This is something I wrote up a while (four or five months?) ago. I wanted to make it longer but never got around to it, so I thought I would post it here as it seemed like a likely place for it to belong. Please read warmly~.
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"You come here again, Nanashi, to this hallowed mausoleum. What is your request this time?"
"Why do you call me that, anyway?"
"It fits. I still remember when you first threw yourself at my feet, wanting to become a student of Taoism." She smiled softly atop her... It wouldn't be fair to call it a throne, even as I was sitting in a kneeling position, she still was barely taller than me atop her modest seat. "You had no direction, no name, and no legacy. Yet, your heart burned with a feverent desire I hadn't seen since Mononobe joined my cause." She ran her fingers across the arm of her chair as she spoke, "I wanted to give you a legacy, serving under me, perhaps you would make a name for yourself here in this strange land of fantasy as I did, during these recent events." Her eyes wandered away from mine, lost in thought.
A silence passed between us.
After what felt like hours, but was probably only a few minutes, I gathered my courage again to speak. "Crown princess, I came here to ask of you an answer."
Her eyes met mine again, her head tilted ever so slightly. "Another one of your endless stream of questions, Nanashi?"
"Where does your power stem from?"
"My power? What do you mean by that?"
"You are one of the most powerful beings in Gensokyo, yet you are also the only one who's strength doesn't come from being an otherworldly being, or blessed by such a power. It inspires me, crown princess, and I have always admired you for it, even in the outside world, I-"
I caught myself gushing again, my heart beating ever so slightly faster as it did in the presence of the saint. It was invigorating, simply being in proximity of her charisma and her wisdom. A beautiful aura of command and power emenated from her from within, and I could never guess how or why. She was more or less human, but the way she carried herself, the way she spoke and how she did everything with this overwhelming sense of confidence was absolutely stunning.
"Are we not surrounded by otherworldly beings here?" She smiled softly again, "You have not been in this land for long, and neither have I. Yet, you wonder how I achieve my abilities, is this so?"
She stood from her chair. "In that case, rise, and turn away from me."
I did so. The entrance to the mausoleum was thrown wide open, and the last rays of dusk creeped onto the wooden flooring below. But before I knew it, the vision faded and the last thing I saw was a flash of a heavy white cloth being thrown over my eyes. My first thought was to react to danger, but a voice beside my ear stopped me.
"Contain yourself, Nanashi, you're in no harm's way." I felt her breath float over my skin as she spoke, and her fingers lightly brushing my hair as she tied the cloth behind my head. With my primary senses cut off, I tried to percieve my surroundings with my ears.
I heard a light rustling sound before that was cut off too, a pair of earmuffs contained my ears, my hair pressed down slightly by the cool metal of the frame. Everything was dark, only the sense of weight as my feet stood on the floor could be felt. I opened my mouth to speak, to ask her what the purpose was. But again, I was inturrupted by another loss of sensation, the floor opened up from underneath me, but instead of falling like my body expected, an odd weightless sensation took over me like the feeling of being underwater, or what I imagined outer space was like.
My heart quickened, this was unlike anything I had ever experienced. The closest feeling I could relate to was being submurged, but even now I could still breathe. Altough, even the air had changed, it felt wider, more spacious, I lost my sense of direction. The only assurance was the feeling of my breaths, the rise and fall of my chest.
Suddenly, I heard a voice, a familiar one.
"I have heard your desire to understand, to percieve your surroundings, to listen."
I nodded slowly.
"Then I will grant it. But be warned, Nanashi, in this endless sky of small desires, you will hear more than you are able to."
The eafmuffs slowly came away, a barrage of voices immediately assaulted my ears.
"I want to see him again."
"I want to live a long life."
"I must find a-I need to go to"
"I should-didn't-really ought to-"
I clamped my hands over my ears, it was too much to contain, my head began to throb with the million requests of these desires. The pain was agaonizing, I wanted to scream for it to stop.
Soft fingers took hold of my wrists, pulling them away from my ears, and the cold metal earmuffs took hold once more. The voices flicked off like a light switch.
"Crown princess, what the hell was that? Why would you-" I stammered, completely forgetting who I was talking to for a moment.
"Do you see now, Nanashi?" She inturrupted me, her voice seemed to come from all around me, given my loss of eyesight. "You were right, my power doesn't come from a god, or such an entity."
"I listen, Nanashi."
I remained still, silent, letting her words wash over me.
"I listen, I listen to my adversaries. I listen to the desires of everyone in Gensokyo. From that, I know the past, present, and the future of this place. Everything that will take shape will become from a simple desire to change the world around it. I know this, and I can listen to it."
"That, Nanashi, is where my power comes from. I listen to the very threads of fate themself, and have the courage to manipulate them."
I rememeber this.