Choose an Animal Spirit

Descriptions of phenomena that get passed down are a type of story. Just as in our own daily lives, everything that happens is preceded by the happening of something else. Likening that to a story, you could call that the prologue or prequel. And there is almost always a choice that sets the events in motion. Today's tale is about one such choice... Reimu Hakurei is a human shrine maiden who resolves incidents in Gensokyo. Having faced all kinds of youkai and incidents, she is often visited by all kinds of humans, youkai, and fairies. On this day, animal spirits from Hell bearing news of an emerging incident had come to see her.

Three animal spirits floated around Reimu and informed her of the coming danger―some of their kin were plotting to invade the the world of humans. It was rare, but Reimu had been known to ask for youkai and other beings' help when resolving certain incidents. Like the time she worked together with the sage, the oni, and crow tengu to resolve the incident where earth spirits were pouring out of that geyser. Remember how that adventure took her to the Underworld, Former Hell, and the Remains of Blazing Hell? But all this reminiscing is getting in the way of our tale. And so, picking up where we left off, Reimu had a choice to make.

The three animal spirits pressed her to make a decision. Reimu looked coldly at the trio, who seemed somehow standoffish toward one another. She looked at the strong yet simple-minded wolf spirit... "Nope." She looked at the eagle spirit and the proud, somewhat arrogant look on its face... "Nope." Finally, she looked at the otter spirit and the cunning look in its eye... "Nope." If there really is an incident, Reimu knew she would have to try and resolve it, but she was starting to doubt the animal spirits' claims. At this rate, our tale won't advance much further. In fact, it might even end right here. Reimu thought long and hard, and made her decision...

Her decision allows our tale to continue. Reimu set off toward Hell, along with her chosen animal spirit. She figured paying a visit to Hell would be the quickest way to learn if the animal spirits' suspicious tale of the world of humans being invaded was true. But which animal spirit had she chosen? Those of you who are familiar with this tale surely know the answer, for you too know what it's like to make a choice.

The three forces of the Animal Realm had come together, and everything was proceeding as planned. And of course, that was much to the delight of the animal spirit accompanying Reimu. Reimu being Reimu, she didn't hesitate in diving head-first into battle with the sculptor god... The animal spirits came to her aid as she was forced to retreat in the face of overwhelming firepower, and the choice she made brought about the end of this tale. Her subsequent battle with the leader of the Keiga Family is also a tale that arose as a result of her choices. What will be her next choice? What tale will unfold in its wake? Why that may all depend on the decisions you make.