Topic: World of Empty Dreams - The Story of MEIRA in Eastern Wonderland  (Read 2420 times)

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7TC7

  • In best company
  • Nickname: Black-Cat/7TC7
This story was originally written for Another Dream but considering they don't seem to be coming back I'll post it here instead. Enjoy it~


Cover image by my friend Ganemi

This is the dark world I was born in, sealed off from the world outside. Living in the dark forests, looking up on that far away mountain ever hidden behind dark clouds, taking a rare glimpse at the castle build from blue crystals hidden there, I am Meira. I had a last name long ago, but I lay it aside. I’m not worth the family I was born in. I am born off a heroic clan of samurais though I am more of an assassin myself.
The incident I am going to write about lies in the near past. It was the first time I acted as an assassin. And that castle hidden there in the mountains is, were all should begin…

~ Crystalline Castle ~

It was a journey of a week; through the dangerous dark forests I lived in, a valley filled with youkai bats and living plants and up the steep mountain where unreal seeming thunderstorms threatened to kill me.

Finally reaching the top of the mountain, being above the thunderclouds, I took a deep breath and looked around. It wasn’t much different from the rest of the mountain I had seen while climbing up there. Dark rock formations, giving the illusion of being alive, making you feel to be watched all the time, leafless burned looking trees swinging their branches in the slight wind. There were also strange flying lights, looking alike fireflies but being much too big to in fact be fireflies.

Most different from the scenery of the climb was the fact that there were no more clouds above me and I could clearly see the nearly full moon in the dark blue sky. And illuminated by that moons light stood there a gigantic castle made of blue crystal not farther away from me than a thousand meters.

This castle was in fact the place I had taken all this way to get to. There lived someone who had hired me as an assassin - the queen of this dark world (though I didn’t know much about her or the castle). But I wasn’t in the place to ask questions, I shouldn’t even have stood there viewing the landscape. I was tired and hungry and this castle was the place where I should be able to fulfill both my needs for sleep and food. Determined to reach my goal when it was so close, I took one foot after the other and walked on.

After another half hour of boring walking trough this boring landscape I finally reached the castle. While walking I had had more than enough time to notice how it was shaped. The crystalline castle was made up from four towers, connected by thick walls of blue crystal. Those walls made a square and in its midst stood a big building looking much like a colossal church. This church-like building had yet another fifth tower reaching high up in the sky, as if it wanted to pierce the moon.

At the peaks of these five towers were five crystal orbs, looking much like giant versions of what fortune-tellers would use.
The two towers on the same wall as the main entrance I stood in front of held two light blue orbs on top, the two in the back of the castle held up two red ones and the big tower of the church-like building held up a nearly white orb.
I am describing these things so thoroughly, because at the time I had gotten close to the castles main entrance these five orbs had all glown up for a short moment. I found out later, that these five crystal orbs were the castles guardians and that they scanned everybody who got close to the castle. If the person had evil intentions then these five orbs would separate from their towers and attack any intruders. I really would have liked to have seen them in action, but if they would have attacked me out of nowhere at that time I bet I would be long death by now.

Taking my eyes from the beauty that was the outside of the castle I knocked on the heavy front door three times my size. It had taken only a few seconds until someone had opened it from the inside and my eyes fell upon a being so gorgeous as if not from this world. A woman, maybe a little older than me, dressed in a light blue dress, with a dark blue rectangle attached to it showing a big white Christian cross on it. She had shoulder length violet hair which was a little darker than mine. Most gorgeous about her were the big white angel wings on her back. She looked at me with her bright red eyes, as if asking what I wanted in place like this.

“The queen ordered an assassin, that’s me.” I said.

After I said these words the women looked at me again, this time noticing the long scabbard hanging on a belt around my waist. In it was one of my families’ best swords, stolen by me. I had fought some difficult fights with it on my way until reaching the mountain and was more then sure to have mastered it by then.
The woman, without saying a single word, stepped aside and ushered me in. By then I started wondering if she was silent or just not very talkative.

I followed her trough a long hallway. The walls were still made of crystallized blue and the floor would have been the same if it wouldn’t have been for a red carped reaching from one end of the hall to the other. The ceiling was different thought as it offered a look into the depths of the universe. It was obviously not the real night sky but quite impressing. I knew that if this was done by magic and if this whole building had a ceiling like this then the magician behind it must have been impressively skillful.

We reached a door at the end of the hall. I could hear many voices from behind it, so I waited eagerly until my escort opened it. As she did, I was utterly overwhelmed.
This must have been the church-like building in the middle of the castle. Even from inside it looked much like an oversized church. It had big windows, showing transparent pictures of mages fighting youkai, warriors fighting dragons, mages fighting warriors and many other scenes. From the ceiling, which still showed the depths of the universe, were hanging six great chandeliers in shimmering gold which were lit by magical flames that would likely never extinguish and at the end of this gigantic church room was a giant staircase winding up to a balcony.

All this didn’t really catch my attention right away. What had overwhelmed me was the number of people in this room. It wasn’t crowded, but that was probably thanks to the enormous size of the room. There were about hundred girls and boys, most of them younger than myself. Most of them wore big funny hats and weld little wooden sticks which I identified as magical wands. I looked to the winged woman beside me.

“I thought this was a castle but… is this here a school or something on these lines?” I asked curiously.

She nodded to me, still not talking. At that moment I was pretty sure, that she was indeed silent thought I didn’t dare asking her directly.
So this was a school for magicians? I was surprised. Was the queen probably a magician herself? Could this magical ceiling be her doing as well? These were some question I was sure to get the answers for sooner or later.
Me and the women went along the red carped, which only covered a few meters along the way between the door I had come in trough and up the stairs. Halfway trough the room something stopped us. There was someone shouting.

“Hey their Redclothes, matchin’ our carpet well, I see?” it echoed through the room.

I looked up and saw a girl, sitting up on the balconies railings. Redclothes, if anyone in this room, fitted me the most.

“Yeah, you their, with the long violet hair. Are ya here ‘cause we requested an assassin?” she asked in the strangest manner of speaking I had ever heard.

The girl was clothed in a violet magician girl’s robe, with a huge hat fitting in color. She had dark red shoulder length hair and a smile on her face that kind of scared me.
Before anyone could stop her she had jumped down the railing and if by magic, or better said, by magic stopped right above ground, from where she then slowly hovered down on the red carped. Now, with her being on the same ground as me I noticed that she wasn’t much taller than the other kids in this room, which were all now silently looking at her and me.

“Get out of the way girl! I have a job to do!” I shouted at her. I wouldn’t normally just shout right away without thinking, but I went through too much the last few weeks. Everything, as little as it may have been, could have enraged me then.

The girl on the other hand just stood there and smiled at me a bit more.
“Oh, sure; But the lady wonders if you’re good enough. You look weeeaaak~” She said this and then laughed at me.

As you might have guessed this had been enough to enrage me. I had been provoked and pulled out my sword. The angel women whom had stood beside me up until that moment backed off into the crowd of children.

The energetic girl in front of me smiled an uncanny smile. This was exactly what she had planned. She wanted a fight and I should deliver.
I ran forth, swinging my sword at the girl. She avoided it by jumping to the side while laughing out loud.

“Magic Sign -Orreries Sun-” she shouted with power in her voice.

She drew out her wand, swung it in a circle around her and momentarily four different colored orbs started circling around the girl. Not scared by this technique I charged the girl again, avoiding one of the orbs that came for me. Thought, as I came close to the girl herself, her broom flew to her side; she jumped on it and flew right out of distance, so I couldn’t hit her.
Looking stunned after her I had forgotten the orbs which lead to me being hit by one of them, throwing me back a few meters.

The girls’ laughter filled the room again. “’s that all ya’ve got?” she asked amused.
She swung her wand again and as a result her orbs moved closer to her body, followed by a mass of stars being fired from them.

This was about the time when I realized that close combat wouldn’t work against her. While trying to avoid the shower of stars I put away my sword and instead took out two metal balls of about the size of my hand. I hurled them through the stars but didn’t aim for my enemy. Instead I hurled them at the walls of the room. They were quite small and the stars made it pretty much impossible to see them so I was sure my enemy hadn’t noticed me throwing them – and I had been right.

The balls bounced off the walls and reflected back then aiming for the witch. While I was still trying to avoid the mass of stars I heared the girl shout in pain as the first ball hit her.
The star shower stopped abruptly and I looked up just in the right time to see the second ball hitting the girl straight in the face, throwing her off balance and her broom, sending her flying to the ground where she landed flat on her back.

The girl put her hands on her face and wobbled awkwardly. “Owowow… zat waz bad… zat huurd…”

I stepped over to her and looked down on her. She didn’t seem like she wanted to go on, but I better asked.
“Are you giving up? I really don’t have time for this.” I said.

She took her hand from her face. The ball that had hit her had left a red, round mark on her face and just looking at it made me laugh.

“Don’t laugh, it’s not funny!” she complained angrily but I just couldn’t stop.
“Waa! I give up! You hear? I give up! Now stop!” she cried.

It took a few minutes until I had finally calmed down. The girl had stood up in the meantime and folded her arms.
“I’m Marisa, top student of this academy.” she introduced herself. “Ya really surprised me there, ze. Thought ya’d only fight with that ol’ sword. Stupid of me…” she said then.

“You mentioned a lady before. Is she the queen that wanted me to come here?” I asked her.
Marisa looked up at me and smiled. I really had a hard time to not start laughing again by seeing the red mark on her face.
“That’s right, ze. The queen, Mima-sama, wants to speak with ya. Follow me; I’ll lead ya to her.” she explained.

With these words the little witch took up her broom, which had fallen to the ground after the battle, and moved away. I followed along, noticing the glares of a great number of girls and boys watching us. We ascended up the giant winding staircase to the balcony and from there through a door into a short hallway. It didn’t look any different from the hallway I was in before and we crossed it fast. At the hallways end we reached another door and entered through it an enormous stairwell.

“Ya probably saw it from outside. This’s the big center tower of the castle. The observatory, where Mima-sama stays, is at the far top, ze.” said Marisa.
I looked up the stairwell and knew it would take forever to go up there.
“You are telling me, we have to walk all the way up there?” I asked without a flicker of enthusiasm.

That question had seemed to surprise Marisa as she had tilted her head to the right and looked at me strangely.
“What ya saying? Walk? … Ah!” she asked still surprised, but as something suddenly dawned on her she started smiling.
“A forgot forgot forgot, ya aren’t a witch, ya can’t fly.” she said. “That’s a problem. I don’t wanna walk all the way just ‘cause ya’re too stupid to use magic.” she murmured and started to think.

Marisa raised her hand to her chin and seemed to think really strong. The solution on the other hand seemed easy enough for even me to grasp.
“Isn’t your broom strong enough to carry us both?” I asked.

Marisa clicked her fingers.
“Hey, ya know, my broom could carry us both.” she stated. “Great idea, isn’t it, ze?”
I looked at her sighing but she just smiled and presented her broom.
“Ya don’t have to answer. Just jump on and up we go.” she said giggling.

And so we hovered up slowly between the stairs. The broom did seem to have a slight problem with carrying us both, but in the end it worked out fine.
We reached the top and stood in front of a big, apparently pretty old and heavy door which opened up on its own right as we set foot on the floor in front of it. We went through it into what Marisa had called the observatory before.

This so called observatory was a big and round room in nearly complete darkness and a dome made of glass which gave a wide view of the night sky. The only light in the room came from the moon and the stars.
In the center of the room stood a woman, with her back turned to Marisa and me, and was looking up at the sky. No, she didn’t quite stand; she floated in the center of the room, as she was missing a pair of legs and had a ghost tail instead. She had long, green hair, wore dark blue robes and a pointy dark blue hat. On both her robe and her hat were several stellar patterns.

As we entered the observatory the woman turned around. Suddenly an uncanny smile came to her face as she saw me.
“Welcome to my crystalline castle, brave assassin of the forest.” she started with an, you could say, powerful tone of voice.
“My name is Mima. I hope it wasn’t too much of a hassle for you to follow my request of coming here.”

She spoke in such a dark tone and gave off such an atmosphere of might, so that it was impossible for me not to think of her as someone much higher in rank than me. This lady was the queen of this world of empty dreams. I knelt down on the ground and looked up at her, silent, not sure if I was allowed to speak yet.

Mima looked down on me and came closer. In the meanwhile Marisa was busy getting out of the room and closing the door behind her.
“You might wonder why I called you here. As an assassin you might guess, there is someone I want you to hunt for me. Someone, who is opposing me, who has beaten me before. I am not willing to let this happen again.”

She had walked up right before me and stretched her hand down to me as if wanting to help me stand up. I looked up to it with hesitation.
“You are Meira. You were born as a child in a clan of samurai, you betrayed them and went out of your way to steal this most precious sword.” she laid the story of my life before me in one sentence as if reading me like an open book.

Still hesitating to grab her hand I was surprised by these words.
“How do you know all that?” I asked. “I am no one special. How does the queen know about me, an unknown girl from the woods?”
I would have tried to stay calm and not show my surprise. It wouldn’t have worked, even if she wouldn’t have forcefully grabbed my hand and pulled me up on my feet.

“How does the queen know, you ask?” she repeated. “Because she is the queen. It would be bad if I wouldn’t know about my people, would it?” she said totally casual.
She was laughing slightly, before moving back to her usual uncanny smile. I looked coldly at her face and pulled my hand out of her grip.
“If you know all that about me, why would you choose me to help you? I could betray you just like my family.” I enquired coldly.

At that point Mima had started laughing manically.
“Because of exactly that attitude of yours!” she shouted. “You are cold, you are unforgiving! You are perfect for the role as the bad guy! You literally have the power of darkness flowing through your veins.”
She held her hand up to the sky as if wanting to grasp the darkness of it between her fingers. “I just know you will kill her! You are able to!”

She had seemed to go crazy; she had laughed throughout these sentences and didn’t look as if she would stop anytime soon.
Even thought that was the case I stared at her confused.
“Her?” I raised my voice, trying to overshadow the manic laughter. In this question I saw a way to get to the point of my being there in the first place.

It had worked. Hearing me, Mima stopped laughing at once and composed herself.
“Oh yes, I didn’t even tell you about her yet. The one, I want you to hunt.” she said then, folding her arms behind her back.

The queen then suddenly turned away from me and hovered away into the darkness.
“Reimu Hakurei, an optimistic, young shrine maiden, that won’t be worried by the worst situations and that will face even the greatest evils without thinking twice about it.” she started to explain.
“She possesses an immense amount of spiritual power but lacks training in using it. A dangerous fact.” she looked back to me over her shoulder.
“She carries with her a mystic object, the Hakurei Yin-yang Orb, a symbol of her families’ linage. I want you to kill her and bring me this orb in order to prove me you did so.”

The queens’ voice echoed in the dark room. I wondered a little what reason she had to have me kill this Maiden but I was in no position to object. The fact that she had beaten the queen before in whatever way and that she was dangerous were enough for me at that point.

Mima looked at me with a glare as cold as ice. “Will you do so, Meira?” she asked.

I had thought not long about the answer to this question and bowed to her deeply.
“I will.” I said obediently.
As I looked up to her again I saw her smile the most uncanny smile I had ever seen. Not for more than a half second thought, because she soon turn her head away from me again.

“Very well, now please go.” she said calm. “Marisa will be giving you a meal to reinforce your strength and a room for the night. You will depart tomorrow morning, so please have a refreshing night.”


I hadn’t seen any need to comment on this so I had silently turned around and went out of the observatory to meet Marisa outside.
After the big old door closed behind me I sighed loudly. The pure pressure of being with the queen had exhausted me visibly. Even the red-haired girl that stood before me noticed it right away.

“Quite someone, isn’t she?” she asked smiling, folding her hands behind her back and arching forward in a curious way. As I didn’t answer her for a few seconds she arched back in a straight position.
“Oh well, if ya don’t wanna say something, then I guess it’s better I show ya to the food.”

We rode the broom again. Flying down was much scarier then flying up. I couldn’t stop myself from looking down, to see how far it was, scaring myself by the immense height below me. If something would have gone wrong… no, I don’t even want to think about that.

Back on safe grounds Marisa led me trough a few more hallways. She sometimes tried to bring up a conversation but I stood silent. It wasn’t that I didn’t want to talk. It was more like I didn’t even really notice that the girl was talking to me. I was deep in thought about the mission, I had been given. While thinking about how I’d best go about finding the girl, this Hakurei person, I forgot everything around me.

Well, that was until…

Marisa had leaded me into a big hall, that wasn’t quite as big as the churchlike room from before but definitely impressive on its own. This was the dining hall, which was obvious right on first sight. There were five long tables in the hall and there were sitting all the pupils from before - maybe even more.
They chitchatted loudly and it was impossible for me to keep thinking in silent. Speaking of silence, there was the only silent person in the room coming up to us. It was the beautiful angel women from before. She had looked at Marisa and me for a moment and then made a gesture to tell us we should follow her.

“She’ll show us a free seat.” explained Marisa as we followed the angel.
And as Marisa had announced we soon arrived at a pair of free seats were we sat down and had to wait a bit for our meals to be served.



“Ya went silent too?” asked the young witch holding up her head with her hand.
As an answer to that I shook my head. “No, I was just thinking.” I explained to her.
“Whatever Mima-sama wants from ya’, don’t let it go to your head. Enjoy the evening, sleep a good night’s sleep and everything will be alright in the morning, ze.”

What Marisa had said there was the start of a memorable good time. What she had said was the ultimate truth. I should enjoy that evening and “reinforce my strength” as Mima had said. Thinking too much about my mission would only be tedious.

I had a wonderful meal. I talked with Marisa and a few other witches and wizards that were sitting close to us. I enjoyed myself as I had never done before and in the end, when it was time to sleep Marisa showed me the way to a rarely used guest room where I could sleep undisturbed.

“Hope this will be alright for ya.” said the witch smiling, as I went into the room and sat down on the bed – it was very comfortable.
“This is great. Thank you, Marisa.” I said while smiling a rare smile.
The girl had smiled back at me. “Well, then I’ll be going to bed too, or is there anything ya still want?”
I had thought for a few seconds before I dismissed the question. “No, there is nothing. Have a good night.”
“Ya too, ze.” she had said happily and went out of the room.

I listened to the footsteps of the girl getting quieter by the step until they died away entirely.
Only then I changed into a nightgown that had been prepared for me and snuck into the bed. It didn’t take ten minutes until I was fast asleep, dreaming a not at all empty dream.

In fact, I remember the dream I had back then, as if it had just happened…
« Last Edit: June 19, 2016, 06:28:26 pm by 7TC7 »

7TC7

  • In best company
  • Nickname: Black-Cat/7TC7
Re: World of Empty Dreams - The Story of MEIRA in Eastern Wonderland
« Reply #1 on: August 02, 2010, 03:35:31 pm »
~ Scarlet Dream ~

In my dream the sky was dyed in deep scarlet; trees bent in reaction to strong winds caused by a storm and one little girl of about ten years thought it a good idea to go out in the dark forest.
That little girl was me.

I walked around, as if searching for something, as if I had lost something important that was worth it to go out in an ominous weather like this. I didn’t even know what I had been searching, yet I searched with unbound excitement for it.

Upon searching for some time I had found a clearing in the forest. I knew it from the past; it was a place I had often visited as a child to play with others but also a place where I enjoyed training my sword skills.
I trained there with others of my age but also with my father who was a remarkable samurai. When I was getting older I had also trained there alone.

With the strong wind blowing in my face, as it was no longer restricted by the trees, I overlooked the clearing. There had been two people there, girls, both clothed in red and white and both having long violet hair.
One of them was me, as I looked then, outside that dream, sleeping in a cozy bed. The other one was a bit younger, a person I didn’t know back then. They seemed strangely unaffected by the ongoing storm and looked at each other with empty expressions.

I stepped closer to take a better look but a sudden gust of wind threw me back, forcing me to close my eyes and as I could open them again seconds later the scene had changed entirely.

The before scarlet sky had turned dark blue and was filled with stars and a full moon. The storm had vanished and the women were gone as well. I went to where they had stood but there was no sign of them having ever been there in the first place. I fell on my knees to search the ground with my hands but I didn’t find anything.
I was confused. I had no idea how they could have just vanished like that. It was just a dream which didn’t need reason but I hadn’t realized that at the time.

…Then there were suddenly sounds. Far away sounds of screaming people. Upon hearing them I turned my head around to look just to see a new kind of red compared to the scarlet sky before. It was the usual forest, burning in hot red blaze…

I had jumped up from the ground…
…and landed on the hard floor beside the bed.

I had woken up and was sweating all over my body. My nightgown had been sticking to my skin and I had a high temperature as if I had a fever. I rolled myself up in a fetal position as my body had been hurting like hell.

I had probably screamed out of pain because soon after my landing on the floor the silent angel women stood beside me again. She didn’t think twice, before she grabbed me around the waist and lifted be back up on the bed.
Right after that she softly pressed her flat hand against my burning forehead and within seconds a cold feeling rushed through my body. Even now I am not sure I it was healing magic or ice magic she had used, but it definitely had worked wonders. The pain and heat had soon gone from my body.

“…Thanks.” I whispered, noticing how less power was in my voice. The angel had noticed that too and shook her head followed by her covering me with a blanked telling me like that to resume sleeping. I couldn’t have objected her.

Even after I had finally fallen asleep again she hadn’t left the room. She was sitting on a chair for the rest of that night, watching over me.

I luckily had no more dreams that night. That one dream had been more than enough, but the sad truth about it was, that it wasn’t as much a dream as I would have liked it to be.
Most of this dream was just a reconstruction of an occurrence of the past, which is probably why I am still remembering it that well.

It was when I was still a little child, when one night I had woken up in the middle of the forest at that clearing I had dreamed about without remembering of ever having gone there.
I don’t know how I had gotten there but the simple fact of being there had saved my life as there had been a terrible fire in the village I had been living in that night.

There had been some casualties and many wounded. My mother had died that night as our home had burned down to the grounds. My father could luckily escape the flames as he was out in the wild with other samurais only to notice the outcome of the tragic when he came back.
The mystery of my survival on the other hand was noticed by next to no one. Those who did notice and think about it came to the conclusion that I must have sleepwalked out into the woods. It was such a convincing idea that even I myself believed it in my childish mind.

Only after I had had that dream in the Crystalline Castle this belief had changed. Since then I had known that I had gone out in the forest that one night in the past to look for something that was important to me. Something I had forgotten about… I had to find out what it was!



I had awoken the next day to the sound of Marisa crashing in the room.
“Hey Redclothes, ’s time to wake up!” she had shouted while laughing until she noticed the angel sitting still in the room.
“Vier, what ya’ doing here? Did something happen?” she suddenly seemed worried, but because I had already awoken and felt much better after having slept without any more bad dreams I sat up to reassure Marisa that I was fine.
“No, nothing happened.” I had said smiling while standing up and walking up to Marisa. I had grabbed her at the shoulders and turned her around continuing with shoving her out of the room. “Now wait outside like a good little child while I change into my clothes.” I had advised her.
Vier, as Marisa had called the silent angel, went out without me having to tell her. I think I noticed a smile on her face that moment – the only one I ever saw on her face.

After I had changed I left the room to meet up with Marisa who was still waiting as told.
“Took ya’ long enough.” she said sulking. I sighed and grabbed her hand. “Don’t be like that so early in the morning. Let’s go eat breakfast.” I started moving but…
What I hadn’t expected was that Marisa didn’t follow me and that she pulled her hand out of mine.
“Early in the morning ya’ say? It’s around midday now, stupid Redclothes.” she had said while looking at me with an evil grin.
“That means there is no time to go eat breakfast. Vier is preparing a few supplies for ya’ but ya’ll have to eat on ya’r way. Mima-sama told me to send ya’ away.”

That had hit me like a lighting strike. I had overslept and the queen wanted to chase me out because I had been supposed to start on my mission hours ago. Happy times were officially over.

“Why didn’t you wake me earlier?” I shouted surprised.
“Hehe... I overslept too.” said Marisa scratching her chin embarrassed.
I sighed again. “Well that’s just wonderful.”

Without more arguments Marisa ushered me to not waste any more time. We had only stopped for a short instant to grab the supplies Vier had prepared for me and then the magician girl showed me to the exit trough which I had entered the castle the day before.
She didn’t accompany me farther than that.

“Guess it’s time to say good bye.” I had said, while looking back at her. She on the other hand just grinned casually.
“See ya’.” she said curt and immediately closed the big gate between us. She didn’t have any sense for long parting speeches but it must have been better that way. I was late on my departure to begin with…

~ End of Daylight ~

After that rushed leave I had to start on my mission proper.

First of all I had to descend from the steep mountain the castle was situated on, then I had to make my way through the youkai filled valley I had crossed throughout my journey to finally arrive at the dangerous dark forests while all this time having a look out for my prey.
As descending the mountain had taken less time then climbing it I had been able to make good use of time and reach the forest in five days compared to the seven it had taken me the other way around.

As I finally reached the forests edge on the fifth day I was greeted by an ominous red evening sky underlined by the dark trees making up for a hard contrast.
I heard the familiar chirping of birds and the movement of animals and lower youkai in the bushes.
It was dangerous to travel through this forest if you couldn’t defend yourself but I usually had no problems. The youkai could be a pain sometimes but even they would stand no chance against me. In most cases they wouldn’t even try to attack me after they saw my sword.

Under these circumstances everything should have been easy. I would have gone to the clearing and looked for whatever I had lost there in the past. But there was something else in the forests depth that evening. Something I had almost forgotten as my brain was full of anticipation for the search. A threat I wouldn’t have expected.

I reached the clearing that I had been looking for without any problems but there I found something before I could have even begun with my search…

On the trunk of a fallen tree, having her back turned to me, sat a girl which was probably a little younger than myself.
She had long purple hair like me and wore a large red ribbon on top of it. Her clothes were just as mine colored in red and white but strongly resembled a traditional shrine maiden’s outfit as opposed to my samurai clothing.

One thing jumped to my mind right as I saw her. She had been the girl I had seen in my dream that other night, less than a week before.

It took a few moments until I snapped out of my stun and noticed her surroundings. To my big confusion there was a big turtle lying beside her on the ground. How a turtle could have gotten into the forest, so far away from all water was a mystery for me and why it would have been there in the first place was an even greater mystery.

But as mysterious as the turtle was, there was something more important to notice.
Hovering beside the girl’s right shoulder, by means of magic I assumed, was a black and white ball of about the size of her head showing the unmistakable symbol of Ying and Yang. It was without mistake the mystic object, the Hakurei Yin-yang Orb, the queen had told me about. And with this I could confirm that the girl in front of me was Reimu Hakurei, the shrine maiden I was destined to kill.

“Hey, Gramps... something stinks.”
Suddenly the girl had spoken and interrupted my thought process. I didn’t know who she was talking to until the deep voiced reply came.
“M'lady, look there!” The turtle had suddenly raised its head and looked over the tree trunk animating the girl to also turn around and look at me.
So they had noticed me. That didn’t go so well.

Even thought I lost the chance to attack them in surprise I was my usual self and kept my cool.
“Well done...” I said while stepping a little closer. “I am Meira. I have come here to take you on.”

The girl started to smile, getting a little red in her face. “Wow! That one came out of nowhere...” she started but kept sitting on the trunk for now.
“But, I guess its okay…” she went on thinking loudly while cutely raising her hand to her chin.

I wondered what was up with her behavior but stepped even closer.
“... Anyway, if I can take you down, your power will be mine!” I had started to run and laid my hand on my sword, ready to draw it forth, but the girl only lowered her hand from her face and interrupted me with a simple question.
“Uhhh... Do we have to do that? 'Cause I'd rather not.”
I twitched and stopped mid-run while looking at her with a dumbfounded look on my face.
“Huh?” she asked. “What's wrong?”

I had understood. She had totally misinterpreted the situation. I still don’t know how her little mind could have come up with such a warped idea but she had truly thought I was asking her out… or she had been playing a trick on me to confuse me.

“Stupid girl! It's not you I want! It’s just your power!” I shouted at her angrily and drew my sword, pointing it at her.
The turtle besides her seemed to understand the situation as well and lowered it’s had in disbelieve.
“My power?” the girl asked confused. “I don't get it.”

I sighed and shouted again.
“I'm a woman, damn it! Why would I… What is wrong with you?! I want your damn power, that floating ball!”
Finally the shrine maiden seemed to understand and rose from the tree trunk. She folded her arms and tilted her head to the side. “So~o, if I win... well, let's just say that certain conditions will have to be met...” she started but I interrupted her. “Are you even listening to me!?”
To my surprise she had nodded. “Sure, sure. Fight, fight.” she declared bored and snapped her fingers.

I sighed one last time, murmured a silent “I won’t lose.” to myself and started to run again.
As I came closer to the girl she drew forth her gohei, the traditional, wooden, exorcism wand of a shrine maiden. I couldn’t believe it at first, but she was able to parry my sword with it. The wooden staff and my metal blade hit at each other a few times, me cutting aggressively, the girl in front of me acting with visible bore.

As I saw that this wasn’t going anywhere I jumped back and started circling around her, also giving myself a chance to look at her turtle companion which had crawled back in its shell.
It could speak but didn’t seem to be any help to her in a fight. That was good to know as it was a fair one on one fight like that.

The girl’s eyes watched every little step of mine. Could she be faking her boredom to make me feel uncomfortable or did she really not see any threat in me? I knew she had beaten the queen in the past so it was obvious this girl wasn’t to be underestimated.
With that in mind I attacked again, cutting horizontally, cutting vertically, being blocked both times and pressing my whole weight against my enemy. She was just a little girl but she held me off without breaking a sweat.

Out of the corner of my eyes I looked at the Hakurei Yin-Yang Orb hovering slightly behind her. It was shimmering in a strange violet light which it hadn’t done before the fight had began. Could it have been protecting her somehow? With her tiny body she couldn’t possibly be so strong so it must have been.

There was only one way to find out the truth! I fell back again, already prepared to rush forward again, but this time not at the girl. Past her! I made it and was between the maiden and the mysterious orb. I held up my sword and slashed at the round, shimmering figure…

“Holy Relic -Yin-Yang Sanctification Orb-”

The voice of the girl behind me shouted forth the name of a spell. I looked over my shoulder to see what she had done while my sword clashed with the Ying-Yang Orb. She had held up an ofuda, the special paper her spell seemed to be made of, that instantly burned away in blue flames. That was all… there seemed nothing else to be happening… then I felt it. My sword flew out of my hands and up in the sky. My eyes turned back to the orb in front of me and I was at once blinded by bright white light.

It was as if the orb exploded. It’s magical power rushed trough me, overwhelming me, first forcing me into the light, then forcing me out with immense strength, hurling me through the air in the process.

I landed on the forest ground, still blinded and unable to see. Everything was silent for a moment… I knew I had lost the fight.
Then I felt the girl coming closer to me.
“Uh-oh... she's not moving.” she said thinking loudly. “Oh well, time for the burial rites...”
Hearing that my body self-acting jumped up in a state so weak I was surprised it could even do that. My sight had come back suddenly and the girl and me faced each other silently for a few seconds before I turned around and ran away in defeat…

~ Recorded Sealing of an Oriental Demon ~

I had hid behind a tree not too far away. I couldn’t have fled farther because of two reasons. First, my sword had been still lying on the clearing, and second, couldn’t I have fled at all in the weakened state I had been in.

I had waited until the girl and her turtle finally decided to continue their journey. I was surprised to see that the old turtle could not just somehow fly but could even fly while carrying that accursed shrine maiden on its back.
It looked kind of silly but it would make it definitely easier to get around than having to walk everywhere like myself.

“What now…?” I wondered while walking on the clearing again.
“I can’t just let her go… but I can’t follow her in my state either.”
I walked up to my sword and crouched to grab it when unintentionally my hand grasped something else instead.

Surprised I had looked down to see what I had grabbed and seeing it made me fall back on my butt. It was a pendant, to anyone else probably nothing special but it was to me. It was made of bright silver and had a Ying-Yang symbol imprinted on it. I remembered that pendant from the past; I had lost it when I had still been a little child. It was a present from my grandmother. A good luck charm with magical powers…

“It shall enlighten your soul, my child…. Don’t ever lose it or your heart will turn black! Hehehe!”

That’s what she had said, while smiling and laughing. I remembered these words after picking up the pendant and was also reminded of something someone else had said to me.

“You are cold, you are unforgiving! You are perfect for the role as the bad guy! You literally have the power of darkness flowing through your veins.”

Yes, the queen’s words had proven the point my grandmother had made. The power of darkness had taken me in after I had lost this pendant. I had betrayed my family, I had stolen its sword and I had turned myself into something more youkai-like than human - a hunting assassin.

This had to stop! I grabbed my sword and stood up. Clenching the pendant in my right hand I felt is magical power filling me with new strength. I knew I still had a chance to stop the Hakurei.
I just needed to catch up with her before she could reach the queens castle!



After wandering through the forest, crossing the valley and climbing the mountain for a third time I finally found myself again on the mountains summit.
Here it looked much different from my last visit. There still were the unchanged dark rock formations and burned trees but there were no more strange flying lights and the clear sky was shrouded with dark clouds. A cold showered down my back. I feared I was too late and started to run for the castle.

My fear came true. While I had been running I came across five gigantic orbs which I recognized right away as those which had been on top of the castles five towers the last time I had been there. With their massive size I would have thought they couldn’t possibly be stopped by anyone but here they were lying on the ground, broken in half and stripped off all their magical powers. That shrine maiden had come here before me and had made its way to the castle. I had no time to lose if I wanted to stop her.

Upon reaching the castles walls I noticed that the main entrance had been broken down and went in. I ran through the corridor and into the church-like building in the center of the castle. What I noticed right away was that the ceiling had turned into simple blue crystals instead of still showing the depths of the universe.
The big room seemed empty; giving it a strange atmosphere compared to the liveliness it had harbored the last time I had entered it.
I looked around and noticed Vier leaning at one of the walls. I immediately went to her side to look if she was alright.

As I was crouching beside her she slowly started opening her eyes but then, noticing who I was, opened them in a flash. She grabbed me by my shoulders and suddenly turned me around. She pointed to the door that would lead me to the stairwell to the observatory. She didn’t want me to care about her but to go on. She didn’t seem to be hurt badly, so I left her behind and made for the observatory.

I had to run up the many stairs I had avoided the last time by hovering up on Marisa’s broom. While doing so I had the chance to look out the windows and see that the dark clouds from before had changed into thunderclouds and a strong thunderstorm had started outside.

As I had finally reached the observatories entrance I had hesitated just a second before opening the door then I entered. I was at once greeted by strong winds and heavy rain bashing against me.

The observatory’s glass ceiling had been broken and allowed a look out into the stormy sky while the bad weather had no resistance to reach into the big room.
Aside from me there had been three people in the observatory when I had entered it.
Marisa, beaten but alive, was sitting on the ground and looked up into the storm were the two others were facing each other – queen Mima and Reimu.

Our queens appearance had changed drastically, now having a pair of giant demonic wings spread out behind her back and wielding a long metal staff with a silver half moon on its peak.
The damned shrine maiden Reimu Hakurei on the other hand had not changed at all, flying by comfortably sitting on her turtles back – maybe it wasn’t that useless in battle?

“You're not going anywhere!” shouted the shrine maiden, as the queen suddenly backed away from her. The other just started laughing manically.
“Humph, now I'm serious!” Mima replied and at once the demonic wings on her back changed, split up and turned into something that looked like made of feathers but wasn’t.
The shrine maiden seemed to be a bit surprised.
“I thought you were serious before?” she asked confused but didn’t get another answer as Mima had suddenly started to fire immense amounts of bright shining white bullets at her. They looked like the real stars you can see in the night sky compared to the star shapes Marisa used.

It was incredibly beautiful to watch but did not last for long. Reimu seemed to easily dodge the bullets or blocked them with her Ying-Yang Orb until she finally closed up to Mima and shouted the magical words.

“Divine Arts -Omnidirectional Demon Binding Circle-”

The shrine maiden had drawn another spell card. The effects of which suddenly created a tower of bright yellow light that encircled her and her royal opponent.

“Ugh!!...”
“This level... already...”
“Impossible...”
“Uwaaaaahhh………….!!“

The light shot down to the ground and gave off a wave of energy that threw me off balance, but also up in the sky were it parted the dark clouds, in process stopping the rain and wind and revealing the clear night sky and a beautiful half moon.

As the tower of light vanished, the shouts of the queen still echoed in my ears but as I looked up to where the two opponents had been, only the shrine maiden had remained. Yellow sparkles still flew off her as the used ofuda in her hand degenerated to ash.
The moons bright light shown on the victor.

I clenched my teeth and wanted to stand up. That little girl had done enough and she deserved some sort of punishment for it…

…but Marisa had come to my side and held me down.
“It’s over… don’ fight her… it’s useless. I don’ wanna lose ya too…”
Marisa’s words were accompanied by sobs and sniffs. She was crying and holding me down with all her left strength.

I had given up. I had given up and watched Reimu.
She had landed in the middle of the room and without saying a word, walked past us, out of the observatory and down the stairwell. She was done here and had no reason to say anything, neither to the turtle, Marisa nor me.
I had seen her face while she had walked by us. She had smiled. Not evil nor menacing but simply happy. I hated it… I hate her so much…”

~ … Sunfall ~

“Whuu! I can’t believe that all that had only been a month ago.”
The girl sitting beside me laughed and drank a gulp of her sake.
We sat in a saloon in a little village on the other side of the dark forest I had been born in. I had met her by chance in here and I had just told her my story.
Why, you ask? Because as I had entered here, she had looked at me with the craziest look you can imagine. It seemed that she had mistaken me for someone that looked like me. The person she thought I had been also wore red and white clothes and had long violet hair. It was obvious who she was thinking off.

“But hey, with a story like that… you want to take revenge, right?” she asked smiling. “You’ll help me, right, Meira from the dark forests, to take revenge on that shrine maiden?”
She seemed a little drunk but not enough to be out of her mind. She didn’t seem trustworthy but on the other hand she seemed to be like a person with great ideas.

I smiled slightly at her. “I won’t agree to help someone which I don’t even know the name off.” I told her and she chuckled.
“Oh my? How stupid of me…” she said and rose from her chair. She was really small, which I noticed only now that she was standing…
“My name is Rika the Glorious. I’m a genius tank engineer!!!” she shouted laughing and bowed. Everyone in the saloon turned to look at us… how embarrassing…

THE END?
 

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