Shanghai the Joy-Bringer Fairy
The Glade Lain
Age: 7 years, 4 months, 2 weeks
Born: February 12th, 2010
Adopted: 4 years, 7 months, 1 week ago
Adopted: November 16th, 2012
- Level: 23
- Strength: 57
- Defense: 57
- Speed: 55
- Health: 57
- HP: 57/57
- Intelligence: 0
- Books Read: 0
- Food Eaten: 1
- Job: Store Clerk
Profile by Soren, who also let me adopt Alice.
Original character concept by ZUN / Junya Ota. Character image and images used in the profile by Tasogare Frontier. Overlay, story, and all other content here is by Marine.
Such tragedy, decades ago, had lead to quiet miracles. That was the way all things tended to go, but she still marveled at how it had worked out for her. She had so many things now, born from both violence and pure luck.
"Shanghai, please fetch me a cup of jasmine tea.." she uttered, looking up to one of her dolls. Its comforting blue eyes stared back, and it bobbed in a nod, before turning away and floating off down the hallway.
For a silent moment, Alice reminisced.
. . .
She had sat huddled in terror against the concrete shelter wall.
It was the 25th of August in the year 1940, and World War II had since come to Britain. The little girl, only seven years old, barely understood -- but what her parents said, she knew that the bad men were attacking their country by making buildings burn down.
Clutching her favorite doll close to her chest, Alice lifted her head, trembling little tears clinging to her eyelashes.
"Mommy.. mommy, you said that they're only gonna burn down the ports and factories, right? Not the houses or theaters?" she asked, a sob audible in her voice as she gazed to her mother.
"Yes. Everything's going to be all right, Alice. The bad guys aren't going to hurt us.."
A loving hand brushed through her blond hair, and the girl's anxious breathing started to wane.
Then, her gaze turned to the ceiling as there was a quiet rumble, then a crash-- and the shelter's wall blew open with a deafening roar.
Her blue eyes grew wide, soft voice once again rising into crying, and she gazed to her mother for reassurance in the fleeting moments she could.
Scattered debris made this impossible, and Alice made a yelping sound that could only be construed as greatest fear as her mother rose and darted between the fallen slabs of concrete, screaming for her daughter to come along.
Knees trembling, she stood and ran, small legs carrying her the fastest they could. Pungent scents of smoke and chemicals assaulted her senses as she chased her mother's figure out of the bomb shelter.
That soothing voice she knew and loved grew faint amidst the symphony of buildings groaning and panicked screams, and Alice stood near-blinded, hugging her doll desperately.
Just then, a second voice, feminine and soothing to the child's mind, whispered through the air, and face streaked with tears, she chased its source.
Alice didn't know if it was her mother or not, but that was the single thought on her mind right now.
She was lead to a tear in the ground that seemed not of the world around her, gurgling with a thousand voices and deep purple in color. A faint light was visible from the center, suggesting that it lead somewhere. Most important to Alice, however, was that the soft voice emanated from this very spot, calling out for whoever had not yet come to it.
Alice touched a quivering hand to the softly-glowing rip in the earth, and her fingers met a soft hand on the other side. Eyes growing wide, she held tight-- and was dragged to the other side.
. . .
When her feet met solid ground again, she had collapsed to her knees, head spinning in a dizzy trance.
The world around her had grown darker, and Alice felt nearly blind, something that would have scared her even further if it was possible.
Now a myriad of voices surrounded her, all definitely female from the way they sounded:
"Wait, that one smells like a human. How the hell did a human get through?"
"Poor little thing, probably doesn't know where she is.."
"Oh, is it time for a snack already?"
Upon hearing this, Alice gathered herself together with a little sob and crawled backwards a bit, lifting her head from the safe huddle she had made for it with her arms.
Just as her sense of hearing had relayed, she was surrounded by women of all sorts. Tall and strong girls, lithe and dainty ladies-- wait, that girl had wings like a butterfly, and that one-- that woman had a long fluffy tail!
Just where was she?
This felt a lot like that story her mom had read to her, about the children with the magical wardrobe..
"Stop it! She obviously doesn't know what's happening!" the young woman with the insect wings said, running over to Alice and standing in front of her before stretching her arms out protectively. "I'm going to take her to the humans' village, I don't care what anyone else says! She's just lost and didn't mean to stumble into that gap!"
Before she could say anything, gentle arms had plucked her up into their hold, blue eyes amidst green hair gazing down at her, and she was carried into the air.
"Hey.. it's all right, little girl. I'm just going to bring you somewhere safe, the other youkai aren't gonna eat you for dinner," the fairy said softly, large gold-edged wings beating quick behind her as she flew across the night sky.
Alice glanced up and nodded slowly. Still holding her doll tight, she wiped her face with a hand.
Just like the kids in her books, she would have to be brave..
. . .
Upon arriving at the village, Alice was lead to a house to stay at, before being waved off by the kindly fairy. Completely confused, she asked the women living at this house where she was--
They replied, plain and simple, "You're in the land of Gensoukyou."
She had never heard of such a place, not once in all of the storybooks or history books she had read. But, with smiles on their faces, they explained that it was a special part of the world that was hidden away from everywhere else.
This, they said, was a magical place where all of the magical creatures on Earth went to live happily after humans stopped believing in them, or tried to hunt them down. That was why she had seen a fairy, and a cat-girl, and other such fantastic things: they had all come here from where they lived long before.
"But will I ever see my mommy and daddy again?" Alice asked, gazing up with innocent eyes.
"... no, you will probably not. If a human from the outside walks into this world, they are probably never going to go back home. But, if you want it, we'll take care of you until you're old enough to live on your own."
And so, the years passed. She soon learned that, while this world was beautiful, it was not a friendly one: many of the creatures and monsters that lived in Gensoukyou ate humans. Alice watched as a few girls from the village wandered out into the wilderness, and were soon killed and eaten.
She quietly promised herself that she wouldn't be like them. She was going to become strong and smart, so even these "youkai", these creatures that ate humans, would respect her.
It was an uncanny art for humans, magic.. but Alice read everything about it, and how it was possible for someone like her to use it in this world.
Like in the old stories she had read as a child, it was much more possible here, because the magic was still very much in the ground and in the air, and so could be easily tamed.
The knowledge and study was something bewitching, and she learned a great many things as she entered her teenage years. Very rarely would she come into fights with others from outside the village, and she stood her own ground.
With the things she had learned, Alice would use a commonplace method of self-defense in this land to protect herself: creating many tiny fireballs and arranging them into patterns that would chase away foes or protect her from being hit. This art, "danmaku" as the locals called it, was almost like art to her, and when she was not collecting dolls or learning to fly with simple spells, she practiced her patterns.
But that was still not yet the highest point for her. Alice found a particular tome that held great magical power within its pages, and she found herself soon under its literary spell. Gleaning knowledge from this grimoire, she found something that would shape her life even further.
. . .
"Animation of inanimate objects, page seventy-four.." Alice uttered under her breath, gaze affixed on the large tome on the table ahead of her. She cast a brief glance to the oldest and most beloved of her dolls, which sat on the table just beside her. A smile briefly curled her lips as she then gazed out over the small collection of other dolls that she had set up across the windowsill.
Brushing a lock of blonde hair out of her eyes, she started to read aloud.
"It is possible to breathe life into objects nonliving through the art of enchantment. They may follow orders or possess free will of their own depending on the spell put upon them, and may move freely on their own or be directly controlled."
Her voice fell silent when she turned to the next page, skimming it-- and then her eyes widened as the very process of enchanting was written out.
Gasping softly, Alice rose and ran to the depths of her closet, where she stored every and all ingredients pertaining to her spells..
Not a few minutes later, her doll rose into the air to meet its owner's gaze with an unblinking blue stare.
She had done it.
Then came the next doll, and one after another, they all came to life. Alice could gesture with a hand for her little red-dressed Swedish doll to fetch her a pillow, and it would; she could hand them cooking utensils, and have her two favorite porcelain dolls have a fencing match.
For the more complex tricks and minute movements, she would loop thin threads around her fingers and then connect them to the dolls in question, which she could now control down to the smallest inch. These dolls became potent as both servants and as weapons, wielding handcrafted lances and spears.
There wasn't anything to fear anymore. Alice would bring these floating dolls with her wherever she would wander, and any threats were soon chased and threatened away by her personal army. If one tore or was ripped to shreds, there was nothing stopping her from sewing or knitting together another doll to fill that one's place.
Effective as they were, they were dispensable.
. . .
Her cares soon dwindled away from the mother-like attention she would give all of her dolls, and it was focused almost solely on her first doll, which she had since fixed up and dubbed Shanghai. This doll was her constant companion, only used occasionally in combat, and would assist her with everyday tasks that would be too much for her.
She soon found this doll to be only companion.
Now eighteen, she left the village she had called home for so long, and moved far out into the forest. There, she could study her work in quiet and gather materials for her spells with far more ease.
She didn't feel all that terrible about turning her back on the kindly couple who had taken her in. They were very friendly, but they interfered too much with her own life, and this was something she could no longer live with.
Other humans now felt like aliens to her. Alice couldn't apply her predictions and guesswork to them, and they did nothing but get in her way.
Some of them almost seemed afraid of her, with how much she had studied magic.
No, she wasn't one of them anymore.
With emptying blue eyes, Alice watched as one year after another passed, but left her behind. She was stuck eternally at the eighteenth year, and matured no further. The magic and knowledge had bewitched her entire being, and no longer was she a human.
But it didn't matter to her, as she accepted this fact with a gentle smile, and continued her work. Her army of dolls grew and grew, and trailed behind her with her every step. Alice would wander out into Gensoukyou, in search of magical ingredients or to discover the secrets of the world, and she no longer feared a thing.
Alice lived in peaceful silence, as no one ever dared disturb her.
. . .
Breathing a sigh, Alice took another long sip of her jasmine tea, watching as the wind blew through the trees just outside the window. Fall was coming, and with it, came the chilly gusts that seemed to turn everything frost-covered..
A loud crash rattled through the house. In reaction, Alice only twitched once in the most minor shows of shock, and then rose from her seat to investigate the source of this.
Gathering her mantle around her shoulders and slipping on a fur coat, she stepped outside and looked about. There was nothing askew in the front, and only did she find something when she wandered to the back of the house.
The backmost wall was left with a multitude of cracks in it, with the suspect for this damage close by.
Looking dazed, a girl in a black-and-white witch outfit (complete with oversized and crooked hat) leaned against the wall, a tattered broomstick in hand. She didn't even seem to notice Alice and her entourage of dolls, who had their weapons pointed at the intruder at at the ready.
"You do realize that someone lives in this house, don't you?" Alice stated icily, trying to make eye contact with this intruder. "You..."
She hesitated, taken aback by the bright yellow eyes that stared back at her. There was something intriguing about those eyes and the intensity behind them, but she didn't say a thing.
"No, I didn't," the girl said, standing up straight and folding her arms in front of her, mouth forming into a slight pout.
"I didn't even see this house until I ran smack-dab into it! You should've taken a house that wasn't in the middle of nowhere, so the great Marisa Kirisame wouldn't have run into it!"
Alice only frowned, huffing in annoyance. There was a level of arrogance and rudeness about this Marisa girl that already started to bother her a little.. but she couldn't find it in her to turn her head and stick her nose in the air after being treated like this.
No-- those eyes, that face, even the posture: something about it made her hesitant to look away.
When she tried to speak again, her words came out trembling.
"I-I didn't intend for it to be in a place that would apparently be in the middle of where people usually fly! I came to own this house on my own terms, and it's entirely your own fault for not looking where y-you were going!"
That coldness surrounding her was melting away, and it was scaring her. What was she going to do? She couldn't just scare this girl away, her gut feeling was advising her against that, but what else was there--
"Oh, calm the hell down. I was just out flying around because I could, so I'll help you repair the wall, okay? Just pay me back in yen for my work when I'm done!" Marisa flashed a grin, putting her broomstick aside and starting to rifle around in the bag slung over her shoulder.
. . .
A strange friendship came together that day. Marisa explained that she, too, lived in the Forest of Magic, and rather close by -- she had simply never been home on the rare occasions that Alice would wander by. She was a magician by trade, and boasted of her adventures where she would "shoot down the bad guys with my magical lasers and stars, and get all the treasure, too!".
Alice couldn't help but be endlessly frustrated by this challenging attitude she was met with, and often fought back with sharp words of her own in their little arguments, but the kindling of warm feelings inside her brought her to somehow tolerate Marisa all the same.
She had promised herself that she wouldn't bother as much with humans as she had before, as they ended up only getting in the way of her pursuits.
But, as much as she didn't want to admit it, even to herself, Marisa was stealing her heart.
When they would discuss the basics of alchemy or magic together, Alice would crack a smile at her new friend's jokes.
The one time where Marisa came back one day with a broken arm from a fall, Alice couldn't help but show compassion, even if it was punctuated by the occasional scolding little remark-- to which Marisa would only laugh.
In the seconds following the first kiss they shared, Alice realized that her world was changing again.
But this time, it was for the better.
Timely Blue Pin Cushion
White Fuzzy Half-Cape
Coiled Length of Catgut
Tribal Fisher Long Vine
Tinkerers Leather Lacing
Tinytiny Angel Dollie
Pumpkin Voodoo Doll Plushie
Cuddly Melody Doll
Dark Subetan Ball Jointed Doll
Tiny Angel Doll
Purple Angel Hand Puppet
Blue Angel Hand Puppet
Brown Angel Hand Puppet
Pink Angel Hand Puppet
Red Angel Hand Puppet
Atebus Fairy Doll
Nurse Fairy Plushie
Little Angel Doll
Daisy Fairy Doll
Giddy Elf Fairy
Golden Spring Fairy Plushie
Snow Fairy Plushie
Violet Snow Fairy Plushie
Poppy Pixie Puppet
Red Silly Masquerade Voodoo Doll
Blue Silly Masquerade Voodoo Doll
Rainbow Voodoo Doll Plushie
Twilight Voodoo Doll
Dark Matter Voodoo Doll
Dark Shaman Effigy
Dolly Dreadful Plushie
Itty Bitty Earmuffs
Pink Sewing Kit
Seafoam Sensations Yarn
Spool of Brown Thread
Vintage Sewing Machine
Double Pointed Knitting Needles
Blue Tailor Chalk
Length of White Cotton
Length of Red Cotton
Casket of Luxury Fabric
Norlander Embroidered Fabric
Bairin Small Piece of Cloth
Copper Ribboned Cameo Collar
Elegant Ballroom Blush Fur Shawl
Gray Ribboned Cloth Collar
Scarf of Winter
Cream Belted Gloves
Pack of Potions
Box of Dried Marigold Buds
Herb Stuffed Mushroom
Filled Round Harvest Basket
Baked Shrimp and Basil
Oatmeal Lace Cookies
Coffee Caramel Trifle
Sugar Plum Turkish Delight
Rainbow Candy Heart
Melted Mint Drop
Fireside Apple Cinnamon Leaf Candle
Black Oil Lamp
Blonde Innocent Hair Kit
Dirty Perfume Bottle
Lovely Classic Teapot
Battered Antique Camera
Tattered Opera Program
Ragged Scrap of Paper
Blue Puzzle Cube
Flower Print Bookmark
Rainbow Print Bookmark
Classic Knitting Patterns
Guide to Ribbons
Fairy Tale Color Plate
Big Book Of Fireside Stories
Plain Ribbon Journal
A Tale of Trickery
Snow Fairies: Fact or Marsh Gas?
The Midnight Watch
The Pumpkin Patch Guide
The Rreign With No Friends
Frostbite Desk Reference
Fields of Logic
Book of Celestial Bodies
The Book of the Rose Fairy
Peony Flower Pressing
Shinwas Power Book
Dawn Mahar Tome
Hoarfrosts Icelocked Grimoire
Magical Cherry Tree
Elegant Oriental Stray Blossoms
Large Fungal Plates
Fantastic Tangled Overgrowth
Gold Crescent Moon Relic
Green Fireside Flame
Strange Glowing Vial
Bottled Harvest Moon
Spiraling Ascension Potion
Filled Deluxe Butterfly Bottle
Blue Witchs Brew
Old Jar Terrarium
Pale Leaf Serum
Purple Liquid-Filled Glass Beaker
Jar of Fairy Dust
Kora Magic Powder
Bug Trapped in Amber
Kora Gem of Power
Red Coda Caves Crystal
Blue Coda Caves Crystal
Chunk of Magic Crystal
Eye Catching Aurora Borealis Shard
Yellow Sponge Capsule
Pink Sponge Capsule