The Beast Lost its Fangs
Hey lonely little girl standing all alone
What are you looking for in this pitch black world?
Fighting with all her might with no end in sight
The harder she try, the further she get
It was pitch black. I opened my eyes and the scenery stayed the same. This is ridiculous. I sighed and put my hand over my blinded sight; just as I'd suspected, there was something blocking my vision. I took the fabric off my face, letting it hovered just a few inches above my now clear eyesight.
A simple red leaf.
Ah yes, it's autumn already. It must've fallen while I was lying still on the ground. But still, it felt like I missed something important.
That's right. Gensokyo. The relocation of the mansion. I was waiting on my throne while Patchy—
I blinked back to reality, my memories surging back into me in a flash. The crescent moon stared back at my perplexed face as if laughing at me, and I sighed, standing up as I dusted the leaves that had been piling on me.
"Seems like our purple bean-sprout messed up this time."
I took my time to analyze my surrounding. I was in a forest, but looking from the amount of trees it didn't seem like I was deep in wilderness. Nothing unusual...wait. What is that? Something caught my attention and I approached it slowly. Attached on one of the identical trees was a piece of paper, a foreign symbol engraved on it. What made the tree so special, I wondered. Or perhaps, it was the paper that made the tree special somehow? I crossed my arms and observed the symbol closer. No wait, it wasn't just a symbol. It was a character; an Asian character. Chinese? No. Japanese, I see.
So this tree marked a border of an area? But why would someone stick a simple piece of paper like this instead of making walls? Curious, I tried to peel the somehow-look-so-special paper from the tree bark, but as soon as my finger made contact with the surface a strange force crackled around it, forcing me to retract my hand. I see. I get it now.
"So it serves as a point for a certain barrier. Fu fu, It's the first time I've seen this kind of sorcery. I bet Patchy will be very interested."
"Remi—can you hear me?"
Speak of the devil. I chuckled and walked toward the opposite way of the barrier, regenerating my burnt hand casually.
"Yes, Patchy. I can hear you."
There was silence on the other end for a while before I heard her sighing in relief.
"Good grief, I can finally get someone within the telepathic range."
Well, seems like miss Great Magician was all alone too. Then again, from what I recalled her telepathic range was around half a kilometer in radius, so I could say everyone was badly separated. I laughed.
"Do you really need to laugh now, Remi?"
"Sorry Patch, but you really messed up this time."
She didn't answer for a while, so I decided to come up with another topic.
"Say, I found a strong barrier just now."
"What does it look like?"
She sounded a lot more interested than I thought she would. Not that it mattered.
"It uses a paper talisman as a source of power instead of the typical magic circle we usually use. A word 'Boundary' was written in Japanese there."
"...just as I thought. The coordinates were perfect, but the barrier messed with my calculation."
"Right. Care to explain, Patch?"
"It's the Great Hakurei Border. Then you'll probably reach that place soon, Remi."
I focused my attention back to my surrounding and finally realized that I was reaching the edge of the forest. Soon enough I found myself on a wide open place with an eastern-styled building I only had seen in books before stood in the middle. Right then, I was really sure that I wasn't in France anymore, or anywhere nearby.
"A shrine that stands on the edge of the so-called land of illusion."
The Hakurei Shrine. I see. So this is it.
"We're here, Remi. This is Gensokyo, the eastern wonderland."
Hey foolish little girl struggling all alone
When will you ever grow up?
Chasing after a delusion of her perfect fantasy
The further she reach out, the little she get
I stood there, staring at the shrine building silently, and the longer I saw that foreign architecture, the more I realized that I had already far far away from home. No, that isn't right; this is my home now. And there's no turning back.
Finally I shifted my attention from the shrine to the huge red gate standing on the opposite direction. Another strange architecture; a gate without walls around it. I didn't get their logic. Well either way, I approached the gate and knocked on it. Wood. They sure love wood. But before I could inspect it better, my mind was quickly distracted by the scenery beyond the illusionary gate. And I smiled.
"Hey, Patchy? Seems like I get a front row seat to the whole Gensokyo."
"Hmm, so they said you can see the whole Gensokyo from the shrine ground..."
This is convenient. I observed the whole area carefully and spotted a familiar building far ahead, right beside a misty lake.
"I found the mansion Patch, just near a lake."
"Lake? Now that you mention it I think I passed one just now. A really misty one that is."
"That exactly is the lake. It's the only one I saw around the area."
"I see. Then I'll turn around."
One problem solved. Now while Patchy is busy... I stretched my body and I turned to the shrine once again, staring at the supposedly holy place no devil like me could set a foot on. But there I was, all in one place. So the shrine here was just the same as another so-called 'holy place' back outside. Nothing special. I approached the seemingly old building, pushing on what supposed to be the door.
"Fu fu, now this is interesting."
So pushing and pulling didn't work? Now that I got a closer look, this door didn't have a handle. So maybe if I slid it...bingo!
"My, such a unique mechanism. Using a trapdoor on the front entrance—"
"This is no time to be playing around Remi, we need to regroup immediately. Oh, and I've read that EVERYONE use that sliding door around here, it's nothing special."
"I-I know that! And I'm not playing around; I'm investigating, Patchy."
"...whatever you say. I'll be waiting at the mansion."
Whatever to you too, miss Magician, acting all knowingly; I bet she wouldn't know how to open the real thing. Well, back to investigating. I stepped inside the wooden architecture and looked around. This place looked deserted; there's barely any furniture around here. Ah, but wait. The dishes left on the sink were still new.
"Someone seems to leave in a hurry."
That aside, I'm hungry. Maybe I should really return to the mansion right now. It's already way past dinner so remind me to punish that good-for-nothing servant once I found her—
I quickly ran outside the shrine and back to the gate, searching for the source of the explosion. It's coming from the direction of the village quite afar.
"Hey, Patchy! Did you hear that?"
"Patchy? Patchy, can you hear me?"
I sighed, calming myself. So it started.
"Are you done with the preparation yet, you lowly sneaky fox?"
There was silence for a while, before a slow clap echoed from the empty space behind me. I turned around and watched the space distorted itself, as if reality was hidden behind a zipper and it's being opened to me now. There she was, coming out from the otherwordly gap, a woman with long blonde hair and a sly smile, clapping slowly as if mocking me.
"My my, how long have you known? And I was thinking of making this welcoming party a surprise, too."
I kept silent, studying her figure. It was the first time I'd seen this kind of creature; this youkai. Didn't matter. I could sense some more of them surrounding me, standing guard as if I was some kind of loose animal. How amusing.
"I was a bit surprised since it's the first time someone relocated here by their own accord, but let me welcome you properly."
She pulled out a wooden fan from her gap, holding it over her mouth.
"Welcome to Gensokyo. My name is Yakumo Yukari, the one responsible for managing the barrier of this artificial garden. If you need anything you can ask my shikigami Ran, who unfortunately couldn't attend the party right now, so please make yourself at home."
"Thank you. But let's cut to the chase; what is it that you want from me?"
"My, you're such an impatient little girl."
"I guess I am."
She lightly laughed and I smiled in return, playing along her little farce.
"As you might have known, Gensokyo is an enclosed space seperated from the outside world, and the only place where youkai like us can maintain our existence. Gensokyo accepts everything, but to keep a peaceful and ideal dailylife, we have certain rules around here."
Rules. Go figure.
"We are well aware that us youkai need humans to feast on, or simply to relieve our instinct to 'attack' them. That being said, we have to nurture our resource carefully, so 1) Youkai may attack human and human may defend themselves from youkai, but any act of eliminating both sides is forbidden. 2) Humans residing in Gensokyo are not a food source. We will provide the food you need, so there's no need to hunt them down, as omitted in point 1. 3) Those who try to destroy this balance will be exterminated.
'Some powerful youkai should abide to an extra rule, that is: Direct assults on humans are forbidden. That being said, I believe you're quite strong despite your young appearance so I want you to follow this extra rule as well."
"I see. So in place of a peaceful life, you want to clip our fangs; does it sums everything?"
"Yes, that is all. I will ensure my shikigami to escort everyone one of you and repair the damage made by the lesser youkai on your mansion. So, shall we make the pact now?"
I could feel the atmosphere tensed; the lesser creatures around us was getting restless, but I kept my calm. And so did that Yakumo fellow. Considering myself being surrounded like this, she clearly didn't try to give me any choice. Of course there's an option of beating her, but I was done using such vulgar way like force. I had found it, the wonderland for my sister to live in. There's no need to fight anymore. It's over.
"Oi, Yukari! I've taken care of the rampaging little miss youkai. Heck you better be thankful, I've almost died back there—huh? Another one?"
Hm? A human?
"My my, if it isn't the shrine maiden. No, not this one. I'm making the non-aggression pact with her now."
"Why didn't you wait for me? I'm the hakurei shrine maiden! I need to be the witness!"
The newly arrived human girl pouted and tossed the load she was carrying; it looked like a body of a little girl, wrapped in many amulets as if to seal it away. I couldn't make out the face hidden behind the holy papers, but the figure seemed very familiar even from this distance. No. It couldn't be.
Without warning my body jerked, and before long my claws had reached the shrine maiden, which she managed to block with the rod on her hand. What is this? Impossible! Stopping my claws with a simple rod—I quickly leaped away as her amulets shot out of nowhere, dodging the blow.
"Oh my, what have you done? You're ruining my peaceful approach."
"Shut up, Yukari. She's the one that suddenly attack me!"
I glared at them, baring my fangs.
"You filthy human... WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO MY SISTER!?"
"She wiped out the human village and destroying the balance of Gensokyo, so I exterminated her. Wait, didn't Yukari tell you the rules?"
So it's not over yet. I laughed at the silly scenario bared before me, ignoring everything around me. No matter where I went, I would always left a blood red trail, huh? How fitting.
"That stupid rules, I don't need them."
"Can't you consider it again?"
"The answer is NO."
"But you see, you won't get anything even if you defeat us~"
The gap youkai cooed, the smile on her face didn't falter even a bit.
"If you decided to fight and even defeat me and the shrine maiden, the barrier surrounding Gensokyo will vanish. You do know what will happen then, right?"
"I don't care anymore."
"Oh, but your sister is still alive. And I can overlook her mistake for now."
I flinched. Right then I made a grave mistake.
"That's right, we just have to add one more thing to our pact. A secret pact just between the two of us."
And I knew, I had fallen into her trap.
Hey pitiful little girl crying all alone
Have you understand everything now?
Running on and on toward your happy end
The more you believe, the more lies you find
"Onee...sama? Onee-sama, I'm glad you're here! You see, I just have a nightmare—"
I immediately hugged her tightly, shushing her.
"Huh? Who are they? Wait, I remember that human from my dream."
"Flan. Flan, listen to me. Would you promise me to be a good girl?"
"Of course! Anything for you, Onee-sama!"
I hugged her tighter.
I released her as quickly as I could and left the room.
I clenched my fist as I heard the huge metal door to the underground chamber clamped shut, and silently listening to the shrine maiden foreign prayer as she enacted the barrier.
"Onee-sama? What are you—huh?"
I closed my eyes and clenched my fists tigher until I couldn't feel them anymore.
"What? Why? Why won't the door open? What's happening, Onee-sama!?"
"Why, this may be late but welcome to Gensokyo. Be a good girl and stay put inside okay?"
A voice; my eyes were still shut, but I knew it was Yukari.
"Shut up, granny! I want to speak with Onee-sama, not you!"
"Oh, but your onee-sama is the one that agree to lock you down here."
No. Please stop.
"That's a lie! Onee-sama would never lock me away! You're lying!"
"Answer me, Onee-sama! Onee-sama!"
"I'm sorry, Flan."
"...no. No, you're lying."
I reopened my eyes and walked away.
"Onee-sama you big fat liar! How could you!"
Climbing up the stairs I had known from the back of my mind, I didn't look back.
"I hate you! Onee-sama, I hate you!"
And right then my whole life crumbled.
.: Vampire pact:
1) The vampires may not in any way make a direct assault on the humans of Gensokyo.
2) Their meal will be provided personally by the "Administrators of the Border".
3) Those who try to break this pact will be exterminated.
**4) The vampire Flandre Scarlet will be confined within the agreed area for her crime. Another attempt to break the rule will lead to her execution.
—Signed, Remilia Scarlet