Written for Serenes Forest's "Write Your Butt Off!" Writing Competition Round 5.
Disclaimer: Touhou is not mine. It belongs to Team Shanghai Alice.
Recreation of Blazing Hell
So much fire.
The failure of the shrine maiden has its benefits, I think. No more will people call me a monster, now that there appears to be a new fire-wielding creature burning things. Far more than I ever burned them, at any rate.
On the flip side… I'm left with even less to do than before. Maybe I'll just take it out on Kaguya. Even if she's far from responsible for this.
I look up at the sky, where the new sun was forming, raining the lava of hell down on Gensokyo. I sigh and shake my head. Oh well, she's too far gone for me to stop her. And fighting fire with fire won't do much, contrary to the saying.
I kick an ember nonchalantly, a remnant of my old house. Not much point in staying here. Or anywhere.
This had all started when the evil spirits started coming out of that geyser. Yukari Yakumo had sent the boundary maiden Reimu Hakurei to deal with them, unknowingly sending her to her doom, caused by the UV radiation from the hell raven (or something like that, as Yukari understands it far better than I do). Now, the raven has come to the surface with the intention of creating a new "Blazing Hell" on earth.
Apparently, Gensokyo would be merely the beginning, as the raven was going to destroy the Outside World next.
"Doing anything, Mokou?"
I turn to face the speaker. Her features are all too familiar to me: long, silky black hair I had always envied, grey eyes that sparkled like moonlight, smooth skin that seemed to have no faults, the pinnacle of immaculation can be defined as the figure before me.
Yes, I am looking at the "hate of my life". Kaguya Houraisan, a Lunarian who is at least 1340 years old (she's older than me, a 1340-year-old human), is looking at me, her face serious yet hauntingly pretty.
"What do you want?" I growl. "I'll fight you any day of the week, no matter the circumstances, if that's what you want."
"It is not." She stares at me, grey eyes beginning to dull. "I've come to ask for your help."
I scoff. "Why would you think I'd help you?"
"Because, in case you hadn't noticed, there's a second sun forming." She speaks plainly, not in her usual annoying, teasing manner.
"And why is that my problem?"
"Do you not wish to protect the humans who remain?"
"The ones who called me a monster? The ones who forced me out of society?" I retort. "Good riddance, them."
"Would she have wanted that response?"
I glare at the former lunar princess. How dare she bring that girl up! How dare-
I look away from Kaguya, at the remains of the shack. As much as it pains me to say it, she is correct. That girl loved humans dearly, doing everything in her power to protect them in spite of being a half-beast.
"So will you help me defeat the raven for the sake of the remaining humans?"
"Thank you for understanding, Mokou." Kaguya managed a soft smile.
"I'm only doing it because it's what she would have wanted."
"So wipe that smirk off your face."
She doesn't listen, simply grabbing my hand and pulling me off in what feels like a random direction.
I eventually realize we are on our way to what used to be the Hakurei Shrine. Eirin Yagokoro, silver-haired creator of the accursed Hourai Elixir and Kaguya's subordinate, is calmly waiting for us.
"Ah, Miss Fujiwara." She says.
"Miss Yagokoro." I nod in acknowledgement.
"Both of you, come here. I believe I may have found a way to quiet the girl."
"Girl? All I see is an annoying Hell Raven killing off the planet. You make her sound human."
"Do not forget, Miss Fujiwara, you yourself have acted similarly. Now… as I was saying. I have been led to believe, due to her power, that that bird swallowed a god known as Yatagarasu."
"And what can we do about that, Eirin?" Kaguya asks.
"Patience, princess." Eirin replies. "Anyway, to stop her, we must save Yatagarasu."
"And how do you suppose we do that?"
"It's simple," the silver-tressed woman says. "We rally for faith in Yatagarasu. That should be enough to resurrect him as a being separate from the raven."
"...So we're missionaries." I sigh.
"In a way."
"Come on, Mokou." Kaguya grabs my arm, pulling me away from Eirin. "We'll take the east half of the Outside World. Eirin can handle the west on her own."
I raise an eyebrow. Why am I not the one on my own?
Kaguya pulls and pulls. I'm left with no choice but to go with her, as I had agreed to aid the humans, after all.
Most of the humans couldn't understand Kaguya and me. We spread our messages through images, gradually accumulating the faith needed to revive Yatagarasu while learning new tongues.
"Mokou, go to the northern square of this city." Kaguya says. In spite of our rivalry, Kaguya has not failed to treat me with respect. "I'll speak to the peasants in the south end."
That's unusual. Normally, I'm left with the peasants, while Kaguya preaches to the despairing nobility.
I sigh as I turn my back on Kaguya, heading for the north end. I watch as three children in the streets sing about their impending doom. Cheerful subject. Noticing Kaguya is gone, I approach them.
"Do you really think there is no way to save yourselves?"
They look at me, confused by my Japanese. Crap, that's right. We aren't in Japan, but China. Travelling throughout the nation with Kaguya helped me learn to grasp basic Chinese, just enough to communicate.
"Do you want... to save yourselves?" I ask, in Chinese this time.
The children look at me, understanding my message. They nod, indicating I should continue.
"If… you want to help, we need you to give… thoughts." I say. My Chinese isn't great, but I continue. "If you believe… Yatagarasu, god of sun… can exist… the raven will… stop."
They stare at me. Silence pervades the four of us.
I leave without another word.
We failed. Our message didn't reach enough people in time.
Kaguya is standing by my side, head hung, tears streaming down her face.
It doesn't surprise me. We had gone through a lot while trying to gain faith for Yatagarasu.
"Kaguya…" I mumble.
"Mokou… how… how could Eirin's plan fail?"
I remain silent, choosing to stare at the wilted plant life and barren stretches that now covered the Earth.
"It was inevitable…" is all I manage to say. This "hate of my life", she's sobbing into my shoulder, her eyes dull without their moonlit sparkle.
"But we worked so hard… We rallied the faith of the entire nation of China! Of India! And Eirin must have gotten so much faith from the west…"
"It wasn't enough…" I say. She moves closer to me, startling me as she begins to hug me.
"Mokou, please don't leave, no matter what…"
I remain silent. Only one word manages to escape me: "Alright."
I hope you all enjoyed~!