Finally, the time has come to start a new mission! This mission is Project Catalyst Dai, a project that intends to help out OCs, new members of the community that don’t know where to start and people facing low-traffic and losing interest for it!
The project can be seen in the link above and the “What is Project Dai Catalyst?” button in the main blog page. Long story short, this blog retains its original intent: Everybody’s favorite shady little businesswoman, crack Daiyousei, and her shady crew, are out in the mission to spread smiles (maybe) across the acres of Gensokyo! But those aren’t the only smiles Daiyousei seeks this time around, no! She is also, unknown to her, in a mission to help people bring out and showcase their potential, and these people are none other than RP blog owners! The main plan is to conduct “mini-threads” with people in need of help that are especially designed to give the spotlight to your character and let you show prospective new RP partners details about them, backstories, abilities, quirks and an endless myriad of other things that you, our client, is encouraged to show off! That way, you will be able to show things that maybe are hard to show normally and you may end up even fleshing out your character even more and coming up with new headcanons!
The other purpose of this is to help volunteer artists earn experience and notoriety by illustrating interactions or making icons and avatars for the OCs and other blogs that might need them. Please do read the Artist/Art Blog section to see how this will work, as it is designed so people don’t come here trying to abuse the goodwill and free time of volunteering artists.
— HOW IT WILL WORK FOR RP BLOGS —
- The Helper (that is, the RPer affiliated with the Project as “staff”) and the Client (that is, you, the blogs we wish to provide the tools to) will plan a mini-thread through the private channel of their choice.
- The Helper, an experienced writer and RPer, will read the Client’s About page, as well as Headcanons, Relationships and other such helpful pages, if they exists, and will conduct the aforementioned planning with the Client, in which they will be asked what are their priorities in their minithread, what things they want to show off and put emphasis on showcasing, with what importance and what the nature of the RP they want to conduct is.
- With all this information, the Helper will be able to select the appropriate character/muse for the job and will be able to plan the thread to perfectly fit the specifications. Clients should consider the Helpers the “ultimate RP wingman”, as they will help the Client’s character shine.
- Then the minithread will begin and all you have to do is follow the general scheme that was planned and showcase your wonderful character/OC!
— HOW IT WILL WORK FOR ARTISTS/ART BLOGS —
- All blogs involved in the project will be listed in a separate page that will be found in the main page of the Project blog.
- In here, they will be listed with statuses such as “No icons”, “No avatar”, “No illustration”, etc.
- Artists wishing to volunteer for the Project will check here and pick what they want to do and for whom.
- This way, we quell potential people that only join the project for the sake of free art at the expense of the helpers and the artists involved. The Artists will pick what they want to do and when they want to, since the main priority of the Project when it comes to artists is, just as it is with RP blogs, to help them get experience and notoriety, with the involved RP blogs obtaining icons, avatars and etc. being a very welcome side effect more than a feature.
— HOW WILL THE MINITHREADS WORK —
- Aside from the things mentioned in the first section, we feel it’s only right to state that this Project blog, while obviously having Daiyousei as the forefront, will not use Daiyousei exclusively.
- The reason is that this is less a muse blog and more a “GM” blog, as different client characters that wish to showcase different things must be met with a compatible character. For this purpose, Helpers are encouraged to not only stick to one character and to plan the situation beyond simple interaction.
- As a Client, you will find that we will pick the character(s) from our end that we feel might bring out the things you wish to showcase much better and with more potency.
- All of this, of course, taking in consideration that Helpers and Clients plan things together.
For now, that’s it! The Project will be updated constantly so as to let everyone know what the open number of slots is, as well as updating the available pages in the blog with various aids, FAQs and checklists, such as help when starting a blog and the basic steps one should take in search of improving and making it more presentable!
Any questions? Feel free to ask away!
We would appreciate if this could be signal boosted across the community, as that will make it easier for blogs, both RP or Art, that wish to participate and get help from us to reach us, as well as it will make it easier for us to scout prospective blogs and newcomers that might want a helping hand.
If you wish to affiliate with us as an artist or to enroll in the project for a minithread, send an ask with the specifics and we will get back to you! Helpers are hand-picked, so please do not offer to be a Helper.
Now, let’s get this show on the road!
[[Fujiwara [Flaw of Forgiving Shrine] is one of Mokou’s more pessimistic spellcards, alluding to, not unlike Hourai Doll, how outside forces can somehow take over our entire life and send us to ruin with us having no saying in it.
It refers to a story of a man of power and wealth who walked the Earth lifetimes ago. This man, while influential and rich, was afraid of curses. So deadly afraid of curses he was that he built a temple (the so-called “Forgiving Shrine” of the spellcard, actual name unknown) and did tons of good deeds. But even if he made a temple and a lot of good deeds, curses kept raining on him, regardless of what he did to prevent them. Just look at the patterns: Seals from above and below, never stopping, never varying, trying to make walls that are unavoidable. It’s not a dense spellcard, but it strikes when you think you are safe, like a curse. The only way to not get walled between these inescapable ‘curses’ is to keep moving, be proactive and never stopping. He who fights hard until the end gets to survive, after all.]]
gensokyo-post said: Still, I bet it’s enough for the fandom to make a ship of it.
[[There is no relationship between Mokou and Alice born or suggested from this, they both happen to be referencing the same thing, but in different contexts.
The thing being referenced here is Mount Penglai, also known as Mount Hourai, a mythical mountain range just off the shore of the Chinese coast where immortals, hermits and powerful youkai are said to live and where the secrets to immortality lay hidden.
Now, for Alice, her spellcard Curse [Hourai Doll] is more specifically a reference to Dolls in Pseudo Paradise. one of ZUN’s CDs, as one of her many dolls as the puppeteer.
Mokou’s [Hourai Doll] is a more specifically a reference to two things:
- A reference to her Imperishable Night character title, “Figure of the Person of Hourai” (蓬莱の人の形), transcribed in a different way, specifically, by removing the “no”s, resulting in “Hourai Doll” (蓬莱人形)
- As for the pattern itself, following Mokou’s, Kaguya’s and Eirin’s trend of their danmaku being heavily interpretative, [Hourai Doll] represents a rather bitter view on immortality, as if immortals are dolls: When a doll’s strings are severed, the doll “dies” and plummets lifelessly to the floor. But, if you attach new strings, the doll is “alive again”, risen once anew to follow fate’s commands in this cruel Puppet/Puppeteer relationship. If you notice, the pattern itself is based on stringless dolls: Mokou lines up bullets and then has them collapse on top of the player, aligning them again and collapsing them again, and so on.]]
Watching the act of enhanced healing - if that was even what it was - Akira’s mind immediately spun into overdrive, thinking of reasons and possibilities and counters. Fenghuang weren’t supposed to have that kind of ability! Was his original guess of a magician correct, then? Too little information and nothing to work off of. The age old instinct to know once again reared it’s head, and he had the irrational urge to just… think, for a while. Dragons do not like being confronted with the unknown; for a species which prizes itself on being the most divine of beasts, understanding an opponent is a crucial cornerstone in their battles. Their wealth of knowledge is what gives them their battle prowess - all that strength and power and speed will do nothing without the information of an opponent’s weaknesses and the sharp mind to bring their strengths to bear. To take away that knowledge, and confront them with an unknown - that is the best option for a normal opponent to defeat them. This, of course, is easier said than done.
But Fujiwara was anything but an ordinary opponent.
The first three bolts impacted his side with the force of a punch; the dragon staggered, dropped into a roll and threw himself backwards, thereby escaping the remaining shots. It would seem the other had gotten wise to his attempts to drown out her flames by calling on the storm, and had resorted to pure magical force to back up her attacks. This presented somewhat more of a problem; he didn’t know the full extent of her abilities, he didn’t know what she was, and he didn’t know what he was dealing with. This was one of the few times he was lacking in knowledge, and he found that he disliked it as much as he had a thousand years ago, when he was facing that creature some called a servant of the Old Ones.
Another shot grazed past his head, taking off a few strands of hair in the process, and the dragon scrambled behind a small copse of bamboo just so he could have a moment to quiet his raging mind. Others might have felt fear, at this point, facing an opponent with such power, knowing nothing. Yet the dragon only felt a certain… anticipation, for lack of a better word. It had been centuries since an opponent of this caliber he’d found, and so-
The next shot slammed straight into the back of his head with the force of a metal mallet, and he was thrown off his feet. He raised a hand to touch his rain-soaked hair, and it came away stained red.
With a loud roar, the dragon spun out from his improvised piece of cover and broke into a sprint, bounding through the vegetation. Even as his feet covered the distance between him and his opponent, his blade was already flowing into a series of forms around him, the steel flashing in the encroaching night. And that bladework was enough to slash aside the worst of the other’s attacks; the majority of the remainder avoided by well-timed sidesteps and twists of the body. And then he was on her again, but this time instead of the large slash that his opponent had so effectively blocked moments before, he began a series of lightning-quick stabs and small, precise cuts, one that a practitioner of eastern swordplay would find completely unfamiliar, but a western one would realize, after much consideration and thought, as that of one who wielded a rapier, albeit butchered and quartered to fit, but it was a technique nonetheless. And while the katana was quite inappropriate for such a style, the dragon’s speed and strength made up somewhat for what the blade lacked.
Perhaps, if I target a more important organ…? That healing factor should have it’s limits…
Poor dragon, still not knowing what he’s up against.
"Hmhmhm…Ahahahaha! Scramble! Twitch! Convulse! Against this barrage, you have no chance!"
Aah, these moments… It had been way too long since the little girl could unlock the phoenix’s cloister and let it loose, let that monstrous battlelust free and unbridled. Few and precious were the opportunities, o, joyous reader! Meeting Keine, Kaguya and Eientei, plus the people she has met recently have definitely been a wonderful addition to her lifestyle as a whole, and Mokou has undoubtedly benefited from the things she has learned and changed, but… One thousand and three hundred years of daily habits die hard, if they ever die. The fights, the life atop the River Styx, the symphony of shattered knuckles and collapsing foes, it was too good, too familiar to ever give up on completely. There was happiness in crossing spells, in feeling her own muscles convulsing from a blow too strong, in the shattering of her bones, in the revenge after a successful counter, the contest of which was louder, the muscles of her enemies being torn asunder as she ripped their limbs off violently or their screams of agony? How long could she extend someone’s pain before their nerve endings burned and they were left a confused, hollow shell?
The questions were limitless. At some point, the little girl who fought to survive only became enthralled with the contest of strength, and her tragic demeanor turned into hunger for pain and inflicting it, The phoenix was born, and that’s, perhaps, the worst and best moment in Mokou’s life: When she found her true love, one she will forever be in denial about, one she only relishes freely once she is thrust into it with no way back, a concrete door with a makeshift handle giving the illusion of option and the strong impulse of superiority: She became intoxicated with fighting, and in this euphoria, she finds her worst and best traits simultaneously.
The cloister’s warden, the Little Girl, watches over it day and night, but like any lock, it takes the right key or the right bobby pin to undo the locks in the door, and a strong adversary is the Master Key that most easily frees the Phoenix encased within.
And it was definitely out now.
The merciless fusillade did not shy for a second, blast after blast after blast surging forth from her fingertips, trailing and following Akira. “For such a bravado that you displayed earlier, this is all you got!? I guess that slash was a fluke, now, wasn’t it? If this is all it takes to dest—!?”
With speeds that would make light green with envy, the phoenix’s adversary emerged from his cover, moving with the grace of moonlight over still lake water: His moves spoke of solemn understanding, of trained purity, of royal finesse. Truthfully, to see someone with such flawless footwork and reflexes was not only a surprising event, it was a motive of joy and worry simultaneously, as per how these findings work with the tandem feelings of the phoenix. "He’s not just dodging, he is charging through the bullets…?! How? Such a claustrophobic barrage and he is even pushing…! Deflecting the bullets with a sword dance… Yeah, you ain’t just any chump!"
Before she knew it, Akira was once more inside her defenses. "Shit, here comes another slash, but it’s not gonna work!"
And here is where the element of surprise and ignorance, instead of aiding Mokou, ended up aiding Akira instead. The dragon looks like the Japanese gentleman of old. Truthfully, he is the spitting image of a swordsman of the east, with all the skill that implies. Never would Mokou have thought that such an exemplary visage of traditional Nippon was going to employ such unorthodox tactics in a flash: A monsoon of stabs with a katana? Any tempered master of the blade would scoff at the notion, and yet, here we are, Akira skewering Mokou mercilessly with his deadly dance. Mokou did attempt a defense, oh, she did, but it was one to defend against a slash, just like before; It did nothing against this attack, her magic-powered arms being held at the angle she though the slash would come from and missing spectacularly.
Stomach, arm, shoulder blade, liver, thigh, chest, lungs… It would be easier to count the parts that weren’t struck with the attack. A split second and a lucky observation, however, was all Mokou needed to wake up from this painful avalanche of stings: The next stab was going for her heart. One would assume that for immortals, dying isn’t a big deal. One would be very wrong.
"…! Nice try, you bastard, but not so fast!"
Twisting her body and using her hands in a flash, Mokou finally recovered a semblance of balance, just enough to misdirect the katana by punching it from the side and leaning forward, resulting in the blade missing the heart and getting stuck against her shoulder instead, Mokou throwing her weight forward so it would better pierce her and become stuck instead of just stabbing, a rather masochistic way of stopping the barrage. What followed was Mokou advancing even more against Akira, holding very tight to the sword as she impaled herself more and more against it.
"Haa… Haa… I underestimated you… I will admit that much, but… Heh… Look, my shirt is all red with my blood now, not to mention full of holes…I demand some god damn compensation! From this range…! I think it’s time to go all in…!"
"Mountain that reigns with cruelty and jealousy, inspiring awe in the hearts of everyone who lays their unworthy eyes on you, oh, muse of mine, deliver Earth’s own wrath unto the worms around you, and purge the impurities from our glorious soil!"
The phoenix, one hand still grasping the sword firmly, pushed her other hand forth, aiming almost pointblank at Akira, cruel and intense flames beginning to engulf it. "Rest in peace."
”Hourai [South Wind, Clear Skies -Fujiyama Volcano-]!”
It was a staple of Mokou’s favorite tactic: Destructive pointblank attacks.The pure and wrathful flames she produced were perfect for this, yet, ignorance was going to aid Akira once again:
Mokou doesn’t know just how potent Akira’s affinity and finesse with water is. And she thought she had this in the bag, too.
[[The way this is going to work is that me (or the Project member, “helper” from here on) is going to, in the layman’s terms, play the Ultimate RP Wingman and sort of “set the plays” for the other RPer (from here on referred to as “client”)
The client’s character will get the spotlight, not unlike as if this was a very elaborate, theatrical showcase-slash-interview in which they can and are encouraged to elaborate on absolutely everything they believe is a strong point of their blog, to show off their character for prospective RP partners! This includes things such as backstories, headcanons, abilities, friendships, dynamics, quirks, speech ticks, ANYTHING! How will this be set up, you may ask? Simple! Both client and helper, through the private method of their choice, will plan the RP, with the helper, an experienced writer and RPer, reading the client’s “About” page, if it exists, and asking the client what to set up for, what they wish to put major emphasis on and what are their priorities on this showcasing. The client will then provide the info about the thread and all the juicy details, which the helper will then use to plan and create the perfect RP scenario for these things to be discussed, shown, explored, etc. and as such, the minithread will then begin.
Now, it’s important I stress this: The Project is not free promos. It’s a podium with helpful and experienced helpers that will allow you to show your mettle to all the people following the Project blog and the client’s blog, so in this way, the client can earn new followers or prove themselves worthy in front of existing ones and thus accrue new RP partners. It’s not a free promo, it’s us giving you the tools and the stage so you, with your writing skills, can earn new RP partners and show off your beautiful OCs to the doubtful crowds!
In this sense, I hope to create a stronger sense of community without forgetting the essential part of RPing: You have to put effort into it.
I hope that answered the question!]]
[[Update on the project: For all means, the Project is “on”, and I say “on” and not a full fledged on because I am now working with some people, and probably will get some more people, for the first mini threads, planning those out and how to go about them.
As for how to go about the artists’ end of things, I can proudly say it’s all been prepared and now it’s just a matter of me publishing the way things are gonna be, but I believe it’s gonna be very advantageous to artists. There’s a reason I say it’s to help RP blogs, OCs and for volunteer artists to get experience and notoriety; Things are going to work different for each group so as to ensure that no one abuses the goodwill of the volunteer artists by just trying to nab free art.
So, basically, it’s gONNA BE ON REAL SOON, but RPers are planning the threads that have to be ready for the launch moment, so please wait warmly~ Everything technical (the hardest part) is done and accounted for, is what I am saying!
This post means “It’s 99% ready and now we just need to calibrate the easier things which are just planning the final parts”
Thank you for waiting patiently for the project and I hope you enjoy it when it starts soon!]]
The woman towering over me suddenly leans back and assumes a stance of familiarity. Likewise, her manner of speech was rough and unbridled. I still wasn’t exactly sure what was going on… but she seems more perturbed about the events that just transpired than I am.
No, it would be more accurate to say that she was perturbed by my presence than anything else.
…Her words pierced my being; I sat there dumbfounded.
"I-Inhum…an…?" She muttered under her breath.
Why… Why would she call me that? Can I not feel like a human? Or think? Or act like a human? I can’t deny that she had the right to be dubious though, I mean, I’ve wondered about that myself in the past.
…If I could really call myself human.
Before I understood the nature of my eyes, only my parents could tell me of what I saw. Even now, with all of the magic clubs in Kyoto, all of their magic was set and rooted in their world, set to uncover what little magic there is in our world ruled by doubt. They could never consider the idea of another world; it was unobservable and therefore unscientific, their magics are defined by science, but my ability to see this world and the gaps in the boundaries is what defines me. My ability to defy laws of common sense, to be able to bypass laws of physics… humans are bound by rules, aren’t they?
So… am I really a part of their world?
I’ve wondered for the longest time, but recently, I was sure…
Even though I don’t fully comprehend my eyes or what they show me…
I know for a fact that all humans can, no, must do.
And that’s what makes me human.
The woman’s words impacted me rather hard, to the point that I had to tell myself this once again to regain my composure.
Maybe I misjudged her though, if she really did look and asked around for me afterwards, perhaps a missing person is a big deal here. I see now, there’s a large misunderstanding between the both of us. Come to think of it, this might just be the first time I’ve met the same person twice coming to this world. Or should I say it’s that someone has seen me twice?
This woman calls me inhuman because to her, possibly a century or more has passed and I appear just as young as I have that time ago, yet if she really is the person from that clan she claims to hail from, then the same would apply to her. There’s something I just don’t understand about her that maybe I could learn. This is quite a strange happenstance, even for me! If I could believe in Fate, I’d have to pay her in an equivalent to my share in paying the rent to my lodgings and more.
Yes… that’s right. Time elapsed in a dream is proportionately larger than time passed in regular world. A person can dream of an entire day or longer, and only the night has passed when they awaken, I can only imagine the same concept has taken place here, but on a much larger scale. I know I have a terrible sense of time, but wouldn’t that mean I’m continually jumping farther forward in time every night I come back here? Or perhaps I’m jumping into arbitrary points in time in a dream? I don’t think she’d know any more about it than I would…
To my surprise, she seems to understand the concept of the boundaries, but she seemed rather bothered as she spoke, almost ranting. I couldn’t catch what she was going on about though. I want to ask her what she knows about it…
I’ve never considered telling anyone (much less on my own…) about the nature of the Sealing Club. The last time I did, I ended up getting thrown in the hospital’s quarantine zone! But I got a strange feeling from this disgruntled hermit-like woman, and I was curious about her too, if I had to be honest. I’ve got a feeling she won’t dismiss what I’ve got to say.
The woman’s voice faded out as she didn’t even look at me as her questions trailed off with a tone of rhetoric, she didn’t seem to care whether I was right behind her or saying anything either. Obviously this wasn’t the place to answer her, as this might take awhile to tell her about myself. But I have to leave before the sun rises or Renko will wake up to find me disappear and she’ll worry about me even more.
On the other hand… I’ve been curious how the alcohol in this world tastes.
>Mary finally regained her composure and picked herself up; she hurried to Mokou’s side.
She didn’t say a single word to me as we were walking through the forest. She took turns at the strangest places with such confidence, this must be very natural for her. I didn’t want to disturb her routine, so I kept all of my words to myself. Besides, I was more concerned about what I was going to say to her once we arrived and how I should say it. She clearly knows there’s a world outside of her own, but what would she think when I described it to her? The woman doesn’t have any reason to doubt me, but sometimes I look at this world and wonder if the contrast is too great to believe it to be true.
It seems we’ve arrived, I can’t really make out any of the details of the house. The night seems endless and it’s taken a toll on my eyes. I practice proper etiquette as someone like me would in the more old-fashioned prefectures back home. I can feel myself rocking back and forth from unease while I wait for the woman who is preparing drinks. My posture feels improper, and as much as I don’t think she cares, I figured I should at least try to show respect to someone who gives off an aura not unlike the feeling I’d get from meeting my grandparents.
Of course I’m nervous, I feel like I’m sharing my entire life story with a stranger, but I’m also greatly indebted to her.
Take a deep breath, let it go, let it out.
"I know I said this before, but my name is Maribel Hearn, I’m a student studying Relative Psychology at the University of Kyoto, a place of higher learning, if you will. For as long as I can remember, I can… see past the world."
>Mary points at her own eyes while staring directly into Mokou’s.
"When I was younger, I was only able to see these… holes in the world, like a laceration or a wound on skin every now and then. All I could do was acknowledge them, it was a trait I inherited from my ancestors, but they never told me everything about them. I was told to keep my special ability a secret from my friends and classmates, not that it stopped them from pointing out the fact that my eyes weren’t blue or brown…"
>Mary gazes into her drink.
"As I grew older, and at the same time grew to resent these eyes, I started to have these strange dreams of another world. I could see very far, it was almost like a humanless world. Soon enough, I found myself inside this world as I am and showed all of my senses to this fantastic land. I was scared and confused because I’ve never had any other kinds of dreams after that, when I tell people about this, they end up calling me crazy or they talk about how they can’t remember their dreams.
The people from this land might call you a monster, but the people from my land would also call me a monster.
I didn’t know what to do, when I can’t talk about dreams it just feels like end up bottling everything inside. I decided to spend my life in order to discover the nature of my powers and this other world, and thankfully, I’ve found someone to help me and keep me company. My friend helped me realize that my eyes don’t deserve the resentment I held for them in my younger years. I don’t know what I’d do without her anymore… My friend and I are in a group that only consists of us. We want to know more about this world and the beings in it because we really understand nothing about it.”
The words flowed as if I were speaking directly from my subconscious.
"The truth is when you found me that night, I was sleeping, but had a dream that took me into the forest. And after you saved me, I woke myself up… That’s probably why you never found me. Have you ever had a dream that you felt lasted for days, but when you woke up, only hours have passed? I don’t think I can explain why I appear before you right now, but if what you’re saying is true about many years passing, I’d imagine what I said can apply here. Maybe you’re not figment of a dream my mind made up, but it doesn’t change the fact that I’m still dreaming, daydreaming or nightdreaming.
If there’s a place I’m thinking about, I’ll end up there when I close my eyes for awhile, but only if I really want to, otherwise I might appear somewhere random. I think the view of this place is amazing at night… plus I was hungry for some bamboo shoots, you know, we don’t have those where I come from.
I’ve seen many places in this world, to be honest, it’s hard to take it all in; there aren’t any streets or TV screens or skyscrapers, just honest regular folk and mythical creatures that I’ve read about in texts.”
>Mary brushed her hair lightly with her hand.
"I think that’s just about it… It’s your turn now. So, if you are willing, please tell me who you are, and why you were so concerned about my well being, a stranger, an outsider. But most importantly, please tell me what you understand about the boundaries."
For a good while, only their footsteps, the rubbing of cloth against skin s they moved, their breathing sounds, only the most shy and bare of sounds audible, all while the enigma clad in purple followed the immortal and her almost too arrogant stride. Between the silent steps and the doubtlessly growing tension, there was another thing to account for, a real purpose for this tense ordeal of a simple walk: Mokou’s back was exposed to Maribel at all times, but her guard was granite, endlessly ready for any maneuver the mystery dame of this night could attempt. Throughout Mokou’s long life, many youkai and humans have attempted to rip away her liver, as the never-ending promises of immortality circulate even to this day through pained whispers and luxurious nothings, thoughts of an utopic future that is too good to be truth even in the lands of gods. To this day, people with diverse intentions still believe that the liver of an immortal endows one with freedom from the sandstorm of time.
And it is because of these people that Mokou cannot rest easy, random assailants ambushing her every now and then simply because they want the “easy way out”. Alas, immortality has become a drug even more sought after after the years. Would the Count of Saint Germain be happy about this? Would Sir Galahad frown in disapproval of what has become of greed of those human and those brought by humanity? Tasteless. Putrid. Pestilent. Mokou was no Count in this matter, that’s for sure. Galahad was definitely right, if one was to ask Mokou. Due to this, Mokou always does a “screening” of sorts: The greed for immortality is a potent drug, it hazes the eyes and seduces the mind. If Maribel had been a drone seduced by yearns of immortality, she would’ve struck Mokou already.
Thus it was good news and a great boon to her mood when she noticed they had arrived to her house and that this gal had attempted nothing of the sort. It doesn’t mean instant trust, but it does mean that more doors shall be open to her, or Mokou’s pride of rewarding good merit would be offended.
Understandably, things were still tense, but that would subside, if just a little, in just a while. The girl that sat in splendid, if rigid, seiza was clearly not of Japanese descent. Her eyes, hair, physique and general body and face structure reminded Mokou less of her own Japanese people and more of the Jesuits that she met hundreds of years ago, very European in her traits and with an uncommon name. "Merryberry…? Muruberry…? Mariberi…? Uh…" muttered Mokou to herself, trying to get the right pronunciation of the name. It was really hard to get down, but it’s a basic courtesy. She silently kept rehearsing this as she prepared some sake dishes and some assorted snacks: bean cakes, bamboo shots, onigiri, stuff she had on hand and basically prepared to eat beforehand.
"So, Mariberry.” — She still doesn’t quite have it. What a hard name to pronounce! — “Let’s hear you out, hmm?” Mokou’s voice was certainly more velvet now. You could tell tension was leaving her. If Maribel wasn’t out for her liver, well, that is already a big step in the right direction.
So went the explanation of the young dame that sat in that almost adorably rigid seiza. She might not be Japanese, but she sure as hell nailed down courtesy and respect factors down very well. This only pleased Mokou. The explanation went on and on, the phoenix’s intrigue and interest only growing by the second. Dreams? Traveling into Gensokyo through them? Several times…? This was… Puzzling.
"…You say you could see things that were naked only to you, then? Gaps here and there, mighty weird things that you went and learned to live with, basically? But…" This wasn’t the weirdest that Mokou had met, but it was definitely up there: Someone who goes and comes from the Outside World! Mokou herself came from the Outside World, as did Sanae and her deities up in Yatsugatake, and the buddhists and taoists, among others. It wasn’t that weird for people to come, but it was more than simply dreaming it. In the case of Mokou, she was here before it was closed off from the rest of the world, while most others had to quite literally break through the Great Hakurei Barrier to pass by. And yet, there was this girl who claimed not only to basically pass through it with the most capricious of actions, dreaming, but also that it was such an event that it adapted itself to the timequake that occurs in relation from the Outside World to Gensokyo.
This would usually lead to a rather disgruntled Mokou telling her to piss off, and yet… She was not lying. Mokou could unfortunately tell that this was honest. Mokou would’ve preferred if this was a prank, but at the same time… It was so intriguing!
"I see!" —her voice had almost childish enthusiasm to it— "Goodness… So it wasn’t just a coincidence… I understand, this is a very peculiar and confusin’ ability that you possess, Mulberry, but, let me see if I can— Ah, no, never mind, never mind! Don’t wanna bombard you with questions, let me let you rest for a while and give you some… Explanations, I guess.”
A flame appeared on the tip of Mokou’s index finger, lighting an opium pipe she produced from her pocket, the immortal inhaling and exhaling the sweet vapors from her mouth and nostrils. "Aaah…"
"Right, first of all, sorry for the rather strict welcomin’ I gave ya, I had to make sure ya weren’t one of ‘em liver hunters. I get ‘em a lot this time o’ the year, see? The usual defenseless act, gettin’ rescued and, bam! Claw through my side, attemptin’ to get the little bugger out without even askin’ me out for a drink first! The nerve, I tell ya, the nerve!"
One could tell that Mokou was considerably less worried and much more friendly now, a stance she takes when she meets “intriguin’ people”, as she calls them. “I am Fujiwara no Mokou, guide of this here bamboo dump that’s more trouble than it’s worth, hah, and resident youkai exterminator. I’ve been here for… A long time, so to say.”
"Time doesn’t seem to pass linearly between our worlds, does it? It would explain your surprise upon seein’ good ol’ me. The previous bit about my liver probably sounded pretty dang weird, didn’t it? Hah! I should have explained first! It so happens that I am an immortal, never agin’, unchained from death and unknown to The End. As you see me now is as you will see me in a hundred, a thousand and a million years. If your knowledge of Japanese history is as good as your manners, you probably have a rough idea of my time of origin based on my clan name, heh!"
"Now, boundaries… I will admit boundaries ain’t my thing, see, but I am more than just faintly familiar with one who masters them. Yakumo Yukari, the appropriately named Gap Youkai, armed with ability to manipulate boundaries. You… Do remind me of her for a number o’ reasons, but you are special in your own way. The world we are currently in is named Gensokyo, hidden away from the Outside World, from where I once came from and where you can apparently come and go freely… Aaah, lookitchu! A free bird! Unbound by the chains of boundaries! Of these boundaries, at least."
Mokou subtly pushes the tray with snacks closer to Maribel. “You came to the right place for bamboo shots. Dig in, don’t worry, I got freakin’ plenty of them. Gensokyo is bound to the Outside World still, but hidden from it, in a pocket dimension created many years ago. It’s a sanctuary for magical beings, born from dreams and fear, arcane artifacts, a capricious world, through and through! It’s a good place if you know yer way ‘round it, see! It’s… A more welcomin’ world for you, if what you say is true. Bottlin’ all these wonderful thoughts inside of ya, ain’t that a torture? If you have this wonderful ability… Haa, I am glad you say you have a friend you can share this with, and that she believes you. Life alone is hard, let me tell ya.”
"I… Have to ask. Have you nurtured these abilities of yours aside from these trips…? Do you think they could encompass more than simply you? Now, hear me, I don’t know how right it is to meddle around with the barrier and such, but you say you have done this for a while. I would take that as a sign that this world welcomes you. Yet, you cannot stay for too long, as your friend would worry about you… Heh, how noble, I like that. And yet, another question doe surface… You are not like the spirited away humans that end up here, it’s like you know about this place, about this land… Do you and your friend know of Gensokyo? Of what this is, of what lives and breathes here?”
As intriguing as this was for Mokou, the implications of Gensokyo being known in the Outside World would be, aside from dire, intriguing and amusing. “Would you show your friend this wonderland, if you could?”
What were you playing at, Mokou…