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I open my eyes.
The sky is still awfully blue and sunny.
But something changed.
I don't know what, but I'm sure of it.
I'm not wounded any more. Last time I checked, my throat was wide opened. I was bleeding hard. But now? Nothing. As if I wasn't sliced to begin with. The counterpart is that I can't move. Each time I'm trying to move, my whole body hurts like hell.
Hey, Eirin, what's happening?
No answer. Just what the hell is happening? Did I managed to regenerate? But why now? Why not earlier? Why...
I move my head to stare at the newcomer.
Oh joy. That's a little girl. Seven, maybe eight years old. In fact, she's pretty cute. Long blond hairs, golden eyes, cute purple dress, and she's holding a parasol with her both hand.
Yeah, definitely 7-8 years old.
She says again. Damn, I'm acting like a douchebag, I should be polite.
Trying to smile, I manage to say something intelligible. That's an incredible achievement.
“Who are you?”
Oh god, she's so cute. Asking something like that, out of the blue. That's awfully cliché, but also disgustingly cute.
“My name ... is Shiki.”
“Are you called Shiki, or is it your name?”
What? What is this question? Are you trying to be philosophical? I'm called Shiki. That's how peoples refer to m...
No, wait. I'm not called Shiki. I decided that my name was Shiki. I decided it when I discovered that I was no longer a human.
“I'm... calling myself Shiki.”
Oh god, it's hurting more and more. The more I'm talking, the more my whole body hurts.
“What was your name before?”
“I... don't remember...”
I can't see well... My vision is hazy. I can barely see the girl.
“You're the youkai of memories, and you forgot something like that?”
Aaaah, why do you keep talking?! Leave me alone!
“I... lost … things when I... became a … youkai.”
I answered your question! Now leave me alone! I can't even think right now!
“I … believe....”
The gasp was totally accidental. 'Gasp' is an exclamation. You don't decide if you use it. It's an instinct. For example, if your whole body suddenly stopped hurting you, you would go 'gasp'.
On another hand, for an unknown reason, my body stopped hurting. I don't know why, and honestly, I don't care. Jumping on my feet, I turn my face to the girl.
“Excuse me, I couldn't hear you. Can you repeat?”
Without blinking, the little girl repeats with calm:
“I don't believe you.”
Without even thinking, I answered.
“What do you mean?”
This time, the little girl smiles. And, frankly, that's not a nice view.
“That's simple. Your memory, your usual human life, your parents, and even how you went on the moon...”
”IT IS A LIE.”
She said it rather simply. Without any style. Without even shouting. And, yet, I feel a cold sweat on my back. That's not logic. Why am I scared by a little girl?! And, more important, why is she saying that?
“A lie? What are you implying?”
Her smiles goes wider. She looks like a fox right now.
“Open your ears, and listen to me, because I won't say it twice. You always lived on the moon. In fact, you lived you whole life, caged in a room. You aren't even human to begin with. In fact, you aren't really a youkai either.”
“Wait wait WAIT!”
“You are just a golem. A being made of sand. You erased your own memory because you were curious. You wanted to live a normal life.”
Something stops in my head. In Eirin's laboratory... I went berserk, I fought against Reisen, and I summoned something to defeat her. Or to keep her busy. I don't really remember that.
“You are an off-shot. An artificial being created by an artefact.”
“If what you're saying is true... Then... WHO created me?”
Still smiling, the fox devil answers with calm.
“That's a complicated question, since there's two answers. And both of them are corrects.”
“... That's impossible. There can be only one!”
“Ha ha ha... All right. You, I mean, the physical you, were created by an old lunarian artefact.”
“And old... lunarian artefact? Don't tell me...”
“Of course I'll tell you. You were created by 'The Mirror of Fog and Unfog'.”
I can't think any more. It's totally impossible. Impossible. Impossible.
“But, of course, it didn't decided it like that, out of the blue. There was a trigger.”
“A trigger? Something who gave the Mirror of Fog and Unfog the desire to possess a physical body?”
“Exactly. See, you're pretty smart.”
Her compliment doesn't affect me.
“What was that?”
Pulling a fan out of nowhere, the girl waits for a while, and answers:
“Your friend Moriarty, as you're calling him.”
“Remember how you touched the mirror, in your false memory?”
“Yes, I remember that. Moriarty was trying to communicate with the Earth. Telling them not to come. But Yorihime came, and beat him, throwing us out. After falling from the rocket, I touched the mirror, and...”
“It's your friend who touched it.”
I stay silent. I can't anything else. This girl knows what happened. I don't.
“Moriarty touched the mirror. He touched you, in a way. And it was the trigger.”
“Wait a minute! The Mirror of Fog and Unfog was a lunarian artefact! He was used a lot! So why...”
“Because your friend Moriarty was different. Instead of putting just some vague souvenirs in you, he gave you his whole life. After that, you were intrigued, and you decided to live normally. Curiosity killed the cat.”
“I... I did that? I don't remember.”
“That's the problem. You, and I mean yourself, your personality, your memory, in fact, what we're calling a soul, manipulated itself. You manipulated yourself. To be sure you could enjoy it.”
“So... everything who happened before is a lie?”
“Yes. I don't know what you invented, but it's a lie. I guess I'm in your souvenirs too, since those lunarians are quite obsessed with me.”
I fall on my knees. Mostly because I want to be at the same level than this girl.
“You said there was another answer... Another correct answer. What is it?”
“As I said, the psychical you, your 'soul', if I can call it like that, wasn't created by your friend.”
“I don't get it.”
Sighing, the girl hide her face with her fan for a while, and speaks again.
“At the beginning, there was the mirror. 'Mirror of Fog and Unfog', or whatever you're calling it. This mirror is now more or less your soul, since it determines who you are. But the physical you, your body, wasn't created by the person who created the mirror.”
“Yeah. I was created by Moriarty.”
“To be exact, you created yourself. But whatever.”
“And Eirin created the mirror?”
“Exactly. She created you. She created your soul.”
For some reason, I wanna laugh.
“Sooo, to be short, I'm a undead being created by Eirin and Moriarty?”
“You can say that, that's accurate.”
I start to laugh. That's so grotesque that it's funny. I laugh like a mad man. HAHAHA DISREGARD THAT I'M NOT EVEN A MAN! I CAN'T BE MAD!!
Not startled by my outburst, the girl doesn't even blink.
“CAN YOU PROVE IT? CAN YOU PROVE THAT I'M AN UNDEAD BEING? CAN YOU PROVE THAT I'M A GOLEM?”
Half-laughing, half-shouting, I roll on the ground. So much fun! So much sun too. So much sun.
I stop laughing.
The sun. That's the key. If I were a real human, I wouldn't be intrigued by the weather. Since it's not the case, I'm fascinated by this. The blue sky, the golden sun.
That's the only proof I need. I can't be fascinated by something that I'm supposed to see everyday.
Getting on my knees again, I say.
“Okay. I believe you. I'm not a human. But why are you telling me that?”
At this time, I see something in her eyes. A red fire. That's not obvious, but it's here.
“Because I want to destroy you.”
And she say those cold words.
Her voice is changing. She was speaking with delight earlier, and now, I can feel rage, hate, and sadism in her voice.
“Do you know what I'm doing?”
I wanted to answer 'Talking with a potential rapist?' but I don't think I can act like a smart-ass now.
“I'm trying to avoid a war. And you're trying to screw everything.”
“You see, it's already an hard and tiring to look after Gensokyo. But that's not all. I also have my own plans.”
“Gensokyo depends of the Hakurei's power to keep going. Without this power, the Great Border will explode.”
“That's unavoidable. Even if Reimu decided to get married, she couldn't avoid it. That's a fated event.”
“Death and destruction will follow this, as the youkais will suddenly be attacked by a world who doesn't believe in them.”
“To survive, those youkais will be forced to kill. Kill and eat and kill and eat until the Outside World believes again. After that, the world will try to rebuild itself again. Under new leaders.”
“And... who'll command?”
“Shou Toramaru. After Byakuren's death, Shou will become the leader of the Myouren group.”
“I don't know them, so...”
“Sigh. Okay. I'll make it short. The good guys from the earth will rebuild another world, sticking with strict rules, tolerance, stuff like that. Unfortunately, the bad guys from the moon will attack.”
“Excuse me, but I don't get it. Why do you-”
Hu? What about... Oh, I get it.
“You sent him on the Moon. You knew he wouldn't be killed.”
“I also knew that the moon princess would be interested in him.”
“What? Yorihime? She hates him!”
“You aren't as smart as you think if you really think that.”
“... And? Where am I causing trouble?”
“All the way down. If you weren't here, Yorihime would already be pregnant with Moriarty's son, causing chaos in the Lunar Capital.”
“Yorihime and Moriarty did WHAT?”
“But since you're here, everything changed. I'll show you what happened instead.”
Moving her fan, the girl opens some kind of breach in the ground. I can hear voices coming from it.
“Look. You'll understand.”
I lean over the gap.
I see Moriarty and Toyohime together, on the beach, near what seems to be the Sea of Serenity. But something's wrong. Toyohime is holding a fan, and Moriarty is bleeding. Looking closely, I notice that he's having a bayonet stuck in the chest.
Looking at the girl, I ask:
“In a close future, Toyohime discovered about Yorihime and Moriarty's relation, and decided to end it.”
“Why is she doing that?”
“Orders. Toyohime may not look like it, but she's very obedient, and she respect authority. She received an head from the Head of the Moon, and she's applying it.”
“And the order is?”
“The termination of my favourite pawn.”
Without answering, I watch the scene.
Moriarty is limping toward Toyohime, without noticing that she opened her fan. I kept some memory of THIS fan, and I know that it's a horrible weapon.
“Why are you doing this?”
Asking something when you already knows the answer. That's silly Moriarty.
“For many reasons. You defiled my sister, and I received order to kill you.”
Still limping, Moriarty keeps asking.
“Defiled... You're excessive, my dear.”
Without answering, Toyohime show her teeth in a horrible... smile? No way in hell. That's not a smile. That's just a grimace.
“Whatever. I received orders. For the both of you.”
This time, Moriarty stopped moving.
“What will become of her?”
With a blank expression, Toyohime answers:
“Exile. For betrayal toward the Head.”
Something must be funny for Moriarty, because he's giggling softly.
“The Head... What's its name? Adam Sutler?”
“The High Lord Tsukuyomi gave orders.”
“Hahaha. And you're gonna obey?”
“Good little soldier, you'll get a medal.”
Half-singing, Moriarty limps again, still toward Toyohime.
“That's not about medals. That's about obedience.”
“Yeah. Right. Do you know why I was sent here?”
Toyohime closes her fan with a snap.
“Tell me before dying, I'm interested.”
“Because I have an ethic. Maybe I'm a murderer, but I'm a scientist before everything.”
Toyohime adopt a bored face.
“You're saying you're a scientist, yet you're more concerned about the woman you defiled than about your death.”
Smiling again, Moriarty answers with a slow and raspy voice:
“It's because... I already know how this fan is working.”
“My bad, I should have said 'WAS working'.”
Toyohime's eyebrow twitches lightly. I can almost hear her thinking something like:
'Is he bluffing? Will he try to attack me while I'm checking it? No way, he's deeply wounded. Besides, he's not even armed.'
That doesn't fail. Toyohime check her fan. It's keeping her busy for just 2 seconds, yet it's enough for Moriarty to pull a knife from his pocket, and to pounce Toyohime.
After that, that's confused, but I can see distinctly Toyohime kicking Moriarty in the chest, throwing him away.
Falling on the sand, Moriarty stops moving. I can understand why. He bled a lot, and now his rib cage is now broken.
I don't want to admit it, but he's done for. And he knows it. And Toyohime knows it too. Easy to say, because she's having this cocky smile, the “I-just-owned-you” kind of smile.
Toyohime start walking to Moriarty, and... and the breach closes by herself.
“What... What happens after that?”
The girl isn't smiling any more. Her face is displaying a frank hostility, directed toward me.
“Rather than being killed by Toyohime, your friend slice his own throat with his knife.”
“Her child is taken from her, and she's banished from the moon. Instead of going to Eirin's shelter, she lives by herself.”
“... Why are you telling me that? I can't change anything!”
“You can't. But now, you'll understand why I'm doing this.”
Oh shit. She's holding her parasol upside-down, the tip pointing to a mirror conveniently put here.
“If your body is destroyed, you'll die for a while. But if the mirror, if your soul, is destroyed, you'll be dead forever.”
What? Why is she... That's not just some mirror.
Okay, that's a dangerous situation.
“Wait wait wait! Why are you doing this?”
“Because you're a thorn in my foot. You weren't supposed to happen, and yet you're here.”
“But I can't do anything against that!”
“That's just some revenge. Because of you, the war won't be avoided. There will be casualties. From both sides.”
“But why aren't you telling them all that?!”
Hearing that, the girl smiles sadly.
“Because they won't trust me. For now, they are happy. They won't believe me if I say that their favourite monk will be killed by some embodiment of despair, or if they're going to fight against the whole Earth, and later against the moon.”
“That's just my revenge against you. I can't do anything else now, except watching my pawn getting killed again and again and again!”
'How do you feel about Moriarty?' I want to ask that. He's not just a pawn.
While saying that, the girl bring her parasol down. The tip slowly breaking the mirror placed under it.
The pain is back. And it's even worse than before. My soul is slowly broken into pieces, and there's nothing I can do.
The tip is going deeper and deeper, eventually breaking the mirror into pieces.
I vanish. I mean, my body vanishes.
I can feel it. My body collapses on itself, and fall on the ground.
Sand. It was just sand after all. I was just sand.
My consciousness is going away. My mind's getting empty.
I'm going to die for a second time.
The girl crouches, and takes a fragment in her little hand.
Holding it in front of her face, she says something unbelievable.
“You were just a blink after all. All talk and nothing inside.”
You received MIRROR'S SHARDS. Use them on a corpse!