Book 1.5: Side Tales – Koko: The Puppet Asylum (Part 8B)
1.8k 11 21
Reading Options
Font Size
A- 15px A+
Table of Contents
Loading... please wait.

Previously: “It's a very, very special plushie golem that's kind of like your favorite storybook puppet... only better. After all, that puppet wasn't given special gifts by an amazing pair of soon to be full-fledged Goddesses. And who knows, depending on the choices you make... maybe one day it will become a real bunny bear.” Miabella winked.

Eh! Where Did My Pen... Pen... Go!?!

Book 1.5: Amaranthe Guild – Side Stories

Koko's Tale

The Puppet Asylum (Part 8B)

“So she's a Goddess...” Demora stopped mid-sentence as she stared at the design on Kaili's dress which was moving like an old (mostly black and white) movie picture show; The scene being shown was that of an Asian-gothic city under a blanket of dusky clouds teeming with activity seen through the eyes of something flying above looking down.

The wide cobblestone streets were peppered with all manner of transports ranging from carriages and carts pulled by unknown Netherworld beasts to those more modern looking powered by magic.

Yokai of every type moved about on the sidewalks heading in and out of buildings and shops as ghostly wisps of various jewel-toned colors swayed above in the breeze like luminescent lanterns.

Mia lightly rapped her forehead, “That's right... I forgot to introduce her to you. This 'aloof' beauty standing beside me is my bestie Yokaili, daughter of the Goddess of the Netherworld, Revena. And niece to her mother's twin brother, the God of the Underworld, Reven...”

“I don't think she's listening,” Kaili said, moving to stand before Demora whose eyes were glued to the 'movie' being played on her dress. The current scene being shown was that of the heart of the city which held a fun circus-inspired amusement park. In the center of this dark wonderous park was a large doughnut-shaped carousel that had a tall maelstrom of misty energy and light at its core spinning up into the nethryn clouds above.

“Is that a tornado in the middle of that carousel? That's dangerous... isn't it?” Demora asked, the puzzlement apparent on her face. “Those ghosts and samurai giants should be running instead of lining up by what looks to be a... ticket booth?”

“Tornado and samurai giants?...” Mia questioned, as she stepped to Demora's side to turn and get a better look at Kaili's dress. “Oh, that's no tornado, Dea. That's a maelstrom gate that leads to the mortal realm... to a city named Revenkai in Abrynth. It's an ancient city that was almost destroyed by a group of foolish mortals long forgotten.”

“Well, forgotten in the mortal realm above but not down below in the Netherworld where they're still paying for their crimes,” Kaili interjected.

“Crimes? What crimes?” Demora asked.

“The list is long and not something I want to go into great detail about... Basically, a group of aging mortals that were wealthy and powerful feared that which comes to all living things... death. So they formed a secret organization calling themselves the Immorti. After many years of magical research and dark deadly experiments, they managed to create a ritual that would open a gate to the Netherworld.

The fools actually believed they could crossover and bind the very essences of those of my realm to their cores to make themselves 'undying' immortals...”

“Those of her realm?” Demora softly asked, leaning towards Mia since there was a hint of anger in Kaili's eyes.

Those being the yokai and other denizens of the Netherworld,” Mia answered. “You do know what yokai are and that quite a few of them can take on corporeal forms right?”

Dea nodded, then returned to listening to Kaili's tale.

“Anyways, the arrogant fools performed the ritual in the dark of night within a large park located near the heart of the city. The energies summoned proved to be far more powerful and unwieldy than expected. As such, they lost control resulting in the creation of a powerful funnel-shaped maelstrom of nethryn energies which tore a rift into one of the dark gray realms of the Netherworld; Creating a wide-open gate.

As for what happened that night... an umbrella of dark magical clouds formed above the city which remains to this very day. Wild yokai and other nethlyngs then crossed through the gate and poured into the streets spreading throughout the city leaving screams, death, and heartache in their wake.

If my mother hadn't discovered the Nethstrom Gate when she did and crossed over... the whole city would have been lost; Mother wended her way through the city playing her flute and ringing her bells compelling all of the yokai and 'others' to follow as she led them back into the gate.

With the city yokai free, she got to work.

First, she created a 'mirrorscape' of the city in the Netherworld below connecting the two cities by way of the gate which I now help to oversee. Next, she removed the darkness from that section of the Netherworld so that it became a 'crossroads' city of the gray and light. Last, she rounded up a cruel dark-hearted tribe of grotesque ogre-like yokai known as Oni and made them an offer: Be banished into the dark or become her Onikai.

The head of their tribe chose wisely...”

Seeing the question on Demora's face Mia whispered, “Basically, she turned them from ugly dark-hearted yokai to those better-looking samurai dressed light-gray hearted yokai that you see standing there on both sides of the carousel gate. They are the guards of both Revenkai cities.”

“As for the surviving mortals from that night,” Kaili continued. “They were so grateful for having been saved that they changed the name of their city to Revenkai and created a large shrine in mother's honor.

At present, many mortals that specialize in nethryn magic live in Revenkai and many more visit yearly during the week-long Festival of the Netherworld. As such, we allow yokai of the gray and light to ride the Nethstrom Carousel through the gate to visit the mortal realm... provided they have a ticket.”

“Isn't that dangerous? Mixing yokai with mortals... what of the children?...”

Mia and Kaili both shared a look and chuckled at her question.

“Would you hurt the children if you were allowed into the city?”

“Me? Of course not but we're talking about yokai and well, some of them look quite dangerous and scary...” Demora said as she pointed at some dark ghostly figures displayed on Kaili's dress.

“Indeed, we're talking about yokai which you are now a unique race of. Don't believe me? Just take a look inside your grimoire when you get the chance and you'll see.

Your new race was inspired by groups of shapeshifting yokai that change their appearance based on their foes thoughts or emotions like the Alluren which can change their form to become that which their target most desires and the Mirraith that change their form to become an alternate clone of their target and the Boggart that take on the form of their targets greatest fear.”

“Then what does my race of Daemirra do?... And does that mean I'm d-dead?” Demora asked as she placed her hand on her chest to feel for the beat of her heart.

“Good questions Dea. Let's see, after viewing your past and seeing how it shaped who you are I wiped the tears from my eyes, calmed the anger in my heart, and thought of a way to best help you help yourself.

As such, I created the Daemirra as a faceless wraith-like race of yokai who strive to live free from the influences of fear. They do this by shapeshifting into a corporeal form that they feel and believe will help them to overcome their greatest fear.

So once you defeat your great fear,” Kaili glided closer to Dea to look into her eyes. “The physical form you used will become your new living body. This means you'll have two states of being that you'll be able to shift between; A living breathing mortal form and a ghostly form.

But be warned, when in the mortal realm you can only be in your ghostly form for a short while and vice versa when you're in the Netherworld. The length of time will increase as you grow in power... Understand?”

“Yes, I believe so.” Demora nodded.

“Good. In addition to what I just mentioned, you'll also gain immunity against the influences of fear. This means that even though you'll still be able to feel some fear it won't ever haunt your nights nor hamper your actions or ability to clearly think and make decisions...”

“N-no more nightmares or living with this constant sense of d-dread when I'm around people... That would be amazing.” Demora muttered as a tear rolled down her cheek.

“I thought you'd like that. But remember, you must first overcome your greatest fear to become a true Daemirra and reap the benefits. Then and only then will you be able to fully enjoy your new life...”

ring-ring-ring... ring-ring-ring...

“Hmm, sounds like mother's calling. Well then, looks like I'll be leaving first,” Kaili said as she raised her hand and wiped the tear from Dea's cheek. She then leaned in and whispered, “One more thing before I go... you are yokai now so you're always welcomed to visit my home within the heart of Revenkai in the Netherworld below.

As for how to travel there... the way has already been made but only by becoming a true Daemirra may you pass through the door.” Kaili then turned and glided back to the open wardrobe door calling out to Miabella to hurry back before disappearing from sight.

“Looks like my time here is also at an end,” Miabella said as she took Demora's hand and pulled her free of her magical jar as bunny bear followed along on Dea's other side. The cute trio walked towards the open door of the wardrobe, came to a stop as Mia turned to face Demora once more with her magic paintbrush in hand.

“But here are some things you should know before I go, Dea...

Your wonderful bunny bear is not a toy battle golem so don't forget to unsummon him... her? It really does need a name... Anyways, when it's time to play rough just send it away into your dollhouse.

Although, I did increase its durability a little,” Miabella winked. “In addition, I bestowed it with a special little defensive spell that I think you'll really like. But if it does happen to get damaged you can just mend it with your own hands and materials or simply wait for it to mend on its own within your dollhouse.

As for its Item Box skill, I gave it a little upgrade, and then Kaili just went and made it truly special by... no, I don't want to spoil her surprise for you so be sure to give it a look-sy. Just know that you can't enter while the bunny bear is unsummoned within you. I know. That's a bit confusing but you'll soon understand...

That leaves the last gift we gave which happens to be a couple of 'vanity' spells that we believe to be in line with the Goddess Lokaini's rules of gifting... we think.

Anyways, your new Embiggen spell will currently allow you to increase the size of yourself and soulbound items by up to 50% while your Enshrinken spell allows you to make things 50% smaller. Using either spell will not increase or decrease attributes or abilities but we think you'll find it to be quite handy as you can imagine.

And the last but most important thing I have to say before I take my leave is... Never ever feed it after midnight.” Miabella warned, a serious look on her face...

'pfft'... 'pfft'... “Ahahaha... just kidding, just kidding... Toy golems don't eat...” Mia laughed as she wiped her eyes dry. “Ah, it's been such great fun visiting you Dea. I really look forward to watching more of your streamed adventures and always remember, no matter how bad and scary things get, Kaili and I will be rooting for you! So until next we meet...” Mia waved her magic paintbrush about before twirling and disappearing into the wardrobe (“Toodles”) as the door closed behind on its own.

[“Dea! Are you okay?”] [“Huh, what happened?...”] [“Dea that little girl is a...”] All of her little friends mindspoke at the same time, freed from their painted stasis.

[“It's okay everyone,”] Demora assured them. [“The little girl.. well, actually there was two of them...”]

["Look! Bunny Bear is... alive?"]

Demora smiled as she began explaining what had happened while they were in stasis...

Coming up next Demora and friends discover just how special Bunny Bear truly is and Demora takes a look in her grimoire to go over her Status page before leaving the storage room to adventure deeper into the Puppet Asylum in The Puppet Asylum (Part 8C).

Side Note: Last illustration of Demora with just a minor color change from black (in her hair and arachneth legs) to eggplant purple. The next illustration will be of Wylla for the cover of Book 2.

Storymask dot com Presents The Puppet Asylum Illustration by Kaylin Marroquin