Friday, November 20, 2009

One Random Sukima 14

While Marisa and Yuki handle S-Yuka in the Garden of the Sun, in Makai, Alice has just reached the Palace of Pandemonium. She feels a cold chill claiming her limbs, as a sense of fear and anxiety take over. She looks on and wonders if she made the right choice by following Shinki. In her mind, she sees Shanghai and Hourai looking straight at her and saying "we didn't break that dome so you could have doubts. We did it so you could help that nice lady! Go on, miss Alice. Stop hesitating; go and help miss Shinki!" Alice opens her eyes with determination in them. She raises her right arm to her waist, closes her eyes and clenches her fist and teeth, then opens her eyes again and runs inside. Meanwhile, down by the lake, Yumeko managed to find Luize, and now both of them are fighting off little black winged monsters that want to rip their flesh for consumption. With a short sword in each hand, Yumeko slices the little creatures with ease, while Luize fires blue orbs and lasers, blasting the little creatures into black dust. They are surrounded, pressing their backs against each other. It seems to them that for each creature they slay, 10 more take their place. Yumeko clenches her teeth and says "we must run away!" Luize replies "agreed!" Before they lift to the air, they hear Sara's voice above them shouting "Ballroom Elegance" Sara Twirls in place, holding her waist and lifting her free arm, as if dancing by herself. Her raise hand releases small white energy orbs that spread as they arc away from her. Her own body expels scattered energy orbs of various sizes, and after releasing enough, she stops dancing, points at the creatures around her friends, and fires three red lasers that bounce off the rocks and trees three times each, disintegrating many of the little black monsters and giving Yumeko and Luize the chance to finish of the last few around them. Sara flies down and asks "what is going on here!?" Yumeko replies "shadows have taken over, claiming to be our lady Shinki and Yuki" A green one-eyed, bat-winged creature with long thin legs flies around Sara's shoulder, then Sara points at it and says "no wonder! That fake Shinki said that me and this creature were married!" Yumeko and Luize look a bit surprised. The creature looks arrogantly at Sara, and in a smooth and deep voice, he says "hey, hey! This is no treat for me either. Thank goodness I am free from you, though!" Sara glares at the creature and shouts "WHAT!? You don't think I'm GOOD enough for you!?" The creature says "don't take it personal, honey. You're just not my type." Sara growls, but just crosses her arms and looks away. The little green creature says "well, it's been fun, but I gotta get back to my REAL wife and kids. Keep it real, sweetheart." then flies away with speed. Sara turns around and shouts "you BETTER RUN! GRRR! I'll get him and BLAST that stupid eye of his!" She looks at Yumeko and Luize, who keep staring back at her, then shouts "nobody calls me sweetheart, and gets AWAY with it!" Both Yumeko and Luize smile nervously, then turn to face each other and a large sweat-drop falls from the back of their heads, both unable to say anything to the enraged gate guardian.

In Pandemonium, Alice finally reaches Shinki by late noon. Shinki stands in the center of a large corridor, staring ahead into an unsettling darkness. Alice starts saying "mom, I finally-" but Shinki interrupts her with a most strict tone of voice "I though I told you all to let me handle this!" At first, Alice looks sad and lowers her head, but then she smiles and asks "what kind of daughter would I be if I just let you handle this by yourself?" Shinki lets out a soft laugh and a smirk, but continues to diligently stare toward the unsettling darkness, unblinking and unmoving. Alice stares along, then smirks and says "I'll take care of it." Without looking away, Alice unleashes a doll that quietly walks on her own toward the darkness ahead. After entering into it, S-Shinki's voice can be heard saying "oh wow, what a cute dolly!" A loud explosion, followed by the clearing of the unsettling darkness and S-Shinki's shriek signals Shinki to move in and attack, but S-Shinki sends a large orb of light-blue energy that makes Shinki stop and hold the orb with her hands. The orb pushes Shinki back, but she grunts and manages to push it away, falling on her knees after doing so. Alice runs to Shinki, shouting "mom! Mom, are you alright!?" Shinki lifts her head to face Alice, smiling as she usually does, and says "yes, I'm fine. I just tripped over there." Shinki points to a crooked spot on a red carpet, then Alice sweats and says "mom, you really need to be more careful." S-Shinki reveals herself on the other side of the corridor and glaring at Alice and Shinki with tears in her eyes, she says "how can you be so MEAN! This poor dolly! Why'd you kill it!?" She sobs as she gently places what's left of Alice's doll on the floor against the wall. Alice stares at her with pity, but is unable to reply. S-Shinki faces them again and says "that smart lady was right. You are MEAN impostors!" Alice stares into the shadow's eyes for a moment, but Shinki gets in front of her and says "Alice, behind me!" S-Shinki unleashes a wave of beams, and Shinki replies with an even larger wave of beams and orbs, dwarfing S-Shinki's attack, and blasting her constantly. After the barrage is over, S-Shinki continues to crouch on the floor, holding her head and trembling, saying "ow, ouch, ouch, no, that hurt. Ow ow~!" Alice and Shinki stare curiously at the shadow, who stops complaining once she realizes the barrage is over. She stands up on her feet and stares back at Alice and Shinki. Her lips start to tremble, her eyes get glassy, then she starts crying like a little child and runs away, shouting "waaah~ The mean impostors hurt me~ *sniffle*! Lady~ Nice lady, where are you~ *sob*!?" Surprised, Shinki and Alice look at each other, then give chase to the shadow. Shinki opens the palm of her hand in front of her, then Alice curiously asks "what was that about, mom?" Shinki smirks and says "you'll see." They hear S-Shinki yelp ahead of them, then they stop after seeing a large barrier placed by Shinki. S-Shinki had bumped hard against it and cornered herself, curling herself into a ball and rubbing her forehead. Shinki's right hand glows light-blue as she gets closer to S-Shinki and says "this was way too easy." Shinki is about to strike her black-haired shadow, when Alice shouts "wait, no! Mom, stop!" Shinki looks at Alice a little agitated and says "Alice, you know these are just shadows. If we let them live, they'll only be a constant threat!" Alice points at the cowering shadow and asks "does she look threatening?" Shinki looks into Alice's eyes and says "alright! But if she tries to hurt you, it's over for her." Alice smiles and nods, then turns to the shadow, bends her knees, and slowly gets closer, offering her hand, saying "it's ok. We won't hurt you anymore." S-Shinki lifts her head and sees Alice smiling back at her, while Shinki stares curiously around. Gently, Alice says "I promise we won't hurt you, but if you try to hurt us, we will defend ourselves." S-Shinki asks "you-you're not going to eat me?" Alice gently asks "of course not. Why would we do that?" Shinki says "Alice, there's something about this place... I think we should hurry." Alice gently says "come on, just give me your hand and I'll prove to you we won't hurt you, or eat you." S-Shinki stares back at Alice and slowly extends her hand to Alice's. Their fingertips touch, and the floor under them breaks apart, making all three fall down into a dark room, Shinki shouting "that's right, this is Yumeko's intruder tra~p!"

Early morning at the Hakurei Shrine. Ail and Ran sit on the ground in the front of the shrine while Chen, Budou and Phredia play hide-and-seek around the trees. Rika comes out of the shrine with her wooden sword in hand, and looks to Ail and Ran, and curiously says "well, good morning. Such devoted worshipers, coming so early to the shrine." Ail and Ran look back at her then Ail smiles and says "we've got really good news for Reimu." Smiling widely, Ran adds "so we're waiting here for her wake up." Rika looks back now even more curious as she asks "good news?" Nearly 2 hours later, Reimu sits by her table, enjoying some tea made by Rika with help from Ail and Ran. Reimu sighs contently and says "ahh, this tea is simply amazing." Rika bows and says "miss Ran and mister Ail helped." Reimu loos to her left and says "ah, the noisy bunch." Ail and Ran sit next to the entrance, both with bumps on their heads, but still smiling, and Budou poking Ail's and Chen poking Ran's bumps. Beside each, one yin-yang orb with steam coming from them, while Phredia stares at them curiously. Reimu takes one last gulp, smiles at Rika and says "it was very delicious. Thank you very much." Rika bows back and with a smile on her face, she excitedly says "it's my pleasure, my lady!!" Reimu faces Ail and Ran, then casually asks "so what's this good news you were going to tell me?" Ran and Ail look at each other, then Ran says "you go ahead." Ail smiles and says "Reimu, Kyo confirmed it. The Random Sukima is no more! It ate Yuyuko and it exploded!" Reimu gasps and says "really!? Finally! That's the best news I've heard so far... but..." Ail sweats, but Ran answers before anyone "yes, it seems we have Yuyuko's shadow running lose around as well. But at least that's the last one." Reimu nods and says "yeah, I guess..." Reimu's eyes glint as she stares toward the trees around the shrine behind Ail and Ran. Budou and Chen stare around curiously, wondering what is Reimu looking at. Ail and Ran look back to Reimu with a very serious expression, then nod. Reimu, with an equally serious expression, nods back, then smiles and says "hey kids, how about we go watch Rika practice her spells!?" Rika blushes and sweats a little, managing to smile as she says "aww, miss Reimu. I didn't know you were interested in my progress." Budou and Chen jump in place, Budou saying "yay, magic! I love seeing magic tricks!" Chen adds "ooh, I hope we see something flashy!" Reimu, Chen and Budou follow Rika to the back of the shrine, while Ail and Ran head to the lake, claiming to want to take a break. Meanwhile, at the front of the shrine, Kyo and Luna arrive, Kyo shouting "hello~! Anybody here~!?" Reimu shouts "over here. Come and enjoy the show!"

Chen and Budou sit on the ground close to Rika, who grabs her spell card and declares "Oath Keeper", then quickly enters the golden gate that floats where her card spins. She comes out with one sword on her belt, then looks at herself curiously, asking "wait, didn't I get the other one? Ugh!" She smiles as she turns to Chen and Budou, winks, and says "please give me a moment. There's another sword around here." Reimu, Kyo and Luna get closer to Rika and Reimu asks "something wrong?" Rika hands Reimu the wind sword and says "please, could you hold on to this while I check something in here?" She hands Reimu the sword, then sticks half her body inside. Kyo whispers "so you want us to flush her out?" Reimu whispers back "in two minutes. Ail and Ran should be in position by then. Oh, please hold this." Reimu hands the wind sword to Kyo as soon as he says "certainly", then turns around to address to Rika, but the second his hand touches the sword, a small wind blade cuts the back of his hand. "What the hell!?" shouts Kyo as he drops the sword on the ground. Reimu turns around and curiously asks "what's the matter?" Kyo says "that thing cut my hand. Look!" Kyo shows Reimu the cut. She stares at it, and then at the sword on the ground, then smirks and says "well, I see what's going on. You're too clumsy for your own good." Kyo's eyes hide under shadow, while the word "pissed" writes itself on fire right behind him as he threateningly says "you're dying for a fight, aren't you!?" Reimu smiles and says "come on, Kyo. How can a sheathed sword cut you like that?" Right then, Rika struggles against the golden gate, then pulls out another sheathed sword that goes flying straight at Kyo, who instinctively reaches to catch it, but as soon as his hands touch the sheath, this hand turns to stone. The sheathed sword bounces back to Reimu, who catches it and casually says "so clumsy!" Kyo shouts "what the hell is your problem. You SAW what that thing did to me!" Reimu turns around to hide her smirk and says "all I saw is a clumsy oaf dropping a sheathed sword!" Kyo growls and shouts "Luna, you saw, ri--" Luna is looking toward the trees and says "oh, sorry, did you say something?" Reimu lightly giggles as Rika looks around, then says "hey, what happened to the wind sword?" Reimu hands the earth sword to Rika and while giggling, she says "just hold on to this one" then turns to Kyo, pulls out a charm and places it on his hand, completely healing him and says "see" It's nothing." Kyo stares back at Reimu with both the desire to blast her with a spell card, and thank her for healing his hand, but he continues to stare back with his mouth open, his eyes cast in shadow, and his hair springing from his head. Rika looks at Budou and Chen, but before she asks anything, Reimu turns to them and winks with a smile. The girls giggle as Rika asks "girls, what's going on around here?" Chen giggles along with Budou and says "nothing. It's nothing."

Rika begins her demonstration with her blade, making the two girls exclaim with awe at her abilities with the blade. Meanwhile, Momiji walks to the entrance of the shrine, limping slowly and asking "where is miss Aya?" Reimu glances casually to her and signals with her hand to keep low. Momiji quickly understand and sits just behind the door's archway inside the shrine, falling back to sleep almost immediately. Reimu whispers to Luna "they're in place. Go!" Kyo and Luna rush into the bushes and trees, like two black blurs,and immediately, something else starts running away toward the lake. Kyo and Luna spot the child-like silhouette, and quickly give chase, making it run straight to the lake. For some time, the only sound is that of rustling bushes and snapping twigs. Kyo and Luna lose sight of the silhouette, but then hear a familiar child-like voice crying and screaming "no, no, please, let me go! Please!" They reach the source of the crying and find Ail holding tightly to Suwako, who keep kicking as hard as she can, crying and shouting "please, no more, please! Let me go! Let me go~!" When they looks closer, they notice this Suwako has grey hair, her clothes look old and dirty, and even her hat looks lifeless, tired, and worn out. When they look into her crying face, they notice she has no pupil in her exhausted eyes. Ran reaches them just as S-Suwako cries one last time "please, let me go! IT hurts! It HU~RTS!" Three loud snaps come from her, and then she falls limp and silent on Ail's hands. Kyo shouts "dude, what's the matter with you!? You use too much strength!" Ail calmly replies "I wasn't even using force." Kyo, Ran and Luna stare with surprise as Ail slowly places S-Suwako on the ground. Her ribs, left arm and leg are broken. Ail raises his face to Ran and says "tell Reimu to get me the stretcher." Ran replies "why? She's not even breathing." Ail looks to the shadow and says "she can't die." Luna says "but you just killed her." Ail replies "I can see traces of her life energy. It's trapped in the body." Ran quickly nods, then rushes away to look for Reimu. Kyo asks "are you ok, Ail?" Ail stares at S-Suwako, feeling great pity for her and says "even her hat is trying to die... but they can't." Kyo asks "can you make more sense?" Ail looks to Kyo with a serious expression and says "take my word for it. She is living hell!" Kyo and Luna look at each other, and shortly after, Reimu and Ran arrive from the skies with the same stretcher they had used for Momiji before. Upon casting her eyes on the shadow, Reimu gasps in horror, then asks "wha-...? What kind of being deserves this kind of punishment?" Ail looks back and says "let's get her back to the shrine... Is that ok?" Reimu quietly nods, then quietly helps Ail and Ran lift the shadow's frail body to the stretcher.

At the Scarlet Devil Mansion, Remilia and Sakuya exit the mansion and Remilia asks "so Flan's been working? What for?" Sakuya says "she won't tell us. She says it's a surprise. She keeps getting jobs all around, along with those two friends of hers." Remilia sniffles and lifts her chest proudly. Sakuya asks "is something wrong, my lady?" Remilia says "ah, it's just that they grow up so fast, don't they?" Sakuya chuckles and says "who could believe she was so mad before, we had to locker her in a room." Remilia smiles as they walk to the gate and says "we Scarlet vampires can adapt to anything! Flan just needed more time." As they pass through the gate, Meiling asks "ah, going out?" Sakuya opens an umbrella to cover Remilia and says "yes. Please, make sure nobody enters while we're away." Meiling salutes and says "no problem. It's been pretty quiet, though. I haven't even seen Marisa at all." Remilia shrugs and says "well, forget her. Just guard the mansion. We'll be back later." Meiling salutes and says "I will keep the mansion safe, my lady!" Sakuya and Remilia lift to the air almost at the same time, then head straight to the Hakurei Shrine. From the back of the mansion, two small black shadows jump the wall, and like quick little flashes, they enter through the hole on the roof, just as a small cloud covers the sun in that moment. Meiling looks around quickly and suspiciously, then says "whoa... for a moment, I though I felt... Nah. I must be imagining things." She looks to the lake and notices Cirno and Daiyousei playing with some frozen frogs. She scratches her head and says "sometimes I think fairies have too much of a good life *sigh*. But they are still pretty weak." From the left side of the lake, there is a furious roar that makes all the fairies in the area scatter away and hide behind trees. Meiling stands her ground and looking serious, she says to herself "heads up... Seems there's some company headed this way."

Inside a dark room in Pandemonium, Alice wakes on on Shinki's lap. The only light in the room is a small light-blue orb above Shinki's head, as S-Shinki continues to play with hers, turning it on and off, and giggling along with Shanghai and Hourai. Alice sits up, looks to Shinki, then, while rubbing her forehead, she asks "mom... ungh! What happened?" Shinki replies in a motherly tone "relax. We are safe here. My shadow turned out to be no threat at all, and it's all thanks to you." Alice asks "to me?" Shinki nods and says "yes. She was really worried since you wouldn't wake up, but Shanghai and Hourai have kept her company all this time." S-Shiki notices Alice has woken up and shouts "miss Alice is awake! Yahay~!" Shanghai and Hourai both fly straight to Alice and bow to her, saying "so glad to see you are well, miss Alice." Alice grabs both dolls and wraps her forearms around their necks, saying in a relieved tone of voice "so glad to see you two again." S-Shinki stares at Alice, looking a bit angry and as though about to cry. Alice smiles to her, pats her head and says "I didn't forget about you. I am glad to see you too... oh my" S-Shinki smiles and lunges herself to Alice, giving her a surprising hug, then says "look, look, I can write my name in the dark. Watch, watch!" She struggles a bit, but manages to write the word "Girliess" in a light-blue light. Alice asks "that's your name?" S-Shinki replies "I 'unno... That nice blond lady calls me that." Alice looks to Shinki, who shrugs while smiling sheepishly. Suddenly, Alice is struck by a realization, then, in a suspicious and scolding tone of voice she asks "mom... How come you don't know where the trap doors are?" Still smiling sheepishly and placing her right arm behind her head, while keeping her left on her thigh, she chuckles and says "heh heh, well, funny story about that. You see, I've fallen through that one so many times, you'd think I remember it. I keep telling Yumeko to mark their locations for me, but she says 'lady Shinki, if I did that, then an intruder would also know their location.' and so... We kinda have to wait until someone notices we're here to get out *giggle*." Alice sweats, but notices urgency in Shinki's eyes, then says "Shanghai, Hourai, why don't you play with this shadow for a bit?" S-Shinki, sounding a bit offended, says "hey, my name is Girlie. I just wrote it for you!" Alice giggles and says "that's right. Forgive me." S-Shinki smiles, then follows the dolls a little farther away, playing whit her light orb again. Shinki gets closer to Alice and says "she told me that other shadow was making her create mini-shadows. Alice, they're trying to turn my Makai into their own. They've already remodeled half the palace." Alice whispers "but she doesn't seem to be bad." Shinki says "not her. Yuki's shadow. She seems to be the one controlling this one." Alice looks back at S-Shinki and says "she's so innocent, mom. I don't think she's evil at all." Shinki smiles and says "you know? I think I'm inclined to believe you, dear Alice." They watch the shadow write the words "Motherly Doll in the air and saying "you two are a Motherly Doll, so I will call you that, alright?" Alice chuckles and nods while smiling, then Shanghai says "oh, that's such a nice name, isn't it miss Alice?" Hourai adds "I helped!"

Just outside Pandemonium, still wearing the pink dress is Yuki, and Mai, Sara, Yumeko, Luize and Marisa all stand in the front gates. Yuki is viciously eating two large balls of rice, saying "*munch munch munch* how did you know *munch munch* I was this hungry!?" Marisa, sounding bored replies "oy, we were dealing with Shadow Yuka all day yesterday. Of course you're gonna be hungry. So what is the plan, ze?" Luize whispers to Yumeko "what is that little monster doing here?" Yumeko whispers back "I don't know, but she shut Yuki up. Just be thankful about that." Sara says in a loud tone "alright, first things first. We need to find Shinki and Alice. Chances are they have already engaged in glorious battle against the shadows! We go in, join the battle, and BEAT those shadows out of Makai! Any objections?" Mai says "Marisa, Pinky, you two come with me." Sara says "HEY~ Let me separate the teams!" Yuki adds "who the HELL are you calling pinky!!?" Mai sighs, rubs her forehead, then says "Yuki and I have been working on our unison spells. Along with Marisa's raw power, we can use our team to advance, while you come from behind unnoticed." Yumeko thinks for a moment, then says "I see. Well, that sounds like a good plan to me." Luize smiles and says "count me in." Sara sobs and with waterfall-tears coming down her cheeks, she asks "why do you agree with her so quickly? It's so not fair!" Ignoring Sara, Yumeko says "you three make sure to keep each other safe, is that clear? And you, witch!" Marisa points at herself as Yumeko stares at her and says "don't you dare double-cross them, or I swear, I'm taking your head!" Yuki smiles and says "Marisa? Double-cross us? No way! We can count on her!" Marisa whispers "thanks, ze." Annoyed, Mai impatiently says "come on, we're wasting time. It's already noon, dammit!" Yuki and Marisa look at each other, then fly side-by-side, grab Mai by her arms, then drag her along as she shouts "hey, I can fly on my own! Let me go, dammit!!!" Yumeko sighs and Luize says "well, we better follow." Yumeko looks back at Luize and says "no, wait... We better take another path. Come on, follow me!" Still crying and sobbing, Sara quickly follows Yumeko around the left side of the palace. Luize stares curiously with her narrow eyes, but follows without questioning.

Back at the Hakurei Shrine. Late noon; the shrine is full of guests. Rika helps Reimu treat each and every guest with tea and treats. Remilia and Sakuya feel quite uncomfortable whenever Rika is close to them, but they manage to hide this feeling. Everyone is involved in casual conversation, until Remilia says "so that's one of the shadows? What a pathetic form of life. She's living hell's punishments without even being dead." Ail and Reimu hide their eyes under shadows, and in a strict tone of voice, Reimu says "keep your voice down, if you can BE so kind!" Remilia stares back, feeling ashamed after being scolded by Reimu. She looks away and tries to speak, but Suwako jumps back inside from the shrine's porch and asks "but Reimu, Ail... why keep her alive? It's obvious she is suffering, and if she wasn't, she'd probably be trying to kill me." From behind Kyo, Sanae rushes to Ail and places her hand on his shoulder, then turns to Suwako and asks "lady Moriya, how can you say such a thing?" Before either Sanae can continue, or Suwako can reply, S-Suwako starts gasping, her body starts healing itself, her hair turns light yellow, and even her hat starts looking a lot livelier. S-Suwako looks around with her grey eyes with no pupil, then starts crying and sobbing "no.. no, no, no NO! I was killed. I'm supposed to be dead!" Rika, Reimu and Ail rush to the shadow and try to calm her down. Reimu tells her "relax! Please, relax! I had to place some charms on you, so you can't move while you heal!" S-Suwako replies "I don't want to heal. I want to die already!" She continues to cry uncontrollably, but manages to say "please, have a heart~! *sob* Do you have any idea how hard it is to have all your bones broken each day, just to wake up again *sob* and again, have your body broken, just so it heals again, and again! Kill me now, please~! Ple-he-hease." She cries uncontrollably once more, making Rika grab her and pulls her from the futon and embrace the shadow, making her stop crying immediately, and gently saying "there, there, miss shadow. You are amongst friends." S-Suwako asks "f-friends? But we are trying to kill you... we are trying to take your lives. We can't be friends." Rika pulls the shadow away, so that she can see her angelical smile as she says "well, miss shadow, I think we can make an exception, right?" S-Suwako stares back at Rika's smile, then at Ail, Reimu, and the real Suwako, all staring back with smiles and concern. The shadow looks back at Rika again, closes her eyes, and leans her head against the maid's shoulders.

Back at Makai, on the outsides of Pandemonium, Yumeko lands on a very small ledge, and presses herself against the wall as hard as she can. At first, Luize and Sara think she's doing this to prevent from falling, but then they see four blocks, each at the end of each limb, and a fifth one just under her chest, sink into the wall itself, and then, a door opens up. Yumeko flies in front of the opening and bows while saying "my lady." For some time, nothing happens, but from inside, smiling as usual, comes Shinki, saying "oh, Yumeko, I knew you'd find us. Come on Alice, Girlie, Shanghai, Hourai. Time to get out." Yumeko asks "Girlie. Who's Girlie?" Alice, Shanghai and Hourai follow Shinki, and following them is S-Shinki." Yumeko shouts "it's the shadow!" S-Shinki hides behind Alice after yelping, then Shinki quickly gets in front and says "no, no, it's ok! Yumeko, it's alright, she's with us." Yumeko glares at the shadow, then asks "are you sure she's not trying to trick us?" Smiling, yet emanating a strange and dangerous aura, Shinki says in a sweet tone "Yumeko, my child. Listen to what I'm saying, alright?" Yumeko trembles, trying to back away from Shinki, but at the same time, holding her position. She says "ri-ri--alright my lady. P-please forgive me." Shinki kisses Yumeko's forehead then says "alright. Let's go back inside. Yuki's shadow has big plans, and if she succeeds, Reimu's gonna have all our necks." Sara asks "that bad?" Shinki replies "I'll explain on the way. Come on!" Shinki leads the way as they all fly as fast as they can toward the main entrance to the palace. Alice and S-Shinki flying just beside Shinki, the shadow clinging on to Alice. Sara suddenly asks "wait, why not just enter through the windows?" Yumeko smiles, Luize giggles, and Shinki answers "Yumeko placed some very dangerous traps around them. Sara, my child. You should visit home more often." Sara blushes and says to herself "maybe I should."

Late noon at the SDM's gates. Meiling keeps looking around, thinking "I know I heard a roar and some heavy footsteps... but I've seen nothing so far. Am I really imagining things?" Meiling closes her eyes and says "phew... it seems lady Remilia will be home late tonight." She opens her eyes and gasps after seeing herself, staring back at her, only with back-length hair and red lizard eyes. Meiling stands shocked, unable to say anything, when her shadow says "you! Scram! This is all mine now!" Meiling shakes her head, recovering herself from the shock, then defiantly says "no way, sister. This mansion belongs to my lady, and nobody else! Leave now, unless you want a beating!" S-Meiling smirks, revealing her jagged teeth as she says "now that's what I wanted to hear. Even a weakling like YOU should give me some sport." Meiling stands ready for a fight, then signals her shadow to make the first more. S-Meiling scoffs, and in an instant, she transforms into a snake-like dragon the size of the mansion itself; it's scales are dark green, turning almost black against the little light of day left. It's teeth are sharp and it's eyes blood red with lizard-like white pupils. Meiling looks back with awe and surprise, and with a thunderous and threatening voice, S-Meiling says "what's the matter? Come and beat me up, little whelp!" Meiling shakes her head again to recover herself from the shock, then says "y-you'll regret messing with me!" Meiling's arms and legs get surrounded in multi-colored flames, then she launches various combinations of punches and kicks, hitting the dragon as hard as she can. S-Meiling laughs hysterically and says "oh, that tickles. HAHAHAHA Stop, stop, you're gonna tickle me to death! HAHAHAHA!"

Moments earlier at the Hakurei Shrine, having calmed down and enjoying some tea specially prepared by Reimu, S-Suwako sits with her legs inside the futon, taking many small sips of tea. She notices everyone staring at her, so she smiles back, feeling a little nervous. Budou stares at her for a moment, then goes to Sanae and whispers "mama, are you sure she's a shadow?" Sanae Whispers back "I don't know." S-Suwako takes one last sip of the tea and says "I am a shadow. The shadow of a goddess." She faces Reimu and says "miss maiden, thank you for the tea. Now, I am sure you want to know about us shadows, am I right?" Reimu looks at at Aya, then says "well, aren't you just trying to take our places for this grand 'evolution' scheme?" S-Suwako scoffs and asks "who told you such rubbish?" Reimu looks to the sleeping Momiji next to Aya and says "that girl's shadow." S-Suwako smiles, then says "that young fool. She was biting off more than she could chew. No, miss Reimu. That's not the reason why we do things." Everyone stares quietly for a moment, then Reimu and Ail, at the same time say "ah~, I see." S-Suwako smiles at them and says "we are shadows. What we want... what we NEED... is a life of our own. We are compelled to kill our other selves in order to take their lives, so we can live in their stead." Suwako gets closer to her shadow and asks "then why haven't you tried to kill me?" S-Suwako replies "I am your shadow. True, I have some godly gifts like immortality, but unlike you, I lack your divine body." Suwako gasps and asks "you mean, your body is that of a-?" "...Human" finishes S-Suwako. All, even Remilia look to her with a feeling of terror, then S-Suwako continues "I have immortality, but my body is that of a 2000 year old human. It breaks to pieces; so much pain; just to be restored after a few hours so it can just break again." S-Suwako starts crying again as she says "I can't use magic, I can't fly... I can't even eat properly." Reimu sighs and says "that's what makes my tea so special. It heals you as you drink." S-Suwako smiles back at Reimu and says "yes. Thank you so much. It's the first time I've actually been able to hold something after consuming it." Very suddenly, everyone but Budou, Kyo and Luna look to the outside. Remilia stands up and says "Sakuya, let's go!" Ail adds "if you need help.." Remilia glares back and says "do NOT take me lightly!" Ail stares back with unblinking eyes, then Remilia, in a more calm tone says "we'll be fine. It's nothing I can't handle." Remilia flies toward the orange sky, followed by Sakuya, who bows and says "please excuse us" just before leaving. Afterward, S-Suwako starts to wheeze, then asks "can... someone take me outside?"

Back at the SDM, Meiling continues to attack the dragon, but her strength is waning with every strike, and her fists and legs are full of cuts from the sharp scales. The dragon stops laughing, then says "is that all? Allow me, then" She strikes Meiling using the sharp scales on her tail with such force, she cuts the skin around Meiling's abdomen and sends her flying back to the mansion, making her break a large hole on the wall and the side of the mansion's entrance with her body. She lies on a pile of rubble, then S-Meiling roars and says "you are NOTHING, you WEAK little whelp. Just leave, before I have to kill you." Meiling struggles to get up on her feet, and as soon as she manages to do so, she pulls a spell card from under her hat and says "Kindling Strike - Great Peng Downing Fist" After the declaration, Meiling runs as fast as she can to the dragon, then, using great amounts of power, she strikes with her elbow, then her shoulder, then then sends her fist upward, each strike emanating a rainbow shock-wave. S-Meiling glares quietly at Meiling, who falls to her knees after the attack. She grabs Meiling with her left claw, and as she says "you know... I felt that." She tightens her grip, causing Meiling to shout loudly in pain. The dragon smirks and loosens her grip, then says "but you did provide a good time, so I'll just bite your precious little head off. Don't worry... I got no basis to this, but you might not even feel a thing." The dragon grabs the limp gate guard and raises her just above her gaping mouth, but a dagger, covered in red flames strikes it's left eye making the shadow drop Meiling to the ground next to the broken gate wall, as it roars and writhes in pain, shouting "my eye! What did you do to my eye!!?" The dagger is stuck in there, and if she turns back to normal, it could damage her even more. She takes to the skies, swaying her body wildly and hoping to strike whoever did that to her. After she's gone, Remilia and Sakuya reveal themselves next to some trees. Remilia signals Sakuya to check on Meiling. Sakuya inspects her, and quickly says "she's ok. She's just exhausted!" Remilia walks closer and says "that dragon has some nerve. Attacking my mansion when I'm away." Sakuya asks "but I thought there were no more dragons in Gensokyo." Remilia ignores Sakuya, staring toward the clock tower. Sakuya looks to the tower, asking "what is it, my lady?" and there, they see Remilia, only with black hair and black eyes with red pupils. She bares her long blood-covered fangs, her entire mouth covered in blood, her dress stained as well, and yet, she smiles and hisses as she reveals the body of Flandre on her hands, her blue dress stained in black blood. Remilia shouts "Flandre!?" Sakuya immediately grabs Remilia from behind, embracing her as she says "my lady, that's not Flandre. Look closer." Remilia feels relief the moment she notices S-Flandre's body shattering right after S-Remilia tosses her toward Remilia, then turning into a black cloud and vanishing in the air before even touching the ground. S-Remilia says "welcome to my castle, little lady!" Remilia scoffs and says "you better get out of my mansion while you breathe!" S-Remilia laughs and says "big words for such a small and pathetic excuse for a vampire, who can't even drink blood properly!" Remilia prepares a few small spears in her hand, smiling wickedly and saying "why don't you come down here and say that to my face!?" S-Remilia laughs, then quickly enters the mansion through the broken roof. Remilia says "Sakuya, follow me to the library, and bring Meiling." Sakuya bows elegantly, and says "immediately, my lady!"

Night at Pandemonium. Shinki and the others continue to fly inside the palace, feeling as though they can't reach any destination. Yumeko asks "is it just me, or are we flying in circles?" S-Yuki cackles and says "I was wondering when one of you might notice!" A wall of blazing hot fire raises itself from the ground and ceiling, separating Alice, Shinki,and S-Shinki from Yumeko, Luize and Sara. From the other side of the flaming wall, Shinki hears the three fighting hard, and screaming "look out!" "It's an ambush!" "Yumeko, Sara, help!" Shinki tries with all her might to break an opening in the wall, but only manages to do so for a second, only managing to see Sara, Yumeko and Luize fight off a horde of black winged creatures. Shinki turns around, glaring furiously at S-Yuki and demands "you put this wall out before I get mad, young lady!" Shanghai asks "miss Alice, where are the other three?" S-Yuki laughs hard, then says "an old bag like you couldn't even TOUCH me. You friends are chasing an image of me right now. By the time they realize they have been tricked, they will be dead." S-Shinki flies straight to S-Yuki with tears in her eyes and says "nice lady! These impostors are really nice! We can be friends!" Shinki and Alice sweat after S-Shinki calls them impostors once again, and S-Yuki smirks and says "I see they brainwashed you. Well, no matter. Just help me finish them off and we can continue to build the new world." S-Shinki places her hands behind herself and looks down, blushing as she says "but... but I don't wanna. I wanna be friends." S-Yuki smiles in a twisted manner, bearing her teeth and opening her eyes wide. She starts to cackle, then from behind Marisa shouts "oy~, that was a nice trick, ze! Too bad Yuki is ALSO good with tricks!" A washtub engulfed in fire falls right on top of S-Yuki's head, burning a little bit of her hair as it slides down. S-Yuki continues to smile in a most wicked way, glaring at Yuki, who joins in, laughing and saying "that's what you get for trying to outsmart ME! HAHAHAA!" S-Yuki is surrounded, her hair caught on fire. S-Shinki desperately beats the fire off, managing to save her friend. S-Yuki's twisted smile changes to a more natural smile as she face S-Shinki, then says "wow... thank you so much." S-Shinki says "you're a nice lady. We can be all friendly right now, right?" S-Yuki continues to smile, staring straight into S-Shinki's eyes.

At the Hakurei Shrine, Ail accompanies S-Suwako at the front of the shrine, while everyone else stays inside, having a conversation on how to deal with the rest of the shadows. S-Suwako sits next to the donation box while Ail looks to the sky, then she says "thank you, mister Ail." Ail turns to face her, then asks "why are you thanking me?" S-Suwako says "thanks to you... to miss Reimu and miss Rika, and all your friends, I understand something." Ail smiles as he looks back to her, waiting for her to finish. She smiles back and says "I think I can have a life of my own, after all, now that my body seems to be stronger. Reimu's tea really did the trick." Ail smiles and says "think the other shadows could accept having lives of their own?" S-Suwako smiles and struggles to slowly get up on her own, using the donation box for support. Ail looks worriedly toward her, but she waves her hand, signaling him to calm down, then says "if we can give them the chance... perhaps they can accept that. But the urge to eradicate our other selves is stronger in some." Ail Looks to the sky once more, the moon looking as though is smiling back. He turns again to face S-Suwako, just as a black and red blade comes flying from the right bushes. By the time he notices the blade, it's too close for him to react in time, and Ail opens his eyes wide, and his pupils contract as the sound of impalement reaches his ears. At the same time, in Pandemonium, S-Yuki smiles at S-Shinki, then says "I'm sorry. I guess you are right. We should all become friends." S-Shinki smiles and giggles, then turns to face Alice and says "miss Alice, miss Alice! We can be friend. We can be-" A dagger made of fire opens through the inside of the shadow's abdomen. Alice shouts at the top of her lungs, Shinki looks on with horror, Marisa and Yuki shout angrily and Mai turns her face away. S-Yuki smiles as she gets closer to S-Shinki's face, who asks "but... I thought... you were... friend. *sob*" S-Shinki's eyes fill with tears as her body slowly shatters and turns into balls of yellow light. At the same time in the Hakurei Shrine, Ail's face shines bright yellow as S-Suwako pushes herself away from him with a smile on her face, and half of the black and red blade going right through her chest. She tries to breathe as Ail kneels beside her and quickly pulls the blade right off. Reimu comes from the shrine and shrieks at the sight of S-Suwako's body shattering and turning into orbs of yellow light. She smiles at Ail, who keeps staring horror-struck with his mouth open and unable to say anything. She places her left hand on his cheek and says "I guess... my body was to frail... and you still got a cut... on your chest." Ail shakes his head as tears falls from his eyes an on to S-Swuako's face. At Pandemonium, S-Shinki stares at Alice, then at Shinki. She smiles as her tears dry up and says "don't worry... it's not hurting anymore. Miss Alice, Miss Shinki..." At the same time in the shrine and in the palace, just before the two shadows disappear, both say "goodbye, my friends. Don't ever forget me." then both turn into large orbs of light and fly straight to the skies, where they become a small star in the distance.

At the Shrine, Ail raises his head and sees his shadow self glaring back at him. Even with the wound on his chest, Ail stands up straight, his hand glows red as he aims it to the shadow, and a beam flies straight at S-Ail, trapping him inside the beam itself and stabbing him continually with hundreds of red spikes. Reimu joins in, firing an innumerable amount of charms and amulets to the air, and all fly straight to the shadow, who screams loud enough to get everyone's attention in the shrine. Both Ail and Reimu continue their assault, seeming unaware that the others are there with them. S-Ail manages to shoot many black and red blades straight at Reimu and Ail, who simply continue their assault on the shadow, so before the blades reach their goal, Rika jumps on Reimu, forcing her to the ground, and Suwako tackles Ail as hard as she can, and manages to get him and herself out of the way of harm. By the time they all look to the bushes, S-Ail is gone once more. Reimu and Ail look toward a burned spot on the ground, right where S-Suwako disappeared, both keeping quiet as silent tears fall to the ground beneath them.

At Pandemonium, S-Yuki viciously licks the black blood on her arms, drops the flaming dagger, then says "and now, I can use those powers of her the way they were MEANT to be used." Shinki's face turns red when she shouts "you monster! You are going to pay DEARLY for that!" Alice has already summoned 50 dolls around her, all with sharp blades on their little hands, and all staring back at S-Yuki with their lifeless eyes, and Shanghai and Hourai glare on with glowing red eyes. Marisa points her Hakkero, which is throwing off small sparks as it trembles in her hand, while Yuki and Mai prepare a combined heavy attack of fire and ice. S-Yuki smiles and says "I can deal with you guys later. Right now, I have a WORLD to rebuild." She flies to the window and is assaulted by 8 short swords, but she expels a magical shock wave that sends them back to the ground, then flies outside, cackling and shouting "I am the new GOD of this world!" Shinki and Alice are about to chase after her, but the wall of fire dies down, and they can see Yumeko, Sara and Luize about ready to give up as the horde of shadow creatures continue to attack. Immediately, Marisa flies ahead and unleashes her Master Spark at the creatures. Yuki and Mai fly side by side, taking out those that Marisa misses. Alice and Shinki stare at each other, and with determination in their eyes, they nod, then start blasting those creatures that are close to their friends.

To be continued...

Characters, scenario and spell cards belong to ZUN - Team Shanghai Alice-
Ail, Kyo, Luna, Budou, Phredia and Sara's spell cards were created by Willie G.R.
Rika was created by Snapshot2010

NOV 20 2009
written by
Willie G.R.

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