Morning at the Hakurei Shrine.
Summer is soon to come to an end and autumn is ready to come in its stead.
The trees around the shrine are starting to lose their bright green color, the leaves slowly turning to yellow, red and orange.
At the back of the shrine, after having recovered from becoming a little girl due to a powerful spell, Rika trains harder, pushing herself a little more in order to make up for lost time, but knowing she still managed to put in some training with her old wooden sword while a child, she feels confident she doesn't need to push herself too far... though she will if she has to.
She has set up a total of 27 wooden dummies, all lined up in groups of five dummies per line, and two at the end of the small army, to look like a well-organized platoon.
She stands several feet away from her first target, bending her body while holding the hilt of her sword, then very suddenly, she rushes to it.
She cuts through the first line in a single swing, and as soon as she rushes toward the second line, she activates her Soraogan mode and cuts the second, third and fourth lines in what seems to be an instant.
She jumps high in the air and flips, and while upside-down, she swings her sword rapidly, cutting the last line of dummies to shreds, and finally, the last two remain, and as soon as she lands on the ground again, she rushes toward them and slices through them with ease, then sighs with an accomplished look on her face.
While sheathing her sword with one hand, she swipes the sweat off her face with another, then realizes she has company.
As soon as she looks to the Shrine's porch, she realizes she's being watched by Keine Kamishirasawa, the history teaches of the Human Village.
While clapping, Keine approaches Rika, holding a letter on her right hand, saying "well, that was impressive. You seem to be getting better and better, miss Rika."
Rika smiles and says "phew, thanks. If I am to help my lady Reimu it is imperative I keep in top shape after all."
Keine continues to smile while waving the letter in front of Rika, who asks "and what's this?"
While still smiling, Keine replies "you've been invited to the mansion of miss Akyuu Hieda. She wishes to interview you."
Surprised, Rika asks "me? But why?"
Keine giggles and says "now, miss Rika, where's the fun in telling you?"
Keine offers the letter to Rika, who stares at Keine with confusion, but decides to open it and see for herself what this is all about.
When she opens the letter, she reads
"Dear miss Rika, I wish to invite to my mansion so that I may interview you, and add to my records about your battle with the celestial, miss Tenshi Hinanai, as well as a proper profile of yourself. It is imperative that you come and tell me all about it. As much as you can remember. I've asked miss Keine to ask for Reimu's permission for this. I'll be waiting for your arrival. Attently, Akyuu Hieda."
When Rika finishes reading, she looks up at Keine, but finds that she's not there anymore, and after raising her sights a bit more, she finds her talking to Reimu in front of the side entrance to the shrine already.
Reimu gestures Rika to get closer, just as Ail, Ayalina and Budou approach Reimu from the shrine's front yard.
Before Rika can ask, Reimu smiles and says "I think it's a great idea that you go there. It's very important that you tell her the tale."
Rika smiles and asks "will you be alright, my lady?"
Mima appears from underneath the floor between Keine and Reimu, rests and elbow on each shoulder, then says "don't you worry about a thing. We'll take care of Reimu for you."
Rika smiles nervously and says "well... that is, um..."
Before she can finish, Reimu angrily says "I'm not just some little girl, you know! I can take good care of myself, so Rika, YOU are going with Keine to meet with Akyuu, and I don't want to hear any buts about it, understand?"
Rika seems to take Reimu's sudden outburst a little harshly, and with wriggling lips and trembling a bit, she bows and says "a-as you with, m-my lady."
Reimu can't bear to see Rika like that, and excitedly says "whoa, whoa, don't cry. Look, I can take care of myself, so you don't have to worry so much."
Rika recovers herself and straightens up, then smiles and says "I-I'm sorry my lady. I just worry about you."
Keine smiles as she says "yes, this is all fine, but before we go, you might want to take a bath."
Rika's cheeks turn pink after realizing she's all sweaty, and after a nervous nod, she hurries to the bathroom, while Reimu looks at Mima with a murderous smile and says "your elbow is starting to hurt."
Mima smiles as she jumps behind Keine, seemingly afraid, and says "uuu, sorry. Don't kill me."
Ail, Budou and Ayalina look at each other, then Ayalina suddenly says "oh that's right, I forgot to make breakfast this morning. See you later Ail, Budou, Reimu. Behave~", then disappears, leaving a small patch of flowers on the ground.
Ail and Budou stare at each other, making Reimu giggle and say "come on, I promised you two breakfast, and Mima, you are helping me."
Later that day, Rika and Keine float down from the sky and land right in front of the large mansion of the Hieda family.
Rika admires the large mansion and says "wow, this place is big. Really big. I wonder how long the cleaning takes?"
Keine pats Rika on the shoulder and says "please, keeps comments like that to yourself. Akyuu is very sweet, but it's preferable to keep certain things to one's self."
Rika nods, then says "don't worry, miss Keine. Everything will be fine."
Keine smiles at Rika, then gestures her to follow inside.
They come across a few servants, all bowing respectfully as they greet Keine and their special guest.
By now, due to the beautiful state of the gardens, the cleanliness and state of the mansion itself, and the high class servants that work there, Rika believes Akyuu to be a charismatic and mighty mistress of legendary beauty, wearing beautiful, expensive clothes, and jewels of the highest quality.
They arrive to a garden that is full of cats, some sleeping in front of a large room that remains closed.
Keine looks at Rika and says "we're here", and knocks on the door.
Rika feels a bit nervous as footsteps get closer to the door, and thinks "she's opening her own door? Oh my goodness! She must also be such a kind person! Oh, what should I do? How should I greet her? Oh, here she comes!"
The sliding doors quickly open to reveal the little girl who is Akyuu Hieda, though Rika does not know.
Akyuu says "Keine, you're finally here! Oh, and miss Rika! What an honor to finally meet you in person!"
Rika sighs with relief, thinking "phew, it looks like it's just her daughter. She's so polite, and so cute too."
Rika approaches the little girl and rubs her head, saying "my, how polite. And so cute too. And you say you wanted to meet me? I'm flattered."
Keine smiles nervously as a sweat drop falls down the back of her head, then asks "er, miss Rika, what are you doing?"
Rika continues to rub Akyuu's head, making her smile contently and blush light pink, showing how much she's liking Rika's petting.
Rika looks at Keine, then lifts her arm to cover her mouth in surprise as she gasps and asks "oh my, I'm sorry. Missis Hieda's daughter is just so cute. I couldn't contain myself."
Keine's smile turns rather disturbing as she says "Rika... That IS... MISS Hieda."
Rika's face turns blue as she gasps, then drops to the ground and bows, rapidly saying "oh my gosh, I'm so sorry!"
When she looks up, Akyuu looks sad and disappointed, softly asking "why did you stop?"
From inside the room, Tenshi's confident and loud voice can be heard as she says "hahaha, silly maid girl!"
Rika's face turns ever more blue, thinking there are even more witnesses to her mistake, and in fright and surprise, she says "T-Tenshi is here too!"
This awkward moment lasts for a while with Rika bowing, Keine staring with annoyance at Rika, Akyuu almost ready to cry, and Tenshi smirking from inside the room.
Moments later, after the awkwardness pass and Keine leaves, Akyuu sits by her table and offers red tea and cookies to her two guests, and while they drink and enjoy the snacks, she reviews everything that's been told by Tenshi so far.
Rika looks at Tenshi, who simply tries to ignore her, and takes a sip from her tea.
In Tenshi's mind is the image of little child Rika, and looking at Rika now seems to disgust her a little, even though her cheeks are turning pink.
Akyuu clears her throat, then says "alright, let's go straight to the juicy stuff!"
Outside the room, Aya peeks her glinting eyes and crescent smile through a window after hearing the word "juicy", and readies her camera for anything.
Akyuu stares at Rika seriously, then asks "alright, miss Rika, please tell me all about that passionate kiss between you and the celestial."
At that moment, Rika is swallowing some tea, but after hearing that, she almost spills it through her nose, but she manages to gulp it down before that happens, leaving herself quite dizzy while blushing tomato red.
Outside, Aya is about to take some pictures, when she's suddenly stomped on hard by Hatate, who desperately whispers "what, what? Rika sis kissed with that disgusting celestial? No~"
While Hatate looks inside, she uses Aya as a support, and even stomps her when she tries to get back up.
Inside, Rika stares at Tenshi with a blushing face, then shouts "now wait a minute! Nothing like that ever happened!"
Tenshi shrugs and says "hey, hey, I know that didn't happen, but the fight alone is so boring. I added some drama and some PASSION to the tale. You know, to make it much more interesting!"
A sweat drop falls down Rika's cheek as she nervously says "bu-bu-bu... that's a lie! You can't add lies to these records! Miss Reimu said they are VERY important, and that the information must be as accurate as possible."
Tenshi sighs and takes a sip of tea, then says "fine, fine. I'm sorry."
Akyuu stares at the two girls for a moment, then stares straight at Tenshi as she asks "so I take it mister Kyo didn't lose his left leg, and miss Luna didn't go on a rampage, making you two stop the battle to stop her?"
Rika's eyes hide under her hair as she gasps loudly and looks at Tenshi with her mouth wide open while stuttering.
Tenshi picks her own teeth while looking bored toward the sky through the left side window, then says "what? I thought some side-action would liven the story up some more."
A small vein pulsates on Akyuu's forehead, and her rage-filled eyes hide under a black shadow as she asks "anything else I should know that DIDN'T really happen?"
Very relaxed, Tenshi lies down on the floor on her back, placing her hands behind her head, then says "fine, I get it. Scratch the bikini contest, the cloud chasing... oh, and the leotard dance didn't happen either."
Severely annoyed, Akyuu balls a large piece of paper and throws it straight at Tenshi's stomach, then, while trying to sound calm, she says "well, I guess we'll start from the beginning... again!"
Rika stares at Tenshi while blushing, thinking the celestial is just some pervert, while outside, both Aya and Hatate stare inside, both blushing as they imagine Rika and Tenshi running and dancing around in leotards.
Hours past, lunch has been served and eaten, and finally, after some time, Rika finishes saying "my, I was so exhausted after that pointless fight, I could barely stay awake!"
Tenshi looks completely unamused as she says "geez, how boring. My version was much better."
Akyuu smiles dangerously and says "well, you did give yourself a bigger chest than you really have."
Tenshi looks out the window and sighs, then says "my version as so much better."
Rika smiles and pats Tenshi on the back, ready to tell her how inner beauty beats outer beauty, but instead, she gasps when she spots a book next to a very old-looking scroll on a shelf.
The book has a hard dark-purple cover with a silver buckle under the words "Forger's Techniques for Stronger Artifact Weaponry."
Akyuu smiles and not noticing Rika's interest on the book, says "oh, I'll go take these to the kitchen. Please, wait for me in here."
Tenshi, sounding bored, replies "sure. I'll just count some clouds while you're gone."
Rika smiles and nods, then asks "but won't you wait for your servants to do that for you?"
Akyuu stands up and picks up the tray with the dishes and cups, and as she leaves the room, she smiles and says "it's nice to do these things for yourself once in a while, miss Rika."
Rika smiles at Akyuu, and as soon as she's gone, Rika reaches for the book, immediately noticing the silver buckle is a magical seal.
Tenshi mysteriously stands beside Rika and peeks through her shoulder, then asks "say, what'cha got there?"
Rika yelps and twitches as she turns around, saying "thi-thi-this? It looks interesting. It looks very interesting. Could make my sword stronger with this, it seems!"
Tenshi reads the title, then looks at her sword on its sheath, then says "hmm, seems interesting... but it's sealed."
Rika smiles as she activates her Soraogan mode, then says "don't worry, I can open it with my nullify ability. It should be ok, I mean, with a stronger sword, think of ALL the help I could be for my lady Reimu!"
Tenshi looks unamused at Rika and says "geez, you're like some sort of dog."
Rika ignores Tenshi's comment, and simply stares at the silver buckle on the book.
Just a few seconds later, the buckle clicks, and the book opens on its own, but to Rika's disappointment, all the pages are blank.
Tenshi tries to suppress her laughter, while Rika flips through the pages, and sounding disappointed she asks "what? There's nothing written? What a letdown."
Tenshi smirks mischievously, and jokingly says "maybe you need to draw on it with you sword's tip."
Disappointed, Rika closes the book and places it back, saying "uu, I was hoping to read something amazing. Oh well."
Meanwhile, down at the fires of the former hell, a strange rock formation with what looks like a symbol seal, starts to crack, and in just moments the entire stone shatters and a man takes a step down to the ground next to the broken stone.
He carries with him three swords on his back, and three more on each side of his waist.
His skin and samurai clothes look a pale lilac color, and his eyes look black, as though there are only the empty sockets.
He looks around and takes a deep breath, then with a soft voice, he says "someone broke the seal. I must show my gratitude to this person."
With an evil smirk and in an instant, the ghostly man runs away at incredible speeds, leaning his body forward while leaving his arms hanging in the air as he runs.
Meanwhile, Parsee sighs as she leans over the side of the bridge that connects the underground with the world outside.
She screams out of frustration after pushing herself from the ledge and says "dammit, why doesn't anyone come? It's so boring! Why can't I be out there having fun too?"
The old spirit rushes by the streets of former hell so fast Yuugi has trouble keeping up with him, saying "whoa, it's a rowdy one."
Shortly after, without Parsee realizing it, he's already on the bridge, running over her back and heading up to the cave and to the exit.
With her legs, back and hair covered in footprints, Parsee lifts her head in a daze, then looks up at the pale lilac blur and says "you'll pay for that... you...", then lets her face drop to the floor again.
That afternoon, inside Akyuu's interview room, Tenshi lies on her back, snoring lightly with a nose bubble that grows to the size of her head every time she exhales, while Akyuu and Rika continue the interview.
Akyuu asks "so, gardening, synthesizing... whatever that is, um, making things for your friends... and making kimonos? Is there anything else?"
Rika smiles and says "I love animals."
Akyuu smiles and says "but we already added all that."
On Akyuu's notes, Akyuu darkens the words "loves anything that lives", while looking into Rika's eyes.
After a short pause, Rika and Akyuu realize the room is unusually quiet, then Akyuu asks "hey, did is just get too quiet in here?"
Rika looks at Tenshi, who stands ready, as though awaiting an enemy, and before she can ask what's the matter, the sliding doors burst open, and all the cats in the room and the surrounding area hiss and growl while backing away.
Angered, Akyuu says "sir, who let you in? You are very rude, bursting through my door uninvited like that! Please get out of here now!"
On the doorway stands the ghostly samurai clothed man, who stares directly at Rika, ignoring Akyuu's demands.
He points at Rika and says "you. Thank you very much for breaking the seal that had me trapped for so long, my young lady."
Rika gasps and whispers "oh no... that book."
Tenshi exclaims "oh, now you've done it, shrine maid!"
Akyuu angrily calls "guards, we have an intruder here!"
The soul lowers his hand, then says "now, your swords; hand them over to me, if you please."
Tenshi smirks and says "well, you sure know how to show your appreciation."
Rika unsheathes her family sword and activates her Soraogan mode once more, then the soul smiles and says "forgive me. I simply must have those swords of yours."
Tenshi unsheathes her own sword, smirks, then says "well here, you can have it!"
Before long, Tenshi manages to push the soul outside the room with a single swing from her sword.
Once outside, Rika follows with a relentless attack, going back and forth, slashing the soul whenever in range, then regroups with Tenshi, both standing right in front of the door to Akyuu's room.
To their left, hiding around the corner, Aya and Hatate open their mouths in awe, then Hatate whispers "Rika sis hit him hard."
Aya recovers herself and stares seriously at the spirit, then says "she didn't even touch him."
Hatate stares at Aya with shock and curiosity, then looks back at the spirit, noticing he's sheathing two of the swords on his back.
Tenshi points at the man and says "hey, little spirit. We're giving you the chance to run from here. Just go and we won't have to hurt you."
The spirit smiles, turning his black eyes on Tenshi's sword, then says "As soon as you give me those swords, I'll gladly leave."
Rika sighs and says "sir, this sword belongs to my family. You can't have it, no matter how badly you want it."
The spirit now takes a sword from the right side of his waist and unsheathes it, saying "what a shame. Guess there's no choice now but to kill you."
Tenshi and Rika both prepare to attack seriously, then Rika says "wrong move, buddy!"
Rika takes the lead in the offensive, and starts to attack the spirit, unable to connect a single blow as he blocks each and every attack from her, even covering his vulnerable spots by simply standing in place and moving his sword around with ease.
While Rika keeps him occupied, Tenshi gets closer and shouts "get ready to fly!"
Just as Tenshi stabs the ground with her sword, Rika jumps away as the ground underneath the spirit lifts up and sends him flying to the air, however, all he does is sheathe his sword and pull another one from his back, then points it at the ground, nullifying Tenshi's attack before landing.
Frustrated, Tenshi and Rika look at each other and nod, and as if already planned, they attack the man in unison.
He unsheathes another sword with his left hand and starts to block each attack with ease, however it looks like he's starting to lose focus, and while he blocks one of Rika's attack with both swords, Tenshi takes the chance to cut his abdomen.
The man doesn't even flinch, and just pushes Rika away like nothing.
Tenshi exclaims "wait a minute! I hit you! Spirit or not, you should be in pain!"
The man sheathes his swords, smiles as he stands up straight to stare at the girls, then says "my lady, you'll find defeating me is a task of its own. Now, your swords, please."
Rika and Tenshi regroup, look at each other through the corner of their eyes, then Rika asks "run?"
Tenshi nods and says "run!"
They both sheath their swords and start running away from the spirit as fast as they can, ignoring the tengu on the porch.
Aya and Hatate make their stand in front of the spirit, who is about to give chase, then Hatate says "let's see how well you do against two powerful tengu, mister!"
Ignoring them, the man bends his body and starts to run after Tenshi and Rika, running over Aya and Hatate, leaving footprints on their faces and bodies.
Aya trembles as she asks "did... he run over us just now?"
Hatate blinks once, then says "I didn't see."
Akyuu stands on the porch, then says "you two, tengu! I need a favor from you!"
On her right hand, she holds a letter with a golden seal.
Recovering from their wounds, Aya and Hatate stare at Akyuu with curiosity, then Akyuu says "please, it's for those two girl's sake! They don't stand a chance against that soul!"
Running through the village, Tenshi and Rika come across Keine, who stands just outside the door of her school.
As the girls run toward her, she steps away from the school and smiles, asking "girls, how did the interview go?"
The girls run past her, and all they can do is warn Keine, Rika saying "look out!", while Tenshi says "RUN!", at the same time.
Keine turns around to look at the fleeing girls, then scratches the back of her head wile staring at the girls with confusion and wonderment, asking herself "I wonder what happened?"
The spirit knocks Keine to the ground and tramples her hard as he runs by.
Keine tries to get back up, but a group of children runs on her while chasing a bouncing red ball.
Trembling, Keine tries to get up once more, but Mokou flies in and lands right on top of Keine's back, calling "Keine, are you here?"
She looks down, then bends down while still on her friend's back to stare at the back of Keine's head, then asks "yo, Keine? What are you doing down there?"
Keine's body trembles again, but this time with rage, and pushing Mokou off her with a primal scream, she gets up on her feet and grabs Mokou by her shirt, shaking her around and angrily saying "stop stepping on my back! STOP... STEPPING... ON... MY BACK!"
In a fright and a daze, Mokou replies "ooh, but I just wanted to ask you something."
Keine drags Mokou to the school, angrily saying "I'm gonna have to teach you some common manners, young lady! Come here!"
As she gets dragged into the school, Mokou cries "but I didn't do nothing!"
Further ahead, Rika and Tenshi come across Maribel, who has her cat ears exposed again, and Renko.
Rika starts waving her arms in the air, screaming "miss Maribel, miss Renko, the out of the way!"
Tenshi follows Rika's lead and shouts "get your butts out of the way!"
Renko turns around , and angrily shouts "hey, who the hell do you think you..."
Maribel pokes Renko's shoulder and says "I think we better move."
Renko looks at Maribel and stays in place, saying "Mary, you have to show these bullies you're not afraid of them!"
Rika and Tenshi run past Renko, who smiles at Maribel and says "see? They just wanted to scare us."
Without warning, Renko finds herself spinning as she flies high in the air, screaming her lungs out, just after the spirit tackles her out of his way.
Maribel shields her eyes from the sun with her hand as she stares at her friend turn to a star in the sky, then sighs, lowers her cat ears, and says "I told her to get out of the way."
Further ahead, Rika says to Tenshi "we need to hurry and get out of here. He's running over everyone!"
Behind them and the spirit lie countless bodies of run over villagers, as well as Renko and Medicine, who looks around and asks "how did I get here?"
Back with the runners, Tenshi looks at Rika, seemingly bored, then says "relax, we're almost at the exit."
That's when Rika notices Luna Rivers outside her house, training with her swords at the front yard.
Rika shouts "miss Luna~ You have to run!"
Luna stares at Rika and Tenshi, and noticing their urgency, she flies out of the way, asking "what's the matter?"
Tenshi shouts back "just get out of the way!"
When she lands, Luna notices the spirit that's chasing after the girls, then shouts "Kyo! We got a troublemaker!"
Kyo jumps out the window, landing with his magical sword and shield already fully activated, and with a brave look on his face, he stands next to Luna while facing the spirit, then says "time to teach this ghost some proper manners!"
Just like that, he feels the shoes of the spirit stomping hard all over his body as he falls on his back to the ground.
Luna kneels down next to him, sighs, then says "I guess he was just too much, huh?"
Kyo simply grunts as his body involuntarily shivers in pain, his bones rattling along.
Outside the village, while still running, Rika asks "so, any ideas how we can beat this guy?"
Tenshi looks at Rika and asks "you're asking me this now?"
Rika replies "well, we're outside the village, so if we go all out, we could stand a chance."
The girls stop, then Tenshi smirks and says "hey, you're right. We should teach him some manners!"
From their left, a silver and green blur crashes against Rika and knocks Tenshi to the ground as well.
The second Rika recovers, she jumps to her feet, thinking the spirit has caught up with them, but instead, she find Youmu, wearing a green and silver gym uniform.
The undergarment she wears are sleeveless silver tights that cover down to her knees, while on top of that she wears a green leotard, and on her back she has a large dark brown basket with a lid.
Youmu jumps on her feet and start to frantically bow, repeating "I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I didn't see you there!"
Rika pats Youmu's shoulder and says "whoa, whoa, relax. It's alright. Nobody got hurt."
Tenshi lies on the ground with sharp pain coursing through her back and grumbles to herself "sure... you keep saying that."
While helping Tenshi up, Rika asks "miss Youmu, what's with that outfit? And what are you doing over here? Miss Reimu said you rarely left the Netherworld without miss Yuyuko."
Youmu sighs and slouches, letting her arms hang in the air as she says "I am being punished for talking back to Yuyu-sama. Today's punishment is a marathon around Gensokyo while wearing this embarrassing outfit and collecting possible meals for lady Yuyuko."
From inside the basket, a girl shouts "get me out of here~"
Tenshi gasps and asks "WHOA! What does that princess eat?"
Before Youmu can answer, the spirit catches up to them and asks "so, have you decided to give me your swords?"
Youmu immediately unsheathes her swords and points them at the spirit, saying "watch your tongue, spirit, or you'll have me to answer to."
The man lays his eyes on Youmu's swords, then says "oh, two more! I must ask you to give me those swords, miss."
Youmu, Tenshi and Rika stand ready for a fight, their swords unsheathed as they glare at the black-eyed spirit, then Rika says "maybe the three of us can take him down!"
Tenshi smirks and says "you're going to learn respect the hard way, old man!"
Youmu glares at the spirit, then says "I don't know what's going on, but you already crossed the line! Surrender, and I may be kind enough to take you to princess Yuyuko myself."
The spirit simply smiles back and slowly unsheathes two swords, then says "you are all taking me too lightly. Oh well, either way, I'm taking those swords."
For a brief moment, they all stand in place, waiting to see who makes the first move, then the spirit rushes straight to Rika, saying "since you set me free, I'll be kind enough to make your death as quick and painless as possible!"
Rika raises her sword, preparing to receive a powerful attack, her mind swirling with thoughts of Reimu living on her own again, and before the spirit reaches her, Rika lets out a war cry as she rushes to intercept her attacker while Youmu and Tenshi prepare to help Rika out against the spirit.
To be continued...
Characters, Spell Cards and Scenario belong to ZUN -Team Shanghai Alice-
Ail, Budou, Ayalina, Kyo and Luna were created by Willie G.R.
Rika Onkamikami was created by Snapshot2010
Story by Snapshot 2010
JUL 14 2010