  Remember even as a weak magician you're levels above most youkai.  I think you'd do passably well against someone like Rumia or Wriggle even.”

Renko cast a quick mending spell then stood.  “Yeah, it's just I'm going to be weaker then all of you because I have to match power to power right?  Professional magicians need to learn tricks.”

“As much as I hate saying it, don't underestimate power,” Alice stated with a frown.  “Marisa's managed to get away with that for a long time.”

“And don't assume tricks are all magical in nature,” Dinah added.  “Juri beat you through misdirection there.  That's one of the specialties she learned from Sakuya.  I use knowledge to focus on my targets weaknesses, which allows my weaker magic to affect much stronger targets.  Just because magic can do everything doesn't mean you should try to do everything with magic.”

“Hm...”  Renko thought about that for a moment.  It made sense, but she really had no idea what to try as her trick.  She didn't really think she had the poker face to pull off the misdirection techniques, and it would be a while before she'd memorized the weaknesses of every different being in Gensoukyo.  “It's too bad I can't change the power of my eyes around.  That mystic eyes of death perception thing would be kind of cool.”

“The what?” Juri asked.

Renko realized she'd just said that out loud.  “Ah sorry.  From a couple of video games.  The guy had eyes that could see “death” as lines and points and could instantly kill people with that.  Since I'm pretty good at aiming weak shots I figured it'd be a cool trick.”

Alice and Dinah frowned.  “Hm....  That's a crazy way of seeing things,” Alice said.

Dinah nodded.  “Best call in the others then.”

Renko waited as Koakuma, Marisa, and Patchouli showed up.  Those three tended to wander in and out of her training sessions, but whenever Renko asked an odd question to their minds they'd come join what Renko had mentally termed the magician huddle.  Normally Renko wasn't able to follow the conversation, but today seemed to be one of the exceptions.

“Hm... Changing your eyes' powers is definitely possible.  After all Flandre and Remilia can both use their powers and the standard vampiric charm ability,” Koakuma said as she flipped through books.

Patchouli nodded.  “True, though for input manipulation you'd have to both know the spell, and actually be able to willing your rewire your brain to fit the assumption you're making.  Given that you'll be fine when the spell wears off it shouldn't be an issue, but believing what you're seeing might be difficult.  Marisa, you know the most about physical death.  What's your take on this problem?”

“I don't see how ya could do that death thing myself,” Marisa stated with a frown.  “I can't see death as a line or a point.  It's more a miasma.  Heck, even a timer would make more sense.”

Renko found it amusing how much research they'd put into an offhand comment.  “Wasn't really that serious.  Just thinking aloud about something that would be a nice power.”

“It sounds like my power actually.”

Everyone turned to stare at Flandre.

Flandre continued on.  “Well I can't really see the lines that well, but I can see the point that holds things together.  It's not death really, it's where all the tension lies, but if you poke that point the thing goes pop!  Like this!”  Flandre gestured towards a table, “Kyun!”

The table cracked all through the middle and crashed to the ground.  Juri frowned at her mistress.  “Please my lady, think of the cleaning occasionally.”

“Ah sorry, Juri,” Flandre said with a light smile.

Renko looked at the broken table and shuddered slightly.  Given what Flandre's mind was like with that power maybe it wasn't something she should look into after all.

---

Yuyuko watched with interest as Maribel used a gap to dodge out of her servant's reach and return a few weak bullets in return.  It seemed Ran's training had focused on skill and defense.  Probably good for one as fragile as a human.

Youmi of course was doing splendidly as a trainer.  Yuyuko's young half ghost servant was pushing Maribel's limits perfectly.  At each pass she started with an attack just strong enough to force the young gap user on the defensive, then she started increasing her power until Maribel was forced to think up a strategy to disengage.  Youmu might have become the finest Konpaku swordsman at the end of her training, as she was able to test all of Youki's methods under combat, but Youmi was a fine trainer.  It was certain that her heirs would lose none of the Konpaku techniques.

Yuyuko giggled lightly at the irony there.  She idly wondered if the yama had more of a sense of humor then most would give the judge credit for.

Ran gave her a look.  “Did I miss something?”

“Ah, possibly,” Yuyuko smiled behind her fan.  “But it's nothing you could have known, Ran.”

Ran frowned slightly.  “This is one of those things only people who can see people's souls can appreciate isn't it?”

Yuyuko pretended to be hurt by the kitsune's words.  “It's not my fault Yukari told me not to tell anyone.  But yes, this is slightly related.  It should become obvious in a couple of minutes.”

Ran didn't look much happier, but she accepted that and returned her eyes to the fight.  “Well if I miss it please tell me.  I'm a little concerned at how flippantly Maribel's treating her travel powers.  She's not establishing as strong a mental connection to the area as she should.”

Yuyuko turned her own attention back to the battle  “You sure it isn't just a human thing, Ran?  Humans can become very used to certain routines.  Like riding a horse.  The actions become reflex.”

“Hm... You might be right.  I don't understand human reflexes well,” Ran sighed.  “But it's still dangerous.  She needs to think about some of the more complicated boundary manipulations.  Her altering of the boundaries between us when she slapped me could have driven us both catatonic.  If she hadn't unconsciously separated our physical and mental states first, she would have turned both our minds into a jumbled, incoherent mess.”

Yuyuko felt some mild concern at Ran's statement, but the ghost wasn't prone to strong emotions anymore.  “I'll tell her to be a little careful, since it doesn't seem like she needs that power.”  Yuyuko watched as Youmi switched her attack pattern and charged right after Maribel teleported.  “Ah, here we go.”

If Maribel had some time to consider her options the rapid counterattack would have thrown her off balance.  However, Youmi had gotten careless and just gone straight for the attack.  This meant that in addition to panicking and falling on her butt, Maribel tossed out a set of bullets from a gap.  Bullets Youmi was now running straight into.

With a jarring skip the white haired girl moved to the side and continued her attack, placing her swords right up against Maribel's throat.  “Good Match,” Youmi said.  “Almost caught me.”

Ran's eyes narrowed at the move.  “That was too fast even for a Konpaku style master.  That was... a time skip?  .01 seconds I'd guess, given her normal speed.”

“Very good, but then you were always great with numbers Ran,” Yuyuko stated.  “Some powers are more intimately tied to souls then others, such that even hell's fire can't fully purge them.”

“I can appreciate the irony.”  Ran managed a light chuckle.  “I would have never guessed given how carefree she is.”  Ran stood as the two fighters began walking up the hillside towards her.  “I don't suppose Youmu's soul is out there as well?”

Yuyuko tapped her fan shut against her hand.  “Actually she got reincarnated a while ago.  After all, unlike Sakuya she was already mostly pure, and she hadn't lived nearly as long.  But she reincarnated in a very strange place.”

Ran glanced at her for details, but Yuyuko didn't want to speak on the matter any more.  Fortunately, Ran had to give her student an evaluation before she could bug Yuyuko again.

“So, did you have fun?” Ran asked with a malicious grin.

“I hate you so much,” Maribel replied as she rubbed muscles sore from running.

“I warned you about that,” Ran said with just a bit too much relish.

Youmi stretched her arms, “Well, you weren't too bad for a newbie.”

Yuyuko coughed lightly.  “And your own performance, Youmi?”

“Um,” the white haired girl flinched.  “I'm sorry for getting distracted again Miss Yuyuko.  I'll pay more attention, even during training fights.  I promise.”

Yuyuko ruffled the girl's hair.  “Try to take battle more seriously.  You're the first Konpaku who managed to avoid being too serious, I'd hate for you to get stabbed.”

“Right my mistress,” Youmi said with a smile.

Maribel sighed wearily.  “So tell me, if you actually manage to get this wonderful spellcard system back on track, why do I need to know this?”

“First, because as Yuyuko said, it would be terrible if you got stabbed,” Ran answered.  “Not everyone plays by the rules.  Secondly, many danmaku fights actually include some physical combat.  Some youkai find that more fun.  Also it helps you dodge, something you need to master, because unlike Renko you're utterly terrible at physical wards.”

Maribel sighed again.  “She's better then me at dodging too.”

“Well you've got a bigger array of tricks then she does,” Yuyuko offered in a conciliatory fashion.  “Even if she has gotten better at teleportation, since last we spoke.”

“No, I still beat her at that,” Maribel said.  “Though I feel there's so much I don't understand about my power.”

“Don't worry to much about that,” Ran said.  “It took Chen and I 200 years to learn what we have, and it took longer for Yukari to develop the techniques.  Concentrate on the basics.  In about 8 years or so we can move on to the advanced concepts.”

Maribel just shook her head.  “This is worse then my graduate program.  Oh well, at least it pays better.”

Yuyuko and Youmi looked quizzically at the girl from outside as an odd tone began playing from her pouch.  She pulled out a small device that Yuyuko had seen Yukari use before and began speaking into it.  “Hey Renko.  Got out early?”

After a moment she said, “I think we're almost done.”  There was another pause.  “Hm, I could ask them.  Yuyuko and Youmi are here with me though.”  Strangely Maribel nodded, though the object of her conversation wasn't here anyway.  “Okay, I'll ask first.”

Looking up from the device Maribel said to the others, “Apparently Flandre's inviting me and Ran over for dinner.  And someone from Eientei is supposed to show up.”  She grimaced slightly as she turned to Yuyuko.  “Er, I don't know how they'd take you and Youmi coming over, sorry.  But if you want I can ask.”

Yuyuko shrugged.  She didn't mind that particular rift that much.  She'd never gotten along with either of the vampires.  “I don't imagine they have enough food if too many more guests show up, so I'll pass.  Thank you for speaking on my behalf though.”

Ran considered the matter a moment.  “Sorry Yuyuko, but this could be important.  You'll forgive me if I go without you?”

“Don't worry about it Ran.  I understand.”  Yuyuko smiled and grabbed onto her gardener.  “It's fine, I've got Youmi to keep me company.  I'll just prank her.”

“Ahahaha, please don't say that so casually Miss Yuyuko,” replied Youmi with a weak grin.  It really only made Yuyuko want to prank her more.

“Do you want help back home?” Maribel asked.  Yuyuko was always amused at how the human asked those questions while Yukari as a youkai had just assumed Yuyuko could make her own way.

“I'm fine.  Go ahead with Ran.  And if it's Reisen give her my regards and tell her I'm expecting to meet her again soon.  She'll twitch amusingly.”

Maribel raised an eyebrow but didn't press the point.  She waved goodbye then walked a distance away to teleport out.  “So I might finally get to meet Princess Kaguya?” she asked Ran as she left.

“Probably not.  Eirin's paranoid, so she's probably keeping Kaguya close to home.  I bet the princess is screaming bloody murder right now.  But I'm going to call Aya and...”  And then the two were gone.

“Hm... They seem to be getting along better,” Youmi remarked.

“Indeed,” Yuyuko replied.  It was good to see those two working together again, even if it wasn't really 'those two' anymore.

“Miss Yuyuko, do you think there would be some way for us to fix our relations with the Scarlet Devil Mansion?” Youmi asked.  “It would be best if we didn't need to worry about conflict as we moved about Gensoukyo doing our duties.”

Yuyuko really didn't care about relations with the vampires, but still....  “I don't believe Flandre will ever like us, but perhaps you could have a match with the gatekeeper.  I believe she'd appreciate it.”

The young girl nodded seriously.  “I'll keep that in mind Miss Yuyuko.”

Perhaps the two warriors would find an understanding in battle.

Still, Yuyuko thought as she flew home, while the past couldn't be reclaimed, it looked like Gensoukyo was changing for the better.  She wondered what it would look like in a few years time.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2010, 02:25:09 am by IcedFairy »
  • Daisukima Dan Blog

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
  • LOOK AT ME
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #2 on: December 11, 2010, 10:37:07 pm »
Triple postan to start off the new work.

This is a continuation of the the story found here.  However I decided to keep them seperate both to avoid wall of text, and because the first book can stand on it's own.

There's been a chunk of revisions as I worked on this, tweaks here and there, and a lot of things that'll change the third book, and I think it helped the peice turn out for the better.  This takes place 3 (yeah 7 was a  mistake) years after the first fics end.

Anyway I have 95% of the book done as I write this and 65% edited, so I'll be posting in chunks just for ease of reading.  Please tell me if it needs to be sped up or slowed down, as well as any other comments you have.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2010, 12:07:39 am by IcedFairy »
  • Daisukima Dan Blog

Kasu

  • Small medium at large.
  • This soup has an explosive flavour!
  • LOOK AT ME
  • Nickname: Kasunagi
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #3 on: December 12, 2010, 12:02:43 am »
I actually wasn't expecting to see the continuation so soon.  It hasn't lost the interesting aspect from the first book either.  Can't wait to read more. :3

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • LOOK AT ME
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #4 on: December 12, 2010, 02:43:53 am »
Anyway I have 95% of the book done as I write this and 65% edited, so I'll be posting in chunks just for ease of reading.
Oh god yes. :*

Looking forward to much more!

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
  • LOOK AT ME
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2010, 08:48:42 am »
To find glory in battle is a virtue in the soldier,
a vice in the general,
and a positive crime in the statesman.

Yorihime focused on keeping her breathing steady.  This wasn't the first time she'd be nervous in front of the assembled leaders of the moon, but today was the first time she knew that no matter what she did a great number of people would consider her a traitor.  So she reverted to her sword training.  Focused breathing would help bring a focused mind, and keep her from trying to listen to the whispers flying around the cavern.

Finally a gong stopped all the chatter.  The entire room bowed as Lord Tsukiyomi made his entrance.  Yorihime relaxed slightly when she saw he wasn't in battle garb.

Still that just meant they had some support.  The debate was likely to be difficult.  Reasonable people, after all, were more likely to think then to speak.  Which meant no matter how many supported them the vocal people would likely be against them.

She glanced towards the area where her husband Sareseno was sitting.  As this was a formal war meeting he had no place on the floor, but he looked like he was ready to help intercede from the sidelines.  Another voice, even one known to be biased, would be a blessing.

After proper rituals had been observed, Tsukiyomi gestured for them to rise.  Yorihime focused on making sure her movements were smooth.  She hoped she was close enough to her sisters flawless performance.

Their Lord spoke.  “My generals, the land lost to human incursions has weighed heavily upon my mind.  And I fear that the number can only increase if we do not act.  Is there perhaps something I am unaware of that will assay my fears?”

“I fear not my Lord,” Toyohime said with a bow of her head.  “Your analysis is correct.  Without some action on our part, the humans will continue to intrude on our pure land, bringing impurity and death.”

“However my Lord,” Yorihime said, “we have conferred with each other and come up with some possible solutions to the issue.  If my Lord would permit?”

Tsukiyomi nodded his head.  “Please speak.  I am glad to hear your thoughts.”

Yorihime started with the bad news.  “Militarily there is no way to directly prevail against the Earth's colonizers without tainting the moon with war.  Even if we eliminate the humans on the surface of the moon successfully, there will be retaliation from the Earth itself, so direct military action is unacceptable.”

There was a great deal of murmuring from the assembled nobles, but Toyohime spoke up before it could grow out of hand.  “However we do have two less direct plans that could suit our goals.  First while the Earth is at peace, it should be possible to stir up conflict like we have in times past.”

“Given the weapons at the disposal of the Earth nations,” Toyohime continued, “it's probable they'll destroy human society.”

Yorihime swallowed and continued.  “The problem being that there is a chance that the human nations won't fall for the ruse.”  She looked at Lord Tsukiyomi questioningly, and his eyes widened.  When he nodded she continued, “We tried this plan on a smaller scale against the nation known as the USSR during the first Lunar incident.  An error we added in their technology created a phantom attack.  This was in keeping with our policy to only test the Earthlings, not directly start incidents.”

“They passed that test and failed to respond to it.  Given that the Earth is much further from war today, to have a good chance of success we would need to do a massive campaign of deception, which greatly increases the chances of being caught if it failed.”

There was a pause.  Then Toyohime remember she was supposed to speak.  “While I trust my emissaries fully, I can only give this plan a 97.5% chance of success.  Which is why I suggest the second strategy.”

“Which is?” their Lord asked.

Yorihime saw her sister swallow and take a deep breath before replying, “Abandoning the moon.”

Several lords were on their feet immediately.  “Traitors!”  “Abandon the Moon!?”  “Is it truly that bad?”  “Incompetence is what it is!  We can wipe the Earth out easily!”

Tsukiyomi clapped his hands sharply for silence.  The yelling stopped, but there were still whispers and grumblings in the crowd.  “I'm sure everyone is aware of our plans to move completely out of phase with this reality, so I shall not repeat them.  However I must ask, why do you believe that to be the only safe course of action?”

Yorihime spoke up first.  “Because all the other methods, should they fail, have a great chance of bringing death and impurity to our city.  There is no honor is destroying part of the world and still losing our city.  It is best for everyone to take the certain path to defend our lives then risk it in bloodshed.  Especially since in this instance our test would have to be deliberately unfair.”

“I can see great reason and charity in this,” Tsukiyomi stated, “however I am not yet ready to commit to an action.  Perhaps someone has some words that could shed light on the situation.”

Several lords other lords stood, but it was Sareseno's voice that carried through the chamber.  “Forgive me my lovely wife, but I'm wondering is there any certainty that the settlers already on the moon will leave?  I worry they may decide to stay if the Earth is damaged enough.  Or worse bring the conflict to our moon.”

Toyohime fielded that question.  “I'm afraid I don't know.  We did our best to make sure unimaginative, by the book people got sent to the moon.  Sadly this makes their actions impossible to predict when the book gets thrown out.”

There was some consideration among the crowd.

Then Lord Tenshou stood up.  “That is a worrisome thought.  However my Lord, it seems to me that if we stay alert it would be simple to shift to an escape plan if our initial strike failed to produce the results we wanted.  Would it not be better to try to save our home before abandoning it?”

There were several calls of assent.  None in opposition.  Yorihime closed her eyes.

“Ah, I fear something else has just crossed my mind.”

Yorihime opened her eyes to see Sareseno looking quite thoughtful.  “The youkai.  When the world collapses they'll have free reign.  While unlikely, it would not be impossible for them to repeat their invasion.”  While Yorihime knew that it actually was 'nigh impossible' for such an event to occur, but in this case explaining that could do no good.

“Tch, then we'll just have to wipe them out,” said a lady coldly.  “We have the power, and there's no worry about impurity arising from that.”  Toyohime noticed she too was a descendant of the Tachibana clan.

“Ah, but there's a problem,” Sareseno said in apologetic tone.  “Eirin Yagokoro lives in the area as well, and she would consider that something of an attack.”

There was silence at that pronouncement.  No one had any clue what fail-safes Eirin had placed before her departure.  For all anyone knew she could press a button and take down all their defenses.  It was highly unlikely, but with Eirin anything was possible.

“Perhaps there might be a solution to this problem,” said a new voice.  A man stood.  Toyohime couldn't recognize him but he spoke calmly.  “We have worked, in the past, with Eirin.  Even after her betrayal.  She still shows some loyalty still towards her home, though less so then towards princess Kaguya.  It seems to me that it would be wise to enlist her knowledge and aid in making sure the youkai do not overstep their bounds.”

There was a ripple of nodding heads.  Yorihime could help join in as well.  Eirin was far more likely to be keeping track of issues on the Earth.  And she was much better at calculating odds then either Yorihime or her sister.

And Yorihime trusted her, for certain values of trust.

Lord Tsukiyomi bowed his head to the man.  “Thank you Lord Shimeri.  This option could change our understanding of our position, and allow for a more harmonious resolution.”  He turned to the sisters.  “I ask my generals to interrogate Eirin Yagokoro on these matters and present their findings to the court within a week's time for further review.  Is that acceptable?”

Yorihime and her sister bowed.  “Yes it is my Lord.”

“Then I shall retire.  I thank you honored nobles for attending my court.”

Lord Tsukiyomi left and the chatter picked up again.  Yorihime found it to be a bad sign that the only person coming to speak to them was her husband. 

Sareseno looked worried as well.  “I'm sorry I wasn't able to do more.  Resorting to scare tactics is normally something I avoid.”

“It seems public opinion is against leaving,” Toyohime said.

“That's an understatement,” Yorihime muttered looking at the breakdown in noble families.  It seemed like three fourths were currently ranting about the Earthlings.  Yorihime wondered what would happen if she handed the loudest agitators a hourai tree.  She had a feeling she wouldn't like the answer.

“The lord who spoke last, Lord Shimeri.  What is his power and rank?” Toyohime asked.

Sareseno thought for a moment.  “He's from a family of lesser standing.  Descended from high ranking retainer to our own family before gaining nobility actually.  His power is the ability to speak with moon rabbits via their private communications.”

“Why do you ask sister?” Yorihime asked.

Toyohime folded her fan.  “I was wondering what his goal was.  But it seems I was worried over nothing.”

----

Lord Tenshou waited patiently in the hallway.  His plans required him to be here, so here he was.

Jiyuwan waited patiently beside him.  Lord Tenshou occasionally wondered how he'd been so lucky as to receive such a loyal vassal.  To say Jiyuwan was the epitome of the way of bushido would be to insult the man.  Jiyuwan was older then the nation of Japan - if anything those honorable warriors of the earth imitated him.

The knowledge that such a skilled and loyal retainer was by his side helped when the two people he was hoping to meet entered the hall.

Lady Shoutoku looked at him like he was a stray dog who had eaten the family cat.  Tenshou had no real clue why his sister hated him so, considering that he was going to allow her to finally accomplish the goal that she had been working towards for so long.

Lord Shimeri of course was all smiles, but Tenshou didn't trust him.  He knew the man was trash.  Still one worked with the tools one had at hand.

“I suppose this is part of some far reaching plan, brother?” Shoutoku sneered.  “Or would it have been too much work to press our very obvious advantage?”

“Forgive me Lady, but we lost any advantage we had when Eirin's name was mentioned.  People are still too afraid of her,” Shimeri said politely.  "I think they'll regain their spine quickly, but for now..."

Tenshou shook his head.  “We could have pushed past that objective, but that would not bring us what we want.  We must remove the Watatsuki's from their positions if we wish to attack Gensoukyo directly.”  He looked directly at his sister.  “In fact I'm surprised you suggested wiping out the place.  I thought you wanted to deal with your target personally.”

Shoutoku just glared at him.  “And how do you propose to do that?”

“I expect their meeting with Eirin will fail badly,” Tenshou said lightly.

His sister stared for a moment later, then turned and walked off.  “Whatever.  Tell me when I have a part again in your bloody little play.”

Shimeri raised an eyebrow, but simply said, “Is there anything I need to do?”

Tenshou nodded.  “Yes.  It would be helpful if the rabbits remembered that both Reisens were traitors to the moon.”

Shimeri looked confused for a bit, then nodded and smiled.  “Sure, if that is your wish.”  He turned and walked away.

Tenshou checked his watch.  He would need to address his family at the Tachibana courtyard soon.  He turned to go where he needed to be.

As his loyal servant moved in behind him Jiyuwan said, “I do not believe this is the best course of action my lord.”

Tenshou mentally sighed.  The man was loyal to a fault, but not well versed in politics.  “You remember my power don't you?  Trust in that if you don't trust in me.”

The warrior closed his eyes.  “I merely wish I were as certain as you that you truly wish to obtain the goals you claim to seek.”

Tenshou paused for a moment, wondering if perhaps his retainer had seen something he hadn't.  After a moment's hesitation however he continued forward.  He'd been very careful not to leave this up to chance.  “I'm quite certain my goals are what I desire.”

He gave the swordsman a look.  “Which is why you will be on earth in a weeks' time.”

The swordsman blinked, then nodded.  “As my lord commands.”

Everything was falling into place again.
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2010, 04:07:21 pm »
Yeah, I get the feeling that the Lunarians are about to bone theirselves. Also, Shimeri's power is a bit scary, to be frank: it's not something like "summon gods to deal with whatever problem you have", but the ability to communicate with a minimum of thousands of soldiers telepathically is pretty frightening.

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
  • LOOK AT ME
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #7 on: December 18, 2010, 06:57:00 am »
“When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.”

“Are you sure we should use this and not a sealed letter?” Yorihime asked.

“Yes.  While Eirin would know if a letter was intercepted, there's not much either of us could do about it.  And we shouldn't be showing indecision to her anyway, even if she likely already knows,” Toyohime said.

Yorihime nodded.  “So I guess it's up to you Reisen.”

The moon rabbit nodded.  “No problem.  What should I send to the other Reisen?”

As Toyohime considered her words another rabbit entered.  “Excuse me, Lady Toyohime?  I have a message from your husband.”

Toyohime was blinked at the rabbit messenger.  “Miyari sent for me?” she asked.

The rabbit bowed.  “Yes Lady Toyohime.  He also asked me to send word to his brother and his wife as well.”

Toyohime idly tapped her fan against her palm.  Her husband Miyari was almost the opposite of his brother Sareseno.  He spent most of his time researching something or other.  Usually it was something that Eirin had done earlier, but no one else had managed to figure out.  But he wasn't concerned about developing things, just learning for the sake of learning.  They rarely spoke, outside of holidays, though she didn't dislike him.

She turned to where her sister and her sister's husband were sitting.  “Well that's out of the ordinary enough to warrant immediate investigation isn't it?”

They both nodded.  “Anything that would get my brother to leave the lab has to be big news.”

“Um, what should I do about the message?” Reisen asked them.

“Just tell the other Reisen we'll be visiting.  We don't want to play our hand in advance anyway,” Toyohime said reasonably.  She didn't suspect Eirin would betray them, but messages could be intercepted and overheard easily.  “Then take the rest of the day off.”

“Right!”  The moon rabbit that the sisters had taken in hopped out to the courtyard to send her message to earth.

Standing Toyohime asked, “Where did my husband wish us to meet him?”

The messenger rabbit looked at her notes.  “Um, he said you should meet in the tea room of his mansion.

It took Toyohime a few moments to remember where that was, but she eventually did.  “Thank you.  We'll head over immediately.”

The walk to the 3rd Watatsuki home seemed longer then usual.  Perhaps it was because Toyohime couldn't find as much pleasure in the wisteria that bloomed along the way, knowing it would soon be gone.  Perhaps it was because the few people she saw bore grave expressions.

The house itself didn't spark any bad feelings, mainly because she didn't know the place that well.  Usually she was in her own palace she had as leader of the Lunar Emissaries.

On arriving at the tea room she bowed properly to her husband.  He returned the guesture.

Unlike his brother Miyari kept his hair short.  His robes were also simpler, though unlike some researchers he never fell into bad grooming habits.

“It's a pleasure to see you again my husband,” Toyohime said.  “Was there some breakthrough relevant to recent events that you wanted to share with the family?  Or did you wish to speak about personal matters?”

“Actually I was asked by Lord Tsukiyomi to give you these,” Miyari handed Yorihime and her two scrolls sealed with a quantum seal.

Toyohime opened hers and read it.  Then read it again in confusion.

Yorihime of course skipped that part, “We're being fired!?”

“You're being given indefinite leave,” Miyari said.  “And of course, only after you speak with Eirin Yagokoro.  Lord Tsukiyomi wishes you to finish your mission.”

“Still we're being removed from our positions at the time they are needed most?  Why?” Toyohime asked.

“Indeed,” Sareseno said.  “This puts all our work in danger.  Without our wives to try to control public opinion....”

Miyari sighed.  “You too brother?  Public opinion shouldn't need to be controlled.”  He looked directly at Toyohime, and she was startled by how piercing his gaze was.  She'd never seen him so passionate about something that wasn't science.  “Think about where you two stand.  Do you really think Lord Tsukiyomi wishes to lose two of his most loyal subjects?”

Toyohime thought about it for a bit.  Then she laughed.  It felt like a great weight had been removed from her.  “Thank you.  I hadn't seen it.  I guess our position between the earth and the moon was dangerous.”

Yorihime looked back and forth before her mouth opened in an 'o' of surprise.  Sarenso laughed as well.  “Well, it seems we got all worked up for nothing.”

“Indeed.”

The lunar capitol was, as much as some would hate to admit it, a copy of the celestial realm.  And much like the celestials, the Lunarians could do almost anything they pleased, so long as they did it for some common good.  A celestial in charge of plagues could kill millions with no stain on their soul, so long as the reason they did so was to continue the orderly functioning of the earth as a whole.

Lunarians had to be a little more careful though.  They were not real Celestials after all.  They did not have control over plagues and wars.  Only the moon.

Toyohime sat down and considered where they'd made a mistake.  It had probably been when they'd been forced to start staging accidents.  While not an impure act in itself, it wasn't something that could be done for long while still maintaining purity.

Thus there was no way they could justify starting a war with such a massive campaign of deception.  Even heaven would find such a brutal run around free will to be shameful.  The Lunarians could have no such excuse.  Which meant Tsukiyomi really only had one choice.

Which led Toyohime to her question.  “So what will Lord Tsukiyomi do about those who have already been corrupted?  I know he will not put the battle plan into action, but the majority seems in favor of it.”

Miyari frowned.  “I cannot say.  Lord Tsukiyomi did not explain his reasoning to me per say.  Just made suggestions that indicated his opinion of your status.”

Yorihime frowned.  “Hm...  Can you think of anything, husband?”

“I think Lord Tsukiyomi believes the number of unsalvageable people isn't too high,” Sareseno said simply.  “Your meeting with Eirin will show any action against Earth will be flawed.  Thus he will order evacuation.  Those unsavable will stay, with their greatest weapons taken and most of the rabbit servants gone.  Those who are borderline will have a long time away from humans to regain their purity.”

The other three Lunarians nodded at the analysis.  It seemed like something their Lord would do.

“Well,” Toyohime said.  “I must admit I'll still be sad to leave the moon.”  She took her husband's arm.  “We should have a picnic in the gardens while we still can.”

Miyari blinked in confusion.  “I was actually thinking of doing a bit more research and....”

Toyohime started leading him off.  She wasn't a very attentive wife, but one had to do things for one's partner occasionally.  “Now now.  Research can wait.  The moon will no longer last forever.”

“Indeed brother.  You should listen to your wife,” Sareseno held out his arm and Yorihime took it.  “Do you mind if we join you?”

“Of course not.”

The four Lunarians went out among the peach trees, to bid farewell to their world.

---

Eirin summoned all the power that she possessed as the Brain of the Moon to resist the force pressing on her.  Lesser beings had been wiped out by this power, indeed a few times even she had fallen before it.  However, this time she would stand firm.

“Eirin, why didn't you inform me we'd been invited to a party!?” Kaguya asked with her piercing royal glare.

It helped that the matter was already fait accompli.

“Because it was dangerous.” Eirin stated.  “The Scarlet Devil Mansion was moderately powerful to start with.  Now that the Mistress of the Grimoire and the Black White Witch, as well as their children live there, they're possibly the equal of Eientei.  It would be best to scout them before placing ourselves in something that might be a trap.”

Kaguya's glare only sharpened.  “You sent Reisen.”

“Well they wouldn't be foolish enough to attack her alone,” Eirin stated.  It was a little weak, but the truth was this was almost certainly just paranoia on her part.

Kaguya glared at her for a few more minutes before sighing and slumping down on the table.  “I'm so bored.  It's getting terrible.  At this point I almost look forward to fighting Mokou.”

Eirin winced.  “Now now, I'm sure if things really are getting better you'll be able to start up expos again.  Or at least invite people over.”

Kaguya sighed again, and started peeling a persimmon.  “Oh well.”  After eating a few slices she asked, “So do you believe that this girl Ran is holding up as a poster child really does have Yukari's powers?”

Eirin nodded.  “It's likely.  There's no gain from her lying about who has this power, and other sources have confirmed it.  However, I hesitate to assume it truly is Yukari's power.  If nothing else I find the chances of a human gaining that power and staying sane to be slim.”

“Hm....” Kaguya continued eating.  “Perhaps we should invite her over.”

Eirin sighed mentally.  Hopefully Reisen's return would clear these matters up.

Surprisingly they didn't have long to wait.  Reisen entered into the room, unharmed, appearing only slightly confused and carrying a vial.  “I'm back Master.  Oh, and Good evening Princess.  I didn't realize you were here too.”

Reisen flinched as Kaguya pointed the finger of accusation at her.  “You went to a party!  Without me!”

“Um, I'm sorry.  I didn't know you wanted to go!  I was just doing what Master told me to do!”  Then she realized her mistake and looked fearfully at Eirin.

The look on her face made it hard to resist saying 'Punishment Time~' just to watch the moon rabbit panic, but Eirin did have important things to ask.  “It's alright Reisen.  It's my fault.  So how did things go?”

“Um...”  Reisen's ears twitched as she thought about things.  “The dinner went well.  Flandre still sorta scares everyone who's sane, and the dinner conversation was a little tense at times.  And the Hakurei Maiden didn't show.  But the food was good, and no one seemed to be actively picking a fight.”

“So what about the newcomers?” Kaguya asked as she leaned forward.

“They seemed a little too normal for the place,” Reisen said, “though I suppose Byakuren's kinda normal too.  A few oddities when talking about the outside world, but that's to be expected I guess.  They go by Maribel and Renko.  Renko's the one studying magecraft, and who has location powers.  Maribel is Yukari's reincarnation.”

“You're certain about that?” Eirin asked.  She found it odd Reisen stated that so quickly.  Normally her student was more cautious.

Reisen blinked and looked straight at Eirin, “Ah, well not 100% certain, but she was incredibly similar.  Similar taste in clothing, similar appearance, same expression when something doesn't go her way.  And she definitely had power over boundaries.”

Eirin raised an eyebrow.  “And not the power held by the Hakurei line?”

Reisen winced.  “No, she's pretty cavalier about ripping holes in existence.”  Her gaze turned serious.  “They both gave me some dark looks.  Apparently they went to the moon first, but were thrown off quickly.  They figure they were sent here to die.”

Eirin sighed.  “Ah, Toyohime always did pick the complicated path.”  She remembered the fisherman her old student had once taken in.  “Still in this case it might work out fine.  I just hope that doesn't give her Yukari's prejudices against us.  That could be problematic.”

“Now I really want to meet this girl,” Kaguya said with a smile.

Eirin closed her eyes.  “I think it might be better to stay isolated, princess.”

“Perhaps if we'd never revealed ourselves before Eirin, but that won't work now.  If you don't talk to people in Gensoukyo you're likely to get a witch and a shrine maiden breaking and entering at some point,” Kaguya said with a playful smile.

“I think that was a unique time in history,” Eirin said.  “Still I suppose you might be right.”  She sighed and turned back to her student.  “And the vial there?”

Reisen nodded and held it up.  “It's blood.  Alice gave it to me 'as a gift.'  I have no idea why.”

Kaguya frowned.  While she wasn't a master of political maneuverings, she was still a princess.  “Hm...  None of us need blood.  Is that a threat, or tribute?”

Eirin rapidly considered the matter, based on what she knew of the people of the mansion.  Fortunately, she'd met Alice and Marisa quite a few times before they joined the SDM.  “I'd say both and a little more princess.  Remember, Flandre certainly wouldn't agree to send it to us.”

Reisen looked confused, “Is she saying she's the real power there then?”

“Hm... Probably not so simple,” Kaguya said.  “I'd guess that she's reminding us that she's also a power there.  And that means a lot of different things.”

Eirin nodded, happy that the princess was paying attention.  “Indeed.  This is to tell us they have no shortage of blood so they don't need to expand.  It's also to remind us that they have powerful allies elsewhere, in case we get adventurous.”

Reisen looked confused by that.  “Why would we want some trashy mansion filled with impurities?”

Eirin chuckled.  Her pupil had learned a lot, but some prejudices just never went away.  “We know that, but creatures of the Earth always assume the worst.  Though to be fair, it's a good survival strategy.”  One she silently admitted she used perhaps a bit too much.

Reisen was about to speak again when her ears twitched and her eyes unfocused. 

Eirin and Kaguya both sat up.  They recognized when their servant was getting a message from the other moon rabbits.  It was a very rare event.  Despite their connections to the Watatsuki sisters they were still technically fugitives.  While their exile upon this world was almost considered punishment enough to the pure moon, there would always be a few who sought greater justice for their crimes.

After a moment Reisen's eyes refocused.  “Um...  Reisen, the other Reisen, wanted me to tell you that the sisters are planning on coming by in a week's time.  But she didn't say when they'll show up.”

Eirin felt a certain warmth in her heart on hearing that.  It meant her students had the right level of trust and paranoia.  It was good to see how much they'd learned.  “Well I guess we'll have to wait on inviting those two girls over, at least until after the people who kicked them off the moon have visited.”

Kaguya just waved it off and smiled.  “That's fine.  It will be interesting to see the sisters again.  And that other Reisen.  I assume she'll be coming too?”

Their Reisen nodded.  “Yes, she is Toyohime's new lead emissary after all.”

“Good good.  We'll have to tell Tewi so she can get everything ready,” Kaguya said with a smile.  “Please tell her to come speak with me, I have some ideas for their visit.”

“Yes princess.” Reisen turned to Eirin, “Is there anything else you want to know about that or the dinner master?”

“Yes, but nothing you would know Udonge,” Eirin said.  “Go ahead and find Tewi.”

Reisen stood and bowed before running off.  Princess Kaguya stood as well.  “I should check the finances to see what's reasonable for this visit.”

Eirin smiled.  It was good to see Kaguya practicing the virtues of a lady, instead of sitting about being bored.  “Of course.  Have fun, princess.”

After Kaguya left Eirin turned her mind to the matters at hand.  It seemed things were in motion, but things were always in motion.  It was up to her to draw the connections, and see if this was just the normal dance of the stars, the start of a beautiful meteor shower, or a cataclysm in the making.

----




Currently I'm planning on updating Very Late PST on Friday and Tuesday, though if people would like more frequent smaller updates or longer updates further apart feel free to say so.
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #8 on: December 18, 2010, 07:48:10 am »
Any posting schedule's fine, really.

Frankly, I would've been amused if the real reason that Alice sent the vial of blood was because she wanted Eirin to actually look at the blood, not because of whatever political manuevering. I mean, Eirin's deduction is probably right, but I would've still be amused. Also, and this is probably just fanon getting in my head, but I would have figured that Reisen wouldn't have been so taken in with the whole moon purity thing.

Really, it's hard to find anything to compliment about the story thus far, since there's been so much about the Lunarians, a group that which I absolutely loathe (except for Reisen). Sorry.

Kasu

  • Small medium at large.
  • This soup has an explosive flavour!
  • LOOK AT ME
  • Nickname: Kasunagi
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2010, 03:11:43 pm »
Really, it's hard to find anything to compliment about the story thus far, since there's been so much about the Lunarians, a group that which I absolutely loathe (except for Reisen). Sorry.
Amusingly enough, I'm the opposite of that. :3

This keeps getting more and more interesting, so keep up the good work.

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2010, 08:15:40 pm »
This is awesome, I looked forward to Book 2 so much and I am impressed by the speed at which you are writing quality material.

can I have your babies IcedFairy? 8D

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • LOOK AT ME
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2010, 02:45:10 am »
I actually am not overfond of the Lunarians, but I love this take on them. Ironic, yes, but thanks to Iced, I am warming up to them, if you will. :3

That posting schedule seems fine, too. No worries here!

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
  • LOOK AT ME
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #12 on: December 22, 2010, 04:49:07 am »
“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.”

Renko sat on the roof of the house that belonged to her and Mary.  One of the nice things about Gensoukyo was the space.  A house this size would have been hard to get in Japan.  Here in Gensoukyo Renko could afford it even with the money she earned teaching, leaving Maribel's stipend from Ran untouched.  Admittedly teaching paid a lot more in Gensoukyo then it did in Japan.  A skilled private tutor like Renko was considered a luxury only the rich families could afford.

Renko put those thoughts aside and pulled out the device Marisa had given her after the meal.  It was an armillary sphere.  Apparently it had been bequeathed to her by a friend.  Renko had felt a little odd taking it as a gift, but Marisa said that it was a youkai tool, so she didn't really find it useful.

There was a twist in space, then Maribel carefully stepped out onto the roof.  Renko frowned at her.  “Didn't Ran tell you off at dinner for using your power too much?”

“Ah.” Maribel grimaced.  “Not you too, Renko.”

Renko waved a finger at Mary.  “She's right you know.  Abusing your powers like that won't teach you anything.  And it's safer to just fly..”

Maribel sighed.  “Fine, I'll fly down instead of teleporting.”  She sat down beside Renko and leaned on her.  “So do you know how this thing works?”

“Yeah actually.  I leaned how to use one a while back.  It helps that I know where the stars are just by looking at the sky.  But the constellations are weird.”  Renko tweaked one of the rings just a bit to get Mars lined up right.  “For example they call all the planets Tengu stars.  And for some reason most of the stars are just named on their own.  There aren't a lot of multi star constellations.”

Maribel leaned a little more towards the device, but Renko could tell it was more to be close then to see.  “Hm...  Strange.  Still it looks like there are some.  I can see Orion's belt.  And the Big Dipper.”

Renko nodded.  “Apparently they call the belt Ibuki Doji's belt, and the Big Dipper is the Celestial Dragon.”  She looked again.  “And it looks like they have Myouken Bosatsu, instead of Amatsu-Mikaboshi as the pole star.”

“Hm, that's odd.”  Maribel actually sounded mildly interested in that.  “I'd have thought they wouldn't place a god that weakens demons so highly.”

“Maybe it really is him,” Renko said.  “After all we've met Suika Ibuki briefly, and we visited the mountain gods once.”

Maribel groaned at Suika's name.  “Urgh.  Right.  Suika.  She almost made me hate sake.”

Renko remembered that day as well.  Or at least the start of that day and the morning after, the evening itself was somewhat spotty.  “Yeah.  At least we didn't agree to any contests when we were drunk.  That could have ended poorly....”

The two lay on the roof a little in silence, Renko occasionally tweaking her armillary sphere.

After a little longer, Renko asked, “So what do you think about that lunar rabbit?  Reisen?”

Maribel sighed.  “Not sure.  She seemed nice, if occasionally arrogant.  But maybe I'm projecting.”

“Nah, I felt it too.  She was like my rich aunt.  She knows she can buy and sell everyone, but thinks bringing it up would be gauche,” Renko chuckled a little.  “But I can't really blame her that much.  It's not like half the youkai we meet don't do that.”

Renko could feel Maribel shift a little bit, then sigh.  “Yeah, you're right.”  She blinked.  “Oh right, I should check the mail.”

Maribel reached into space time, through Makai, and out into the small mailbox in the outside world they owned.  She fished about and pulled out two pieces of mail.  “Junk, and a letter from your parents Renko.”

“Thanks Mary.”  Renko accepted the proffered letter, and opened it, positioning it so that Maribel could read over her shoulder.

“Looks like everything's going well with my family,” Renko said, after perusing the letter.

“I noticed they're still asking you when we'll get married,” Maribel said with a sigh.

Renko chuckled.  “It's your fault for not being willing to show them your powers.  I couldn't prove the existence of magic until a year later, so I had to go with the eloping excuse.”  She rolled over on top of Maribel.  “Besides, it's not like it's entirely wrong.”

Maribel giggled.  “Well, it's more the order is off.  We didn't make it official until two years ago.”

Renko sighed.  “Well I guess I'll have to remind them that going back home and having to make up excuses for where I've been to everyone for the last seven years isn't going to go well.”

The two lay there for a little longer before Renko rolled over and stood up.  “Well even if tomorrow's our free day we shouldn't stay up too late.”

“Yeah,” Maribel replied.  She stood and started to make a gap opening motion, but stopped when Renko gave her a glare.  “Oh right.  I'll fly like a normal girl...”

The two made their way down off the roof, and to their bed for the night.

---

The following morning went by pleasantly, and the afternoon found them wandering through the forests closer to the village.  Maribel smiled as a cool breeze blew past them.  “I guess it'll be autumn soon.”

“Soon?  It's fall now.”

The two looked up, Maribel grabbing Renko's hand in case a hasty retreat was required.  Renko might be able to fight off the average youkai, but that was still dangerous.

The woman who bowed in greeting to them, however, didn't look like a youkai at all to Maribel's eyes.  “Sorry, did I startle you?  I'm Shizuha Aki, Goddess of the Turning Leaves.”  She waved her hand, and the tree beside her slowly turned a brilliant shade of yellow-orange.

Maribel clapped at the display.  She wasn't certain about gods, but she knew enough about youkai to know when she was supposed to show praise.  Besides, it was a pretty impressive trick.

Renko tipped her hat.  “Pretty nice.  Why haven't we seen you before?”

The woman smiled.  “Well it would be showing off too much to personally appear for every tree.  Not to mention it'd take forever.  Usually I pass through unseen.  But since you two seem a little different from the normal humans, I decided to introduce myself.”

“Well I'm Maribel Hearn and this is my friend Renko Usami.  It's a pleasure to meet you,” Maribel said.

“Oh, I've heard rumors about you.  Let's see, the witch in training and the future successor to the youkai sage right?”  The goddess thought for a moment.  “Though you don't look like a youkai to me....”

Maribel twitched, but fortunately Renko covered for her annoyance.  “Ahaha, that's a little off.  I'm just learning a bit of magic, and Mary here's a human with an interesting power.  That's all.”

The woman nodded.  “Ah, sorry.  I mostly get my information from the kappa, and they get their info from tengu newspapers.  I guess this time they were exaggerating.”

“Huh, didn't think I'd ever make the papers,” Renko smirked,  “though I knew if I did my work would be misrepresented.  Reporters never seem to cover stuff right.”

Shizuha giggled.  “Well that's tengu for you.”  Then she looked a little more somber.  “Though I am a little saddened to hear that though.  I was hoping that the rumors of a fixed Hakurei barrier were true.”

“They are,” Maribel said quickly.  “It's just I'm not a youkai.”

Shizuha blinked, then smiled again.  “I see.  Well, as a goddess I'm not so foolish as to underestimate humans.  I hope things continue to go well in that endeavor then.”  A rustling wind picked up and the goddess slowly took to the sky.  “I'm happy to meet you, and I hope to see you again.  But right now I've got to get to work.  This year I'll show my sister the true meaning of autumn, so be sure to take a good look at the leaves!”

The wind picked up again, and the goddess was gone.

“Hm... In quite the rush,” Renko said.

“Well she does have a lot of trees to work on,” Maribel replied.  She thought for a moment.  “I wonder if she paints the leaves of the outside world as well.  I'll have to ask her next time.”

The two began walking back towards the village.  “Yeah.  Perhaps we'll see her again.”  Renko adjusted her hat.  “Still, she's an interesting personification of a season.  Much more low key then Lily.”

Maribel winced.  She still remembered the bruises from her meeting with that particular fairy.  “Yes.  Thankfully.”

The two walked along without speaking for a while, letting the sounds of Gensoukyo fill the air.

After a while they reached the more cultivated fields that designated that they were starting to move into the village proper.  The boundary of the boundary as it were.  Maribel couldn't help but smile at the thought.

A familiar figure rose to greet them as they returned.  Fujiwara no Mokou dusted her odd work pants off before waving.  “Heya.  Have fun out there?”

They both nodded.  “Yeah.  We ran into a goddess too.  Apparently autumn has started,” Renko said.

Mokou sniffed the air appreciatively.  “Huh, guess that seems about right.”  The immortal turned to them, “So I'm guessing you met Shizuha?  Then I imagine Minoroko will be around to see you soon.”

“Minoroko?” Maribel asked.

“Shizuha's sister.  Goddess of the harvest.  They have a contest every year to out autumn the other.”  Somehow the immortal's words managed to convey the futility of the contest without judging the people involved.  “Usually, when one of them takes an interest in someone the other will too.  I hope you like sweet potatoes.”

Maribel couldn't help but raise an eyebrow at that.  “An interest?”

Mokou waved the comment off.  “Gods spend most of their time totally focused on their jobs, so they get bored easily.  Also those two goddesses are fun.”  The immortal thought a moment more.  “Actually, the other mountain gods aren't that bad either, but Shou's far more interesting then Bishamonten.  It's just the Aki sisters are extra pleasant, mainly because they're extra weak.”

Renko blinked.  “They're embodiments of a season, and they're weak?”

“Yeah.  Most people don't worship the leaves and the harvest outright.  Just give thanks here and there.  I bet either of you could beat them in a fight.”  Mokou paused then laughed, “Not that you'd need to of course.”

Maribel considered the oddity for a bit, then remembered she had a question for Mokou, “That's right, we were supposed to meet Princess Kaguya last night, but she didn't show.  Is that normal for her?”

Mokou sniffed, then smirked.  “Nah.  Kaguya would have loved to meet you I'm sure.  I bet that was all Eirin's doing.  They sent Reisen instead right?”  She chuckled as Renko nodded.  “Yeah, Eirin's always a pain.  She's the one that kept assassinating me to keep me and the princess from our little meetings.” 

Maribel noticed Mokou's attention starting to drift.  While Maribel was very interested in meeting the storybook princess in person, pressing Mokou on the matter didn't seem like a good idea.  “Anyway, I'm kind of curious, I've met someone from all of the places Ran's talked about except the underground.  Why haven't any of them shown up?”

Mokou frowned, “Hrm.  No clue kid.”  She shrugged.  “I know that the only ones that came up often in the first place was the kassha and the satori no one can see anyways, so I never ran into them much.  I think it's a youkai thing.  Keine would know.”

“Would Mystia or Chen explain if we questioned them?” Renko asked.

Mokou thought about that again.  “Hm... Don't know if either of them knows the details.  Actually Mystia probably does, and she'll probably speak on it.  Just don't expect an unbiased view on matters.”

Maribel giggled at that statement.  “I've learned long ago not to expect that.”

Renko shook her head in mock sadness, “Yeah, this place needs a lot of peer review work.”

Mokou blinked at the unfamiliar term, then shrugged it off.  “Hm,  anyway I'd better move along.  If I guard the place by just sitting in one spot all the time I'd be no better then that lazy Shinigami.”  She waved as she walked off.  “See ya 'round.”

Maribel and Renko waited until she was out of earshot before giggling.  “Is there really any need to actively guard the place anymore?”  Renko asked.

Maribel shook her head.  “Not this far out there isn't.  But if she admitted that, she'd have to admit that she's staying in the village because she enjoys the company.”

“Well that's not allowed,” Renko stated with a gleam in her eye.

“Anyway, let's head back.  Mystia should be opening her cart soon.”

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
  • LOOK AT ME
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #13 on: December 22, 2010, 04:49:23 am »
The smell of grilling lamprey had become familiar to Renko.  They'd tried to keep up with cooking, but even with Maribel's loose training schedule there were lots of times where work and training combined left both of them too tired to make some time to for dinner.  If they had a refrigerator they could cook something and leave it there, but unfortunately electricity remained difficult to acquire.  They'd considered getting a generator, but the noise would be a nuisance in the village.  And their attempt to get an ice fairy familiar to do the cooling for them had gone poorly.

So they'd been forced to rely on the large amounts of cash they had to enjoy the local eateries.  And Mystia's was one of the nicer mid price range stalls.  Especially if, like Renko, you enjoyed the night sparrow's singing.

It also helped that Mystia thought they were youkai in training as it were.  Not that Mystia actually hated humans, it just seemed like she felt morally obligated to look down on them.  She'd never said so directly, and fortunately Maribel didn't catch the night sparrow's hints on the matter, so Renko allowed the two to remain ignorant of the other's feelings.  It kept things a little more harmonious.

Renko was brought back to reality when Mystia flipped the eel skewers one last time, then put them on plates next to the rice she'd dished out earlier.  “Order up!”

“Itadakimasu!”  Renko clapped her hands, then started in on the meal.  Renko had no idea what Mystia used for a sauce, but it was better then anything she'd come across in either world.  “Excellent as always, Mystia.”

“Yes.  The vegetables you picked out today are an especially good match too,” Maribel added.  Renko figured the fact that Maribel (who was much more of a gourmand then she was) agreed the place was good showed how broad the youkai stand's appeal was.

“Thank you, thank you kindly,” Mystia chanted in reply as she moved to start cleaning.  “Is there anything else you want, honored customers?”

“A refill on the sake would be nice,” Renko said.

“No problem~♪”

Maribel shook her head as the bird youkai turned to her.  “I'm fine.  Though I do have a question for you, if it's no trouble?”

“Ask away,” Mystia replied, as she pulled out another small bottle of sake and placed it before Renko.

“I was wondering about the underground youkai,” Maribel asked.

Mystia whistled at that.  “Ah, you don't want to know about them.  They're the youkai no one wants to be around.  Disease carrying earth spiders, bridge princesses, oni and whatnot.  There's some animal youkai down there, and satori too, which isn't so bad, but they're all a little weird in the head.”

Renko frowned.  “A satori?  Hm... I've only heard a little about them....”

“There aren't many left.  And that's even if Koishi still counts as one.”

Renko turned along with Mary to see the tengu, Aya Shameimaru, entering the cart with a smile.  And a notepad.  They'd spoken to Aya several times before, since she seemed to be friends with Ran, but they'd been warned about the notepad.  Because usually the camera followed.

Mystia didn't seem thrilled either.  “Hey, you better not be bothering my customers!”

Aya briefly glanced skyward.  “Relax, I'm not going to interview them here unless they want to mix business with a meal.  I'll just chase them down afterwards.  And I'd like the special please.  With beer if you have it.”

“All good then.  I'll get your order ready right now!” Mystia ignored Renko and Maribel's glare.  No matter how high they rated in Mystia's customer rankings, the bird was still fairly mercenary.

“Don't look so down,” Aya said, pulling out a pencil.  “I already know the answers to most of the questions.  This is merely a formality.”

“Then why are you bothering?” Maribel asked.  “And why didn't you ask this all before.”

“Just because I know the answers doesn't mean I can just slam them together and call it an interview.  The people need to hear you directly.”  Aya shrugged.  “As for why I'm doing this now and not when we first met?  Well that's because I owed Ran a favor.”  She tapped her pencil against the pad.  “But now the rest of the Tengu are certain you two are the real deal, so I can't let the fledglings get the story out first.  It'd ruin my reputation.”

Renko considered the matter for a moment.  “And because everyone else believes we exist now you won't have to worry about your story being ignored as gossip.”

Aya smiled broadly.  “Yep!”

Maribel sighed, “Renko, think we can escape?”

Renko shook her head.  “Not without owing Flandre a favor.  A large messy favor.”

Aya winced.  “Hey now, no need for threats.  If you want to wait until after eating....”

“I don't want to be the focus of Gensoukyo's paparazzi,” Maribel replied.  “But since I can't escape that, I'll just have to ask some things of you in return.”

Aya tapped her notepad.  “Let's see, the first will be about the underground.  That's easy.  What's the second?”

Renko smiled as an idea came to her.  She leaned forward and whispered it in Maribel's ear.  Maribel grinned in return.  “Question number two: What's you're relationship with Ran.”

“Ayayaya?  What makes you think we aren't just acquaintances?” the Tengu asked.

Renko pointed at the notepad.  “Because you said you owed her, and because if you didn't have some connection you'd have gone ahead with the interview anyway.”

Aya shrugged, “Alright.  No big deal I suppose.  Anyway half in advance, half after the interview.”

“Mystia already told you about most of the youkai that are in the underground.  Pretty much all of them are there because no one likes them, or because they don't want to hang around anyone else.  It used to be the hell of blazing fires, but the Yama shut it down when she realized the oni were too easy to bribe,' Aya stated simply.

“It's sounds more like another nation then a group,” Renko observed.

Aya nodded.  “Yeah.  Satori Komeiji and her pets are a powerful group, as are the oni, but the rest are just random youkai.  No one of much import.”  The Tengu shrugged.  “Satori wouldn't even be that big a name if those gods hadn't handed her pet crow Utsuho the Yatagarasu as a snack.”

Renko paused and stared at Aya.  “Wait, they fed a crow the Yatagarasu?  The god Yatagarasu?” Maribel asked.

“Yep,” Aya stated.  “It was dead already, but they let a hell crow eat the body.  So now there's a new god underground who runs a nuclear fusion reactor.”

“Gensoukyo has a fusion reactor?” Renko asked.  “Why didn't anyone tell me this?”

“Because you're tasty with soy sauce, and the underground animals and oni play pretty hard even if they aren't hungry,” Aya said.

That was a good reason not to idly drop by Renko admitted silently.

Aya started scribbling on her notepad.  “So now that I've answered your first question, on to the interview.  I already know how you got here, and your powers, so please tell me, what are your plans for the Hakurei barrier?”

“Ran and I are going to look into a way to get the border to be naturally fluctuating without my presence,” Maribel replied.

“So you aren't planning on becoming a youkai then?  Wouldn't that be an easier solution?”

Maribel frowned but simply said, “That's something for later.  It'd be better if I fixed the barrier permanently, and I have a better chance of doing that as a human.”

Aya nodded.  “And do you believe that your relationship with a human is influencing your decision?”

Renko quickly put a hand on Mary's shoulder to keep her from saying something that shouldn't be in the papers.  “Actually Alice thinks I'll be able to perform Shashoku within seven to ten years.”

Aya raised an eyebrow at that.  “I see.  It seems I've underestimated you as a magician.  In that case... when incidents begin again, are either of you going to interfere?”

The two looked back and forth.  “Incidents?”

“Oh, is the shrine maiden getting to be about that age?” Mystia asked.

Aya nodded to Mystia.  “Yeah.  Two or three years I think.”  She then returned her attention to her interviewees.  “Well back during the last age of spellcards, when the new shrine maiden grew up it was traditional to have a bit of fun.  Test her by blocking out the sun or hiding the moon or something.  At the start Marisa would occasionally interfere, not that that wasn't fun too.  And sometimes other humans would mess around.”

“I'd kinda have a problem with people blocking out the sun,” Renko said.  “Though I'd probably let Kanon take a swing at it first.”

Maribel shrugged.  “Yeah.  If it got too bad I'd probably do something.  But if it comes to Danmaku Renko's better then me so....”

“Hm... Interesting.”  Aya scribbled some stuff down.  “One last question.  What is it like being the reincarnation of the youkai sage?”

“It sucks.  People keep bugging me about someone who's dead,” Maribel growled.

“So you have no real interest in taking her position within Gensoukyo?” Aya asked.

“If Ran wants it she can keep it.  I'm not playing puppet master,” Maribel said before downing her sake cup.

“Thank you very much.  And if you'll forgive me for injecting personal opinion I have to say I approve.  One Yukari in a lifetime is enough.”  Aya finished her notes.  “Now as to the second question, I suppose you humans would consider my relationship with Ran as being something close to Ex-girlfriend.”

Renko choked a little on her drink.  “What, really?”

Aya laughed lightly.  “Well it's not as big a deal as you think.  I'm married to my career of course, but a while ago Yukari tried to set us up.  Sort of an omiai, except with more danmaku at the start up.  Didn't pan out of course, but it was nice talking with someone my own age, so we became friends.”

Renko sighed and returned to finishing off her food.  That wasn't nearly as interesting as she'd hoped.

“Ah, this isn't for the interview, but do you two have new spellcards?” Aya asked cheerily.

“I can't really steal anyone else's.  Well I can but they'll still be different,” Renko stated.

Maribel added, “I've made a few unique ones.  And my variants of Yukari's spells are still variants.”

Aya smiled.  “Well I'll have to take pictures some day.  Ah, and don't worry about the unavoidable danmaku rule then.”

“Why is it everyone is getting excited about shooting each other?” Maribel asked.  “It seems like it'd could get annoying.”

“Yeah but it's pretty fun most of the time,” Aya said.  “People need contests you know.”

“And it beats what we have now,” Mystia added solemnly.

Renko could see a haunted expression in the night sparrow's eyes, and she was forced to agree.  Any annoyance that the dueling from spell cards could cause had to be better then the conflict that created such a face.

However the look soon faded to be replaced by the night sparrow's normal smile.  “And if you have spellcards we'll have to have a match sometime.  It's been so long since I've been able to show off!”

Renko laughed weakly.  “I suppose we could set up a match sometime.  It's got to be better then fighting Marisa....”
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2010, 06:11:15 am »
Quote
Mokou sniffed, then smirked.  “Nah.  Kaguya would have loved to meet you I'm sure.  I bet that was all Eirin's doing.  They sent Reisen instead right?”  She chuckled as Renko nodded.  “Yeah, Eirin's always a pain.  She's the one that kept assassinating me to keep me and the princess from our little meetings.”
Hm, it makes me feel like I'm missing something here. It's probably the fact that, for whatever reason, I keep putting this in the same canon as your other stories (God!Utsuho and the Mokou/Kaguya future story): kinda seems like Mokou's relationship with Kaguya is much more relaxed than in canon, even keeping the Inaba of the Moon/Earth manga in mind. Also makes me wonder why Eirin bothers keeping Mokou and Kaguya from "meeting", unless the meetings are more than the two of them murdering each other.

Maybe I missed something in the first book...? Either that, or it's more of the Lunarian ethnocentrism in play.

Anyways, more interesting tidbits about Gensokyo life, about youkai... I guess Mari and Pippen Renko are headed to the underground next to get some powah. Also, I like the Ran/Aya friendship angle: I'm still surprised that Aya's a millenium old, though.

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • LOOK AT ME
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #15 on: December 22, 2010, 10:05:45 pm »
I'm still surprised that Aya's a millenium old, though.
Really? I thought her being over 1000 years old was common knowledge.

Anyway, I am rather liking the Lunarian ethnocentrism here-- adds a nice touch of realism. Aya being Ran's ex-girlfriend made me snicker. Also, I dunno if I ever knew this, or I just forgot-- what's that Shashoku bit all about?

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
  • LOOK AT ME
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #16 on: December 22, 2010, 10:14:35 pm »
Hm, it makes me feel like I'm missing something here. It's probably the fact that, for whatever reason, I keep putting this in the same canon as your other stories (God!Utsuho and the Mokou/Kaguya future story): kinda seems like Mokou's relationship with Kaguya is much more relaxed than in canon, even keeping the Inaba of the Moon/Earth manga in mind. Also makes me wonder why Eirin bothers keeping Mokou and Kaguya from "meeting", unless the meetings are more than the two of them murdering each other.
I'm basing their relationship off of CiLR mostly.  With Mokou being a little more friendly because her life is going well now, and Kaguya being a little more eager to fight because she's incredibly bored.

As for Eirin, I figure Eirin considers allowing Mokou to rip out the princesses internal organs to be a failure of duty at some point, so she probably interfered until Kaguya told her to stay out of it (and I'd bet she still keeps an eye on the matter).

Quote
Also, I dunno if I ever knew this, or I just forgot-- what's that Shashoku bit all about?
It's the first step in becoming a youkai magician.
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #17 on: December 23, 2010, 02:45:35 am »
Really? I thought her being over 1000 years old was common knowledge.
You misunderstand me: I know that Aya's over a thousand years old (it's one of the first things I found out about her) but, for some reason, she never struck me as being over a thousand years old.
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2010, 01:43:53 am »
You misunderstand me: I know that Aya's over a thousand years old (it's one of the first things I found out about her) but, for some reason, she never struck me as being over a thousand years old.

Aya is one of the only +1k years characters that is outgoing. Most of the others(Yukari, Yuyuko, Byakuren, Mokou, Kaguya, and Eirin are the ones that come to mind first) are more self-reserved and as a result, Aya seems more "immature" compared to them. That is more of a false impression, since immaturity has nothing to do with playing jokes, one can play jokes, be outgoing, while still being mature or/and wise.

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
  • LOOK AT ME
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #19 on: December 25, 2010, 10:08:16 pm »
“So stand to your glasses steady,
This world is a web of lies”

Jiyuwon watched his son going through his forms, but his mind was elsewhere.

When he had been young he'd mastered the art of the sword.  There were few people his equal, and none truly his better.  He did not say that as a boast, simply as fact.

As he had wandered down the path of the swordsman, he came to realize the dangers his mastery created.  With that power he could decide the fate of kingdoms, perhaps even bring entire nations to heel.  It was a strength that humans should perhaps not possess.

Jiyuwon knew how easy it would for a man of his strength to become a monster.  To believe that might made right.  So he made a vow, he would never use his killing powers for his own desires.  He would only draw his blade in service to another.  Jiyuwon would become a weapon, focused only on his master's goals.  This would keep his sword from corruption.

Still he shouldn't just serve any wandering warlord.  So he had searched all of the lands of the east for a person worth of being called his master.  A man who could hold a weapon that could shatter empires and use it only when needed.

He had found that man in Lord Tachibana.  Lord Tachibana did not seek power, or even much comfort.  He only sought a quiet life of contemplation.  It took Jiyuwon some time to get the man to accept his service, but in the end he succeeded.

Because Lord Tachibana was so pure he was one of the nobles Lord Tsukiyomi brought to the lunar capitol.  And Jiyuwon had remained pure enough to follow his lord in service.  There was little need for his skill on the moon, but that was hardly a bad thing.

Jiyuwon had served Lord Tachibana until an accident had claimed the man's life, then his son until the invasion.  Then his son's son.  Never before had he questioned his duty.

Today was different.  Today he would take an action that he knew would not serve either the interests of his Lord or the world.

Yet perhaps that thought was simply arrogance.

Jiyuwon took a deep breath and let it go.  He'd said his piece.  Now he would do his duty.

Turning his full attention to his son's forms he noticed a slight error.  “Do not put such force into the parry.  Keep it light so you can move to the next block.  An opponent wielding two weapons would have put you at a disadvantage there.”

His son stopped the kata and turned to him.  “But father, don't you use the heavy parry?”

“You shouldn't stop your forms midway,” Jiyuwon chided.  “And yes, I use the heavy parry, but that's because I am a strong man.  You inherited your mother's frame.  You must adjust your sword style to fit your body, not hope your body fits your sword style.”

The young man nodded.  “I'll try father.”

Jiyuwon simply nodded in return.  As the boy started the forms again he was filled with pride.  In truth his son's only weakness was his desire to follow in his father's footsteps.  There were errors here and there of course, but there was no such thing as a flawless style.

It was just too bad that his son would most likely learn about combat on the wrong side of the war.

After his son finished the kata Jiyuwon stood.  “You performed well Akiyoshi.  Continue your training as you see fit.  I have a mission to attend to.”

“Yes father.”  After a pause the boy said, “Father, do you think there will be war soon?”

Jiyuwon nodded solemnly.  “Yes.  There will be.”

Akiyoshi frowned.  “Forgive me father, but I worry.  What if we are given impure orders during battle?”

The old warrior closed his eyes, then placed his hand on Akiyoshi head.  “I can not speak for you my son, for you have not sworn allegiance to anyone, but I will  fulfill my orders.  In the most honorable way possible.  Or die in service.”

Akiyoshi nodded seriously.  “I understand.”

Jiyuwon nodded and left.  The boy didn't understand really.  Hopefully he never would.

----

In the few centuries that Reisen had been a lunar emissary she'd learned that the hardest part of the job wasn't the magical training, or memorizing transient earth cultures, or even standing her ground against danger.  It was keeping her mouth shut when she'd learned something interesting.  Especially something that all the other rabbits would be interested in hearing.  Like how the Lunarians were going to leave the moon!  She'd almost had to tie her ears down to keep that in.

Still all thoughts of that flew away as Toyohime shifted them into the bamboo forest outside of Eientei. 

The noise of the forest was different then that of home.  The moon was largely lifeless.  Here the whole forest crawled with life.

Still it was easy for Reisen to tune that out.  Instead she shook her ears and started listening along the  wavelengths only other moon rabbits could hear.  After a few minutes she heard the other Reisen asking about them.  Sort of a homing beacon for the Lunarians to help guide them through the forest.

Reisen pointed out the direction the signal was coming from.  “It's that way.”

“Thank you Reisen,” Toyohime said with her usual good natured smile as she began walking in that direction.  Reisen followed along as quick as she could, occasionally remembering to look for youkai.  Not that any of them could sneak up on the group given all the devices and wards they had up, but it was kinda her job.

As they traveled Reisen couldn't help but ask, “Um, is there a reason Eirin has Eientei secured against your power Lady Toyohime?  I thought she trusted you.”

Toyohime giggled at that, but fortunately Yorihime answered, “She trusts us somewhat.  I imagine she made that field to keep anyone from being able to teleport in.  And given that, there's no way she'd not protect against powers similar to my sister's.  Eirin doesn't believe in building obvious flaws into her work.”

Reisen mused on that for a second.  “Wait, she builds non obvious flaws?”

Toyohime shook her head.  “'Flaw' is a bit strong.  Everything she makes works perfectly as intended.  But usually there's some way around her inventions, or there's a limitation on the user.  Just in case someone tried to use her own devices against her.”

“In this case the work around is probably 'walk in'” Yorihime added.  “Eirin doesn't believe you should teleport into other people's homes.”

“Well, it is rude,” said a voice from above them.

The three travelers jumped at the unexpected voice.  Yorihime was halfway through drawing her sword
when the earth rabbit Tewi dropped to the ground.

“It's also rude to sneak up on people,” Yorihime said, while resheathing her blade.

Tewi ignored the harsh tone and simply curtsied.  “Welcome honored guests, in the name of Princess Kaguya, allow me to escort you to Eientei.”

Yorihime's frown deepened at the rabbits reminder that the house was owned by the banished princess, but Toyohime's expression didn't change.  “Thank you very much for greeting us.  Please take us to your masters.”

“Right this way.”

Reisen was always surprised by how collected Tewi was.  She didn't seem strong, in any way, but she showed no concern about being surrounded by powerful people.  She'd heard that Tewi would lose her cool if people actually started shooting at her from the other Reisen.  But the ability to ignore the presence of the Lunarians seemed just strange to Reisen.

Eientei was surprisingly close, and it's well lit halls were a nice respite from the confusing maze of the bamboo forest.  The rabbit servants gave them a proper welcome, and escorted then to a set of doors where the other Reisen was waiting.  The one they usually called Udongein.

The taller moon rabbit bowed to the emissaries then opened the door.  “The Lunar Generals Watatsuki Yorihime and Watatsuki Toyohime, with emissary Reisen.”

The room revealed was set up very nicely, each object in the room chosen to show off the owner's wealth without looking ostentatious.  The table was a bit large, but considering the number of people who would be sitting at it, and the importance of the affair, that was to be expected.

There was only one strange decoration.  Something that immediately drew the eye.  To the side was a single bonsai plant that looked different from everything else.  Its dead branch and glittering jewels demanded attention.  It was the jeweled branch of the hourai.  A plant that could only blossom in impurity.

And it came as no surprise to Reisen that the exiled princess of the moon was sitting closest to that plant.  Reisen wasn't a master of symbolism but figuring that out was within her limited abilities.  Still it was fitting, as the Princess' beauty easily matched the splendor of any jewel on the tree.

Eirin of course sat next to the exiled moon princess.  She was smiling, but the fact that this was a formal meeting instead of a causal one like they'd enjoyed before showed that she was obviously acting in the interests of Eientei first.

Yorihime chose to sit across from Kaguya, while Toyohime sat across from their old master.  Reisen followed behind and sat in between them, at a proper distance from the table.  As she did Tewi hopped over to Kaguya's side, while Udongein moved to Eirin's side.  They too sat further back from the table.  This matter would be a conversation between Lunarians.  The rabbits were mostly here for support.  Reisen was okay with that though.  She really didn't need the future of the moon hanging over her.

“It's a pleasure to see you again,” Eirin said as Tewi moved to serve tea.  “I'm afraid your message didn't explain much, so I'm a little unprepared, but I hope you find everything to your liking.”

“Ah, please don't worry,” Toyohime said.  “It's our fault for asking for a meeting so quickly.  Please don't concern yourself with it.”

“So how is the Lunar Capitol?” Kaguya asked with a smile.

Reisen couldn't keep her ears from twitching at that.  She felt embarrassed as all the Eientei crew looked at her with varying degrees of surprise.  Well at least they now knew how out of the loop the people on Earth were.

Yorihime sighed.  “The humans have continued their colonizing efforts.  There's really no way to keep the capitol a secret anymore,” she admitted.

Eirin nodded at that.  “It was bound to happen eventually.  I imagine human society has advanced enough that the normal methods won't keep them away, but they aren't pure beings either.”

“As expected, teacher,” Toyohime replied.  “That's exactly the what's happening.”

“Hm... I'm not sure why you came to speak with us though,” Eirin said.  “We aren't in a better position to handle things.”

“We came to ask you if the youkai were likely to interfere.  With either a cleansing of the Earths surface, or with our flight to an alternate dimension,” Yorihime said.

Kaguya laughed lightly.  “The youkai aren't fighting as often, in fact in many cases they've become friendly again.  But banding together just isn't something they do, it's not in their nature.  Besides, I doubt they have any idea what's going on up there.  We're the ones who know the most about the moon, and no one trusts us.”

Reisen had to admit that made sense.  There weren't many people who could investigate the moon, and even fewer who could do so without being noticed by her masters.  There were probably precognitives among the youkai who could see the moon's actions if it affected them, but if the moon attacked the humans the youkai of Gensoukyo would probably learn about it five minutes later.

Eirin nodded.  “Indeed.   While a mass conflict would probably cause the youkai to move out of Gensoukyo and fill the world again, there'd really be no organization.  As the princess said earlier it's not in the nature of most youkai to organize.”  She sipped her tea before continuing, “But you aren't going to take the mass conflict route.  I can tell.  Otherwise you'd have specified which countries would be taking the most damage.”

“So what is your real purpose here?” Eirin asked as she lifted her head to stare at her former students.

The two sisters shifted uncomfortably and looked at each other.  Reisen's ears twitched again.  There was silence around the table.

Thus Reisen turned her attention to the other two rabbits.  Udongein seemed to be watching the events closely.  In some cases it seemed she was reading the situation almost as well as her master.  When Reisen looked from her namesake to Tewi she briefly caught the other rabbit's eyes.  For a moment the Earth Rabbit was staring right at her.

Then Tewi's face reverted to its usual mixture of boredom and cheerfulness.  Reisen worried briefly if the Earth rabbit might have somehow pranked her on the way in.

Further worries along that line were cut off by Toyohime speaking again.  “You're right.  This is mostly just a formality.  We need to put all our efforts into studying our options after all.”

“Indeed?”  Eirin raised an eyebrow at that.

“So you'll be leaving the moon,” Kaguya asked.  The princess' smile had faded to something that looked more appropriate for a farewell party.

“Yes,” Yorihime said.  “We fled to the moon before because it was a place we could live in purity, not because of the view.  It will be sad to lose it, but we can start again.”

Eirin nodded.  “And I'm certain you will succeed.”  She folded her hands.  “Assuming you're allowed to.  Obviously there's more to it then that.”

This time Reisen kept her ears from twitching,  but the silence was enough.

“Well allow me to make some wild guesses then,” Eirin said.  “My guess is that the arrival of the humans spread impurity faster then you expected.  I'd further suspect that there are now factions within the nobility which Tsukiyomi doesn't believe he can control perfectly.”

Yorihime was frowning by this point.

“So your visit here is mostly theater.  Which isn't that bad in itself of course...”  Eirin rested her head on her hands.  “But if Lord Tsukiyomi thinks it's required, that means there are some people who you won't be able to take with you.  And those people might be stupid enough to try your plans on their own.”

Toyohime had matched her sister's frown.

Eirin laughed.  “Ah, don't worry.  You don't need to admit to anything.  I wouldn't either in your situation.”  She thought for a moment.  “In fact I think I can help you somewhat.  I imagine I'm one of the boogymen of Earth that have appeared in the courts?”

Toyohime managed a wry smirk.  “Well Yagokoro-sensei, you do have a way of surprising people.  And since most of our best technology is still your design....”

“Ah.  They fear the fail-safes...”  Eirin nodded.  “Yes there are fail-safes, and yes they will eliminate most of your weapons if they're used against Earth.  In addition attacking the humans first will only increase the power of the youkai.”  Eirin returned to her tea.  “That I believe should be a sufficient threat to keep people in line.”

Reisen was kind of curious as to what the fail-safes were now, but unfortunately neither of the sisters seemed willing to ask.

“Thank you Yagokoro-sensei, that... should do nicely,” Toyohime finally said.

“Well, now that we've cleared that up should I send for dinner?” Kaguya asked.  “If this meeting is just theater we should enjoy it, should we not?”

“That seems like a fine idea, Princess Kaguya,” said Toyohime.

The princess clapped her hands and a bunch of rabbit servants came into the room each carrying plates of food.

As Reisen moved herself forward to the table, she noticed Tewi looked strangely serious for a moment.  But as soon as the moon rabbit blinked it was gone.

Still it would be best to keep an eye on the earth rabbit.  She didn't want wasabi to magically appear in her food.

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
  • LOOK AT ME
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #20 on: December 25, 2010, 10:09:27 pm »
A single line streaked briefly though the night sky over the Hakurei shrine.

Hitomi frowned at the sight.

Shooting stars weren't exactly rare in Gensoukyo.  Well, small shooting stars weren't.  But the shrine maiden could tell that this one wasn't actually a meteor.  There was nothing about it that stood out, it just felt wrong.  But Ran had taught her to trust in her intuition, and that advice, unlike some others, had never steered the woman wrong.

“What is it mommy?” Kanon asked.

Hitomi quickly smoothed out her frown.  “Ah, I just saw a shooting star.  Nothing important, Kanon.”

Unfortunately Kanon's intuition was as good as her own.  “Why are you hiding stuff from me mom?  I'm a big girl now.  I'm almost 9!  Soon I'll be able to take up the shrine maiden duties.”

Hitomi smiled and ruffled her daughters hair, much to the young girl's annoyance.  “You've still got 3 years of training left my dear little girl.  I know you can move the Yin-Yang orbs about, but there's a lot more to being a shrine maiden then that.”

Kanon checked her bow before sulking for a good five seconds.  Then she turned to Hitomi with a serious expression.  “Mommy, why don't you explain what you do when you go out?  I know about all the other shrine maiden duties, but you don't tell me about that one....”

Hitomi sighed and closed her eyes.  She had been putting explaining the youkai extermination off.  She really shouldn't do it too much longer.  Even if Gensoukyo adopted the spellcard rules again, there were always a few youkai that needed to be exterminated.

Still Kanon was young.  And they hadn't done enough combat training for Hitomi to feel comfortable with the idea of Kanon fighting a practice battle, much less a real one.

She decided it would be best to put it off again.

She opened her eyes and forced a smile.  “That's because you aren't going to be doing as much of it.  Right now you need to focus on keeping the shrine and learning your spiritual powers okay?”

Kanon sighed and frowned.  “Fiiiine.”

Hitomi resisted the urge to ruffle the girl's hair again and looked towards where the false meteor had fallen.  She wanted to check the place, but she always felt worried leaving Kanon behind with only the shrine's wards to defend her.

A bit of rustling nearby drew the shrine maiden's attention.  Her eyes narrowed as she spotted the distinctive markings of a certain black cat.

Hitomi instinctively frowned.  She didn't like how that youkai hung around the shrine all the time.  However she knew, logically, that the cat youkai wouldn't harm Kanon.  In fact the creature would probably protect her daughter.

She let out a small sigh.  “I need to go check out that shooting star Kanon.  It shouldn't take long though okay?”

Kanon's frown deepened.  Still Hitomi was proud, her daughter didn't make a big fuss.  “Will you be home for bedtime?” was all the girl asked.

“Yes, unless someone from the village calls me,” Hitomi replied.  She hugged her daughter tightly.  “I'll be back as soon as I can, I promise.”  She stood up and started outside, but when she reached the door she paused.

“And while I'm out if that cat comes by you can play with her.  Just stay inside, alright?”

She didn't like saying it, but her daughters safety was far more important then her dislike of youkai, or her pride.

Kanon's eyes opened wide, then she nodded.  “Thank you mommy.  I promise I'll stay inside.  Can I give the cat some fish?”

“Only a little.”  With that, Hitomi flew into the sky, before she gave into her urge to glare at the youkai again.

She had something to do, and she was going to get it done quick so she could spend more time with her daughter.

-----

Yorihime shook her head as they left Eientei.  “I still don't know how she put a fail-safe on all the moon's best weapons.  Especially since I know she wouldn't use anything like a lockout code or genetic scan.”

Toyohime nodded.  “Yes.  Eirin wouldn't pick anything that could possibly be mimicked by an enemy.”  The older sister smiled.  “Still, it won't be our problem.  We can figure it out in our spare time.”

Yorihime nodded.  “Right.”  Then she sighed.  “Still it's going to be weird not being generals anymore.  I suppose the moon won't need generals but....”

“Yes.  We've held the positions a long time.”  Toyohime turned back to their pet Reisen.  “That's right.  I've drawn up paperwork transferring you from the lunar emissaries to my household as an assistant.  If you want it of course.”

The moon rabbit looked almost shocked at the offer for some reason.  Yorihime idly wondered if the girl was just paranoid or if her last master had been already falling.  “Ah, I'd be happy to continue in your service!  I owe you so much after all.”

“Now now, that's nothing, I....”

Yorihime blinked as her sister stumbled, then her eyes opened wide and she drew her sword.  Her blade rapidly deflected an arrow purely off instinct, then she stepped back as another sword clashed against hers.

As the shock of the initial assault passed, Yorihime's mind rapidly quickened up to the speed required for true swordplay.  She analyzed the situation.  She recognized her opponent immediately as the sword master Jiyuwan.  Anyone who studied the blade on the moon at least read his works.  She'd actually trained with him a few times, even though he preferred straight blades to katana.

Her sister was on the ground.  Yorihime couldn't tell from this angle if the arrow was lethal or if Toyohime was simply wounded, but she was out of the fight.

Reisen had taken a throwing arrow to the shoulder.  The moon rabbit was trying to drag her sister away with a single arm.  Yorihime was touched by the sentiment, but there was no way she could succeed without hurting Toyohime further.

“Reisen, run!” she shouted, with jumping back to try to get time to summon a god to aid her.  She was no match sword to sword, but the man she faced had no serious magical skills, and a known distaste for any energy weapons.  Of course a master swordsman could use air pressure strikes, but those were easy to parry.

Unfortunately, he knew his weaknesses as well.  He idly tossed two more throwing arrows, one hitting poor Reisen in the leg, the other forcing Yorihime to parry again.  He then closed the distance.  His movements were perfect, almost silent.  Yorihime turned all her attention towards staying alive.

Yorihime blocked his thrust to the outside of her body, then pushed her blade out to avoid the slash he turned it into.  She made a snap cut towards his head, but he shifted slightly and cut at her arms, forcing her to fall back into a high guard.

He cut low, and her stance was wrong to avoid the blow.  She called upon her flight to get back, but the blade still cut her leg.  It was a moderate wound, and she'd now have to spend the fight partially flying to compensate.  That would prevent her from getting a solid counter attack in. 

She needed a new strategy.

Jiyuwan silently rushed forward again, going for a finishing head cut.  Yoriime whirled her blade up to cover her head like a roof in the traditional parry, then tried to rush past the swordsman.  For her troubles she got a hard knee to the ribs that cracked at least two and sent her flying backwards.

Exactly as she had planned. 

Ignoring the pain from her wounds she held out her blade and called forth, “Guan Yu.”

The guardian god appeared in front of her, his halberd unsheathed in his right hand.  The god did not pause, but swept his blade straight towards Jiyuwan.

To Yorihime's surprise the Lunarian swordsmaster didn't stop either.  He brought his blade up in one hand to block, an effort that was sure to be futile.  Sure enough, the mighty god of righteousness' polearm hammered through the weak defense and cut deeply into her enemy's arm.

But his other arm flew upwards and sent three throwing arrows into the air.

It is difficult to truly kill a god that has been called somewhere.  But dispelling them is not as difficult.  The two arrows Jiyuwan tossed struck the god in the chest, leaving it to stare in wonderment, as he switched his blade to his good hand and cut the god in half.

The third arrow had been aimed at Yorihime.  She was good enough to ignore the shock of her wounds, tough out a forced dispelling, and deflect an arrow.

She wasn't good enough to do all that and prepare a block against the strike Jiyowon made as he cleaved through the fading deity.

There was another rush of pain.  And Yorihime felt weak.  There was a final jerk as the assassin twisted the blade to get it free, but that didn't hurt.  Yorihime was becoming numb.  She saw her sister and Reisen lying across the way, and tears came to her eyes as she realized they were both sure to die now.

She'd heard that your life was supposed to flash before your eyes when you died, but strangely all Yorihime saw was the flash, then a stream of flames pushing her killer back.

Then everything went dark.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 12:52:06 am by IcedFairy »
  • Daisukima Dan Blog
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #21 on: December 25, 2010, 10:52:02 pm »
... Huh. I wonder what Tenshou hopes to accomplish now that his assassination attempt has failed, and his right hand man possibly dead at Mokou's hands. I'm guessing that he wanted to pin the murders on either Eirin or one of the Earth youkai.

Kasu

  • Small medium at large.
  • This soup has an explosive flavour!
  • LOOK AT ME
  • Nickname: Kasunagi
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #22 on: December 25, 2010, 10:57:33 pm »
Mokou~

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
  • LOOK AT ME
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #23 on: December 25, 2010, 11:18:18 pm »
Hm... So many assumptions.

Ah well, I suppose that gives me the chance to mention the quotes I've been including.  I've tried to find something suitable for most chapters though some sections are easier to work with then others.  It helps that I'm including some quotes that are a little obscure.  For example the prologue's quote was rather obvious, but  the first chapter is a quote from the Sandman (From the Exile sub story).

Today's is from a song.  It's fairly old, and doesn't really have an official version.  But the full stanza as I know it is:

So stand to your glasses steady,
This world is a web of lies.
Here's a toast to the dead already.
Hurrah, for the next one who dies

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • LOOK AT ME
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #24 on: December 26, 2010, 06:23:47 am »
Eeeee. :* The layers and layers of intrigue in this are so wonderful. ~

Edit: Oh, and Jiyuwon is awesome.

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
  • LOOK AT ME
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #25 on: December 29, 2010, 04:39:33 am »
“Parting is all we know of heaven, and all we need of hell.”

Komachi stared at the mess below.  She'd been really bummed being dragged out for late night work, but now she was wishing she was elsewhere for other reasons.  “Um, Shikieiki-sama, do we really want to be around here?  That guy just killed a god.  Well not fully killed but....”

“'If god stands in your way cut him down,'” muttered the Yamaxandu.  Then she shrugged.  “We aren't here to judge him today.  We're here for other reasons.  She looked slightly to the south.  “Besides he'll be leaving soon.”

“Huh?” Komachi blinked, then turned to look at where her boss was looking.

Just in time to hear a voice yell “Kagazuchi!” and have the forest explode into flames.

In the light of the fire god Komachi could see Hitomi, the current Hakurei maiden, looking around the battlefield.  She wisely didn't get close, which saved her from getting skewered by those strange arrows the man was tossing about.  And the god she'd summoned didn't care nearly as much about the attacks.

The man stumbled back, and tried some sort of wind pressure technique.  Something that Komachi hadn't run across since Youmu'd been around.  However with only one good arm it just didn't work. 

The fire god gave a few blasts in return, forcing the swordsman to try to dodge.  It was hard to Komachi to see, but she thought one of the fire blasts might have winged the man.  Between the loss of surprise and his wounds he was at a serious disadvantage.

Just as Komachi thought that the man threw a few more arrows as a screen, then ran further into the forest before taking flight on the strange item that brought him here.

Shikieiki nodded beside her. “Well that's done.  Now to do your job Komachi.”

“Eh?”  Komachi looked down.  “But there are still people there.  And the souls won't have left the bodies yet.”

The yama looked like she was going to go into one of her lectures, then stopped.  “Ah, that's right, you haven't ferried a Lunarian before Komachi.  Well don't worry about it, I'll go handle the living.”

With that her boss flew down towards the ground.  Komachi obediently followed.  After all it was a bad idea to question the boss while she was still there.

Komachi dropped by the woman who had died first.  She was caught by surprise, so she'd be less likely to cling to life.  She gave the body a tap with her scythe, but there was no sign.  So Komachi sat down.  She wasn't the type to drag ghosts anywhere.

Looking up she saw Shikieiki stop in front of the shrine maiden.  The woman was hovering over the wounded rabbit youkai in a guard position.  Shikieiki nodded to the woman.  “You have nothing to fear from us Hitomi Hakurei.  In fact I'm currently pleased you've overcome your personal feelings to show compassion to a youkai.  However, if you want to save her you'll need to take her to Eientei quickly.”  The yama pointed towards the mansion.  “Go that way, and hurry.  Moving her is somewhat dangerous, but leaving her here is worse.  The other two are beyond your aid.”

Hitomi paused for a moment then simply nodded and picked up the moon rabbit.  She quickly disappeared, using both her boundary powers and flight to move as fast as possible.

Komachi sighed and turned back to the corpse.  Then her eyes widened.

“Well it seems like you Lunarians leave your bodies quickly,” she said to herself as she saw the small spirit bobbing there.

Strangely the ghost didn't project any feelings back at her.  It seemed to just be mildly confused and curious.

Komachi stared at the whisp for a bit before turning to her boss.  “Um, Shikieiki, something seems wrong with this ghost.”

The Emma shook her head.  “No.  This is what happens when a pure being dies.”  She nodded towards the ghost then waved the other spirit over.  “You've never collected a celestial, so you wouldn't know, but they do this too.  A pure being can extend their lifespan without limit, but when they die they can't hold on to their memories.”  The yamaxandu shook her head.  “The path of rulership is not the path of enlightenment.  Such is the price of the power we all share.  I imagine these two ghosts retain only their names and some slivers of personality.”

Komachi looked at the bobbing souls and felt some pity.  “Well I guess they won't have to worry about the judging then.  Can't we just reincarnate them now?”

She flinched back from Shikieiki's glare.  “Stop trying to get out of work.  I'm going to use a loophole to let you ferry them both to me in the same trip, so be grateful.  Now get on it.  I want them in my office by morning.”

Komachi sighed and looked straight at the ghosts.  “Alright, well you heard the boss.  Let's get cracking.  I'm Komachi and I'll be your guide across the Sanzu river.”

Komachi continued her small talk as she flew to the rivers shore then began ferrying the two ghosts across.  She still didn't know why she had to do this personally though.

The only reason she could think of for grabbing two powerful pure souls would be to make more Shinigami, and even with the 60 year cycle coming up next year there shouldn't be a need for two more Shinigami.

Right?

----

As the rabbits moved to put away the dining sets and rearrange the room Eirin moved to look out the window.  The moon sat silently in the sky, as it always had.

Despite knowing the day was inevitable, she was still a little surprised that the day had already come.  Perhaps it was because she hadn't been paying attention.

Still it was good to see her former students still trusted her enough to ask for help.  Even if she would never be able to return to Lunarian society, it was nice to still have some old friends.

Eirin's ruminations were cut short by the door slamming open.  “Master there's a...!”

Then a fireball erupted in the forest.

Eirin turned to the rabbit servant that had entered.  “What happened?”

“We heard sounds of battle from where the emissaries went!”

Eirin swore and grabbed her bow.  She was halfway to the door when the another alarm rose up.  “Intruder!”

Eirin drew her weapon as someone rushed in, but quickly dropped it when she recognized the Hakurei Shrine Maiden's unique outfit.  The fact that she was carrying the younger Reisen confirmed she wasn't there to fight.  “Here!  This room!”  Eirin stepped hurriedly into one of the storage rooms and quickly swept a table clean.

As Hitomi laid the moon rabbit down Eirin took rapid stock of the injuries.  Two throwing arrow wounds.  One leg, one arm.  Heavy blood loss.  Simple to treat, but she'd need to hurry before shock killed the girl.

She yelled into the hallway “Tell Udongein to bring blood forming drugs and bandages!”  Then she summoned a syringe and quickly injected its contents into a vein.  “That should keep her from bleeding out.”   Eirin pulled out a knife to cut the arrowheads off.  “What about her companions?”

Hitomi closed her eyes.  “I'm sorry.  They were dead when I got there according to the woman with the death god.”

Eirin's stomach fell out, but she continued working.  Millennia of practice kept her moving.  She sawed off the arrowhead, then pulled the leg arrow out.  Udongein was there to bandage it immediately, so she started on the next arrow.  It was out quickly as well.

She then pulled out another syringe with antibiotics to hopefully deal with the fact that this place was far from sterile.  Fortunately her medicines were almost certain to work.

She sighed and stepped back.  “Someone clean the table, and get a stretcher to carry the patient to a real medical room.”  She then looked up and saw princess Kaguya looking in with tears in her eyes.  The princess shook her head.

“We smothered the fires... but it was too late.  I'm sorry Eirin.”

Eirin nodded, cutting off her tears.  She was head of the household.  She couldn't let herself cry.  She turned to the shrine maiden.  “I'm Eirin Yagokoro.  I've heard of you Hakurei Hitomi.”

“I've heard of you too.”  The miko shifted about.  “I suppose you want to know about the assailant?”

Eirin looked down at the trowing arrows she'd removed.  “Just a confirmation.  A single man, armed with a sword?  Of above average build with long hair in a topknot?”

Hitomi nodded.  “Exactly.  He was cut up pretty badly, but he took a passable attempt at killing the god I summoned before running.”

There was a snap, and Eirin realized she'd clenched her fists hard enough to break the arrow.  Fortunately Kaguya stepped in.

“So it's Jiyuwon.  Then Lord Tenshou is responsible.”

Hitomi's eye's narrowed.  “Will we be seeing him again?”

Kaguya looked at Eirin, who could only shrug.  “I don't know.  I can tell you not to fight him without help from Ran and at least one other powerful youkai.  And even then expect one of you to die.”

Hitomi stared at her.  “He's that dangerous?  He retreated quickly when I faced him, though I suppose he was wounded...”

“Yes.”  Eirin discarded the arrow fragments.  “Fortunately he's a one of a kind warrior.  And any wound that would cause him to actually retreat will take at least two days to heal right..”

Hitomi swore.  “I guess I'll need to talk to Ran before I go home.  I'll be back tomorrow.  Give me the full explanation then.”

Eirin simply nodded.

“If you want we can send Tewi to talk to Ran.  That way you can get home faster.”  Kaguya bowed her head.  “We owe you, for saving one of our friends.”

Hitomi shook her head.  “I'm the Hakurei maiden.  This is my job.  Though I will tell her to ask you for the details.”  She turned to leave, then paused.  “I'm... sorry for your loss.  If that youkai returns, he will be punished.”

Then she was gone.

Eirin considered explaining how Lunarians weren't youkai when the shrine maiden returned, but she decided against it.  There was no reason to shatter the miko's delusions.

Someone with her job didn't need to know how humans could become greater evils then any youkai they constructed.

She realized she'd zoned out again when Kaguya put a hand on her shoulder.  “I should arrange for the funeral.”

Eirin nodded.  “And I'll find a way to get those truly responsible for this punished.”

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
  • LOOK AT ME
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #26 on: December 29, 2010, 04:44:20 am »
Sareseno was getting concerned.

To tell the truth he was past concerned and into gut churning fear.  It was something he was very unused to, and he was finding it to be a terrible experience.

Lord Tsukiyomi hadn't just summoned court, he'd called all the moon to bear witness.  A big event like that was to be expected, but there was no word from his wife.  Even if Toyohime had run off to speak with their lord immediately she should have sent word via Reisen.  Normally they didn't keep track of each other's comings and goings, but this was different.

“Brother!”

Sareseno turned to see Miyari pushing through the crowd towards him.  Sareseno looked at the expression on his brother's face.

And his heart broke.

He wasn't sure exactly what his brother said to him, but he knew he was to follow, so he followed.

Some time later, maybe not all that long, he found himself standing before Lord Tsukiyomi.  He managed to bow.

Lord Tsukiyomi bowed low in return.  Too low.  “I... I have failed you.  I have failed my generals, and to my eternal shame they have paid the price.”

Then he said the words Saresano had known were coming.  “An assassin slew both of them on earth.”  The Lord who had taken his people to the moon, who had escaped the earth's corruption and the death it brought, clenched his hands in fury at his impotence.  “I can't even say who did it.  They wanted me to suspect Eirin of course.  But I can't contact her or any of my own personal spies on earth, despite the two still being connected.  The traitor has to be on the moon.”

He bowed low again.  “This was all due to my failures.  I am sorry.”

Miyari seemed to have shut of his emotions at the revelation.  The iron embrace of logic was what he turned to in times of trial.

Sareseno just felt lost.

His mind was well enough to remember the formalities at least.  He bowed.  “It was not your fault there are traitors.  Yorihime accepted your service knowing the risks, and I'm sure Toyohime did as well.”

He wished he could say more.  About their deaths not being in vain, or how they would be remembered.  But for the first time he could not summon the words.  It was too big a lie.

Lord Tsukiyomi shook his head again.  “I wish I could offer you some repayment, or justice, but I have nothing.  I must see to my people first.  And to save them we must flee without battle.”

Miyari replied, “I understand my Lord.  Do what must be done.”

Sareseno simply nodded silently.

---

The two brothers watched from the wings as Lord Tsukiyomi ascended to the dais.  For the first time Sareseno noticed the man looked old.

The Moon's ruler raised his hands for silence.  After a few minutes he began.  “People of the Lunar Metropolis.  Listen to my words.”

“In the early days of the history, when the second living thing crawled up out of the sea to eat the first the Earth has been tainted with blood.  That impurity brought death to all things in time.  The impurity of conflict and desire corrupted the once pure Earth, and all living things bore its taint.”

“We Lunarians realized the corruption, and fled the earth.  Leaving behind our nations and worldly power to obtain a pure land.  The moon.  A land untouched by the need of living things to kill.  Here we abandoned our humanity, becoming the equal of the gods.”

“For centuries we lived in peace.  The taint of blood came only 4 times to the capitol, and each time it was quickly removed.”

“Now however that has changed.  The humans have come to our moon, and instead of leaving as we had hoped they have set up a base here.  Bringing their desires, their needs, their tainted blood to our moon.  So we asked ourselves what we should do.”

Lord Tsukiyomi's face fell.  A ripple of whispers spread throughout the crowd.

“We failed... I failed to see the true threat.  I sent my best generals to earth to ask what to do with the human menace.  And on earth they were slain.”

Tears welled up in Sareseno's eyes.  And it was now shock and horror circulating the crowd.

“I wish I could tell you of their deaths.  But I cannot.  My attempts to learn of the dead magically were blocked, and my contact with our informants on the planet were interrupted as well.  The only reason I know of their deaths was because the assassins were prevented from covering up the location magically somehow.”

Lord Tsukiyomi drooped.  “But given how exact the blackout is it could only have occurred at the hands of a traitor on the moon itself.”

Lord Tsukiyomi had to pause as the outbursts became louder.  Sareseno noted most of the anger and grief seemed genuine.  It was small comfort.

After a few moments their lord continued.  “I know many of your hearts cry for justice, to find this criminal and execute them.  And I understand this drive, because your hearts are pure.  But I fear that will only give the assassins victory.”

“For there must be multiple conspirators to accomplish so vast a plan.  Which means to find and punish them would require a civil war.”  Sareseno noticed how Lord Tsukiyomi emphasized the words, silencing the crowd before they even started.

“A civil war can only bring the taint and corruption of the Earth to the moon, no matter who was victorious.  Perhaps it might be possible to clean that impurity away, like we did after the youkai war.”

Once again the mighty lord's voice fell and he slumped.  “But I find I cannot believe that.”

There was a long silence.

Lord Tsukiyomi drew himself up to his full height.  “It is because of my failures that such treachery was not stamped out long ago.  That is why I hereby abdicate my position, on the execution of one final order.  Any who wish to follow me into the alternate dimension retreat are to be allowed to leave with their full possessions and their servants.”

He looked down to the ground.  “I love the moon.  But I love my people and my ideals more.  I can not demand you abandon this place, or not seek revenge.  But that is not my path.”

Sareseno watched in awe as Lord - no Tsukiyomi - placed the regalia of rulership on the dais then walked away.

The court erupted in chaos.  Accusations flew from some.  Questions from others.  A good number simply walked away, probably to get their households in order for the move.  If Tsukiyomi felt the moon could not be saved, it could not in their minds.

“My fellow nobles!  If I may speak!?”

Sareseno felt a stab of emotion pierce his heart.  It wasn't much, but he felt hate as he looked down on where Lord Tenshou stood.

There was no sign of panic on the man's face.  In fact the noble radiated purpose.  It was obvious to those who had been faltering.

“I understand Lord, that is, the former Lord Tsukiyomi's worries.  But can we really just abandon our land like that?”  He waved his hand at the city, and the orchards.  “While I admit I came into conflict with the noble Watatsuki sisters in the past, can we really let their murderers just go free!?  Especially if their goal was to force us to flee our home?  Is it not a just and righteous thing to defend your land against impurity while you still have the chance of victory, instead of running in defeat?”

“But Lord Tenshou,” a lesser noble asked, “If we taint the moon we'll have lost all of that for nothing, at the cost of millions of lives.”

“The lives of earth creatures are meaningless.  And we've cleansed our city once before, when the youkai brought death to our halls.”  Lord Tenshou stood up straight.  “Did we flee then?  No, we just repaired and rebuilt!”

“And foolishly let the culprits escape unpunished,” said a woman with hate in her eyes.  Sareseno noted that it seemed to be directed equally at the people she was speaking about and Lord Tenshou himself.

“Indeed.  This time we will not make that mistake!”  Lord Tenshou nodded.  “This time we shall make sure the earth will not bring taint to our land once again.”

Sareseno felt a tug on his arm.  Miyari stood there, still expressionless.  “Come brother.  It's time for us to leave.”

Sareseno shook his head.  “I must see this.  Perhaps then I will understand.”

Miyari shrugged and walked away.

The debate took three hours.  Some left when it became clear they were not going to rule in the new order.  Others left when Lord Tenshou insisted Eirin had to be among the conspirators, as she would have stopped any ambush she opposed.  Still more left for reasons Sareseno could not see.  In the end less then half the moon's Lunarians stood in the room.  Yet they all cheered as Lord Tenshou picked up the regalia Tsukiyomi had left behind, and swore they would avenge themselves on the “guilty.”

And Sareseno was no closer to understanding then he was at the start.
« Last Edit: January 08, 2011, 12:51:07 am by IcedFairy »
  • Daisukima Dan Blog
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #27 on: December 29, 2010, 08:29:27 am »
Ah, so that's what's going on. This won't end well at all.

Kasu

  • Small medium at large.
  • This soup has an explosive flavour!
  • LOOK AT ME
  • Nickname: Kasunagi
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #28 on: December 31, 2010, 12:07:36 am »
Ah, so that's what's going on. This won't end well at all.
Agreed.

Apparently, Thomas the Tank Engine isn't one to take crap from anyone.
Re: A New World (book 2)
« Reply #29 on: December 31, 2010, 12:30:08 am »
Agreed.
Though, if this is a prequel to "Three Days Bright" like I've been suspecting, it'll explain a lot about that story.
 

SMF 2.0.15 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines
Theme based on ModernDark64 design by BlocWeb
Page created in 0.078 seconds with 22 queries.