Disclaimer: Touhou is owned by ZUN in conjunction with Team Shanghai Alice.
This is a story that retells the plot of Imperishable Night. It will follow the plot of the game pretty closely, up to and including the proper order of the spell cards used.
The story will mostly be focused around the ghost team and their scenario. As usual for my fics, there will be gore and character death(s), English, even after all these years, is still not my native language, and, sumtimes, I will overuse, commas, and… ellipses… not to mention… overemphasizing and overcapitalizing THINGS needlessly!1. Whatever.
I intended for the story to be pretty lighthearted (yes, a lighthearted Touhou story that involves vore, is rated M for violence and has entire chapter dedicated to HATE), so please try not to take it all too seriously. Thanks.
Yuyuko's Wonderful Midnight Snack Tour
Stage 1: Bug
The moon was full. It was large, bloated and unnatural, filling almost half of the sky with its unnatural bloated large moonlike shape. It was like that for a month now.
Residents of Gensokyo were angry. Residents of Gensokyo were tired. Residents of Gensokyo cursed the moon, screamed at it, collapsed on their knees in frustration and rage, sacrificed small animals to pagan gods, and in their great despair some even donated a few coins to the Hakurei shrine in hope that Reimu would finally do something. Reimu smiled a strained smile to the petitioners, and said, time and time again, that she was doing everything in her power.
The moon didn't care. It just loomed, oppressing everything with its fat rotund body. It was implacable. It was inevitable. It was the Moon.
The night was forever.
Yuyuko Saigyouji yawned and sat up. Rubbing her sore eyes, she glanced at the gigantic water clock in the corner of her room. 11 PM.
"Oh great, I overslept," she muttered and fell back on her back, spreading her arms. "It's been a thousand years, and I still get bad taste in my mouth when I oversleep. This is so unfair."
The ceiling became an uninteresting sight rather quickly so Yuyuko, moaning and cursing under her breath crawled from under the blanket, and with a posture and gait of an ancient crone made her way across the room to the wall mirror.
Yep, she still looked exactly like she looked on the day of her funeral, the royal dress she was buried in and everything. In the putrid purple illumination of the strange moon her gown seemed to have lost color, and Yuyuko's ghostly face looked well, dead. Yuyuko cringed.
"My, do I look like crap," she said to her reflection and straightened up. Puffing her cheeks a little, she adjusted a cloth triangle on her hat and forced a rather ghastly smile. It didn't help much.
"Ok, this is enough. It ends tonight," she sternly said and stormed off towards the door. Proud and determined, she made it almost halfway through the building before her stomach growled, sending echoes around the empty hallways.
"Oh right, I haven't eaten anything in like, ages. Or hours, anyway. Hey, Youmu! I'm hungry!"
Her call went unanswered, so Yuyuko shouted again, louder this time. No response.
"Oh, that good-for-nothing half-everything girl, I'll show her, I'll show..."
She trailed into a stream of mutterings and made her way to the garden.
With absolute precision and discipline Youmu Konpaku struck the blade of her shovel into the ground. As chief and only gardener of Hakugyokurou shrine, it was her sacred and undisputed duty to keep everything within the garden area in flawless harmonious order.
The dandelions resisted. Like parasites that they were, they spread around like cancer on grass, mocking the half-ghost girl with their lobed leaves, their bright yellow flowers, their pale seed heads…
Sometimes, Youmu felt like they were laughing at her, laughing at her endless futile attempts of eradication. As of late, with that purple moon in the sky, she was almost hearing their laughter.
No, she would not show it. She could not show even the slightest hint of emotion now, especially now, when her mistress was here, at the garden, personally supervising her work, happily devouring her ghost half…
Wait, that didn't sound quite right.
"Lady Yuyuko, what are you doing? Please, stop!" Youmu yelled on the run to the shrine porch, where the situation was merely moments from disaster.
Of course, to an outside observer the situation looked rather comical. There is a cute ghostly girl in a silly hat, holding a round ectoplasmic object in her hands, drawing it closer and closer to her open mouth. There is another pale girl, her dress dirty with earth, running towards her, frantically waving her arms and screaming.
Of course, it was a completely serious and hopeless situation, the one that would tear your very soul if you really understood what was going on at that cathartic moment… except not.
It was really as silly as it looked like.
Youmu, thanks to her rigorous and grueling physical training, made it just in time. She grabbed the globular ghost and started to pull it away. For a moment, the two girls struggled.
Then, Yuyuko let go and Youmu fell back, tumbling flawlessly and protecting the round ghost with her body. Quickly examining it and ensuring that no, there were indeed no bite marks on it, she stood up and gave Yuyuko a glare that could melt rocks.
"What did I do?" Yuyuko innocently asked.
"Don't give me that look, lady Saigyouji, it is not going to work," Youmu said in a tone of voice a supreme court sentences a criminal to a death penalty.
"But I was hungwyyyy!"
"Fourth time!" Youmu snapped. "It's the fourth time this month! Fourth! Time!"
"Lady Saigyouji, I have a list. I even have it right now on my person. Please, read it."
Tucking her ghost half under her arm, Youmu reached into her breast pocket and produced a neatly folded sheet of paper, which she passed to Yuyuko.
"Oh, do I really have—" she stumbled on Youmu's look and cleared her throat. "Right."
She unfolded the sheet and started reading.
"The log of activities of lady Yuyuko of a time period, yadda, yadda, yadda. Do I really have to?"
"Yes. It is on the bottom of the list."
"Hmm… right here it is. Ahem. Over the course of the month lady Saigyouji unsuccessfully tried to eat the following inedible things: shishi-odoshi: one time, bark from a peach tree: one time, poison frogs from the pond: one time, pond reeds: one time, the poltergeist keyboard of Lyrica Prismriver: two times, the poltergeist keyboardist Lyrica Prismriver: two times, Youmu Konpaku's ghost half: three… well, make that four, I guess. Hahaha…"
Yuyuko's nervous laugh spread around the garden and died out. Youmu let go of the round ghost but was still hiding behind her, trembling slightly.
"Lady Yuyuko, you have to admit this isn't right. It is time to admit you have a prob…"
"I don't have any problems!" Yuyuko panicked. "And I never had! I am absolutely, perfectly fine! It's… it's… it's the moon! Yes, the Moon! It is affecting me, it is affecting all of us! Tell me, Youmu, don't you feel strange lately?"
"Lady Yuyuko, blaming your problems on the moon isn't going to…"
They are everywhere.
They are watching.
They are right behind you.
They are brushing against your ankle.
Youmu's words stuck in her throat, choking her. She tried to look down, but she could not. They were there, she knew. Right at that very moment.
"Hey, what's the matter? Is everything fine?"
"N…no need for concern, lady Yuyuko," she stammered, backing away, still not daring to look down. She took off into the air, gulped and regained control over her breathing. "Hey, it's a great night out today, shall we go for a little adventure? Punish the villains who tainted the paradise moon?"
Her smile could almost pass for a genuine one, but it was not, and Yuyuko noticed that. She didn't say anything though, silently taking off into the air after her, and she had a reason for that.
Yuyuko was still deathly, unbelievably hungry, and no normal food could satiate that, oh no, she needed something else, something entirely different, something that would squirm and scream as it was being devoured, something alive.
And the villains would provide perfectly for that.
Because seriously, who ever cares about the bad guys?
To say that this endless unnatural night was beautiful would be a terrible fat lie, because frankly, it wasn't. The moon was putrid, most of the vegetation without daily influx of natural sunlight withered away, and leaves of more stoic plants became dull and flabby.
But for some creatures the night was a blessing, not a curse. For example for fireflies, tiny bugs that propagate their species when it is dark. And oh boy, did they propagate.
They were everywhere, buzzing, blinking, crawling on plants and ground, their lights creating a weird colorful mist. Any poetic and sensitive person would find it majestically beautiful.
And any person who ever had an experience of flying at decent speed into a cloud of bugs headfirst would find it extremely annoying.
Youmu tried her hardest to push these thoughts away. It was an exercise, a test of her abilities both as a logical, level-headed person and a master swordfighter. If a firefly was unfortunate enough to be on a collision course with her, it was instantly and mercilessly sliced in half by her short sword. She never missed, she could not allow herself to miss, but sometimes bits of bugs got on her clothes. And skin. And hair.
She could just hope her mistress was all right.
"Wohooo! Look at me, look at me! I'm a whale!" Yuyuko shouted, and Youmu turned to her.
It was surreal. The ghost princess was flying with her head craned back and her mouth so wide open, it went right over the "unnatural" and "creepy" territories into "absolutely horrifying". Her throat looked like a blazing furnace, dozens, no, hundreds of fireflies burning in ghostly fire.
Transfixed, Youmu missed a bug that rather painfully collided with her face. She shook her head and looked at Yuyuko again.
And sure enough, she was completely normal again, smiling softly and looking as innocent as ever. Was she trying to drive her insane on purpose?
"Lady Yuyuko, what's a whale?" Youmu found the courage to ask. Yuyuko chuckled.
"Before your time girl, before your time. Ah, four centuries have passed, and I still remember that day like it was yesterday. On that very day, Yukarin opened a veeery large gap through which a giant creature fell. And then, when it hit the ground LOOK OUT DANMAKU!"
Youmu instincts acted way before she comprehended and analyzed the statement. The instant Yuyuko shouted and dodged left, she dodged right, drawing her blades with supersonic speed.
She had made a mistake. She let her guard down, and allowed her mistress to be attacked. It was unforgivable, but the guilt would have to wait. Right now, she would have to face their terrible enemy.
She glanced over the battlefield, and saw their deadly terrifying opponent.
It was a tiny firefly fairy, probably the weakest she has ever seen in her life. It had only one energy familiar seal, incorrectly drawn and misshapen, and even on it the poor thing had an extremely hard time concentrating.
The life-threatening danmaku it released consisted of a single and very slowly moving energy orb.
"D'aww, isn't it cute," Yuyuko cooed, floating closer to the fairy. "Barely sentient, and the first thing they learn is how to create deadly projectiles. I am so happy we live in such a peaceful and happy world!"
She reached out to the fairy and the tiny creature squeaked in terror, recoiling back and concentrating on the seal, a small streak of multicolored blood running down from her nose.
In a flash, Youmu was in front of the fairy, finishing her lighting move with a well-placed sword slice. The seal and the little fairy exploded in a tiny shower of quickly fading sparks. Youmu turned to Yuyuko.
"My lady, you shouldn't endanger yourself this much."
"Oh, you worry too much, those are just fireflies. What's the worst they could they possibly do?"
As far as tempting fate goes, this was a pretty decent attempt on Yuyuko's part, as the wide spread of slow-moving orbs from nearby bushes immediately proved. The ghost princess lazily dodged, while Youmu rushed in to deal with unseen assailants.
It went like that for a while, Youmu dashing around, cutting fairy fireflies and their pathetic familiars and Yuyuko floating in the middle of a clearing, looking and feeling extremely bored.
After that, the battle shifted deeper into the forest and Yuyuko had to move.
"Hey, Youmu! Youmu! Don't leave me here, we are supposed to be on a quest together! Youmu!"
She caught up with her on another small clearing. The ground was covered in pixie dust and surrounding trees bore signs of an intense battle.
Youmu was slightly out of breath, her blades dripping with sparkling liquid. She was obviously fired up and ready for more.
"Hey, evildoers! Stop hiding and come out! Taste the bitter steel of my youkai-forged mystic blades! I will slice you all up!"
Her battle cry didn't do unheard. From atop of a nearby tree, a full-grown fairy descended. Her green hair and antennas, combined with a cape shaped like bug carapace definitely identified her as a firefly boss. Well, that and her attitude.
"Who the hell do you think you are, barging into my forest, killing my friends and calling me an evildoer? You are the real villains here!"
Yuyuko gasped, a look of shocked disbelief on her face. Youmu immediately turned to her.
"Lady Yuyuko, what's wrong?" Youmu's concern was almost palpable.
"That's… that's…" Yuyuko was clearly still in shock and had great difficulty finding words.
"What? What is it?"
"That's… holy gods of Gensokyo, that's the largest bug I've ever seen in my life! I mean, just look at the size of that thing, it's almost half a human height, holy hell!"
"I am not a thing!" the fairy cried out. "I have a name, it is Wriggle Nightbug, and you'd better recognize it, filthy ghosts!"
"Ghosts? Ghosts? How dare you degrade us so? I am Youmu Konpaku, half-ghostly gardener of Hakugyokurou shrine and this is lady Yuyuko Saigyouji, the princess of Netherworld! Now tell us what you have done with the moon!"
"Moon? I didn't do anything to the moon," Wriggle said, and seemed to throw Youmu off a little.
"No? Really? Well… yes, I know! You've been building your personal firefly army to take over Gensokyo, villain!"
An expression of Wriggle turned to a mix of confusion and anger. "An army? No, I was just hanging out with my friends, lighting the night! Until you barged in and killed everyone!"
Youmu was taken aback again, but refused to give in. "Well, then you wanted to worm your way into society in some other way! Or just gather power and proclaim yourself a new god! Or… or..."
She started trembling, and Yuyuko floated to her, putting an arm on her shoulder.
"Shh, it's okay. It is just an ugly bug youkai. Slash it."
Yuyuko locked her gaze with Wriggle, and in her eyes, the little fairy saw such hunger she almost screamed, backing off to a tree.
"This is going to be easy," Yuyuko said, licking her lips, and gave Youmu a sign to attack.
"No! NO! It will not end like this! You may have killed everyone, but I'm not going down without a fight! Lamp Sign: Firefly Phenomenon!"
Now that was a proper spell card, with all attributes a proper spell card should have. Four bright familiars appeared around Wriggle, spraying out elongated danmaku and protecting the fairy from all sides. A spray of energy orbs gushed out in the general direction of the ghost team.
Of course, having all the attributes does not automatically make the spell card hard, or even challenging. In fact, this one was so easy that Yuyuko hovered near some of the orbs on purpose, as they gave off very nice glow and warmth.
With a double slice of Youmu's blades the last familiar shattered. The half-ghost moved in for the kill, but Wriggle made a desperate dodge, losing an antenna and a part of her cape. She stabilized herself and extended both of her arms.
"Wriggle Sign: Little Bug!"
"Aw, it named a spell card after its own name, how cute," Yuyuko said with the same creepy cooing voice as before.
"Stop referring to me as "it", you filthy ghost!"
Her spell card meanwhile unfolded, a widening spiral of bug eggs that instantly hatched, turning into blazing larvae projectiles.
"Well, now this is just gross and inappropriate. Youmu, finish this farce."
"As you wish, my lady. Human Sign: Slash of the Present."
Youmu's movement was impossible to see. One moment, she was on one side of the battlefield, busily dodging danmaku, and next moment she was already behind Wriggle, sheathing her blades in one fluid motion, undoubtedly practiced by endless hours of training.
Yes, correct and aesthetic sheathing of blades was the hardest part to master in this move.
Wriggle's spell card stopped, and she did too, not really understanding what has just happened. There was a funny feeling in her gut and she looked down, where two very thin glowing horizontal lines crossed her stomach, chest and both arms.
Then, she looked up and noticed Yuyuko, who was floating closer, smiling softly.
"Hey, we are not done yet! The battle is not-"
Wriggle Nightbug exploded.
It was a colourful, bright and sparkling explosion, full of dazzling colors and spinning patterns of fairy dust. It was also a spray of bright-yellow and very viscous liquid, a fountain Youmu quite wisely chose to dodge.
Yuyuko did not. The liquid covered her head to toe, sizzling and evaporating from her ghost form. She dipped a finger in it and cautiously licked it.
"Hey, Youmu, believe it or not, it tastes exactly like apple pie filling! Come on and try it!"
Her offer was silently declined and Yuyuko shrugged, scooping a handful of evaporating liquid and putting it in her mouth. Youmu averted her eyes.
"My lady, we still have to restore the moon, so please, make haste."
"Mmm-hmm," Yuyuko agreed with full mouth and pointed randomly into the forest. "Let'f go thif way."
Yuyuko gulped down before answering. "Because we are heroes chosen by fate, so no matter where we go it will guide us or something. Also, if I remember correctly, that way is a human village where we can ask the deathly terrified peasants for directions."
"Then please, lady, lead the way, I don't want you to fall behind again."
"It's perfectly fine by me," Yuyuko agreed and examined her dress, from which last traces of what was formerly known as Wriggle Nightbug evaporated. "Nothing lasts forever," she muttered.
"Lady Yuyuko, did you say something?" Youmu asked, falling close behind her.
"No, nothing, just talking to myself. Now, let's continue our great adventure!"
And so they did, to great misfortune for everyone whom they would meet on their way.