I've wanted to write this fanfic for so long! The only problem was that I could never figure out quite how to do it, and then I told Azure Xuchilbara about my planning out of this current incarnation of the story, and he gave me a few ideas that got my creative juices flowing. So, many thanks to you, Azure, and for once, Team Nineball has no influence in this fanfic. Well…maybe Cirno will get what's been coming to her later on, but that's about the extent of it.
On to the story!
Spring in Gensokyo. This, along with summer, was one of the best seasons for an incident. However, this incident would not be the work of some bored or otherwise trouble-causing youkai. Instead, it would be something altogether…different.
Sanae was doing nothing out of the ordinary; sweeping the grounds of the shrine. As relaxed as Sanae was about most things, she felt that the grounds of the shrine were her responsibility, and she always made more than a bit of an effort to see to it that those grounds were always the best they could be. Even if most others insisted that it was fine as is, Sanae would always find something that needed fixing or cleaning or something of the sort. In fact, the only two things that could even begin to compare to her compulsion to tend to the shrine grounds were her enthusiasm for youkai hunting and her faith to Kanako and Suwako. Then, out the corner of her eye, she could have sworn she saw something. She couldn't make out the shape of it, but as soon as her head turned to have a better look, it was gone…whatever it was.
"That's odd," she said to herself. No matter. The shrine grounds still need some work. So with that, Sanae got back to her sweeping. She was always up late like this, and she always woke up early to make sure that the shrine's grounds were still as good as they could be. Sometimes this small amount of sleep would catch up to her and she'd spend an entire day asleep, but that only happened once every few months, and since such a day was just yesterday, Sanae had plenty of energy to spend on the shrine. That also meant plenty of energy for hunting down any troublesome-looking youkai, but for some reason she felt more tired than she should have. One loud yawn told Sanae it was time for bed. This would be all the shrine work she was capable of tonight. Tomorrow was another day, and Suwako had told her that it would be a very special day…
The next morning…
"Nngh, ten more minutes."
"Suwako!" Kanako picked up her fellow goddess by the back of her shirt, and shook her violently. Why Suwako was such a lazy goddess was beyond Kanako. Perhaps because she didn't have to work hard to gather faith? "Wake up!" Then Kanako let go of the frog goddess, letting her hit the floor hard face-first.
"Ow!" Suwako leapt up to her feet on impact, covering her mouth and nose with her hands. "Kanako, that hurt! I think you might've broken my nose!"
"You'll live. We have a problem."
"Oh!" Suwako's hands left her face to grab her hat. Yep, Kanako had certainly broke Suwako's nose; the entire lower half of her face was covered in blood by now. "Just lemme fix my nose and we'll go search for her." Suwako placed her hat on her blonde head, now fully looking like herself save a broken nose. To fix that, she grabbed her nose with both hands, and snapped it back into place with a very grotesque snapping noise. "Alright. Are you ready to go?"
"Always." With that, Kanako near-literally stormed out the door of Suwako's room, through the shrine, and out the front door.
Suwako, on the other hand, seemed much calmer about all this. "She's finally there," Suwako said to herself. She couldn't help but smile at that; a much more sinister smile than usual. "Usually this happens to them a year or so younger, but Sanae's a good girl so I should expect her to be a late bloomer. I can only wonder where she is or what she's doing…wait, Kanako, come back!" Suwako had decided to at least explain the situation. After all, it was only polite to inform somebody of something when you root for the opposition…
"And you say you didn't see the culprit?"
"If I did, I'd have caught her by now! Why are you here anyway, Aya?" Reimu didn't seem pleased that the tengu reporter was here, questioning her about the destruction of her shrine. Normally, it was an explosion or an earthquake that demolished the shrine, but this time that didn't seem to be the case. Not only was her shrine destroyed, but everything inside it was gone, like somebody had stolen her stuff and then destroyed her shrine.
"There's been a crazy string of crimes like this in the last few hours. I've gotta say though, nobody got it as bad as you. Usually, the culprit just stole one item or destroyed just a bit of the building. Any ideas as to the culprit?"
"Not sure, but my gut says it's a youkai. One who specializes in destruction and theft…or a witch!" And like that, off Reimu flew, straight toward the Forest of Magic with the intention of paying Marisa Kirisame a not-so-friendly visit.
"This I've gotta see," Aya shouted to Reimu as the tengu took off and followed suit.
Then, from behind the bushes just off the shrine grounds, a green-haired miko stuck her head up. "Got her," she said. Sanae had been very busy since she woke up a few hours ago. After all, wiping out the competition was far from easy. Anybody that could stop her had been slowed down. The Hakurei Shrine was completely looted and leveled, and all that loot belonged to Sanae now. Sanae was just as much a goddess as Suwako or Kanako, so why hadn't she been gathering faith herself after all this time? It was decided; Sanae needed to gather faith herself…
"All of them," Kanako asked. "All of these girls had ran away at one point?"
"Every single one." Suwako had unrolled a Moriya artifact if ever there was one; a massive scroll listing the names of every generation of shrine maidens that were descended from Suwako, starting with the daughter of the frog goddess herself and at the bottom, Sanae Kochiya. "Generally speaking, they come back after a few days; they just need a bit of time alone to meditate and contemplate whether they are faithful to their goddess or if they'd rather serve themselves."
"Well…what happened to the ones that decided to serve themselves?"
"That hasn't happened in…oh, I'd say a thousand years or so. But in those rare events, I've only been able to stop them with death."
"D-D…Death? You can't kill Sanae!"
"She is your miko, and you view her as practically a daughter, and I respect that. But, above all, she's my descendant, so if I feel that she has to be put down, I'm not going to hesitate. She's a good girl, though; she should be fine. Just expect a few days of chaos."
"What kind of chaos?"
"Have you ever wondered why I fused the shrine's roof with the rest of the building?"
"I thought it was to ward off an aerial assault. Much like the one that I didn't succeed in back in the war."
"Close, but no. I got tired of putting it back in place every twenty-some years. It'd get blown halfway across the world, then I'd have to go find it and stick it back on, only for it to get blown off again sometime."
"So…a tornado or a hurricane?"
"In the human world, yes. But, considering this is Gensokyo, a world where magic is the greatest power, I'd say we're leaning more towards a potential apocalypse than some silly twister."
"What should we do?"
"We wait and see what Sanae does next." Suwako could've sworn that Kanako wasn't a goddess if she didn't know better at that point in time. The sky goddess was pacing back and forth across the shrine faster than most humans ran, looking like an absolute train wreck of nerves. "Relax! I'm sure everything will be just fine, and before long the Moriya Shrine will be just like it was before." Suwako looked at the big scroll with the countless names. "Do you remember Sanae's mother?"
"Yes, Kira Kochiya. Ran off when she was about Sanae's age…oh. I see. And her mother as well?"
"Yep, and her mother before her as well as her mother too, going all the way back to my own daughter. Ah, I miss that girl sometimes; we had such wonderful fun together." Suwako missed the old days. Daily sacrifices, her worshippers anointing themselves in the blood of said sacrifices, releasing deadly curses to anybody who didn't worship her…it was fun. And then, of course, Kanako came down, wiped out Suwako's army, and after a long and grueling battle, the frog goddess was forced to relinquish her shrine over to Kanako. At first, Suwako's hostilities had remained, and several times she'd made attempts on Kanako's life in the Moriya Shrine itself, but at some point Suwako just woke up and…changed. She was infinitely cheerful and had that beaming smile across her face that was nearly as trademarked as her hat which Kanako got her as a gift to try and be friends. The hat…of course! "Oh, you're a very clever goddess, Kanako."
Suwako pointed to her hat, and said "You sealed it in here, didn't you? My old personality? That's also why the hat is indestructible, right?"
"I do now." From under Kanako's feet, thick vines shot out of the ground beneath the shrine and through the shrine's floor, wrapping tightly around Kanako's body. "How could you go behind my back like that? And here I thought we were friends."
"We became friends after I sealed away that old personality of yours."
"So, if, by some miracle, this hat were to cease to exist…"
"Try me. Those seals have been weakening; I started noticing it about a century after you defeated me. That's why I seem so crabby in the morning when I wake up, isn't it? Because my hat isn't on. Well, like I said…" Suwako took her hat off her head, putting her short blonde hair on full display. "Before long the Moriya Shrine will be just like it was before. I hope you can build a Yasaka Shrine somewhere; I'm taking my house back soon enough."
Sanae unrolled a piece of paper she'd found in her closet before she left. Attached to it was a note saying that it was a schematic for a building. Now that Sanae was looking at it…this was absolutely perfect. A shrine that had a feeling of a Gothic cathedral, and an evil temple as well. This looked like some kind of shrine right out of Sanae's nightmares…a building out of her nightmares? Yes…now that she looked, the building from her dreams was an exact replica of what was drawn out on the paper in front of her. In those nightmares, there had been a green-haired figure in a heavy black cloak. Would that be Sanae? In the nightmares, she'd been making sacrifices, anointing herself in blood, and even destroying entire towns. It was obvious now. Sanae was meant to be a goddess just as much as Suwako or Kanako, if not more.
And then, of course, at the top of the paper were two words. "Moriya Shrine," it said…
Meaning Kanako's shrine would become the Yasaka Shrine. This will be massive news on the Bunbunmaru, and Kanako is certain to freak out. Then again, perhaps Suwako is just trying to discourage her from attacking Sanae? Perhaps every Moriya descendant has tried to overthrow Kanako? I'm not gonna say how things will end, because I don't know myself, but if I were in complete control, Sanae would probably end up in a mental war like no other that would result in schizophrenia, severe bipolarism, and eventually a possible suicide. This will be considerably darker than my other works, maybe even a bit darker than Gensokyo's Nightmare. Then again, that has a sorta Nightmare on Elm Street feel on it, so maybe that's not the best example…I need to write some darker fanfics D:
Oh, right, all praise to the infinite glory and power of Suwako!
I-I mean, praise Sanae! All hail Sanae! Please don't kill me, Sanae!