[Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

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[Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

Postby Nazrin » 06 Jan 2010 19:18

Nazrin's previous run in with Tenshi made her more wary, and after wanderlust and a desire to understand this world overcame her, she ventured into The Netherworld with her cards this time. She was unarmed previously, yet it seemed that even if she still acted peacefully she would not have a need for them. This was definitely one of the stranger lands she had come across, finding it rather spooky. Nonetheless, she was determined to venture forth and make peace with the inhabitants. Her personal and religious mission to teach the youkai and humans to live peacefully called her to do this regardless of the peril.

The humble mouse scurried about in search of anything of particular interest. She found a strong magical presence in the shape of a tree in one direction and a mansion in the other. Did people actually live here? Well, she reasoned, I suppose it'd make sense that people in the afterlife live here. She wasn't sure which way to go and simply decided to head towards the tree first.

On her way there, she heard strange sounds coming from all around her. She squeaked and cried, "Whose here?!" She spun around and found the voices had disappeared. She held her control rods nervously, not sure whether to proceed or not. She sighed and sat down against a tree and got out some cheese, nibbling on it and said, "I hope I have not made a mistake coming here; this place is real scary." She looked up at the sky and remembered Youmu from the Scarlet Devil Mansion. She wondered if she was here, though she had no idea where to find her (though it would be nice to).

She decided to map out all she had traversed for right now, making sure she had included everything from the entrance to here. She got out some cartography tools and began to work, making sure each place was drawn perfectly. Work tended to get her mind off of things that scared her...
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Re: [Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 06 Jan 2010 19:42

Then, all sounds of rustling, spirits or any sort of other presence vanished. Total silence had befallen the location where Nazrin lay. It's as if Hakugyokurou itself was wary of her presence. All that could be seen were the cherry petals gracefully descending without any disturbance amidst this world of phantasmal light.
Then, the wind stopped and calmed, as the cherry petals fell so slowly... as if each petal was being cushioned by the air, which made the petals seem almost suspended. The sight was truly... spectacular.

A calm voice suddenly spoke from the silence
"It isn't very often a living soul makes it's journey here..."
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Re: [Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

Postby Nazrin » 06 Jan 2010 20:15

Squeaking, she spun around and saw Yuyuko watching her. She had fallen on her butt and was studying Yuyuko, and judging by her reply and where they were, she concluded she was a ghost. She got up and brushed off some of the dirt on her skirt and said, "H-Hello there...it is a pleasure to meet you. I am Nazrin..." she did a curtsy and tried to smile, trying to get comfortable in the land of the dead.

She perked her ears, remembering something and searched her basket for a block of cheese which she held up to Yuyuko and said, "I've come here to secure peace in Gensokyo and to spread Byakuren's teachings of human/youkai acceptance. Please, do take this as an offering of peace from Byaku-sama." She chuckled nervously, blushing as she thought she sounded a little silly now.

The ghost seemed very strong as her magical aura had strongly presented itself. She hoped she was kind hearted like Byakuren, but her last few visits to other worlds ended in disaster. Still, perhaps her luck would change, though she had her cards on her now (though she wanted to come peacefully, she simply could not take any chances now...part of her felt sad over this). She would also add, "I um...hope you eat cheese...I don't know if ghosts really eat." How she failed to see that irony...
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Re: [Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 06 Jan 2010 20:35

After confirming the nature of this youkai and sensing it was no major threat, Yuyuko felt more at ease. Also, at the same time, the surroundings seemed to return to their natural state. Ghosts began to form one by one, but the winds remained absent. Yuyuko descended from her levitating state, and landed on the ground, as the cherry petals seemed to follow her movement.

She smiled at Nazrin's good intentions, and placed her fan in front of her face with her eyes visible, and gave a whimsical reply
"Oh, I'm glad you come here with no grudges in your heart. For those who come here feeling only hate and despair, will soon find themselves on the brink of death."
"Anyway, thank you... but I don't eat cheese. Although, I'll take it anyway. It's not wise to refuse a gift or offering"
Yuyuko gave a light smile at that moment, and then continued
"In any case, who is this Byakuren you mentioned... is she herself a Youkai? For the most part, she must have some respect and power in the eyes of her subjects to be sending out messengers"
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Re: [Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

Postby Nazrin » 06 Jan 2010 21:07

Nodding, Nazrin said, "She is a youkai who long ago wanted human and youkai to live peacefully, but she was sealed away...many were very intolerant, and even the most powerful youkai could not fight off so many. She has been unsealed now, and she's my teacher! I've been traversing throughout Gensokyo to spread her message; we simply ask others to be more tolerant. We would hate to have an intrusive reputation!"

She smiled brightly and said proudly, "Personally I am a dowser...basically I can find just about anything. I was heading towards what appeared to be a magically powerful tree this way," she points in the direction of the source (and ironically towards Yuyuko's home!) and asks, "I was wondering if you knew much about the tree there. Perhaps there's some reason why it has so much magic in it? Or are there several trees like it?"

She listened intently, lifting her basket she was carrying with her tail and put away her cartography gear and control rods. This ghost seemed very friendly, and she was very beautiful too! It was a shame that she had to die though...she wondered what it was like to be a ghost, wondering if ghosts had a sense of peace in this land or were forever tormented. The spirit world was one she admired yet feared, hoping that when her time came that she would not be so unfortunate.
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Re: [Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 07 Jan 2010 13:23

Yuyuko turned her head to the direction of the tree. She became completely silent at that moment. She seemed to stare off into that direction, almost as if it had triggered some deep thoughts or memories, and those memories were ones she would rather have left forgotten. A few ghosts began to huddle around Yuyuko, sensing her discomfort, and then Yuyuko felt more at ease as she stroked one of the ghosts.

Yuyuko, pointed to the tree with her fan, then spoke after a moment
"That... is the youkai cherry blossom... Saigyou Ayakashi"
"It was the most beautiful, oldest sakura that had ever been... and sadly, it will never fully bloom. I had tried to unseal it in the past... only coming to the conclusion unsealing the tree would prove futile... now, it will never fully bloom no matter how much spring it is given. However, it never used to be this way..."
Yuyuko paused, trying to remember the whole story, then continued
"Long ago, its cherry blossoms captivated all those who gazed upon it... and, every spring, it would display a spectacular blossom that put all other sakura to shame. People began to lie under the tree when their final moments drew near. Over time, it gathered the lifeforce of the people that had died under it and grew a consciousness. It began to lure people to their deaths and gained a reputation as an Ayakashi."
Yuyuko then put the fan in front of her face so only her eyes were visible, and looked down
"...and, one day, a child, struck with grief and pain over all that she had lost, could no longer bear to witness this tree take the lives of the innocent. So, with her final resolve, she set to seal this tree forever, not caring about the fact she would die, because, as it seemed, she had nothing left to live for"
Yuyuko stopped there. She had left out some other fragments of the story, but she thought of it odd to tell a stranger the whole story.
But she decided to continue
"-And after that... the sakura never opened it's cherry blossoms ever again, forever sealed by it's owned victim.... I had read quite an old book some time ago, which told the story of Saigyou Ayakashi... and of a girl with nothing left to lose...... but her life."
Yuyuko then looked Nazrin in the eyes
"So, this tree can no longer take lives, it just stands there as a monument to the past..."
Yuyuko then gave a smile, and mentioned one more thing
"Oh, the girls corpse.... is said to still reside under the tree to this very day... forgotten by time"
Yuyuko said it in such a way as to ward Nazrin away from the tree. Although it could no longer kill people, it could show them disturbing visions, and sent a cold chill through a persons soul when they got too close.
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Re: [Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

Postby Nazrin » 07 Jan 2010 17:45

Nazrin's ears drooped as the story was told and was silent for a moment. Still, she had come to expect such ghost stories to be heart wrenching, and she wondered more about the tree. She asked, "Well this is the land of the dead; surely this girl's soul still wanders in these parts? It would make sense, unless she went across..." she looked at her maps real fast and said, "The San..zu..River...I think that's how you say it. Probably, it doesn't look like it has a complicated way of saying it."

Yuyuko would find that her story only made her more curious, though she had a hard time hiding it. This story seemed to invoke some deep mourning in this one, and the possibilities were endless on why this was. Relation to the girl came first; perhaps a daughter, sister, friend...or maybe her? The latter stuck in her mind, finding it the most profound and rather logical conclusion. Ghosts tended to recount about their past lives in order to find peace perhaps (at least that's what most of the ghost stories she read indicated) but she could not be sure, and she did not want to discomfort this one, especially if it was true. A stranger invoking dark emotion was never good...

Still though, this one seemed to have a presence of authority over the ghosts as they like to clamor around her. She did not want to leave her company so readily and asked, "May I ask for your name kind lady? It would really make my task of learning this world much easier if I had a resident such as yourself divulge me more on the history...well maybe not ALL of it at once as I can imagine the world of the dead could have countless history books written about it." She patted herself on the back mentally for finding a topic that might not have as much sting as her previous inquiry.
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Re: [Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 07 Jan 2010 18:31

Yuyuko closed her eyes, giving a light smile
"Yes, actually, I suppose the customary thing to do would have been to introduce myself before hand"
Yuyuko opened her eyes, giving a warm smile
"I am Yuyuko Saigyouji... the ghost princess of the Netherworld and mistress of the Palace of White Jade, more commonly known as Hakugyokurou. I do not remember how long I've been here, or exactly when I came to be here, but I know I've resided in Hakugyokurou for many centuries..."

Yuyuko looked up at the radiant sky
"And... I don't think the girl could have crossed Sanzu no Kawa. This girl... due to all the regret she must have left in her past life... cannot move on.. so.... she must... still....be... lingering."
Yuyuko paused at that moment. In truth.... Yuyuko knew that it was her body buried beneath Saigyou Ayakashi. She had realised this during the stolen spring incident, when the Miko had pushed her abilities to the point where memories deep within her were unsealed. It was merely acting as if the girl was a completely different person which comforted Yuyuko, so she could detach from such a melancholic and grim reality, just so people did not start talking about the tragedy. Yuyuko hated when people inquired about her own past, due to how tragic it was and how she cannot remember details.

After about 4 seconds of thought, Yuyuko continued
"At times... I feel sorry for the girl... I wish I could have been there to help her. But in my heart, I know, I could do nothing. What she did... was... nobility beyond recognition. Even a Samurai's seppuku could not compare to her intentions... for when she sealed the tree while sacrificing herself... her fate was irreversibly intertwined with that of Ayakashi's"
Yuyuko stood up and looked over at the tree
"To be honest, I've long gotten used to the fact that a corpse lies buried beneath Ayakashi. It's an undeniable fact that's become pointless to sob about. One must look at the beauty of a gathering of corpses beneath Nature's own beauty... to realise the cycle that is life and death. That is the beauty of death... for with each death... there is new life."

Yuyuko ended her statement there. While she had told Nazrin of Hakugyokurou and of Saigyou Ayakashi, she had still not fully answered Nazrin's original inquiry. Which lead her to ask her own question
"Also... it's highly unexpected that someday a living being would come here, not only to spread it's own message, but to ask about my own history. Which makes me wonder why you're so inquisitive?
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Re: [Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

Postby Nazrin » 07 Jan 2010 18:43

Nazrin wanted to cry at the thought of such a sad story, but she didn't. Instead, she blushed at Yuyuko's question, feeling like she had traversed into very dangerous emotional territory. She brought her tail to her hands and twisted it gently back and forth nervously, ears drooping as she said, "I uh...simply wanted to learn more about the worlds in Gensokyo so that Byakuren's dream could be realized...which means I have to understand its people." Rationally this was a good answer, though she did feel bad for dragging out horrible memories and tried desperately to change the subject, not wanting to hurt this poor soul (figuratively and literally) any bit further.

She didn't really know what else to say, except to apologize. She said somberly, "I am sorry that I inquired about something so personal so soon, especially when I am a stranger." She strained a smile and said, "B-But we shouldn't think about such things right? Perhaps we can talk about well um..." her voice strained for a second, closing her eyes and desperately tried to think of something. She opened them once she had and said, "A palace you say? It must be interesting to be in such power...I wouldn't know much about that save maybe from Byakuren, though she assures me it isn't what it's cracked up to be. It must be annoying, getting all of these visitors, though maybe not...I don't know."

She realized she was babbling and gave a nervous chuckle, sighing as she looked away embarrassed. I sound like a blithering idiot she thought.
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Re: [Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 07 Jan 2010 19:04

Yuyuko could sense Nazrin's discomfort, and laughed at the awkward situation.
"Oh no. Lets not sink to such a morbid atmosphere... I know, that what has passed cannot be changed. The past is the past for a reason, so we can learn from what has come to pass... and with our minds set on the future, we live in the present for the hopes of making a better past for ourselves, even if most don't see it this way."
Yuyuko sometimes hated the fact she talked so philsophically, because she was afraid others might not understand. But she tried to mix simplicity and philosophy as best she could, resulting in a somewhat neutral tone.
"And about Hakugyokurou... the truth is, I don't get many visitors. It's mostly quiet here, as I come and go, up to my personal hobbies. The only time living souls ever venture here is if it's absolutely necessary."
Yuyuko then caught a falling cherry blossom with one hand, looked at it for a moment, then looked at Nazrin
"I'm sure this Byakuren must get more visitors than I do. She is in the living world, isn't she? Do they have cherry blossoms where she lives?

Yuyuko then took a moment to ponder on this Byakuren. Who could such a person be... she sounds interesting, trying her best to settle such a long lived conflict Yuyuko thought. As it turned out, Yuyuko felt the same way about the prejudice between human and youkai. Yuyuko herself talked to everyone the same way, regardless of their personal traits.
Then Yuyuko came to a conclusion
"Your leader, Byakuren.... her message of peace... all I can say is a admire her efforts... and that I would be happy to share her Ideal"
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Re: [Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

Postby Nazrin » 07 Jan 2010 19:27

Nazrin nodded and said, "Yes but not this many. Also we are still waiting for our first spring in Gensokyo, so the blooms have not yet come." She smiled when Yuyuko mentioned her thoughts on Byakuren's cause and said, "I'm so happy to hear that! I could tell you were a kind hearted soul...my that was a bit literal wasn't it?" She chuckled at her stupid pun, though she had a feeling that Yuyuko would chuckle as well.

Nazrin perked her ears at the thought of something important; she knelt down to a knee and said, "I'd also like to add that I like to do service to the public as part of my vocation; if you need any help at the Palace, please just say so, and I will help you with your needs." She got back up and slipped a hand in her basket, pulling out a bit of cheese and nibbled on it, her mouth fidgeting like an actual mouse's. She also rubbed her hair like one, her primal side obviously intact in her youkai form. When she finished, she twitched her nose to make sure she had gotten it all and looked back up at Yuyuko, giggling as she said, "Sorry...old habits."

She chuckled and said, "Yes, yes I am just like a mouse...I'm still getting over my fear of cats, but I've come a long way...though they still want to chase me when I'm a lot bigger than them." She scurried her fingers together nervously at the thought (and the embarrassment) of a house cat terrifying her at this point in her life. But she then added, "But the irony is one of my best friends is a tiger! I was nervous when I first met her, but she's been lots of help!"
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Re: [Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 07 Jan 2010 20:31

Yuyuko listened patiently, as she was now quite intrigued, and gave a reply
"Oh yes, the seasons... in the Netherworld, seasons have no effect on the plants here. Everything is always in perpetual bloom. Although, I would like to see the seasons sometime."

Yuyuko put her fan to her mouth, and laughed lightly
"I am a kind person... it's just people are often frightened when they realise exactly what I am. Even some youkai fear me. I'm slightly saddened when people fear me... true, I do have a ghostly presence, but I would never harm anyone without a completely justifiable cause..."
Yuyuko then stood up suddenly and shifted her position... in such a ghost-like manner, she left a blurred trail of herself behind, which faded after a moment. She seemed to levitate just a few inches above the ground, and continued
"... Which is why I'd be very happy if you'd visit the Palace sometime... also, you do know what Tatami is, don't you? Because my home uses sliding doors throughout. Through all the centuries that have come to pass, I've preserved tradition here."

Yuyuko giggled lightly at Nazrin's cute habits, some of the little ghosts seemed to make ghostly giggles as well
"Oh, it's alright. These are the traits you possess which make you unique... I mean, frankly speaking, I highly doubt there's another mouse Youkai who has dowsing abilities and excellent geographic skills!~"

Yuyuko felt like she had made a new friend and so, she tapped Nazrin's head her fan in a friendly way
"What's also unique is your relationship with a tiger. It's these traits that will make you easy to remember"
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Re: [Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

Postby Chen » 08 Jan 2010 08:40

"Yuyuko-samaaaa, are you there?" called out a voice from a ways away.

What timing Nazrin's words had. It looked like Yukari had sent a particular shikigami of a shikigami on an errand to the Hakugyokurou house; rather surprising considering the season, but with the usual care package of food for the lady of the house and her servant was a letter to be delivered promptly as well. What could such a message contain? That remained to be seen, as Chen hadn't quite figured out where Yuyuko was.

The nekomata frowned and wrinkled her nose slightly with a small whine under her breath. She never liked how... dead the netherworld smelled, and it always made it harder to tell where everything was for her. Still, her ears couldn't deceive her. She could've sworn she heard Yuyuko herself nearby, and she wasn't even at the mansion yet.

After looking around and spotting a pair of figures in the distance, Chen took a deep breath - through her mouth, of course - and hefted the bags she was carrying before walking in that direction, calling out once again. "I'm sorry for intruding, Yuyuko-sama, but I have food and a letter from Yukari-sama!"

While Nazrin may have seen a telltale sign of danger in the silhouette the cat girl made, Chen hadn't yet noticed there being a mouse with Yuyuko yet, though that would change in a few moments as she was already making her way closer.
"Happiness is like a cat, If you try to coax it or call it, it will avoid you; it will never come. But if you pay no attention to it and go about your business, you'll find it rubbing against your legs and jumping into your lap."
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Re: [Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

Postby Nazrin » 09 Jan 2010 03:30

Nazrin chuckled and said, "Thank you...I guess I'm just a modest mouse." She smiled sweetly up at Yuyuko, accepting her surprisingly warm reception with much love, thinking ghosts would be much more cold. Perhaps one shouldn't cling to fairy tales all the way through. Anyways, she was happily enjoying Yuyuko's company and was about to make an inquiry concerning the palace when she stopped and sniffed the air...the scent of something rather unnerving...

......

...........

CAT!

Nazrin's eyes shrunk and her ear flattened, and she was in a sudden state of shock that her rational mind didn't kick in all the way, simply going on instinct. Turning into a mouse, she scurried up Yuyuko's sleeve (assuming she didn't do anything to hinder this) and up the back of her kimono (at least she was decent NOT to go through the front) and popped under her hat, curling up and shivering from the shock. In reality, it was quite clear she over reacted...but after years of being chased, it tended to stick to you a little.

She closed her eyes and kept telling herself in small whispers, "Please go away, please go away, please go away, please go away..."
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Re: [Open] Curious Explorations of a Church Mouse

Postby Yuyuko Saigyouji » 09 Jan 2010 13:15

Yuyuko giggled in suprised. Goodness, a cat... in such a place? Yuyuko thought, while keeping her hat in place. In any case, it seemed Nazrin had responded to a nearby presence that, to her, was quite intimidating. Yuyuko lifted her hat slightly and asked Nazrin
"Ohh, Nazrin, calm down...What's wrong?....Something in the distance?"
Yuyuko paused for a moment, and felt a living aura, speaking more silently as if to herself
"Yes, I can feel it too..."

Yuyuko turned in the direction that she had felt this very familiar energy resonate.
Nazrin had squealed out "Cat"...just before taking shelter in Yuyuko's hat. She then realised who it was, having only one known cat friend. Giving a cheery smile, Yuyuko spoke to Nazrin
"Nazrin, Nazrin... it's only Chen~ I've known her for sometime. She's one of my friend's pets, and a playful Nekomata, which means it's okay... she wouldn't hurt you... I think"
While Yuyuko was optimistic Chen and Nazrin would get along, she merely said these reassuring words to comfort Nazrin, for Yuyuko knew Nekomata still retain their natural instincts. Which then led her to conclude Nazrin could probably smell Chen, given Nazrin's apparently sense of smell and her instinctive attempt to flee.

Yuyuko then yelled out to Chen, putting her hand by her mouth
"Ohh, I'm here Chen, and I just met a larged earred Youkai not to long ago. So, don't worry about it, she seems friendly"
Yuyuko paused, waiting for Chen to find her and Nazrin. Yuyuko knew Nazrin was a little shaken, from her faint yet audible whispers, so she stroked her back lightly in an attempt to calm her down.
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