In the library, at the Scarlet Devil Mansion, danmaku was flying all around. Powerful shots impacted everywhere, leaving black spots all around, except on the books. Patchouli and Ail stop for a moment and Ail asks "hey, aren't you worried about all these books?" Patchouli calmly says "very nice of you to worry, but you see, all my books are magically protected, so there's no need to worry. Shall we continue?" Ail nods with a smirk on his face. Patchouli pulls out a Spell Card from inside the book she was holding, this time Ail was able to see it clearly. "Sun Sign, Royal Flare!" shouted Patchouli. Suddenly, red danmaku materialized between her and Ail. It moved in a circular motion, making Ail have to dodge with great care, as the shots intertwined a lot. "No bad" said Ail. "I guess I'll have to focus a little more" and so Ail begins to shoot those orange danmaku balls that explode on impact straight at Patchouli, then suddenly one of her danmaku lands right on his face, however, he was just fine. "What the hell? I barely even felt that!" said Ail looking surprised, then Patchouli says "that's because I missed your hit box." When Ail looks at his stomach, there was this reddish ball there. He looks back at Patchouli looking both surprised and scared, then she says "yours is almost as small as Reimu's. This will be tough." Again, Ail looks shocked and a little scared, but the battle continued until the first spell card had been cleared. There was a glint in Patchouli's eyes as she takes out the second Spell Card and says "My improvement is evident, however, your improvements is also quite evident." Ail smiles and bows thanking Patchouli then she continues saying "however I am not done yet...Five Elements Sign, Philosopher's Stone" Five books materialize, each shooting danmaku of a different element. Water, Fire, Wind, Nature, and Metal. Each book would shoot the danmaku in it's own pattern. Ail was grazed a lot of times, but he kept shooting his danmaku at her, clearing her spell card just as the very last wave of danmaku had him surrounded. "Phew" exclaimed Ail, "that was too close for comfort." Showing no emotion at all, like always, Patchouli takes out her last Spell Card of the match saying "This... I trained very hard to perfect this... let's test this against the real thing. "Metal and Fire Sign, Dragon's Last Breath!" On her left hand, she held an enormous metal blade and on her right, a fire blade of the same size. She brings them both together forming a spiritual dragon made of metal and flames. The dragon's body disappears, leaving only the neck and head. Ail gasped as he backed away, looking quite frightened. The dragon's head shot metals spikes at him, while from the neck, small fire blades and crystals would come out spinning, generating more crystals that would home in on Ail.
Sakuya kept watching and noticed Meiling hiding beside Koakuma, both behind one of the bookshelves watching the fight. Sakuya was impressed that Meiling looked like her old self again. She smiles and thinks "I never though I'd see Meiling again. It also seems lady Patchouli is coming back to us. The kid is really doing it... now all that's left is Flandre." Sakuya leaves the room in an instant then heads to Flandre's room, opening all the locks, smiles, then hides herself in the darkest corner she could find. Back at the village, Kyo was a little drunk. He had taken off both his shirts and was flexing his muscles every time he accomplished even the tiniest request. Somehow, Mystia, who was putting bandages on Rumia, couldn't take her eyes off Kyo for a second, blushing occasionally, and she wasn't the only one, as Mokou, who was hiding behind a house, was staring at Kyo, unblinking, her cheeks turning pink. Reimu was hiding inside Keine's school, looking pale and scared of going out saying "he's going overboard again." Keine smiles and says "don't worry, I exchanged Suika's gourd for one full of water." Reimu looks at Keine a little worried saying "but what if they find out?" Keine giggles and says "we run and pretend we don't know them" and then she winks. Reimu smiles, but just then Suika entered the school, looking angry and sniffing around. She finds her gourd and places the fake one right on Keine's desk who tried to smile, however Suika's eyes were red and filled with fire, making Keine gulp and lower her head a little. Just after Suika left, Reimu says "to the shrine?" "Right behind you" immediately said Keine, following Reimu out a window and to the shrine.
Back at the mansion's library, Ail was having much difficulty dodging all those shots. His face was cut and singed, his shirt was a bit tattered, but he kept on fighting. Suddenly, Patchouli starts coughing and collapses letting out a "mukyu~~!", however the dragon's head continued to attack, now more violently. "Crap, she lost control... no matter. Now it's my turn then." Aiming at the dragon's head, Ail shoots his focused shots, weakening it. Koakuma panics and flies rapidly to her collapsed mistress and gets her away to safety alongside her and Meiling, who offers them popcorn. Ail dodged the dragon's head shots as best he could, and managed to weaken it considerably. One last focused shot and the dragon's head vanished into thin air, but not before nailing Ail on the arm with one of it's metal spikes just before it disappears. "Dammit! That hurt!" shouted Ail as he pulled out the metal spike. He heads to where Koakuma, Meiling and Patchouli are. A little dazed, Patchouli manages to sit saying "I guess I still need to learn to control that one. At least you beat it." she said looking at Ail who extends his hand and helps Patchouli up. "That was just awesome!" exclaimed Ail. That last spell card... how could you summon something so fierce and manage to keep control that long?" Meiling grabs Patchouli from behind saying with a smile "because she is Patchouli Knowledge." After restoring the library, Patchouli, sitting by her desk says "and so you beat me, without having to use any Spell Cards. I am impressed, and I am glad to know... you really are that strong." Ail and Meiling both look rather confused at each other, then back at Patchouli who explains. "When you came by last time, I saw you as a mere human with admirable powers, however your power was nowhere near my own, and yet I couldn't take down your barriers. This battle has proven those barriers were no fluke, that you really are that strong, and for that I am grateful." Ail smiles at Patchouli saying "I understand now. But you know, locking yourself up like that? Remilia was truly worried." Patchouli's eyes reveal her sudden realization that she hasn't seen Remilia for almost a month. She, then, uses magic to restore Ail's clothes and heal his wounds a little. Ail smiles widely saying "maybe I should learn that spell." He then bows his head to Patchouli and says "you better go to Remilia, and let her know you are ok." As he turns around to leave, Meiling trails behind saying "you're still under my watch, mister!" Outside the mansion, a bandaged little black ball flying aimlessly says the familiar "is that so~!?"
At the basement corridor, a little blond vampire peeks outside her room. "Oh no... it's that same feeling again... and the door's open... what should I do?" said Flandre, who immediately shuts the door when she hears some voices. She then heads under her bed, holding a tattered teddy bear that was losing it's stuffing, as tightly as she could. "I just don't understand, why exactly did you attack Flan like that last time?" asked Meiling, and Ail responds "I was being controlled. It was a sneaky spirit that was hiding inside me. It tried to kill Flandre when I got too weak to control it." "Oo~hh, I see. Well, you're still in hot water, so you best behave when we get there. Arriving at Flandre's door, Meiling opens it, and to her surprise, all the locks were already opened. "Oh my, the locks are all open..." said Meiling as she entered the room calling Flandre softly "little sister...? Flan, are you here?" Flandre peeks from under he bed and when she sees Meiling, she jumps from under the bed and straight on to Meiling, making a loud cracking sound as she landed hard on Meiling. Ail heard the sound and covered his eyes, thinking Meiling had just been split in half by the force of the impact, however she was fine, hugging Flandre back. "Flan" said Meiling "you have a visitor. I want you to meet him. You can come in now!" When Ail slowly reveals himself, Flandre remembers everything that had happened during his last visit. She starts to hyperventilate and holding tightly to Meiling. Ail looked down a little saddened as Meiling comforted Flandre. "Don't worry, this time I am here. He won't harm you."
Slowly, Flandre lets go of Meiling as she puts her down. Ail kneels and offers his hand to Flandre. She looked at his eyes, scared at first, then very suspicious. She slowly approached Ail and grabbed his hand, shutting her eyes tightly and looking away, however Ail kept his hand open until Flandre looked back at him. He then slowly closed his hand and started shaking softly saying "hello Flandre. My name is Ail... the real Ail, that is." Flan looks back at him and asks "you... you don't want to break me?" Ail lightly shakes his head, then Flandre smiles a little, and that's when Sakuya reveals herself right behind Ail. "Err... S-sakuya... heh heh. W-What a surprise." said Meiling very nervously. "Meiling, those replacements you left at the gate just freeze a really nasty intruder... I might consider them to be a permanent replacement" said Sakuya, making Meiling gulp loudly. Outside, Cirno and Daiyousei had just frozen Aya, and Momiji was pulling the large iced crow tengu away, Cirno saying "and don't mess with the strongest again, you hear?" Daiyousei's eyes sparkled as Cirno posed valiantly. To their right, Rumia looked on and said "is that so~?" and gets frozen immediately. Back inside, Sakuya places a knife on Ail's neck saying "you sneaked in again, and came back to the scene of the crime..." she then looks at Flandre and says "would you like to get rid of him, young-mistress?" Flandre nervously thinks then says, "no wait..." Sakuya smiles and takes the knife off Ail's neck, Ail sighing in relief, then she says "alright. Besides, he's been restoring the mansion to the way it should be. And you, Meiling, were just making sure he behaved, so I'll overlook this negligence this time." Meiling sighs in great relief.
Flandre was no longer afraid of Ail, sitting on his lap quietly as Sakuya and Meiling were talking. "I am so glad to see you back to you old self, Meiling. I really did miss scolding you" said Sakuya. Meiling places her left hand behind her head, laughing as she said "aww, I'm sorry... where did I go again?" Sakuya smiles and says "the mistress will be happy to know everything is back to normal." Ail interrupted "not yet." and when Sakuya and Meiling look at him, then at Flandre, they realize what he meant, then Flandre realizes everyone is looking at her and asks "what?". Ail gets her up to her feet, then he gets up and asks her "Flandre? Are you afraid of using your powers?" Flandre turns her sight away from Ail's and down to the ground then slightly nods. Ail kneels to look at her straight in the eyes and says "look, what happened last time... you shouldn't be afraid of your powers. You just need to control them, and you should be just fine." Flandre wouldn't raise her eyes and just stood still. Meiling was about to grab Flandre, to cheer her up, however a blue portal formed very suddenly just beside Ail. All looked a bit surprised. Ail peeks his head in then pulls it back out. "It heads to the village." he says, then Flandre's face sparkles, and her eyes twinkle. "Well can't you close it?" asked Sakuya, but Ail looked quite puzzled and says "ME!? How could I do that? I don't even know how that opened up in the first place!" Sakuya looks at him suspiciously and says "so you don't know?" Ail looks to the ground then says "look, I don't know HOW I am even doing this... honestly." While Sakuya and Ail argue, Flan quietly sneaks inside the portal. Meiling notices a bit too late, jumping right in after her shrieking "Flandre!". By the time Ail and Sakuya realize this, the portal started to close, however Ail was quick enough to get in just in time. Sakuya panics when she hears her mistress' footsteps heading her way. By the time Remilia arrives, Sakuya was pretending to be cleaning the room. "Sakuya, where is Flan?" asked Remilia. Sakuya, without turning around so Remilia wouldn't see her nervous face, she says "I'm sorry my lady, I haven't seen her today." Remilia looks around and before she leaves she says "well, keep a look-out. There's no telling when that Ail might show." Yes, m'lady" replies Sakuya. Just as Remilia walks by Patchouli's library, the doors open. "Lady Remilia" says Patchouli, "will you come here for a moment? I need to talk to you." Remilia, looking like a lost child for a moment, nods then heads into the library.
At the village, everyone was in complete shock at the sudden appearance of Flandre, Meiling, then Ail. Flandre gets up and looks around, then notices so many people and youkai in one same place. She panics and begins to shiver, however Meiling gets up just in time, as Flandre immediately crashes on to her and holds in tight. Ail gets up last, then spots Kyo. "W-we're here~" says Ail as Marisa shouts "Flandre? Meiling? What are you two doing here!?" When Flandre hears Marisa's voice, almost instantly, she launches towards Marisa and knocks her down with a big, bone-crushing hug. Ail covered his ears thinking "the pain!!!" Marisa's body shakes violently as she pats Flandre on the head saying "he-hello there... F-F-Flan..." Flandre giggles, calming down then asks "why are there so many people here? Are they playing?" Kyo gets in front of the awestruck crowd and says "Ail, what are they doing here?" Ail is holding his forehead saying "I am not sure myself, dude." Meiling looks around and foolishly says "oh, it's a festival!" Flandre perks up and asks "a festival? What's that?" Suika comes in and says "WHA~~T!? You don't know what a festival is!? My name is Suika, and I'll be your festival teacher... come with me." "Oh no" shouts Meiling. "You're not getting her out of my sight... does anybody have an umbrella I can borrow?" Ail was about to accompany them, but Kyo holds him saying "is everything ok?" Ail nods and says "this was no accident, I am sure." then Kyo responds "Keine and Reimu need to talk to you, so before you leave, you should find them." Ail nods again then follows after Flandre, Suika and Meiling.
Even though Meiling found an umbrella, she and Ail were surprised to see how resistant to the early noon sun Flandre was. Suika took Flandre to the kiosks saying "...and this is where people sell foods and other items others might want, like charms, toys, some have games, and others have little shows for children, like Alice here, who's going to be doing a puppet show. Flandre's face twinkles as the excitement climbs on her. "Meiling, look, look... a doll. She looks so cute!" said Flandre as she ran towards Alice and Shanghai, pulling Meiling along with her. Ail takes this chance and asks "Suika? It's autumn... why are we having a festival?" Suika takes a good gulp of sake from her gourd and answers very simply "but why not?" Ail felt he had just been defeated, so he kept quiet. Flandre and Meiling were asking Alice about her dolls and puppets, when one of Alice's dolls falls and rips open. Witnessing this made Flandre feel really horrible, remembering how she used her powers to break her toys and other things amongst the many. She almost started to cry. Alice notices and says "don't worry, I can fix it!" then she picks up the doll and in just seconds, she mends it, making it look just like new, then shows to Flandre. It was a really cute doll that looked just like Shanghai, only she had short blond hair and wore little glass slippers. Flandre smiles then asks with concern "can people be fixed like that too?" Alice sighs and says "no, little one. I'm afraid that people and youkai cannot be fixed so easily." Flandre drops her head a little, Meiling worried asks "little sister? What's wrong?" "N-Nothing!" replied Flandre, then spots a sweets kiosk and runs to it, Meiling trailing along, thanking Alice for her time. Ail follows them and behind him a stumbling Suika. "Excuse me, how much is that sweet potato?" asked Meiling as Ail catches up. The woman from inside says "it's 150 yen." Meiling takes out the money and pays the woman, then Ail says "Ran? is that you?" Ran smiles saying "why, it's mister Ail. It's been a while, how are you? Who are these?" Ail smiling says "I'm doing well. This is Meiling Hong,the gatekeeper, and Flandre Scarlet, from the Scarlet Devil Mansion." "Nice to meet you" said Ran bowing her head, holding her hands together, and covering them whit her sleeves. From behind her comes Chen saying "Hi~ Ail, how are you?" Ail smiles "I am well. A kiosk?" Ran then says "it's good for making a little extra, plus it helps Chen meet new people." "I see" said Ail just as Flandre eats the last bite of her sweet potato, flapping her wings contently saying "yumm~~~!" Ail continues "have you seen Reimu and Keine? Nobody seems to know where they are." Ran laughs and says "they ran away from Suika and Kyo a little earlier. Said they were heading to the shrine." "The shrine, I see..." said Ail "Thanks Ran, I better go there now. Glad to see you and Chen. Take care" He then turns to Meiling and Flandre and says "come with me. I could use the company."
On their way to the shrine, they somehow managed to lose Suika, who turned to Kyo, and to another drinking challenge, and while walking to the shrine Flandre, looking a little sad, and staring at the ground said "my powers are so scary... I though I was playing, and I though..." Meiling tries to say something, but neither she or Ail could think of anything to say, then Flandre continued "why didn't they tell me I was hurting them so much. I was having so much fun breaking things... but I never knew how much it hurt, that when they broke... they left forever..." Ail stopped, turned to Flandre and held her shoulders and said "you can't be afraid of your powers, or they will control you, you understand? You were locked up for 495 years in that room, nobody ever told you anything because you refused to listen. It is not your fault, however." Flandre looks up at Ail as he continues "you were just having fun, like any child would. But now, Flandre Scarlet, now you have to learn to control those powers. I know they seem scary, but if you control them, then, and only then will you be able to find peace again." Flandre turned her sight away from Ail's then he says "how about a demonstration of what I mean?". Ail turns around, Meiling to his left, stances and ready to fight, and in front of them, two large fox youkai, one glowing yellow, and the other glowing red. "Look brother. One for each, and a snack to boot!" said the yellow fox youkai. The red one only snarls. Just before their battle starts Ail says "now watch, Flandre, as we use our powers to defend ourselves and those we care about!" Meiling rushes to the red youkai, kicking it hard, sending it flying toward a tree, and Ail focuses his shots, that, although a little slow, did great damage to the yellow youkai. Both get back up and lunge toward Flandre together, however Ail and Meiling get in their way, Meiling sending the yellow youkai back hard, Ail blasting the red youkai to the air, then Meiling rushes toward the red youkai and punches and kicks it until it backed away, and Ail started shooting smaller, but faster shots as the yellow youkai, then flies towards it, tackling it hard. Both youkai yelp and run away with their tails between their legs. Flandre's eyes widely open saying "wow... that as SO~ COOL! But why didn't you break them if they were trying to eat us?" Meiling smiles and says "because we control ourselves in order to avoid unnecessary killing." then Ail gets closer to Flandre and says "the only reason I would ever "break" anyone would be if they were going to hurt someone I cared for, and I found no other way to protect that someone." Flandre looked a little confused, then Ail and Meiling both pat her on the head, then Meiling says "I think you'll understand soon." As they continue their way to the shrine, Flandre holds Meiling's and Ail's hands.
Once at the shrine, they hear Reimu saying "aww~, what a lovely family! Sorry that I missed the wedding" Meiling and Ail look at each other, realizing what Reimu meant, then their faces turn bright red, however Flandre looked at them very confused. Reimu was sweeping leaves around her donation box and grinning at them, but then Flandre jumps to Reimu yelling "it's my red and white sis!!!". Meiling and Flandre went to look around the shrine while Ail and Reimu talked. "So, you opened another portal... and to the village, for that matter." said Reimu, then Ail says "why do you guys insist it was me? If I had-" Reimu stops him then says "I know you and Yukari had this chat already. That day, when you came back from the Moriya shrine." Ail looks at Reimu very surprised then Reimu tells him "I'm not an idiot, Ail. I know you and Yukari were talking to each other through your minds. You should be able to control that ability as well, if you train enough, of course." Ail sits next to the donation box looking grim, then Reimu sits besides him and asks "what did you two talk about?" Ail, still looking very grim said "she did all the talking. I just listened. She said: "By now you must know that you have powers very similar to mine. You are able to open gaps between barriers, but unlike me, you lack much needed experience. I could teach you, you know. Well, whatever, I'll leave that choice to you. You are lucky, you know? If my friend, Yuyuko, didn't like you so much, I would have killed you right here and now, but if I did that, she wouldn't speak to me again. Well, whatever. Take your time with that; you have more than enough time to make your choice. Oh yes, before I forget, your friend Kyo wants to go back home. If you don't do it, I might consider sending him back... but maybe I'll have a bit of fun and send him to a mountain top before sending him home..." Reimu smiles and says "that's Yukari for you. You know, she usually doesn't lie when it comes to teasing others." Ail lifts his head up and says "Maybe I should return back home with Kyo, you know? I've been causing a lot of trouble around here. Not just for the Scarlet Devil Mansion, but..." Reimu looked very surprised at his answer, but didn't say anything. The sun was almost set, and was being replaced by a beautiful full moon then Reimu says "Oh yes, you better go inside. Keine wants to talk to you now that the full moon's out. Ail looks at Reimu rather confused, then nods.
When Ail enters the shrine he noticed Keine was looking outside a window, looking straight at the rising moon. He noticed her dress and the highlights on her hair were now green, and her hat was gone, replaced by two large horns, the left one adorned with a red bow, and on top of that, she also had a greenish tail. She turns around and looks at Ail who was blushing a little, then said "surprised?" Ail gulps saying "a little... You look cute, though." Realizing what he just said, Ail's face turns bright red, and Keine giggles, blushing a little, then get serious again. "Ail, I am going to offer you... a choice." Ail gets serious now asking "a choice?" For a second, he though she was going to try and kill him, but she would have tried that long ago. Keine continues "while the full moon is out, I have control over Gensokyo's history... I could rewrite yours and Kyo's history to make it as if you never set foot inside here." Ail thinks for a moment. His face fills with doubt and fear. He didn't want to leave, but maybe, if he forgot about Gensokyo... maybe that would be the best choice. No incident with Flandre, no powers, no magic... no depressed Kyo. He then asks her "what if you only rewrote Kyo's history?" Keine shakes her head saying "You'll probably die when Remilia first attacks you. Maybe even before that. But think about it. Gensokyo will not have existed for either you or Kyo." Ail ponders for a second and says "memories from the heart seldom vanish to thin air." Keine looked very surprised saying "you are most wise... perhaps this is a bad idea also. You are right. There is a possibility you, particularly you, Ail, could remember everything." Ail says "the offer is very tempting but..." he smiles as he continues "if we did that, Flandre would never get out of that room, none of us would have ever met, and it's probable that those two girls that knocked us in could be in mayor trouble, or dead, if they were the ones that entered." Keine looks at Ail very surprised as he continued "...and fate has a funny way of working. What if someone else... someone without control attacked Flandre, then what? What if Remilia goes berserk toward someone else? I am very thankful for the offer, but the risks are too high. Only one choice left." Keine smiles at him as he continues "I'll have to learn to use my powers and abilities, so I can get Kyo and myself back home." Ail's smile vanishes when he finished. Keine walks toward him and says "I think Kyo won't mind if you stayed behind... he knows it in his heart, that this is your home now. Gensokyo itself has accepted you. You can now see spell cards and hear the declaration of use, and I am certain that some old things seem like new to you, correct?" Ail nods and smiles, then Keine smiles back.
Outside the shrine, Flandre and Meiling were ready to go back home. "I'll go with you. Someone needs to explain Remilia and Sakuya about your late return." Meiling and Flandre laugh, but suddenly a faint voice is heard. "Che~~n! CHE~~~N!!! Where are you!?" It was Ran, she was crying and calling out for Chen, then she spots Ail and rushes to him, grabs him by his arms and shakes him very violently asking "have you seen Chen? The oni started shooting danmaku in the air and she got scared, I can't FIND HER!!!!" After he stopped seeing double, Ail asks "maybe you should ask Reimu." Ran yells "she's handling that crazy oni and some frog girl at the village, you have to help me~!" Suddenly, from the direction of the Forest of Magic "Ran-sama~! Where are you~!?" and without wasting a single second, Ran rushes at great speeds to where Chen's voice came from. Ail looks at Meiling, who nods at him, then he says "Flandre, will you help us find Chen?" Flandre nods saying "let's go find her, big brother!" Ail was a bit surprised, and looks at Meiling who just shrugs.
When they arrive just outside the forest of magic, Meiling asks Ail "are you sure you can see in there? I know humans can't see very well in the dark, so..." Ail, looking a little surprised says "actually I can see quite well. I can see quite far too..." As they head inside the forest, a gigantic orange fox youkai with two tails gets in their way very suddenly, swiping it's claws at Meiling, sending her flying against a large tree, knocking her out, then before Ail is even able to move, it flashes light directly into Ail's eyes, blinding him, then swipes it's claws at him, sending him right next to Meiling. Still blind and barely able to get up Ail yells "Flandre, run! Get help!" Flandre looks at them both, calling for them "big brother, big sister!" The massive youkai looks at her saying "I'll come deal with you soon, dear. Right after I am done with you friends." then heads to where Meiling and Ail were. Ail, still blinded, tried to walk to where Flandre was, but the youkai simply sends him back with another swipe of it's massive claw. The beast opens it's mouth, ready to eat Meiling and Ail in one bite, however it stops. Flandre was holding something in her hand and said "I have the eye of your tail in my hands... leave them alone and I'll let you go!" The youkai tries to turn around, but Flandre clenches her hand, and the monster's left tail blows up, making the monster howl in pain, getting the attention of everyone a the village. Suika and Reimu are the first to fly toward the source of the howl, followed by Kyo, Keine and Mokou. Suwako only complains saying "aww, over already?" then heads back home. Back at the forest's entrance, Ail is shouting "Flan!? Flandre, are you alright!?" Flandre responds "I should be the one asking that! Can you see yet?" The youkai turns to Flandre as Ail responds "just a little." Flandre giggles and smiles as the massive youkai gets closer to her. She yells "Ail, is big sister ok?" Ail shouts back "she's just unconscious... where's that fox demon?" "You little MONSTER!" screams the youkai as it continued to walk toward Flandre. "You blew up my tail! I am going to kill you for that... argh!" Suddenly the beast drops to the ground yelping and holding it's head as best it could then Flandre asks "I have the eye of your head now. Are you going to leave us alone?" The youkai slightly recovers and tries to bite Flandre, but she clenches her hand again shouting "kyuun~" this time, making the monster's head blow. It's body falls to the ground and slowly turns to ashes.
Flandre heads to where Ail and Meiling were then kneels beside them telling Ail she was fine. Just a bit after, Meiling wakes up asking "what happened?" Flandre giggles and says "I protected my big brother and sister, just like when they protected me!" Meiling sits up mumbling "uh?? wha-?" then Flandre hugs her again. Just then, Remilia slowly flies down from a near-by tree saying "well, I was wondering when will you two be headed home, but it seems you were having too much fun here, huh? Perhaps tomorrow?" Just as Remilia lands, Ail gets up and kneels before her saying "I'm sorry, I asked them to help me here, that's why they..." Remilia interrupts him saying "look, it's fine. The important thing is you brought Patchy and Meiling back to me... and seems as though..." she looks at Flandre and smiles "... you have taught my young sister something very important today." Flandre smiles widely then jumps at Remilia, and hugging her shouting "onee-sama!" By then, Suika, Reimu and Kyo arrived, Suika shouting "WHOA! You guys killed this sick beast? Good one!" and gives them a thumbs-up. Just as Marisa, Keine and Mokou arrive, Reimu asks "what happened here? Ail, Meiling, are you two alright?" Flandre excitedly tells them what happened and how she beat that monster using her powers. She then goes to Meiling and Ail, hugging them again, then says "because someone needs to protect these two, right?" Reimu, again, mockingly says "aww~, you guys sure make one cute little family!" Flandre giggles while the still blinded Ail and a dazed Meiling slightly blush. Kyo laughs so hard, everyone else joined in. "Onee-sama... sis, can't we stay a little longer? I want to see the puppet show at the village!" asked Flandre, and Remilia quietly nods. Just as everyone was leaving, Ail realizes "hey wait! What about Ran and Chen?" then from inside the forest come Ran carrying a sleeping Chen then a little angry, she says "I found Chen, thank you! She was inside this MESSY house. Such a mess of books and junk all over!" Marisa, looking VERY grim asks "you... found her at my house?" Ran looks at Marisa then says "oh, so that's your house? I knew I recognized the mess! Oh yes, I happen to have found one of my missing math books. Why was that in YOUR house?" Marisa, without wasting another second, got on her broom and flew as fast as she could toward her house still looking incredibly grim.
Back at the village, they all enjoyed the rest of the festival. Kyo and Suika almost succeeded in forcing Ail some sake, however Ail managed to escape just in time. Chen and Flandre fell fast asleep right after Alice's puppet show, so Meiling, Remilia, Flandre, Ran and Chen left the village a little earlier. Going back to the shrine later that night were Ail, Suika, Kyo and Reimu. Ail asks "hey Reimu, why didn't you hold the festival at the shrine?" Suika answers "because Reimu said she didn't want to clean up after, and Kyo said 'me either' so we had it at the village." Ail ponders for a second then bluntly said "that's too bad. It would have been good money for the shrine, but... whatever." Reimu stops walking, her eyes open widely, then looks at Ail, then yells "crap... I forgot about that! Why did you remind me!?" then she grabs Kyo and shakes him saying "why didn't you say something!!!" and then she drops her arms down, slouches and walks toward the shrine in that pitiful pose. Suika and Kyo, who were behind Ail, look at each other and nod. Kyo grabs Ail and pulls him backwards, then Suika pours a little sake down his throat. Ail jumps up, holding his throat and running in circles screaming "water, water!!! Give me WATER! My throat!!!" He then drops the lantern and flies to the back of the shrine, then drinks as much water as he could from the lake at the back. The next morning Ail wakes up, stumbling as he goes outside the shrine. Suika and Kyo were having a staring contest, but stop as soon as they spot Ail. "Good morning Ail" said Suika. "Morning buddy... want some breakfast?" asked Kyo. Ail places both hands over his mouth, turns pale, then green, then runs to the trees and bushes and then throws up. Suika and Kyo, stare Ail's way and Suika says "wow, he really IS weak against sake, isn't he?" Kyo nods saying only "uh-huh, uh-huh".
For four days, everything went back to the way they were, when Ail and Kyo first came to Gensokyo, except that now Ail flies to town and is asked to do heavier errands. He's even visited the Moriya shrine various times, and every time he did, Sanae got in a really good mood... same for him. Youmu visited the shrine and she and Kyo had another sparring match... of course, Reimu got really mad when they almost leveled the shrine, and another constant visitor was Yuka, binging more plants for Ail to revive, and Alice and Marisa would also visit often, however this is quite normal. Suika is still wearing Reimu's clothing, which has Reimu worried, for some reason. Also, Sakuya went and visited the shrine in order to consult something with Reimu, Kyo losing it again at the sight of her. Even though she didn't know, or didn't WANT to know, she had him under her spell, and for some reason it seems he doesn't want to be free of it. On the early morning on the fifth day, Aya visits the shrine, looking terribly grim. "Aya? What are you doing here so early?" asked Reimu, while sitting on the shrine's porch, drinking some tea. Aya gets startled "a, err... Reimu, how are you? Err... have... have you seen Ail around?" Reimu looks at her directly in the eyes then says "calm down... you're acting as though you were about to do something really bad, but you don't want to, but you have to." Aya's face turns white, slowly followed by her skin, then someone pokes her from behind, making her jump and shriek loudly. "Whoa... talk about being stressed. Are you alright?" It was Ail. Aya rapidly gets up and bows saying "good morning, good morning. Let's cut to the chase... how about a small race?" Aya was shaking a bit and didn't notice Reimu and Ail grinning evil-like at each other. Reimu nods and Ail says "why, sure. That sounds like a lot of fun! From here to where?" Aya perks up and says "alright then! We start from here, head to the Moriya shrine, down to the village and then back here again!" Ail ponders then nods saying "sounds great. Let's begin, then!"
They both get set to start their race, then Reimu, very calmly says "ready set go..." Aya and Ail look at Reimu with disbelief, then at each other, then lunge into the air at great speeds. They were evenly matched, flying at amazing speeds. Already they were right above the waterfall that leads to the Moriya Shrine. Aya stops here looking very sad. Ail stops and gets closer to her. "Hey, what's the matter? We're in the middle of a race!" says Ail, then suddenly from behind, Momiji impales him with her sword. Aya, almost crying says "I'm sorry, but we were ordered to kill you... I'm so sorry." and then she places the palm of her hand on his chest, then shoots her danmaku directly at him, blasting him from the skies. His blood showers down to the waterfall and the trees while Aya and Momiji cry, hugging each other, after what they had done. Suddenly they realize that the blood had turned into cotton, and Ail's body had turned into fabric. Aya and Momiji were now shaking in fear. "Miss Aya, what have we done?" said Momiji trembling alongside Aya who responds "what the hell was he?" From under some trees Ail comes out looking very casual with an apple he had just bought from the Aki sisters and taking a bite. He shouts from the ground "hey, what exactly are you two doing?" When Aya and Momiji see he's alive and well, they celebrate for a bit, then suddenly attack Ail with so many shots, he was bound to get hit, however the trees absorbed most of the shots and again, still looking casually at them, he shouts "what exactly are you two trying to do?" This time both Aya and Momiji lunge directly at him, Momiji pointing her sword straight at Ail's face. He throws the apple up in the air, gets out of the way just in time to avoid Momiji's sword, then spins out of Aya's way, making her crash against a tree. He grabs the apple from the air, takes on last bite and throws it at Aya, knocking her down. He then gets close to Aya and again he asks "what are you two trying to do?" From behind, Momiji quietly tries to slash him, however he ducks just in time, kicks the sword away, then backs away fast, just as Aya started shooting danmaku at him.
Aya's danmaku misses miserably, then, almost crying she says "we got direct orders from our leader to terminate you. It's nothing personal, but we cannot disobey orders!" and so she lunges at Ail alongside Momiji. Just as they strike, they realize they were attacking air, then from behind them, Ail says "well, slowpokes like yourselves could never hope to catch me... let alone 'terminate' me." Without turning around, Aya stands up straight, the atmosphere around her turned thick then in a very serious and angry tone of voice she says "what... did you just call me?" Ail calmly looks at Aya saying "oh my. Did I strike a raw nerve?" Aya turns around, her face was red, her eyes were on fire, and she was clenching that fan of hers so tight, it was bound to break. "You punk!" shouted Aya. "You want to see fast, do you? Momiji, stand down... he's mine!" Momiji looks at Aya and quietly says "but miss Aya, don't you realize he's just mocking-" then Aya yells louder "I SAID STAND DOWN!" and Momiji ducks and covers herself, lowering her ears, her tail between her legs. Aya lunges at Ail, her speed considerably higher, however Ail would dodge just in time. Aya was getting furious, then on her next pass, she stops and realizes Ail had her fan. He was looking at it curiously saying "wow... looks like a leaf, but it's quite solid. Oh..." he looks at Aya "you want this?" and then tosses the fan back to her. Aya stomps hard on the ground with her left foot and pulls out a spell card just as she catches her fan. "Illusionary Dominance!!!" she shouted at the top of her lungs "AYAYAYAYAYA!, then suddenly starts flying high and at such speeds, she looked like a beam of light. Momiji was now trembling behind a tree while watching the fight. Ail looks up then sees a lot of little green shards heading his way slowly. At first he though nothing of it, however more and more shards appear, making is really hard for him to dodge. "Crap" he says softly as four or five shards land on him, one of them landing on his hit box. Various red tabs with the letter "P" on them flew up, then slowly back down. Aya smirks and comes down, then gets close to him with an evil grin in her face and says "now die, you snail!" Just as Aya prepared another wave of danmaku, Reimu pops from out of nowhere and holds Aya by her shoulder, with a glint in her eyes and says "hold it, you idiot!"
Ail was still sitting on the ground while Reimu explained. "I went to the tengu headquarters to ask why did they want you to terminate Ail... funny thing, they all looked at me as if I were crazy, and so I explained the situation." Aya and Momiji both looked very surprised and Aya asks "wait, you knew!?" "We both did" replied Reimu. Ail gets up saying "if it was meant to be a secret, then you're not very good at keeping those 'secret'... we suspected something the second you came to the shrine." Reimu continued "so while you two were having your little race, I took the liberty to coming here directly and talk to your leader. You completely misunderstood the orders." and then she hands Aya a piece of paper. Aya reads it out loud. "You idiots, we told you to terminate a CONTRACT with the half youkai that lives in the FOREST, not the SHRINE! We will discuss this matter after you are done with this errand." Aya and Momiji looked very ashamed of themselves, looking at each other in disbelief. Momiji shouts "miss Aya~! you weren't listening again!" Aya lowers her head and drops to the ground saying "don't say it like that!" Aya and Momiji apologized to Ail almost a hundred times, Ail, of course accepted their apologies. Above them, Reisen, looking tired, for some reason, was flying toward the village from the Moriya shrine, carrying a large brown backpack. "Why did I come here in the first place?" she asked herself "I don't even remember how I got here. I better hurry or master will be angry again." Almost falling down, she quickly recovers saying "ah... this is so heavy, I better fly lower, just in case." Without realizing, a vial full of indigo-colored liquid falls from one of the backpack's pockets and straight down on Ail's head. He rubs his head with both his hands and runns around in a circle. When he stops he notices Aya was chuckling and he says "that's not funny... that hurt!" sounding a bit annoyed. Reimu spots half of the vial saying "uh-oh" then Ail says "argh, my hair is wet with something... eh... I'm feeling... strange." Suddenly his body starts to shrink to that of the size of a child, his ears vanish an are replaced by ears just like Momiji's, although brown like his own hair, and then a short brown hairy tail pops just below his back, and his eyes widened and turned beady. He had turned into half a dog. He looks at Reimu, who was completely shocked, then at Aya and Momiji, who looked equally shocked. "What are you all looking at?" Ail realizes his voice sounded squeaky then asks "what just happen to me?". Momiji and Aya's nose start bleeding as they both shout "SO CU~~~TE!" then run at Ail and start petting him and hugging him. Reimu looked a little shocked still, then looks at the half of vial in her hand. From behind some trees, a little black ball flies aimlessly and says "is that so~?" then crashes against a tree.
To be continued...
Characters, scenario and spell cards all belong to ZUN -Team Shanghai Alice-
Ail, Kyo and "Metal and Fire Sign Dragon's Last Breath!" spell card were crated by Willie G.R. (Any similarities are strictly coincidental.)
JUN 25 2009
This chapter really took me some time to finish :S!!!