Topic: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection  (Read 19364 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« on: September 18, 2009, 08:43:07 pm »
Now separate from Kurumi and Elly's Excellent Adventures, because that's crazy screwball comedy and these short stories are going to be in a very different tone for the most part.

Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection

These are short ficlets I think of and write, usually not related to my other writing projects in the least. I fully intend for there to be more, but first I had to split this from its old topic! Yay, modh4x!


- White Rose Side Story: 二拝二拍一拝 - Two Bows, Two Claps and One Bow1
- Red Thaumatology, Part one and Part two.
- A Valentine's Day fic, title concealed for now.
- Apple and Cinnamon (Madoka Magica fic, not Touhou-related)
- The Green Eyes

1: While technically related to White Rose, it's not part of the main plot at all. It can also be seen as a standalone piece, and can be read on its own without having gone through the torture of Koishi's melodrama.

Have a nice introductory picture:

And now, on with the stories!

White Rose Side Story
二拝二拍一拝 - Two Bows, Two Claps and One Bow

Notes: This was originally written for Tomboyish Girl Day (09/09/09). Which was nine days ago. :V
Originally posted on Pooshlmer in Fiction Thread 9.5; however, this version, apart from undergoing a few subtle tweaks here and there, actually has a slightly different ending. Please enjoy~


"You thought you could hide from THE STRONGEST, froggy!?"

"What the he--" was all she could say before a frozen frogsicle hit her in the head.

Suwako had been walking around the lake to the SDM when she had been ambushed by the most tactless person in Gensokyo. But before she could react, the question was followed up by a flurry of frogsicles from the trees above her. Suwako moved as fast as she could, but at close range even she was hit by about a dozen frozen frogs.

"That's one barrage!" Cirno cried gleefully, fluttering away. "Only nine-hundred-ninety-nine to go!"

The goddess recovered, horrified at the manner Cirno had chosen to attack her. "How dare you freeze these poor frogs!" she sputtered. "They could shatter, you know!"

Cirno grinned wickedly. "Then you'll just have to catch all the extra ones!"

Suwako sighed, realizing that this was going to be painful.

For Cirno, that is. Not her. Suwako took pride in being a laid-back sort of goddess-- as opposed to Kanako, who threw hissy fits if there was too little spice in her food, among other things-- but this! This was too much of an insult! Sure, Cirno was pretty stupid, but she could not let this mockery of her power continue!

Suwako ran into the air, drawing her iron rings from her sleeves. Cirno was up there, above the trees, laughing with confidence as she put her hands on her nonexistant hips. "Ha! The froggy has come to do battle with the strongest!"

The blonde goddess said nothing, only frowned and spun her iron rings on her arms, ready to win in only a few movements.

Two bows, two claps, and one bow, to be exact.

Cirno grinned, pulling a handful of frozen frogs from behind her back. "Take this!" she yelled, throwing them at Suwako.

Party start!

Throwing out a dozen iron rings to begin her attack, Suwako zoomed forward through the air at Cirno, charging up energy in her palms. Clenching them into fists, she drew power into them until she had dozens of lasers in each fist. She didn't attack directly yet, but flung both fistfuls of lasers at the ice fairy like thunderbolts, and followed it up with a burst of blue bubble danmaku.

"Two bows."

Suwako's iron rings sang through the air, whipping through the skies at high speed, but magically becoming smaller. They each wrapped around one of the frozen frogs Cirno had thrown out earlier. They didn't break the ice, but they would assure that the frozen frogs would land safely and roll back into the lake.

"Pe-- Perfect Freeze!" Cirno stammered as she saw the barrage coming at her, creating an ice shield around her. But the lasers threatened to smash right through it anyway. She moved backwards, following her instincts, and Suwako had her just where she wanted her.

"Two claps."

Reaching her arms down, she imitated the motion of grasping a handful of earth. Then she brought her fist up, punching it upwards.

"Eh?" Cirno asked, hiding behind her ice shield.

Then two huge fistfuls of earth shot into the air from the ground, sending Cirno flying over the lake.

"AH!" the ice fairy screamed as she flew head over heels, out of control.

"One bow."

Spinning, she flung four iron rings from the inside of her wide sleeves. Flying through the air like stones from a slingshot, they came right at Cirno, who was still tumbling in the air. At just the right moment, they caught her and tightened, so that now Cirno was trapped inside four iron rings with no way to fly.

"GAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!" the ice fairy yelled as she plummeted to the ground from high in the air, trapped in Suwako's iron rings. She screamed through the sky at stupidly high speed until she landed straight in the water, smashing through the water's otherwise tranquil surface and kicking up a five-foot wave onto the shore.

Suwako stretched.

"Well, that was easier than I thought it would be," she commented, flying back down onto the ground. Of course it would be easier to just keep flying, but she preferred the motion of walking-- and besides, she wanted to see Cirno's reaction up close as she got out of the water.

Reaching her arms up, she called her divine tools back to her. Iron rings flew out of the nearby forest and hid back up her wide sleeves-- four rings burst out from the surface of the lake and wrapped themselves on the outside of her sleeves, securing them to her arms.

She watched the surface of the lake. Nothing came up. Suwako began to feel a bit uncertain.

"Perhaps I was a bit too harsh," she pondered aloud. "Eh. She's an ice fairy. She'll just get better and come back to irritate me in a few hours anyway."

Trying to set her mind at ease with those words, Suwako continued her walk along the shores of the lake to the Scarlet Devil Mansion.

Just then, she came across something astounding. She blinked to make sure that she wasn't hallucinating.

An expansive flower garden on the shores of the lake, surrounded by rosebushes. Well, she called it a flower garden, but really there was only one variety of flower there. She knelt down and plucked one, touching the smooth petals with respect.


Whoever was tending this garden was doing a great job. Not a single weed in sight. The flowers were planted in neat rows and showed signs of recent trimming, which meant that whoever was taking care of these flowers had been here only recently. Someone at the Scarlet Devil Mansion had evidently taken up gardening. Most likely the maid, if only to compete with Hakugyokurou's gardener. But as to why she had chosen a spot so far from the mansion, she had no idea.

Suwako nodded in approval as she stood back up, sticking the flower into the brim of her hat. "This is impressive. I'll have to get Sakuya to teach Sanae how to do this. I wonder, what flowers should we grow outside the Moriya Shrine? Maybe Sanae should plant daisies... or maybe some trailing lobelias, Kanako likes those... ooh, or maybe we could get a water garden and have bunches of sacred blue water lilies growin--"

"Ah! It's you!"

Suwako blinked as a fairy appeared in front of her out of literally nowhere. Cirno? No, she was larger than the ice fairy, though not by much. She was wearing a simple blue dress and, most notably, had green hair and wings that resembled a dragonfly's on her back. This wasn't Cirno, but she had never met this fairy before.

The green-haired fairy was no more than two feet away from her, her arms extended as if to protect the garden from Suwako. She looked very nervous, but she held firm.

"Is this your garden?" Suwako asked. Well, she thought, it would have to be. Or else she wouldn't be so defensive about it.

"You're the one who hurt Cirno!" the fairy accused, an angry look on her face.

Suwako flinched, but recovered. "Now, see here, fairy. She was freezing frogs, and I'm rather protective of the--"

"She didn't deserve to be defeated so terribly!" the fairy went on. "She's just a little kid!"

The goddess didn't change expression, but inside, she felt pangs of guilt. She HAD been too harsh on the fairy. Cirno was stupid, and all, but Suwako had been too cruel in putting her down. She should have found some other way of stopping Cirno from freezing frogs...

"And now you want to destroy our garden? I won't let you!"

"Eh?" The blonde goddess asked. She was short, but the fairy was only a bit shorter than she was. She was a large fairy-- but still, she had to have seen that fight-- okay, not fight. That curbstomp-- And yet she was still trying to stand between Suwako and the flowers.

It was rather... endearing, if only because Suwako could have sent her flying on the spot without much effort at all.

"'Our' garden?" Suwako asked, and it was only then that the fairy changed expression.


"Ah, yes, our garden... but not really, since I'm the only one who takes care of it, and all Cirno ever does is dig up the flowers and freeze them, or throw them at other fairies, she's so stupid, I try to take care of the garden for her but she's kind of irritating and she ruins it with not a care in the world--"

Suwako smirked.

"Who are you, fairy?" she asked, extending her hand.

"D--Daiyousei," the fairy replied, looking too bashful to shake her hand in turn. "And you're Froggy-sama--"

"I am NOT Froggy!" Suwako exclaimed, flinging her hands up into the air. "I am SUWAKO MORIYA! DON'T CALL ME FROGGY!"

"Ah!" The fairy backed away from the angry goddess.

Suwako, however, remembered where she was. "Uh, sorry about that," she said aplogogetically. "I get kind of mad when people call me Froggy... like that damn Kanako... she always embarasses me in front of other people by calling me that..."

"Ah," Daiyousei stammered as the goddess rambled to herself.

"Anyway!" Suwako said, clapping her hands together. "This is your garden, eh? It's nice!"

"Uh, yeah, it is," the fairy replied, looking down at her feet, her cheeks red. "It's me and Cirno's."

Suwako grinned again. "Are you and Cirno friends?"

"Oh, yes!" Daiyousei cried, smiling. "We're best friends!"

"Is that so?" The goddess laughed to herself.

"Huh?" the fairy asked, plainly confused.

Well, obviously she can't tell...


... but after a few centuries, I know what it looks like to be in love with someone else.

The frog goddess smiled, remembering some long-ago memory.

Then she looked around, her eyes landing on the rosebushes that protected the garden on three sides. "Hmm, rosebushes? Those aren't native to this area... or freesia, for that matter."

"Oh, they're not," Daiyousei assured her as Suwako walked over to the rosebushes. "This nice lady with white hair and a green scarf came by and gave me the seeds for them. She was really fond of flowers!"

"White hair?" Suwako asked, kneeling down to inspect one of the rosebuds.

"Yeah. And she had this weird blue thing on her chest or something. But I don't remember her name anymore..."

"A white rose," the goddess said aloud as she peeled open the bud and saw the white petals inside. "I knew it had to be her..."

"Hmm?" Daiyousei hummed, looking over Suwako's shoulder.

Suwako looked at the fairy.

"How much do you like Cirno?"

"EH?!" Daiyousei reeled back, blushing madly.

"Well?" Suwako pressed.

"She's, uh..." Daiyousei stammered, her face beet red.

"Go on~"

"... She's my best friend and all... and she's really sweet... even if she is kinda stupid at times... and she gave me my name and all... and she was my friend when all of the other fairies were scared of how big I was..."

I knew it.

"In that case..." She stood and placed a hand on the rosebushes.

The power of a native god...

"Why do you ask?" Daiyousei questioned.

Seven Stones and Seven Trees. Seven colours, seven lasers, seven bullets.

The goddess didn't respond. Closing her eyes, she built up power within herself, and concentrated on passing it into the flowers.

But for now, all I need is one colour!


In a flurry of blue sparkles, the three walls of rosebushes burst into full bloom, sporting deep red roses instead of pale white ones.

"No reason~" Suwako replied, pulling out a dozen roses. "Ow," she muttered, feeling the thorns pierce her hands. "Must be her revenge for me turning them into red roses for today."

"Red roses?" Daiyousei asked as Suwako tied the long stems together with a small iron ring.

"Put some freesias into the bouquet," Suwako recommended as she handed Daiyousei the flowers. "And watch out for the thorns."

"Uh, yes!" Daiyousei agreed, fluttering over her garden and pulling out the nicest-looking freesias.

"There. That looks good."

"But... what is this for?" Daiyousei asked, her cheeks faintly red.

"Don't be a tease," Suwako chastised her, waving her finger in the air. "You know exactly what it's for."

At this point, Daiyousei looked down and clenched her hands together in front of her.

"Cirno should have come out of the water by now, right?" Suwako asked, standing up straight.


"Then just give that to her," Suwako said with a wink. "The freesia, for her childishness. The red roses, for... well, you know," she said, laughing. "It's my way of apologizing to her."

"Should I tell her it was you?" Daiyousei asked, but Suwako waved it off.

"Nah," she said. "It's better if you're the one to comfort her. In fact, don't tell her I had anything to do with it."

Daiyousei fluttered above the ground, and bowed to Suwako. "Thank you very much, Moriya-sama!"

Suwako turned around, beginning to walk on the path around the lake to the Scarlet Devil Mansion.

"Oh, don't worry about it. It was my pleasure."


A few hours later, Suwako was on her way back to the Moriya Shrine. She took the scenic route again, walking around the edge of the lake, humming Native Faith to herself as she went, occasionally skipping a rock on the water, and smiling when she saw the red rosebushes off to her side.

Just then, she felt something hard hit the back of her hat.

"EHH?!" Suwako hissed, turning around to see. Was that stupid ice fairy throwing ice frogs at her agai--?!

When she looked down, though, she saw something very different.

It was the small iron ring she had used to tie the flowers together.

She knelt down and picked it up, then stood and looked into the forest by the lake. She couldn't see where they were, but she knew that Cirno and Daiyousei had to be watching her, waiting to see what she would do next.

The frog goddess smiled, tossing the iron ring up and down in her hand.

"I'm sorry."

Then Suwako whirled around and skipped the iron ring into the lake, bowed twice, clapped twice, and bowed again.

"... and thank you."

"YOU'RE WELCOME!" she heard from the forest, along with a thudding sound and a cry of "You moron! You just ruined the big dramatic farewell!"

Suwako laughed aloud. She couldn't help it. Cirno would always be Cirno, after all~

And then she continued on her way home, the freesia flower still in her hat.



Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2009, 10:06:36 pm »
I should probably put this here for completion's sake, along with its true title.

Red Thaumatology
or (because Kanako likes it):
2AA 5C 4C 2C 623B 5B 2C 2A (whiff) 4C 623B 5B 2C 2A (whiff) 623B – A Short Story

So there they sat-- the seven of them-- around a table. Three professors, two students, a little schoolgirl, and a bored poltergeist. Sake was flowing quite freely, and talk soon turned to matters of gaming.

“I can't believe it,” Yumemi Okazaki said, holding her sake cup in her hands. “I didn't make it into UFO...”

“Oh, I know,” Chiyuri Kitashirakawa groaned, all the while sipping liberally from her own cup. “That Captain Murasa girl... she stole my sailor outfit, my teleporting attack, and even passed me up in RANK!”

“Please,” Yumemi shot back. “Byakuren stole my pointless religious symbolism and made it have a point. Her opener is a ripoff of Remilia's, and one of her noncards is a shout-out to Yukari. Fragrance of a Makai Butterfly is obviously stolen from Yuyuko, and of course, let's not get into Shinki's case...”

“Feh,” Kana Anaberal snorted. “At least you two were popular enough to have a fanbase who noticed. It's been, what, twelve years, and I still haven't seen more than a few pages of fanart of me.”

“At least you're original, Kana,” Rikako Asakura interjected, taking a small sip of sake. “People saw so little of me in SoEW that they barely remembered anything but that stupid tank. I thought dyeing my hair some outrageous colour would make people pay attention to me, and it did for a while, but then people decided that ‘Patchurry’ or whatever was sexier, and then Nitori and those damned kappas stole my technology...”

“Ahem,” Yumemi said, holding up a picture of the Probability Hyperspace Vessel, whose engine had been stolen a while ago and then used to power the Palanquin Ship.

"Oh yeah," Rikako hiccuped. “Sorry. But still, unlike you, I never got to be the final boss of anything.”

“You all still have it much better than we do.”

Everyone looked over at Renko Usami, who was sulking at the table next to Maribel Hearn.

“We got a handful of CD stories about us,” Renko said sullenly. “No games, no comics, and not even a single in-game mention.”

Maribel nodded. “At least Rinnosuke got mentioned in UFO stage five.”

“Don't bring that up around her!” Kana hissed, waving wildly at the corner of the room, where Ellen Aureus stood stock-still, staring at nothing in particular. “It was her shop Nazrin got the Pagoda of Vaisravana from, but no one else has figured it out because no one bothers enough to play her route and see her ending.”

Yumemi took a long sip of sake and sighed.

“Mm,” she smirked. “I can think of someone here who hasn't said a word.”

Sanae Kotiya squirmed in her seat uneasily, not wanting to meet anyone's eyes, and focused on the cup of juice she had in front of her.

“Man,” Chiyuri whined. “It must be so awesome to be popular with the fanbase.”

“At least she took my religious symbolism lessons to heart,” Yumemi said, raising her cup to Sanae. “I saw your little Red Sea trick, you know. You're such a good student.”

Sanae smiled and blushed.

Renko observed this and frowned. “Hey, Yumemi-sensei, can we play Act Cadenza or somethin'?” she asked, making the professor look at her in surprise.

“We haven't played Melty together since you left my freshman physics class!”

“Yeah, I know,” Renko nodded. “I wanted to try again, it's been a while.”

“All righty then,” Yumemi said, standing up from the table and moving over to the sofa, where her PS2 was plugged in. “How does Actress Again sound?”

“You got your hands on AA?” her former student asked, excitement in her voice.

“Limited edition, at that,” the older woman laughed, tossing Renko the player two controls.

“Oh, that's so unfair. I got it the day it came out, but it wasn't a limited edition...”

“Hold on, let me start it up.”

Yumemi checked on all the connections while Chiyuri, Kana, and Rikako drifted over. Maribel and Sanae came up behind Renko, and Maribel pulled off Renko's hat and ruffled her hair.

“Hey! Don't take my hat! My hat makes me sexy!”

“Your smile is what makes you sexy,” Maribel returned with a wink, putting Renko's hat on Sanae.

“Very true,” Yumemi added, getting up and taking her seat next to Renko. “Besides, real women don't have to wear hats.” She smiled and flicked her long red tresses.

“Yes, just like Byakuren,” Renko muttered.

The professor glared at her. “I'm going to get you for that.”

“All righty, then,” Renko said, going straight for Crescent Akiha Vermilion.

“Oh ho,” Yumemi chuckled, moving over to Crescent Ryougi. “Akiha, eh? Sorry, but I'm going to go with my fellow strawberry girl.”

“Hmm,” Kana frowned, tapping her arm. “Ah. I've got an idea.”

“What is it, Kana?” Yumemi asked as Renko opened up practice mode to warm up.

“This is so boring if all you do is play,” the poltergeist grinned. “So why don't you make this a stripping game?”

“A stripping game, eh?” The professor raised en eyebrow.

“Yeah! Every match you play, when the loser dies, they have to take off their clothes!” Kana laughed.

Chiyuri spoke up, obviously amused by the idea. “And if you Arc Drive Finish them, two clothing items!”

“That is genius,” Yumemi said. “What do you think, Renko?”

“Heh,” the student chuckled, playing with her jacket. “Hope you have the heater on, since you’re going to get real cold, real fast.”

“Mmm... in that case, hold on.” Yumemi turned around. “Hey, Chiyuri, can you go grab my cape?”

“Will do, ma’am.” A slightly tipsy Chiyuri saluted and ran out of the room.

“Hey, Renko,” Sanae asked, “do you want your hat back?”

“Nah,” Renko replied, grinning. “I’m pretty sure I won’t need it. You just watch the master at play.”

Maribel looked at her best friend, worry in her eyes.

“Well... just play it safe, okay?”

“Oh, you know me!” Renko turned to her and winked. “Back when me and Yumemi stayed after school in her classroom to play Cadenza, I never once lost to her. When have I ever lost a match as V. Akiha, anyway?”


“AHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Yumemi crowed as she drank liberally from her bottle of sake. “ARC DRIVE FINISHED, BABY! TAKE IT OFF, TAKE IT ALL OFF!”

“I can’t believe this,” Renko said dumbly as she pulled off both of her socks, throwing them to the pile of clothing she had off to her side. “Me? Losing to my old teacher?”

“You sure are,” Sanae said, eating popcorn out of the large bowl Kana was passing around. “Oh, that was one painful combo. Nice.”

“Renko...” Maribel said, worry in her tone. “Are you cold?”

Renko pulled her legs beneath her. She was only wearing short spandex shorts and a bra at this point; after the next loss, she would have everything to lose.

“T--turn up the heater,” Renko asked, shivering slightly.

“Well, Renko?” Yumemi winked at her. To be fair, Renko hadn’t gone down without a fight; with V. Akiha’s infinite momiji loops, she had managed to score two wins off of her. But all Yumemi had lost was her shirt and her cape; Renko was clearly on the losing end of this match. “Regretting your decision yet?” She hiccupped.

“Geez, you’d think you’d pass out after drinking all that,” Renko smirked.

“Actually, everything up to vodka only gives Yumemi a light buzz,” Rikako put in. “Moreover, I ran some tests, and it seems that her motor skills improve after she drinks. If anything, she gets better at things when she’s drunk.”

“Next round!” Yumemi cheered, starting a new match.

“Oh dear!” Renko hissed and turned back to the screen, focusing on airdashing away from Yumemi’s C-Ryougi.

But that was how Yumemi got her. Starting with a j.C, her Ryougi slashed upwards and hit Renko’s V.Akiha for 850 damage. Then she had her where she wanted her, and with stunning dexterity, moved easily, doing a 2A 5BB 2B 5C 2C 6C, then whipping out a j.B, air dashing at her, then pulling out j.B dj.B dj.C, and moving into 236C in quick succession.

In a very short while, Renko saw her life meter drop to zero.

“Ohh,” she groaned and buried her face in her hands as Yumemi got up and danced with Ellen, twirling her around.

“Are you all right?” Maribel asked, putting her hand on Renko’s shoulder.


With a sigh of resignation, Renko stood and pulled off her black spandex shorts, revealing her--

“AHAHAHAHAHAHA! BLUE PANTIES WITH STARS ON THEM! AHAHAHAHAHA!” Chiyuri yelled as everyone in the room burst out laughing.

Renko’s face burned.

“Okay, let’s keep going,” she huffed as she sat down on the sofa with as much dignity as she could muster.

“Renko!” Maribel objected, kneeling by Renko’s side on the floor. “Renko, you’re not reall--”

“You don’t believe I can win, do you?” Renko asked her sharply, looking down at Maribel.

“Not that,” her friend said, turning red. “I...”

“...” Renko sighed as Yumemi sat back down next to her. “Please, Merry, just... hang in there. I promise I’ll be fine. Just... believe in me, okay?” She stretched her hand out to her.

Maribel took her hand and squeezed it. “... yes. I know you can win.”

Renko flashed her a smile. “Thanks, Merry. Now if you’ll excuse me~”

“Oh ho!” Yumemi laughed as Renko selected V. Akiha again. “I can see that you want to end up without anything at all!”

Renko didn’t say anything, but just sat quietly, turning backwards to see something as Yumemi started the next match.

“Round one. Fighto.”

As soon as she heard the game’s voice finish, she sprang into action. Catching Yumemi’s Ryougi by surprise, she immediately unleashed a 2AA 5C 4C 2C 623B 5A 2C combo that made Maribel’s head spin. Then Renko whiffed her 2A, but instead of ending the combo, she continued with 4C 623B 5A 2C, then whiffed her 2A again and finished with 4C 623B.

“Momiji loop, in practice.” Renko flicked her hair as the flashy combo ended with Ryougi on the ground.

“Wha-- what the hell was that?!” Yumemi demanded.

“V. Akiha special,” her student replied. “Oh, don’t worry,” she said as she zoomed at Ryougi, who was barely getting up. “That was just the hard mode.”

Renko’s fingers moved faster than Maribel had ever seen, going into a reiteration of the previous combo, but with 5Bs replacing two of the 5As. She knew from experience that it was extremely hard to get the 5B to hit, but it was worth it; that combo did almost 5k of damage, with no meter at all.

“That was the lunatic mode version of infinite momiji loop,” Renko said, turning to enjoy the stunned look on Yumemi’s face.

Renko didn’t stop there, though. She activated V. Akiha’s Blood Heat mode-- V. Akiha then raised a hand, suspended Ryougi in midair, and then summoned enormous red flames from the ground that hit her for the last of her life points.

“Last Arc Finish!” she said triumphantly as Ryougi went down for the count.

“No,” Yumemi muttered as she stared at the screen. “No.”

“Let’s see, on our current system of ranking endings, I think a Last Arc Finish should count as three clothing items,” Rikako said, enjoying the look on Yumemi’s face.

“Excellent idea!” Chiyuri said, leaping at her “boss” and pulling off her skirt. “Oh, wait! Yumemi, you moron!”

Yumemi sat there, dressed in only a red bra and red panties. She still had two more items of clothing to take off.

“Why didn’t you wear more?!” Chiyuri demanded.

“I did! I wore my cape!” her boss shot back. “It’s not my fault that was a Last Arc Finish!”

Renko smiled and crossed her arms as Maribel came up beside her, putting her jacket on over her shoulders. Renko squeezed her hand and pulled Yumemi’s cape out of the pile of clothes, then put it around Yumemi’s shoulders.

“Why don’t we call this even, then?” she offered.

Yumemi looked at her, surprise on her face. “Really?”

“Of course,” Renko assured her with a smile. “You taught me everything I know from the very beginning, after all.”

“—RENKO!” she exclaimed, throwing herself into Renko’s arms for a hug.

Her cape enveloped them both, and the two girls stayed there, wearing only their underclothes under the cape. Renko was stunned. She really did smell like strawberries up close... her hands were on Yumemi’s bare waist, and she had to admit she enjoyed the feeling of her warm, smooth skin--

“You rock,” Yumemi said, breaking off the hug as Renko looked at her, her face bright red. “Oh, maybe we should get our clothes back on... does anyone want to play?” she asked, raising the controller.

“May I?” Ruukoto asked, taking the controller. “I main Mech Hisui, by the way.”

“White Len for me!” Kana said excitedly as she floated through Ruukoto’s body and took the second controller. “Come on, let’s go!”

Renko, for her part, went over to her pile of clothes and buttoned up her white shirt. “I got lucky,” she muttered. “They counted my tie as a clothing item.”

“How did you DO that?” Maribel asked, coming up to Renko as she pulled her skirt and socks back on. “You’ve never pulled that combo off successfully, ever. The 5B is too fast for you.”

“Hmm,” Renko smiled, remembering her warm hug with Yumemi afterwards and the feeling of her bare skin against hers.

“It must have been fate,” she said with a blush.


Off to the side, Ellen smiled.

“The power of miracles, indeed.”

Sanae smiled and raised her glass of juice for a toast.

The End.

Also, an illustration!

<3 you Sana~

Dizzy H. "Muffin" Muffin

  • :3
  • :3
  • Nickname: KimikoMuffin
  • Gender: Girl
Re: Kurumi and Elly's Excellent Adventures (and other short stories)
« Reply #2 on: October 08, 2009, 01:57:29 am »
Hot. ``
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 03:10:40 am by Ruroeiki Sakuraxanadu »
  • Muffiny Miscellany


  • Though the sun may set
  • *
  • It shall rise again
Re: Kurumi and Elly's Excellent Adventures (and other short stories)
« Reply #3 on: October 08, 2009, 03:14:30 am »
Look! It's a miracle! Your drawers are opening all by themselves!
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 03:10:48 am by Ruroeiki Sakuraxanadu »

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: Kurumi and Elly's Excellent Adventures (and other short stories)
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2009, 07:33:07 am »
Oh, this goes here, doesn't it.

Red Thaumatology II – Yumemi's Revenge
2AA 5C 4C 5B 2C 623B 4C 2C 236C 2C 4C 5BB 2A (whiff) 5BB 623B 4C 2C [5BB 2A (whiff)] x 9 5A 5BB 2A (whiff) 5A 5BB 623A – A Slightly Longer Story


There was a knock on the door. Kana went to open it, forgot that she couldn't, and with her anger she mustered up a feeble physical edge that enabled her to get a grip on the door.

“Who is it?” she asked as she opened it.

“Pizza delivery,” the blonde-haired girl said. “For, uh... Rikako Asakura's Secret Lab. I think I followed the instructions right... is this the place?”

“It sure is,” Kana nodded. “Ellen, Yumemi, somebody! Come get the pizza!”

Yumemi was the first to show up. She nodded as she took the pizza. “Hey, Merry. Part-time job?”

Maribel nodded. “And, oh, seeing as you're here...” She pulled a package out from behind her and handed it to the professor. “On my way here, some girl in a maid outfit gave this to me,” she said as Yumemi unwrapped it. “She said it was to be delivered to the same address that I was to be delivering the pizza to.”

“Oh, yes, yes,” Yumemi said, looking at the black box. She opened up a gift tag on the mysterious black box; partially out of curiousity, and partially because she hadn't been paid, Maribel stayed to watch.

“My dearest Okazaki-sensei,” she read aloud. “My daughter VIVIT could not wait to give you her latest pet project. She's been working on it with Ruukoto for quite a while now, and she wanted to let you see a prototype and test out how well it works. Please e-mail all feedback to erich_atreides@yah... yadda yadda yadda..." She read further down, and smiled. “Yumemi-san! I hope you enjoy this new Playstation XII I built for you, because life-size hard-live battling holographs ROCK! Much love from me an' Ruukoto, your friend, VIVIT.”

“Playstation... what?” Maribel asked, her eyes bugging out.

Yumemi stood there for a moment, then looked at the black box, then at Maribel, then at the black box again.

“Kidnap her,” she ordered Kana, who nodded and powered up her fists with ectoplasm, took hold of Maribel, and hauled her in.

“Hey! You can't do this!” Maribel begged as she was heaved up in Kana's hands.

“Of course we can,” Kana laughed. “We're villains, remember?”

“Besides,” Yumemi said, her eyes somehow glowing an eerie red in the dark. “I just had this awesome idea...”


“Oh god, I'm late!” Renko yelled to no one in particular as she tied up her boots and ran out of her dorm, then hastily unlocked it and ran back in, grabbed her bookbag, and ran off without shutting the door. “I stayed up too late playing Soku with Sanae again! God damn it!”

As she raced down the hallway out of the dorm, she noticed people giving her glances, but she chalked it up just to amusement at her lateness. At this rate, she thought as she exited the dorm and made it onto the campus proper, she might make it in time for her class with--

“Hey!” Yumemi laughed, waving at Renko.

“EH?!” Renko stammered as she saw that the main courtyard of the university had been transformed overnight. Hastily-erected bleachers flanked a ring in the center, which Yumemi was currently using for a stage.

“Come on up, Renko Usami!” Rikako Asakura called out, wearing a radio headpiece and talking into a microphone that broadcast her voice over the whole university.

“Do you think she'll get the reference?” Kana asked, floating over Rikako's shoulder.

“Oh, not a chance in hell,” Rikako laughed. “The Tournament arc took too long anyway.”

“Wh—what?!” Renko asked as the crowd parted for her, letting her pass through to the main stage. She climbed the steps of the ring, and walked to the center, where Rikako, Kana, and Yumemi waited for her.

“What's the meaning of this?!” Renko asked, all thought of getting to class gone.

Yumemi chuckled and wrapped herself in her cape. “Chiyuri!” she yelled. “Show the prisoner!”

Behind her, on top of the main building's roof, Chiyuri emerged from behind a stone clock, pulling out--

“MARIBEL!” Renko screamed as she saw her best friend tied up and blindfolded. Chiyuri paraded her to the edge of the building and then pulled her back, laughing.

“That was so you would agree to my demands,” Yumemi grinned.

“DON'T YOU LAY A HAND ON HER!” Renko yelled as she tried to rush Yumemi, but she was held back by Kotohime and Ellen, then forced onto her knees.

“Relax, relax,” Yumemi laughed as she circled Renko, who had been armlocked by Kotohime. “I am not going to lay a finger on her, if you do as I say.”

Her cape swished around as she walked. Renko glared at her. “What is this all about, Yumemi?”

Yumemi spun on her heel and kneeled down to Renko's eye level, and put her arms on both sides of her so that Yumemi was leaning over her.

“I want a rematch, my dear,” Yumemi purred into Renko's ear, and Renko shivered at the closeness.

Even now, she's still... attractive...

Yumemi grinned. “I want a rematch of last time's fight,” she said, “and these are the terms.” She got back up and stood over Renko. “If I win, then Maribel...”

She drew her finger over her throat in a slashing motion, and Renko flinched.

“You get the idea,” she smirked.

“... and if I win?” Renko challenged. “What do I--”

“It doesn't matter,” Yumemi cut her off. “Because you're not going to win, but you can't afford to just walk away.”

Renko glared at her, wishing that Yumemi wouldn't look so attractive with her soft red hair.

“Fine!” she yelled. “I accept!”

“Excellent.” Yumemi rubbed her hands together. “Ellen, if you would.”

Ellen, who was now standing outside of the ring, nodded and looked down. Immediately a blue half-sphere of energy surrounded them; Renko looked around, panicked. “What is this?!”

“Actress Again,” Yumemi replied, a menu screen materializing in thin air in front of them both. “Future-style.”

“This technology is... impossible,” Renko gasped as she watched Rikako and Yumemi consult together. “This technology is centuries ahead of the modern day!”

“It sure is!” Yumemi laughed gleefully. “And I hope you enjoy survival mode with life-size hard-live battling holographs.”

“Wait...” Renko paused as Yumemi left the stage. “WHAT?!”

“You heard me,” the professor replied as she sat down in a fold-out chair, where she could see all the action in the ring. “Survival mode, just like back in the good ol' days of PoDD.”

“I thought I was going to fight YOU!”

“You might,” Yumemi chuckled. “If you can make it past Kana.”

Standing in the middle of the ring, Kana pulled off her elbow-length white gloves and put on a pair of Kaminaglasses, then cranked up the difficulty to 5.

“Maribel,” Renko whispered to herself, biting her lip and looking up at her.

“Something you might want to know,” Kana said, moving to the select screen. “This is Playstation XII. And some things are a little bit...”

She selected HF-Sion and before her eyes, Kana shimmered and in a burst of blue light, she was dressed in a purple vest and light purple skirt.

“... different.”

“Terrific,” Renko muttered as she selected C-V. Akiha. An explosion of red light later, she was dressed just like her, and had a headband in her hair for whatever reason. Taking a fighting stance, she waited for the game to declare the beginning of the match.

“Oh, one last thing,” Kana said.


“To quote Ranma... I'm really sorry about this.”



“Impressive,” Yumemi commented as she popped a chocolate-covered strawberry into her mouth, watching the action on stage. “Renko's been at half-gauge ever since her Kana fight, but she's slowly gaining her life back.”

“She is doing fairly well, for how unfair we made it,” Ellen laughed. “How was my F-Len?”

“You did well,” Rikako said. “Much better than my C-Hisui.” She turned to Yumemi. “Looks like you're enjoying being chaotic evil.”

“Um, Chaotic Evil is when you run around lighting things on fire indiscriminately.” Yumemi corrected her. “I'm more along the lines of Lawful Evil.”

“Alignments are bad and you should feel bad,” Ellen hissed.

“Shut up, Neutral Good,” Kana said, hitting her on the head.

“Ujauja,” Ellen muttered just as Kotohime, dressed as Aoko, flew off the stage and landed on top of her.

“Ring out!” Renko yelled, her health bar restoring itself to about 75% full.

“Yikes, that's.... Kana, myself, Ellen, and now Kotohime,” Rikako said, helping Kotohime up.

“Go on in, Mech Hisui,” Yumemi ordered her robot maid, Ruukoto 2.0.

“Yes, mistress,” Ruukoto said, entering the ring and proceeding to shoot missiles at Renko Vermilion.

“She's almost reached me,” Yumemi said, pulling Ellen up from the ground. “Next is Chiyuri, and then...”

“Hey, Yumemi,” Kana asked. “Are you really... uh,” she muttered. “Are you really going to throw Maribel off of the building if Renko loses?” She looked worried. “Because, uh... I don't really want to have to see someone die again... being a ghost kind of sucks.”

“Nah, probably not,” Yumemi admitted. “I just kinda wanted to see the look on her face.” She grinned. “'sides, I had a better idea.”

“... a better idea?” Kana asked, raising an eyebrow.

“Oh, you'll find out when we get there~”


Playing as if she was V. Akiha herself was a new experience. Renko took a few moments to realize that there was no real need to physically input complex commands like “6C dash 4C j.A j.B j.C dj.B dj.C”. All she had to do was think of the combos, and the machine itself would execute them.

That said, this was insane. There was no way Renko should have been able to slap her opponent twice, then shoot her palm downward, upward, leap up, kick twice in fast succession, then wrap her legs around the opponent’s neck and slam them down onto the floor of the ring. The technology of the future was astounding.

But it did have one nasty side effect. Every blow V. Akiha received went straight to her as well. Though it was all just simulated-- electric shocks substituted the actual physical pain of getting ringslammed, among other things-- it still hurt.

So Renko had learned to use the wonderful power of ring-outs instead. It was just like a martial arts tournament in that the opponent could lose when she was able to push the opponent out of the ring. Moreover, it was faster and carried less of a risk of being hurt.

This had worked until she had reached this level. She was now fighting Chiyuri, who mained Crescent Arcueid. After a nasty tussle with Ruukoto's Half-Moon Mech Hisui, she had been hoping for an easy fight, but Chiyuri wasn't budging an inch. Despite her looks, Arcueid was a heavyweight, with powerful physical attacks and plenty of blood rings to spin at her. V.Akiha was built for speed and speed alone; she had the lowest defense in the entire game, and only her flame hair attacks were even remotely long-range. And she was a lightweight. No matter how much she pushed, Arcueid would never budge. She had had to do it manually.

And she had; she had now gotten Arcueid to only a little bit of life left, but she had paid too much life in turn. She had had almost eighty percent of a lifebar when she had finished with Ruukoto's Mech Hisui; now she was at only thirty, at most. Chiyuri was about to lose, but she had drained enough of Renko's lifebar to ensure that she would be picked off easily by Yumemi's Ryougi.

She grit her teeth. There was no time to worry about that. She had Arcueid to worry about. All she needed was a lucky chanc--

Chiyuri's Arcueid ran at her, preparing to release that strange pink fire from her hands. She looked down--


Activating a simple heat mode, she felt heat rise up in her face. Red clouded her vision-- when the red cleared, she saw that her Akiha's eyebeams had met their mark and knocked the last bit of life from Arcueid.

With a sigh of relief, she saw her lifebar increase to 40%. The situation still wasn't pretty-- she had less than half a lifebar to confront Ryougi-- but it was enough.

“Well done, well done!”

Renko turned to see Yumemi applauding for her as Kotohime and Rikako picked Chiyuri back up and pulled her off the ring. She wasn't transforming into Ryougi... what?

“Very well done,” Yumemi laughed. “But now your run comes to an end.”

“Just so you know,” Renko said, “her” long red hair whipping in an electronic breeze, “I've been picking up some other characters. I now know Ryougi's strong points, her weak points. You don't stand a chance.”

“Me?” Yumemi laughed. “What do you mean? You're acting as if I was going to fight you.”

“... eh?” the physics student asked just as a dark shadow landed in front of her, knelt, and in a shimmer of blue light transformed into--

“ARCHETYPE: EARTH?!” Renko reeled back on instinct, knowing full well how powerful A:E was. Sure, Ryougi's Last Arc could cut off almost 70% of the opponent’s lifebar, but that damage was still within reason. A:E, on the other hand, had a one-hit KO attack that was horribly unfair.

“Hey, A:E is banned from tourney play!” Renko objected.

Yumemi shrugged. “Does this look like a tournament? 'sides, I'm a villain.” She grinned. “I get to do things like this.

“Well, enjoy,” she called out as she descended the steps of the ring.

“WAIT!” Renko called out. “I thought you were going to be my final boss!”

“Nah,” Yumemi said, sitting down with her friends. “I forfeited the right to my friend. I'll let her fight in my place.”

It was just then that Renko realized that the people Yumemi was sitting with were all present and accounted for. Yumemi mained Ryougi, she had just defeated Chiyuri's Arcueid, and before that she had fought Ruukoto's Mech Hisui, Kotohime's Aoko, Rikako's Hisui, Ellen's Len (and Sokrates' Neco Arc), and Kana's Sion...

... so just who was this?

She sensed the blow coming before she saw it. Jumping up, she took advantage of V.Akiha's two air dashes, but before she knew it, Archetype Earth had actually leapt up and grabbed hold of her ankle, then *slammed her down onto the ground* and ground her heel into her back.

“GAH!” Renko gasped for breath. She brought up her legs and wrapped them around A:E's, then threw her off. A:E was all but unaffected; despite her heavy weight and her huge dress, she landed quite gracefully.

A sneaking suspicion was growing in the back of Renko's mind... She had to see who this was.

Rushing at her, she leapt into the air and kicked Archetype Earth in the face, then dropped low and slashed at her six times with her claws; on the last slash, she dashed forward and knocked her down with a final slash. But instead of finishing it there, she stood atop Archetype Earth and ground her heel into her throat, disrupting the game's mechanics and interrupting the flow of electricity so that in a shimmer of blue sparks, she could see the face of--

“NO!” she yelled as Archetype Earth grabbed her leg and swung her into the air, then slammed her down onto the ground.

“Yes,” Maribel replied.


“Very nice, very nice.” Rikako applauded. “I like how you pulled off the grand reveal of your trick.”

“I like your style,” Kana added.

“Why, thank you,” Yumemi nodded, accepting the compliments.

“Oh, but I do have one question,” Ellen asked, Sokrates sleeping on her head as she did.

“What's that?”

“How did you get Maribel to fight for you?”

“Oh, that? That was the simple part.” Yumemi grinned. “If she can beat Renko, then I promised to bring Renko into Gensokyo on the Probability Hyperspace Vessel with us.”

“Just Renko?” Kotohime asked, raising an eyebrow.

Yumemi nodded. “Maribel is very unselfish. I had to use that to my advantage.”

“What happens to Maribel?”

Yumemi looked at Kana in such a way that Kana suddenly felt as if she didn't need to know the answer to that question.


“But... WHY?!” Renko begged as she leapt around the ring, always trying to stay two steps ahead of Maribel's Archetype Earth. “What are you doing?!”

“Fighting for your sake!” Maribel yelled back as she raced after Renko, close on her heels.

“I don't want to fight you, Maribel!”

“It's for you, Renko!” Archetype Earth gained on her V. Akiha and before Renko could react, she had pulled off a painful 2A 5C 2B 5B, followed up by a 2C 4B j.B. Letting the last one hit twice, she then moved into a j.C jc j.B and again let the j.B hit twice, then finished with a j.C and an airthrow.

Renko went flying, spinning wildly in the air. Her head was reeling and her body felt as if it had been actually bruised instead of just shocked. She saw the line of the ring beneath her and in a burst of energy, she righted herself in the air and shot down, landing hard on the inside of the ring.

She wouldn't give Yumemi the satisfaction of a ring out in her last match. For Maribel's sake, she had to win!

“How screwed am I?” Renko muttered as she looked up at her lifebar.

5% left.

“Oh, that's not too horrible,” Renko told herself.

Then Archetype Earth activated her blood heat.

“I'll try and make this quick,” Maribel said as she crossed the ring to where Renko was still kneeling down, gasping for breath.

“You're going to Last Arc me?” Renko asked.

“Yes,” Maribel replied, raising her hand for the big finish.

“Oh. Okay.”

Then Renko leapt upwards and came straight at the unguarded Maribel.

2AA 5C 4C 5B 2C 623B 4C 2C 236C 2C 4C 5BB 2A. Whiff. Then 5BB 623B 4C 2C, with a 5BB 2A and a whiff, nine times in quick succession. She continued with a 5A 5BB 2A, whiffed, and then followed up with a 5A 5BB 623A.

And just to drive the point home, she pulled Archetype Earth along by the leg, willing strength back into her weakened arms. With a few last desperate tugs, Renko dragged her to the edge and before Maribel fully realized what was going on, she had been pushed out of the ring.

“Ring out,” Renko said, then collapsed to her knees and breathed hard.


In the bleachers, Yumemi was furious.

“Kana,” she ordered. “Activate boss rush mode.”

“Eh?” Kana asked, moving over to the Playstation XII's controls. “Boss rush? We don't have any last people to throw at the--”

“Just do it!”

“Fine, fine,” Kana muttered as she pressed some buttons.


Still dressed as Archetype Earth, Maribel walked over to Renko Vermilion, who had fallen backwards, tired and weak, blood dribbling out of her mouth.

"That last combo took too much out of me..." Renko forced out. "It feels like I'm bruised all over."

"They might be..." Maribel trailed off as she crouched over her prone body. "So, how are you feeling? You don't look too good."

Renko chuckled and coughed. "I can't hear much of anything right now. I think..." she said weakly, her eyes glassing over, "this is... the end... my friend..." She smiled slightly, blood dripping down from the side of her mouth.

"Friend?" Maribel asked, holding on to Renko's hand. "I was... kind of hoping... something else."

"Everything's... going dark..." Renko wheezed. "Oh, Merry, what are you saying...?"

"You know what I'm saying." Maribel's face went slightly red. "I was kind of hoping that someday, we would be a bit more than friends..." She blushed and smiled, the smile leaving her face as Renko coughed even harder and spat up a generous serving of blood and bile.

"Heh..." she grabbed Maribel's arm desperately, her gaze fixed on a position behind her. "Merry... it was a good run, right? I won, right? I saved you, right?"

She spat up some more blood and hacked a bit. "Right, Merry, right? Right?" Her look was almost pleading. Maribel didn't even think Renko could see her anymore.

"Oh, Renko..." Maribel said, trying to find some words to comfort her dying friend.

"Ma... ribel... I... always wanted to... tell you..." Renko said desperately, forcing the words out through sheer willpower.

"Renko..." Maribel said solemnly, as Renko's grip on her shoulder began to loosen.

She gave Maribel a faint smile.

"... I love... you... Mar... i..."

Renko's head lolled to one side, silent.

Maribel's eyes widened in shock.

"Renko!" She shook her, but Renko didn't move. "Renko!"

Maribel turned her face up to the sky. "RENKOOOO!!" she screamed. "RAHHHH!!"


Maribel looked down at her friend's battered body and shook her head slowly. She ran her hands over Renko's bruised face for a long moment.

Then she smacked it. Hard.

"IDIOT!" she yelled. "This is just a video game, remember!?" She flicked Renko's nose, and it shimmered blue.

"Oh yeah! I forgot!" Renko exclaimed, sitting back up in shock, and then falling over again. "But I'm still pretty much out of lifebar," she sighed as Maribel covered her face in disbelief.

"Oh, you silly girl..." Maribel groaned, as a long, sinister looking shadow loomed over her. Turning, she looked up into the smiling face of--

"Hey, Renko? Are we in boss rush mode now?"

"I don't know. Why do you ask?"

"Because there's an Intercontinental Ballistic Missile smiling at us."

"Eh?" Renko sat back up and looked where Maribel was looking, into the smiling face of Mimi-chan, the friendly ICBM.

Renko then glanced at her lifebar. 5% left. Maribel still had around 45%.

"Together, we make half a lifebar," she tried to say cheerfully.

Maribel turned to her.

"Renko, remember that time you threw yourself in front of that insect to save me?"


Maribel laughed and it sounded like the sweetest sound in the world to Renko's ears.

"Well, it's time to let me return the favor!" she yelled just as Mimi-chan launched itself at her.

"MARIBEL!" Renko screamed as Maribel pushed her to the side.

Grinding in her heels, Maribel fixed her gaze on the ICBM, and as it flew right in her face, she narrowed her eyes and opened her arms. The ICBM smashed into her--

And then it didn't budge. Maribel was holding it back, keeping it from advancing on Renko. Sweat broke out on Maribel's forehead.

"She can't hold it forever," Renko muttered. "But I can't help her..." She looked around wildly, trying to see if she could do something. "Oh, god damn it, I need a miracle!"


Kana looked up and sniffed the air.

"What is it?" Chiyuri asked.

"I sense applied phlebotinum in the air."

"... what?"

"Never mind," Kana said, waving it off and looking down.

If she had stayed looking up a second longer, she would have seen a burst of green light hit the Playstation XII--


Even as Archetype Earth, she wasn't invincible-- especially not at half a lifebar with no meter-- and Maribel felt her power begin to give out. She dropped to one knee as she was slowly pushed back by the force of the ICBM. She only had seconds before Mimi would break out of her iron grip and smash into Renko.

She grit her teeth and looked up at Mimi, who was still smiling. "Well, at least you're happy," she remarked dryly as she felt the ICBM push her back just a little bit more, and her power begin to fail--

A flash of green, and Maribel temporarily lost her vision. That was all Mimi needed to smash her in the chin, knock her back, and hurl itself at her friend--

"RENKO!" Maribel yelled as the ICBM went flying, sonic booms clapping in its wake.

But the other person in the ring casually caught the ICBM in one hand, and chuckled.

"Nuh-uh-uh," the person with Renko's voice said. "It's not nice to hit a girl, you know."

"Eh?" Maribel asked as the shadowy person's leg came up and kicked Mimi upwards and over, disappearing in a flash of blue sparks as it "left" the ring. Then she felt a pair of strong arms pick her up and hold her close.

Renko grinned. "Are you all right?" She was dressed as Riesbyfe Stridberg and her lifebar was up to max.

"But how?!" Maribel asked as she saw a second ICBM begin to materialize and shoot at them.

Renko pointed out of the ring, to the bleachers where the university students had been cheering the entire match. In the entire crowd, there was one person that stood out to Maribel's eyes, and that was because she was waving at them, and she had green hair--

"What can I say?" Renko winked. "She stayed up late playing Soku with me, so she got here a bit late, but she's here."

"A miracle," Maribel nodded. "Look out!" she yelled as the second ICBM came shooting at them.

Renko was ready, though. Raising her combat cello, she smashed it down on the ICBM's head as it zoomed by her. She dashed at Maribel and wrapped her arm around her waist, then leapt around the ring, avoiding the barrage of ICBMs that were now pouring out of the boss rush side of the "screen". When it couldn't be helped, she slashed the ICBMs in half, with help from Maribel as well, and they were hit by only the bare minimum of ICBMs.

Maribel looked over at Renko, smiled, and took her hand.

"Thank you," she said, leaning in and kissing her on the forehead.

Renko felt her heart pound as she put her hands on Maribel's waist. Maribel looked down, surprised, which allowed Renko to kiss her on the lips--

Only briefly, though, since there was an ICBM coming right at them. They dashed to opposite sides of the ring. Renko's heart was still pounding; she could see Maribel bringing up her hand to touch her lips.

"Oh, man," Renko laughed. "When we make it out of this, things are gonna change a fair bit..." she avoided a glancing blow from another ICBM, then barely managed to graze another. "Wait a moment," she muttered, turning her attention entirely to the barrage of ICBMs. "Is it just me, or are they coming faster and harder now...?"


"HIT THEM! HIT THEM MORE!" Yumemi yelled as she brought up every difficulty meter she could, adjusting the number of ICBMs being spawned every second.

"Yumemi, you shouldn't do that!" Rikako said, getting to her feet. "It's only an experimental machine, it won't be able to take the strain!"

"Who cares?!" Yumemi hollered back as blue sparks began to fly on the ring. "I've got to win this!"

"Yumemi, it's having problems rendering all the movement!" Chiyuri cried out. "The machine won't take it!"

“Nonsense! It'll be just--” Yumemi was interrupted by the Playstation XII bursting into flames and the entire spectacle collapsing in a flurry of bright blue sparks. “... fine.”

“... I think you broke it,” Ellen said matter-of-factly, coming up behind Yumemi as she draped herself over the ring's steps and sobbed overdramatically.


The burst of bright blue light blinded Renko for a moment. When it faded, the music and the virtual background was gone, and she was dressed in her normal clothes again. She looked over and saw Maribel back to normal, then rushed over to hug her.

“We did it! We did it!” Maribel exclaimed, jumping up and down in Renko's embrace. Renko chuckled as Maribel's excitement died down and she realized where she was-- in Renko's arms.

Renko was suddenly acutely aware of the situation. She could feel Maribel's soft, warm breath against her neck. The feeling of her skin in her arms. Maribel's chest pushed against her own. She smiled and blushed.

“So... did you really mean what you said earlier? That you wanted to be more than friends with me?”

“Well, yes,” Maribel replied. “We're already really good friends, Renko... but,” she said, bringing up her hand and brushing Renko's hair out of her face. “I... want to try to be something more...”

A sort of tightness gripped Renko's chest; she felt a longing to get closer to Merry. “That's fine with me,” the physics student replied, bringing her closer. “... because I've been thinking of the same thing.”

Before Maribel could reply, Renko had pressed her lips to hers for a gentle kiss. Maribel was taken aback for a moment, but then she returned it, wrapping her arms around Renko, much to the cheers of the screaming crowd--

“HEY!” Yumemi yelled, marching up on stage. “Public displays of affection are not acceptable on this campus!”

“Oh, and all this is?” Renko asked, pulling away from a breathless Maribel and motioning to the spectacle behind them. She glared at the professor. “What gave you the idea to do this?! What could have possessed you to come up with some harebrained scheme like this?” she demanded, waving her hand over the ring where just a few minutes ago, she had been battling a barrage of intercontinental ballistic missiles with her best friend. “How on earth did you think of this?!”

“I...” Yumemi paused for a moment. She looked... confused. Then a red glow came back in her eyes and she grinned at them, malice in her expression. “I wanted to see you suffer, Renko Usami!”

Renko growled and pulled Maribel close to her.

“Renko,” Maribel whispered. “You didn't miss that, did you?”

“What?” Renko whispered back.

“The red glow. There's no way that Yumemi is acting normally. I think she's being controlled.”

“Huh, now that you mention it...” Yumemi was standing there, a faint red aura surrounding her. “... you know, I think you're right. Is it a youkai?”

“I don't know, but I'm not taking any chances,” Maribel said, putting her hand inside her pocket and making some hasty movements.

Yumemi was stalking towards them, an angry red aura definitely beginning to surround her. Renko pushed Maribel back, away from the professor's wrath.

“You two are so annoying!” Yumemi yelled, a strange dual layer to her voice. Phantoms of huge red crosses materialized behind her, making Renko worried, even as Maribel kept moving.

“Oh, and I would have succeeded, too, if only it hadn't been for you meddli--”

“Rin, Pyō, Tō, Sha, Kai, Jin, Retsu, Zai, Zen!”

“What the hell?” Yumemi asked as she turned around to see who was chanting the Nine Syllable Seals.

“AKURYO TAISEN!” Sanae yelled as she appeared in front of Yumemi, whipped out a sacred charm, and slapped it onto her forehead.

In a burst of green light, Yumemi fell to the ground, as blood streamed out from her back.

“YUMEMI!” Renko yelled, but Sanae had whipped out her gohei and slammed it hard into Renko's chest.

“That's not blood,” she said. “That's the evil I just exorcised.”

Sure enough, the blood-looking substance was moving too fast to be blood. It snaked away on the ring, then fell off, went through the grass, and disappeared.

“Is it all right to let it go?” Maribel asked, snapping her cell phone shut. She had been texting to Sanae to tell her to come down to the ring.

“It's too weak to harm anyone.” Sanae turned to them. “Nice job, guys.”

“Good job to you,” Maribel said, patting the girl's hair. “Were those the nine syllable seals? My parents used to teach me about those when I was younger.”

“They sure were,” Sanae replied, smiling. “I'm thinking of making them into danmaku someday.”

“Ugh... my head,” a voice muttered.

“Okazaki-sensei!” the psychology student cried out as Yumemi sat up on the ring.

“Huh... wha?” Yumemi asked as she looked around. “Where in the heck am I?”

“... Yumemi, are you feeling all right?” Renko asked, cautiously leaning down to offer her hand to Yumemi.

Yumemi took it and pulled herself up. “Oh, my aching head... what's going on?”

Maribel and Renko looked at each other.

“It's a school festival!” Sanae exclaimed.

“A school festival? Really?” Yumemi's eyes focused and refocused. “First I've heard of it... ugh, my head.”

“Yumemi, should we go home for you to rest?” Chiyuri asked, coming up onto the ring.

“Yes, that sounds good,” the professor groaned slightly as Maribel handed her off to Chiyuri. Then Sanae, Maribel, and Renko followed Chiyuri off of the arena.


“Hmm, is there a point to going to class today? All our classes are probably cancelled anyway~” Maribel danced as Sanae and Renko followed her.

“Eh, probably not,” Renko laughed. “Let's just hole up in my room and play Touhouvania or something.”

“Hmm.” Sanae pondered aloud as she followed the two upperclassmen.

“What is it, Sanae?” Maribel asked.

“I was thinking... how did Yumemi get her hands on that Playstation?” She frowned. “That can't have been from this century...”

“Well, I kind of gave it to her,” Maribel admitted, laughing. “I was delivering some pizzas at my job yesterday afternoon and this maid stepped out of the shadows and told me to deliver a box, so I did.”

“Wait, you just deliver mysterious packages for strangers if they come out of the shadows and tell you to do it?” Renko asked, raising an eyebrow.

“She was a maid!” Maribel grinned sheepishly. “I couldn't turn a maid down!”

“In a maid uniform and everything?” Sanae asked.


“God, who wears that in this day and age? Unless you work at a maid cafe or something. Hmm, what colour was her hair?”


“Pink? I don't know anyone in Gensokyo who's a pink-haired maid... but I guess I could ask Kanako-sama about it.”

“A pink-haired maid, huh...” Renko looked up at the wide blue sky as the girls headed to the dorms. “So... who was really behind all of this...?”

“Well, she mentioned the name VIVIT,” Maribel offered.

“VIVIT, eh?” Renko stroked her chin as they went inside. “Looks like this is something we're going to have to investigate!”


“Damnit,” the pink-haired maid growled as she watched from around a corner. “I just KNEW I should have equipped the latest Mech Hisuis with the latest model knives with instead of using a Saber +2 with 30% hit.”

She was annoyed; her plan had fallen apart at the end. But still, she had at least gotten to see it in action...

“Oh!” she exclaimed as she saw a red mass move through the grass. It leapt up at her--

“You’re back!” she said happily as she pet the creature, which had taken the form of a cat. “Well done~”

“Kohaku, come on, we're late for our gig,” Hisui called out, opening the side of a van, which had been painted with the words “Ryougi Shiki and her Blue Bluegrass Moon band”.

“Yeah, yeah,” Kohaku said as she hopped back in, carrying the purring cat and her banjo.


The end.

In related news, I'm sure glad you're all enjoyin' this. :D~ I have too much fun writing short stories for my own good.

Nine West

  • Shrine maidens? Evil spirits? Magicians?
  • *
  • How wonderful!
Re: Kurumi and Elly's Excellent Adventures (and other short stories)
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2009, 07:36:31 am »

Seriously, good job on all counts. ;)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 03:12:58 am by Ruroeiki Sakuraxanadu »

Dizzy H. "Muffin" Muffin

  • :3
  • :3
  • Nickname: KimikoMuffin
  • Gender: Girl
Re: Kurumi and Elly's Excellent Adventures (and other short stories)
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2009, 05:37:37 pm »
Awesome. :3

I liked the "I sense applied phlebotinum in the air" line.
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 03:13:07 am by Ruroeiki Sakuraxanadu »
  • Muffiny Miscellany

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #7 on: February 14, 2010, 10:19:10 am »
Writing holiday fiction is fun.

This fic is dedicated to Serpentarius, my own partner in crime and punishment, love and justice. Thank you for being there for me when I've needed it most, and for showing me over and over again why Shikieiki is the best character in Touhou.

Now, on with the story. I'll tell you the title after it's done, but for now, it's a spoiler! (And on an unrelated note, I don't think I have ever packed as many easter eggs into one piece of fiction as much as I have now. See what you can find!)

“'And so another case is solved thanks to the intervention of the dynamic Shiki, Xanadu of Muenzuka, who promises to “defend righteousness throughout the city of Gensokyo”.' Eiki, you didn't really say that aloud to that reporter Syameimaru, did you?”

“I might have.” It didn't strike Shikieiki as weird that Kotohime still called her “Eiki”. They'd known each other in the business for quite a while, before Shiki had ever been named a Xanadu.

Kotohime sighed and went over to her office teakettle. “I thought the Higan higher-ups specifically discouraged such... flamboyant statements, especially from someone in your position.”

“I don't see anything particularly controversial about the pursuit of righteousness, especially within the role of Xanadu.”

“You always were like that back in school,” the russet-haired police chief mused as her tea poured. “I worry, though. You might start getting attention from people you never expected to.”

Shiki shrugged. “I'm more than glad to spend time with anyone to explain the truth of justice.”

“And that's precisely why we've called you here.” Kotohime motioned to the two leather-backed seats in her office. “Tea?”


“You're not going to ask me what flavor?”

“Of course not. This is Gensokyo, after all. We run on tea, even President Yakumo herself.” Shiki flashed Kotohime an almost impish grin.

“It's strawberry, for your information.” Kotohime pulled out some saucers from a cabinet. “So, how are you finding this place so far?”

“It's a bit on the odd side,” Shiki admitted. “The Ninety-Eighth district is a far cry from Higan. Hell, I spent almost a year in Chireiden and the rest of my time out on assignment, but I've never been this far west before. It's so different here.”

“You'll get used to it,” her police chief friend replied as she placed a cup of tea on each saucer. “You'll have to.”

“So what am I here for?” Shiki asked as Kotohime handed her the cup of tea.

“We've been having some... trouble lately. A prolific art thief, goes by the name Vermilion X.”

“An artsy name for an artsy thief,” the Xanadu pointed out.

“Yeah. We just call him X. Anyway, he's been nabbing pieces all over the Ninety-Eighth-- paintings, sculptures, mosaics, you name it.” Kotohime paced up and down her office, letting her cup of tea sit on her desk. “Has hit seven museums and other events in the past six weeks, stealing one valuable item and then slipping away each time.”

“Got his file?” Shiki asked.

Kotohime stopped by her desk, picked up a manila folder, and handed it to Shiki. “Thought you'd never ask.” The file was named “V. X”. Shiki thumbed through it as Kotohime went on. “He's got a certain modus operandi to what he does. Before every robbery, X sends us a warning that he's going to strike. I've deployed my best girls, my best security, cameras, trucks, even a helicopter once, but each time he's pulled it off.”

“Making you folks look like complete fools in the process,” Shiki commented as she looked through X's file. She turned a page, found a photo, and frowned. “Ugh, is this your only photo?” she asked, pulling out a grainy photo still.

“It's the only one at that,” Kotohime admitted. “Usually X is a lot more thorough when he goes in and wrecks our interior surveillance. He only managed to smash this one after it had managed to get a shot of him.”

“We all slip up eventually,” the Xanadu observed as she studied the photo and held it to the light. It was blurry, taken while X was turning around to destroy the camera, so any features were a bit hard to make out. But Shiki could still identify X's outfit: A black three-piece suit, wearing a red dress shirt and white tie, with a long red cape swirling around the thief's slim frame. X's face was concealed behind a red eyemask, hiding his eyes behind vermilion lenses. Unfortunately, X's black beret was facing towards the camera in such a way that Shiki could not see even a strand of hair. But even though the camera had been taking this photo in the dark, Shiki's trained eyes lingered for a moment on X's oddly delicate face.

“As for why we waited this long to call for a Xanadu,” the police chief went on, “We were waiting to see if the perfect bait would pop up. But 'bout a week ago, my girls in ID and psychology, Usami and Hearn, finally managed to put together a decent profile on him--”

“Her,” Shiki murmured as she studied the photo.

"What?" Kotohime leaned forward, looking at the image in surprise.

“Part of basic Xanadu visual training. We heighten the difference between black and white-- color contrasts.” Shiki pointed to the faint, almost unnoticeable curve of X's chest, the proportions of the body. “The clothes are padded, but it's still visible. The shading here gives her away. X is female.”

Kotohime paused, looking at Shiki with doubt in her eyes, then sighed. “All right, my instincts say to trust you, so I trust you. I'll send it down to Doctor Asakura in forensics. Maybe she can enhance the image.” She nodded in grudging admiration as she looked over X's photo again. “I must give her this: the girl is very thorough.”

“Anyway, you were saying?” Shiki stopped looking through the file and sipped her tea.

“Usami did some digging around. According to what she's turned up, it looks like X is targeting a specific individual.”

Shiki raised an eyebrow. “Who?”

"All the items that have been stolen have belonged to Kana Anaberal," Kotohime said.

Shiki nearly spat out her drink. “Kana Anaberal? As in Anaberal Hotels Anaberal?”

“One and the same.” The police chief leaned over X's file and turned to the relevant page. “Ever since she became the last living heir to the Anaberal conglomerate, she became the Ninety-Eighth's most eligible bachelorette overnight. When she stepped up to take the reins of the Anaberal empire, she also inherited dozens of priceless artifacts. She's got some public relations savvy, and since she's rich enough with or without 'em, she's become a patron of the arts, donating her art pieces to various museums and special events around the city.”

“Have you interviewed her about this yet?” Shiki asked. “Does she have any idea why X might be targeting her?”

“Ah,” Kotohime paused. “Here's the catch. She's making a public presentation to the Kamishirasawa Cultural Center tomorrow. Kana herself is going to give a speech tomorrow at the presentation.”

“Any chance we can convince her to cancel the showing tomorrow?”

“You'll have to talk to her for that.” Kotohime turned the page. “These are Kana's personal employees. Might want to familiarize yourself, they might see something and we need all the eyes we can get.”

Shiki's eyes glanced over the short profiles of Kana's employees, stopping when she saw a redheaded woman with striking features and a name that made her pause.

“Yumemi Okazaki? Weren't you two friends back in the day?” Shiki asked.

Kotohime nodded, not at all surprised at how Shiki knew all these details. “Kana and Chiyuri too. We all grew up together.”

“It says here that Chiyuri Kitashirakawa is her personal bodyguard. What does that make Yumemi?”

“Chief security officer. I talked to her a while ago, asked her why she's working for Kana, and she checked out just fine, said it was just because Kana wanted to do her a favor,” Kotohime said-- then admitted, "I think Yumemi's not telling the truth, but I'm not quite sure about what or why."

“I'll look into that tonight,” Shiki nodded firmly, sipping the last of her strawberry tea. Kotohime's instincts were remarkably good, and had led to the arrest of various prolific criminals in the past, so she began to plan for a visit to the Anaberal Manor tonight.

She looked at the page of employees again, eyes lingering on Yumemi's photo as she stared into its eyes. Even through a photo, Yumemi's eyes held some kind of hidden intensity within them. It intrigued Shiki. But back to business. “Anyways, how do I get into the Kamishirasawa Cultural Center?”

“I got an invitation myself, being Kana's friend,” Kotohime replied, picking something up off of her desk. “However, I managed to snag an extra one, just in case.”

“Sharp as ever,” Shiki commended her, taking the invitation. She set down her empty cup. “Ah, that was good. I've work to get to, though.”

“Right then,” Kotohime nodded. “Just don't give away any autographs. The girls are so thrilled to see a real live Xanadu around here. The Ninety-Eighth doesn't have any of its own.”

Shiki bowed, her distinctive Xanadu uniform-- blue vest accented with gold, white dress shirt, knee-length black skirt with dangling red and white ribbons everywhere, as well as her impressive hat-- looking thoroughly out of place in a police station. Yet she was effectively a supercop, one of the elite Xanadu task force, sent to take care of particularly tricky cases throughout the sprawling city of Gensokyo. “See you tomorrow, Kotohime.”

“Take care,” Kotohime called out, pouring a new cup of tea as Shiki departed. The Xanadu left the police station, stopping to say thank you to Hearn and Usami for their excellent research, and got into the passenger's seat of her car, the custom-made Sanzu Titanic.

“Did you catch all of that?” Shiki asked her driver, removing one of the golden buttons on her vest to reveal a small communications device. She wiped it clean with a tissue and replaced it.

“Every word,” Komachi Onozuka replied, starting up the Titanic and driving off. “It doesn't feel like a full-blown incident. I think it may just be an ordinary robber.”

“Nice for a change,” Shiki sighed, strapping herself in with a seat belt. “We're going to the Anaberal Manor, then.”

“Yep. Though I guess you'll hop out a little while before I pull up to the door.”

Shiki nodded, then a thought occurred. "So I'm going to the unveiling tomorrow. What appearance do you think I should take on? Xanadu as usual, or...?”

“Hmm. Bohemian art student sounds good. Casual, clean, and no one will ask questions as to why you have green hair.”

“Hah. Can I ask people to sign a petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide while I'm at it?”

“If anyone actually signs that, I really will become depressed.”

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #8 on: February 14, 2010, 10:20:31 am »
Once they saw the Anaberal Manor in the distance, Komachi parked in a darkened side street. Shiki got out of her seat, out of the car, and looked to her companion. “Back in a few minutes. I've got to talk to Kana and try to convince her to cancel the exhibition.”

“Signal me when you're out so I can pick you up.”

Shiki nodded and closed the door. The Titanic drove off. Shiki looked down the street and stretched her arms out in front of her, leaped up a vertical six meters or so, and hopped from windowsill to windowsill until she reached the roof of the building next to her. She leaped from roof to roof, approaching the Anaberal Manor.

She was grateful for the cover of night. She was able to make it all the way to the Manor's roof, walking across the narrow balcony rail as if it were nothing. Shiki considered that it was a slight ethical hypocrisy for her to do this. The house was in one of the best parts of town, a sprawling building that suited the prestige and wealth of the Anaberal Family. The security here was provided by Higan, of course-- and because she was a Xanadu, she was above the law in that sense. She could break any security alarm she wanted; the iris recognition software would go off, but she would be identified as someone with “highest security clearance”, and the alarm would go silent. Well, it was simply a formidable power, a resource at her disposal. It would only be unethical if she used it for evil, and not a moment befor--

Eiki saw the bolt coming at her before she could hear it. If it had been anyone else, someone else whose eyes were not trained to see everything in black-white color contrast, they would not have been able to see one shadow against another. She dodged accordingly, up and around the opponent.

“Who's there?!” a voice demanded. She emerged from the shadows of the balcony and stepped into the light pouring out from inside. She was young, early twenties, with long red hair reaching her waist. In her hand, she carried a massive crossbow, an archaic weapon in this day and age. “How did you dodge that? Are you human?”

“I am Xanadu.”

Yumemi-- because that was who she was-- turned to shoot Shiki with the crossbow. But Shiki was faster. She was already at her elbow when Yumemi realized what had been said, and with a practiced hand, she pulled the crossbow up and out of her grip. She did not want to hurt her, but she was not in the mood to get sent to the hospital, either.

“A Xanadu?” Yumemi scoffed-- then she saw the uniform and turned red. “A Xanadu! My deepest apologies!”

“Don't worry. I would have done the same thing in your situation, Miss Okazaki.” Shiki hefted the crossbow in her arms. It was not exactly a lightweight weapon. “Why not a gun?”

“Because people know how to not lose their nerve when they have a gun pointed at them,” Yumemi replied, accepting the crossbow back. “Not so much with one of these.”

Shiki's mouth twitched. Yumemi was a bit fiendish, but she was clever. Clever and smart, smart enough to know that Shiki was on the balcony, though she had been dead silent in her approach.

Again, back to business. “I was hoping that I could speak to you or Miss Anaberal tonight.”

“Sure.” Yumemi stepped closer, the white nightgown she wore fluttering around her.

Shiki felt a curious heat coming to her cheeks. She looked away from the girl's near nudity. "I didn't mean to interrupt your sleep," she murmured.

“I'm paid to wake up very quickly when I have to.” Yumemi chuckled. “And I wasn't asleep, either. I was just thinking about tomorrow.” She smiled at Shiki, the scent of her perfume carried by the wind, smelling like a freshly-picked strawberry. "How can I help you?"

“I bring a message from Officer Kotohime for Kana. May I speak to her?”

Yumemi shook her head, her long red hair getting caught in a breeze. “She's not in town tonight. She'll be here tomorrow.”

Shiki sighed, disappointed. “May I speak to you, then?”

The red-haired woman smiled. “That was your intention.”

Her words caught Shiki off guard. “Uh, what?”

“You don't think I didn't notice that you called me Miss Okazaki earlier,” Yumemi replied, a gleam in her eyes. “I haven't even told you my name once tonight.”

“Ah...” Shiki felt herself flush. She hadn't even realized that she'd let it slip. “Did I get it wrong? Are you married, then?”

“Don't worry. I'm single.” Yumemi grinned. The way she said it made Shiki turn red again, and the scientist giggled. “Is that all you came here to find out?”

The flustered Xanadu stammered something out. "Y-your exhibition has been targeted by the thief Vermilion X." She made herself concentrate on her work and not the aroma of ripe strawberries. "But do you know why?"

Yumemi shook her head, closing her fire red eyes as she said, "I have no idea why this criminal would be interested in our exhibition."


Shiki was a Xanadu, after all. And she had graduated with flying colors for her inhuman skill with lie detection. She could detect a lie like a whiff of smoke in the air, like a flash of black against white. Yumemi was lying. But why?

Well, whatever it was, Shiki would not find out tonight. Without Kana or Chiyuri around, she would be able to find the lies, but not the truth. Yumemi could lie from here to sunrise, but it would be worthless if she had no one else to confirm.

She considered doing just that for a moment, but the idea of “staying up all night” with Yumemi suddenly took another turn in her mind, and she flushed red again. She was clearly sleep-deprived. She had to get out of here.

But there was no harm in leaving Yumemi with a warning. “I'll keep an eye out tomorrow, then.” She put her hand on the rail of the balcony. “I'll be watching.”

“Ah--” Yumemi began, but Shiki was gone, bounding away into the darkness of the Gensokyo night.

She pressed the second button on her vest as she hopped over an air vent and settled down on a windowsill. Then she spent a few minutes thinking about the girl she had just met, the one whose comments had made her flush as red as Yumemi's hair. Thinking about it, she'd always liked that hair color. The memory of her hair moving in the night breeze, beneath the light of the cold moon... it was graceful, dangerous, beautiful. Much like Yumemi herself...

Shiki was brought back to the present when she saw the Titanic pull up to the curb. She dropped from the windowsill and landed on the sidewalk, then let herself in to the car, where Komachi gunned the engine and drove off.

“That was an interesting meeting,” Komachi commented.

“Yes,” Shiki replied, looking up in the mirror to stare at Komachi's red hair without her noticing. “Yes, it was.”

The Titanic drove through the night.


The next day was overcast, just as the weatherwoman Letty had predicted on the news. The clouds kept out direct sunlight, but they weren't terribly dark and would clear up by early evening. Still, the weather was good enough that the exhibition could proceed as planned.

The Inaba security guards, hired by the Kamishirasawa curator, were stationed at various points around the center. Kotohime must not have enjoyed that, but she had sent in a force of plainclothes officers anyway, currently milling around in the crowd.

Shiki could see them all, of course, but she didn't think they'd get much use today.

“This is too public for Vermilion X,” a voice said behind her, beating her to the thought. “X prefers the shadows.”

The Xanadu turned to see a blonde girl in a form-fitting dark purple dress smiling at her. “Miss Hearn,” she greeted her. “I should have known that if anyone would be able to point me out in this crowd, it'd be you.”

Maribel Hearn chuckled. “A compliment from you is one I'll take to heart. Would you like to come in with me?”

“Isn't Miss Usami here?” Shiki asked.

The investigative psychologist sighed. “No, she's late as usual. You're not going to let me go in by myself, are you, Shiki-sama?”

Shiki felt a flush on her cheeks. “No, of course not.”

She offered her arm to the young woman and they approached one of the Inaba security officers. She had done a good job of adopting the guise of an art student, dressed in a slim blue button-up shirt, khakis, and a black jacket thrown over her shoulders to keep warm.

Maribel and Shiki both handed the officers their invitations at the same time. The officer glanced at the passes and waved them both in, not giving her or Maribel a second glance as they passed through the gate.

“Wow, these Inabas are quite the incompetents,” Maribel observed.

“They're paid to stand around and look impressive,” Shiki replied, remembering what Yumemi had said last night, remembering her crossbow bolts. “Though to be fair, some hired security is actually good at what they do, when they are paid to think on the battlefield.”

Maribel nodded as the two went arm-in-arm towards the stage. The Cultural Center was an amalgamation of Western and Eastern building style; the main portion of the building was an avant-garde concrete block, but atop it, there was a massive blue-red pagoda-style building with red banners fluttering from the top. It was a bit uncharitable to think this-- Shiki mused as she watched Curator Kamishirasawa up on stage. But she had reason to think that it was based on the curator's hat. She wished for a moment that she had her Xanadu headpiece, just to determine whose was most impressive, but she could not afford to blow her cover.

They climbed up a set of flat, long stairs to the porch extending out from the entrance of the building. A stage was set up on the far side, in front of the entrance to the museum, and around a cloth-covered painting stood the curator, a few dozen older officials, two tengu reporters, and three girls that looked out of place: A blonde dressed in a loose white dress, looking so pale and drained that Shiki worried for her life; the second, a twintailed blonde in a white naval uniform with knee-length shorts for some reason; the third, a redhead who was wearing a predominantly red outfit, with a red vest, long red dress, and a white jacket on her shoulders to stay warm, much like her. She was slender but not too thin, had fine features, and long red hair that made Shiki stare at her longer than she probably should have--

“Yumemi,” Shiki mumbled, staring up at the beautiful redhead. She was dressed a bit like an eccentric scientist, but she wasn't staring because of her looks-- not entirely. No, there was something about her body language. Her posture, her behaviour, her expressions-- they all indicated a concealed strength, a hidden intensity. Her face was serious as she listened to the officials talk away.

Then she blinked, surprised. Almost as if she felt Shiki's eyes on her, Yumemi turned to meet her gaze. Her red eyes widened, she seemed startled-- but then Shiki saw a flash of-- anger? Hurt? What for? Yumemi concealed it well, but Shiki was a Xanadu, and Yumemi's sudden shift in mood stood out as anomalous to her character, and not something that could be overlooked.

Yumemi turned back to the meeting of officials, leaving Shikieiki confused and worried as to what she did.

“Shiki-sama? What's up?” Maribel asked, still holding on to her arm.

Shiki sighed. “I don't know.” She sought to change the subject. “Isn't Miss Usami here yet?”

“She texted me. She should be here... soon, I think,” Maribel replied.

“Isn't that her over there?” Shiki pointed at a hat moving through the crowd past the gate.

“Why, yes, it is!” Maribel cheered up.

“Tell her hello for me,” Shiki asked, pulling her arm away from Maribel's. “I've got to find Kotohime. I'll see you around.”

“Will do, Shiki-sama,” the psychologist replied as she dashed off.

Using her natural charm and a warm smile, Shiki made her way through the crowd of art enthusiasts, collectors, and upper-class socialites, ending up not far from where the presentation was to take place. She noted each and every plainclothes officer she passed on the way, and looked up onto the stage, where Kotohime was keeping a vigilant eye on the crowd.

The police chief looked good in a suit, Shiki realized, a certain heat rising in her face again. Kotohime was really very pretty, with the kind of red hair that Shiki had recently learned to appreciate, and she still carried herself with the dignity she had once had as a princess. She was a professional through and through, however, so in the end she had chosen her career over a title and 'a life of sedentary boredom', as she had described it once.

She did not appear to be in the best of moods right now, though. “I guess she wasn't able to convince Kana to cancel,” Shiki mused. Then she noted the curator approaching the microphone set up near the front of the stage and realized the presentation was about to begin, so she took a seat as close to the front as she could get and sat quietly through the exhibition.

The ceremony itself was fairly boring, though Shiki had enough discipline to be able to conceal it on her face. Apart from Curator Kamishirasawa, the representatives of the Cultural Center gave speeches almost too overdone in their praise of Miss Anaberal, then the city politicians who were looking for votes for their separate parties took a turn.

Then it was Kana's turn. Chiyuri went up with the pale heiress, standing by her side, dutiful as ever. Yumemi stayed seated with a face like stone, and Shiki's gaze flicked over to her every now and again, but Yumemi did not meet her gaze even once.

To her credit, Kana herself kept her comments short and to the point, thanking the city and its people for supporting the arts, and then moving on to the unveiling. Applause broke out amongst the guests.

Curator Kamishirasawa was given the honor of taking the cloth drapes in her hands and pulling it off of the piece-- then a collective gasp of shock went up from the crowd. The painting itself was beautiful, to be sure; a western rendering of an Eastern paradise, with luscious fruits growing by the side of a stream and birds soaring through the clear blue sky. But what really drew attention was the note that had been attached to the high mountain in the center.

"The paradise will be mine by midnight," the note read. It was signed by Vermilion X.

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #9 on: February 14, 2010, 10:22:19 am »
The crowd went crazy. The Inaba officers swarmed the stage, looking for trapdoors and the like where X must have managed to gain access to the statue. Kotohime's eyes flashed as she looked everywhere at once for the thief. Chiyuri's voice barked over the murmuring crowd as she whisked Kana away into a black car, for her own safety. The city officials and politicians in particular seemed to be going nuts, but the curator and Yumemi remained calm, reassuring them that everything would be fine even as the exhibition dissolved into panic.

Shiki, for her part, followed standard procedure. She flowed with the crowd and moved her way through it, making it seem as if she had ended up standing next to Kotohime by sheer chance.

“X must've got here early to add that note,” Kotohime said to the Xanadu out of the corner of her mouth.

“Definitely.” Shiki was well-trained in how to carry a conversation with someone and not let anyone notice that you know one another. “You can dust the note for fingerprints, but I doubt you'll get anything. She's been meticulously careful so far, so I doubt she'd screw up like that this time.”

“Hey, like you said, everyone slips up eventually. We'll try anyway.” Kotohime grunted. “So, what are you going to do now?”

“I'll stake out this place tonight,” Shiki replied. “The note makes me suspicious for two reasons.”

“Two?” Kotohime blinked.

“There's of course the challenge to the police that the note represents,” Shiki counted off, “and there's a second layer to it that's relevant to me: Xanadu means paradise.” With that, she walked away and melted back into the crowd, disappearing like a drop of water into the ocean.

Kana's chief of security made her way over to the police chief, flashing her a look of simple, inquisitive curiousity. “Who was that young woman?” she asked.

Kotohime lied smoothly, hiding her surprise that Yumemi had been attentive enough to see them talking together. “One of my undercover officers, so I regret that I can't mention her name to you.”

Yumemi gazed off into the crowd where Shiki had disappeared, her expression thoughtful. “Thank you, officer,” she replied, then turned back to the anxious museum and city officials.

“Miss Okazaki, what are we going to do now?” One of the senior city officials asked.

“Don't worry at all,” Yumemi reassured them. “I'm sure the perpetrator will meet justice tonight.”

Kotohime paused and watched her for a moment. “What an interesting person Yumemi turned out to be,” she mused to herself before she flipped open her cell phone and returned to work.


The weather turned out to be exactly what the weatherwoman had predicted earlier: The sun and the cloudy day gave way to a fresh, clear evening sky. Police cars were stationed all around the perimeter of the Cultural Center, and police walked around with massive halogen flashlights. From above, a spotlight swept across the dark parking lot, then moved on to the roof.

At her temporary headquarters by her patrol car, Kotohime sipped her cup of strawberry tea, wondering what would happen next.

“Not too shabby,” Shiki commented as she dropped right out of the night sky, landing next to the chief. “Looks like they finally got around to giving you a better budget.”

“How do you do that?” Kotohime asked, looking both startled and annoyed at being startled.

Shiki grinned. “Trade secret.” She nodded towards the Titanic, dark as the night, that had pulled up out of nowhere next to Kotohime's car. “Pass on any information to Onozuka here, and she'll pass it on to me. I'm gonna go see if I can find X herself.” And with that, the Xanadu took off, leaping into the shadows.

Kotohime looked sideways at Komachi, who had rolled down the window and settled down with a cigarette.

Shiki landed on the corner of the pagoda atop the Cultural Center, then stood up. She was dressed to kill, Xanadu-style; she wore a tattered black trenchcoat, a black version of her formal hat, knee-length black combat boots, and a blue button-up shirt with a patterned yellow-gold tie. The strands of her hat swayed in the night breeze as she looked out over the scene.

“Oh, Kotohime,” she muttered. “You forgot one of the first lessons of a cop.” She reached out to touch an ultra-thin strand that connected the top of the Cultural Center to the ground floor. Anyone else would have missed it, but Shiki with her black-white vision saw it as stark white against a pure black skyline. “Always look up.” She tugged on it; it was just string. Which meant that this wasn't a zipline for X to make a getaway, it was a trail that X had left, meant to be followed.

She took off, following the string. It stretched from one point on the ground floor and back up, and Shiki followed it until she reached the top of the Anaberal Manor. She leapt up to the roof of the building, only to stop cold as she saw what was waiting for her at the top.

A table, with three girls surrounding it. One of the girls was pale, so pale to almost look translucent under the light of the moon, sitting in an elegant white wheelchair. The second, blonde and wearing the same white naval uniform from earlier. And the third--

"I've been waiting for you," Vermilion X said calmly, her voice even as she sat on the other side of the table, a thermos sitting between herself and Kana. She had taken out the padding from the suit, the curve of breasts and hips now clearly visible under the black and red cloth. Beside her two cups steamed, the rich scent of hot strawberry tea carried by the breeze.

The heiress looked over at the shocked Xanadu. “Well, it looks like you got what you wanted,” Kana laughed. “Well done. Chiyuri, let's go inside and leave these two alone.”

“Aye-aye, ma'am,” Chiyuri replied. Shiki watched as Chiyuri hefted up Kana's wheelchair and drove her into the Manor itself, leaving her alone with X on the roof.

Shiki breathed and composed herself. X was looking at her, her legs crossed, looking unworried and relaxed.

“You're awfully casual about being caught,” Shiki observed, her body tensed and ready for any move the thief might make.

“I've accomplished what I set out to do,” X replied. She held out one of the cups of steaming hot strawberry tea. “Would you like some?”

Shikieiki walked closer, considering how much speed she would need to knock X down in three steps. “And what did you want to do?” she asked, taking the cup. Vaguely she wondered if it was poisoned, but what point would there be to that?

X took her beret off, revealing a knot of tied hair. “Trying to meet you, of course,” she said with a shrug.

“What?” Shiki blinked.

“I've seen you on the news before. You... intrigued me, with how bold you were about upholding righteousness. Not like the rest of them.”

Shiki remembered what the police chief had told her yesterday. “You might start getting attention from people you never expected to... oh, Kotohime, you don't know the half of it,” she muttered.

“But you aren't the easiest woman to contact.” X flashed a smile as she reached up to untie her hair. “So I needed to find a way to get your attention.”

“But why did you target someone like Kana...” Shiki trailed off as it hit her suddenly, the pieces falling into place. “Of course,” she murmured, eyes narrowing.

X reached up to remove her mask, those deep red eyes now twinkling with honest amusement. “I thought you'd get it,” Yumemi smiled, sipping her own tea. “I needed a favor, and Kana's one of my best friends. She agreed to take me on as her security chief so I'd have access to the art pieces at all times. She never actually lost a single painting.”

“Why did you want to contact me?” Shiki demanded, putting her cup back on the table, trying to ignore the sudden racing of her heart and the thought floating through her mind that she liked a woman in a suit.

Yumemi set the cup down on the table and moved towards Shiki with an almost unearthly grace. “I don't know if someone can really fall in love at first sight--” Yumemi suddenly stepped close to her. “--but I think it happened to me the first time that I saw you.” With that, she pressed her red lips to the startled Shiki's, swiftly drawing her into a lingering kiss.

“Wh-whaaaaaat?!” Shiki stammered, pulling back once the kiss ended.

“What's going on?” Komachi asked in her ear, the communications device she wore keeping them in constant contact.

“You wouldn't believe me if I told you,” Shiki muttered.

Yumemi stepped back, smiling up at her. “I'm sorry if I'm too forward,” she said softly, “but I've wanted to do that for so long.”

“Gah--” Shiki shook her head, trying to clear it. “You can't be in love with me.” She tried to be reason out the situation. “You don't even know me.”

“In that case...” Yumemi put her hand on Shiki's shoulder, looking up at her with those bottomless red eyes. “I'd love to get to know you better.”

Shiki breathed in the scent of fresh strawberries. “Oh, dear,” she muttered, feeling a bit faint. “Are you always this impulsive?”

“I am when I find something I want.” Yumemi squeezed Shiki's arm.

“Wow.” Shiki smiled, finding herself blushing a bit. "I don't think I would have imagined this happening when I  came to the Ninety-Eighth district a few days ago."

Taking the hint of how short of a time they'd known each other in person, Yumemi smiled. “Let's start with dinner, then,” she said, taking Shiki's hand in her own, “and see where things go from there.”

Shiki turned a bit red, feeling the warmth of Yumemi's hand-- and her smile.

“I'd like that,” the Xanadu agreed, and the two of them walked off together.


That night was the last time anyone saw Vermilion X, after Yumemi chose to retire that identity. The Xanadu of Muenzuka brokered a deal between Kana and Kotohime, closing the case without bringing too much publicity to either the Higan police force or the Anaberal family. Over time, Yumemi won Shikieiki over: as a lover, as a friend, and as her red-haired partner in crime-fighting, the Ninety-Eighth's equivalent of a Xanadu: the “Strawberry Cross” of justice.

Strawberry+Cross - The End

Have a happy Valentine's Day 2010, folks! o/

Dizzy H. "Muffin" Muffin

  • :3
  • :3
  • Nickname: KimikoMuffin
  • Gender: Girl
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #10 on: February 14, 2010, 06:39:16 pm »
Heh. You know, it was kind of obvious who Vermilion X was going to be, but there was just enough uncertainty there that I kept wondering.
  • Muffiny Miscellany

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #11 on: February 15, 2010, 03:27:19 pm »
I am posting this because I am a geek.

Partial list of shoutouts and references

'And so another case is solved thanks to the intervention of the dynamic Shiki
PowerPuff Girls ends every episode with "And so the day is saved, thanks to-- THE POWERPUFF GIRLS!"

We run on tea, even President Yakumo herself.
From Serpentarius' fic, Amor Fati. It's dedicated to him, so he would know the reference. :3

The Ninety-Eighth district
The world of PC-98.

I spent a year in Chireiden
This is approximately how long Shikieiki has been in White Rose's Chireiden plot.

Vermilion X
Akiha Vermilion, as mentioned in Red Thaumatology, is a very close color parallel to Yumemi. (Similarly, Ryougi is a color parallel to Renko.) In that fic, I switched them around; in this, I decided to play them straight. It can also be seen as a reference to the Teen Titans villain Red X.

But Shiki could still identify X's outfit: A black three-piece suit, wearing a red dress shirt and white tie, with a long red cape swirling around the thief's slim frame. X's face was concealed behind a red eyemask, hiding his eyes behind vermilion lenses.
Sailor Moon fans should recognize this as a red recolor of Tuxedo Kamen. The only thing where Vermilion X really differs in the use of a beret instead of a top hat.

Sanzu Titanic
Isuzu Motors' new line of cruise cars! :V

Can I ask people to sign a petition to ban dihydrogen monoxide while I'm at it?
Dihydrogen Monoxide is a menace :[

In her hand, she carried a massive crossbow, an archaic weapon in this day and age.
It was originally going to be a cross-shaped gun much like Erica Fontaine's (see the final entry in this list), but I decided against it. Why? For the lulz.

The Titanic drove through the night.
This Titanic, unlike its more unfortunate namesake, actually made it through the night.

The next day was overcast, just as the weatherwoman Letty had predicted on the news.
Notably, Weatherwoman Letty gets the weather right every time. Suspicious.

A blonde dressed in a loose white dress, looking so pale and drained that Shiki worried for her life
Kana Anaberal is a ghost. But how do ghosts inherit multi-million dollar hotel empires? Beats me!

Her red eyes widened, she seemed startled-- but then Shiki saw a flash of-- anger? Hurt? What for?
Seeing a cute blonde girl on the arm of your beloved might do that to you.

then the city politicians who were looking for votes for their separate parties took a turn.
Originally this was going to have a mention of the Moriya and Hakurei parties, but I had dragged out the sentence long enough. Oh well.

a western rendering of an Eastern paradise
A painting based on Coleridge's Kubla Khan, of course, in reference to the mythological Xanadu.

But what really drew attention was the note that had been attached to the high mountain in the center.
Within the painting "Xanadu", the centerpiece is the painting of a huge mountain-- "yama"-- in the center.

considering how much speed she would need to knock X down in three steps.
Yuugi's last card, Knockdown in Three Steps.

And last but not least:
The title is a shoutout to the AU Sakura Taisen fancomic series Pari+Cross. Note the resemblance between the cross-wielding redhead Erica Fontaine and Yumemi. (Berry+Cross might have worked as a better pun, but it would have been less catchy.)

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #12 on: March 14, 2010, 10:06:45 am »
While thinking of a title for this, it occurred to me that it could only have one title. And it's kind of... scary what I chose. It could only be that, and I saw it coming...?

Oh well, please enjoy the first English-language Hatate fic!

She was flipping through the images on her camera and she wasn't at all pleased with them.

“They're all... missing something.”

It was dissatisfying to see them. She wondered why for a moment. She looked to her side and saw a copy of the newspaper. She was sitting on a rock at the edge of the waterfall of Youkai Mountain, and her bare legs hung over the edge, getting sprayed with water. She crossed her left leg over her right one and flipped open the newspaper and looked through it.

The design of the newspaper wasn't anything exceptional. The writing was of decent quality. But she was not interested in either of those. She was looking at the photos.

What did they have that hers did not?

“They're not of anything particularly exciting...”

They were just photos of the subjects she was interviewing. Patchouli Knowledge sitting comfortably in her chair, sipping a cup of coffee while Aya asked her about Setsubun, her long purple hair falling over her shoulders, lit up by the candlelight, while fairies fluttered around behind her. Aya had taken the shot from the floor, at an angle so that Patchouli was looking down and smiling, her cup of coffee steaming hot.

She looked at her camera phone: Patchouli Knowledge's back, with sheer blackness for a background.

Next photo: Wriggle Nightbug, being interviewed about the New Insects' News Service to improve the social standing of the insects of Gensokyo. This photo was taken from above, with Wriggle standing, looking up at Aya, arms crossed and a confident smile on her face, while bugs and bug youkai all clustered around her as well. Aya must have used the flash, with an exposure time of 1/20th of a second perhaps, the perfect exposure time to capture the scene without a flaw.

Her own photo? Wriggle from a distance, barely visible against the dark of the forest.

The third photo: of Eirin Yagokoro, standing in front of her medicine cabinet, with Reisen holding the new Butterfly Dream Pill. The light streamed through the open doors of Eientei, letting in the green glow of the sun's rays reflecting off of bamboo. The next: of Marisa Kirisame, wearing a huge grin as she bolted out of Voile, Patchouli Knowledge throwing enormous solar flares at her. The next: of Ran Yakumo, biting a paintbrush in her mouth while she pored over her calculations of the width of the Sanzu River.

Of Merlin Prismriver, blowing her trumpet loud enough to wake up the dead-- as evidenced by her sisters' annoyed scowls. Of Yuyuko Saigyouji, standing in the ghostly pink light of the Saigyou Ayakashi's cherry blossoms. Of Flandre Scarlet, holding her arms wide apart to express how a meteorite had gone “kaboom”, of Fujiwara no Mokou attacking the photographer with the flames of the immortal phoenix, of Reimu Hakurei laughing while her sake cup splashed all over her skirt--

No matter what, every time, her cell phone's photos were so... distant. Far away. People seen from a distance, or only their backs-- never a smile, never a flash of happiness in the eyes, never any reaction.

“It must be that...”

The roar of the waterfall drowned out her words, but she knew what they were. She looked at her own newspaper, the Kakako Nenpo, and shook her head as she glanced through the photos.

They were so... lifeless.

Hatate Himekaidou had never been one for actually going out. She stayed home and used her keitai to look for photos that had already been recorded. It was a strange power, spirit photography; effectively, it made her cell phone into a recipient of photos from all over Gensokyo, no matter who had taken it. She could use her cell phone to browse through other people's photos, and use them herself. She re-purposed photos more than anything; what need was there to go out when she had this great resource at her disposal?

Yet from the beginning, Aya Syameimaru's photographs had stood out. They were dynamic and lively, planned out yet fresh, hard-earned. From varying angles, with different lighting-- and it was evident that Aya enjoyed the profession in a way Hatate did not.

Kakako Nenpo was good at hyping other people's stuff, but when had she ever done something truly original?

Looking through Bunbunmaru at first, she had had to stifle her laughter. But she kept reading, and she didn't know why. What was the point? The articles were ridiculous-- but even then, she was drawn to them. And even more so--

“Why is it that its headlines never overlap with other newspapers?”

Bunbunmaru was always pure original content. Aya worked her wings off for each and every photo, as well as hundreds more that were never published because she didn't think they were good enough. Hatate had had the ability to sift through the piles of bad photos and get the really good ones, but Aya took fifty photos and hoped for MAYBE five good ones. Photography was her life, her passion, her profession. And it showed.

Her first instinct was to follow her. It was difficult-- Hatate wasn't used to going out to find subjects. But what she had discovered had been invaluable, and it was this: Aya was no passive observer of events. She was involved in them herself, flying circles around opponents and throwing out danmaku with the best of them.

At first, she had just laughed at Aya some more. Talk about being desperate; did she want news so much that she caused incidents herself? Did she really break the usual distance between photographer and photographed that she would get the first scoop? How pathetic.

But then-- as she watched Aya fight off Marisa and Reimu atop the Youkai Mountain, laughing with unadulterated joy as she threw out bullets. As she watched Aya pacing up and down the Hakurei Shrine, shouting orders into a yin-yang ball, sweat breaking out on her brow every time she heard a grunt from Reimu. As she watched Aya spinning tornados so tall they could knock even the shinigami of the Sanzu down, twirling on her geta.

She was smiling. She had not a bit of regret.

And that was what Hatate was missing.

The risk, thrill, the danger of getting the best photos, of being the best-- leeching off others' photos was no way to do that. She would get the best pickings, certainly, but next to being on the forefront, taking the hits and the bruises, the cuts and the grazes-- Next to Aya, who risked life and limb to get her photos...

Her actions were dishonest-- no wonder her newspaper felt lifeless.

Hatate sighed. She looked at the Bunbunmaru and then she looked at the Kakano Nenpo. And then she looked down, to see the flash of a camera lens flying up to meet her.

That was why she had chosen this spot; she knew Aya would be returning from her latest expedition today, coming up this path up the Youkai Mountain.

It was here that she would confront her. It was here that she would see the passion of a risk-taking, dynamic photographer in action. It was here that she would see the tengu prove her devotion.

Now, then, to someone who does not want to regret following in your footsteps: Prove your loyalty.

The tengu flew at one another, their newspapers' sheets flying in the sky behind them--

Your loyalty, your courage, your passion, your honesty of purpose-- Aya Syameimaru!

Honesty of Purpose - The End
And now I can go to sleep and play DS tomorrow ;_;


  • Serendipitous Youkai
  • *
  • i post while naked
  • Nickname: The Nobunbunmaru
  • Gender: (female)
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #13 on: March 14, 2010, 10:15:09 am »
Enjoy the first comment on a English language DS fanfic \o/
Tumblr (sometimes NSFW) | PM for Facebook
  • My Tumblr

Purji Costavis

  • The strongest man! The strongest chin!
  • *
  • Glory to Arstotzka! The greatest country!
  • Staff
  • Nickname: Purvis
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #14 on: March 14, 2010, 10:20:56 am »
First IT STINKS comment on an English DS fanfic

I like the picture descriptions =I

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #15 on: August 16, 2010, 05:44:39 am »
I would have been earlier on this, if it wasn't for employment. Ah well.

'tis a belated birthday gift for my best friend, Donut. Seriously, I owe so much to this pastry it's ridiculous. I hope this little gift can pay a little bit of that debt.

Oh, and this is your reading music. As the title will soon make clear, I love swing and jive, almost as much as I like clever puns!

Wings n' Jive
A gift for Donut in two and a half parts


It wasn't too crowded that night in the lounge, much to Donut's relief. It wasn't too deserted, either. It was just right. There was just enough smoke hanging near the ceiling that it obscured him from the action on the stage, but not enough that it blocked his vision of it. And with just the right-sized crowd, he wouldn't stand out too much, nor would he blend in that far. He wanted to see her, and he thought he wanted her to see him in turn.

He had been here every night for the past few days, and he didn't think he would be changing his routine any time soon, so long as he could see that woman again.

The music was good, the crowd was silent, and the swing jazz group accompanying the woman played well, yet not strong enough to drown out her voice.

She was scatting right now into the microphone on the stand, but soon enough she took hold of the stand and sang out.

"The blond bombshell, destroyin' men
Her blue eyes are smoky like an opium den--"

He was sitting on one of the stools next to the bar, and he felt the beating of his heart begin to relax from the constant pound it had been all night before hearing her voice.

"First she giggles, and blows you a kiss
Then she'll whisper sweet nothings like a serpent's hiss--"

Donut took a drink from his glass, his broad-rimmed hat pulled down a bit to try and hide his green eyes. He didn't want to be seen mooning over the singer up on stage. He had already made that far too obvious already, he feared.

"Your refill, sir," the bartender said, strands of her tied-back blonde hair falling into her eyes.

"Thank you--" Donut began, then realized something odd.

"I didn't order this, ma'am," he objected, suddenly nervous. "Uh, pardon me... ma'am?"

"Mugetsu," she introduced herself with a smile as she cleaned off a beer stein with a small rag.

"Broadway rhythm, top hat and cane
Poppin' eyes and flashin' feet--"

The young bartender nodded up to the stage, where that woman was. "Gengetsu asked me to refill your glass, if you showed up tonight."

"A-ah?" Donut stammered, taken aback.

"You know... she doesn't buy drinks for people very often," Mugetsu added with a grin as she went to pour another drink, leaving Donut's face warm with embarassment.

"Forget the 9-to-5 swastika
An' just shake shake shake shake shake your little lovemaker--"

He turned back to the stage. His eyes were fixed on the beautiful singer, the beautiful singer with the most beautiful blue eyes he had ever seen. He was still a bit flustered by her actions, but he figured it could maybe be a simple appreciation of his admiration. So he raised the glass in a toast to Gengetsu, and felt warm again as Gengetsu flashed him a smile.

Accompanied by the house swing jazz group, she finished her song with a flourish, and with a smile she set the microphone back where it had been before, stand and all. She spoke then, her blue eyes twinkling in the faint glow of the lights. "I hope you'll all be back later tonight for the next half," Gengetsu said with a distinct purr in her voice. "But for now, I have a very important date I need to be with."

Donut felt his heart sink. She's seeing someone... He realized as she saw the woman disappear offstage. The swing jazz group struck up a low background tune. ... Figures.

He sighed into his glass and turned away from the stage. He tried to ignore his feelings of disappointment, and reminded himself that he didn't really know anything about this woman.

A few nights ago, wandering the city streets with no one to see or meet, he had heard the voice of an angel coming from the Dreamy Moon Nightclub. He knew at that instant that he had to get in and see who it was that was singing, and so he entered. Within minutes, his heart belonged to that beautiful woman up on the stage, whose blonde hair glowed almost white under the headlights. And it wasn't just because of her amazing good looks. No, she had an infectuous joy and laughter that brought smiles to everyone around her, and before long, he was enraptured by her stage prescence.

"Is this seat taken?"

He was interrupted in the middle of his happy memories, yanked back to his lackluster present, and sighed. "No, go right ahead," he said, turning on his stool to see who had asked.

His eyes went wide.

Gengetsu looked as beautiful up close as she did on stage. She noted the look on his face, and smiled, lighting up his whole world. She took her seat with ease, a faint amusement in her eyes as she offered her hand to him. "Why, sir, I don't think I've been introduced to you. I'm Gengetsu, and you are...?"

Donut took the hand, and realized that he wanted to kiss the back of her hand. He debated the impulse for a half-second, then raised her hand to his lips and kissed it. "N.T. Donut, ma'am," he answered, looking up to meet her eyes.

There was a small moment where Gengetsu's cheeks turned red. But she didn't seem shocked in a bad way. She smiled. "It's very nice to meet you, Mr. N.T.," she replied with an impish grin.

"Donut, please," he said.

"Heh, it's a nice name," Gengetsu nodded as she leaned a little closer to Donut. "Very cute."

Donut felt his face turn hot again. But wait... He looked at Gengetsu, confused. "Wait... I thought you mentioned that you had a date...?"

"I do," Gengetsu nodded, her eyes looking straight at Donut's. "Why do you think I'm here?"

She smiled as Donut blushed, realizing what she meant. "I would have asked if you come here often, but I've seen you in the audience the last four nights."

He was caught. "I didn't think I was being that noticeable." He sighed as he took his black hat off, setting it on the bar. His short brown hair looked fuzzy in the bar lights. "Ah, pardon me--" He waved down Mugetsu and said, "A drink for the lady, please."

"Your regular, sis?" Mugetsu asked, and Donut's mouth fell open.

"Of course." Gengetsu flashed the young woman a grin, then looked over at Donut. "Eh? What is it?"

"Y-you're sisters," he stammered, flushing red.

"That we are," Mugetsu replied with a small smile. "Twins, to be exact. You only just noticed?"

"Well, I, uh..." He trailed off, looking down at his hands. He was too embarassed to admit that he had barely noticed the bartender, so focused was he on her sister.

Gengetsu laughed. "You're pretty cute."

From the edge of his vision, Donut saw Mugetsu raise an eyebrow, then go to the other edge of the bar to clean more glasses. She was being merciful and leaving him some time alone with her sister. He would have to thank her later.

He sighed, and looked back up at his companion, who was looking at him thoughtfully. "You know... I think I felt your eyes on me the first night, somehow. Then I began to look for you." A wry grin spread over her face.

"So am I being stalked, or...?"

"I'm no stalker," Donut stammered, blushing again. "I just... ah... well, I guess I just was drawn in here by... your singing." His face turned red as he admitted his secret. "I've just... I've never heard anything so beautiful."

Gengetsu blinked, a faint red in her cheeks. "Thank you," she replied. Then she had mercy and cut the awkward silence short with another question. "Well, you know what I do, of course, but what about you?"

"Nothing so exciting as being a nightclub singer," he chuckled, drawing a card from his pocket and passing it over. "I'm just a pastry shop owner here in town." He sipped his drink and asked, "So... how did you become a singer?"

"Heh, good question." She shook her drink a bit. "I've always wanted to be a star, ever since I was a little girl." Gengetsu smiled. "Haven't made it yet, but I'm working on it."

There was something about nearing Gengetsu that made him want to be totally honest, no matter how embarassing it sounded. And this was one of those times. He smiled at her. "Well, having seen you perform, I don't doubt that you'll reach your dream someday."

Gengetsu paused again. Then she reached out to trail the tip of a finger down Donut's cheek. "You know, you're quite the charmer."

She laughed as Donut blushed. A beep came from her watch just then, and Gengetsu looked at it with a sigh. "I'm sorry," she said, getting up. "The second set starts soon."

"I wish we could keep talking," Donut said quietly, meeting Gengetsu's eyes.

The woman closed her eyes. "... My night's over after this," she said after a moment. "If you stay through the second half... I wouldn't mind having some company this evening."

Donut smiled. "I'd be honoured."


Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #16 on: August 16, 2010, 05:47:27 am »
Mugetsu smirked at her sister as she walked past her bar. Gengetsu stuck her tongue out at her and made her way backstage.

There, safe from her sister's wry grin, she didn't have to hide her smile as she headed for her dressing room and shut the door behind her. She pulled out her earrings and kicked off her heels. She changed out of her dress, glancing at the red satin dress gleaming on a hanger in her closet, her dress for the second set. It showed off every curve of her body, and then some. She would enjoy wearing it tonight.

She shook her head with a smile. "I can't believe I invited him out," she said aloud as she picked up a brush and combed her hair free of tangles. "I barely even know him."

Still, there was... something, something in Donut's dark green eyes seemed to draw her to him, and if her years of performing on stage had taught her anything, it was to go with her instincts.

She reapplied her lipstick and smiled at her reflection in the mirror as she put on a new pair of earrings. Sliding on red heels, she was ready to perform the second set, her favorite swing jazz music. Laughing at how she imagined Donut would react to her dress, she dashed out of her dressing room and onto the stage, keeping an eye out for her new companion. Ah, there he was-- she flashed him a wink as the band started up again, and then it was time to sing.

"She was a woman of mystery
And what she wanted, I could not see--"

She kept on singing through the night, making sure he could see her smile from where he was sitting, watching her.


Forty-five minutes later, Gengetsu's show was over, and drinks were cut off. Mugetsu and Gengetsu both got to leave at the same time. Donut watched the two blonde heads from a distance as he stood outside, his jacket slung over his shoulder, waiting to see how things would turn out.

And after a few minutes more-- "I'm here," Gengetsu said from behind him.

Donut turned, and was taken aback at how different she looked off stage. No slinky red dress for her; Gengetsu was wearing completely normal clothes. Blue denim jeans, and a white sweater with an insignia of angel wings down the back; as normal as you could get. No makeup, either; the one thing that remained was the cute red bow in her shimmering blonde hair.

"Wow," he said, stunned by the sight of her as Gengetsu came up to his side.

Gengetsu raised an eyebrow and smirked. "Surprised?"

"In a good way," he replied. "But why so different than what you wear up on stage?"

"So people don't recognize me outside. It's stalker protection. Not that it worked on you." She winked, and he had to stifle a laugh.

Out of the corner of his eye, he saw Mugetsu on a moped, and looked to Gengetsu. "Wait, what about your sister?"

"Ah, Mugetsu is being annoying tonight! She told me to enjoy my night with you, she's going home so she won't get in my way." Gengetsu sighed. "Stupid Mugetsu."

It was Donut's turn to raise an eyebrow and smile. The next time he saw Mugetsu, he'd have to thank her twice over.

"Have you had any dinner?" he asked, looking down at Gengetsu, who was just a little bit shorter than him.

"I did not," Gengetsu admitted after a moment of hesitation. "... or lunch, either. Not intentionally, mind you--" she said as Donut's look became worried-- "But I had a lot of things to do instead."

"Then first, let's get some dinner and get you fed." Donut said with a smile as Gengetsu hooked her arm with his. "The Lotus Land Diner should still be open."

"Sounds good to me," she replied, and they walked through the moonlit night together for a while.

After a few minutes of quiet, Gengetsu broke the silence. "Is something wrong?"

Donut sighed. "Well... I guess I was trying to think of a way to tell you that... my intentions towards you are honourable."

In the moonlight, the red in his cheeks was visible, and Gengetsu had to smirk. "My intentions aren't honourable at all," she replied with a purr in her voice.

"Ah--" he stammered, embarassed by her implication.

Gengetsu smiled, then sighed. "Nah, I'm sorry," she said, softening her tone. "It's a little old-fashioned to say that you're honourable, but... I kind of think it's sweet, too."

She laughed at herself, and then at his expression. "Heh, did I startle you?"

Donut was still blushing. "A little," he admitted. "You're pretty outgoing, aren't you?"

"Yeah, but I only act this way around people I like." Gengetsu came closer to Donut's side, leaning her head against his shoulder.

He turned to her, still bashful, but he was smiling. "Thank you," he said. "Wow. I never thought this would have happened to me, after just walking into a nightclub one night."

Gengetsu seemed to understand that they hadn't actually known each other all that long-- and nodded. "Then let's have dinner first," she said, "and see how things turn out after that."

Donut smiled, putting his arm around her shoulders as they walked down the moonlit street together. "I think I would like that very much."


The End.

Happy belated birthday, Donut! :toot:


  • So those that live now, pledge on your fists and souls
  • Leave a sign of your life, no matter how small...
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #17 on: August 16, 2010, 06:05:13 am »
Hee, this was a great little read. Thanks Ruro, you're a great friend too. I was shocked by how accurate you got my personality, and Gengetsu's too.

...But what's the "half" in that title, I wonder?
nintendonut888: Hey Baity. I beat the high score for Sanae B hard on the score.dat you sent me. X3
Baity: For a moment, I thought you broke 1.1billion. Upon looking at my score.dat, I can assume that you destroyed the score that is my failed (first!) 1cc attempt on my first day of playing. Congratulations.

[19:42] <Sapz> I think that's the only time I've ever seen a suicide bullet shoot its own suicide bullet

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #18 on: August 16, 2010, 06:08:13 am »
...But what's the "half" in that title, I wonder?
Gengetsu's small portion of the narrative. It's shorter than the other two. :derp:

Like I said on IRC, I think the only thing I regret is being unable to use the line "Tip tap your toes and do the Fred Astaire slide". :3

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2012, 07:14:33 am »
Not Touhou-related.

rdj suggested that I post this short story of mine* on MotK, after it won a contest, because some of my friends might be interested in seeing this as well. So out of gratitude for his helping me proofread it-- why not?

Note: This will make absolutely zero sense if you haven't seen Madoka Magica in full, and even less sense if you haven't listened to Farewell Story, which is the setting of the first portion of this story. Do yourself a favour and watch it with subs and don't just read it-- the voices contribute so much more to the story than only words can convey. There's also a little bit of Oriko Magica in here. Also, spoilers for the entire series etc.

*AO3 says it's 8,888 words, which counts as a short story in my eyes. So there.

Without further ado:

Apple and Cinnamon
a Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica fanfiction
by Sakura Rurouni
For Rosenal's KyouMami contest
Version: 1.2b

"It is a truth universally acknowledged that a young girl in possession of magical powers must be in want of a frilly outfit."

"Oh, bullshit, Mami-san. I know that reference and it does NOT say that."

"Well, it does now." I made no effort at all to conceal my grin as I lifted the frilly garment into sight. Tomoyo, eat your heart out.

She visibly blanched, moving backwards on instinct. "W-what is that... that... abomination?!"

"This," I replied, trying to emphasize how very generous I am being, "is your uniform for the evening. Take it. Embrace it. Wear it in expectation of two days in the future."

"You're taking advantage of my desperation!" She objected, coming closer now, wincing as she took in every frilly detail.

I shrugged. "Yes, and? Beggars cannot be choosers, Sakura-san."

"But whyyyyyyy?" She was doing her best to look tragic. Little did she know that her shenanigans were only amusing me more. Dohohoho.

"Because that is the price of my assistance," I replied, wearing a serene smile to conceal my sheer level of amusement at her dilemma. She was still looking at me with horror, so I did myself the favour of talking aloud to show her the dire straits she had gotten herself into.

"On the one hand," I began, "you hate all things frilly and flowery and pink and embarrassingly girly, much preferring stripped-down, simple attire, frills kept at a bare minimum.

"On the other hand, there is your beloved little Momo-chan, and the small issue of a little promise you have made to her, and the possibility of breaking that promise to her face would lead a moment of stunned silence, then to big tears welling up in her eyes, and..."

"All right, FINE! Hand it over!"

I let my grin spread back over my face as Kyouko snatched the price of her payment out of my hands and stormed into my bedroom to change.

I heard a sudden shriek. Ahh. So she had found the accessories I'd prepared for her.

"Ah, Sakura-san, would you like any assis--"


It appeared that everything was progressing according to plan. I sat down with a cup of green tea on my seat next to my triangular table, humming Innocent Starter along with my cell phone's music player. I took the chance to make sure the batteries I'd be using tonight were charged and ready to go. And also the backup camera, just in case.

After a few minutes and a few other Nana Mizuki songs later, I heard the familiar creak of my bedroom door and slow, tentative steps towards the living room. I looked up, and did my best to keep my smile from becoming a shark-like grin.

"So, does it fit?"

"I hate you and everything you stand for." She looked haunted.

"I will take that as a yes!" I pointed to my mouth. "Now keep a smile on, as the very model of a modern magical girl!"

"I would so love to hurt you right now."

"Just as long as you smile like Dokuro-chan!" I giggled.

The witches wouldn't wait forever, though, so I decided to get this show on the road. I stood and readied my camera bag. "You found the stack of cards, I hope?"

"Yes, and I read them," Kyouko replied, looking more and more miserable with each passing second. "Do I have to do them all?"

"Yes. Down to the exact words." I smiled, and opened the door for us. "And I will be recording everything, for later viewing!"

"This had better be worth it," she glowered as she walked out of my apartment. "All right, where to?"

"That way," I said, pointing west. "But before you take off, you have at least one catchphrase first."

"Eh?" Kyouko asked, and I pointed at the stack of cards she held in her hands.

"The very first one," I said, locking my apartment door. "Hold on..." I opened up my camera bag and pulled out my camcorder, grinning. "All right, whenever you're ready."

"Do I have to?" Kyouko begged again. "Is there any chance I could just be your servant for a day, or something?"

"Nope," I replied. "Only this will satisfy me. Now say it with a smile..." I counted down with my fingers. "Now." I hit record.

Kyouko flushed red as she read her pre-battle catchphrase from the card. "T-to defeat the evil born of night, the heaven-sent Sakura Kyouko must take flight!"

"O-oh my god," she sobbed into her hands and looking incredibly adorable, "this is going to be soooo embarrassing!"

I grinned. This was shaping up to be a day I was going to treasure for a long time to come.

I really had put a lot of effort into Kyouko's outfit, and despite her loathing of all things poofy, she was compelled to point it out.

"Yikes, this has ribbons in places I didn't know I had," she said as we zoomed on ribbon ziplines across the not-very-populated west side of Mitakihara.

"Yes, it does. I didn't want to just buy a sweet lolita outfit from a designer shop and call it a magical girl outfit, so I put it together as best I could and made most of the accessories from scratch."

I pointed to her shoes and she looked down at them. "Ordinary Mary Janes, but the frill pattern down the side and the ribbon around the ankle is all mine. Same with those ruffled socks. I followed the same pattern on your gloves."

"You put so much work into this," Kyouko replied. "I'd hate to--"

"I know where that is going, and no. Flattery will not get you out of this."

Kyouko swore. I laughed at her expense.

"Goddamnit, fine," she scowled as she dashed across the rooftop beside me. "If I have to do this, then damnit, I'm doing it well."

"That's the spirit," I reassured her. "Make your sempai proud!"

"I'll be happier about it once you hold up your part of the deal," she replied, her red hair blowing in the wind behind her, festooned at intervals with pink ribbons and little charms.

"Of that, you need not worry." I winked. "I promise to give it my all if you do your best. So just keep Momo-chan in mind."

"Heh, got it." She grinned back, sliding down a ribbon ladder to the ground floor. "All right, now which way?"

"Around here," I replied, running a hand over the walls and pulling back my ribbons. "Go ahead, use the technique I taught you."

Kyouko nodded and closed her eyes, holding her soul gem in her hand. "Ah, got a reaction."

"This is a very slow-moving witch, trust me," I replied, scanning the late afternoon sky for a witch's barrier. "I weakened it yesterday to prepare it for today, as well. It shouldn't have gone far, and not many people pass by this area, anyway..."

"Wait, so, a boring fight?" Kyouko complained.

I raised a finger in the air and wagged it at her. "We're already pushing the boundaries of being good magical girls for our own amusement. Let's not be too lax in how we do things."

She looked appropriately chagrined and glanced down at her poofy skirts. "S-sorry, sempai."

I ruffled her hair. She acted so impulsively sometimes, it was difficult to believe the age difference between us wasn't very big. "No worries. Today is an exception for us, right? We're gonna have some fun. Old-school magical girl style."

Kyouko gave me a wry grin. "Damnit, I hate admitting to this, but frills and all, I'm actually lookin' forward to this."

The prospect of a fight always got my heart racing a little as well, despite the danger. I nodded to her.

We both felt the barrier go up before we saw it.

"Barrier due north," Kyouko said as the familiar pattern of a witch's boundary from the outside came into focus just down the alleyway.

"Transform without changing clothes, just like you practiced," I said, pulling out my camcorder and hitting record. "And don't forget your note cards!"

"Ah, right," she muttered as she flipped to the next card and cleared her throat. "Let's see... Pam puru... pim p-puru par-- parim pompun-- bluh?" She fizzled out. "Mami-san, there's no way I can pronounce that! I'm terrible with tongue-twisters! Isn't a simple 'Raising Heart, Set Up' okay?"

"Soul Gem Power, Make up." I tapped my shoe against the ground and in a flash of orange and yellow light, I had put on my magical girl guise. I aimed my camcorder at her again. "And no, it's not enough. You just don't appreciate the classics."

"Fiiiiine. Hmm..." She stroked her chin thoughtfully. "Princess Tutu didn't say anything, damn it... hm... Mew Mew... nah. Ah! Got it." She held out her soul gem, now in ring form on her finger. "My heart, unlock!"

I had tried that before. It took a lot of control to shift one's body to magical girl form without actually putting on the outfit. But for this to work, she was definitely trying her best. I made a mental note-- be sure to put on plenty of frosting for Momo-chan later.

Red light flashed and faded, and Kyouko hadn't visibly changed, but she was powered up all the same. We nodded to each other and dashed into the barrier.

This witch had started out on the low end of the scale of witch power, and had only fallen farther in the tiers since I had beaten it up yesterday. Good thing, too. I wouldn't have been comfortable letting one run free otherwise. Even then, I had injured and tied it down with some of my strongest ribbon traps to keep it in the vicinity over the last evening. And just to be sure, I had also managed to take out the bulk of its familiars last night. This all meant that our dash to the center of the labyrinth was trivial work.

Kyouko had to work to get accustomed to her new weapon, though.

"Fuckin' hell!" Kyouko swore as she waved her Sakura Strawberry Bell at a familiar. "You don't really expect me to fight with this!"

"Language, Sakura-san," I said, not actually fighting but staying above the action to record Kyouko's frilly antics. "And yes, since all magical girls need their cute weapons."

"Shut up! You use flintlock muskets! How cute are those?" She snapped as she frantically waved it harder, with sound waves of red magic coming out and damaging the oncoming familiars. "I need my spear, Mami-san!"

"Oh, fine, I'll compromise just this once if you use both," I replied, sighing. Hopefully the rest of the battle would provide me with more cute material. And what was she saying, that my muskets weren't cute? They had curlicue designs on their sides and everything.

"Hah! Time to stab some bitches!" Kyouko cut through the slow-moving familiars with ease.

I sighed. She would never get the role of main character if she was that foul-mouthed. At best, she would be the supporting, snarky anti-hero, and probably die before the series was over.

"Looks like we're done here," the redhead called out to me. "Come on, let's go!"

"Don't forget your cards," I reminded her as we approached the center of the witch's labyrinth.

"How am I supposed to read them during a fight like this?" she said, pulling them out and holding them in the same hand as her pink plastic Sakura Strawberry Bell (it flashed lights if you pressed a button).

"Okay, so it won't be glamorous, but it'll still be great home video material," I said as Kyouko slowed in her walk, flipping through the cards and muttering the catchphrases to herself.

"This will be tricky, but I think I can mostly wing this," she said, stuffing them into one of the two apron pockets her wide, poofy pink skirts carried. "Let's rock."

I reached out to ruffle her hair again, readied my camcorder, and opened the door.

It was a well-lit area. Good, that meant I would have no problem recording all the action. I summoned a ribbon and another, and they automatically attached themselves to the roof, creating a gigantic swing and giving me a birds' eye view of the area.

This particular witch was not only weak, she was also incredibly slow. Definitely one of the most slothful I had ever encountered. Even so, being a witch, witches' kisses were a danger to the public, so I felt no qualms about seeing it humiliated and destroyed for entertainment value.

To face the menacing foe that appeared to be an oversized, six-legged, shoddily-constructed marionette with fur in patches on its surface, in walked the magical girl Sakura Kyouko. I made sure the red recording light was on, and filmed.

"Hey! Hey you!" She yelled, waving her Sakura Strawberry Bell at it, flashing lights and all. Slowly (very slowly) it turned its head to look at her.

"Preying on the slothfulness of innocent people! Disrupting the peace and inducing self-destructive behaviour! Unforgivable!" She struck a pose, flashing what appeared to be a surfer's hang ten sign. "A magical girl of Love and Justice: Puella Magi Sakura Kyouko! In the name of the moon, I will punish you!"

Wow. She really was going all out for this. Momo-chan would have a feast to celebrate.

In response, the lumbering marionette raised one of its floppy four arms and... "swiped at her" would not be correct. It looked more like he dropped it at her. This was not at all fabulous. But it would do. At least it gave Kyouko ample room to flip through her cards again.

"All right, let's do this shit old-school," she declared as she dodged to the side, raising her Sakura Strawberry Bell. "Rainbow Moon Heart Ache!"

The marionette witch looked at the bell and its non-attack of flashing lights. Kyouko took the chance to stab its arm with her spear.

It roared, but it was too slow with its other hand to catch a nimble magical girl like her. Kyouko used her spear's extending property to pole vault into the air, and spun it in the air behind her. Frills would not stop her from being an incredibly effective puella magi.

"Eat this! Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss!"

What followed was not a red-hued version of Eternal Sailor Moon's light attack. Instead, she powered up her red spear and shot out a spear-shaped blast of magic, right at the face. It roared again and covered its face, and swiped a limp-wristed paw into the air. By this time, Kyouko had reached ground again.

"Do I have to let this loser hit me?" she called up at me.

"Not necessarily hit you, but you need some tension before your power-up," I replied from my perch in the air, out of the witch's reach.

"Hmph, all right," Kyouko muttered, brushing her hair out of her eyes with a white-gloved hand, then gestured at her opponent. "Come at me, muppet!"

It was now sufficiently angered that it was actually starting to move around now, agitated and scared. It waved two of its arms at Kyouko, hoping to trap her between his hands. Kyouko leapt up just in time, but ended up right in the path of a third hand. She was batted out of the air and into a wall.

"Are you okay, Sakura-san?" I called out to her.

Kyouko waved away some dust and nodded up to me. "No sweat. Is that enough dramatic tension?"

"I don't think we're going to get any better, so go ahead and start to finish him off," I replied, giving her the go-ahead.

"All right then," she grinned, punching her hands together. "Rosso Fantasma!"

Six other copies of Kyouko formed. I was pleased to note that they were all wearing the same frill-tastic outfit. I made sure to catch that on film.

"All right, girls, get me a distraction," Kyouko commanded them.

They nodded and scattered, confusing the heck out of the very dumb witch. Especially once they all started screaming different things to distract it. It was about to aim at the right Kyouko, right before one of the clones attacked it, screaming "RAYEAAAAARTH!" as its war cry.

"KAGUTSUCHIIIIIIII!" another one yelled, and the overwhelmed witch screeched and tried to bat them away. All of this only gave Kyouko more time to set up her final attack.

She raised her spear parallel to the floor, outlined with magical red light. "Sturmfalken!" she yelled, but then she just threw her Sakura Strawberry Bell at its face.

The Fantasmas caught each of its arms, and I knew that Kyouko was about to finish it off. Her spear extended out and fell into its segmented chain form. She raised her spear, spinning it above her head as she charged.

"Sakura Love-Me Chain!" She threw it and each of the Fantasmas caught it with their own illusory spears, and tied it around the witch's gangly legs.  It roared its displeasure and thrashed around, but it hit empty air when it tried to hit the Fantasmas.

Kyouko summoned up a spear of red magic. The real spear was tied around the witch's legs, binding it. She glanced at her cards one more time and grinned.

"Return to the guise that you were meant to be in! Clo-- Grief Seed!"

She leaped up and shoved her red spear straight into its body, where it exploded outwards in dagger-like points of red light. The pathetically weak and very not fabulous witch screamed as it disintegrated, the labyrinth collapsing with it.

My ribbon swing was attached to a lamppost now, and I jumped down to the ground, still recording.

Kyouko retrieved her spear and the grief seed, looked over at me, face flushed with excitement, and grinned.

"And so, the day is saved, thanks to--"

The sudden flash of realization that she had done all of this dressed in the frilliest, girliest, most overdone magical girl outfit in creation seemed to hit her like a ton of bricks. She froze before she could complete her sentence and her face turned as red as her hair.

"Y-you... YOU RECORDED ALL OF THAT!" she screamed, collapsing to the ground, utterly mortified.

I would have comforted her, but I was too busy saving the file and laughing.

Two days later, I discovered that the Sailor Moon music collections made great background music when one was doing a baking marathon.

As per my original promise to Kyouko, in exchange for her going to take down a witch in classic magical girl form, I was going to cater her little sister Momo-chan's birthday party. It was the first time Momo-chan would be inviting other kids over for a birthday-- indeed, it was the first birthday party her family could afford to celebrate in lavish style.

Kyouko always became reticent when it came to talking about her family's past. She had told me about it before, though not without reluctance. About how her father's preaching had never been popular, but when he had started to deviate from official church doctrine-- spouting heresies like making love the focus of one's faith and not shaming others for being honest with their emotions-- he had been excommunicated, and cut off from official church support. Taking his message into the streets with his daughters by his side, the kind-hearted preacher had only been spat on, insulted, and publicly humiliated.

Frustrated at seeing her father and his message degraded like that, Kyouko decided to take matters into her own hands, and contracted with Kyubey. Believing that all that needed to happen in order for people to believe her father was for them to give him a chance, she wished for people to listen-- and listen they did. With magic. Not because they believed. It was giving Kyouko a guilt complex, and I worried for her. But I couldn't say so. She never liked it when people openly worried about her.

She was also the best and only magical girl friend I had, so I would have catered her sister's birthday party if she had just asked me without offering anything in return. As far as I was concerned, just being my friend was more than enough return payment. But for her pride, she had to offer something in return.

For her sake, I threw myself into the work of baking everything a little girl with a major sweet tooth could ask for. According to the list of confirmed guests Kyouko passed to me, they would not be able to eat through the massive triple-layered cake I was making for her, but they would eat through the top two layers, leaving the bottom layer for the Sakura sisters to eat over the next few days. To this I added an array of cupcakes (three per guest, at a minimum) with extra frosting, and a lineup of small cakes and confections to be given out as party favors. This was going to be extremely glamorous, and I was enjoying every moment of it, visualizing Kyouko and Momo having an eating contest, and the Sakura parents' proud smiles as they congratulated their younger daughter on turning a year older.

Which is why I set our witch-hunting day two days before Momo's birthday. I was going to need at least two days to do all of this. I didn't think I would finish in time, but I did, and with flair.

I had just finished the last bit of sugar and syrup on a dessert item when Kyouko showed up at my doorstep. I was fairly certain that she was doing her best to block the traumatic event of two days before, and overcompensating as a result. She was wearing short denim shorts and a hooded sweater. No frills to be seen.

"Good afternoon, and you looked better with frills and ribbons," I told her with a smile. "Come on in."

She shivered. "I'm never letting you do that to me again."

"Is that so? Then you might never get to see a bounty like this again," I said, waving my hand at my trophy room of the finest pastries and baked goods I had ever before made.

Kyouko's jaw dropped.

"C-can I--"

I opened up a box of assorted cupcakes that I had made precisely to distract Kyouko from the rest of the cakes. "Help yourself. Now tell me, how are we supposed to get all of these to your church?"


"And don't say 'in my stomach'."

Still starry-eyed at the sugar bounty before her, Kyouko stuck her tongue out at me, and threw her arms around me in a hug.

Eventually we got them all into boxes, and stacked them onto a cart Kyouko had brought from her church's Sunday School classes. She wouldn't have been able to do it before, but with all the tithes coming in from the booming congregation, Pastor Sakura had been able to buy some actual supplies for the young kids in the church. The path from Mitakihara to Kasamino was thankfully smooth. We couldn't risk carrying the cakes on bicycles, but with enough trips back and forth, we slowly transported all of the baked goods I had made to the site of the party: the newly-renovated fellowship hall of the Sakura Cathedral.

After the first few trips, I stayed at the church to set everything up, and let my redheaded best friend take care of cake transport. There was the risk of Kyouko devouring everything left at my house, but I bet that she wouldn't eat food promised for her sister. And besides, one of the first boxes I had brought over was filled with the foreign desserts that drove her wild, so she'd never risk it.

Kyouko's mother had gone out on a day on the town with Momo-chan after picking her up from school, so there was no risk of Momo coming home early to see the surprise we had planned out for her. In addition to desserts, I also appointed myself head of the decorations committee, and decorated the hall in a style that was meant to remind Kyouko of her little adventure as 'heaven-sent Sakura Kyouko'.

While setting up the second-to-last cartload of confections Kyouko delivered from my house, I became vaguely aware of Pastor Sakura looking around at the tables I had decorated with entirely too many cupcakes.

As I climbed down from the ladder I had used to pin up long red ribbons to the ceiling, he gave me a warm smile.

"Mami-san, was it? Thank you for doing all of this for us, for Momo-chan."

I liked Pastor Sakura, but... sigh. He and his beautiful wife, and their beautiful family. There was a part of me that was envious of Kyouko for having the kind of family I could never have again.

"No, thank you," I replied. "I'm glad to be doing all of this for someone I care about. Thank you for taking care of me."

"You're the first best friend Kyouko-chan has ever had, I think," he said, stroking his beard. "I'm glad to see that you get along so well."

I blushed. "T-thank you. I'm glad I get along with her as well."

He bowed a little. "Please continue to take care of our daughter."

"I will." I nodded to him, and he went on his way.

I looked after him, sighed again, and turned back to the work of decorating.

"Kyouko-san," I murmured to myself, "I wish I had a loving father like yours."

Everything was set. Momo-chan walked into a dark room and Kyouko flipped the light switch and everyone yelled out "SURPRISE!" Her reaction was adorable.

Kyouko and I sat together at a table, watching Momo and her friends swarm like locusts over the baked goods I had made for the party. Kyouko had the air of a proud mother as she watched her younger sister laughing.

"It's been a long time since I heard that on a consistent basis," she murmured to herself.

I took a sip from my can of orange soda and looked at her. "What?"

"Momo-chan laughing with friends. It's just been so long since she had friends to play with..." Kyouko smiled, looked over to me, and put her hand over my own and squeezed it. "T... thank you, Mami. Thank you for making this possible."

Her hand was so warm. I blushed, and smiled back. "It was my pleasure."

Later during the evening, after Kyouko had exhausted my supply of sopapillas and crème brûlée and the party was calming down now that Momo-chan had finally cut into her massive birthday cake and distributed the pieces among the party guests, Kyouko and I were enjoying the night air together. The sounds of Momo and her friends were still coming from indoors, but the night was fresh and cool and I had my best friend by my side and all was right in the world.

Kyouko was smiling off into space, pondering. Her hair reached halfway down her back already, and she had stated her intention never to cut it a month ago. I wondered how long it would grow. I wanted to be there, by her side, to watch. I wondered how it would feel to run my hands through the full length of her hair, to hold it to my lips and breathe in the scent of apple and cinnamon, to giggle at the blush on her cheeks.

We heard the sound of childish laughter come from the party, and both of us turned to see Kyouko's mother, Momo riding on her shoulders.

"Mami-san!" Momo squealed with happiness and reached out towards me. Kyouko and her mother both laughed.

"I just wanted to thank you, Tomoe-san," Kyouko's mother said, tired but happy. "Thank you for all of this."

I nodded, learning to accept their gratitude without feeling overwhelmed. "It was my pleasure."

"Ah. Momo-chan wanted to thank you, too," the smiling woman said, setting her daughter down.

"Yes, I did!" Momo proclaimed.

I kneeled so that I was eye level to Momo. "Oh?"

Much to my astonishment, the little redheaded girl dove in and gave me a kiss on the cheek. "Thank you, Mami-san!"

I blushed deeply, and Kyouko laughed.

"You are welcome, Momo-chan. Be a good girl, okay?" I told her, ruffling her hair.

Momo giggled and returned to her mother's side.

"Isn't your apartment in Mitakihara? If it's too far, please, spend the night," Mrs. Sakura offered.

"No, it's not that far," I said. "I can go home, but maybe I'll stay the evening. Thank you for your generosity."

"Whatever you decide, Tomoe-san." She gave me a slight bow, just as her husband had done earlier. "Thank you for everything. Come on, Momo-chan."

Momo took her hand, and they returned to the party, leaving me looking after them, and Kyouko looking at me.

"What is it?"

I hesitated before answering.

"... your family is so wonderful and loving." I looked down at my hands. "I am... a little... jealous."

Kyouko didn't say anything. She must have realized I had more to say.

"A-and it's not just that I'm jealous of you having a family... I'm jealous that... your wish, to protect the happiness of others... it's turned out so well, because you wished for other people and not just for yourself..."

I felt a hand around my own, and looked away, ashamed.

"There's nothing wrong with being jealous. But please don't beat yourself up, Mami-san. You were dying and scared. Don't feel guilty over being concerned about your own life."

"... home just feels so empty without them..."

I was sobbing now. Kyouko wrapped her arms around me and held me tight.

"I'm so glad... you're my friend, K-Kyouko," I stammered between sobs. "I-I can't begin to tell you... how much better it feels to have someone who c-cares..."

"... hey. Mami-san."

I looked up. Kyouko met my eyes with her own, raised her hand to wipe tears from my cheeks, and kissed me gently on the cheek.

"I'm grateful to have you in my life. Thanks for being here for me."

I sobbed into Kyouko's chest, and she held me while I cried. And when I calmed down, she guided me next door to the Sakura household, where I fell asleep in Kyouko's room.

When I woke up, there was a ribbon on one of my curls that hadn't been there before. It was a red ribbon, so it wasn't one of my own. I pulled it out of my hair and kept it close to my chest.

Two days later, after returning from a witch hunt, I cleansed my Soul Gem for the day, tossed the Grief Seed onto the shelf for one more use, and settled down on the couch with a salad and a movie to watch. But first I turned on the TV.

The moment I heard "apparent double murder-suicide", I was out the door, practically flying to Kasamino.

Kyouko was all I could think about. Momo. Her parents. What the hell was going on?!

Kyouko. Was she safe?


I swung down from a ribbon in a dark alley, de-transformed, and ran towards the cathedral, to the house next to the cathedral, where all the police cars were parked.

"Kyouko-san!" I yelled out, catching the attention of one of the officers. "Where is Kyouko-san?!"

"Who are you?" He asked.

"T-Tomoe Mami! Sakura Kyouko is my best friend and this is her house! What happened?!"

The officer looked back at the house and his comrades, and took me aside.

In the moments that followed, I had two realizations.

The first: that my best friend had just witnessed the most awful thing I could imagine.

The second: that my heartbreak was nothing compared to hers, and that things would never be the same again.

When my parents had died, I had been an empty shell for a while, merely going through the motions of being a real human. Feeling like a marionette whose strings had been cut. Only just managing to kill witches with my slow reflexes, because I could barely motivate myself to fight even for survival.

Kyouko was different. I recognized the hollowness in her eyes from the mirrors in my house. But unlike me, she hadn't stopped feeling. On the contrary, her emotions now threatened to overwhelm her at every turn. She had always been enthusiastic about battle, but now she took an almost sadistic glee at destroying witches and collecting grief seeds, as if it was the only thing that gave her life meaning now. And yet, having been there myself, I recognized it as overcompensation. It was itself a way of concealing what was really going on.

I should have said something. My parents were gone, too. At least I could tell her that I knew how she felt. But my tongue felt like a useless wooden paddle in my mouth. And I decided I didn't know how she felt. My parents had died in a car accident. Her father had dismembered his birthday girl and his beloved wife and then hanged himself.

And this was the loving family I had so recently envied.

I felt us drifting apart. It was the worst feeling in the world, like feeling myself begin to be stretched out, pulled apart at the seams. I knew that this was bad for the both of us. I would be miserable and alone again and every cell in my body cried out against being lonely again, and she would come to feel the hollow emptiness of being lonely without someone who could understand by her side.

I resolved to stop us from separating. It was a feeble resolve, but it was all I could manage.

I expected us to drift apart. What I didn't expect was for Kyouko to forcibly sever the bond that held us together. I wasn't prepared for that.

I realized with my throat at the tip of her spear that I wasn't prepared for her to be willing to go farther than I was.

She cut my neck ribbon. She could have cut more. It didn't matter, because with it, she had cut the ties that bound us.

Sakura Kyouko left me on my knees in the darkness and wandered off. I cried myself to sleep again, but this time, there was no one to comfort me.

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #20 on: February 23, 2012, 07:15:07 am »
Two years later, I found myself in the stillness of the run-down Sakura Cathedral. Kyouko's father owned the property, and his sole living heir held the deed. Technically, all of this was Kyouko's. But she wanted no part of it. So it could not be torn down, but it would never be repaired.

That was okay. Buildings were just buildings. It was much more important to repair people. The only way to do that is with love and support, creating and reinforcing and mending the ties that bind people together.

Circumstances about a year ago had found me making friends with a few other girls since Kyouko. Miki Sayaka-- she had been enthusiastic but burned out too soon. Regardless she held a place in my heart for the sheer force of her personality. She had passed over with a smile. Akemi Homura, aloof but kind, a beautiful red ribbon in her hair that reminded me of my own special red ribbon. She was stoic and quiet, but she lit right up when you asked her if she loved someone. She spoke of Kaname Madoka with the unashamed tone of a lover, with such joy that I wished I had met this Madoka, so we could have been friends too.

And then...

A face I hadn't seen except from a certain home movie I only watched when I was feeling really depressed returned, seemingly from the dead.

"Don't expect me to call this home. My home is gone."

It was true. The Sakura house had been burned down a few months after Kyouko's disappearance. I didn't find out until after she returned that it had been her work. I did not blame her for wanting to erase those memories from the face of the earth.

"It doesn't matter. I'm j-just so glad to have you back."

I could tell Kyouko didn't want a hug, but she indulged me. She felt wooden and stiff, incapable of returning the hug. But she still let me hug her.

The other magical girls who hadn't known her before her family was shattered wouldn't have known what I knew about her. I wasn't sure Kyouko knew it herself. But for all her fighting spirit and reckless ways, she was... different. Colder. There was a certain hollowness to her eyes and a stiffness in her walk that hadn't been there when she was younger. It hadn't even been there after her parents had died. That was from her wanderings.

It was from the loneliness I had warned her about.

For my part, I get the feeling that I was really socially awkward during those first few days and weeks together. I tried to keep my sobbing out of her way, because I knew it made her uncomfortable, but I think she still noticed. Getting me to keep strong and not be so clingy and simultaneously satisfying my desperate need for companionship was like a bedridden patient being asked to walk after months of solitary slumber. My tongue felt like wood again, my gestures awkward. I kept trying to be physically close, but Kyouko had been so used to being alone for so long that she had to fight her own instincts to push me away. Her social skills hadn't atrophied completely, but they came close. I didn't help matters any.

But we got through it. The days lengthened into weeks. Weeks turned into months. We... adapted. And she stayed. That was the hardest thing for her, I think. She was so used to being able to cut and run whenever she decided she didn't care anymore, and yet she was the one who had come back of her own volition. It still didn't stop me from waking up in the middle of the night, terrified that the sound I had heard was that of Kyouko closing the door behind her as she left and disappeared off into the night again, this time for good.

Sometimes she really had left. And I spent those nights trembling in fear, heart pounding against my ribs like a panicked, frenzied drum sounding the alarm to impending doom.

A few days later, she would come back. She wouldn't say where she had been. I wouldn't ask. But I would greet her with what I knew was the face of someone who had been too close to her fears for comfort.

It was a habit that she dropped over time. Her evening departures came less often and lasted for shorter amounts of time, and eventually they trickled away into nothing. I started breathing a little more easily. Out of the corner of my eye, Kyouko looked relieved.

Kyouko started opening up. She began to initiate conversations with me and not the other way around, and every so often, she would offer me a hug. I always took it. At first they didn't last for very long before she rescinded her offer, but, eventually...

We began to hunt the occasional demon together. We had always been excellent partners. But our fighting styles had developed separately over the past two years, and we had to reconcile them. Habits like that were hard to break. But she learned to pounce in the small pause I gave her after a musket volley, and I learned where the gaps in her chains were so I could fire through them.

I began to make her favourite desserts again. It took some practice, because I hadn't made them in so long. She tackled them with as much enthusiasm as she had before, and I relished watching her. There was a refreshing honesty to her gluttony. That hadn't changed, at least. Even if everything else had.

She never smiled. Not like Homura, who would smile with hidden joy when asked about her beloved Madoka. Not like Sayaka had smiled over her beloved Kamijou. Sure, Kyouko grinned. That was different from a smile. She grinned at demons. She never smiled with warmth anymore.

The slow realization that we were different people settled in over time. Different from the people we had been in that silly home video I had taken two years ago. There was no returning to that time, and there never would be. But that was fine with me. The idea of clinging to the past had no appeal to me. However wonderful it had been, the past was the past, and I would be a fool to think that we could bring an age from years ago to the present and make it fit.

I knew all of this, but it was so hard to accept, since I knew that there was nothing Kyouko would want more than to have her family and her home back again, happy and warm and loving.



"Let's go out together."

From the serious tone of her voice I could tell that she didn't mean a romantic outing.


It was a day off of school and nothing else was going on. I wondered where she was going to take me. Secretly I was thrilled that she had asked me at all. I didn't want her to be alone and I didn't want her to leave and leave me behind.

She wore a white jacket, white slacks. The colour of mourning. I didn't realize why until we arrived at the destination she had in mind.

Japan had crematoriums for the dead and murdered. Her parents and sister would have been turned to ash and Kyouko would have had no funeral to participate in.

Even so, at some point, she had set up an informal memorial for them, behind the burned-out wreckage of her old house, behind the dilapidated cathedral. I don't know where she got the photos of her mother and her sister to put into their iei, their death portraits, but they were there.

This was her family's house. I hadn't been back here in two years. Even though the church was right next door, I felt like this was the more sacred ground, and felt like I didn't belong there.

So many memories.

I hung back while Kyouko knelt before the memorial. It wasn't my place. That was her family and I couldn't intrude. I watched her from behind and a little off to the side.

I wished I had a memorial for my parents. Maybe I would make one. I sighed. It would be just one more confirmation that my life would never be the same.

The only really good thing that had happened in my life since becoming a magical girl had been Kyouko. She had allowed me to open up later on and make other friends, but it still all came down to one girl that I loved dearly, and at least we were together in the mourning that no one else who hasn't lost her parents can understand.

So I didn't run. I wouldn't leave her, and I was touched that she had thought to invite me to a place that must have been very, very personal to her.

She was bent on one knee, eyes closed, hands clasped together. I realized she was praying and fell silent. Only the birds in the trees and the sky made any sound.

"... Momo-chan."

I blinked, returning to awareness. Kyouko was... smiling.

"Momo-chan, last year I was away and didn't get the chance to give you something. So I brought two this time to make up for it."

From the small bag I didn't know she had been carrying, she pulled out two cupcakes and placed them on the stone in front of their portraits. My eyes widened slightly. They were... it seemed they were deliberately designed to recall the cupcakes I had made for her birthday two years ago.

She also pulled out two small birthday candles and stuck one on top of each cupcake, then lit them with a lighter.

"Momo-chan, you would be eight years old today. Happy birthday."

Kyouko leaned forward and kissed her sister's portrait, then turned her attention to the other two.

"Mom, I was always closer to Dad than I was to you. I wish I could have spent more time with you. I'm sorry. I love you. I miss you."

I held my breath as she kissed her mother's portrait and turned to the last one. It was Momo's birthday. Two days after two years ago, her father had killed his family. How must that feel, to have those two dates so close together? To know it was someone you loved and sacrificed everything for that had taken everything from you?

"... Dad." Her voice cracked. "Dad..."

She shook, her long red hair concealing her face from me. I wanted to come to her, hold her in my arms, comfort her. But... no.

"... I can't say everything. I'm sorry. I-I'm not ready for that." A deep breath. "God knows it. I can't say it yet. Maybe someday I will."

She took another breath, steadied her voice.

"But for now... please forgive me. I love you."

And as I watched, she bent her head, and prayed in a language I didn't understand.

"Anima eius et animae omnium... fidelium defunctorum per Dei misericordiam... requiescant in pace et in amore."

She was smiling now. Really smiling, with a warmth I hadn't seen in a long time.

"... mea culpa. Te amo. Ad occursum futurum nostri."

She stood up, swaying a little, feet not stable at all. Took a deep breath again. Cracked her knuckles. She looked pale with tears running down her cheeks. She wavered, and shifted, and held her balance.

Slowly she moved towards me, tears still on her face, making no effort to wipe them, and moved her hand up to my face, wiping the tears I didn't realize were there.

"I'm g-grateful to have you in my life. Thanks for being... here for me."

Before I could blink I'd wrapped my arms around her and I was hugging her tightly, and she was returning my hug, so warm and soft and loving. Tears flowed like water from a fountain, from both of us at once. I was sobbing and heaving, and she was for reasons the same and yet different. I am completely un-ladylike when I cry and I knew I must be making a mess of Kyouko's clothes but it didn't matter because I finally had the most caring person in my life back in my arms.

I'd missed her terribly over these past, horrible years. It was only two years but it felt like an eternity since I was separated from her. I needed someone I matter to in the same way I needed air.

The only thing I ever really feared was loneliness, and with her return, I was not afraid of anything anymore.

We spent an hour there, in each other's arms. Eventually we picked ourselves up and walked out of that sacred place, and watched the sun set in the sky over Mitakihara sitting on my apartment's roof.

I told her about everything that had gone on in my life since she left. She told me what went on in hers. It was redundant stuff, actually. Apart from cutting down demons and collecting grief cubes and meeting up with the occasional fellow magical girl, neither of us had done anything significant. I told her about my back history with Homura and Sayaka, the parts that she didn't know herself, and she told me about Chitose Yuma, the very young magical girl she was mentoring.

"I noticed you didn't like it when I went to see her during the nighttime. So I stopped. I just go see her during the day when you're in school now."

I blanched. "W-wait, that's what you were going out to do?"

My head was resting in her lap. Kyouko nodded down at me.

"Yes, why?"

"... if that's what you were going to do, then it's okay. I just wish you had told me..."

"I've actually wanted to bring her along with me for a while. I'd like her to meet you. She's an adorable little girl and I think you would love her, too."

I realized then that her affection for Yuma was, at least in part, Kyouko's way of taking on the big sister role she lost. She deeply missed Momo-chan, still. And I was certain that she would miss her for the rest of her life.

"I would like that, Kyouko-san."

"... just Kyouko is fine."

I blushed.

"Only if you call me Mami."

A pause.

"... In that case, Mami, can I tell you something?"


She put a hand on my back and I instinctively sat up, sitting next to her as the sun sank over the horizon, painting the sky red and yellow and gold.

"... I don't know how to say this without sounding ridiculous." She laughed to herself.

I remembered a time when we were talking together openly, without fear of judgment from the other, and how she did me the favor of being silent until I was done. I returned a two-year-old favor.

"... I wanted to bring you along because... I don't know why. But I thought having you there would help. It did. I can't say exactly how... ahhh... I'm not used to being this honest, yet." She shook her head, letting her long red hair fall over her shoulders.

"It's weird to be this honest again." She breathed in. "A-and it hurts a little to breathe. My back is tight. My neck hurts. My legs are still sore from kneeling and then carrying you back here."

She looked up at the sky, that old gentle smile on her face again.

"But I can feel. I can feel again." A soft chuckle. "And I don't feel like a stranger in my own life, like a visitor in my own memories... not anymore."

I felt a warm hand on my own.

"Because you're here to welcome me back with open arms." She looked over to me.

I swallowed hard.

"So, Mami... I want to... say I'm sorry for having left, two years ago. For destroying our relationship and leaving you in your loneliness." The light of the setting sun reflected off her eyes and I could tell there were tears that weren't falling yet.

"When I left, I told myself that someday you would find someone better to be your friend." She closed her hand around my own. "Now I want to be that someone better."

I was crying again. So was she, but she tried her hardest to keep her voice even.

"Being alone is just t-too lonely, for the both of us... I... I need you, your warmth, your love, your forgiveness." She moved over so that her other hand was on my cheek, and she held eye contact with me. It had been so long since I had last seen her beautiful red eyes.

"I-I forgive you," I said quietly, trying not to choke up. "And you have all of that. You always will, Kyouko."

She smiled and it felt like my heart was bursting with happiness. "Thank you, and I'm home."

I realized then that this was the first time she had said those words since she left her home behind, and we held each other tightly and cried again.

Two years later, I still haven't gotten over the habit of staying up for Kyouko's return. Yuma's already fallen asleep, but I'm sitting up in bed, reading a magical girl manga, with the window open to the night breeze to keep me awake.  

It's the last volume and I hit the last page. I didn't expect it, because the journey was so much harder for them than for other magical girl stories I had read, but somehow they managed to get a happy ending. A satisfying conclusion.

"You'll catch a cold if you sleep with the window open."

I leave the book on the dresser to my right. The other side of the bed, next to me, is empty and waiting.

My heaven-sent Sakura Kyouko stands in my windowsill, long loose red hair falling to her side, a gentle smile reserved for those she loves on her face. "I'm home."

I meet her gaze with a warm smile of my own, reserved only for her. "Welcome home."

The past, with its unabashed fun and innocence, is always tempting to return to. But the present, even with all its heartache, is also worth living with the people who love me by my side.

Later that night, Kyouko holds me close and tells me that I will never be alone again and kisses my cheek, and I run my hands through the full length of her hair and hold it to my lips and breathe in the beautiful scent of apple and cinnamon.


Kyouko borrowed from all manner of magical girl series to complete her half of her promise to Mami's satisfaction.

- Pre-battle declaration to ally/allies: Kamikaze Kaitou Jeanne - “To defeat the evil born of night, the heaven-sent Sakura Kyouko must take flight!”
- Henshin: Shugo Chara - “My heart, unlock!” She was also going to try Ichigo's catchphrase from Tokyo Mew Mew, but decided against it (though she ended up getting her Strawberry Bell weapon anyway). The henshin phrase Mami originally wanted her to use was, fittingly enough, Yuu's henshin phrase from Magical Angel Creamy Mami.
- Grand entrance (with catchphrase): Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon - “Preying on the slothfulness of innocent people! Disrupting the peace and inducing self-destructive behaviour! Unforgivable! A magical girl of Love and Justice: Puella Magi Sakura Kyouko! In the name of the moon, I will punish you!”
- Calling attacks: Rosso Fantasma counts, but I mean ones borrowed from other series, like Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon - “Starlight Honeymoon Therapy Kiss!” and “Rainbow Moon Heart Ache!” She also uses Magical Girl Lyrical Nanoha - “Sturmfalken!”, which is Signum's powerful bow attack from episode 12 of A's.
- Power-up: Puella Magi Madoka Magica - “Rosso Fantasma!”
- Moment of tension: Magic Knight Rayearth - “RAYEAAAAARTH!” and Mai-Hime - “KAGUTSUCHIIIIIII!”
- POWER OF LOVE: Bishoujo Senshi Sailor Moon - “Sakura Love-Me Chain!” Incidentally, I connect Kyouko more to Mars than to Venus, but it's Venus who uses the chain attack.
- Sealing/banishing/converting of evil: Card Captor Sakura - “Return to the guise that you were meant to be in! Clo-- Grief Seed!”
- Post-battle catchphrase: Powerpuff Girls - “And so, the day is saved, thanks to--”
- Reconciliation with victim: Not available. Instead Mami burst out laughing now that she had enough home video material to last her a decade.

The opening line is a parody of the first line of Jane Austen's best-known work, Pride and Prejudice. The last scene's imagery borrows heavily from a scene from its spiritual successor, Rurouni Kenshin. And the line “I am completely un-ladylike when I cry” is a nod to “Stay, Don't Go”, my favourite KyouMami fanfic of all time, and can be found here.

One more thing: My particular variety of obsessive-compulsive disorder makes me notice patterns and symmetry, usually showing up as a fixation with multiples of two and nine. You may have noted the usage of two days twice, and two years twice. The story was initially planned as quarters, and while my novelist tendencies started to kick in about halfway through, it's still roughly divided into four segments.

And last but not least, Yuma now has two mommies. Someday she will watch a certain DVD lying around the house and will from that point on attack her enemies while screaming “RAYEAAAAARTH!” causing Kyouko-momma to flush dark red and Mami-momma to burst out laughing. Incidentally, it was Magic Knight Rayearth II that Mami was reading at the end there, but if you want to believe that she was reading the Madoka Magica manga, feel free, it's open-ended enough for that interpretation. :)

Thanks to Matsuri and rdj522 for proofreading!

Wardjeity of the Night, Tsukuyomi

  • Shrine Janitor
  • *
  • Nickname: rdj
  • Gender: Male
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #21 on: February 23, 2012, 03:58:33 pm »
Yay, it's here!

A third read of the story was just as enjoyable as the two others I did for the proofreading. This deserved to win, and it did! :3


  • No matter how many times I stumble
  • *
  • I'll stand up again, laugh, and face forward
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #22 on: February 23, 2012, 04:39:49 pm »
It was a pleasure to read and proofread. <3

I was hoping you'd win, that I was. Congratulations~ Are you gonna take photos of what you won? :>>>
« Last Edit: February 23, 2012, 04:42:41 pm by Cardcaptor Sakuragi »

I'm sure when tomorrow comes, I can change a little, so bye-bye, my stardust tears.

Iced Fairy

  • So like if you try to hurt alkaza
  • *
  • I will set you on fire k'?
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #23 on: February 23, 2012, 06:44:09 pm »
I've been hoping to see this since you said you finished it, and I'm very happy now that I have.  You should do more shorts Ruro.  They're easy and comfortable to write in.  It was quite nicely put together, and you can summon up patterns in a wonderful way.  I also like how you wove yourself into canon without repetition.  I can see how you won.

Alfred F. Jones

  • Estamos orgullosos del Batallón Lincoln
  • *
  • y de la lucha que hizo por Madrid
  • Staff
  • Nickname: Sakura Rurouni
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #24 on: February 28, 2013, 11:01:02 pm »
The Green Eyes
Written by: Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer
Ripped off Adapted by: S. Ruro

The original version of this short story is “Los ojos verdes”, by one of the best-known writers of the Spanish-speaking world, Gustavo Adolfo Bécquer. This is the sort of stuff school-age children in el mundo hispanohablante read for their language or lit classes. But not much of it has crossed over to the English-speaking world, which is a pity. For my part, when I read this story in a collection of short stories I dug up for the commute to and from my last job, it struck me how eerie the similarities were in this story to a certain setting involving a certain green-eyed girl in Touhou, and that's when I realized that I could totally rewrite it with Touhou characters and not have it be particularly different from the original. I have been lazy since then, but I have finally gotten around to doing it.

This is an adaptation/retelling with Touhou characters, not a faithful translation in the strictest sense. (If it helps, imagine it as the Touhou characters putting on The Green Eyes as a play, with themselves as the actresses.) I actually don't know if you can find an English translation online, though you're welcome to try. If you can read Spanish, however, you can find the original version here:

Due to the setting of the original, this is slightly AU-ish, with the tengu being more subservient to the gods of the mountain than they are in canon. And now, on with the story!

Part I

“The cat's wounded! Wounded, without a doubt.” A pair of red eyes narrowed, zooming in on the smallest details like a telescope zoomed in on the horizon. “You can see the trail of blood as well as smell it-- look, that smudge of red on that bush, and on that thorn, and that imprint in the ground is when her paws slipped and she fell forward onto the ground, just past those trees!”

The valleys of the forest at the base of Youkai Mountain repeated the echoes of the hunters and the pack as they closed in on their quarry.

A camera flash, to record the occasion. “In forty years I've not seen better aim from anyone save the Hakurei Miko, and never without homing magic like hers. How about you, Aya?”

“I agree, but--”

The crows cried out and the three tengu knew what they said, and quickened their fast pace through the underbrush, with the white hunting wolves ahead of them.

“In Yasaka's name, we have to cut her off before she reaches the edge! Get a move on, fly harder! If she reaches that dark blowhole before we can get to her, she'll be lost to us for good!”

Aya pointed, and the hunting crows swept down through the trees, beaks and claws aiming for the spot that the tengu had indicated, the spot that was most ideal spot to cut off the cat's escape.

But it was all in vain. Even as the fastest of the hunting crows reached the edge of the forest, panting, wings beating faster than they'd ever gone before, and the wolves right behind with foam at their mouths, the black-red cat, quick as an arrow, had already cleared the edge in a single leap and was lost to the cave's mouth that led down into the unknown darkness.

“Stop! Everyone stop!” Momizi called out, seeing it happen with her far-seeing eyes.

Aya nodded. “It was the gods' will that she should get away.”

And the hunting party stopped, and the caws fell silent, and the hunting crows abandoned the hunt at the command, returning to the shoulders of their tengu masters, casting longing looks at the dark cave down which their quarry had escaped. The wolves returned to Momizi's side, circling around her legs and laying down to rest their weary feet.

It was at that moment that the heroine of the occasion, Kotiya Sanae, the living human goddess, the heir of Moriya.

“What are you doing?!” She exclaimed, half in shock and half in anger, mostly at Aya. Her expression was livid, her tone fierce. “What are you doing, Aya-san? Didn't you see that the cat was wounded, that it was the very first intruder of the mountain to fall at my hand, and yet you let her go, let her get lost so that it'll die just out of sight? Do you think I came out to attack intruders so that other youkai can claim my prey?”

Hatate and Momizi flinched. “Kotiya-san,” Aya replied in a low voice, her gaze downcast, “it's impossible for us to go beyond this point.”

“Impossible! Why?” Sanae demanded.

“Because this cave,” the tengu continued, “is called the Dark Blowhole, one of the larger entrances to the underground of Gensokyo. And it leads to a bridge; an empty bridge which overlooks a stream, and in that water...”

She lifted her gaze to meet Sanae's blazing glare. “In those waters, there is an... evil spirit, an evil spirit that does not rest, and whoever is an intruder and crosses the bridge, and disturbs the current with her presence, pays dearly for her boldness. That cat is from the underground, and she must have already crossed that bridge to the rest of the underground territories. How will you cross that bridge without bringing down some awful fate upon your head?”

She shook her head from side to side. “The tengu live on the mountain that the gods reign over, but even the gods of the surface pay a tribute to the dark unknown mysteries of the underground. Any intruders or animals who take refuge from the surface-dwellers in that dark domain are lost to their hunters.”

“Lost to their hunters! I'd sooner lose the mountain, I'll sooner sell my soul to a demon's hands, than allow that cat to escape me, the only intruder my amulets have wounded, the first fruit of my outing as a hunter!” Sanae pointed at the yawning mouth of the dark cave, finger trembling. “Do you see her? Do you see her?” she demanded. “I can still see and hear her! Her legs were starting to give way, her speed was getting slower and slower!”

She yanked off her falconer's glove, and the crow on her arm squawked and jumped off, landing on Aya's right shoulder even as the tengu moved to block Sanae's entrance.

Sanae pointed her gohei over her shoulder. “Let me through, Aya-san.”

Aya shook her head. “The gods have willed that she get away.”

“I am a god, and I will that she be captured by me! Now move aside, or I'll push you into the dust!”

The tengu met her gaze for a moment, then in deference she closed her eyes and moved aside, letting Sanae enter.

Sanae smiled, satisfied. “Surely I can stop her before she reaches that bridge you spoke of. And even if I can't, then hah, to the devil with it, the peace of the stream and its supposed evil spirit! I shall see you all later today, when I return in triumph!”

And the heir of Moriya shot down into the cave entrance like a hurricane, the wind carrying her steps.

Aya watched her go until she was lost from view in the darkness, and then she sighed a deep sigh and looked up at Hatate and Momizi, who were motionless.

Finally she shook her head again and said:

“You both saw that. I risked open defiance of the living god-human of Moriya to keep her back. I've done my duty. But neither courage nor recklessness is any use against the devil.”

Hatate nodded, sorrow in her eyes. “Up until this point is as far as we can go...”

“Beyond this point,” Momizi said, “Only death for surface-dwellers can follow.”


Part II

“Your face is pale and your skin drained of its healthy colour. I would ask if something is wrong with you, but I know something has to be wrong! You've been nothing but listless and gloomy for... ever since that day, that unlucky day when you went into the dark cave to find that cat... you came out, but you left your vitality behind, as if a curse has been chasing your every step since then.”

Her voice was strained. “You no longer go to the forest next to the cave to chase away intruders with Hatate or Momizi or with me, accompanied by the hunting crows and wolves, by the caws and the howls of the pack. Instead you go alone in the morning, lost in your thoughts, with your gohei and amulets, down to the cave, and you stay there until the sun hides over the horizon. And when you return to the top of the mountain after nightfall, pallid and worn, you bring no trophies or spoils of the hunt back.”

Aya lowered her head to see Sanae's eyes, but Sanae's head was turned downwards and she couldn't meet them. Her red eyes were flickering, and her tone was confused and lost.

“Please, tell me. What occupies those long hours you spend alone, far away from the people who care about you most?”

While the tengu spoke, Sanae, lost in her own thoughts again, was mechanically carving a small wooden statue of a frog and a serpent with a knife, and the moon's reflection on the water of Lake Suwa lit up the night.

After she spoke, there was a long silence, only interrupted by the sound of steel cutting through wood as it slid through the grains and skidded over the wood, and the night bugs humming around the lake. The tengu was still looking at her for an answer, more pain seeping past her defenses and showing in her eyes as she mentally pleaded with Sanae to respond.

Finally Sanae looked up, and as if she hadn't heard a single word Aya had said, she met her gaze and asked her a question:

“Aya-san, you have lived on the Youkai Mountain for a long time, much longer than me and my family. You've walked on and flown over every inch of its slopes and the surrounding area, and once you even lent your aid to Reimu when she went down to the dark, hidden city of Chireiden. Tell me, have you ever happened to come across a woman living down in that cave?”

“A woman?” Aya blinked, surprised. She stared at Sanae, mentally going back to that time that she had followed the shrine maiden's journey with only her voice to tell her what she was seeing underground.

“Yes,” the young woman replied. “What is happening to me is very strange, very strange... I really thought I could forever keep this a secret, but that's no longer possible. It's overflowing in my heart and rising to my lips unbidden, and I have to get it out. So I am going to reveal it to you.”

Sanae gave her a weak smile. “You'll help me unravel this mystery that's haunted my step ever since I entered that cave, that woman who seems to exist for me and me alone, because no one else knows of her, has seen her, or can tell me anything about her.”

Without saying a word, the tengu nodded, and moved to sit on a rock right in front of Sanae, placing her hands on her lap and wishing Sanae's hands were empty so she could take one of her hands and hold it between her own. And she didn't take her red eyes off of the shrine maiden for a second.

After a moment to coordinate her thoughts and put them in order, Sanae continued.

“Ever since that day that, in spite of your ominous predictions, I entered the Dark Blowhole and made my way to that wooden bridge of which you spoke. I crossed that water, following the blood left behind by that cat, but in that you were correct, the cat had gotten away. But when I passed those calm, running waters, I felt... I felt my soul fill with a yearning for solitude.”

She met Aya's gaze for a moment. “Do you remember that spot? Reimu would have crossed it on her way to the underground if she took that route. I'll describe its sounds to you. The stream bubbles up from a hidden place, out of sight hidden in the rock, and as it trickles down drop by drop, it flows betwixt and between the green moss and small bits of debris that get carried down there, illuminated by the glow of the stream's current catching what little light there is in the area and reflecting it back up at the cave ceiling. Each drop that enters the stream shines like silver in the reflected light and sounds like the notes of an instrument, and the small bugs of the cave buzz along its banks, banks that are sandy and wet, carved out by the stream making a channel for itself, giving way to rocks and other obstacles as it moves down into the darkness. But before they reach that darkness, the stream enters into a small underground pool, over which the bridge crosses.

“The stream enters the pool with.... a sound that I can't describe with my weak words. The sound of the water flowing along and entering... I hear it as laments, words, names, chants, murmurings, whisperings, sighings... I don't know what I haven't heard in that sound when I find myself seated on the bridge, alone and cold and feverish, leaning over to see the shining of the pool, shining that is only scarcely rippled by an unseen, unfelt breeze.”

There was a glowing in Sanae's eyes as she told her tale, raising her face as she brought the images to the forefront of her mind.

“Everything there is glorious. The thousand unknown sounds of solitude deafen the ears and intoxicate the mind with their melancholy tones... in the sandy banks, in the smooth stones at the bottom of the lake, in the clear, pure waters, just as if they were youkai, nature speaks and finds its voice.”

Sanae lowered her face, meeting Aya's gaze. “When you see me in the mornings taking my gohei and amulets and head to the cave at the edge of the forest, it hasn't been to hunt animals or intruders. No, the only reason I go down to the dark is so I can spend hours and hours losing myself at the side of that pool, to sit on the rim of the bridge and look down into its cool depths, seeking...” She chuckled. “I don't know what I seek. Maybe I've just gone crazy. But the first time I crossed the waters, I happened to look down and I thought I saw something strange, very strange, glimmering in the depths: a woman's eyes.”

The green-haired shrine maiden looked over out at the waters of the much larger Lake Suwa, and inside she compared them to that small pool in the underground, and found them lacking.

“Maybe it was just a trick of what dim light there is down there, or maybe it was a stray flower or leaf that floats among the algae and was the colour of an emerald, but....” She shook her head. “I don't know. But I felt... I felt as if it were a glance that pierced me right through my eyes and went right into my soul, and provoked in my heart a mad, absurd desire-- to meet a person with eyes like those. And to see that glance again, I began returning to that bridge, day after day.

Aya was swept up in her words, but as she went on, her heart sank as she realized what Sanae was describing...

“And finally, one afternoon... though it is hard to tell how time passes there, in the dark. Even now it feels as though it were a dream, but no... it was real, it was real, and by now I have spoken to her as clearly as I am speaking to you right now... one afternoon, I found, seated in my regular sitting place and wearing foreign and lovely clothes, her bare legs reaching down towards the water, her feet right on its surface, a woman beautiful beyond all understanding. Her hair was like gold, her lashes gleamed like rays of light in the darkness, and beneath those lashes I saw two eyes that I had already seen, eyes that had burned a hole in my mind and memories, eyes of an impossibly pure colour, eyes that were...”

“Green!” Aya exclaimed, shooting up from her seat in raw terror.

Sanae blinked, her own teal-green eyes betraying her surprise. “You know her?”

“Oh, no. May the gods save me from ever knowing her! But my parents, long ago, when they taught me my way around the mountain and forbade me to go underground, as well as the elder tengu of back then, they all warned us a thousand times that the.... that spirit, that demon, that woman who lives in those waters has eyes of that colour! I think I may have even heard her once, when Reimu went down there, and even Reimu told me to never, ever come by here, for the creature of the bridge was....”

Aya's face was pale and drawn and she knelt on her knees in the sand, looking up at Sanae. “Please, by all you hold dear in your heart, I ask you to not ever return to that bridge! One day, maybe not tomorrow but definitely someday, fate will catch up to you and overtake you and you will pay the price of having disturbed those waters.”

Sanae gave her a slow, sad smile. “By all I hold dearest?”

“Yes,” the tengu continued, “For the sake of your beloved parents, your worshippers, the tengu who are your friends and companions, Momizi and Hatate-san and I... the ones who care about you... so much...” She closed her eyes. “Please!”

“Do you know what I actually hold dearest?” Sanae asked. “Do you know what I would give up the love of Kanako-sama and Suwako-sama for? What I'd give up the faith of the worshippers for? What I'd give up your affection for?”

Aya felt her heart sinking again, feeling the sting of Sanae's words hit her right in the chest.

“I would give them all up for one glance, a single solitary glance from those green eyes! Now, ask me again to stop seeking them!”

Sanae said it in such a declarative tone that Aya actually felt tears sting her eyes for the first time in a long time as she said the only thing she could say before her voice broke:

“May the gods' will be done!”


Part III

“Who are you? What land are you from? Where is your home? I come day after day searching for you, and I never see any trace of any trail you may have left on your way here. Please, here and now, pull off the dark veil of mystery you've wrapped yourself in. I love you, and no matter whether you be a human or youkai, I shall be yours, yours forever...”

The sun had crossed the summit of the Youkai Mountain; the shadows stretched down across the slopes, advancing quickly. Inside the cave, Sanae knew none of this. But the cool breeze that had begun to moan down the slopes of the mountain made it down the dark opening of the cave and reached her hair, and it seemed to her eyes that there was even a slight mist forming above the placid, dark pool.

Sanae lay on the bridge, seemingly about to plummet into the waters below, with the tips of her long hair just above the surface, but she was heedless of any sort of danger; her attention was fixed on the reflection in the water. There was the heir of Moriya, but in the reflection, she was begging her mysterious sweetheart in vain to explain the secret of her existence.

She was beautiful, beautiful and pallid like a statue of alabaster, as if the sun had never once kissed her skin and held her in its warm embrace. Her clothes were unlike any Sanae had ever seen before, and she thought they looked beautiful on her. Her blonde hair fell to her shoulders, looking like a flash of gold in the darkness. And underneath her blonde eyelashes, her eyes gleamed like two emeralds, regarding her with an emotion she couldn't place.

When Sanae was done murmuring soft pleas, the woman's lips moved as if she were about to say something, but instead she seemed to reconsider and sighed, a long and sorrowful sigh, like the breeze in the darkness moving over the waters.

“Why will you not reply?” Sanae exclaimed, feeling her heart begin to sink. “Do you want me to listen instead to what others have told me about you? Oh, please, no! Please speak to me; I want to know if you love me, want to know whether I may love you in turn, whether you're a human, or a youkai, or....”

And then as if she knew what she was about to ask--

“Or a demon.... and if I were?”

Sanae breathed quickly for a moment, temporarily jolted from her reverie; a cold feeling ran down her arms and limbs. Her pupils dilated as she fixed her eyes and stared all the more intensely into that woman's emerald gaze, and as she began to lose herself in those deep, glowing, hypnotic green eyes again, she said in reply:

“If you were.... I would love you... I would love you just the same as I do now. Because it is my destiny, to love you all my life, and to love you beyond this life, if there be anything beyond it for me...”

The beautiful woman in the water met her gaze for a few moments, and then--

“Kotiya Sanae,” she said in a voice that sounded like music, “I love you even more than you love me. For I am a pure spirit, and have appeared in this place to find only those brave enough to chance the dark to find true love. I am not a woman like those humans on the surface, or like those crow or wolf tengu, no; I am worthy of a living goddess like you, you who are superior to all other surface-dwellers.”

A slow smile spread across her face, and her green eyes sparkled like gemstones in the depths of the pool.

“The bridge and its waters are my domain; I live here, I speak with the sounds of the stream as it splashes o'er the rocks and through the darkness. I do not punish those who cross the bridge; I reward instead with my love, as a tribute to those who think on a superior level than that of the silly, superstitious surface-dwellers. And I reward with my love, to the brave person who is worthy of being my suitor that can understand the way I show my affection.”

As she spoke, the young living goddess, absorbed in contemplating her fantastical beauty, and drawn closer and closer by some strange force, was edging closer and closer to the edge of the waters. The green-eyed woman, meanwhile, continued;

Do you see the clear bottom of this pool? It's deeper than it appears, for the clear waters make it look very near. Do you see those smooth black stones with dark leaves waving in the depths? They shall make for us a hammock of emerald and stone... and I, I shall give you a joy without name, the bliss you have dreamed of in your hours of delirium, the bliss none but me can offer you.”

Her green eyes twinkled with joy as she stretched out her arms to the living goddess.

“Come, the mist o'er the pool is covering us both as if it were a bedsheet, and the water calls with its song of love... come... come...”

The breeze from the caverns that led outside had picked up, stirring the surface of the water, but even through the ripples, Sanae could see that woman's green eyes shining in the darkness like will-o'-the-wisps. With her arms she pulled herself up, up, closer to the surface, closer to her face--

“Come, come....”

The words hummed in Sanae's ears like a spell. The outstretched hands were ready to accept her into the beautiful woman's embrace.


And then the woman was pulling her closer, to the brink of the abyss, where she hung suspended from the bridge, moving up her face to offer the living goddess a kiss...

Sanae lowered her face further down to reach the waters, moving her body until it was perched at the edge of balance... And she felt two slender, but strong arms wrap themselves around her neck, and a sensation of cold on her hot lips, a kiss of cold, dead water--

And she wavered.... and lost her balance, and fell into the waters, with a splash that sounded like a sad, mournful groan.

The waters splashed in sparks of green and blue light, and closed over her body, and their silvery ripples spread out wider and wider, until they expired at the banks.


I see that my tendency to correlate purity to deadness continues apace. It's my death flag of preference. Well, it helps that it was in the original work too.

Anyway! The original story is indeed a fable about the deadlier aspects of obsessive love. Green-eyed jealousy can also be seen as green-eyed fixation, or green-eyed obsession, in my view. Though, instead she seems to be more inclined to feed Sanae's sense of pride, so.... green-eyed conceit? Not as catchy, but...The original has a water nymph as the green-eyed lady, but I thought Parsee would be just perfect to take on the role. (If you can read Spanish, you should totally read the original and see just how well she fits.)

Poor Sanae! Aya seems to have a thing for her (Pasteltel would be proud of me) but she turns her back on her tengu companion to accept the cold embrace of love.

Originally the doomed mortal was going to be Marisa, because Marisa always gets to be the expendable human, but Iced convinced me to spare her and to offer up Sanae in her place. I guess that's fine for a change. Though I can't imagine that Kanako and Suwako will be pleased. Oops. But I guess Parsee's happy. Rin too, now that I think about it....

But yeah, I wanted to adapt this tragedy to Touhou and this is how it turned out. I thank the original writer for his great work, and also for his being long enough dead that this is in the public domain now. I hope at least one other person enjoyed this, because that alone will make all the effort worthwhile. Well, thank you for reading!


  • No matter how many times I stumble
  • *
  • I'll stand up again, laugh, and face forward
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #25 on: February 28, 2013, 11:48:07 pm »
At first I was all 'oh hey, you paired Aya and Sanae, you know I ship them really hard~'.

And then I kept reading.

Why, Ruro. Whyyyy. ;________;

That said, this was really good, and showed Parsee in a way I hadn't imagined her before-- and I like that! The whole third part had me rather hooked, I think, simply from just letting the imagery run through my mind. I really should try to push my way through the actual story (I can understand Spanish well enough, I hope) to see the comparisons. :3

I see that my tendency to correlate purity to deadness continues apace. It's my death flag of preference. Well, it helps that it was in the original work too.

I should have seen her death coming as soon as she started going on about purity because ugh purity :[

I hope at least one other person enjoyed this, because that alone will make all the effort worthwhile.

I did! It was was quite the good read, that it was. Excellent work as usual. <3

and now I need to start shipping ParseexSanae because damn
« Last Edit: February 28, 2013, 11:52:33 pm by Matsureiuji Utsuho »

I'm sure when tomorrow comes, I can change a little, so bye-bye, my stardust tears.


  • Nickname: Chirei
  • Gender: dood
Re: Honesty of Purpose - Short Story Collection
« Reply #26 on: March 01, 2013, 12:05:08 am »

I was wondering if anyone would ever liken Parsee to a river troll or such, since I actually am not sure what she is supposed to be. But this is definitely a more dangerous, yet interesting take of the underground bridge, and I like it!

SMF 2.0.14 | SMF © 2017, Simple Machines
Theme based on ModernDark64 design by BlocWeb
Page created in 0.258 seconds with 20 queries.