How long has it been since we arrived here in Gensokyo?
I guess the timing is irrelevant now because so much has changed. At the same time, it feels like everything has remained the same.
Reimu and Marisa are no longer here and alive; that was the biggest change.
I saw that coming, we all did, but it was easier to pretend that death didn't follow them around.
They are human after all but it saddens me that they died. My sister never really got over it and her obsession to keep Sakuya alive did cause problems but, at least she is still here.
Sakuya won't die easily. I don't want to think of the day that she does because I know my sister will never move on.
But till then, my thoughts try not to linger on what has happened and instead focus on what is happening.
The thinning peace that Gensokyo is in.
Let's just say that the new shrine maidens weren't as nice as Reimu was. It annoys me at how the latest one could be so cold, undoing all of the work that Reimu did and I admit, I wanted to kill her when we first met.
When she was saying cruel things about Reimu like how weak she was and how she had failed as a shrine maiden cause she was friends with all of us. How pathetic the spell card idea is and wants to get rid of it. Or things like how only humans should be free to roam Gensokyo and it was Reimu's fault that it wasn't that way.
Believe me, I wasn't the only one that wanted to kill her that day.
I've never seen Alice so angry and it was only cause Yukari stopped her that a big scene wasn't caused.
It took some time to find some middle ground with her but the uncertainty was always around whenever there was an incident. Yukari had to take an active role in monitoring her just in case the tension became too much and created a major disruption.
We've been close but never quite there in terms of a full out war with the shrine maidens.
Yeah, you could say Gensokyo was the same but so different.
It was something we just had to accept.
Looking out of my window now, I think back to the times when things were so strained, a time before we arrived here and how grateful I am that we came to Gensokyo. Maybe compared to our old home it is significantly smaller but there is something about this place that is charming.
I didn't realise how much of an impact a place could make though a part of me did.
Then again, growing up in a bedroom that was practically a prison puts things into perspective I suppose.
The lights from the Human Village catch my eyes, reminding me of the countless of villages that I tore through.
The devastation that I caused.
The toll of death that I was responsible for.
The fear that I conjured up for everyone around me.
I definitely don't hold a grudge against my sister for doing what she did, I mean, I can admit now that I was out of control.
I'm not a child anymore.
My desire to cause carnage & darkness overwhelmed me during those days.
It was something that I felt was going to be with me always, just like these wings that were a ghost of what they used to be.
A reminder that I was tainted, dangerous & unhinged.
That I would break anything that got too close to me with my bare hands.
And I did.
I eviscerated anything I grew to love be it toys or pets or maids.
Nothing ever lasted long around me and it further plunged me into a pit that was so demented & devoid of rationality that it would cause the most twisted of beings to shudder in fear.
Unless that being was me, I welcomed it.
For so long I allowed it to consume me and I gave into the whims of killing everything & everyone in my path. There was nothing left of me that resembled normalcy and anyone else would've left me to rot in my own madness. It was like there was no saving me from the vicious cycle I was running around in and those that got in my way paid the price for it.
Except for Remilia.
My sister never did leave me alone, she was always there.
Despite how gone I was, she was there.
Working, plotting & planning on a way to make life easier for me.
To help me deal with my tattered mind.
To help me calm the waves of anguish that stirred my insanity.
To help me.
She never gave up on me.
That's what led us to here, to this land which had people that understood.
We weren't things or objects or inconveniences.
We were actual beings.
Meeting Reimu & Marisa helped me to realise that. Even my sister learned a few things about how to aid me and I, I can't even say how much of a difference it made.
It only became better as the years went on and we integrated into Gensokyo's society.
It felt surreal for me to talk and get to know people without wanting to slaughter them after. The daydreams of going on a rampage and obliterating everything turned into wanting to investigate the land more.
I started going outside of the mansion without needing someone to monitor to me. I made friends. I discovered new interest. I rebuilt myself from the monster that I was.
All the incidents that my sister became caught up in were somewhat harmless and easily resolved. It always brought new people to our home and I was thrilled with it. The eagerness to meet them felt almost as good as wanting to bite & drain someone; because unlike doing that, they would be around after and would visit again.
The craziness of it all makes me laugh quietly as it feels like a dream sometimes.
Never would I have believed that I'd become..sane.
Could I even say that now?
I guess I could.
And it was because of her that the final puzzle of my mind was finally completed.
Her reflection appears on the window where mine is missing, eyes laced with sleep and pink hair strewn cutely in several different places.
Kokoro was asleep and it makes me wonder how far in my thoughts I travelled that I didn't even realise that she had awaken and left the bed.
Remaining there for a moment, I simply watch her through the reflection, not knowing how to process that she is here with me, a part of my life.
My relationship with everyone in the mansion & around Gensokyo may have improved but the thing that struck me the most as impossible to occur was finding someone to open my heart up to.
Someone that would dig into me the deepest & pull out something that resembled love.
Kokoro did that for me and even to this night, she consistently continues to do so.
Turning around, I smile at her & apologise for waking her up. Seems like the sound of my wings, despite how much control I have of them now, can rouse her awake just like that. She knows me well enough to take into account mundane details like that & it leads me to enclosing my arms around her waist when she steps forward.
Her voice is quiet yet clear when she tells me that it's okay, an expression that resembles concern yet contentment on her pretty face.
I'm not the only one that has developed and grown since my arrival here.
She doesn't rely on her masks when around me.
Kokoro will try her best to show me what she feels & what she is thinking by using her features, body & attention.
Like now, her warm hands nestle behind the back of my neck and beneath my hair as she gets comfortable in my arms. The depth in her eyes are mesmerising which leads me to gazing into them further in a bid to make sure I know what Kokoro is thinking.
She's worried; asking if I'm okay and whether I need to go back to sleep or not.
The last thing I want to do is cause her concern so I brush the issues with the shrine maiden away, as well as the nostalgia of a life I never want to go back to.
I can easily tell her that all is right in my world, in our world because it is the truth.
Pulling her in closer, I lean my forehead against hers and close my eyes for a moment. To feel her like this is an indulgent level of intimacy despite it being such a gentle action.
It was something else that she taught me.
That the smallest and most simple of actions can resonate the most.
For someone like Kokoro, she has had to rely on such movements to convey what she is feeling for most of her life.
This was the norm for her, especially during that time where she lost a mask.
Or should I say, a certain someone stole it.
I saw the havoc it caused everyone whilst watching Reimu & the others resolve it.
I saw the strain it caused her and it cemented my dislike for Koishi in an instant.
Even more so when people would compare us based on how detached from reality we were.
I had my reasons, so did she but that doesn't mean that we are the same, even back then.
I never touched any of Kokoro's masks knowing that I would have ended up destroying them in such a rancorous manner.
Even to this day, I keep my hands away from them.
Just in case I end up sending her back into that hopeless cave of despair.
The only thing I want to bring her is happiness and a place of feeling at home.
Moving my head back, I see her eyes opening too and her arms drop to my shoulders whilst she awaits for whatever it is I want to say.
I know she will listen without ever judging me for the person that I was.
Because that's the kind of person that Kokoro is.
Pure at heart, curious in mind & open to me.
My earlier answer appeases her but I want to elaborate further so I tell her again how much she means to me and how grateful I am that I mean just as much to her.
Her face lights up; the way her lips turn upwards make my knees weak.
She tells me I'm being silly because it is something that will never change; me being the most important to her.
No matter how many times she says it, I'll never tire of hearing those words spoken softly from her mouth.
I get to hear them from Kokoro.
I get to see her show me how much she means it.
I have the privilege of experiencing her love to fullest.
In return to meet the middle ground between us, I tell her that not a day has gone by without feeling the same for her and only she will get to have me like this.
She gets to see a side of me that is hidden to others.
She is the one I turn to when my urges to harm try and break through.
She will always be mine to shower in ever fragment of affection that I can create.
When it comes down to it, no matter how many years fly by in this land full of magic & mystery, change will always be a constant.
Everything is different now, here in Gensokyo.
However, as I've come to realise over the course of my turbulent existence, it doesn't necessarily have to be a negative experience.
Not with the right one around.
Not with Kokoro.