Kaguya the Basement Dweller
Kaguya’s tale begins with an old but poor couple who lived chopping bamboo. One day, the old man comes across a conspicuously shining bamboo stalk and proceeds to see the silhouette of a small girl. This isn’t a baby either, it’s a four inch tall girl. Surprised and amazed, the old man cuts open the bamboo and immediately takes her home to show to his wife. Looking over their beautiful light bulb child, they proceed to adopt her.
Either way, she ends up being immensely beautiful and grows up within a few weeks to become a regular sized girl. Not only that, but she’s so miraculous that she causes more bamboo to grow gold and so every day when the cutter went out to chop bamboo, he came back with a sack of gold. Within a short amount of time, they went from poor as dirt to living in a massive palace.
All the meanwhile, the village around them became endeared with Kaguya for being ridiculously perfect. No one was wiser, more beautiful, or considerate than Kaguya, even though we’re only going to see one out of three of those traits at work. Either way, after managing to build an entire mansion off of the magical gold that literally started growing on trees, it finally occurs to the couple to name their baby. The cutter heads off to a mountain called Mimuro to talk to a man named Ibeno Akita. With a snap of his fingers, her name became Nayo Takeno Kaguya Hime, or Princess Kaguya of the Slender Bamboo. They come back and the entire village sings and dances for three days straight over a name.
Fast forward a little further and Kaguya’s finally a woman ready to marry. Not only that but word of her beauty has spread across the land of Japan and bachelors from all over where piling on to try and get a glimpse of her as well as marry her. So Kaguya does the only reasonable thing at hand and puts herself under house arrest, never showing her face to any visitors ever. Coincidentally, this is why her first card, Seer of the Blue Moon, has a mask over her face. She’s so beautiful as to cause any person who looks at her to immediately become captivated by her image.
However, five potential suitors stick around for over a year, constantly begging the old man to let them marry her. Understanding that Kaguya needed to be married off some time before the next century was over and knowing that these five guys weren’t going to give up, even after a full year of waiting without ever the slightest hint that Kaguya actually existed, the old man goes to Kaguya. Asking her to go marry one of these rich guys outside the front guy before he dies of old age, Kaguya promptly cries and says she never wants to leave. After a bunch of back and forth between what I imagine was an exasperated parent and a kicking and screaming child, Kaguya finally issued the five impossible challenges.
The five men each were told to find at least one of the following: The Robe of the Fire Mink, a Jeweled Branch of Horai, the Stone Bowl of Buddha, a Cowrie of a Swallow, or the Five Jewels on the Dragon God of the Sea. Coincidentally, that also happens to be five of the treasury items from the set Kaguya first appeared in, The Crimson Moon Fairy Tale.
The old man takes the challenges out to five men and they all lose it over how impossible the items would be to get. Still, they resolve to go out and find them. It ends poorly for all of them! One guy ends up living in a shack for a year for nothing as he comes back with fake bowl. Another nearly drowns at sea angering the dragon god, and yet another gets chased out of the country by his workers for not being paid properly to make a fake Branch of Horai, and one of them dies in his own backyard trying to grab trash out of a swallow’s nest.
One situation stands above the rest in terms of absurd though. Abeno Mimuraji was requested to get the Robe of the Fire Mink. Instead of trying to get crafty about this, he instead sent a message off to a wealthy trader friend in China and asked him to find it. After several more years of Kaguya laying around in her parents’ house, Abeno’s friend finally gets back to him and it turns out some temple has the fur of the mink, but they require even more money. With no price too high, Abeno sends off nothing short of a moderate sized fortune and finally gets that piece of red fur. When he takes it to Kaguya, Kaguya proceeds to go through the regularly scheduled water works and then tosses the fur into a fire, lying through her teeth that it shouldn’t be able to burn. It burned, Abeno’s wallet burned too, and, in the meantime, some monks were sitting on the side of the beach living the millionaire lifestyle thanks to some silly fool.
So Kaguya continued to live alone, surfing the webs and watching cat videos while her parents fretted over what to do with their increasingly introverted child. One night though, Kaguya was suddenly struck with a melancholy mood looking at the full moon. As a result, she would spend night in and night out not bothering to eat and occasionally resuming the water works into what one could only assume was a spiral of depression.
All would be fixed though since later came a letter from the Emperor of Japan. Having heard of the crazy off the wall level of beauty Kaguya had, the Emperor had decided he needed to see her for himself. Unlike the other bachelors though, he was young, honest, handsome, and well meaning. But mostly he was the Emperor and you don’t say no to the Emperor of all people. Arriving with a small chunk of the military, he casually pops in and the parents are overjoyed at the idea of finally having surefire way to marry off their daughter. Going inside, they try to coax Kaguya out but she’s glued to her computer screen.
Unhappy with this turn of events, the parents head out to inform the Emperor of this news only for him to notice Kaguya had crawled up and out of her space to watch from behind a curtain of the mansion. Pushing past Kaguya’s parents, he ran after her and for a moment, managed to touch her hand. This was a new and alien feeling to Kaguya. Something oddly soft and warm, the touch of another human being. So very, very warm. In fact, she probably felt like her hand caught on fire and she ran to the next room over, completely shaken by such a new sensation.
Quivering and trying her best to maintain social contact with the horrifying handsome man across the screen, she quickly divulged into a crazed rant about how she was going to have to leave soon, for the moon was after her. Not quite sure how to take this revelation, the Emperor suggested he could post his army to protect her. Kaguya straight up told him that wasn’t going to help at all but he went ahead and did anyway on the next full moon.
Standing out in the courtyard, Kaguya was sweating bullets as everyone watched the moon. Suddenly a UFO came down from the heavens. Ordering his archers to fend off the UFO, they rained arrows on it only for them to bounce off. The UFO promptly knocked them all asleep with a pew-pew laser beam except for the Emperor and Kaguya. Once the coast was clear, several rabbits beamed down from the UFO to hand Kaguya an elixir of immortality and a robe styled after the latest lunar fashions. Knowing full well this would be the last time she could see the Emperor, she nervously leaned over to him and said the most sincere words to ever leave her lips, “You’re really hot.” With that, she left him with part of the elixir in hopes that the destiny of oneitis would reunite them in the future.
Then she drank the remaining elixir and put on the robe, promptly forgetting every memory she had since birth on Earth and got beamed up into the UFO and flew back to the moon. Everyone else managed to forget everything except for the Emperor, who proceeded to stare at that potion for a bit the next day before saying, “Yo man, that girl was cray cray.” He had his men chuck it into a volcano. All the while, Kaguya sat on the moon with a massive pile of rabbits, likely doing what she was always born to do: bachelor dodge and laze about.
*Disclaimer* The Lore of Will series covers the -real world- lore that Force of Will’s lore revolves around; this is not an article on the game’s specific lore.
Also We’re being serious. UFO Bunnies.