Fanfic Title: Tales of the Blood Iris Citadel
Game: Tōken Ranbu (刀剣乱舞 Pocket)
Synopsis: A journal-entry/travelogue-style fic that chronicles the everyday happenings in the citadel of my Tōken Ranbu account. Written from the first-person perspective of a female saniwa. The modern girl has crossed dimensions using a mystical spell and is cast into a feudal-style acropolis, where she is given the ability to anthropomorphize ancient swords, in order to ward off evil spirits and keep time from being permanently altered by magecraft-using revisionists. There is no romance in this story — only a cozy, slice-of-life fic.
＊ This is meant to be a fun fanfic exercise — so instead of my usual narrative restrictions, 1.5K ～ 3K words, this will vary from a few sentences to a few paragraphs per day.
9/8/2021 ～ Today was a pretty relaxing day, I travelled back to the modern world for a couple of hours to visit my local bookstore, grabbing the next volume in a light novel series that I had begun reading recently and purchasing a tiny, desk-sized anime figurine — before returning to that weird, feudal interstice of space-time in which the citadel resided. Upon placing the items on the workstation, I feel the appraising eyes of Tarōtachi beaming into my back.
He blinks twice as he sees the small, eggplant-colored figurine on the desk (note: Mash Kyrielight from Fate/Grand Order, a notable mobage heroine). His gaze is cold and reptilian, like a gecko that halts… only to glance at you from afar! Beads of perspiration gather around my temples, an ammunition of racing thoughts fire at will through my confidence: How can I tell him that his beloved commander is actually a huge anime otaku? Or that I’ve often had the inclination to ask him if he’s kabuki actor, due to his uncanny resemblance to Alto Saotome from Macross Frontier? Or that I almost gave him the nickname “hime”, a time or two in passing?
“H-Have you ever done kabuki acting?” I splutter out a foot-in-mouth statement, while his slanted lemon eyes still evaluate my spoils.
I had somehow expected a more flummoxed response, probably an extension in order to further my nerdy delusions, but his countenance has just became more lizard-like: “Such foolishness… you think of my priestly attire as some sort of costume, do you?”
I let out an audible gulp.
He carefully picks up The Boredom of Haruhi Suzumiya and says with a deadpan sense of sincerity, “I will forgive your folly, if you lend me this colorful novel… what say you, human?”
I exhale so violently, that it is almost spit-inducing.
“I’ll grab the first volume for you, then,” I squelch out with a gasp.
Tarōtachi disappears as quickly as he had materialized, a gecko’s tail whipping around a door’s corner, but despite his stoic demeanor… I feel that there had been a slight air of excitement surrounding him. Though, it could just be some self-constructed, otome-like fantasy that I have constructed in an inner headcanon. I don’t really know, but I hope he enjoys the series regardless.
I hold up the new request vellum to a tempest of magical wind. The flaming gust of ether flashes into a vibrant, pink plume of smoke. I feel anticipation, it seems as though I am summoning another Tachi! I step back instinctively as a hand reaches out of the dark ether. I flinch, but am pleasantly surprised when the disembodied hand tussles my hair with a chary, delicate mannerism.
“The saniwa that called for me is such a short girl,” a man with an interesting lilt says sedately, “I’m Uguisumaru, from Kobizen. I’ve got not idea why I’m called that. Maybe it means something, maybe it doesn’t. Anyway, looking forward to working with you!”
My eyes slowly open up and there is a sword that wears a melancholy smile. His wavy, olive nest of hair reminds me of seaweed strands — rustling around carelessly at the bottom of an ocean’s depths. “Ugisu” is a word used for the Japanese brush warbler, and likewise this sword’s staid expression conveys something furtive, something only felt through nature’s forlong diapason.
Feeling charmed beyond belief, I propose, “There’s a bowl of oranges on the patio, would you like to snack on them and chat?”
“Of course,” a fishing line tugs at my hook.
For the rest of the afternoon we continued to speak in half-formed thoughts, while we peeled off zesty orange skins with our fingers and admired the scenery surrounding the citadel. Following the hours we spent together (up until Hotarumaru and his firefly friends had arisen), he would never let on if he actually even enjoyed my modest snack offering or if he had only sat there all that time only to indulge my senseless whimsy… his wizened, avian eyes stared back at me like a glass reflection, one last time, as we parted ways for the night.