Plastic Words, Genuine Actions
What is your favorite way to disarm an enemy?

"Much like stealin’ candy from a baby, there’s several ways to go about disarmin’ armed opponents. Unlike stealin’ candy from a baby, disarmin’ foes is actually pretty easy."

"There’s a myriad of ways to achieve this. My methods depend on how the attack comes, and what the weapon is. For the sake of an example, let us think of a sword-wieldin’ foe, because god damn everyone uses a sword nowadays. It’s like they forgot other weapons exist. I wonder if this new enemy uses spears? No, sword. Oh, maybe the gal next to her uses an axe? Nope, sword. Maybe their leader wields a zagnol or a katar? Nah, freakin’ sword. Freakin’ amateurs."

"Ok, ok, but here’s the good part! If an enemy lunges at me for a stab, I simply take the hit head on and advance towards my enemy to make sure the sword is deeply lodged in me so it gets stuck against my body. Then, I just twist my body while they are dumbfounded that I just let ‘em run a pointy metal thing through me and, bam! They always let go of the damn thing. Easy."

"If it’s a swing, the best way is to get inside their territory and catch their wrist. Once I have a hold of their wrist, I just incinerate their arm instantly. After exhaustive studies and research, I have concluded that enemies with burnt tendons and molten bones can, in fact, not hold things, and things includes weaponry. They also give you the best of faces when they realize they lost an arm. People are funny.”

"The point is, don’t try to have a set method, and instead, think on the spot to come up with the best ways to disarm every possible weapon in its own manner. A method used to disarm a scythe may not work to disarm someone wielding the Excalibur, see? To put it in easier terms, think of it as cookin’: Both buckwheat noodles with meat and shrimps and a bowl of mushroom soup are delicious, but just because they both are tasty doesn’t mean you cook them in the same way, right? A different method for each thing, yus yus!"

"When you think about it, cookin’ and fightin’ are very alike: They are both really enjoyable, they make me feel at ease, and it usually results in a big god damn mess."



… but.. how?!

how the fuck did you manage to do that

"You mixed yer colors with yer whites, didn’t you? God damn kids…"



… but.. how?!

how the fuck did you manage to do that

"You mixed yer colors with yer whites, didn’t you? God damn kids…"

Have... Have you no common sense?

"Hey, excuse you, I have like six of those! It ain’t my fault people in Gensokyo are such big wienies ‘bout trivial things, like detonatin’ their houses or subvertin’ their rules!"

"Tsk… Honestly… Today’s youth is so tight-laced… It’s like suddenly people invented norms for social interaction and, frankly, if you ask me, people went downhill after that. Zero out of ten, would not live with people ever again."

Why not go to Heaven?

"Weeeeeeeeeeeeeell…." Was there a shortage for this woman’s stories? Not when it came to the topic of getting banned, no sir. "I dislike Heaven, to be perfectly honest. Well, I dislike most places inhabited by things that ain’t humans or fairies, really, but Heaven is one of them places filled with these holier-and-better-than-thou people that won’t shut up ‘bout impurities or whatever, see? When they see a "lowly human", they often feel the need to bring up their so-called superiority, but they are the first to cry for mercy when you actually scoop out an eye or beat them to a pulp. I can’t stand Celestials, is the thing. But, accordin’ to Suika, apparently Heaven is pretty dang chill? So, I figured, hey, why the hell not, let’s do this. It’s not like I got anywhere else to go to at this point.”

"So, dang, I go there and it turns out, it’s pretty chill? I saw a lot of people dancin’ and drinkin’, cloud nine as hell, so I figure I won’t bother them, just find myself a chill little place and then I could just eat some peaches or whatever. I prefer some good buckwheat noodles, meat, and shrimp myself, but hey, if pink asses that grow on trees are all there is to eat, pink asses that grow on trees it is, I ain’t picky."

"So I’m kinda chillin’, munchin’ on peaches, layin’ on the grass, when these three kiddos come and start slingin’ insults in my general direction. "What’s a filthy human doing here? Why are you here? Go back to your land, you are not welcome here, how did you get past the gatekeeper, we’ll tell the Dragon Palace", blah blah blah, so naturally, they exhaust my massive reserves of patience, and I just sorta slap the loudest kid so he shuts the hell up already. Ain’t these bastards supposed to be ascended or whatever? Bloody freakin’ hell, all beings supposed to be “pure” and “ascended” are all, in reality, massive jerks. Between these idiots and the idiots from the Moon, I ain’t fuckin’ interested in Nirvana anymore, not if it means becomin’ insufferable and unlikable.”

"Anyways, thing is, I slapped the kid too hard, so I ended up knocking a few teeth off his mouth and dislocatin’ his puny ‘ascended’ jaw. He started cryin’ really loud, so I slapped him again from the other side to relocate the stupid thing. That only made him cry harder. Hmph, I love kids, but Celestial kids suck, let me tell you. They leave cryin’ and after a while, they come back with some adults or some such, sayin’ they’ll punish me for my sins. I kinda wanted to sleep off the hangover from the other day, and I was pretty dang moody, so I just said “whatever”, put up my dukes and punched out some enlightened sumbitches. They ended up callin’ reinforcements, but then somethin’ pretty funny happened. This gal, wearin’ a rainbow sash and some peaches on her hat, plopped right in with this big freakin’ smile on her face and she yelled—”

"Finally! Finally, something to do in this boring dumpster!"

"Boy, oh boy, was she hype! I was already examinin’ her for openings, when she just sorta gave me her back and said "Let’s go! Let’s go! The outnumbered side is always the funnest!", and that’s the moment I realized I had gotten me a real piece of work on my hands. She just sorta teamed up with me for no real good reason other than she was bored, apparently, and we, well, pulverized us some jerks. I mean, I enjoy a rumble more than anyone, and hey, if she was going to be this spirited about somethin’ that didn’t even concern her, I had to put my all into it. I was gonna look bad otherwise!”

"The only problem with this infallible plan, however, was that apparently going to Heaven and punchin’ out Celestials is in bad taste. Midst beatin’ up some unsavory bastards, I see Keine, of all god damn people, givin’ me The Death Glare. I stopped right then and there. Apparently she was there for some official business regarding the chroniclin’ or whatever, and uh, she told me to stop, so I had to stop. She then said not to go back there, so I’m avoidin’ the place now. It’s too bad, really, since the grass patches there smell of dreams and one can take real damn good naps in there."

So, basically, Mokou invaded the place and beat up the residents until a history teacher told her to cut it out.

The Rafflesia That Wasn’t (yuukakazami)



"But of course. What kind of guard doesn’t guard both sides? And I think I’ll take your offer of a nap as quick as possible, too! Just be polite to Miss Yuuka, and everything will end up alright." And as quickly as Mokou passed, Elly resumed her post, right down to the hat over her eyes. Never let a visitor interrupt a perfectly good nap, or something to that effect.

Despite the cheerful guard though, the fields inside had an oppressive air about them, as if the air was heavy to mirror the owner’s own dour disposition. Still, it was probably better than if Mokou had jumped the fence. At least the sunflowers weren’t all staring her down as she walked down the path to the manor.

And as Mokou knocked, it was mostly implausible that she could know the thoughts going through Yuuka’s head as she observed her visitor. Still, the mind of a youkai did lend itself towards messing with visitors, if only slightly and so she began her work at a small trick. With a small command to the plants that wove through her house, she caused the door to open on it’s own, at the same time manifesting her doppelganger behind Mokou, who spoke up, “By all means. You did ask politely, after all. She’s waiting in the first room on the left.” before bursting into energy  just as soon as Mokou had time to grasp just who was giving her instructions.

And in fact, Yuuka was waiting in the room, itself a small sitting room with two chairs, now politely waiting her visitor’s arrival. Hopefully the immortal wouldn’t be overly confused by her games.

As if salt had been applied to a wound, Mokou’s instincts blared up immediately, her body shifting seamlessly into a defensive position with the grace of a panther and all the sharpness of its fangs. The presence so suddenly behind her was too abrupt, too sudden, but where a strike to counter was expected to be launched, mere words came instead. As the body double dissipated just as fast as it came, so did the aggression in the phoenix. "Ah, just a little proddin’, I see, I see." Even though she has had peace (for a given definition of such) for the last three hundred years, her instincts, reflexes and fight-lust have not faded at all. "Well, it’s only righteous I respond to such a courtesy with another one, lest I be considered a boring guest, and dread the thought of a Fujiwara leaving a bad impression in any formal matter that isn’t regicide or the field of battle, I say."

"Much appreciated" finally voiced Mokou. "I will be going in now." Taking a deep breath, Mokou utilized one of her most bizarre skills: The abandoning her corporeal form in favor of a temporary ethereal existence. Realizing the flowers themselves had something to do with this, the exterminator phased directly downwards, into the ground itself, disappearing completely. Just mere moments later, with practiced spacial awareness, Mokou phased into the first room to the left from the ground, plunging upwards like a ghost, before reforming her body. Once her subtly bombastic entrance was complete, a mere polite bow followed. "Well met, Miss Kazami. Here’s the part where I give a fake name, normally, but yer hyper-competent gatekeeper already exhausted that option, so instead, I’ll just go right ahead and say my name is Fujiwara no Mokou."

There she was, the owner of this far-off Western-styled manor. The name was clearly Oriental, but it was not a surprise to see this sort of contrast anymore, as Gensokyo as a whole had a lot of people that meshed cultures when it came to fashion. A tall woman, short hair of varying shades of emerald and crimson eyes, not unlike Mokou’s, awaited in the room. “Sorry t’bother ya this fine day, but I was hopin’ ya wouldn’t mind some inquirin’ ‘bout a topic I heard yer the very best at, ‘cause it turns out, I settle only for the very best, especially in this little endeavor I took on.”

Like searching for a needle in a haystack [@dreamerphoenix]


If Luka had a second to think about it, he would realize how strangely good it felt to, for once, actually being able to talk and explain why he was here, rather than being attacked on sight and being forced to defend himself. In his world such thing was rarely possible, and even then most of the times his words fell onto deaf ears, making them just a waste of his breath. Yet, here the girl was listening properly, and while certainly he fully knew how dangerous she was going to be if he angered her, he was relieved that at least she didn’t bring it all already to fisticuffs, even if he invaded her grounds, weapon in hand.

Even more unexpected was the girl’s reaction to his weapon, the grotesque Angel Halo. Since he possessed that weapon, pretty much whoever managed to catch a glimpse of it quickly made sure to point how much disgusting the design was even for something so powerful; Even him himself had the same reaction, but as it was either to use that blade or give up in his travels, he slowly ended up growing used to it. The praises the weapon and his mother’s craftsmanship received, though, brought a smile onto the boy’s face, his pride showing a bit more at every little compliment the other girl gave to the sword. Ugly or not, it was something that his mother made, and having someone that called itself an exterminator [and with that ‘fire’ proving that it was no mere lie], praising it just made him happy, enough to be able to tackle her next question without shuttering too badly.

“I…get what you mean, Miss, but as for what I wanted to accomplish, I couldn’t just kill monsters who in the end attacked me in search of a prey. They needed food as much as I did, and they couldn’t simply feed on weed or normal meat, thus they attacked me. I can’t say I wouldn’t have done the same if I was in their situation.” It was complicated, to say the least. While most of the Monster girls he crossed paths with were in par with humans regarding intelligence and ability to talk, they were also different, a lot so. With their…particular needs in regard of food, they couldn’t hunt something else than humans, but Luka couldn’t either just let them turn him into their next meal, so the Angel Halo was perfect in that situation. Certainly, him moving a lot also helped, as even if certain monsters plotted to get revenge on him, they hardly would had a way to predict where he would travel to next, and certainly it was easier to simply change target.

As the subject was turned for a second to Luka’s half-blood, a negative remark almost escaped his lips. While he didn’t disliked being such, knowing that half of it belonged to that kind of person…No, he shouldn’t think about that right now, especially as it was already a close matter, in the end.
With a nod, Luka took in mind the other’s rules. It wasn’t too strange that someone didn’t want someone who was armed too close to their back, nor he was against anything that allowed him to keep a safe distance. The tone of the girl was surely softer, but both knew that were strangers to each other, and both didn’t want to take too many leaps of faith, thus that proposal was perfect for both of them.

As his guide described where they would be going and what expected them, Luka couldn’t help but wonder if these ancients youkais would look anything like the Monster girls of his world or if they would be more feral looking, like the giant creature of before was. Whichever it was, thought, Luka knew well that from now on, his guard would have to stay up, lest he wanted his adventure to end here in a probably gruesome way, probably not much unlike in his own world. Ah, if he could answer the questions Mokou was thinking about, she would probably understand why that poor boy was so unnecessarily tense even now that she claimed that she had no intention to lay a finger on him; After all, once you end up growing a phobia out of the sheer number of times you’ve been tricked, trusting people you randomly meet isn’t easy, even when you try to do so. The fact that Luka was quite sure, through how oppressing was her ‘fire’, that her power would have easily matched those of the most powerful angels didn’t help, either.

Finally, after a few second to muster the right words to answer the girl in the best way possible, and making sure to do so while maintaining the distance she required before, Luka began to speak again
“You’re right, I’m not. I…wish I could explain exactly how I got in here, but I can’t help but find it strange myself. I was exploring in my own world, until I reach one of the main cities and I am called by the king to check out a strange…hole in the air in which people entered but never returned. I tried to enter it myself and I reached this place, but when I turned I noticed that there was no hole anymore.”  It was a risky move of Luka to just enter that portal into a new world, but he couldn’t just stay put with his arm tied while he was aware of people already trespassing into that other world themselves and never able to return.
“Though, given where the hole was…It’s kind of rude, but I doubt that anyone of the city would have been strong or brave enough to even attempt to enter a forest as thick as this one. Unless it wasn’t the only one, I doubt that it comes from my world-”

A pause, as a shiver trailed across Luka’s spine, forcing him to stop in his tracks, as a realization finally came to his mind. Wasn’t there an angel actually capable to eat through time and space? The though of having to fight it again made his grip onto the sword’s hilt tighten, as he tried to convince himself that such thing was impossible. “—-I have a bad feeling about this.”

Twigs being crushed and the song of shrubbery being tossed aside for ease of movement quickly became the main background noise for the two adventurers. Not a woman for many words, or words at all, she would give plenty of time for Luka to answer at his own leisure, giving no pressure for a quick answer. Mokou dislikes talking, but she is quite the avid listener, and the value of words that aren’t rushed, but rather, that come natural, are something worth the patience and lenience needed to evoke them out of other people. The boy wasn’t noisy or overly chatty, so it was perfect for her. It helped that, again, she didn’t need to babysit him.

"Hmmm… Now, let me tell you outright that, while I disagree with yer views on this, I can understand them. If you are adamant about not endin’ lives, for very good reasons such as their inherent need and how it’s only natural to look for prey, then, heh, yeah, I suppose you have a point. You… You’d fit well in this Gensokyo. Given that you need that masterpiece to not kill, I assume that things get pretty lethal in yer homeworld. Gensokyo is a sealed-off section of a planet called "Earth", and in this little patch of sunshine and rainbows, we have a strict a rule to maintain the balance. Youkai don’t kill humans too often, and humans don’t kill Youkai too often, either. Ah, Youkai are our "monsters", born from the things humans fear and/or ignore. Outsiders are an exception; Youkai are free to feast on any wanderer from the "Outside World", which is why we gotta "officialize" you in this here land as soon as we can if you don’t wanna get attacked by hungry assholes. About your philosophy… I agree to disagree, but I must say that only the strong can afford to merciful, and I expect you to be fully prepared to face the consequences of kindness. There is such a thing as reckless mercy, Luka.”

"An opponent you let live is an opponent that will come back fer yer neck. I’m not sayin’ this out of mockery, but rather, so you understand that, maybe, one day, you’ll be sittin’ in peace, havin’ a hearty meal, and then you’ll drop dead when you realize it was laced with a potent neurotoxin. The path of the warrior is harsh, and it branches off into several sections, kid. One of them is the merciful warrior, that which you are. It’s easily the hardest path, so please be wary of that. In any case, it seems you got real unlucky about that hole in the sky or whatever… Though the way you describe it… It sounds very similar to the abilities of a certain pissbaby I know from these parts. I suppose you could go ask her later.” Somewhere, in the Yakumo residence, Yukari sneezed.

As the duo walked further and further into the forest, it was as if the weather itself changed. Everything was illogically beautiful, as if everything until now had been merely the walls of a bastion protection inconceivable beauty inside of them. Is this was pilgrims felt when they first laid eyes on the Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Surely, this had to be a fantasy. Fertile soil, the scent of earth, fresh and pure air and pristine water in certain, small bodies of water that dotted the surroundings. “This, Luka, is somethin’ I recommend burnin’ into yer retina, as few, few have ever seen this. and few ever will: The Inner Heart of the Lost, one of the deepest places in the Bamboo Forest of the Lost. Keep your voice down, we are bein’ watched and being overly loud will be rude to our hosts” — Mokou grinned — “Look, over there.”

The immortal pointed for Luka to look somewhere to the left of them, where, among an ocean of bamboo stalks, stood a silent and bizarre silhouette, staring at the duo with eyes that seemed like gold sinking in oil.


"Relax. He is here with me, he won’t bother ya. We came to address the irregularity. Do you know anythin’ ‘bout it?"

”.̧̛.̴̀.̧̨̛T̶̡̛h͡è͜ ͝͏w̵ea̢͜k͏ ͢͏w͘il̸le̛͝d̨͢ ̨͝c̶͟͡ḩ́͟í̡҉ĺdr͏e̕͡͞n̛ ̧̢arè ͘͡b͏̵̨ęì̶̶n̨͡g̡͘͢ ̀͞le͏̀d̸̀͡ à҉s̛͜͡t́͘r̀͞͡a̧y̷ ̨bý̶ ̨th͘̕͡eiŕ̨́ ̶m̕e҉̡ŕ́e͟ ̸͏̨p̸̕ŕ̨es̴͜҉en̢c͘͜e͟҉.̛ ̵̡͞No̷t ͝͠f̧͘a̢r̛ ̀͘̕fr҉҉҉o͞m҉̨ ҉̨h͘̕e̡͠r͘e̵̛͟, ̛̀t̶҉h̸̛e ̷̀̕p̀ư͟s͟-͝͏f͟i͟͠l̶̨l̸͜͞e̛̕d͢҉̴ ̴͠w̷̨o͘͝ų̛ǹ͢d͜͟ ͢g͘r̴͞o̡̕w̵̷͞s ą͜nd͜͝ g̶̨͝ro̸ws͜.̴͜ ̕҉It̛ ͘͝m̶̨҉ų́͠s͞t ̨b̢e d́is͢ì̡͟n̨f̶̶̧ę̸̸c̛͠t̴͝ed̛.̷̵͜ ̀Şh̨a̸͠l͟l͡ ̧I̕͟ ͡͠ļé͞n̴͞d y̷̛͜o̡҉u̶ á́͞ ͘h͟a͘nd͝, ̢̀͜F҉ư͜͞j҉̴i̸͜͡wa̶r̛͝a̵͟ ̸̕no̢҉ ̡͜M҉҉o͡k͠o͟u.̶̢͞.̶́҉.̡͡?͟”͠

"Nah, just go back to sleep. That helps us plenty, thank you. We’ll take care of the rest."


With that, the Youkai slowly phased away into the bamboo stalks, becoming one with them and disappearing soon enough. “Even she is awake… That, Luka, was an Ancient Youkai. She is immensely strong, but she dislikes fightin’ now, and has come to this forest where no one can escape or even remotely know where they are to drown herself in silence and sleep. Such is the nature of the Ancient Youkai that live in the forest. This is why I make sure no one gets here to disturb them: They are not malign, and they only wish to spend their days sleepin’ and being in surrounded by silence. When I ask you to keep your voice down in these regions of the forest, it’s so their rest is not disturbed. It’s a side of the forest nobody knows. I guess you could consider it a retirement home for youkai that have grown tired of fightin’ and huntin’. Let’s get a move on, we are near, if her words were anythin’ to go by.”

The more they walked, the more rigid Mokou got. From soft words to strict warnings, it was apparent the phoenix’s sharpened instincts were telling her that conflict was very, very close.

"A bad feelin’, huh…? Luka, stance up and—!"

Mokou fell dead silent. Raising her hand, Mokou signaled to Luka that their prey was behind the bamboo stalks in front of them, down a steep slope. “…I feel… An incredible pressure. Whatever is causin’ this ruckus, is right there. I’ll swoop in and deal with it as fast as possible, then we can get out of here.”

Mere seconds of silence followed before the silver maned woman, with the ferocity of a boar and the grace of a panther, crashed straight through the bamboo stalks, divine fire coating her entire being, the very embodiment of the Heaven’s wrath given flesh. She held nothing back.

"It ends here, ya bastar— What the hell!?"

And thus is how, in the words of those in our realm, dear reader, the fecal matter hit the rotational device with might unprecedented. In front of Mokou was an equally startled being of prodigious size, disgusting in appearance and no doubt purpose. It would be accurate to describe this creature as a jumbo sized mound of flesh, tentacles, and nightmares with the body of a woman smack in the center, its eyes locked with Mokou’s. Wormiel laid in front of the Crimson Watchguard, defiling her precious, beloved forest. "Wh…What are you!? You are almost as disgustin’ as Kaguya!"

 ”How— Vanguard! We have been found out! Charge her!”

Opening several holes in the ground, an innumerable number of creatures burst forth, all confused as well, assailing an equally confused Mokou. This was less a battle and more a festival of bedlam. “What?! How did she find us!? She’s a mere human, get her!”

Instantly jumping into a defensive stance, Mokou took flight and caught a charging angel by the arm, instantly melting her hand and using her hold on her arm to swing her at another group of charging angels, swatting them out of the air. “Bah! What the hell is with these numbers!?”

But this little moment was all the angels needed to set off their trap… Those few angels just now were a distraction! From above and below, a horde of warriors lunged at Mokou, with seemingly no way out of the attack!

"…These are no rabid dogs, they are well organized. Too well organized… But you’ll need more than that to trap me!"

In a swift move accompanied by a horrible sound, Mokou shoved her own hand inside of her chest and, to the surprise of everyone, threw her own heart directly upwards, darting past the charging angels. “What…!? Did she kill herself!? Wait, the body…! Fall back!”


Mokou’s heartless body exploded, taking out the angels that didn’t pull back in time. Meanwhile, the heart, still traveling directly upwards, began expanding slowly but surely, generating lungs, a thorax, more bones, muscle… Soon enough, Mokou had been regenerated around her heart, her clothes, notoriously, regenerating around her as well.

"You bastards are one thousand years too young to fight me on equal footin’! Come and break your bodies against mine, for you shall not bar Fujiwara no Mokou’s path! Witness my brutality, unchained from the dark Samsara!

Who were these mysterious beings? She had no idea, nor she cared. But Luka would soon shed some light and some much needed information into the subject and battle at hand. What Mokou believed to be yet another brawl was about to become more than she could ever imagine…

[[Alright! Time to tackle a few replies.]]

Mokou, do you have any living relatives?

"…Definitely. The Fujiwara clan was the most influential blood and in control of Japan for many years throughout the Asuka, Nara, and Heian periods of Japan. Our bloodline no doubt has spread and is still alive today in the Outside World. In this sense, I am the livin’ ancestor to many a Fujiwara livin’ to this day."

"But, I believe that wasn’t yer inquiry. Ya meant to ask more direct family, didn’tcha? Nah. Mom and Fuhito bit it a long, long time ago, and my siblings all passed away over a thousand years ago. I don’t have any children, myself, and even if I did, they’d be long dead by now."

Hello, Mokou! What do you think of My Little Pony?~

"I didn’t even know you had a little pony, how am I supposed to have any opinions of your horse, when you didn’t even bring it?"

"Hey, do you think about the future a lot? It's kinda scary not knowing what might become of oneself..."


"…The future, huh? I used to think about the future, long ago. The future was always this comfortin’ tragedy to me, I will not lie to you. The future… What is it, anyway?”

The immortal produced her opium pipe from her pocket and brought it to her face, but before her lips could clench the ornate object, she unexpectedly threw it to the ground.

"The future was nothin’ but a placebo, Maribel! It was nothin’ but a fuckin’ lie presented in garlands and perfume, but no matter how you dress a pig, a pig is still a pig, and shit is still shit, and the future, the future never held anythin’ other than stinkin’, awful shit, woman! That’s what the future is! A lie presented with the hopes of your soul, the anesthesia of the present, and the justification of the past! That’s what the future is!"

"It’s nothin’ more than the consolation prize for those who regret their past and fear the present. When you are in a tight position, you convince yourself that the future will be great, that it will be alright, it’s nothing but anesthesia, it’s nothing but denial. When we look back at the wounds we have salted, we tell ourselves that the past weaved the way to the present and that it will justify the future. Excuses, excuses, the future is naught but excuses!"

"I wondered what would become of me, once upon a time, and it ended in me losing my mind for several lifetimes. When the light came back to my eyes, and the dried blood that stained my yukata became apparent, I felt sick to the bone, for I had realized that beasts like me truly don’t belong among mortals. What was I supposed to tell myself? That the future would be good? That the past justified the means to an end? What the hell do I know of ends, me, one who has no end herself!?"

"The future, Maribel Hearn, is not something an immortal has anymore, and as such, an immortal can tell you nothing about it. For us, the present is a transient moment, and the past holds the weight of the cross we bear atop our shoulders. The future, my friend, the future is nothing I can tell you about… Nothing, except one thing.”

"Do not fear it. If you fear the cobra in front of you, it will smell the terror in your eyes and lunge your neck. The time you spend afraid of who you are, Maribel, can be spent molding yourself so you end up not being that which you fear. Don’t ask questions, and simply mold yourself into the arch-nemesis of your innermost apocalypse. The past is stronger than the future, and the present is no more important than a hammer in the grand scheme of things. Hold your beliefs and your thought of who you wish to be and who you do not wish to be close to your heart, and your future will bend to your will. A conqueror needs to act, not ask, Maribel. Act."