[Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

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[Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 17 Aug 2009 01:35

Up above the clouds stands the door to the Netherworld. A massive gate, it was once an effective barrier against entrance to the land of the dead by the living. More recently, the barrier was weakened, so even humans can enter just by flying past. This makes no difference to the one crossing over the border now, as she is this world's princess--its keeper, Yuyuko of the noble clan Saigyouji. Perhaps in recognition and acknowledgment of this, her journey up the great stairs is accompanied by the dozens of shining lights of the ghosts coming to greet her.

And then they start complaining. Contrary to how some of the living thought (before they visited and discovered for themselves), the deceased continue to be as noisy in the afterlife as they were while living. Even if nothing major is happening, disagreements will still occur. One can only hope that those who exist as eternal neighbors will learn to get along without any help, but some will be tempted to bring their problems before an authority. Of course, if nothing major is happening, then the problems won't have any importance beyond irritating someone for a short while.

I have been gone awhile, but where is Youmu? Usually, the gardener could be counted on to discourage any ghost from being a nuisance, but she was nowhere in sight. With a feeling of "I may as well," Yuyuko talked to, listened to, and chided the following spirits the entire way up the stairs. Only when she reached the top did she ask the few, stubborn remainders to depart. That they immediately did spared her from having to speak less kindly.

Setting down an odd pair of long, narrow boards that Yukari had given her, the princess floated down the halls of Hakugyokurou.
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Re: [Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

Postby Reisen Udongein Inaba » 17 Aug 2009 02:03

Reisen looked up at the intimidating gate that barred the netherworld. Even though it was by no means her first trip to this place, it was still mighty intimidating. Increasing her altitude, she managed to fly directly over it. It was somewhat strange having such a giant door that most of the inhabitants of Gensokyo could just fly over, but Reisen suspected it had something to do with borders and Yukari and all that. She tried to keep her head out of it as much as possible.

Reisen was dressed in her black uniform on top of her dress shirt, a layer thicker than what she normally wore. Even in the midst of summer, she found the underworld to be quite chilly. Maybe something to do with the spirits all over the place. She carried a familiar knapsack on her back, holding numerous herbs and minor potions to be delivered.

The reason for her little underworld excursion stemmed from the whole "snow" incident that came up a little while ago. Reisen shuddered just thinking about it. Long story short, she had almost single-handedly wiped out Eientei and the Bamboo Forest of the Lost. Although she hadn't gotten banished from Eientei completely, she took it upon herself to help perform many of the more menial duties that the servant bunnies usually carried out. It was the least she could do in light of her actions, and it lightened the guilt on her heart ever so slightly.

The hundreds of steps leading up to Hakugyokurou disappeared behind her as she approached the summit. Hopefully, she wouldn't be thought of as an intruder. In her relatively short time here, the denizens of Gensokyo seemed to thrive on having danmaku battles for the smallest of reasons. She briefly reminded herself at the last time a magic potion had been subject to violent movement.

Best to avoid any conflict for now...
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Re: [Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

Postby Youmu Konpaku » 17 Aug 2009 02:06

Tending the garden after neglecting it for several days was taking a while. Or at least, a lot longer than Youmu had anticipated.

Youmu sighed as she stopped working for a moment to catch her breath. Her mistress Yuyuko would often joke that the garden was 200 yojana long, which was ridiculous, but it was still quite large regardless. Going through all of it in one day was almost impossible.

For a human.

Youmu had gotten almost all of it done in just 2 hours, since she was anticipating Yuyuko's eventual return. She would have to come back eventually, and it wouldn't do to have the garden neglected all that time. Still, it was taking a lot longer than Youmu liked, but at least she would be able to see if anyone was coming to Hakugyokurou.

Ah, there's one right now. Not many people would idly drift into here, so that narrowed Youmu's suspects of who it was down to at least a dozen. Upon further inspection, it seemed less like the person was drifting and more like they were floating... wait.

"YUYUKO-SAMA?" Youmu very nearly dropped the shears she was holding in shock. "Yuyuko-sama, you're back!" Rushing over to her mistress, Youmu very nearly ran her over in a hug. Remembering herself after a few seconds, Youmu stepped back and tried her hardest to keep an official air about her. "I-it's good that you've returned, mistress. Where have you been? And..." Taking a glance at the boards Yuyuko had dropped, Youmu had to ask. "What are those?"
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Re: [Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

Postby Reisen Udongein Inaba » 17 Aug 2009 02:51

Reisen continued to approach the large mansion at the center of the massive garden. Squinting slightly, she could make out two hazy figures near the mansion. Probably Miss Yuyuko and that gardener. Her first instinct was to drift close and politely announce her presence, but for some reason she shied away from actually doing it. Reisen halted her ascent, pondering her next course of action.

With her control over sound waves, Reisen unwittingly began to eavesdrop on their conversation. It wasn't a perfect science by any means, but she could gather enough bits and bobs to understand that Yuyuko had returned to her mansion after a long reprieve. Probably a sentimental reunion...

Reisen suddenly felt very out of place. It would be rude for an outsider like her to interrupt their conversation. She would just have to wait until they were finished. Lowering herself to the ground, she hid behind one of the many cherry blossom trees in the garden, keeping out of sight as best she could. However, she couldn't resist manipulating the sound waves of their conversation to continue eavesdropping. She sighed guiltily as she strained her ears. Rabbits really are curious by nature.
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Re: [Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

Postby Hong Meiling » 17 Aug 2009 03:32

Meiling stood outside of the gates of Hakugyokurou, deep in thought as she considered the barrier halting her progress into the realm of the underworld. She'd already knocked twice to little effect, and was considering a third repetition when she saw a figure go bounding right over the top of it, landing on the other side with nary a pause. Son of a... is THAT how you get in? Seems like a strange method, but I guess the afterlife's weird like that. She backed up a few steps, kneeling down to the ground nearly fully, and leapt up with a rush of ki trailing behind her, a rainbow colored rocket as she shot up into the air.

She touched down with an audible whump as she dropped to one hand, steadying herself from the massive leap. ... wait a second, people don't do this to the Scarlet Devil Mansion's gates, do they? She turned slowly in place, mentally comparing the heights of the gates here compared to at home, and visibly blanched as she realized she had just leapt over something far, far taller than the iron bars which separated the mansion grounds from the rest of Gensokyo. If I can do that, then... Realization setting in, she quickly turned away before any more of her ego could be chewed up in front of her. Right, focus on what you're here for.

It had seemed like a bit of an odd assignment considering everything that had been said at the dinner a few days ago, but here she was, on task to help Youmu find her master. Guess better late than never? she mused, either that or this was yet another political ploy by her head of household; probably so she could call in a favor from the netherworld when the time was suitable. Why exactly Remilia had chosen Meiling specifically to go was something she wasn't even going to begin to try and fathom.

With a shrug, she set off down the gravel pathway towards the giant pagoda in the center of the massive gardens, wondering just who it had been that had leapt over earlier. Somebody wanting to get a jumpstart on the afterlife, maybe? she thought with a snicker, doubting the thought as soon as it had entered her mind. Several minutes later of walking, she began to wonder just how long this path was, when suddenly she hit the foot of the massive stairwell leading up to the pagoda. Oh you've got to be kidding. Lacking a better alternative, she began to climb the stone steps to the top, one foot going in front of the other in rhthmyc time. Oi... it's good excercise, Mei, just keep telling yourself that.

Sweating and panting by the time she reached the apex, she spotted Youmu, the green jumper familiar from the dinner party. "Hoi, Youmu," she said, holding up a hand. "I'm here to help you find Miss Yuyuko."
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Re: [Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 17 Aug 2009 05:43

Yuyuko paused where she was, in front of the mansion. Seeing her servant so excited would have brought a smile to her face, but she was already smiling from the moment Youmu had called out to her, hidden behind her fan. Seeing her reign herself in as she got closer was a little disappointing, but correct. She wasn't a child anymore. But she'd been such an adorable child...

"Oh, there you are, Youmu. I'm home." she announced cheerfully. "Were you in the garden? I thought I'd see you more toward the gate at this time of day. Or were you getting dinner ready?"

At Youmu's queries, she glanced at the objects in question. "Ah, that's from Yukari. She was with me until awhile ago, trying some recent game, but I can't say I understood it very well. It's something about flying down a snow-covered mountain. It might be something that only comes easily to humans..."

With a flicker of her eyes to down the stairs, she added, "...and more physical youkai. A shame we don't have any snow here to test it."

An unexpected guest, or someone looking to die? she thought, before Meiling called out.
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Re: [Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

Postby Youmu Konpaku » 17 Aug 2009 17:41

"Oh that mountain sport? You can try it at the shrine during the festival if you like. I'll have to go to keep an eye on things there." At the sound of someone approaching, Youmu turned around to see who dared to trespass into the Netherworld.

Impeccable timing... Youmu grumbled.

It was the Scarlet’s gatekeeper, Meiling. From the sound of it, she might have been a bit bad at seeing things. “I see. You can look if you like, but I doubt it will be all that hard, considering she’s right behind me.” Youmu gave a small laugh. “The sentiment was nice, but it’s a bit unnecessary now. Still, give my thanks to Remilia for sending help.”

It was a very good day, especially now that Yuyuko was back. Still, something seemed…amiss. Youmu had the weirdest feeling that she was being watched, or listened in on. She couldn’t quite place it, but it seemed like someone was nearby, hiding. The only place to hide around here would be… the cherry blossoms.

“Excuse me for a moment, it seems we may have an intruder.” Youmu quickly sprinted to the trees and drew both swords. “Hidden one, you are either dead or have come here to die. I can help with the latter, if you don’t explain yourself. NOW.
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Re: [Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

Postby Hong Meiling » 17 Aug 2009 19:06

"Right behind you?" Meiling asked, her voice lifting in confusion as she looked behind Youmu. "... OHHH. So that's what Miss Yuyuko looks like! You look good for being a ghost... er, dead... er..." she rapidly and unsuccessfully backpedaled, an embarrassed look growing on her face. Luckily, Youmu had taken that very moment to announce the presence of an intruder, breaking Meiling's dialogue before she could say something really stupid. Instinctually, the gate guard dropped into a fighting stance, already preparing to dash towards the bushes.

And then she remembered where she was. "Oh, right. Probably should let Youmu take care of that," she said to no one in particular, a hand coming up to bonk herself lightly on the head. "So, um... you only cause humans to die, right, Miss Yuyuko?" she asked, turning to address the ghost princess with what she felt was fast becoming a pertinent question.
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Re: [Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

Postby Yukari Yakumo » 17 Aug 2009 20:43

"Ah, you caught me!" With a flourish, Yukari dropped headfirst from a gap, emerging halfway to end up hanging before the swordsgirl.

"And it's neither, really, I just came by to see if Yuyuko was back or not. I see she managed herself all right.. How was the skiing after I left? Any good?"

She half-spun the rest of the distance, landing lithely on the soft grass. Around her, the cherry blossoms rustled softly, a few petals drifting gently past.
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Re: [Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

Postby Youmu Konpaku » 17 Aug 2009 22:47

"Oh it's just Yukari. Yes, she got back safetly on her own." Youmu resheathed her swords and walked back to the mansion. "Now if you'll excuse me, I probably need to start getting dinner ready since Yuyuko is back. If anyone needs me I'll be in the factory- err kitchen. You're welcome to stay for dinner if you like, Meiling. The same goes to you as always, Lady Yukari."

Striding into the household and walking through the winding corridors eventually led to the kitchen. "Since Yuyuko is back, plus myself, Meiling, Yukari... gonna need to prepare as if 8 people were here then." Ah, the irony.

With any luck, the pantry would have everything that would be needed to cook the meal. Then again, Youmu hadn't restocked it since Yuyuko had left. Fortunately, the size of Hakugyokurou's pantry took up a quarter of the house so it was fine.
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Re: [Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

Postby Reisen Udongein Inaba » 18 Aug 2009 01:56

It was only after a couple of minutes that Reisen actually dared to breathe again. She was sure the gig was up when the gardener had yelled in her direction. Her eyes, automatically alerting to the danger, had switched to 'Lunatic mode', which must have affected Youmu one way or another. She glanced upwards at the flimsy tree she was trying to hide behind. It sure wasn't her hiding skills that fooled the half-ghost, that's for sure.

It seemed that several more inhabitants had chosen the day to visit the mansion. That gate-guard, Meiling, was here, as well as the powerful gap youkai, Yukari. She really felt the urge to get out of the garden as soon as humanly possible, but she had deliveries to make, and both Meiling and Yukari were recipients.

Slowly standing up, Reisen debated how she could handle the situation without igniting Youmu's fuse. Hesitating a moment, she closed her eyes, reverting her eyes back to normal. Best not to seem like I have any ill intentions...

Trying to look as harmless as possible, Reisen walked up to the small gathering of youkai.

"Excuse me, I have potions and herbs to be delivered from Eientei," Reisen bowed her head. Hopefully no one else knew she had been eavesdropping for the past little while.
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Re: [Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 18 Aug 2009 02:06

Yuyuko drifted down to Meiling to give her a closer look. "Oh, one of Remilia's servants? I don't think I've seen you before..." Youmu could handle the disturbance she'd sensed, so she paid it no mind.

Floating closer, closer. Curiously, "Not just humans, no, of course not. There are many kinds of ghosts here. Really, anything that can die can be made a ghost, so this place has all types. And just what kind of youkai are you?"

She paused there for a moment, then turned and called out, "Yukari, where did you head off to?" She finished turning in the air, seemingly having forgotten Meiling, and ascended past the lip of the stairs and toward the gap youkai. "I couldn't get the hang of things after all, I'm afraid. Perhaps it's really not suited to me, though a late winter snow in summer is lovely to have."

A pause of recollection, "There will be skiing during the summer festival... You convinced Reimu to try it, didn't you? That could be entertaining..."

She smiled at another thought.
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Re: [Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

Postby Hong Meiling » 18 Aug 2009 02:25

Meiling's concern heightened when Yuyuko's powers were revealed to extend further than just to humans, but stopped to think of how to answer the question the princess of Hakugyokurou. Hrm...

...umm...

... ah! "Chine-HEY!" Geez, asks a question and doesn't even wait for a response? She shook her head in grumbling disbelief, and jogged off after the floating girl, then skidded to a stop as Yukari came into view, apprehension seeping back into her bones. She didn't even need to have seen this one before to recognize her; the mere presence of the characteristic ribbon-bounded gaps told her everything. Aiya, the gap youkai... heavy hitters out today. Thankfully, she was able to avoid thinking about it for too long as the presence of Reisen made her hold up a hand. "Hoi, the rabbit from the other day!" she said with a smile and a wave. "You guys get everything fixed?"
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Re: [Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

Postby Reisen Udongein Inaba » 18 Aug 2009 03:05

Reisen grimaced at the mention of the Eientei incident. After the freak-snow explosion earlier, much of the Bamboo Forest was left in tatters. The natural ecosystems of the most of the forest were all but ruined. The residents of the human village and the mansion were diligently working together to slowly restore the area through aggressive seed-planting, but it would be years before there would be anything to show for it.

"I..guess," Reisen managed. "It's going to take a long time before it's back to it's former glory, though," she sighed unhappily. It really was mostly her fault for the whole mess, and she was kicking herself for it. She had almost destroyed Eientei and the Bamboo Forest single-handedly for nothing other than pride. Reisen shook her head to clear the thoughts out of her head. Better to concentrate on her mission at hand. Besides just bringing medicine for the denizens of Hakugyokurou and the Yakumos, Reisen had brought the Scarlet Devil Mansion's order as well.

"Anyways, I have the medicine your mistress requested." Reisen pulled out a small pouch filled with herbs and handed it to Meiling.

"Please try to avoid exposing it to direct sunlight," Reisen mentally smacked herself as the words came out of her mouth. Their mansion housed several vampires. Direct sunlight in the mansion seemed about as likely in the Scarlet Devil Mansion as a garlic garden or a fountain full of holy water.

Reisen bit her tongue to avoid any more stupid things to slip out of her mouth. It probably would be best to wait politely for everyone else to return.
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Re: [Open] Sleeping spirits, wide gardens

Postby Youmu Konpaku » 18 Aug 2009 03:31

The pantry was almost sparse.

"Hmmm. That complicates things." The only thing left untouched in the pantry was a group of ingredients that Yukari had suggested along with a recipie. It would probably be enough to feed everyone, but who would know exactly what it would taste like. Well, better anything than nothing at all.

Picking up the recipie, Youmu gave a cursory glance over the name. "Tacos?" According to the description, it was a food that could vary depending on what was put into it, with a list of suggestions along the back. Since not everyone might like the same thing, it would make sense to have it with different tastes. The main ingredient was the shell, either soft or crunchy, that would house all of the other ingredients. "Buffet style huh? Well, at least it sounds interesting."
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