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Absurdities of Summer Breeze
This fanfic is Touhou fanfic by MaullarMaullar.
Girls do their best now and are preparing. Please watch warmly until it is ready.
Treasures of Eastern paradise were stolen! This mystery is unprecedented challenge for girls.
Far to the East, over the horizon, lies a land long forgotten by the world. Gensokyo, as it has come to be called, was once a part of rural Japan. Over a century ago, the youkai-infested area was sealed away by priests. Since then, humans and youkai have coexisted in relative (allowing, of course, for a few curtain-fire barrages a day) peace, the former shunning the technology of the outer world and learning magic instead. Such was life in this Eastern border land.
Today was a fine midsummer morning in Gensokyo. Tenderly colored flowers opened up to the robin’s-egg sky abuzz with flitting fairies and a black-winged girl tossing newspapers about. Golden sunlight, unfiltered by clouds, cascaded down from one end of Gensokyo to another.
The light streamed through the treetops of a deciduous forest and entered the east window of an old-fashioned house, shining on a young blonde girl until she reluctantly climbed out of bed.
The light joined the calls of roosters in heralding morning for the humans of a small village, and on its periphery, in a small house, a girl with long silver hair with blue highlights arose.
The light reached into the mountains, beyond thick forests and an icy lake, and touched a blood-red, Victorian-style mansion. At its doorstep, a redheaded girl in a green Chinese-style dress awoke and started to fold up the newspaper that was her only bedding. Some of the light even got into the darkened interior of the red mansion.
“Sakuya...” a young-looking, bat-winged girl with a worn red-and-white nightcap groaned, raising her head from her pillow to get out of a thin beam of light. “The curtain...”
“Yes, Lady Remilia,” answered a pretty, silver-haired girl in a French maid outfit. The two long braids on either side of her face swayed in time with the click of her high heels as she walked over to the window and shut the gap in the thick, light-absorbing curtains.
The light even crossed the boundary into the Netherworld, illuminating a path through the blooming cherry trees for a pink-haired girl, a short gray-haired girl and a floating object resembling a large white tadpole.
Yet there was one part of Gensokyo where the morning light failed to reach. Deep within a large bamboo forest, in the pitch-black interior of a large, Japanese-style mansion, an ornate alarm clock rang. A slender, pale hand reached out from under a carrot-patterned blanket to shut the clock off, and was soon joined by its owner, a cute girl with very long light purple hair and crinkly rabbit ears.
Getting out of bed with a sigh, the bunny girl lit an oil lamp and donned a pale pink miniskirt, a white blouse and a red necktie. She stopped to straighten her tie in the mirror before slipping on a black jacket. Taking the oil lamp with her, she made her way through the halls of the mansion and entered a large bedchamber, where a comely woman with long silver hair lay sprawled on a four-poster bed.
“Master Eirin, wake up, it’s morning,” the bunny girl said, gently shaking the woman.
Eirin sat up slowly, rubbing her eyes. “Ah... good morning, Udonge.”
“Master, do you think maybe we could change that Udonge nickname?” the bunny girl asked as she styled Eirin’s hair into a long, thick braid running down her back.
“Sure, Reisen. How does ‘Zayaku’ sound?”
“...Udonge is fine,” Reisen replied, her ears drooping a bit.
“Oh, I almost forgot,” Eirin spoke up as Reisen helped her into a long red-and-blue dress adorned with constellation patterns. “Could you go shopping today? I need some suzuran extract for my latest experiment.”
Reisen left the bamboo forest and immediately shielded her eyes from the bright sun. Once they had adjusted, she raised her head and focused her magic energy, and her feet lifted off the ground. Picking up speed and altitude, she was soon flying at a leisurely pace, admiring the unmarred day. Spending most of her time in a dark house made it all the more breathtaking. She wished every day were so beautiful.
Reisen walked into a small village. Noticing the stares of passersby, she tried, without much success, to make her ears less conspicuous, and pulled the back of her jacket down a little in an attempt to cover the cotton tail sticking out of the back of her skirt.
“Good morning, Miss Reisen,” came a familiar voice from behind her.
Reisen stiffened momentarily and forgot about pulling her jacket down. She turned slowly—sure enough, it was that silver-haired maid who had beaten her up and left her tied up in the cold several months ago. “Sakuya! What do you want this time?”
“Hm?” Sakuya, fiddling absently with one of her braids, looked quizzically back at Reisen. “I was just saying hello.”
“Don’t act like that time last winter never happened!”
“You’re still thinking about that?”
“I could’ve gotten pneumonia!”
“Oh well. You seem healthy enough now.” Sakuya turned. “I’ve got some shopping to do, so I’ll see you later.”
“Don’t ignore me!” Reisen cried, raising her right hand, index finger outstretched. A red, bullet-shaped magic blast issued from her finger, speeding toward the maid’s back.
Sakuya half-turned to look at the incoming attack, then vanished, leaving the blast to explode against the side of a building. Reisen looked around frantically for a second, then, hearing the whiz of knives through air, threw herself to one side, tumbling to a crouch, just as a dozen gleaming knives embedded themselves in the ground she had been standing on half a second ago.
Cursing under her breath, Reisen gathered magic in her hands and hurled blast after blast up into the air after Sakuya, who deftly weaved around them, almost without effort. A casual bystander might think the maid had inhuman reflexes, but Reisen knew it was actually time control.
“Look,” Sakuya said calmly as a glowing red blast passed harmlessly by her head. “I don’t really have time to play with you right now.”
A sphere of knives materialized in midair around Reisen and flew at her. Exploiting the gaps in their flight paths, Reisen managed to avoid being skewered, but by the time she turned her attention back to Sakuya, she was gone already.
A hand clapped down on Reisen’s shoulder. Startled, she turned to see a girl with long, silver, blue-highlighted hair, wearing a plain blue dress and a hat that vaguely resembled a lunchbox.
“Oh... hi, Keine,” Reisen said to the clearly irritated girl.
“What do you think you were doing, fighting in the middle of town?!” Keine yelled. “As if it wasn’t bad enough that bandits have been stealing our supply shipments!”
“Yes, no shipments have been able to get here for a few days now. The stores are already empty!”
“So... no suzuran extract?”
“No! What do you want something like that for, anyway?”
“Nothing. Do you have any idea where these bandits might be hiding?”
“If I did, I’d have defeated them myself.”
“Well, if I find anything out, I’ll let you know.”
Reisen shivered a little as she entered a gloomy deciduous forest. A chokingly thick aura of magic hung in the air and made the hairs on the back of her neck stand up. She couldn’t imagine why anyone would want to live in such a place, but, inexplicably, the person she needed to see did.
Arriving outside an old-fashioned house with an especially strong aura of magic, Reisen banged on the door until a youngish girl with medium-length blonde hair, in a black-and-white dress and a witch hat, answered.
“Geez, you sure are noisy, ze...” the witch remarked.
“Marisa, give them back!”
“Give what back?” Marisa tilted her head a little.
“The supplies you stole from the human village! Master Eirin needs them!”
“I didn’t steal anything, ze.”
“As if I’d believe that! You steal all kinds of things! You even stole my microscope that one time!”
“Hey, you can’t prove that!”
“Anyway, confess and return the goods, and I won’t have to beat you up.”
“I guess you won’t be persuaded, ze...” Marisa sighed, and a broom leapt into her waiting hand. “So I’ll just have to knock some sense into your bunny head!”
Reisen dove away from the door just as several green magic bolts came flying out of it, and, landing on one knee, turned to see Marisa fly out the door on her broom.
“Love Sign—“ Marisa called with a grin, holding a spellcard high, “Master Spark!” She brought her cupped hands together and a colossal beam of magic energy poured out, leaving a swath of scorched grass under its path. Reisen attempted to leap out of the way, but the beam struck her obliquely, knocking the wind out of her and sending her flying into a nearby tree with a crack.
“Ugh...” Reisen groaned, the world spinning wildly before her eyes, as Marisa dismounted and walked over to her to gloat.
“So, how about that? Overpowering, huh?” the witch asked cheerfully, looking down into Reisen’s garnet-red eyes.
Reisen recognized her chance. Her eyes glowed brilliant red for a second. Marisa’s eyes caught the light and she recoiled, stunned. While she stumbled backward, Reisen got up and sent her to the ground with a karate chop to the back of the neck.
“Mm-mmmm!!” Marisa, tied tightly to a chair, said some undoubtedly nasty things that were muffled beyond comprehension by the knotted cloth held fast between her lips. She glared at the bunny girl searching her house with pure vitriol.
“I’m not sorry at all,” Reisen remarked dryly, opening a drawer. “You deserved it.”
Ignoring the witch’s muffled protests and the rattling of the chair as she struggled around in it, Reisen searched thoroughly, but found no sign of any goods that might have been stolen from the village’s supply shipments.
“Oh well, at least I got my microscope back...” Reisen commented as she left, one last “MMMMMMPH!” sounding after her. She chose not to wonder why there was a large, pointy object marked “Peacekeeper Missile” in the closet.
Reisen flew around aimlessly, unsure of where to go next. As she scanned the lush greenery below her, she noticed a pair of rabbit ears coming from behind a thicket.
“No way...” Reisen said to herself. Coming to a graceful landing, she called out, “Hey, who’s there?”
From behind the thicket came a young girl with curly, shoulder-length black hair and two rabbit ears atop her head, in a faded pink dress. “Oh, hi, Reisen,” she said. “Nice day, don’t you think-usa?”
“Tewi, aren’t you supposed to stay home and help Master Eirin today?”
“No, she sent me out on an important errand-usa.”
“Liar. You probably just snuck out to pick flowers again.”
“Okay, you got me-usa.” Tewi’s head sank, then rose again with an evil grin that showed the sharp points of her teeth. “But you won’t make it back home to tell on me!”
Reisen cried out as Tewi leapt on her, knocking her to the ground. The two rolled around in the grass, grappling with each other, crushing the vibrant, sweetly scented flowers. In their struggle, they hardly noticed that they were rolling down an incline. They certainly noticed, however, when they fell into a river.
Reisen and Tewi climbed, sputtering, out of the water and stood facing each other on the riverbank. Reisen raised her right hand, pointing her index finger at Tewi, and sent a magic blast hurtling toward her abdomen. The shorter bunnygirl jumped the blast and, landing close to her opponent, jabbed at her chin. Reisen raised an arm to knock Tewi’s aside and, making a fist, quickly brought it back down towards her head. Tewi, anticipating the counter, raised her arm to block the strike crosswise and, with a forward step, thrust her open palm at Reisen’s chest.
Reisen failed to bring her free arm up in time to parry. Taking the full force of the blow, she stumbled backwards and slipped on a patch of soggy, recently crushed grass.
“See, I told you,” Tewi produced another sharp-toothed grin as well as a length of rope and advanced on the fallen bunny girl.
Reisen, gritting her teeth, began to raise her right arm, only to have it slammed back down by Tewi’s foot, which came to rest on her wrist, trapping her hand in the water. Narrowing her eyes, she fired off her blast anyway, and the water burst into a cloud of steam and a shower of scalding droplets.
When the steam cleared, Tewi found herself bent awkwardly over, her right arm pulled straight behind her, Reisen twisting her wrist with one hand and pressing her shoulder blade down with the other. “Ouch, ouch, ouch-usa!” the hapless bunny girl protested.
After dropping off a bound and gagged Tewi at the Japanese-style mansion, Reisen set out again. The sun was past its peak already, and no sign of the bandits had turned up. Completely occupied with fretting over her inability to find the criminals, Reisen almost flew straight into a crow.
The crow, squawking loudly and frantically beating its wings, circled around Reisen until it was sure of having her attention, then flew off. The bunny girl wasn’t sure what was going on, but followed it anyway. The bird came to rest perched on a thin branch overlooking a ditch. Reisen, although a little confused at first, peered in.
“Mmmmph!” A black-haired, black-winged girl in a white blouse, a black miniskirt and a small red cap looked up at Reisen. Her arms and legs were lashed with heavy ropes, her wrists crossed behind her back, and a thick white cloth was tied over her mouth.
“Aya?” Reisen froze in surprise for a second before loosening the cloth.
Aya spat out a wad of balled-up cloth. “Thanks... I can’t believe I got defeated so easily. I’ve really been too careless lately.”
“Who did this to you?” Reisen inquired as she worked on Aya’s bonds.
“Fairies...” Aya looked at the ground.
“You were beaten by ordinary fairies?”
“Shut up!” Aya gave her bonds an emphatic pull, with the unfortunate effect of negating Reisen’s progress on them. “I told you, I just got careless...”
“Sorry. By the way, this may be a bad time to ask, but doesn’t the Bunbunmaru Newspaper come out today? We have a subscription...”
“After they tied me up, they took my camera and my Bunbunmarus... they even took my notepad! Shameless...”
“That’s odd, I haven’t really heard of fairies...” Reisen froze for a second again. “...robbing travelers...”
“Do you have any idea where they went?” Reisen asked as she hastily finished untying Aya.
Aya straightened the black feathers coating the wings on her back. “I can’t be sure, but I would guess north. Are you thinking of going after them?”
“Yes. I’ll try to get your things back.”
“Thanks. I’ll come and help you after I go home and get my spare camera.”
“What do you need a camera for?”
Aya smiled sweetly. “This is going to be a big scoop!”
Reisen drifted over verdant hillocks and patches of brilliant color, munching on the carrots she had brought for lunch and searching intently for signs of anything unusual. It wasn’t long before she spotted three figures floating in the distance. They couldn’t be fairies, though—they lacked wings. As she neared them, she saw that the one in the lead was a girl with shoulder-length wavy pink hair and a blue kimono and puffy cap. She was closely followed by a short girl, clad in a simple green dress, with short gray hair. Following the short girl was a faintly glowing white ball with a wispy tail. At the same time, the girls noticed her.
“Oh, look, Youmu, it’s a bunny,” the pink-haired one chirped.
“That’s Reisen, Mistress Yuyuko. Don’t you remember her from the harvest moon festival?”
“Hi, guys...” Reisen broke in.
“Hello. What brings you out here?” Youmu asked.
“I’m looking for the bandits who have been intercepting deliveries recently.”
“Oh, really? That’s what we were doing, ourselves, actually.”
“Yeah...” Yuyuko whined. “Not a single restaurant has any food left! At this rate, I’ll starve to death...”
“You ate ten bowls of rice for breakfast today...” Youmu pointed out.
“Say, Youmu, I kind of feel like rabbit stew...” Yuyuko shot Reisen a hungry stare.
“Ehh?!” Reisen’s eyes widened.
“Youmu, if you will.”
“Understood, Mistress Yuyuko.” Youmu drew the katana sheathed at her waist. “Sorry about this, Reisen.”
Reisen turned and flew away as fast as she could, with Youmu in hot pursuit. The white ball bobbed leisurely after Youmu, somehow managing to keep pace. Reisen ducked into a forest in hopes of losing her pursuer; to her horror, she heard the whistling of a swift blade and the sounds of varying lengths of wood being cut—and the sounds were coming closer and closer.
Reisen blasted the base of a tree about 50 meters ahead, and with a terrific crack it began to topple. She felt leaves brush against her calves as the massive cedar fell directly behind her. Knowing she had bought herself only a moment’s respite at best, the bunny girl dove into a river running through the middle of the forest and, holding her ears down, hoped that Youmu would keep going.
She peeked out of the water. To her dismay, Youmu was searching the area carefully. In desperation, Reisen ducked into a hole in the riverbank. To her surprise, the hole turned out to be a tunnel; beams of light coursed down through the water at its end.
Reisen surfaced, gasping for air, in a subterranean cavern lit by some sort of magically augmented phosphorescence. Pushing her thoroughly wet bangs away from her eyes, she noticed a large group of fairies surrounding her, magic attacks at the ready. She raised her hands in resignation.
Reisen sat against a stone wall, her bound legs folded uselessly in front of her. Her tied hands pressed uncomfortably into her back, and a cord connecting them to the ropes that kept her arms lashed to her sides prevented her from shifting them into a better position. Moreover, her hair and clothes were still soaked, exacerbating the existing cold. The bunny girl, shivering a little, whimpered into the layers of heavy cloth tied over her mouth.
As if in response, the sounds of fighting came from outside the small cave in which Reisen was being held. Following a series of high-pitched, guttural screams, in strode a maid with whom Reisen was quite familiar.
“Oh, it’s you,” Sakuya said. “I didn’t think they kept prisoners.”
Sakuya ran a silver knife through Reisen’s knots in rapid succession, and the cords fell loose around her.
“Thanks...” Reisen began, examining herself for rope burn.
“More importantly,” Sakuya interrupted, “you must know about this cavern complex, right?”
“I wasn’t in here very long before I was captured, but yes, I saw some of it while I was being brought here.”
“Good. Let’s go.”
“Hmm? Go where?” Reisen asked, wringing out her ears.
“Go beat up some bandits, of course,” Sakuya replied with a sly smile.
Sakuya drew a long gash across a fairy’s chest with her blade and, seizing the hapless fairy by the hair, slammed her face into the cavern wall.
“Don’t you think you’re defeating them too ruthlessly?” Reisen said with a grimace as she shot down a fairy hiding in ambush.
“They’ll live... probably.”
“There they are!” came a cry from across the cavern, and the maid and the bunny girl leapt in opposite directions, just as a hail of magic blasts reduced the floor they were standing on to dust and rubble. Reisen and Sakuya ducked behind cover and prepared to shoot back, only to see the fairies retreat, closing a heavy makeshift door behind them.
“Running scared already? That’s no fun,” Sakuya commented.
“Wait, I don’t like this...” responded Reisen. “Look, the way we came in has been blocked off, too.”
Predictably, clouds of faintly colored gas began to billow into the cavern as Reisen finished her sentence.
“Hmm... it’s the pollen of the devil lotus,” Sakuya remarked.
“How can you say that so calmly?!” Reisen cried, starting to feel rather fatigued.
Reisen saw Sakuya slump to the floor just before passing out herself.
Reisen slowly regained consciousness. She was still a bit light-headed, her muscles wouldn’t obey her and she had a dry taste in her mouth. Of course, she realized as her consciousness came back in full, this was because she was bound and gagged. Her forearms were tied parallel behind her back; ropes tied above and below her bust pinned her upper arms to her sides and pushed her shoulders up awkwardly. A knotted cloth was tied securely between her lips.
“Mmmmmph...” came a muffled voice from nearby, and Reisen turned to see Sakuya in a similar predicament.
A fairy walked into the small cave in which the two girls were being held, and grabbed them roughly by the collars. “Finally awake, huh. The boss wants to see you,” she said as she pulled the maid and the bunny girl to their feet.
Reisen and Sakuya were half-dragged, half-escorted through the complex into a well-lit, opulently decorated cavern, where they were forced to their knees and their ankles bound. The bunny girl let out a muffled cry of surprise upon seeing the winged girl seated in the middle of the cavern.
The girl, dressed in a black dress and conical cap, stood and brushed a lock of her long orange hair behind her shoulder. “Remove their gags,” she ordered.
“Lily?!” Reisen blurted as soon as her gag was pulled away.
“In some ways,” Lily replied. “But let me make myself clear—the Lily you once knew, who came year after year to announce the coming of spring—that Lily is dead!”
“About time,” Sakuya commented.
“Shut up!” Lily yelled. “It’s such callous attitudes toward fairies that have forced us to these measures!”
“Callous?” Reisen asked.
“Yes! The history of Gensokyo is punctuated with atrocities toward us fairies! Why, just last spring, in the Sanzu no Kawa incident, hundreds of us were maimed or killed without a second thought! Not one of the victims ever made the newspapers!” Lily narrowed her eyes and added, “And I believe both of you were involved...”
“So?” Sakuya nonchalantly inquired as Reisen gulped.
“So I formed this gang for the self-defense of the fairy race, as well as to tear down this society that actively works toward our destruction!”
“But what does that have to do with us?” Reisen asked.
“You two should consider yourself lucky you have valuable connections,” Lily responded. “Normally, since you’ve already seen our hideout, I’d kill you. But if I did, I’d be throwing away my key to the guarded secrets of Eientei and the Scarlet clan.”
Reisen went silent. She knew that if Eirin’s research fell into the wrong hands, the results could be catastrophic.
Sakuya seemed considerably less concerned. “You underestimate my mistress’s resolve,” she said with a brief laugh. “She would tear your heart from your chest before she agreed to pay a ransom, even if it was only 100 yen.”
“In that case,” Lily replied with a grin, “I guess there’s no point in keeping you alive.”
A fairy held a rusted dagger to Sakuya’s throat. The maid pulled away as much as she could, tugging futilely at her bonds, and for the first time a twinge of fear entered her expression.
“Hey, birdbrain!” Reisen shouted at the fairy, who instinctively turned. In that split second of eye contact, Reisen’s eyes glowed brightly red. The fairy’s expression blanked and, with stiff movements, she used the dagger to slice Sakuya’s bonds apart instead.
Sakuya, wasting no time, sprang to her feet and threw knives at the other fairies guarding the cavern; all hit their mark.
“Y-you!” Lily cried in exasperation as Sakuya cut Reisen free.
“Yes, me,” Sakuya responded with a sweet smile.
“Don’t think you’ve won yet!” Lily shouted, throwing her arms open wide and releasing a chokingly thick swarm of magic blasts at the two. As Reisen dove behind a stalagmite for cover, Sakuya cartwheeled out of the way, tossing three knives with her free hand. Lily twisted her torso one way to evade a knife, then the other way to evade another. As she wondered where the third was, she heard the clink of metal bouncing off stone and leapt back as a knife shot down from above and embedded itself into the floor where she had been standing. Sakuya took the opportunity to leap at Lily, knives at the ready. Lily, however, recovered sooner than Sakuya had anticipated, and fired a magic blast at point-blank range. Sakuya was hurled back by the explosion, and from Reisen’s point of view, it looked like she had been hit directly in the abdomen. Upon closer inspection, however, it was evident Sakuya had crossed her knives in front of her to block the attack. Reisen came out from behind her stalagmite and kept Lily occupied with a barrage of magic blasts while Sakuya righted herself in air and made a three-point landing.
Sakuya and Reisen traded volleys with Lily for what seemed like hours until an explosion sent Sakuya flying; she hit a cavern wall and lay slumped against it, surrounded by fallen knives and knives stuck in the wall. Before Reisen could do anything, Lily flew in for the kill, grinning evilly. Then the knives began to stir, and Reisen realized that they were neither fallen nor stuck.
They had been frozen in time.
Sakuya raised her head and smiled at Lily as the knives sprang into motion and pierced the fairy, who fell with a scream.
The maid got to her feet and stretched. “Thanks,” she said as she walked over to Reisen. “Let’s go and retrieve those stolen goods now.” As she turned to leave, she was struck in the back of the neck and fell unconscious.
Sakuya awoke in a dark room, suspended a couple meters above the ground. Her hands were tied securely behind her back and an intricate pattern of ropes criss-crossed her torso, framing her breasts and ending in a rope that passed between her bound legs, lifting up her skirt. A kerchief tied over the bottom half of her face held a rather large wad of rolled-up cloth in her mouth.
Reisen approached her. “Hello, Sakuya.”
“I really appreciated your help back there, but that doesn’t mean I’ve forgiven you for what you did to me in the winter.”
“See you later.” Reisen left the room.
“Ah, Udonge, did you get that suzuran extract?” Eirin asked.
Reisen froze. She knew she had forgotten something.
Aya got her things back and managed to get all her newspapers distributed on time. She also wrote an excellent story about the fight against the bandits—unfortunately, her competitors also ran a story on it a month before she did.
Marisa was able to free herself eventually. She soon had her house back in order and could get to plotting revenge on Reisen.
Keine was grateful to Reisen and Sakuya for their efforts in defeating the bandit gang, although not so much so that she completely overlooked the damage their fight did to the village.
Sakuya was eventually found by Eirin and later released. She never talked about what happened with Eirin.
Yuyuko, too impatient to wait for the food stores to restock or to go home, resorted to eating night sparrows. (Youmu helped her catch them.)
Tewi was thoroughly lambasted for sneaking out, and resolved to get revenge on Reisen.
Reisen lived happily, ignorant of the plots against her, and decided that maybe the outdoors wasn’t so great after all.
As for Lily, she disbanded the bandit gang, got her white clothes back and came again next year to announce the spring. (She was shot down as usual shortly thereafter.)
Good Ending No. 5
Thanks for reading!
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