One week after the "missing Dog-Ail" incident, Reimu assembles Ail, Kyo and Mima inside the shrine, and banging her hand on the table she gets their attention and says "ladies, gentlemen, as you know, the days are getting colder, and the daytime shorter, which means winter is upon us. It has come to my attention that our supply of food for the winter, is pretty low, and if we don't do something about it soon, we'll starve this winter." Kyo's face fills with worry, while Ail's and Mima's stayed looking unconcerned and indifferent. "You two look WAY too calm. Are you hiding something?" shouted Kyo. Ail then gets on the table and with that squeaky voice he says "I vote we go youkai hunting and use their meat as food!" Kyo was in complete shock, then Reimu says "no, no, I tried that once. Youkai meat tastes horrible. Not even Kyo would be able to eat one bite off of one." Again Kyo is shocked and yells "listen you two, I don't know of you're being funny of what, but I think this is VERY serious!" "Calm down" says Ail in a very indifferent tone "we'll just get some extra work at the village and buy some more food. However..." As Ail looks at Reimu she continues for him "however, we should ration what we eat for the moment, just to make sure." Mima holds her head with her hands behind and looking as though she didn't care she says "well, good luck with all that!" Kyo, Reimu and Ail look at her, all with little glints in their eyes. Mima backs away and says "hey, hey, I'm a ghost, I don't need to eat, so I don't have to work or anything like that, got it!?" Suddenly Mima finds herself with Reimu and Kyo, helping them fulfill requests from the villagers. "And why does Ail have to stay behind?" asked Mima, sounding high and mighty, then Reimu simply replies "because there's very little he can do to help in his current state. Besides, he said he had other plans to help."
Back at the shrine, Ail had dug several straight lines on the dirt at the back of the shrine, and was planting many seeds. From the front of the shrine he heard "we're he~re! Ail?" Ail flies to the front and greets the Aki sisters. "Thank you very much for coming in such short notice." Quite a few green stars came from Ail's chest, all falling on Shizuha's and Minoriko's arms, both giggling as he looks at this event and wags his tail, still in mid-air, then he signals them to follow him to the back, and while they walk there, Shizuha whispers at Minoriko "he looks so cute, doesn't he?" Minoriko giggles. Ail heard everything, but just sighs, and when they reach the tiny garden he had made, Minoriko immediately understood. Ail then says "once you bless this, I'll use my energy manipulation to make them grow faster." Minoriko looks worried and says "well, this is no big deal for me, but it's going to be dangerous for you." Ail shakes his head a bit saying "I have to help here somehow. What's a few days in bed, huh?" Minoriko nods then blesses the small garden, then Ail places his hands on the ground and makes many kinds of vegetables grow. He lets out a loud *phew* as he gets a large box and starts placing the vegetables there, then he says "I LOVE Gensokyo!" The Aki sisters giggle and help him a little, then he repeats the seeding process, so that they may grow more and more vegetables.
By noon, Reimu, Kyo and Mima were too tired to fly, so they were walking to the shrine. "Man" said Kyo "who could have though Orin was such a slave-driver." Reimu says "Yeah. Too bad the yama closed off her restaurant... and in only 5 hours too." Mima, placing both hands behind her head says "at least we still got payed. Eirin, however... was a pain." All three shudder then Reimu says "please, don't remind me. I just can't understand how that Udonge can take it? In any case, we collected enough money to go buy enough food for the winter tomorrow." As they climbed the stairs, they could hear the Aki sisters saying "aww, so cute. Look at him twitch his ears like that." "Yeah. I wonder if he'll be alright, though." All three look at each other and hurry up the stairs and head to the back of the shrine where the Aki sisters were patting Ail who was on the ground, his eyes spinning and his ears twitching. Beside them were four large boxes, all filled with all kinds of vegetables and one more box filled with some fruits. "Oh, you're back." said Minoriko, getting up and dusting her dress. Shizuha, holding Ail, gets up and says "he overdid himself" hands Ail to Mima, then says "he used a lot of energy to grow all of these. You should be fine for the winter now." Minoriko adds "and all blessed by yours truly here, so a little thanks is in order!" Without hesitation, Reimu, Mima and Kyo give her a bit of the money they made, then patting Ail one last time on the head, Minoriko and Shizuha fly back to their home. Once all the boxes of vegetable and fruits were inside the storage house, Kyo goes to the shrine. Ail was sleeping wrapped up in white sheets, Mima was looking outside the window, as if waiting for something, and Reimu was serving tea. "He's one crazy little guy, that Ail" says Reimu as she sips on her tea. Mima goes to get her cup and Kyo, grabbing his cup says "back home he was always so quiet, and he used to do a lot of favors for me, my friends, my family and his family as well, of course. Heheh, seeing him angry was rare, but a funny treat." Mima grabs the sleeping Ail, who lets out a low "rowl?" but continues to sleep. She looks at him for a bit and says "I wonder if he'll turn back to human? He's been a dog for a while now." Reimu looks at Mima, as if realizing something, then says "you're right! I'm starting to worry. What if it's permanent?" Kyo gets a bit upset and says "now, come on! Eirin said it could take weeks, and it's only been what... one week? Let's not lose our faith here!" Mima and Reimu giggle and say "you're right!"
At night, Sakuya drops down to the Hakurei Shrine, covered in wounds and some sort of slime. She gets halfway into the shrine right before collapsing. By the time she wakes up, they had her in a futon. Kyo was besides himself with worry, Mima was drinking heavily with Suika, Ail was still asleep, rolled around the white sheets, and Reimu was placing a fresh wet towel on her head. Spotting Reimu, Sakuya says "we need your help." Reimu, looking annoyed asks "what did you do this time?" Sakuya sits up and says "Patchouli's experiment went bad. It's running lose inside the mansion. It has absorbed both Koakuma and Patchouli in it's body and it grew. It's hunting down the young mistresses." Reimu REALLY looked annoyed now and said "and if it's not stopped, it'll eat the vampires then go outside and try to eat everyone else, right?" Kyo bravely shouts "I'll go and destroy that thing single-handed!" Reimu throws a yin-yang ball at Kyo saying "you have no chance against something that did all THIS to Sakuya, so you stay here. I'll look for Marisa and-" Reimu felt a tug on her skirt. It was Ail saying "take me with you." Reimu shakes her head and says "I don't think so. In your current state you'll only get in the way. Better sit this one out, ok?" "But I can help." insisted Ail, then Reimu looks into his eyes... "I'll be back soon. Kyo, make sure these two don't destroy the shrine, take care of Sakuya, and keep Ail in that room. I'll see you all later." Then Reimu left to look for Marisa. Ail was locked up in a small room, with nowhere to go, however, he feels some air coming from under a board. With a little effort, he manages to lift the board. It made a loud creaking sound, however nobody outside seems to notice, so he squeezes himself under the board and crawls under the shrine then exits through the right side of the shrine by digging under the foundation. He looks at the moon... it was looking a little red. He decides to head directly to the mansion, while keeping a low profile, and with that small body, that was going to be easy. And so he flies a close to the trees as he could, to avoid detection by Reimu or Marisa.
Arriving at the mansion, Ail notices the gate was locked, but no gatekeeper in sight. Without hesitation, he goes through the bars of the gates, his body being so small. He reached the front door and realized... it was too big for him to open. From inside he heard screaming and explosions, there was no time to lose, however Marisa and Reimu arrive just then, were already flying over the gate. Ail hid quickly enough to avoid being seen, Marisa and Reimu opening the door and leaving it open. "Sakuya mentioned the creature absorbed Patchouli and Koakuma, so be on your guard." said Reimu. Marisa smirks and says "heh, don't you worry about me, ze. I'll just blast that monster with my Master Spark and be back home before we know it, da~ze!" They walked inside the mansion, Reimu saying "yeah, you're probably right." Ail was following behind them when they heard blasts coming from the top floors and Remilia shouting "Meiling, Flan! Look out!!" Reimu and Marisa rush upstairs, followed by Ail, but Ail stops for a moment, noticing a book that was about to fall through the handrail gaps. He picked it up and instinctively looked inside, finding a creature that looked like a gelatinous blob. Under the picture of the creature were many instructions, and so he kept on reading. On the second floor, Reimu and Marisa find Remilia and Flandre, both looking terrified. The vampires cling to the humans shouting "we can't stop it. I has Meiling now!" shouted Remilia while clinging on to Reimu, Flandre was holding on to Marisa quite tightly and shouting "the monster wants to eat us!" Reimu starts to shout "calm down, calm down!" and just then, a large crystal colored blob enters the corridor, inside it, encased in large crystals were Koakuma, Patchouli and Meiling, who had a terrified look in her face, frozen inside that crystal. It also had another, smaller crystal, that was beating just like a heart. Both Reimu and Marisa gulp and start shooting their danmaku at the creature, but the monster opens up it's mouth and absorbs the shots, then launches four tentacles from random locations of it's body. All panic and jump out of the way just in time. As they ran back from where they came, Reimu shouts "what the HELL was Patchouli doing!?" Remilia, almost crying in fear says "I don't know. I just want it gone, now!" Reimu says in a low tone of voice "so much for charisma..." From behind them, multi-colored crystals, blue lasers and bubble-like danmaku come flying toward the girls. They barely avoided the shots which exploded just in front of them. Reimu turns around surprised, saying "those were... Meiling's Colorful Rain, and Patchouli's Princess Undine?" Flandre, now crying, shouts "it uses their power without using spell cards! Make it go awa~y!" Reimu makes her stand; she pulls out a spell card and shouts "Spirit Sign, Fantasy Seal -FADER-"! Marisa shudders when she hears the declaration. Countless charms, red danmaku and yin-yang balls fly toward the creature, harming it on impact. The monster gurgles and roars in pain. "It's working" shouted Marisa, and then joins in pulling out her Hakkero and shouts "Love Sign, Master Spark!!!" The blast reaches the monster, making it roar louder. Both Flandre and Remilia join in as well. "Scarlet Sign, Scarlet Shoot!" shouted Remilia, followed by Flandre "Taboo, Laevatein!" The monster roared louder and louder. Marisa shouts "It's working, just a little more!" Her Master spark was just about to reach the monster's heart, when it suddenly launches four more tentacles, capturing them all. It pulls into it's mouth both Marisa and Reimu, encasing them inside crystals, inside it's body, growing in size, then Remilia frees one of her arms and cuts Flandre lose. "Onee-chan" shouted Flandre, as Remilia is swallowed by the monster, joining the rest inside it.
Back at the shrine, Kyo was already drunk, when he goes to check on Sakuya. "Miss Sakuya?" asks Kyo as he enters the room, but no answers. He gets closer to the futon slowly realizing Sakuya was gone. In an instant, screeching on the floor as the ran as fast as he could to Mima and Suika, he shouts "SAKUYA IS GONE!!!" Mima, from dead drunk, changed to sacred and worried shouting "WHAT!? Reimu'll KILL US! Get Ail, we have to find her!" Kyo opens the door to the small room, and found only brooms. He turns pale shouting "HE'S GONE TOO!!!" Suika spring sup and says "in cases like these..." she pauses and looks at Mima, then at Kyo then continues "...hiding is the BEST choice!" All three at the same time lift their right hands in the air saying "RIGHT!!", then they run away from the shrine, Suika saying "don't forget the sake!"
Back at the mansion, Flandre arrives at the first floor, avoiding a Master Spark from the monster. She was breathing fast as she ran, stumbling against all in her path, and constantly falling to the floor. Many fairy maids tried to stop the monster, but they all became food for it. Reaching the stairs that lead to the Mansion's exit, she continues to run as fast as she could to the door. The monster launched another tentacle, wrapping it around Flandre's leg. She shrieks as she falls and claws the floor, trying to pull herself free, but the monster slowly pulled her back. Something cuts the crystal-colored tentacle allowing Flandre to escape, then something grabs her, and almost instantly pulls her to the first floor. It was Sakuya saying "are you alright, young mistress?" Flan, still trembling, nods, wiping the tears from her eyes. Sakuya looks to the monster's direction and says "my lady, you must hide outside while I take care of this monster." Flandre looks at Sakuya, about to cry again saying "but... no, you can't-" Sakuya scolds her saying "wipe those tears and listen up! You are the young mistress! Remilia is gone, which makes you the mistress of this house, so straighten up and be brave! Don't worry, I will come and get you when this thing is dead!" Flandre stops shaking, gulps and holds her tears back, then as she heads out the door she shouts "then I order you to not let that thing get you!" and then she shuts the door behind her. Sakuya smiles saying "don't worry, that thing will never be able to stomach me!" She turns to face the monster, looking at it menacingly, shouting "COME ON!" She pulls out a spell card and shouts "Strange Art, Misdirection!" Time stops around her as many daggers materialize where she was, then she appears on another side, more daggers heading the monster's way. She landed so many daggers into the creature, she managed to scratch the crystal heart inside the monster. The monster thrashes around, roaring in pain. Sakuya smiles, feeling great satisfaction from that. She was about to use another spell card when the monster suddenly shoots her with Marisa's Master Spark, blasting her against the door of the mansion, breaking it in the process, and knocking Sakuya out.
On the edge of the island, Flandre heard the monster roaring, then the a loud bang. "Sakuya!" she shouts, heading immediately back. She runs as fast as she could back to the mansion and saw upon arriving there, Sakuya knocked down on the ground, next to Meiling's flower garden. In front of the gate was Ail. "Little-big brother!" shouts Flandre. She runs to him and kneels in front of him asking "what are you doing here?" Ail looks at her, holding the book he was reading before and says "I am going to help you destroy that thing." Flandre shivers a little then Ail continues "listen, we can do it, but you have to be brave and work together with me, alright?" Flandre nods then Ail says "alright, you see that empty crystal inside the monster?" Flandre looks at it as it struggles to get out of the mansion and spots the empty crystal that was beating just like a heart. She says "I see it... it's like a heart!" then Ail says "That's the monster's weak point. I am going to distract the monster and you must grab that crystal's eye and break it, understand?" Flandre hugs Ail tightly and says "I already tried, and nothing happened. We need more help!" Ail, in a strict tone, his voice sounding a bit less squeaky says "Flan, be brave. Trust me on this You CAN do this. I will help you. Do it for Sakuya, for Marisa... for all your friends." Sobbing, Flandre lets go of Ail wiping her tears and nodding. Ail walks as fast as he could to the monster's direction saying "I'll distract it and you brake it! It'll be fun!" Just like that, Flandre's face becomes a bit twisted as she smiles and says "yeah... I can break this... and it'll be fun, like before... only... only..." As Ail faces the monster he thinks "from a destructive little monster, to a regular little girl... maybe my meddling messed her up more than it helped. One thing remains certain though. Her innocence is as pure as it comes." The monster finally frees itself from the front door and spots Ail, extending another tentacle and grabbing him. Flandre shouts but Ail shouts back saying "NOW FLAN! DO IT NOW!" Instinctively she grabs the eye of the monster's heart and clenches her fist just as the monster swallows Ail. The crystal inside cracks in various places, but it doesn't break. The monster thrashes around violently, breaking open the gate as it thrashed toward Flandre. Flandre drops to her knees and still smiling says "It... it didn't work." She closes her eyes and awaits to be eaten. Just then, Ail's small body starts to emanate orange energy that expanded more and more. The monster stops in it's tracks, as if completely frozen, and then, Ail's body explodes, the explosion concentrates on the monster's heart, shattering it into dust. The monster's body slowly melts into nothing, and is absorbed by the ground.
One by one, all of those who were absorbed by the monster get up from the ground. "O-Onee-chan, Marisa... EVERYONE! You're all ok!" shouts Flandre as she flaps her wings and lunges at Remilia, hugging her tight. Remilia pats Flandre on the head saying "yes, we're all fine!" Marisa shouts at Patchouli "what the HELL were you thinking, bringing that thing here!?" Patchouli, looking as though nothing had happened, dusts her clothes and says "it was a simple miscalculation from my part, but it's been take care of." She spots her book and says "I'm impressed, Flan. You understood this?" Flandre lets Remilia go and looks at the book looking confused and says "I didn't read that. Little-big brother did!" Reimu sits on the ground, rubbing her head, then asks "little-big who?" Koakuma gasps saying "oh no. Reimu, lady Patchouli... come quick!" Remilia and Meiling had gone to the mansion's gate and found Sakuya lying on the ground. Meiling grabs Sakuya saying "it's us, don't worry." Sakuya lets go of a knife she had on her hand, then drops her head to look at Remilia who tells her "you performed admirably, Sakuya" Sakuya softly replies "thank you my lady." They hear Koakuma sobbing, then head to where she was. Reimu was pale, her eyes unblinking, widely open, Marisa was quiet, pulling her hat down to cover her face. Patchouli looked on, saying nothing while Koakuma stood sobbing by her side, looking down on the ground. Flandre was sobbing, clinging on Marisa, then Remilia and Meiling arrive, seeing the small body of Ail on the ground. The pale body lies on the ground, unmoving, and lifeless. Reimu says "I... I told him to stay..." She then touches the body; it was cold and stiff, and then, it turned into light and flies to the sky, vanishing from sight. Reimu's eyes were getting glassy as she said "I-I told him to stay..." She then looks at the others. Even Sakuya, who just got up, looked saddened. Just then Reimu was about to lose it as she sits hard the ground, holding her forehead, then from one of the trees they heard "hey! Somebody help! I'm stuck!" Everyone gasp at the same time and say "Ail!?" and about two trees behind them, there he was, back to his human form, hanging upside down from a tree branch by his boot. He looks at them and says "come on guys, I'm really stuck!" Meiling flies up and grabs his boot, pulling him from the branch, and just as he thanked her, she lets him go, dropping hard on the ground. "Ow, geez, what was THAT for!?" Suddenly, all the girls came rushing to him, shooting danmaku and swinging whatever weapon they could find shouting "you idiot" "we really thought you were dead" "don't do that again!" and once they all reached him, they all drop and group-hug him. Full of bruises and cuts from the countless danmaku shot his way, he was really confused as they all were now hugging him like that, saying "you're alive" "I can't believe it" "don't do that again"
In the dining room of the Scarlet Devil Mansion, everyone is having tea and cookies, including Meiling and Sakuya, while the fairy maids fixed and cleaned the mansion. "So after reading about the monster's weakness, I knew only Flan had enough power to crack that thing, however I wasn't expecting it to crack so fast." said Ail, as he took another cookie from the plate. Sakuya, who was feeling much better said "maybe my knives helped. I was able to scratch that thing a few times, but sure as hell I wasn't expecting such a beat-down." Meiling, looking a bit confused turns to Ail and asks "but how did you do that? I lost consciousness as soon as the thing swallowed me." All the others agreed, then Ail said "in the book Patchouli left behind, there were instructions on how to maintain some level of consciousness while inside those crystals... still, I used more power than that dog body could handle. I really did die for a moment, at least. I saw all of you... and even my body, as I drifted up to the sky. Something pushed me back in, though. A girl that said 'it's not your time' and that's why I couldn't recall what had happened immediately." Reimu looks at Ail with relief in her face and says "I'm glad you're alive, though. I would have killed you twice, if you had really died." she then takes some tea and some cookies as well. Ail keeps quiet for a moment then said "I think we're forgetting to celebrate the real hero here. It took a lot of guts to take on that monster, right Flan?" Flandre had fallen asleep on the table, still holding a cookie in her hand. Meiling grabs Flandre just as Remilia says "Meiling, take her to her room. There is something we need to talk about now, Reimu." Once Meiling left the room Remilia says "Reimu, Marisa... and you too, Ail, listen up. Something funny is going on around Gensokyo. I have a very bad feeling lately." Reimu nods saying "I have felt it too, but like I told Iku, who told me something similar before, there is nothing we can do about it now. All we can do is wait and see." Marisa lays back on the chair and says "aw, if anything happens, Reimu will take care of it, right, zei?" Reimu glares at Marisa and says "what if I don't WANT to take care of it?" Ail quietly chuckles, then Reimu turns her attention to him saying "careful, mutt. I might add another week of fleas for you!" then shows him a vial with that same indigo colored liquid that had turned him to a dog before. Ail jumps high to the ceiling and clings tight to it shouting "don't even kid around with that!" Then Reimu laughs, opens the vial and drinks it. All in the room look worried, and when she finishes drinking, she says "relax, it's only juice." All but Patchouli laugh as Reimu places the empty vial back in her pockets. Marisa gets up and says "it's time we headed home, ze. Patchouli, try and keep your experiments to a minimum, once in a while." Reimu, Marisa and Ail fly through the broken door and gate, where Meiling was stationed for the rest of the night, while they repaired the gate and doors.
Back at the shrine, Reimu invites a sleepy Marisa to sleep over. Ail fell asleep the second his head hit the pillow, then Reimu, after preparing Marisa's futon, also fell fast asleep as soon as she got into her own futon. Next to the stairs that lead to the shrine, Mima, Suika and Kyo were sleeping next to countless bottles of sake. At morning, Kyo and Mima reach the shrine, greeted by Reimu, who was sweeping the floor at that moment. "Well, had a good camping trip? I do hope you enjoyed yourselves." Kyo and Mima look at each other, then Mima says "you don't look that handsome in the mornings" then Kyo replies "look who's talking. You sure you don't need some makeup or something?" Mima pouts, looking at Kyo with the corner of her eyes and in a dangerous tone she says "watch i~~t!" Reimu giggles and says "you two could make a very nice couple. You certainly were made for each other." "You certainly are in a good mood today. Something happen?" asked Kyo. Reimu smiles and says "I got one less load today. Ail turned back to human last night." Kyo and Mima open their eyes wide and rush to the shrine to find Ail, in his human form, staring at Marisa's nose bubble. He looks at both, wave and says "hi. Had a nice camping trip?" Mima and Kyo look at each other, then Kyo rushes to give his pal a hug saying "you're back, dude!" then Mima says "I see... Reimu DOES have good taste, doesn't she?" Ail smiles and stares blankly at Mima, a question mark forming above his head, then Mima turns around and says "never mind." Just then, Marisa's nose bubble pops, and Marisa wakes up babbling about magical equations and pi, then drops back down to sleep some more. After a bit, Ail goes to the front of the shrine and was about to fly to town, when suddenly, like thorns, constricting his heart, he feels something in the atmosphere as he holds on to his chest. When he looks at Reimu, she was also holding her chest with both her hands, and gasping for air she asks "did you feel that too!?" From inside the shrine Marisa comes rushing to the front shouting "Reimu, Reimu! Did you fell that? Ail, you too?" All three look to the cave that leads to the underground hell. Reimu says "something bad... something really bad is happening down there. We better go and check it out." Ail nods then calls Kyo, but he didn't come. "Hey Kyo, what's the-? Mima was holding her sides, writhing in pain, but she couldn't scream, although it seems as if she was trying to. Kyo was holding her and says "she said she would be fine after a while... Ail, go. We'll head to town and check on the humans there after she gets better... now go!" Ail goes back to the front and says "Mima looks like she's in pain... a lot of pain." Reimu points to the forest, then Ail hears the cries of many youkai. "What is going on now?" shouted Ail as he, Marisa and Reimu lifted to the air and flew toward the underground cave. Reimu says "we, that are human, can feels this. It hurts us. Just imagine what this is doing to the youkai, who are already very sensitive to spiritual and atmospheric activities. Iku must be going nuts by now."
At the deepest levels of the underground, Okuu flies around, just checking everything, as she usually does, then realizes her crow buddies were all flying away from there. "Hey wait, you guys" shouted Okuu as she followed the hell crows. "What's going on? Why are you guys acting like that?" One of the crows got close and sounding very frightened he said "this is bad, very bad *caw*. Gotta get away!" and just as it said that, Okuu shouts, holding her chest, turning back to a crow and falling down to the lava. The other crows grab her in time and fly her back up to Satori's mansion. One of the crows spots a large purple crystal that was slowly being revealed as the lava lowers. The crystal was surrounded by a very dark glow and emanating powerful energy from within. The crow panics and flies away along with the rest of the crows, back to the mansion. Back at the cave's entrance, looking quite grim were Marisa, Reimu and Ail, who had just entered at full speed to the cave. They noticed Kisume's bucket was empty, but realized she was inside a hollow rock, hugging herself. They passed Yamame, who had wrapped herself in her own web. All the creatures of the cave were on the ground, writhing around in pain. They passed through Parsee's bridge, spotting Parsee herself, holding the handrail, trying not to fall down. As they passed the Former Streets of Hell, Yuugi, looking as well as ever flies besides them. "HEY! What's up everybody? Hey, what's with the long faces?" Reimu struggles to speak and says "Yuugi...? Don't you feel that?" Yuugi looks a little puzzled and says "well there IS something going on... but it's not affecting me at all." Marisa chuckles and says "then you must be a tough girl, ze! Want to come with use down to the hell fires?" Yuugi thinks about it then says "sure, why not!?" Reimu looks at Ail, who looked as though he was going to be sick and asks "Ail, what's the matter... *gasp*" Reimu remembered Ail was half youkai then shouts "just hang in there. If you think you can't take it, head back outside!" Ail nods then says "I-I can take it!"
Back at the shrine, Kyo was still holding Mima when Suika arrived, looking very serious. Suika, are you ok?" Suika says "Kyo, we need you at the village, now!" Kyo looks shocked then says "But what about Mima!?" Suika, looking even more serious says "I can feel it too, but I can take it, unlike her. She'll be fine after Reimu fixes this. Just leave her on some pillows and come. I need your help with the villagers." Something about Suika didn't seem right to Kyo, but without hesitation, he places Mima on a futon saying "we'll be back soon! Let's go Suika!" Suika grabs Kyo by the arms and flies with him to the village. On the way there, they spot Rumia and Mystia sitting against a tree, fainted. Wriggle had many bugs surround her and keep her suspended from a branch. "This is terrible. What's going on?" Suika, looking almost angry now, says "a massive energy is coming from somewhere in Gensokyo. It's so strong, even humans can feel it. It gives them pain. That's why I need you. They were building new house and the whole thing collapsed on them, leaving five of them trapped. We have to get them out!" Kyo looks at Suika and asks "Suika, what is wrong? Why are you so mad?" Suka and Kyo land in the village entrance then Suika says "this dark energy... it's affecting me differently, that's why I need your help, to get those villagers out of there, and so I can get away fast... or I might do something I'll regret!" She takes a really big gulp from her gourd, making her look a little less threatening, then she says "let's go!" All the villagers were all looking very sick, and the few that felt strength in them were trying to lift the large roof to free the five that were stuck inside. Kyo takes a deep breath and shouts "out of the way, the cavalry has arrived!!" Suika takes one side, and Kyo the other, then he says "on three... THREE!!!" They lift the roof and four people come running out, then Kyo spots the fifth one on the ground, then shouts "HEY!!! GET HIM OUTTA THERE!!!" Keine comes running out of nowhere and pulls the villager out just in time. As soon as they let go of the roof, Suika covers her eyes and blindly runs to the village's other exit, breaking part of the wall as she misses the gateway. "Suika!" shouts Keine, but Kyo stops her and tells her "let her go! She needs to get away, fast! Are you alright" Keine sits down, holds her chest and says "better than many. Thanks to you and Suika, the villagers are safe. Thank you so much." Kyo nods then says "now it's time I head back to the shrine." Keine looks at Kyo then says "you sure look well. A-Aren't you affected by this?" Kyo smiles and says "I'm used to pain by now." then runs back to the shrine.
Back at the underground, Marisa, Reimu, Ail and Yuugi had found Satori, Orin, Okuu and Koishi, all on the ground, holding their chests tightly. One of the many crows that were perched all around the house, comes to Reimu, cawing like mad and flying in circles. "Crap, I wish I could understand what it's saying" said Reimu, sounding very frustrated. Satori struggles to reach Reimu and pulls her skirt a bit then says "H-he's...saying... there's a dark...c-crystal... releasing this... this energy... hurry...!" Before Reimu said anything, Ail was already heading to the Hellfires, followed by Yuugi. Reimu and Marisa follow him quickly as well, and when they reach him Marisa asks "do you know where you're going?" Ail nods and says "the energy is strong this way. Come on!" Heading to the back of the mansion, they all go straight into the hole leading to the Hellfires. Once down there, Ail spots the crystal almost immediately and pointing at it, he says "there it is!" They find a small place to land and think of a plan, however Ail flies toward the crystal and tries to kick it, but it was so hot, his boots were burning long before they impacted it. He regroups with the others, jumping on one foot and says "we need to push that thing back into the lava." Reimu shouts "how do you know that!?" Ail shouts back "I just do. I don't know why but I JUST DO!" Marisa pushes them both apart saying "calm down, ze. If we kill each other now, then nobody's going to save anyone here, zei!?" Reimu looks at Ail saying "sorry... it's-" Ail nods saying "I know... I'm sorry too." Back at the shrine, Kyo finds Mima just where he left her. She was unconscious, however Kyo felt something behind him. Suika, looking menacingly at him, stomps hard on the ground, her eyes were red, and she looked angry. She started to swing her chain around and whips it on the ground, making a hole where the chain had hit. Kyo knew, one hit from her, and he was dead. Back at the hellfires, Yuugi had grabbed a large stone saying "I'll get that under there for you!" and launched the rock straight at it, but when it impacted the crystal, it only made it crack, making it release even more evil energy.
Back at the shrine, Suika was throwing punches at Kyo, using a lot of her power. Some of her punches and kicks were followed by explosions. "Shit, I have to get out of here, or she's going to kill me" Kyo thought, as he grabs a branch from one of the trees and sling-shots himself to the air, Suika following quickly. While in the air, she pulls out a spell card, however Kyo could not see it, or hear the declaration. Suddenly there was danmaku all around him. He summons his shield energy and is able to reflect a lot of the blasts back to Suika, but there were too many and he was caught off guard, many of the shots landing on his back. He falls to the ground but recovers quickly and as he jumps out of the way, Suika follows with a punch straight at him. When the smoke clears, under Suika's fist was a hole large enough for a car to fall in. Kyo opens his eyes wide and says "she really IS out to get me!" He then runs inside the Bamboo Forest, buying much needed time by hiding behind the bamboo shoots. Suika sniffs around, but is unable to pick up Kyo's scent. "This is bad... if she catches my scent, I'm a goner. I better move on." thinks Kyo, then starts to run. Suika hears his foot steps and launches a powerful blast to where Kyo was just hiding, then begins the chase. Kyo arrives at Entei and realizes Suika was right behind him, however he could not see her. Behind him, a cloud of mist was heading his way. When the mist got close enough, it started releasing crystals at Kyo. "Shit, it's her!" shouts Kyo as he dodges as many of the crystals as he could, reflecting others back, but then Suika turns back to normal and lands a punch so powerful, it broke Kyo's shield, sending him to the Entei Mansion. Kyo calls for help, but when he looks inside, Reisen, Tewi and Kaguya were all unconscious. Suika jumps high and swings her fist, preparing one final attack, and just as she was ready to land, a barrage of lasers and arrows mercilessly beat on Suika, knocking her out cold. Kyo looks to the clinic, and there was Eirin, looking pale and almost sick, holding her bow on her left hand. She walks toward Kyo asking "A-are you... are you alright?" Kyo struggles a little, but manages to get up saying "yes, thank you so much." but right then, Eririn falls down, Kyo grabs her just in time and gently places her next to the others in the mansion. Suika had weakened Kyo a lot. He was now holding his chest, gritting his teeth in pain. He tried with all his might to resist it, but it was too much, and drops to the ground next to Eirin.
At the hellfire, Ail was holding on to one of the larger rocks, so he wouldn't fall into the lava. Now, even Yuugi was feeling the effects of the evil energy emanating from the crystal. "Ail... Reimu" shouted Yuugi, as both of them looked worse and worse by the second. Marisa and Yuugi were the only ones who could still stand straight. Suddenly Reimu says "Marisa... use your Master Spark... ai-aim it... aim it... ugh" Reimu couldn't continue and had to hold her chest tightly. Yuugi grabs a hold of her and then Ail, who was about to collapse. On Yuugi's arms, Ail lifts his head and says "aim your... shot at... a thirty degree... angle...under the... crystal... urgh!" Marisa was now looking a bit sick, but then she realized what they were saying. She takes out her Hakkero and points it at the lava, then shoots it without waiting for another second. The lava splits up as the shot penetrates revealing the rest of the colossal dark crystal. Under it was a small mount where it had gotten stuck. Marisa blasts it just in time, as the crystal was now emanating incredible amounts of evil energy. Even Yuugi felt sharp pain in her chest, however it suddenly stops as the crystal falls back down to the lava, going back to the depths of the former Hell. When the lava settles, the evil energy stops flowing immediately. Ail and Reimu recover almost instantly, as well as outside, everyone, even Kyo, recovers, springing up to their feet. Eirin and Reisen get up at the same time saying "they did it! They stopped it!" Suika gets up and immediately heads toward Kyo apologizing. "Kyo, I'm sorry, I couldn't help myself. I don't know what came over me! Please forgive me!" Kyo thinks about it and says "I'll forgive you on one condition." Suika excitedly asks "anything, just name it!" Kyo smirks and says "fight me again after spring comes." Suika opens her eyes widely and says "are you that suicidal?" Kyo continues smirking and says "I want to see how strong I can really become, and you're going to help me." Suika smiles, then jumps at Kyo, hugging him so hard his back cracks. Back at the hellfires, Ail and Reimu congratulate Marisa and thank Yuugi for her help, then they notice a black blob slithering it's way back to the top. "AFTER IT!" shouts Reimu, but by the time they all reached the mansion's courtyard, the black blob had disappeared. Reimu bangs her forehead and says "this... could be trouble." "You're just exaggerating again" said Marisa, however Reimu would not respond and Ail felt very uneasy. Yuugi just laughs and says "come on, we stopped that thing! Let's celebrate!" From out of nowhere she pulls out a full large cup of Sake and drinks in in one gulp.
Back outside the cave, Ail and Orin come out running at incredible speeds, Orin panting and saying "im-impossible. You're still... as fast as... me!" Ail, catching his breath says "you're... lucky I... haven't been training!" From behind came Reimu and Marisa, flying. Reimu, sounding annoyed asks "so you finish your little race? Whoopie... let's go home. We didn't get to eat any breakfast this morning, and I'm STARVING!" Ail and Marisa's stomachs start to grumble loudly, and then they laugh. Ail says goodbye to Orin, who flies back inside the cave, and follow Marisa and Reimu back to the shrine. Back at the shrine, Kyo, Suika, Alice and Mima had prepared a meal for their return, celebrating their victory, however when they were done eating, Reimu looks outside at the afternoon sky, looking a little glum. She grabs a cup of tea and kneels by the porch, then Ail comes along saying "I feel it's presence too. Whatever it is... it's out there." Reimu, sounding a little sarcastic says "really? And I suppose you can also tell me where it is right now?" Ail points to the direction of the Bamboo Forest and then the Forest of Magic and says "it's been moving between those two points for some time now." Reimu sips on her tea and says "very good. However you missed Entei and the village." Ail smiles and says "I'm not that good yet." Reimu turns serious and says "it's already been inside and out of Entei, and it's gone through the entire village. It's searching for something." "It's searching for a way out of Gensokyo" said a voice from above the shrine.
There were two women. One was short and had blue eyes, green hair, and was wearing a dark blue, black and white dress with golden decorations, and a blue and white hat with a gold emblem in front. She also had a thick sword-like tag in her hand. Beside her was a taller woman with short red hair tied on both side in twin-tails, red eyes, and wore a white dress with a blue vest overtop. She also had a belt with a large coin tied in front, and was carrying a scythe with an odd whisp-like bending at the end. Ail pointed at the red-haired girl saying "that's her. That's the girl that pushed me back to my body!" Reimu looks at Ail and says "that's Komachi. She carries dead spirits to their destinations accross the Sanzu River... so you could say she's death." Ail looks in awe and says "and who is-?" both girls come down, the green haired girl introducing herself. "I am SikiEiki Yamaxanadu. I have come to speak to you two, and the witch as well." While Mima, Suika, Alice and Kyo were left behind inside the shrine, Ail, Reimu and Marisa were at the front, speaking to SikiEiki and Komachi. The four of them were trying hard to listen to the conversation.
"Reimu, Marisa and Ail, you three, and another companion, saw the large crystal in the lava, am I correct?" They all nod slowly then she continues "I believe you also noticed something coming out from that crystal, right?" Again, all three nod. Siki lets out a growl, Komachi asks her to calm down. "How can I calm down? Listen to me, all three of you. That thing that escaped almost wiped out the entire planet of all the humans, a long time ago. It's only goal, it's only purpose is to eradicate humanity, and for this, it was sealed inside that crystal, and was sunk deep into the lava pits of the former hell, however, when we moved hell to it's current location, we left that prisoner there, thinking that crystal would never be discovered." Reimu rubs her forehead with her index finger and thumb, then lowers her hands to her eyes and says "and when that bird-brain made the lava overflow, it made the crystal rise. Please, you can tell me I'm wrong right now." Siki shook her head and said "I'm afraid you are correct. Once it got out of the lava, the creature inside broke free. That's why we all felt that powerful energy." Marisa looking confused said "but if it's that powerful, why can't we sense it anymore, ze?" SikiEiki looks at the three of them and says "your intervention didn't stop it from escaping, but you did manage to send it back down in time to keep it's full power sealed inside." Ail then says "then we should find it soon, before it gets it's powers back!" Siki was surprised at Ail and said "correct... You are far too wise for a young one." "How do we find it?" asked Reimu. "Ail, Marisa and I can barely sense it anymore. It's gone into hiding." Komachi looks at them worried as Siki says "I know. I will contact the other yamas and see what they suggest, but before I go, you, boy. Can I have a word with you?"
Ail and SikiEiki walk close to the shrine's hot springs, and Siki grabs Ail and pulls him down and whispers to him "you were brought to Gensokyo for a reason, and you were also given a third chance in life, now listen up! You have to train harder. You HAVE to master those powers of yours and YOU MUST GET YOURSELF SOME SPELL CARDS! I hope things do not escalate so much but..." Siki releases Ail's shirt, but he continues to listen closely "...but if things DO escalate, you NEED to be ready. You HAVE to protect the shrine maiden at ALL COSTS, understand!?" Ail looks at Reimu for a second then back at Siki who continues saying "you NEED spell cards, and you need to start controlling those barriers and gaps you keep using without knowledge. I do not know how badly this could turn out, but if you don't train, then I guarantee you, it won't end well!" After she was done, she immediately looks for Komachi, who was drinking some sake and sitting by the donation box. Siki hits Komachi hard on the head with that thick sword and lectures her for some time. Before they both left, Komachi, looking worried, waves at Reimu and Marisa, then at Ail, but when she looks at him, she lowers her sights and flies away. Ail walks to the donation box and sits where Komachi was. Reimu walks to him, Marisa close by, and the other four were already outside at the front of the shrine as well. Reimu asks "what did she say to you?" Ail looks up and says "I need to train and learn how to use my powers and abilities. I also need your help, Reimu, to make my own spell cards." Reimu and Marisa look at each other very surprised. "Think it's that serious, Reimu?" asks Marisa. Reimu thinks for a bit and says "when the yama is this worried, then it IS that serious, I'm afraid. Don't worry too much about it, Ail. You'll have your own spell cards, and I'll try to help you a bit with your abilities. Yukari can't help now, since she always hibernates during winter." Ail looked at Reimu a bit scared, then Reimu says "don't worry. Knowing you, you'll probably master those powers quickly I am sure." Alice, Suika, Mima and Kyo kept looking at the others, wondering what was going on. The last leaves were starting to fall off the trees, signaling winter was soon to come, and Reimu, Marisa and Ail could only hope it would be a peaceful one.
To be continued...
Characters and scenario belong to ZUN -Team Shanghai Alice-
Ail and Kyo were created by Willie G.R
JUN 29 2009