Rozen Maiden ~Träumend~ (Season 2)
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Seeker of Power
Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: ΔHidden Forbidden Holy Ground
Today was a good day for inspiration.
Schwarze Feder des Schicksals Chapter 5
Rozen Maiden: Schwarze Feder des Schicksals
typed by the.Merines
started: 08.10.06 17:21
finished: 08.19.06 15:41
disclaimed: Rozen Maiden, its scenario and characters belong to Peach-Pit, not me. Oh no.
Sturm von Gefühlen
A loud clap of thunder caused Suiseiseki to shudder a little. She’d always hated thunderstorms, and even though she was surrounded by her sisters she still felt afraid. It was embarrassing but there were far more important matters at hand. She sat between her twin sister and Hina-ichigo on Jun’s red couch. Shinku was at the kitchen table, sipping her tea as usual. Nori was away for a lacrosse match at another school. Jun had remained up in his room all day, refusing to be social at all.
It was a tense atmosphere. Both Souseiseki and Suiseiseki had suffered humiliating defeats at the hand of Suigintou. The casualties had been their artificial spirits, Lempicka and Jade Dream. As a repeat episode of “Detective Kun-kun” played on the television, none of the dolls spoke a word. Hina was confused by this fact but had enough common sense to follow suit and keep quiet. She concentrated on the show, tightly hugging the plush Kun-kun she had borrowed from Shinku. Neither Suiseiseki nor Souseiseki paid the show much attention; their thoughts were in other places.
Shinku sighed quietly. Hina’s black tea, though better than Nori’s, still had much room for improvement.
‘Suigintou… Just what has that child been planning all this time? And where does her Medium fit in? Souseiseki and Suiseiseki both said that she didn’t seem to draw any power from him. They were just surprised…’
She was inwardly saddened that Suigintou had stooped so low as to steal her sisters’ artificial spirits. Of course she would not have done such a thing for no reason. Soon, she would enter someone’s dream for her own personal gain.
Who that person or doll would be- that was the question on everyone’s mind. Except Jun’s, that is. The reason for his isolation was unknown to everyone except Shinku, and she wasn’t about to reveal something so insignificant.
All of a sudden, the power went out in the Sakurada’s neighborhood. All of the lights in the house went out in an instant, the TV going blank. Hina-ichigo screamed out in fright. Suiseiseki did as well, but hers was cut short when she realized what was happening. Souseiseki continued to stare forward, not focusing on anything in particular. Shinku jumped down from her chair and approached the couch.
“Goodness, Hina-ichigo, be silent!” she demanded. “It’s a simple power outage.”
“B-b-b-but it’s so dark ~na no! I’m scared, Shinku!” The only time the dolls could see each other was during the brief periods of light provided by lightning. “I can’t see anything!” Suiseiseki, in order to relieve her own fears, slowly leaned over and put her mouth to Hina’s ear.
“Boo ~desu!” Hina jumped over a meter into the air and came down on her stomach.
“That’s mean, Suiseiseki!” came the angry reply after Hina had caught her breath.
“Now is not the time to be playing games. Both of you will be quiet this instant!” Shinku exclaimed, obviously frustrated. “All we can do is wait for the power to be restored. Yelling won’t make that come any more quickly.”
“Hey, are all of you OK down there?” Jun asked from upstairs.
“Jun, come down here at once,” replied Shinku in her usual demanding way. Jun silently complied. Since he’d lived in this house for all his life, getting down the staircase in complete darkness was easy. Well, it should have been. Somehow, a sudden clap of thunder distracted him. Incidentally, the doorbell rang just after the cacophony of thunder died away. Because of his state of mind from being alone in his room all day, combined with the distraction he felt from the strong thunder, Jun’s brain momentarily lapsed from walking down the stairs… to walking on a flat surface.
Three steps from the bottom, Jun fell forward and landed on his face on the floor. “Jun? Jun!” the dolls cried.
“I’m OK… Geez, who would be coming here during such a bad thunder storm?” he growled as he stood. He opened the door just a crack, but the force of the wind shoved it all the way open to reveal a tall young man. “Ohba-san?” Jun asked, absolutely confused.
Surely enough, Tsugumi stood at his doorstep, umbrella in hand but still quite wet. His face was pale, and his eyes had an odd quality to them that Jun couldn’t quite identify. “I’m sorry for the intrusion, Jun-kun,” he stated emotionlessly. Jun continued staring at him for a long moment before realizing that the windswept rain was getting him wet as well.
“Oh! Um, it’s no problem. Come in.”
“Thank you.” He stepped inside and closed the door behind him.
“You should be more careful. Carrying an umbrella during a lightning storm is dangerous,” Jun cautioned, not mentioning the fact that no sane person should be walking around outside in such a storm anyway.
“Hm,” the older boy replied as he removed his shoes. Jun was slowly sobering from the stupor he’d been stuck in.
‘Hopefully those dolls realize what’s going on… Who knows if this is part of their plan? Suigintou could sweep in at any time and take advantage of the situation. Best to keep my guard up,’
“Before I say anything else, I should mention that I’m not here for the Alice Game,” Tsugumi coldly stated, as if reading Jun’s mind. “The power’s out all over this side of the city.” He pulled two flashlights out of his jacket and handed one to Jun, who readily accepted it. He turned it on and quickly turned the beam of light on the living room while Tsugumi concentrated on taking off his shoes and jacket. The dolls were still sitting in the same spots. He waved his hand at them, trying to tell them to move out of sight. Hina-ichigo waved back while Suiseiseki smiled sheepishly and shrugged. There really wasn’t anywhere for them to go, short of running through the darkness to the storage room and entering an n-Field.
However, the light emitted then would be clearly visible down the hallway. “Suigintou sends her… apologies,” Tsugumi stated with dry sarcasm.
“Y-you should apologize, you sneaky human ~desu!” Suiseiseki yelled, her brain working before she realized that he was being sarcastic. Her sister and Hina reached over and covered her mouth, but it was too late. Shinku shook her head in disgust. “What? He should apologize to us! He and that damned Suigintou stole our artificial spirits ~desu!” exclaimed the muffled doll.
“She didn’t steal them; you gave them up. Although it took a bit of coercion…” retorted Tsugumi as he closed in on the dolls’ position. Suiseiseki let out an ‘eek!’ and jumped behind Souseiseki. His silhouette, which appeared only when lightning struck, was enough to scare Hina-ichigo as well, but all she could do was shiver where she sat, too scared to move any more. However, Tsugumi turned slightly and walked behind the couch, approaching Shinku instead. “You… You must be Shinku,” he said frigidly. Shinku turned and stood on the chair, although she was still a good bit shorter than Tsugumi.
“I am Shinku, fifth doll of the Rozen Maiden,” she replied in her usual calm tone. The two stared at each other in the darkness for an uncomfortably long moment, as if trying to judge each other. Finally, Tsugumi held the remaining flashlight out to her. She slowly reached out and took it in her small hands. She pushed the switch to the ‘on’ position, but nothing happened.
“Oh, I guess I forgot the batteries.” He reached into his left pocket, producing two D batteries. He held out his left hand towards Shinku, palm up. She reached out to grab them, but a flash of lightning revealed his hand’s complete contents. Tsugumi allowed a small grin to creep onto his face, the rose on his ring beginning to glow bright purple. In his hand were the two necessary batteries, but along with them was a single black feather. Jun stepped up behind him.
“Hey, what do you mean by this? Ohba-san?” he asked angrily.
“What I mean to say, is this message from Suigintou. Shinku,” he said, his tone perfectly emulating the way Suigintou spoke when referring to her younger sister, “the easiest thing for you to do is give up your Rosa Mystica.” Once more, Shinku was shocked by the way he acted just like Suigintou when he wanted to, but kept this emotion hidden. This was a dangerous game.
“As a Medium, you should know that no Rozen Maiden would ever willingly give away her Rosa Mystica,” Shinku responded with a touch of venom.
“Of course- that’s what I expected you to say. Well, in that case, I’ll take my leave of you. You may keep the flashlights as gifts,” he said as he returned to the front door. The dolls were all too shocked by the human’s strange actions to speak as Tsugumi put on his shoes and jacket. “Sleep well, everyone!” he said in a sickeningly sweet voice before leaving.
“That jerk! What kind of mind games is he trying to play?” Jun exclaimed, obviously exasperated. “And you dolls! Why didn’t you try and hide at all? What if he’d just been distracting you while Suigintou came in through the mirror?”
“Who is the fool who let him into the house ~desu?” Suiseiseki shot back. “Chibi-human, it’s your fault! I-if anything had happened… Oh, if only you weren’t such a good-for-nothing runt of a human! Even that Ohba-san is a better Medium than you ~desu!” Hina-ichigo suddenly became confused.
“Ohba-san… obaasan?” she wondered out loud, seeing images of the tall, scary human boy next to an old woman. Suiseiseki reached above Hina’s head and waved her hand furiously, destroying the thought cloud.
“Don’t daydream at a critical time like this ~desu!” she shrieked with frustration. Souseiseki remained silent on the couch, as if nothing had happened at all. Shinku jumped down from the chair and joined her sisters at the couch.
“In any case, this is a warning to us all,” she explained. “He did not have any purpose of coming her except to confirm that Suigintou will use Lempicka and Jade Dream. In fact, since that child was not with him, he may have come of his own accord.”
“You mean… He wanted to give us that warning… as kind of a helping hand?” Jun asked, confused by that realization. Shinku nodded. “Why would he do such a thing?”
Later that night, after the storm ended and the power had been restored, Souseiseki pulled Shinku aside. “Shinku… that boy… Tsugumi. What do you think of him?” Souseiseki asked, serious as usual.
“He’s truly an unusual human. The way he acts so perfectly similar to Suigintou is almost frightening,” Shinku responded slowly. “His actions otherwise are questionable as well.” Souseiseki nodded.
“I’m sure that he was wiping away tears as Suigintou fought against us. And now he’s come to confirm what we feared. What are his goals? Why is he doing these kinds of things?” she wondered.
“Maybe… just a little… He’s like Jun.”
“Like Jun-kun?” Souseiseki questioned. “That heartless human is?”
“Jun… He somehow has the power to draw us to him… Holie couldn’t have been more correct by choosing him as my Medium. Even though he’s coarse and uncivilized, all of the Rozen Maiden who live at this house become bound to him. In the same way, he is becoming bound to us. On both sides, the feelings are intrinsic- we somehow feel them automatically. I believe… although it may be one-sided, Tsugumi feels the same way. It’s unfortunate that he made a Contract with Suigintou before any of us, but this is the situation,” Shinku explained.
Somehow her words made sense to Souseiseki. “Shinku… Is it possible that… Jun and Tsugumi… The legend of the Maestro… Could one of them be a Maestro?” The blond doll sighed heavily.
“I can’t be sure. It’s too early to be thinking of such a powerful force. Surely, the appearance of a Maestro would be a sign from Father that he wishes for the Alice Game to begin.” Souseiseki looked away from her companion, her eyes narrowing. “But don’t get to excited. There are still two more dolls which would have to awaken before the Alice Game can start.”
“I guess you’re right.”
Tsugumi sat alone in his apartment. It had been three days since he had been introduced to the world of the n-Field, three days since he had returned to this very place alone. Where Suigintou was, or why she hadn’t returned with him, were mysteries.
‘Perhaps she was just too disgusted by the way I acted back then… She has every right to be. I can provide her with power whether I am by her side or not. But Jun and Shinku… Their connection, their bond, although not obvious, is so strong.’
He paid no attention to the distant thunder. It had been raining a lot recently. His bills were beginning to pile up on his desk, covering the books he had been studying so intensely. Now it almost seemed like a waste. If he couldn’t be of use to Suigintou, what was the point of all this? It was at that exact moment that he had up his mind. He wrote himself a small note, an address, and crawled into bed. He fell asleep almost immediately; after all, he hadn’t slept in the past three days, either.
His mirror began to glow, revealing the vast white rose garden of Kirakishou. On the outcropping of rock she sat, wearing a smile worthy of a Hollywood star. She watched patiently with her single eye, looking at his apartment. Suigintou wasn’t present, once again. Kirakishou giggled just a little as the mirror faded back to normal.
Tsugumi had waited patiently all day, though the time wore by incredibly slowly for him. He’d placed himself on his sister’s route home from school, meaning to intercept her. He had used the same route in his youth, so it was nostalgic for him. Tomoe saw him as he sat there from quite a distance- he stuck out like a sore thumb in between all the middle-school kids. She approached him silently and took a seat next to him.
The two were quite similar, really, despite what they thought of each other. “Mother and father said you were fired from your job,” Tomoe stated quietly, but not without a certain sense of boldness.
“I can’t deny that,” was her older brother’s only response.
“About what?” Their conversations had never been too exciting, but the two had a deep understanding of each other, so not much more was ever necessary. Others may have called such a way of talk ‘boring’ or ‘dry,’ but it was simply a behavior which was passed down from their parents.
“Sakurada told me you’ve been causing trouble for the other Rozen Maiden.”
“Not really.” There was a long moment of silence as the two stared out into space. “Our parents… Do they ask anything else about me?”
“They wonder why you’re using a different surname, and they wonder where you’re living. Most recently, they wonder how you are making a living without a job.” Tsugumi sighed. All the money he had been setting aside for college- that was his only source of money, and it was disappearing. The reason he had moved was because of his parent’s greed… Rather than send him to the prestigious university he had been accepted to, they took expensive vacations and embellished themselves.
“The answers are all too obvious,” he said, a bit of anger creeping into his voice. “Let’s forget about them for now. There’s someplace I want you to accompany me to,” Tsugumi added, smiling at his younger sister. “To be honest I was too embarrassed to go alone.” Tomoe’s eyes widened slightly. Her brother had never been afraid to do as he pleased.
“Really?” He nodded. “Let’s go. You’ve made me curious. And… Don’t worry. I won’t tell mama and papa I was with you.”
Only a few blocks from the middle school was their destination. Realization dawned upon Tomoe as she read the awning above the corner business.
“You were embarrassed to walk into a doll store without a girl.” She giggled quietly. “How childish.”
“Be quiet,” he sheepishly rebutted. “What kind of college-age guy walks into a doll store alone? It would be too unsightly… In any case I heard the doll-maker here is the best in the city, maybe even the whole country. I get the impression that he’s a foreigner, though.” The two entered the store. Tsugumi made sure to hold the door for his sister so she had to enter first. A bell rang as the door was opened.
“Good afternoon,” Tomoe called to no one in particular.
“Just a moment!” came a reply from the back room. The siblings took a look at the dolls on display. They were all the same style as the Rozen Maidens, but there was some indefinable difference. “Ah, welcome!” Tomoe opened her mouth to greet the man, but Tsugumi stepped in front of her.
“Are you Enju?” he asked quickly. The other man, who looked only a few years older than Tsugumi, looked confused. His hair was parted down the center, and a pair of small reading glasses framed his thin eyes.
“Oh, me? No; I’m Shirosaki, the shopkeeper-“
“Enju- is he here? I want to speak with him…” he trailed off as Shirosaki shook his head.
“I’m sorry, but he isn’t here right now.”
“Then perhaps you can help me. Is there a way…? Can Enju… Let’s see, how can I put this…” Shirosaki looked on in complete confusion. “I have a doll which is very special to me, a one-of-a-kind doll. When she… There was an accident and her torso was badly damaged. I want to know if a replacement can be created without having the doll present, and if there is a way that I could fix her myself.”
The shopkeeper nodded slowly as he absorbed the information. “Ah, it’s nice to hear you talk like that, as if you’re begging a nurse to find a doctor who can help a sick family member,” the man replied, perhaps with a little too much pathos. “But I’m afraid that would be impossible. There is no way anyone besides an accomplished doll-maker could ever hope to fix such a doll. In addition if the doll is such a rare creation, then the original doll-maker may be the only one who could attempt to fix her.”
The bell above the door rang once more. Tsugumi turned to find a blond man, even taller than he was. “Enju, welcome back!” happily exclaimed Shirosaki. Enju met Tsugumi’s gaze coldly.
“Who are they?” he asked, as if they weren’t standing right there. Tomoe stepped up this time.
“I’m sorry, but we hadn’t introduced ourselves yet. I’m Kashiwaba Tomoe, and this is my brother Tsugumi. Nice to meet you,” she said with a bow. Enju continued his staring contest with Tsugumi, neither of them showing any sign of backing down. Finally Enju diverted his eyes to the younger man’s hands. Confirming his suspicions, the younger one was wearing black driving gloves.
‘So… this one is a Medium. This is sooner than expected.’
Enju silently walked past the pair and into the shop’s back room. Tsugumi, now absolutely fuming inside, decided it was better to leave than to try and confront the doll-maker.
“Tsugumi,” his sister called as he walked out the door.
“Oh no, that didn’t go very well,” Shirosaki said with a sigh. “Well, Kashiwaba-san, don’t let it bother you too much. Your brother seems to have a very strong personality, just like this shop’s owner.”
In the orange evening sunlight, Tsugumi lie on his bed.
‘So, despite all the research I did… I can’t fix her. There’s nothing I can do for her, nothing I can do to ease the pain associated with that imperfection. Damnit… If only I could have, maybe she… If she wasn’t so caught up in becoming the perfect girl, maybe she would go easier on the others. But I’m powerless. I can’t do a thing. What a useless Medium I am.’
He rolled over onto his side and looked at her case. It was probably empty. He felt suddenly drained and pulled the covers over his head. He was asleep before he had any more time to lament the issue.
His mirror began to warp, once more revealing Kirakishou. This time, however, her target was not Suigintou. It was her Medium. She giggled playfully as rose vines grew out from under Tsugumi’s bed, slowly entangling his unmoving body.
‘This is… like catching fish in a barrel… or something like that,’
Kirakishou thought with glee.
Meanwhile, at Enju Doll, the blond doll-maker was wearing a happy smile. Before him stood his own creation, Barasuishou. “Father… when?” He looked down at her lavender dress, her white hair, her eyepatch… They were all beautiful to him.
“Very soon, Barasuishou. The pieces are already in motion.” His mind wandered to the boy who had appeared in his shop earlier in the day. His eyes… He had the same eyes as that man. The eyes that saw past reality to the limitless unknowns, while at the same time disregarding all which was considered impossible.
‘Rozen… You had that same blank and stupid-looking gaze. You loved those dolls more than anything else… You spent every moment of your life pouring everything you had into their creation.
‘And though they were so special to you, you took me on as an apprentice. You wanted to create Alice but failed. As your apprentice it’s my responsibility to clean up the mess you left. You abandoned the dolls you loved so much, hoping that one day they would just become Alice through some kind of brutal game. I’ll create Alice as you wanted, but she will be made from my own doll. Alice will be mine. I’ll finally be able to call myself the greatest doll-maker ever. The legendary Rozen Maiden… what a joke. Barasuishou will make them look like the toys they are.’
Although he had forgotten through the vast rifts of time, Barasuishou was actually a stolen design. Rozen always created the doll’s body and its Rosa Mystica as separate entities, not wishing one to contaminate the other before he was ready for the doll to live. Just a day before the final Maiden was to be connected to its Rosa Mystica, Enju stole her body and its designs.
Over the years the doll’s body degraded. By the time Enju had created and matured his own kind of Rosa Mystica, the doll’s body needed to be replaced. So using the methods taught to him by Rozen, he created Barasuishou and destroyed the aging design. Little did he know, Rozen had already begun to fuse the two parts together. The Rosa Mystica, as time passed, grew into the true seventh doll. She was a doll without a body and existed only in the magical realm of the n-Fields and dream worlds.
Barasuishou and Kirakishou: two dolls who shared a design. One doll was completely devoted to her Father, who was not Rozen but an imposter. The other, if she was a human, would have been considered a complete psychopath. The many years spent alone in her lonely world, only able to watch her sisters live full lives, had driven her mad. Only recently had Laplace’s Demon began to visit her. It was a signal, a signal from Father.
The Alice Game would soon begin.
End of Fifth Thorn.
As for Hina’s daydream comparing Tsugumi to an old woman, Ohba is the last name he adopted and –san is an honorable suffix. Obaasan means an old or unfamiliar woman. They are very close in pronunciation. It's my pathetic attempt to add in some of the Japanese word puns which were used in the series. The chapter's title means 'Storm of Emotions,' which you may interpret as you may.
The story is becoming quite complicated now. I’m surprised at how many levels of conflict I’ve been able to shove into this story. Hopefully you’re all enjoying it, because I’m really enjoying writing this. Ja ne!
I am bound to pay the debt I owe.
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