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Fujiwara no Mokou

"If only I knew this fate would be worse than death...."

0 · 907 views · located in Bamboo Forest of the Lost

a character in “Denouement of a Fantasy Era”, as played by Mat_z6

Description



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"What does it mean to be truly 'alive'? I lost the answer to that question long ago."



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PERSONAL INFORMATION





ImageFULL NAME
      Fujiwara no Mokou

TITLE
      Scarlet Guardian of the Bamboo Forest

AGE
      Roughly around 1,185 years old

GENDER
      Female

SPECIES
      Immortal Human

ETHNICITY
      Japanese

OCCUPATION
      Bamboo Forest Guide

GENERAL APPEARANCE
      Mokou has red eyes and ankle-length light grey hair. She wears a light brown shirt that appears as if it's been discolored from fire, and dark red overalls that're randomly decorated with paper charms. Her hair's tied with these same red and white paper charms. The paper talismans on Mokou's pants and hair ribbons are wards to protect her from being burned by her fire. Her shirt, which lacks such talismans, appears to have been burnt repeatedly.



PERSONALITY TRAITS




ImagePERSONALITY
      At her core Mokou has a very dubious personality. She is the kind of person who, when pissed off enough, wont hesitate to attack with little regard for the safety of herself or others around her, and if the person she's attacking is her arch nemesis Kaguya then any chance of the encounter not ending in someone dying has basically gone up in smoke. No pun intended. She is a nice person at heart, though, and this violent aggressive side only exists because of the past events in her life over which she had little control. The way she was treated after gaining immortality - feared and hated by humans - lead her to go into hiding and eventually on a rampage where she destroyed anything she came across for hundreds of years. It was nine hundred years before she found her way into Gensokyo where humans didn't fear immortals and she could finally start to make her way back into their society somewhat, so it's only to be expected that some part of her aggressive side still lingers. She does keep it for people who she feels deserve aggression sent their way, though. She shows her kinder side when she helps lost humans out of the Bamboo Forest of the Lost, though. She knows her way around the forest, and is friendly with the fairies who live there, so she doesn't get lost and uses this to guide people back to safety free of charge. During these trips she listens to their stories about their lives but doesn't freely share her own stories, probably because of the hesitation she feels when it comes to getting close to others. To continue her dubious personality, though, she has a habit of swapping between being friendly and threatening to a person in a few seconds flat.

      Being an immortal like she is Mokou finds it difficult to get close to people, since she'll exist forever while even the oldest and strongest youkai (even the ones who are older than her) will waste away eventually. She knows this is the case and doesn't think anyone else can truly understand how she feels, but it's not like she doesn't let people get close to her at all. She has a bitter rivalry with fellow immortal Kaguya Houraisan who Mokou also feels is another person who can understand her completely even if the two of them fight and kill one another constantly. She is also on somewhat friendly terms with Kaguya's subjects and youkai friends, so she doesn't hate them for their loyalty to their princess.

      Speaking of Kaguya; Mokou's hatred of Kaguya is something that consumes her very existence. It's the reason she first killed a man and stole the immortality elixir that gave her the gift of eternal life. She claims to hate Kaguya with all of her heart, and admits to stealing the elixir to spite her, but after nine hundred years of stumbling around on her own she had grown tired of existing without a purpose. Eventually finding Kaguya in Gensokyo was something that Mokou thought of as a magnificent paradise, since her arch rival was stuck in the same horrific fate she was. They could continue killing each other as long as they wanted and that made Mokou extremely happy since she finally had a purpose again. Basically Mokou isn't good with emotions, especially not after her first nine hundred years of immortality being less than desirable.

      Following up from personality traits gained from her immortality; Mokou takes really, really bad care of herself. She has self destructive tendencies thanks largely in part to the fact that she doesn't have to worry about taking care of her body in the slightest. If she doesn't eat she'll starve to death, if she doesn't wrap up in winter she'll freeze to death in her sleep and if she eats poisonous mushrooms then she'll certainly die, but these things don't matter because she'll come back to life seconds later. The only thing that will happen is that she'll feel the pain of death, and that'll just make her stronger in the long run, or so she seems to believe.

      If her dress sense wasn't enough of a clue and her harsh, crude word choice didn't make it obvious then Mokou is quite the tomboy. She was also the unwanted child of an aristocrat and wasn't allowed to go out in public because of this. Perhaps this was also something that added to her less than stellar people skills?

      Finally, and perhaps most importantly, Mokou does not like being immortal. She views it as a curse rather than a gift or a blessing and thinks deeply about whether or not she's truly alive anymore if she doesn't need to take care of her body's needs. She doesn't really let this dark thought process show on the outside, though, but doesn't mind talking about it when dealing with someone who understands her.

LIKES DISLIKES
Drinking Kaguya
"Killing" Kaguya Arrogance
Smoking Being taken advantage of




COMBAT ABILITIES




ImageABILITIES
      Neither Ageing nor Dying - Mokou's most important ability is her immortality gained from drinking the Hourai Elixir. Thanks to this ability she cannot die, cannot age and cannot get ill. It also prevents her from entering Hakugyokurou - the netherworld - because to do so one must be 'dead' and that's impossible for her. Thanks to the Hourai Elixir her wounds regenerate quickly with larger wounds taking days to heal. She can, however, still feel pain and cannot keep fighting once the pain has become too great to deal with.

      Manipulation of Fireire - Mokou has the ability to create fire, increase and manipulate it but lacks the ability to dissipate the flames she summons. Since her control of her powers came from training it seems likely that she felt she didn't need to 'turn off' the fire given her immortality. In addition to controlling fire she is also resistant to the damage caused by them, though unfortunately her clothes are not. So she wears special warding charms that keep her clothing protected from her flames.


      Other Skills - While not as exciting as fire manipulation or immortality she is a pretty good cook and fisher.

WEAPONS/TOOLS
      None

STRENGTHS
      -Over a thousand years worth of combat experience with numerous youkai
      -Her body is extremely durable but she is far from being immune to injuries.
      -Mokou's immortal soul allows her to suffer any kind of injury without being killed even if she were to be torn to pieces. Over the span of her lifetime she has built up a strong resistance to pain. She still feels it but it will take a lot more for it to slow her down.

WEAKNESSES
      -Mokou's immortality, however, doesn't prevent her from being susceptible to fatigue. Even though she is incapable of dying, she still feels pain when injured just as a normal human does. Since she doesn't die, feeling the sting of death when she reaches the brink of oblivion brings her a great deal of pain and fatigue when she immediately revives.
      - Depending on how devastating any injury she takes, Mokou's wounds usually take days to recover if lethal.



BACKGROUND




FAMILY
      Fujiwara no Fuhito || Deceased || Father

ImageHISTORY
      Mokou was born as the daughter of a well-known noble by the name of Fujiwara no Fuhito who was a powerful member of the imperial court of Japan during the Asuka and Nara periods roughly 1,185 years prior to our story. A life fitting of a noble girl had her with few friends, yet she lived a life of comfort and luxury. One fateful day news of a mysterious young woman who was rumored to posses unearthly beauty reached the capital of Japan. It was said that she was the daughter of an old bamboo cutter and already, men from all across Japan had heard tales of her beauty, and came in hopes of catching a glimpse, but none ever succeeded. The true identity of this fair maiden was the legendary Kaguya Houraisan, who was formally the princess of a race of beings who inhabited the Moon. These beings, Lunarians as they call themselves, possessed the ability to brew a supernatural elixir that had the power to grant any being immortality if they drank it. They called it the Hourai Elixir and its purpose was to test powerful rulers inhabiting the Earth and to cause disturbances among the Humans. To put it simply, this elixir was created by the Lunarians to play "god" for their own twisted entertainment but even though many humans have been tempted by this "Fountain of Youth" the Lunarians never once have let the Hourai Elixir to touch a mortal's lips often times demanding impossible requests and tasks in exchange for it. They made sure that the chances of any human being able to acquire it were a definite zero. Though strangely enough, Lunarians themselves were strictly forbidden to consume the Hourai Elixir. The Elixir makes one an existence completely independent of even the concept of reality, thus making one not subject to the bounds of life, death, or even manipulation, although the pain of injuries can still be felt. This medicine indeed makes one truly invincible, and forced to live out their existence forever and thus no one is allowed to even one drop of it.

      Kaguya Houraisan, who as stated before was the princess of the Lunarians, managed to convince the lead medical genius of the Lunarians to create the forbidden elixir for her own self interest and was granted immortality. It wasn't long until it was known to everyone that the princess had committed the worst of taboos and she was quickly exiled to live among the humans as punishment. Not long after she was sent to earth, Kaguya was found by an old bamboo cutter who took her in and she lived with him and his family for many years. Though they thought it was strange, the family never asked Kaguya why she appeared to never age.

      Tales of her unearthly beauty led men from all across the land to seek her hand in marriage, Mokou's father being one of them, but none could successfully complete her trial of the Five Impossible Requests one must complete if they were to be wed to her. The first was to bring her the stone begging bowl of the Buddha from India. The second was to retrieve a jeweled branch from the island of Mount Hourai. The third was to seek the legendary robe of the fire-rat of China. The fourth was to retrieve a colored jewel from a dragon's neck. The final task was to find the legendary Cowry treasure of the swallows. Her father was never able to complete even one of the tasks, and was sent home with the shame of seeking another woman. This naturally caused the family to split, the father left out in shame, the mother went insane over time since their marriage had lasted at least ten years, and Mokou herself fell to pieces at how one woman wrecked her family. Her life now in shambles Mokou harbored hate against Kaguya since then, and never knew how to take revenge upon her for the tragedy that befell her family.

      That was, until she heard about "something important" belonging to Kaguya Houraisan, which was, of course, a small portion of the same Hourai Elixir that was the cause of her exile which she had left for the Emperor of Japan for reasons unknown to Mokou. From the information she had gathered, the Emperor of Japan had ordered for the Elixir to be disposed of and destroyed for he had no desire for immortality. A select group of soldiers were to take the Elixir to Mt. Fuji, which was believed that the summit was the closest to the heavens, where they would attempt to get rid of the Elixir once and for all. Managing to follow the soldiers in secret, she trailed the group that was carrying the Elixir, clearly intent on using it against Kaguya somehow, waiting for the time was right. Once there, it was then that Mokou discovered that the group of soldiers planned to fling the jar into the fires of the volcano to destroy it. Distraught that her plan would go up in flames (literally) if she didn't act soon, Mokou began to panic. But there was nothing she could do. A small noble girl stood no chance against even one of those soldiers. But as they were about to throw it in, the goddess Konohana-Sakuyahime, who calms the eruptions of Mount Fuji, appeared and forbid the soldiers to throw the jar into the volcano because Mount Fuji's volcanic activities would restart should they do so. She explained to them that it was in fact the Hourai Elixir, the elixir of immortality. She gave the command to go to Yatsugatake where her older sister Iwanagahime handles immortality and unchangingness dwelt.

      The soldiers then tried to light the jar on fire, but Sakuyahime's powers prevented it. Discouraged that their efforts resulted in vain, soldiers decided to give up for the night and try again at first light. Exhausted from trailing the soldiers and relived that she still had a chance, Mokou fell asleep hidden within a cave nearby as she planned to wake up before the soldiers to snatch the Elixir and be on her way. But shortly after she laid down a bloodcurdling scream echoed from where the soldiers set up camp and Mokou scrambled off to see what it was. Apparently the soldiers had decided to take the elixir for themselves but Sakuyahime, who had been keeping a close eye on the group managed to kill all but one of the soldiers before they had consumed it. As Mokou sprinted towards the camp, now littered with the bloody bodies of the soldiers, the one who managed to escape Sakuyahime's wrath ran straight into her. As they both fell to the ground, the jar that contained the small portion of the elixir fell from the soldier's hands and both Mokou and the soldier went for it. Mokou, who was much smaller and quicker than the large man, snatched up the jar and sprinted away from his reach. The soldier gave chase and quickly gained on the girl. Mokou who had no clue where she was on the mountain found herself reaching a cliff which was a sheer drop off to the ground below. The soldier who had caught up to her by now cornered her to the edge of the cliff. Mokou helpless and out of options reached for one of the sharp pins that held up her hair as some for of defense against the soldier who was closing in on her quickly. As the burly man lunged for her, Mokou brought the sharp accessory up to his face and stuck it into one of his eyes. Letting out a sharp cry of pain the guard stumbled off balance as Mokou manged to sidestep to shove him off the edge. The girl watched as the soldier plummeted to his death. Now with nothing standing in her way, she finally was in possession of the thing that would bring justice to her family. But has Mokou held the small jar she quickly realized that she had no clue about what to do with it. She knew exactly what it was and what it could do but it never occurred to her that she would actually come into possession of it herself. Though while pondering what she would be able to do with such a powerful elixir the desire for immortality consumed her. She thought of all the possibilities. She would live forever. How wonderful would that be? Never to die. To have an eternity to experience everything in life. And if her situation was unfavorable she had an eternity to fix it to how she wanted it. Her young naive mind clouded her reasoning for she did not even once think about the cruel, torturous, dark side to living forever which she would regret for the rest of her days.

      She abandoned her life after a number of years of gaining an immortal soul and spent six hundred years alone, away from humans. During this time, she picked fights with youkai, the desire to be stronger, and to one day take revenge upon Kaguya for her actions. Her choice to become stronger, however, was questionable since she fought youkai, after youkai, after youkai in an attempt to vent her anger at how her life became a wreck. In that time she was becoming stronger, she came across a youkai that possessed similar traits as the mythical phoenix, who she felt was mocking her, and thus picked a fight with it. But she, like the phoenix, was immortal, and thus fought for too long. Mokou and the Phoenix fought for several days, until the phoenix itself surrendered and acknowledged Mokou as a superior individual than itself, bestowing itself onto Mokou, its power of Phoenix Fire now hers.

      Another three hundred years passed and for those three hundred years, she became bored with the endless fighting with youkai so she lived in isolation once again. She spent her days wandering aimlessly and found herself in a large bamboo forest which was know as the Bamboo Forest of the Lost located in the midst of the haunted lands of Gensokyo. Mokou took a liking to the place as it felt hidden from the rest of the world. It was a place where she could live tucked away from the world she left behind so long ago. For many years she wandered the forest, learning key places and established a small home for herself there. She found it hard to know locations within the forest, so she set up an encampment in a small clearing she found, and that was where she set up her new "home". It took many years, roughly fifteen, after stumbling upon the Bamboo Forest of the Lost to know where she was at most times by instinct as she developed a mental map of the forest. The few friends she had were rabbit youkai who were peaceful, and they helped her forage for food while she helped protect them.

      A short time after she settled down though Kaguya and Mokou met once again at the hidden manor, Eientei, Kaguya had settled at when she went into hiding from the Lunarians. Mokou noticed the change in the Bamboo Forest when she heard from her rabbit youkai friends about invaders at the hidden manor, and she ran to investigate. It was then that Mokou's hatred for Kaguya reignited with full force and this time nothing stood in her way. When Mokou confronted her and the matter was brought up about the many men who lost their families, Kaguya had a lot of recollection of the many men who proposed to her and attempted the Five Impossible Tasks, and seemed proud of "putting humans in their place". Mokou, angered by her arrogance, went on the offensive against Kaguya, screaming vengeance for her family and friends who lost their families because of her. Their fighting continued almost daily since then. Though Mokou's hatred towards the Lunar Princess burns stronger than any flame, deep down she cannot deny that she is relived to find someone with the wretched curse called Immortality.

      Throughout her early years living in the Bamboo Forest, Mokou has had minimal contact with the human settlement within Gensokyo. Occasionally she acts as a guide for humans who get lost among within the forest, protecting them from hostile youkai that live there.



Uuu~

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So begins...

Fujiwara no Mokou's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Reika Hakurei Character Portrait: Kiyoko momoe Character Portrait: Fujiwara no Mokou Character Portrait: Marran Yanada Character Portrait: Rumiko Lumikko Character Portrait: Suika Ibuki Character Portrait: Yukari Yakumo Character Portrait: Rin Nyasai

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Within Gensokyo,
The land is painted pink
With cherry blossoms.
The valley folk celebrate
How fleeting life truly is.

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With the arrival of spring comes the well-anticipated blooming of the cherry blossoms. Throughout the country and throughout it's history, people have been mesmerized by the sight of cherry trues in bloom, as temporary as they may be. Perhaps it's their fleetingness that draws people to them. Some people look at them and think of death, whereas others just admire they're beauty without thinking too deeply. Indeed, there must be something supernatural about them that draws people to want to do nothing but sit under them and just allow themselves to be mesmerized.

The land between the mountains, almost forgotten by society, was definitely one of such mesmerizing sights. The pink and white treetops stretched out over vast tracks of land, most heavily clustered around the high ground where only a single shrine sat. The shrine was not the only place in bloom. Thousands of flowers bordered the Misty Lake, where fairies sung and danced. The Forest of Magic was somewhat lacking in terms of blossoms, with the exception of some notable clusters, yet rare flowers that only grew in the darkest jungles could be found within these shady woods. The various fields that sat between the forests of Gensokyo were covered in flowers as well. Even the Bamboo Forest of the Lost was in full bloom, an exceedingly uncommon event that only ever occurred once every sixty years.

It seemed as if the flowers were going to take over Gensokyo. Perhaps they were making up for the disappointing blooms of last year, when consecutive heavy rain quickly ruined the cherry blossoms in a period of a few short days, leaving no time for any decent flower viewings. Perhaps it was for this reason that the humans of the village were especially rowdy this year. In times of relative peace, the village people tended to host festivals that lasted as long as the cherry blossoms did, where they'd sing, dance, recite, act, drink and have a great time while viewing the cherry blossoms. There was no real meaning to these celebrations other than to simply forget all the bad things in life and have a good time while being surrounded by a breathtaking environment, and to admire the cherry blossoms, of course.

Still, even amidst all this festivity is that unshakable feeling of suspicion and dread that one gets used to when living in Gensokyo, the feeling that at any moment, a Youkai may appear and attack you. However, thanks to recent triumphs in Youkai extermination, such as a complete clean-sweep of all Tsukumogami within the village, the villagers have been able to enjoy some peace of mind.

The Youkai, however, are in a period of unrest. With the security of the village increased, attacking the village directly seems unthinkable for any lone creature. The Youkai, for the most part, are scattered and unorganized, none of them possibly brave enough to try to cause any real incidents. The organized powers are also in unrest. In secret locations, the Youkai leaders meet to discuss their concerns for the future of Gensokyo, but it seems as if such a future is going to be a grim one.

Among disunified Youkai, festive humans and a suspicious spring does our tale start. Let us all spin the tale that puts a close to all folktales. Let this denouement begin.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fujiwara no Mokou Character Portrait: Marran Yanada Character Portrait: Rumiko Lumikko

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#, as written by Mat_z6
Fujiwara no Mokou lay there motionless among the scorched remains of the bamboo forest around her. She could not move nor could she speak for the familiar agonizing pains of death that shot through her body the moment her opponent vaporized her had paralyzed her completely upon her resurrection. 'Damn that Kaguya. That's another win for her.' Mokou stared up at the starry night sky and she noticed that the smell of burnt bamboo was uncomfortably overwhelming. She would have to deal with it for awhile longer. Soon she would be able to move again once her body recovered. How long had it been since this began? A few hundred years or so? Though Mokou could not remember when she and Kaguya Houraisan began their days of "killing" each other she could clearly recall the first day they were reunited like it was yesterday. Since then day in and day out, Mokou and Kaguya had been at it for at least three hundred years. To be honest, it wasn't a bad way to spend your time. But most importantly whenever she fought Kaguya, Mokou believed that that's when she would fell the most "alive". Maybe that's why they were doing this constantly. By fighting and killing each other and coming so close to the "death" both desired so much helped them remember what it was like to be mortal again.

"By dying we live. By killing we are reminded what it felt like to be 'alive'."

A soft gentle voice piped up somewhere nearby. Kaguya Houraisan, who had been quietly sitting on the ground a bit away from Mokou, chuckled and gave Mokou a mocking grin. "It seems as though I win again, Mokou."

"What are you doing still here? I thought you had left." Mokou who had now regained control of at least her neck and head turned towards the Lunar Princess. Though once her eyes rested on Kaguya, Mokou could now see why she had stayed. The Princess was propped up against a few bamboo stalks, that seemed to have survived Mokou's inferno, but the whole right side of her body was incinerated down to the bone. It was a horrifying sight to behold but by now, these gruesome injuries had become amusing to the two. Mokou let out a small laugh of triumph and sneered at the disheveled Kaguya.

"Your saying you won in that state? Did I accidentally fry the whole right half of your brain as well? You can't even move!"

"Well unlike you, my body actually stayed intact after the fight so I am claiming it as my win." Kaguya retorted calmly.

"Tch....." Mokou turned her head away from Kaguya and looked to the stars above after realizing the woman was right. "Whatever."

"Say... Mokou?" Kaguya called to her.

"What?"

"Did you ever once in your past think that if you were to spend an eternity with someone that you would be doing this sort of thing? Fighting with them and hating them for the rest of your days?"

As Mokou gazed at the starry sky, she pondered Kaguya's question.

"When I was mortal... I never dreamed that Immortality would be something like this. If I had known.... I would've never taken that stupid abomination you called an Elixir back then."

"So your saying that this is all my fault?" Kaguya asked softly.

"Of course it is! Why else do you think I hate you so much? For the suffering you brought to the countless men of Japan including my father! You ruined us. And for what? Personal amusement? I don't even know. All I know is that I will continue to hate you for the rest of my days and there is nothing you can do to change that...."

"But who was it that made you drink the elixir?"

Mokou didn't say a word. Kaguya sighed and turned her eyes to the stars as well. "You haven't changed even one bit, Mokou."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fujiwara no Mokou Character Portrait: Marran Yanada Character Portrait: Rumiko Lumikko Character Portrait: Suika Ibuki

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The air of the village was thick, but not just with festivity. People of all classes mingled together. The village may have had been slow to wake, but as time went on, things got busier and busier. Performers played frequently on stages throughout the day, but the merchants were slow to set up their stands. Those that were early wanted to appeal to those who were up and about around noon. Flower viewing festivals usually were rather calm throughout the day and only as it got dark did people get much more rowdy. Still, during the noon, there tended to be a rather large influx of people. This was mainly due to the fact that it was around noon that farmers were getting off of their rice fields, but bright skies, cool breezes and the fact that people were pretty much all awake by then were all contributing factors.

With the streets becoming progressively busier, somehow, the atmosphere became progressively thicker. Perhaps it was simply the festive mood of many people getting together, or maybe it was the noise. Or maybe it was the mysterious mist that seemed to have gathered throughout the village. It was thin and pretty much unnoticeable, as well as not an uncommon occurrence in the village, despite how unusual it was. Most believed it was simply the fog that had blown off of the Misty Lake a few kilometers away, or possibly spores that blew in from the Forest of Magic less than a kilometer away, or most simply, dust kicked up by large amount of foot traffic. After all, it was only thicker depending on how many people were gathered in one place at one time.

However, this mist was no mere dust. After all, no dust could possibly have such a suspicious presence. While it was almost always ignored, there were those that could sense it, or otherwise sense a mysterious presence around them. Most waved it off as a sort of paranoia, but this paranoia did tend to keep people on guard. The humans of the village were always used to keeping their guard up, after all. An air of tension like this was always a reminder that there was some external threat that could harm them at any moment.

What many failed to realize, however, that the threat itself was the mist.

Suika watched over the many humans of the village, watching them about as they went through their days. Being able to thinly spread herself throughout the village, she could keep tabs on just about everybody. She watched as a merchant scolded his disciple for the damaging of a tea bowl and it's stand, as well as a servant dancing for his master, hiding the fact that he's been hunting badgers, as well as a hooded figure made his way down the streets, only to get into a collision in a travelling monk, as well as what appeared to be a big commotion.

It appeared that two men were carrying a Norimono, a hand-carried personal transport vehicle, while they were being escorted by several village guards, including a woman sporting a samurai's robes and weapons on her hip who was calling for the crowds to disperse. People around them were shouting out at the men, telling them to go back. Some of Suika was gathered around here, curious at to what was going on. Cries rang out through the streets; "Dispel the demons! Out with the Youkai! Bring that monster away from here!" So, it was more than obvious that a Youkai was being escorted. Suika was going to investigate further, when a bird's cry caught her attention.

A black figure flew high in the sky, giving off a strange cry. It had the appearance of a bird, but closer inspection would reveal that it was much larger than an ordinary bird, and of an unusual form. It circled above the village, crying it's strange, shrill cries, before suddenly diving into the trees outside the village. Suika sighed in her head. There was no doubt that the unusual creature was anything but one of the Tengu messengers, of which took the appearance of anthropomorphic crows. A Tengu's role in mountain society was easily distinguishable by their appearance. For example, the classical red-faced long-nosed ones tended to bureaucratic matters and were rarely seen by outsiders, while Tengu taking on white wolf-like appearances were guards. A Tengu messenger being sent all the way to the village was probably only looking for one person, and there was only one person who would possibly be sending a message.

Outside of the village, Suika found the messenger, dressed in long white robes, as well as a tokin hat with pom-poms that hung from it. All typical clothing articles of nearly all Tengu. A scroll hung at her side. She sat within a cherry tree, waiting for her recipient to arrive, as she wouldn't dare enter the village. Her great big black wings seemed to have disappeared somehow. She did seem to already be aware of Suika's presence, despite how thin it was. Gradually, Suika began to reintegrate herself, what appeared to be black dust quickly gathering itself into one form, until Suika finally materialized from it, lying on another branch within the same tree, taking a great big drink from her gourd. The Tengu was quick to begin speaking, but Suika put up a hand to pause her.

"Ahh~," Suika gasped after a good ten seconds of chugging, "That's good sake." She brought her hand to her chin, as if to consider it. "Sake under the cherry blossoms is definitely the best." Suika took a glance at the rather antsy looking Tengu (although, all crow Tengu were antsy) and wondered what she was doing there. Suika had temporarily forgotten about the Tengu's presence altogether when she was enjoying her sake. "So... What are you doing here?"

"Well," the Tengu responded somewhat impolitely, "I've got a message for Suika Ibuki-" "That's me," Suika interrupted. The Tengu rolled her eyes, another impolite gesture, before continuing, "... I've got a message from Hoshiguma-Douji." "Yuugi, huh?" Suika took another big drink from her gourd. Yuugi had been becoming increasingly strict as of lately, sometimes even refusing Suika's offers to drink. Suika wasn't at all fond of Yuugi's constant badgering and nagging over supposedly important issues and responsibilities. Therefore, Suika's been making it a point to be absent from her place on the mountain. Though, it's not as if Suika has been ignoring Yuugi or anything. Even today, Suika offered Yuugi to join her in flower viewing, but she refused because supposedly Suika had to be the representative of the Oni for the big meeting between the Youkai powers. Usually such meetings were accompanied by great feasts afterward, but as of late, the Youkai powers seem to have all become sticks in the mud.

The Tengu messenger opened up the scroll at her side and began to read at a rushed pace; "Suika where the hell are you you're supposed to be at this damn meeting this shit is too important for you to to be skipping seeing as this concerns the reputation of the Oni you better not be drinking your ass off in the village you better get here right now or else I will beat you so hard you won't be able to reintegrate straight." The Tengu read the entire thing tonelessly and without punctuation, losing the intended voice behind the message. Suika chuckled after taking a swig. "There's Yuugi's famed civility for you," she said without an obvious sarcastic tone.

"Uh, there's more," the Tengu continued, "I feel I should mention the suspicious figure has come here again and-" "Wait!" Suika interrupted, "Slow down a bit, your voice is giving me a headache." The Tengu continued, but at a more controlled pace, suddenly remembering what punctuation was, "...and although she seems awfully strange, I personally think we should give serious consideration toward what she says. Otherwise, we may have to resort to the plan that I suggested before, regardless of your reservations against it. End message." Suika sloshed her drink around in her gourd thoughtfully before taking a huge gulp.

"Ahh~" Suika was grinning, "Alright, messenger, I've got a message for 'ya. Listen close." "I'm listenin'," The Tengu said, reaching for a satchel at her side for a brush and ink. "No, listen really close," Suika gestured over to herself. The Tengu leaned in, close enough that she could smell Suika's alchohol-soaked breath. Suika spoke in a low voice, her pace inconsistent and some words slurred, causing the Tengu to ask her to repeat parts. "You'd make a bad reporter with an attention span like that," Suika mentioned at one point.

"Ayaya~!" The Tengu exclaimed, "All of them?" Suika chuckled and nodded. The Tengu was absolutely ecstatic. "That's, that's downright insane! That's absolutely, positively, ludicrously diabolical! Abso-posi-lutely! This plan, it most certainly sounds... exciting! That's what it is, yeah! It's so horrible, yet so, so amazing! I, I'll go deliver this message immediately! Lord Tenma will be happy to hear this! Except, what will Hoshiguma-doji think? Can we really handle such a task."

"Don't worry about it," Suika assured her, "In fact, don't tell her. This is confidential information between you, I and your boss. Yuugi'll figure it out for herself soon enough. You're the fastest of the Tengu, right? Hurry up then! Gather the Tengu! We shall begin this party when the sun falls under the mountains, when death is upon us."

"Gotcha, we'll be here in a flash!" Suddenly, great big black wings sprouted from the Tengu's back, and she instantly took into the sky, bursting out of the cherry tree with petals flying in her wake. The breeze got stronger as she cried out her strange call. Suika decided to sit for a bit to enjoy her surroundings, before dissipating into a thin mist once more.

As she spread herself thinly across the village, she began to gather them together. By night, all the humans were going to witness a great spectacle. A night parade of a hundred demons!

The setting changes from gensokyo to Bamboo Forest of the Lost

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fujiwara no Mokou Character Portrait: Marran Yanada

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#, as written by Sordin
Marran was beginning to get the horrible impression that he was lost. He had been Pretty certain of his location for a few minutes but after that the path had begun to twist and turn wildly and he'd been robbed of all sense of direction. At first this hadn't seemed so bad, the forest was pretty enough and couldn't be that large, if he continued to follow the path it would have to go somewhere. That conclusion had been reached half an hour ago and now he was certain of the magic in this place. What was even stranger though was his normally acute sense for abandoned areas was telling him nothing, leading him either to the distressing conclusion that either very few people used this path or he had been cut off from the normal world. Either way it did not bode well for the rest of the day. He was not quite on the verge of desperation but the fact that the forest itself had endeavoured to get him lost was an alien thought and while he was curious the possibility of being lost in literally hostile terrain was not very pleasing.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fujiwara no Mokou Character Portrait: Marran Yanada

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#, as written by Mat_z6
Rays of the morning sun flitted through the open window of one of the large bedrooms in the massive mansion very few knew as Eintei. Located deep within the Bamboo Forest of the Lost only a lucky few have even caught a glimpse of it and no human has ever confirmed its existence. A few rumors were sprinkled among the people of the human village but none were able to say for sure that it was really there. Fujiwara no Mokou grumbled as the morning light played across her closed eyelids forcing her to roll over uncomfortably onto her side waking her from her deep sleep. Blinking the sleepiness away from her eyes she stared at the tall ceiling of the bedroom. 'Where am I?' she sat up trying to remember what had happened after her fight with Kaguya the night before.

"Ahh your finally awake, Mokou." A voice sounded from somewhere nearby and Mokou turned her head to see it was none other than Eirin Yagokoro, who was the medical genius as well as one of the residents of Eintei. A Lunarian like Kaguya, Eirin had been serving the Lunar princess for centuries and she was still much of a mystery to Mokou. Though a servant to her sworn enemy, Mokou respected Eirin and appreciated her services after her bloody fights with Kaguya. "I have some clothes here for you since your old ones... well... were done away with last night after Lady Kaguya delivered the final blow to you." Eirin motioned to the side of the bed where a simple plain white kimono lay. "It is one of Lady Kaguya's spares."

The kimono, though colorless and plain was a surprisingly blinding white nonetheless beautiful in its own way. Though Mokou preferred her rather boyish attire, she didn't hate kimonos. She just preferred how easily she could move around in her overalls and shirt. But to think she would be wearing Kaguya's clothes made her hesitate. Eirin seemed to notice Mokou's thought process and sighed. "There really isn't anything else I would offer to you. Besides, she hasn't worn that in ages. Unless you'd rather run around out there with just those wrappings on."

Mokou noticed that she was not completely naked but there were soft cloth wrappings wound tightly around her chest but that was all. "Its not as if anyone is going to stumble through here and see me." She grumbled.

Eirin shrugged. "Suit yourself. Stay as long as you'd like but again I'll warn you -" Eirin suddenly turned very serious and her facial expression was terrifyingly blank. "If I find you and Lady Kaguya fighting within the house there will be hell to pay.... For the BOTH of you."

Mokou gulped. There weren't many beings on this planet that could intimidate her but there was something about this certain Lunarian that sent chills down her spine when she got serious. She remembered the first time Eirin had found Mokou and Kaguya fighting within the walls of Eintei and shivered at the thought. That woman was something else. Mokou sighed and picked up the kimono. She could just burn it when she got home. Putting on Kaguya's clothes for a few hours wouldn't kill her. Slipping it on, she found the "obi", which was the sash that tied around her waist, on the ground nearby. It was a very dark black and Mokou tied it into a crude, sloppy knot. She decided to make her way back to her small home nearby not wanting to see Kaguya after her humiliating defeat.

Though the mansion was massive in size, it was not hard to navigate after a few times being there. Throughout the mansion, youkai rabbits where scurrying about preparing for the day ahead preforming various chores here and there. These Yokukai were usually very peaceful and had made a home here in Eintei serving Kaguya and Eirin protecting them from intruders.

After a few minutes of wandering about the mansion, Mokou finally found herself at the main entrance leading back into the deepest parts of the Bamboo Forest of the Lost. She shifted around in her kimono uncomfortably and looked down at herself. Without her paper charms that she usually used to tie up her hair, her off white hair flowed freely almost touching the ground. Combined with her sharp red eyes she looked like a vengeful spirit out to search for lost human souls to feed off of. She chuckled. If anyone saw her now they no doubt would mistake her for a youkai. But she hadn't seen a lost human wander into the forest for quite some time now and the possibility of one turning up now while she looked like this was very low. Though as Mokou set off into the dark forest she was still unaware of the unlucky traveler who had gotten himself into quite the predicament nearby.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fujiwara no Mokou Character Portrait: Marran Yanada

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#, as written by Sordin
Marran had been stuck in this odd forest for what felt like hours, the high tall stalks of the bamboo plant formed a thick canopy above him and aside from a slight dappling of light over the forest floor there was almost no indication of the sun above. The fact that there were also no distinguishable landmarks meant that he felt totally marooned, but even so the passage of time was still weighing on his mind. When the sun went down this forest would be pitch black and finding his way back at that point would be even harder than it already seemed to be.

It was only a few minutes later that Marran heard someone else walking, he crouched down quickly hoping that they hadn't heard him and tried to locate where the noise had come from. After carefully maneuvering through the thick bamboo stems he saw someone or something else on another path. They had extraordinarily long hair and had piercing red eyes. Marran paused for a second as he tried to remember the name of the robe she was wearing before the word "Kimono" came to mind. He had extreme doubts that this was a normal human and the general consensus among the local humans was that the spirits should be feared and avoided, on the other hand Marran was incredulous enough to think that some hysteria might tinge such discussions so he shuffled closer.

After a few moments more thought he decided to chance it, he'd spent far too long wandering this damnable forest and he was not going to let potential help wander past. So he coughed to announce his presence and stood up. "Excuse me."

The setting changes from bamboo-forest-of-the-lost to Gensokyo

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Character Portrait: Fujiwara no Mokou Character Portrait: Marran Yanada

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#, as written by Mat_z6
Tall stalks of bamboo towered above Fujiwara no Mokou as the immortal girl made her way through the dark forest. Through years of wandering these confusing twists and turns Mokou had learned and memorized each little path through the entire forest which would be impossible for any mortal to successfully navigate through. Her bare feet made no noise against the ground which was covered with fallen foliage and she could sense the presences of the many dangerous youkai lurking in the darkness around her. Through her many centuries of living here the beings that also made their home here knew she was not some simple human that they would prey on. If anything, Mokou could easily take down anything that dared get in her way and many naive youkai had met their end by her hands thinking they could land and easy kill.

Mokou sighed and shifted uncomfortably in the white kimono that Eirin had given her. The clothing was a bit restricting and Mokou was impatient to get back to her home to change back into something that she could move more freely in. Though it was still quite away to her small hut and Mokou wished that Eirin would've have just brought her to her place instead of bringing her all the way to Eintei. Though as Mokou's thoughts wandered to what she would have to eat tonight she sensed an unfamiliar presence nearby watching her. Was it a new youkai preying on her? No... She would've have noticed that quite awhile ago that were the case. By the feel of it Mokou decided that another human had wandered into the forest. How long ago did a human find their way here? It had been quite some time ago, Mokou remembered, and she began to make her way towards the unfamiliar presence. She sighed once again. Did she really have to take the human all the way back in these clothes? They were already getting unbearably uncomfortable and she wondered if she should go to her house before she went and "rescued" the lost human. She shook her head. He would be dead before Mokou found him again. The forest was unforgiving and merciless and it was only a matter of time before he was attacked by a hostile youkai. "Ughh.... Maybe I could just stop by my house before I brought him back." She thought a loud to herself. But Mokou had always been uncomfortable bringing strangers to her home. The only ones who really had visited were Kaguya, Eirin and a few of the youkai rabbits. Mokou decided she would worry about that later. Right now, that human was in danger and she could not leave him out there any longer.

After a few more minutes of walking Mokou finally caught sight of the wandering human. From what she could see he definitely wasn't from around here. His entire body was covered with random bandages and scarves which made it impossible to see any of his features. He wore a long cloak and a hood was draped over his covered face and Mokou could not believe he could wear that sort of thing in this humid weather. Perhaps he was used to the heat.

As she approached him however, Mokou hoped that he would not be frightened by her appearance and she decided to immediately tell him she meant him no harm. But to her surprise, he greeted her right off the bat with a polite, "Excuse me."

She knew that he had noticed her first but his reaction to a strange woman suddenly appearing in these dangerous woods was surprisingly calm and collected. Mokou decided not to think on it.

"Not to bad. By the way you greeted some strange woman appearing out of nowhere in a forest like this, you might not even need my help after all." she joked.

The setting changes from gensokyo to Bamboo Forest of the Lost

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fujiwara no Mokou Character Portrait: Marran Yanada

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#, as written by Sordin
The woman seemed to be surprised at the way Marran had greeted her, similarly her rather jovial response seemed to indicate that she wasn't hostile, at least not overtly so, besides which it would be pretty impossible to get him more lost than he currently was so it seemed unlikely she was an enemy. Still Marran was nothing if not cautious so he considered his response before he spoke.

"By help you mean finding the exit to this forest? I'm afraid I'm not a local so the layout of this wood has confused me but your assistance would be most welcome."

The stranger did not seem likely to be a villager so he judged she might not have a negative response to him not being from the area, besides which his attire would would make such a fact obvious. And even then if she viewed foreigners with suspicion her wariness might make her more cooperative or at least make her reconsider any hostile thoughts should she harbor them.

As he spoke Marran took the opportunity to examine the woman more closely, her strange hair and red eyes seemed most likely to be natural though not common in the humans he'd met. On the other hand her behavior and looks didn't seem to quite match up with his mental impression of what spirits and gods looked like either. Then again he had a frustrating lack of information about the local spirits, which the villagers referred to as "Youkai". Their information seemed to be either entirely fantastical, garbled, second hand or tinged with hysteria; but Youkai, human or something else entirely was fine by him as long as they could help him out of this forest.

The setting changes from bamboo-forest-of-the-lost to Gensokyo

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Character Portrait: Fujiwara no Mokou Character Portrait: Marran Yanada

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#, as written by Mat_z6
"By help you mean finding the exit to this forest? I'm afraid I'm not a local so the layout of this wood has confused me but your assistance would be most welcome." The lost stranger responded politely to Mokou.

So she assumed correctly that he was not from around here. Now extremely curious where he came from, Mokou decided she could ask him about that later. One of the things she enjoyed escorting lost humans was making conversation with new faces since Kaguya and her subjects were really the only beings she saw on a regular basis.

"Well, I guess you could say its my part time job taking care of humans who get lost in these woods, such as yourself. So I'll be more than happy to." Mokou turned and motioned for the stranger to follow her. "By the way, we're going to have to make a slight detour to my place if you don't mind but then we will be on our way and I'll have you back at the human village before nightfall."

Mokou was glad she had found this man before any youkai gave him trouble. At the moment she could feel the eyes of many dangerous beings glaring at her from out of the darkness hoping for a chance to snag the foreign human from under her nose. But Mokou was ready to incinerate anything that jumped out from the mysterious forest and now that she had finally found the lost human, he was completely safe from any harm. Though Mokou couldn't help but notice that the youkai were much more daring this evening. Usually they would never get this close to her that she could make out their faint figures dashing back and forth through the bamboo stalks. They were getting much more aggressive lately but Mokou could not put her finger on the reason why. No matter. No matter how daring or aggressive they got, they stood no chance against the immortal girl.

"My name is Fujiwara no Mokou by the way. You can call me Mokou if you like." Mokou began to head through the trees towards her small home. "Stay close to me. We'll be there in a couple minutes."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Fujiwara no Mokou Character Portrait: Marran Yanada

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#, as written by Sordin
Marran immediately fell into step behind Mokou, the fact that she had a house in these woods perplexed him. If this place was truly magical then she would require an enormous amount of power to bend the pathways to her whim, either that or she had some kind of subtle connection to this place. If It really was her job to guide out lost humans then perhaps she also acted as a guardian for the forest and it gave her free travel in return. The idea of being able to make such a deal was exceedingly intriguing for Marran but he reigned his curiosity in, most likely he would get more answers at her house.

"I call myself Marran and you have my gratitude for acting as a guide, I had not expected this forest to be quite so wily.

However Marran was still paranoid about the possibility of a trap, then again from what he had gathered the people of this land set great store by politeness and attacking someone you had offered hospitality to was most likely a very unethical act, perhaps the local spirits operated with similar rules. In any case his curiosity was getting the better of him so he decided to ask the question that was at the top of his mind.

"Please forgive me if this is an impertinent question but are you what the villagers refer to as Youkai? I have had few encounters with them myself and they appear far removed from the spirits and avatars of my own land."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Fujiwara no Mokou Character Portrait: Marran Yanada

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#, as written by Mat_z6
Marran..... So that was his name. Mokou had never heard of a name like that before. Though living for centuries now, she had never really set foot out of Japan and since she lived a few centuries in isolation from any human contact, she never really met anyone who wasn't Japanese before. Where did he come from and why was he even here in Gensokyo of all places? Many questions about this strange man ran through Mokou's mind as she led him towards her home. More so, why did he end up in the Bamboo Forest? Mokou decided that all her questions could be asked later. They still had a ways to go before they left for the Human Village anyways. Mokou led Marran through the forest without saying anything for quite awhile. Though she loved listening to the stories of the humans that got lost here, she never really spoke of herself openly unless asked questions. In her mind, any story she would have to tell would be way to long for anyone to hear for the short time it took to bring them back to the human village and she decided it would be best to just answer simple questions than to elaborate on her very extensive past.

Though after a few minutes of silence, Marran spoke up and asked Mokou, ""Please forgive me if this is an impertinent question but are you what the villagers refer to as Youkai? I have had few encounters with them myself and they appear far removed from the spirits and avatars of my own land."

Mokou had to chuckle at the question. According to official definition of a "youkai" that the humans had made over the years, Mokou could officially be considered a youkai. She definitely was not a human but yet she was not fully youkai. What was she really? Mokou never really pondered that question and the thought puzzled her.

"A youkai? I'm not to sure if you would call me a youkai but I definitely am not human."

Just to make her point Mokou opened her hand and a small ball of flame ignited right above her palm.

The setting changes from gensokyo to Bamboo Forest of the Lost

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fujiwara no Mokou Character Portrait: Marran Yanada

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#, as written by Sordin
As they continued to push through the bamboo on the way to Mokou's house Marran began to tune up his senses, trying to detect any hint of ruins or abandoned places; but he found nothing. It was certainly strange that a forest this close to the village appeared to have been left alone for so long, it could meant that perhaps this place had been enchanted for longer than the village had been there? It was certainly an intriguing mystery, this entire area certainly seemed to be teeming with spirits and other magical creatures. Perhaps there was a source to it all, some kind of magical wellspring that meant the abundance of such creatures, it was certainly a compelling thought.

Mokou replied to his question and as if to illustrate her point she conjured a flame above her palm. Marran examined it for a moment, either the flame was entirely magical or she had used magic to conjure and sustain a flame, the second one was by and large easier but it was close enough to burn her, so perhaps she had some kind of natural fireproofing?

"I personally would not judge a persons humanity on such things."

Marran held up his right hand a small disk of sand began to form, spinning gently for a moment before snaking it way through his fingers and falling to the ground.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fujiwara no Mokou Character Portrait: Marran Yanada

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#, as written by Mat_z6
"I personally would not judge a persons humanity on such things."

Mokou watched as Marran displayed his own form of sand sorcery. Interesting, so he wasn't as helpless as she thought. No matter. These forests were merciless. Even if you were able to fend for yourself against the dangerous youkai wandering here one would no doubt die from exhaustion or starvation before they manage to find their way out of the bamboo forest.

Mokou shrugged. "I guess in a place like this you'd expect humans to have some sort of knowledge of magic. You'll get a lot of that around here." She turned away from him and stared into the dense forest. "Though we have to get moving. The evening is drawing to a close and we don't want to stay out after nightfall. We're already very close to my home so it won't be long before-...."

Mokou stopped mid sentence as she sensed movement behind her. It couldn't be. Before she knew it, a dark figure had lunged out of the darkness towards Marran who had his back turned. Without any sort of warning Mokou threw out her hand and the small ball of flame that was still resting in the center of her palm exploded into a pillar of fire which she aimed straight at the creature that had jumped out at Marran. Her flames barely missed the top of his head as their attacker was incinerated in mid jump right above Marran.

"Tch...." Mokou was confused. Right before the creature had been blown away by her attack she caught a glimpse of what it was. It wasn't even a youkai that had attacked them. It was a normal wolf who had tried to make a meal out of her companion. Mokou knew that the animals here were aggressive but even then none had dared to attack her so randomly. Her eyes shifted to another movement to her right. Again? This time Mokou took action before anything could jump out and sent another blazing inferno into the forest. A loud cry of pain shot out but was instantly cut short as another wolf fell victim to Mokou's flames. What was going on here? One she could understand, but another attacking right after?

"We have to keep moving. There's something wrong with this picture. Stay close."

And with that, Mokou took off running as fast as she could into the forest towards their destination. Well.... As fast as her clothing would allow her to. Again she cursed the restricting kimono she wore. Under normal circumstances she would have simply stayed to kill anything that jumped out at them from the darkness but this time was different. She had no clue what possessed these two to attack but whatever it was, she didn't want to take any chances with Marran here.

The setting changes from bamboo-forest-of-the-lost to Gensokyo

Setting

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Character Portrait: Fujiwara no Mokou Character Portrait: Marran Yanada

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#, as written by Sordin
Marran whipped his head around as something leapt for it and was just as quickly swatted by a fireball. It happened quickly enough that he didn't have time to judge whether the thing that had tried to attack him was Youkai or an animal however given the urgency in his companions voice it didn't seem to matter either way and he began to run, drawing level with her. He guessed that she could run faster than this but her clothing seemed to hampering her, in any case if these things could be hurt by fire then sand should also suffice. As he ran Marran splayed his palms and begin to fill the air behind them with a haze of dust. While it wouldn't physically stop anything getting a load of sand straight in the eyes and mouth was certainly going to slow down, disorientate or choke anything stupid enough to attack from behind and with enough time he could thicken it enough stop any overzealous attackers.

As they ran Marran kept a close watch on the woods ahead of them, attempting to work out the location of her home but either the bamboo stems were too thick or the house was not lit because he couldn't make out anything up ahead aside from more bamboo, but he trusted Mokou to at least know the location of her own home and so asked the second question at the top of his mind.

"I didn't see what attacked us, Youkai of some kind?"

He'd encountered violent spirits before but they'd tended to shy away from those with the power to fight back. It could be some kind of animal but it would have to be exceedingly vicious to keep up the chase after having two of their number burned alive.

The setting changes from gensokyo to Bamboo Forest of the Lost

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Fujiwara no Mokou Character Portrait: Marran Yanada

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#, as written by Mat_z6
Mokou sprinted as fast as she could through the dense bamboo stalks with Marran close behind. Though they had dealt with two of the wolves already, Mokou could sense their numbers growing as they ran. This definitely was not right. Mokou had never seen a normal wolf pack attack her out of the blue before. Her presence alone was enough to keep the wild beasts at bay but this was totally different. It was almost as if they were being controlled.....

"I didn't see what attacked us, Youkai of some kind?" Marran's voice interrupted her train of thought.

"You could say that."

Mokou was to focused to give an explanation but now she believed she had her culprit. After a few more minutes of sprinting, Mokou noticed that the bamboo was thinning. They were coming close to the clearing where her house was located. She needed to get out of these woods and out into the open if she was going to do any fighting. Without warning the two burst through the bamboo and sure enough they now found themselves in an open area of dirt and soft grass. Quite a ways away was Mokou's house made from wood and clay resembling a traditional Japanese home.

"There.... We need to get inside before-...."

"Ahhh so this is where you live? Unfortunately for you, I'm not about to let our two tasty treats escape. That would not be good at all. Not... At... All....."

Once again, Mokou was interrupted but not by Marran this time. There standing in front of them was someone Mokou did not recognize. She was a small girl, looking to be no older than ten years old with extremely long pitch black hair that barely grazed the ground behind her ankles. Her most distinguishing features though were the two dark grey wolf like ears sprouting from the top of her head as well as the long grey tail that swung back and forth behind her knees. Mokou stared in disbelief. Was THIS the youkai that had been the cause of all this? By the looks of it, this youkai had only turned into one quite recently or else she definitely would've have at least recognized Mokou who had been a resident of the Bamboo Forest probably for much longer than any of the others who lived here.

Mokou chuckled and eyed the young wolf youkai. "You actually had me thinking that you were something A LOT more.... menacing, I have to give you that. But you really should run along now. It would be unwise to mess with strangers you don't know in this forest."

The small girl blinked and cocked her head sideways in confusion. "Do you not see the situation your in right now? I don't think you should be talking so high and mighty considering your about to die, human." And just to make her point, the wolf youkai leaned her head back, took a big breath (and huffed and puffed and blew Mokou's house down - JUST KIDDING XD) and let out a loud howl that reverberated through the dense bamboo forest.

"Tch...." Mokou covered her ears and winced. It was unbearably loud and she felt as if her head was splitting. How could such a little girl make so much noise?

Though after a few seconds, she finished and turned her eyes toward Marran and Mokou once again with a menacing grin spread across her face. "I'll make you regret what you said, Human. Oh, don't worry I won't kill you that quickly. I like to play with my food."

From all sides of the clearing Mokou could see numerous shadow appearing from the forest. First there were twenty. Then forty. Then sixty wolves that began spewing out into the large clearing. Slowly they came. Calmly and composed as if they had been tamed for years. All this for two humans? It wasn't just about catching a mid day snack anymore. This little youkai was simply showing off. Though as many as there were, Mokou still had to laugh. This was a joke. They were still normal wolves and even in numbers like these they had no chance against her. She even had Marran to back her up. She did not know the extent of his abilities but he definitely knew how to fend for himself. But as Mokou was working up a plan on how they should go about this she realized she herself could take care of this in an instant. Turning to Marran, Mokou asked, "Hey... Can that sand of yours protect you from my flames? Its going to get a bit hot here in a second."