Kagerou and the Sukusuku – a touhou fic

Tonight would be a problematic night for Kagerou.

Full moons were never really the best for her. The extra strength, danmaku ability, and agility was nice, sure, but there weren’t too many people willing to have a danmaku fight randomly, especially if it was a werewolf on a full moon.
There was also the issue of how her hair grew longer, becoming a disorganized mess that she’d have to fix in the morning.

She sighed to herself, wandering boredly through the bamboo forest. She ran her fingers through her hair, hopelessly trying to keep it straightened out. 

Her foot caught on something, and she slammed face-first into the floor. 

Shaking off the impact, she flipped her hair back, and turned to see what she tripped over.

It was a creature she never recognized before, standing unfazed and staring right into her eyes.


A small, rotund, horned beast that came no higher than her ankles. The top half of its fur was green, the bottom half white. It didn’t make a single sound, but stared longingly at the werewolf.

A smile grew across her face.

“Aw, aren’t you just the cutest creature I’ve ever seen!”
She picked it up, finding it to have a pillowy texture.

“Just what are you… You look kind of familiar…”
Her eyes brightened up. She finally had something to do tonight!

Her voice echoed across the lake and beyond, slightly stirring a sleeping Hong at the gates of the Scarlet Devil Mansion.

Waiting at the shores, the surface began to bubble. The mermaid Wakasagihime elegantly breeched the water, landing in front of the werewolf. She yawned, rubbing her eyes.

“I know you have a bunch of energy, but can’t you just wait until…”
The sleep gone from her eyes, she could clearly see Kagerou was carrying a strange creature.

“Aww… Did you bring me a little gift?”
She reached forward, placing her hand on it. It moved its head (Or what could be considered its head) against it, nuzzling. She retracted her hand.

“Oh, it’s alive??”

“Yeah, uh…” She rubbed her head. “Sorry about making you think I got you a gift… Shoulda been a bit more up front.”
“Well, what exactly is this creature?”
She shrugged. “I don’t know, and that’s why I wanted to ask you! I wanna figure out where this strange beast came from!”
Wakasagihime stared close at the smiling creature, illuminated well by the moonlight.
“I swear, it looks kind of familiar…”

“THAT’S WHAT I SAID! We’re like, on the same wavelength!”

“Maybe somebody in the human village knows. You could-”
She stared at Kagerou’s elongated, messy hair, and stared at the moon.
“Oh. Oops.”
“The first person I WOULD ask would be miss Keine, but I think I’d spook too many villagers like this.”
“Well, there is one other person who can go into the human village for us!”

Just on the outskirts of the human village, slightly off the path to the town gate, was a small shack. It was pretty small, only enough to house one person, and it had all the amenities one needed inside.

Kagerou marched up to it, with Wakasagihime floating alongside. The mermaid had a big smile on her face as she carried the creature, happily stroking its fur.

The creature closed its eyes, snuggling further against her chest.

The werewolf pounded at the door excitedly.

There was a clattering inside, and their friend and third member of the Grassroots Youkai Network, Sekibanki, answered. Her iconic clothes covered her mouth, but her eyes were stained with exhaust and frustration. Even at the sight of her friends, they did not change.

“Ugh… I was having a really nice sleep too…”
“Emergency meeting!” said Kagerou. “We have a little mystery on our hands!”
She presented the strange creature. Wakasagihime was still lost in a trance, petting it.

Sekibanki stared at it, unamused.

“So Wakasagihime got a new pet?”
“No, well… It might as well be. She hasn’t let go if it since I showed it to her…”
“She’s so loving and sooooooft!” The mermaid beamed, giving the creature a long, gentle rub on the back.

“Well, I don’t know anything about it. What do you need me to do exactly?”
“Out of everyone in the village, I thought that Keine might have some kinda idea. She knows a lot about history, and maybe she has an idea on what it is?”
“Can’t this wait until morning? I always hear she has a bit of a short temper, and I don’t want to wake her up…”
“But what if it’s some new youkai discovery or something? I’m sure she’d be thrilled to learn about something new!”

Sekibanki sighed. “Well, I suppose there isn’t any harm in trying. I hope.”
She reached out her hands, taking the creature from the mermaid.

Feeling the fluffy fur, Seki felt her stresses and worries begin to melt away.

“Woah… It’s so… Soft…”

“It’s the best thing ever!” Wakasagihime exclaimed. “I really hope it isn’t secretly evil. That would just be too cruel!”
From beneath her coat, Seki cracked a smile. “We’ll figure this out, and I’ll get her back safe and sound. Don’t worry gals!”
The dullahan departed, entering the gates of the human village. 

The mermaid and werewolf waited outside the gates for several minutes. Kagerou paced back and forth, wondering what was taking Sekibanki so long
Wakasagihime could not wait to get her hands on the creature again: Literally.

Kagerou was halted as the ground shook.

A plume of smoke blew up in the center of the human village.

“Oh dear…” Waka spoke. “I really hope that’s not related to Seki…”
From the village gate, they saw Sekibanki sprinting out as fast as she could.

“RUN! KEINES REAL PISSED OFF TONIGHT!” she screamed to her other friends.

The other two simply stared in shock as she approached closer and closer.
A massive plume of dust pursued their friend.

Seeing this, the two turned to run, but before they could, Seki had caught up, and crashed into them. They all tumbled together, falling into a pile of each other with the creature sitting soundly on top.

The plume of dusk caught up, standing right in front of the toppled youkai.

It was Keine, but she looked different. She sported horns, her dress was green, and her once blue hair had changed to a light green as well. She also has a large, fluffy tail.

She looked down at them with anger in her eyes, glaring at the creature.

“Wait a second…” Kagerou said, gears beginning to turn. “The creature looks like you miss Keine!”
Keine paused for a moment, taking a deep breath in, and out. Her demeanor became more relaxed, as she picked up the creature.

“Yes, it’s no coincidence. These are… part of the Hakutaku part of me.”
“Wait, you’re a youkai too?”
“Technically, one-thirtieth youkai. I only transform during the full moon, like you Kagerou. However, I have been having some troubles recently…”

She held up the creature, as the pile of youkai got back up to their feet.

“As is the case when I become more youkai-like, my hair becomes a bit uncontrollable.”
“Ugh, tell me about it!” Kagerou grabbed her hair. “This stuff is impossible to deal with, even the morning after.”
“This creature, what I call the Sukusuku, comes from my fur. Every morning after my tail sheds or loses fur, if too much of it clumps together, they form into… these. They’re becoming more of a pest than anything.”
Wakasagihime looked aghast. “How DARE you call such a precious creature a pest! Have you tried caring and petting them?”
“Yes, they are cute, but I need you to come with me…”
The trio followed Keine into the village. “Don’t worry, the villagers are aware of my hakutaku state. They will not panic if they see you together, too. I do business with youkai here all the time.”
They neared Keine’s schoolhouse, and she invited them in. Walking in and up to the bedroom, Keine opened up a sliding closet, revealing dozens upon dozens of Sukusuku. They were all stacked together in the closet, staring happily at the guests. 

Wakasagihime shrieked in joy, as the other two stared in awe.

“They don’t need to eat or drink anything, they’re friendly, and I’m glad the one you found was friendly to you too. But they have been multiplying quite a bit every full moon. I think exponentially, the more together, the more my fur is attracted to them.”
“Why not just release them?” Seki asked. “Seems like an easy enough thing to do.”
“Because that would be wildly irresponsible. I’m unsure what flooding Gensokyo with a new creature would result in. I still would hate for anything bad to happen to them, and that lousy shrine maiden might just do that if she spots them en masse.”

Wakasagihime had leapt into the closet, snuggling with every sukusuku. Her joy rivaled all the celestials in Heaven.

“I think I got a good idea.” Said Kagerou. “Why not give them away to the humans?”
“That’s still irresponsible! I doubt they know how to properly care for a pet!”
“Well, you said they don’t eat or drink anything, they just… Vibe. Why not offer them, and give a teaching course on how to if needed?”

“Hmm…” The teacher tapped her chin. “They are very low maintenance… As long as the humans treat them fine, I don’t see any issue!”

    The following morning, the Grasroots Youkai Network had set up a small booth in the market, and had a large basket full of sukusuku.


[COMMISSION] Hong and Momiji’s Duel

Thanks to the wonderful Joebito for commissioning this! If you’re interested in commissioning, see my pricing/guidelines HERE

The sun blazed over Youkai Mountain. Fairies flew over the sky, pestering the crow tengu that flew to and fro. High up the mountain lied a small clearing in the forest, connected only by an ancient stone staircase. In this clearing sat a small wooden building, and in front a large stone circle, encircled by a short wooden fence. At the end of this arena was Momiji Inubashiri, sitting atop a small rock. As she watched the staircase, a new figure slowly climbed it. Hong Meiling approached, a determined expression on her face and clothes stained with sweat. Momiji smiled, and stood up as Hong approached.

“There’s no need for you to handicap yourself before the match Hong!” The tengu barked.

“Please.” Hong grinned, wiping sweat from her forehead. “You know what they say about not warming up before a match?”

Momiji smiled back, her opponent hopping the small fence and walking to the center of the arena. As Momiji headed towards the center, she noticed something over Hong’s shoulders. A few fairy maids flew up, settling themselves far from the barrier. Momiji sneered. “Those your cheerleaders?”

“A little support doesn’t hurt now?” She pointed behind her, Momiji turning around to notice a few other wolf tengu had appeared, observing over the barrier.

“Well it’s not like I invited them. They’re just here to watch a good old-fashioned danmakuless fight.”

“Same here. The mansion does get pretty boring with Sakuya doing all the work.” Hong cracked her knuckles. “I’m all set. Fighting until knockout?”

Momiji punched her fist into her palm. “Is there any other proper way?”

The two walked to opposite ends of the arena. They turned around, locking eyes. Momiji pulled a small baton from her pocket.

“Once this hits the ground, we begin.”

Hong silently nodded as she tossed it high into the air. From the moment she tossed it, Momiji kept her eyes locked on the baton, whie Hong kept her eyes locked on Momiji. She braced herself, keeping her fists up.

The exact moment the baton touched the ground, Momiji bolted forward, closing the distance between her and Hong in mere seconds. Hong was quick to raise her guard as the wolf clawed and battered her with a flurry of blows. She flinched and winced from the onslaught and took a few steps back, still enduring rapid-fire swipes and jabs from the wolf. Hong took notice of a small break in the attacks, and  quickly dropped her guard to throw a few jabs towards her chest and head. Momiji attempted to dodge each one, but still took a few to the chest without even reacting. She wasted no time in returning to the offensive, Hong reacting likewise to return to holding her guard. It wasn’t long until she was pushed back to the very edge of the arena’s fence.

“You do realize you’re actually supposed to hit back, right?” Taunted the tengu.

Hong held fast, feeling her arms sting from the unrelenting scratches and hits, but willed herself to hold on. Her patience soon came to fruition, as she felt the intensity of the blows wane. Hong quickly shifted from blocking, taking some scratches to the face to counter with a hard, well-placed jab to Momiji’s stomach. She slid back from the blow, coughing. Hong seized the initiative, sprinting forward and kicking her in the chest, sending her sliding backwards even further. She ran forward rearing back her fist and throwing a punch, but Momiji quickly ducked beneath the blow, swiping at her stomach. She winced, trying to retaliate by elbowing the tengu in the back, but she quickly slipped away, lurching forward quickly to slash again. Hong brought her guard back once more, blocking her strikes, and retaliated with a few more well placed jabs to the chest and stomach. Momiji coughed a few times and leapt back, locking eyes with the gatekeeper. She growled as she observed how Hong only bore multiple scratches on her arm, and her uniform was barely torn near the chest. Hong smiled, practically reading the tengu’s thoughts. She took a defensive stance.

“You wanted me to hit back, didn’t you?” She beckoned the tengu with her hand tauntingly. Momiji sneered and lurched forward, her hand sprawled ready to swipe. Hong dropped her guard, preparing to evade and counterattack. As she dodged, however, instead of swiping, Momiji clenched her fist and launched a powerful jab to Hong’s stomach. She wheezed, stepping back and clutching her stomach. Momiji lurched forward, swiping and scratching at the guard. Hong tried to back away while dodging, but took a few slashes, leaving her face marked by the tengu’s claws. Hong leapt back and Momiji lurched forward, her fist balled up and reared back. Hong quickly reacted with a roundhouse kick, slamming into the side of the wolf. She flew away to the side but landed right back on her feet, skidding to a halt. Hong sprinted forward, leaping into the air attempting to land another kick. Momiji quickly rolled out of the way as Hong slammed into the ground, and the wolf swiped at her back as she recovered from the miss. Hong spun around, throwing a few jabs and striking the wolf tengu, but she quickly retreated. The two stared each other down, waiting and carefully observing each other. Hong returned to her defensive stance as Momiji slowly circled her.

“What’s the matter?” Spoke Hong between breaths. “Your bite isn’t matching your bark at all! And you wolves really call yourselves the guards of Youkai Mountain?”

She growled in response, still continuing to circle. Hong observed carefully, taking utmost care not to show her fatigue and pain from all the tengu’s assaults. Without any indication, Momiji leapt forward, her fist reared back. Hong quickly blocked, but still winced at the intensity of the blow. She raised her leg to quickly kick in retaliation, but before she could even hit the wolf, she had already retreated to a safe distance. Hong smirked and scoffed.

“Again, you really call yourself a guardian of the mountain?”

“Most troublemakers of the mountain don’t have time to complain about my tactics.” Growled Momiji. She lurched forward again, Hong this time dodging her powerful blow. She landed a few jabs on the tengu, but Momiji was quick to respond with a few more powerful punches of her own. Hong winced with each hit from the tengu, trying to retaliate, but Momiji had retreated to a safe distance once more. Hong was covered in sweat, clothes badly scratched, and deeply panting. She was aware of this herself, if Momiji’s expression didn’t already completely give it away. She lurched forward for what she hoped would be the final time, but Hong suddenly dropped her guard, leaping forward and kicking in retaliation. While the tengu still managed to land a powerful hit on Hong’s shoulder, she took an even more brutal kick to the stomach, sending her flying away and crashing into the opposite end of the arena. Hong gripped tightly onto her shoulder, wincing. Psyching herself up, she did her best to purge her mind of the pain, and focus on winning the fight. Momiji groaned as she stumbled up from the ground, but caught the slight moment of Hong’s weakness. She took a deep breath and charged forward at full speed. Before Hong could react, she took another strong blow to her already weak arm. She audibly yelped and leapt back, but Momiji dashed forward, prepared to deliver another blow. Hong ducked and dodged, but Momiji continued to attack. She intermixed punching and swiping faster than she had before, knowing she was too exhausted to dodge them all. Hong kept backing away, retaliating whenever she could with her good arm, but the tengu simply tanked each and every blow. She kept approaching, giving Hong no respite from her assault. For the first time in the fight, Hong was growing concerned. The tengu barely looked like she had been phased by any of her previous blows, and certainly had stamina to spare. Hong poured every ounce of willpower she could to trying to dodge and block the endless flurry of blows from her. Amidst the flurry, Hong still hatched a final plan to counter the onslaught. As much as she tired out, she could see the tengu was slowing down her assault as well. Taking advantage of how out of breath the tengu likely was, took a step forward amidst the assault and used her good arm to throw a devastating punch to her chest. Momiji completely froze from the blow, unable to take another breath. She glared at Hong with the slightest speck of fear as the gatekeeper smiled. She took another step forward, kneeing Momiji in the stomach. She keeled over, staring as hong took a step back and delivered a powerful kick right under her jaw. The tengu flew away from the blow, literally howling in pain, and eventually crashed into the ground. Hong gasped and panted, staring at the body of the tengu carefully. No movement. She hobbled over, holding tight to her injured arm, looking closer. Suddenly, Momiji coughed and groaned. She opened her eyes, and she only saw a blurry sight of Hong.

“I think that counts as a knockout.” Hong smiled, offering a hand to her opponent. Momiji grabbed hold of it as Hong tugged her to her feet. The tengu stumbled, and the gatekeeper offered her shoulder as support.

“If my head weren’t spinning right now, you’d be finished Hong…”

She burst out laughing. “Yeah, and I’m assuming you could beat me with only one arm as well?”
She groaned, knowing she had used that to taunt Hong into the duel with her.

“Let’s just get our injuries treated, all right? You did do a number to the shoulder you’re leaning on you know.”

The two had taken rest inside the small wooden building, which was in actuality a small barracks for the tengu guards. Momiji had bandaged her chest, lying down in bed. Meanwhile, Hong had her uniform tossed to the side, as she was busy still treating and wrapping her wounds. Hands, arms, chest, stomach, back; Had she bandadged herself any more, she would look close to a mummy. Momiji looked over, slightly amused by the sight.

“Sheesh. I had you on the ropes, right?”

The guard chuckled. “If you believe so, yes.”

Momiji grumbled. “It certainly isn’t a belief, it was downright a fact! Still…” She rolled over, staring at the ceiling. “To think you even got me at my fiercist…”

“There’s an old reading from where I come from. ‘If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles.’”

She turned her head to Hong. “So what, you were able to mind-read me and know when to strike?”

Hong smiled. “You were a bit too haughty, and you made that very clear with your challenge in the first place. Maybe instead of trying to overwhelm me, you could have thought of a better approach than being too easy to read.”

The tengu huffed. “Probably…”

“I still admire your sheer self-discipline. To hide your exhaust all the way throughout that entire match? Outright amazing.”

Momiji smiled, closing her eyes. “I told you, we gotta be the best of the best to guard the mountain.”

Hong stood up, putting back on her damaged uniform. She turned to Momiji.

“Once we’re both better, I want a round two. Especially since now we both know what we’re capable of.”

The tengu sat up, smiling and giving a thumbs up. “Till next time Hong!”