Sunday, March 21, 2010

Paradise Sukima 7

At Marisa’s house in the forest of Magic, Marisa hurries around inside her house, reading through notes made by herself, pilling up past experiments and baskets full of mushrooms on the kitchen table, and after stopping and looking at the pile she mutters something to herself, then says out loud “alright, time to start working here. First things first...” As she says this, she grabs some strange black mushrooms with small purple dots and starts crushing them against a soft white mineral stone, making a paste with them, then continues saying “...I have to reach the Scarlet Mansion. If Flandre lends me her flying machine, it should make things easier for me. After that...” Marisa takes off her shoes and grabs the paste made from the mushrooms and minerals, then spreads a bit inside each shoe, then puts them back on, then grabs one of Patchouli’s books and reads it quickly while saying “...I’ll need to head to the shrine at the Youkai Mountain, ask those goddesses for help... I might have to blackmail them though, and after that...” Marisa grabs a small lemon-green ribbon and some red thread, then starts sewing small magical symbols, along with the symbol of the yin-yang, all while looking over the open book on the table, then continues “...I’ll need to head to Nitori. The yama is right. I CAN use science!” Marisa takes off the white ribbon she usually wears, then replaces it with the lime-green ribbon. After that, she grabs a few black orbs with a small opening on the top of them and starts filling all she can with some black powder and places a small string on the opening as she continues saying “that’s right, I still need that flower youkai’s help. That’s not gonna be easy, but...” Marisa walks to her kitchen and rummages through some cabinets, gasps excitedly and pulls out two smoothed wooden ovals, then says “if I manage to get her help, it’ll be easier for me to seal this void. Oh, that’s right, I’m going to need help getting Ail’s consciousness back.” Marisa rushes outside her house, grabbing her broom and hat on the way out, and after exiting she puts her hat on and says “right, maybe the Lunarians have something that could help me with that.” She starts to kick the air and while she does, her body lifts off the ground as small magical blades form right in front of her shoes, then swings her broom around and notices a small magical aura around it as she skillfully swings it, and with a confident smirk she says “this will be like learning to use magic all over again. No matter. I passed Mima’s tests once, so this should be no problem, ze!” She looks back to her house, and with a slightly saddened look she says “don’t worry, Ail. I’ll be back as soon as I can, save you, AND close off that void.” She turns around and smiles with great confidence, then raises her broom and shouts “onward, Kirisame!” She takes on step toward the road and a golden washtub falls right on top of her head, knocking her to the ground, where she shivers and moans in pain for a moment, then says “ow~” Above her, the three mischievous fairies, Star Sapphire, Luna Child, and Sunny Milk, fly away while giggling to themselves.

Inside the dark void, the guardian dragon’s fiery black and white soul enters the void and stops right in front of Ail’s blue fiery soul, and burning like wildfire the large dragon’s soul crackles along with a soft growl. The guardian dragon shapes his head through the flames and smiles as he asks “little human, are you thinking of the blissful release of the eternal sleep?” Ail’s soul turns to face the large black and white yin-yang fireball with a dragon’s head, turning reddish-orange as he says “well, there’s nothing else to think about.” The black and white flame takes the shake of a humanoid dragon, holding a cup of tea while sitting on a cushion. Ail’s soul turns yellow as he excitedly asks “uu~ how did you do that!?” The dragon takes a sip of tea and says “I just willed myself to this. It takes a little practice, but once you do it the first time you...” As the dragon speaks, Ail’s souls spins around rapidly, then suddenly takes the form of a human, holding a cup of tea on his hands while kneeling on a cushion. The dragon raises his left eyebrow, then says “oh, I see... Never mind what I said.” Ail and the dragon look at each other for a moment, then Ail asks “I was wondering. How exactly are you going to help me? And how do you know so much about me?” The dragon sighs deeply, sounding as though he’s growling, then calmly says “while we unlock your memories you may come through fabrications, whether of your own making, or from already restored memories, that might mislead you.” Ail pops a pair of brown eyes from his ghostly body, and blinks twice. The dragon chuckles and says “you seem to be adapting faster than I thought. And no, I cannot read your mind, like your friend, Satori, but I can keep track of your train of thoughts and easily detect any fabrication you might come across.” Again, Ail blinks twice, then the dragon says “as for how I know about you... You were described to me by a dragon called Dai-Drecon, and as for how I know so much, all I can say is you have a few guardian angels taking good care of you. That’s all I am allowed to tell.” Ail sighs, then says “geez. Satori would be such great help right about... wait, how do I suddenly know that name?” The dragon smiles and says “you have a great heart and powerful feelings for all your friends. You will remember everything with ease. This does not mean you will remember everything at once. There might be memories inside of you that you might want to forget, but if we are to fully heal you, we must go through those.” Ail takes a gulp from the cup of tea he’s holding while staring back at the dragon. To his surprise, the cup really has tea in it, and it’s his favorite green tea as well. The dragon chuckles and in a playful tone of voice he asks “you really thought these were empty?” Ail takes a deep breath, then sighs and says “Budou... Sanae...”

Flying close to the Misty Lake, sounding a little annoyed, Reimu asks “Sanae... I said to bring Ail. WHY are they here too?” Sanae flies immediately besides Reimu and says “Reimu, I tried! You saw it! There’s just no way to shake them off!” Flying behind the two shrine maidens are Budou, Koishi, Lily, Chen, and Phredia, who is helping guide Ail to the right direction by pointing at Budou. Koishi happily says “I want to see how Flandre is. I haven’t visited her since that solar eclipse.” Chen says “I’m strong! I can help!” Lily shouts “Ail is here!” Budou adds “where papa goes, I go! He might need my help!” Flying above the lake, Reimu face palms, sighs, then whispers “kids these days.” Right after she says that, she and Sanae place a blue barrier in front of themselves just as a large fireball and a powerful red orb come flying to them, striking them hard and pushing Sanae back. Sanae catches up with Reimu and asks “what the hell was THAT!?” Reimu points ahead toward the large dark-colored dragon and the little blonde vampire. Sanae turns around and says “you find a place to hide with Ail and don’t let him out until Reimu gives the signal!” Budou, Lily, Koishi, Chen and Phredia all salute to Sanae, and after looking at them doing that, Ail mimics them all and salutes Sanae with a most serious expression, then smiles again while still holding his hand on his forehead. Sanae excitedly waves both hands away from herself and says “go, go! Hide already!” The girls quickly rush to the shores of the island, dragging the still-saluting Ail with them. After they are safely hidden under the trees there, Sanae turns to Reimu and asks “so what do we do?” Reimu grabs Sanae’s cheeks and starts squeezing her face hard, stretching Sanae’s cheeks, then just like that, she lets her go. Sanae angrily shouts “OW~~! What the hell you do that for!?” With a mischievous smile on her face, Reimu giggles and says “sorry, but you’re just so adorable. I had to pinch those rosy cheeks of yours!” Sanae rubs her red cheeks, trying to hold back the tears of pain as she angrily says “that’s not funny!” Reimu smiles and says “but at least you have my scent.” Sanae stares curiously as Reimu continues “I want you to handle Kimi while I handle Flandre. Now that you have my scent, Kimi will recognize you as a friend, and won’t kill you.” Sanae turns pale and trembles as she asks “k-k-k-kill me?” Near the shores of the lake, Koishi and Phredia stand guard, Koishi saying “we’ll keep you guys safe, so there’s no need to worry.” Phredia nods after Koishi says this, then they start looking at Flandre and Kimi fight, watching worriedly as many stray bullets rain down all around the mansion and the lake. While this happens, Chen wanders closer to the mansion gates and finds Meiling sitting with her back against the gates and burring her face in her knees as she hugs them while sobbing loudly. Before Meiling notices the nekomata, she’s already next to her, gently patting her head and saying “miss gate guard, please don’t cry. Miss Reimu and miss Sanae are taking care of everything.” Meiling raises her head and looks toward the smiling Chen, then asks “y-you like me?” Chen smiles as she nods and says “well of course, miss Meiling. I know how hard being gate keeper is. Remember when I replaced you while you were on vacation?” Meiling smiles, her eyes still full of tears, then grabs Chen as if she were a pet, and while petting her head and calming the nekomata down she says “you like me. That means I like you.”

Meanwhile, at the Forest of Magic, a black blur jumps from tree to tree at great speeds. After reaching the exit of the forest, the blur reveals to be Marisa, moving at inhuman speeds. While running she thinks “good. The paste I made from the mushroom and the stone should evaporate in a week, but with this magical boost, I’m sure I’ll be back long before it’s gone. Now, I need to move fast. If what that yama said is true, which it probably is, I don’t have much time...” Marisa’s train of thought is disrupted when a translucent shadow flies above her head. Curiously, Marisa looks up and finds she’s being trailed by the translucent Mima, and with surprise she exclaims “Mama-Mia~!” Mima blushes and stares annoyed toward Marisa, then stops her by punching her head and angrily saying “don’t say things you’ll regret!” Marisa holds her head with both hands and runs around in a small circle before falling on her knees. Unknown to Mima, the wound left by Reimu is still fresh, and Mima’s sudden attack just made the wound throb painfully on Marisa’s head, making her dizzy enough to fall on the ground. Worried, Mima says “whoa, are you alright? I didn’t hit you that hard!” Marisa’s world spins slowly, and Mima’s words seem to echo inside her head, but after rubbing her eyes she recovers and says “so-sorry... And yes, you did hit me that hard!” Mima slumps for a second, then says “I’m sorry~”, then flies around Marisa and sounding quite casual she asks “you know, there’s something different about you... Hmm, did you cut your hair?” Marisa wants to rub the cut on her head, but she doesn’t want to give Reimu away, so she just grabs her hat by its edges and lightly shakes it left and right, soothing the throbbing pain on her head. After that, she gets up and says “something like that, ze. Say...” She stares at Mima, as if contemplating something, then says “I’m trying to get to the Scarlet Mansion. Could you take me there?” Marisa realizes what she just said, and Mima is already looking at her suspiciously. She knows her old teacher will notice the seal immediately, so she quickly and nervously starts speed-walking, rapidly saying “well, it was fun, but I really need to hurry, so bye~!” Mima quietly flies from behind and gives Marisa a hug. The second she touches her she gasps in surprise and backs away as she says “Marisa, what happened to your magical aura!? And why aren’t you flying!? Did something happen to... you?” Mima notices a little blood on Marisa’s head and quickly lifts the witch’s hat, revealing the wound and angrily asking “who the hell did this to you!? Did the one that did THIS also seal your magic!?” Marisa takes the hat away from Mima and nervously says “i-it’s ok, Mima-sama! It’s... just temporary! Th-that’s why I’m going to the scarlet mansion! Patchouli should be able to...” Mima forcefully gets closer to the nervous witch and sniffs the wound. Marisa backs away as fast as she can, hoping Mima doesn’t catch Reimu’s scent, but it’s too late and Mima angrily growls and says “Reimu!! What has that maiden done to you!?” Marisa nervously says “Rei-Reimu? No, Reimu hasn’t done a thing. I’m the one that...” Mima’s aura glows gold as the rage evident in her face takes over her senses and shouts “that’s lazy, laid-back wench! I’ll make her PAY!” Marisa tries to calm her down, but before she can even speak Mima flies away so fast she causes a powerful back-draft. Marisa keeps to her feet and while looking toward Mima with fright in her face she says “dammit! This isn’t good!” Marisa starts to run again, and while zipping through the village she thinks “maybe if I can do this fast enough, Mima-sama will calm down, and maybe Reimu will...” The second she thinks of her friend her eyes water, however she continues to run, fixed on reaching the SDM as quickly as possible.

While Reimu and Sanae approach Flandre and Kimi, from the other side come Remilia and Sakuya. Remilia observes all that is going on, then says “Sakuya. Meiling is going to become and hindrance. Give her the rest of the day off and make SURE she stays in her room.” Sakuya bows in mid-air and says “as you wish, my lady... but what about the gate?” Remilia stares at the ones close by to Meiling and says “it’ll be alright.” Sakuya bows again, then heads down to Meiling. Remilia stares down and notices Budou and Ail, and with a very serious expression on her face she thinks “someone is about to meet their fate... but I can’t tell who...” A scent reaches her, turning her full attention to Ail, who is hiding behind a bush, while smiling and staring toward the mansion. Remilia drools and says “again... It’s happening again!” As fast as she can, Remilia flies back to her mansion and breaks through one of the windows. Meanwhile, Sanae flies high above the fight, while Reimu takes a direct approach and shouts “WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TWO DOING FIGHTING AGAIN!?” Flandre stops and looks at Reimu, but Kimi unleashes one last attack that Sanae intercepts after diving from above, and with a cocky smile on her face, she shakes her finger at the dragon and says “nah-ah. Let Reimu sort this out, ok?” Kimi rushes to Sanae, opening her mouth widely as she does, but stops just inches away from Sanae, then sniffs her. She turns back to her human form and says “you should have told me you came with Reimu. I was about to eat you.” Sanae smiles, her face turning pale and her cheeks turning blue as she softly says “you don’t say... heh heh.” After Kimi turns back to human, Reimu strictly says “alright, ladies, I’m giving you a choice. Either CUT IT OUT, or I’ll ‘cut it out’ FOR you!” Flandre flies close to Reimu and stares at her with an innocent look. Reimu sweats and asks “wh-what? Do I have something on me?” Flandre’s eyes sparkle as she smiles and gasps with excitement, then exclaims “MOM~! Mama, you’re home!!!” Before Reimu can say another word, Flandre clings on the her, wrapping her arms around Reimu’s waist and rubbing her face on Reimu’s belly. Nervous, Reimu asks “wa-wa-what’s going ON here!?” Flandre cries “mama~, I was looking all over for you! I cut my finger, and came looking for you, but you weren’t home, then this dragon says she’s going to teach me a lesson, and then you came back!” Reimu wants to push Flandre away, but after looking into her sad, glassy eyes she can’t help but feel at ease, and without realizing it, she finds herself holding Flandre against herself, lighting rubbing the back of her head and saying “it’s alright already... Geez, what should I do now?” Kimi and Sanae approach Reimu, Sanae struggling to hold her urge to tease Reimu, while Kimia bows and says “miss Hakurei, I am sorry for all this, but this little monster started attacking me and telling me I killed her mom. Geez, what a nuisance!” Reimu stares a bit angrily to Kimi, but sighs and says “well whatever. I’ll take care of this from here.” Kimi taps Reimu’s shoulder with her hand and says “miss, I can’t find Kali anywhere.” Reimu turns to face Kimi and says “that’s not good news, Kimi. Unlike you, she doesn’t have any honor. Please, do whatever you can to find...” Flandre suddenly lets Reimu go and turns around, firing a large orb that strikes Kimi on the face. The dragon brushes off the steam clouds that rise from her cheeks, then growls and starts shooting many large fire orbs at Flandre, just as she pushes Reimu away and turns her attention to Kimi. Sanae swoops from above and places a barrier in front of Kimi, while Reimu does the same for Flandre, shouting “NO MORE FIGHTING!”

Meanwhile, at the mansion’s gates, after the bullets stop falling to the ground, Sakuya is slowly losing her patience as she forces a smile and forces herself to speak tenderly, saying “come on Meiling. I’m giving you the day off. You can go to your room and rest and do whatever you want.” Meiling continue to pet Chen, who has fallen asleep on Meiling’s lap while purring. Sakuya sighs angrily, then says “look, I’m trying to be nice here, but you’re not making it easy. Answer me already.” Meiling turns a neutral face to Sakuya, and sounding a bit annoyed she asks “do you even like me?” Sakuya is caught by surprise, but she quickly shakes it off and says “what kind of question is that!? Come on, I’m giving you a day off here!” Meiling turns her face away and says “you don’t like me... Leave me alone!” Sakuya sweats as she gets closer, but Meiling punches the wall behind her, startling Sakuya, however she startles Chen as well, so the nekomata screams and runs away. Meiling desperately shouts “kitty~! Wait, don’t go!” Sakuya sighs, then says “now look what you did.” Meiling’s eyes hide under her hair as she slowly gets up with a serious look on her face, and after turning herself to face Sakuya she reveals great rage in her eyes. Sakuya backs away and asks “Meiling, what’s with that look!?” Meiling screams to the air, startling even Flandre and causing her to hug Reimu tight, then points at Sakuya and shouts “you HATE ME~! You made the kitty go away! She liked me, and you hate me! You will pay for that!” Sakuya pulls her Luna Dial from her left pocket, along with some knives from the right one, then scoffs and says “don’t do something you’ll be sorry about.” Meiling raises her fist and throws the first punch, however Sakuya disappears and reappears right behind Meiling. The gate guard loses her balance and falls, avoiding Sakuya’s knives from behind by accident, then gets up and looks to the mansion. She clenches her fist and says “you coward! You ran inside, didn’t you!? I’ll find you! You are going to pay for hurting that kitty!” Meiling runs inside the mansion, ignoring Sakuya as she shouts “Meiling, you idiot, I’m right here!” Sakuya sighs and crosses her arms under her chest, and looking worried she says “this is not good. She didn’t even sense me. Who knows the damage she could cause in this state!” Sakuya nods and says to herself “I better go after her.”

At the island shores, Ail, Budou and Lily all come out of hiding after the shower of bullets stops. Koishi and Phredia relax as they turn to their friends, then Koishi smiles and says “looks like they took care of everything without problems.” Budou sighs with relief and says “good. But I wonder why miss Reimu made us bring papa along.” From the trees above Agava says “who knows. Maybe he’s her backup plan.” Budou and Koishi look up, then Koishi says “oh, miss Agava, miss Rumia.” Budou asks “Agava? She looks so different. Did you lose weight?” Agava jumps from the branch and raises a fist to Budou, shouting “you want me to smack you!”, while Budou turns away with a mischievous smile, covering her head and sticking out her tongue. Rumia gets their attention, asking “is that his body, or his mind?” Budou and Agava curiously look to Rumia as she smiles and sits on the branch, then Koishi asks “Where is Ail?” Before Budou panics, they hear a light splash and Lily exclaiming “it’s spring!” On the lake’s shore, Ail is jumping on top of the water, while Lily, Cirno and Daiyousei fly around him, all having fun and giggling, Cirno saying “I can walk on the water too!” She freezes a bit of water, then stands on the frozen patch, boastfully saying “you can’t beat this!” Budou worriedly shouts “papa, how are you doing that!?” Suddenly, a large fireball falls and explodes next to Koishi, Budou and Agava, sending all three to different directions. Budou falls on her face, closer to the shore and away from the cover of the trees, and while trying to recover, three more fireballs the size of one of Flandre’s extra-large orbs head straight to where Budou is. When Budou manages to lift her head and see the large fireballs headed her way, she tries to get up, but quickly finds out her left wing is badly injured and freezes in place, pain, fear and anxiety taking over her senses. Out of the bushes, Chen flies straight to the closest fireball and shreds it to pieces with a single swipe of her claws, but finds herself blowing on her burned hands after falling back down. Some ice shards and petal bullets fly toward the second fireball, miss it, but manage to blast the third out of the way and veer the second one away from Budou, but is now headed straight to Ail, who is running to Budou with a worried expression. Budou realizes the ball of flames is going to strike Ail and gets a boost of courage that allows her to get off the ground and run straight to him, even with her injured wing. Budou jumps in the air, shouting “PAPA, NO~!” Budou and Ail are mere inches away from each other when they realize the large fireball is even larger than they thought and is about to impact them both when a small sparkle seems to enter the fireball itself. A large explosion rattles the island, and in what seems like an instant, the explosion sucks itself in, then stops. Koishi runs along with Agava, saying “not good. This is definitely not good!” Agava nods and says “save your breath and run!” Koishi, Agava, Lily, Cirno and Daiyousei all arrive to the center of the explosion and find Ail covering Budou up as best as he can, a little singed from the blast, and Budou lying underneath him with some blood trickling down the back-side of her left wing. Budou gets up as Lily worriedly asks “you alright!?” Ail smiles and waves, but Budou rubs her head and weakly asks “where is she?” She looks around, looking to her concerned friends, then asks “where is Phredia?” Budou starts to breath faster as she looks around, hoping to find her fairy amongst her friends, and looking between Chen and Koishi to her left, she notices a small dark-blue dress buried under some dirt. Desperately, Budou crawls through her friends and straight to the dress and immediately sticks her hand in the pile of dust and gently lifts off the elven fairy, her wings twitching, her entire body burned and her tiny eyes narrowly open. Budou whispers “no. You’re ok! You are ok!”, but Phredia’s dim glow shuts off and the tiny fairy collapses with a smile on her face. Just as her friends surround her, all staring quietly with saddened faces, Budou places the fairy to her chest, where she turns into a tiny golden light orb that sinks itself into Budou’s chest. Koishi kneels down next to the shocked bat youkai and places her hand on her shoulder and forcing a smile she says “she’s alright... She’s going to hide for a while, but you’ll see her soon.” Budou stares at Koishi, then looks around to her friends, and lastly at Ail, then turns back to Koishi and starts to cry on her shoulders.

From above the trees, Sanae desperately shouts “BUDOU~! What happened!?” Reimu holds Flandre like a toddler and is followed by Kimi as they descend, then angrily says “dammit, this is why I didn’t want you to come!” Budou continues to cry, even though Chen and Lily are patting her back and head, along with Koishi who continues to hold Budou, all trying their best to calm her down and stop her from crying. Sanae lands, and sounding more agitated she asks “what happened!? Why is she crying like that!? Budou!?” Sanae notices the blood on her left wing and gasps, but before she can inspect it, Budou turns around, revealing her tear-filled eyes, her red cheeks and the look of despair in her eyes, then jumps on Sanae, calling out to her mama for comfort. Saddened, Koishi forces a smile and says “little fairy, so brave and bold.” Agava notices the confusion in Sanae’s eyes and bluntly says “a tiny fairy with pointy ears took on a huge fireball to save the little girl and the boy.” Rumia continues to smile as she says “she is so brave.” Reimu glares at Kimi, and sounding nervous, Kimi says “it was an accident!” Flandre tugs Reimu’s skirt, then asks “mom, why is that girl crying so much? It’s making me want to cry too.” Reimu pats Flandre’s head and says “that child has lost so much in such little time, and for someone so young, she’s proven to be very strong.” Flandre looks confused, but before she asks, Reimu says “she has gone through a lot, Flandre. Besides, there is no shame in crying. It’s a way for the soul to speak through our bodies.” Flandre looks to Reimu’s eyes, but keeps quiet, holding back the urge to cry as well. From the other side of the shore, Marisa approaches the waters, out of breath after her run through Gensokyo. She looks to the shores, panting “I *pant pant* made it!” She notices Reimu and quickly hides behind a tree, then thinks “Reimu! She’s safe! Oh, if she stays here long enough, Mima-sama will cool off and leave her alone.” Marisa peeks through the right side of the tree, and with longing in her face she says “Reimu, I’m so sorry. Please forgive me. I swear... I’m going to fix all this, just please, forgive me!” A single tear falls from her left cheek, but she steels herself, fills herself with resolve and thinks “now it’s not the time! I’m going to have to take the other side. Reimu, just you wait! I’ll fix everything.” She runs along the shores at a normal pace, so as not to attract Reimu’s attention, heading to the western side of the shores, but unknown to her, all the way on the other side, Reimu already knows she’s there, keeping quiet and thinking “Marisa, you dummy. What are you doing out here? It’s so dangerous...”

Inside the void, Ail’s soul turns to a deep-blue color and sighs, then the dragon guardian says “ah, little one. I sense a memory coming back to you.” Ail sadly says, I’m not sure. Somehow, I feel as though something terrible has happened... and I was hoping it was just my imagination.” The dragon keeps quiet for a moment, then says “perhaps you should concentrate on the returning memory. Don’t let yourself wander needlessly elsewhere. Focus on those memories, and the here and now.” Ail sighs, then says “if this is a memory, I wish it would just disappear.” Curiously, the dragon asks “really? Want to share it with me?” Ail sight sadly again, then says “it seems when I was younger, I used to live in that horrible world, outside of Gensokyo. And I must say... it was just as horrible.” The dragon quietly stares, then after a bit, Ail continues “when I was younger, I see myself trapped inside a large building. Inside, there were many rooms, all with little chairs with tables on them... and in the center of the rooms, there was a bigger human... talking about names, years, and numbers...” Ail looks away, then the dragon says “that particular thought is a fabrication.” Ail looks back at the dragon and smiles, then says “th-that’s right. I remember now. Things like flying and magic are treated as the ‘impossible’ in that world. The teacher... yes, that’s what we called the person talking. There were more than just one, but they would all tell me that magic is just in fantasy stories, and that I shouldn’t believe in that. But the ones I didn’t believe... was the teachers.” The dragon sighs and says “there are many beings living in different worlds and dimensions. Sometimes, souls like us tend to end up in the wrong place to live... but we must move on, regardless. You were gifted by fate, little human. You were allowed to enter the world that was meant for you, as was I.” Ail scoffs and says “then that would explain why I was always alone out there. It’s like, even when I was little, I was always away from the others, dreaming of magic. As I grew older... I see this pattern repeats itself... until one day... This human approached me, and protected me from other humans. They were... pushing me and calling me names. I was 12 years old when Kyo~...” Ail stops and looks at the dragon, turning gold and excitedly saying “my friend! I did have a friend... I mean, I DO have a friend. Kyo! Then that means these Sanae and Budou are real too!” The dragon smiles and happily says “good, good. You have taken your first step to self recovery. Now, I want you to empty your mind, little human. There is still more for you to remember before we begin with your journey to Gensokyo.” Ail suddenly starts changing colors and asks “there’s more?” The dragon nods, then says “you remembered your childhood and a very important friend to you. But you are still forgetting something very important from the world of the humans. Something that nothing can sever from your heart.” Ail curiously asks “whoa... is it really that important?” The dragon nods, then says “empty your mind. Meditate. These important memories will come to you. I promise.”

Back at the shores of the Scarlet Devil’s Island, Budou has fallen into a deep sleep and Sanae has managed to wrap the root of her left wing in a bandage, stopping the bleeding. Reimu approaches Sanae and gently places a hand on her shoulder and softly says “look, the incident’s been solved, so why don’t you take Budou and Ail and go home.“ As Reimu finishes her sentence, Flandre lets go of her and exclaims “daddy, is that you!? DADDY, IT IS YOU~!” Before Reimu can grab her and ask, Flandre flings herself to ward Ail and hugs him tightly, saying “daddy, what a ridiculous disguise.” Koishi smiles and is about to comment, but Remilia and Sakuya come flying from one of the windows and from inside the mansion Meiling shouts “FINE, I’ll go to my room! Geez, you’re worse than my MOM!” Rubbing their heads as Lily White springs out of the bushes, holding Remilia’s umbrella already open and covering Remilia from the rays of the sun, Sakuya and Remilia get up, then Sakuya comments “well, at least she went to her room.” Remilia dusts her skirt and looking slightly annoyed she says “Sakuya, I just got kicked out of my OWN castle by a SERVANT! What will people think?” Before Reimu is able to answer, Agava says “that you’re pathetic?” Reimu and Remilia both glare at the shadow youkai, one because she stole her line, the other because she answered too bluntly. Agava reads the atmosphere and slowly backs away, then Reimu says “well I’m glad you’re here. We seem to have a little problem.”, then points at Flandre, who is hugging Ail’s neck as he stares blankly toward Chen. Remilia sweats as she stares at Flandre, then walks to her, sighs and places her arm on her sister’s shoulders, then says “Flandre, please wake up. Mom and dad are gone, and you know this already.” Flandre ignores Remilia and continues to hold Ail, then let go of his neck and grabs his hand, pulling him toward Reimu and saying “c-come on, onee-s...chan. J-just like before. Family time with mom and dad.” Remilia sighs and sounding saddened, says “Flandre... don’t make this harder than it already is.” Some tears escape Flandre as she pulls Reimu and Ail closer together and says “but... but... mom... and dad.” Remilia trembles as flickers of old memories flash by her mind, at first, showing images of two adults, whose face hide under shadow, stand beside herself and a very happy-looking Flandre, then the flashes progress further, the adults gone, but Flandre still smiles, then suddenly, Flandre’s smile is replaced by a maddened look, then she disappears. Remilia raises her face, however her eyes hide under shadow as she raises her hand to Flandre and says “don’t leave me alone again, Flan. Stop all of this and come home.” Though still smiling, Flandre can’t hold back her tears, and slowly, she loosens her grip on Ail and Reimu, then from behind, Koishi places an arm on her shoulder and says “your real parents are never gone, no matter what others may say. As long as you are alive, they live inside you.” Flandre releases Reimu and Ail, then looks at Ail and whispers “idiot big brother... Even without your brain, you’re still bothering me.” Remilia looks confused to Flandre, and while Sakuya takes the umbrella from Lily’s hands, Remilia says “Flan, don’t leave me all alone again.” Flandre sighs and shrugs, then says “geez. And you’re supposed to be one with all the charisma.” A vein pops on Remilia’s forehead as she glares at Flandre and asks “what the hell did you just say to me!?” Flandre giggles and says “I came to my sense when I saw dummy-big-brother. I just...” Flandre’s arms tremble as she clenches her fists and says “after red and white sis acted like mom... I wanted it to stay like that, even if just for a little while.” Flandre turns to Reimu and bows, saying “thank you very much. I won’t forget that warm feeling again.” Reimu smiles sheepishly, but then she sighs and pats Flandre on the head. Flandre walks to Remilia, stops in front of her, then bow and says “I’m ok now, onee-sama. I’m sorry to have been such a burden.” Looking serious, Remilia lifts Flandre’s face, holding her chin on her hand, then lightly shakes her head and says “let’s just go home.”

As Remilia, Sakuya and Flandre head back inside the mansion, Remilia walks backward, looks neutrally and waves at Reimu, saying “thanks for everything!”, then turns around and continues to the mansion with Sakuya and Flandre beside her. Reimu sighs and says “finally. I can get back to those books now.” Sanae holds the sleeping Budou on her arms and seems a little annoyed as she gets closer to Reimu and asks “you didn’t get any funny ideas, right?” Reimu smirks, then says “I don’t know what you are talking about.” Sanae gets a little agitated, but Koishi points to the sleeping Budou on Sanae’s arms and says “miss, you don’t want to wake her up!” Sanae calms down and sighs, then says “you’re right. I’m sorry. Anyway, where’s Ail and Chen?” Both maidens look around a little worried, but spot Kimi pointing toward the lake, and when they take a look, Chen is angrily shouting “give me back my hat!”, while Ail skates on the water and Lily, Cirno and Daiyousei fly in circles around Chen and switching to Ail, Cirno holding Chen’s hat and taunting the nekomata. Sanae and Reimu stare awestruck, then ask at the same time “how is he DOING that!?” Koishi smiles as she stands between the maidens and says “he’s flying just right, making it look like he’s walking on the water.” At the same time, Sanae and Reimu say “ohh, I get it now.” Kimi approaches Reimu and says “Hakurei Maiden, will you allow me permission to enter the Human’s Village to search for Kali?” Reimu hums while she thinks, then says “I better go with you. I have something to do at the village.” Meanwhile, at the other side of the lake, facing the shores to the other side, away from where Reimu is, Marisa pulls up her hat and from under it a forest-green bag pops out. As she opens it, she says “well, I’ve read how it’s done, now I just hope I can do this!” She pulls something out of her bag and raises her right hand while holding her hip with her left, putting on a very serious expression on her face, and floating just above her head are the wooden ovals from under her cabinet. After the unexplainable display, Marisa blushes and says “so glad nobody saw that.” She grabs the ovals and taps each on the rough top, revealing tight transparent bands nailed on to the sides, then sits down and struggles for a moment as she slips her shoes through those bands. After she gets up, she feels taller, then comments “well, I somehow feel more confident for some reason, ze.” She looks up and spots Sanae carrying Budou, and followed by Ail, Chen, Lily and Koishi, all flying away to the Youkai Mountain, and shortly after, Reimu, Kimi and Agava fly fast toward the Village. Marisa says to herself “darn it! If I had known they were leaving already! *Sigh* Well, whatever. Now it’s time to test my balance.” Marisa walks to the shore, making sure not to scratch the smoothed bottom of the ovals, and just before touching the water, she takes a deep breath and says “well... here goes nothing.” She places her right foot on the water, and immediately she loses her balance, waving her arms rapidly in the air, while swaying and bending her whole body, putting on a ridiculous scared face until she finally regains her balance. She takes a deep breath, then says “alright. Here... I... GO!” She impulses herself to the water and starts to skate on it. At first, she clenches her eyes tight and hopes she won’t end up drowning, however she manages to keep her balance as she skates through the water, and after realizing she’s alright she opens her eyes and excitedly exclaims “YES! I’m doing it, da-ze!” She places both arms behind her back and continues to skate the waters, but instead of heading straight to the other side of shore, the takes a left turn and skates toward Cirno and Daiyousei, happily waving at them and having a great time. The two fairies gasps with amazement, then follow after Marisa as she continues to skate the waters. Cirno flies closer to the water, then freezes it and makes a trail for herself, skating along with Marisa, saying “this is EASY!” She giggles and turns her sight to Marisa, and with a cocky smile she says “I can do this with my eyes closed!” Daiyousei says “Cirno-chan, you’ll get hurt!” Marisa Chuckles and says “keep your eyes on me, little fairy!”, then jumps and spins in the air, then lands and continues to skate. Cirno pouts and puffs her red cheeks, then sounding a bit unsure she says “w-watch! I’ll do it with my eyes closed!” Before Daiyousei can protest, Cirno closes her eyes and jumps, but forgets to freeze the water in front and falls into the water with a quick yelp, then continues to spin on her back after she floats back up in a daze. Marisa laughs hard and says “try again, amateur!”, but forgets to look in front of her and spins in the air after colliding with the island’s shore, landing hard on the ground and moaning in pain. She manages to sit up and rubs her head, then says “uu~, I better be more careful next time, or I’ll end up like that idiot, ze.” From above, flying aimlessly in the sky is a black round blob that asks “is that so~!?” A silver washtub falls into the black blob, making a loud clank, accompanied by a painful grunt, then the blob vanishes and Rumia falls straight to the ground below, exploding hard upon crashing while three giggles echo around the area.

Meanwhile, at the Hakurei Shrine, Mima shouts “she sealed Marisa’s power! I don’t think that’s funny at all!” Rika looks desperately toward Mima, and sounding twice as desperate she shouts “she must have had a reason! Miss Mima, please don’t don this! Even if you ARE right...” Mima summons her crescent moon staff and vanishes from Rika’s eyes. Rika looks around, but before she is able to sense her, Mima reappears from behind and strikes Rika on the back of the head, knocking her out and catching her before she falls. She places the unconscious shrine maid on the ground, then says “this doesn’t concern you at all, so butt out!” She glares outside the shrine and clenches her teeth as she angrily growls, then shouts “and you two better keep out of this, or I am going to have to kill you! You got that!?” From the roof, both Aya and Suika stare seriously down to the front of the open entrance, but neither one says anything. Back on the ground, Mima rests on the shrine’s porch next to the open entrance and angrily stares toward the trees, waiting for Reimu to return.

To be continued...

Characters, Spell cards and Scenario belong to ZUN -Team Shanghai Alice-
Ail, Kyo, Budou, Phredia, Agava, Dai-Drecon, Kimi and Kali were created by Willie G.R.
Rika Onkamikami was created by Snapshot 2010

MAR 21 2010
Written by
Willie G.R.

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