Tokage sat in a chair, feverishly writing. The lights were dim, but that didn't matter to her. Her new book was almost done, and she would not rest until it was finished. So it's not so surprising that she didn't notice the strange light just outside her home…
The light shone brightly for a moment, but it quickly vanished, leaving behind what looked like a young boy, with brown hair and misty blue eyes. He seemed to be lying on the ground, but he quickly got up when he noticed how cold it was outside. He looked around for a minute, then pulled an odd watch-like device out of his pocket. He pushed a few buttons on it, and a holographic map showed up. He smiled. "Ah, so I'm in a version of Gensokyo, the one with Dawitsu in it. Well, at least I teleported to the right place. Now, I'm in the Forest of Magic, so whose house is this over here?"
He looked in the window, and saw the lizard youkai writing. "Ah, exactly the right place…" He knocked on the door, but the youkai inside didn't seem to notice. Irritated, he kicked the door, opening it with a loud crash and finally getting Tokage's attention. He smiled at her. "Excuse me, are you Tokage?"
Tokage nodded, looking terrified.
"Wha-what is it you want?"
"I wanted to talk with you about your writing." At the word 'writing', Tokages scared expression changed to glee.
"Oh, you wanted to tell me how great it was? I have some merchandise here if you want."
"No, that's not it. See, I was hoping to work with you as an editor."
"An editor? What would I need that for? Who are you, anyway?"
The boy blushed.
"Oh, I'm sorry! I didn't introduce myself… My name is Shimi, but you might know me better as Metroid Life. That's the name I used when I reviewed your fanfiction, The Forbidden Love of Yukari Yakumo. Do you remember me?" Tokage looked blank. "Come on, I was one of your reviewers from the outside world, you have to remember me!"
"Sorry, I don't, and I definitely don't need an editor."
"Is that so? Well, how many copies of that story did you sell?"
"I've sold thousands of copies!"
"Ok, but how many of them were by people who liked the book? Think about it, many copies did Meiling and Reisen buy? A few dozen at least, right?"
"Well, why would anyone buy more than one copy of the book? Can you tell me that?"
"Obviously, they bought all those copies to share with their friends, of course!"
Shimi laughed hysterically at this.
"Wow, you really don't ever read your reviews, do you? Everyone who reviewed said that the story was horrible, or at least hilarious in a awful way. Reisen, Aya, and Meiling said in their review of the last chapter that they were glad the story was over, because now they could buy a bunch of copies, and burn them!"
Tokage stared at him in disbelief.
"That's impossible! You're lying!"
"Oh really? Well, you must have the reviews somewhere, right? Lets see them." Tokage stormed over to a nearby drawer and pulled out a stack of paper.
"This is everything Momiji typed, ok? Reviews and all."
"Excellent, excellent. Now, lets see the reviews on the bottom of the first chapter." Tokage started reading her reviews for the first time, with Shimi reading over her shoulder. Tokage's eyes widened in shock.
"I-I didn't write Yukari as a human teenager! She's lying!"
"Did she really? Come now, when you really saw Dawitsu and Yukari together, did they act anything like you described? Moreover, if Yukari really was like you described, wouldn't she be embarrassed by this story? Blushing and stuff like that. But she wasn't. At best, I'd say she was irritated. Well, lets move on to the second chapter. Maybe that will be more convincing."
Tokage did so, looking completely determined that she would have glowing reviews, but Shimi figured that was just a brave face she was using to hide her dread. As they read through the reviews, Tokage was getting increasingly pale.
"Impossible, this is impossible! Dawitsu and Yukari hated my story? No, this can't be true!"
"Ah, that's where you're wrong, Tokage. You see, just about anything is possible, especially the things you don't want to be, like the death threat Ran wrote into this. So the phase your looking for isn't 'this can't be true'. No, I think the words you meant to say are, 'this won't be true.'" Confused, Tokage asked,
"What do you mean, won't be true?"
"Well, as I said, I was hoping to work with you as an editor. I understand you might not trust my own abilities as a writer, so here's my idea. We'll start with this story, and I'll edit it into something your reviewers would actually enjoy reading and not want to kill you over. It's our proof of concept. If it doesn't work and they still hate it, then I'll leave and never bother you again. But if it does work out, I get the job. Agreed?"
Tokage looked at him, then looked at the horrible reviews. She sighed dismally.
"O-ok. You can be my editor."
Shimi smiled triumphantly.
"Perfect. I suppose I'll get started now, Lady Tokage." He punctuated his sentence with a bow, then sat down in her chair. He was about to start writing, when he realized something. "Say, Tokage? This is one of those Alternate Universe stories, isn't it? You know, where it's similar to real life, but something is different?" Confused, Tokage said,
"Huh? Of course not!"
"I see… well, at least I know what my first change will be…"
Momiji sat quietly in the moonlight, drinking a cup of tea. The full moon shone brightly, and it seemed like tonight would be a relaxing evening… for once. It wasn't her turn to patrol Youkai Mountain, and nothing strange was happening. There was nothing to worry about, nothing to do but relax… but then she heard something coming up the mountain. Grumbling to herself, she grabbed her sword and flew off, eager to take care of this irritant.
However, what she saw was far more horrifying than any mortal threat. "No," she murmured to herself. "This can't be happening, not again!" It was Tokage flying up the mountain, with what seemed to be a new book in her hands. There was someone Momiji didn't know with her as well. Realizing they hadn't seen her yet and where they were going , Momiji quickly flew back to her publishing house. She landed defiantly in front of the entrance, brandishing her sword as threateningly as possible. She didn't want to hurt these two, but if they thought she would, maybe they would just leave. This was not something she wanted to deal with tonight.
Unfortunately for her, it seemed the two intruders were taking their time, as they didn't show up in the next ten minutes. Momiji sat down, and tried to relax, but it was impossible now. She knew Tokage would come soon, and then she would be forced to read whatever abomination she cooked up this time. She could hear Tokage and her companion talking about something, arguing from the sound of it. Good, maybe this person could help get rid of her…
"I'm telling you, your changes were horrible! My writing isn't… perfect, I guess, but your changes only made it worse!"
Shimi tried to ignore her, but it was like trying to sleep through a alarm. The fact that what she said was basically the same thing over and over only made it worse. He finally said,
"Look, I think it's a improvement. Maybe you're right, maybe you're wrong, but the only way we'll know is if we show it to your publisher and see what she thinks. So please, stop yelling at me!" The two of them keep flying, trying not to look at each other. Eventually Tokage decided to break the silence and said,
"So, you're from the outside world, right? What's it like?"
"I don't know, really. The outside world is… complicated. I mean, what do you want me to tell you? I suppose it's a lot like Gensokyo, except it's bigger, has a lot more people, no magic, at least not any obvious magic, and more buildings." He chuckled. "So really, nothing like Gensokyo." After another few minutes of flying, the two reached their destination, Momiji Publications, only to see the way in blocked by Momiji herself. She was sitting down in front of them, but the way she was slouched over she seemed to be half-asleep. She looked blearily at them and mumbled,
"What took you so long?" Shaking herself awake, she added, "Could you at least have come during the day?" Looking at Shimi, she added, "Who are you, anyway?"
"Well, I'm Tokage's editor, as of a few hours ago. My name is Shimi."
Surprised, Momiji looked at Tokage.
"You hired a editor? I didn't think you would have bothered, you're always so sure of yourself… Well, I suppose I could look at this new book. It certainly couldn't be worse than the last one…"
Shimi chuckled nervously.
"Well, right now I'm editing her first book, actually. We were hoping you could publish it as the second edition or something… anyway, I've just done the first chapter thus far, so I won't take much of your time." He handed Momiji the book Tokage was holding, which as she inspected it more closely she realized it was actually more of a folder than a book. She opened it and started reading. When she was done, she handed it back to Shimi, smiling.
"You've certainly made a lot of improvements, I see. I'll type this up tomorrow, and you can get started on the rest, alright?"
Shimi bowed, saying,
"Thank you, Miss Momiji. And now, it seems I have a lot of work to do…"