“Daiyousei! Where are you?!” I didn’t like this place. It had this visceral feeling of hopelessness and despair so thick you can lick it off the air. The kind that not even animals could stand to be in. Racoon and crows and such would run (or fly?) away in horror while bugs crawl away as fast as their tiny legs could carry them before they’re crushed by a deep sense of existential terror invoked by a cruel uncaring world. Darkness so deep and entrenching that even Rumia would stay the hell away from it.
But I didn’t care.
Even if I had to stop a meteor.
Even if I had to jump into a pool of lava.
Even if I to jump into a jaws of a mad raging beast!
I’ll still find you Daiyousei! Just wait right there and I’ll find you!
“Uh… What do you want Reimu?”
“Get the fuck out of my donation box.” So that’s why it smelled of dead dreams and poverty.
= = = =
“Hey! Come out you guys! I need your help!” I kept kicking on the tree where the fairy trio lived in. “Get your lazy butts out and help me for crying out loud!”
“Come on guys are you still mad about the last time I kicked your butt? I don’t really remember it all quite well, something about doors and seasons or whatever but come on! Let bygones be bygones right?”
“Okay fine! If you’re all going to be a buncha sore losers then whatever! I’ll find Daiyousei all by myself! Some friends you are!”
= = = =
I flew over to the front gate of the Scarlet Devil Mansion. The gate guard spends most of her time outside so she must’ve saw where Daiyousei went! It has to be so!
“Hey! Meiling! Meiling!”
“Huh? Oh hi neighbor! What’s up?” When I flew over to her I saw that she was exercising… Huh?
“Are you… Are you doing one handed push ups… On top of a knife?”
“Oh? Oh! Yeah this?” She proceeded to do a hand stand on the knife that was embedded into the ground. “Just practicing with my Qi is all. If I focus all of it in a single point then my skin becomes harder than diamonds. Cool eh?”
“That’s so awesome I- Wait wait wait that’s not what I was going ask you!” I slapped myself in the face. “Meiling! I need your help! Have you seen Daiyousei anywhere?!”
“Huh? Oh you mean that shy green haired fairy that’s always with you?” She went into deep thought. “Hmmm… Sorry but I haven’t seen any greater fairies around for a bit… Hmmm… Have you checked anywhere along roads near the human village? I heard you guys like to prank humans that way.”
“I haven’t found her there. In fact I haven’t seen Daiyousei inside the human village itself!”
“Huh… What about the Garden of the Sun? I heard you guys like to play over there.”
“Oh yeah! I almost forgot about the place! Thanks Meiling!”
“No prob!” As I flew away, I caught a glimpse of the head maid suddenly appearing behind the gate guard as she looked somewhat annoyed.
“Can I have my knife back please?”
= = = =
“Darn it I can’t seem to find Daiyousei anywhere…” Even though I said to myself that I’d jump in the gaping mouth of a wild ravenous beast or whatever I’d still like to spend as little time in the garden as possible.
Normally it’s a place where fairies can play as much as they want. An endless landscape of beautiful sunflowers that shower in the life giving rays of the sun. It’s so nice that me and Daiyousei would just spend the entire day just flying around the garden without a care in the world.
But for some reason, something just felt off about it. I don’t know why but… This place is a lot more quiet then usual…
Daiyousei, just where have you gone? I mean, you were here just a few days ago. I remember you and me finding this odd box thing that made weird screechy noises and bringing it over to my place. I’m pretty my old place got broke or something so I moved into an underground cave near Misty Cave. What a lucky find.
We parted ways and you went over to your house to sleep while I went to sleep at my cave. After that it’s as if you’d walked out of Gensokyo and into the outside world. At first I thought you were playing a trick on me and yeah I played along and laughed about it for a bit but… It’s been three days already.
Where are you Daiyousei?
I kept searching around the Garden of the Sun. I checked everywhere, on the edge of the garden, in between the flowers, above the flowers, on the path, everywhere!
But I still couldn’t find Daiyousei.
“Daiyousei!” I screamed out loud with as much force as I could. “Where are you!”
I got nothing. “Well that was a waste… Wait…”
Some of the flower started to rustle. At first I thought it was because there was another fairy behind it but something came to me. The flowers all around me are rustling. “Uh oh…”
I saw it. A force of unstoppable nature that few can rival.
I’m dead. I am so dead.
“I FINALLY FOUND YOU!”
Yuuka Kazami was flying straight at me.
“STAY WHERE YOU ARE!”
 Run away!
 Stand your ground! You’re the strongest, you can take her on!
Well she flies around Gensokyo from the lake to the mansion, She's a pretty-winged fairy from Senkai down to Myourenji She'll prank you for a while on a slow chase to Meiling's, Tell me where in the world is Daiyousei?
[X] Stand your ground! You’re the strongest, you can take her on!
“I ain’t afraid of no flower youkai!” I took out a spellcard and started charging it up.
“Wait I wasn’t… Ah screw it, I’ll do it after I calm you down!” She took out her parasol and threw out a round of danmaku at me. They were small spinning flower petals, their colours ranging from blue, yellow, pink, and more. They looked fragile, but that only hides their sheer destructive power. She might as well just have shattered an entire rainbow to throw at me. Funny thing is, she could probably do that.
“Ah!” I managed to dodge them just in time for me to use one of my spellcards. “Ice Sign: Icicle Machine Gun!”
A large chunk of ice forming on both of my hands. Spikes jut out as I point them at Yuuka. In a burst of power, the ice that encased my hand blew off, sending a series of sharp, high speed icicles at Yuuka.
In response, she took out a spell card of her own. “Flower Sign: Wonderful Flower of the Sun!”
From the tip of her parasol, the head of a gigantic sunflower grew and blocked all of my icicles. They didn’t even pierce the giant flower. They all just shattered on impact. I immediately poised to dodge the spell when I saw I realized something extremely odd. It was slow, too slow, almost embarrassingly slow.
“Eh? That’s it? You’re sending a slow-moving flower at me?”
At first, she just gave me a blank stare, but then, with me almost missing it, she gave the faintest form of a grin on her face.
“Uh… Why is it shaking?”
You know how sunflowers are packed full of sunflower seeds? Well, this one shot out all its seeds at me! It was practically a hailstorm!
I danced, fluttered and weaved through the storm of seeds, though one did manage to nick me in the shoulder. “ARGH! Darn it! Ice Sign: Fairy Spin!” I spun around at an intense speed before I started throwing icicles in every direction to destroy most of the seeds... though I felt that I was forgetting something. Oh crap, I almost forgot about it! That giant sunflower was still flying straight at me!
I stopped myself from spinning any further and felt my stomach churn as I fought against my own momentum. I flailed around in the sky, unable to tell what was up, down, left, right, and whatever other directions that exist, but I was too busy to list them all off.
My wings pulsated with power as I dashed forward. I still had no idea what direction I was facing, and I was likely to crash face first into the giant sunflower, but my battle instinct, hardened by years of combat, otherwise known as getting the shit kicked out of me, told me that I wasn’t going to regain my sense of balance anytime soon, so I might as well get the hell out of there!
My gamble paid off as I found that, yes, I didn’t dash headfirst into a giant sunflower of death.
“All right, now you asked for… wait. Why is everything spinning?” Oh yeah, Fairy Spin makes me dizzy. Dammit, I still haven’t gotten my balance back quite yet.
“Flower Sign—” Uh oh. “—Gentle Falling Petals!”
I looked left, no, right. Below? Crap, I needed to get my head on straight!
I slapped myself a few times in the face until my brain stopped spinning inside my skull. My cheeks were sore as all hell after doing that but at least it got the job done. I looked around as I expected a swarm of petals to mess me up. But I didn’t see any.
It was then that danmaku from above, a purple flower petal, went and pierced my right leg. “GAH!” I looked above me and saw that there were black shadows floating in the sky. Wait, no. Those weren’t just some random black shadows—those were flowers soaring high in the sky. They shot out their petals at me and rapidly regrew them to start the process all over again.
“Crap!” I froze the nearest danmaku, starting a chain reaction as my ice spread over to other danmaku. It created a shield made of ice that I used to protect myself with. Didn’t last long though—getting constantly pelted with danmaku eventually broke it. I was always used to danmaku flying straight at me from the front, but never from above! I hated this!
“AHH!” I focused on dodging and freezing the danmaku. I focused so much on defending myself that I didn’t notice Yuuka floating near me. By the time I did, all I saw was her with a soft serene smile on her face and her closed parasol held right behind her.
“Batter up!” With a mighty swing, she smacked me right in the face with said parasol. I couldn’t really do much after that. Mostly because I blacked out.
When I came to, I was a complete mess. My body was in utter pain, and my clothes were ruined. This was just not my day.
Looking around, I saw that I was in the middle of a crater at the edge of the Garden of the Sun. Standing over me was Yuuka with a worried look on her face. “Hmmm… I tried to give you a light tap, but it seems that I still overdid it a bit. I’ll admit, I do get a bit overzealous every once in a while,” she remarked. “How are you feeling?”
She shrugged. “Can you still stand up or fly?”
“I’ll just carry you then.” In a single motion, she picked me right off the ground and swung me over her shoulders. “Now, my original intention was that I wanted to ask you a few questions.”
“You didn’t look like you wanted to ask a question. It looked like you wanted to rip my throat out…” I responded.
I expected her to sigh or deny it or something, but instead she just giggled about it. “Being unable to deny a fairy is such an odd feeling, but it’s not an unwelcome one.”
“Hey, you calling me an idiot?” I remarked. “I’ll wipe your stupid smile off your dumb face if you call me an idiot again.”
“While I’m always open for rematches, I don’t think you’re in any position to ask for one.” She sighed. “By the by, Cirno was it? I heard your name from the other fairies a while back. Tell me, have you seen your friends anywhere?”
“That’s the thing. I haven't seen my friend anywhere. I’ve all over Gensokyo but I couldn’t find any traces of her. Um… have you seen Daiyousei?”
“Sorry but I haven’t seen any of the Greater Fairies for a while.” She explained. “Tell me, what do you hear right now?”
I listened for a bit. I heard the gentle, soft wind blowing, the rustling of flowers, the buzzing of bugs. “Just the same old sounds I always hear. What’s this got to do anything with Daiyousei?”
“Why, a lot of things really,” she said. “When I have these calm walks along the garden, the fairies would run around, laughing and playing. I don’t particularly mind it. Fairies are, after all, creatures of nature, and in fact, their existence helps with the overall health of the garden.”
“…And where are you going with this?” I asked impatiently.
“You really want to find your friend, do you?” she said. “Well, to answer your question, for the past three days, I have not heard any laughter from the fairies that like to regularly visit the garden. Not even a single giggle.” She took on this pondering look. “It’s odd, don’t you think?”
“Well, trying to be clever with a fairy might not be so productive, now that I think about it,” she said. “What I’m trying to say is that for some reason or another, every fairy in Gensokyo but you and the ones at the Scarlet Devil Mansion have disappeared.”
“Wait, YOU MEAN EVERYONE HAS DISAPPEARED?!”
For some reason, she seemed oddly amused. “If I had to hazard a guess, you were so preoccupied with trying to find your friend that you failed to realize the disappearance of your own species.”
“I feel like I’m being insulted again.” I said.
“It’s to be expected. A fairy, after all, is a fairy.” She replied. “Though I do find it frustrating that none of the others have found out. Sure, I expected such a slow response from the shrine maiden, but from everyone else, it’s almost unforgivable.”
“That’s it! Whoever’s behind this, I’ll kick their butt! I’mma freeze ‘em! You hear me?!”
“Oh? Fired up, I see? Glad to see you recover quickly.”
I flew off Yuuka’s shoulder at full speed, fully determined to rescue my fellow comrades in arms. I didn’t go that far. My body remembered that it just got out of a danmaku duel, and so I fell just a few meters away from Yuuka.
She gave a small giggle before she walked over to me and picked me up. “Perhaps I’ll be of assistance?”
“Fine. I might need some help getting… somewhere.”
“Oh? And where might that somewhere be?”
 “I think we might need to call Reimu for some help.”
 “Hey, did you know that Marisa actually has a shop? Maybe we can pass by and ask her for some help.”
 “At my place. Because I want a new set of clothes.”
 “Wait, you said something about the Scarlet Devil Mansion?”
Sorry for the wait. I went on vacation and didn’t get the time to work on this.
[X] Wait, you said something about the Scarlet Devil Mansion?
“Oh, you see, I was conducting a small personal investigation. I had a sneaking suspicion something was going on, but I had doubts about it myself. So I visited places that had lots of fairy presence. I visited the Human Village under the guise of checking out the flower shop. No fairies there.
“I checked out the Forest of Magic, the Hakurei Shrine, the Road of Liminality, anywhere that usually has a fairy presence. I haven’t found a single fairy. I eased a bit when I visited the Scarlet Devil Mansion and found the fairies there to be fine as always but after that, nothing. By the end of it, I was desperate to find any fairies and…”
“We ended up kicking each other’s asses.” I finished for her.
She raised an eyebrow. “I’m pretty sure that battle we just had was one sided but… Oh whatever, arguing with a fairy isn’t gonna get me anywhere.”
“So uh… Are the fairies still there?” I asked.
“Hmmm… I haven’t checked yet. It was only yesterday when I visited the Scarlet Devil Mansion but another look wouldn’t be too bad. Besides, I’m curious as to why only they’re the only fairies I could find until now…”
She took flight with me in tow, tucked underneath her arm. Despite how annoyed I was, I didn’t have much energy to protest. When I get better, I’m gonna use my super secret, ultra improved spellcards that I’ve been cooking up for my revenge match with Marisa on Yuuka. That’ll show her. Too bad they were still at my cleverly concealed cave. I’ll have to pass by it sooner or later.
It was gonna take a while. Even though she’s one of the strongest youkai in Gensokyo, it’s pretty well known even among fairies that she’s relatively slow. A fact that comes in handy when you want to run away as fast as possible if you find yourself on the losing end.
As we were flying over a forest that sat next to Misty Lake, I wondered, why is Yuuka taking such a large interest in our disappearance? “Hey, Yuuka? Mind if I ask you a question?”
“Oh? Sure, I guess it would help pass the time.”
“You know, I find it odd that you of all people would be interested in the case?”
“What’s my game, you mean?” She gave a soft smile. “I have... personal reasons for finding the whereabouts of the fairies.”
“You know that sounds a lot like what the gap-lady would say, and she’s very, very shady.” I responded.
“Then you’ll just have to place your trust in me then.” She said happily.
For some reason I had a deep sense of foreboding now. Perhaps getting help from the local flower youkai might’ve been a terrible idea…
After a while flying in the air, we passed over Misty Lake, still and empty, not a single sound of a giggle or the flapping of wings. Actually, now that I thought about it, our entire trip was awfully quiet. I mean, when Gensokyo gets peaceful, it gets quiet but this is, like, a whole other level. Man, I was too focused on Daiyousei to have missed all that.
Not too soon after, we finally got to the front gate of the Devil Mansion. Meiling was there, as always, but this time she was munching on a basket full of berries.
We landed next to a lone bush. “Back so soon, neighbor? Oh, I see you got in a fight. Evening to you, Yuuka, I’m guessing the fairy wasn’t up to match?”
“Oh no, I just went a little too hard today.” She said.
She threw a berry into her mouth. “I see. So, you came over for a sparring match? I’m always up for it.”
“Nah, I’m just here to check something up.”
“And that would be?”
“You still have your fairy maids?”
“Last I checked, they’re giving Sakuya a headache as always.” She shrugged. “You asked me that question yesterday. Is something up?”
“Well… Have you seen any of the fairies from the Misty Lake recently?”
“Other than the one tucked underneath your arm? Not a single one.” She took another berry and popped it into her mouth. “Say Yuuka, you know plants right? What are these berries I’m eating?”
“Those berries? Why they’re… Oh, this is odd.”
I raised an eyebrow. “Uh. I don’t really see what the big deal is. They’re just berries right?”
“Oh no, those berries are quite special. You don’t see them often, since the only place you’ll find them is in the Forest of Magic.” Yuuka explained. “They’re a bit odd, forgot the name at the moment, but they contain a special compound that knocks out humans for a short while. Notice that I specifically said humans. Doesn’t do anything to youkai as far as I know.”
“Thanks for the explanation, Yuuka.” She took out another berry, but surprisingly, instead of eating it as she did before, she cupped it in her hand and threw it at a nearby bush.
“GAH!” said the bush.
“You heard her,” Meiling shouted out loud. “These berries don’t do jack shit on me. Just come out, and we can talk this out.”
The bush rustled around until a small fairy came out. She had dirty green hair, round face, and clothes made of leaves. I guessed that she was maybe a leaf fairy or something close to that.
“Stupid gate guard!” She was stamping her foot angrily on the ground. “Just go to sleep already!”
Meiling raised an eyebrow. “Uh, sorry what’s your face, but I’m not a human. Sure, our head maid is human, but not me, no sir, just your average day– Er, just your average human shaped youkai.”
That stopped her tantrum real quick. “You’re not human?”
“Nope, I just look like one.”
Her expression fell as she turned around to walk back into her hiding bush.
“Huh?” The fairy turned around. All colour draining from her face as she looked up towards the serene face of Yuuka.
“Hello there. You seem quite down from your attempt to incapacitate the gate guard of the Scarlet Devil Mansion.” She said. “You know, it’s odd. Why would a fairy go to the trouble of using a clever, well clever by fairy standards, plan to infiltrate the Scarlet Devil Mansion, a place with the only remaining fairy population?”
“Uh…” She was sweating bullets. “No reason.” She slowly moves towards the bush behind her.
“Oi! Stop right there!” I started thrashing around in Yuuka’s arm. “You’re not leaving until you tell us what you know, and if you don’t, I’ll beat it out of you!”
“I KNOW NOTHING!” She shouted. “NOTHING! ZIP! NADA! YOU CAN’T PROVE ANYTHING ABOUT ME!”
“If you know nothing,” I started. “Then how can you talk?”
“Oi! I know how to talk because I’m smart! Very smart!” She stamped her foot.
“How smart?” I asked.
“I’m smart enough to not talk about our extremely secret plan.” She huffed in pride. “I’m that smart!”
“Oh, nice bit of reverse psychology there, Cirno.” Yuuka complimented me.
“Huh? What reverse whatchamacallit? I just wanted to know how you can do anything at all if you know absolutely nothing.”
“Yes! Very smart!” She nodded. “I’m a real intelligent fairy!”
“Yes, very smart in indeed.” Yuuka said. “Now, tell us, what is this secret plan of yours?”
“Well, the plan starts with recruiting fairies who… Uh. Oh crud.” In a flurry, she jumped into her bush as it started to shake violently.
“Oh stop that. That disguise didn’t work on the gate guard, and it isn’t going to work on us now.”
With a massive burst of speed, the leaf fairy rocketed out of the bush, setting it on fire. On her back was a weird, metal contraption that shot out a stream of fire.
We all just stood there in awe of the scene in front of us. “You know, I saw this shooting star last night, and I wished for something interesting to happen.” Meiling said. “I guess I got it?”
 Wait, wait, wait. Why are we standing around like dumbstruck idiots?! We need to catch her right now!
 Ah! She’s too fast! We’ll never get her in time!