The youngsters of the village were once again training under the blaze of the mid-day sun, practicing for the coming battles. Keine stood nearby, watching over them wordlessly. She was pressured by the villagers to participate in the game, but she still felt uneasy about it. A young man then came up to her.
Villager: Good afternoon, Ms. Keine. What's happened to make you look so pained?
Keine: Hm...Ah, uh, it's nothing.
You shouldn't try to lie, Ms. Keine. All your emotions are right there on your face! Don't worry so much, we won't be defeated so easily! Anyway, I need to do a few more laps, so please excuse me!
Ah, right...Don't push yourself too hard.
Her reply was out of character, but the villager decided to pay it no heed, and ran off after waving goodbye. As she watched his back fade into the distance, her face grew even more grim.
Akyu: Is something the matter? You look like you just found weevils in your rice bin.
Keine's gaze quickly shifted to the side that the voice came from, to find Akyu, who had been apparently been standing next to her for some time.
That kind of expression will make everyone feel uneasy, you know.
...Today's a day to ask about facial expressions, it seems.
That is why I am putting on a face that is imploring you to tell me your problems.
Hmm...It seems I'm easy to read, huh?
She stretched her two hands out to the sky and sighed. Keine had thought that she was able to keep her emotions under control, but apparently her skill at it needed refining.
Well, leaving that aside...Are you taking a walk, Lady Akyu?
Ah, no...Actually, I came to show this to you.
Akyu took out a familiar-looking sealed letter. Keine lost her bearings for a second as she tried to remember where she saw it before, but quickly regained her composure and began to ask more questions.
...Did that shady youkai say something to you again?
No, this is not from Lady Yukari. I received it from a child just a little while ago.
Keine opened the sealed letter and took in its contents as she listened. Once again, her expression started to change.
This is...It's one of those, isn't it?
Yes...It is a declaration of war from the Hakurei Shrine.
Good grief...How could they entrust such a thing to a child?
Apparently, the shrine maiden called the first person she saw at the entrance over and told him to give this to an important person in the village.
Such irresponsibility...Is she so lazy that she cannot approach one of the elder villagers?
She can be magnanimous at the best of times, and negligent at the worst, but Keine still could not believe that she would handle such an important letter so carelessly.
Anyway, it has finally come...Honestly, I don't think we are ready for it yet...but it's no use complaining about it now.
Additionally, I have something further I would like to speak to you about.
Mm? What is it?
I would like to fight alongside everyone.
Ungh!? *cough cough*...
Akyu's unexpected announcement nearly caused Keine to choke. She turned to face Akyu, and saw the seriousness in her eyes.
A-Are you all right, Ms. Keine?
I-I'm fine...More importantly, you shouldn't make such jokes, they're...
No, I am quite serious.
Akyu looked Keine straight in the eye. She was not going to back down, not even a single step.
It is true that I am not good at fighting...But battles are not just about direct combat, or shooting danmaku from afar. With my intelligence, and the Gensokyo Chronicles...The difference between victory and defeat is knowledge, don't you think?
Well, what you say does have some merit...But...
If it becomes dangerous, then I shall run away. That will be all, so let us work well together, Ms. Keine.
Dear me...That's one more thing to worry about. You look like you're having fun, though.
Ah, my apologies. I was just thinking how this would be the first interesting event of my generation that I will see...Anyway, I must go. I shall see you again.
Akyu bowed her head slightly, then started to walk back into the village. Keine watched her figure vanish into the distance, not knowing what to think.
Is this...the flow of time as well?
"Human Village Corps" - War has been declared.
Akyu Hieda has joined the Human Village Corps.
For all their determnation, sadly the Human Village Corps' troops weren't too good in a fight. With a lower average level than the ghosts of the Higan Guard, the humans from the village were easy pickings for our battle-hardened warriors. Akyu herself had little in the way of offense, so we were able to safely just ignore her for much of the fight as we concentrated on taking out her guardsmen.
Looks like the Human Village will need quite a bit of help if they want to make this more of a challenge.
Keine had been very busy, checking around the village and talking to possible recruits due to the village's participation in Yukari's proposition. Her own history compilation and lessons were delayed as a result. The villagers worried for her, and implored her to leave matters to them during idle times. She took up their offer and slowly got some free time back to rest and walk around freely outside for a change of pace.
Her arms went towards the sky as she stretched. She looked upwards with narrowed eyes due to the strong sunlight, and sensed a black mass zooming by. It was too fast to see, and only something floating down was left.
Keine: Hmmm, this is...a crow's feather. But where did it come from...?
She suspiciously looked up towards the sky again, but there was nary a crow to be seen or heard. She decided that the wind must've blown it here, and was about to look down, when the black mass passed through again.
What...? I didn't see it too clearly...but was that a youkai?
Considering the possibility of an attack, Keine quickly prepared for battle. The black figure then stopped right above Keine, and swooped down swiftly. Keine barely jumped backwards, as dust settled where she was.
???: Ouch...I put too much strength into that.
Who are you!?
Keine lowered her hips and bent her knees, readying herself for the next strike. As the cloud of dust finished settling, a shadow emerged, slowly getting closer.
Ah, hello. Long time no see!
Hm...? Oh, it's just you.
Coming even when not called, spreading the truth at speed to all areas! The traditional newspaper reporter of fantasy, "Aya Shameimaru" has appeared!
Aya: Wah, how sudden!
Keine finally dropped her guard, and gave the visitor a weary "welcome". The black figure was actually the crow tengu who came to the village before for the data collection, "Aya Shameimaru".
I flew all the way here, and that's the reaction I get? That's so cold!
Why did you come here in the first place? I thought you already collected plenty of data when you came here the other day.
But there's something terribly interesting occurring right now, isn't there!?
Something terribly interesting...?
It's been a hot topic among us tengu. This war gme with Gensokyo as the stage is certainly interesting enough for me to come flying over!
I still haven't asked anything yet~!
If you're looking to write an article on it, shouldn't you go straight to the one who started it all?
Nobody ever knows where that youkai is.
What about the shrine maiden?
You're sending me to her? That's so very cruel!
As flashily as Aya had arrived, Keine still could not figure out what her true intentions for coming here were.
This is such a big event, yet everyone at the mountain only wants to spectate. It won't be fun for me at all.
I'm not finding it very fun either.
And allowing myself to not participate in this spectacle would bring shame to my name as a reporter. That's why I came flying here!
I still don't get you.
The bewildered Keine just let Aya keep blabbering her mouth off. But the next words that she spoke were enough to clear all of Keine's confusion.
A reporter needs personal experience to cover a story and write a good article. So I would like to join your army.
With a crow tengu like me assisting you, you can expect victory after victory to come your way!
Hold it right there. Just what are you planning?
How mean, I'm not planning anything. Furthermore, having more capable people...or rather, capable youkai, would be beneficial, don't you think?
Sorry, but you can't expect me to believe that you'll help out here and want nothing in return.
With Keine's doubt case squarely on her, Aya puffed out her chest in pride and defiance.
Oh dear, I suppose I've been found out. You're right, I don't plan to help out for free. After all, it's going to be completed soon, isn't it?
Yes, the holder of much precious material and data covering all of Gensokyo thoroughly. The "Gensokyo Chronicles".
...What do you want with it?
Ah, don't look so scary~. All I want in return for helping out is to be the first one to be able to read the completed Gensokyo Chronicles. With that, I can write about anyone or anywhere very quickly! Ahh, I can smell the beautiful scent of a scoop already!
The Gensokyo Chronicles...the compilation handed down from generation to generation of the Hieda family. Such an item would certainly be mouth-watering for a reporter to possess.
I see...That is not a decision I can make.
The current head of the Hieda family is Akyu, correct? I'll go and see her!
Aya sped off as quickly as she came, leaving those words behind. Her figure soon disappeared from view, and the villagers were in a panic over the sudden gust that swept through the village.
Hey, wai...There she goes. Good grief...The self-centeredness of a youkai truly is a bother...
Keine was half youkai and half human, but she always had harsh words in store for youkai who behaved like aya. However, there was no doubt that Aya would increase their warpower significantly.
That means...Hm...Well, knowing Lady Akyu, she should be able to send her away nicely.
That was Keine's optimistic hope, but a short time later, those hopes were quickly dashed.
Akyu: ...We'll be counting on you, then.
Understood! There are still things that will be ironed out, but that can be saved for next time.
Yes, I have not had much of a chance to speak with those from the mountain, so this will be enjoyable.
I'll also be looking forward to the completion of the Gensokyo Chronicles!
Of course, Keine had no idea such a conversation was occurring under her nose...
Aya Shameimaru has joined the Human Village Corps.
Aya: Extra, extra, read all about it~.
Reimu had been enjoying a calm and peaceful afternoon, but the silence was suddenly broken. The newspaper that Aya threw hit Reimu right on the head.
That nonsense reporter again...What is it this time?
She lifted the fallen newspaper up towards her view.
Let's see...The crow tengu Aya Shameimaru, famed for being the fastest in Gensokyo, has teamed up with Keine Kamishirasawa to defend the Human Village. This outstanding revelation will greatly increase the Human Village's warpower. The Hakurei Shrine, the enemy army, will have a tough time ahead...What? Reporters can write about themselves now...? Or maybe her making and delivering of this to me is a challenge...She's got guts, at least. She'll be sorry that she wrote that!
Taking up any form of provocation had always been one of her principles, so Reimu was starting to seethe with fighting spirit. This despite the fact that they declared war on the Human Village in the first place.
Actions Available: 2
Cost to Develop: 24 RES
Cost to Develop: 27 RES
Faintly Dark Path
Cost to Develop: 30 RES
Magic Forest Entrance
Cost to Develop: 18 RES
Magic Forest Border
Cost to Develop: 30 RES
Magic Forest Interior
cost to Develop: 9 RES
Road of Reconsideration
Cost to Develop: 9 RES
Cost to Develop: 6 RES
Army: Human Village Corps
General: Keine Kamishirasawa (leader)