An Emotion Called 'Frustration' [Private]

Locations of interest: Hakugyokurou
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The realm of the dead, spirits, and things that do not change with time. Existing apart from the rest of Gensokyo, the barrier separating it from the land of the living manifests as a nigh impenetrable gate in the sky. In recent times, it has become possible to bypass.

Overlooking the Netherworld is the manor of Hakugyokurou, a Japanese style building surrounded by a veritable sea of gardens and landscaping. Many ghosts can be seen there, as the grounds are usually open for public viewings.

An Emotion Called 'Frustration' [Private]

Postby Hata no Kokoro » 30 Jul 2013 23:40

"That's the ceiling?" she asked herself. It was an interesting question, one which had been prompted after she had suddenly found herself in a very dark place after flying very high. She wanted to see how high she could go, and she had been a bit high up there when, poof, she must have gone through something she hadn't seen. One minute it was all bright and blue, then it was all dark. Except...it wasn't really, the ceiling just seemed really dark, and...wait. "Oh," she said a moment later, before the gravity of the Netherworld asserted itself and she fell, her body hitting the ground, her head having already met with it. That was not the ceiling, it was the ground. Unusual...what was this place?

Frowning, the purple-haired girl stood up, brushing the dirt off of herself as she glanced around. So many trees, beautiful trees, a lot of darkness, and...stairs? To where? Tilting her head a bit, the girl looked around a little bit more. There was no one there...perhaps someone would be on the stairs? Someone who could tell her what was going on here? Yeah, that sure seemed like a solid plan. With that thought in mind, the girl progressed forward; besides, it wasn't as if she had any idea how to get back now.

That had been a little bit ago...or she had thought it was a little bit ago. A glance down the stairs told her that she had actually gone quite a ways now; where she had started out was nowhere to be seen, and she could still see more stairs at the top. It was enough to cause her frustration, except...wait, was that some sort of platform thing at the top? Yes, yes it was! Eyes alight just a bit, experiencing the feeling of excitement, Kokoro rushed forward, heaving heavy breathes, and pushed herself to her last. It was only a little while longer until she reached the end of the stairs and fell to her knees, taking deep breaths.

Was anyone up here? Ooh, she hoped so! She had yet to meet anyone so far, and despite the excitement she felt at not having to walk the stairs anymore, or she assumed there were no stairs anyway, it was still quite...ooh, what was the word? No, the emotion. It was still very...frustrating that she had to go through all of this just to get some answers about whatever this place was.

"Anyone here!?" she called out, looking up.
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Re: An Emotion Called 'Frustration' [Private]

Postby Youmu Konpaku » 05 Aug 2013 20:09

Shortly after the shout a pale face appears at the top of the stairs, framed in silvery white hair. The small person takes a few more steps forward and reveals herself to be a little girl in a green dress. With a strange eerie ghost of abnormal size floating next to her. "The ghosts have told me, that there is an intru~ .. umm, somebody ascending the stairs." She tries to sound imposing and composed, but her small stature and voice make that a pretty futile effort.

"If you are an intruder, then your journey ends here. I will not allow you to go any further. If you are .. uh .. a guest .. then .. umm .. I'll escort you to the mansion .. I think" This was so much easier when we never had visitors. Everybody was an intruder then.

"Ah!" The small silvery haired person jumps with a startled expression and gives Kokoro a quick bow. "I'm Youmu Konpaku, the swordsmanship instructor and gardener of Hakugyokurou."
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Re: An Emotion Called 'Frustration' [Private]

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 05 Aug 2013 20:41

Yuyuko let out a soft sigh of contentment and smiled as she sat on the veranda, basking in the quiet aura of peace and serenity that emanated from the garden she was appreciating. Youmu-chan had outdone herself this time it seemed, and she couldn't help but marvel at how skillful the half-ghost had gotten over her tenure. In fact, perhaps it was time to-

-Her train of thought jogged somewhat before it was brought to an abrupt halt by the sudden sense that somewhere in her domain, something was amiss. There was a... Foreign presence in the Netherworld, and though there weren't any untoward impressions or attempts at stealth coming from it, it seemed strangely murky somehow... Not from confusion or hesitation, but more as if there were competing influences vying to push a central point as they would. Unlike typical cases of possession by a host of less-than-savory spirits however, this central body seemed quite complicit in the scheme...

Partially opening her eyes, Yuyuko smiled enigmatically to herself and quietly murmured to nobody in particular "So then... An intruder? Or an unexpected guest...? My, how curious~ Well, I'm sure dear Youmu will manage it appropriately~"
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Re: An Emotion Called 'Frustration' [Private]

Postby Hata no Kokoro » 07 Aug 2013 04:31

Ghosts? Kokoro frowned as she looked up at the girl that spoke. What was that weird thing next to her? Was it...was that a ghost? Where in Gensokyo WAS she? The mask girl didn't like this one bit, and she rubbed her head a little as she thought about how to respond to this; it didn't help that she was so very tired from her long walk. "I don't even know where I am," Kokoro said in a flat tone, mostly because she wasn't sure what tone to take right then. She had no idea that such a flat tone might make it seem like she was making light of the situation.

Her gaze had been on the weird white thing floating next to the girl, but now her gaze had turned to the actual girl as she struggled back to her feet. Were there more stairs after this? Oh she really, really hoped there were not; she came forward a little. "There's a mansion here in the...right. Do you think you could tell me where we are?" she asked, tilting her head much like a child would. But then again, she pretty much was a child; she didn't know much at all, and she was trying to learn her different emotions.
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Re: An Emotion Called 'Frustration' [Private]

Postby Youmu Konpaku » 13 Aug 2013 23:12

A frown .. that's not a good thing. The little gardener instinctively tries to hides her relatively large ghost half behind her small body when she notices the strange person with all these masks stare at it. "Umm .. you are on the stairs leading towards the mansion, through the cherry tree orchards I take care of." No introduction in return? That's weird. And her voice is weird too. I hope she's not some kind of ghost, because t-that would really s-s-scary.

Youmu jumps slightly when these weird kind of empty seeming eyes focus on her human half. "Uh .. yes. There's a mansion up the stairs. It belongs to Yuyuko-sama and we live there. Umm .. you are in in Hakugyokurou, which is part of the Netherworld." Without thinking the silver haired girl follows the tilting motion of the visitor's head. "Umm .. say .. are you some kind of halloween spirit? I've never been there or experienced it, but I have heard that it involves people disguising themselves with masks and that pumpkins are an important part of it."
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Re: An Emotion Called 'Frustration' [Private]

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 16 Aug 2013 21:07

As Yuyuko sat and waited for the issue to be resolved... She felt her curiosity gnawing at her. She had every reason to have faith in Youmu's judgement on how to proceed, but surely it would not be troublesome for her to perhaps peek in on the gardener and this fascinating new arrival... In fact, she was sure of it. She was the mistress of this fine mansion after all, was she not? If nothing else, it was also her duty as the mistress to properly receive all guests, and if Youmu had not stricken down this other spirit, then it likely did not pose a threat to her, much less Yuyuko herself. Her mind newly made-up, she smiled and nodded decisively to herself before rising from her seat and drifting indoors, then onward toward the main gate.

As she approached the weighty doors, somehow regal despite their lack of obvious ornamentation, they opened without even a touch from her, and the scene of the two girls on the steps unfolded before her... The ever-faithful silver-haired swordswoman, and along with her someone quite unexpected, not to mention unfamiliar...

She opened her mouth behind her fan to say something, call out to them perhaps, welcome them in maybe... But whatever may have been said was cut short as she elected to simply sit back and watch the two of them talk. It seemed rather rude to interrupt, after all...
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Re: An Emotion Called 'Frustration' [Private]

Postby Hata no Kokoro » 16 Aug 2013 22:19

"The...Netherworld. I don't remember dying," Kokoro tilted her head as she thought about this. Then again, maybe the Netherworld wasn't where you went when you died? Kokoro wasn't even sure what the Netherworld was, but it sure sounded ominous, so why was a garden and a mansion in a place like this? And...what was this girl anyway? She had a weird blobby thing with her that Kokoro found weird too.

"...What's a Halloween spirit? I'm a menreiki, my name's Kokoro," she stated, not caring if Youmu knew what that was or not; she HAD answered the question, after all, so in her mind that was the matter settled. She looked away from Youmu and at the weird white blobby thing again, obviously curious about just what in the world it was. It definitely looked unusual, that was for sure, and the girl was standing in front of...whatever it was protectively. She looked between the two for a couple of moments before looking at the swordswoman again. "What are you?" she decided to ask the question this time, but that was when she noticed something.

Looking up the stairs, past Youmu, she noticed some sort of doors had opened. "...What's your name?" Kokoro called out to her, but she didn't shout; no, she let her voice carry on the wind. Or the lack of it...it didn't feel too windy in there. The new lady had on a rather weird hat too, didn't she? Just what was up with the girls she had met and weird hats?
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Re: An Emotion Called 'Frustration' [Private]

Postby Youmu Konpaku » 27 Aug 2013 13:34

In the Netherworld, Youmu is quite aware of her surroundings at most times .. through the network and whispers of the ghosts. Which is why Yuyuko can always avoid her detection so easily whenever she wills, much to the little girl's chagrin.

"Ah .. I don't think you died, but probably slipped in through the gate. It's been left .. umm .. kind of open." I don't think Yukari-sama will ever close it again. I would miss my friends if she did, so I'm kind of glad about it. Not above a little selfishness sometimes, that is the main reason the diligent gardener never mentions it, even when the gap manipulating youkai comes over for a visit. "If you died, you would have met Shikieiki-sama and I know you would remember her." Or at least the Yamaxandu's stern lecture.

"I honestly have no idea either. But a festival like Halloween surely has some spirits, wouldn't it?" Especially with that spooky theme it has. "Uh .. I don't really know what a menreiki is, only .. something about masks perhaps?"

The intense stare at her ghost half makes the young sword wielder visibly uneasy and embarrassed. "Umm .. it's kind of in my name actually. I'm half human and half spirit. A half-phantom I think. Uh .." She timidly brings her floating half back to the fore again and hugs it tightly to herself for a brief moment, before turning her attention back on the visitor. Gently releasing her ghost half again, she tries to assume a more dignified posture again and acts like nothing happened, belied only by the blush on her face.

A this point she suddenly realizes how Kokoro's attention has shifted and whirls around, with hands reflexively grabbing the hilts of her blades. Seeing who it is, she exclaims in shocked surprise. "Y-y-yuyuko-sama!?" The little half ghost is still young and inexperienced, but isn't it time for her to get used to her whimsical Mistress appearing whenever she likes?
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Re: An Emotion Called 'Frustration' [Private]

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 31 Aug 2013 17:50

Yuyuko couldn't help herself but to giggle delicately behind her fan at Youmu's reaction, the gardener always seemed so surprised whenever her mistress made an appearance of her own will, rather than being called out or stumbled across. In retrospect it was rather curious this was so, however Yuyuko wrote it off to Youmu being Youmu, and thus adorable.

Refocusing her attention on the other girl she noticed a series of masks floating about her, each of them charged with spiritual power... Perhaps that accounted for the odd presence, or rather, presences she had picked up on prior to arriving here? In any case Yuyuko swept her fan away from her face with a flourish to hold it out to her side in a grand gesture as she introduced herself.

"I am Yuyuko Saigyouji, mistress of Hakugyokurou, and overseer of the land of the dead. I take it you have already met my dear gardener, Youmu~ So now the only question is... Who might you be~?"

Yuyuko then brought the fan about to point it toward the girl below her on the staircase as her eyes shined with curiosity...
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Re: An Emotion Called 'Frustration' [Private]

Postby Hata no Kokoro » 04 Sep 2013 22:19

"...Why is the gate to the Netherworld open?" Kokoro asked as she tilted her head a little; that made no sense to her. If this place was supposed to be for dead people and alive people weren't supposed to be in it, which she thought was the case given this other girl's behavior, why keep the door to the place open? That didn't make much sense at all if you asked her.

Then again, a lot of things in Gensokyo didn't make much sense to her, but she had never thought to stop and ask why some things were like that, huh? Well, now she was. Kokoro's head remained tilted when Youmu spoke again. "A menreiki...is like a tsukumogami. We are born of masks, they're literally us and not an object we're possessing though," Kokoro explained. How...unusual that felt, explaining something to someone when she wasn't entirely sure of the specifics either. She just...knew what she was and that was Kokoro, the rest of it she wasn't sure about. It didn't really matter to her anyway...the only thing that TRULY mattered to her was figuring out what these emotions were, and...she stopped her thinking soon when the other lady spoke up. There was something intense about her, something that seemed...intimidating, and Kokoro frowned as she stared curiously at the woman.

She didn't even comment on Youmu's last statement about being a half ghost sort of thing, that was how curious she was about this new arrival. And why was she getting a fan pointed at her? Kokoro stared at the fan curiously, wondering if it would do something, before looking up and staring at Yuyuko. Overseer of the dead...maybe that was why she felt intimidating even if she might not be? "I am Hata no Kokoro," she paused here to glance at Youmu, then back at Yuyuko. "I'm not dead." she added.
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Re: An Emotion Called 'Frustration' [Private]

Postby Youmu Konpaku » 14 Sep 2013 20:35

"Ah .. t-the gate is still open, because .. umm .. it hasn't been closed." She would like to add 'yet', but it is unlikely that it ever will again. And as embarrassing as it would be to admit openly, even with the nuisances that sometimes happen because of it, she prefers it to remain as it is now too. It is nice to be able to visit Gensokyo when she has the time, or is sent there on an errand. That her reply is quite empty and answers little is something that the small half ghost does not realize, but it is her honest opinion on this matter in a way.

"So you are like a .. tsukumogami, but a bit different?" The only tsukumogami Youmu has met so far is Kogasa, whom she briefly fought with during the divine spirits incident, prior to that jiang shi. Uhh .. She is about to ask Kokoro if she is going to be making as many strange puns as those two, but decides against it. her curiosity is instead drawn in by these floating masks. "Umm .. so these masks are actually you?" Is the body then just a figment, or as real as her own, with the masks maybe being an extension similar to the way her ghost half is for the small sword wielder. Youmu is pretty sure that is not entirely the case though.

After the small shock of Yuyuko's sudden appearance, it takes Youmu just a few moments to recover her bearings and letting go of her blades she straightens up again to give her Mistress a bow. "Yuyuko-sama. We have a guest." The young gardener takes a moment to think about how to relay what little information she had managed to gather, but by then Yuyuko has already turned her attention towards their visitor and the small servant follows suit again. The frown makes her a bit uneasy, but it passes quickly enough. Nevertheless, she steps a little closer to her Mistress, always ready to act in her role as protector.
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Re: An Emotion Called 'Frustration' [Private]

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 17 Sep 2013 21:49

Yuyuko let Hata's frown roll off of her with an affable smile, giggling as the mask-girl stated the obvious "Oh, I can see you are not dead, and in fact very much alive. That is part of why you are so fascinating~ As for the border being thin... Well, it would be frightfully dull otherwise, would it not? One can only stare at cherry blossoms so long before longing for something a bit more... Lively~" Yuyuko's smile changed as she said this, if only slightly, before she continued...

"I cannot speculate as to what brought you here, though I suppose you could write it off to an unusually pleasant near-death experience, as it pleases you~ As unexpected as you may have been, you are still more than welcome within these walls, and perhaps we may be able to help you with whatever confusion seems to be weighing upon you~"

Yuyuko paused now, studying Hata carefully for her reaction...

"It's not often one gets to speak with the dead and benefit from their wisdom, after all~"
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Re: An Emotion Called 'Frustration' [Private]

Postby Hata no Kokoro » 25 Sep 2013 02:55

The gate was open because it hadn't been closed...well then, that made her wonder just who had opened the gate in the first place. It couldn't be easy to open a gate to the Netherworld, right? She didn't think it'd be easy, but maybe...maybe they just let it happen? They seemed happy with it open, and if it was shut, they'd be stuck here. It didn't seem like a nice place, at least not nice enough to be stuck in it all the time. Could she blame them for wanting it open? It was like her desire to experience emotions for herself, it made them happy. She merely nodded a bit at the question Youmu gave her, and frowned a bit before nodding again about the masks. "...I'm not entirely sure if that's the right way to talk about them. I wouldn't say they're me, but...a part of me?" she had never really given much thought to her masks. To her, it had never really mattered what she was.

After all, one lacked curiosity when they were emotionless, and the only way for her to ever experience curiosity was to wear that mask. At least, that was how it used to be. Now? Not so much. She was wondering how related to her the masks really were...huh. It felt nice to wonder. Kokoro looked away from the gardener and to Yuyuko, frowning a bit as she wondered what to say back to her. What DID she want to ask dead people? And...wait. This woman lived in a mansion, with a gardener and everything. Youmu hadn't said much about her, just that she lived here, but...was she talking to the person leading the Netherworld? Or whoever was in charge of it. She seemed fancy enough for the job.

Tilting her head, the mask girl eyed the woman, still lost as to what she wanted to ask. "....I don't know what to ask. There's lots of things I want to know, but people other than you could answer them..." she stated, frowning a bit more. Yuyuko was right, people probably didn't get this chance often, so she was a bit...she wasn't sure, but she felt something at the fact that she couldn't think of anything to ask.
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