File 134369957934.png - (37.06KB, 554x322, fin.png) [iqdb]
It's been roughly a hundred years now. A hundred long, long years.
You've grown. Your chest finally filled out, just like your parents predicted. You've since cut your hair a little shorter though. You've also begun braiding it up, just like your grandmother did. After you began growing, you also started using some of her clothes. You want to say that it's dishonorable, but knowing her, she would have wanted you to wear her old clothes anyways. She would have been very happy to see you wearing them.
As a result of all this, as well as your new race of being a kasha, you're not just the spitting image of your grandmother anymore. You downright look like her twin. Maybe it was your obsession with her that brought you to this, but you don't think you could live very well not looking like her. You're certain your personality is drastically different from how she was, however.
Souya has grown too, though he doesn't look nearly as cute as his mother did, you think. Certainly not a spitting image, but he still carries some resemblance. He's a hell of a lot taller then he was when you first met him though, that's for sure. He truly looks like a strapping adult now. A very well built physique too. Even if he is a little unkempt. At least he's very neat with the mansion.
Oh yeah, the mansion... the fabeled place your grandmother lived in. You brought Souya here when you first turned youkai, so very, very long ago. You told him to stay put. You then left him there. You returned to Risou. You had to explain things. You needed to confront your family. There was no way around it, as you really did not wish for them to believe you had died. You would never want your family to be hurt that way.
They couldn't believe it at first. It wasn't until your father regained his bearings that he realized that this was completely possible. But it was also a terrible happening. You couldn't be accepted as a member of the family truly anymore. It seemed that the difference between humans and youkai were still too great on a more tangible scale, but it was more akin to the fact that your race had drastically changed compared to your immediate family's, which is highly uncommon to say the least. It only took a couple days to realize that your new mentality and structure were too much for your family to handle. It wasn't a bitter goodbye though, as they still loved you from the bottom of their hearts. It was primarily a conflict within yourself, a conflict you felt couldn't be resolved the way you would have wanted it to. Things just weren't meant to be that way anymore.
Your Aunt Sango was surprised by it as well, though she really didn't treat you any differently at all regardless. You also had learned that Alice, who you feared was taken by the tengu, had stayed entirely safe, noting that the tengu that were at her door that fateful night left without breaking in at all, having to retreat back to base to aid the rest of the tengu with Souya's wayward brother demolishing it. Alice herself was quite surprised by your transformation too, but her face turned solemn after hearing about your grandmother. It was at that point she told you everything. A lot of things you knew, and a lot of things you didn't, but ultimately, it was just a final closure on a chapter that you feel you've left behind now.
It was barely a week that you stayed in Risou before returning to see Souya back at the mansion again. When you had come back, you were shocked to find that it had been cleaned up and restored to it's former glory. You were impressed with Souya's work up until you realized he touched your grandmother's room, at which point you scolded him quite harshly, as stupid as it may sound. But it still seemed like Souya had found a home that he was happy with. Sure, it was underground, but it didn't sound like there was anything on the surface that he missed anymore. It was down here that he found solace and solitude that kept him from letting all his losses drive him insane. Here, he managed to stay the same, lovable little scamp that you knew him as, and he remained that way for as long as he stayed down here, which has been ever since.
After a while, you decided to live in the mansion together with Souya, finding your time in Risou to be too difficult to muster. You would take frequent trips to it at first, but quickly enough, they dwindled. You haven't seen the city in several decades now. Though that isn't to say you haven't kept up with it. The last time you were up there, you were checking on Kouhei and his wife, as they had just recently bore a child. It felt so strange, to still hardly feel any different from how you felt as a child and see your little brother, all grown up with a family of his own. You haven't been back since, but you've still heard from them. Kouhei by now has passed away, and his children are having children of their own at this point. This will likely go on for generations while you continue to age far more slowly. It's for that reason that you've ceased going up to the surface yourself. That's not to say you haven't kept up with others.
Alice visits you from time to time. She never really changes. Even a hundred years later, she still runs the same doll shop, making the same dolls, enjoying the same days. She's finally starting to look a little older, but not by a whole lot. Keine, likewise, still teaches school. She's changed a bit more now, getting into the improving technology that's happening above ground. She's become a lot more strict too, though unlike Alice she doesn't look like she's aged much, despite being half human. You guess even youkai age differently from each other. Aunt Sango eventually married herself, and had kids, unexpectedly. Not exactly passing down a legend, but it comforted you to know that she was still happen in the end. As for the rest of Risou...
After the tengu losses were accounted for after Souya's brother decimated it, it turns out he may have done something right, in a more or less broken way. The crow and daitengu population had greatly dwindled, leaving behind mostly yamabushi and white wolf tengu. This change forced out the current Tenma, and a new one was reappointed. This new Tenma restructured the tengu, allowing the tengu to spread out their jobs across themselves without having to specialize, making the yamabushi and white wolves more prominent and, as a result, more acceptable amongst their social ranks. In turn, this seems to have quelled their intense desire to overthrow those that rule Risou, and are now a proper jurisdiction under the Youkai Faction, that has promised to treat them well and use their numbers effectively and efficiently; just how the tengu would want it.
The Youkai Faction itself was presented with a highly unusual offer at the time though. Due to the recent losses of the Hakurei Shrine and the Moriya Shrine, Risou, and Gensokyo itself as a whole, was without a powerful shrine maiden. No one at the Hakurei Shrine could take the helm anymore, even though the gods at the Moriya Shrine were not worried for some strange reason. The people who ran the Hakurei Shrine then swallowed their pride and finally decided to make amends with the Yakumo family they'd been rejecting all this time; they offered a suitor to Chen, the leader of the Youkai Faction. In order to ensure that the next heir to the Hakurei Shrine would never fall prey to something so tragic again, they wished the most powerful youkai in the faction to bear a child with the priest of the highest potential in the Hakurei bloodline. From what Souya has told you, he wasn't even that bad a guy, and was even a little clumsy. Eventually, the two were married and did indeed bear children; it was the greatest step towards a human/youkai unification that Risou had ever seen, and finally drew open the curtains on what the city, as well as Gensokyo itself could very well become. A place where humans and youkai could coexist in harmony.
Things seemed to calm down after you heard Chen gave birth. You rarely heard much about Risou after that, or at least anything worth noting. Seems the land finally achieved the peace it so sorely deserved. As for you... well...
Today, you walk into your grandmother's room for possibly the millionth time since you left it absolutely pristine as Souya made it. Even though it had been changed, it's still an absolutely sacred room to you and you dare not touch anything that isn't your grandmother's closet. This time, however, you're feeling somewhat... adventurous. You walk around a little, examining every item carefully and thoroughly. You're certainly obsessed, but it's times like these that remind me of who you are and where you've gone in your life. How content you are. How simple things are. How... unfulfilled you feel.
You have a feeling you know what it might be. But you can't bring yourself to act upon it. Ever since you started living with Souya, you've denied feeling this way. Sure, you've traded hugs with him, leaned against him a number of times and even kissed once or twice. But you had always kept things on a casual basis and never once let it go any farther then that, letting it be known that you will never be together with him in that way. He must have felt so broken hearted so many times but he's always put up with it because he's always been thankful for just what he's got. He can't complain. Yet, here you are, toying with his heart. Denying your own. You felt that after your grandmother died, love was beyond you. That it wasn't going to go anywhere happy for you. That it just wasn't worth it. Despite that, you can't help but think of how much your grandmother loved your grandfather, and...
Getting your mind off it, you open up your grandmother's drawers. No use fussing over feelings you can't stand. There's really no need to--...
"... what's this?"
You ask yourself this as you take a beautifully adorned envelope out of the drawer. It stood out so much as being clean and tidy, compared to everything else in the drawers, which had been sitting in there for hundreds of years. It's as if what's in it was so strong that it stood the test of time.
You open it up, knowing that it's a sin to your grandmother. Something in here isn't meant for you. But at the same time, you feel that you're the only one that's allowed to read it.
What you find inside is shocking. Eye opening. Saddening. But most importantly, you realize that this... this would have changed everything. But it didn't, because she didn't act upon it.
You now realize that you can't let yourself become a victim to the same thing your grandmother did.
Last time I saw you, I was telling you that I would be going away to help Master Satori. The truth of the matter is... I was just scared. Scared of what you told me on that hill that one night. That one night that changed everything...
Hurry. Hurry. You need to go. You need to...
I didn't know what to think. My heart was racing. It was feeling things it never felt before. I was getting bothered by something completely intangible. Satoshi, you made me feel... human. I wasn't a pet anymore. I wasn't a beast, an inhuman being or even an apparition. With you, I was as human as any other human would be. You made me feel that way, and for some reason, I don't regret it.
Tears stream down your cheeks as you rush through the halls of the mansion.
Now that I've finally had time away from you to think about it. I've realized... I want to feel that way more often. I want to feel more human, with you. I almost... actually want to be human. I don't know what I'm saying. It's stupid to think of a youkai becoming human... is it? Maybe, just maybe...
You can't let it go on like this anymore. At any moment, he could...
When I'm with you, my heart races. When you talk to me, I feel happy. When you touch me, I shiver. I can't stop thinking about you now that I can't see you Satoshi, and it hurts my chest knowing that I left you without saying a thing. I should have said something. I was too busy wondering what I was doing with myself and not thinking about how you felt. Any ordinary human would have done that and I've failed you by not acting on my own emotions properly, like any human would. I know you deserve a real human, and not me.
"Souya!" As you run to him in the gardens, he looks over and is a little shocked to see your poor state. This doesn't stop you from diving into his chest, holding on for dear life.
But even so, I want this to work. I want to be with you. Even if it's a crime! No sin could stop me from feeling this way about you anymore. And I hope that you feel the same way about me. I know you do. You wouldn't have approached me on that hill that night any other way if you didn't. And I thank you for opening my eyes to something truly wonderful, Satoshi.
"S-Satoko? What's wrong? What's the matter?" Souya is definitely confused as to why you're digging your face into his chest, crying your heart out. As soon as you can talk though, you give him your words.
I hope that one day, other people will realize this too. That they can feel something as spectacular as this. That no matter who you are, where you live or what you do, your emotions are the most fulfilling part of who you are.
"S-Souya... th-there's... something I need to tell you. Something that I've neglected to say. Left unsaid for all these years because I always kept denying it, thinking that I didn't truly want it... but now..."
"Satoko..." Souya seems to realize what you want to say as he grips your shoulders suddenly, being taken by his own emotions. "You don't have to. I'm-"
"No! I do! Not just for you, but for me too!"
So thank you, Satoshi. Thank you for showing me what it means to be human. Please wait for me, Satoshi, for when I return to you, I will say those three words that mean the most to you, those three words that I should have said to you long ago, those three words that you gave me that I've cherished all this time... those three words...
"Satoko...!" You look up at him. Tears falling down your cheeks. Your face contorted in pain and sorrow. Wishing for these feelings to come out. You will grant your heart release now, with these three words.
"Souya, I... I...!"
I love you...