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This is a short story I wrote back in uni. It’s in English so it can be enjoyed by people all over the word (unless, you know, they don’t understand English). The title is a homage to Izayoi Sakuya’s music theme but the story itself is heavily influenced by the character Kazami Yuuka. It is not a Touhou fanfic but you can observe that several elements of youkai moe-ness in one of the characters.

FLOWERING NIGHT

            Flower blooms and unleashes their beauty to the world. After surrounded by gloomy winter and loneliness trapped within their bud, beautiful petals began to spark out onto the world marking their beautiful existence under the sun. The simple joy of a flower marks the greater joy of macro cosmos, the tendency of every living being to rise in joy by the time of celebration for life. The season of spring has finally arrived and joy begins to spread throughout the air.

Like flowers, love too will blossom under the sun as the gentle breeze of spring began to warm the freezing heart preparing them for summer. When it was thought that time has stopped and all the excitement in life has faded away, spring once again calls out for them to join in the festivity of happiness. Love is in the air as they say and for spring it truly is an extravagant view.

A lone soldier is riding on his horseback. Just like millions of people, he too is expecting to witness his flower of heart blooming this spring. Alas, today he must be driven away from his hometown to a rural area of the kingdom where humans as scarce as spring cicadas and only vast view of grasslands and mountains in the range to entertain him in his travel. But he has no qualm in his heart, after all the joy of spring is now filling his body. He knows that what he is doing right now is none other than helping to spread that joy by ensuring safety and well-being to the people of his kingdom.

A man disappeared last spring. Ghastly rumors began to spread. It was a demon they said. All of this uneasiness only results in the unrest of peasants in this region. Wherever unrest lies, tiny sparks of flame can ignite the heart of men. As a kingdom that believes power of the people as her main pillar, the safety of all countrymen must be guaranteed. No matter how far they are. Of course for noble task in the middle of nowhere like this, none fits better to handle than a low-ranked soldier like him.

But this soldier keeps up a bright mind. This is spring. This is not the time be indulged in frown and sorrow. If I keep up this smile surely the spring breeze will answer. Look, the flowers are blooming everywhere. It will be a shame for the beauty of these flowers if a frowning man passes through them.

The flowers are blooming…

The soldier realized that he’s now walking through a field of flowers. Their beauty is spread across the land as of the majestic colorful veil of the seasons covering this landscape. Daffodils, tulips, and lilies. He can only name less than a tenth of them and still many kinds of flowers scattered before him. Truly he has never expected to see this kind of view in the kingdom. In fact, he feels an embarrassment realizing that he barely knows what it looks like outside his hometown at all. Truly now he’s praising the angels name to see such beauty.

“Ah…”

But the most beautiful flower of all is actually sitting not so far from him looking a little surprised by the appearance of this lone soldier.

“I’m sorry, did I startle you, miss?”

“No… It’s okay. It’s just rare for a person to pass by here.”

The maiden who is sitting on the bed of flowers truly is beyond the beauty of humans. Perhaps it is an insult to judge her by human standard while in fact her beauty truly fits well with the flowers around her. Eyes as red as roses, hair as bright as tulips, and slender figure that puts the chrysanthemums to shame. She is tending the flowers with care and a basket full of gardening utilities is lying beside her.

The soldier got down from his horse and approached the maiden to have a little chat.

“Do you live here, miss?”

“Yes. I live in a cabin not so far from here.”

The girl pointed to the direction south. There it is a little humble cabin is standing bathed under the gentle ray of the sun. The cabin is decorated by flower ornaments that suits well with its surrounding. It is truly a simple but magnificent view that seems to spring out from old fairy tales.

“Do you live alone around here?”

The maiden nodded. She seems to be quite busy putting all her attention to the flowers and the soldier just can’t avert his attention from her.

“I’m sorry for disturbing you. But lately there are rumors of monsters lurking around this area. Several men have fallen during their travel and their bodies are never to be found. The last victim was reported to vanish around spring.”

“How awful!”

The maiden replied in surprise and fear.

“…to think that such a dreadful being is roaming around these poor flowers.”

“Fear not, miss. The kingdom has heard the cries of its people and I was sent to patrol around this area for quite a period. I will make sure that this area will be safe. Once I see some disturbance, I will surely report back to the capital to ask for support.”

“That is good to hear. Even if he’s just a lone soldier, knowing that I will not be alone in time like this truly brings comfort. Just look at this flower. It just rooted last spring and is now having its first bloom after a year. Such a rare bloomer this one is. That is why I’m taking care of it since it will feel lonely if I just leave it alone.”

“But are there not flowers around here to keep company of the poor flower?”

“Oh no… Flowers, like humans, need time to adapt. While it’s taking its time to warm up to its environment, I will stay here to be on its side.”

Truly a gentle woman, the soldier thought to himself. She is living alone yet she gives all her care to the flowers around her keeping them safe from loneliness. Maybe she’s not lonely at all.

“Are there any towns nearby here?”

“It used to be but decades ago, as the elders around here say, the town was abandoned. They said something fearsome appeared and changed this valley forever. The nearest town from here takes two days of walk from here to the west passing the dense forest. A day worth if you go by horse.”

This is very bad, the soldier thought. Who would ever think that the evil creatures that lurk here actually have been roaming around here since decades ago? But now that he’s here he will make sure the people around this valley is safe especially the fair maiden he just met.

“Well, if you excuse me, miss. I must leave for now to inform the people of the nearest town. But I will make sure to return here to keep you safe.”

“Thank you, oh good soldier!”

The soldier mounted his horse once again and prepared to leave. However fate obstructs his departure due to a sudden descend of a grim creature. A wyvern gray in color with menacing wings that blocks out the sun. Its claws are strong and sturdy. From observation, one can assure a wyvern of such size can render a man into mincemeat with ease.

The maiden shrieked from seeing the fearsome wyvern. It began to descend upon the maiden ready to attack. The soldier was quick to act and pulled out his sword.

“Monster!”

With his horse, the soldier heads forward to fight the wyvern. Of course, as a trained soldier he’s not just armed with sword and courage but also magic and wisdom as well. He unleashed powerful spells to blind and bound the wyvern and began to strike the weakened wyvern. The wyvern tried to trade blows with the soldier but the soldier proved himself to be superior to the beast. Although it was a long and hard battle, the soldier emerges victorious. Still, no man can survive from a wyvern without wounds and the soldier is suffering from bruises and scratches all over his body.

The maiden quickly runs to tend the soldier’s wound.

“It must be the vile being that terrorizes this place. But it’s gone now.”

“Sir Knight! It is unwise for you to speak and travel with these wounds. Please stay for a night and I will take care of your injury!”

“This is not a problem. I have to report back to the capital of this feat.”

“But you might lose blood on your travel. Please stay for the night. The guilt will burden me if such a brave hero fell on his travel back after victory.”

The soldier was moved by the maiden’s sympathy and his heart began to feel a bloom of emotion. Is this what they would like to call the blooming of love? This is spring after all and flowers bloom everywhere without you noticing as if it’s a natural thing to do. Right now a flower also blooms in his heart. If he doesn’t let her tend that flower then it will get lonely and die.

This maiden is not just taking care of the flowers around her but insists also to tend the flower in the soldier’s heart. He nodded in agreement and let the maiden helps him to walk to her simple cabin.

Tonight is flowering night…

Spring passes and summer comes. The flowers of summer began to bloom by the joy of sunlight. Joy cycles throughout the year with no time to stop and summer is the time to celebrate the festivities of joy and following that, autumn and winter. Without realizing, the wheel of time once again enters the season of spring.

A lone soldier is riding on his horseback. He’s expecting for the flower of his heart to bloom this spring. With responsibility on his back, he’s crossing the vast beautiful grassland by the valley. He then noticed that he’s already surrounded by bed of flowers everywhere and the most beautiful flower of them all is sitting near him.

The soldier got down from his horse and approached the maiden to have a little chat.

“Do you live here, miss?”

“Yes. I live in a cabin not so far from here.”

“Do you live alone around here?”

The maiden nodded. She seems to be quite busy putting all her attention to the flowers and the soldier just can’t avert his attention from her.

“I’m sorry for disturbing you. But lately there are rumors of monsters lurking around this area. Several men have fallen during their travel and their bodies are never to be found. The last victim was reported during the winter and he was a soldier.”

“How awful! To think that such a dreadful being is roaming around these poor flowers!”

The soldier assures her to be not worried since he will be around the area to ensure her safety.

“It is good to hear. Just look at this flower. It just rooted last spring and is now having its first bloom after a year. Such a rare bloomer this one is. This flower will get lonely if I’m not here.”

The fair maiden then lifted her face and gazed upon the knight.

“Say, do you want to spend a night? The sun seems to be setting already. It is not wise to travel alone at night especially knowing there’s a monster around here.”

Tonight will also be flowering night…

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