Our Last Moment in Reality
For some reason, the first thing that comes to mind when I close my eyes
are the young shadows of a promise made, blurred in the dim light of that day
"Even now, is there still something left by your side?" – I ask
If the wind will carry my question, surely the answer will reach me
"We are moving away. Tonight."
Hong Meiling groaned as she replayed those words in her head, resting her back on the red brick wall she knew so much, her gaze wandered to the clear blue sky.
"Gensokyo, an eastern wonderland."
She had heard rumors about that place, that artificial paradise built for youkai on the isolated island far more to the east from her homeland. A place that accepts everything as they are and treat everyone as equal; it sounded too good to be true, she thought. Then again, it's still better than being forgotten and disappeared into nothingness, such that was the nature of youkai like her.
To stay and accept death, or to leave everything behind and keep on living?
The answer was clear enough.
The world had never accepted her in the first place anyway; those humans had driven her out of her homeland out of fear, and now they decided to just cast her away out of ignorance. Surely, there was nothing far more better than leaving for good.
But still, she hesitated.
Leaving this world, isn't it the same as dying? Doesn't it mean she have given up? Then what was she struggling for all this time?
The Chinese girl sighed, closing her eyes. What now? Should she run away like she did before? As she mulled over her decision a simple thought crossed her mind, and she reopened her eyes in an instant.
"I see... That's it! What am I hesitating for; I don't have a choice in the first place."
She stood straight back up, pushing herself off the wall, a determined look on her face. Her previous worry nowhere to be seen.
"When the mistress give me an order, I only need to follow!"
She was a youkai, driven away and cornered by the world. But more than that she was the gate keeper of Scarlet Devil Mansion. If she left this tattered world behind it would because her mistress said so; nothing more, nothing less. Yep, she would deal with her personal feeling later.
Because that's what she had decided the moment she accepted her role.
Hong Meiling brought her fist up to the sky, a huge smile plastered on her face.
"Alright then, let's make this last day here a great one!"
That place where it all began,
a place with no name I called my own
No matter where it is, I promise,
forever and ever, to keep on searching for tomorrow
"I expect you to have relocated everything by tonight."
Patchouli Knowledge sighed, her eyes switched from a grimoire and moved onto the next, letting the thick books levitated around her with her magic.
"To cast a high level magic on such huge scale with a moment's notice, moreover Space Manipulation magic which has never been my forte..."
The magician grumbled, but her body working still; she threw another grimoire to the growing piles of book in preparation for the incoming big ritual. She realized it's been too late to set up the magic circle around the massive mansion and preparing the ritual from scratch, so she would rely on the composite magic sealed within her various grimoires and construct them to meet the criteria she needed.
That itself, was not an easy matter.
"Being absurd also has limit, Remi..."
"Oh, did I just hear someone grumbling under her breath?"
And lookie here; that whimsical vampire just loved to make matter worse for her. She either stil held a grudge over the past ordeal or she just love toying with her; the magician thought loudly in her head as she pinched her temple, trying to ignore the floating figure in front of her.
"...I thought vampires should be sleeping around this time."
"I usually am, but not today. One must be excited in such a big day, don't you agree, Patchy?"
"I am not sure I am as excited..."
The little vampire chuckled, plucking one of the floating grimoire, which earned a glare from the magician. She didn't seem to care a least though and proceeded to playfully skim the old book. Finally the magician gave up.
"Why do you insist on moving tonight? And why do you tell me in such short notice?"
"Well, you seemed busy the past few weeks—"
"Thanks to your brooch."
"Well, but anyway Patchy, you must have realized the situation regarding our existences, true? So I guess it's better to move away as soon as possible. Besides, isn't it exciting to do something while being chased by the ticking clock?"
The magician took a deep breath, trying to hold herself from bursting a vein in anger. When did she say about never listening to the vampire's whim again?
"Magic requires preparation, Remi, so I will appreciate a faster notice."
"Really? But I know you can do it, Patchy. I believe in you."
"...please, buttering me up wouldn't change a thing. Now if you please, I need to finish the preparation for the ritual."
"Gladly. Be seeing you in the wonderland, Patch."
Patchouli Knowledge watched as the vampire left, leaving her alone with her thought once again. Sighing, the magician returned to her grimoires, softly muttering under her breath. But little known to her, a small smile crept up her face.
"I can't escape from this fate anymore, can I?"
"Even now, what is this still left by my side?" – I ask myself
Though I've already thrown away everything I thought might break.
The days you gave me were too much for me to carry
So I took with me just a name, leaving the rest to you
"I've finally found it, a wonderful place for you."
Flandre Scarlet hummed as she played on the floor with her crayons, happily drawing on the pieces of paper scattered around her, the crystals on her wings jingled softly as she did. The day had finally come! The one she and her beloved sister had dreamed of for century. She giggled to herself as excitement filled her very being; the little vampire rolled and held her masterpiece up to the artificial sky above her, smiling at the vividly bright color between the jet black scenery of her room.
"A wonderland; I wonder what color is the sky up there. Oh, oh, will there be rainbow? A night filled with stardust? He he, I can't wait!"
The little vampire let her arms fell to her side, silently staring at the dark ceiling above her, a childish smile on her young face. She had never felt this happy before, and for once, all the 'eyes' scattered around her didn't bother her in a bit. Somehow she could forget about them right that moment. Maybe she could completely forget about them once she reached the wonderland?
"Don't be silly."
"...not you again, Flynn."
The smile on her face vanished, but not all of the excitement in her; the blonde vampire switched into a sitting position, pouting at the mirroring replica of her. Her replica did the same, minus the pouting. A few seconds of staring contest and the blonde vampire decided to ignore that blob of madness, switching her attention back to her drawings. One, two, three; three seconds. Just about three seconds of peaceful moment, suddenly her replica clapped her hands; her smile stretched, but still in the border of sanity.
"Remi said she will find us a place where we won't be monsters, right? Where everyone will accept us as we are."
The vampire growled and turned, her red eyes pierced the blob of madness in a threatening manner.
"What are you plotting now, Flynn?
"U fu fu, don't give me that face, Flan. I want to enjoy the wonderland as much as you do. So how about this; let me explore the place to my heart content for a day, then I promise to listen to what you say from then on. What do you say?"
Flandre Scarlet narrowed her eyes, staring at the extended hand of her replica. What should she do now? Should she take this offer? The little vampire swallowed, mulling over her decision over and over. Finally, slowly, carefully she shook that hand, but only for a moment, just a moment, before she retracted her hand and returned to her crayons with a quick huff.
"Deal. But let's be good girls and wait until then, 'mmkay?"
Let us go without stopping
Let us go never turning back
Before we're unable to take another step
While our hearts are still crimson
"It's finally time~"
Remilia Scarlet silently sat on her throne as she waited, a broken pocket watch on her hand. Her red eyes were locked on it, as if waiting for the gears to suddenly spring back to life; it had been a secret habit of her, while she was lost in thought reminiscing about her past. But that miracle had yet to happen, so as reality came crashing back down, she let the little mechanism sunk back into her pocket. She sighed as she let her gaze wandered around the throne room, looking at nothing in particular.
"Gensokyo; the land of dream. Fu fu, I wonder how true that name is. But then again, does it mean my kind have reduced into a mere fantasy?"
She raised her hand, staring at the almost translucent flesh that was her own. She really was on the border of vanishing, literally. The vampire sighed and closed her eyes. Her ears could catch the sound of machinery far outside the mansion. Yes, that's true. Humans had already forgotten about her existence, and they had finally decided to bring down that old mansion on the edge of the town tomorrow.
For once she felt like a coward; a shame to her noble kind, to turn her tail and run like that. But alas she had no other choice. She had a promise to fulfill, and this time, just this time, maybe she could cast away her pride for the sake of it. For the sake of her sister and their future; she couldn't throw away her life yet, not after everything she had done until now.
"To do the opposite is what is what I call running away. Giving up after everything went tough."
"Now look who's grumbling."
The vampire reopened her eyes to find her magician friend on the door, silently letting herself in. She chuckled.
"Ah, if it isn't the great Patchouli Knowledge. I thought you want me to leave you alone with your grimoires?"
"While I was preparing for the ritual, yes."
"And what you want to say is?"
"Stop acting dumb, Remi. You know what I want to say."
The magician paused to wait for the vampire's response, and when she got nothing, she continued her speech.
"The preparation is finished. We are ready to move at any given time."
"Good work, Patchy. I know a great magician like you can do it~"
"Just stop with the sugar-coated words, please."
Remilia laughed softly.
"Say, would tell the gate keeper to fetch Flandre and come to the throne room right away?"
"I am not your servant, Remi. Do it yourself."
"Ah, but she will come here, right? Since she help you in setting up the grimoires all around the mansion, I believe she will come right here after she's finished with her job."
"Then why would you ask in the first place?"
The magician gave one of her rare glare; she usually wouldn't give such face, but the lack of sleep thinking about mind-wrecking theory had driven her to her edge. Fortunately, their 'quarrel' was stopped short by a Chinese girl appearing on the door.
"Um, excuse me? Did I...bother your conversation?"
The magician closed her eyes and took a deep breath to calm herself down, pinching her temple. Remilia laughed at her friend's behavior, before she turned her attention to her servant.
"Not in a slightest. Do you have something to report?"
"Yes, milady. The grimoires have been set. I have come to the basement to check on the young mistress, but she didn't seem to response to my knocking. I have shouted and left a note on her door just in case though. Maybe she is still sleeping?"
"I see. Well then, I guess I will talk to her later. Now, Patchy—"
"I'm on it. Just wait a moment."
The magician held up her grimoire and started her incantation. Soon enough magic circles were formed all over the red mansion, engulfing the building in a soft purple light. The marking grew intense as her incantation grew louder, and the wall started to groan as the magic pushed on the firm structure. Soon enough it covered the whole surface, and the crackling of thick mana in the air started to sound like a storm had brew in the room.
Little by little, the scenery faded. Along with everything in it.
The gate keeper gulped as she witnessed the whole scene; her body that dissolved into the air slowly, worried about what might happen. But the vampire kept her calm. Sitting on her throne, she eyed the ritual with a curiosity hidden behind her scarlet eyes. She raised her hand once again, and the once translucent flesh had truly vanished this time.
Remilia Scarlet chuckled as she closed her eyes, ready to face whatever she might find when she reopened them this time.
"I hope you are ready to welcome my arrival, the eastern wonderland, Gensokyo."
That place where it all began, is always there to be remembered
On the long road alone; together
One step at a time we move forward
Wherever we head, whatever we see
I swear to myself, from now on to never ever falter
:.100 years ago, Scarlet Devil Mansion entered Gensokyo