Reimu finds herself in a strange, endless world of darkness.
Amorphous, twisting, black shapes as far as the eye could see. The sound of screeching metal, screams, and something entirely unrecognizable. And a horrible stench—like hot blood in the mouth of some giant carnivorous reptile.
Surely, this was Hell. Reimu Hakurei was in Hell.
Or, what she assumed to be Hell. Even though she had already visited "Hell", this was entirely different. There was no light here, and she knew that if she moved about too much, she would soon find herself eternally lost. The terror of being lost in darkness, even if only for a few moments, made her shiver.
This was no place where any human would ever wish to spend eternity, this was no place for humans in general.
Reimu sensed a presence that was not part of her own body. She wasn't sure what it was, but it felt like a living thing, although she couldn't entirely understand exactly what it was.
She felt compelled to approach this presence, dragging her shaking legs towards it. The air was thick with the smell of blood and decay, but there was something else mixed in. Something... sweet? No, not sweet. Something like a kind of meat, or perhaps the scent of death.
Her trembling feet dragged her across the ground. The floor beneath her feet was strangely soft, as if it were composed of an amalgam of mud and some kind of sticky liquid. With each step, a soft squelching noise echoed into the nothingness.
Reimu found herself standing in front of something.
An eye opened up in the darkness, staring down at her. It was a round, white eyeball, looking back at her. A moment later, another opened.
A third eye appeared in the darkness, then a fourth, and so on. All of them were staring at her, looking back at her.
Reimu looked down at the thing in front of her, it was also an eye. And it was staring right back at her.
"Reimu." A familiar voice boomed out from the darkness, echoing through the vast cavern.
Reimu reeled backwards, fear overtaking her small form. "I-Is that you, Yukari? Where am I?"
"You died, Reimu" Yukari replied, her voice still echoing loudly in the cavern. "This is where you will be for eternity."
"No!" Reimu cried out. "I'm not dead! I'm not dead yet!"
"What do you mean?" Yukari asked casually. "You are dead. You died when you were cut in half by that sword." Reimu remembered no such thing.
"How did I get here?" Reimu asked, "I don't remember anything..." She felt her chest, only to notice a massive indent going across her horizontally.
"I told you already, you died." Yukari replied simply. "That's all there is to it. "
"But I didn't die!" Reimu yelled back.
"You can't help it," Yukari said calmly. "You're dead."
The eyes continued to stare at her, no emotion discernible in their gaze. Shapes in the darkness began to distort, twisting and turning into the form of a woman. They eventually took the form of Yukari herself, who stared down at Reimu with a stoic expression.
"Let me show you something, Reimu." Yukari said, extending her hand. Reimu shakily accepted Yukari's hand, letting herself be lead into the abyss.
"Where are we going?" Reimu asked nervously.
"You'll see." Yukari replied.
The two walked silently for what seemed like hours.
Reimu tried to remember how she had gotten here, but she couldn't recall anything. She once again felt her chest, offput by the wound she did not remember receiving.
"Yukari, where are we going?" Reimu asked, trying to keep her voice as calm as possible.
"You already asked that, Reimu. Besides, we're almost there."
"But I don't understand. How did I end up here? I don't remember anything."
"You'll see soon enough."
After a short period of uncomfortable silence, Yukari stopped. Reimu stared into the endless, dark abyss with confusion. Slowly, a hole began to open up in front of them. The hole turned into a cavern bigger than Reimu had ever seen before. The two of them approached the edge, peering into the depths.
The cavern was filled with Reimus. Hundreds of her, sobbing and writhing in agony. They were all fatally injured.
"Yukari... why are they..." Reimu trailed off. Eyes wide in terror.
"I told you, you died." Yukari replied simply. "That's all there is to it."
Reimu looked to Yukari for more answers, but the woman merely stared at her. She didn't know what to say.
"But I didn't die!" Reimu cried out. "I'm not dead yet! I'm alive, I'm here with you!"
"You can't help it," Yukari said calmly. "Now, you need to go down there too."
"What?" Reimu asked.
"Go down there," Yukari repeated. "You're dead, like them."
The Reimus noticed the two of them standing there, and their cacophony of anguish grew louder.
"No! No! I don't want to!" Reimu cried out.
"Well, you don't have much of a choice now, do you?" Yukari asked. Yukari grabbed Reimu softly, holding the struggling girl over the cavern.
"But I'm not dead yet! I'm not dead yet!" Reimu yelled, but her words were drowned out by the clamor of the Reimus.
And then she was falling.
Reimu's vision was entirely dark, but she could hear muffled panic around her. She slowly began to regain her senses, a sharp pain from her chest began to pulsate.
"Ah..." Reimu moaned weakly. Eyesight returned to her, though it was rather blurry. She lay on the ground of Hakugyokurou, Marisa was standing overtop of her.
"Reimu? Reimu!" Marisa sobbed, shaking Reimu gently. Marisa turned and motioned to someone Reimu could not see. "You're gonna be alright, Reimu. Stay with me, okay?"
Marisa held Reimu close, rocking her back and forth. Her voice was calm, soothing, even though the poor girl was terrified for her friend. Reimu did not know what to say, she didn't even know if she could talk.
Marisa was then pulled away from Reimu by someone else.
"Oh, thank goodness you're awake."
Eirin stood over Reimu, beginning to treat her large wound. Confusion still racked the poor girl's brain, but she felt more at ease knowing the doctor was working on healing her. Eventually, her gaze shifted across the area, noticing various youkai staring at her with worry. In the back of the crowd was Yukari Yakumo, a stoic expression on her face.
Suddenly, human mortality seemed a lot less appealing.Return