Author Topic: Two Gods And A Devil  (Read 2901 times)

FinnKaenbyou

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Two Gods And A Devil
« on: June 05, 2009, 03:27:46 AM »
Third time's a charm, they say. This is basically me attempting to write the start of the story I mentioned here, to see if it's worth actually trying to write the whole thing. Comments appreciated.

------

Prologue

Belief can be dangerous.

To believe in something is to accept it without a need for evidence, to accept it based on faith. If we believe in something, no amount of evidence otherwise will have an effect on us, simply give us a need to strengthen our faith. It makes us do strange, cruel, twisted things in the name of our respective gods.

Once upon a time, the realm of Gensokyo was a perfect example of this. For centuries only one measly shrine, the Hakurei Shrine, was present in the entire country. Its followers were few and its owners humble, and its effect on the rest of Gensokyo was mainly a direct result of the shrine maidens themselves rather than the principles they taught.

But one day, at the peak of Youkai Mountain, a second shrine appeared within Gensokyo's mystical domain - a shrine of outsiders, seeking refuge from the non-believing outside world. This was the Moriya Shrine, and unlike the Hakurei they valued the faith of the public above all else. Within days of its appearance the shrine's miko was visiting the local youkai, performing every miracle possible in order to impress the masses. She was widely successful - the Moriya Shrine quickly embraced a level of faith that they'd never had before.

It wasn't enough. They wanted more.

The shrine maiden issued a statement urging believers to turn in the doubters to them, giving them one last chance to 'accept the truth'. Former friends with different faiths came to blows, and families sold out their own flesh and blood to please the gods. Those who were caught and still refused to conform were 'cleansed', which was the Moriya safe word for 'murdered'.

Belief can be dangerous.

Still the Moriya were not pleased with their belief, and so they expanded their campaign outwards to the rest of Gensokyo. In their masses the mountain's resident kappa and tengu visited nearby settlements and gatherings of youkai, preaching the faith in the hopes of pleasing the great Yasaka. Again, families were encouraged to turn in those who didn't believe, and again these stragglers were treated with extreme prejudice.

When this expansion reached the ears of the current shrine maiden of the Hakurei, it immediately became clear that the continued existence of her shrine was under threat. She did what she could to accrue faith from the humans and youkai she knew, and initially her plans had only been to offer an alternative to the Moriya. But as the Hakurei Shrine received its first ever offerings in a long time, her thoughts turned to other ambitions. Wealth, and the power it would earn her.

Quickly, the Hakurei Shrine's deeds were no better than the Moriya's, and the two shrines entered fierce (and often fatal) competition to win over the multitudes of Gensokyo. There was no third option - either you were with one side or the other. Neutrals or (god forbid) non-believers were hated by both sides, and were persecuted by both sides openly.

Belief can be dangerous.
But what can you do if you don't believe?

FinnKaenbyou

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Re: Two Gods And A Devil
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2009, 03:32:57 AM »
Chapter 1: Going Under

Ow. Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow.

The first conscious thought to run through Momizi Inubashiri's brain was pain. So were the second and third, helpfully reminding her that she'd recently received one hell of a whack to the forehead. She couldn't see it, but she was sure her silver ears - proof of her lineage as a white wolf tengu - were standing on end right now, and her tail probably wasn't much comfier. She tried to piece together her memories of what had happened to her as she woke up - someone had knocked on the door, she'd opened it, and it was a blank after that.

Must've been knocked out...I should've been more careful.

"Oh, you're awake. About time, too."

A voice with a barely hidden tone of disgust helped Momizi back into consciousness. Her eyes slowly started to come into focus as the throbbing in her skull faded to a bearable level. She wasn't surprised to find that this wasn't her house - it must've been somewhere at the foot of Youkai Mountain, though she was in no state to determine where. Something was clinging to her leg, but right now that was the least of her worries.

The owner of the cruel voice was looking down on her with cold, golden eyes. Her emerald hair hung around her face, but her uniform said the most about her identity - a simple blue and white miko outfit.

"You're...Sanae Kotiya..."

Sanae smiled.

"Oh, good, you know me! Then we can skip the introductions and get right to the good stuff."

Every word leaked sarcasm, as Sanae sat down on the ground to look Momizi head-on. She deliberately pulled the most exaggerated smile she could, a fake grin that she'd probably worn many times over the last few months.

"As you know, I'm a representative of the local Moriya Shrine, and we've heard a variety of good things about you, Miss Inubashiri. From what I've been told your sight is exceptional even among tengu. You'd make a great scout to warn us of any upcoming Hakurei threats."

The word 'Hakurei' spilled out of Sanae's mouth violently, like it had been thrown up. It was the attitude of a shrine maiden with no appreciation whatsoever for other religions.

"...And...if I refuse?"

Sanae's grin shifted from a fake smile to a sadistic one.

"Look behind you."

Momizi immediately knew that turning around was a bad, bad idea. Doing it anyway, she finally saw what had been clinging to her leg - a ball and chain, the ball being held precariously above the lake behind her by several fairies.

"Oh, that ball does look rather heavy. It'd be a shame if those fairies were to drop it, you know?"

Momizi's blood froze. She'd heard stories of the methods the Moriya Shrine used to recruit followers, but she'd never believed them entirely until now. That cruel smile was proof enough that Sanae would have no qualm with letting the ball drop if she was turned down.

"Well, not that I want to pressure you or anything, but they won't be able to hold that thing forever. I'll need an answer relatively soon."

She was back to the fake smile, giving Momizi one last opportunity to save herself. Part of her considered saying yes, agreeing to Sanae's offer, but there was more to it than that.

"You're...lying."

Sanae's smile shifted for an instant.

"You don't want me for my sight...you want me for Miss Aya."

Momizi knew that the Moriya shrine was under watch from all angles. No way they'd need another scout for miles, so Sanae wanted info from Momizi, not ability. She was an known associate of Aya Shameimaru - a journalist who went underground shortly after the appearance of the Moriya, exposing their propaganda via stealthily distributed journalism. It didn't take a genius to tell Sanae was looking for Momizi to sell her friend out.

"...Well. I suppose you aren't the useless mutt I'd written you off as."

Sanae's face fell instantly, looking at Momizi with disgust. She stood up again, edging away slightly as the white wolf tengu looked up with new fervour.

"Maybe not. And I can tell you that I'd...I'd sooner die than tell you where she is. I'll choose an honest friendship over a false belief."

Half of her wasn't sure about what she was saying, but it felt so right. It wasn't that she didn't believe in the Moriya shrine - she knew that their god was more than capable of miracles - but it was their lust for power that had offset her. Their refusal to accept any belief other than their own was too self-righteous for her, but until now she'd never openly opposed the religion. The thought of death didn't even cross her mind - she had a right to her opinion, and she'd fight for it whatever the cost.

Sanae was taken aback for a moment, but quickly regained her composure and sighed. She looked at Momizi with emotionless, dead eyes.

"Well if you aren't with us, you're against us. May Yasaka have mercy upon you."

She nodded once to the fairies, and on cue they released the ball, dropping it into the lake. Momizi managed one last smirk before the chain tugged at her leg, pulling her under the water in one deft movement. Only the occasional bubble at the surface showed that Momizi had ever been there.

Sanae looked down at the lake for a few seconds, then groaned as she began to make her way up the mountain again. Shameimaru had been a thorn in her side for too long now, and this had been her best chance to eliminate her. With any luck, the mysterious disappearance of one of her closest friends would be enough to shake her conviction at the very least.

---

Dong.

Momizi heard the ball hit the bottom of the lake a few seconds after she went under. She'd caught a breath before she fell in, but even youkai have their limits. With no particular training Momizi doubted she'd be able to last more than a couple of minutes.

She looked down at the ball, still chained to her leg. It had taken six fairies to carry it so logically she had no hope, but it was hardly like she had any other choice.

"Hnnnnnngh..."

Heaving as she tried to lift the ball, Momizi took care not to waste any precious air. She remembered hearing somewhere that objects weren't as heavy underwater, but apparently the difference wasn't big enough - the ball refused to budge.

"Nnh, nnh!"

She started trying to jerk the ball up, and for a moment she was convinced she'd lifted it an inch, but the quiet dong of it hitting the lake bottom again was enough to drain her conviction.

"Mmph..."

This wasn't going to work. This probably wasn't Sanae's first drowning - if there was any hope of Momizi lifting this ball she'd have used a heavier one.

Which means...I'm going to die down here.

She already felt her chest starting to burn. She held off gurgling the last of her air to end it all, seeing it as her final act of rebellion against the Moriya. She made to swim for the surface, kicking fiercely even though she wasn't rising at all.

"M-mmh!"

The air was trying to work its way out of her. Her lungs were crying for air, and her cheeks were bulging. Slowly, but surely, the bubbles started to flow.

Please be safe, Miss Aya...

Momizi felt strangely at ease as she gurgled away what would probably be her last breath. Looking up to the surface one more time, she reached out with one hand as her eyes slid peacefully shut.

All she had to do was breathe in now, and it'd all be ov-

"Mmph?!"

Momizi felt something being shoved into her mouth, letting out a muffled yelp. She tried to pull away, but something grabbed her from behind and stopped her from spitting it out. Distracted by the assault, Momizi forgot the one rule she'd been following for the last two minutes: Don't breathe in.

She inhaled.

"...?"

Drowning really wasn't as painful as people always said it was. In fact, it felt just like she was breathing normal air. This was a pretty good way to die, though the gurgling sound was kinda weird...after all, she didn't even have any air to gurgle away, did she?

No, wait...I'm really breathing. But...how?

Pulling her eyes open, Momizi finally caught sight of her mysterious assailant - a blue-dressed girl holding her in place from behind with one hand, forcing some sort of cylinder into her mouth with the other. Her dark blue eyes looked at Momizi with an expression of hope, and a green cap had somehow lodged itself securely over her light blue hair.

A kappa?

Seeing her wake up, the girl moved away from Momizi to give her room to breathe (so to speak). Momizi bit on the cylinder, barely wider than her mouth was, and was amazed that she was still gurgling away streams of bubbles. This thing was tiny - how could there be so much air in it?

Is it...magic?

Momizi wanted to ask the kappa exactly how she'd just been saved, but she was already focusing on the chain that kept Momizi trapped down here. Only now did the captive tengu have time to notice the line of pockets running down the bottom of the girl's dress, as she opened one and rummaged through it. She did all of this without any obvious need to breathe, but kappa could easily hold their breaths for hours so this wasn't that surprising.

Grinning as she apparently found what she was looking for, the kappa pulled out a vial of an ominous looking, yellow liquid. She placed it over the chain holding Momizi in place, showing her an open palm as a warning in the place of words.

Stay still.

Momizi nodded, doing her best to keep her foot in place. Cautiously she squeezed the vial, releasing a single droplet of the liquid straight onto the metal.

There was a satisfying burbling noise as the liquid hastily ate through the metal, much to Momizi's amazement. If this was magic, it was a magic no-one had ever bothered to tell her about Within seconds her foot was free, and without even needing to think about it she made to swim to the surface and escape this watery prison.

"B-blub?!"

The kappa caught her by the foot, shaking her head. She motioned to one of the edges of the lake, where it broke off into a stream running further away from the mountain. Getting the message, Momizi stopped her ascent - surfacing here ran the risk of being seen by Sanae again, and this time she'd make sure that she finished the job. Letting the kappa take the lead, Momizi barely kept up as her saviour swam swiftly through the water and guided her through a series of branches and twists in the river's path.

Only now had Momizi calmed down enough from the whole near-death-experience thing to ask herself the important question - who was this girl, and why had she saved her? More importantly, where was she being led?

One thing's for sure, she thought to herself. It can't be any worse than what's going on up there.

WRATHIE_Beatrice

  • soujiko x yousuke is my otp
  • I will repeat it, in RED
Re: Two Gods And A Devil
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2009, 03:53:40 AM »
Pace is fine, so is ur char's thoughts and formatting.. has no qualms with this. a good start, even if i hate the potrayal of Raymoo and Sanae and co.

even so, it's a good start and shows ur writing skills off quite well..
waiting for it

Defiant of Shrine Maiden Ver. 2

FinnKaenbyou

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Re: Two Gods And A Devil
« Reply #3 on: June 09, 2009, 03:31:13 AM »
Yeah, real life had stopped me from writing for a while, so it took me a while to get this one out. Starts off a little lighter, but kinda works its way back into severity later on...

-----

Chapter 2: Recruitment

Momizi had officially lost track of where she was. They'd broken away from the river some time back, and the kappa had been guiding her through an insanely complicated series of underwater tunnels with a powerful handheld light (it couldn't be a candle if it was underwater...what was it?). If Momizi lost sight of her, there was no way she was making it back out of here, but fortunately her guide was fine with waiting for her to keep up. She clumsily kicked through the water, still surviving on the tiny cylinder she'd been given for air.

Finally the kappa lead her through the last of the junctions and they came across a simple metal door. Momizi finally caught up completely, tired from all the swimming she'd been doing and making the most of her chance to take a break. She looked carefully at the door, confused by the lack of a keyhole or a knob - how were you meant to open it?

Is she going to use that yellow stuff again?

Her internal thoughts were interrupted by a strange beeping noise. Looking away from the door, she saw the kappa pushing buttons on some sort of keypad intensely, each input giving off a satisfying beep. After twelve straight digits a tiny light on the pad flashed green, and to Momizi's surprise the door slid open. The kappa continued onward as her guest examined the pad, puzzled - it wasn't connected to the door, so how did it...?

Beep.

"Mmh!?"

Exactly ten seconds after it had opened, the door began to slide shut again. With a panicked gurgle Momizi pulled herself away from the keypad and burst through the doorway, barely sliding through the gap as the metal door closed completely behind her. There was another keypad on the same side that probably did the same thing, but she didn't bother worrying about that, working instead on catching up with the kappa in case there were more doors to rush through.

The tunnel continued for a few metres along before suddenly turning upward. Rising almost as quickly as her bubbles did, Momizi finally caught up with the kappa waiting for her in a small, metallic room. Besides the hole from which they'd emerged there was one door, but from the various sealings on it it wasn't going to open anytime soon. The kappa was treading water next to a pair of switches, waiting for Momizi to arrive. Motioning her away from the hole, she pressed the button labelled 'DRAIN'.

Even with her own impressive sight, Momizi had to struggle to see the tiny holes which emerged in the floor after the switch was pressed. A steel lid slid over the hole, and with amazing speed the water level in the room began to fall. The kappa treated it like another everyday occurance, but to the tengu it was an amazing piece of work.

Wow...did she design all of this herself?

Still impressed, it took Momizi a few seconds to notice that the water had fallen below her shoulders. When she did the relief was instant, and spitting out the cylinder she enjoyed the first breaths of fresh air she'd taken in the last half hour. She was grinning like an idiot, but that seemed to be an understandable response to cheating death. She was soaked, freezing cold and she'd just been basically ostracised by everyone she knew, but she was alive and that was all that mattered.

As the last of the water gurgled away, the door began to unseal itself. Walking towards it Momizi started to appreciate just how wet she was - her clothes clung to her with surprising tightness, making walking amazingly difficult. The kappa had no such problems - presumably her race had planned ahead and designed waterproof clothes for these cases, because only the occasional drip on her face showed that she'd been underwater at all. She picked up the dropped cylinder, wiped it off, and placed it in one of her dress pockets.

"Now let's see Yasaka do that."

The kappa murmured it under her breath, smirking to herself, presumably thinking that Momizi wasn't paying attention. She was wrong, but Momizi decided to leave it to herself as the door slid open majestically. The scenery abruptly changed from a harsh, mechanic room to a humble abode, as they walked into what was presumably the other girl's home. The kappa commonly built their homes hastily in rock faces besides the local rivers and streams for easy access, but Momizi had never seen one that looked so simple, and she'd met several kappa over the years. A barely working candle lit the room from a hook on the ceiling. A bookcase stood in the corner, with several well-used novels stocked up, and a nearby table still had a half-eaten cucumber left on top. On the room's distant side a simple wooden door connected it to the outside world, and a simple bed only big enough for one person sat in another corner. Besides that, Momizi's eyes picked up nothing distinctive, let alone out of the ordinary. Looking behind her, she noticed that there was no doorway - where it had been there was now simply a portion of wall. By now it was more than obvious that she was dealing with no ordinary kappa here.

Did she design this place to be simplistic so she could hide rooms like that? Or was there just no money to spare after all the high-tech stuff?

Momizi would've pondered the question further, but she was distracted by the harsh chill that ran through her. She was getting colder by the minute, and as she clutched herself she felt her teeth start to chatter. She was tempted to take the soaking clothes off right now, but she didn't have anything else on her (obviously) and stripping was hardly appropriate in front of a total stranger...

Maybe I should just...sleep. That'll help...

She was falling over, her eyes sliding shut. In the distance she heard the kappa shouting for her, felt her catching her.

"Hey, hey! Don't pass out, please don't pass out now! ...Crap, what do I do?! How could I forget about hypothermia?!"

The voice trailed into the distance as Momizi felt herself drifting into sleep. It was peaceful, calm and relaxing, and slowly she felt all the stress and panic of today fade into the distance, like an old dream...

---

"!"

She woke up quickly, wrapped up warmly in bed. Her eyes flickered open, looking up at a ceiling of rock. Her head was hazy, but she remembered a dream she'd had, or maybe it was a nightmare - she'd been kidnapped by the Moriya Shrine's priestess and left to drown when she refused to co-operate with them. Then some kappa girl had saved her, and from there it got a little fuzzy. She let off a little sigh of relief - it had all felt so real, so scary, that knowing it was a dream was enough to relax her-

Wait a minute. That isn't my ceiling.

Since when was her ceiling made of rock? Letting her eyes dart around the room, she felt a pulse of cold realisation run through her as she realised the bedcovers weren't hers either. Neither was the bed, or the blue dress that had been hastily thrown on her. Her own clothes sat in a pile beside her, damp and forgotten. It hadn't been a dream at all - it was as real as it got.

"Aah!"

She fell out of bed, taking the pale blue sheets with her as she braced to hit the ground. She hit it slightly earlier than she expected to, and was surprised to hear the floor give off a little squeal as she hit it. For a moment she lay there, still trying to come to terms with what had just happened to her.

"C...Could you get off me, please?"

A nervous voice from under her turned her attention to the ground, and Momizi suddenly realised she had never hit the floor. She was still floating about a foot or so above it - something she couldn't see was in between her and the floor. Or, as seemed more likely, someone.

"Whoa!"

Momizi rolled again, hitting the floor for real this time. Whatever she'd landed on moaned lightly, pulling itself up using the bed and leaving momentary handprints in the mattress as it rose. That confirmed Momizi's suspicions - someone was definitely in front of her, but she'd somehow managed to make herself invisible.

Or at least, that had been the plan. Apparently Momizi's crash landing had done some sort of damage, and every so often a figure flickered into view. It was the kappa who'd rescued her earlier, and in the brief moments Momizi saw her she noticed her expression turning hastily into one of despair. She was hastily adjusting the belt she was wearing, which was letting off fizzing noises that were less than comforting, and as time went on she came more and more into view.

"Oh, come on, not now! Not like this!"

As she became readily more visible, the kappa's frustration began to turn into embarrassment. The only thing she was wearing other than the cap was a dark blue one-piece swimsuit on which she'd scribbled the name 'NITORI', and as the machine gave off its dying whirrs she vainly tried to cover herself. This must have been what she'd been wearing under the dress she'd given to warm up the freezing Momizi, but she hadn't wanted to be seen in it given the blushing which had run across her face.

"...You think I'm crazy now, don't you?"

Momizi was still lying on the floor, wearing the dress she'd been given. She slowly became aware that she was wearing nothing at all under it, which could only mean that she'd been undressed completely. Slowly she started to blush as well, and there was a moment of awkward silence between the two.

"Uh...do I need to answer that question?"

---

It was a nervous first few minutes, but eventually the pair managed to put their earlier mishaps down to necessity. Momizi did her best not to think about the swimsuit or the fact that she'd been seen naked, forcefully reminding herself every few seconds that otherwise she'd be dead.

The girl introduced herself as Nitori Kawashiro, an engineer who considered herself relatively good at inventing all sorts of gizmos. She took the first opportunity she could to give an example, pulling the cylinder from earlier out of Momizi's pocket. She hastily started to explain its design, what it did and how it did it, how long she'd taken to build it, what she'd been reading at the time and every other needless fact that she could possibly throw in. Momizi felt her head throbbing as the explanation wore on, and cut Nitori off for her own sake when she tried to start explaining what the yellow liquid from earlier was.

"So long story short, this stuff is all yours?"

Nitori nodded, clearly proud of her work.

"And you carry it all around with you like this?"

She motioned to the pockets on the dress, which was much heavier than it had looked. Nitori shook her head, standing up and leading Momizi across the room towards the bookcase.

"No, that'd be insane. I just carry around whatever I need to in pockets like these..."

How much of that did she actually use down there?

"...and leave the rest of it in here."

On the word 'here', Nitori pulled out a single, untitled book, stopping halfway as it gave off a mechanical click. The bookcase slid backwards with a mighty heave, as Momizi looked on mildly impressed. To be honest, she'd seen too much of Nitori's work for it to truly surprise her any more.

Walking into the newly formed doorway, Nitori proudly presented another room whose walls were laced in metal. Between them a variety of metal shelves stacked dozens of contraptions that Momizi didn't recognise, with helpful labels like 'EXTENDING ARM' beneath them just so their use was obvious. Momizi felt an incredible urge to pick one of these up and mess with it, but she restrained herself given that Nitori was watching.

Nitori led her up to an empty space in the shelves, where the label 'RADIO RECEIVER' sat abandoned. Reaching into one of Momizi's pockets, Nitori pulled out a black rectangular object and placed it where it belonged on the shelf.

"That there is what really saved you, Momizi. I overheard a transmission from Kotiya to her goddess talking about what they were going to do with you, and when I heard the word 'drown' I knew I had to do something. You were lucky - if they'd done it any other way there'd have been nothing I could have done..."

Her pride had faded away, and apparently the conversation had drifted into more serious matters. Momizi gulped at the word 'Kotiya' alone, images of those heartless eyes flashing in her head.

"Wait, transmissions? You have a way to communicate with people over long distances?"

Nitori began to walk away from the shelf and toward the exit, pulling the cap over her eyes. Her voice seemed a little more troubled now.

"Yeah, the kappa invented the technology pretty recently. It's pretty new, so there aren't a lot of receivers out there, and most of them are in the hands of the Moriya anyway."

She sighed, waiting for Momizi to get out before returning the single unnamed book to its original position. The bookcase slid forward again, concealing the hideout completely. Nitori sat down at the table, grabbing the half-eaten cucumber and biting at it. Momizi pulled up the other chair and sat next to her, the circumstances about the dress and swimsuit now totally immaterial.

"So you don't worship them, either?"

Momizi was nervous asking the question, but given what Nitori had done to save her life it should have been pretty obvious. She chewed loudly, savouring the flavour, and swallowed the bite before replying.

"I don't like gods in general. They stop people from going out and doing things themselves, because it's so much easier to get a god to do it for you."

Momizi was intruiged by Nitori's mindset. She herself didn't like the Moriya Shrine mainly because it forced its beliefs onto people, but Nitori apparently disregarded gods altogether. Atheism of that sort was almost unheard of in Gensokyo.

"I never thought of it like that, I guess...but that means we're on the same side, then."

Nitori nodded, chewing on another piece of cucumber. There was a moment of silence as both of them tried to find a way to lighten the conversation.

"So, I guess you're going to have to move in here for now."

Momizi didn't know how to respond. It was true - if they saw her in public she'd be dead for sure - but to leave everything she had ever owned behind her was still a heavy blow.

"Yeah...yeah, I guess I am. Nothing we can do about it, is there?"

Another pause, before Nitori shook her head with an expression of resignation. The two of them were both thinking the same thing - why do we have to sit here and take this rather than go out there and give that Yasaka a piece of our minds?

The pair of them were so lost in their depression that the knocking sound nearly knocked both of them out of their chairs. Someone was knocking on the door lightly, enough to worry Nitori - she never typically got visitors. Grabbing something from one of Momizi's pockets, she urged her into a corner of the room and approached the door carefully.

With one hand Nitori carefully reached for the door's knob. She held a knife in the hand behind her back - simple, but enough to take out an attacker with initiative. She slowly creaked the door open, peeking out at the visitor. Immediately her thoughts of suspicion were replaced with sheer bewilderment - standing outside of her house was a maid. Like something out of a storybook she was dressed in a white and blue outfit with frills in all the right places and a bonnet on top as a finishing touch. Her hair, a silvery shade, hung down the side of her face in braids, and her dark blue eyes were surprisingly cheerful. This didn't seem like a member of the Moriya Shrine, and so Nitori - very carefully - pulled the door open.

"Um...hello?"

The maid blinked once at the sight of Nitori in a swimsuit, but besides that there was no noticable reaction.

"You are Miss Nitori Kawashiro, correct? I have an invitation for you."

The maid was holding an envelope in one hand, which she held out towards Nitori. The kappa saw her name written on it in needlessly elegant handwriting, and she almost felt guilty tearing it apart to read the card inside.

"To Miss Nitori Kawashiro,
                                   "You are hereby cordially invited to an upcoming social event at Gensokyo's prestigious Scarlet Devil Mansion. Proceedings will commence noon sharp on the day you receive this letter, and your punctuality is of vital importance. It is advised you arrive at the Scarlet Lake half an hour in advance, as tardiness will not be accepted. As this is a personal invitation, I sincerely hope you will take the time to attend.
                                                                                                    ~Remilia Scarlet
                                                                                                     R.V.S.P."

Nitori felt her eyes water at the language she was reading. It was so upper-class, so...snobbish, that it almost hurt to read. She didn't need to think too hard on this one - she wasn't exactly into parties, anyway.

"Um, I think I'll decline the offer. Send Miss...uh...Miss Scarlet my apologies."

Nitori handed the card back to the maid, who was still wearing that cheerful smile. Momizi, watching on from the distance, could make out every word on the card and was as confused about it as Nitori was - who exactly was Remilia Scarlet?

"Oh, are you certain you want to turn her down?" The maid's cheeriness had faded slightly, but it was still enough to be grating. "Lady Scarlet is very busy, and she's taking time out of her schedule to see you. It's not very polite to turn her down like this, you know."

Nitori felt more uncomfortable by the minute, but she resisted the urge to step backwards in case the maid walked in.

"Uh...yeah, I am. I'm really, really sorry, but I don't even know who Remilia Scarlet is."

Silence. The smile on the maid's face began to fall. Nitori's hand closed around the knife, ready to counter anything that happened.

She blinked.

When her eyes opened, the maid wasn't there any more.

What the-

Something sharp was brushing against her throat. Behind her, the maid's voice had lost all its cheerfullness as she wielded her own knife like a trained assassin.

"Maybe I should rephrase that. It would be in your best interests to attend this event, if you know what I mean.

Nitori couldn't explain it. There was no way, no logical way for the maid to have made that move. Even Momizi, with her lightning-fast eyes, hadn't been able to track the motion. It was like she'd frozen time, moved, then started it again when she had Nitori in just the position she wanted.

"But...you...how did-"

"There are some things your science cannot achieve, Miss Kawashiro. Oh no, don't try to deny it - Lady Scarlet knows all about you and your little game of saboteur with the Moriya Shrine. That's why she asked for you in particular - someone with your skills is precisely who she needs."

Nitori's face froze in an expression of shock. She'd thought until now that she was totally unseen and unheard, but maybe that was only looking at it scientifically. There were other ways she could be spotted and tracked, ways outside of the scientific method.

"...What do you want me to do?"

Momizi could see the maid begin to grin. Nitori was obviously willing to do what she was told.

"I'd rather you simply came to the mansion and found out yourself. The mistress would be disappointed if I spoiled the surprise for you by saying now, and I can't have that."

Holding Nitori in place, the maid finally turned to look at Momizi. The grin remained.

"You too, Miss Inubashiri. It is hardly as though you can back out now given what the Moriya Shrine has done to you, is it? Milady can give you the revenge you desire - all you need do is attend. You're somewhat of a last-minute invitee, but as they always say the more the merrier."

There was silence as the maid waited for either girl to reply to her. No response.

"Hm. Well, I've passed on my message so I should be off. I do hope you arrive on time - otherwise you'll leave me with a nasty mess to clean, so to speak. Farewell."

They blinked again, and she was gone.

Still expecting to be in the maid's clutches, Nitori fell backwards and hit the floor. Momizi ran up to her, checking for bruises as the kappa dropped the knife uselessly from her hand. They both had the same thought running through their heads - What was she?

After helping Nitori to her feet, Momizi walked over to the doorway and picked up the ornate invitation. She'd heard of the Scarlet Lake, and it wasn't like an island with a mansion on it would be hard for someone like her to see.

"Are...are we going?"

Nitori was still shaken by the attack, her sense of privacy torn apart. Momizi was strangely calm - perhaps the events of the days had knocked her feelings of fear full-circle.

"Nitori, we don't have a choice. And they said that they'd help us against the Moriya, so..."

Momizi trailed off as she looked into the distance. The sun was rising on Gensokyo, signalling the start of a new day for its residents.

It was a day that Momizi and Nitori wouldn't soon forget.

-----

I have this mental image that if this was an anime, then this would roughly be where the first episode ends. >_>
Comments appreciated.

Kojiremi

  • Crimson Asuratic
  • Touhou, Disgaea, Neptunia. Holy Trinity
Re: Two Gods And A Devil
« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2009, 05:18:53 AM »
I can easily see some religious battle going on like this. Its pretty good Rou ^_^.  To be honest though i'd read anything if touhou was the topic. Not often are Nitori no Momiji the main characters too. PRetty decent stuff man. Keep it up. I'm definitely reading this. especially since i' not doing much else durin the day anyway haha. Keep it going at yoru own pace  8)
See the patterns, feel the patterns, become one with the patterns, avoid the patterns
In order to live through the patterns, you must understand the patterns for everything else there is MASTER SPARK.