|Phantom of Dream
Author: darkro90 PM
"That is one perfect Yukari cosplay picture i've taken... i'd bet they flock on it when they see it- huh? what do you mean it didn't show up?"Rated: Fiction T - English - Adventure/Fantasy - Chapters: 8 - Words: 23,275 - Reviews: 10 - Favs: 6 - Follows: 16 - Updated: 10-29-12 - Published: 09-12-12 - id: 8519287
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Kid's Festival ~ Innocent Treasures
Two innocent men
Suspicious against each other.
Will they end each other at dawn?
Or will they form an unlikely alliance?
Even though the loading only lasts for a minute, I could feel like it was already an eternity has passed before I opened the mail. Probably, because of curiosity I felt and the fear of suspecting him will do any harm to me.
"This is the second time that I've been watching you through my dreams, and I believe this was no coincidence.
You have entered Gensokyo.
I hope we can discuss this online, as I thought things like this was more appropriate to talk in person and real-time.
Tell me the best time for it, I'm always available at any time."
After I finished reading the email, I quickly looked behind and my sides to check if any shadow was really materialized. Fortunately, no shadow was spotted, and there was no otherworldly hand in my monitor either.
I don't mind chatting over the IRC.
It's been a long time since I've used it.
Something is amiss with his email though.
There was no obligatory "dear" and "with respect" word that usually decorates his emails.
I guess this time he was really serious.
I quickly replied to his email with information about the channel we will chat on, and when. Since I've received it only a minute ago, I assume he's still online at his computer, so I tell him that the chat time is half an hour from now.
Not a minute elapsed since my reply was sent; I received another email from him. This time was confirming the IRC chat time I've arranged. I used this thirty minute window to took a bath and make breakfast, since my stomach already grumbles hard when I turned on the computer.
After I finished my breakfast and bath, I rushed to my computer to see if he's already in the chat channel or not. Turns out, the moment I sat on my chair, he enters the chatroom. Although he sounds that he would like to help, I couldn't shake the bad feeling that haunted me the moment when I opened the email from him in the morning.
"ZUN: i assume that noru is you,imaginoru-san."
Of course I am. Is that wasn't obvious enough?
"Noru: yes, please do call me Noru from now."
"ZUN: then I will be perfectly frank."
Perfectly frank on…? I got a bad feeling about this.
Then again, I got bad feeling on everything lately.
Such worrywart, I am.
"ZUN: stop visiting gensokyo. for your own good."
Those words struck me like a lightning. I could only remain silent for a minute, trying to absorb what just he said to me. But instead of fear like I've experienced before, I feel my anger swelling up inside. It was like a volcano on its charging mode before erupting.
Did he just give me an advice, or just spitting me in the face? Did he have any idea what he's talking about?
Did he want Gensokyo all for himself only? This is pissing me off.
I tried my best to hold the anger that building inside me. My reasoning says that he's talking like that for my sake, but I could only feel resentment toward it. To put it bluntly, it was like someone advising a lottery winner to rip his lottery ticket before he had any chance to cash out.
With speed, I type out my response to his outrageous statement.
"Noru: what do you mean by that? is this suppose to be some kind of joke?"
I sure hope it was. Otherwise, I'm going to be so pissed.
"ZUN: do i look like joking? please, for your own good burn or destroy any medium you had any that you used to go to gensokyo."
That statement pulled the trigger needed for my anger volcano to erupt. Stop visiting Gensokyo was enough for me to get angry, but to burn the only physical gift I've ever received from a Touhou character? It was beyond blasphemy.
And it was very rare for me to get angry over something. Last time I was actually felt any anger was like three months ago, and that's because my favorite chocolate ice cream turned out to be expired before I could even taste the slightest bit of it.
That's the last straw.
Even though I was angry by his outlandish suggestion, I still managed to keep my anger from clouding my reasoning and logic, and I've decided to reply with the nicest way possible, even though it would mean to type furiously in the process.
"Noru: do you have any idea how many people would kill for this opportunity I have? and you telling me to destroy the only chance i ever had on visiting gensokyo?"
"ZUN: this is for your own good"
DON'T SCREW WITH ME!
Before I know it, I typed something outrageous and surreal that involves rage mumbling and derogatory mark on him. It almost got entered in the chat, but fortunately I managed to realize what I about to say on the chatroom, and stopped myself on pressing the [ENTER] button.
W… what was that?
Before the chat goes even further, I asked him that I need some fresh air for some minutes to think this entire turn of events, and he says that he understands.
I walk to my favorite spot at the balcony to calm my mind and ease the tension and anger. Although the sun greeted my body cruelly, it was balanced by the cool breeze that pass through my face every two second or so. I closed my eyes and feel the gentle wind that slowly crept to my body.
I never was that angry before and even close to lashing out…
Perhaps this matter was indeed serious.
ZUN's taking it serious, but I've completely taken off guard because all this time,
I took my gift as granted.
And now, I got presented by two options. To let this all drop while continuing my usual life before something happen, or…
To continue this once-in-a-lifetime journey. Not everyone get free pass to Gensokyo easily, let alone that with this ticket, you could go into both the fantasy land and the real life without getting limited to either one only.
Throwing away this kind of opportunity just seems too wasteful.
After succeeding at calming my mind a little bit and managed to find my reasoning again that was covered by anger before, I walk back into my computer desk, and decide to give the response for his advice.
"Noru: thank you for the concern, ZUN. but i think it would be a waste if i just throw away this chance."
"ZUN: but i really recommend against this, you know. there are more bad things that reside in gensokyo, and i doubt you can survive through all of them."
Of course I know that, silly.
"Noru: that is why im looking for this opportunity to ask of your help."
After that, he stopped typing for a minute or so. Maybe he was thinking about the repercussion if he decides to help me in my further journey on Gensokyo.
"ZUN: it seems i couldn't convince you at all."
I can already get the picture of him having a long sigh there while sitting on his chair.
"ZUN: fine, since i was an outsider myself, i suppose there is no harm in helping fellow men in need."
I could already feel my heart dancing at joy after seeing those words. Although it was no easy task at convincing him, getting a help from people like him would be beneficial in the long-run.
"Noru: i give you my deepest gratitude, ZUN. if you refused just now, i don't know where to ask for help anymore."
"ZUN: but i should let you know first."
"Noru: of what?"
"ZUN: i can't enter gensokyo myself."
My heart skipped a beat, but not because of his help would be only limited on providing me information. If he can't enter Gensokyo, then who was the shadow that stalked me and Marisa last night? Some other dangerous entity or youkai that haven't been revealed up until now?
Nevertheless, I decide to put it aside first, and asked him the more pressing matter. The information on Gensokyo and its residents.
"ZUN: and so, you might want to avoid touching any plants you don't know in that forest. some might be man-eating or even a youkai flower."
I earnestly recorded everything he says on my computer notepad and, simultaneously, on my personal book notepad. So even when either of my note got lost accidently, I still have the other one.
"Noru: alright then. mind if i ask a bit question about scarlet devil mansion residents?"
"ZUN: i would love to answer that, but it's already midday, and i need to eat and continue my work first."
I glanced at my clock. Turns out, our conversation has lasted about three hour as the chat started at 8:48 AM, and now it's already 11:52 AM. Such conversation flows like river that even I didn't bother to notice the time.
"Noru: i completely forgot that. sorry if i disturbed your work in some way, ZUN. i think it would be best if we continue this later tomorrow."
"ZUN: disturbed my work? no no no, actually this helps a lot on my work."
"ZUN: yeah, actually i really feel the need of another male character amongst touhou character assembles now. and if you can manage yourself in there, there is always a room for another man in there."
Not only had I got to enter Gensokyo at my whim,
Now I also get immortalized by written on the story?
Someone, please tell me, is this real or am I having a delusion now?
"Noru: whoa thanks. if you need any backstory or some things like that, you know where to find me."
"ZUN: of course."
Although I was reluctant at first, I decided to ask the question that is bugging me from the start.
"Noru: i uh, got one more last question…"
"ZUN: what is it?"
"Noru: did you know any other male character, that wasn't a generic villager, which exists in gensokyo? like some all-powerful youkai or something."
The identity of the shadow. That was the only thing that bugs me the most. Those menacing and tall figure wouldn't be a normal villager.
"ZUN: hmm, so far, no. maybe i will get to see him later on my dreams."
Sigh, thought so.
"Noru: oh okay then. see ya later."
"ZUN: see you later too. and don't get yourself killed."
Don't get yourself killed.
The word echoes further into my mind. It was already 10:21 PM, and I've had trouble on deciding should I visit Gensokyo again tonight, or not. ZUN's last word on the chat is one of my main reason on not to visit Gensokyo for tonight.
Last time I was there, the checkpoint was on front of the village.
Surely nothing could go wrong, and with the information I just got from ZUN earlier today…
After another round of thorough debate within myself, I've decided that I would visit Gensokyo again tonight.
As long as I didn't do anything stupid, I should be fine…
I take the yellow paper that is my grand ticket to Gensokyo at my bed desk, and gripped it firmly. Before I chant the words that will led me to there, I took a deep breath to calm myself further.
I hope this would go smoothly.
"Yume no tobira!"
I hold the paper above my head while I chanted those words. If someone sees me, I would've been branded as a silly otaku that tries to be a magical girl or something. My sleepiness began to swarm my consciousness as I lay to the bed.
I really hope this time turns like my last visit.
Beside of it's going without an incident or neither me ended up wounded pretty bad,
I also met one of Touhou cast which I admire the most.
There's still one more that I really like to met, certain someone that can manipulate time, and works as maid in the Scarlet Devil Mansion.
Getting inside wouldn't be easy though, I doubt they would simply let a normal, unimportant human comes in without any appointment or something.
Sneaking inside wasn't an option either.
I guess I really need ZUN's information before I have any chance of going in.
After a minute passed, my sleepiness overwhelms my consciousness, but I managed to think a little bit before it completely devoured my conscious mind.
Scarlet Devil Mansion…
So red in color, yet so natural when looked from outside. Its walls, covered by scarlet color that looked like blood, and the big interior that resembles a somewhat very large western home.
Seems to be a good place.
As I regained my consciousness, I hold my eyes shut and rubbed the ground to get into Gensokyo mood. Because surely, those lush grasses and the breeze of night that gently flows through my face would helps me in adapting to Gensokyo environment.
Sadly, I was wrong.
When I try to rub the ground, all I get was a ceramic surface instead of the lush grasses I expected. The ground also feels so cold, unlike the warm ground I've experienced yesterday, and the air feels so different. It was like…
Indoor. It was perfectly felt like lying on the ground of your home that is made of ceramics.
Confused, I opened my eyes to see where I was actually, and was greeted by a shocking sight. I was indeed in someone's home, but it wasn't just some ordinary home. By the looks of the interior, that exactly matches a mansion, perfect with the scarlet color that decorates every walls and corner of the house, I can easily tell that I am inside the…
Scarlet Devil Mansion.
The heck happened? Last time I was in here, in Gensokyo, I get recalled to the real world just outside the Human Village.
This all contradicts to my earlier theory that every time I got recalled to the real world, last place I reside would be my starting location if I travel here again.
If that wasn't true, then what is the-
Suddenly, while still sitting and admiring the interior of the mansion, I came upon realization.
How could I not notice...
Before I sleep, I was thinking about this mansion.
So it wasn't only transports me to Gensokyo, it also transports me to my imagined place in Gensokyo before I slept.
This is interesting… can I cross over to another universe too?
I should test it tomorrow.
While I still lost at thoughts, a footstep is heard echoing through the hallway. I quickly noticed the sound and frantically look around for a getaway before I got seen by someone.
Getting spotted here by someone isn't good at all, especially when it was night. I could get served as dinner in matter of minute if I got caught.
Damnit! Is there no way out?
I calmed myself before I suffers much worse panic attack, and observes my surrounding. As I didn't notice it, there was a big door located in the right side of the wall. As the footstep grows louder, I opened the door slowly without making any noise and quickly move inside the room. As I slowly closed the door behind me, I looked around in amazement of the contents in this room.
A humongous library, to put it short.
Judging by the looks of it, looks like I'm in the library. Patchouli and Koakuma should be somewhere around here, but greeting them casually won't do at this time. It would only bring me either swift death or a swift kick out from the mansion, which both option I'd rather avoid.
As I walk around the library, I peeked through the books which is stored in a rather large and tall cupboard. Some of them written in Japanese characters, whilst other was written in ancient characters which I didn't understand at all. I've found a book that is written in plain English, but I didn't even bother to read the title of the book. I was here not to admire or read books, but to safely explore the mansion without getting myself killed.
As I advanced further in the library, I noticed a slight sound of people conversing heard between the large cupboards. Slowly, I walk to the source of sound while keeping myself stealthy as possible. When the sound can be exactly heard beside the cupboard I'm standing, I removed some books in the cupboard to peek in.
"So, when will you return those books?" Says a person with purple clothing that is looked like pajamas with a rather quiet, but graceful sound. The long purple hair that decorates her otherworldly beautiful face easily recognizes her as Patchouli. It seems she was conversing with another person, and based on the sound of that person, I'm guessing that it was Marisa.
"I will return it, don't worry. Now, where are those books I read yesterday..." She said that while browsing through the collection of books in the large cupboard.
"Have I mentioned that some book does bite?" She said while reading a seemed to be a magic grimoire.
Some book does bite?
When I realized that the she says it literally, I noticed that the books I've put down earlier to peek on them was moving slowly toward me. One of it brandish a seemed to be razor-sharp teeth at my direction, and that's when I decided to ran as quickly as I can away from those books.
While I dashes forward through doors in the mansion, I glanced backward to see if those books are going after me or not. Turns out, they were indeed hovering forward at my direction, but their speed is much slower compared to my run.
A corner! This is the perfect chance to lose them.
I quickly took a sharp turn to left, and looked around if there was some kind of door in the walls. Fortunately, there was one in the wall in my right, and I swiftly entered it.
After I was inside the poorly lit room, I peeked outside to see if the monster books noticed me or not. After seeing them swiftly flies through the corridor, I breathed a sigh of relief and looked around the room. Reflexively, I rubbed around the wall to find some kind of light switch, but after realizing that there wasn't any lightning on Gensokyo, I stopped looking for any and decided to look around the room.
Surprisingly, however, I accidently pressed a seemed to be a light switch, and the room was swiftly brightened up.
But, soon I regret the choice I made now.
At first glance, it looked like a western style bedroom, complete with its western themed mirror and stuffs. But after looking some more, I realize that I might be in Remilia's bedroom, or worse,
I shouldn't go in here. If either both of them find me here…
I would be burnt to crisp in no time. Or maybe get flayed alive.
Either way, I'm not staying to find out what would they do if they found me.
Wasting no time, I quickly turned backward and reached for the door handle. But before my hand could touch it, the door opened, and I back away instinctively. But, upon gazing the person that entered the room, I could not even move an inch, due to both amazement for her figure, and fear for what she could've done to me.
A pink mob cap with a ribbon attached decorates her blonde hair that is tied to a single ponytail on her left side. A red dress and vest with pink shirt underneath it, and a seemingly wing that is decorated with crystals that differs each in colors.
W…what to do now…
As I froze in my place, her over-the-top cute face shifted from a startled look to a sweet, cute smile that really could gave me a massive heart attack, not including the seizure. The sight alone made me didn't regret any of this moment if I didn't make it tonight.
"Good evening." She said with a smile.
This is going to be a long night.
Chapter 5 Ends.