And so, Alice couldn't take it anymore and gave more and just an earful to Yuki, sending her literally crying back home. Reimu can't shake off the sudden bad feelings she's been sensing. For some reason, she keeps thinking of Budou when this happens, but she knows Budou is very young and not powerful at all, and yet... Remilia is taking care of Sakuya now, Luna is on the lose after having tried to murder Sakuya, Kyo and Aya continue their search, and Medicine returns to the Nameless Hill, feeling a little scared and heartbroken at the same time. Even with all this happening, Ail finally returns home with Budou, who goes to sleep, hanging from the tallest parts of the ceiling, while Ail prepares himself a bath.
Finally, Ail is able to relax and take a much needed bath. He thinks on the events that had just happened, and the events to follow. To him, something didn't seem to add up, but then he remembers how fate likes to play the same hand, even if with different cards. He sighs then slowly sinks under the hot bubbly water, then comes back out and sits with his back against the edge of the large tub, when suddenly, he opens his eyes, and was met with a pair of maroon eyes and a whimsical voice that says "my, my, my~, that looked like it was good. Do it again." Ail yelps and shouts "Yuyuko! What are you doing in here?" He tries his best to hide himself, using the bubbles around to cover himself. Yuyuko smiles and says "don't forget to wash behind those ears." From the Kitchen, Youmu calls "Yuyu-sama~! Where are you?" Ail gets a little annoyed and says "could you please go outside while I finish here?" Yuyuko's smile vanishes when she asks "so you want some privacy?" Ail nods then Yuyuko says "well wouldn't you rather have a beautiful woman like myself clean your body instead? It's every man's dream, right?" Ail's face turns beet red and his eyes get covered in a dark shadow after Yuyuko says this, while she holds a bar of soap and a bath brush on her hands. She giggles and says "ahh I see. A fantasy perhaps?" Ail gets angry and shouts "would you PLEASE just get OUT of here!?" From outside Youmu asks "Yuyu-sama, you're not invading Ail's private moment, right?" Ail gets petrified then asks "how does Youmu know?" Yuyuko gets a little sad and says "and I was really hoping to wash your back at least. Oh well, I guess there will be no show after all." After saying that, she leaves the bathroom, then Ail, who's eyes were still surrounded in shadow says "show? Yu-kari~!" He looks above him and notices a gap closing. He smirks, a glint escaping from his teeth as he opens one of his own gaps and fires a laser in. Yukari yelps in pain as the laser strikes her butt. She rubs herself and says "ow~! That's a tender area." Ran, while drinking some tea in the living room, casually says "that's what you get for peeping."
After the bath, Ail wraps a towel around his waist then goes to his room and opens up a closet that was FULL of black pants and violet shirts. He looks at them for a moment and says "ah, these ones." He takes the ones in the middle, and behind them was Yuyuko again, smiling and saying "I would suggest the ones on the right. They look more fresh." Ail smiles and slowly closes the closet doors and places a large barrier to prevent Yuyuko from escaping, then gets dressed beside the doors, so Yuyuko couldn't see. After putting one some socks, he lets Yuyuko out and immediately she asks "hey, how do you do that?" Ail looks at her curiously and asks "do what?" Yuyuko replies "keeping your underwear and pants together like that? It would save me some time when getting dressed." Ail thinks for a moment and says "I'll tell you later." After that, they head to the living room, where Youmu had prepared some tea already. She bows and says "hope you don't mind." Ail smiles and says "not at all... 5 cups? Why the 2 extra?" Youmu rubs the back of her head and says "well, one is for the little bat, in case she wake up." "And the other?" asks Ail. Youmu eyes Yuyuko, who smiles and nods. Yuyuko then says "for Yukari." Ail smirks and says "ahh right. Yukari, you can come out now... or would you rather have another laser?" From a gap just next to his door, Yukari pops out her head saying "you're messing with the bull, kid!" Ail smiles and replies "and I just so happen to have a nifty trick to deal with the horns." Yukari sweats, but then giggles and says "so seems you finally recovered your other half?" Ail shakes his head and says "not exactly", then shows them all his bracelet. After looking at it for a moment, Yukari smiles and says "I see Reimu added the Hakurei blessing. Did it take you long?" Ail smiles and says "actually, she did it all on her own. A little too quickly I might add." Yukari opens her fan and covers her mouth and nose, looking at Ail directly at his eyes from over the fan and asks in a sinister tone "and that girl?" Ail keeps quiet for a moment, then he places a barrier around his house and then says "we're gonna have to talk about that." A scratching sound took everyone's attention, then Ail looks at the ceiling and notices Budou had moved from the kitchen. He smiles and flies up to her and says "it's ok, Budou. Come down and say hello to everyone." Budou slowly opens her wings, then stretches and says "sorry papa Ail, I was curious." Ail smiles and says "it's ok. Just come down and say hello. I'm sure they all want to meet you." After Ail and Budou come down, Yukari's cheeks turn pink upon seeing the little youkai. Nervously, Budou presents herself. "H-hi... I'm, er, I'm Budou." She blushes and looks away as Youmu gets closer with a smile and says "I'm Youmu, and this is Yuyuko. Nice to meet you." Yuyuko pats Budou on the head and says "my, so adorable", as Budou asks "m-miss Youmu? What's that white thing around you?" Youmu smiles and says "that's my ghost half." Just like that, Yukari grabs Budou from behind, scaring her a little and says "Ail, how dare you hide her from me!?" Ail smiles as Budou calms down and stares at Yukari for a moment. Yukari hugs her tightly and says "you're such a cutie, aren't you?" Budou blinks and then smiles while saying "lady gramma~!" Yukari shocks to the point of turning to stone, then Ail says "ok, enough... we need to have a little chat. All of us."
At Makai, Yuki had finally calmed down, and Yumeko was just finishing with bandaging her ankle. She wouldn't speak; just stares out the window, thinking to herself, trying to find a reason to smile, but all she could think of was Alice shouting at her with rage. "There, I'm done." says Yumeko, cutting off the excess bandage. Yuki looks at her foot, looking lost in thought. Yumeko looks at her with concern and asks "won't you tell us what happened?" Yuki was just about to speak when Shinki enters the room. Yuki gulps and shuts her mouth, looking away, back outside the window. Shinki feels awkward then asks "I-I'm sorry, did I interrupt something? I can leave if you-" "No, please. I'm sorry Lady Shinki. Please, stay." replies Yuki, quickly turning to face her, almost crying again. Shinki was surprised. Yuki answered in such an elegant fashion. "This is so unlike her" though Shinki, then she says "ok, I'll stay then" as she smiles, but Yuki did not return the smile. Yumeko notices and asks one more time "Yuki, child, what happened to you?" Yumeko stares at Yuki for a moment then says "if it's about going to Gensokyo, it's alright. I went there too, and nobody's mad at me... nobody's mad at you either." Yuki's eyes fill with tears as she asks "am I a nuisance?" Both Shinki and Yumeko looks at each other surprised, then look at Yuki almost frightened to ask any more but Yumeko pulls out a dagger and asks "who said that to you? Just tell me and I'll teach them a lesson in MANNERS!" Yuki starts to sob now, so Shinki pulls Yumeko's dagger away and whispers at Yumeko "you made her cry again." Yumeko whispers back "someone made her cry like that... that someone has to pay, my lady!" Shinki whispers back "no, no. Let the child speak before doing anything. You're scaring her." Yumeko whispers back "as you wish, my lady, but she just won't talk to us." Suddenly Shinki smiles and says "ah, Yumeko, let's leave Yuki to rest. She seems to have had a very bad day. Yuki, dear, go to bed and sleep." At first Yumeko didn't get her lady's sudden change of interest, but suddenly catches on and says "right. Yuki, please rest. I'll prepare a bath for you and come get you later, alright?" Yuki stares angrily and asks again "am I a nuisance!?" Shinki immediately says "Yuki, you are NOT a nuisance. You're just a very happy and energetic girl." Yumeko smiles and says "yeah. Others would call you that, but deep down you can be sure they are just jealous." Yuki smiles as some tears fall from her cheeks and says "thank you." then gets up from the chair and limps to her bed, where she immediately closes her eyes and says "please, leave the curtains open... and thanks." Surprised, Yumeko and Shinki quietly head outside the room, closing the door as quietly as they could, then look at each other with concern, then Yumeko says "so polite and calm. That's not Yuki, my lady." Shinki replies "don't worry. I think I know how to get our Yuki back. It's gonna have to wait until tomorrow. She's too upset to do anything now."
Noon at Gensokyo, at the Nameless Hill, Medicine was sitting on the ground, hiding herself among the many poisonous flowers while hugging her knees tightly as Su-san patted her on the head. Everything was quiet until a familiar voice says "I've been looking all over for you, you idiot! Did that armpit girl give you any trouble?" Medicine raises her head with fury in her eyes and shouts "you IDIOT! What's the matter with you!? I though you said we were going to prank them, not KILL them!" A few feet away from Medicine, Luna stands still, holding her hip with her right hand, staring back at Medicine with a smile. She flips her hair with her left hand and says "hmph! That was nothing. That woman will be up again by morning." Medicine springs up, clenching her tiny fists and shouting "that is NOT funny, you! That was SCARY! Don't EVER do that again!" Luna chuckles as she gets closer and says "why? Are you gonna stop me? Think you have what it takes?" Medicine backs away, feeling something was wrong, then notices Luna caressing her sword with that left hand of hers. Luna looks back, noticing the little doll's frightened look and says "what... you fear this? Good. that means you really are alive, doesn't it?" Medicine continues to back away as Luna keeps getting closer. Su-san gets in front of Luna and spreads her tiny arms and legs, as if trying to protect Medicine. Luna smirks and asks "what? You want another trip to the doll-maker?" The doll trembles a bit, but holds her position. Luna grabs the hilt of her blade, but before she unsheathes it, from behind her Kyo shouts "LUNA~! Medicine~! Boy, you two sure are HARD to find!" He and Aya were flying above the poisonous flower fields, looking down at them. Kyo had changed his clothes to a black muscle shirt, black pants and belt, and his button shirt was plaid-blue now. From the ground, Luna shouts "you DIDN'T let that bird-girl watch you change, right!?" Kyo sweats a little and says "well of COURSE not! You'd think I was some kind of lecher or something!" Aya shouts "HEY! I'm a reporter, not a pervert!" Luna glares at both then says "fine, whatever. What do you want with us?" Aya responds "you have a promise to keep. And if you want those photos destroyed, you better KEEP your word!" Medicine flies toward them, then clings on to Kyo's arm. He feels a slight tingle on his arm and asks "what the-? Poison?" Medicine lets go of his arm and says "sorry... I-" Kyo pats her on the head and says "it's alright. I have some resistance to poison, but seems not like Luna. Not yet at least." Luna jumps up and flips in the air, Kyo swoops down and grabs her and says "well, shall we go then?" Luna sighs and says "that pervert's got me trapped. I have no choice here." Aya flinches and says "I said I'm a REPORTER!" Medicine shyly asks "c-can I stay here?" Aya smirks and says "no way. You're a witness after all." Medicine fills with panic and remembers the incident at the mansion. She sighs and says "a-alright. I-I'm coming" Aya stares at her as they fly to the Youkai Mountain and says "you don't have to sound THAT disappointed."
At the Moriya Shrine, Sanae, Suwako and Kanako were covered in bumps, bruises, burn marks, bandages, and their clothes were in tatters. Sanae looks disappointed as she said "sometimes I wonder if you are gods, or just brats!" Suwako says "Auuu~! You don't have to say it like that." Kanako then says "we're sorry, Sanae." Sanae sighs and says "fine. I suppose I'll go prepare dinner then. Just no more fighting, please, I don't think I could take it." Suwako and Kanako look at the ground as they both say "okay. Sorry Sanae." Sanae stares at them for a moment, then heads to the kitchen. As soon as she's out of sight, Suwako whispers "hey, gramma. Your aim was of by miles. Need glasses now?" Kanako strikes Suwako with her fist on the head, then says "how about I dine on frog legs tonight? Oh, that's right, I don't like old, strained MEAT!" Sanae suddenly peeks her head from the kitchen door to see if something was up, but all she sees is two well-behaved gods sitting next to each other, waving at her and smiling. Sanae smiles at them, then heads back inside the kitchen. Suwako strangle-holds Kanako and says "I still look WAY better than you.!" Kanako escapes the hold, then traps Suwako in a figure-four leg-lock and says, while pointing at her own chest "well, at least I got a pair of THESE, while you're as flat as a board!" Again, Sanae peeks out and says "I keep hearing noises. Is everything ok in here?" Suwako and Kanako both force a smile that looked evil, however Sanae didn't seem to notice as Suwako tells her "oh, that? That was nothing. Just some random noise." Sanae looks at both suspiciously, but then smiles and says "well, dinner's gonna be ready soon." then goes back into the kitchen. Suwako and Kanako glare at each other, then Kanako says "might as well get the table ready." Suwako nods and says "fine. I'm kinda hungry anyway." They prepare the table and sit facing each other. Suwako mumbles something that sounded like "old hag", however what she really said was "so hungry". Kanako takes offense and says "you shapeless bullfrog!" as she spring up and launches toward Suwako. When Sanae enters the living room with dinner in her hands, she sees Kanako, biting hard on Suwako's leg, while Suwako was biting hard on Kanako's elbow. She giggles and says "my, and I though I was hungry. Dinner's served everyone!" Kanako and Suwako look at each other and realize what Sanae meant. They both spit in disgust then immediately sit by the table and say "thanks for the food, Sanae" at the same time.
At Alice's house, Mai, Alice and her dolls had all finished the cleaning and repairs, and were enjoying a drink and some vegetable stew. Alice was quiet, lost in distant though. Mai was staring at her quietly for a while then suddenly asks "you're feeling sorry you said all that to Yuki, aren't you, sis?" Alice closes her eyes and rests her head on her hand, as she rested her elbow on the table. She sighs and says "yeah. She just made me so mad, you know? But I said all that stuff... kind of hard to take all that back now." Mai drinks from a cup then says "Yuki isn't one to hold a grudge, and she's really easy to please, so even a silly apology might do. But..." Alice grabs hold of Shanghai and starts cleaning her face, making the doll close her eyes tightly and struggle to push Alice's hand away. Alice looks at Mai and asks "you're thinking the same as I am, aren't you?" Mai then says "I've never seen her that upset before. I think you really hurt her. I mean, I know she can be a pain, but that was just way too harsh, even if she had it coming." Alice sighs and takes a sip from a cup, then looks inside it while saying "and she really did try to fix that plate too. Oh, what am I going to do? She just pushed me to do it, and now I feel sorry." Mai giggles and says "sis, when you live with someone like Yuki for so long, you learn to expand your limits. And I think this lesson will be good for both of you?" Alice looks at Mai with curiosity as Mai smiles and says "first of all, Yuki needs to start behaving like a lady a little more, and you seem to need to learn to expand that limited patience of yours. The way I see it, both of you are learning something very valuable here." Alice gets annoyed and shouts "I have great patience! You think making all these dolls doesn't require patience!?" Mai smiles and says "why are you shouting? I'm right here." Alice realizes she got mad rather quickly and had raised her voice already. Mai simply smiles and says "and so, the learning begins, doesn't it?" Alice looks at Mai, but doesn't say a word, and just sits back down with a blank stare as Shanghai and Hourai both hover just above her with sad looks on their somewhat lifeless faces.
Night at the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Meiling had just locked the gate and heads inside, giving the shivering Agava a chance to slip in, however she was still a little frozen, hindering her mobility a little, and misses her chance to get inside the mansion. She sighs and kneels with her back to the wall of the mansion and thinks "blasted witch! Stupid fairy!! If I ever get my powers back, I'm gonna make them PAY." She stands up and poses with anger, her fists clenched tightly, shaking it in the air. She points to the skies with a sparkle in her eyes and thinks "I'll take that witch's broom and stick it to her, and then take that ice fairy, rip those damned wings off and stuff them down her throat!" By now, she was doing heroic poses as she though about what to do to them. "It'll be my GLORIOUS return to power, and not even that shrine maiden will be able to stop me!" Agava was smiling toward the skies with her hand raised to her chest, a twinkle in her eyes, and a little blond vampire with prism-shard wings watching her with the outmost of curiosity. When Agava realizes she was being watched, she sweats, composes herself and clears her throat. "*Ahem* What? Never seen someone stretch before? And who the hell are you?" Flandre stares at Agava and says "you know, you're the intruder here in my home, so I should be asking YOUR name... but I remember you, little miss Agava. Now, tell me why shouldn't I just break you right now?" Agava shivers and thinks "crap, it's that little power-crazy vampire... what to do, what to do?" After thinking some more, Agava smiles and says "I was just bored and wanted to play with someone." Flandre smiles excitedly and with much glee in her voice she asks "REALLY~!? You wanna play~!?" For a moment, Agava though she had just said the complete opposite of what she wanted to achieve. Particularly after seeing Flandre's eyes glow scarlet, and her grin turning to that of a wicked smile, but suddenly Flandre says "oh, that's right. I can't play right now. Our maid got sick and onee-sama said she wanted quiet or else!" Agava takes a sigh of relief then out of curiosity she asks "or else what?" Flandre looks at Agava casually and counts with her fingers as she says "well, there's the boiling oil bath, the fire chamber, the spiked doll, the watery grave, the sandy mouth... Actually she hasn't done the sandy mouth in ages. Maybe I should remind her." Agava was breathing heavily with great fear, her eyes covered in a dark shadow while she says "*pant* d-don't. I-It might be *pant* bad for you." Flandre smiles and says "well... we could play with my dollies... as long as you don't break them." Agava snickers and says "yeah... dollies. That sounds like fun." Flandre giggles and flaps her wings rapidly with excitement as she says "yay~! Finally, someone to play with. come on, come on! Let's go inside." And so Flandre pulls Agava inside the mansion, unaware of the dangers of doing so. Agava smiles with evil intent in her eyes as she is pulled inside the mansion to 'play'.
At Sakuya's room, Remilia had fallen asleep while watching over Sakuya. Patchouli had insisted Sakuya would be just fine, but Remilia refused to leave her side. Slowly waking up, groaning as she stretched her arms and wings, Remilia thinks "shit, I fell asleep. I can't believe this." She yawns and says "I should be stronger than this." Remilia Realizes Sakuya had barely opened her eyes and was looking at her. "Sakuya, you're alright!" says Remilia with a smile. Sakuya weakly smiles back and softly says "sorry... my lady... for... inconveniencing you... again." Remilia smiles and says "just you worry on getting strong again, Sakuya. And don't worry. I'll hunt that human down to the ends of the earth, and drain every last drop of blood from her body!" Sakuya tries to laugh, but manages to hurt herself, cringing in pain. "Ah, Sakuya, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to make you hurt!" nervously says Remilia. Sakuya continues to smile after the pain was gone and says "my lady... you are most... kind. Let me... take care of... that girl... my lady." Remilia looked almost disappointed. She wanted to destroy that human with her bare hands, but she didn't want to make Sakuya worry at the moment, so she keeps quiet. Just then, Patchouli enters the room and says in the most casual voice "well, it seems you have made a quick recovery. Admirable as always, miss Sakuya." She had with her a couple of fairy maids, each with a cup of tea. One helps Sakuya drink hers, while the other respectfully serves Remilia her tea. Remilia smiles as she sips on her tea and says "you came prepared, I see." Patchouli causally looks back at Remilia and says "I just estimated it would be around this time when miss Sakuya would wake up. And Remi, you stayed up all day, so I was sure even you would need a little something too." Remilia smiles and says "ah, sometimes I wonder what would I ever do without you two." Patchouli and Sakuya look at each other for a moment, just before Sakuya lies back down on her bed, then Patchouli replies "survive, Remi. Just like you did before meeting us." Remilia stares blankly at Patchouli for a moment, then replies "if it is like those times, perhaps is best if I turn you both to vampires right now." Patchouli looks back at Remilia most seriously and asks "could you?" Remilia looks away, her cheeks turning red with anger as she says "m-maybe! If I wanted to!"
At Ail's house, Yuyuko and Youmu were leaving through one of Yukari's gaps back home when Yuyuko says to Ail in a most serious tone "...and if something else happens you come and tell me, got that!? Don't keep things like that from me, young man!" Ail looks a little annoyed and says "alright, alright, I will, I promise." After that, Yuyuko and Youmu enter the gap, then Yukari closes it quickly. After that Yukari asks "are you sure it's ok to have let that little one listen to our conversation?" Ail smiles and says "don't worry. She fell asleep almost as soon as we started talking." They look at Budou as she softly snores on Ail's sofa, her left arm hanging from the edge, and her wings contracted so they wouldn't hurt her. Yukari's cheeks turn pink as she watches the little youkai sleep, but then turns to Ail and says "well, you keep a close eye on her and tell me if anything else happens, alright?" Ail nods and says "will do." Yukari turns around and opens a gap back home, then as she enters she says "I'll see you later then. Oh, and I recommend the OTHER brand of bath bubbles. They last less." Ail shakes his fist at her and says "will you go home already!?" Yukari glances at him, then closes her gap before he fires another laser at her. Ail sighs and removes the barrier around his home, then looks around, gets a blanket and covers Budou, then goes to his room, and lies on his bed, but is unable to close his eyes, thinking about all that was going on at once.
At the Hakurei Shrine, Mima and Maribel were already asleep, Mima holding on to Maribel, petting her cat-ears, even while sleeping. Renko and Reimu were waving at Marisa as she left. "Are you sure you're gonna be ok, Marisa?" asks Reimu. Marisa smiles and says "don't worry about me, ze. I'm already feeling much better. But Reimu, there's something I have to tell you." Reimu gets closer and asks "what is it?" Renko was about to leave, but Marisa says "you too, Renko. Listen, I don't know how, but yesterday, Agava was at my house, and she was able to ready my thoughts as if they were her own. Not only that, but I think she learned how to manipulate whatever feeling you are experiencing at the moment. I'm not kidding, Reimu! This is very dangerous." Reimu thinks for a moment and says "hmm... I don't believe she's regained any of her former powers, but it is possible she's learning new abilities on her own. Besides, I don't think she knows about the guar-" Marisa shushes her and says "don't say that out loud! If she finds out about that now we'll be in trouble." Reimu then says "maybe that's the strange feeling I've been sensing since this morning." Marisa snaps her fingers saying "exactly, da~ze." Renko then says "this is getting more complicated. Reimu, what if all these things are related?" Reimu stares toward the stars and says "if they are, then we have much more to deal with than we though. Marisa, I'm going to have a word with SikiEiki. I believe we will need your help, and it would certainly help you if you knew what we're up against." Marisa smiles and says "well, I already promised I'd help you, whether I know what's going on or not, right?" Renko and Reimu smile at her, then she gets on her broom, quietly waves at them, then slowly flies back home. Renko asks Reimu "seems she's still not fully recovered. Aren't you going with her?" Reimu smiles and asks "why are you worrying? I though you didn't like Marisa." Renko blushes a bit and says "well, I may not like her, but it's not like I want her to get hurt either." Reimu wraps her arm around Renko's neck and says "just keep a close eye on Maribel. After what Ail and Siki told us about her, I'm a little worried about her. Marisa can take good care of herself, but Maribel needs you the most. Maybe someday she'll be saving your butt even, but for now you keep an eye on her." Renko blushes a little and says "you make it sound so dirty." Reimu tightens her arm, choking Renko a little while smiling and says "my, you have such a dirty mind! And here I am worrying about you like this!" Renko says "I'm sorry... I'm sorry!" while gasping for air.
Mid-morning at the Forest of Magic. Rinnosuke was preparing his shop, like always, when Ail stops by, followed by Budou, who gasps and hides behind Ail as soon as she sees Rinnosuke. "Well, hello Ail. Glad to see you're back." casually says Rinnosuke. Ail smiles and waves as he says "hey, Rinnosuke. How's business? Still holding on to the tabs?" Rinnosuke stares at Ail for a moment, then says "surprisingly enough, while you were gone, Aya and Reimu payed half of what they owe me. And who is this little youkai behind you?" Ail pats Budou on the head and says "this is Budou. Budou, say hi to Rinnosuke. Don't worry, he's a friend too." Budou looks at Ail for a moment, then at Rinnosuke, and nervously says "h-h-hello m-mister Ri-nnosuke." He kneels down and extend his hand and says "well hello there. Nice to meet you, Budou." Budou extends her hand, shaking Rinnosuke's and quickly drawing it back. Rinnosuke gets back up and asks "Ail, what about that card of yours? The one Cirno almost managed to use." Ail suddenly gasps and says "d-don't worry. It's safe and I don't plan on using it any time soon." Rinnosuke arranges his glasses and says "good. Still, that's a dangerous thing to have, don't you think?" Ail then says "I know. there's a bit of history behind this, but now is not the time. I want to go to the Misty Lake to let Cirno know I'm here." Rinnosuke places his hands on his waist and says "you think that ice fairy is really worried about that?" Ail smiles and says "that little ice fairy has a big heart. Never forget that, my friend." All this time, Budou had been staring at Rinnosuke for some time, then suddenly, she happily shouts "cat-eyes~!" Rinnosuke re-arranges his glasses again a little annoyed and says "if she wasn't such a nice child, I'd be offended by that." After that, Ail waves as he and Budou take to the skies once more, heading straight toward the Misty Lake.
At the Misty Lake, Budou spots Cirno and Daiyousei, both sitting by the edge of the lake, as if expecting something to happen. "Papa Ail, look. Two fairies." Ail stops along with her then smiles and says "ah, those are Cirno and Daiyousei. Come, let's say hi to them." Budou gulps, but follows after Ail. After descending, Ail says "Cirno. Daiyousei. How are you?" The two fairies turn around, Cirno's face getting filled with a big smile after seeing him. "Dai-chan, it's Ail. Look, Ail's back and he's visiting!" shouts Cirno. Ail chuckles as the ice fairy launches at him and give him an icy, yet warmhearted hug. Daiyousei stands next to Cirno after Ail places her on the ground. She smiles and politely bows, saying "mister Ail, welcome back." Ail smiles back and waves at her, saying "thank you. I missed you guys. So~ what are you two waiting for?" Cirno proudly pounds on her chest and says "it's almost winter. That means Letty is about to wake up. Eye want to tell her how I defeated that evil shadow girl again." Ail looks at Cirno and smiles as he asks "again? What do you mean?" Daiyousei says "we saw her around here the other day, staring at the mansion over there, but Cirno-chan froze her and stopped her from accomplishing her plans once more!" Ail looks back at the mansion saying "you don't say?" Suddenly, Cirno spots Budou and asks "who are you?" Ail chuckles and says "I'm sorry, this is Budou. Budou, these are Cirno and Daiyousei." Budou wasn't as nervous about meeting the two fairies. They were her same height as her, and looked friendly, however she though to herself "oh... I hope they like me." She bows as she contracts her wings saying "h-hello, I'm Budou." Cirno expands her chest proudly and says "Eye am Cirno, the strongest of all Gensokyo." "I am Daiyousei. Hello Budou. Your name sounds tasty *giggle*." said Daiyousei with a smile. Cirno adds "if you are Ail's friend, then you are my friend too. You are lucky to have a genius as powerful as me for a friend." Budou excitedly gasps and flaps her wings a little saying "really? I'm your friend? Thank you miss Cirno! Papa, Ail, papa Ail, she's my friend!" Ail blushes a little as Cirno asks "papa? Then who's your mom?" Budou thinks for a moment then says "mama Sanae" with a wide smile, making Ail blush beet red. Cirno just looks at them, then says "oh, that green maiden? Wow, so humans can have bats as babies? This is an AMAZING DISCOVERY!" She stands proudly as Daiyousei says "Cirno-chan, you deduced all that all by yourself, and so quickly too. You are so amazing!" Ail sweats and says "err... I better go and visit the mansion now, Cirno. Say hi to Letty for me, ok? Let's go Budou." Budou smiles, bows at Cirno and Daiyousei then runs after Ail, who was walking away fast.
As they walk toward the mansion's gates, the first thing Ail notices it Meiling missing from her post. He fears something may have happened, but tries to keep calm as he kneels and says "Budou, this is the Scarlet Devil Mansion. Usually it's not a friendly place, but something happened yesterday, so it might be more dangerous." Budou gulps and her lips start to tremble. Ail pats her on the head and says "calm down. Just stay close to me all the time and I'll keep you safe." Ail smiles at Budou, but she was too nervous to smile back. Ail stands up, and as soon as he does, the clings on to his back tightly, popping her head from over his shoulder. Ail shrugs and thinks "I guess this is close, then." He opens the door to the mansion, suddenly a vision of the dark future's mansion came to him, however it vanishes in a second as his bracelet shines. Immediately inside, he calms down and takes a deep breath, thinking "maybe that trip affected me more than I thought?" From the left corridor, Meiling jumps as she shouts "MISTER AIL~ welcome!" She hugs Ail tightly, also hugging Budou inthe proscess. She loosens her grip, pats Budou's wings and with a blank stare toward the ceiling she asks "Ail, you grew wings?" Ail says "oh dear" as he grabs hold of Budou, who after that tight hug, was in a daze and almost fell from Ail's back. After a quick recovery by Budou, Meiling bows while saying "I'm so sorry, I didn't know she was there!" Budou walks toward Meiling and smiles as she says "you're a good person, aren't you?" Ail was surprised and said "wow, she's usually very shy." Budou smiles and says "I don't have to be scared of her, because she's very nice." Meiling rubs the back of her head with a goofy smile and says "well thank you. I am Meiling. Meiling Hong. What's your name?" Meiling grabs Budou by her waist and lifts her up, making her giggle and expand her wings as she says "I'm Budou. Papa Ail gave me that name!" Meiling hugs her and says "you're so cute. So Ail's your papa?" Ail blushes again and says "I-I found her in my house. She seems so defenseless, so I'm going to take care of her." Budou smiles and says "just like a good papa!" Again Ail blushes then Meiling says "aww, that's so nice of you, Ail." Budou giggles then says "and mama Sanny gave me these clothes." Meiling looks at Ail mischievously and says "you don't say? I always said they made a good couple." Ail blushes now so much, he felt his head was going to explode, but he manages to ask "so... Meiling? Why aren't you outside?" Meiling gasps and says "ah, that's right! I'm supposed to clean the right side of the mansion now. Sakuya is still weak, so I'm helping the fairy maids. I can take you there if-" "That won't be necessary, Meiling. You may continue to your duties." said Patchouli from the second floor, looking casually down as she continues saying "Ail, so glad you came. We could use your assistance."
As they walk down the second floor corridor to Sakuya's room, Ail presents Budou to Patchouli, whose face, for some reason turned a little pink whenever she faced Ail. "Patchouli, this is Budou. I'm taking care of her. Budou, this is my friend, Patchouli Knowledge." Patchouli looks away as she says "please, Ail. I asked you to call me Patchy." Budou keeps quiet until Patchouli addresses to her. "So, little Budou, huh? For some reason, that name makes me hungry." Budou whimpers then Patchouli calmly says "I'm sorry, I was only joking." Ail was a little surprised and asks "Patchy? You're joking?" Patchouli's face turns red as she faces away from Ail, trying to hide herself as she calmly says "w-what? Can't I joke from time to time too?" Budou giggles as she stares at Patchouli then says "you are Lady Bookworm!" Patchouli was in complete shock then hesitantly asks "L-Lady Book-worm? Wh-why?" Budou giggles and smiles very innocently and says "because you look VERY smart. Smarter than bookworm 2 even." Ail sweats and says "ok Budou, I think that's enough for now." For a moment, there was an awkward silence, but it was soon broken when Patchouli says "ah, yes. We're here. Ail, Sakuya has recovered magnificently, however it seems she's lacking energy." Ail smiles and says "I understand. Leave it to me."
Entering Sakuya's room, the first thing Ail notices is the exhausted Remilia sitting on a chair, next to Sakuya. "Remilia" exclaims Ail. "Are you ok?" Remilia was so tired, she could barely keep her eyes open, and with a tired smile, she faces Ail and says "ah... Ail. Are you going to help Sakuya?" Ail nods and says "Remilia, you really need to sleep." Remilia gets a little angry and although weakly, she says with authority "and who do you think you are to talk to me that way? If there weren't so many of you, I'd teach you a lesson... and who's that little runt?" Budou was right next to Ail at the moment. When Remilia calls her a runt, she frowns and quietly says "I-I'm not a runt... I'm Budou." Remilia wipes her nose, making a grotesque sound as she did and asks "what was that? I didn't hear you, little runt!" Budou's cheeks puff, and with a tear on her eye she says "my name is Budou! Papa Ail gave me a name, so don't call me runt!" Remilia looks puzzled for a moment, then with a naughty expression on her face she asks "papa? Who's the mama, then?" Patchouli was screaming inside her mind, her cheeks turning red with rage as Budou says "that would be mama Sanny. She gave me clothes. Isn't that right papa Ail?" Remilia stares at Ail with a very naughty look on her face, while Patchouli continues to scream curses in her mind, and Ail was now blushing again so much, his face felt as though it was gonna fly away on it's own like a rocket. Suddenly Sakuya moans and everyone in the room, even Budou, came back to their senses. "Sakuya, I'm here, it's ok." said Remilia in a desperate tone. Ail stares at Sakuya, who weakly opens her eyes and smiles, then goes back to sleep. Ail looks at where the wound used to be and says "ah, I see. Don't worry, Lady Remilia. Sakuya will be back on her feet by tomorrow, I promise. Now, let's get her energy flowing again. Ail gets close to Sakuya and places his hand on her forehead. He closes his eyes and concentrate. He could see Sakuya's energy flow and his own, helping her energy flow freely as it should. Patchouli could see faint traces of the energy flow, Remilia just looked on in wonder, but Budou could see the whole thing. Suddenly she says "papa, that energy is trapped there on her foot. Look, something's blocking it." Ail and Patchouli were both very surprised, then Ail looks at Sakuya's foot under the covers and says "my, you're right. How did you-?" Ail shakes his head then decides to continue working on Sakuya's energy, freeing the clogged energy from her foot. Patchouli stares at Budou for a moment and says "little Budou, how did you see that so easily?" Budou looks puzzled and asks "what? You mean you can't see it?"
Sakuya opens her eyes just as Ail finished with her and says "whoa... I feel like new! What happened?" Remilia extends her arms and hugs Sakuya saying "Sakuya~! You woke up! Look everyone, Sakuya's ok!" Sakuya tries to get up, but quickly realizes her hip still hurts, so she just sits up and pats Remilia on her head saying "my lady. I'm so sorry to have worried you. Ail, Lady Patchouli?" Ail smiles and says "it looks to me you tried to stop time just as that woman struck you with her blade, am I right?" Sakuya rubs her hair and says "I--I think so. All I remember is Luna's face above my own, and Yumeko fighting her off. After that... everything's a blur." As she spoke, she notices Budou and stares at her with curiosity then asks "and who is this?" Budou felt safe with Sakuya for some reason and immediately says "I'm Budou. Nice to meet you." Ail again was very surprised at Budou, but didn't say anything. Sakuya pats the side of her bed, welcoming Budou closer. When she gets close, Sakuya smiles and says "wow... you're cute. You remind me of someone..." For a moment Sakuya thinks then imagines Budou with wings on her head and looking a little older, then says "ah, you look like Koakuma. Wow, if you were a little older, I could confuse you with her *giggle*" Budou giggles along with Sakuya, then Patchouli, sounding almost angry says "aren't you going to give Sakuya a nickname too?" Budou stares at Sakuya, who was a little puzzled about the current situation and then suddenly Budou smiles and says "Lady Sakuya!" Patchouli gets annoyed and asks "what? You're not calling her doggy, or lady doggy, or something!?" Budou gets a little nervous and aks "wh-why? Why are you so angry, Lady Bookworm?" Ail sighs and says "Patchy, you should just give up... she's just an infant anyway." Patchouli puffs and says "fine. Ail, please come with me to my library, I need to ask you something." Just then, they all realize Remilia had fallen asleep right next to Sakuya's bed, twitching her wings with every snore. Patchouli places her on Sakuya's bed, at Sakuya's own request, then left them both as she and Ail head to her library.
At the library, the first thing Patchouli does after she and Ail sit down on the desk is ask "what did you see? I can see it in your eyes, you know something. A lot of things. What is it?" Ail sighs and says "as much as I'd like to fill you in, I can't. I made a promise to SikiEiki." Disappointed, Patchouli sighs and says "I see. *chuckle* And here I though I could get some good information from you. Well, it can't be helped." On the background, Koakuma and Budou were looking at some books. Koakuma points up, then Budou flaps her wings to get a little blue book from one of the highest shelves. Although little, the book was heavy for her, so she pulls it out with all her might, causing the rest of the top books to fall along with her. Koakuma is able to catch Budou before she hit the floor, but the books were headed straight at them. Ail casually places a barrier around them, saving both from the avalanche of books that headed their way. Patchouli turns around and says "Koakuma, try not to mess the library too much, ok?" She turns back to Ail and asks "can you feel her presence?" Ail nods and says "please, don't do anything now. Let things happen on their own." Patchouli looks straight at Ail with that expressionless look of hers then says "so I was right. You do know something after all. Fine, I'll leave things to you then." Ail sighs and says "not so fast. We might need your help after all." Ail whispers at Patchouli as Budou and Koakuma laugh in the background while looking through some books that had fallen off the top shelves.
At the Youkai Mountain, Aya wakes up and immediately shouts "wake up you three! Since yesterday I spent all day looking for YOU, today you're going to help me with some hard tasks!" As they slowly get up from the futons on the ground, Momiji comes in to Aya's secret house, whispers something on Aya's ear, then Aya gets angry. She stomps hard as she heads straight to Luna and says "you and me are going to have a little 'us-time' little lady!" At the Hakurei Shrine, immediately after waking up, Reimu feels great amounts of sadness rushing straight to her heart, and quickly she thinks of Budou again. She gasps for air and thinks "i-is this? Dammit all, how the hell am I supposed to handle THIS one?" At Entei, Yorihime had woken up early, feeling great excitement, as today, she was going back home, back to her sister. Eirin was a little sad to see her go, but was really happy for her at the same time. At Flandre's room in the Scarlet Mansion, Agava was being held tightly by Flandre as she slept. Although a little miserable, she couldn't contain her wicked smile, thinking her victory was near at hand. Meanwhile, Yuki was thinking about Alice's harsh words, looking out the window, while Alice was also thinking about their little incident, also looking out her window, thinking "I hope she'll forgive me."
To be continued...
Characters and scenario belong to ZUN -Team Shanghai Alice-
Ail, Kyo, Agava, Luna and Budou were created by Willie G.R.
AUG 30 2009