Collapse of Eastern Fantasy
A 'Toaru Majutsu no Index' + 'Touhou' Crossover
Insert Copyright stuff here.
Note: There will be spoilers of Touhou games up to the end of Subterranean Animism (not including the fighting games), and for TMnI up to the end of the 19th Light Novel. If you don't care about being spoiled, then go ahead and read, though having at least a general knowledge of both the Touhou canon and TMnI Light Novels will help. Look them up on their respective Wikis for details.
It was a normal day in Gensōkyō, or so Rinnosuke Morichika thought. At times like these it seems like all is well, incidents like the time where the whole of Gensōkyō was covered in a crimson mist or when spring was slow to come seemed to have never happened. Times like these made him want to do nothing more than sit down, brew some tea and read some books.
There weren't many people that visit his shop, Kourindou, except those few that come now and then to browse his stock. Of course, some of those people that visit can't really be called 'customers', when they mostly just browse the items and don't buy anything, or go further and treat the place like their own home. He chuckled dryly, thinking of a certain shrine maiden and her magician friend that often just barges in for the most trivial reasons.
Speak of the devil…
Rinnosuke sighed, and turned around to see the magician in question – Marisa Kirisame, the 'ordinary magician' and his neighbour in a sense, seeing they both live in the general vicinity of the Forest of Magic.
"Sigh… look, I always say this, but-"
"I know, I know – 'Don't just waltz in here', right?"
Marisa, a teenage girl with gold eyes and blonde hair, comes up and deposits a pile of books onto the shop counter. As usual, she's dressed in black, with a white apron over her dress, along with her black pointy hat that has a white ribbon for decoration on it.
"Well don't worry, today I'm here on business – would you like to trade something for these books?"
Marisa gestured to that pile of books she brought with her.
"Books again? Seriously, this place is a rare items shop, not a library. If it's about books shouldn't you go to the Scarlet Devil Mansion? I've heard they have a large library there."
Even if they are from the 'outside', recently there have been many books coming into Gensōkyō. Rinnosuke picks one up and starts to flip through it briefly. "And all these books are on the subject of science too… it makes you wonder what is happening to the outside world – are fantasy and their reality starting to mix together?"
"Well does it matter? Besides, it's stuff from the outside world right? Which is perfect for your shop. If these were grimoires then maybe I would have went to Patchouli's place." Marisa laughed. "Though if grimoires do just pop up like everyday items from outside Gensōkyō I'd love to have one, but that doesn't sound too likely. You wouldn't happen to have something like that here do you?"
"Do I look like a magician to you? As I've said before, this isn't a library, or even magical in any sense. Besides, even if I have a special ability, don't put me on the same level as you people. I'm not planning to get into a danmaku shoot-out with anybody." Rinnosuke winced at the thought of being on the receiving end of one of her spell cards – his ability of 'knowing the name and purpose of any item' isn't going to help in combat.
"That's a pity. Thought maybe for once there might actually be something worth buying in here." Marisa grinned. "So, back to these books – do we have a deal?"
Rinnosuke thought for a few moments – while he don't normally deal in books, there are actually regular buyers these days for outside books. Since he met a few youkai and started getting to know them, he actually has a business relationship with some, and good ones at that. Thinking about it, these science books are, from what he can see, more advanced than the 15 manuals for the shikigami from the outside called 'computers' that he still have. Recently a kappa from Youkai Mountain started to frequent his store and bought a few of these books, saying they could be useful in designing new technology.
Now THAT was a surprisingly good business relationship, considering kappas don't normally interact with humans much in Gensōkyō. Unlike that other one he had… no, still have, with that Youkai of Boundaries, Yukari Yakumo. Rinnosuke shuddered, thinking about the time when she just opened up a hole and grabbed that 'hand-held gaming machine' before he could to destroy it. Not just that time too, every time he finds something that interested her she just pops up and takes it – without paying as well.
"Hey Kourin?" Marisa tilted her head slightly. "Well? You gonna trade or not?"
Before Rinnosuke can answer, he heard somebody said "Rinnosuke-san?" from the entrance. Looking there, he sees another teenage girl – this one dressed somewhat like a shrine maiden, with detached sleeves on a red-white dress and wields a rod with many paper seals. Her black hair is around shoulder length, and she also has slightly reddish eyes. Her name is Reimu Hakurei, the shrine maiden at the Hakurei Shrine on the border of Gensōkyō.
"Well hello Reimu, what brings you here this time?" Rinnosuke asked politely, trying to get his mind off the various disasters in dealing with Yukari.
"Well, I was at the Human Village after someone requested a youkai extermination. It turned out to be some fairies again making mischief, so I chased them off." Reimu replied. "As I was heading back to the shrine I found some other youkai blocking my way and decided to exterminate it."
'Wait, this sounds familiar…' thought Rinnosuke.
"After it was gone, I found a book it left behind and decided come and show it to you."
"Didn't something like this happen once before as well?" Rinnosuke asked Marisa.
"You mean the fact she tries to blast any youkai in her way? That always happens right?"
"No, I meant she beats up a youkai and then she takes some books of the victim."
Marisa shrugged. "Well it's Reimu, what did you expect? Even if she's the local youkai exterminator she has a bad habit of shoot first and asks questions later."
"Hey, it's not like you're one to talk – don't you have a habit of inviting yourself into someone else's place without permission?"
Rinnosuke arched one of his eyebrows. "And you don't, Reimu?"
Reimu waved that accusation to one side. "At least that's not a habit for me – I only do it sometimes."
As the two girls started bantering away like they always do, Rinnosuke went and took a look at the book Reimu brought in. Books may not be as interesting as the myriad of other items that he can use his ability on to try and figure out how they work, at least the knowledge they hold is interesting most of the time. After flicking through a few pages he found this is one of those 'textbooks' they used to educate people in schools on the outside – and unsurprisingly, a science textbook.
'If nothing else, the pictures here are interesting… colourful rocks, stars and planets… huh?'
"Hey Reimu… according to that Bunbunmaru newspaper, didn't you went down to the former Hell of Blazing Fires and defeated someone with nuclear power recently?"
Reimu and Marisa paused in their bantering (which ended up as a discussion of spell card battle rules for a duel to settle their issues) and looked at Rinnosuke. "Yeah, I suppose… wait, you actually read the Bunbunmaru newspaper?" Reimu asked incredulously.
"The tengu who publish that ends up handing out copies here and there, and I had nothing better to do at the time." Rinnosuke shrugged. "Anyway, supposedly nuclear power is advanced technology from the outside world right?"
"I'd say so, at least that's what I heard from Sanae. So what's your point Kourin?" Marisa asked impatiently.
"Wait, Sanae? Marisa, did you went up to Youkai Mountain to ask about that incident as well? I thought I was the only one." Reimu asked in a surprised voice.
Marisa shrugged. "I was bored. So what makes you ask, Kourin?"
"This is why." Rinnosuke shows the two girls the textbook – on the theories of nuclear fission and nuclear fusion. There was apparently something about Hiroshima too.
"Wha…" Reimu and Marisa were surprised. "What does this mean?"
"If like people said, that Gensōkyō is moved by the disbelief of the outside people, then items that enough people don't believe in might end up in Gensōkyō - like the stash of Apollo project magazines I have due to a number of people that don't believe in the moon landing. Following that logic, it could mean that nuclear power is no longer relevant to the outside world."
"Of course," Continued Rinnosuke, before Reimu can cut in, "it could just be something that got past the border somehow, like the occasional human from outside – but when I've gotten many books recently about outside science, it doesn't seem like the usual case when things pass through accidently. I think something is happening in the outside world."
Marisa snatched the book from Rinnosuke, and started to flip through it herself. "Hey, now this book looks interesting. Mind if I take this, Kourin? I might be able make some new spell cards based on these pictures of 'Stars'."
"Wait a moment, I'm the one who found that – shouldn't you be asking me first at least?" Reimu said indignantly.
"Why? I thought you're just going to leave this at Kourin's place anyway."
"That necessarily wasn't going to be the case for sure - "
"Hold it you two. Aren't any of you even interested in how things happening in the outside world can affect us?" Rinnosuke asked exasperatedly.
"Why bother? If something happens, I'll deal with it when it comes. No point worrying about something that can't be helped." Reimu replied.
"That's true. Besides, if something were to happen there's nothing my Master Spark can't handle." Marisa grinned.
"Yeah right, Marisa – I seem to recall your Master Spark being near useless against me or even against youkai that are marginally strong." Reimu said mischievously.
"Oh ho, so that's how you want to play is it? Alright, let's raise the stakes a bit – if I beat you this book belongs to me. If you win I'll help you carry your groceries the next time you have to go the Village to shop."
"You're not getting off that easily. That, and help me clean up the shrine for a week."
The two girls then grinned viciously at each other, then ran outside before Rinnosuke can even tell them his usual comment of not fighting in his shop. Rinnosuke sighed.
"Seriously… it must be nice to be that carefree." Rinnosuke grumbled. He thinks back to the speculation he made once before – how even though Gensōkyō seemed like it's independent from the outside world, only picking up things they felt like, the truth is if the outside world were to crumble Gensōkyō will soon follow. And being inside the Hakurei Border, the Great Boundary that separate fantasy and reality, there's nothing they can do to make the change in the outside world for the better rather than the worse, if it is going in that direction.
Things are changing rapidly in the outside world, if what Rinnosuke have been picking up recently is of any indication. He just hope whatever is happening, everything will turn out alright in the end, with both Gensōkyō and the outside world staying relatively intact.
Eientei, a large Japanese mansion deep in the Bamboo Forest of the Lost, seldom get visitors. Humans who seek Eirin Yagokoro, a doctor for humans in Gensōkyō that people come to as a last resort, sometimes don't make it to Eientei due to the forest that surrounds the place. And though there may be monthly Moon Festivals, apart from around that time not much people, whether it be human or youkai, visits Eientei. Even the shrine maiden who solves incidents doesn't visit that often.
Thus, when a gap filled with eyes suddenly appeared the youkai rabbits around them suddenly stopped and looked interestedly at the visitor that came through. There are two visitors; one is a woman with long blonde hair and dark golden eyes, and she carries with her a pink parasol. She's wearing a pink and purple dress, and a pink mop hat with a thin red ribbon tied in the front. She is the Youkai of Boundaries, Yukari Yakumo, one of the oldest youkai in Gensōkyō.
The other is a nine-tailed fox in a blue and white robe, with a two-tailed cap covering her head and ears. She is Ran Yakumo, Yukari's shikigami.
Though visitors are rare, normally they don't emit a dangerous aura that seems if you cross their path you'll get devoured (or worse) when they come visit. The various rabbits eep'ed and scattered as they see the two coming towards them.
"Please, Yukari-sama… may I ask you to subdue your… 'displeasure' for the time being? You're scaring the locals."
Ran tentatively asked her master. She herself doesn't emit that dangerous aura, but due to Yukari's power that flow through her as well from their connection as master and servant it made her seem to emit the same danger signals as her master.
Yukari stopped. She stared at Ran with such venom in her eyes that Ran was taken aback – not in the many centuries that Ran have served Yukari have she seen her mistress in such foul temper.
Yukari sighed. "You're right, Ran. No matter what has annoyed me or how little sleep I had recently should give me the right to take it out on those who had nothing to do with it. Let's just get this over with so I can go back and catch up on my sleep."
The two of them then went into the entrance hall of the mansion and Ran called out "Is anyone here?"
"Just who is it that has been making such an uproar?" A youkai rabbit stepped out. Her name is Reisen Udongein Inaba, a Lunar rabbit. This youkai have a human appearance, save for her long rabbit ears. She has red eyes and long purple hair, and is wearing a white shirt with a red necktie, along with a purple skirt. There is a clip on her necktie in the shape of a carrot.
"Pardon for the intrusion," Ran bowed slightly, not trusting her master can keep up her composure if she speaks, "But may we speak to Eirin Yagokoro-san? It is a matter of utmost emergency."
"I don't think so, not when your master is filled with a dangerous aura like that. I don't wish to expose Eirin-sama to danger if possible. Also, if it comes to a confrontation against Eirin-sama there'll be a lot of repairs needed to fix up Eientei - "
"Enough. The matter at hand is more urgent than you can imagine, so if you won't allow us to pass we'll have to force through." Yukari said coldly. "The fate of Gensōkyō and beyond is at stake here, and I will not be stopped by a mere Lunar rabbit who fled her own homeland."
Ran gasped. That was a low blow, even by Yukari's normal standards of dealing with other people whimsically. Reisen's face became flushed and was about to retort before someone interrupted:
"My, my. Do we have visitors? It's not nice to argue with each other in the entrance hall, Reisen. Why don't you go brew some tea?"
The one that interrupted was Kaguya Houraisan, the mistress of Eientei. She was a Lunarian princess that was exiled from the moon and descended to Earth many centuries ago. Kaguya have dark brown eyes and very long black hair. She also wears a pink shirt with many white bows, and a long, dark burgundy skirt decorated in yellow with bamboo and flower shapes.
"Oh, it's Kaguya-sama … but these people - "
"If they are visiting then they should be treated as guests. Even if they are here for a battle, before we start we should at least be civilised." Kaguya smiled gently. "Both me and Eirin are capable of handling ourselves, you don't have to worry about our safety. And if you are worried about damage to Eientei I can always put up a temporary 'spell of Eternity' to make sure you rabbits won't have to end up repairing the damage."
Reisen trembled and her face continued to be flushed, but this time for a different reason. "No, no, My lady doesn't have to go that far for us humble servants! I'll go brew some tea immediately." As soon as she finished speaking she dashed off towards the kitchen.
"Now, shall we go and have some tea? Eirin should be joining us soon, the other rabbits should have notified her by now." Kaguya turned and lead the way inside, with Ran and Yukari following.
Sure enough, Eirin met up with them soon afterwards, and the four of them are seated and drinking tea, though a tense atmosphere is hanging around them. Reisen glared at Yukari from where she is seated away from the table, after she came in with the tea.
"So, what brings you here to Eientei?" Eirin Yagokoro asked. Eirin is another fugitive in exile along with Kaguya, and currently took up the role of a pharmacist in Gensōkyō. She has dark grey eyes, long silver hair, and a large braid on her back. Her clothing is red and blue, and is covered with constellation patterns. She also wears something similar to a nurse's cap.
"Before I start… this tea here is delicious, thank you Reisen for brewing this." Yukari directed her attention towards Reisen, this time in a tone without malice. "And I'm sorry about before – I've been affected by many things recently, but that's no excuse to lash out at you, even with the urgency of the matter at hand."
"Alright, apology accepted." Reisen said stiffly. Even though Yukari have apologised she still resented her slightly for her comments.
"Did you put something in the tea, Eirin-san? I don't think I've ever seen Yukari-sama having a change of attitude this quickly." Ran whispered to Eirin.
"Only something to calm everyone's nerves – I'd prefer not to fight if possible." Eirin murmured back. "Don't worry; it's not poisonous or anything."
And in a louder voice: "Alright, now that's over with, let's get to the topic at hand. You said this is a matter to do with 'the fate of Gensōkyō and beyond', so what's this about? When you visited so suddenly and irritably, I thought you were here because I messed up your second Lunar invasion or something." Eirin said with a slight smile.
"Ha, don't insult me like that. Besides, you know full well that wasn't a 'invasion' in the same sense as my first one, that's why you allowed that to happen and didn't really stop my original purpose." Yukari smiled back. Verbally sparring with someone she can loosely treat as her equal in intelligence once in a while is enjoyable. "Alright, to the point – what do you know about the 'outside' world right now?"
"I know a lot of things, but chances are they're not what you are talking about. Care to be a bit more specific?"
"Fine. What do you know about a place called 'Academy City'?"
"Academy City?" Everyone present except Yukari and Ran tilted their heads. "Never heard of it. So I take it the rumour you spend the winter of Gensōkyō in the outside world is true?"
"Somewhat. I do spend some time 'outside' once in a while," Yukari replied airily before continuing on, "It's a city where its technology is about 30-years more advanced than the outside world, and the centre of advanced science in the modern world. The rest of the world could be said to use outdated technology being retired from Academy City, considering the rapid and revolutionary advances it made in both science theories and technology within the last fifty years since its establishment. The reason I'm bring it up is that it could be… dangerous… to many places – including Gensōkyō and the Moon."
"Wha…?" Exclaimed Reisen, before quietening down at a look from both Eirin and Kaguya.
"Interesting opinion, Yukari. What would be your reasoning behind that?" Eirin inquired.
"They are actively in experimenting in giving supernatural powers to normal humans. For example, turning someone normal from the Human Village into someone who have special abilities like Sakuya Izayoi. Using the collective aura – which they call AIM Dispersion Fields - that is unconsciously emitted by these subjects called 'Espers', Academy City have managed to create a Artificial Heaven, another plane of existence, along with its gods and angels."
Kaguya and Reisen looked wide-eyed at this piece of news, while Eirin remains doubtful. "How do you know this 'plane of existence' is actually there?" Asked Eirin.
"You know my power is 'manipulation of boundaries', and that of course includes being able to find the boundary. I can sense the boundary where the Artificial Heaven blends in with 'reality'. Of course, there are other hints as well that is even visible to normal people in the outside world," Yukari opened up a gap in the air and took out a newspaper. A convenient ability, Kaguya thought.
On the newspaper is a photo of something huge – wings spanning tens of metres and shooting a beam across a large distance. Apparently the wings belong to an 'artificial angel'. People outside now call it the '0930' incident, where it sparked a large scale conflict between two of the largest factions in the outside world – the Roman Catholic Church and Academy City.
"Of course, newspapers, and the media in general, are often unreliable in conveying the truth. That at least is something Gensōkyō and the outside world have in common." Yukari conceded.
After Eirin briefly looked through the newspaper she passed it along to Kaguya to take a look. Reisen snuck behind Kaguya to try and take a peek, which Eirin decided to ignore.
"Is there anything else?"
"Plenty. At the centre of this conflict is a human boy, who's about 16 years old. His ability is something that's beyond Academy City's power to recreate – 'Imagine Breaker'."
"Ima – what?" Kaguya looked up in confusion.
"Imagine Breaker – or at least that's what Academy City calls it, they have a weird way of naming things if you look at it from Gensokyo's point of view. Maybe this will explain it better." Yukari took out a brush from her 'gap in existence' along with other writing implements and gestured for Ran to grind the ink for her. Stroke by stroke, she wrote out the kanji used to spell that name:
"幻想杀手 (Gensou Goroshi) – literally 'Fantasy Killer'."
"What?" This time, even Eirin was surprised.
"Doesn't it make you wonder? Something like that exists, along with our 'Land of Fantasy', 幻想郷, (Gensōkyō), that we live in. Its power is 'something that can negate any kind of supernatural power', said to even be able to slay angels and destroy gods. That boy in question even has that angel depicted in that photo under his command, if my sources are correct."
Eirin was silent. Even if Yukari is known to be a sly one, even more than her nine-tailed 'kitsune' familiar, if she is telling the truth then…
"Oh by the way, do you want to hear what the boy's name is?" Yukari smiled slightly; she knows that Eirin's attention is now hooked.
"What is it?" Kaguya asked, curious.
"Kamijou Touma. Care to guess how to spell that in kanji?" Yukari offered her brush to Kaguya.
"Sure, why not?" Kaguya took the brush and started to write out the name – though with her grace and elegance that she does this the end result should not be called writing but more like a painting.
When she is done, everyone crowded around her to see what she has written:
'神净讨魔' – 'One that cleanses gods and exorcises demons'.
"Not a bad guess, though I'm afraid the actual kanji in his name is something more… mundane."
Yukari then took her brush back and started to write again, with the end result being:
"Is this a joke?" Reisen asked ominously.
"Of course not. Most people outside nowadays avoid ostentatious names for some reason. However… it may interest you people that Kaguya-sama is not that far off the mark when she decided on an ostentatious name; his surname 'Kamijou' can also be written like so,"
Yukari started writing again on the paper, with the product being:
'神上' – 'The one who is higher than god'.
Eirin, Kaguya and Reisen only stared at that final version of 'Kamijou'. Finally, Eirin decided to speak up.
"Are you serious? Even for a joke this might have gone a bit too far."
"I'm serious. There some people on the outside that really believe this, at least went far enough to shake the world's power balance for it. The '0930' incident is only the beginning of Roman Catholic Church's assault against Academy City, and practically for the single reason that is Kamijou Touma."
"Alright, even in the scenario that all this is true – what do you want from Eientei when you came to visit?"
"What I want," Yukari stated, "is support from you Lunarians; your technology, your magic and your minds. Here we have a force that could erase Gensokyo and even the Moon, so I want an alliance that'll enable us to survive."
"You know full well we are exiled from the moon; what could we possibly do?" Eirin asked suspiciously.
"You may be exiled, but you still have allies back on the moon – such as the Watatsuki sisters. Not to mention you still have technology and magic from the moon, even in exile. And - " Yukari continued, ignoring Eirin and Reisen's attempt to cut her off, "even without support from the Lunar Capital, just the fact that you are Eirin Yagokoro, one of the people who helped create the Lunar Capital and help build its glory, is reason enough."
"Excuse me," Kaguya was the one that spoke, instead of the other two. "But I have some questions: if these people are actually strong enough to threaten the moon, why didn't the Lunar Capital eradicate this threat already? Like when the humans attempted to invade the moon, they were quickly suppressed. The Apollo rockets were wiped out by Lunarians, why did they not do the same against Academy City?"
"An excellent question, Kaguya-sama." Reisen concurred. "Do you have an explanation for this, Yukari Yakumo?"
"I do actually," Yukari smiled smugly. "And here it is."
Yukari took out a photo and passed it to the Kaguya: a picture of a seemingly young human girl, though everyone present knows appearance is not an accurate description for anyone's actual age. She has pink hair and is wearing clothes that one might call childish.
"Who is this supposed to be?" Eirin inquired.
"One of the Seven Mysteries of Academy City, the person who doesn't seem to age – Tsukuyomi Komoe." Yukari especially stressed the name 'Tsukuyomi'.
"Tsukuyomi…!" Reisen exclaimed, and this time neither Kaguya nor Eirin stopped her, both too stunned to do so.
"You realise what you are implying?" Eirin was the first to recover. "That - "
"That someone connected with the founder of the Lunar Civilisation, the one held as a 'Sage', Lord Tsukuyomi have something to do with this? That another Lunarian have drunk the Hourai Elixir and is banished to Earth, then help build a City that can eventually rival the Lunar Capital? Why yes, I have thought of all that already." Yukari replied, all mirth gone from her expression.
None of the residents of Eientei said anything, being no longer able to utter a coherent word.
If, the worst case scenario is true, that an immortal Lunarian has descended to Earth and is planning to fight back against the moon, with the leaders in the Lunar Capital split in deciding what to do, the result is obvious.
War will arise.
And this time, the Moon may not emerge victorious.
Plus, no matter what, in a serious war there will be many tragedies, regardless which side it is from.
What's to say one of them won't be on Earth – and more specifically, on Gensōkyō?
"I'm not asking for you to fight by my side at this stage, with the history between me and Lunarians," Yukari murmured. "All I ask of you people – more specifically, you, Eirin Yagokoro – is to help me gather information on outside events. Whether you'll help me after that is subject to further negotiations."
Eirin considered long and hard about the situation. She does not trust Yukari – only a fool would do so with no reservations – but what Yukari is saying is too important to be dismissed off-hand.
"Eirin…" Eirin turned her head, and found Kaguya's hand on her shoulder and a pleading look in Kaguya's eyes. Eirin can tell Kaguya is worried – not about her own safety or whether they can continue to live a comfortable exiled life – but whether this will affect Gensōkyō, their new adopted home, and the many 'friends' that they have made here.
Eirin looked towards Reisen. The Lunar rabbit is frightened, but in her eyes there is also determination. Eirin can see that Reisen is resolved to follow them regardless of their choice – she will not run away any more.
"So, do we have a deal?" Yukari, with a solemn expression, held her hand out.
Eirin Yagokoro have made up her mind.
For good or ill, this is what they have chosen.
"Alright," Eirin finally exhaled, and clasped Yukari's offered hand, "We have a deal."
That concludes my first contribution on FFN. If the there are spacing problems, please bear with it, as I'm still trying to get use to the controls here at FFN.
And if someone who don't mind heavy spoilers for both TMnI and Touhou want to be my beta-reader, contact me via private messaging.
If anyone have anything to say, feel free to leave a review.