7 [Achievement Unlocked: First Steps]

We were walking for quite some time now. It seemed that the walk through the forest of magic wasn't a short one.

It was a hot summer day. Correction, I have to add that it was a Japanese hot summer day, if it wasn't for the sun setting, I am sure it would have been a lot more unbearable to walk in this intense heat.

Even the stern-faced escorts couldn't help but show on their face that they were quite exhausted.

Though, once again I have to mention that even if someone were to boil my body right now, I probably wouldn't feel much of the pain.

So, it was probably abnormal to see a person not sweat under the intense heat of the sun.

Yet, that only applied to me.


For someone with a frail constitution like Akyuu, this must feel like hell. After all, she just collapsed on me, gripping my shirt with all her might.

"Gasp. Gasp. Gasp"

While we still managed to take a couple of steps, we soon needed to pause as Akyuu was in no state to walk. She was desperately ringing for air as the strength to stand upright left her legs.

"Akyuu-sama!" x4

Wow, they were all in sync just now. Impressive.

While it was an admirable sight, seeing 4 unrelated men be completely in sync with each other, we had a more important situation to deal with.

All 4 of them had concerned expressions on their face, but it didn't look like they know what to do in a situation like this.

Though, lucky us that we have an alchemist in our group and I meant myself with that.

Kneeling down, I stared at Akyuu and asked her a very important question.

"Akyuu. How many fingers am I holding up?"

As she was still able to audibly perceive me, Akyuu looked at my hand where I held up a certain amount of fingers.



Hearing her fail this simple question like that badly made my concern grow. Seven? How did her view warp that two fingers turned into seven?

Sighing, I pulled out the leftover low-grade vitality potion in the hope that it would at least give her the strength to endure the journey to the village, but the escorts didn't take too kindly as I pulled the vial out and tried to administer it to Akyuu.

"Halt. What is it that you are trying to do, outsider?"

Let me clarify first. I hate liars. I hated those kinds of people that lied about their qualifications, only to buckle under the pressure of the construct of lies they needed to hold up. If you lied about something, you need to make that lie a reality to make the lie a lie and to do that, you need to be the first person to believe your own lie.

Fake it until you make it, in other words.

Still, what I am about to say won't be an outright lie. After all, I was the party's secondary healer.

"I know a thing or two about medicine and Akyuu's condition is one that I am familiar with. Is it that surprising seeing someone with medical knowledge treat a patient?"

Hearing me say that, the four human villagers clearly hesitated, but they didn't want to back down.

"H-how can we know you are saying the truth?"

"Yeah! You are just an outsider, there is no trust between us!"

Dammit, this is going to be tougher than I thought and I don't know what I could say to convince them.

If I said the wrong thing, the situation could escalate and if I am honest, I too wouldn't trust someone who looked like me right now to know about medicine.

Especially in Gensokyo where people were especially wary of outsiders since they could just be a Youkai in disguise. If I said the wrong thing...


In the end, I didn't need to do anything complicated to gain their trust. Simply because Akyuu just took the potion vial and drank its content.

"Akyuu-sama, why did you..."

"Don't get yourself twisted, Tanaka. That counts for you three too, Konda, Tonda, and Honda. How many times did I already say that I trust Rin? She is my precious guest and friend and so I'd like it if you treat her the same as me."


"No buts! Did you really think I wouldn't have asked her about things like that? Do you think my trust is that easily gained? Is that it?"

"No... Akyuu-sama."

"If that's the case, why are you still pointing your spears at her like that, not to mention the fact that you all have been eyeing Rin with suspicious eyes the entire time! Am I, Hieda no Akyuu, the ninth reincarnation of the Child of Miare so untrustworthy in your eyes that I could be tricked by a simple Youkai!"

Once again, I needed to confirm for everyone that Akyuu was scary. Despite being just a 10-year-old child, she was still a reincarnated person that lived through 9 lives, even if the memories of her past lives were just vague.

Especially the four grown men kneeling in front of Akyuu in dogeza while furiously apologizing solidified that picture.

I made a mental note to never provoke and/or anger Akyuu. Too much.

"A-Akyuu, are you feeling alright? Just now you were barely able to keep standing on your two feet."

Akyuu stared at me for a moment, just realizing that she felt pretty healthy right now. I guess the anger must have distracted her from her sudden recovery.

"You are right. I feel fine right now. In fact, I feel great!"

The four escorts started at the scene in front of them with disbelief. It was as if they didn't want to believe in the miracle that just played out in front of them.

"See? Rin's medicine was effective. Now apologize to her!"

I mean, an apology is nice. But it's not really what I wanted right now.

"Anyways, stay back. I don't want to see your faces.

"But Akyuu..."

Akyuu just turned around and started walking off, only stopping for a moment to urge me to move already. It seems that I was the escort now.

After her sudden recovery, we made quick progress on our way to the human village. Though I had to admit that Akyuu was quite capable of holding a grudge as she kept staring back at her previous four escorts, who now made sure to follow us at a bit of a distance.

"Akyuu. Do you really think it's a good idea to let your escorts follow us that far behind?"

She looked back once again, the hope in their eye flaring again, before mercilessly facing away from them, treating them like air.

"They are just here as meat shields in case something happens. I'll trust you more than them anyway."

Are you sure that is a good idea? Because my level is miserably low right now. Not that I could tell her.

"Well, since we are on the topic of trust. Felt your own forehead yet?"

"Why would I touch my own forehead?"

She said, putting her hand on her forehead.

"Wah! I am practically burning up!"

"Yeah, that's what I wanted to talk to you about. What I gave you is more or less what I would call an all-purpose medicine. There is no demerit to taking it and everyone would feel like they received help after consuming it, but all it does is give you some strength and energy. If your ailment was a simple cut the medicine would have helped you with no problems but for sicknesses it kind of just gives you more strength to fight against it."

Akyuu listened to what I said intently. Seemingly absorbing each word I told her with her perfect memory and even started to comprehend them. Is that what a genius was? Of course, her perfect memory helped her, but understanding what someone else told her and drawing conclusions from it was another thing.

"So, taking it would help me get well faster, but I won't magically recover because of it."

I nodded.

"That sounds like regular medicine to me."


It does, doesn't it?

"It does, doesn't it? Still, you should know what that means."

"That I am straining myself right now and it would be better for my recovery if I lied down right now and rested?"

"Exactly and with that said..."

I picked Akyuu up and carried her in a princess carry.


Oh my, it seems that Akyuu was getting flustered getting picked up like that...

...she felt quite soft.

"Let me down right now!"

"No can do. While I told you what I gave you was some kind of all-purpose medicine, it's more akin to treating the symptoms in the hope that it would affect the roots. This medicine would help someone that was going to recover anyways recover a little bit faster, but this also means that someone that wasn't going to recover won't recover from it and while it seems nosy I won't allow you to walk right now unless I gave you proper medicine that treats the root of your problem."

Hearing me scold her like that with a voice full of compassion, Akyuu started blushing from ear to ear, hiding her face behind her sleeves.

"Fine, but at least let me down again once we reach the village."

I nodded, she looked so cute right now that my heart felt full.

"A cute."


Oh? Did I say that out loud? Not as if that is going to change my decision.

"From now on, I am going to call you by a nickname. That being "a cute"."

Hearing me plainly say that without an ounce of shame and with total seriousness...

...you can imagine the results yourself, right?

Let's say that my body would feel sore if it wasn't for the fact that all my senses were dull. Thanks to that, I noticed that my Presence Detection skill sharpened my senses to detect presences better, but it didn't do anything to improve them.

To describe it, it felt more akin that I am processing the information I am getting with my senses more efficiently, the amount of information I am getting is still the same.

The input is the same, but the output is different.

"Hey Akyuu, it's still quite the way to the human village, isn't it?"

"Well, I'd say we are still in the middle of the Forest of Magic. So yeah, it's still quite a while."

If it's still quite some time until we get to the village, I might as well try to confirm that my knowledge is correct and not wrong in any shape or form.

"Akyuu, if you are Gensokyo's Chronicler, you must know a lot about this land, don't you?"

"I do."

"Can you tell me about Gensokyo then?"

No reply. I could tell that she was a bit shy about answering my question as she avoided my eyes.

"You talked about how you were the first Child of Miare to reincarnate since the establishment of this land. We could start there."

Akyuu hesitated for a moment, thinking about what was appropriate to tell Rin. Then as her mind cleared up, the air around Akyuu changed as her nature as a storyteller awakened.


Let's start at the very beginning of when Gensokyo was established.

Gensokyo was first established around 1885 with the creation of the Great Hakurei Barrier, a barrier that was erected in the hopes to preserve all the remaining mystery that was left in the world.

Mystery was the rule that governed the world during the age of gods, but it started to gradually diminish around the year 900 BC when humankind slowly stopped completely relying on the gods and instead decided to forge ahead with their own strength.

With each technological advancement, humans found the established rules and consistencies for nature, slowly replacing mystery with physics until science was the predominant force.

During the boom of the industrial revolution when humankind had a breakthrough and made advancements never seen before, mystery basically became a thing of the past. Almost thinned to non-existence.

That's where the importance Great Hakurei Barrier starts to play a big role in this story. Already 300 years before its actual erection...


Suddenly, without warning, Akyuu stopped in the middle of her retelling of history. For a moment, she was wondering if the information she is about to tell Rin was too confidential.

"Hm? Why did you stop? It was starting to get interesting."

Interesting? Hearing that, Akyuu couldn't help but be amused at Rin's reaction. At that point, people would normally start to slowly nod off listening to a long explanation about history.

Yet, Rin was listening to her with much excitement.

"It's nothing. At what point did I stop?"

"You were just about to mention the 15 hundreds, or that's how it sounded to me."

"Right. We were at 300 years before the actual establishment of the Great Hakurei Barrier. Thanks for the reminder..."


Thanks to Japan's belief in the spiritual and their deep-rooted faith in their gods, Japan was one of the last places on earth for mystery to fade away.

Because of that, Japan was one of a few more locations that were chosen as candidates to build the Land of Fantasy on. When the Tokugawa Shogunate declared the Sakoku policy 100 years later, during the Edo Period of 1603, the founding members of Gensokyo realized that Japan was the perfect place to build their land of paradise on.

So, appropriate arrangements for their plan were made in the next 200 years, but when the Industrial Revolution slowly hit Japan during the 18 hundreds, everyone realized that Gensokyo had to be constructed now, or else it would have been too late.

The construction of Gensokyo at that moment was now a now-or-never situation, for it would have been too late, as mystery was close to gone now.

It was too late for any other arrangement and if they didn't proceed with the current plan at hand right that instant, it would have also been too late for that.

Luckily, some 300 years was enough time to set up all the groundwork necessary and the Great Hakurei Barrier and thus Gensoko was created in 1885. Or year 0 in the calendar we are using here in Gensokyo.

Any questions?



Jesus Christ!

No, when in Rome, do as the Romans do. Since we are in Gensokyo, I should try to adapt to the locals in any way possible.

Yukari Yakumo!

That wasn't information written anywhere in canon. Or, at least most of it was new information to me, which shocked me because I like to think that I knew a lot about Touhou.


Since this is the real world now and not a fictional universe, reality needs to adjust, and gaps needed to be filled, those are your next words right?


[I am not going to humor the user on a Jojo reference. Anyways, what the user deduced was correct.]

Well, it made sense if you thought about it. Touhou Project has a lot of gaps in the story that are intentional. While the world and roles are established to a scary detail, the characters are not.

Let me correct that, they have a defined present and character, and who they are is defined to completion already, but some details are left vague on purpose. Mainly, the full extent of their abilities and their past.

A lot of characters do not have a fully written backstory and some are left to just the bare necessities of a backstory like a certain maid who is working for a vampire, but with a series of well over 180 interesting characters, you can't really expect that.

Of course, since this is now the real world (at least for me) I can find out about their past and it would be quite unnatural if they were to start glitching the moment I touched upon their past, thus the gaps inevitably needed to be filled with something...

...that didn't sound quite right.

[While the user's theory is quite interesting, it also isn't quite right.]

Let me guess, extended multiverse theory and I got thrown into a random Touhou universe by chance and the past already happened and nothing got created afterward during the process of my arrival here.



For the love of the Kotoamatsukami, please do not let it be Koishi Komeiji's Heart-Throbbing Adventure or Touhou Igyoukyo - Grotesque Land Story.

"Rin, you have been staring into the air for quite some time right now, everything alright?"

Being pulled back into reality once again and realizing that I am holding a cutie in my arms, I took slow breaths as I calmed myself down.

There were many Touhou Worlds and genres the fandom created. From the psychologically destroying like KKHTA and Grotesque Story to the weird shit like Cookie Star and Takkoman, and then to the great narratives like Koumajou Densetsu or Osana Reimu, and let's not deny that one part of the fandom that Touhou sadly is infamous for. NSFW.

That was all the mention that part needed. Anyways, what I am saying is, already breaking my head over what world I could be in was pointless, all I need to do is just lead a fulfilling life and nothing more, everything else shall be damned.

Then again, that also meant that I shouldn't over-rely on the knowledge I've got in my previous life since I for sure didn't play every piece of Touhou media that is out there in existence.

Anyways, where in the conversation was I? Right, Akyuu asking me if I am doing alright.

"Oh, was I? I was just thinking about what you told me. It was kind of a lot to take in."

Akyuu nodded in my arms when she heard that. She agreed that it was a lot of information to take in.

"Do you have any questions then?"

"Let's see if I understood correctly first. The Great Hakurei Barrier that surrounds Gensokyo was created for the purpose of maintaining that so-called mystery which started to diminish when humans stopped relying on gods, right?"

Akyuu nodded.

"You told me that since Japan had a deep faith, that mystery waned slower, right?"

Once again she nodded, but there was a hint of concern on her face.

"Can I assume then assume that faith generates mystery then?"

Akyuu was about to shake her head, but Rin cut her action off with an interjection.

"Let me correct, faith deep enough so you wouldn't question things. Like how you would attribute mysterious noises to Youkai and monsters, or when you succeed in something that it was thanks to the god you prayed to."

What was just a hint before grew into a sign, as Akyuu was visibly wearing an expression of concern. Yet, not wanting to lie, she nodded.

"So, belief and mystery are connected to each other."


"Then is my assumption correct that Gensokyo is a land created for the purpose of generating faith and fear since God's and Youkai's would fade into nothingness once mystery would disappear if belief were to disappear?"

Akyuu almost couldn't believe it. From the general information about the creation of Gensokyo she told, Rin was able to deduce the truth behind Gensokyo.

A shiver ran down her spine as she realized the deduction power of the person carrying her.

Was that why Yukari created Gensokyo? Was Yukari afraid of humanity's quickly improving intellect, which was growing at a rate that would sooner or later even surpass hers? Deduction power so powerful that Youkai wouldn't have stood a chance even if they kept their powers?

"Akyuu, shouldn't you know that I am a bit of a special case? I mean, considering that you were alive between the 15 and 18 hundreds, you should know that humans aren't that smart, or do you really think that we got that much smarter in just 200 years?"

Shock. Did Rin just read...

"If you are wondering, no I can't read minds. It was just that visible on your face."

Phew, so it was just that.

"There is still one point that you haven't got right?"

"Hm~? What might it be?"

Akyuu looked past Rin to confirm that the escorts were still quite a distance away, far enough to not be able to listen in on their conversation.

"While mystery and belief are quite closely interconnected, they do not have a direct correlation. Faith could disappear and Youkai's and God's could continue to exist with no problems in the mystery-filled Gensokyo."

"Is that so?"

One last time, Akyuu nodded her head, before the group continued to walk through the forest in silence.

"Akyuu, one last question."

"What is it?"

"I won't be killed for guessing the nature of Gensokyo correctly, right?"

Akyuu was quite taken aback by Rin's question. She was a human and an outsider at that, so it wouldn't be abnormal for her to get taken out by Yukari right now but therein lay the possibility.

Since she was an outsider there was no problem that she guessed Gensokyo's nature right by just the bare minimum information that Akyuu just told her.

Akyuu was still wondering about the concrete reason why Yukari let Rin pass. Sure, she was kind, reasonable, and charismatic for sure. Rin seemed like the kind of person who would try to come to an understanding with whomever she is talking to.

Still, that was no reason to just let an outsider pass like that. No matter how humble, civil, and reasonable you are, a variable was a variable.

Yet, when talking to Rin, Akyuu could feel a feeling that she never experienced before. Rin was looking at her for who she was, she never put any special attachment to the name of Are and genuinely treated Akyuu as a friend.

In all her life, whether it was subconsciously or consciously, people isolated Akyuu because she was different. Not her though, the girl she just met for the first time in her life, this morning. She was the most pleasant person she has been around in this life.

Certainly, Rin Satsuki was most interesting.

"I don't think you need to worry too much about that."

"Why? Wouldn't it be unpleasant for a foreigner to walk into your country and deduce state secrets? In the outside world, we would have locked them away never to see the light of day again, as fast as possible."


The outside world seemed scary. Still...

"No-nothing like that will happen to you! Do you want to know the reason why? It's simple, because I, the ninth reincarnation of Are, current head of the Hieda Clan and Chronicler of Gensokyo approve of you. Nobody will kill you, just because you found out the truth!"


As I saw Akyuu try to cheer me up like that, I couldn't help but tear up and hug the little girl that was already in my arms.

"What a cute and sweet girl, trying to cheer me up. You are quite the good girl, aren't you Akyuu?"

"Wah-?! C-cute?!! Stop it, Rin! This is embarrassing."

I am sorry, but an embarrassed loli is even cuter. Seeing her like that made me want to pat her head. The moment I put my palm on top of her head, Akyuu seemed to get pacified by it.

Seeing her go from full embarrassment to calm like that made me stop to reevaluate the situation for a second.

"Who said you could stop?"

Headpats it was then.

I sighed as I looked up into the sky. The sun had already sunk below the horizon and the moon started to rise, as we just made it out of the Forest of Magic. The moment we left the forest, the human village came into plain view, as it wasn't obscured by all those trees anymore.

It was an ordinary village surrounded by tons of rice fields.

Safety wasn't that far away anymore.

I was about to tell Akyuu when I noticed that she fell asleep in my arms.

A cute indeed, it was such a pity that a sweet girl like her needed to see the end of her life at the age of 30.


[6* If you could change your Fate]

[The Child of Miare is fated to die young, but who are you to take Fate's challenge lying down? Extend Hieda no Akyuu's life past the age of 30.]


Why did you suddenly issue the quest?

[System detected the user's strong desire.]

I won't say or ask the obvious. Just thank you.


[Achievement Unlocked: Suspicious Company]

[Gain the interest of the Youkai Sage]

[Reward: 7 Skill Points & 550 System Points]

As the window popped up, I saw a gap open above me, and a hand emerge from it. At first, it appeared that it simply waved at me, before disappearing into the gap, and returning again, but this time the hand was closed.

I stared at it.

As I stared at it, it waved for me to come closer to it, so I did. Then it just dropped candy in front of me, before disappearing again.

Great, now I knew for a fact that Yukari was always watching me. Great to know that.

Anyways, I turned around and looked at the escorts. Well, it was more like I glared at them, but there isn't much of a difference.

"Lead me to Akyuu's house."

For a moment, their faces told me "why aren't you asking the person in question", but then they realized that said person in question was asleep.

Seeing Akyuu sleep, all four of them nodded in understanding and lead the way. Only to be stopped by the person who stood guard in front of the entrance of the human village.

Now they were getting scolded. Thanks to the darkness and the subpar condition my eyes were in, I couldn't really see the person's face that was scolding them, but from her voice, I assumed that it was a mature lady.

After a round of scolding, the escorts entered the village with gazes fixed on the ground. For a moment, I pitied them.

They just tried to do their job.

Then the "gate guard" came and walked up to me.

"I got the gist about the situation from what Honda, Tonda, Konda, and Tanaka just told me. Welcome, honored guest of the Hieda Clan. I would like to lead you to their estate, but tonight I am a little busy. Instead, I have a map of the location prepared. Here."

Quickly handing me the note, the guard disappeared into the night before I could even tell her "thank you."

Was that who I think it was?

[2* Rising Moon - Complete]

[Calculating additional rewards for excellent clear]

[Rewards: 3 Skill Points & 301 System Points + 50% Discount, Movement Skill, Shop 1]

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