Touhou Doujin: Yutaka's Big Fat Youkai Wedding
Chapter 21: Life goes on...
The Dawitsu Mansion, seven o'clock ante-meridian
Ran had fallen asleep on the sofa, and had brought down two duvets- one to cover herself, and one to cover Dawitsu, who was trying his best to sleep on the floor. Surrounding the two was a pile of various strange an exotic items, up to and including, but not strictly limited to, a set of cowboy clothes, a maid outfit, a whip, a set of fox ears, and a creased penguin suit lying next to a red dress.
The Kitsune opened her eyes, a massive grin filling her face. She looked down from the sofa, and looked at the somewhat traumatised mimicker, who's eyes were wide open, and staring at the ceiling.
She wrapped her duvet around herself, and got off the sofa, and knelt beside Dawitsu, "...thank you for last night... I really needed that..."
Dawitsu stammered monotonously, "Th-thank you f-for tucking me in, Ran-sama. That hurts, Ran-sama. Yes, Ran-sama. Whatever you say, Ran-sama. I'm so glad you're enjoying it, Ran-sama. Please can we do something else, Ran-sama. Sorry for defying you, Ran-sama. Yes, I am a bad boy, Ran-sama..."
Ran cocked her head, and said, "Um... you did enjoy last night, didn't you?"
The mimicker remained silent for a moment, and then continued his rambling, "Yeehaw. The wheels on the bus go round and round. Greetings cheese popsicle. The number you have dialled is currently out of pork chops. Broken. Broken. I'm so broken."
Ran stood up, and sighed to herself, "...sorry... I guess I overdid it... I hope Chen's okay..."
Ran walked into a lift, taking it to the private quarters section, and walked into her room, put on some of her usual clothes, and then knocked on Chen's bedroom door to make sure it was okay to come in.
No reply was heard, and Ran became worried. Opening the door, she said, "Chen, are you alright?"
Chen was sitting up in her bed, her eyes blank. She was quivering, and muttering unintelligably to herself in an undertone. Ran gingerly approached her shikigami, and waved her hand in front of her eyes, "...Chen?"
Suddenly, Chen let out a tremendous scream, and fell silent again. After an awkward silence, she began to talk in English again, "...why is Ran-sama laughing? Is Dawi hurt? He's crying. Why is Dawi screaming? Why is Ran laughing about it? What does 'you're in my dungeon now' mean?"
Ran began to panic. Was she really this deranged? Had she really disturbed everyone this much? She took hold of Chen, and began to shake her, "Chen! Snap out of it! Chen!"
Chen did not so much as react to Ran's attempts to snap her out of her mild catatonia. She mumbled, "Is that you, Ran? You look so happy. Yet Dawi sounded so scared. Why did you scare Dawi?"
Ran trembled, "N-no, Chen, I didn't scare... I mean... I didn't mean to scare the ma... I mean, Dawitsu! He's fine! I'm fine! It's okay! What happened last night was perfectly normal!" Ran swallowed, knowing what she had just said was a blatant lie.
Chen was slowly coming round to normal conversation, and she began to move her eyes again. She slowly said, "...Ran... you kept me up. You kept me up... all night... even after you stopped, I couldn't get to sleep."
Ran sweat-dropped, "...look, Chen, I was carried away, I didn't think about how much..."
Chen folded her arms, "Don't talk to me! You're disgusting!"
Ran sighed, and figured that it was probably for the best if she just left her Shikigami alone. Taking the lift back downstairs, she decided to see if Dawitsu had recovered at all.
Exiting the lift and entering the foyer, Ran saw that Dawitsu was still lying underneath his duvet, staring at the ceiling, but this time with some sort of fixation on the geometric patterns on the ceiling, his eyes tracing the outlines of the various shapes that intersected with one another.
"Haemorrhoids." Dawitsu mumbled, "I failed. What in the heck. Left, right, left, right. Red green yellow yellow. Come well to side moon. My pet dog's name is Sherlock Holmes the fifth. Holmes hat. Holmes hat."
Ran was quite horrified with herself, not quite sure how she was capable of traumatising the man to this degree. She clicked her fingers in front of his face, and he quickly said, "Coming, Ran-sama! Do you want tea? It's time for supper, Ran-sama. Summer summer summer time. As you wish, Ran-sama..."
Ran dragged the man out of the duvet, and attempted to prop him up against the wall. He bobbed his head back and forth drearily, until eventually, he snapped out of his trance. He rubbed his head, and mumbled, "...what on Earth happened last night? I feel... weird..."
Ran's face fell, and she said, "...so... you didn't enjoy it?"
Dawitsu quickly realised where he was, and what was being said to him, "Gah! Where are my clothes? Why am I standing against the wall? And... um... sure I enjoyed it, Ran-sama!"
Dawitsu covered his mouth as he realised he'd picked up a verbal tic, and ran into a lift, "I'm so sorry!"
Ran looked down, and almost felt bad about what she had done... before her face came back up, and formed on itself an evil grin, "...well, you certainly did as you were told... master..."
Ran burst into maniacal laughter, before she decided to do the right thing and tidy away all the queer and undoubtedly dubiously healthy paraphernalia that lay around the foyer. Ran walked into the kitchen, and decided to make breakfast for the three people in the mansion. It was strange, as if she was expecting to be cooking for a fourth person. Yet she knew, wherever Yutaka was, she was most likely having fun. Despite the less-than-happy nature of the two people she was sharing a house with, Ran couldn't help but smile to herself, mumbling to herself, "Ran-sama... I could get used to him calling me that..."
The Human Village, eight o'clock ante-meridian
Keine Kamishirasawa had already woken up despite her late night, and she had spent the morning pacing around the human village, as if she was waiting for something to happen. Even though she had enjoyed the night, she felt a little unnerved on the basis that she had left the work of protecting the human village from invasion by Youkai to Mokou alone for a second night running.
Putting her hands behind her back, she feigned a carefree attitude while secretly hoping that she would come across the immortal human, and finally dropped the façade, and decided to abandon the human village for the third time in quick session, albeit to go to the bamboo forest of the lost to meet up with the one who she had abandoned the village to.
Although the bamboo forest of the lost tended to keep to its namesake and cause people to get lost within it, Keine navigated through the forest fairly easily, using the waning gibbous moon that lingered in the morning sky as reference. Looking around by the river she usually used as a rendezvous, she decided to sit down and wait for Mokou to appear.
When she finally did, it was not exactly how the Hakutaku had expected... she came to Keine in the form of a dead body floating on the top of the river she was sitting by. Keine instinctively flinched at the sight, before Mokou's body reanimated itself, and opened its eyes, floating out of the water.
Lighting a flame on her fingers and using it as a means of drying off her clothes, she approached Keine, and mumbled, "...twenty-eight times..."
"Twenty-eight times?" Keine asked.
"I died... twenty-eight times... fighting off the youkai last night. Died thirty times the night before... why'd you have to go and party?" Mokou muttered, "...I've been literally breaking my back just so you can go off and party with your dumb work-mates..."
Keine sighed, "Look, Mokou, I'm sorry. I just felt that it would be fun. Don't you ever feel like going out and just having a little fun every now and then?"
Mokou accidentally set fire to her own clothes, blew it out, and said, "...does fighting with Kaguya count?"
Keine sweat-dropped, "...no."
Mokou shrugged, "Then no, I don't. I'm bored of the simple pleasures of life. I'm bored of the not so simple pleasures of life. Hmm... although, sometimes I come up with a pretty fun death for myself. Did I tell you? The other day I flew into a bamboo stalk, snapped it into splinters that cut me, the splinter-wounds got infected, and I decided to set fire to the splinters to finish myself off quicker, then I burst into flames and died! Isn't that awesome?"
Keine didn't quite know what to say to that, "I guess you enjoy the simple pleasures of death rather than life..."
Mokou grumbled, clearly not wanting to move off the subject, "It's so annoying, you know! I went to the Sunzan River to get killed permanently, but the Shinigami took one look at me and said that my sort weren't allowed to take ferry trips. I hate it! Damn Shinigami! She was probably just slacking off, the stupid little..."
Keine stammered, "...l-look, it's alright... I was just coming over here to tell you I'm sorry for the trouble last night and the night before..."
Mokou sighed, "It's alright. I mean, I guess I had fun setting fire to those dumb Youkai... and some of the deaths I had were quite fun... Keine, do humans even have a reason for living?"
"You're more human than I am. You should know yourself..." Keine pointed out.
Mokou rolled her eyes, "You know, you have all your historical knowledge, but you're plain useless at times..."
Keine smiled, "That may be true. Alright, do you want to know my thoughts on human life? It's a short life, but yet humans are quite clearly sentient beings. Thus, they cherish their tiny life with everything they have. However, that also makes their mind very different to a youkai's. A youkai is carefree, because they know they've got all the time in the world. Humans work hard to achieve their hopes and dreams within the limited time they have, and that is their reason for living, more than anything else... but I imagine that you've probably achieved all your hopes and dreams a long time ago, am I right, Mokou?"
"Of course." Mokou replied, "I wrote a book, went insane, went sane again, wrote another book about being insane, learnt how to control fire, set fire to a forest, died in the process, can back to life, died again, and kept doing that until the forest was no more, became hailed as a sage, got outcast for being insane, got outcast from a group of insane tribesmen for being too sane, and finally wrote a book about rejection. I guess I've done everything I want to do... there's no reason for me to live any more."
Keine shook her head, "...I recently had a little bit of a breakdown myself... I wondered what the point of my living was any more. And do you know what happened?"
Mokou looked at her confident, "What happened?"
"...well, I had thought of giving up on teaching, because the class were treating me ungratefully and my fellow work-mates had left the job to me, as they were busying truanting... I mean, preparing a wedding... so I fell apart..." Keine mused, "...I lost it... I guess I had a moment of insanity, like yours..."
Mokou tutted, "Insanity is so boring in hindsight..."
"...anyway, what stopped me from just giving up was what my work-mates did for me... they threw a party for me, thanking me for what I had done as a teacher, and the students had even made a little banner for me... and poems... and..." Keine smiled warmly at the memories, "...it... it made me feel wanted..."
Mokou shook her head, "...well, that's good for you, but I'm not loved like you are. Sure, if people like you, you have a reason to live, but let's face it, no-one would notice if I were to disappear... I'm tired, Keine. I'm sick of..." Mokou proceeded to shoot off her own head, and waited for her body to regenerate, "...this stupid life..."
Keine put her hand on Mokou's shoulder, "...you are loved. They may not realise it, but every single human in the village owes you their life. They would realise f you were gone, because they rely on you to survive..."
Mokou hung her head, "That's... that's not true..."
Keine adjusted her hat, "It is true... because if I alone were to take on those youkai, I'd end up dying at one point or another. Believe it or not, your inability to die really helps all those which don't have that curse... I know that living for other people isn't ideal, but... surely it makes you a little fulfilled when you help out like that..."
Mokou smiled, "I guess you're right. For now, I guess I do have something to live for. But still, once the world ends, I'll be the only one left... and even if the earth is inhospitable, I'll remain, dying over and over again... with no variation on the death..."
Keine sighed, "Well, until that day, at least you'll have something to occupy your mind. Do you want to come with me to the youkai mountain? I hear Aya Shameimaru is working on an article covering the wedding I went to..."
"Want to rub it in my face, do you?" Mokou muttered, "...you know, marriage is stupid. I'm never going to find a human that I can marry... and it's all that cursed Lunarian's fault..."
"Why don't you ask Eirin for a new batch of Hourai Elixir?" Keine asked.
"Why would I want to do that?" Mokou replied.
"Isn't it obvious?" Keine asked, "So that if you find a human, you could make him immortal too... then, at least when the world ends, you'll have someone to die repeatedly with..."
Mokou grunted, "...there's no way I'd do that. As I said, marriage is stupid. But I guess... I guess me going to the Youkai Mountain isn't going to hurt anyone..."
Keine sincerely hoped that was true given the scrappy nature of the woman, who clearly had given up on empathy to pain a while back, and walked back the way she came from, and from there walked towards the foot of the youkai mountain.
Mokou examined the scenery, and said, "...ah, this place is nice, no signs of those show-off mortal humans anywhere, with just the sounds of the river flowing and the wind... huh?"
Keine noticed her immortal compatriot had stopped mid-speech, and said, "What is it?"
Mokou cocked her head, and pointed to a set of scaffolds by the river, "...Keine, were those always there?"
Keine rubbed her chin, "...I... don't think so. Why don't we ask the tengu once we get there..."
Mokou nodded, "...perhaps there was a point to coming here after all..."
Aya's House, Youkai Mountain, half eight ante-meridian
Aya had spent the entire night typing up the article for the wedding, and although Hatate had slept at her house for the night, Hatate had since token over while the former tengu had collapsed from sleep deprivation.
Typing frantically, Hatate attempted to keep a consistent reporting style with Aya's and complete the article in time to be able to make a morning delivery, although that didn't look like it was going to happen, judging by the time it took for 'Kenny' to print out the large amounts of copies necessary to spread the word to Gensokyo.
"Like, why did you have to fall asleep?" Hatate muttered, "...I can't type as fast as you can..."
Gasping as she continued to type at a speed considered unhealthy for the typewriter, stopping only to push the paper to opposite side again, before resuming tapping at the keyboard like an intelligent, yet rabid monkey.
A knock on the door caused her to jump, and write 'marriage' as 'marrage'. Hatate growled to herself, and shouted, "Like, who is it?"
"It's... a customer. We're here about the latest Kakashimaru Spirit News?" a voice called from outside.
Hatate stammered, "...w-w-well, it'll have to wait, 'kay? I've got a lot of typing left to do, and there's no time to waste!"
Outside the door, Keine shrugged her shoulders, turning to Mokou, "...oh... well, I guess there's nothing we can do about that." Keine decided to call to the reporter again, "Oh, by the way, I saw something weird on the way up here... there seems to be a house that isn't built by Kappa under construction by the river near here..."
As if she had always been awake, suddenly a certain black-haired reporter smashed through her own house's wall, and yelled, "A story?"
Keine and Mokou nodded. Mokou pointed down the mountain, "...it's by that river near the bottom of the mountain. We were wondering if you know anything about it..."
Aya grinned excitedly, "...do I look like I know anything about it?"
Keine stared at Aya with a deadpan expression, "Would you look any different either way?"
Aya ignored the Hakutaku, and quickly said, "Carry-on-typing-Hatate-gotta-go-find-new-material-see-you-bye!" before speeding away.
Hatate called out, "...like, if you're awake, can you get back here and start typing for me again as soon as you get back?"
Keine folded her arms, and walked into the house through the crack that had been left by Aya, saying to Hatate, "It's no use. She's gone."
"...stupid Aya... I always have to do all the work around here..." Hatate lied.
Keine sighed, "Ah... I see."
Mokou called from outside, "Come on, Keine, this was pointless, let's head back now..."
Keine walked back outside, and said, "Actually, I'm sort of interested about that house now that Aya's interested... you know, it's said she can spot interesting information from miles off..."
Mokou rolled her eyes, "Well, isn't that amazing..."
Meanwhile, Aya had already got to the scene of interest, camera in hand, and looked at the scaffold structure in awe, "...it's... so... housey!" Aya said in forced amazement, taking a few pictures, "...I wonder what's going on? Perhaps the land youkai of the youkai forest are becoming more intelligent and building houses for themselves? Or maybe sentient houses are building themselves, to create monstrous House Youkai! Oh, yes, I have it! 'House Youkai discovery! The world is doomed!' Genius, genius I say!"
What Aya had failed to acknowledge is that sleeping on the other side of the mostly-complete lower front wall were the pair of magician youkai responsible for the creation. Yutaka and Patchouli were sleeping together on a mattress, covered by a duvet and, at least before the noise of the Paparazzi had arrived, had been doing so contentedly for the whole night.
Patchouli slowly opened her eyes as she heard the faint noise of excited, yet somewhat distant rambling, and mumbled, "Yutaka, is that you?"
Yutaka rolled over to look at Patchouli, clearly only just waking up herself, "...is what me?"
"...that noise..." Patchouli stopped talking, and listened to the noise, "...it sounds like..."
The magician overheard 'this is the best scoop ever', and suddenly realised who it was, "...oh no."
Yutaka remained somewhat cheerful, as she quietly asked, "What is it, Patchy?"
"...Aya. Aya's here..." Patchouli muttered.
Aya was dashing to the left and to the right of the house, trying to take pictures of it at every angle, and finally, the inevitable event of her trying to take a picture from within the scaffolding occurred, and Aya stopped her process of taking a photograph to look down at the mattress in front of her.
She smiled darkly, "...Patchouli Knowledge... and Yutaka? Here? Building a house? Ah... this is too good! Say cheese!"
Aya took a picture of the two magicians as they lay in their make-shift bed, and giggled, "You two are such an adorable couple! I hope that you'll be able to pose for our newspaper in the swimsuit edition we have planned..."
Yutaka tiredly mumbled, "...but it's autumn coming up..."
Aya winked, "That's what the Weather Gods want you to think! So, what's up with this house, anyway?"
Patchouli sighed, "Is that really for you to know?"
"If you want your wedding photographs developed, yes it is!" Aya declared.
"Fine..." Patchouli muttered, "...we're going to be living here from now on..."
Aya's eyes widened, "You mean... you mean you're moving out? Yutaka, are you moving out too?"
Yutaka nodded from her bed, "...now, can you please go away for a moment? We need to get dressed and..." Yutaka swallowed suddenly, "...hold on, Patchy. We only have our wedding dresses here..."
Patchouli gulped, "...um... those will have to do..."
Yutaka reached out for her dress, which was crumpled on the ground next to the mattress, "...Aya... can you please go to the other side of the wall so we can get changed?"
Aya giggled, "Okay, but it's not my fault if my camera slips around the corner and takes a few questionable pictures..."
Patchouli attempted to be as threatening as someone lying on a mattress covered only by a duvet could be, and said, "...if you do, I promise you I will shoot you down painfully and efficiently..."
Aya closed her eyes condescendingly, "Whatever you say!"
The tengu dashed behind the complete wall, and waited around as the magicians got themselves decent. While she was waiting, a certain immortal human and her Hakutaku friend showed up, and the latter asked, "...so, what have you found out?"
Aya grinned, "Well, why don't you take a peek around that wall?"
A simultaneous yell from both Patchouli and Yutaka responded to that suggestion with, "Don't peek around the wall!"
Keine knew what was going on now, "...oh, I see. The newly wedded couple are building themselves a house?"
Aya nodded, "Yeah, it's nothing crazy like a self-building house youkai or anything! My reporter's intuition told me as much!"
Mokou muttered, "When did we say it was?"
Aya sweat-dropped, "...well, it's just in case. You know the dumb ideas that can sometimes come to people when they're excited about a new story..."
Mokou remained stoic, "...no, I don't."
Aya laughed nervously, "Well... well... SHUT UP! Hey, you two?"
Yutaka and Patchouli called back, almost as if they were a hive-mind, "Yes?"
"...do you want me to go over to Nitori's and get your wedding photographs developed? She has this amazing thing called a 'digital printer'..." Aya explained.
Yutaka's voice said, "Yeah, that would be great, thanks..."
Aya saluted to them despite not even facing their general direction, "Then Aya is on the case!"
Aya sped off, heading about ten metres down the river in less than half a second, and quickly leapt over the river before continuing her journey into the distance.
Keine rolled her eyes, "She's truly fickle, isn't she? Occupied with one thing one moment, and another the next."
Mokou folded her arms, "...damn, do I envy her..."
The Dawitsu Mansion, nine o'clock ante-meridian
Dawitsu and Chen had both more or less recovered from their traumatic episodes, and were slowly eating the now-cold English Breakfast cooked courtesy of Ran. Dawitsu looked up at Chen awkwardly, and said, "...so... rough night for you, eh?"
Chen nodded, but refused to say anything.
"...if it's any consolation, you weren't the one..." Dawitsu stopped himself continuing, as Ran walked into the room.
"Weren't the one what, honey?" Ran asked.
"Oh, is that your new name for me?" Dawitsu asked nervously, "...s-sounds nice..."
Ran sighed to herself, and stood next to Dawitsu, "...can we speak alone for a moment?"
Dawitsu got up, and said, "...er, sure."
Ran walked towards the kitchen, and Dawitsu followed, and she quietly whispered, "...I... just wanted to say I'm sorry for... everything you went through last night..."
Dawitsu went pale, and began to panic, "Look, look, it's nothing wrong with you, I mean if that's your tastes I..." Dawitsu finally decided he couldn't keep the obvious act up, and just told her the truth, "...okay, some of the stuff you did to me was horrific..."
Ran sighed, "I know... it's just it's been so long, and I wanted it to be our perfect night of..."
Dawitsu put his finger on Ran's lips, "Shh... it's okay. Look, I'll tell you which things I liked about last night, that way you'll know what to avoid and what we could... do more often..."
Ran smirked, "...oh... I see... so... what were those?"
The narrative conveniently cut to Chen looking at the two talking, and making strange gestures with their hands as they giggled with one another like children. Chen scowled, and put a mouthful of scrambled eggs into her mouth in an attempt to distract herself from the situation.
Finally, she called out, "Dawi, are you going to eat your breakfast?"
Dawitsu and Ran both hissed at the Nekomata like vampires, before continuing their lewd discussion. Finally, the mimicker returned to the table, and said, "...there we are. All healthy and understanding..."
Chen shook her head, "...please don't tell me what you two were talking about..."
Dawitsu blushed, "...well, why would we?" he then decided to change the subject, "...say, did Yutaka tell you where she was going for the night?"
Chen, eager to take this opportunity to change the subject, thought to herself, "I thought she was staying at the Scarlet Devil Mansion..."
Dawitsu shoved a piece of bacon into his mouth, and said through a muffled mouth, "...makes sense. We should go over and see her. Ask her how it feels to be a married woman for one night..."
Chen nodded, "Okay... well, I'll eat up my breakfast quickly, then!"
"As will I..." Dawitsu conferred, and shouted to the kitchen, "You hear that, Ran? We're gonna go to the Scarlet Devil Mansion..."
Ran walked into the foyer, "That makes sense. We'll all go together... as a family."
Dawitsu's heart slipped into his throat, and then he stopped and thought to himself. She was right. As dysfunctional as it was, what he had here was a family. It may have been a strange, off-beat, and quite frankly family-unfriendly family, but it was a family nonetheless. Dawitsu smiled to himself, and said, "...I'm a winner. I've won... I've won the jackpot..."
Chen cocked her head, "What did you say, Dawi?"
Dawitsu shook his head, "Never you mind, Chen..."
Scarlet Devil Mansion, ten o'clock ante-meridian
Remilia and company had gotten up a while back, with Sakuya heating up breakfast for the group. They had just finished off the meal of leftover buffet food, and Flandre looked around the dining room in confusion.
"Remi, where's Patchy gone? Did she go somewhere with her wife?" Flandre asked.
Remilia sighed, "Yes, Flandre. I mean, she probably went to that idiot's house, I mean, that's where Yutaka lives, right?"
Sakuya thought to herself, "You really think that's the case?"
Remilia shrugged, "Well, where else could they be?"
Sakuya gestured with her arms, "Well, fair enough. Hmm... you know, Remilia, what you did last night was rather sweet..."
Remilia quickly became defensive, "What are you talking about?"
"...you know, fighting Yukari to make her leave the party alone..." Sakuya said, "...I thought it was admirable."
Flandre nodded, "You were brave, Remi! I'm sorry I didn't try to help you before..."
Remilia sweat-dropped, "...well... well, that was just a one-off. I mean, we were all having fun, and as much as I hate that dumb mimicker, when he's being used to attack the musicians of the party, I can't help but have a problem with it."
Sakuya smiled, "You... you do care about other people when you want to, don't you?"
"...it was nothing to do with that!" Remilia denied, "I was having fun, and she spoiled my fun! You guys had nothing to do with it! I was being selfish!"
Flandre put her elbows on the table and supported her chin with her hands, "...Remi, why do you not want to be nice when you did a nice thing?"
"Shut up! Shut up!" Remilia snapped, "Just... shut up! Can we just leave the table, already? We're all finished, so let's just go!"
Sakuya giggled to herself, "...someone's in denial..."
"I know, and you should stop trying to think I have a heart!" Remilia parried.
Sakuya sighed, "Whatever you say, mistress..."
"That's better!" Remilia declared, "We'll have none of this insubordinate attitude. I command you to find Patchouli and bring her home immediately!"
Sakuya saluted, "Yes, mistress!"
Getting up from the table, Sakuya walked out into the foyer, and opened the mansion door. Going along the still decked-up mansion grounds, she was about to pass through the gates of the mansion before she heard something to make her stop.
The sounds of voices not belonging to Meiling could be heard, and one of them was saying, "...should I poke her? Wow, she's sound asleep, isn't she?"
"...Dawi, I'm younger than you and I know that's immature..." another voice said.
Sakuya sighed with relief as she knew who it was, and walked out of the gate, expecting to see Yutaka and Patchouli, along with at least Dawitsu and Chen. Instead, she got Ran, along with the predicted Dawitsu and Chen. The mimicker was prodding the supposed guard of the Scarlet Devil Mansion on the cheek as she slept, and looked up to see Sakuya standing there, looking over the sight in silence.
"Oh, hi there, Sakuya! I was just popping over to see Yutaka and Patchouli!" Dawitsu said, standing up and acting as if he hadn't been poking Meiling in the cheek.
"Wait... you were coming here to pick up Yutaka?" Sakuya asked.
Ran's expression became somewhat curious, "Yes. Why?"
"Well... they aren't here... I was going to go to your place and pick them up there..." Sakuya replied.
Dawitsu put his hand to his chin, "Hmm. So, they're not with you, and they're not with me... oh my..."
Dawitsu turned around to hide a blatant nosebleed, and a disapproving Ran asked, "...what do you know?"
Dawitsu giggled to himself, "...oh, nothing, I just think they might have gone to a secret place of theirs... I remember Yutaka letting it slip a while ago... she was so embarrassed that I'd cottoned on..."
Sakuya smiled, "Ah, I see, so they've gone to... a secret place of theirs to... spend some time alone? So, where is this 'secret place'?"
"I have no idea!" Dawitsu proudly declared, waking Meiling up.
Sakuya mumbled, "Well, that's useful... so they could be anywhere in Gensokyo, and I've been commanded by my oh-so-pleasant mistress to find her..." Sakuya stopped being sarcastic, and instead began to worry, "...oh, damn it, this is gonna end in tears, isn't it?"
Dawitsu decided to ham it up in a vague attempt to comfort her, "Don't worry, my moé-outfitted compatriot! For we shall work together to find this secret spot of theirs! Now, the first logical step would be to approach a person who... knows things..."
Chen spoke up, "You mean like the tengu reporter?"
"Not now, Chen, we've got to think of someone who knows lots of things..." Dawitsu muttered, "...hmm... perhaps Yuyuko knows something... but then again, it'd be an awful long way and back to go, and I know that Yutaka and Patchy wouldn't have their secret spot somewhere that out of the way..."
"Why don't we try Aya?" Chen asked.
Ran hushed her shikigami, "...Chen, we're trying our hardest to think of a knowledgeable person..."
Sakuya put her hand up, "Patchouli's knowledgeable..." suddenly, Sakuya's brain began to function again, "...oh, wait, we're looking for her, aren't we?"
Chen stamped her foot, "Why don't we just try Aya?"
Dawitsu scratched his head, and his hand touched his Tokin. Suddenly, an idea hit him, "I know! Why don't we try Aya's place?"
Chen face-palmed, and Ran applauded the undeserving mimicker, "Very good, love-muffin!"
Dawitsu sweat-dropped, "...uh, you need to come up with better terms of endearment..."
Sakuya shook her head, "Now's not the time! To Youkai Mountain we go!"
The four sped off, and Meiling, who had watched the entire exchange in a half-awake stupor, decided she would simply go to sleep, assuming the whole thing wouldn't affect her too much.
The group flew above the Forest of Magic, but by the time they began to approach Youkai Mountain, they decided to walk the rest of the way, and do a little sight-seeing on the way.
Ran smiled to herself, "Isn't this place romantic, dear?"
Dawitsu cringed to himself at the awful attempts to be informal by Ran, but simply smiled back, "Yes, it's a really fantastic spot..."
However, just as the group approached the Youkai Forest which marked the end of the stream that most of the Mountain's water supply had been taken from, a certain Harvest God appeared to them.
"Stop! What business do you have travelling the Youkai Mountain?" Minoriko asked, looking over the group, before she spotted her personal nightmare, "AH! You... you're... you're here... um... just go past... and leave me and my sister alone... do you want some fruit?"
Minoriko Aki began to tremble, and took a bunch of grapes from her hat. Dawitsu sighed, and said, "...look, I'm sorry for our... misunderstandings in the past..."
"YOU ATE ME!" Aki replied, earning Dawitsu disapproving glares from his entourage.
"...um... well... okay, fine, I'm sorry for being a jerk." Dawitsu replied, "...um... you don't have to forgive me, but... well, sorry about what happened. If you like, I'll try and get Yutaka to make another chaos emerald for you to eat..."
Aki smirked, "...you... you mean that? You're going to give me that power again?"
Dawitsu shrugged, "Sure, why not. It'll make Gensokyo interesting for a little while, I suppose. Wonder what the next game will be like..." Dawitsu looked into the sky in an otherworldly manner, as if he was aware of things others couldn't possibly comprehend, "...I mean, I wonder what the next incident will be?"
Aki laughed awkwardly, "...oh... well, I wouldn't mind causing a little incident or two myself..."
Dawitsu nodded, "...well, if you wish to bring destruction upon the world, I shall give to you the ultimate power..." Dawitsu stopped his acting, and said, "Okay, I'll let you, but just make sure you set up five people who are weaker than you to impede the heroines, okay? That's where I went wrong..."
Sakuya looked to Ran, "What on earth is he talking about?"
Ran shrugged, "I have no idea. He can be very strange sometimes..."
Chen mumbled, "...you're strange too, Ran-sama..."
Ran laughed nervously, "Ha ha ha... you're so funny, Chen!" Ran said 'funny' through clenched teeth, and aimed herself at Chen so as to shut her up.
Dawitsu finally cut off his little discussion with Minoriko on what she was going to do next, "...and of course, me being the real one who incited this, I'll be the extra boss, a super powerful pile of awesomeness!"
Minoriko rolled her eyes, "Okay, okay... this incident business is hard work..."
Ran sighed, "Aren't we supposed to be finding Aya?"
Dawitsu jumped with shock, "Oh yeah, that! Well, yeah... let's go..."
Walking through the Youkai forest, they finally came out the other side, and looked over the river, "...hmm. You know, I hear the Kappa are building turbines for their houses..." Dawitsu remarked, pointing at a set of scaffolds, "...I wonder if that's an in-progress new fancy modern house built by Kappa?"
Sakuya squinted her eyes, and looked at the partially built house, "...hold on... is that... Patchouli? And Yutaka? And they seem to be talking to Keine and... whoa, is that that crazy immortal woman from a while back?"
Ran nodded, "You're right! Come on, we've found them!"
The four approached the to-be house, and Dawitsu shouted, "Hi! We were looking for you guys!"
Mokou mused, "...these guys were looking for me? Who is that guy anyway?"
Keine whispered, "...he's the stupid work-mate of mine I told you about..."
"Oh... you're right, he does look like a tengu..." Mokou whispered back.
Yutaka called out to Dawitsu, running up to him, "Hello, Boss!" the magician hugged her friend, and said, "...I didn't expect to see you so soon... missing me already?"
Dawitsu stopped, "W-what do you mean?"
Yutaka let go of Dawitsu, "I know that you said that there was no rush for me to move out, but... Patchouli and I figured that we would at least start on building our house now..."
Patchouli walked up to the group, "Hello, Sakuya. I presume Remilia's looking for me?"
Sakuya nodded, "Of course. And will most likely chew me out for taking so long finding you..."
Patchouli shook her head, "If she does that, I'll stand up for you... and if she has a problem with that, then I can just get kicked out to here..."
Yutaka gestured to the house, and said, "It's not much yet, but..." Yutaka skipped over to a nearby tree, and transformed it into a pile of bricks, "We're getting there..."
Dawitsu began to stifle laughter, "So, is this where your... secret spot was?"
Yutaka folded her arms, "If you really want to know, yes!"
Ran looked down at Dawitsu, "Why would you want to know that?"
Dawitsu laughed nervously, "...it's just... I'm a pervert, alright?"
Mokou, who was watching the conversation from a distance along with Keine, decided to snark from a dignified distance, "Wow, he really is an idiot. You got this guy's personality down to a tee. Sure wouldn't want to be stuck with him for eternity..."
Keine sweat-dropped, "Don't tell him that I told you he's an idiot..."
Dawitsu looked at Yutaka, and then to Patchouli, then back to Yutaka, "...Yutaka... here you are..."
Yutaka looked at Dawitsu in puzzlement, "What do you mean?"
"...you're finally..." Dawitsu began to sniff, "...you're... you're... you're all.. all... grown up. You're gonna be leaving me... now that I see your house, it seems... just too real..."
Yutaka walked back up to Dawitsu, "...don't worry about me... anyway, even if I moved into this house the moment it's built, there's still a few things I need to come back for... like Raggedy Andy, all my books, my clothes, photo album..."
Dawitsu smiled to himself, "...you're really doing it, aren't you? Oh god... this... this is..." Dawitsu turned away from Yutaka to bite his own arm in an attempt to stop himself crying, "...after all these years... Yutaka... you're..."
Dawitsu hugged his friend, and said, "You're the best damn thing to ever happen to me... you've made me so much more confident, so much happier... I... cannot thank you enough..."
Ran muttered, "I'm standing right here..."
Dawitsu began to whimper into Yutaka's shoulders, and Yutaka looked at Ran over Dawitsu's hunched back, "Ran, before he met me, the Boss couldn't speak full words to woman he liked. So... think of it as him thanking me for being able to approach you like he has..."
Ran twisted her hair, "...well, I guess that you've helped a lot with us two..."
Dawitsu quivered, "...Yutaka... you'll... you'll come see me, right? If there's ever a problem, I'll come running, you hear?"
Yutaka sighed, "...yes, I hear you... boss, you're hanging all over me, and you're acting like it's the last time you'll ever see me or something..."
Dawitsu let go of Yutaka, and said, "Well, I don't know about Patchouli, but Yutaka... you don't have to come home just yet... I... I'll let you stay here and work on your house... I'll... I'll help you, how about that?"
Yutaka nodded, "Of course, boss..."
Dawitsu sniffed, and sang to himself, "Bon voyage, amigo... good luck to you... bon voyage, amigo, we belieeeeve i-in you...oh, guy in the sky, please grant a gift, to our friend who's about to set out on an adventure... how much time we wasted laughing together.. but, guy in the sky, how we loved that... wasted time and all of those helpless smiles... bon voyage... bon voyage, amigo, bon voyage, amigo, we'd hate to see you go so soon, but our hearts go out to you... bon voyage, amigo... good luck to you... bon voyage, amigo we believe i-in you... if you make new friends, don't forget about us..."
Yutaka teared up a little, as did Ran, who knew where this song was from, and the former said, "...you'll always be unoriginal, won't you, Boss?"
Dawitsu smirked, "...don't expect anything more of me..."
Sakuya sighed, "...what is it with you guys, always making obscure references... I mean, it's not like there's anyone watching us who gets this sort of thing..."
"Don't be hasty..." Dawitsu replied, "...this, along with every event in the world, has the potential to be a story told down to others... who knows who'll see this and look for the references..."
Patchouli rolled her eyes, "...he knows something we don't... typical of him to not inform us of what that thing is..."
The six walked back to the house, and began work on construction, while Keine and Mokou, clearly bored out of their minds, decided to be spectators. Aya returned, and gave Yutaka the printed wedding photos as promised before quickly speeding back to her house. Clearly, although some people had very little to do, others clearly had their work cut out for them...
Marisa's House, the Forest of Magic, twelve midday
Jean and Marisa were sitting around the house, twiddling their thumbs with boredom. Marisa was tossing a hakkero up and down, and said, "So... Jean... about that... Reimu thing... what are you going to do about her?"
Jean jumped in shock, not expecting her to speak to him, "...what do you mean?"
"Well, what are you going to do?" Marisa asked, "...I mean, you told her you weren't interested, right, but now she's caught that bouquet, she's going to be all over you again..."
Jean sighed, "Surely she is not as superstitious as that..."
"She's a Shinto shrine maiden. It comes with the package." Marisa pointed out.
"...but surely she is not taking it that seriously..." Jean thought back to the way she grabbed hold of him, and said that they were going to get married, "...I see your point. So, what do you think I should do?"
"How about you just stop hanging out with her?" Marisa suggested, "I mean, seriously, that girl is major-level creepy over you. Perhaps staying out of her way would be for the best..."
Jean began to panic, "No! No! I cannot do that! Que faire si son enfant arrivé..."
Marisa cocked her head, "Huh? What did you say? Something about an infant?"
Jean gulped, "No! No! What I said was that she was, in fact, a kind woman that deserves the friendship..."
Marisa folded her arms, "Now, we both know that isn't true. Okay, something's happened between you two, hasn't it? Something that means that even if she did something crazy like kidnap you, you'd stick with her..."
Jean stammered, "That is not..."
Marisa took to thought, "...hmm... infant... arrivé... arrive! Arrive! Something about an infant's arrival..." Marisa suddenly went pale, "...oh... Jean... Jean... you didn't... you didn't get the local hero pregnant, did you?"
Jean practically had a heart attack from the shock, "...OÚ DIABLE AVES-VOUS EU CA?"
"Is that a 'Yes I did, please forgive me' or a 'Of course I didn't, you're crazy'?" Marisa asked.
"WHAT DO YOU THINK?" Jean replied.
"Um... yes I did, please forgive me?" Marisa guessed.
"NO! OF COURSE I DID NOT GET REIMU PREGNANT!" Jean shouted, "I WOULD NOT DO THAT EVEN IF I WAS THREATENED WITH THE DEATH!"
Marisa smirked, "...wow, if I were Reimu, I'd be pretty insulted by that..."
Jean stammered, "I can explain this..."
Marisa folded her arms, "Please do..."
"Reimu said that she... she would receive a child from the Border Youkai at some point in her life, and she wanted me to help her raise it..." Jean replied, "...she would be her successor, she said. I... I could not say no, so I agreed to stay by her and be the successor's Uncle Jean..."
Marisa smirked, "That sly devil, bringing a child into the mix so you have no choice but to carry on standing by her..."
"This is serious!" Jean replied.
"...oh... so it is." Marisa accepted, "...so... she's, like, going to adopt a kid? Why would Yukari make her raise an adopted kid as a successor when she could just have a kid herself... oh, hold on, Reimu's mum, from what I remember of her, didn't look anything like her. So..."
Jean nodded, "She is adopted also. She says that when the time comes, that she wants a good influence to help raise her child... she thinks that I am this..."
Marisa laughed, "Well, you aren't too shabby, but I think she may need a bit of help from others. I wonder if there's room for an Aunty Marisa to teach her how to wisecrack and shoot master sparks..."
Jean smiled, "I am sure you will be welcome..."
Marisa stood up, "Come on, Jean, let's go and see Reimu now! I want to tell her I know her big secret!"
Jean sweat-dropped, "If Reimu finds out about this, she might be angry with me for telling her secret to someone else..."
Marisa dragged Jean off the chair he was on, "Nonsense! She'll look like she's angry with you for a bit, but she'll appreciate the extra help when the time comes. I mean, having a kid can't be easy when you live all on your own..."
Jean nodded, "You have a point..."
"Of course I do!" Marisa replied, and whistled for her broom, "Come on, let's go!"
The two mounted their brooms and flew out of the house, not bothering to close the door behind them...
Hakurei Shrine, twelve thirty post-meridian
Reimu was standing outside her shrine, sweeping the grounds without much soul, feeling a little of the post-wedding blues. Reimu felt like the entire event was there just to remind her of how terminally lonely her life was going to be later on.
The shrine maiden shook her head, "...damn it... I'm such a spazz around Jean. I should learn to control myself..."
Reimu looked into the bright summer sky, and wondered to herself what the future would contain. Not just for herself, but all of Gensokyo. What would happen when she grew up? When she and Marisa were too old to be the saviours of Gensokyo? Sakuya wouldn't be able to continue their work, as she would be too old also. Youmu was unreliable, as was Sanae, although she would certainly still be in good health if her claim about being part God was true.
Every single human she knew and loved would become old at some point... and the youkai wouldn't have changed at all. Reimu began to wonder what it was like for youkai with human friends. What would they think of this? What did they think of this? Yukari had clearly gone through several generations of Hakurei Shrine Maidens. Did she get attached to them? If so, was it like that of a pet... an animal they knew was going to die before they would? Reimu honestly didn't know any more...
Bringing her mind back into the present, a voice was calling in front of her, "Reimu! Reimu! Hey, Reimu! Can you hear me?"
Reimu looked down from the sky, and saw Marisa and Jean standing in front of her, acting as if they had been standing there for some time.
Marisa waved her hand at the shrine maiden, "Welcome back to reality..."
Reimu's head shuddered, "...oh... it's you two. Did you come to visit me?"
Marisa was genuinely surprised, "...huh? Aren't you gonna do your usual routine? 'Get off my land!' and stuff?"
Reimu sighed, "...I can't be bothered with that any more. Life's too short, don't you think?"
Jean agreed with that sentiment, "...it is. Reimu, I am sorry, but the reason we are here was because of a mistake on my part..."
Marisa put her hands to her hips, "Ha ha! I found something out about you... and you thought you could hide your little problem from me, so I couldn't help you..."
Reimu widened her eyes, "What do you mean?"
Marisa put her face close to Reimu, "...you were gonna have an adopted kid, and never tell me about it?"
Reimu suddenly became protective, "Well, that's none of your business! You wouldn't help with it anyway! You'd just mock me!"
Marisa stepped back, "Reimu... Reimu, that's not fair. I've helped you with every incident that we've come across in Gensokyo..."
Reimu interrupted her, "...except for the incident with the fake moon..."
"...will you shut up?" Marisa replied impatiently, "...anyway, I'm hurt that you'd say that... did you honestly think that you'd be able to raise a child on your own with Jean occasionally sneaking over to help out?"
Reimu began to see the holes in her plan, "...well... yeah..."
Marisa put her hands on Reimu's shoulders, "...well, that's stupid! Reimu... remember this, I am always here to support you... when are you getting the brat anyway?"
Reimu shook her head, "I don't know... anyway, I guess that makes you her Aunty Marisa, eh? Marisa... I... I never told you this, but I told Jean a while back..."
Jean smiled, "...ah, Reimu, you are becoming kind, I see..."
Reimu gulped, "...shut up, you, because I'm never gonna say this mushy crap again in my life... Marisa..."
Marisa smirked, knowing exactly what was coming, "...what is it, my rival?"
Reimu hugged the witch, "You're my best friend, Marisa. Well, to be honest, you're the only person I can call a friend. And if I dare say that again, you have every right to master spark me..."
Marisa hugged the shrine maiden back, and said, "Don't worry, I have every intention on doing so if you mess that one up..."
Reimu smirked, "Knew I could count on you..."
Jean sighed, "...it seems that the future will be good, do you think?"
Reimu let go of Marisa, and looked to the sky, "Yes, it will be..."
Marisa looked to the sky also, and said, "...the future's gonna be awesome. So long as some more crazy ladies shake up the place every now and then..."
Jean looked up to the sky also, "...and if that occurs, I shall go on the adventure with you..."
"I can't wait..." Reimu replied, "...the future... the future's a mystery, but I can certainly say it's gonna be great..."
The three looked at the slow-moving clouds, feeling that something, although what it was they couldn't quite define, had come to a close. It was as if they had come to an end of an era, and that something in Gensokyo had changed fundamentally. As if it was a snake, beginning to shed its old generation to start afresh. However, the three knew that as long as they were alive, their generation would not be truly shed. The three knew that they, like every human, would grow old and die, but this thought approached them more peacefully, and they had almost formed an acceptance of it within their hearts. They would only live once, and this was their opportunity to seize life for everything it could offer...
...even people uninvolved with the trio felt a conclusion of some sort... Hebiko had finished writing up a book entitled 'The life and times of Bertrand- an elegy to a youkai that never was', and Tokage was busy rewriting through her latest book, asking her friend to proof-read it every now and then. And for once, Hebiko wasn't viewing it as a chore, but instead as a pleasure... she was glad that there was someone who thought highly enough of her to want her approval was the sign of her repaired relationship with Tokage...
Medicine and Alice had decided to go travelling, Medicine insisting that they would travel the Netherworld, laying down a note on every ghost's doorstep, telling the resident that if they happened to have lost their life by Medicine's hand, that she was truly sorry. She wished she could apologise to the phantoms in person, but thought that if she did that, then she would only become preoccupied that she would never be able to hear their responses. Even though the doll youkai was mature enough to do this task by herself, Alice knew in her heart that the right thing to do was stick with her. If she were not to, it would be like she had abandoned her job as her 'mother' despite her 'child' having grown up, rapid as it may have been...
Yutaka, Patchouli, Ran, Chen and Sakuya all worked on Yutaka's house until three, after which the house was pretty much complete. However, much to Dawitsu and Sakuya's surprise, each party decided to stay at their house of origin for the rest of the day. It was as if the pair knew that there was a lingering attachment to their homes, and that ultimately, they would have to spend one last night saying their goodbyes and making their peace with the area... for even homes themselves, as many people know, have spirits, and so when a person leaves their home, although their friends and their families will always stay in touch, there is something that one always truly departs from...
...Yutaka and Patchouli felt the bitter-sweet combination of excitement and loss as they stayed for what was most likely their final evening as residents of their old homes, Patchouli spending her evening lecturing Flandre about useless facts and Yutaka playing one last game of chess with everyone in the Dawitsu Mansion.
The day concluded as if in one fell swoop, Gensokyo had stopped... and realised that time would pass for it. That it too would grow up.
Yet Gensokyo itself also knew that, as long as it lived in the hearts and minds of those who loved it, that its youth would be as eternal as the great, tragic Fujiwara no Mokou...
Author's Notes: This is it, guys. La finale. Zuíhóu de juésái. Kesshou. Finalem.
I will conclude this series. This is the final major book. But before I disappear from the Touhou fanfic circle, I wanna do a couple things, because I've left a speculative plot hanging. Firstly, I'm going to do an interactive interview fic, in which I'll allow you reviewers to ask any amount of questions to any amount of my Original Characters or butchered Canon Characters, with one chapter each dedicated to answer the questions of every reviewer.
I will also write up a one-chapter epilogue which will take place when all the characters grow up, as the epilogue here goes on about.
Then, I will leave the touhou fanfic circle, and hope I've left something of an imprint on this place.
I just want to say, it's been an absolute honour writing for people like this. Even though my writing style is fluffy, WAFF, and many other plot-lacking things, I feel glad in knowing that I have made people happy in one way or another. That's my maxim of life... to make others happy.
And not just a 'put on a façade to please others' sort, either. I'm talking about doing things that will warm the heart of others. I hope that I have done this for you guys... I sincerely do.
I'll never forget this experience, and knowing me, I'll probably continue drawing artwork and program up the TH13.5 I've been working on to go along with this fic series...
I guess that I can now work on my original story, university, and maybe even finish off my 100 days fic from all those years ago...
Goodbye, my friends. Goodbye. I can honestly say I've been touched by you all. Even anon, as he's managed to make me able to laugh at myself. I cannot thank all of you readers enough.
See you. Bye. Adios. Au revoir. Arrivadercci...
(bursts into tears)