Story: Spider Princess (chapter 13)

Authors: dragonfire5000

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Chapter 13

Title: 13) Dark Webs

[Author's notes:

First of all, I must apologize for the long hiatus. There are a few reasons that caused me to have to move away from this story for a long time: college, a massive writer's block, Changeling: the Lost, and a new Wii.

I have not given up on this story though I have no idea when the next update will be; writing the conclusion has proven harder than I thought and that dumb writer's block has been giving me headaches for a while.

No worries though; I'll work things out.


            “You, girl,” Setsuna said, causing Kanako to jump a little. “That Key you hold in your hand; give it to me please.”

            “K-key?” Kanako stuttered as she looked down at the object she was holding. “What…what does it do?” She looked over at Hatsune to see what the black-haired girl would say, but Hatsune gave no answer; she was still trying to process the fact that the so-called ‘Spider Princess’ was her older sister.

            “You have no idea what it is, don’t you? Please hand it over; I might be able to use it to jog Hatsune’s memories,” Setsuna said. “You do care for her right? Then wouldn’t you want her to have her memories back? Or…” Here, a rather small smile came onto the girl’s face. “…perhaps you’re afraid of what you’d find? Perhaps you’re afraid that, if she regains her memory, she would become much more, ah, forceful in her affections for you?”


            The other spider girls in the room shifted about nervously. Some of them were tempted to surge up and grab the object by force, but that would risk the wrath of Hatsune. Alone or not, she was still a jorougumo, a being much more powerful than several Kumobito together. Besides, the jorougumo was like the queen of spiders; the Kumobito couldn’t bring themselves to attack her or her mate.

             Kanako couldn’t think of what else to do; she knew that if Setsuna wanted the key, she could easily take it by force. Also, she didn’t want Tsugumi or Sachiho to get hurt because of her. She extended the hand that was holding the key, her hand trembling. Setsuna smiled as she walked over to pick up the key. “I knew you would understand,” she said quietly. She then turned towards the large spider statue and the hand that held the key cocked back. “Guardian of the castle! Hear my command and open the gates!”


            “Ow…” Handa-sensei grumbled as she picked herself up. “Where…where am I now?” she asked out loud as she looked around the dark room. There was a single candle lighting up the room, so there wasn’t much light at all. However, Handa-sensei could see the thing in the room just fine; what she saw did little to calm her nerves.

            There was a young girl, perhaps nineteen years old, with long black hair and a kimono that seemed to have come from another time period lying on the ground. Her body seemed to be covered in webs though her face had a rather serene expression rather than one of terror. She was embracing a large shape, and it was this large shape that frightened Handa-sensei more than anything.

            The large shape was that of a gigantic black spider. Its eyes seemed rather dull, almost as if the beast was dead. The monster had red and blue stripes on its massive body, its eight legs in the air as it lay on its back. Handa-sensei could not believe that a spider this big could exist.

            However, she knew that this wasn’t the time to be gawking at a giant spider. ‘I have to find my students!’ she thought as she looked around for an exit. However, a thought occurred to her that she needed some sort of plan; if she was truly going up against monsters, she would need a miracle. Her little get-out-of-jail-free card had already been played in the form of her grandfather’s trinket and she doubted she was going to get another one.

            As she searched, she could’ve sworn that she saw the legs of the spider twitch a little. It was probably her imagination, but she didn’t want to stick around to find out. As she looked behind her, she saw a wooden frame in the form of a door. Pushing it tentatively, she silently praised her luck as she hurried out of the room. -------------------------------------------------------------------------  

Setsuna threw the key in her arm at the statue, aiming at the mouth of the large spider. As the key flew like a javelin, it suddenly stopped in midair close to the mouth. As if an invisible hand was guiding it, the key slowly moved towards the mouth and inserted itself in. The entire temple started to rumble and streams of energy started to burst out from underneath the statue. 

            Saki was not a person who scared easily, but even she felt a twinge of dread as the temple continued to tremble. Clutching Shiori to her body fiercely, Saki looked around to see the rest of the Kumobito looking around frightfully. “Setsuna-hime! What are you doing?” Saki cried out.

            Hatsune stared at the statue, her eyes widening in horror as if she was seeing something terrifying. “You…ugh!” One of her hands clutched the side of her head as she fell to one knee. The spider statue’s eight eyes were starting to glow in a fearsome blue color. The rest of the Kumobito murmured anxiously among one another as the rumbling got louder and louder. The kidnapped students, already petrified in fear, could do nothing but whimper as Setsuna gazed upon the large statue with joy in her eyes.

            “Oneesama…” Hatsune’s voice sounded almost frightened, something that caused Kanako’s heart to beat faster in anxiety. The older girl had a hand on her head, sweat coming out of her forehead, and looking as though she had just suffered a giant headache. Her eyes were roaming around the room as if seeing the place in a new light, as if something had awakened inside of her mind and she was waking from a dream. “You…are you raising the castle?”

            “Oh! You remember now?” Setsuna asked, sounding delighted. “I knew that raising the castle would jog something in there.” Setsuna hurried over to Hatsune and pulled the younger girl into an embrace. “Wonderful!”

            “This doesn’t look good…” Rie whispered to Kanako, her grip on the baseball bat tightening. “What if…what if Hatsune-san sides with that woman?” Rie got no answer, however, for Setsuna was suddenly in front of them. Rie let out a shriek and instinctively swung with the bat, only for Setsuna to casually catch it in one hand and crush it into splinters. “No! Don’t come any closer!”

            “I see humans these days are still quick to strike out in fear,” Setsuna said, sounding amused. “But no matter; I must thank you for taking care of my dear little sister during her…more vulnerable state. Now that I’ve seen you up close, I can certainly see why she decided to keep you around…”

            “Why…why are you doing this?” Kanako asked, feeling fear attempting to choke her voice into silence. “Why did you do this to my classmates and my friends?”

            “Do what?” Setsuna asked, sounding puzzled for a moment. “Oh, you mean turn some of them into Kumobito? Little one, we are merely doing this to survive. The Kumobito are little in number compared to the past and there are even less jorougumo in this world as well. We do not want to die out, and we have no intention of doing so either. You humans have always been in large numbers; what’s the loss of a few being transformed into Kumobito?”

            “But…but it’s wrong!” Rie cried out. “They have families that are waiting for them! You…you’ve trampled on their lives, just like what you did to my family! Teruko-neechan…she’s…she’s a wreck now! All because you turned her into a spider creature and made her rape another girl for the sake of reproduction!”

            “Don’t blame me,” Setsuna said serenely. “After all, I’ve been asleep for so long after that battle with the onmyouji.” She turned towards the other Kumobito, all who seemed to shrink away from her gaze, as if afraid she would do something horrible. “Although I am a little surprised that so many would be here. What is the occasion?”

            “Setsuna-hime…” the hesitant voice of Kaoru rang out. “We have strived for a long time to awaken you, gathering the needed energy to weaken the seal of your prison. We have awakened you so that you may take your place as our leader once again.”

            “Leader?” Setsuna’s voice suddenly, to Kanako and Rie’s bewilderment, took on a puzzled tone. “I was only leader for a while because mother…” The jorougumo’s eyes suddenly widened. “Mother! What happened to her? Where is she?”

            The Kumobito shifted uneasily, some of them clearly disturbed by the notion of a jorougumo above the Spider Princess in strength. They turned towards Saki for an answer; Saki looked a little uncomfortable but spoke up anyways. “She…she and your human mother have yet to awaken from their slumber. I’ve tried all I could, but I have no idea what’s happened to them…”

            “Are they alive?” Setsuna asked sharply, the tone of her voice much sharper than usual. “Are they still alive?” As Saki nodded, Setsuna relaxed visibly. “Well, I’ll take care of it later. Now, it seems like the Kumobito are expecting something from me…”

            “Are you not going to bring us back to our glory days?” Sadako asked. “Are you not going to take back the lands stolen from us by humans?”

            “Oh, is that all you were expecting me to do?” Setsuna asked in surprise. “Well, you need not worry. Once this castle has been fully raised, it will send out a call. All the jorougumo in this area will answer, and we can begin our reclamation of this land!”

            The Kumobito cheered, though not without fright. The jorougumo were the masters of all spiders, and it was already an awe-inspiring yet terrifying experience to be in the same room as three jorougumo. The thought of even more was mind-boggling. As for the humans and the recently transformed, the thought was enough to bring despair. ‘We have to get out of here…” Kanako and Rie thought. ‘But how? There are too many spider creatures here…how will we escape?’ Both Kanako and Rie knew that, whatever they had to do, they had to do it fast. Kumobito were already bad enough; if any more jorougumo appeared, escape would be impossible.




            Handa-sensei couldn’t believe her eyes; the corridors were filled with skeletons in old tattered robes that seemed to be onmyouji outfits. Many of the skeletons were in very bad shape; one of them had a huge hole in its skull while another one had been torn in half. Some of the skeletons still clutched onto strange artifacts and objects, surely the tools to their trades.

            ‘I wonder if any of these things still work,’ she wondered as she inspected one of the skeletons. Looking up, she noticed that the place was lit with torches. ‘Perhaps I can use one of these…’ she thought as she pulled the torch out of its stand. ‘If those spiders are fireproof, at least I’ll die with the knowledge that I tried…’

            She looked at some of the strange trinkets that the dead onmyouji were holding. There were a few staffs, probably used to hold the demon in place with magic while the onmyouji cast spells to finish it off. There were a few paper talismans with words that had already faded away with age. There were a few swords on the ground as well, some of them having been snapped in half. Picking up a good sword, or at least one that was in better condition than the rest, Handa-sensei swung it around a few times to test it out.

            She continued down the corridors, wondering if there was any way up. ‘Please, let me find a set of stairs going up or something…’ she mentally pleaded. ‘Please…I have to help my students; I can’t leave them to the monsters.’

            She didn’t expect to find a set of stairs so soon; going up, no less! She also didn’t expect to find two cult members walking down either.


            Hatsune’s head had been in a whirl ever since Setsuna was freed. Seeing the castle being raised and jolted a few memories loose in her head; she remembered being in the room when the onmyouji attacked, remembered the horrific screech of her mother in spider form as she fought against the onmyouji. She remembered the cries of the onmyouji as they were overwhelmed by the Kumobito that served her mother. She remembered her sister locked in combat with that one onmyouji girl Sayoko…

            “Little sister?” the voice of Setsuna snapped Hatsune out of her reverie. “Are you alright?” Setsuna, who had seemed so menacing in all her serene horror, now seemed much less dangerous. There was a familiar scent to her now: the scent of family, the scent of a loving older sister.

            “I…I am,” Hatsune said hesitantly. She noticed Kanako and Rie both staring at her in fear now; who could blame them? She knew what they were thinking: was she going to betray them? Hatsune hated the position she was in now that she realized the whole incident now was only part of a dark web of events from long ago. She had promised Kanako she would help her, but now that some of her memories had come back, she didn’t want to go against her powerful older sister either.

[End notes: Once again, sorry for the long wait. Hopefully I can pull myself together and give that writer's block the boot.]

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