All characters and events in this story are entirely fictional and any possible similarities between them and real people and events are purely coincidental and not intentional.
The same goes for any similarities between the story's original characters and the original characters in any other work of Touhou Project fanfiction.
This story is based on the Touhou series, and all its canon characters, locations and events are a property of Team Shanghai Alice, ergo ZUN. For the full list of these characters, locations, events, etc., please visit touhouwiki dot net.
Greetings, any potential readers! This is Fonzi the Survivalist, presenting my very first written work of fiction. Before you decide to read it, however, it would be only fair to tell you what to expect from it before you waste a few days of your time reading something you won't even like.
This story will feature OC's. Lots of them. If you strongly dislike any and all non-canon characters, you should probably turn away.
As for the genre of the story, a slice-of-life adventure would probably fit it the best. There's a little bit of almost every genre in the mix, but the two aforementioned genres are the most prominent. If you are looking for an action-packed, fast-paced story, this fanfic will probably disappoint you. That is not to say that there is no action or fighting present in it. However, it's not all this story has to offer.
What I attempt in this story is a realistic depiction of life in Gensokyo from an outsider's perspective. Yes, I know, this concept has been overdone to death, but I took it as a sort of personal challenge to prove that I can still introduce something original and unique into this clichéd concept. At the same time the story will focus on the lives of Touhou's heroines and other characters as they live their lives in the times of peace as well as times of conflict.
Arm yourselves with patience and lots of snacks, dear readers, for this story is going to be LONG. If you prefer one-shots, run. Run far away, before this monstrosity consumes you.
Now, whether or not I managed to introduce new elements into the established Touhou universe without breaking the canon, I'll leave up to your judgement. Fanon elements will also be present, although not dominant. Should you notice any canon-breaking flaws, hesitate not to point them out for me. I am after all, still only learning…
As you also might have noticed, I do not come from an English-speaking country and English is not my first language. That, however, gives me no right or excuse to spam this site with unreadable pieces of trash, riddled with spelling, as well as grammatical errors. While I'm always trying my best to avoid them, I'm still only a human.
I shall wholeheartedly accept your criticism, as long as it will remain on constructive level.
Well, I guess that's all I wanted to say, folks. Now comes the story itself. Please enjoy…
Ever since the creation of the Great Hakurei Border around the land of Gensokyo, there have been records of people being spirited away from the outside world. While many keep wondering why does this phenomenon keep occurring despite the presence of a multi-layer magical barrier, there have been many theories and hypotheses made on this matter by Gensokyo's native inhabitants. But regardless of the reason, this phenomenon is almost as natural part of Gensokyo's existence, just as magic, or the youkai.
Outsiders rarely have it easy there, and many attempt to find their way back to the outside world immediately after their spiriting away.
There are, however, exceptions and some of these individuals decide to settle there permanently.
But what happens when there's simply too many of them appearing at once? And what happens when Gensokyo's keeper of order and balance has to deal with two incidents simultaneously?
Perhaps something like this…
Chapter 1 – A Rude Awakening
The light of the morning sun gently fell upon the hills, the trees, through the windows of the houses to announce the start of a new day. A calm breeze playfully swayed the leaves on a line of sakura trees making them rustle. A birds' singing could be heard in the distance. A few brief moments of perfect tranquility before the hustle and bustle of everyday life started all over again.
It is in this very short moment in the morning, when people are dreaming. For a few seconds, a person's eyes start moving rapidly, as if trying to replay the happenings of a lifetime flowing through one's mind in a single moment.
Some say that the dreams are merely scattered bits of information from one's previous experiences put together in a seemingly logical or downright illogical way by our sleeping brain. Some dreams, on the other hand, contain scenes of events, locations and people we have never seen, heard of, or read about and yet, they all seem somehow awfully familiar. Are they premonitions from the future? Visions of the afterlife? Flashbacks from the previous life? Images of some parallel worlds? Visualizations of our deepest desires, or simply, just some random scenes produced by our subconscious imagination?
They may be all of these things and they may be nothing… Who knows?
But no matter what dreams we have, be they pleasant or disturbing, memorable or forgettable, fantastic or boring; they all become meaningless once you hear THAT sound…
"Aaaaw, damn it! Just let me sleep for a little longer… please." muttered the young man, still half asleep as he hit the button on his digital alarm clock to stop the annoying sounds.
Content that the machine stopped making that infernal racket, he lay back on the pillow adjusting his head position to make himself more comfortable.
Knowing that he shouldn't fall asleep again, he at least tried to recall what sort of dream he had just a few seconds ago.
It was one of those flying dreams, where he either floated around idly, enjoying the beauty of the vast landscape around him, or he dashed through the sky at incredible speed with no particular destination in mind. It was a feeling of endless freedom and excitement. These were his most favorite type of dreams, rivaled only perhaps by his occasional perverted ones.
He was just trying to recall where his most recent dream took place, when all of a sudden…
"Now you too?" angrily asked the young man, this time addressing the words to his cell phone, which was the new source of noise, as it was now ringing and slowly moving towards the edge of the night table due to its vibration mode.
"Yeah?" asked the youth, halfway yawning as he picked up his phone.
"Good morning, Kyou-chan," started the familiar female voice from the phone, "just calling so that you wouldn't oversleep again."
"Don't sweat it, mom, I had set an alarm clock." replied the early caller's son. "Besides, you never called when I actually did oversleep. So, what is it about this time?"
"Gee, you don't have to be so wrought-up, first thing in the morning." stated the mother. "Ok, Kyouichi, listen. Today I'm leaving on that business trip to Osaka that I told you about earlier."
"Oh, so that was today?" asked Kyouichi, a little surprised that he had almost forgotten about it.
"Yes, I'll be gone for a whole week, so I left you some money to cover your possible expenses on the "usual place"." said Kyouichi's mom with a hint of sadness in her voice.
The young man sighed into the phone's microphone. "All right. I'll manage somehow… .And you try coming back in one piece too."
"My son is worried about me? Awww, how nice… Don't worry, Kyou-chan, I'll be fine. Besides, it's not the first time I'm leaving you to fend for yourself. You need to learn to be self-sufficient." Kyouichi's mom paused herself for a bit. "I'll bring you something nice from Osaka when I come back."
Kyouichi smiled. "I will do my best, then… See you in a week, mom. Take care."
"You too. Bye for now."
Kyouichi put his cell phone back on the night table standing next to his bed. He was just sitting there on his bed motionlessly for about 30 seconds, trying to gather enough willpower to get up and get ready for another day.
"Ok, on your feet, soldier!" he commanded himself. "Enough laying around! Time to get ready for another…..*yaaaawn*..day."
Wiping his sleepy eyes, he proceeded to the bathroom in his small apartment. After using the toilet, washing his hands and his face, he looked at himself in a mirror hanging above the washing basin. In its reflection stood a young, 186 cm tall man. His skin complexion was somewhat pale for a Japanese, as he never used to spend too much of his time outside. His stature was average – not too skinny, nor too muscular. His eyes were a mixture of gray and green. His dark-brown, shoulder-length hair now needed some serious combing. When he was done, he walked back into the bedroom, where he took his glasses from the night table, put them on and went to the kitchen. He poured some water into a kettle, put it on the stove and lit the gas. He took some sweet pastries he found in the bread box and started eating. As he was about to start eating his second sweet bun, he recalled this morning's phone call. He stood up and walked up to one of the wall lamps in the far corner of the kitchen. It was that lamp which had no light bulb in it. Kyouichi deftly unscrewed the lid made of milky-white glass to reveal its content. Just as his mom said, there was some money left inside.
"20 000 yen, eh?" whispered Kyouichi when he was done counting the money. "That's more than enough for one week."
He decided to take 3 000 yen for today, put the rest back into the lid and screwed it back onto the lamp. He then put on his casual blue jeans and a black t-shirt. The water in the kettle was already boiling, so he turned the stove off and poured the boiling water into a porcelain cup with a small motif of a landscape and a rising sun on it. He then put a tea bag with black tea into the cup along with some sugar and stirred it for a while.
The clock in the kitchen was showing 7 : 21. Knowing that he didn't have much time left before his first lecture starts, he quickly gobbled the remaining 2 sweet buns and sipped his hot tea as fast as he could. As soon as he was done eating, he dashed into the bathroom to brush his teeth.
"I should really get going now." thought Kyouichi as he put down his toothbrush and grinned at the mirror to make sure his teeth were all snowy-white now.
In less than one minute he put his cell phone, his money and his keys in the pocket, grabbed his handbag with notebooks and pens, put on his dark gray sneakers, left his apartment and locked the door.
He could be really fast when put under pressure of time.
Running down the street on the outskirts of Tokyo, Kyouichi made his way to the bus stop, where he would wait every morning for a bus to take him to the college on weekdays, or to the warehouses where he worked part-time on weekends.
A few minutes later, a bus showed up and stopped. Its doors opened and several people, Kyouichi included, entered the vehicle.
The bus was half-empty, so Kyouichi took a seat on the right side next to a window.
The weather was pleasant today, as there were just a few clouds in the morning sky, and the strong wind from yesterday was now replaced by a gentle breeze. Spring was almost over, but the weather during the most of the days in May would suggest that it just started recently.
Kyouichi just quietly stared outside the window as the bus was passing through streets with gradually taller buildings, denser traffic and larger crowds of people.
In some 20 minutes the bus reached its destination. The young student got off and continued a few hundred meters on foot through a park with rows of sakura trees lined along both sides of the path. There were playgrounds, food stalls and a big fountain in the center of that park.
At the end of the path, Kyouichi turned left, passed through an opened gate of the university campus and marched on towards the tall white building with hundreds of windows.
Not willing to wait for some stupid elevator, Kyouichi quickly took the stairs up until he reached the 3rd floor of the building.
He followed the corridor, still full of students making their way to their respective lecture rooms. Among all those students, he caught a glimpse of a familiar person.
"Yo, Akane." said Kyouichi as he greeted a girl with long dark hair in a pony tail. "Ready to enjoy another fascinatingly boring history lecture?"
"Oh, good morning, Kyou-kun." said the girl, obviously still not fully woken up. "If my last semester's history grades were not so terrible, I would have surely taken a day off today."
"Heh, well, mornings aren't exactly my favorite time of the day either." he replied, feeling compassion for his tired classmate.
They both entered a medium sized classroom with about 30 seats. Akane took her usual seat in the second row near the window, and Kyouichi, who was trying to avoid as much attention and responsibility as possible, made himself at home at one of the desks in the last row.
There were usually about 15 people attending this history lecture, so there were always plenty of vacant seats.
Kyouichi shortened his time until the professor's arrival by idle chit-chat with his other classmates, occupying the backmost seats of the classroom.
The chatter was interrupted as the classroom door opened and the professor, a shorter, young looking man, still in his 40's entered.
All the students were on their feet. "Good morning, students." the professor greeted the class with his ever cheerful tone.
"Good morning, Tatsuhita-sensei." echoed a unanimous greeting of the students as they bowed to the professor.
"Man... One thing that hasn't changed since grade school." thought the young student of anthropology as he recalled the same style of greeting ever since he started attending school.
The usual long and not exactly exciting history lecture started. Kyouichi had a really hard time trying to concentrate on the professor's words. It seemed that everything he heard simply leaked right out of his head. Instead of taking down notes of important dates of important events, he just stared outside the window and played with his hair. He closed his eyes and rested his head on the wooden desk, wishing that the lecture would end soon. As usual, he started daydreaming about flying. He imagined himself as he was lying on a cloud, just drifting wherever the wind would take him. It was a very relaxing feeling, and before he knew it, Kyouichi's daydreaming turned into real dreaming.
"..i...aru….n?"…."….maru...an!"…."Ishimaru-san!" called a man's voice somewhere in the distance.
"Whoa! What?" panicked Kyouichi as he was shaken from his nap. On his shoulder he could feel a tight grip of Tatsuhita-sensei's hand. The whole classroom burst into laughter.
"Is that desk comfortable?" asked Tatsuhita-sensei with a raised eyebrow, but still in his usual friendly voice.
"Yeah, just a bit too hard for my taste." replied Kyouichi, as he straightened up in his seat.
Again, the students started laughing.
"Well, I just think you should be more responsible, Ishimaru-san. Otherwise you will find the end-term exams even harder than this desk." remarked the professor, letting go of Kyouichi's shoulder and knocking on the desk for emphasis.
"This isn't grade school anymore." continued the lecturer. "You are a 20 year old young man and as such, you can't be always relying on the help of other people." he referred to Kyouichi's habit of copying notes from his fellow students. A common practice among university students, but still frowned upon by some teachers.
"I'm 22, not 20." Kyouichi corrected his teacher.
"In that case, you are two years past due to learn some independence and responsibility."
Kyouichi opened his mouth as he wanted to say something for his defense, but he remained silent, because he knew, although he hated to admit it, that Tatsuhita was right.
He was always lazy and carefree, relying on the help of others, trying to achieve the maximum with minimum effort and acting only when there was almost no time left to act.
And ever since he moved to Tokyo after his parents divorced, he became even less caring.
He stopped doing sports, lost contact with his old friends and basically didn't have a life save his school and the part-time job.
As the lecture ended and Kyouichi moved to a different classroom, this time on the 1st floor, he was contemplating about how he should change his way of life in order to find things which his current life lacked. Friends, motivation, self-confidence, a meaningful job, love, a reason to get up in the morning… In one word: happiness.
The rest of the day went on without any embarrassing incidents happening to Kyouichi.
"Finally, it's over." he sighed and within 5 seconds, all his things were packed up and he was ready to go home.
The sky turned from blue to orange, as it was already past 5 p.m. As Kyouichi was leaving the halls of the building, he encountered one of his few friends from another faculty. He was a bit shorter than Kyouichi, with short black hair. He was wearing a white shirt and black pants.
"Oi, Kyouichi!" shouted the young male student standing in the hallway. "Are all of your today's lectures over?"
Kyouichi nodded both to greet his friend and to answer his question. "Say, what are you still doing here? Waiting for your girlfriend?"
"I wish…" said Kyouichi's friend. "I'm waiting for my brother to come pick me up by car."
"Well, well, someone is living in luxury." stated slightly surprised Kyouichi.
"Actually, he called me that there has been some major traffic accident just a few blocks from here, so all the bus lines will be delayed until all that mess is cleaned up."
"…you serious?" asked Kyouichi, apparently in disbelief to his friend's words.
"Look for yourself if you don't believe me. Anyway, if you don't want to wait until the road gets cleared, you can always just take the subway."
"Yeah… Although I would be taking quite a detour." mumbled Kyouichi to himself.
"Well, I'm just trying to help…" shrugged the young male.
"Ok, you convinced me. Subway it is." said Kyouichi after a while of thinking. "Thanks, Hideo."
"You're welcome." said Hideo. They both said their farewell and Kyouichi walked out of the school building. He passed the courtyard, then the park, but instead of waiting at the bus stop, he continued several hundred meters onward, until he came to a subway entrance.
Despite living in Tokyo for nearly 5 years, he took the subway only a few times, because the nearest station to his home was still over 2 km away. However, today was an exception.
Before he entered the underground he could see, 2 ambulances with their sirens on passing by and turning to an adjacent street, where his usual outbound bus line would go through.
"I guess things like that really do happen in real life too…" thought Kyouichi as he walked downstairs.
He checked the time and bought a ticket. Then he proceeded through a turnstile and again downstairs to the designated platform. He didn't have to wait for too long, because the train was just arriving at the station. He got onboard and marked his ticket. Then he just found a nice quiet place to sit down. Since there was nothing to look at through the window, he just closed his eyes and listened to the sound of the moving train. He knew that it would take at least 30 minutes before the train arrives to Kyouichi's destination.
"What a hassle." he whispered at the thought that he would still have to walk over 2 kilometers from the station, then do some shopping, go home and make some dinner.
With his eyes closed and lulled by the train's rocking, Kyouichi, for the second time today, fell asleep.
He was flying above an ocean at a very high speed. In the distance he could see a huge island with a very tall mountain. The sky was black with storm clouds and crisscrossed with lightning bolts every few seconds. The wind was fierce, turning raindrops into merciless water needles. The waves were as tall as houses, but Kyouichi knew that he absolutely had to reach that island at all costs. He lowered his head and tried to fly even faster. The island was getting ever closer. Just a last few kilometers, just last hundreds of meters, just….
When he had almost reached the island he felt being swept by a gigantic wave which caught him from behind and violently smashed Kyouichi against the shore with devastating force… But Kyouichi could still hear… screams?
"What the...?! An earthquake?!" Kyouichi opened his eyes in shock, only to see complete darkness. People's screams were coming from every side as the whole train car was shaking violently. Sounds of heavy hits and breaking glass could be heard for over 10 seconds.
Kyouichi on the verge of having a heart attack just curled up and covered his head. It was the only thing he could do as he waited for this horror to end.
When all became quiet, Kyouichi checked if he wasn't injured. He did receive quite a few hits from unknown objects during that madness.
"I'm still ok. Thank God!"
He instinctively reached inside his left pocket and took out his cell phone to use it as a flashlight. A weak light faintly illuminated the interior of a completely wrecked train car. Of course, the phone had no signal, so it could only serve as a light source now. There was broken glass everywhere, some seats were torn out and the back section of the car was completely smashed and dented in.
Kyouichi gasped loudly in shock. If he was sitting back there, he would have been dead by now. His heart was still pounding like mad and his legs were shaking from the shocking experience, when he noticed something very strange… He was alone…
He could have sworn that there were at least 10 people in that car when he got on.
"Where the hell is everybody?"
He would have sworn that he heard people screaming right next to him and then, in less than 30 seconds everyone was gone.
"They couldn't have fallen out of the windows…" he tried to come up with a reasonable explanation for everyone's sudden disappearance.
Indeed, they couldn't have… The subway tunnel was completely collapsed, leaving no open space for people to fall off.
"Hello~! Is anybody here~?" called Kyouichi from the top of his lungs.
No response came.
Wondering what the hell could have happened, Kyouichi slowly walked to the front of the demolished car. He tried to look into the next car through the small window on the door, but he could see nothing.
"Hello~!" he tried his luck again, and again to no avail.
He took a few steps back and tried to force-open the door.
*kick* the door didn't budge.
*kick* the door still didn't budge.
"Open….up…..you…..goddamn….door!" yelled Kyouichi as he went berserk on the car door. But the door still resisted the onslaught.
"Fine. Fine!" he looked around the broken car and took a metal bar he found on the floor.
"If you're not gonna open that way, I'm gonna pry you open!"
He jammed the metal bar in a small gap between the door and the hinge and pulled it with all his might.
A series of cracking sounds echoed inside the metro car as he pulled, concluded by a loud slam.
The door finally succumbed to the force of leverage and was now wide open. To Kyouichi's great surprise, the second car was also empty.
"This isn't funny anymore."
He could see pretty much the same scenery as in the previous car: smashed windows, torn off seats and rocks which forced their way in through the windows.
"What kind of day is this?" complained Kyouichi. "First some brutal mass traffic accident and now an earthquake!"
But what bothered him the most were the missing passengers. He was alone on a subway train buried deep under ground with no idea of his exact location and no way of calling for help.
"I'm gonna die here." is what he thought as he slowly walked to the door leading to another car further in front. This time he was luckier, because the door wasn't seriously damaged and could be opened with ease. What he saw in the third car, however, nearly made him drop his cell phone.
Kyouichi couldn't hide his happiness when he saw it. It was faint and still very far, but it was there. Whatever the source was, he was determined that he would reach it or die trying. He dashed through the car, and then through another, and then he saw it clearly. It was daylight without a doubt. He knew that it was impossible, because he was in the underground, but that didn't bother him at the moment. He saw hope that he could get out of that train and he ignored all his skeptic thoughts. Full of excitement, he opened the door to the last car and he saw that the front half of that car was completely torn off and missing. But even more noteworthy was the fact, that this car was not inside a tunnel, but outside on a small meadow.
Kyouichi covered his eyes, which were blinded by the sudden exposure to the bright light.
After a while his eyes adjusted to the new environment and Kyouichi took a long, long look around. He witnessed one of the most bizarre things in his life: the train was jutting out from a tiny hill as if it was just leaving a tunnel, but this was no tunnel. There were no railroad tracks coming from that "tunnel". Also the hill was too small for it to contain such a long train. It just didn't make any sense. Now focusing his attention on the landscape, Kyouichi had absolutely no idea of his whereabouts. There was nothing in sight but hills and forests.
As he looked behind, he saw a huge mountain in the distance.
"Just like in that dream…" he thought.
He looked at his trusty cell phone to see if there was any signal, but the bar next to the antenna icon was hopelessly empty.
Although he had no idea what happened, he knew that he couldn't stay here. The sun was about to set. He had to choose some direction and keep moving until he finds some city, village or just anyone who could help.
Since the distant mountain was the only distinctive landmark in sight, he decided to walk towards it.
"Maybe there's some mountain resort there." he thought to himself, trying to remain optimistic.
He walked to the end of the meadow and entered a forest.