Other people would dismiss it as a dusty old building, a relic of the past (a really ancient past), the remnants of something that they can’t even figure out. Something which should by all means have been gone by now, washed away in the cruel waves of human advancement and structural instability.
And they would be absolutely right. The very fact that it was a miracle that she was even able to find the damn thing in the middle of the dense forest atop a mountain spoke volumes about how out of style it was, as they say.
But Usami Sumireko knew that there was more to this shrine than meets the eye. Or rather, there was more behind it.
After marveling at how the shrine still retained its ability to function as a building, if a shoddy one – she wouldn’t pay rent for it, even if it was half the price of her college dorm – she walked behind it, and waved her hand at the area she knew existed, even as her sense of sight and touch proved otherwise. If it weren’t for the innate ability she had, she would have been fooled by the existence of nothing else but the dark forest, and accidentally walked right into the huge, impossibly complex array of magical energy, that threatened to either tear her asunder into the depths of reality, or bring her through the barrier the permanent way.
And to think she had destroyed part of it one year ago.
Okay, so maybe it was partly her fault for panicking and almost bringing the equivalent of Armageddon upon Gensokyo, and she had inadvertently caused the incident right after, but honestly, can anyone begrudge her for thinking that some man-eating youkai would eventually overpower and either eat, kill, or rape her? And she can’t be blamed for bringing something she didn’t know even existed, can she?
She was disappointed to know that the answer was a resounding NO from everyone who wasn’t busy enough shooting stuff at her to even answer. At least Mokou understood. Somewhat.
Sumireko sighed. Recalling the events was taxing to her mental health, and she did come here only as a detour. There was a family waiting back home, and she was planning to enjoy every second of her break, even getting to meet her own niece. Now that was a question she was going to get, whether her older sister wanted to or…
As she was about to head back to the human road, she stopped to glance back at…was that a person there? She blinked, just for a second, then…
She could have sworn there was some sort of silhouette of…someone? Something? And if her iconic memory served right, whatever it was standing way behind where the barrier was. But due to how little she knew about the barrier that would mean…
Meh, she was thinking too hard already. She decided to ask the shrine maiden later evening if anything weird got in there. If not, then that’s that.
As she descended the mountain, she realized.
Yeah, that was a person. Too bad she couldn’t tell if ti was man or woman…
What is the protagonist’s gender?
[ ] Male
[ ] Female
Depending on how many responses I get and my responsive writing time, I may or may not update during this week.
I received your report, just a heads up, you don't need to actually insert an email in the field, it's mainly used for putting sage in, which prevents your posts from being brought up to the top of the page.
My name is Fuurin Kyou, age 20, and so legally able to drink. Not for the first time in my life, I was lost. And like all the other times, I didn’t give all the care in the world.
Maybe I could have listened to those rumors about that cursed shrine, and headed to a new place. Maybe I could have ignored the obviously dangerous slope filled with rocky paths and fauna, degraded in time. Maybe I could have caught wind of a new place where he could travel.
But, nah, where’s the fun in that? My whole reason for traveling was to see everything there is. What’s a little detour going to do to my still young life?
So, after climbing up the mountain trail and spending forever in the forest, I was pleased to find the shrine in question. Even run down and forgotten, the Hakurei shrine stood proud as if it remained in its former glory.
From what he heard, in a time youkai existed, the shrine was a target of feral youkai, and was targeted day and night by it, due to the fact that it once housed one of the most powerful youkai hunters in history. The shrine was constantly attacked by youkai, who sought strength and foolishly waged war against her. The result was a near genocide for the youkai side.
Or so I heard from the local story that keeps children away from the mountains, but the story seemed convincing once I got a good look at the shrine itself. On the front steps, long-deep claw marks were etched deep into the wood, leaving three black marks. Though there wasn’t anything visible left, I could tell that no ordinary woodland creature, vicious or not, could have left marks like these.
This trip just became a little more interesting.
Other than the claw marks, there wasn’t anything else to look at, other than some old rusted tools, and rotten bits of paper. From the back door, I entered the dense woods behind the shrine. Nothing in view for now, but…I could feel something beyond it.
Something…which seemed vaguely familiar…
Guided by nothing but instinct honed by years of travel, I set off…
(Choose a number between 1 and 6)